Ipswich Dark Ale | Ipswich Ale Brewery

Ipswich Dark AleIpswich Dark Ale
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 MrMonkey
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque dark brown, slightly cloudy looking, with amber highlights when held to the light. A one-finger light tan head fades quickly to a sticky ring. Lots of lacing marking each sip.

Smells faintly of roasted malt, burnt bread, and musty woods. There's a faint sweet nutty aroma as well.

Taste is roasted malt, a hint of dried dark fruit, and roasted nuts. Some bitter hops show up in the finish. Pretty good representation of the style.

Seems pretty light bodied; clean and crisp with a moderately dry finish.

Not the best, but certainly not the worst brown ale I've had. Easily drinkable and enjoyable.

 617 characters

Photo of albern
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a hearty and thick dark ale with a nice frothy dark head, plenty of lacing and retention. The smell is robust caramel and roasted brown sugar. There is plenty of hoppiness in the finish and a husky, bready quality in the taste. I haven't had an Ipswich in a long while and I'm wondering why not. This is a nice beer worth seeking out and plenty enjoyable.

 368 characters

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.

 379 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of jslot38
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Part 1/4 of the mixed pack (although I drank all the original ales without a review).

Appearance: Almost black body (dark... I guess), covered by a bubbly off white head.

Smell: Touches of molasses in damp moss. Malty, not a strong aroma.

Taste: Mmmm... Malty. Smoked presence of moss, nuts, burnt toast. Not much of a hop presence, a few earth ridden notes at the most.

Mouthfeel: The best charecteristic of this beer lies in its mouthfeel. Its very smooth, and nice on the tongue. Coupled with a good drinkability (6.3% ABV is unnoticed) this could make a good session ale. A bit more burnt than a brown ale, almost reminded me of a black lager or a light porter.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown body leaves no visibility, topped by a lightly tannish rocky head. Very good lacing is quickly evident.

Rich mocha nose is a real joy. The chocolate and coffee blend well even while asserting themselves individually.

Taste begins with a mild chocolate. Earthy hop builds to the swallow. Not a bite, but a nice little nip. Clean finish leaves a hint of mocha.

Nice smooth mouthfeel has a good body for a brown ale without getting too close to stout territory.

Solidly drinkable, and it's sad that here is only two in the twelve pack.

An enjoyable dark ale well worth a try.

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Photo of meechum
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade with Almalkin

A - Poured a nice dark brown with some ruby highlights. Had a great light tan head that fell very slowly leaving a nice sticky lace down the side of the mug

S - A nice big malty smell with hints of caramel/toffee and some biscuity smells

T - This could be the best brown ale I've ever had. The taste was a complex mix with a quick hop bite up front giving way to a nice malty middle and then finishing up with a piney hop bite at the end with a dry finish that left me wanting more

M - A nice full body to this beer with good carbonation but not overly carbonated.

D - I regret that I only got 2 out of this trade..this is by far the best brown I've had and I enjoyed every sip of both bottles I got

 739 characters

Photo of
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle

Hazy, dark orange/brown. Small, light tan head.

Scent was malty and caramel as first impression. Pine hops came through next. Fairly mild overall.

Taste was more bitter than sweet, pine and herbal elements. Some roast notes. Touch of caramel and wheat bread to balance out flavor profile.

Medium body. Medium carbonation. Fairly dry.

Overall, OK, but nothing special. Decent beer with slight tilt towards hops.

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Photo of Gavage
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: brown in color with a huge 3" fluffy tan colored head. The head lingers around awhile, and produces some nice lacing on the glass.

Smell: roasted malts, caramel, and a hint of brown sugar sweetness.

Taste: nice roasted malt flavor with some caramel, hints of chocolate, ripe red fruit sweetness, and a lingering dryness and soft burnt tone that is very pleasant.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp and dry at the start, smoother and dry at the finish. Aftertaste is long with the the roasted and burnt tones. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: great session ale here. Picked this up as part of the Ipswich mixed twelve pack and was glas they added this one to the mix.

 669 characters

Photo of DaggerEyes
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

had this on cask last night at the Diamond in Greenpoint Brooklyn
it poured a dark brown with subtle red hues when held up to the light. The head was made up of small clear bubbles which quickly vanished

Pine hops present on the nose with ints of coffee, smokey malts, some stewed cherries and chocolate.

A mind blowing pallette, three seperate and distinct stages to this tatse that seemlessly blend. First Floral Piney hops hit the tongue, followed by some sweet stewed berry fruit flavors, I was picking up a huge strawberry flavor. The finish was a bitter dark chocolate espresso vibe.

The body was super watery and thin, a really let down for how amazing the taste was, there was little carbonation, it was smooth though and had a crisp bitter finish.

This beer through me for a total loop, I was so unimpressed with the mouthfeel but I thought the flavor was amazing. I am kind of suprised by how low some of these taste scores are, leads me to wonder if the cask really enhanced this brew greatly, I'll have to try another serving in the future and compare my notes

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ipswich Dark Ale

Inside the variety 12 pack. $17.50 at Joe Canals- Lawrenceville, NJ

A- Hazy cloudy brown with a moderate size lacing head.
S- slighty roasted oily pine hops.
T- Nice bitter oily green hops with a roasted and mildly burnt touch.
M- Sweet pine hops with a mild burnt coffee/ cocoa finish.

Overall- I don't think this is a nut brown?! Tastes like an IPA/ porter blend ( Tröeg's Dead Reconing Porter?!?!)

Very Tasty, actually quite delicious. Too bad you only get 2 in the 12 pack.

 500 characters

Photo of EStreet20
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, shaker pint glass.

A - Nice, nearly opaque dark brown that glows tan when held to the light. Has a nice finger of tan/off white head up top. Looks inviting.

S - Give me a nice roasty aroma with some chocolate. A bit of hops kick through, surprisingly to me.

T - A very nice roasty taste that has a tiny sweet hint come through, but is beat back by some hop bitterness before finishing dry.

M - Fairly light for such a dark beer. Moderate carbonation.

D - A very nice brown ale that makes you want more. Good for when you're in the mood for a roasted tasting brown.

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Photo of BeerTruth
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got a nice mixed 12 pack in Groveland, MA that I decided to bring back to the Orange City.

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a pure dark mahogany with a light tan colored one finger head that takes a while to die down to a thin layer. Stickiness is decent, some good lacing here and there. Smell is a rich woody/nutty scent with a nice hint of a coffee like malt. Taste is very nutty with a nice french roast coffee flavor with a tiny hint of chocolate and caramel. A bit of a hop bite appears towards the middle and is very enjoyable. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fair but reasonable amount of carbonation. Not the best brown ale, but definitely an enjoyable. one. Alcohol seems a bit high for this style but well hidden. I was quite surprised by this one, defintely glad it came in the mixed pack. Their Oatmeal Stout is above and beyond the best of their offerings, but this is not to be overlooked.

 917 characters

Photo of chinabeergeek
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

murky dark brown; even murkier if you swirl in the yeast. the head retention will be influenced by that as well. the less swirling in the bottle, the less creamy and sticky the head and lace will be.

scent is quite floral and hoppy. bit more than i expected from a "brown ale". the caramel malt can still be detected in the background.

mouthfeel was a bit thinner than expected, given the bottle conditioning. otherwise smooth, with gentle carbonation.

flavorwise, again, the bitter hops are stronger than i expected from a "brown ale". not that it isn't nice, but then maybe the style is mis-categorized?

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Photo of Sammy
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Fresh bottle from Western Mass. trip. Dark brown inviting with some white yeast lace,with malty and mollasses aroma. Above average carbonation and tongue tingling otherwise tasty, with spice, a tad of licorice, and very drinkable. Good balance.
A superior brown, recommended.

 276 characters

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!

 694 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, roasted malt scent that boasts of caramel and special roast malts. There is a slight nutty feel as well. The taste is decent. It's got a brown ale feel with quite a bitter finish. There is a considerable hop element here. I'm not sure that I really like the concept here. It's dry and roasted with some caramel notes, but hoppier than hell. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a forgettable beer. The concept is neat, but delivery suffers.

 611 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Dark brown in color, medium-sized head. A sweet malt aroma, along with a little caramel. It tasted sweeter than it smelled, also some nice piney hops. Maybe a little on the thin side, but still a very enjoyable beer.

 256 characters

Photo of scoobybrew
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was poured from the bottle into a pint glass. It has a deep amber color with a thick foamy head that is retained well. Rich roasted malt dominates the aroma. There is faint smell of hops in the background. As it warms, the hops are more noticeable in the aroma. Upon tasting, the roasted malts are right out front along with hoppy flavors with a nice moderate hop finish. It has a medium body with moderate carbonation.

This is a good example of an American brown.

 472 characters

Photo of tgbljb
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very deep brown color with massive tannish creamy head. Some nice lacing noted as the head very slowly fell.
Smell is a nice combination of of piney, citrusy hops and some sweet caramel malt.
Taste also combines the malt and hops in a pleasant tasty mixture.
Leaves a nice dry sensation in the mouth.
Easy drinking, perfect session beer.

 350 characters

Photo of jjayjaye
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

You've gotta watch the pour on this one! It really built up a stiff two finger light tan head in a hurry and it wasn't going anywhere. Lots of lacing, some 3D.

The smell is malt squared. Not a sweet smell, but a little smoky.

I'm pleasantly surprised by the mouth feel. Judging by the amount of visible carbonation i was thinking that this was going to tingle, but the texture is quite creamy. Medium bodied.

The flavor is primarily from the solid malt base with a slightly roasted character and some chocolate. A decent drinker.

 538 characters

Photo of Dansting
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Poured a cloudy brown color with a medium light-brown head. Strong lacing. Aroma of chocolate, malt, and coffee. Nice mouthfeel. Flavor is malty with a strong coffee overtone. Almost more of a porter than a brown. Not one of my favorite brown ales.

 256 characters

Photo of wcudwight
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to swedejay53 for the bottle.
Looks like a hazy Coke. Not much head and little lacing.
Nice brown ale aroma. Charcoal, nuts and chocolate.
This is a quite refreshing and tasty beverage. Nice hop profile for a brown ale. Hops jump out at the middle and last well into the finish. The hops are supported by a roasted malt backbone with hints of caramel. I don't taste the bit of nuttyness that was in the nose and is in other beers for the style. But, the hops are such that I don't miss it either.
Mouthfeel is medium with some active carbonation.
Good beer, easy to session, wish I had more.

 603 characters

Photo of dherling
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a dark reddish-brown with a light tan head. Decent lacing. The nose 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. The taste offers a 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. Medium in body with a mouthfeel that stradles the line between dry and crisp, and round and creamy.

 558 characters

Photo of adowney523
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Dark brown in color, with a big tan head.

Scents of roasted malts. Nutty and molasses sweetness also.

Flavors of chocolate, burnt notes, and a subtle caramel sweetness. The bitterness in the finish is earthy and citrusy.

A good brown. Nicely balanced malt and hops.

 320 characters

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