CascaZilla - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
CascaZillaCascaZilla

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BA SCORE
86
very good

1,164 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 1,164
Reviews: 581
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 47
Gots: 88 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: shippos on 07-14-2004

The name CascaZilla (Cas-kuh-zil-uh) is a play on both the name of a gorge in Ithaca called Cascadilla and the monster amounts of Cascade Hops we use to make the beer. The predominant flavor and aroma of this beer comes from fresh American hops. CascaZilla gets its distinctive red color from a healthy portion of caramel malt, which also lends to the beer, a hearty body and sweetness. It is a hoppy red ale!
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,164 | Reviews: 581
Reviews by ZenAgnostic:
Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a Trois Pistoles snifter (that I'm carrying around on tour). Label notched Best Before O (october, obviously), though the year was not included. I'm assuming it's a fresh beer though.

Got this at The Lemon Grove in Youngstown, OH. Had to try it out since I know the wife of Greg Graffin (singer, Bad Religion) works at Ithaca Beer Co. They're my favorite band, so this was a nice little random find.

Appearance - Dark cloudy brown with a hint of ruby backlighting. Big two finger tan head with good retention.

Smell - Mild hop. The hop is mostly spicy, and not so much musky, which is a great change-up. Delicate malt; some banana is faintly detectable.

Taste - A balanced explosion of flavor in the first sip. Moderately hoppy. A good type of astringency for once. Totally fits the beer. Lemon peel.

Mouthfeel - Clean and refreshing and palate cleansing, as if it were light bodied. But not watery, especially because of the slightly chewy head. The head really helps balance this beer. I recommend a high pour in a good glass to keep it around as long as possible - but that goes without saying.

Overall Drinkability - Pleasantly surprised by this beer.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Justindemino
2.42/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Disappointed, not really a good beer.

Photo of oberon
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Came to the table a deep copper with a slight chilled haze a thinner but well retained white head.Nice intermingling of caramel malt and healthy dose of those cascades with the cascades holding a slight edge.Caramel malt hits up front with some doughy notes but the big pine and grapefruit character comes thru to dominate into a long finish.Very easy to drink and packed withat cascade goodness,I went picked up a couple of sixers after having this.

Photo of Marty
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Take the maltiness of a good red ale and mix it with the bite of hops. I dig the concept. This beer pours a deep copper color with a medium-large ammount of tan head that stuck around for a while, leaving a tiny bit of lace on the glass interior. Aroma is deep, brassy and malty. This beer is hoppy, and I like it!

Photo of JMD71
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ap: Carbonation clings to the glass when poured. Pours an old gold/amber color. Not as red as most red ales I've sampled. Head thick when poured but falls back to a thin layer. Looks very carbonated.

Ar: Strong malty aroma stands out with some hops present in the nose. Sour cherries, cotton candy. Aroma very faint...

Ta: Wow! Hops are dominant here without being overwhelming. Not overly bitter. Hoppy, malty middle. Bitterness fades in the finish.

Mo: Light to medium bodied. High carbonation lends crisp feel. Clean & refreshing on the palette.

Dr: Highly drinkable. Very easy & smooth going down. A few would be a cinch....

Comments: The bottle describes this as a "monstously hoppy red ale". That is right on the money. This has been the best red ale I've tried to date. Very good! Bold flavors in perfect balance. Only downside is the lack of aroma.

Photo of blitz134
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received as an extra in a trade from bwyker...

This is a pretty high octane beer for an amber ale...

Pours with a smallish offwhite head, reduced to a thin layer that wants to hang around. Caramel, amber color with a bit of chill haze.

Pretty nice smell, nice and strong. Loaded with citrus and floral aromas. Citrus flavors are some grapefruit and some apricot hints. Sweet and kinda fruity overall. Attractive smell though.

Taste is interesting, quite balanced. A bit of sweet bread malts come out under the citrus and floral hops. A good dosing of grapefruit mainly, with some bitter citrus rinds. Quite bitter overall though, pretty good stuff. Seems to be missing a bit of complexity and the malts and hops don't blend too harmoniously.

Decent mouthfeel, medium bodied, low carbonation. I'd like a bit more carbonation to crisp this up a bit. Drinkability is good, fairly filling beer which limits how many I would have in a sitting, but good flavor and aroma would make me have one of these every now and then.

Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark red/brown with a cream head

S - Roasted caramel and frutiness from the hops

T - Caramel, fruitiness, chocolate, and a bitter finish

M - Medium with a medium amount of sticky carbonation

O - This is a good beer that is drinkable with nice flavor, mouthfeel. It is really easy to drink and well balanced.

Photo of Doomcifer
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a surprise this was. I didn't know what to expect from it when I bought it. Poured a bright shiny copper color and extremely clear. Formed a 3/4 inch head which quickly dissipated, leaving behind little to no lacing at all. The aroma is what initially blew me away. Wow! Extreme grapefruit, sweet malts, maltball candies, extremely floral aroma. Then the sipping began and again a bright smile shone across my face. This is my kind of beer. Sweet maltiness with cascade hops all over the place. Grapefruit, piney, and a touch of brown sugar. Comparable to a DFH 90-Minute IPA "light" would be a good description. Extremely tasty brew. Mouthfeel is a medium, velvety body ending a bit dry. The carbonation is somwhere between light and medium...just enough to be subdued but enough to be noticed as well. I am glad I picked this six-pack up on a blind whim and will definitely be coming back to it in the future. I'll have to try out the other Ithaca brews as well. Well done.

Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ouncer sampled, no freshness dating, but it does have a Japanese horror film inspired label, a red hop spitting dragon and everything! Pours dark honey amber, creamy dark tan head, showing nice retention and also well dispersed, layered and fragmented lacing. Strong hoppy nose, burning the ole' nostrils with hop oil goodness. This is a pleasantly malty ale, hops quite present but not over powering. Notes of whole wheat, rye and, flowery, grainy, piney hops. Large and flavorful brew. Sort of reminds me of Arrogant Bastard. Sweet, creamy MF. Malty/hoppy/tasty. Seek this one out and enjoy-well done Ithaca

Photo of warriorsoul
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to HappyHourHero for this one of many.
Pours a clear rust brown w/ a half a finger of fluffy, bubbly white head...looks real white for a red...is it those NY hops?
Lacing is thin, but real tight...slides back down very rapidly w/ just a thin layer clinging on.
Smell is carmelized malts w/ fruity hops as well...also detect oranges and even a hint of allspice.
Taste is, as expected...hoppy. I was hoping for this when I noticed the neon red hop flower on the label. There is nothing overpowering as far as hops go, but this is one of the most bitter red ales I have had to date. The malt keeps this fine offering balanced, that's for sure.
Mouthfeel is thin and the aftertaste is very refreshing...no bitterness lingering...very fresh.
Definitely a session brew...I was glad to see the ABV% pushing to 6.5...very hidden.
Ithaca does it again...now if they can only work their distribution into my area.

Photo of tigg924
3.15/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, clear, red/brown in color, moderate carbonation

Smell: pine and citrus hops, bread

Taste: citrus hops with bread and caramel

Mouthfeel: light bodied, medium carbonation, sweet start with a lingering bitterness that starts in the middle

Drinkability: A decent but not memorable red ale. I could have another one or just as easily pass on it.

Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jwc215 for sending me this bottle.

The beer pours a brownish-amber color with a cream-colored head. The aroma is citrusy hops with some malt. The aroma is subtle. The flavor is orange, pine and juicy citrus. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of jcdiflorio
3.42/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured into a nonic glass from a 12oz brown bottle with a crimped-on cap.

Coppery color with a deep reddish hue and a light haze with a 1" creamy off white head that falls to a thin creamy coating.Not much lacing with low carbination.

Clean.pleasing citrus/pine aroma on the moderate side expected more of an intense hop nose. Light hints of malt and some berry-like fruittyness.

Strong citrus/pine blast a bit of a suprize after the moderate hop nose. Sugary carmell maltiness with some slight fruitiness.A sharp hop bite throughout. Very hoppy lacking any kind of balance,would have liked a bit more maltiness myself.

Tangy,juicy,mouthfeel with a bit of grainyness. Seems to get more drinkable with every sip. The verdict is still out on the drinkability.
A hopheads beer i'd have to say !

Photo of kingcrowing
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a sample glass.

Pours a cloudy red with a small white head. Nose is sweet and hoppy with a bit of earthy tones.

Taste is sweet and hoppy with a good amount of bitterness but still being sweet and drinkable. Body is a bit light and watery although still quite tasty.

Photo of dogfishandi
4.06/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle slightly chilled poured into a pint glass. best before august 2010.

pours a dark bronze red color, some of the most amazing off white head ive seen in awhile. looks like it just came off of the tap. left a nice 3 fingered head with a big fat cap. tons of sticky lace everywhere that leaves a ring after each sip i take. great retention. i dont really think a red could look any better.

in the aroma theres lots of citrus hops, obviously this was made with mostly cascade hops, and they show nicely. also a semi sweet caramel malt blends nicely with the hop aroma.

definatly a hop forward beer, but the malt still isnt missed, has somewhat of a balance to it. lots of resinous citrus grapefruit tastes. theres some caramel malt in there, but then the citrus hop bitterness takes over. slight hints of malt show up int the finish with a nice amount of lingering citrus hop bitterness. quite a tasty brew.

overall a nice mouthfeel. medium bodied, just the right amount of carb for the style. goes down smooth. the flavors are soft, but it leaves the palate a little wrecked by the hops, but thats never a problem.

my first bottle of this i didnt know the abv because its not listed on the bottle, then i cracked another one to do the review and surprise...7%. i would have guessed something like 5%. a little dangerous, but its a beautiful friday night on my back porch and i really dont see a problem with drinking the whole six pack. it was a long week. but needless to say, really good drinkability, if you dont mind the 7%, a great session beer.

Photo of far333
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear orangey copper colored with a thick anf frothy while head that sits up high and sticks around for most of the experience. Sharp aroma of tangerine rind, some piney notes, but no malt. Flavor is hoppy upfront, tingly and crisp, mostly of tangy citrus peel and grapefruit, some pine. Some sweet malts arise in the finish, but struggle to bust through the stronger hop profile. a bitter citrus peel lingers. Even mouthfeel, but not too full. Pretty hoppy for a red ale, and I might go so far as to say a little out of balance for the style since the malt presence is very understated. A decent selection though, I'd have it again.

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a McDonald's collector glass (I'm...away from my glassware at the moment). Deep amber/red with a thin white head that fades into a thin disc of foam. Smell is nice and malty, with a generous helping of hops as well. Taste is bitter and crisp hops, with a clean malt background that has a slightly odd sweet twang to it (horrific memories of Cortland Red Dragon are resurfacing) but it doesn't stay long enough to ruin the beer. Overall I think the hop flavor could be more complex, but it's a fine drinkable beer.

Photo of BranfordBound
3.57/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Prime 16, poured into a NEBCO pint.

Pours a nice clear amber color with a two finger tan head that fades fast and leaves only spotty lacing.

Smells of very sweet and slightly rich malts. Some fruit in there as well. Pine hops linger in the back.

Starts very sweet and malty with touches of caramel and apricots. Hops come in at the end with restrained bitterness. Hops are earthy and herbal.

Partly dry mouthfeel, lighter side of medium bodied.

Not really a hoppy beer, but a good example of a red, nonetheless. Easily consumed and leaves room for another.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber red tone forms thick creamy textured light beige head that lasts for a good while before settling specks of lacing all around the pint glass. Aroma contains deep pine with tree bar accents and a flow grapefruit rind bitterness coming my way also a flowery herbal essence with a noticeable light caramel malt presence just barely peeking through. Flavors upfront with hop bitterness and flavor more pine tree bark earthy floral tones as well and yes the grapefruit appeal seeks through as well, barely any maltiness to balance out the aggressive nature of the hop additions this brew has to offer bitterness comes of somewhat one dimensional in the finish. Mouthfeel is in the light to medium body range pretty thin actually for all of the hop character this brew has to offer I was expecting more oily textures and carbonation packs a spritzy zing as well not as moderate as I would prefer from a brew like this. Drinkability is decent but I would get bored with no interplay between malt and hops the bitterness really lacquers onto the old palate and I could definitely go for some more balance here, decent overall worth a try of course.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pin glass) best before jan (of any year?) A- This beer has a deep reddish brown slightly dense body with a strong carbonation racing to a thin film of tan foam.
S- The big pine bite has hints of Christmas trees and a slight pungent quality followed by a fruit punch hop note to the hoppy finish.
T- This beer has a light toasted malt flavor followed by a big pine hop flavor. The finish is a dandelion bitter bite that lingers for a bit. As the hops settle down a sweet malt and caramel undernote comes through in the taste.
M- This beer has as light mouthfeel with a slippery texture but no alcohol heat.
D- This beer has some nice depth to the hops but the main player is the pungent bitterness which is to strong and kicks you in the teeth. The malt backbone is good and is a welcome addition as the beer warms.

Photo of pwoods
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to beachbum1975 for sharing this. Quick notes.

A: Dark amber, decent head and retention. Good lacing.

S: Big Cascade hops presence, obviously. Fruity and lightly resinous.

T/M: Good bitterness level and more of the big Cascade presence. Malts are sweet to balance with a toasted nutty side. Body is medium with decent carbonation.

D: Drinks easy but just kind of gets lost with all the other Cascade heavy beers out there.

Photo of degerbah
3.89/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a kind of rusty amber with two fingers of head. Huge flowery hop aroma that is almost overpowering each time I bring the glass up to my mouth. The taste isn't as quite as hoppy the aroma but is still extremely strong. Slightly metallic at first but as I continue through the beer I become more accustomed to the taste and it seems to be better balanced. Fairly easy to drink, especially for the alcohol content.

Photo of Brenden
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew is a deep red that's very nearly mahogany. A very tight, dense head forms at about two fingers and stick around at one, leaving a thick curtain of lacing behind.
There's certainly a monstrous hops presence in the aroma, and it's backed pretty well by malts. There's a light tangy citrus just detectable under the stronger flavors, and a very subtle sweetness lingers softly.
Hops are big and raw in the flavor as well. Malt isn't strong enough to perfectly balance this one out, but it does pretty well. The citrus lies underneath with the light sweetness, and a leafy earthiness from the hops is in a lingering semi-dry finish.
The mouthfeel has a nice blend of crisp and smooth in a medium to full body with light to moderate carbonation.
This is surely a tasty brew with some nice raw hops flavor, fairly balanced by the roasted malt and sweetness and with a pretty decent complexity.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.21/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a tea colored amber with a massive off-white head that becomes very sticky in it's wake.
Aroma is toasted amber malts and a nice hop finish.
Taste...Hmmmm....the way it should be. Toasted amber malt sweetness overcome by citrus hop bitterness at the end.
Nice refreshing mouthfeel and VERY clean aftertaste.
It reminds me of Widmer's W'06 which was the best big red I'd had.
This is wonderful.
Thanks to TheManiacalOne for the opportunity to try this.
Excellent.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to korguy123 for this one!

A: Pours a reddish/brown color with a nice one finger head that lasts for a little bit. Nice lacing on this one.

S: Whoa, lots of hops. Much more than expected, citrus and grapefruit mixed in. Balanced very nicely with a malty backbone and a toasted aroma.

T: The taste is similar to the nose. Starts off with some citrus hops and transitions to a malty/toasted flavor. Also get a little bit of oak in there. Has a hop/bitter finish.

M/D: Medium bodied and on the creamy side. Very nice carbonation. Overall pretty good, very glad to have had it.

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CascaZilla from Ithaca Beer Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,164 ratings.