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Ipswich Dark Ale | Ipswich Ale Brewery

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Ipswich Dark AleIpswich Dark Ale
Very Good
219 Ratings
Ipswich Dark AleIpswich Dark Ale

Brewed by:
Ipswich Ale Brewery
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-20-2000

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 219 |  Reviews: 151
Photo of BeerResearcher
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This “Original American” pours a cloudy dark rust color with a frothy beige head and loads off stick, webby lace.
An assertive piney and floral hop aroma blasts out of the gate. A mild malty aroma arrives late, but is quite the compliment to the hops.
The full malty body is biscuity with a bit of caramel sweetness.
This brew is highly hopped for the style. Grapefruit and a light metallic bitterness come through.
This Beer is bold, assertive and complex.

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Photo of arizcards
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in late June with the MicroBeerClub's June shipment.

Beer poured brown with a nice tan head that disapated quickly. Nose is of chocolate roasted malts and floral hops. TAste is....well unique for the style. I don't think we can call this an ABA but I can call it a mighty fine tasting brew. I have been stuggling to classify this brew...is it a porter, a brown pale ale, a brown ESB. This has been one of the most intrguing beers I have had from the Club. Given the well balanced nature of the chocolate roasted malts and the floral hops it best resembles an ESB. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and very smooth. Overall drinkabilty is very good. This is one fun beer that is a must try!

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Photo of jadpsu
4.16/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

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Photo of schroederm
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

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Photo of Todd
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy, murky brown with amber hues and a sticky, frothy, creamy off-white head. Retains very well. Nice bouquet of floral and citrus hop aromas. Fresh grain and malted notes.

Extremely smooth mouth feel. Malt flavour is just right. In the malt profile are caramel, some toasted grain flavours and hints of burnt raisin. Hops are rind-like, a tad grapefruity, and lend a nice balanced twang. Finishes a bit dry with some residual hop and earth-like flavours.

An excellent American Ale! Extremely balanced, complex and interesting on the palate. Buy some now.

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Photo of Doomcifer
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark with great head and lacing. Smells of citrus hops, brown sugar, roasted malts. Maybe a touch of lemon zest. Tastes up front of roasted malts, toasted grains, brown sugar, and finishes with a very big citrus hop kick. Very aggressively hopped brown ale. Delicious....dry, astringent finish. Good carbonation. This is one of the very few brown ales that I really enjoy.

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Photo of erosier
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark brown color with an off-white head that laces the glass very nicely. It smells of dark roasted malts and some good hop bitterness for a nice aroma. The taste is of sweet dark roasted malts with a really good hoppy bitterness that rounds out the beer for a really nice flavor. The mouthfeel is nice and crisp and it is a very drinkable beer. Definately worth it.

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Photo of BlackBearForge
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ipswich Dark Ale pours a nice brown touched with amber color, a tad murky with a nice tan head that falls quickly leaving oily lacing that does not stick around.

The aroma has a nice chocolate malt vibe with a caramel under pining laced with a bit of earthy grassy hop character.

The flavor is all about the dark chocolate malts, dark toasted bread drizzled with caramel backed up with a substantial amount of what tastes like English style hops. There is a pleasant balance between the semi sweet nature of the malts and an impressive bitterness on the finish that makes this beer very drinkable.

The mouthfeel is medium, smooth and slick. There is a nice creaminess as well from the understated but very appropriate carbonation.

I've only had one other beer by Mercury Brewing and that's the Ipswich IPA which for a few weeks was my favorite IPA. An aquaintance mentioned he liked the Dark Ale better so I gave it a try, I do believe he may be right!

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dark ruby with thick lacy tan head. Very light fruity and spicy aromas. Smells fruity and spicy but very light aromas.

Taste is much better than the aroma. Smoky and burnt malt. Very bitter but creamy too. Chocolatey with a surprisingly strong taste of bitter hops in there too. Very unusual and very tasty.

Dark and smooth. Creamy mouthfell witha smoky bitter aftertaste. Yet another very good offering from Ipswich. I love them all thus far.

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Photo of wedge
4.21/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep hazy brown with an awesome thick, creamy off-white head and lacing all the way up the glass. Light malty aroma with some earthy, floral hops. Tasty roasted malt flavor - a little sweet and a somewhat bready. Chocolate and caramel backed up by a solid, almost resinous hop flavor. Medium mouthfeel - very balanced, smooth, and well rounded.

This turned out to be quite the hoppy brown ale. Not so much in bitterness, but in flavor...and its so well balanced between the rich malts and hops. This is delicious stuff.

 522 characters

Photo of mschofield
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy medium brown, has a tall four finger light tan head. Leaves some bits of lace down the glass, under a complete ring left at the top.
Hoppy (citrus & floral) aroma, on top of roasted malt, chocolate.
Taste of roasted malt, dark chocolate, orange, toast, toasted bread and cola. Hops come through as I drink - mainly citrus.
Medium body, smooth, nice level of bitterness.
Great session beer, goes down great. Hoppier than I thought it would be

 460 characters

Photo of WanderingFool
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has a deep amber color with a foamy head that remains in some form throughout the entire glass. Some lace clings to the side and remains on the surface of the beer. It has a very flowery/hoppy aroma. I find this medium bodied beer begins a little malty and sweet then quickly changes to a more hoppy flavor and finishes with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

When I bought this beer to try I was expecting a more malty flavor. I was pleasantly surprised at how hoppy it was. However, I did not think the hop flavor was overly bitter.

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Photo of VTaler
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark Orange Color with very little head
S - Kinda fruity, Mango or pineapple. Citrus
T - Tastes like mango and orange with a malty bite. A little sour. Bitter but not very floral hop presence. Has a roasted barley taste. Overall a sweet fruity beer but not a chick beer. The fruitiness is subtle enough to make it socially acceptable to drink.
M - Good carbonation
D - Somewhat drinkable. I think I could have a few of these

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Photo of tastybeer
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark is right. Very dark glowing brownish red color. Tan-cream colored head is 1.5 finger and leaves a nice little layer over the beer. Smells lightly sweet with chocolate, certainly malty, and pretty hoppy. Taste has similar qualities. Resinous pine, floral and citric hops blend with the sweet malts balancing the beer quite nicely. A nice conglomeration of all sorts of flavors here. Mouth is gritty and smooth. Easy drinkability too.

Another good Ipswich beer. Yummy + good to get whenever your little heart desires.

 523 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
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!


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Photo of Hooliskin
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of gfreed
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

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Photo of Jim_DemonDeacon
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of jwps214
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of neil2me
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of UncleFrank
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As far as a style, where Dark Ale fits Im not sure. Is it Munich Dark? Porter but lighter? Brown Ale? etc? But to this I say who cares!
The aroma is of chocolate and biscuts. Almost like a dark grain bagel with hints of maple. No hop aroma. The color is cloudy brown with a lasting beige head.
The taste gets better as it warms. Typical of a strong beer, which this isnt. This adds to its complexity. Chocolate, wood, roasted malts, a touch of dark fruit followed by citrus and pine hop flavors like orange skins. The finish is slightly hoppy and dry. A tartness or "twang" stays and makes me want more.
This is an excellent beer. I really want to find the "Base" idea for it and brew something like it myself.

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Photo of 86MonteSS
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've got high standards for Ipswich, but their beers consistently take my standards and force them into very uncomfortable places. The Dark Ale proves to me what a rock-solid brewery this really is. Their beers are characteristically robust yet very drinkable, and this is no exception. A baker's chocolate quality seems to be at the forefront of this beer, but at the same time it's refreshing enough to be had by the dozen. Rich, savory... a real base hit.

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Photo of far333
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark copper color with a foamy beige head that leaves oily lace around the glass as I drain it. Aroma is of cocoa, with hints of cinnamon and sweet candy. Smooth and full mouthfeel leads to a full and chewy flavor of roasted malt with hints of chocolate, coffee, and fig. Hop presence is felt, but it doesn't compete with the other flavors. They all work well together. A lingering cocoa flavor envelopes the mouth. This is a great beer.

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Photo of bditty187
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Unfiltered, brown in hue with a tawny-amber highlight, especially when held to a light. A modest sized beige head of a ¼” in height topped off the beer. The head retention was reasonable; it faded to a loose cap, which lasted the entire consumption. The subsequent lacing was basically none. Still the appearance is pleasant. The first couple of whiffs of the nose didn’t do much for me. But, in time, aromas of chocolate, oranges, caramel, and a Brown Ale-like maltiness emerged. The smells from the hops were slight but I got a suggestion of grass. The dark malty aromas are the focal point, yet they really aren’t that loud. Still the potency is strong enough to tell me to drink. So I did. I won’t lie, I didn’t realize there was a style of beer on BA called Dark Ale; I just thought it was a ubiquitous term. I really didn’t know what to expect, especially on the palate. The nose was good but the taste was, frankly, awesome! The balance was impressive; the maltiness is very much like a Brown Ale but with chocolate and caramel influences. The chocolate flavors are significant. In the middle a yeasty, ale fruitiness is found, oranges mainly but hints of citrus. These citrus notes are also found in the finish but this time it is a byproduct of the hops. I am impressed at the bitterness; I get a sold dose of citrus bitterness on the back of my throat. What is this beer exactly, an IDA? That would be an India Dark Ale! This is damn tasty! The aftertaste really seals the deal for me; it is a mix of dark malty flavors and bold hoppy bitterness. I could pair this beer with many different foods and cheeses. It is surprisingly complex! Medium/medium-full in body, it works for me, the carbonation is modest but natural, this is an easy drinking beer. Lovely stuff. Yet again I am impressed with these Ipswich beers. This might be the best tasting one yet. I’d kill for more. Thank you drweizen for the bottle in the BIF 5 package!

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Photo of MJR
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a dark reddish-brown with a bit of chill haze. A light tan head starts at a nice size, and only shrinks a bit. Decent lacing on the glass.

Smell: The aroma is a balance between the bready, grainy smell of the malt, and the aromatic smell of the hops. There's a touch of nuttiness in there as well. Great aroma!

Taste: The balance that was present in the aroma is now tilted a bit towards the hoppy end of the spectrum. There is the bready, toasted flavor from the grains, but the green, fresh hop flavor takes center stage here. The hops have a bit of a grapefruit bite to them. I detect a slight alcohol flavor towards the end, but it's faint enough to not take the attention away from the other flavors. Very nice!

Mouthfeel: Medium in body with a mouthfeel that stradles the line between dry and crisp, and round and creamy.

Drinkability: Damn good...if this was available here, I could easily down pint after pint! This is quite the kick-ass American Brown Ale!

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

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Ipswich Dark Ale from Ipswich Ale Brewery
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 219 ratings
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