Double Zilla - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
Double ZillaDouble Zilla

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188 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 188
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 3.42
pDev: 18.42%
Wants: 2
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MisSigsFan on 10-17-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Twice the experience of Cascazilla, we brewed Double Zilla with too many malts to list and an excess of American hops. Russet color, aggressively hoppy aroma & flavor, rich body, and fiery finish.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 188 | Reviews: 41
Reviews by jameswaldo:
Photo of jameswaldo
4.71/5  rDev +37.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I got 3 Double Zillas in the beautiful Box of Hops 12-pack, definitely the prettiest box this IPA-lover has seen in a beer store anywhere. The bottle had a good scum of sediment on bottom, and as I like yeast and figured the double would cope with it well, I gently swirled all sediment into suspension before pouring into a pint glass with an inch head. Cloudy mahogony with fairly persistent light tan head looks just right for a red ale gone wild.
Smelled yeast, slight whiff of ethanol, nice hops and malty goodness.
Tastes all over the mouth and back of throat, with good bittering and sweetish malt balancing around a sneaky heavy duty booze burn that tells me one of these rascals per day is plenty. The hops bitter hangs on a few minutes after swallowing, just as I like in an IPA.
Carbonation is just right, the hops dominating tongue and cheeks as malty yeasty booze tingles gently inside the heavy hops whacking.
Wish this was a regular year-round brew! It feels like it would cellar well for many months, but please don't try this yourself until I get a few more boxes in my basement.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Jwale73
3.54/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to NewBewBB for the opportunity to try this one. 12oz. bottle served in a tulip. Best by January notched on the label. Pours A semi-hazy mahogany with a loose, quarter-inch, khaki-colored head that dissipates into a soapy slick. Some spots and strands of lacing revealed during the tasting. Nose expresses sweet citrus and malty notes. Taste is not what I expected - citrus, tobacco, smoked malt, an herbal/medicinal quality and ethanol at the finish. Mouthfeel is medium in body with an even carbonation and a light oiliness. A mild residual heat is present at the finish. Overall, my preference is for the standard Cascazilla. This one just doesn't do it for me.

Photo of dogfishandi
3.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter. Best Before January notched on the label.

Pours out a very deep red color, almost opaque, a small, but retentive light tan head. Spotty lacing.

All about the malt in the aroma, stone fruit like sweet maltiness. alcohol heat, more and more as it warms. A bit of a earthy, spiciness, perhaps from the hops.

Again, quite malty. Alcohol is more subdued in the taste put still is quite warming with each swallow. Burnt caramel, sweet, stone fruits, slightly spicey, earthy hops. More sweetness than bitterness

Sticky, big bodied beer.

Not that enjoyable of a beer, really more of a strong ale or barleywine than a DIPA. Kind of puts shame to regular cascazilla which is a really good beer and way more focused on the hops than this malt bomb.

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.42/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into imperial pint glass; darker brown/ruddy color, like lighter cola or dark tea, and clear, with a moderate white head that fades after a bit into nothing, leaves slimy lacing as it moves around.
Smells unique; sweet bread, banana, fermented fruit, light hint of booze, nutty malt, sneaky floral hops.
Taste is like Casca Zilla on steroids, but more refined; sweet malt, big overhang of booze floating around the mouth, and a slight puff of pine and floral hops at the finish.
Mouthfeel is smooth and slick, finishes semi-sticky and bitter.
Overall, this is a red ale that is stronger than a lot of imperial stouts. Why it's listed as an imperial IPA I'm not sure; I assume it exceeded the %abv for a regular amber/red ale, which really is another reason there ought to be a double/imperial amber/red ale style on here (as if there weren't enough brewers making them anyway). Anyways, it's a great sipping beer, really transcends the style. Great stuff.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.93/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This Double Zilla is labeled an imperial red IPA, if you ask me it's bordering into barleywine country. Pours a deep ruddy mahogany amber brown almost completely opaque. Light khaki tan head forms nicely, leaves speckled thin lacing evenly. Aroma dark fruits, big raisin, over ripened plums, caramelized malt sugars all combine in the nose. Flavor bright fruit juice, thing figs, raisins, hints of nearly burnt sugars drizzled over orange peel zest. A bit cloying as it warms but really melds, hops, alcohol presence, and big over powering malts better than most big beers like this one. Hop bitterness runs deep with citric, pine, and herbal earthy notes. Mouthfeel is surprisingly easy to handle, but it's a sipper. A bit rough on the palate lingering bitterness seems more like a fresh Bigfoot Barleywine, than an imperial red IPA. Overall, I'm so glad I got some of the Box of Hops, great encompassing sampler something for every beer geeks must have super fresh Flower Power, fantastic DIPA, intriguing black IPA, with this beast of beer known as Double Zilla.

Photo of CloudStrife
3.82/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Best before January notched on the label.

A: Pours a clear amber brown with a dense two finger slightly tanned head. Little too dark to see any visible carbonation. Just a touch of lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Not as hoppy as I would expect but instead a malty brew that has a pretty strong fermented fruit aroma. Earthiness to it as well.

T: This is a strong malt forward beer with a pleasant hop backing. Bitterness from the hops linger long into the aftertaste. A nice dark fruit taste reminds me a bit of a belgian abbey ale. ABV is noticeable.

M: Medium to full body with average carbonation. Dry finish from the hop. A tad hot from all the alcohol in this one.

Overall it comes off much more like a barleywine than anything else. A serious beer for those who like them bold. Picked up another mix pack just to stash the three of these.

Photo of zimm421
3.03/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured into a SA Perfect Pint glass. Appears a dark amber color, which is almost brown, with a nice red hint. The head is tan, but not as thick as expected. Some lacing left on the glass.

The nose is full of caramel, brown sugar and floral hops. The malts are overwhelming here, with a noticeable lack of hops in the nose. The taste is very similar and complex on the malt side. Again lots of caramel, with nuttiness and brown sugar. The hops are again tough to locate in this, but there is some floral and citrus character there. This just doesn't work for me...

The mouthfeel is full bodied, low on carbonation, and finishes slightly sticky. Overall, this is interesting and not something you see everyday. That being said, the flavor combinations do not work for me. The overwhelming malt character, combined with a load of hops makes this overpowering, and gives the beer no focus.

Photo of Gmann
3.28/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a murky brown color with amber highlights. The tan head is short and dense, settles into a light cap.

The aroma is of a piney and citrus hop. A bit dank. Sweet brown bread from the malt. Deep caramel scent. Slight spice. Noticeable alcohol smell.

The taste is quite malty. Big brown bread and caramel flavors. Some toffee. There is a prunes/raisiny note. The hops are a bit piney and minty. Some resin bitterness in the finish. Fusel alcohol flavor in the end. A tad unpleasant.

The feel is moderate with fizzy carbonation. Sweet throughout but does finish with a hoppy bitterness to balance. The ABV is a bit harsh.

I think Ithaca missed on this one. Too malty and not enough hops. The alcohol presence is a killer.

Photo of spokeydonkey
3.76/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

I suspect this is mis-categorized on the site. It's definitely not an imperial IPA.

Pours rich amber with little head visible and only small bubbles--clear. Smell is extremely rich and complex: malt and caramel sweetness, some piney citrus hoppiness in the background and a sharp alcohol twang. Smells very much like a barleywine.

Taste starts off rich and sweetly malty, followed up with significant alcohol bite, and subdued hoppiness (given the malt profile). A lot of roast notes in the finish. Finishes with lingering caramel sweetness and a touch of bitterness. The roast is a bit excessive for my taste--in fact, the beer tastes like a nice american barleywine with the exception of that roastiness.

Mouthfeel is rich and heavy, almost syrupy, as a barleywine should be. Low carbonation and significant alcohol warmth, but not harsh alcohol flavors at all. I figured this was around 7-8% until I checked the site.

Overall a decent beer. If I enjoyed roast, I might rate it higher, but the roast note detracts from both the hops and the maltiness for me. Wouldn't seek this one out on that account. Good beer if you like that, though.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
2.95/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Definitely the biggest miss from Ithaca Box of Hops. Just not all that good.

Pours out a rusty looking red, with a one inch head, and a little bit of lacing down the glass.

Smells quite sweet and boozy, with some pine-sol like hop flavors.

Just a chore to drink this one down. Incredibly unbalanced and boozy, more like a shitty barleywine than an imperial amber IPA. Some cloyingly sweet malt flavors, a bit of piney hops try to poke through, lots of bitterness.

Sticky, syrupy, sweet mouthfeel, not all that drinkable due to alcohol. Low carbonation.


Photo of Greywulfken
3.58/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: the label says this is a red double India pale ale - an opaque brown body capped by a few fingers of tan head that left some lacing down the sides

S: earthy, herbal, and woodsy hops amid hearty malt aromas

T: toffee and pine resin; herbal flavors and chewy caramel malts; hint of coffee

M: medium-light feel, some carbonated fuzziness, slight stickiness, some aftercoat

O: an amber-brown DIPA basically - hefty malt and hop bills - plenty of sweet lush maltiness to go toe-to-toe with the bittering hop barrage.

Photo of metter98
3.55/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is slightly hazy very dark auburn in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high beige head that quickly died down, leaving some lacing in the center of the glass and a collar around the edge.
S: Light to moderate aromas of pine resin hops are present in the nose along with hints of roasted malts.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that pine resin hops aren't nearly as prominent and there are stronger flavors of malts with notes of roasted malts and hints of caramel and toffee along with slight hints of alcohol.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. Little, if any crispness is noticeable.
O: This beer reminds me a lot like a Black IPA and less of an Imperial IPA, except that it doesn't have nearly as much in the way of roasted malt flavors. It hides its alcohol well and tastes more like an 8% abv beer instead of 11%.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.7/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Wasn't really the biggest fan of Cascazilla but this was based on an older bottle with sediment. With little sediment and a best by January at least this one is under 6 months old.

A - Pour is a very deep hazy amber brown with a solid 2 inches of mocha tinted head. I am in awe they were able to get this much carbonation for an 11% brew.
S - Smell is of strong pine and caramel like malts. Not overall sweet so I guess it has some woody hints to it. Amazingly no ethanol choking the nostrils so it may not taste terrible.
T - Body is pretty malts mostly some alcohol bite but nothing too extreme. Taste like double Nugget Nectar in a way with a strong caramel base and mild pine almost citrus bite.
M - Not bad it drinks with a medium to heavy body so it really doesn't hide the ABV well. Still it's a great beer.

Overall it was a very enjoyable beer very high octane yet balanced enough to drink. I still find "The Creeker" a perfect example of balance and hops but this is still better than the Cascazilla I had. Worth trying once.

Photo of BB1313
2.96/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a hazy dark copper; small off-white head that fades and leaves nice retention and decent lacing. The aromas are very sweet. Lots of caramel malts and dark fruits. Lots of raisins, fig, dates, and prunes. Some subtle alcohol notes in the nose as well. Flavors are very big and bold. The flavors seem to really match the nose. More dark fruits. It's not quite boozy, but it's pretty close to it. It definitely has a warming sensation to it. Extremely earthy flavors. There's not much hop flavor, but there's a ton of hop bitterness. There's also some pine resin in the mix. The flavors aren't as sweet as I anticipated. Mouthfeel is full-bodied. It's slick and syrupy; active carbonation. This is a very heavy and robust beer. It's fitting for the fall season. This is definitely a sipper. The flavors and aromas do open up as it warms up.

I'm a huge fan of Cascazilla, so I was really anxious to try this. I'm not going to call it a mess at all, it's just odd and takes a bit of getting used to. I really am trying to like this, but I'm not too crazy about this one. I do appreciate them going all out and swinging for the fences. Big beers are fun to drink, and this is no exception, I just wish everything was more refined.

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.26/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bottle into a stemless wine glass

A- pours brown with a one finger light tan head. Lacing is nice, but this is dark dark dark.

S- very dank aroma. Tobacco seeps through as well. Not very appealing for an IPA IMO

T- not much bitterness. Lots of sweetness. Mild hoppiness - tastes more like a malty barleywine

M- medium bodied, but the alcohol is well-hidden

O- not the type of beer I'm into at all, too much of the "red" not not enough of the "IPA"

Photo of gabedivision
3.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce to a tulip glass

A- hazy deep deep mahogany brown with a small white head that thins to a nice slight lacing

S- deep rich brown sugar, caramel, a fruitiness with a slight pine, a really nice dark fruit flavor coming through on the finish, fig and raisins, a nice breadiness all around.

T- Sweet bready caramel up front, a touch of those dark fruits, touches of toffee, some hops start to shine through mid mouth with a orange character followed by grapefruit on the finish. a layer of alcohol seems to be swiming through every inch of the sip, sometimes in a good way to help warm and wrap it up and sometimes sharp and cutting

M- Full bodied, bready, sweet, low carbonation.

O- a good brew with even better potential, this really drinks like a barleywine to me, its decent now, but im willing to bet some age will help all these malts find their place and wrap up the complexity a bit more, so ill buy some more and throw some in cellar, and enjoy some fresh.

Photo of TangTKE402
3.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a tulip pint glass. Color was of rich mahogany: deep, dark brown with reddish hues on the outside at the base. A thick, 1-finger tan head emerged, then left with just a thin ring around the outside. No lacing.

S: Aroma similar to better scotch ales I've had, perhaps with a bit more hop notes. Lots of malt, with strong esters of alcohol and almost a banana/maraschino cherry hint. Other smells include tawny port, some grass notes, caramel, and a touch of coffee.

T: Big flavor in the mouth: smoky up-front, with a fruity middle and dry woodsmoke finish. Lot's to wrap one's palate around with this big beer. There's a lot of woodsmoke in this, and some oakiness to it as well. Notes of banana peel, cranberries, strong alcohol notes, almost brandywine-like in flavor profile.

M: Syrupy, with an alcoholic hotness. The best part of this mouthfeel is that fresh smoke that comes through your nose on the swallow: it's very distinct and vivid, as if you just swallowed a lit match. Overall, this feel is a bit on the syrupy side for me, with not much in the way of volume or texture in the mouth.

O: This is not an imperial IPA. It is an Imperial RED IPA, which makes a big difference. The malt profile takes a step forward, and the hops are almost nonexistent in the flavor. It's big and bold and sweet and smokey all at the same time. Definitely a one-and-done beer, and at 11% abv, you don't need much more.

Photo of MistahBeah
3.79/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours darker than I thought it would. Almost a muddy brown. Ruby around the edges. Thick tan head with mild retention. Thick sediment throughout. Murky and no visible carbonation.

Aroma is big and fruity. Apples and pears followed by grapefruit. Huge caramel and toffee follow. This is a realy sweet-smelling beer...almost barleywine-like. I smell a good amount of booze as well which isn't surprising considering this Ba.d Larry is 11%. I like the nose on this one.

Taste follows suit except much more caramel-forward. In fact, this starts out like drinking straight caramel. Toffee in the background. The aforementioned. fruits pop up here and there but, for the most part, this is a sweet and boozy beer. Undeniable amber malt presence with a juicy finish.

Feels thick and kinda flat on the tongue. Goes down smooth with just a hint of alcohol. Typical of imperial ambers or English barleywines.

Overall pretty darn tasty. ABV is pretty well hidden. Considering the fact that this was in their Box of Hops I was expecting a more hop-forward brew. Actually not much in the hop department. Not quite as good as say Lagunitas' Imperial Red or Oskar Blues' G'Knight but still pretty tasty. If it were available in a 6 pack I would buy it...if only every now and then

Photo of justintcoons
3.47/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Reddish copper with a short tan head that dissipates quickly. Has a pretty cloudy appearance.

Smoky, woody, toffee and grapefruit.

Smoked cherrywood (?) and some alcohol heat. Caramel and sugar backbone with notes of toffee. Moderate hop bitterness with grapefruit zest and dried pine needles.

Medium-plus bodied, warming and oily.

Not bad but definitely not what comes to mind for an Imperial Red IPA. Expect a smoked American Barleywine and you'll enjoy it much more.

Photo of Gavage
3.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a nice copper color with a wispy head.

Smell: big caramel flavors with a load of hop bitterness.

Taste: very big malt sweetness here, along with some fruit and brown sugar sweetness. The bitterness is big, but the sweetness still dominates. Alcohol is very noticeable and warming here.

Mouhtfeel: heavy in body. Smooth from start to finish. Long lasting aftertaste consisting of the sweetness and bitterness.

Overall: this was a very slow sipping beer that I felt was a bit too sweet and boozy despite the large dose of hop bitterness. This would probably go better as a dessert beer, as opposed to a mid afternoon beer.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.02/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a hazed ruby color with a light off white head. Just a bit of lacing, as the head dies to a ring on this big assed beer.
Aroma of rummy sugar and slightly citrusy like meringue pie.
In the taste, piney and earthy, with fresh citrus pairing with a slight malt. Strong bitterness and an almost melon like taste from the malty sugars and tropical notes.
For an 11% brew this is well balanced and a testimony to fine brewing.
Overall, this is a helluva beer. Big hops, big malt, big taste.

Photo of jhartley
3.64/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a poco grande glass.

Dark rust-red-brown body with a fluffy tan head full of small tight bubbles. Leaves great lacing down the sides.

Smells of malts: bready and fruity. Hops: pine and dank ness. A burnt char smell comes through as well.

Tastes of the huge amount of malts and hops comes out at once. A bitterness followed closely by a sweet malt.

A fizzy carbonation helps out with the heavy malt and bitter hops.

Listed as a Red DIPA on the label and having a huge malt bill and a ton of hops this is pretty tasty. Not a beer that you could sit back and chug down; with an 11% abv you could get into trouble quickly, but it's still a brew you can easily drink.

Photo of mvanaskie13
3.72/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a sam adams custom glass: color is murky amber, opaque, cloudy, tan head that presents 1/2 inch thick then dissipates to a ring and froth with some good lacing.

Aroma is caramel, quickly overtaken by a stronger booziness, some toffee, then big hops, grapefruit, pine linger on the finish.

Taste is booze forward, some heat from that flavor, but the caramel flavors overtake quickly, get to the edge of cloying then hops take over and the bitterness compenstates. the flavor is somewhat muddled, booze, caramel, hops, but they are distinguishable. Hops seem to be grapefruit forward then piney on the finish and lingering flavor. The amount of booziness does not indicate 11%, but hard to get by without it at this level - it is not deterrent or off flavor.

Mouthfeel is somewhere between a dipa and a barleywine, flavors seem to fresh for barleywine but the lingering near cloying sweetness is similar.

Overall, a good brew, pushing the limits on some exteremes but flavorful and interesting.

Photo of micromaniac129
3.78/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A nice fresh smelling beer with bright wet hops. The appearance is quite dark and borderline stout though it is a russet brown color. No head formed on the pour with the exception of a small collar and of course no lacing.
The taste wasn;t that great. It was malty but it was also very bitter. The finish is dry and bitter with a dose of warming alcohol.
Overall it's a one and done.

Photo of jzeilinger
4.1/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a dark amber red color with a thin, creamy layer of tan/cream colored foam and very sticky lacing.

S - Malt forward with a slight bit of spice, a hint of cherries, and a little floral with some nuttiness.

T - Very interesting flavor that blends roasted malt in the form of some smoked malt and cherries with the hops adding some floral and light citrus. For 11% there's almost no burn whatsoever.

M - Full bodied, thick, a little syrupy, slick, velvety, and boozy.

O - It would be very interesting to try this beer after a year to see how it ages, it's a red ale unlike anything I've ever had before and is very unique - makes for a great sipper in a snifter. I don't like red ales at all but this is enjoyable. Would rather drink this than the regular 'Zilla. The aroma is really light for a beer of this strength and pulled my overall score down, however, coming from a hop head, I prefer this one over the Creeper in the Box of Hops. Why? There are so many D-IPA's out there and Creeper is good (reminds me a little of Dirt Wolf), however, this one hits a niche that often gets overlooked and Ithaca rose to the challenge. IMO, this one is the winner in this year's Box of Hops...please add this one to the rotation, Ithaca.

At the time of my review it's rated an "87" - ....should be in the 90's instead.

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Double Zilla from Ithaca Beer Company
78 out of 100 based on 188 ratings.