Ishmael | Rising Tide Brewing Company

very good
61 Reviews
no score
Send samples

Brewed by:
Rising Tide Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Ishmael is our richly-flavored American copper ale. This American interpretation of the altbiers of Düsseldorf is brewed with continental Munich malt, American-grown hops, and a clean-fermenting ale yeast to produce a slightly sweet and malty beer balanced by a firm bitterness.

Added by sogrady on 09-15-2010

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 216
Photo of mdaschaf
2.64/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Review from notes 11/20/10.

A: Pours brown, with no head and no lacing. Looks like it might be flat. No lacing to speak of either.

S: Toasted malts, a little bit of coffee and caramel.

T: Similar to the nose, very toasted and bready. No detectable hops.

M/D: Extremely thin with no carbonation. The taste is ok, but the body was a huge let down. When I bought the bottle the store had just gotten them in, the owner took it out of the case and sold me the first bottle, so it wasn't sitting long. Hopefully I will get to give this one another shot.

 555 characters

Photo of jdhilt
2.87/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a khaki, four-finger head that fades slowly leaving a very good lace. Cloudy amber/red color, with some yeast left in bottle. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Indistinguishable nose. Flavor is a bready, barely sweet caramel with the hops coming in late. Lingering bitter aftertaste. $6.75 for a 22oz bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

 359 characters

Photo of GurgglyBurgglers
3/5  rDev -20.2%

Drank straight from the bottle while walking to the drug store to buy trash bags. Beer has this bizarre mineral taste I can't place. Burton water salts? Heard that a large portion of Munich malt may contribute this flavor too. Would prob taste better paired with food. On it's own a little weak, but not bad for walking around the hood on a mission. Bet it'd be real good in chili or used to steam sausages.

 407 characters

Photo of KarlosT
3/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this beer at the Amesbury Beer Festival on Sep 22 2012.

Most of the beers were served from bottles into small 3oz plastic pixie cups.

Although I took notes on the 20+ different beers that I tried, it is difficult to remember all of the details associated with each beer. My apologies to readers of these notes. However, I did pay attention to my overall scores, and noted what I thought were unique positives and negatives w/ each beer.

Note that for me:
< 2.5 = probably would not finish the beer
3.0 = drinkable beer, but likely would not buy again or look for
>3.5 = will try to buy again in the future

 624 characters

Photo of Taylor1989
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap In a pint glass at Murphy's taproom,Manchester

A: copper brown colored body with tan head

S: mild malts and hops, bread/biscuit yeast comes through.

T: much like in the smell. I'm getting the bready yeast and a Carmel malt

M: medium,, light harshness on the tongue, no aftertaste or finish

 302 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.3/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

amber in color with copious amounts of carbonation bubbling up toward the surface throughout. Nice white head on top, maybe an inch and a half before settling down to coat the inside of the glass for a minute. Interesting aroma, mix of grains, light bready malts, and a touch of a grassy, herbal hoppiness. Nothing crazy here but nicely balanced. Same could be said for the flavor, nice pale taste, light bready notes balancing a herbal sort of hop. Lightly sweet with a decent amount of carbonation, this one could go down like water.

 535 characters

Photo of puboflyons
3.38/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle marked Batch 131-Born March 2013. Sampled on November 11, 2013.

It has a slight foggy amber brown pour with a long lasting cream colored head. The head is light and delicate.

The aroma is malty and roasted. There is a hint of earthy hops but they do not jump out at you. A mild sweetness too.

The body is medium and smooth.

A good roasted malt character highlights the taste experience with a mellower but somewhat earthy hop finish. This is not a spectacular beer but it is easy to drink.

 521 characters

Photo of PeterIngemi
3.38/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Split a 22oz bottle poured into a duvel glass.

A: pours a hazy brown with a touch of amber, little to no head to speak of more of a slightly tanned film, some small spots of lacing.

S: smells a bit grassy and skunky, light toasty grain and a hint of caramel, not a very pungent nose. Smells kinda like a skunky copper ale.

T: not much improvement from the nose, I get toasted malt, hint of cAramel, touch of grassy and bitter hops... And a Lil skunk....

M: on the light side of medium. Crisp medium carbonation, and a touch of dry lingering bitterness.

O: a pretty average brew here, not a horrible one, but not a great one either.

 637 characters

Photo of thebeers
3.38/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Dark copper color with large beige-tinted head and thick lacing. Doughy malt aroma with a touch of fruity sweetness, including raisins and cherry, and enough hop presence for balance. Medium bodied and just enough over-carbonated that it adversely impacts the taste. There's still some doughy, malt sweetness, and a little hop citrus flavor, but the carbonation is distracting from both.

 389 characters

Photo of boralyl
3.41/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured into a point glass it produces a huge 3 finger light tan head. The head lasts forever and forms a mountain as the sides fade away leaving some nice lacing. The beer is clear and copper in color with plenty of carbonation bubbles present.

S - Not a very strong aroma. I get toasted malts and spicy/earthy hops.

M - Light-medium in body with some creaminess. This caught me by surprise because of the appearance. I figured it would be over-carbonated, but it is not.

T - The nose is similar to the taste. First I encounter toasted and bready malts. I'm then greeted with some earthy hops with a sweet flavor coming in and lasting into the finish. There is a light bitterness that also appears in the finish.

The beer fits the style quite well. I enjoyed it, but wouldn't actively seek it out again. That being said I would like to see what other offering become available from this brewery.

 903 characters

Photo of dtlyons11
3.44/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a= I like the look to this one. Redish with some transparency on the bottom of the pint glass, an okay head that was thin but held surprisingly well.

s= Not much of a nose to speak of

t=pretty solid execution on this beer. A caramel malt hits you right off the bat but is quickly takes a back seat to a burst of carbonation. With closer examination you find a very nice yeast at the end. A slight bitterness lingers, as does the malt taste. There is flavor here, but not enough to excite me. Might have needed more time to grow in complexity.

m= fine feel to it, a touch more carbonation that you would expect from an Alt, but again, might have need more time.

d= decent beer that sort of reminds me of a brown. Fairly easy to drink and still has some flavor. I would drink it again.

 790 characters

Photo of HamdenHector
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

A: slight haze; amber/copper colored; 1 finger off white head that receded slowly to a thin cap; very little lacing;

S: toffee, nutty;

T: caramel and toffee up front; switches over to an odd chocolately amaretto flavor at mid-palate; finish is slightly sweet; never really got any hop character;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation;

O: looked and smelled great; flavor was unbalanced and not really to my liking;

 419 characters

Photo of Damian
3.47/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle
Served in a pint glass
Thanks to Jess and David for giving us this beer as part of a mixed six-pack.

The nearly crystal clear, amber-mahogany liquid was topped by an inch tall, tight and foamy, eggshell colored crown that fell to a clingy collar. Streaky lacing coated the glass and lasted throughout the session.

Biscuity malts dominated the aroma. Rich and robust. Slightly bready and doughy. Just a touch sweet. Subtle caramel malt notes were detectible. All in all, not super complex but quite pleasant.

The flavor profile was very hop forward for the style. Bitter and earthy. Some bready malts appeared on the front end before the herbal, leafy hops took over. The hops crescendoed in the dry, pithy, lingering finish. Quite bitter. With time, the bready and caramel malts came forward, mellowing out the bitterness a touch.

The mouthfeel was somewhat disappointing. A spritzy, aggressive carbonation seemed a bit distracting initially, but the carbonation soon settled down and liquid turned soft and creamy. Medium bodied for the style. Eventually, the carbonation decreased so much that the liquid almost felt a bit flat.

Ishmael is a decent attempt at an American twist on a German-style altbier. However, the earthy hops were rather overdone for my liking. Perhaps I need to try a fresher bottle to see if the hops contribute more than just bitterness.

 1,399 characters

Photo of silentjay
3.47/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a brown copper with a large off-white head that quickly recedes, yet laces very well.

leathery aroma with caramel, raisin, some toasted malts, some earthy and tea-like hops behind that.

a bit metallic and grainy, with some toasted malts and tea-like hops.

medium bodied with a nice, fluffy carbonation

a bit off-flavored. kinda hard to describe. its still pretty good, just my least favorite of the three Rising Tide beers I've tried.

 444 characters

Photo of stonermouse
3.49/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adams glass.

Holy carbonation! Tough to pour this one. The head on this one stuck around at about a half inch for a good hour. Nice lacing. Copper color, as advertised.

Smell is generic, but a little too much like a day-old empty beer bottle to be remarkable. Has some malty sweetness, with a hint of a bottle redemption center. Meh.

Taste is decent, and a little unexpected. The flavors were much, much better the warmer this got. Fresh out of the fridge, it was metallic and a little dry. As it warms, it turns roasty, with a hint of smokey malt. There's a a bit of melon fruitiness, with some hop backing. Overall, decently complex.

Mouthfeel is OK, but there is just a ton of carbonation. It seems like the savory, roasted flavors would shine a bit more with a bit less bubbly.

Overall, this is a fairly nuanced, yet accessible brew. Decent.

 868 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: tan in color, 1/3 inch head, high carbonation, clear

Smell: English toasted malt and caramel

Taste: English toasted malt and caramel

Mouthfeel: moderate carbonation, medium body, sweet with slight bitterness

Overall: A solid and above average English tasting altbier. I would pick this up again, but there are better in the style ad from the brewery.

 370 characters

Photo of Doshkin
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a - copper. quite translucent until the sediment at the bottom is added (my choice). big head and lots of pretty retention.

s - not much to smell here. very little hops and malts. reminds me of a Sam Adams Boston Lager

t - mild malt and hop characteristics. minor sweetess and bitterness. balanced all around and quite enjoyable.

m - i thought that the frothy, bubbly mouthfeel fit the medium body of the beer pretty well. ya, it would be hard to chug, but we like to enjoy our beer anyway, so that's not really a concern.

o - again, kinda reminded me of the well-balanced approach brought by a Boston Lager. obviously it is a different style of beer, but i'm just using the Boston as comparison since it is an enjoyable, sessionable beer. i won't get this beer again because it didn't stand out too much, but i did definitely enjoyed it and i'm glad i got it

 863 characters

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

Great Lost Bear, once again.

Murky dark orange, light brown. Some floaties. Looks rich and chalk full of goodness.

Strong malt aroma. Some apple and orchard fruits. Sweet. Some delicate spice comes and goes.

This is close to being a malt bomb, but dries out nicely on the end. The caramel and fruit flavors dance around. I get some wet, new leather in the back. Smoke? Nah, can't be. The feel is lighter than it looks like it would be. Prickly on the end. Actually went well with the Tuna Melt

 499 characters

Photo of rudzud
3.67/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this at a trader joes in Portland, ME on during a beerventure for Ghoulschip. Poured into a duvel tulip.

A - Pours a nice crystal clear light copper hue with a biiiig frothy 3 finger head that slumps to a nice creamy blanket and leave very good side lacing.

S - Rather deviod of aromas. What smells are there smell old and dank.

T - Taste though, clearly not similar to the nose. Nice sweet malts, roasty, a little smokey. Just barely metallic. Some very light bitterness, very well balanced.

M - Sweetish and slightly metallic this has some nice carbonation. Rather inviting.

O - Overall this was a nice beer from Rising Tide. Not my favourite one, but, a good beer nonetheless.

 706 characters

Photo of gtn80
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

Appearance is a nice brown with ruby highlights when held up to light. Nice off white head, about a finger of foam.

Smell isn't blowing me away. Not much of an aroma, very clean. Even as the beer warmed it isn't throwing off alot of aroma.

Taste is very solid. Slightly bitter on the finish, the hops persist after you swallow. The hops are of the grassy sort, no citrus or floral here. Tastes like alot of munich malt.

Mouthfeel is good, nice and full bodied, enough carbonation to lift the beer off the tongue.

Drinkability is great, no problems getting through the bomber, and the crisp bitterness cleans the palate.

 665 characters

Photo of beergoot
3.71/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle info: Batch 167; born September 2013. Labeled as a copper ale but also said to be an "American interpretation of a Dusseldorf altbier".

The body appeared dark amber in color and sporting a thin, off-white head. Rich, grainy nose with nuts and caramel tones. Soft malt flavors with some spicy hop notes. Medium bodied, clean and dry.

A decent take on German altbier. Smooths out nicely with every ongoing sip. Nice balance between malt grains and bop bitterness. Nice, light malt sweetness overall.

 506 characters

Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.71/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pour reminds me of unfiltered apple cider with a head.
It indeed is a copper color and with the residual bottle yeast is a murky copper color. The head is a small but dense layer of froth that laced the glass.

A noticeable nose of hops at first but on second sample over all a small nose-- maybe it's me.

Flavor is quite cordial-- a balanced blend of malt and yeast surrounded by hops bitterness.

The finish tapers to a clean bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is cordial- thanks to the long finish and mild carbonation.

Drinkability is superior aided by the relatively low ABV and the relatively mild flavor stance. The beer kept me sampling and enjoying.

Maybe it's my mood but this beer seems like it has the right combination of subtile flavor and mild characteristics for times when one wants a less that robust flavor but still a satisfying beer experience.

 871 characters

Photo of WanderingFool
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ishmael pours a clear, dark copper color with a small, frothy head on top. As the foam dissolves the sides get coated in a sheet of lace. Several streams of small bubbles rise to the surface.

The aroma is rather faint. Hints of ripe fruit, grassy hops with caramel malt and bready yeast mixed in. I think I smell chocolate, but I could be imagining that.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is soft, somewhat dry, with an effervescent fizz. The flavor is very malty. It begins with caramel and toasted malt plus some bready yeast. In the middle some light fruit notes appear. It finishes mildly bitter with a touch of grassy hops. Once gone the caramel malt flavor lingers on the palate.

A tasty beer that's easy to drink. A nice session beer.

 746 characters

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium brown with orange tinge. A little haze, and a decent head at first. Pint sat for a while and I happily see a remainder skim of foam.

Mild toasted malt and caramel nose. What is there is pleasant, but not alot going on here.

Altbier 101. Any caramel is up front early and disappears early. Toasted malt, brown bread crust, turning to dried bitter maltiness. Bitter/hops are nondescript, with clean bitterness coming through. Beer works thru the palate in stages, with a finish that is lightly bitter and lightly malty. Flavor almost disappears/clears too quick.

Thinner bodied, a bit watery, but there is a slight tingle at the end.

Overall, very decent. Not sure how many of these I'd want to have in a row, but I enjoyed the big bomber. Decent beer.

 769 characters

Photo of mmorris15
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: Pours a slightly murky copper, brown color.
S: Caramel, earth, citrus, and bread.
T: Sweet malt, followed by a very present earthy bitterness.
F: Fairly smooth, drinks very easy.
O: Nice beer that's balanced between light/sweet and bitter. Drinks very easy at 4.9% ABV.

 272 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ishmael from Rising Tide Brewing Company
3.76 out of 5 based on 216 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.