Holyoke Dam Ale | Paper City Brewery Co., Inc.

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Holyoke Dam AleHolyoke Dam Ale
76 Ratings
Holyoke Dam AleHolyoke Dam Ale

Brewed by:
Paper City Brewery Co., Inc.
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-02-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 76 |  Reviews: 58
Photo of sinistrsam
4.14/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear ruby-brown, with minimal carbonation and head to speak of. Semi-watery appearance.
The aroma was very good, and got better as it warmed. Honey and brown sugar; sweet malts and mild sweet fruits. Very pleasant.
Dark fruits, sweet fruits, briwn sugar, caramel, malt and possible chocolate? Reminded me of an English Ale if that makes any sense.
Semi-sweet mouthfeel at first, turned dry and unfortunately left litle to no aftertaste.
It was a very good sipping beer, very casual having-a-few with friends kind of beer.

 536 characters

Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.15/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - wow this looks enticing, it pours a dark pumpkin orange-brown, with a tan/off-white head, very light carbonation

S - ooh, just as enticing, a nice hoppy typical quality ale aroma, with a molasses type hint in the background

T - wow, what a balance, a quick vanilla type sweetness up front, and a great hop bitter finish, very well crafted

M - smooth, with a palatable dry finish

D - great flavor + great balance = high drinkability

 447 characters

Photo of Dewey0603
3.41/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a ruby color with a large foamy head. The smell has some "bisquity" aroma,but this is all about the sweet malt scent. The taste has a rich creamy texture with the dominating flavors sweet malt,carmel,and maybe some fruit. The m/f is light with the flavors well balanced. This is a pretty good beer,alittle above average,but it's really nothing special.

 363 characters

Photo of MarineHokie
3.9/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle "Best if served by 5-27-06"

A - Deep copper, thick off-white head with good staying power and moderate lacing.

S - Mellow hop aroma allows a hint of the maltiness through to the senses.

T - Soft, oily hop bitterness gives way to a refreshing, slightly sweet light maltiness. Finishes with notes of sweet tea balanced by hop bitterness.

M - Medium to light bodied, slightly oily.

D - Light hop bitterness and malt balance make this a thirst quenching, satisfying "session" beer.

 507 characters

Photo of bjohnson
3.38/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a copper color with ruby tints and a one finger white head that dissipates but leaves lace along the way.

S: Fruitness and malty goodness aroma. Nice on the nose.

T: Tastes of malt with a tad of sweetness and fruitiness. At first it had a cherry aftertaste, but I'm changing my tune on that now. No bitternes at all.

M & D: Mouthfeel is nice with a smooth finish. Drinkability is good--Defs would have another.

 428 characters

Photo of andjusticeforale
3.16/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This pours out to a dark amber. the smell is cardboardy and rich with malt.

There is a decent medium to full mouthfeel with two distinct taste here. ONe is th ebig brown ale malts, which are not really too sweet, and the next is a hop flavour in the finish which is not enough to balance this out. With dsteak fries and a burger, this would be a nice choice.

 361 characters

Photo of mschofield
4.3/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a caramel-amber, topped with a one finger tan head, leaves webs of lacing.
Fruity, caramel aroma, smells like a British ale.
Caramel, fruit, tastes more like a mild than a pale to me, mainly malt notes toast and caramel, with some floral and tea hop.
It goes very well with cheddar cheese.
Medium bodied, with session beer drinkability.

 346 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A copper variant, mostly orange with contributions from red and amber. The cap is orange-influenced ecru in color with a firm, tight-bubbled look. Thanks to a great deal of stick-to-it-iveness, an abundance of thick lace finds its way to the glass.

Holyoke Dam Ale smells good, but it doesn't smell much like an APA to me. Malt and hops are present in roughly equal proportions. The malt is toasted and sweet while the hops are herbal and apple fruity. The beer is also slightly funky. Not in the 'Belgian yeast funky' sense, more in the 'lambic funky' sense... if that makes any sense. In any case, that aspect of the nose is minor at best.

This is pretty good stuff, but again, I'm having a hard time thinking of it as an APA. Except for the fact that it's brewed in America, by Americans, it's pale and it's an ale. Other than that... It's much more malty than others of the style, even English pales. I think it tastes like a bolder, more malty, yet still somewhat hoppy, English pale or ESB. Firm and commanding on the palate, tea-like, toasted whole grain bready... there's a lot here to enjoy.

Each mouthful starts out with a nod toward sweetness, then becomes austerely bitter and ultimately dry on the back end. The medium body/mouthfeel manages to provide some degree of mouthcoating despite the all-encompassing aridity. The near perfect, under the radar amount of carbonation is just how I would have draw it up.

This is a good, toasty, malty pale ale, the likes of which I'm not sure that I've tasted before. I can easily put my hop love aside for the moment and enjoy this for what it is, a well-crafted ale with loads of flavor. I love beers that carve out their own little niches and just wait to be discovered. Holyoke Dam Ale is just such a beer and I'm grateful to far333 for making the introductions.

 1,832 characters

Photo of Morris729
3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium amber color with some orange highlights as well as a moderate light tan colored head. Biscuity and yeasty aromas upfront dominate the nose with some fainter notes of fruit in the background. Medium in body with a light yet adequate level of carbonation. Taste begins with sweet malts and fruits (mostly apple and citrus) followed by a bit of dry grains and a hint of sourness. A pretty interesting and enjoyable beer.

 432 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.72/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light brown slightly cloudy; Not much of a head and no lace to speak of.

Strong homebrew smells (yeasty). Nice floral hop that is well balanced with the malt. Typical American Pale Ale aroma--true to style.

Tastes like a highly hopped brown ale. The bitterness is present from initial sip to long after the swallow. Malt is present but really only to provide a richer mouthfeel. If I were blindfolded, I think I'd envision a mild version of an IPA. This is a very drinkable brew, albeit not a tremendously fascinating one.

 528 characters

Photo of steinlifter
3.78/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a medium Amber, slight sudsy head that held a thin collar all the way through
smell: toasted malts
taste:toasted malts, hints of raisin, bit of hop bitterness.
mouthfeel: light, medium carbonation,slightly dry
drinkability: all in all, a pretty damn good beer, kinda reminded me of an Arrogant Bastard, but much lighter, so I guess I would call this Arrogant Bastard Light!!! good stuff

 397 characters

Photo of masterbruewer
3.87/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a medium amber color with a thick tan head with good lacing and moderate carbonation.

The smell was malty-sweet with a flowery hop scent.

The taste was a nice balance of sweet malt and hops, mostly piney hops with a floral background.

The mouthfeel was smooth with a little hop kick. The brew is solid but not thick.

Highly drinkable APA, very tasty.

 369 characters

Photo of BadBadger
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a rather pleasant well rounded beer. It is a deep amber-copper color. A nice foamy head is created. The smell is nice, with hints of malt and hops to be found within; a nice mixture of malt and hops. The taste is enjoyable, a real treat. This is a nice and smooth pale ale. Enjoy!.

 289 characters

Photo of ADR
3.58/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Clearish mid amber appearance with a pale head of 1/8 of an inch and it sticks around awhile. Laces in small strings. Aroma is lighlty hoppy, some tart grape skin impression. Medium carbonation, light and somewhat gravelly mouthfeel. Malt is straightforward, lightly biscuity, some honey sweetness. Hops are apparent early but come on to dominate the crisp ending. In many ways, this has similarities to the IPA but the body is weaker and there's a slightly off sour sense. Nothing really wrong, a little unmemorable. Thanks to Alex P. for bringing this from Rhode Island on his way to interview for a Twin Cities TV internship.

 628 characters

Photo of yankeeheel
3.48/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely clear amber with a assertive off-white head. Nice amount of lacing sticks around as the beer goes down.

Smells a little nutty with a small amount of hoppy background. Nothing world moving here.

Tastes like a nice pale ale should. Not completely hop dominated. Nice pale and caramel malt representation up front with a bit of a semi-sweet middle. Finishes a little dry with a mild hop wave.

Mouthfeel is a little light but dealable. Pretty well suited to the style.

Very drinkable. Sholud appeal to a wide array of beer palates.

 555 characters

Photo of gueuzeonhigh
4.15/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A rather tasty ale.
Nice foamy head, just right amber color. Typical ale character,
with enough robust flavor to mark this ale in my taster’s
memory. Pleasant mouthfeel, fine lingering finish. While this beer
was not as robust as some ales I’ve enjoyed, it’s lighter character
provides an enjoyable respite from heavier bodied “ales”.

 344 characters

Photo of edchicma
4.17/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decent amber colr, but very little head in my bottle. Smell was nice, fruity, floral, sweet. Taste was likewise fruity and malty, but left with a taste of hops for a nice clean finish. Mouthfeel was well-rounded and this brew was very easy to drink. Excellent offering from a local brewer.

 289 characters

Photo of Stopper
3.37/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium to light amber with a generous beige head that recedes very slowly (it's constantly replenished by copious bubbles rising from the sides and bottom of the glass). The aroma is predominantly that of a chewy caramel maltiness, with very little hops. The initial sip is dominated by this caramel malt flavor as well along with a well-balanced bitterness. The mouthfeel is initially pretty light and becomes lighter somehow evoking iced-tea (though I can't place exactly why, besides just the mouthfeel). The finish becomes quite dry with a slight flavor of roundish, mellow, slightly citrusy hops.

 609 characters

Photo of jward
4.02/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Holyoke Dam Ale is orange to amber color with a small white head. The nose is initially floral, with additional aromas of caramel and toffee as the beer warms. The flavor is that of a classic pale ale -- solid and malty, but nothing especially surprising. A nice malt backbone is complimented by notes of caramel, and is quite buttery at times. The mouthfeel on this one is a bit thin.

The night before buying and drinking the bottle that I'm reviewing, I bought a growler of the same beer. The growler sample of Holyoke Dam seemed to present a slightly sturdier mouthfeel and some more well-rounded flavors.

 611 characters

Photo of OatmattStout
3.35/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice head and a cloudy amber color with a little orange in it. Light lacing and a decent somewha malty nose that does not come through in the taste. Hop bitterness was the most prevalant in this ale and not much malt back up. Pretty average and not as good as other paper city brews tasted..

 291 characters

Photo of far333
4.07/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sounds like everyone has a slightly different experience with this beer. Could it be the open fermentation process? Mine was a dark amber color with a very slight head that was gone almost immediately. Smell is sweet roast malt, with a little caramel and vanilla. The flavor matched the aroma almost exactly (reread previous sentence). Nice round flavor that feels good on the tongue. Not overly carbonated. Good session beer.

 426 characters

Photo of doerickson
3.6/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Light amber with an orangey hue; medium off-white clingy head. Bready and caramel malt and floral/citic hop aromas. Not too heavily carbonated. Very well balanced, with a biscuity malty flavor on the tongue at first and hop bitterness going into the finish. This beer has grown on me during the life of the six-pack. This isn't my favorite style necessarily, but I did enjoy this brew.

 386 characters

Photo of Thrasher
3.93/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber. Roasty amber hue, good head that dissipates but laces the side of the glass. Tasty with buttery malts, hints of caramel and bread crusts. Hops are subdued but the beer remains balanced. Hops come into their element in the long, terrific finish. Quite a British flavor despite the New England salts and a watery mouth. I'd call this a mild although it might be a little too raw. Splits the difference between a Bass-type pale ale and a mild. In a nutshell, this beer does taste very good, is refreshing and refurbishing, makes you want more with each sip.... BUT -- as I was reviewing it and trying to dissect the flavors, I didn't think it had much to offer. My recommendation: drink and enjoy. Don't think so much. Maybe accompany with white breads and salty cheeses.

 782 characters

Photo of Jason
4.2/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown with a "best if served by date" on the back label with a blurb about the beer also.

Appearance: Bright amber with orange sunset hues, sticky off white lace dresses the top of the brew.

Smell: A mix of grain, malt sweetness, candy apple, caramel and citric hop.

Taste: Crisp and smooth with a medium body, quite malty with some grainy and toasted undertones. Moderate carbontaion on in the mouth. Hop bitterness is laid back though leaves a quick well placed sharpness to break up the malt substantially. Hints of fruitiness of citrus and apple meld with hints of caramel and toasted grain. The finish is quite clean with some residual grainy sweetness and leftover hop twang.

Notes: American Amber Ale is what they were going for and did a damn good job at brewing one ... no surprises, merely a more than decent beer to drink.

 865 characters

Photo of pbrian
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From reading Todd's reviews, and based on my sample, it seems this beer changes a lot. Mine was, if anything, unbalanced on the malty/sweet side but not to a fault. I found the grainy flavors very reminscent of a local favorite, Hammer & Nail Brown, but with more bittering hops. Overall a nice change of pace.

 313 characters

Holyoke Dam Ale from Paper City Brewery Co., Inc.
Beer rating: 3.46 out of 5 with 76 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.