Ipswich Dark Ale
Ipswich Ale Brewery

Ipswich Dark AleIpswich Dark Ale
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Brown Ale - American
Ranked #147
Ranked #16,839
3.89 | pDev: 10.28%
Ipswich Ale Brewery
Massachusetts, United States
Very Good
Ipswich Dark AleIpswich Dark Ale
Reviews: 151 | Ratings: 220 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by OldManMetal:
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OldManMetal from North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ipswich Dark Ale presents itself very well from start to finish. It pours to a very large, long-lived creamy tan head on a hazy, ruby brown medium-bodied beer that leaves extensive, long-lived lacing on the glass. The nose is sweet caramel with hints of coffee; on the palate it transforms to a more bitter beast: bitter chocolate vies with black coffee and the heavily roasted notes that win in the end, dominating the finish with a very lingering bitterness. Prominent alcohol flavors help offset this bitterness somewhat, combining with a creamy texture and soft carbonation to make this a much smoother drinking beer than it would be otherwise. This is a very good choice if you want a strong, assertive dark ale with bitter notes that last.

Jun 05, 2015
More User Reviews:
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beerthulhu from New Jersey

4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark cola-red color with a cherry tan head.

S: Sweet raisiny aroma with some caramel is present on the nose.

T: Flavor is dry, with a very earthy hop bitterness. There some dry burnt woodiness as well roasted malt character providing a smoky finish. There's slight cola nut notes and finishes dry with a lingering smokiness like a smothered camp fire. There is some nuttiness, burnt sherry and woody flavor that leaves a smoky residue coating on the tongue and a lingering dryness for the finish. Some dry chocolate, light bread and roasted malt. Overall a moderately good beer that is rich, robust, smoky and earthy but doesn't make for a session beer.

M: medium-full body, nice texture and residual qualities

D: a hearty dark ale that may be limiting in quantity but very big on individual quality.

Feb 02, 2008
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Lawnboy33 from Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +28.5%

Nov 14, 2011
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TWStandley from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +2.8%

Dec 28, 2012
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jadpsu from Georgia

4.16/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This Ipswich variety pack I purchased back up in NJ has had some expceptional beers. Wish I could get some of this here in Ga.

The dark ale just might be my favorite. Pours a amber ale color with a super looking coffee colored head with tight tiny bubbles that also remits some great lacing.
Smell is of roasty malts, coffee, biscuits, nuts.
Taste is more of the same. Full bodied but smooth. Roasted maltiness and a little sweet after taste.

May 04, 2009
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seanwhite from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +2.8%

Nov 14, 2011
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JAHMUR from Connecticut

3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

Oct 20, 2014
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cvstrickland from North Carolina

4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The chilled 12-ounce longnecked bottle pours a brew that is quite clear and ruddy chestnut in color with a short topping of creamy pale beige foam. The head doesn't hang around very long, but the skim it leaves behind manages to decorate the interior of my SABL shaped pint with drippy wisps of lacing.

The aroma is laced with floral citrus note or two, a touch of toasted grain and a bit of of sweet caramel. As the drink warms, a savory chocolatey character gains purchase in the profile.

The taste is quite in line with the nose-- sweet and a touch chocolatey-- but the flavor profile sports a clean citrus-oil bitterness that squelches the chocolate and lingers on the palate long after the drink.

The drink is medium-bodied with fine carbonation. Highly drinkable.

Nov 18, 2009
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Jayli from Massachusetts

3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed 1/8
Poured in to a pint glass

A: This beer pours a ruddy, brownish color. A one finger of white head sits on top, recedes at a moderate pace and leaves spider webbed wisps of lacing.

S: Nose is raisin, plum, and caramel.

T: Taste is sweet upfront, raisin, cherry mixed with molasses. Middle is filled with a toastiness and nuttiness. Finish has a mild piney hop bite.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, rather oily on the tongue.

D: Goes down easily, quite tasty, mild kick, slightly off for the style. Though it is off for the style, I found this to be a fantastic beer that I would easily sit with for a night.

Jan 11, 2011
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bum732 from Lesotho

3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, nice creamy head leaving great lacing. Smells of caramel, some toffee, some earthy hops, . Tastes of bitter roasted malt up front followed by a slight caramel sweetness. Nice pronounced bitterness finishing very dry. Good creamy mouthfeel and decent carbonation.

A pretty good American brown. Very bitter and dry with a decent caramel flavor and earthiness in the background. Nice session beer.

Apr 25, 2009
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HalfFull from California

3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rich brown/black into from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. A half inch of light tan head sits atop the pour, settling to a surface cap in a few minutes and offering good lacing.

Quite malty on the nose, with roasted cocoa and molasses. Taste follows with toasted malts and a bit of dry chocolate. Finish seems slightly astringent from the almost burnt sense yielding a dryer and more lingering finish than anticipated given the nose. Rather firm in carbonation allowing for an easy finish given the style.

Apr 22, 2009
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chinchill from South Carolina

3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle served in a Unibroue snifter.

Appearance: Pours a near-clear, dark mahogany with a beige head that has moderate size and durability.

Smell: Roasted malts with spicy hop overtones and hints of raisins. 3.75

Taste: More hops here than expected, but the maltiness of the brown ale base is clearly present (albeit less pronounced) as well. Mildly bitter. Dark roast in the finish with some lingering pine/hop notes.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium+ carbonation. Slight crispness and astringency.

Overall: More hop-forward than a typical brown ale, this is better classified as a brown pale ale, and a good one at that.
Both aroma and flavor improve with warming.

Apr 12, 2012
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Kelp from New Hampshire

3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Apr 29, 2013
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gfreed from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

At first I wasn't so sure about this beer. After drinking the first bottle of the six-pack, I found it to be too hoppy, somewhat oily, too fizzy and just overly bitter for what I wanted in this style. However, after working my way through the remaining five bottles over the course of a couple of weeks, I've come around.

Clear amber in the glass with an unending stream of small bubbles rising merrily from the foot of the glass. There a citrus pungency in the aroma that is sharp at first but is dulled by caramel from the malt. The body is quite sharp-- sharp and pointy, enough to poke through the spiciest of food, with enough bubbles to inflate a small balloon. Watch out for the belch factor. Tasty, citrusy and while somewhat bitter for a brown ale, it has enough roundness at the end to prevent it from falling over the hoppy cliff that so many other American ales do these days. I drank one bottle while suffering from a mild cold, and it definitely helped clear my congestion.

Oct 27, 2010
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Smakawhat from Maryland

3.06/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Eeek old bottle! 3/11/2013.

Nice deep chestnut brown color, with creamy light white and tan coffee like head. Head is three fingers tall lots of retention, and soapy whipped up lacing. Pretty nice looking brown.

Great nose on this. Good herbal sweetness, with hints of milk chocolate and toffee. Great brown like spices and cinnamon and nutmeg aromas, very solid and impressive.

First taste. What the heck? Palate feel. Watery and very weak. Malt, non existent, no hinting taste at all from the nose of classic brown ale flavors. No nutty, chocolate, or even minor roasty quality. Slightly acrid, somewhat sour grain and astringent and oil zest bitterness and not of a good hop like quality..

This is really a disappointing brown.

Aug 25, 2013
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oriolesfan4 from Maryland

3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Quite the generic name for a beer... "dark ale"... ah well, it's what's inside that counts. Pours a dark brown color (what a surprise) and nice nutty sort of aroma to it. Nice mouthfeel and creaminess to this one, a bit subdued on the flavor though. Definitely highly drinkable for the sort of high ABV though, just expecting a bit more malty flavor for it being a brown ale. A solid beer from their mixed 12 pack but I prefer the IPA and stout over this one.

Sep 27, 2009
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schroederm from Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a bubble pint glass:

I have not seen this much head on a beer in a long time. A full
hand of off-white goodness that didn't fade for 10 minutes. Looks like a rootbeer float; creamy, sticky, gorgeous. Dark dark brown with ruby notes. Smells fruity and sweet with hints of grape and banana and just a touch of roasted coffee. Finishes dry and somewhat bitter with coffee and medicinal notes. The maltiness is unfortunately weak, which is a little disappointing considering the smell I got. Still, good and clean on the palate. Good body, not viscous but not weak either. Carbonation could be a bit higher. Goes easy on the palate, but there just isn't a ton of flavor.

May 09, 2009
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ujsplace from Oregon

3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pub glass.

Thick, extra chunky tannish head that leaves nice lacing. This brew pours a very dark brown that has a nice, deep amber hue at the bottom of the class. A very inviting brew...

Smells of deep roasted malty sweetness and a hint of dark earthy hop bitters.

Nice malty sweetness up front with a bitter chocolaty mild espresso-like middle that finishes with a very mild citrus finish.

Velvety smooth and sits nice on the tongue.

I am again very impressed with Ipswich. A mixed case being my first experience with Mercury Brewing, I have to say that I am really getting into this. This brew is a great buy and I am definitely interested in trying more of what they have to offer.

Apr 09, 2010
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loupap from Rhode Island

4/5  rDev +2.8%

Feb 02, 2012
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OtherShoe2 from Massachusetts

3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice deep brown with ruby hues and a decent frothy head that slowly dissipated down the pint.

Dark roasted malt and a whiff of hop leaf here. Some scant sugars that add to the overall aroma are a nice touch.

Nice complexities. Dark dried fruit flavors, with some sweetness, but not alot. Kinda that deep flavor you get from a dried fig, but less sugary. Earthy notes are what I get -- that brown bread or pumpernickel toast element, with a bit of hop bite.

Nice carbonation dancing on the tongue. A little alcohol warmth peeks through too. Surprisingly drinkable and quite enjoyable.

Nov 09, 2008
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ms11781 from Massachusetts

3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a cloudy, deep brown color with a 2 finger tan head that reduces and leaves a 1/2 finger head. Decent foamy lacing left on the glass.

Nose is well balanced. Seems to be almost equal parts piny hops aromas to go along with a very pleasant roasted malt aroma. Hops hit first and ride along a nice roasted malt backbone.

The taste is just as balanced and pleasing as the nose. There is a huge roasted malt flavored bookended by two great hop flavors. Starts with a quick burst of piny hops that set the table for a considerable roasted malt flavor. Finishes with a lingering, resiny bitterness. Much hoppier than expected, almost blurring the lines between brown ale and well-balanced black IPA.

Has a medium body with medium carbonation. Crisp mouthfeel for a beer of the style. A lingering, sticky bitterness at the finish.

Very drinkable brown ale. Not too heavy, not too light. Not really all that complex, but definitely some simple flavors done extremely well.

Feb 06, 2011
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Britton from North Carolina

3/5  rDev -22.9%

Jan 12, 2012
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puboflyons from New Hampshire

4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle with no batch code or date shown. Sampled on February 19, 2010. The pour is a dark brown with ruby hues and a beige quarter-inch pillowy head. It neber quite goes away. There is a nice thin lacing glistening on the side of the pint glass. The aroma tends to be of strong dark malts and resin. I do not really notice much nuttiness. The mouthfeel is fairly heavy. Bitterness leads the taste folloed by a light but dry hoppy finish. Not bad at all.

Feb 20, 2010
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trevorpost from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +2.8%

Mar 03, 2014
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RonaldTheriot from Louisiana

4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ipswich Dark Ale has a medium, off-white head, a caramel color, lots of streaming bubbles, and thin lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of caramel, sweetness, and light cocoa. Taste is of caramel, sweetness, cocoa powder, and mild bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium and a little bit slick. Ipswich Dark Ale finishes dry, sweet, and very drinkable. I think it's really delicious!


Sep 06, 2013
Ipswich Dark Ale from Ipswich Ale Brewery
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 220 ratings