Ascension | The Tap Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
32 Ratings

Brewed by:
The Tap Brewing Company
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierman9 on 06-21-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Ratings: 32 |  Reviews: 27
Reviews by Flounder57:
Photo of Flounder57
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked up this bottle when I was up at the Nerzx industry event last Friday. 22 oz bottle was poured into a Stella glass

Appearance: A hazy golden yellow with a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. Tiny little bubbles are slightly noticeable. Some nice lacing on the glass too.

Smell: bready grains and malt, some sweet honey, yeasty aromas, and hints of apple and bear.

Taste: Bready, sweet honey, apples, pears, spiciness from the hops is very strog compared to everything else going on. Some bitterness towards the end too.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium bodied, slightly chewy, medium to high carbonation. I had no problems drinking this beer too.

Overall: This is a decent BIPA that might need a little more maltiness to balance off the hops overload. Still enjoyable though and will be drinking more in the future.

 831 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of alleykatking
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Can't remember for the life of me who sent this to me but I finally cracked it the other night. From my notes:

A- Pours a nice semi-hazy golden orange color. Two finger slight off white head dies down in a minute leaving nice lacing rings on the sides of the glass.

S- The nose is a little muted I think but this could be from it being bottled a few months ago (6 I think). There is a light floral aroma from the hops along with a distinct Belgian biscuty yeast smell. Nothing really else I could pick up.

T- This is a bit more hoppy than what I first expected with the taste. Nice light floral and bitter hops crash into the palate followed by a good Belgian yeasty taste. Not too much in this maybe some light sweet malts in the middle of the beer.

M- This was a medium mouthfeel. Perfect carbonation levels for me. Almost creamy mouthfeel on the palate. Clean IPA/Belgian taste in this along with the aftertaste. Couldn't have been more happy with this.

D- This is very drinkable. I think the bomber was gone before I even knew it. Sadly, I don't have any more.

 1,071 characters

Photo of puboflyons
4.02/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours from a bottle with no lot code or expiration date but it arrived at the store where I bought it on July 5, 2009 and I am sampling it on July 23, 2009. The pour is a cloudy amber with a thin white head that dissipates after a few minutes. Lacing does not cling long to the side of the glass. The aroma is rather hoppe and fruity...more citrusy. The mouthfeel is about medium with a sort of smooth texture to it. The taste is of dry hops, faint yeast, and slightly tart but quite drinkable.

 494 characters

Photo of u2carew
3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bomber
A) Pours with a fairly mellow head. Thin and sticky lacing. Some haze. Rust orange in color.
S) Sweet floral notes. Very light grain aroma.
T) Lemon. Caramel. Alcohol. Earthy hop notes. Mellow bitterness in the finish. Grainy.
M) Lightly gritty. Dry. Alcohol effervescence. Medium body.
D) Alright but not a standout.

 329 characters

Photo of MisterSH
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A few days ago I really enjoyed haverhill's joshua norton. Tonight I'm trying ascension.

Pouring the 22oz into a tulip glass. Pours a rich straw gold with a bubbly finger head. A fine looking brew indeed.

Wow, a great nose on this thing. Noble hops and yeast are my first impressions. I'm catching wiffs of dark, ripe fruit, perhaps some green apples. Also a sort of creamy vanilla in there. Slightly citric, predominantly herbal hop aroma. A hint of bubblegum.

First taste reveals a strong hop bitterness, with a fruity sweet note, and a fascinating aftertase that flashes between a cracker-like bready malt, citric hops, and sweet belgian-yeast inspired flavors. More drinking reveals a strong malt backbone in this beer, delicious. Hoppiness is not quite as herbal as I was expecting, there is distinct grapefruit and pinyness to it, but certainly the overall impression is of the noble saaz. The bottle had me expecting a spicy IPA, which this is really not. Any peppery notes the belgian yeast imparts are balanced nicely by the noble hops and the result is that there is no "stand out" belgian spice flavor, instead everything is quite clean and well-integrated. There is definitely a hint of sweet bubblegum, but again the malt is surprisingly assertive and overrides the sweetness from becoming too noticeable. The finish, which I initially described as a crackery malt, might actually be a combination of tastes accentuated by the belgian yeast. It reminds me of those black pepper crackers.
Alcohol is pretty subtle, but is noticeable on the finish and leaves a nice warmth on the palate.

Feels great on the tongue. Moderate carbonation balances what might otherwise be a slightly viscous brew.

Very drinkable. Things are really well balanced here, unusually so. This is one of those beers that presents you with a huge bouquet of flavors, but it's hard to identify each one individually as they are all so subtle and well-balanced that they play off each other and create one cohesive whole. At 7.3%, it's not a exactly huge beer, and it goes down so easily I'll have no problem finishing this bomber and wouldn't hesitate to crack another. Will definitely be having this again.

 2,194 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another new one for me to try this afternoon. I am a big fan of their regular offerings, so was hoping to continue the trend. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 09/07/2009.

Very nice pour, light golden amber in color with a big head of white on top. Took forever to settle down though and the first few pours were on the foamy side I have to say. Aside from that though, nice side glass lacing and a rich look to it overall had me going in for another look. Light aroma, mild hops with a hint of bready notes to it right under the surface. This peeled back into light peach and banana hints the more it warms and a touch of light grain. Flavor was again interesting, bready and grainy at first with hints of lemon and orange sprinkled in. Warming seems to really mellow the hops completely and allow almost a spicy tone to take hold. Interesting. Decent carbonation and a light feel led to it being refreshing and not too heavy on a warm day.

Overall not bad. Not what I was really expecting at all, but I have to admit again, not bad. I would have no issue with trying it again. Very interesting style here and a good effort for sure.

 1,176 characters

Photo of IBUnit63
4.06/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber at the going rate of only $4.99 into a hotel glass.

Pours a straw-like golden color - lighter than a true or American IPA but healthy nonetheless and expected for a Belgian IPA. Thin, tight head may not have the most retention but delivers a bit of lacing. Visible carbonation is sparse but quick. (edit) Last pour out of the bomber reveals a much more vibrant head and retention - an impressive feat for being poured into what's basically a water glass.

A bit of flowery hop tones to this one. I could sense a fair amount of Saaz silage and the label confirms it - glad I'm not losing it in this sense. Maybe a little bit of candi sugar...then again, maybe not. The power of suggestion - there is a spicy tone about this one.

Oooh - nice. A little earthiness here - dirt, grass and slate are in the background of what is a solid hop smash. With a strawy backbone of light malt and the yeast electricity from the Belgian strain, this stuff gets to be fun in a hurry. Finish is nice and underscores the carbonation and the raw maltiness along with the Belgian yeast bite.

I like the mix of earthiness, spritely carbonation and the Saaz load with the kick from the Belgian yeast - some of these elements I may not prefer in isolation but the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts. This is not uneven - working with Beautiful Chemistry here.

Well, I keep reaching for my glass and filling it...and emptying I guess that's your answer. There's definitely a rustic quality to the offering but you can tell all oars are in the water rowing in the same direction. I have been beaten down with American IPAs lately so this Belgian-style offering is just what the doctor ordered to keep me in the hops. Nicely done - and I enjoy the new bomber format from Jon and the crew.

 1,800 characters

Photo of donkeyrunner
2.26/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On cask via "Firkin Friday" at Union Brewhouse 7/10.

Dark honey color without any foam to speak of. Typical stagnant cask look.

Smells moldy toasty. No hop aroma?

Taste is rather vapid up front with a heavy, alcoholic swamp moss hop bitter in back. Horrible, viscous texture of alcoholic heat and hop oil. Ick. Like drinking pond water my friend said.

Honestly, this would probably be better without the cask.

 413 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.41/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pleasant frothy, but small, head. Cloudy liquor with a darker amber color

Belgian yeast aroma with a general malty smell. Very low hop, particularly for this style.

Much higher bitter hop content than the smell would suggest. No alcohol oiliness, but it is present on the tongue. Good body, low carbonation, which creates a creaminess. An easy to drink IPA with very little Belgian flavors.

 392 characters

Photo of ms11781
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of ToasterChef
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from my notes. Somehow Novare Res was able to get a keg of this...I took a few notes to record my impressions.

The beer is opaque orange. There is a small white head of tiny bubbles.

It has a sweet, candi sugar aroma. It's refreshingly crisp with a nice hint of malt sweetness.

The beer tastes sweet, not too strongly; it's at a good level. The bitterness makes an appearance in the finish. It's acidic and fruity.

It's body is on the lighter side of medium while the carbonation is slightly higher than average. There wasn't much coating left in my mouth.

It's drinkability is above average but not amazing. There were a few flavors that would be hard to intake repeatedly over the course of an evening, but this one glass is quite enjoyable.

 758 characters

Photo of HopHead84
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed on 8/16/2009 and poured into my Moonlight pint glass. Thanks for the extra jleblanc.

The beer is dark orange with a creamy two finger beige head. Retention is good and some scattered lacing is left behind after the head recedes.

The aroma is sweet caramel and bready malt. The Saaz hops are somewhat restrained, imparting floral notes and some lighter notes of orange and grapefruit. The beer is decidedly Belgian, which is evident by the yeast. It's also quite spicy, with notes of cracked pepper.

The flavor is immediately bitter and slightly sweet. Bitterness is at a medium level, with some Belgian yeast character. The hops impart floral notes and a little citrus. The finish is very spicy, in the form of white pepper at the back of my tongue. The finish has a strange plastic note in it, which I found off-putting at first. I grew somewhat accustomed to it and was able to look past it. It's definitely strange. As the beer warmed I enjoyed it more.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation and a sticky mouthfeel.

 1,033 characters

Photo of mixylplik3
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

High-speed carbonation hits my Portsmouth Brewery tulip and does so in a moderate golden color. Very little head retention and trace lacing on the glass. Purchased earlier tonight at the source.

Hoppy hints edge the present earthy spice in the nose. My interest is officially piqued!

The flavor has a spicy bite, that must be the crazy amount of Saaz, but I'm only saying this because I know it's loaded with them. I have limited experience with beer loaded with these hops. A very earthy flavor, no question. Mellow and easy to drink.

Smooth carbonation and easy drinkability are a definite strength with this brew.

They're really brewing some good stuff at The Tap in Haverhill these days.

 695 characters

Photo of gfreed
2.43/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This has a bit more ascending to do for my taste. Nice cloudy amber color with a noisy, bubbly head that, while not very dense, lasted a surprisingly long time. There's a soapy aroma that's evident from several inches away, and it overpowers whatever other smells might be available-- is that apple? A little orange? Can't tell. Same with the taste: there's a hint of fruit and some yeasty malt, all overpowered by soap. Alcohol is also very strong, which gives a sour mushroom flavor. Also one of the more gassy (as opposed to fizzy) beers I've had in a long while. Gas, soap, booze and mushrooms. Next!

 604 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.28/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: The beer was a gusher, but pours a cloudy amber with a two finger head that has some stickage going on and leaves a few shards of lace

Smell: Rather malty aroma, with bread and candi sugar, up front, and some grassy hops on the back

Taste: Bready, sweet and grassy, which makes for a rough marriage, particularly as some herbal elements kick in at mid-palate; the finish is sweeter than expected, as well

Mouthfeel: Medium body with high carbonation

Drinkability: All over the place and more like a tripel than a Belgian IPA

 540 characters

Photo of afausser
4.35/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a very deep amber orange with a nice finger of head that turns into a nice thin ring and sheet across the top of the brew. Decent if average lacing.

S: Extremely malty and sour, with a slight yeasty and biscuity scent in the nose. There's also a nice amount of cream and malts. Biscuity and yeasty sweet notes.

Taste: incredibly sugary and honey taste. Very nice, crisp, and simple, green apples blending very nicely with the honey.

M: very smooth, nice, and crisp, actually feels like crisp apples, very persistent tiny bubbles.

D: Quite drinkable.

 563 characters

Photo of cashbrook
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of wenkalman
4.35/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a tulip glass.

The first time I had this brew was on tap at the Tap in Haverhill, MA. I was so bummed to find out it was a limitd release, and I looked all over for it. Finally, months later; I stumbled across two bottle of it at Marty's in Needham, MA. So of course I picked them both up.

I am writing this review several days after having both bottles with a good buddy of mine (who happened to be the guy with me when I first discovered this beer) so I am going to refrain from a normal review.

Simply put, this is the best Belgian IPA I have found so far, and believe me; I have been looking at others. I am really hoping the brewers at Haverhil Brewing Co decide to brew this one at least seasonally.

 739 characters

Photo of DrJay
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazed, light amber with a thin cap of off-white bubbles that quickly settled to a collar. Sugary aroma, some honey, bready, with a continental floral hop character that faded into something closer to mild citrus. A little fruitiness appeared as it warmed. Bitterness was on the low side, but had a pleasant citrus character. Bready malt with a hint of spice and orange zest, fairly sweet and a little peppery in the finish. Light, lingering bitterness. Mild alcohol warmth. Medium bodied with soft carbonation. Pretty good overall, but the bitterness was just a bit too low for my tastes.

 597 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of BraveUlysses
3.47/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Ascension fills the glass with a golden-yellow color and cloudy appearance and almost no head. The aroma is almost non-existent; I could not pick up any distinct flavors in the nose at all. The taste, however, is sweet at the front of the tongue with hints of very floral hops (almost flowery) with a lingering bitterness at the back of the throat to remind you that this beer is an IPA. The body is less than full with a fleeting mouthfeel; this is definitely a beer that can be sipped and followed by several others over the course of an evening.

 552 characters

Photo of rowingbrewer
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a light golden straw color with a huge off white head with fairly good retention. There is anniversary lasingmleft on the glass as the head recedes. The smell is lightly hoppy with earthy hops and a good dose of Belgian yeast notes as well as a bread scent to it. The flavor is again earthy hops witha sweet smooth Belgian flavor and ammild bitterness. The beer is rich and medium bodied with high carbonation. The beer is smooth and very drinkable. I will be drinking more Of this at the pub in the near future.

 528 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.06/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ascension from Haverhill...right in the backyard.

A-Looks alright. Light orange color. Nice head.

S-Not overly hoppy. Smells yeasty which is expected. Unique smell but I didn't love it.

T-I much prefer American IPAs, specifically West Coast IPAs. This beer confirms my preferences. The beer is quite complex yet not exceptionally satisfying. Pretty bitter and spicy. Just not my flavor of choice.

M-Well carbonated with the standard medium body.

D-I wouldn't ask for more than one of these. But worth a try.

 512 characters

Photo of tpd975
2.96/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a rusty sort of brown hue with a tall creamy head. Nice retention and chunky lace.

S: Earthy aromas, with strong Belgian yeast notes and a blast of caramel malt.

T: Just okay. The yeast is there in a big way not really Belgian though. There is a dirt like flavor as well, that I don't like. The finish has a nice dose of bittering hops. Nothing really Belgian or IPA about this one.

M: Medium in body, good carbonation.

D: Not really. Slightly below okay overall.

 476 characters

Photo of UncleJimbo
4/5  rDev +9.3%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Ascension from The Tap Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.66 out of 5 with 32 ratings