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Pale Ale - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
Pale AlePale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

143 Reviews
THE BROS
77
okay

(Read More)
Reviews: 143
Hads: 258
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 7.8%
Wants: 7
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-18-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 143 | Hads: 258
Photo of halo21
4.52/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: I poured this golden colored ale into a short pilsner glass, with room for its chunky white head. It had a good amount of fine carbonation, and left thin white lacing on the inside of the whole glass.

Smell: Very floral hoppy up front, with some bitter sweetness behind it.The dry hopping with the Centennial hops give it a nice citrus smell, that works very well for this American style pale ale.

Taste: Crisp, floral, with citrus notes and is very refreshing. More info below about food pairing, but having this with the chicken spiedies, which has a very acidic flavor given by the vinegar and lemon juice in the marinade, brings out a mellow malt flavor, that up until now I had not seen.

Mouthfeel: This is a very light bodied beer, with fine carbonation that is very refreshing. The hops give it a drying component, very common with pale ales.

Drinkability/Palitability: Huge! This is one of the easiest drinking beers I have had. Pale ales in general I find to be very easy drinkers, but sometimes the acidity of the hops lowers the ease of consumption. Ithaca does a great job with this one, bringing the hops you would expect in a pale ale, but still giving it balance with the malts. (1,209 characters)

Photo of RBorsato
4.42/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I must really be drinking something other than what is mentioned in the below reviews or I just got an exceptional bottle.... UPDATE: just got wind from "John" that the recipe has been changed to Cascade and Centennial so I'm not crazy after all.

Hazy golden color with a full ivory head, good carbonation and lace. NIce citrusy grapefruit hop aroma with flavor leaning hoppy with a nice citrus character. Light-medium bodied (leans light) with a light bitter finish.

Per I.B.Co. website: 12P, Northdown and Hallertau hops (which is wrong - actually Cascade and Centennial now).

OLD NOTE:
The actual hops were a big suprise to me -- I could have sworn this beer was brewed with Cascade hops.... regardless, they did a great job with English and German varieties. (772 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4.42/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a golden color with a frothy white head that remains. The aroma is exceptional. There is quite a bit of hop aroma as well as a grainy balance. The taste is great! Again with the hops complimenting the grain bill. Hops all the way into the finish; a little hop residue. The mouthfeel is low which makes this not only a great tasting beer, but it also drinks very well. I like the new hoppier recipe a ton better than the last. This is a great pale ale. (466 characters)

Photo of tugdriver7
4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Part of an Assortment 12-pack (4 different Ithaca brews) I picked-up at the Beer Zoo outside Hershey PA. Easily the best of the bunch. Great, light brown color, thick tan head and plentiful carbonation. Subtlely balanced mix of malt and hops in the nose, and the same for the taste. The hops definitely add flavor, but stop short of being overpowering; and the beer tasted really good all the way through the glass--cold or warm. The flavor was both spicy and fruity, without being too much of either. Easily one of the best, most refreshing APAs I've had. (556 characters)

Photo of tgbljb
4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a hazy amber color with creamy white head. Great retention and attractive lacing noted.
Smell is strongly of hops, both grassy and piney. Very nice.
Taste also shows a strong hoppiness with some bready maly in the background.
Finished moderately dry with some light malt present.
Well made beer, easy drinkability. Would be nice to session. (351 characters)

Photo of UnionMade
4.22/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a brilliant copper, a massive ivory froth rearing up on the pour. I guess I was a bit too vigorous with the pouring, being used to generating just a thin foam. The brew is initially chill hazed, clearing with a little warmth to a bright, perfect clarity. The head settles into a thick filmy coating, sticky gobs of lace clinging all the way down the glass.
The aroma is awesome. Very fruity, with an incredible passionfruit/mango esteriness. Present hops, with a bold citric, floral aroma, nice and fresh smelling. Milder notes of red apple and perhaps a touch of vanilla. Very smooth, even, toasty malt. Fantastic.
The flavor starts with mild toasty malt, big fruitiness coming in quickly. The malt feels a little weak and watery, a bit overwhelmed. A present passionfruit flavor, or some kind of tropical fruit that's used a lot in those fancy fruit juices. Very nice, adding a pleasant sweetness to the malt, enabling it to carry the hoppy finish. A touch of lemon and pear, moving quickly into a very floral, lightly citric hop finish. Moderate bitterness, toeing the line with the malt balance. Great lemony, grapefruity hop flavor, maybe even a little tart, which is interesting and quite refreshing. A pretty clean finish, slightly dry, with a bit of lingering grain and lemon. Fizzy, unnatural feeling carbonation overenthusiastically moving around a lightish medium body. Fairly smooth drinking, the carbonation creating a seltzery feel until it's allowed to sit and flatten out a bit. With some settling, it's much better.
The only thing I'd change is the carbonation. I feel like it neutralizes some of the sweetness, and skews the balance some. It feels better as it warms and flattens some. Maybe bumping up the malt and body a little, but keeping the balance and esters the same. Still a great beer as it is. The aroma is incredible, almost juicy. Much....MUCH better than the previously reviewed old sample. This is a winner if I've ever had one.
A big thanks to Shippos for the bottle! (2,021 characters)

Photo of RoadLizard
4.19/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Looks, smells, and has the mouthfeel of a traditional Pale Ale, IMO. Has a nice citrusy forward bite which mellows slightly on the way down. There is a bitterness that pleases pale ale lovers but people who dont wont like it. Carbonation was fine and there was some lacing down the glass. I dont get much for malts or any sweetness like some reported. But, its a pale ale and I dont want that anyways. A solid choice for the style and its never expensive. (455 characters)

Photo of capo56
4.18/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is a light gold color with a thin white head that fades away to a thick lace on the glass.
S: The aroma is of a caramelized malt with tinge of hops, and also has a citrus taste in the background.
T: The matly taste with a good balance of caramel & citrus flavors. There’s a slight hint of a hops that comes out at the start and some sweetness that apears in the after taste. It’s a very well balanced brew.
M: Crisp and clean with a medium body, dry anda nice clean finish.
D: Very tasty, goes down real nice and easy.

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass. (598 characters)

Photo of Dantes
4.15/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Package: 12 oz. longneck, crowned brown bottle (and draught). No date information or ABV indicated. Shamrock-green-colored label with the standard Ithaca Beer motif of Cayuga Lake with a face superimposed on it.

Cost: $6.99 per 6-pack at Finger Lakes Beverage

Presentation: Poured into a Shaker pint glass at ~45º

Appearance: Hard to distinguish from the Flower Power IPA in that it has a buckwheat-honey colored body with a mountainous ivory head that resolves to a thick foam lid. Sticky head liberally laces the glass. Tight, fine carbonation percolates through the beer. Fairly standard.

Smell: Ithaca beers have a pretty distinct smell and taste that this beer demonstrates in spades. Malts are pre-eminent, with a prickly, herbaceous hop note.

Taste: Like most Ithaca beers, this exhibits a soft, sweet, fruity taste that underpins almost every beer. Limning to its style though, this beer adds a pretty generous and complex helping of hops; including Cascade, Willamette, and Centennial. Despite the Pacific Northwest hops, Ithaca’s yeast and brewing techniques develop a very British-style pale ale without an overdose of citrusness. I’m shocked by the number of people who detected an astringent note in this beer; as if anything, Ithaca beers seem underhopped and not bitter enough for most people. Has a moderate, sweet, biscuity finish.

Mouthfeel: Ithaca excels at this, achieving a smooth, persistent carbonation and decent body even in their “weakest” beers.

Drinkability: I find all of the Ithaca beers eminently drinkable. They get the carbonation right, and with the recent formula tweaks, flavor concentration seems to be improved. An easy-drinking, satisfying, quaffable brew.

Backwash: I’m astounded (and disappointed) that these beers don’t seem to rate more highly. I’d be the first to admit to being prejudiced in favor of Ithaca (I think it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been); but I wouldn’t inflate my scores of the beer! I don’t even bring enough back to “pimp” it for trades. I drink the Pale Ale almost every time I’m up there; but this time I had the opportunity to drink it back-to-back-to-back with Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale, a benchmark for the style. I clearly preferred the Ithaca to the SN, even going to the point of having someone else pour one for me, to see if I were influenced by the bottle. No sale. The Ithaca was better! To all of you who reviewed this in 2002 or so, try this again. They’ve tweaked it a number of times, achieving much better flavor concentration. I also note that two of the top-rated pale ales include SN’s Harvest (sort of a red ale/IPA) and Alpha King (a 7%+ IPA-ish beer), both of which are high-octane, highly-hopped beers for “pale ales.” (2,767 characters)

Photo of sabrills70
4.14/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful deep gold almost amber. Not much head, and just OK lace. For an APA it has a pretty good aroma. A subtlehop spicyness mixed with a nice sweet malt. A touch of citrus and honey alsop detected. Taste is very nice . Of course you get the nice hop spicyness but also a rich maltiness that other APA's lack. Citrusy with a smidge of honey noticed as well. Very nicely balanced. An excellent example of the syle, and a great session brew. (450 characters)

Photo of CBFanWish
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a golden copper colour with a one finger head from MacGregor's. A fruity aroma. Citric scents of lemon and grapefruit. The taste was fruity, also citric. A slight acidic quality and little hop bite. I like it quite a bit. It has all the qualities of a great session brew and could also be the gateway to better ales for the new beer drinker. (348 characters)

Photo of cooter
4.09/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Note: this bottle's been under severe stress--car trunks, almost-freezing refrigerators, you get the drill. Only three days worth should leave it OK though, especially for the style.

Pours a mostly clear amber with a distinctively pale ale head--splotchy, varied in size and thickness. Some lacing.

Smells rather powerfully for the style. Pine and apple. Mouthfeel is peppy and zesty and just sticky enough on the back of my throat.

Taste is black-peppery, hoppy, biting and clean. Grapefruit is strong on the roof of the mouth, not cloying much. Some alcohol. Strong lemon, but not orange or lime. Very nice. (618 characters)

Photo of MrOH
4.06/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear deep gold with a single finger of white head. Pretty good retention. Good lace.

Lots of citrus and floral notes with a bit of toasty background.

Light floral and citrus hop flavors over deep toasty malt backbone. Well done.

Light bodied and refreshing with medium carbonation.

A damn fine, very drinkable APA. (325 characters)

Photo of Suds
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful copper color with a very nice, large, long-lasting head. The aroma is notably hoppy…flowery and fresh. Underneath the hops, there is a doughy malt smell, with a bit of caramel. Moderately sweet, with a light-to-medium mouthfeel. The finish is dry, and not nearly as bitter as I expected, given the smell. It’s a drinkable, enjoyable pale ale. (362 characters)

Photo of mjaskula
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass. Pours a clear golden brown with a smooth just off white head. The head thins, but is persistent and laces the glass nicely.

The aroma is fresh, floral hoppy and slightly sweet. Taste is as expected of a pale ale with up front hop flavor and bitterness. There is a pleasant increase in maltiness as it warms. A bit of a buttery mouth feel. This is a great easy drinking pale ale. (403 characters)

Photo of DrunkenMaster
4.02/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Staples. Clear copper with almost no head. Aroma of hop flowers and just a hint of dough. Moderately bitter, clean and refreshing. The cascade aroma is there until the end. I drank 5 of these and never got sick of it. I prefer this to their Flower Power, which is still a good beer but just not as drinkable. (318 characters)

Photo of aepb1
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- hazy caramel-colored body with a small head and nice lacing

S- floral hops, smells quite fresh

T- crisp citrus hops with a light malty body under it all. A nice spice bite finishes this off

M- light body with moderate carbonation

O- a lot of hop presence for a pale ale and the spicy finish is interesting (312 characters)

Photo of erosier
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a nice amber color from the bottle with a nice medium off white head that sticks to the sides of the glass. It smells of medium roasted malts and some fresh flowery hops and a little bit of citris as well. The taste delivers just that. A nice combination of the malts and hops yields a tasty pale ale with hints of citris at the end. It has a smooth refreshing mouthfeel and it was a very drinkable beer. I would recommend this pale ale. (446 characters)

Photo of Stimack
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First time I have had the Ithaca Pale Ale, which is sad since I live in New York. The brew pours to a golden amber color with a slight cloudiness. Has a very nice sized light tan head that leaves chunky lace at the top of the glass and sheets down the sides. The aroma is nice, strong floral hop scent for this Pale Ale with a malt backing that is very noticeable even though it seems to be a little over powered by the hops. The taste is very smooth, excellent flavors of caramel mixed with a sweet bread dough flavor then breaking away to a strong citrus hop finish. This brew had a nice quality to it, a brew that you could sit down with for an evening. Glad that I finally gave it a try! (691 characters)

Photo of schoolboy
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

OK, I've been singing the raises of Ithaca brews ever since I first tried their whateverZilla last summer. Now that I found a bunch and got to try them I am a bit numb to it.

This beer is consistently good like all their others, and being one of my favorite styles, one I would definitely buy again. It has a boatload of FIZZ! Burp.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this and definitely worth your consideration. Congrats to the Ithaca folks for their outstanding product. (481 characters)

Photo of alexskovan
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a pale amber with a big sturdy white head. Aroma is creamy malt with hops in the background. Tastes like it smells, creamy malt with nicely balanced hops, grapefruity but not overly so, and a toasty finish. Smooth and drinkable.

A very nice ale. (256 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a fairly clear copper-orange color with a finger of frothy white head atop. The head fades down to a ring around the glass leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet caramel malt with some strong citrus hop notes. There are also some other fruity esters mixed in as well.

T - Starts off with some sweet caramel malts and some citrus hop flavor and bitterness. Through the middle, some beady malt flavor and bitterness come through. The finish is a mix of citrus lemon and some bitterness that lingers nicely.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth and crisp without a watery feeling. The bitterness creates a really dry mouthfeel, especially at the finish.

D - Very drinkable. Feels balanced and has enough flavor to stay interesting. The hop profile is pretty solid and the malt hop balance is nice. (851 characters)

Photo of asabreed
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Mildly hazy light brown color, little head and retention. Still looks decent overall.

Smell: Peppery spice and leafy hops with a bit of doughiness and caramel and mild chocolate.

Taste: Spicier and hoppier than I thought it would be. Leafy herbal and citrus spicy hops balanced by some good solid caramel malt flavor, finishing long and hoppy.

Mouthfeel: Lighter bodied with good carbonation and everything that makes me want to have at least a few.

Drinkability: Solid. Tasty. Balanced. Sessionable. All around a solid Pale I'll be coming back to. (601 characters)

Photo of animalchin
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark copper body. Head retains for quite some time, but eventually vanishes. Seems a bit hazier than other pale ales.

S - Strong scent of hops. There is certainly a lingering pine aroma that gets masked by some metallic scents as well.

T - Pretty strong for just a pale ale. Very ample amount of hops, with seemingly all types. Some bitter grapefruits. Generally just very pale. That's good!

M - A little jagged, but appropriate for a pale ale.

D - A pretty damn robust pale ale. There's a variety of taste to experience with this one. Certainly very good though. Very impressed by Ithaca with this. (609 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Low/quick dying head that leaves minimal lace. Light amber color with a subtle haze.

Freshs light hop touch to the aroma--very nice for the style.

Balanced hop/malt presense. Crisp and clean for an ale. Strong hop finish that lasts through the swallow. The aftertaste is all hop that lingers a long time. The body mimics skim milk with a solid level of carbonation.

This is a tasty offering in the pale ale category. Solid. (432 characters)

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Pale Ale from Ithaca Beer Company
82 out of 100 based on 143 ratings.