Ipswich Ale

Mercury Brewing Co.
Ipswich, MA
Ipswich Original Ale

This beer means business and you can tell right out of the bottle. The head is off-white – almost orange – and is seriously rocky. It inflates and immediately starts sticking to the glass. After a couple of minutes, nearly an inch still remains. The color is pumpkin orange, with amber tones, and is slightly hazy. Fine bubbles stream upwards, battering some larger bits of leftover yeast as they ascend.
The nose has crispy biscuit and a bit of citrus. Some estery touches emerge, as does a light aroma of cooked celery and possibly a touch of wet dog – not necessarily a bad smell, in my opinion.

The mouthfeel is excellent: full, slightly creamy, and extremely effervescent. The flavor profile is subtly complex yet smooth, starting with some crispy breadiness, then a slightly sweet citrus flavor, and then finished with a light combo of tart hops and grassy yeast. The delicate lacing covers a wide area and resembles burnt parchment. As well-rounded an ale as you’re likely to find.

This is labeled as “The Original American Ale” but it is more like an English pale ale than most any beers marketed as such. This beer is easy-drinking, though certainly nowhere near ‘light’ and could accompany foods from burgers to fish to strong cheese.

Addendum, 3/2/10

I had the gf give this beer a whirl, too. Here are her remarks:

  • A butterscotch-colored sea foam-topped delight
  • Hoppy with an initial twist of organic and sweet honey; a graceful taste.
  • A sophisticated Massachusetts beer, not for harpooning or oyster hunting, but more for Paul Revere-types’ day off from work.

I’m not sure if she meant that this is a beer that goes well with silver, or what, but it’s always good to have someone else’s perspective.


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