Cambridge House Abijah Rowe IPA | The Cambridge House Brewpub

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57 Ratings

Brewed by:
The Cambridge House Brewpub
Connecticut, United States

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Traditional English India Pale Ale brewed with all English malt & hopped with a blend of English & American hops. High in strength, bitterness & aroma.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-31-2005

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 57 |  Reviews: 40
Photo of TheIPAHunter
4.92/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have been interested in this IPA for awhile, and it did not let me down. I don't care where you currently reside in CT, it's worth the trip.

Pours a majestic ruby-red copper with honey glaze sheen. King sized froth pillows that never lose their comfort or support. A curtain of lace engulfs the glass.

The breakfast of champions, finally. They must have tipped the produce guy to get first pick because this citrus blend is phenomenal. Sweet malt character plays the Pippen to the Jordan in this relationship. Can't wait to taste.

If IPAs were like pools, this is the only one I would swim in. Titan, you'll always be my favorite, but my lord, the brewer did an outstanding job of blending essential IPA characteristics perfectly. Pine, floral, and citrus work together like never before. A hop dynamo; this begs for distribution (I'll get to that later).

Feel is chewy, slick, and clean. Wonderful.

I wish I could drink this more regularly, but I'll settle. Believe the hype, and look forward to the fact that it may reach stores, sooner than later. I utilized the web site to e-mail one of the principal owners, and he did suggest it would be bottled somewhere down the line.


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Photo of SteveO1231
4.87/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Picked up a 64 oz. growler from the brewpub on the 12th of July. Pours a hazy orange/copper with an awesome fluffy white head. Delicious smells of sweet caramel, huge hop profile, awesome hop aroma floral citrus, grapefruit rind, Centennial, Amarillo, Cascade, perhaps Simcoe. Smells awesome! Lots of carbonation. Syrupy on the palate. Sweet pale malt and caramel taste with a perfect juicy hop flavor, very citrusy. Pine dry finish sticks to the back of the throat. Very refreshing, perfect from beginning to end. It claims to be a British style IPA, but tastes more like a San D IPA to me. Truly one of the best IPA's I've had in New England.


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Photo of jeffthecheff
4.84/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark Orange color with a decent IPA head. Some lacing was there but this brew lasted me less than 10 minutes...

This smells like one of the most aggressively dry hopped IPA's I've had. Floral and citrus and a lot of it. This is a very special smell that is a very important part of me loving this beer.

This has the bitterness of a strong pale ale and the hop flavor of a DIPA. Perfect combination in my mind.

Smooth mouthfeel that gives you that "Ahh" moment after you take a sip (gulp?). A beer that can easiliy be put back. Almost 7% are you kidding me? I was very excited for this beer and drank it in a bout 10 minutes. I would have many more with no problem, the buzz is high on it but it is very easy drinking.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.77/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So happy to finally be able to try this one. It has been on my wants list for like two years I think. A fresh growler sent down to me by a most kind BA, I now can cross another one of the list. Served cold and poured into several pint glasses throughout the day, this one was consumed on 06/14/2009.

The pour was very clean, nice deep orange amber in color with a good bit of carbonation streaking up toward the surface throughout the pour. Nice little head of white sitting right up on top let down to a nice bit of lacing across the sides. Crisp, ripe aroma of citrus tears through the air at the very first moment. Lots of pineapple here, orange peel, lemon and a wonderful bright aroma. Fresh hops just roll across the tongue as the bite of resin settles in. Clean taste here, with lots of pineapple and grapefruit leading the way. I wait for it to mellow, to balance, but it keeps on with the huge hop bite. Finally a touch of sweet, biscuit flavor comes in and smoothes it out before it fades away with the last little bit of fresh flavor drying out the tongue at the very end. Delicious, and unbelievably session able, this was a killer IPA, with a smooth, light body and nearly hidden ABV.

Overall worth every ounce of praise it gets. It was super fresh, super flavorful, and just super drinkable, this was literally one of the best in the style I have had in a very, very long time!

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Photo of Smixam
4.7/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I live literally 5 minutes from the Cambridge House, and let me tell you I'm really glad I do - I was lucky enough to catch a brand new batch.

A - Really nice golden amber that all my favorite IPAs seem to have in common. Nice foamy/fluffy 1 finger off-white head that lingers for several minutes.

S - Wow. I'm not generally one to focus too much on the smell of a given beer, but this one is great. It's so fresh, you can just smell each ingredient, namely the hops, as if you were walking through the fields. Really fresh and floral.

T - Excellent. This is my new favorite beer - absolutely perfect summer hop profile - no sour acid taste, just fresh bitters from the hops. Well balanced with a hint of malt at the start, then its just straight hops through the end, and a great clean, dry finish. Really excellent for an IPA, or any style.

M - Again, not something I really had a knack for until this beer came along. No metallic taste at all (something I've noticed in other brewpub beers), nor any alcohol burn. Very dry at the finish, and only a pleasant hop aftertaste.

D - Oh man, you'd better have someone else drive home. Get this in a growler and take it home, because you'll forget that its a 6.8% abv brew after your first sip. Perfect summer session beer.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.59/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler filled at the brewpub.

First imperial pint pours with a 1/2" white head over the clear orangey amber brew. Head recedes slowly, with sporadic but ample lacing. Aroma is sweet underneath, but the show is all about the totally dominant fresh green hops character, pine in your face. Taste follows, enough malt character to support the large amounts of flavorful hops. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both very pleasing. Great stuff!

And to think this was only an afterthought fill when I couldn't get Big Hoppy to go...

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Photo of Dusty0731
4.59/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of letsgowhalers
4.59/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm lucky enough to live nice and close to CBH. It's amazing how many people are drinking this when at the bar. Nice hazy orange color and lovely head that leaves a proper lace. The smell is almost beyond compare-resiney, hoppy goodness abound! This IPA's taste is wonderfully hoppy with enough malt to maintain a superb balance. Each sip begs for another of this dangerous brew. One of the best IPA's around and I really can't recall a better one on-tap. Well worth the trip from anywhere. They have also dropped the "Abijah Rowe" and simply call it Cambridge House IPA now. Lucky for us the beer remains the same.

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Photo of jdonagher
4.55/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A truly impressive IPA. Poured an opaque reddish-brown. Well-balanced sweetness and hoppiness. Good mouthfeel and a steady delivery of flavor from start to finish. Paired very nicely with their fried calamari and a burger & fries, but I'd imagine it would go well with just about any of their entrees. They had run out of this the second time I visited - apparently I'm not the only one who liked it!

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Photo of gpcollen1
4.55/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally made the trek back up to get me a growler of this...pours a light golden cloudy orange with a moderately fluffy head into my Imperial Pint. Nice light and sweetly citrus aromas come off this one. The hops does not dominate but lets you know it is there.

This one hits the mouth with a that sweet and citric twang that quickly ushers in the hops, first sharp and then dries on the tongue. This one has a medium body that really has a nice creaminess to it. The level of carbonation is near perfect. This is one great IPA. I put it up there with the Smutty IPA as far as quality and drinkability. Wish I lived closer - but at $12 per growler refill, maybe not.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.53/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ah, one of the best beers I've ever had. This IPA should be the basis of how all other IPAs should be brewed. The aroma and taste are so flavorful and perfect. Perfectly balanced and super smooth and so damn hoppy. I could really drink this all day and night. I hope this stuff can get bottled ASAP!

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Photo of DNICE555
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On-tap at the brewpub served in an english pint glass.

Hazy orange color with about a finger slightly off white head. Nice lacing which fades away quickly.

Smells of citrus hops, some pine notes but not overly piney, some nice hops.

They did a very good job with this ipa. The taste is very well balanced. Nice smooth hops with citrus and pine undertones. The hops are very prominent but nothing overpowering. I detect very little malt in this ipa. It's nice and crisp with a dry finish. Goes back very easily. They list a 6.3 ABV for this batch and I can barley sense the alchohol. A solid brew.

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Photo of BlueHammer
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a deep orangey tan color, somewhat opaque and cloudy. Had a white head that left nice lacing as I drained the glass. It smells earthy, floral, and hoppy. The taste is of bitter hops. It has a balanced mothfeel with a consistent taste from start to finish. It leaves the hoopy taste on your tongue even after you've swallowed. I love the hoppy bite of this beer, it tastes like a quality IPA should!

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Photo of meathookjones
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly murky copper body with a quick rising light tan head that almost overflows. Think rings of lace were left clinging to the glass long after the growler was finished. Big hoppy nose with plenty of piney, floral and citric hops. Light sweet and toasted malts peaked though. Bitter floral hops bite you first as you take a sip with some mild caramel sweetness following. Citric and piney notes covering some toasty malt through the middle. Great dry bitter finish that leaves you wanting more. Solid mouthfeel with plenty of hop prickliness raking at your tongue. Great drinkability here. A great all around IPA that is plenty hoppy but still stays in control.

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Photo of Hagbard
4.37/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from a growler one week after the fill. The beer doesn't seem any worse for the wear.

Pours a dark mahogany that transforms into almost an orange when held up to a direct light source. A thick clumpy head forms from an aggressive pour. The aroma is an intense fusion including pine needles, grapefruit, a piercing bitterness, and a strong malt base. The smell is one of the best parts of this great beer. The taste begins with a piney spiciness that makes your mouth water. This is joined by a grapefruity and citrusy fruit element. Both of these tastes are held in check by a very nice malt base that holds back the bitterness. Eventually hoever, the bitterness becomes too strong and bursts out on the tongue in a wonderful way. The finish and aftertaste are both a bitterness that is very quenching and never becomes harsh or abrasive. This is a wonderful IPA from a brewpub making some fantastic beers.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ha! An understated IPA. Not one of those American IPA's where the brewer just throws in buckets of hops to try and numb the tastebuds. It is rather much more malty with a bitterness that is more puppy nip than doggy bite. Rather than get any "first" flavors, this beer is consistent from the very beginning of the sip through the finish. Malty sweet with a slight hop bitter/citrus presence. Only a presence because it is so nicely understated. Nose is full of pleasant piney aromas. Medium body with a slightly oily finish. Poured a slight off orange with a thin white head. This is simply a great and easy drinking IPA. If it were not for the 7.4% ABV this would easily be a session beer.

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Photo of Boto
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draught: This just came on line yesterday. The beer is a very cloudy brew, with a slightly orangish color. The nose is definitely hoppy: piney hops are the most evident contributor. The piney taste is quite evident, but I didn't find it to be overly bitter. A good medium body behind the hops, with no real sweetness to the taste. Very Good!

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Photo of CliffBrake
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bright, medium amber color with modest fine head that leaves plenty of sticky lacing.

Modest herbal hoppy aroma with sweet maltiness vying for attention in the background.

Well balanced flavor with grassy, herbal hops setting off a well rounded maltiness. The mouthfeel is very smooth and juicy with just the right amount of carbonation. A bit of bright fruity hops in the middle with a little pepper and a pleasant lingering bitterness.

A refreshing, nicely constructed IPA. Definitely worth checking out! Very easy to drink, especially for the alchohol content.

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Photo of warriorsoul
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to goodbyeohio for the growler...
Pours a very cloudy, worn copper color with a full finger and a half of white head...disappears quickly and leaves some thick lacing that has tremendous cling.
Fantastic smell coming from this one...huge fruity and piney hops, bubblegum, cotton candy, and a sweetness like I have never experienced in an IPA.
The taste is great...perfectly balanced with a crushing bitterness that lasts from first taste to the lingering aftertaste. The sweetness is nowhere to be found, but by no means unbalanced.
Very surprised to see this offering topping 7%, but it will not slow me from killing this growler in a couple hours.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied and carbonation is superb.
A solid beer from a place I need to visit real soon.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A creamy bright white head that becomes plastered to the pint glass' sides. Layered and ringed lacing to the last sip. A hazy burnt tiger's eye orange in color.

Oily, resiny, pine intensified hop aromatics. A touch of caramel sweetness, but the aroma is 100% oily/juicy hop tones.

Pine and a touch of cedar best describe this IPA's hop character. A slick touch of alcohol is well balanced with the hop intensity. Some lemon and caramel give way to a highly bitter, yet surprisingly drinkable flavor. Finish is filled with hop resin and pine.

Medium bodied; a mouthful of hops, yet eerily light and smooth on the palate.

Wonderfully drinkable for a 7.4% version of the style. The power of the hops doesn't wreck the tastebuds and the aftertaste is quick and wafery. A very good crack at an English/American hybrid of the style.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at the Cambridge House Brewpub in Granby, Conn.

A: Poured a hazy, golden orange color with a thin veil of white foam and a lively sense of carbonation about it. Lacing was minimal but a thin ring of foam endured most of the brew.

S: Smells a bit citrusy sweet, with a definite pine and cloven hop aroma.

T: Taste is a little citric and sweet up front, with clean toasted malt and a little spicy clove/citrus taste. In come the resinous piney hop flavors, which seem to cool and flow a bit better becaus eof the lighter base malts. Satisfying and drinkable.

M: Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied, prickly to the tongue and a little sticky towards the finish.

D: A very sessionable IPA and one that might appeal to the masses as a lighter tasting IPA with full hop presence. The lighter citrus notes do wonders to balance the solid hop agressiveness in the ale.

A great IPA from a local brewpub. I'll have to keep a growler packed with me next visit and take some of this one to go. Now, if only Torrington could get its act together sooner, I could bring home said delicious ale to the masses with haste.

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Photo of Hautacam
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Have had this one several times and haven't gotten around to reviewing it. Had one this past weekend out on the Cambridge House deck on a beautiful May afternoon and ...hell, life is good !
Deep amber , slight haze....tan head.
Smells like freshly torn grapefruit rind.
Taste is piney hops ...a citrus rindy astringent bite balanced pretty well with a nice caramel malt backdrop that reduces the puckering , but not by much. Very nice clean , dry finish that just makes you want to keep ordering and sipping like you don't have to drive home.
Mouthfeel is medium , carbonation is pretty lively.
This is such a nice IPA ! This is why I drive an hour to get to CBH.

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Photo of far333
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy dark apricot colored with a low beige orangey head. Inviting aroma of sweet citrus, not much malt coming through. Flavor is immediately sweet tangerine hops, and this flavor remains consistent through every sip through the entire glass. No malt really. The citrus hops fill the mouth, very smooth, not biting. It only gets the slightest bit bitter in the finish when a sharp orange peel bitter emerges and lingers in the back of the mouth. Mouthfeel is a little slick, doesn't seem overly carbonated. If you like citrusy hops (and I do) you'll enjoy this one.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Walken for sending a growler of this stuff my way - unfortunately I was out of town when it reached me, so the growler is verging on two weeks old. Shared with Dave (d0b) and served in a Dogfish pint glass with an unusual shape.

A - My pour was a lot more attractive than Dave's for whatever reason. Two fingers of dark blonde foam that quickly dissipated down to one finger then stuck around for a while. A bit of spotty lacing. Transparent coppery orange-red body. I'm gonna give this a bit of a break, considering how long it sat in the fridge, although most other reviews seem to be kind of indifferent to the appearance.

S - Big citrus grapefruit hoppiness, with notes of dank weed, grass, pine, and well balanced with toffee and dough maltiness. Even though Cambridge House calls this an English IPA, it smells a lot like a reasonably balanced America IPA. Whatever it is, it smells pretty delicious.

T - Taste is a step down, with less complexity and juicy hoppiness. There is still some pine and earthiness that is balanced by the mildly sweet toffee/bready malts. Plenty of residual bitterness in the aftertaste, which was surprising but welcome.

M - Lighter side of medium bodied, with a touch of carbonation tingle, and a decent amount of residual stickiness. Well-hidden ABV - I wouldn't have guessed it was this high; figured it was more 5 to 6% or so.

D - The bitterness gets a little heavy by the end of a few pints, but otherwise it's eminently drinkable with the moderate carbonation and ABV. Good stuff, but I'm not sure about all the hype on this one. The growler let out a nice hiss, so I can't believe it's super different from the tap. However, I'll re-evaluate if I ever get to CT to try it out in person.

More of a EIPA/AIPA hybrid than the cited "traditional English IPA", but well worth trying.

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Photo of Damian
4.19/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drank on cask at The Cambridge House, Granby, CT
Served in a 10 oz. nonic

The beer poured a hazy, orangey-amber color with a sudsy looking cap of bubbles that quickly dissolved.

The aroma was pungently hoppy, fruity and sweet. Peaches, apricots, citrus and tropical fruits (mango and pineapple) were rather apparent. Sweet caramel malts were noticeable as well.

The taste was hoppy and robust yet balanced. A touch of malty sweetness appeared up front before the hops took over. Grapefruit dominated the hop flavor profile. Tangerines and orange peel were noticeable as well. Juicy and sweet. Slightly grassy. The finish was piney and resiny - pithy, dry and moderately bitter with a lingering hop aftertaste.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied and somewhat syrupy with a fine, barely noticeable (typical for a cask ale) effervescence.

Cambridge House IPA (as it is now called) is a terrific all-around IPA. I was glad to have the opportunity to try it as a cask ale and would love to sample it again on-tap.

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Cambridge House Abijah Rowe IPA from The Cambridge House Brewpub
Beer rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 57 ratings
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