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Cascazilla - Ithaca Beer Company


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very good

1,030 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1030
Reviews: 570
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 10.94%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: shippos on 07-14-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,030 | Reviews: 570 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A hoppy red, significant whitish beige head on brownish body. Hoppy aroma including C hopn and other hops. Above average carbonated, very bitter not balanced, thin mouthfeel. Not satisfying acidic citrus finish, although some caramel in there. Tatebuds demolished.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2007 15:52:01 | More by Sammy
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rustic orange with infusions of red and amber. Within in the beer can be seen abundant, fine-bubbled carbonation rushing up to a golden ecru head of firm foam. The upper surface resembles Godzilla's hide--athough a bit less crusty--and an acceptable amount of lace is deposited in sudsy shards.

I'll admit, I'm easy. I love the smell of napalm in the... no wait, that was from Apocalypse Now. I love the smell of hops in the morning (and the afternoon and the evening). Cascazilla has a wonderously hoppy nose of sweet, sassy, brassy, caramel-like, citrusy goodness. I... am... powerless... to... resist...

Amazingly enough, the beer actually tastes like a hoppy-as-hell red ale rather than an IPA. I'm not sure what accounts for that impression, I'll just have to trust my palate. The caramel malt backbone is solid and is more than big enough to support all the fruity, juicy hops.

Cascazilla is more hoppy, relative to the malt at least, than any red ale in recent memory (with the possible exception of Bear Republic's Red Rocket Ale). Sticky pine sap works in concert with white grapefruit peel, the whole drenched in sugar syrup. It lacks a certain something that would put it into orbit flavor-wise, but I'm more than satisfied by what's in this bottle.

The medium body/mouthfeel has a pleasing, smooth slickness about it and is helped by a light hop scum that adheres to the tongue and builds with each successive sip. A big thanks to HappyHourHero for the bottle.

According to the label, I just finished a "monstrously hoppy red ale". I've had very few of Ithaca's beers, but it's hard for me to imagine that any of them are better than this. It is my considered opinion that the amber/red ale style needs a swift kick in the ass. Who better to provide it than the city-destroying, hop monster... Cascazilla.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2005 16:40:29 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one in a nice trade a while back and had really been itching to try it. I left it in the fridge for a long while, as I overlooked it time and again. Well last night and after a long drive home I decided now was the time and I broke this one wide open. Poured into a pint glass, this was consumed on 09/09/2008.

The pour was very nice with a rich, reddish tinted amber taking front stage. Nice bit of sediment in the bottom and some light cloudiness just worked its way into the sample. Good bit of carbonation could be seen streaming skyward throughout the session and a very nice two inch head of white graced the top. Easy receding left behind about a half inch of white that just nestled its way down to the surface.

The aroma was loaded down with hops as one would expect. Rich notes of citrus, orange and tangerine mostly were by far the dominant notes on this one. Some light biscuit in the middle and a very grainy presence persisted well into it. The flavor was more of the same, rich notes of orange, tangerine, and nice touches of all over this thing. Nice bready middle to the profile and a long, drawn out bitter finish capped it off quite well. Easy to session with a medium body and a profile that was hoppy, yet smooth.

Overall I thought this was a very nice hoppy red ale. I would have no issues at all with drinking this one over and over again. Definitely something to look forward to after a long day. I would have to recommend this one very highly.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2008 23:39:21 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail


3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly cloudy amber color with a just off-white head. A nice citrus hop quality to this one. Orange and grapefruit hops with a nice bit of piney hop character, too. Under that is a fair amount of caramel and sweet malt. The flavor is a bit on the sweeter side, but there still is some good citrus and pine hop flavor and bite to it, just a moderate bitterness. Medium in body and carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 08:44:04 | More by womencantsail
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a prodigious head that retains and laces, with gobs of foam sticking to the sides of the pint glass

Smell: Citrus and piney notes blend with the biscuity malts

Taste: After a brief visit from the biscuity malts, the piney flavors kick in, along with some caramel underpinnings that arrive, by mid-palate; after the swallow, the beer is equal parts caramel and piney hops with just a touch of buttery diacetyl that can be detected on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: This is a nicely balanced amber, that is hopped up enough to be quite enjoyable

Thanks, jjayjaye, for the opportunity

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2009 00:46:02 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of citrus and hoppy bitter notes is quite pleasant. Taste is a nice mix between some citrus and bitter hops with a solid dry caramel malt with limited sweetness and light resinous notes. Body is quite full with good carbonation. Easily drinkable and a bit more complex then a plain bitter attack on the palate.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2011 18:36:43 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect


3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Likely the best of the Ithaca beers that came in their variety pack. A very hop-forward Amber.

The pour brings a deep amber color with moderate haze, likely from dry-hopping. Off white foam forms a light head and holds firm at a sheet across the top of the glass.

Citrusy aromas of grapefruit and spicy pine notes come to life on a dry caramel malt and light toast maltiness. Low on fruitiness, the beer has a very clean and simplified aroma.

Flavors of sun kissed malts, mild toast, and Cracker Jacks candy round out the grain profile while grapefruit, orange peel, and fresh cut grasses provide the hoppy balance. Bitterness takes precedence, which is a bit odd for a Red Ale. Aside from some grain flavors in the end, this is a clean and refreshing beer.

The beer has an aggressive bite that keeps it from becomming smooth and easy to drink. But the beer isn't as thin or grainy as many from the brewery.

A good Red Ale that showcases hops rather than malts. Aggressive in bite and bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2010 06:12:36 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429


3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this beer up at Vintage Estate in Ohio. Served in a tulip.

Pours a very ugly muddy copper color with a brownish hue. Short off-white head comes and goes quickly and leaves a touch of lacing behind. The nose brings forward some piney and citrus hops along with a bit of sweet bready malt. The flavor is fairly hoppy, though there's too much sweetness falling in behind it. Mouthfeel is medium with adequate carbonation. Good bitterness in the finish, though again it's too sweet. Pretty drinkable and I'd have it again, though not likely something I would purchase again.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2011 19:07:49 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98

New York

3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense beige head that consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface as well as thick rings of lacing down the sides of the glass..
S: There are light aromas of pine resin hops and caramel malts in the nose.
T: There are initial flavors of caramel and malty sweetness in the taste, however these are balanced out by the underlying hops, which lend some hints of bitterness towards the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied, very smooth and somewhat creamy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is easy to drink because it has a good balance and the hops prevent it from becoming overly sweet, despite all of the caramel and malty flavors. No traces of alcohol are perceptible in the taste.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2011 00:50:00 | More by metter98
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-04-2006 21:39:54 | More by oberon
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hoppy red ales have become fairly common of late, with some of them going a little bit over the edge. Cascazilla, however, does it right.

It looks great in the glass with a clear, crimson-accented deep copper color. The frothy then creamy bone-white head holds quite well, and leaves behind sticky rings of craggy lace.

The nose is bright and citrusy with lots of grapefruit over a delicately sweet and bready caramelish malt base.

In the flavor there's just enough caramelish and biscuity malt to lend it an edge of sweetness; just enough bright and citrusy hops to give it a juicy zest without becoming resinous; and just enough bitterness to balance it without blowing out your tastebuds. It's full-flavored but not overdone, satisfying with each sip while retaining drinkability. A subtle touch of buttery diacetyl helps to round it and accentuate the malt. Leafy and mildly grassy hops linger in the finish along with a moderate bitterness.

In the mouth, the dextrinous medium body is smooth across the palate with a median, fine-bubbled carbonation.

Overall, it's a very nicely balanced and well-rounded ale with a good amount of drinkability. Very nicely done!

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2007 18:59:00 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.58/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright copper color with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is hoppy and sweet, with the sweetness being that of citrus along with some caramelized malt in the background.

T: A nice burst of hops comes out first and is quickly balanced by the fruity citrus sweetness and decent malt character. Even though the hops presence is strong, it fades after you swallow and leaves a sweet after-taste, which is one of the few characteristics that make this beer different from an IPA.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Very tasty, goes down very easily, not very filling, there’s a good kick to it, this beer has all of the qualities that make it a good one to stick with for the duration of an evening.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2007 05:25:20 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of russpowell


3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this from Melbatoast93, cheers Hart!

Pours an effervescent caramel with 3 fingers of head. Insane head retention & lacing

S: Some breadyness & pineyness

T: Bready with with some toffee & citrussy hops up front. Earthy hops & caramel as this warms, along with dryness & leafy hops. Finishes with some oakyness & earthy hops

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation & good balance

Drinks easy, but I expected more hop profile from a beer of this name. A good amber to be sure

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2008 05:06:04 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes

New York

4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a ruby red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that quickly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a mildly malty scent with a boat load of Cascade hops, which were grown in NY. It is quite bitter and floral. The taste is good. It is refreshingly bitter and hoppy all the way through. The malts add a nice buffer and balance. It goes down easy and finishes smooth. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a great American red ale. I love the hops and the balance. This is a great offering from Ithaca; a good drinker.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2005 01:41:19 | More by WesWes
Photo of drabmuh


3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Monstrously Hoppy Red Ale" - Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. Bottled dated 11/7/08. This beer is more brown than red. Brownish soapy head forms. Head falls away leaving lacing on the glass. Beer is relatively clear with a slight haze. Carbonation is low to moderate.

Smell is a mixture of malt and subtle pine like hops. Malt is forward, hop aroma dissipated with the head.

This beer tastes a lot like an ESB. There is a lot of malt, not a lot of hop. The hop flavors exist entirely as bitterness and almost an aftertaste. The malt character is nice and although unexpected, pleasant. I really enjoy this beer. Mouthfeel is full (like an ESB), drinkablility high. Overall a pretty decent beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2009 02:21:05 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Mora2000


3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2010 03:49:33 | More by Mora2000
Photo of jlindros


4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice rich head rises up to a little over a finger and fades at a medium pace over the murky brown slight reddish hue auburn color.

THe nose brings lots of fresh hops and nice malts, some piney hops and citrus with even a little grapefruit and earthy hops. Some nice toasty malts in the background add a touch of sweetness. With that is plenty of oak, a nice toasty oak character and little vanilla, and very light bourbon.

Taste brings more of the same, but starts with more of the malts this time. A light red and toasty malt flavor, semi sweet, and little creamy. Some lighter hops this time come, with a very light pine and citrus. Some bitterness as well, but light. WIth all that is some oak, not as much as the nose, but there. A little vanilla and touch of a dark fruit.

The mouth comes with a light creamy feel and medium body with good carbonation.

It finishes semi bitter with a little earthy and spicy hop addition this time, some light creamy malts as well, and dries off quite a bit. Almost no oak anymore, but just a hint of the vanilla. Actually, as it lingers more of the oak starts to shine through. A light lingering fruit flavor too.

Overall a decent beer, the oak and hops play pretty well, tasty, not the best beer in the world but tasty.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2010 20:10:34 | More by jlindros
Photo of Gueuzedude


3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best By October; Sampled August 2008
A sharp pour produces a three finger-thick, light tan colored head that sits on top of a clear, deeply red stained, dark amber colored brew. When held up to the light the beer shows a brilliantly clear fully red, copper color. As I pour this really sticky, huge aromas of crystal malt waft from my glass. A closer inspection yields an ample hop character that helps to tame the crystal malt abuse; the hops contribute bright aromas of candied grapefruit peel, tangelo and some light lychee notes. The crystal malt character contributes toasty malt notes, sticky caramelized grain touches and a sort of toffee / brown sugar sort of Maillard-type note. The aroma is not nearly as bad as that first pure whiff of crystal malt suggested and is actually somewhat more balanced towards the hop character than that of malt.

Quite frothy and a bit over carbonated, the beer definitely foams a bit as it hits my tongue. Once this is vigorously swirled to a more manageable carbonation level I can notice that sweet, caramelized malt notes accentuate a sticky, citrus character reminiscent of tangelo zest and grapefruit. There are some notes of pine here as well, but these come in more towards the finish where there is also a substantial, but well tempered by the malt, hop bitterness. As the beer warms in my glass the crystal malt flavors become more pronounced; lots of caramelized malt sugars, sticky, with some astringent grain notes and an almost bitter malt character.

Not bad, but the focus on the crystal malt character can be a bit much at times. If I wasn't focusing on tasting this beer the over-use of crystal malt really wouldn't bother as much as it does.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2008 02:38:05 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Knapp85


3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The pour of this beer is a nice looking red color with decent tan head on top. The smell has a really good hoppy aroma with some sweet caramel on the nose. The taste gives off a nice sweet flavor at first is kind of semi sweet with a pleasant hoppy bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium and rather enjoyable. It's a good brew, it's worth trying again.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2011 21:25:43 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jwc215


4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap in a bar in the Philadelphia area. Armock sent me a bottle, as well - thanks Anthony!

Pours amber with a white head that has great retention, leaving lacing.

The smell is of grapefruit, tangerine, some pine - classic "C-hop" aroma. Spicy with a touch of caramel.

The taste is of sweet citrus - grapefruit. Hoppy, but on the sweet side. The hops have a firm caramel backing.

It has a creamy, smooth, medium-to-full body.

A bit strong, even for abv (which I would have guessed to be slightly higher than it is) as the alcohol does have a sharpness to it.

This is a nicely hopped, yet not too bitter, red ale that is very enjoyable. I liked it a bit more on tap than in the bottle, but still a delicious hoppy brew!

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2009 00:34:44 | More by jwc215
Photo of RblWthACoz


4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear but fairly dark ruby with some tan head. Nose is sticky sweet with a good amount of hops. Flavor is smooth with slightly firm hops with a sweet tone. Touch of wood there as well. A hint of bitter on the edge. Feel is nice with the carbonation on the tongue and good with the liquid feel too. Overall very drinkable. A smooth and even red ale. Well worth trying, just not an overly inventive beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2007 06:02:50 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of WVbeergeek


3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2007 02:30:12 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a crystal clear amber / orange color with a 2" head that lasts a while. Some nice lacing develops.

Smell: tons of ripe fruity sweetness, floral hops, and a hint of citrus.

Taste: very malty with a nice bitter kick, unlike many others in the style. Some sweet plums, grapefruit, and the floral hops make this a pleasant flavorful brew. Nice mix of sweetness and bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Crisp at the start and finish. The bitterness lingers softly on the tongue after swallowing. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: very quaffable. One of the better beers from Ithaca Beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2006 18:31:59 | More by Gavage
Photo of smcolw


4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber color and very clear. Excellent lace considering the head dies quickly leaving a thin level of bubbles.

Mostly malty aroma. The hop

Stronger hop bitterness than expected from the smell. The malt is still present providing a pleasant balance. Above average body, high carbonation despite this.

Smooth mouthfeel, yet the hop creates a nice contrary bite. I hate giving straight scores but this beer merits the consistancy.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2007 18:45:48 | More by smcolw
Photo of tempest


4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cascazilla falls somewhere between a big IPA and red ale. It's a mix between Killian's Irish Red and Stone Ruination IPA, a pretty unlikely combination.

Cascazilla looks more orange than red. Color aside, the first smell screams hops with big citrus aroma. The flavor follows up with more citrus and spicy hops and mild caramel grains. It's no doubt bitter, but it won't ruin any palettes like some other brews. It also doesn't drink too heavy like some full-flavored beers.

All in all, Cascazilla is a great beer for anyone in love with hops but doesn't like the high alcohol that tends to accompany highly hopped brews

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2007 05:45:35 | More by tempest
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Cascazilla from Ithaca Beer Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,030 ratings.