Farmington River Brown Ale | Ipswich Ale Brewery

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Farmington River Brown AleFarmington River Brown Ale
37 Ratings
Farmington River Brown AleFarmington River Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Ipswich Ale Brewery
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierman9 on 01-13-2006

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 37 |  Reviews: 29
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of akorsak
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle courtesy of HumblePatience.

A: The ale is quite dark, a deep brown color that looks black when undisturbed. The head is thick, around 1.5 fingers on pour, but does not retain long.

S: The aroma is intense nuttiness with a slightly dry character. Some bittering hops add a layer of zip to the nose.

T: The nuttiness of the nose continues into the taste. The flavor is a very enjoyable nutty malt that has some hints of toffee sweetness baked in. Hops add a bittering flourish but not much else flavorwise and are wise to let the nuttiness come through unabated.

M: The mouthfeel lacks a strong hop character that I'd expect from an American brown, but the malty nut and toffee body is good nonetheless.

D: Easily quaffable, the ale would be good for a day-long seat at the pub.

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Photo of fitzy84
3.41/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought a sample pack of the Farmington River brand. The appearance to this drink was quite good: dark brown body with a huge, thick, frothy head and good lacing. Aromas were somewhat weak but allowed a great burnt, woody grains. The taste is pretty clean and crisp with a refreshing bitter, earthy taste. Hints of malts as well sensed. Overall, a good brown ale.

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Photo of errantnight
3.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep brown, slightly opaque with nice retention and lacing. Aroma is an appealing blend of milk chocolate and roasted malt.

Mid-palate hits some milk chocolate a bit of toasted pecan. When a bit colder the sweetness is pronounced. Finishes with a bit of grapefruit falling back into the chocolate. A bit of bitterness and aspirin. Carbonation hits prickly and spritely.

Fine, nothing exciting, would drink again. Wouldn't seek out.

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Photo of erosier
3.72/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L: Pours a nice amber brown color with a medium sized light head that fades to a ring around the glass with some lacing down the sides.
S: Smells of sweet roasted malts, caramel, and a nice quick hop aroma at the end.
T: Tastes like it smells with a big roasted malt base followed by some caramel flavors at the end of it.
M: Smooth, refreshing, sweet, full bodied feeling, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Good drinkability, all the flavors blend well and make a nice overall beer.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of chocolate, nuts, caramelized malt and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty as you would expect, with flavors of roasted nuts, dark chocolate, caramel and maple. There's a decent hops presence that provides some balance and tends to peek its way through the maltiness periodically. The after-taste is bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a good beer and worth drinking a few of. However, I don't think I could drink more than 2 or 3 and there are other brown ales that I would pick first.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased as part of a 6-pack from Columbia Pkg Store, Columbia, CT.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" light brown head over the slightly cloudy reddish brown brew. Frothy head recedes at a moderate pace, with slow-falling lace. Aroma is richly of dried grain husks. Taste starts with the same malt character found in the nose, with some fruitiness in the middle, and a lightly bitter and slightly chalky close. Mouthfeel is very smooth, and drinkability is pretty good as well. Pretty good brown.

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Photo of JTomczak
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of chrispoint
1.5/5  rDev -56.8%

Photo of Liquids
3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Syrupy brown that's a deep mahogany in the light. Stream of bubbles denote a healthy carbonation and maintain a steady one finger head. Smells deliciously hoppy, floral, and robust. Sweet, middle of the road brown.

Not as thick and full as the aroma and appearance suggested. A discernable burnt malt flavor peeks through with a very subtle stout taste for a moment. Hops are noticable but not overwhelming, and taste off to my palate--the bottle indicates a use of centennial hops.

Light in a drinkable way, but certainly fuller and deeper in flavor (with a rather different flavor profile) than, say, newcastle. Mouthfeel is on par, medium bodied. Definitely the right amount of carbonation here, which helped. The burnt malt note and hop aftertaste are what linger afterward. Taste is good, but nothing life changing, and slightly disapointing. One was enough. Good, but I'd go elsewhere.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a three finger cream head that fades slowly, leaving some lace. Cloudy dark brown color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Slight malty nose. Flavor is nutty with hops in the background. Typical brown. $1.50 for a 12oz bottle from Manchester Wine and Liquors Manchester, CT.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.56/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Farmington River Brown pours a clear, well, brown color into the glass with a frothy off white head on top. A flurry of tiny bubbles is seen floating up to the surface from the glass bottom. The foam fades down to a thin sheet on the beer covering the sides of the glass with lots of netted patterns of lace.

The aroma is malty with notes of toasted malt, nuts and chocolate.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is smooth with a light fizz on the palate. The flavor is malty with notes of nuts, bread and a touch of chocolate. At the end is a mild hop bitterness that lingers on the palate when the beer is gone.

This is a decent middle of the road brown ale. Easy drinking and nothing offensive.

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Photo of trpng0bily
4.09/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dirty mahogany - quite dark for the style - with a thin head. The smell is delicious - wonderfully balanced chocolate, malts, nuttiness. The taste does not quite measure up to the promise of the scent, but is none-the-less enjoyable, with the nut flavor predominating and some bitter (burnt?) coffee and hops as well. This is rather full-bodied for a brown ale, with heavy carbonation and a mildly dry finish. The burnt taste lingers a bit and takes away from the drinkability. End of the day, this is a solid, though not great, brown ale, with excellent use of nut flavors.

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Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, roasted scent along with some hints of bisquit and caramel malts. The taste is good as well. It has a semi-sweet caramel malt flavor that goes down easy with a roasted feel and finishes smooth and dry with some residual sweetness. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a solid brown ale. It's got excellent malt character, terrific mouthfeel, and is highly drinkable. Good work guys.

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Photo of Kookiekwan
4.04/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer pours chestnut brown with a very thin head and minimal lacing. The aroma is stout-like, with coffee and chocolate being the dominate scents. It has a roasted coffee flavor with a surprising citrus hop finish.

Reflection: This is one of the best Brown Ales I've had in a while. If you can find one pick it up, you won't be dissapointed.

 349 characters

Photo of Stimack
3.97/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brew poured to a dark brown color with a smallish tan head that broke down quickly but did leave some lacing down the side of the glass. The aroma seemed to have highlights of molasses along with a nuttiness that goes well together. Has a slight charcoal feel which may seem odd, but I think that is coming out to me because it is relatively dry. Along with that feel the taste is nice, malts up front which break to a nice hop taste that lingers on the back of the palette. Malts seem to highlight coffee, toffee and a slight burnt taste. Overall I think that this is a very good brown ale, one that I would get again. Great tasting session brew.

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Photo of rorjets
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of NEhophead
3.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Molasses brown in color beneath a pillowy, off-white head with decent retention. Thin and spotted lacing with above-par durability.

Semi-sweet milk chocolate and toffee with a hint of roasted peanuts and hazlenuts. Hints of yeasty, earthen floral hops.

Mild sweetness of caramel and toffee at first. Lightly roasted nutty profile giving a dry finish to this Brown. Burnt floral hops add a bit of bitterness prior to a yeast-filled, musty aftertaste.

Medium in body; mild with a crispness from the hop character.

A bland, mild Brown Ale. The flavors are nice, but subtle; nothing really memorable about this one.

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Photo of sraimondi
3.83/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on draught on the outside deck at Cafe Luna in Simsbury, CT. Very nice appearance, not completely opaque, nice brown/mahogany color. Could pick up coffee and malt smell. Taste was very nice, malt backbone with hoppy finish--pretty smooth for a brown. Mouthfeel was very good and drinkability was ok, but only had time for 2 as I had it at lunch.

 354 characters

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of eyeamthewind
3.13/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Medium body, brownish-red, short big bubbled tan foam. Low retention, drippy lacing. Clear, minimal haziness.

Smells pleasant and dusty, thin but fresh.

Tastes like light toasty malt at first then a little hop character and a splash of dark malt. A little empty at first but theres some more malt as it warms. Some dustiness that is desirable.

It is bubbly and doesnt go down like more sessionable brown ales. Has a nice grip on the mouth at the end leaving some toastiness on the back of the tongue.

Drinkable but quite unspectacular. Needs a richer body, the low alcohol content is still tasteable. August would be a good time for this crisp brown ale.

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Photo of flyerzrule
2.8/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ok head pouring into glass. Faint smell of chocolate. Very little taste although taste improved slightly as beer warmed. There were some chocolate and coffee flavors but overall, not great. This beer is a slight step above Newcastle, but probably not much else.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.13/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a brown-amber color with one inch of white head and light carbonation.

s - Smells of roasted and caramel malts. Also smells a bit sour.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, roasted malts, and again, some sourness to it.

m - Medium body and light carbonation. Smooth.

d - Not that great of a brown ale. A nice feel to it but the sourness in the smell and taste hurts it a bit. Wouldn't look to have again.

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Photo of RedChrome
3.97/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice medium brown colored body with red highlights in the light. A half inch tan colored head shrank rapidly to a slick coating on top. A decent amount of very small carbonation bubbling can barely be seen in dark color. Lacing in thick rings.

A very nice nutty aroma. Has a fair balance between chestnuts and pistachios. Decent amount of malt in the nose gives this a nice sweetness. A very muted hops finish on a second sniff was a nice bittering at end.

Smooth sweet flavor on the tongue. Taste has a hazelnut coffee flavor which developed a sweet aftertaste. A very light plum hint is hidden behind the coffee. Nice amount of hops flavor to bitter against the sweet malt.

Nice thickness clings to the surfaces. A slightly above average amount of carbonation makes a nice tingle.

A very nice offering. Would be a great desert beer to enjoy with a rich chocolate cake. Pick this up as a very nice offering in the style. Cheers to the boys at Mercury.

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Photo of birdyone
3.34/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I cannot say much for the appearance, as I drank it straight from the bottle. (I know, shame) I was camping, and I apologize.

Smelled great! Not sure if that was because I was camping, and it just smelled better than me, or it just went really well with the camp fire.

It was highly enjoyable. But that's mostly compared to the cheap beer we drank most of the week camping.

Drinkability only suffers from price. Compared to everything else on the shelf at the grocery store it was high. But, drinking Farmington River beer, in a camp site where we could hear the "mighty" Farmington River, was awesome.

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Photo of JAHMUR
3/5  rDev -13.5%

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Farmington River Brown Ale from Ipswich Ale Brewery
Beer rating: 3.47 out of 5 with 37 ratings