Ipswich India Pale Ale (I.P.A.) | Ipswich Ale Brewery

very good
250 Reviews
Ipswich India Pale Ale (I.P.A.)Ipswich India Pale Ale (I.P.A.)

Brewed by:
Ipswich Ale Brewery
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-07-1998

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Reviews: 250 | Ratings: 486
Photo of Ilovesuds
1.85/5  rDev -52.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Hazy, sediment laced burnt orange color. Nose is grapefruit and pine. Nice mouthfeel but so bitter on the back of my tounge that I couldn't finish the bottle (didn't want to). Another reviewer described this taste as "charred vinyl". Now I've never tasted burnt 33 LP's but I'm imagining this is what they taste like. Did I just get a bad batch? I don't get it.

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Photo of jdhilt
2.16/5  rDev -44%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours a four finger, cream head that fades to a thin layer leaving some lacing. Cloudy amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Strong hoppy nose. Starts with the hops in your face, hints of malt in the background, lingering bitter aftertaste - true to IPA style but not my style. $1.85 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma. Bottled in March 2005.

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Photo of jsh420
2.36/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

pours hazy dark copper orange with an off white head that had good retention and faded to a small film that left lacing down the glass

smells of spicy grassy earthy hops and a little caramel malt

taste has quite a bit of grapefruit mixed in with the earthy spicy hops - i do not pick up on any malts

mouthfeel - medium body low carbonation - rather boring

overall - this beer might have been reasonably priced but the flavor is not there and i will not be buying this again

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Photo of Solomon420
2.58/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to TheManiacalOne for allowing me to try several East Coast IPAs...I have been drinking a lot of West Coast IPAs, and wanted a nice change in flavors (also was interested in seeing how the geographical differences affected the same style beer).

The pour was nice and it revealed a mahogany hue with smallish cream colored head. The aroma of malty crispness filled my nose, and left with a faint smell of hops. I would have expected more hop aroma to this IPA. Am I too used to IPAs from the West Coast? Perhaps!
The taste at first was malty, had slight hop flavor, then the aftertaste came...this is where it turned ugly. The aftertaste was way bitter, and not in a good way. I just could not get past the lingering bitter tartness in the aftertaste. I have to admit after a lot of forceful trying, I just could not finish this beer.

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Photo of Vendetta
2.78/5  rDev -28%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours thoroughly orange, thin soapy head, decent lacing.

Smells of hops, of course, along with mild citric fruitiness.

Taste is a bit off, pretty mild for an IPA. The hops are there but not extremely present. There is more of a citric taste to the beer than a hop punch. I've had American pale ales that had bigger hop presence than this, actually.

Mouthfeel is good. The body is nicely medium, clean finish, adequate carbonation. This is a good beer but not a great IPA.

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Photo of Gosox8787
2.79/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a glass with a one finger, beige head with little retention. Beer was light brown with a lot of haze. The smell was not strong at all. I expected more floral aroma from the hops. The taste was bitter upfront from the hops. However, there was not much in the way of sweetness to counter the bitter taste. The taste left on my palate after each sip was the bitter taste of the hops. Perhaps this was just me, but the hops seemed to only offer bitterness and offered no balance to the beer. The mouthfeel was medium bodied with limited carbonation. Drinkability was average as the flavor was not overpowering and the ABV was normal. The bitterness could limit how many of these I would have in a night.

Overall, this is by no means the best IPA I have had. The flavor is unbalanced and bitter, at least for me. This would not be a beer I would have again.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.8/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.

Somewhat reluctantly trying another of these Ipswich brews. This one pours a clear sunset bronze topped by a finger of dirty cream-white foam. The nose comprises grapefruit peel, orange zest, buttery caramel, and deep-forest pine (you know the pine...). The taste brings in more of the same, but, yet again, there's that added swipe of charred vinyl near and through the finish. It does not mesh well with the lightly spicy hops, lemme tell ya. I was thinking that bit was a result of "unique" malt-roasting techniques, but now I'm starting to think it's either the yeast or the bottles. I just dunno here... The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta dry finish. Overall, this would be an okay, solid IPA were it not for that damn Ipswich vinyl character. Am I the only one tasting this in these beers?

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Photo of 513hooligan
2.83/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

taken a bit back by how dark this was for an i.p.a. half a finger of head that dissolved rather quickly. had an aroma of orange and alcohol. at first taste the hops blew me away. i am quite fond of this style but this was a little much. i wouldn't say it was undrinkable, but i don't think i could have more than one. it was what it said it would be so i can't give it a bad score, but it wasn't my glass of beer.

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Photo of waughbrew
2.83/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Fuzzy peach with a nice sticky retentive head. Smells of earthy cirtusy hops, very yeasty, and a little mustiness. Taste starts mediocre and gets worse. Starts with aggressive dirty citrus hop flavor matched up with toasted malt. Then the malt disappears, leaving a long pine-sol bitter finish. A good creamy mouthfeel does not make up for the poor flavor of this brew. Perhaps it is just my tastes, or this specific batch/bottle, since most other reviewers seem to really like this.

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Photo of Pittsburgh
3.03/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Typical characteristics/pour/color for an IPA, I've had many a IPA and this one is a little too bitter for me, and the bitterness sticks with you for a while. Dry as well, hoppiness factor is there, but with the dry/bitterness factors being elevated ranks below other IPAs from a taste factor. I give them points for being different, going off the beaten path, but not completely my bag. I'd rank it as an average beer and a below average IPA. Probably won't be looking for this one in the future. I'll give it a second review at some point and see if anything changes.

If you like a bitter/dry IPA...this would be your beer

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Photo of musicforairports
3.05/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz single, undated. Bought at a bottle shop in Adams, Mass.

Completely opaque orange-amber. Fluffy head and some lacing.

Smells nutty, earthy and citric.

Flavor has oily floral and earthy hop flavors, some orange-flavored citrus. Some sturdy bread and nutty malt as well. A bit sweet, with an off-putting note I can't put my finger on that reminds me of a homebrew.

Medium mouthfeel. Lightly creamy, adequately carbonated.

Wasn't too impressed with this beer. Reminded me more of a pale ale. I'd like to try it fresh, but it wasn't a lack of hop flavor that I found most dissapointing about this beer.

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Photo of curasowa
3.06/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Slightly hazy copper color with one finger of white head that fades slowly with a curtain of lace.

Aroma: A mix of floral and citrus hop notes over a somewhat pronounced toasted malt aroma with a hint of yeast and some dishrag.

Taste: A lot of toasted malt flavor right off the bat, with the body on the heavy side of medium. Oily hop flavor starts to build in the middle and overtakes the malt base, leading to a pretty harsh bitter back end that thins out quite a bit.

The Rest: Not the best IPA I've had. It's lacking a bit in the aroma department - just a general hop aroma without any real pronounced characteristics - and then a pretty harsh finish. It's like the bitterness of dry hopping without any of the associated flavor. It looks like I'm in the minority on this one, but this beer reminds me of something you get at a mediocre brewpub.

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Photo of wspscott
3.11/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle in pint glass
no date

A: Dark copper color with an off-white fluffy head. Nice head retention and pretty lace.
S: Very muted, no sign of hops, a little sweetness is all.
T: Some bitter hops along with a medium caramel sweetness. A little bit of toasty malts to keep things from being too sweet. Definitely not a west coast IPA. No sign of American hops, I would call this an English IPA. I like the malt combination here, but it needs more late addition hops.
M: Very tingly carbonation with a medium body, a little drying almost astringent.
O: As an American IPA this is dissapointing. As an English IPA it is not bad. The website describes it as a cross between the two styles. Supposedly, there are Cascades in there, but I am hard pressed to find them, definitely needs more late addition hops. I wonder how old this is?

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Photo of Liverpool08
3.15/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark copper with a nice head that last for a while. Hoppy scent, but not overwhelming. Pretty usual IPA aroma. First sip is very bitter and not much else to balance it out. There is some malty flavor but the bitterness over powers it. Mouthfeel is ok very crisp and dry,with the lingering bitterness. Good carbonation.
Sadly not a favorite IPA for me.

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Photo of mlazzaro
3.17/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle, no freshness date.

a- slightly cloudy amber/orange color. off-white head, nice and creamy looking. pretty poor head retention.

s- I noticed the aroma immediately upon opening and pouring the bottle. hops - piny and citrusy. smells more like American hops. nice clean smell, in my opinion the best aspect of this beer.

t- definitely heavy handed in bittering hops. bitterness really lingers. tastes like an English yeast and grapefruity American hops. I might be wrong.

m+d- t's a bit acidic. I do appreciate the %6.3 ABV content. nothing really off, just out of balance for what I look for in an IPA. I want to like this brewing company because they are local and small, but I have to be honest that this is not one of my favorites.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
3.22/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

hazy orange brown, head does not really retain. lace sticks around only if you take long breaks between sips.

slightly piney hop scent, maybe some fruitiness and yeast.

pretty carbonated, so it's relatively crisp in the mouth.

the taste just seems a bit too dominated by the bitterness, it's hard to pick out the other hop flavors and malt, although they are present, especially in the aftertaste, which i suppose is pleasing enough.

at least it burps up a nice hop profile, although i wish i had experienced that on the way down instead...

note: a little more interesting if you let it warm up slightly

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Photo of BlindPig
3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Thin tan head on a cloudy copper/brown body.
S- Grapefruit, hints of pine, grass, and earthy hops. Toffee body helps balance it out a bit.
T- Follows the aroma quite closely. Grapefruit rind comes in to play though. Toffee body is a bit to big IMO. It is like a hoppy Pale Ale. A decent size bitterness is left on the tongue though.
M- Full/medium body with low carbonation.
D- It is alright. Nothing great. I doubt this one will even stick out in memory down the road.

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Photo of silentjay
3.26/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours out a murky brownish copper with a decent two-fingered beach sand colored head that quickly recedes but leaves tons of lacing.

aroma is almost non-existent for a style that should be very aromatic. but some fresh-cut grass and citrus rind are what can be picked up.

taste is better, with some floral hops, grassy hops, and a bit of juicy citrus hops being pleasantly countered by some grainy malts and surprisingly a bit of dark toast. finishes nice and dry. would like a bit hoppier, but they went for balance, and its decently balanced.

a bit light bodied with very little resin left behind, but a decent amount of carbonation and a very clean finish.

drinks ok. clean finish would be good for uninitiated hopheads, but I want a more pungent aroma and some bitterness left on my tongue. would have again, but I wouldnt seek this one out.

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Photo of ybnorml
3.27/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a slightly cloudy orange/amber ale with a small off white head. Head leaves some nice lace. . Has a marvelously delicious floral hop aroma. Makes my mouth water. A light sweetness at the start of the taste with aquick jump to the hop bitterness.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.27/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: hazy; burnt orange in color; 1 finger off white head that receded slowly; nice lacing;

S: earthy with a bit of cirrus and caramel;

T: muted flavors; what's there is earthy with a touch of caramel; almost no bitterness until well after the swallow;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; creamy;

O: seemed more like an English style IPA than an American IPA; may have been old, but it was a freshly tapped keg;

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Photo of jaymirage
3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I order this at Sunset in Allston earlier and was excited to see the "Cask-Conditioned" category again. I'm assuming this is now a mainstay? If so, God bless them. Tonight's selection was Ipswich IPA.

To begin with, I'm not a huge IPA fan. Thus, caveat emptor; the nuances that a seasoned style-junkie readily discerns are not contained herein. And as with any review, mine is just an opinion from one perspective, and right now I'm feeling the milder, the dark(ish)er, and the British. Not the IPA.

The last cask-conditioned ale I had at Sunset was a wistfully hazy, golden brown; this pour, I must say, was not as pretty.

Taste was sweetish, strong hops, and smooth. Very little bite, impressively low alcohol flavor, and a pleasantly thin mouthfeel. However, I'm not so sure this ale was suited for cask-conditioning.

I'm on the fence about recommending this one. I've had it in the bottle before, and it was good. So, I'd stick with that means, for now. Bottle = good. Cask-conditioning = skip.

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

Appearance: pours a hazy copper color with a short 1/2" head that falls apart immediately. Some spotty lacing develops.

Smell: bread, caramel, and some soft bitterness is very weak and tough for the nose to pull out of the glass.

Taste: bread, caramel, mild tones of tart grapefruit, and mild bitterness make up a mellow IPA that comes off as more of a pale ale.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp from start to finish. A touch of dryness comes at the end. Medium bodied. Short aftertaste of caramel, bread and some mild bitterness.

Drinkability: easy to quaff this one, but it is not an IPA that stands out for me. If you like your IPAs with more of a bready texture, this one is for you.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a murky dark copper hue with a fluffy light khaki colored head that dies down to a good 1/4 finger head which stays. Stickiness is very nice. Smell is unique for this style. A good caramel malt presence with big floral hop notes. A lot maltier on the nose than most American IPA's, maybe this should be classified as a British Style IPA...? Taste seems a bit bland and watered down. No hop kick on the tongue, but some dilluted citrus flavors. Tiny bit of caramel malt on the tongue but could use some more. Just wasn't feeling the taste in this one. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a lack of carbonation for the style. Having their Oatmeal Stout and Dark Ale, I've come to the conclusion that Ipswich has amazing dark beers but should look into tweaking their IPA.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
3.29/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass- pours a mahogany color with a one finger head that quickly dissipates and leaves some nice lacing and a little froth.

Smell seems pretty non-existent. I checked with my friend also and he didn't really smell anything either. I get a little bit of pale malt and a little bit of citrus hops.

Tastes good- pretty bitter, lacking in depth of hop flavor probably because the scent isn't there. A medium amount of piney hop bitterness, followed by a little bit of carmel malt sweetness. Long, dry finish.

Mouthfeel is ok- pretty resiny, which detracts from the score in this case, light to medium body with moderate carbonation. This is an ok IPA but nothing I'd get again. Part of a variety pack that was really worth it.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.32/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a lightly hazy, dark amber color. It is topped by a frothy, almost two-finger thick, tan colored head that leaves a touch of lacing on the sides of the glass. The beer smells of ample crystal malt notes and citrusy hops from afar. This is definitely heavy on caramelized malts from the ample use of crystal malts, but there is a judicious hop character here which helps to balance this out. I would characterize this as a somewhat hop focused, malty, amber ale more than an IPA. The hops are noticeable, though they certainly don't jump out of the glass and even at times completely disappear underneath the crystal malt aromatics.

The flavor is a bit more hop focused than the aroma, with an aggressive, even at times astringent bitterness being most noted. In addition to the sharp bitterness the finish also has a note reminiscent of heavily toasted malts; flavors of well browned rustic bread, and even almost a touch of chocolate character (though this last might be a bit of a stretch). Citrus hop flavors of grapefruit, and tangerine mix with a sharp, herbaceous, pine note.

A bit too sharp and astringent, the hops come off as being a touch to harsh, which is a bit of a surprise given the heavy handed use of character malts. Somehow this just comes off as being muddled or even a bit muddy somehow. Not bad and certainly drinkable, somehow this seems a bit outdated (sort of like an early 90's brewpub interpretation of an IPA). I think my expectations of this beer were built up a little bit too much.

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Ipswich India Pale Ale (I.P.A.) from Ipswich Ale Brewery
3.86 out of 5 based on 486 ratings.
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