Ipswich Winter Ale | Ipswich Ale Brewery

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Ipswich Winter AleIpswich Winter Ale
108 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 108 |  Reviews: 69
Reviews by Shumania:
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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More User Reviews:
Photo of Todd
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An excellent Winter Ale. Tastes much like their Original Ale though. That's not a bad thing mind you, but I expected something much more different. Hops are a bit more spicy/slighty richer malt ...

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Photo of Doomcifer
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Jason
3.28/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck , no freshness date to be found.

Appearance: Deep cloudy orange amber with a creamy bubbly lace, decent retention

Smell: A touch of ripe fruit with hints of toffee and a good amount of toasted malt though the yesty aroma is a bit too much.

Taste: Nice chewy mouth feel from this medium to full bodied brew. Well structured malt back bone ... toasty with biscuit flavours, some fruit and a nice amount of sweetness with a slick buttery diacetyl. Alcohol is evident with a slight warming feeling to the throat. The hops are well balanced and leave a pleasing hop oil flavour, bitterness is a bit spicy up front which is barely enough to tame the malt and slowly fades into the end. Great warm toasty flavour all the way through until the finish, that yeast character puts a halt on the palate in an odd nutty kind of way.

Notes: This beer is great right up unitl the yeast flavour kicks in, all I can taste is yeast. No matter how careful I pour it and make sure the sediment stays on the bottom the yeast character is there.

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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 far333
3.1/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Cloudy amber color with a low beige head that disappears quickly. Aroma is a bit lemony, with some grassy hops, but it is very faint with no malt presence coming through. Mouthfeel is a bit watery, and the initial flavor is yeasty, followed by some cocoa and spice, and then a hop presence rises up through the finish. Strong sitrus and peppery spice lingers in the aftertaste. Not what I expected for a winter brew.

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Photo of yankeeheel
3.33/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very hazy amber orange with lots of little yeasties floating about. I choose to leave them in, and you can definitely pick it up in the smell.

This is the second winter ale I've had recently that more resembles a PA/IPA than a traditional winter brew. The taste on this is very malty with a bit of caramel and bread. Body is medium with some noticeable carbonation. A bit of orange citrus in the middle. Nice little hop twang at the end.

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Photo of doremite
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

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

A- Deep ruddy brown with a frothy messy lacing head.
S- heavy roasted malt with a touch of dried fruits.
T- Sweet raisin, prune, and date flavors lightly coat the toasted thick malt. Slight touch of molasses in the end.
M- Sweet and fruity initially but the thick malt takes over.

Overall- Let this warm up a bit. Impressive after a few sips!

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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 Dewey0603
3.37/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy dark mahogony wine-like color with a small dirty white head. An OK looking beer,but nothing great. The smell is pretty pungent with a yeast "bisquity" aroma that's like walking into a bakery. There are some spice scents,but not as much as other Winter's. The taste has a hop bitterness to it with a slightly creamy yeast and Christmas spice flavor. The bitterness is too overpowering for the other flavors to come out making this an OK Winter beer,but there are others that are much better. I really thought this would be better.

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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 Larrydoherty
2.5/5  rDev -30.2%

Photo of bditty187
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy tawny-gold, it is a lovely color and much lighter then I was expecting. A white head of a finger in height formed nicely, the head retention was very good. Subsequent lacing was spotty but organized. Nice. The nose is surprisingly citrusy, acidic, orangey, toasty grain, wheat bread, earthy, and yeasty. The arrangement is solid, I found it inviting but by smelling it I don’t think I would have blindly called this an Old Ale. Then again, maybe it is not one; I’ll stop thinking and start drinking. The aromas are inviting, above average potency. The palate is flavorful; this is both a curse and a blessing. The hops are a little wacky for me, very earthy, grassy, fruity, and a little dirty. I wonder if they use Fuggles or Willamette or something similar. The fruitiness becomes zippy and it is surprisingly acidic. Interesting. The maltiness is very small, especially for a Winter Warmer/Old Ale and it gets drowned out by the fruity and earthy flavors. The bitterness is solid, very firm actually; I like how it bites. It is very easy too drink, refreshing too, I wonder what the abv is? Medium/medium-full in body, modest and natural carbonation, the mouthfeel is pleasant. This is an interesting beer, regardless of classification; I found it unique and tasty. Thank you drweizen for the bottle in the BIF 5 package!

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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 Lnedrive14
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Well, its below freezing out, so a nice winter ale should do the trick. Low alcohol presence, but quite a warming brew nevertheless. Hop bittnerness is minimal, but certainly there up front.

Quite a relaxing brew. Not something I would want to drink everyday, but nothing wrong with it.

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Photo of edchicma
2.88/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

It was inevitable. Ipswich is one of my favorite brands, but this offering was extremely disappointing. It poured a murky brown, with a little head and a bit of lacing. Smell was musty, like wet socks..some light malt presence. Tatse was initially malty but morphed to harsh hops at mid palate..not overly pleasant. Mouthfeel was dry to a fault. This offering had a distinct "catch" on the back palate. Is this really an Ipswich?

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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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Photo of liquorpig
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of CRJMellor
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, chunky ambercolor with a relatively large off-white head that leaves large carbonation bubbles and lace on the glass.
Aroma is caramel and pale malt with some hints of mulling spices.
Flavor is pale malt,huge biscuit and bread hit and a mineral water
aftertaste with some hay and wheat thrown in.
Mouthfeel has a short front that leads into a somewhat spicy middle and a bitter, slightly metallic finish.
Drainkability is good and I'm sure it's really a Strong Ale.

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Photo of dji43466
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of nebula1999
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of djeucalyptus
3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to jstilwell for this one.

pours a nice rich caramel with garnet highlights. A fairly thick and sticky one-finger head of a golden raisin color slowly dissipates leaving behind a thin film of creamy bubbles across the top. A bit of sporadic sticky lacing follows down the glass.

aroma is earthy and nutty. caramel sweetness mixes with dried straw and buckwheat. A touch of dried fruits - raisins and apricots. Mild on the whole but a pleasant earthy sweetness.

Taste is similarly earthy with a bit of sweetness. Bready, earthy, caramelized sugar, spices and a touch of fruit. A bit toasty, a bit roasted grain, and a nicely well-balanced malt character with a light bit of relatively neutral citrus-zesty bittering on the finish.

mouthfeel is fairly decent. Smooth and easy to sip with decent carbonation. A touch under carbonated for the style making it a bit thin, but it certainly doesn't detract too much.

All in all, a nice old ale and a great winter offering. a bit more subtle in flavor and body than some old ales, but delicious none the less and I'm certainly glad i have a few more bottles of this one.

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Photo of grittly
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

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Ipswich Winter Ale from Ipswich Ale Brewery
Beer rating: 3.58 out of 5 with 108 ratings