Farmington River Mahogany Ale | Ipswich Ale Brewery

63 Ratings
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 63 |  Reviews: 48
Photo of chrispoint
1.5/5  rDev -58.8%

Photo of jdhilt
2.75/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a three finger cream head that faded quickly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Murky amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Slight hoppy nose. Flavor is sweet going to piney hops leaving a bitter aftertaste. $1.50 for a 12oz bottle from Manchester Wine and Liquors Manchester, CT. Contract brewed by Mercury Brewing.

 333 characters

Photo of Jim_DemonDeacon
2.75/5  rDev -24.5%

Photo of errantnight
2.91/5  rDev -20.1%
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 far333
2.96/5  rDev -18.7%
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 JTomczak
3/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of JAHMUR
3/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of jfcaa193
3/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of drbenderdo
3/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of geexploitation
3.04/5  rDev -16.5%
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 davewlfpckfan29
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of KTCamm
3.27/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

 418 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.33/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a hazy amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a mild pale and crystal malt aroma along with an equally mild hop aroma. It's got some fruity yeast esters as well. The taste is average. It has a very bitter hop bite that really hits you in the beginning. The malts are there, but they're too light to add anough balance. It seems a bit watery. It goes down easy and finishes with another hop blast. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an interesting brew. I know it's supposed to really bitter, hence the Extra Special Bitter, but I think it needs a bit more balance. That being said, it drinks decent and grows on you.

 743 characters

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 7/26/08. Bottle shared by fredandboboflo. Pours a deep amber with a thick tan head. Aroma of light sweet malt, flowery hops. Flavor of sweet malt, mild flowery hops, some apple, wheat cracker. Blandish but decent. ESB? I thought this was more like an amber. Ok though, 2nd best Farmington River beer.
7/4/7/3/13 (3.4/5)

 331 characters

Photo of Thads324
3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottled into a pint:

A: deep amber color with a solid tan head

S: smells a bit hoppy with a very slight roastiness.
Not much to it though. Maybe a hint of chocolate.

T: a quick creaminess at the beginning lends into
a smooth hop flavor. The hoppiness dominates
with a touch of toasted malt or nut flavor at the end.
The hop is flavorful and ever so slightly bitter. Finishes nice and dry.

M: pretty good, it stays with you for a little while.

D: very drinkable for a hop fan.

The aroma disappointed, but everything else rocked!
I am a fan of this one... Try it if you can!

 595 characters

Photo of BuckSpin
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
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 Knapp85
3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out just like the name says, Mahogany in color with a creamy looking white head on top. The smell of the beer was malty with some grains on the nose, and a touch of hops too. the taste of the beer was semi-sweet with a light caramel flavor with some bitterness in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel of the beer despite it's color it was pretty light bodied. Overall this brew wasn't bad. It was drinkable and had a pretty good balance to it.

 453 characters

Photo of jefftuck47
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Dewey0603
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
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 blackie
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
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 jaxon53
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of agreenman19
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of tryemdad
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Simsbury's own Red Stone featuring casks...yay!

Only ordered it to sample the cask style. Not really a big fan of ESB's, generally.

This was pretty good overall...likely enjoyed it much more out of a cask....but maybe that's my imagination.

Served in a standard pint glass. Significant head - maybe 1 1/2 fingers - surprising for cask. Thick I (too?) quickly downed this brew. Very easy to drink. Bordering on thin mouthfeel, but a nice "warm vanilla" nose and initial taste. Very, very smooth.

Enjoyed this. I think I've had it before in a bottle, but it didn't leave a great impression. This format is probably the best this beer has to offer. I'd do it again...

 681 characters

Photo of NEhophead
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle; no best before date.

Cloudy, light maple with shades of auburn. Light, creamy white head that quickly recedes to a broken sheet. Little to no lacing.

Toasted caramel malts with hints of cream and mild coffee. Hazlenut, light nutmeg, and brown sugar. Mild aromatics.

Toasted biscuit flavor with a spicy coffee bean accent. Hints of vanilla and brown sugar prior to a peppery, floral hop bite. Dry in the finish with an aftertaste of toasted almonds and a light yeasty must.

Medium in body; phenolic with a touch of powder. Dry, and coats the palate properly.

A decent Bitter with flashes of nice flavor. A bit too mild in spots, but a decent offering.

 685 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Farmington River Mahogany Ale from Ipswich Ale Brewery
3.64 out of 5 based on 63 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More