Ishmael | Rising Tide Brewing Company

very good
61 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 216
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.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.34/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle dated 07.26.2016

Pours slightly hazed copper with a frothy khaki colored foam head. Smells like toasted sweet malts, spice, copper penny, orange citrus, tannic black tea, pine sap, caramel, with some bitter herbal earthy grass and pine. Tastes like rye bread, vegetal spice, caramel, toasted malts, orange citrus, some dried apricot, tannic black tea, pine sap, with bitter herbal earthy grass and pine. Feels medium-light bodied, crisp with moderate carbonation. Overall a nice copper ale.

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Photo of Im4jojo
4.59/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I tried this brew on tap at the brewery in Portland, and, looking back at my "beer journal," I see that I gave it a so-so review. I liked it better from this bottle, which seems a bit strange to me. Anyway, love the name, as it is a reference to the classic MOBY DICK. First sip was mild, slightly bitter, but smooth, Second sip made me cringe, as it was VERY bitter. I was determined to keep on to the bottom of my pint glass, though! Simple lacingings of a small head, signifying not much carbonation. Interesting color: definitely true to its name. Third sip was smooth, enjoyable to the last drop. Definitely want to buy again. Great brewery atmosphere at RISING TIDE, too! Good people.

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Photo of beer_deli
4.26/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I like to call this a good sophomore beer. The hops are present, but it does not hit you in the face. It's good if someone is looking to transition from light beers to something a little more rugged. The beer tastes as it smells, but it is very tolerable. Definitely one of my go-to options!

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Photo of selecter70
3.94/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On draught. A brown/copper ale which always turn up near St. Patrick's Day and are typically underwhelming. However, this one is more in the altbier style and also leans towards somewhat to English rustic farm ales. The pour was a hazy dark copper brown with very little head or lacing. The smell was malty and yeasty but not clean smelling like other brown ales. The body was medium and the taste was a yeast-infused malt with cherry notes as well as rye bread, and just a hint of lemon hops to brighten it up. Definitely an interesting one

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Photo of cmf
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz to becker. Pours a turbid amber with a very mild aroma - yeast and malt. Sweet malty taste with a hint of orange hop aftertaste. Foamy smooth in the mouth. Overall a little sweet, but excellent.

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Photo of Oldejoe
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks. A ruddy, unfiltered Amber with a skinny head.
Smell. Have a cold and can't smell anyway. Don't smell, either.
Taste. Slightly malty start, slightly dry hoppy finish. Citrusy on the roof of the palette.
Feel. Medium weight, but a lively sparkle.
Overall. I.m not much for middle of the road beers, but I do like this one.

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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.

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Photo of illpass78
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

4 oz. tasting glass at the brewery.

Appearance: Pours a sturdy-looking clear amber with a frothy, creamy white head. Nice lacing left behind.

Aroma: Some caramel and biscuit along with a faint nuttiness.

Taste: Follows the nose. Very appealing - caramel and biscuit notes add flavor, and it has a nice "all seasons" kind of character to it. Hops are present enough to satisfy the hop crowd.

Mouthfeel: Nice medium depth. Very drinkable.

Overall: Really solid "flagship"-type beer. Well executed, and should have broad appeal.

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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.

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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;

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Photo of JAFoley
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

A - Clear copper body with bubbly off-white head. Not very good retention or lacing.

S - Slight maltiness as you'd expect with a red.

T - Some citrus hop along with doughy sweet malts.

M - Medium/light body with moderate/high carbonation. Slick with no stickiness.

O - This makes for a really drinkable copper ale. The flavors aren't too complex, but they're enjoyable and the body light enough to throw back a few.

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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 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.

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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 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

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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.

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Photo of Boto
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber: This one pours a slightly hazy, coppery color. There was a very small off-white head on it. It has a nice nose. Malty and nutty notes are most prevalent. Some earthy hops and a few lurking fruits. The taste is good. A bit bitter, with an underlying sweetness: a good balance. Caramel malts, nuttiness, a hint of roasted malts. A pretty solid beer.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a chill-hazed copper color with a fingers worth of off-white head

S: A hefty dose of malts along with some earthy hops. Pretty simple

T: Borders on sweet from the malts, along with an earthy fruitiness from the hop and yeast combination. Finishes with a light bitterness. Again, pretty simple

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A nice, simple American version of an Alt. Nothing crazy or out of this world, but the amount of hops add a nice dimension to the style. Pretty solid for $5.99 a bomber

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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.

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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.

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Photo of smcolw
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid, but modest head. Retreats slowly leaving some spots on the glass. Near brown color with a mild chill haze.

Dry caramel aroma with a mild floral hop. Light earthiness with a touch of deeply roasted malt.

A well-balanced beer with a dry malt start that is accentuated by the white pepper hop flavor. Reasonable body with an equally neutral carbonation. The swallow has elements of a brown ale with an elevated level of hop.

 430 characters

Photo of MoreThanWine
3.79/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured only a 1/2" head, opaque Naples yellow in color, but it had decent lifespan. The body in masstone lookes like iced tea, held to the light is more of a Raw Sienna yellow, and in either case I wouldn't really describe it as copper. It smells nicely of malt and caramel. Taste mirrors the smell and the munich malt really comes through along with a bitter hops reminding me a little of British though they're American. Medium finish. Nice enough beer.

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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

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark copper with a bubbly beige head. Few lacey dabs left by a gibbous moon shaped drift of retention.

Earthy aroma. Smells like sticks and dirt and trail running minus the lemon lime Gatorade and coconut sunscreen. Earthy overtone mixes in with golden gummi bears and caramel drizzle on toast.

Very clean up front with a strong rustic leather and mineral fade.

Not my favorite style but I've been so impressed with Rising Tide I'll try anything they put out. Good but still not my thing.

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Ishmael from Rising Tide Brewing Company
3.76 out of 5 based on 216 ratings.
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