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Ishmael | Rising Tide Brewing Company

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very good
60 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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 60 | Ratings: 209
Photo of jlindros
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nabbed this at RSVP in Portland on my Maine excursion.

Light creamy 1 finger head fades at a medium pace with a touch of lacing over semi clear copper reddish brown color.

Nose has some light toasty brown malts, little caramel malts, nice copper malty aroma, with some light earthy hops, light floral and earthy hop addition.

Taste starts with a crisp ale flavor, some toasty brown malts and a nice copper malt sweetness, light caramel, light sweet syrupy flavor, toasty malts, combined with more of a light earthy and slight grassy hop, semi bitter, not heavy, pretty much sessionable. Finishes a little more bitter, just starting to get astringent and a salty minerality taste, dry finish, with a bit of sweet malts on the finish.

Mouth is med bodied with decent carbonation.

Drink is decent, the slight salty minerality on the finish as well as slight astringent flavors take away a bit from the drinkability, but with a nice dry finish and smooth taste, it's almost sessionable.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a nonic pint glass, with much thanks to ToasterChef!

An off white three finger head With a real nice copper body, hues throughout going from chestnut red to orange and all. Looks typical unfiltered style not ridiculously cloudy, I really like this color and head combination, very nice.

Very light dark doughy malts, nice for an Alt, but kind of hidden. Simple sense of chewy-ness, liking this nicely.

A very hop forward altbier for sure. Hop bitter noticeable taking away from much of the malt backbone. Nice dough action a bit mixing in to give just a bread like dark taste. Mouthfeel is a little wet though. Aftertaste lingers with some light chocolate, it seems t get better though as you consume it towards the end.

Still quite drinkable overall, interesting take, not exactly falling in love here, but enjoyable.

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

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a hazy, opaque, dull copper coloring with a thin, white, filmy coating along the surface. Aromas of roasted caramel and sugar sweetness, as well as some nutty highlights. Flavors are light, with a caramel and toffee sweet blend riding a smooth, light body. Roasty highlights, with some subtle spicing of fenugreek and nutmeg. The aftertaste is light and short-lived, with a touch of caramel sweetness and roasty notes. Smooth, clean, quick finish. Solid brew...safe beer to lure people into the world of craft with.

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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

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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 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.

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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.

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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 lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this last week at Tully's; I got the last bottle on the shelf. This was a pretty nice debut beer.
It was a dark amber color with a small tan head. Plenty of lace.
Mostly a caramel aroma, some floral elements, and a whiff of tobacco.
The taste followed the aroma: caramel, late hops, and a hint of tobacco.
This was a smooth, easy-drinking beer.

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Photo of gford217
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber from Ben.

Pours a hazy orange amber with a small beige head that leaves really good lacing.

Aroma has light caramel malts with some toasted biscuit and floral noble-like hop aroma. Little bit of spicy yeast in the background.

The taste is most of the same with a very crisp earthy and floral hop kick up front with the toasted caramel malts supporting everything. Finish is dry and clean.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and highly carbonated.

Overall, a crisp and refreshing take on an alt. Fairly hoppy for the style but still really drinkable.

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Photo of KTCamm
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber purchased at Carl's Meat Market in Portsmouth NH. Pint glass pour.

Dark copper brown - 1/2 inch foam settles out to a light surface cap. Laces.

Powerfully malty smell.

Rich malty taste, light hop mixed in. Some toffee taste. Perfectly balacned carbonation.

Extremely drinkable, rich wonderful taste. Fantastic.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Muddy copper in color, with a light white finger of head. Laces a little bit.

Smell is a little muddled, but theres some slight fruity sweetness, and hints of citrus hops. Theres some breadiness too.

Taste is nice, with a fair yeasty characteristic, citrus sweet hops, and a bit of nutty, malt sweetness.

Feel is light in body, light carbonation and lingering creaminess.

Solid drinkability.

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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.

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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 Florida9
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark copper/light brown in color. Forms a fluffy tannish colored head that reduces down to a stable surface coating. Good lacing.

S: Strong aroma of citrus hops followed by bold caramel malts and a bit of yeast.

T: A good dose of caramel malt that is nicely balanced by the strong flavor of citrusy hops and a slight fruity twang. Moderate bitterness. Surprisingly clean tasting considering how malty this beer is.

M: Medium body with appropriate carbonation. Rather crisp and clean.

D: A surprisingly good beer, with a lighter body than expected, making for easier drinking.

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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 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.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just picked this up on the way back from Maine today and the beer is not too bad for a startup brewery.

Hard to believe this beer got released within the past few months. Now I know why this is a Portland beer I haven't seen yet at Oak Hill in Scarborough.

A - Copper red with a thin head some lacing.

S - smells like a copper ale. Only basing it on the copper ale from Otter Creek that I have had.

T - Taste like a copper ale in the sense that it is a little malty, slight hop character, and crisp

M - Creamy

D - The beer is very drinkable

Serving type: 22 oz. bomber

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Photo of srandycarter
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark amber, nice near white head, slow to leave. Some lace apparent.

S - Very malty, overall. Don't discern much else.

T - Deep clean malt, deftly bittered.

M - Nice mix. Good balance and carb. Medium to light body

D - At this ABV and light flavors, very drinkable.

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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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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 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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Ishmael from Rising Tide Brewing Company
3.76 out of 5 based on 209 ratings.
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