Ipswich Winter Ale | Ipswich Ale Brewery

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Ipswich Winter AleIpswich Winter Ale

Brewed by:
Ipswich Ale Brewery
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-15-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 69 | Ratings: 108
Photo of jlindros
2.75/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Bottled 10/23/13

Pours a nice large 2.5 finger head that rises quickly and fades at a med pace, fizzy fluffy head leaves a nice soapy lacing, the beer is a very dark murky maroon mahogany slight molasses colored beer.

Nose is actually weird, an earthy herbal like malt with a little corn syrup and raw corn stalk molasses thing, a raw musty dank like almost swap mud herbal aroma. Then hops and spices, and earthy herbal chewy spicy like hop, and a burnt spice like thing and pocket lint. Also some syrupy malts, corn syrup, burnt molasses and caramel, don't even know what to think.

Taste I hops it's better... well, not really... again that mess of burnt sugars, raw molasses and corn stalk that was cooked too long, and into a vegetal chewy malt base, syrupy and messy. Then lots of chewy malts, spicy chewy earthy herbal and a bit of a cooked vegetal hop flavor, quite bitter as well. More spices too, like a burnt wood and spice, weird burnt spice, bitter herbal spice as well, and a bit of a fruity thing too, like an apple fig nut paste that's been bittered, and a little yeast flavor late as well like chewing on yeast. Bit of a warming booze too. Finish is still a bit sticky, more warming booze, hot spices, burnt weird spices and super spicy herbal hops.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, way too much carbonation too, and a bit of warming booze.

Overall a big mess that was not enjoyable at all. This is probably the worst beer I've had from them, and they have some decent beers so this was a big letdown. Maybe just a bad batch or bottle, but not good.

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Photo of jneiswender
2.95/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a small pint glass. Served cool. Pours a brownish red body and a beige head. Smells of sugar candy and light rose. Tastes of jolly rancher candy, bready and fruit stone. Floral hop aftertaste. Medium body and carbonation. Might want the carb to be somewhat more subdued. Not a bad beer. Certainly far from a hop bomb but not well layered in the grain area. However, not a bad beer at all. Just nothing outstanding.

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Photo of Thads324
3.21/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A : pours a deep copper. Murky looking with a hefty light tan head. Dissipates well and leaves a bit of lacing.
S : smells of heavy caramel. A bit of roasted malts and some tough rubbing alcohol. No hop really. very sweet and sugary smelling.
T : Starts with a bright and sweet malt flavor. Caramel drizzled over wheat toast. A bit of earthy hop with hints of citrus with a bit of chocolate flavor. The end is sweet like Belgian candied sugar.
M : watery at the start then medium bodied. A bit effervescent with a bit of bubbly tingle on the edge of the tongue.

Not a bad beer but the alcohol in the nose is a bit cloying. A good representation of an old ale but probably not a repeat buy

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a matte copper color. Nice tan head retains well and is frothy. Laces well.

S-Heavy caramel aroma. Sweetbread and some Holiday spice. A hint of almond as well. Smooth and sweet in the aroma.

T-Flavor has an odd twang to it. Medicinal hops melt onto the palate. Less sweet than I was anticipating. Still does maintain some sweetness however. Flavor is odd and a bit hard to describe. The flavor also lasts quite awhile.

M-Medium bodied. The feel is smooth and a bit slick. Has a watery aspect to it during some sips. Surprisingly bitter. Carbonation is prickly.

O/D-Probably one of my least favorite Ipswich beers. It isn't awful, and I respect that they went for a different style in the season Winter Warmers. Just doesn't please me as much as nearly every other Ipswich brew I have drank. One bomber at around $3.50 is a good price but I will only be drinking this once.

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Photo of Shumania
3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

a: murky brown with amber and caramel hues on the edges. cola looking almost. Small head thats goes away quickly.

s: dark fruits right away, some caramel too.

t: very similar to the smell, dark fruits, figs, brown sugar, and caramel.

m: this is a bit too thin for an old ale. I would like it to have more body and a little more alcohol kick.

This is a good beer, but nothing special. I would have again, but wouldn't seek it out.

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Photo of tkelley
4.13/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a goblet glass. Small but lingering white head above a really nice brown to dark amberbody with caramel colored highlights. Great looking beer on a cold day.

Smells of malt, caramel, and light winter spices. Very biscuity nose - good biscuits. Its not overly spicy like a warmer, but rather a more beery beer.

Smell notes apply to taste as well. Nicely crafted. Biscuity and caramelly with nonspicy hops in the finish. You really get the raisin or fruit notes as it warms up and these bring out the best in this beer.

Not too much carbonation and it drinks really easily. Awesome cold weather beer for virtually any occassion.


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Photo of alee42
3.47/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my bro for this beer selection.

These bottles have a neat design on the labels - a black & white figure of sail boat below the Ipswich label. Poured into a standard pint, I could immediately detect the sweetness of chocolate filling the nostrils, with subtle hints of roasted truffle. The faint smell of ethanol shrouds the top of the beer, very well hidden in the aromas.

The head forms nicely, but quickly disintegrates into the body of beer. Lacing is weak, leaving a ring around the liquid. The taste is a little unbalanced - hops hits the tongue first, but is greatly overpowered by a mix of ethanol and malts. Leaves a blandness on the tongue, but not too stagnant to hasten me for a swig of water to wash it off. Smooth on the mouth, not too carbonated. Very drinkable, old ale, but one is enough for me.

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Photo of drabmuh
2.86/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I do love old ales, served in a DFH signature glass. Received as an extra a long time ago, sorry I don't remember who.

Beer is brown, really hazy, thin tan head, small bubbles, some lacing, moderate carbonation, small bubbles, definite lacing.

Aroma is boozy with hints of solvent.

Beer is nearly flavorless. Mild malt, dry finish, mild spice, really boring, super boring. I'm done.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy red/brown with some orange highlights. A thin, tan colored head forms and fades quickly leaving behind spotty lacing.

S: Heavy malt aroma with some caramel, bread, and some light spices including cinnamon and nutmeg.

T: Again, very malty, light roast, caramel and a little bit of maple. The spices return, but subtlety, and there is a sweet finish.

M: Medium to full bodied with light carbonation, which lends to a smooth drinking beer.

O: Another solid beer from Ipswich. A little heavy, but besides that, a well rounded Old Ale.

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Photo of uustal
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark caramel color with a light brown head. Not much in the lacing or retention departments. Aroma of winter spices and caramel. Winter spices start this one out, fairly timid. Slight dark fruit and toffee/caramel malt give this one some balance. Roasted notes and more spice close it out. Nice flavor combination, but fairly standard brew.

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Photo of Homebrew35
2.95/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a one finger head tan in color. Where is the smell, not much but a touch of sweet carmel, maybe bready yeast, acrid coffee. Tastes carmel, roasted malts, dark chocolate, some weird sharp acrid bitterness. Some lingering weird bitterness as well with some acidity, i know this sounds redundant but this is the only way I can describe it. Medium bodied, medium carbonation. I may not finish this, what went wrong for this beer I may never know. $1.80 a single.

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Photo of gillis
3.57/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a pint glass.

The beer is an opaque reddish brown, with a slight creamy-white head that dissipated quickly.

The smell is of spices, dark malts, a little bit of fruit, and chocolate. It's quite nice!

The chocolate flavor comes up first, but it's not overly sweet; it's more like a bitter baking chocolate. A little smoky. It's hard to perceive the hops because of the bitter chocolate flavor.

Medium bodied mouthfeel.

Very drinkable, and a nice example of a winter ale. I do wish it were a little less bitter though.

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Photo of Admiraldinty
3.79/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a murky amber/brown with a decent one-inch lacy, sticky head. I really find the look of it intriguing.

Smell: Not a particularly powerful fragrance. Toasted malts mostly.

Taste: Earthy, toasted malts, some dark fruits, some coffee, light cocoa.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. I didn't find it to be too thin like others did. Smooth.

Drinkability: This one really grew on me. Another fine great one from the Mercury Brewing Company.

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Photo of Duhast500
3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

The color is hazy reddish/amber with some nice brownish head and some nice lacing on the glass.

The smell is roasty malt flavor that is a little like burnt toast. A small bit of dark chocolate is wisping through and then is gone before a moments notice.

The taste is some campfire smoke flavor with a malty flavor that is bold but is calmed by a nice chocolate flavor. The end is quick but slightly bitter as it says goodbye.

The feel of this beer is medium and seems to have just the right muscle to take care of it's self as it washes down your palette. There is no lingering aftertaste unless this beer is warmer then recommended.

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Photo of DrJay
3.3/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lightly hazed, dark coppery amber with a meager cap of beige bubbles -- more of a collar with wisps of foam than a full head. A bit of spotty lacing. Malty aroma, lots of roasted and toasty notes, bready with light citrus, caramel. Flavours of sweet malts and a bit of earthy fruits, plums and raisins, with low bitterness. Notes of caramel, roast, and leafy/spicy hops. Fairly bready and yeasty as it warmed. Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation, decent texture. A bit slick. My overall impression was that this is a decent beer, but it didn't blow me away.

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Photo of mostpoetsdo
4.03/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: On top is a crater filled off white head, below lies a swampy and bright brow, hazy, unique color. At the bottom there is sediment.

S: Has a great malty and chocolate smell, hard to describe, but it's a winner.

T: It's a combination of chocolate, smokey, malt, even a little fruity. Really interesting and delicious.

M: Smooth and creamy with a perfect carbonation.

D: You might get tired of the chocolate flavor, yet I bought a case of this stuff, so you be the judge.

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Photo of alovesupreme
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a muddy light brown with a nice head. Murky body with sediment. Excellent retention lasted the entire beer,very impressive.
Cocoa is the first thing that comes to mind, with honeyed biscuits coming in next.
Baking chocolate due to the combination of cocoa and bitterness. Very low perceived alcohol for the style.
Creamy mouthfeel, more lively than a typical Old.
This is a session-able old ale, if that makes sense. A good beer and I may revisit this in the future.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a twelve pack to share with friends on a Saturday night. Poured into a stemmed glass. Dark brown color with hints of auburn red highlights. Moderate sized head. Fairly nice amount of lacing. Smell reminded me of a hint of cocoa. Taste had ample amounts of malt and smoked peat flavors, with a nice biscuit bread aftertaste. Would have enjoyed the beer just a bit more if it had a thicker mouthfeel. Reminded me more of a brown ale. The 6.2% abv is well hidden. Definitely a beer that you have have a session with on a cold evening.

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Photo of FickleBeast
3.12/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Listed on BA as an Old Ale...

Pours a cloudy brown with one finger of foam. Sediment is visible in the bottle and in the glass after the pour.

Smells mostly of sweet Crystal malts

First impression is that this beer is a bit thin. The sweetness that I detected in the nose does not translate to the flavor, it is actually fairly dry. There is a faint hop bitterness at the end, but this is a one-note thin crystal malt beer. Overall pretty average.

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Photo of BostonBrewins
3.11/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a dark, cloudy amber with a tan head. A bit of lacing on the glass as well.

S - Not too much going on, a faint smell of hops.

T - This is much hoppier than I expected, and this is not necessarily a bad thing, although earthy and piney overtones overpowers the malt.

M - A bit on the watery side.

D - Very drinkable for a cold winter's night.

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Photo of cbutova
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque semi-murky brown with a one finger head that has fairly low retention. Medium lacing is left as I drink this one down. Smell and taste have a roasty element, some sweets, nice ripe fruits, a scotch ale like malty taste and an alcohol pinch. The nose is a bit weak. The taste is pretty well balanced and enjoyable. Smells and tastes like cranberries. Mouthfeel is appropriate in body and carbonation, it goes down nice and smooth. A tiny amount of warming is present and is nice in a Winter ale. Piney hops go well with the berries. Drinkability is fine, good taste, very good price, no off or overpowering flavors, nice holiday ale.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark amber color with some reddish hues in direct light; 2" fluffy white head, some darker colors within, decent dissipation.

The aroma has a malty sweetness, mildly buttery and some really nice fruity aroma's, dark and red berries with some mild hoppy citric notes.

The flavor has a really good balance with some flavor's really popping out, like a slightly smokey and honey-sweet malt, red currents ride in with more fruity hop notes that are gentle, not citric with a nice hop complexity in the finish. Earthy and fruity hops, nice bitterness with major flavor. A medium feel keeps it drinkable and the abv is not crazy like some other's from this style. Pretty good stuff for the holidaze.

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Photo of Gavage
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a dark reddish amber color with a 1" head that slowly falls. Some large bubbles sit on the surface.

Smell: malt sweetness along with a hint of cherries and other dark fruits.

Taste: kind of thin malt profile with loads of dark fruit sweetness. Soft spiciness arrives late. Bitterness is nicely balancing and alcohol provides some soft warming.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp to start, smoother towards the finish. Some light dryness arrives very late.

Drinkability: I found this to be a slow drinking beer despite the thin mouthfeel. But overall this beer provides a nice feeling on a damp cool evening.

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Photo of Pete9094
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pulled this one from the bowels of my fridge...

A- Pours a murky dark amber with full tan head

S- Candied fruit, molasses, roasted malt. Aroma builds as the ale warms. very dynamic

T- Malt, malt, malt. Lots of fruity flavors throughout. I actually tasted vanilla up front but that backed off as teh glass emptied.Just enough hops.

M- This improved w/ age. I thought it was average when I purchased at the holidays. Mouthfeel is creamy and full.

D- Great drinkability in June. Note to self: buy a sixer in December and bury in fridge. Drink in June 2010.

Seriously,this greatly improved w/ age. And thankfully, I still have one left.

Go Phils!

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Photo of puboflyons
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This comes from a 12 fl. oz. bottle during the 2008-2009 cycle. Sampled on March 30, 2009.

A - It is mainly a brown tone but a bit on the cloudy side. Great finger and a half foamy beige head that sticks around for most of the session.

S - A delicate balance of malts, hops, figs, and earthtones. It is just enough to make you appreciate the brew but it does not overwhelm you.

T - Medium body. I like the balance of hops and chocolate malts. At first I wanted to describe it as a lighter Porter but I think that would be inaccurate although it does have some of those elements. But in the end I felt it was a nice and easily drinkable beer.

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Ipswich Winter Ale from Ipswich Ale Brewery
3.58 out of 5 based on 108 ratings.
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