Ipswich Original Pale Ale | Ipswich Ale Brewery

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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

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Reviews: 202 | Ratings: 392
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A welcome surprise from the BOTM club. The last box of the subscription contained this little hidden gem. No freshness or best by date on the bottle, but there is a blurb that says "Guaranteed Fresh and Local." I guess I will have to take their word for it. Poured into my tulip glass...

Hazy coppery amber in color, topped off by a creamy head that reaches about a finger in height before it subsides leaving nary a trace of its presence. Not so much lacing, but there are spots of foam that stick and dry to the sides of the glass.

The aroma is surprisingly complex. Fruity notes, a very present earthiness, some hop bitterness, and malt flavors that consist of biscuit, light toast, and caramel/toffee. I can't wait to try this.

An assertive bitterness from earthy hops jumps to the front of the palate. It is followed by some impressive fruitiness, toasty malts, and then a well-rounded caramel character. The beer is nicely carbonated, and it really is pleasant on the palate. Overall, this is one of my more favorite English-style offerings, and if there are more like this, I am definitely looking forward to more.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
2.74/5  rDev -29%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- There is a moderate haze to this beer, its almost as if its stuck between being a cloudy beer and a clear one. There is a big white head with excellent retention and lacing.

S- The aroma is quite minerally, perhaps a touch of sulfur is included. There are lots of cereal grains present, offset by floral hops.

T- The cereal grains found in the aroma are the leading role here. The floral hops are the supporting act. The body of the beer is very earthy and minerally, especially in the finish. There is a modest bitterness rounding things out.

M- Lively carbonation, dry and crisp.

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Photo of PokerGod
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this beer from a 12oz. bottle into a Nonic glass.

Appearance: A nice chestnut color with a moderately dense haze to it. On a very close inspection, I can see small particles in the ale (I like that!) Some frothy head that dissipates before long.

Smell: I like the smell. Bready and hoppy with subtle fruitiness. Also, the smell really wafts out when agitated in the glass.

Taste: Floral hops up front, with a very citrus ring through the middle, and it finishes with the hops again, but subtly.

Mouthfeel: Great mouthfeel! smoothe and silky.

Drinkability: I would have no problem purchasing this beer again in the future. Nor will I have any difficulty in finishing the rest of the supply I have now. A Very nice beer overall.

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Photo of Duhast500
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Gritty's pint glass.

The color is a hazy light orange with a finger of foamy white head and some slight lacing left on the glass.

The smell is sweet at first with a flowery, earthy aroma. Some slight bitterness comes out from the hops giving the nose a nice balance.

The taste is malty at first with some citrus flavors that a sweet but slightly tart. Some orange is mixed in with a slight lemon flavor then this go to the bitter side. A earthy hop flavor is present here and smacks slightly at the end.

The feel of this beer is medium but is a full medium body with lots to think about. There is a smoothness that engulfs this beer as it goes down and then smack of the hops. It's like sliding down a slide and hitting the flat end.

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Photo of ms11781
3.18/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a hazy golden orange color with a very thin off white cap for a head. As thin as it is, it does stay around until the end and leaves decent lacing.

Nose has light malt aromas. Biscuity and bready with a hint of sweetness. Not much hop presence, if any.

Taste follows the nose with a strong biscuity malt flavor. The bit of sweetness is still there as well. Finishes with a quick hit of fruity hops (lemon comes to mind) before a slightly bitter finish.

Crisp and clean with a medium body and medium carbonation. As mentioned, there is a slightly bitter finish, but nothing that lingers.

Drinkability is ok. Crisp and clean enough with a low enough ABV for multiple pints but the flavors aren't really interesting enough to stop you from reaching for something else.

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

bottle poured into a glass at Durgin Park in Boston, Massachusetts.

Pours a hazy amberish orange color with a pretty thick head that settles quickly.

Aroma is a good balance of sweet malt and floral hops.

Slightly sweet at first taste with a somewhat bitter finish

Very good drinkability, I wouldn't turn another one down.

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Photo of mlazzaro
3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not sure if it is bottled conditioned, but fairly cloudy, darker amber color. Bone white head is kind of weak. Easy enough to stir up again though.

I mostly smell English yeast easters. Smells goood.

Most likely closest to an English Bitter. Style claims to be a pale ale, I find it bitter for the style as it is the majority of the flavor. However the bitterness is suiting to this particular beer, and comes off as being quite delicious.

Both the drinkability and mouthfeel are fine. Bitterness doesn't linger too long. I could definitely drink a few of these. Nice sessionable beer. Of Ipswich's line up, I find this beer and the oatmeal stout to be their finest.

Also if you like this beer, I implore you give the Goose Island "Honker" a shot. Delicious in very similar ways.

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

Consumed 1/7
Poured in to a pint glass

A: This beer pours a nice, somewhat hazy amber color with a one finger of offwhite head. Head recedes quickly leaving wisps of lacing.

S: Nose is hearty pale malts, caramel malts, grain and breadiness.

T: Taste starts with sweet caramel malts before moving in to a bready, doughy, grainy, hearty middle. Finish has a light earthy hop flavoring.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, rather silky with a bit of a rich finish.

D: Goes down easily, tasty, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style. This is a decent English Pale that is worth sitting with for a while.

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Photo of bruachan
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

great sudsy head to start, leaves excellent lacing. nice amber (bordering on copper)

strong hop nose: blackcurrant and minty. much more malt roastiness comes through in the nose than on the tongue

grapefruit citrus hop flavor, particularly at the finish. sufficient sweetness to keep up with the hops, but actually a dry finish. hop flavor is robust but bitterness subdued. a very complete flavor profile with a nice easy mouthfeel.

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Ipswich Original Pale Ale from Ipswich Ale Brewery
3.86 out of 5 based on 392 ratings.
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