Ipswich 20th Anniversary Imperial Pale Ale
Ipswich Ale Brewery

Ipswich 20th Anniversary Imperial Pale AleIpswich 20th Anniversary Imperial Pale Ale
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American Strong Ale
3.79 | pDev: 14.78%
Ipswich Ale Brewery
Massachusetts, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Ipswich 20th Anniversary Imperial Pale AleIpswich 20th Anniversary Imperial Pale Ale
Notes: This is not an ipa or a iipa. This is a imperial version of our original (pale) ale with some suped- up hopping. A blend of the old and new, cascade, willamette, Amarillo and Columbus hops. Dry-hopped.
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Reviews: 37 | Ratings: 59
Reviews by stickynotes:
Photo of stickynotes
2.93/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Snatched this bomber off the shelf because I've never seen an imperial pale ale before. Pours an orangey caramel with a suspicious cloudiness to it, the glass is bright and vibrant though. Towards the end of the beer fine sediment is clearly visible. A just off-white head which hangs out 1/4" deep; moderate lacing. Nose is strong citrus hops, earthy. Taste was not what I suspected, sweet malts up front and also in the after taste, piney, spicy hops. Alcohol is there but blends in well acting as a strong background to the swig. I get more used to it as I drink it down, certainly a nice brew but there is something off, it doesn't 'pop' like I expect it to, seems maybe a little stale; heaviness. Mouthfeel is medium, pleasantly carbonated. Overall this is ok, I am glad I have tried it but wouldn't buy this bottle again. This brew isn't cohesive for me.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of jdhilt
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a one finger cream head that fades quickly to a ring leaving some lace. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Hazy amber color. Nose is grapefruit hops and flavor is also grapefruit hops with hints of caramel. Lingering bitter after taste. Seems like a DIPA to me. $6.15 for a 22oz bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ipswich Anniversary IPA pours a cloudy dark amber, with a small creamy head on top. The foam dissolves to a thin sheet on the surface leaving behind spots and lines of lace on the glass.

The aroma is piney with some light fruit and bread mixed in. Lots of pine.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is oily on the palate, slightly chewy with mild carbonation. The flavor is nicely balanced. It begins sweet with caramel, bread and yeast. In the middle hoppy pine and citrus notes move in. It finishes moderately bitter and dry. Once gone the pine and bread notes linger on the palate.

This is a well balanced tasty beer. It reminds me of a British bitter with its fruity notes and earthy hops.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 0z Dark brown bottle. No freshness date noticed.
Served in a Sam Adams fluted glass.
It pours a cloudy dark amber color with a fast-fading beige head and some sticky, trailing lacing.
It's got an IPA-amount of hoppiness to the nose. Grapefruit, and lemon zest citrus smells ride atop a solid grainy malty aromas. A late whiff of alcohol enters, as done a faint smell of oranges. A smell of wild flowers finishes.
The flavors mirror the smells in every way. A bit of a resinous hop bitterness is noticed in the aftertaste.
The 8% ABV is no surprise, in fact it tastes stronger than it is.
This brew goes well with sharp aged cheddar.

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Photo of Zorro
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Heavy chill hazed amber colored ale with a small white colored head.

Smell is sweet and syrupy with a strong malt and wood smell. Toasted bread with orange marmalade.

Starts out sweet with a bit of a salty flavor and a stout bitterness in the finish. Some sour hop flavors mostly lemon and a little rye. All in all though this is a little under-flavored.

Mouthfeel is syrupy and thick.

Overall this is OK. Not something that I can highly recommend, but it doesn't taste bad.

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Photo of smcolw
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent head that lasts throughout the tasting, leaving plentiful lace. Orange-amber color and very cloudy.

Light caramel malt tones to the nose. There's a fresh hop in the background.

The flavor is far more bitter than the smell suggests. The body is neutral but the carbonation is low, making it seem richer. The flavor has an alcohol essence but it isn't the central taste. Overall, I like this beer very much.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a slight dense deep aged copper body with a light tan head that fades to a bubbly ring and a gentle carbonation for support.

S- The herbal musty green hops have a pine quality in the finish with a slight sweetness and some caramel notes in the finish.

T- The dry biscuit malt has some cracker flavors to it with a sweet caramel note to follow. There is a green unripe citrus hop flavor with a musty quality that turns to a pungent bitterness as it lingers.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a gentle fizz on the tongue with no alcohol heat noticed.

O- This beer has big malt and full malt sweetness but the hops are pretty soft and the aroma/taste are much more muted that the bitterness. The biscuit and caramel are a good balance but they just don't have the hops or alcohol or carbonation to support them.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of albern
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This doesn't seem like it is an APA coming from Ipswich. The beer certainly looks good and has lots of creamy head and retention with a bit of lace. The nose is very malty with some evident bittering hop underneath.

The beer was a bit of a disappointment because the hops just didn't play nicely with the malts in the beer and the bittering aftertaste just wouldn't quit. Not good. There was a sharp leafy hop in the beer and a somewhat medicinal pine that lingered well into the finish. The beer is creamy and the malty middle was spot on, the hops just didn't work that well for this special edition.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a cloudy amber color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, citrus and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with strong flavors of caramel and citrus. Then a hearty but not too heavy malt character comes in. The hops presence is strong but not over-powering and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer worth drinking for a while.

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Photo of danmcg62
4.37/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a dark orangey/yellow with a very small white head. Very murky, cloudy look to the beer. Nice looking beer.

S-Really fruity (Grapefruit, grapes, raisins, orange). Mild hop spice, stings the nose a little. I like the smell very much.

T-Spicy taste comes through first, very fruity, mild hop bitterness and a bit boozy. Stellar.

M-Nice feel in the mouth. Thick and spicy.

O-This is an excellent offering from Ipswich. Next to their Oatmeal Stout this is the best beer I've had from them. Great flavor and fun to drink.

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Photo of zeff80
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a hazy, golden amber color with a one-finger, khaki colored head of foam. It left some sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of citrus, floral notes and some sweet caramel.

T - It had a good burnt toast maltiness with sweet caramel. There was a bitter hop bite with a citrusy kick.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a nice brew. However, I'm still not sure if I get the idea of an Imperial Pale Ale.

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Photo of jongullotti
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of PJKSR02
4.83/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow: If you like a genuine, raw, local brew, this was it! It's an IPA with a hops flavor that lingers with a spicy aftertaste. There's a whiff of estery alcohol, but that is balanced by the hops aroma, and overall mouth feel. Can we ask for a 21st anniversary redux?

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review adapted from notes taken 8/12/11

Appearance: Hazy, cloudy copper orange with some floaties, unexciting head and average lacing

Smell: Some citrus (mostly grapefruit), some pine, some floral hops - somewhat malty with pale and caramel malts - not particularly exciting, doesn't smell that "imperial"

Taste: Basically, this tastes like a pale ale, but maltier - more hops, too - some substantial maltiness from the pale and more toasted malts - a lot of citrus rind - almost tastes a little boozy, kind of leafy, wet

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nicely carbonated, could definitely be more crisp

Overall: Good, but not as good as the non-imperial Ipswich Ale

This really tastes like Ipswich Original Ale with a lot more malts and a bit more hops. The result is not ideal. It's a good beer, but it lacks the balance and charm of its non-imperial cousin.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The bottle caught my eye the other day.
Pours a cloudy orange amber color with a two finger fluffy/bubbly white head that recedes slowly but leaves lots of sticky lace all the way down. Smells of citrus and pine mostly. I can't find much in the way of malt but I do pick up a hint of garlic. Bready toasty flavor up front before the hops dig in. Lots of pine and garlic or onion and a bit of citrus. Bready almost caramel malt sweetness comeback midway until the piney hops come back for the finale. Medium body and carbonation level with a resinous bitter mouthfeel. Good beer, not great. Seems one dimensional and a little bit boring but grew on me after a while.

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Photo of Durge
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ran across this at La Boniche in Lowell, Massachusetts. This specialty ale looks hazy and copper colored with a nice off white head and great splatters of lacing. The aroma is a mellow caramel malt with musty herbal hop. The flavor lines up well with the nose as I get a woodsy caramel/toffee and a nice grainy malt over herbal hop. The body is solidly medium with a somewhat glassy feel with modest carbonation. A hoppy farmhouse ale that I enjoyed.

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Photo of SABERG
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a modified tulip glass.

A - Copper, cloudy and rich looking. Big head with some density, lacing moves through the whole pour.
S - A liitle spicy, some sweet elements run right up against the pine. A little citrus, and a touch of alchohol comes up later.
T - Hops, malt brawl. A bit sweet, hops in the middle and a lond balanced finish. Big but not offensive.
M - Smooth, a little oily and a nice bitter middle, Finish is suprisingly dry and pleasant.

O - One at a time, and easily shared with friends. Big for the Pale Ale, but exactly what advertise. Well done.
What a nice anniversay offering. Ipswich has given 20 years of fine efforts and shared this present with all.


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Photo of jlindros
3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a light bubbly and fizzy almost 1 finger head, bit of lacing, a hazy rosy reddish amber colored beer.

Nose has plenty of fresh hops, some pine, little earthy and a bit herbal, bit musty, somewhat floral, light citrus and tangerine, also some chewy malts underneath, semi sweet malts. The herbal hops get a bit heavy as it goes with a weird chewy earthy feel.

Taste starts with a semi sweet malty glaze, a bit chewy a bit of booze, then some chewy hops, a bit earthy and herbal, semi bitter but not heavy bitterness, a bit pine and musty flavors, but a slight bitter hop extract flavor as well, and slight citrus. Finishes a bit bitter but not heavy, syrupy mouth feel and a little sweet, bitterness gets a bit stronger but not heavy, a little booze warmth, bitterness climbs a bit at first but never gets too heavy, and some light pine and herbal hops, then gets a little dry very late.

Mouth is a bit syrupy but medium bodied, lower carbonation, hint of warming booze.

Overall meh, not great, some weird hop flavors, extract, herbal hops, syrupy malts, nothing really redeeming, drinkable but not great, and the malts don't seem to play too well with the hops for some reason.

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Photo of glid02
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased from Wine & Cheese Cask in Somerville.

Pours a hazy golden-copper color with a slightly off-white head that leaves decent lacing.

Smells of grainy pale malts with good amounts of light citrus and herbal hops. Also present are hints of floral and heavier leafy hops.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Moderately dry pale malts up front are joined quickly by bright citrus hops and deeper herbal hop flavors. Midway through hints of breadiness come into play before being overtaken by leafy hops that carry through to a moderately bitter ending. Mouthfeel is good, with smooth carbonation.

Overall I thought this was a solid beer, though nothing exceptional. Worth a shot on a warm summer day.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.24/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice orange/amber color, minimal white head, fades fast with little lacing on the glass, leaves a thin cap on top for a good portion of the drink.

Smell has a strong piney grapefruit aroma, the grapefruit really shines through as the star, the aroma kind of reminds me of the 1260 Triple IPA.

Taste starts out with a musty like hop presence, the fruity grapefruit comes into play, minimal hop bitterness though since it's more of a citrusy/fruit hop than harsh bitter, malt helps smooth things over with a touch of sweetness, carbonation is soft and lends a creaminess, slightly syrupy and thick but not overwhelming.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very slight haze on an orange/copper color. Head is white and rocky. Drops to a thin vestige of a cap in short oder. Carbonation is solid and on point.

Smell: Loads of pale malts. Some caramel malt sweetness. Biscuit aromas run rampant. Earthy citrusy hop component. Very mild, but still packs a nice depth. Very earthy and grassy.

Taste: Pale malts and biscuit dough. Gritty, almost dirty, citrus rind from the hops. Grapefruit rolled in fresh dirt and grass clippings. It's intriguing. Malts are sweet and doughy with just enough body to counteract the hop presence. Nice level of balance. Lingering touches of bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with a lingering grassiness that dries things up a bit. Body runs on the lighter side of moderate. Carbonation is stronger than I would like, but it's not necessarily a bad thing.

Overall: I had this when it was only a month old and I thought it was oxidized and lackluster. Now that it's many months older, I wonder what I was thinking. It's what it says it is, an imperialized version of their Original Ale with some interesting dry-hopping. Take it for what it is and it's pretty tasty.

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Photo of jsh420
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

pours hazy copper orange with a 1+ finger head that had good retention and left some spotted lacing down the glass

smell - floral hops and a good amount of biscuit malt

taste has more of a bitter pine resin hop flavor - the malts are still there but the hops are a tad harsh for me

mouthfeel - has a medium body with good carbonation

overall - i just dont see the need to make high abv APAs or maybe i dont see the need for me to ever buy them

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Photo of Lawnboy33
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of LtCracker20
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours slightly opaque orange/amber body with a 2-finger white head that falls half way then sticks for a while. OK lacing.

S- Floral and piney hop burst up front. Some sweet maltiness follows (just a touch). Nothing really makes a lasting impression.

T- Piney and citrusy hops in the flavor followed by a little caramel malt. Flavors don't last too long, but aren't bad.

MF- Medium to full bodied with a lower carbonation level then, say, Arrogant Bastard.

O- Not a bad beer at all. Almost could be a break-in beer for someone who doesn't quite know the style yet.

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Ipswich 20th Anniversary Imperial Pale Ale from Ipswich Ale Brewery
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 59 ratings