Farmington River Mahogany Ale | Ipswich Ale Brewery

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Farmington River Mahogany AleFarmington River Mahogany Ale
63 Ratings
Farmington River Mahogany AleFarmington River Mahogany Ale

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 UnionMade on 08-05-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 63 |  Reviews: 48
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

  None found.

More User Reviews:
Photo of csmartin6
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of far333
2.96/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was expecting much more hops from an ESB. This beer was pretty bland in all respects. Nice amber color, but no head and no aroma. Mouthfeel was watery, and the flavor was all light malt. No initial hops hitting the pallet, and no lingering hops. A weak malt aftertaste lingers. How is it a Connecticut beer if it's brewed in Massachusetts?

 341 characters

Photo of jefftuck47
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of ThreeDimesDown
3.86/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours a hazy, glowing amber with orange edging and a nice off-white head that retains well and leaves little lacing.

Aromas consist of earthiness, pears and apples fruitiness, and piney hops. A slight mustiness from the yeast is detected also.

The flavor is well balanced with biscuity, toasty maltiness and light fruits up front, ending with a subtle hoppy bitterness and dryness.

Low carbonation, smooth, light mouthfeel makes this one a definite session beer. Overall, very nicely well balanced for an ESB.

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Photo of Dewey0603
3.5/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a dark reddish color with a smallish head with nice lacing. The smell is very malty with a small amount of hops.The taste is the same as the smell which makes this a nice tasting beer.The malt helps mellow the bitter hop aftertaste.The m/f is light and balanced between bitter hops and mellow malt.This isn't a bad brew and I'd have it again.

 353 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An amber and a decent white head with some malt and hops aroma. Fresh, good bitterness and medium mouthfeel and appropriately carbonated. Clean taste, well-balanced, just fairly run-of-the-mill. A bit fruity which is nice, and a tad lemon. A bit better than average beer.

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazed reddish brown in color. Nice tan head.
Aroma shows a malt character with some depth. Lightly roasted malt that's a bit woody with hops underneath.

Taste also shows the solid malt character of this beer. Lightly roasted, dark caramel, woody malt flavor. Slight fruit notes. Good hop balance. Finishes dry. The malt character makes this an interesting beer.

Good body and mouthfeel.
Good drinkability.

Overall, a solid ESB with a malt character that sets this one apart from the field.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.27/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Grabbed as part of Fresh Mkt mix-a-six.

Pours light brown, reddish tints, islands of white bubbly foam. Some early lacing. Toffee malt smell. Caramel too. Sweet malt taste but with a hop that pokes through and holds firm. Hop lends some extra bittering which lingers.

The tastes seem to compete rather than blend harmoniously, and it never quite works in the end. Just ok.

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Photo of pbrian
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy copper (thank God, I don't think Ipswich knows how to use a filter), thin white head, light carbonation. This beer has a raw, homebrew-esque fruity, nutty, yeasty aroma and flavor profile that makes it an enjoyable change of pace.

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Photo of fitzy84
4.09/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a sample pack of the Farmington River brand. The appearance of the drink had a nice clear, dark amber look with some lacing but a thin head. Aromas were strong with this one: malts, hops, fruits (almost cider-like) flavors were sensed. Taste mirrored the smell with a bitter-sweet, fruity texture really prevalent. A good solid body made this silky and enjoyable throughout the evening. Overall, the best of the Farmington River from Mercury, in my opinion.

 464 characters

Photo of CRJMellor
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a red-copper color with a big creamy white head that produced chunky rings of lace on the pint glass.
Aroma is earthy, spicy and dark malts. Hint of pine-tinted hops in the background.
Flavor is moderately sweet then jumps to a real peppery and spiced hop that is more earthy than bitter.
Mouthfeel starts somewhat sweet then as the hops develop the spice real grabs the tongue and the earth tones leave a gritty charcoal-like hint on the palate.
Drinkability is pretty good, can definitely imagine another.
Thanks to PBrian for another great NE beer.

 563 characters

Photo of MJR
3.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a vibrant reddish-amber with so-so clarity. The head begins it's life as a foamy, thick cap and shrinks down to a small ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: The aroma is very organic and 'natural' smelling. It's a nice blend of the following: fruit, hops, dry nuts, yeast, bread, leather, and dry tobacco. Has a very nice balance matched to an extremely interesting cluster of scents.

Taste: The flavor is slighty sweet with a touch of fruit showing itself here and there. I detect the same organic, woody character that was in the smell. It's kind of an 'outdoorsy' smell that reminds me of tree bark and tobacco. Interesting... There's a dry nutty flavor, as well as a slight bready one. Suggestion of fresh hay. The hops provide a nice balance.

Mouthfeel: Dry and crisp with a medium thickness in the mouth. The carbonation is slighty prickly...

Drinkability: Pretty good...I could enjoy a few of these in a single evening.

A 'thank you' goes out to pbrian for including this in our trade.

 1,030 characters

Photo of EgadBananas
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich hazy mahogany color with a nice off white, modest head.

Smell is somewhat malty sweet, with some bitterness at the end. Not particularly complex, but good.

Taste is very malt sweet up front, but ends very crisply in a hail of stark bitterness. I'm not an expert on the ESB, but seems fitting, and I find it very tasty.

The feel is light to medium in body, with a slight crisp sting.

Though rather yummy, I don't find this (or the style in general) to be a good session beer. A nice break from the pales, india pales, stouts and porters.

 553 characters

Photo of SixpointJMH
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice slightly hazed ruby-esque colour with a mid-sized, creamy off-white head that has good retention and also leaves a nice amount of residue on the glass after each sip.

The aroma is a bit fruity from some dark berry notes, along with a bit of rough earthiness from the malt.

Flavour is essentially more of the same, with fruit sweetness still here but cut in by a bit more hop presence (minimal but more so present than it being virtually non-noticeable in the aroma) as well as some burnt wood and bread notes as well. Well balanced, but a bit faint overall. Mouthfeel is nice and light to medium bodied with some creaminess and a bit of slickness to it.

This wasn't bad overall. Could use a bit more kick to it but there's still a decent amount of flavour that's well balanced and makes for a fairly easy drinking beer.

 841 characters

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

appearance: The pour into my imperial pint glass creates a .3" off white head that recedes until there are only a few small carbonation "islands" remaining. The beer is a very slightly cloudy light copper color.

smell: Nice balance of light sweet malt and hops going on. Hints of tropical fruits and a slight nuttiness.

mouthfeel: Carbonation is right between low and medium, and the body a lighter medium. The low carbonation lends a smoothness to the mouthfeel.

taste: Again a pretty good balance of malt and hops. The hop bitterness remains at a moderate level throughout the sip and finish. Not much hop flavor, but the bitterness level is just right. The malt lends some caramel flavor.

drinkability: good flavors, but some of its characteristics would limit me to a couple

 790 characters

Photo of errantnight
2.91/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a pretty amber-copper into my Spiegelau tulip. Nice rich creamy head with solid lacing and nice retention.

Aroma is biscuit and cracker with a bit warm fruit. Unremarkable and a bit flat, but what's there is nice.

Taste is overwhelmed by a full biscuit-y breadiness, a note I find on Fat Tire only amplified here. Some faint fruitiness and toffee sweetness fight through on the back half and it's balanced nicely with a bit of earthy hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is creamy and medium bodied with a decent amount of lift.

I just can't get over the effusive biscuit character which overwhelms the rest and ultimately sinks this beer for me. It's otherwise well constructed and for those who dig on the peculiar flavor profile I could see this being a regular in your fridge.

 779 characters

Photo of BuckSpin
3.43/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 11oz bottle in a classic conical pint glass

Wonderful toasted nose, crackers, yeast, earthy malt, a little muddy, some rocks. As it warms and blooms sweet caramel & brown sugar rise as the malts lose that earthiness to soft spiciness and even a wisp of alcohol. The nose deepens the longer it warms, eventually opening up to some whispering pine and traces of orange pekoe. Poured beautifully to 2 thin fingers of thick, sculpted, tight, sticky ivory foam that crackled sporadically, fading to a 1/8" carpet of the same that laced thickly in splotches. A beautiful, rosy amber tea in color, crystal clear & clean, nary a bubble.

Very pleasing, even & well balanced up front on the tongue. Its semi-sweet with slightly burnt caramel and mild, lightly bitter hops, smooth, malty but not over the top....earthy to be exact. Its very easy to drink, and is going down fast without problem. It gets a little buttery (I swear I tasted popcorn!), very even on the palate, a little too thin for me. Its starting to water down & thin out with mouth warmth, still some caramel & malt qualities are there but hiding. Unfortunately, it finishes chalky, slated, dry, bittersweet, leaving the aforementioned qualities as an aftertaste...shame.

Its too bad it got so thin on the palate and finished like a chalkboard. Up to then it was quite nice. That said, it would be interesting to try this again with a good sandwich (I'm thinking something on a rye or pumpernickel, like a club or Reuben) to fill in the blank spots. Its a shame it went downhill so fast. Put some meat on the palate taste and get rid of that chalky aftertaste and it would be a very good ESB. As it is, unless I had something to go with it (even a nice white cheddar) I would most likely pass in the future.

 1,787 characters

Photo of geexploitation
3.04/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I gotta say, I don't agree with characterizing this as an ESB. Not nearly bitter enough, not nearly enough hop character for that appellation. Hiss!

Anyway, this beer pours a nice mahogany color (no surprise there) with some ruby highlights showing through. Nice head, good head retention. Nose is full of grain notes, a bit of dustiness and, strangely, some creamy characters. Not much hops, though, thus part of my problem with calling this an ESB. Flavor is full of grain bitterness, with only a slight hop flavor. It seems to me that most of the bitterness here is from the malt, not the hops. Mouthfeel is creamy and sumptuous wit ha bitter bite and a grainy aftertaste. Overall I enjoyed this beer. I'd classify it as an American Brown Ale... then I would say it's true to the style and deserving of high marks But, that said, if you insist on calling your beer an ESB, you get graded partly for adherence to style... so that's pushing my scores down quite a bit.

 972 characters

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of jwc215
3.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours mahogany with a one-finger tan head that soon becomes a lasting, thin cover.

The smell is sweet - slightly roasted carmelized graininess with an underlying earthy nuttiness and slight fruitiness.

The taste follows the aroma. Sweet, slightly roasted carmelized, grainy malt. Bitter, earthy, nutty notes balance out the sweetness nicely. There is a lemony fruity undertone that complements it well. Finishes bitter with a sweet support.

Medium to full bodied. Creamy.

A nicely-balanced, smooth, tasty ESB.

Thanks to my brother and sister-in-law for bringing this back from New England - It's a nice one!

 623 characters

Photo of connecticutpoet
4.03/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was an amber brew with a huge head that left a low of lacing on my 22 oz. pilsner glass.

The aroma was of LOTS of orange and hops. Very powerful.

The taste was quite bitter, and there was some caramel in there. This was followed by some darker malts, then a hint of roasted malt in a lingering bitter finish.

A very good beer indeed. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

 373 characters

Photo of ppoitras
4.38/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12ozer bottle bought as a single from Villa Spirit Shoppe, Storrs, CT.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" light beige head over the orangey-copper (not mahogany) brew. Head is pillowy and lasts well, with heavy foam lacing. Aroma is balanced with yeasty, biscuity malts, and solid citrusy hops. Taste is well balanced with a sneaky yet potent hops character offsetting the apparent grain bill. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both great as well. I could see revisiting this one, again and again and again...

 523 characters

Photo of granger10
4.08/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured the color of a brand new penny and had a medium sized white head the dissapeared after a minute and left about a one millimeter thick lace on top of the beer. Aroma was a little weak but definitely strong woody flavors in it. Taste was very nice and complex. Roasted flavors hit me first. I noticed some roasted wood (mohogany?) and roasted pine nuts in the initial taste. A mixture of sweet and tart fruits hit my palate next. Some bittering hops came forth after that and lingered until the finish when the roasted wood flavor came back and stayed well after the beer was drank. Crisp, clean, but a little thin which is my only complaint about this one. I did not know what style this was until I saw it on this site a few minutes ago. I was guessing that this might be an amber ale. But I really liked this ESB.

Much thanks to Mikeys01 for the sample.

 865 characters

Photo of kmo1030
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

coppery red, with a good sized creamy head. the smell is almost all malt with a little spicy nuttiness as well, very dfferent from the way it tastes. it has a good nutty malt flavor to start with some baking spices in there too. it finishes very bitter, with a strong clean hops bite. at the very end it lets up to some of the sweet nuttiness coming through. medum mouthfeel suits the beer. it was a quality bitter, that may not be a good session beer, but good none the less.

 476 characters

Photo of JTomczak
3/5  rDev -16.9%

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Farmington River Mahogany Ale from Ipswich Ale Brewery
Beer rating: 3.61 out of 5 with 63 ratings
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