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Beer Profile

  • Brewery: Mercury Brewing Company
  • Website:
  • Country: United States
  • State: Massachusetts
  • Style: English Bitter (ESB) / Pale Ale
  • Malts:
  • Hops:
  • ABV:
  • IBUs:
  • Tasting Notes:
  • Preferred Glass:
  • Food Pairing:
  • PHM Grade: A

Ipswich Original Ale

Written by

I’m in the middle of an unfortunate situation. I have just 45 minutes before I must go to a meeting and I have two options. Drink or review. Disappointingly, I decided that gulping down a fine craft beer in a few minutes and then hanging out with a bunch of people from my church might seem, well, irresponsible. So, instead, I write.

Despite the lack of alcohol, apparently I am having a hangover. A writing hangover, actually. I’m told that at this point in anyone’s writing journey, it gets a little bit tougher. Tougher to think, tougher to write, tougher to make any damn sense at all. Well, I’ve been here before and rather than simply taking a few Advil and moving along, I usually stop. So, let Ipswich Original Ale be my Advil and hangover, be gone.

This brew seemed to talk a big game. Not many beers claim to be the “original” of anything. I may be interpreting the label wrong, but it sure leads me to believe that they think a lot of their brew and its history. The Original American Ale, huh? Well, lets just see about that.

It poured almost juice-like. You know, pulpy and rich and almost thick. It was like a glass of dark apple cider, the kind you can only get from the local apple orchard, the kind that’s squeezed from apples, pure and concentrated. So maybe this was squeezed from a beer fruit. Mmmm. That’d be nice. Its had vanished quickly. The nose was intriguing. Hops, yes. Citrus, yes. A fresh, cleansing scent. And ham. I don’t know how or where it came from, but that’s what I gathered. As I’ve learned by sipping the last few months, this beer has what’s typified as great ‘balance.’ The hops was great, refreshing and tasteful, not overly done and yet the mouthfeel was solid and rich. Citrus again on the tongue, but finished cleanly with a walnutty linger. Following, or mixed with, the finish was a interesting minty-ness. The carbonation hit perfectly, right when my palate needed a few bubbles to make it interesting.

I’ll admit, I can sometimes be vain. If I had browsed the local liquor store and seen this on the shelf, it would have stayed right where it sat. A dull label, a picture of a ship and the somewhat mundane title of “Original Ale” was less than eye-grabbing. Yet, I was lucky enough for this selection to be one of the few I received in my beer-of-the-month club the 28th of last month. So pardon me Mr. Ipswich, for my vanity. I stand corrected.

ABV: 5.4%

Grade: A

  1. Wait. So you reviewed without drinking, or you just sipped it and threw the rest out (a crime), or had previously drank this and now you’re reviewing? I’m confuzzled.

    Otherwise, good review and nice conclusion. A’s from you are hard to come by, so I’ll put this on my short list.

    nick — February 10th, 2010, 12:53 PM
  2. Sorry for the confusion, sir, I drank first, waited a few days and then reviewed. Throw it out? How dare you even suggest such a thing…and yes, it belongs on the short list. Perhaps even a go-to.

    Michael — February 10th, 2010, 5:35 PM
  3. Whew. Thank you for clarifying, good sir.

    nick — February 11th, 2010, 4:00 PM
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