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Wachusett IPA (India Pale Ale) | Wachusett Brewing Company

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148 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 148 | Ratings: 283
Photo of Duhast500
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Shipyard Pumpkinhead pint glass.

The color is a slightly hazy light orange with two fingers of foamy white head and some thick lacing left on the glass.

The smell is a bit muted with the hop aroma there but it seems to be lighter then anticipated. Some grassy hops aroma does come out and is followed by a sweetness that was a little surprising.

The taste is bitter with some slight orange peel flavor coming out to hit my tongue but there is a nice watery flavor as well that washes some of the bitterness off and lets some of these other flavors be noticed. There is some nice lemon flavor that comes out as soon as the hops pull back.

The feel of this beer is medium bodied and pretty drinkable with only a slight bitterness left after each sip that does not start building on your tongue like some hoppy IPAs.

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Photo of wmcneill26
4.52/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my new favorite IPA. It combines every element of an IPA in a perfect combination for me. So that's very specific to my tastes. Here's what I like about it: the hoppy taste and bubbliness is the perfect level. Both are stronger than many IPAs but not so overpowering in either respect. Perfect aftertaste: hoppy, a little fruity. I don't taste the blueberries like other reviewers, but the taste and smell does have a subtle fruitiness, so I guess it could very well be blueberry. I understand that the head and retention of this beer are not as good as other IPAs, but for me, the taste is exactly what I look for so I"m giving it a great rating. Great, hoppy, easy to drink IPA.

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Photo of Ezone024
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

from the farmland of Northern Massachusetts to your glass it pours out a nice cloudy orange/amber color...lots of fizz and a really aromatic head that is cream colored and spongy leaving lots of lacing.
smell is earthy citrus with subtle fresh flowers.

taste is citrus hops with a little more sweet maltiness than expected, however the hops really cut through that at the end making for a nice easy drinkin IpA.

Mouthfeel is sweet with a little warmth to it...seems more boozy than it actually is..

overall one hell of an ipa.

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Photo of VTaler
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Golden clear. Shitty head that leaves nice lacing
S - Floral hops and a hint of blueberry
T - Similar to the smell. Nice floral and citrus hops but not overwelming. A nice solid IPA. There is a nice hint of blueberry in there too. I wonder if the brewery uses the same pot that the blueberry ale is brewed in.
M - Normal
D- Decently

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Photo of silentjay
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pretty standard copper with a very nice almost white head that sticks around a while and laces well.

aroma is pretty hoppy, citrus rind and a bit of pine with some strong malt backbone of biscuit.

floral hops come into play in the flavor as an addition to the citrus and pine flavors that have been pushed a bit to the back seat. malt is still there in abundance and provides a very "english IPA" flavor profile. biscuit and light caramel flavored. Not terribly impressive, but decent.

a bit light bodied with just a hint of resin left in the mouth and ample carbonation.

goes down rather well, an introductory IPA with enough bitterness to satisfy a light hop fix, but nothing to scare away someone uninitiated.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked this one up after having enjoyed some Larry recently, hoping that it might be close to being as good. Not so much. 12oz bottle with a "for freshest taste enjoy by" date of Sep 2010. Pours an amber, orange color. Slight head, with a bit of lacing. Smell is of some hops and maybe a bit of citrus. Tastes pretty good. Somewhat bitter with a taste of hops and to a lesser extent, citrus. Its a decent IPA and trying to compare it to Larry is unfair. That being said, I've had many better IPAs than this. Wouldn't go out of my way to grab it again but if it showed up in a Wachusett mix 12 pack I wouldnt be disappointed.

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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.

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Photo of DrJay
4.01/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear amber with an inch of dense white foam. Good head retention, lots of thick, sticky lacing. Fruity aroma, citrus and powdery hops, mild biscuit and doughy malt. Moderate bitterness coupled with malt sweetness, caramel, juicy citrus throughout, grapefruit. Pretty tasty and balanced, with a bit of hop spice in the finish. Medium bodied with creamy carbonation, slight dryness, nice texture. I liked this quite a bit. Great balance added to drinkability, but a less subdued aroma would have made it even better.

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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.

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Photo of racer2k
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had beer on tap at local pub

A - Nice looking IPA with a bright amber color which creates one finger of off white head and some light lacing around the glass. Good carbonation going here.

S - An aroma of citrus, grapefruit, oranges and lemon peels are all present.

T - Very tangy hoppy taste with a minimal malt profile. There are plenty of hops on board with a nice resiny finish to the beer. There is a slight malty tone to the back end of the sip but not over powering. Hop presence is the game with this beer.

M - Hoppy and resiny feel with moderate carbonation and a caramel finish to the beer.

D - Very drinkable session beer if you like a good dose of hops on board. Very nicely done Wachusett!! I will definitely drink this again!

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Photo of asabreed
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into a Brooklyn tulip.

Appearance: More orange than yellow here. Nice bubbles. Fluffy white yet quickly-dissipating head, some nice raindrops on the side of the glass.

Smell: Cascade pungency yet there's a good amount of grain and caramel sweetness also. Balanced, but a bit one-sided, if that makes sense.

Taste: The taste is pretty much the same. Maybe a little too much sweetness? A bit of grain and pungency, but it seems to get lost from too much malt and fruit esters, not necessarily suffocating the hops, but they seem to take a backseat here, and I'm not sure an IPA should be doing that. Or, rather, in my opinion, an IPA should definitely not be doing that. When it warms, a bit of leafy and spiny hops come through, but it's subtle, though interesting.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, or rather on the lighter side, with good creamy carbonation. I hate when the mouthfeel's the best thing about the beer, but alas; this is the case.

Drinkability: Definitely a sessionable IPA, and one of those starter IPAs for folks who can't take the insanity of the hops, though there seems to be enough for folks who dig them also.

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Photo of Kallessin
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours amber/golden honey color with a slight haze. Has a creamy off white head with plenty of foam stuck to the glass after it goes down.

Has a bright citrus/floral hop aroma with some grassy notes. I also get some grainy aromas with a little sweet caramel maltiness.

Has a spicy citrus/herbal flavor up front and it's not quite a pine needle flavor, but in that direction - more of a oily resin flavor. It's really not that bitter of an IPA. There's a little sweet and malty caramel flavors in the background.

It's light to medium body with some sharp fizzy carbonation. It has a slightly dry finish that lingers a little.

It's a very drinkable beer. Certainly bitter like an IPA, but not all that much. Just a touch of malt to take the edge off. A very decent beer.

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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.

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Photo of tigg924
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, high carbonation, gold in color, clear, a lot of nice lacing

Smell: citrus hops, brown sugar, and malt

Taste: light citrus and floral hops mixed with some toasted malt

Mouthfeel: semi-bitter with a sweeter finish, high carbonation, light bodied

Drinkability: This is a nicely balanced IPA that I could have several of. The hops are there but not overpowering. Nice, light, and refreshing, I will pick this up again.

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Photo of Daktyls
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got a free Wachusett pint glass when I picked up a mixed 12-pack of Wachusett brews, so I'm drinking it from that.

A: Fairly translucent, pale golden in color, a little head foamed up after the pour.

S: Aromas were somewhat lacking to me, but I could detect a faint scent of hops and some citrus.

T: Hints of caramel and bready malts, hops were present in the finish.

M: Not very bitter, slight amount of carbonation.

D: Very drinkable, goes down easily.

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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

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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.

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Photo of williamherbert
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy golden yellow color. Lots of carbonation. Rocky light brown head; excellent head retention. Honey-colored. Actually looks downright excellent.

The smell is flowery perfume hops. Hint of citrus (lime, orange). Roasted, dark caramel malts; dry and bready. Earthy.

The taste is toffee and bready caramel malts on the front. Earthy like a sandbox. The hops come in at the end, and add a needed bitterness. Like an English IPA with extra woody, flowery hops.

The feel is a great medium body. Smooth and buttery; lasting, but not intrusive. The hops in this beer are American, but the strong roasted malt balance puts this over the top.

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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.

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Photo of sholland119
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a hazy amber with a thin tan head, good retention and lacing.

S-Moderate floral hops and caramel malt.

T-Caramel and biscuit malt with floral hops in the finish. A little light in hop presence.

M-Light to medium bodied.

D-Nice enough but one is probably plenty.


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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 ounce bottle poured into my nonic Imperial pint glass. This IPA appears a hazed golden amber color with an inch of lingering off white foam. Aromas and flavors consist of herbal, earthy hop notes, citrus such as orange peel and lemon complete with their essential oils, nicely caramelized malt, mild toasty bread. Mouthfeel is full of hoppy bitterness at first, followed by a decent amount of sweet malt to smooth things out. Carbonation is right around medium. Certainly worth a try.

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Photo of Kendo
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got it on tap at the Wachusett Country Inn, where it was advertised as a "California-style IPA." Sounds good to me. . . .

A: Body is coppery-orange with a small whitish head that left behind some lace.

S: Pleasant hoppy experience on the nose: pine and citrus (especially grapefruit).

T: Light biscuity malt followed by hops -- pine and citrus again. Drying bitterness at the finish, with lingering lemony/citrusy hops.

M: Medium weight with decent carbonation.

D: Very good. I think I had 4 of them over the course of the night and they all went down easily.

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Photo of albern
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a decent IPA but nothing I'm getting overly excited about either. It pours a very clear slightly amber color with a thin head, not much retention, and no lacing. There isn't heaps of carbonation going on with this beer either. The nose is leafy hop, some slight grassiness. Right out of the bottle I got some off aromas of diacetyl and maybe some mustiness too. Things improved as the beer settled. There are some orange rind, some orange burst in the nose as well. The aroma does improve after awhile.

The taste is good, but not brilliant. There are leafy, somewhat drying hops, there are some orange blossom and estery notes in there too. The beer does not have a substantial malty backbone, or any bready characteristics, so the beer is left a bit watery. There aren't enough nouvelle type hoppy tastes in this beer to forgive some of the light bodiedness. There is a slightly salty sharpness towards the finish, and the beer has a some drying tendencies there too. The aftertaste is a bit too lingering. The mouthfeel is a touch watery. This is a good IPA, just not brilliant.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Obcenely boring label. Copper color with a white fluffy head. Sticky lace all over and good retention.

Smells of Juicey Fruit hops and faint sweet malt.

Tastes of fruity hops over not so meek sweet malt with heavy bitter in back. The sweet and fruit make this beer like hop candy. Juicey Fruit aftertaste and hop oil mouth coating. Medium body and crisp mouthfeel.

What a pleasant suprise! I'd always viewed Wachusett as an average brewery surviving on a solid blueberry ale, but their IPA may cause me to revaluate.

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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"...

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Wachusett IPA (India Pale Ale) from Wachusett Brewing Company
3.74 out of 5 based on 283 ratings.
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