Ipswich ESB | Ipswich Ale Brewery

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11 Ratings

Brewed by:
Ipswich Ale Brewery
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-13-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 11 |  Reviews: 10
Reviews by EmoBeerGuy:
Photo of EmoBeerGuy
3.76/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a very hoppy ESB. While I did enjoy this beer, I do not think that it fits into its style perfectly, at least it is not a classic ESB.

Pours with moderate head. Hoppy Nose. Taste is much like a classic bitter but hoppy up to give it some American flavor. The hops stole alot of the subtle nuiances for me, that may or maynot have been there.

This seemed like an inbetween beer for me, wasn't an ESB but wasn't an American IPA either...I'm not sure Ipswitch knows either. I did enjoy this beer, would drink it for session. But if given a more hoppy beer or more traditional bitter, I'd likely go with the alternatives.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Marty
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a cloudy ESB that seems to straddle the line between an ESB and an IPA. Since I like ESBs and I love IPAs, I was diggin' it. It's not nock-your-sock-off hoppy, though. Very smooth, and a good "session beer" as they say. Delicious.

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Photo of Todd
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A naturally cloudy amber beer with a very healthy creamy head. A bit malty and plenty of citrus hop in the nose. Flavour is bready/malty with a sharp, crisp, citrus hop sting -- quite hoppy, bitter and puckering. Hops flavours run into the dry grain finish where notes of hop leaf and oil also mingle.

A very flavourful and bitter unfiltered brew.

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Photo of Jason
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz brown with the new black label. No freshness date.

Appearance: Tawnish copper with the infamous Ipswich head; creamy, frothy and without dissipation.

Smell: Hop oil aroma with the tiniest of malt sweetness.

Taste: For starters you get a melding of all potential hop flavours; oils, leaf and bitterness. These intermingle with a semi-crisp grain maltiness that breaks away eventually. The hops go slightly citrus while the malt remains grainy, then, they both meet up once again for the aftertaste.

Notes: This is not just a balanced brew, but, an orchestrated one. Perhaps one of the best American brewed ESBs that is aimed directly at the style.

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Photo of BittRnessabounds
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep and hazy orange/copper with a modest head that dissipated fairly quickly. The smell was mostly hops with hints of citrus. It tasted just as it smelled, hops dominated but there was a bit of citrus bite as well, giving the good crisp and bitter taste I love.

All in all my impression is that this is a somewhat raw and untamed ESB, at least compared to the more established examples such as Fullers ESB. Nothing really wowed me, yet I still enjoyed this beer greatly, and I think it might grow on me over time.

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Photo of Stingray5
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brewed in MD. Pours a cloudy light brown with a good fluffy off white head. Mild floral hops aroma. Nice mouthful with medium carbonation. Taste has hints of smoked malts and fruit, citrus hops. The finish is a little watery followed by a dry hop bitterness that hangs around, but nothing too overwhelming.

All in all I prefer the IPA and Dark Ale offerings from Ipswich. This ESB is good for the style, but comparable to, say, a Redhook.

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Photo of pbrian
3.4/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I found this unfiltered brew a bit rough. It's a beast altogether different than an easy-drinking, smooth ESB ala Harpoon. Sharp citrusy hops with a yeasty twang of a bite. Dry, grainy finish. Better as it warms.

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Photo of stegmakk
3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Light copper, a little hazy, off white head nice lacing

Smell: Citrus, sweet hops

Taste: bitter from start to finish (more in finish), citrus like flavor added overall, and a nice hop flavor throughout (maybe a little too much for an ESB, but i liked it)

Mouthfeel: Not too thin, not too thick

Overall: I can drink a couple of these...after a while the citrusy hops might get to me though

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Photo of vitesse
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

another solid ipswich brew....

unclejimbo mentioned that his bottle seemed past its prime. mine seemed very fresh. nice lively head and carbonation. smooth, consistent rich brown color. biscuity malt aroma. slight tea-like hop flavor is restrained. a very very authentic english-style ale. definitely a session beer. not quite as much of a raw hoppiness as the ipswich original ale, but a great beer nonetheless.
i recommend it.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown glass longneck, capped, with no date.

It is interesting that I heard from someone at Mercury that Ipswich ESB had been discontinued quite some time ago, but I still see it in many liquor stores. This bottle tasted like it was verging on "past prime", but it was decent.

This ESB poured a hazy, golden amber color with off-white foam. The smell was mostly floral hops, with some biscuit and malt aromas. The taste was bitter and floral hops, with some slightly sweet malt, and a hint of caramel. The mouthfeel was dry and smooth, and a bit astringent. The body was medium and the carbonation feel was low. There was a lingering hop aftertaste. The drinkability was good.

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Photo of neil2me
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Ipswich ESB from Ipswich Ale Brewery
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 11 ratings