Brewery: Ithaca Beer Company
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: Ithaca, New York
Style: American Amber / Red Ale
Alcohol Content (ABV): 7.00%
First Brewed: 2004
CascaZilla opens with an immediate floral hop aroma, rich thick head, and a glowing tarnished penny color. Spicy, herbal hop flavors abound throughout this well-built brew. The beer finishes with a Scotch Pine note and a hint of dryness.
I have no idea what this beer is going to smell or taste like. Until I grabbed this from the fridge, I didn’t even know this was on the list. I landed this beer in a trade a few weeks ago, and it has been staring at me every time I open the fridge. I have never heard of the Ithaca Beer Company, either. This is the only beer from them on the list, which, after learning about their beers, is fine by me. They named their pale ale… well, they named it Pale Ale. They do have a clever name for their wheat beer, but this is apparently their most popular.
They also mention hop heads, which has me excited. Most red ales don’t impress me. You need to take it to a double red to get me excited. However, they keep bringing up the hops. Fine by me. Bring it on. Cheers!
In the Glass: It looks like an American red ale. It has a nice copper color to it, and the beer produced a nice thin white head. The lace is pretty impressive, too. The beer is quite cloudy. Oh, and I just noticed some hop on the label. Fun!
Nose: Not a lot of hops in the aroma. There is a nice somewhat fruity finish. It’s like a fruity spice. On a second whiff I am picking up some hoppy character. Not like a pale ale or an IPA, but there are some noticeable hops in there. Let’s drink.
Flavor: Yeah, that has a TON of hop flavor. I would never know that was a red ale in a blind taste test. The hops are quite muted in the finish, though. The hops really start as soon as the beer hits your mouth, but as soon as you swallow the hops are gone.
Hang on… Sheryl is talking about the hops. She isn’t a big fan of hops. One day!
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is nice. It drinks like a good beer should. You would never know it was 7% ABV. If you want to get a true sense of the hops used in this, swish the beer around a little bit. The hops really come forward. The beer becomes overly carbonated when doing that, so be careful.
Aftertaste: Unless you move the beer around in your mouth a little bit, you aren’t getting much in terms of an aftertaste here. It does have a nice drying thing going on… but nothing to write home about. If I lived in Ithaca, New York I would drink this stuff, but only as a daily drinking beer. It’s not quite a session beer, but you could get away with it if you like hops.
This is the first, and maybe the last beer that I will have from the Ithaca Beer Company. I might need to chug a Ruthless Rye before I go to bed! Cheers!
CascaZilla – The bottle says: “THE SPIRIT OF THE FINGER LAKES”
It’s Monday. Yuck. I hate Mondays. And tonight, I’m actually pretty tired from my Monday. Oh well. Beer makes it better, right? Guess we shall see.
Tonight’s beer looks very thick in the glass. It’s not transparent at all, and I can’t see anything through it. It’s a thick light brown color, with not a lot of head. It smells spicy, with maybe a hint of citrus and a hint of hops to it. I really have no idea what kind of beer this is. Ricky is surprising me yet again. (Although I actually think it’s kind of fun to not have any idea what beer I am trying until I take a taste of it.) So… let’s find out more.
Well, with the first taste of this beer it was kind of hard to even determine what I was tasting. But after the swallow, I definitely catch some hops in there. It’s got a hoppy aftertaste. But you know, the fact that I had to wait until the aftertaste to get much of a strong taste out of it is kind of disappointing, honestly. This beer smells good and looks tasty in the glass, but it doesn’t have a lot of flavor when you take a drink. It’s got a nice thick mouthfeel, and everything else you need for a good beer, but I really feel like it’s pretty lacking in flavor. Not one of my favorites. Hard to rate, just because I was expecting so much more. But probably not one I’d buy again.