Ipswich Original Pale Ale | Ipswich Ale Brewery

very good
201 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Ipswich Original Pale AleIpswich Original Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Ipswich Ale Brewery
Massachusetts, United States

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-01-2000

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 201 | Ratings: 389
Photo of Arithmeticus
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured chilled in 4-oz. taster, in shifts.

A: light copper color; decent head (quite a few large bubbles), moderate carb action; lacing ok
S: benign aroma; slight whiff of bread, malt
T: malty, nutty, bready; very flavorful and interesting; ever so slight bits of anise and whorehound; tastes centered in the alto range; hops come off as very fresh; the flavor is complex and interesting

This beer doesn't match the others I've had in this category, so definitely worth a visit.

 480 characters

Photo of PhillyStyle
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Bukowski's Tavern:

The beer was served in 12oz pint glass and appeared a nice, bright, and clear amber color with a nice slightly off-white foamy head that was well retained that ultimately settled into a thin cap that lasted throughout the beer. The aroma is malty, as expected from the style, with some hop presence, but the aroma is pretty well balanced, again as expected for the style. The taste follows the nose well, a nice toasted malt flavor with a hint of yeast and some earthy hops. The combination worked very well together. The beer had a nice feel to it and was exceptionally smooth and easy to drink. Overall, a good beer and one that I would definitely drink again.

 692 characters

Photo of Offa
4.14/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pale amber, it has a small off-white head steadily shrinking to foamy ring.

Aroma is nice caramelly barley, honey, wet bark, & wood, hints of dry leaves and tea.

Taste is dry, bittersweet character with nutty-caramelly toasty malt & peppery-woody hop bitterness. It has light juicy zesty yeastiness. It is very good, with nicely rounded character.

 349 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice clear amber with an average off-white head. Malty aroma is a little fruity and a little yeasty, promising if not outstanding. Flavor is mainly malty with some fruit and a hoppy-bitter undertone. Not too shabby. Smooth texture has about average body and fizz. Overall, fair to middlin’.

 300 characters

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass- pours a hazy bright copper/orange color with one finger bone white head that dissipates quickly and leaves a little bit of froth and lacing.

Smell is pretty malty- definitely makes sense that this is an English style not American. Good light caramel notes with a little hop spice.

Taste is consistent with smell. Good solid malt backdrop- caramel, a little toasty, a little green apple, some earthy dry hop flavors. Not your American citrus/pine hops. Good though.

Superbly drinkable- light to medium body with very good carbonation. In general this is not my type of pale ale- I like the bolder American variety and if I want more malt I'll go for a kolsch or a munich helles. Definitely good stuff for the price though.

 770 characters

Photo of SolipsismalCat
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. Reviewed alongside Great Divide Denver Pale Ale.

A: Hazy amber with tiny particles and a two-finger, white, creamy head that lasted several minutes. Nice lacing.

S: Fruit and caramel malt. Just a hint of hops.

T: Light sweetness and light bitterness. Toasted malt. Bread and very light hops. Pretty good.

M: Medium bodied with soft carbonation. Smooth and creamy feel.

O: Great session beer. The toasted malt flavor was excellent and this ale was very smooth. I liked it slightly more than the DPA.

 529 characters

Photo of Flounder57
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this a few nights ago while the site was down. Reviewing from notes. Beer was poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Orange amber with one finger head. Some clarity and bubbles coming up through the glass. Head had reduced to a thin layer with no lacing.

Smell: fruity, caramel and bready malts.

Taste: caramel and bready malts, buttery notes, fruity, bitterness from the hops in the back of the palate, and some creaminess too.

Mouthfeel: smooth, medium bodied, light to medium carbonation, slight bitterness, and easy to drink.

Overall: This beer fits well with the EPA style. Will have more in the future.

 617 characters

Photo of VonRoll
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep Amber body, poured creamy 1.5" head which fell to a maintained 1/4" full head. Light carbonation. Unfiltered.

Smell: Smells of hops, fruity almost sweet. Light malt smell

Taste: Tastes of hops, almost a fruity sweet hint, not a predominant note. Smooth malt

Mouthfeel: Feels very dry, thin creaminess and very light carbonation bite

Overall: This beer fits the English Style Pale Ale style very well. The beer had a very inviting appearance, attractive smell, and full flavor. All properties of this brew seemed to work together very well.

 560 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a cask and served in a 20 oz tumbler, the beer is a hazy, unfiltered, honey-brown coloring with a dense, foamy, frothy, off-white head of about an inch. Aromas are a nice, subtle blend of citrus and hops on a sweet toffee backbone. Flavors have a good roasted quality to them, with a resiny and bitter hopping that balances the toffee and caramel sweetness from the malt profiles. Citrus influence is light, with a lemon zest flavor peeking out here and there. Good use of wet hops to clean the palate and impart some strong, peppery characters without being overly bitter. The beer leaves a decent lacing along the glass, and the body is smooth and light. The lack of carbonation from the cask permits all the flavors to truly blend together. The aftertaste is tangy and bitter hops, with a slight, drying finish. Decent brew.

 839 characters

Photo of shangwang
3.42/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Received this one in a beer of the month club my sister signed me up for - thanks sis! I was familiar with the name Ipswich, but I don't think I had tried anything made by them until now. Poured into a traditional pint glass.

Color is a hazy reddish-amber, with an initial finger of foamy white head. That reduced to a thin centimeter layer that hung around for a while. Smell was sweet and malty, with a hint of hoppy bitterness. It also had a toffee/caramel candy quality about it. Tasted very malty with a tart fruity sweetness - maybe grapefruit? It wasn't a dominating taste, more of a subtle characteristic. Definitely agree with the other reviews that mention a tea-like quality. It finished with a piny, hoppy bitterness. Light mouthfeel with a little bit of zip but mostly flat.

Overall, this was a good ale. Fairly well-balanced with good flavor and very easy to drink. Doesn't push boundaries or blow my mind, but my guess is that's not the intent. Solid beer.

 973 characters

Photo of chimaylvr
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First I give kudos to the previous review by ChainGangGuy for a cogent, accurate review but I'd like to add my observations:

Appearance is appealing: caramel hue, opaque, .5 finger foam retaining light lacing

Smell: subtle bitter hop aroma, light butter, hint of sage herbal, underlying malt; just nothing pronounced dropping the rating a bit but it's still pleasant

Taste is very pleasing: citrus note comes forth, well balanced hop profile, I also detect a tea flavoring, perhaps orange pekoe, herbal: fennel

Feel is simply great: buttery, somewhat frothy, not acidic, light sweetness. Carbonation is just right.

Overall: I've always enjoyed this beer very much; makes a great seesion beer. The balance of base ingredients and adjuncts is outstanding. Has never failed to satisfy. Mercury knows its #*!* Try their oatmeal stout.

 835 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle - $3.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazed, deep golden body with a frothy layer of off-white suds. Little blips of lace on the way down.

Smell: Gently toasted white bread and biscuit tops with a small, sweet-scented accent to the malts. A bit of stone fruit and citrus mingling together with a dash of spice and earthy dried herbs.

Taste: Bready, biscuity pale malts brushed with a layer of sweet, sugared treacle. Slight apricot fruitiness with a little fresh sweet orange peel, but it's growing increasingly towards an herbal, black tea presence. Medium bitterness. Drying, with a quality a bit like that Constant Comment tea.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Simple and easy-going, but pleasant overall. Refreshing.

 804 characters

Photo of MoreThanWine
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 1" off-white head. Body is an interesting raw sienna yellow color with a slight haze. Smells of malt and caramel. Taste doesn't quite match the smell, it's more standard BMC with a little malt, and definitely more bitter hops coming through in the finish. It's OK, I just don't think it stands out much higher than upper average.

 338 characters

Photo of Chico1985
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very hazy rusty orange, lots of floaties and carbonation bubbles. Off-white head starts big and retains nicely leaving good lace.

In the scent there's buttery and toffee malt, earthy and grass hops.

Definitely an English-style ale all the way, sweet buttery biscuit malt comes out the most with some caramel there too, light herbal hops and some graininess.

Very malty, feels hefty for the ABV, kinda stinging on the carbonation.

Reminds me alot of Berkshire's English IPAs but with a big emphasis on the malts. Not much to it but a good, authentic English ale from the states.

 589 characters

Photo of mostpoetsdo
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy honey-ruby color, with thin off-white head.

S: Loads of fruit, malt, caramel, and then hops in the background.

T: Very biscuity and malty. It continues with some fruit and caramel sweetness. There is also a sharpness of hop bitterness that wraps it all up and makes it tasty. Hop notes of pine and citrus, orange rind.

M: Incredibly smooth and carbonated, damn near creamy. An easy one to put down, and really enjoyable.

D: This one is excellent, lower ABV for huge flavor, simply great.

 507 characters

Photo of ToasterChef
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had this bottle in my cellar in my To Review box for a couple of months. I popped it into the fridge for 30 minutes and then poured it into a pint glass.

The liquid is clear and a very pretty shade of copper. An average amount of carbonation is visible. A thick off white foamy head fills the top quarter of my glass.

It has a very good British hop aroma. It's floral without being overly bitter. Some biscuity malts are noticeable as well. It's a very good aroma.

There is a mild sweetness to the flavor. Floral bitterness comes forward quickly, and lingers on after I swallow. It is a more oily bitterness than I expected to taste.

A lot of coating, with a lot of hop flavor clinging to my tongue.

This is an enjoyable beer. Of all parts of the US, it seems the New England breweries mimic British styles the best, and this one doesn't disappoint.

 860 characters

Photo of paylay32
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a crisp yummy beer that allows you to imagine yourself sitting on the Cape and sipping away while your thoughts float to brisk summer days. Okay, enough imagery. This ale is surprisingly refreshing, pours a little light without much head, but makes up for appearance in taste.

 284 characters

Photo of jondeelee
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Has a light, floral nose, with hints of rosewater and light hops mingling nicely with small whirls of citrus and toasted grain.

On the tongue, there's an immediate boost of citrusy sugars, with notes of apricot and orange. This is accompanied fairly quickly by grapefruit-bitter hops, which come in at light to medium-light strength, nicely complimenting the earlier citrus flavors. Brown sugars and light maple syrups run throughout the mouthful, as well as Grape Nuts cereal-like grains. And while the hops do tend to outweigh the malts, and are definitely the larger portion of the aftertaste, the orange and apricot notes from the beginning still maintain a decent presence.

Overall, this is a lovely pale ale, being largely well-balanced, with a slight emphasis on a citrus tang. The brew doesn't necessarily bring anything new to the table for the style, but it does prove an excellent example of it, and is worth a taste.

 932 characters

Photo of DrinkingDrake
2.8/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Slight amount of haze in an brownish orange. Almost no head just a small puddle floating around. Nose contains a lot of malty bread, some small amounts of toast. Fruity hop character. The balance between rich malty bread and fruity hops seems off. A large amount of malt and toasty bread with some slight hop character. Hops were present more in the nose. Bready malts transition to a metallic tang and some bitterness that cloys at the back of your throat. Scratchy and tangy bitter, old fruits.

 496 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a hazy amber color. Minute flakes spin around the glass. A large fluffy head absolutely refuses to die off. Chunky lacing sporadically sticks to the glass.

S-Sweet bready and pale malts headline an attractive aroma. The hops are bright and floral. The aroma is fragrant and a bit perfumey. Mild and attractive overall scent.

T-This is quite a sessionable flavor.The hops are light and mingle well with the sugary malts. This brew has a certain 'hard to describe' overall flavor. It is undoubtedly enjoyable.

M-Light to medium build. A bit slick. Expressive carbonation. The feel is pretty nice.

O/D-Have always loved Ipswich IPA. I may like this one a bit more. It is definitely a more apt 12 pack beer than the IPA. The mild yet attractive flavor makes you yearn for another bottle. I think this might be my 'go-to' 12-pack brew when I'm not feeling like burning the enamel off my teeth with some good ol' 'Finest Kind' by Smuttynose. Sessionable, local, and pretty damn addictive. Not bad Mercury Brew Co.

 1,019 characters

Photo of muttyd
3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 12-pack of Ipswich Original, IPA and Summer Ale for only $11.99. Not a bad price at all.

Pours a hazy pale amber with a thick fluffy white head that persists throughout. Some floaties in the beer become noticeable as I hold it up the light.

Aroma is well balanced with grassy hops and pale grainy malts. Really delicate aroma with no character taking over the other. Flavor has a solid bready/biscuity malt backbone with just a touch of floral/grassy hops to give it a nice spicy character. Rather bitter throughout. Dry and slightly bitter-astringent. Medium body, well carbonated and slightly creamy.

Really like this beer, and it doesn't break the bank.

 671 characters

Photo of FRivard
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

serving was poured from a 12 oz bottle

appearance poured a light amber in color with an off white two finger head that stuck around for a minute

smelled of bread and a bit floral also a muted citrus at the end of the nose

tastes of english malts and hops as per style. biscuits with a slightly citrus finish

mouthfeel was very dry which is too be expected

overall a delightful beer true to style the food pairings are endless.

 432 characters

Photo of Homebrew35
2.96/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours amnce two fingers worth of creamy white head. Crystal clear pale golden color. The most sticky lacing I've seen in a while remains half way through the glass. Smells slightly floral and some Carmel malts, maybe some bready yeast. Tastes sweet,carmel, earthy hops, medium bitterness to balance it. Light body, medium carbonation. The finish is neutral and watery tasting. Overall this is lackluster to me.

 410 characters

Photo of therica
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A= hazy copper-gold with a nice active white head, dissipating after not long into nice rimming and some lacing.

S= not bold but definitely there and a bit delicate, nice sweet malts and some light floral hops.

T= balanced sweet bready malts, floral hops, adequate dry bitters, very nice.

M= dry bitterness lingering with delicate hops florals on the tongue and a nice sweet malts presence.

O= session forever, should go great with most red-meat or fowl meals, probably even nice with pasta.

 495 characters

Photo of jongullotti
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Freshly tapped keg from the brewery from my kegerator on 3/23/11.

Hazy copper/amber color with a big thick frothy pillowy head. Perfect lacing throughout from beginning to end.

Aroma contains sweet malts, bready raw grains, and citrusy hops.

Taste is similar to aroma. Sweet malt up front which remains through the middle and is joined by a raw rye bread graininess. Finishes clean with light balancing citrusy hops. Well rounded and balanced flavors.

Medium bodied beer with active carbonation throughout. Smooth and somewhat creamy mouthfeel. Finishes light crisp and clean.

Overall a great beer. Very easy to take another sip, and then another...
I'm glad I've got a sixtel of this in the bar room

 705 characters

Ipswich Original Pale Ale from Ipswich Ale Brewery
3.86 out of 5 based on 389 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.