Pale Ale - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
Pale AlePale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

258 Ratings
THE BROS
77
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 258
Reviews: 144
rAvg: 3.54
pDev: 12.43%
Wants: 7
Gots: 8 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 258 | Reviews: 144
Photo of sabrills70
4.14/5  rDev +16.9%
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.

Photo of wailingwench
3.89/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Eye Candy: Transparent amber with minimal rising carbonation. Fizzy 1 finger head that quickly gave way to thin edges. Some lacing. Thin looking 1/2 way through.

The Nose Knows: Light sweet malts, fresh baked white bead background, touch of floral, mostly pine hop aroma in the finish.

Tongueland: Sweet malt front, touch of honey to clear, bread-like middle, resinous hop finish. Underlying citrus and sweet fruit notes. Slightly thin, tingly, light and airy m/f.

Bender Factor: Perfect session APA, enough there in terms of nose/mouth to keep the BA writing and comparing notes all night. A perfect interpretation of an APA. Let's not forget what an APA is, just b/c it doesn't have I or Imperial in front of it doesn't make it less than it is. Interesting to note that NY APA's let the malts and yeast emerge. See Saranac, Southern Tier, and Flying Bison.

Photo of Southernbrew
3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber color with a decent, bubbly head.

Nice floral hops blend with a citrusness and a hint of spicy hops in the nose.

Medium bodied and a creamy carbonation. Moderate malt sweetness with an even balance between the malt and hops. Pleasant mix of fruit flavors blend with citrus hops that becomes slightly bitter and finishes with a nice dryness with faint hop flavors.

Decent pale ale, I'd drink it again. Brough back by a friend's dad traveling in NY.

Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.92/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

See through amber in color, soda-like fiziness; huge nose of citrus and nasal cleansing hops. Medium and crisp body; caramel malts are noted out of the gate; some acidity in the body. Rich, citrus hops, a decent lingering hop aftertaste, which is to be expected. Almost there with the hops; still, a decent APA.

Photo of Suds
4.05/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Macgregors Canadaigua,poured a copper/amber with a slight head that hung on for quite awhile a malty,fruity aroma of some orange and toasted malt.A more malt accented pale I think lightly sweet caramel malt along with some orange and peach coming thru with a late dryness keeping it fairly balanced in the end.A drinkable ale not outstanding or earth shatttering but I could sit down on the stool and have a few and not complain.

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

12oz bottle obtained via trade with Shippos. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured in an imperial pint glass, forms a 1/2" off-white head, with some staying power, and laces excellently. A light amber brew, with an aroma tending towards hops, but not overpowering. Taste is a well-balanced symphony of pale malts and hops. Mouthfeel and drinkabilty are both reasonably good. Another good session brew from Ithaca.

Photo of Dantes
4.15/5  rDev +17.2%
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.”

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Standard looking tall, thin 12 ounce brown glass bottle with a plain brass colored crown cap. Single obverse green label just like that depicted on the BA avatar. Listed as ‘Ithaca Beer Co. Finger Lakes Pale Ale’. No strength or freshness date.

Appearance: Hazed orange amber body with a positively humungous head at first, gigantic in size it threatens to take over the Glass. 12 ounces produces three times its volume in froth. The light cream colored head has immense staying power, this must be sponsored by and laced with Viagra for it is permanently stiff and stood to attention. Drink this and if you don’t swallow fast enough, you could get a stiff neck. Laces the glass well.

Nose: Breaded malts with a crumb like texture with some lime, lemon grass and hoppy green stains on the nasal passage.

Taste: Caramel malts with a doughy sweetness in the front end. The middle is richer and exhibits a more Pale Ale character with a nice citric hoppy finish and a grassy staining attitude on the tongue that lingers for some time. Extremely astringent finish that is very bitter.

Mouthfeel: Solid feel with lots of malts, the body turns into a raw grain texture in the middle with a creamy bold hoppy finish that has a grassy ending.

Drinkability: The dry finish is somewhat attractive in the overall experience. It’s a drinkable Pale Ale that has a malty start with an astringent bitter finish which somehow makes you want to grab the next beer quicker.

Overall: A decent session Pale Ale that has a lot of Drinkability in the long term.

A Five Fingered Cheers to McCall for providing this Pale Ale.

Photo of UnionMade
4.22/5  rDev +19.2%
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!

Photo of CBFanWish
4.1/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

Photo of beerguy101
3.3/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Medium gold color. Medium head. Aroma is malty and slightly sweet. A medium bodied pale ale. Malts are bready and slightly sweet. Hops are a touch floral and spicy. Well balanced. Light and refreshing. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

Photo of WesWes
4.42/5  rDev +24.9%
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.

Photo of RBorsato
4.42/5  rDev +24.9%
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.

Photo of Gusler
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A transpicuous golden amber color on the pour, the head pythonic in size, creamy and light tan in color, as the head dissolves, the lace left behind forms a glutinous sheet to hide the glass. Lightly floral at the front sweet malt at the middle, crisp and fresh is the finish to this nose. Start is malt and sweet, the top slender in its feel, the finish delicate in its acidity, the hops delightful if a bit understated, dry as a desert aftertaste, a quite drinkable beer that could be a fine session beer for these long hot desert afternoons.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.35/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12oz amber bottle. No freshness dating.

Appearance: Poured a clear, rather pale golden color. Creamy head gave way to just a slight ring around the top of the beer. Minimal lacing.

Smell: Good nose of pine and citrus.

Taste: Smell translates nicely into the taste. Good dose of hoppy bitterness up front that unfortunately falls a little flat on the tail end (especially as the beer warmed). There is a low amount of malty sweetness that is noticed. Flavor becomes almost grain-like at the finish.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy on the palate. Fairly dry finish.

Drinkability: Cold. That's the key word. Don't let this one warm up too much or you'll swear it's a macro you are drinking. A little above average but I'll look for something better.

Photo of GreatPondBrewer
3.3/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Overall the beer was good for its value and its very easy to find when I am at college so I decided to try it. It poured a darkish golden color with a little fog and a white head that became some bubbles. It had a mellow smell with some citrus scents. The taste was not overly hoppy, with a mellow mouthfeel. Decent effort, but I will stick to some of the other pales I can find in western NY.

Photo of Todd
3.37/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle. No freshness date.

Appearance: Pours a fairly bright amber with a nice two finger white foam white, which sadly falls flat within minutes.

Smell: Soft floral, fruity peach aroma. Dry grain in the background.

Taste: Smooth mouthfeel of creamy carbonation and sweet pale malts. Malt sweetness is even and a bit honey-ish (raw) in character, but the complex fruity flavours of passion fruit, coarse pear and peach lay the flavours main foundation as they complement a slightly rindy, citric hop twang. Some hop spice is thrown into the mix as well. Firm malt body carries thru to the finish, until the beer decides to turn dry and grainy on the palate with light residual malt and hop flavours.

Notes: Not too shabby, pretty flavourful, but also very average for the style. Worth a try.

Photo of John
3.13/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Start out with this one with a clean palette for best results. An average pale. Good session starter brew...start with it, then move on to something else.

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Pale Ale from Ithaca Beer Company
81 out of 100 based on 258 ratings.