Wachusett IPA (India Pale Ale) | Wachusett Brewing Company

148 Reviews
Read the review
Wachusett IPA (India Pale Ale)Wachusett IPA (India Pale Ale)

Brewed by:
Wachusett Brewing Company
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
With an awesome floral nose, & fresh hop flavor, “The Purple” is one of the most sessionable IPA’s out there. Beer Advocate calls it, “A damn solid IPA”.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-07-2000

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 148 | Ratings: 284
Photo of TheElusiveAlexT
1.33/5  rDev -64.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Note: While I'm no expert and I haven't been reviewing beers for a long time (also back from a bit of a hiatus) but this is just awful. Wachusett is revered in the area I live almost as much as Sam Adams and much like Sams I don't see the point. What pains me especially is that I love an IPA, especially an American IPA (my favorite) and this is terrible. It was one of the first beers I ever had and turned me off of IPAs until I was a little over 22. I literally thought as I drank this for the first time, "maybe I don't like IPAs?". I'm confident it wasn't from a bad batch either. This was my 4th Wachusett IPA and they all fared about the same in my opinion. Onto the review

Appearance: A golden, rustic color. The lacing retains itself to the glass sparsely and is thin and not that sticky. As you drink the beer the head fades from a thin collar to just about nothing around the edge of the glass. Slightly carbonated but no noticeable bubbles. This is the best part of the beer.

Smell: Sweet malts, faint hops, nothing too special that stands out. With the flavor in my mouth I can detect some citris (mainly lemon).

Taste: Awful is the most elegant way to put it. For an IPA there is no bite and the aftertaste is washed out. Nothing lingers on your tongue. Another user described it as "Bland" for IPA which might have been true if not for...

Mouthfeel: I've never used this to describe a beer before but I would have to say - Painful. I felt distress holding this thing in my mouth. My mother watched me drink this and she was laughing at the face I made every time I put the beer to my mouth. I have had worse experiences but this is the worst for an IPA. There was no volume to it and unlike water it wasn't a neutral feel to hold in my mouth.

Overall: One word - skip

Serving type: straight from the tap at Keeper's Pub

 1,841 characters

Photo of Naes
2.71/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a hazy amber colored IPA with a tall frothy layer of white head. It has good retention and laces well.
The aroma is of citrus and it also has a noticeable grainy smell.
The flavor is surprisingly malty for an IPA. There are grainy tones and the hops are somewhat muted.
Mouth feel is medium in body and moderately carbonated.
This is a decent beer, though it seems to fall short of the average American IPA. It leaves me craving for something with more hops.

 470 characters

Photo of CharlesDarwin
2.92/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Originally reviewed on May 22, 2006. Julios Spring Beer Festival. Aroma of feneel and potpourri. Pour of hazed deep golden, rimmed with whisith. Flavor is meak and lightly malty. Hops? They seem severly subdued, to me. A highly buttery malt follows, with copious diacetyl and plenty of biting sock penny resin. Finishes dry, but uninteresting.

 343 characters

Photo of ZeroSignal
2.95/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours copper with minimal head, decent retention and sticky lacing

S - Lots of fruity aroma with hints of apple and berries. Light malty aroma

T&M - Herbal and spicy hops, malty backbone. Fruity esters, finish is slightly "sticky". Some biscuity notes.

D - Not too sure about this one. The finish feels s little off and it's a bit on the sweet side. Decent, but not sure I want more then one.

 399 characters

Photo of winomark
2.98/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a brilliant medium copper with a substantial light tan head.

Aroma: Good hoppy tones with some sweet malt giving depth.

Taste: Nice hoppy bitterness throughout, especially in the finish. Malt adds a good backbone. Could use some more hops, IMHO.

Mouthfeel: Flavorful, but too light. Needs more body and wieght.

Drinkability: A good effort, but not hoppy enough for an IPA, IMHO. Give it a try if you are in the area, but no need to seek it out.

Thanks to Devildogg59 for the bottle.

 515 characters

Photo of Seanibus
3/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A little whiff of hops from the bottle when I opened it turned my head and raised my hopes. What followed however was a competently executed but utterly conventional east coast style IPA. The aroma is malty, caramel and sweet with relatively mild floral hops and a character that reminded me of nothing so much as a box of crayons. The flavor is caramel, a bit toffee-like with floral hops over a kiss of citrus. For an IPA, it is slightly malt forward. Mouthfeel is fairly dense.

 480 characters

Photo of far333
3.01/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Hazy apricot color with a chunky, lumpy, frothy head. Had to actually get my nose wet to pick up a tiny aroma of hop and citrus. Flavor is initially citrusy, but a very low hop profile. A bit of an alcohol flourish in the finish, and then a strange metallic aftertaste. Sort of a "corn out of a tin can" kinda thing. Fine lacing down the glass. This seemed more like a pale ale, but the metallic flavor will keep me away.

 421 characters

Photo of stakem
3.02/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

12oz bottle poured into can glass. The brew appears a pale copper color with soapy white cap that fades fast.

The aroma is muted but some citrus like oranges is present. Not much else but maybe a hint of grass too.

The taste is citrusy and zesty with a bit of orange rind and herbal notes. No much of a grain backing or alcohol to be noted.

This is light bodied and moderately carbonated. Overall has a bit of a watery feel to it. I dont think id opt to having this again unless it was a new recipe or uber fresh release.

 524 characters

Photo of jameswaldo
3.04/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Got a mixed 12-pack on sale a month before its best-before-date. Good value for fairly good beer, but this IPA does not proclaim its hops enough for me.
Looks good poured high in pint glass, but head settles rather fast. Nice amber color, but not hazy enough.
Smells like hop blossoms, but floral odor a bit too simple.
Tastes a bit more of hops than a pale ale, but not hoppy enough for an IPA. Maybe Wachusett is trying to balance the malt? But too much sweet malty grain taste here and not enough hops complexity.
Mouthfeel really nice--dense, chewy, carbonation perfect--but aftertaste doesn't linger long enough.
At this price, I could drink lots of this easily, but it would just make me fat without the thrills I expect from a better IPA. I'd say this is a fairly decent beer to share with drinkers who don't enjoy bitter as much as I do--my brother-in-law, for example, or any of those Corona and Blue Moon lovers.

 922 characters

Photo of Bighuge
3.06/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice copper. Weak aroma. A little grapefruit. That's all. Tis one's pretty bland tasting for an IPA. A little bitter, but not that tasty. Pretty average in fact. Mouthfeel is just average as well. If you couldn't tell, I think this is an average IPA.

 250 characters

Photo of donniecuffs
3.08/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hazy amber, with barely a finger of white head, and spotty lacing. The smell was very, very mild in terms of hops; little citrus...more herbal and caramel. Taste was exactly like the nose, with a bitter finish. Decently carbonated, medium-bodied, but for some reason, it just didn't do anything for me. Needs a better hop cocktail.

 331 characters

Photo of ExtraStout
3.1/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a brilliant medium copper with a substantial light tan head.

Aroma: Good hoppy tones with some sweet malt giving depth.

Taste: Nice hoppy bitterness throughout, especially in the finish. Malt adds a good backbone. Could use some more hops, IMHO.

Mouthfeel: Flavorful, but too light. Needs more body and wieght.

Drinkability: A good effort, but not hoppy enough for an IPA, IMHO. Give it a try if you are in the area, but no need to seek it out.

 470 characters

Photo of Floydster
3.13/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle received as an extra from tprokop7, thanks for including this in my package, split with a friend tonight, poured into a pint glass

A-Golden yellow color with some orange highlights, 1/2 inch creamy white head that stuck around for quite some time, some lacing too

S-Tons of bready malt aromas, citrus that mostly consists of grapefruit and pineapples, some floral accents, and sweetness

T-Bread and biscuit hit me first, then some pine and floral hoppiness in the middle, followed by a citrus zest and other fruit sweetness in the finish, as it warmed it became sweeter and it really showed that it is unbalanced and malt was overpowering, hops mellow too quickly and lack any strength, not the way prefer my IPAs but still not bad

M-Malty and dry mouthfeel, thin to medium body, could use some more carbonation in my opinion, taste did not last long

D-Could drink a few bottles of this, light on the stomach, low in ABV, smooth for the most part, everything is hidden, refreshing

Never even heard of this brewery but not a bad IPA, always happy to have the chance to try something new, too malty for my preferences but others might enjoy it

 1,163 characters

Photo of 0110x011
3.19/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Corey0212 for the opportunity.

A - Pours crystal clear gold. Fluffy, off-white 4-finger head lasts a good while, leaving gobs of sticky lacing behind.

S - Some pine and grapefruit hops, and a dash of caramel. Not particularly aromatic. Pretty mild, actually.

T - Bits of grapefruit & pine, some caramel & honey. A bit bready. Very mild. This is an IPA?

M - Light bodied. A bit too thin.

D - I could take down a sixer of this stuff, no problem.

Slap the words "Pale Ale" on this and it would be a killer session ale. But an IPA? I think not.

 556 characters

Photo of deereless
3.19/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Sea froth foam, light copper color, signs of lacing - 4.00, S: Aromas are somewhat on the mild side and what I am picking up is slightly medicinal and with a hint of tartness, I'd worry that the beer is on the downside though the date clearly indicates otherwise - 2.50, T: Mild to medium hop bite, crisp and dry, herbal hops as well as some pine on the palate, some faint graininess, the medicinal flavors on the nose didn't seem to impact the flavor as best I can tell - 3.50, M: 3.50, D: A decent IPA, the nose was a little unpleasant but otherwise solid - 3.00

 567 characters

Photo of Solomon420
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to TheManiacalOne for getting me a few East Coast IPAs to taste...

A: pours a lighter oragish-honey color, semi clear appearance
S: fresh floral scent, sugary sweet fruits, figs, apricots, malty citrus with hop aroma
T: at first, fruity, floral, ever so slight hop flavor. Most of this flavor is up front with not much left behind...but a very faint grapefruit bitterness. Its kinda lackluster in the flavor profile, almost "flat" if you will.
M: light, fluffy, bubbles rush past the tongue. Not much left behind after that...
D: Its definately a lighter IPA, perhaps good for the summertime when mowing the lawn. It left me expecting more flavor and hop character. Its almost a flat beer in that respect. Could be a good session beer if nothing else is available. Slightly below average, and I dont think I would buy a 6 pack of it...but it was a true pleasure to experience the brew.

 893 characters

Photo of lonestar4lunch
3.28/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into my Goose Island IPA glass. Good, 1 1/2 inch head that quickly settled to about a fingers worth. The aroma on this one seems to come and go. Could be the ol' sniffer but it isn't too strong. As far as taste I am not getting the strong citrus but the grapefruit is there just a bit along with the drying on the back of the tongue that is expected. Having never heard of this brewery before my trip up north, I am glad I picked up a variety back. This is nothing great but one I could enjoy all night if on tap.

 520 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Lighter orange color. A bit hazy. Smaller head. The head grows from the pour and dies down. Very mild lacing. The most attractive part of this beer is the label on the bottle. I am digging the purple font.

S-Mellow citrus aroma. Light maltiness. Overall, a slight aroma. Not unattractive but very passive. The nose does harbor some nice fruitiness however.

T-One of the lightest flavored IPAs I have ever had. The overall flavor is not bad, I have had IPAs with a worse flavor profile, but this brew is just too tiny on the tongue. This or Longtrail's IPA are two of the softest of the style I have tried. The flavor is like the nose. Citrusy, a bit malty, subtle fruity hoppiness. Just not enough intensity.

M-Light in the body. Good warm weather IPA. Mildly bitter and somewhat dry. I like the carbonation.

O/D-Just lacks the 'BAM!' that the real good IPAs display in both the nose and on the palate. The flavors are good but far too muted. Would have expected a bit better from the company that brews Larry.

 1,016 characters

Photo of chinabeergeek
3.36/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. notched on the label for "may", but no year.

pale amber gold with straw tones. clear. large foamy head slowly fades to thin lade. decent lacing, especially later on.

apple aroma with light caramelized malt. some weak citrus zest and pine.

malty caramel and apple in the flavor, a moment of diacetyl, balanced by a grassy hop with only hints of citrus and pine. light to medium bitterness. hints of more apple, yeast and caramel in the finish.

smooth, with medium body. gentle to moderate carbonation has prickliness upfront, balance and lift later.

this is really more of an english IPA. however, the label on the neck advertises a beeradvocate 2007 quote, calling it a "damn solid American IPA".

sorry. no way. not really even for an east coast american IPA. i would have rated this as an english IPA, but the brewers themselves seem to insist categorizing it as american in style. at their own peril...

NOTE: lol, something must be amiss between me and akorsak... there must be some crazy, magical stuff happening to the beer in transit, for him to consider it "hoppy"...

 1,093 characters

Photo of Jason
3.37/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle with a freshness date on the side of the label.

A- Orange amber haze ... completely hazed over. Two fingers of foam subside to a mere bubbly ring of lace that shows minimal head retention.

S- Big citric tone and orange rind hop character in the nose, hint of biscuity malt, nutty yeast and fruity esters in there as well.

T&M- Very smooth with a medium body. Orangey hop profile; juice to rind. Sharp bite of bitterness followed by a chalky yeast then a mild maltiness and faint fruity esters. Finishes with a long lingering bitterness and malt sweetness tail.

D- This is more of your run-of-the-mill Micro Brewery IPA and not very clean at that with the flavors all muddled together. Worth a try but don't expect a hop party in your mouth.

 771 characters

Photo of changeup45
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a solid IPA. Dark orange color, nice sticky head, with a lot of lacing on the glass. Grapefruit hoppy flavor and a bit sweet but could have used that extra little kick. Definitely a good all around IPA though and I would certainly get it again.

 252 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.42/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a light copper-orange with a patchy, frothy white head that was modertly lasting. Visible carbonation was light-moderate.

S: On the nose was fresh pine and oranges with a slight hint of fresh cut grass.

T: The initial flavor started out malty, with some sour citrus hopping and malt as well hints of fresh cut grass. The beer finished dry with a gentle sour malt and citrus lacing on the tongue along with dry flora notes.

M: The mouthful was moderate and creamy.

D: Drinkability was good overall while flavor was just moderate and average per style. Yawn.

 573 characters

Photo of kennyo
3.42/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Coler - dark orange/copper color with a 1/2" white head. Head disapates fairly quickly. Lightly carbonated.

Aroma - hops, citrus

Taste - Some malt with a lot of hop bitterness, not much malt body

This is a fairly drinkable beer, kind of a beginner IPA brew but it is fairlyu tasty.

 290 characters

Photo of Shiloh
3.45/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Refreshing brew, above average but no special character to speak of.
Appearances of a murky golden/yellow with average carbonation, limited crown and thin lace.
The taste is that of a maltier pale ale than that of an IPA, this brew is to well balanced to feature the hops even tho they are prevelent but not to the point where they are featured as the star. Some citrus, some woody and some wort like flavours dominate in a mash like style ale. Mouthfeel is a little syrupy as well

 484 characters

Photo of oldgrowth
3.45/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ok color clear orange/copper. Small head that faded quickly. Moderately carbonated. Sweet & sour smell. Not overwhelming, but nice. Kinda green hops with a lite toasted malt. Clean crisp taste. Maybe a bit watery. Very drinkable though, could have a bunch of these.

 265 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Wachusett IPA (India Pale Ale) from Wachusett Brewing Company
3.74 out of 5 based on 284 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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