Ipswich Nut Brown Ale

Mercury Brewing Co
Ipswich, MA
Ipswich Nut Brown

Pour is nice and even with fantastic head retention – a half inch of cappuccino-foam head nestles atop the very murky brew. The color is deep butterscotch and chocolate and, when held to the light, a good deal of lively carbonation can be seen making its trek to the top of the glass along the slightly garnet edges.

Like a golden retriever, this beer has a wet nose. The malt comes across as damp moss with a sweet, earthy hint of loam. Certainly, there is chocolate, though it smells slightly burned, which will hopefully impart a nice roastiness to the beer. There are touches of cinnamon and maybe even a hint of something more savory, like cumin. Even after taking the time to take in the aroma of the beer, a sturdy cap of foam is propped on top of the glass, just like a good ale should.

The beer is very nicely roasted. There is no sere or tangy quality to the malt, which can sometimes wipeout the palate. Hints of cocoa, dried fruits, pumpernickel, and even charred meat comes out very slightly, but it is not overly rich. There is a VERY clean hop back that tidies things up toward the back of the swallow.

The lacing is more like a whiteout, with the whole of the glass’s interior being coated in residue. This is lovely. This beer has enough roasted malt body to bring to the flavors of, say, your favorite brisket, yet is refreshing and light enough that it won’t feel heavy atop a full BBQ meal. For a first review of 2010, this is an excellent sample.

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