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Cascazilla - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,102 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,102
Reviews: 573
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.23%
Wants: 43
Gots: 56 | FT: 1
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: 1,102 | Reviews: 573 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JimFalzone
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the hoppiest red ale that I've ever tasted. I love the malt/hop balance. If you are expecting a Killians Red, you'll be shocked by Cascazilla. It's a nice crisp beer that smells as good as it tastes. I have rarely seen it on tap, it's mostly found in bottles/cases. I have tried nearly every Ithaca beer made, and this is my favorite. I wish it was easier to find in Massachusetts.

JimFalzone, Dec 27, 2006
Photo of TastyTaste
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark copper colored body, big off-white head.

Smell: Hops are rich, sweet, and medicinal. Lots of piney hops to go around.

Taste: Rich and hoppy, but not the most bitter beer in the world. Lots of aroma and flavor, but not as intense as you would expect., much truer to the style than I was anticipating. I like the big use of hops while executiing the style.

Drinkability: I like it, and if it were distributed here, would make it a regular. Very sessionable.

TastyTaste, Dec 21, 2006
Photo of billybob
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours reddish amber color with a one finger tan head that fades fairly quickly with a fair lacing to the finish. honey fruity hoppy smell. taste is caramel honey bready with hoppy ending. mouthfeel is medium and smooth with the hop lingering on. nice beer i would put it on my buy list.

billybob, Dec 13, 2006
Photo of Franchise
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark red clear with bubbles cascading leaving a thick tan head. The aroma is strong floural hops, honey, grapefruit, grassy earthy notes. The taste is very smooth, the perfect combination of malty red ale hopped up to give it that nice bite. This is a fantastic combo featuring honey, low carbonation, citrus, toffee, and makes it session quality.

Franchise, Dec 12, 2006
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!

Marty, Dec 10, 2006
Photo of joe1510
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle.

Got this brought back for me from New York. I've been looking forward to trying it. I could smell the hops as soon as I popped the cap off. Poured an amazingly crystal clear amber. A 1+ finger micro bubble off white head sits on top that fades slowly to a very respectable coating. Minimal web-like lacing.

Like I said before I could smell this as soon as it was opened. After the pour I took a couple deep breaths of Cascazilla and I got hints floral hops but mostly citrus. There is a strong candy like caramel malt presence in there too. The deeper I smell more I can almost detect a dampness.

The taste is really nice. The strong caramel presence is in the taste as well. There is a nicely balanced hop presence. The caramel maltiness starts thinks off a little faint but I'm quickly hit by a BIG hop and malt kick in the taste buds by mid-palate. Fineshes with the same flavors but more subdued. The hops leave the smallest amount of bitterness.

Mouthfeel is nice. It has a solid medium body. Good amount of carbonation opens up the flavors in the mouth and really livens things up. Slightly coating with some abuse from the hops.

This is a pretty easy drinker. There are big flavors but the alcohol is moderate. I could easily sit around and drink a few of these at a time.

Cascazilla is a damn fine beer. I wish I could get my hands on it around here cause I love big, hoppy reds. It would be a staple in the fridge if I could get it. If you're lucky enough to see this at the store pick it up and give it a try.


joe1510, Nov 14, 2006
Photo of Stimack
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally decided to give this brew a try today, was I afraid of the CascaZilla? Nah, just for some reason have not had the Ithaca Brews in a long time. The brew poured to a rust color with a medium sized light tan head while leaving a nice amount of lace at the top of the glass. A fairly impressive looking brew. The aroma has a very enticing hop smell (citrus, grapefruit) that dominates but I am able to pick up a nice malt (toasted and caramel) scent in the background. The taste is actually quite smooth, for such a hoppy brew; actually the hop is not over the top but is clearly strong and dominant. Picking up a nice malt taste that has a sweet feel and goes well with the hops. With this being “a red ale” as highlighted on the bottle I guess I would expect to notice the malt a bit more and it is there. Over all this is a fantastic brew, not sure it lives up to its name as “CascaZilla” but is a great drink. One that I would grab at anytime!

Stimack, Oct 29, 2006
Photo of pgenius
4.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is awesome. As soon as I popped the top, me and my friend could smell the hoppy aroma. This is the best Red Ale I've ever had. Its smooth and well balanced, however, I couldn't taste any malts. There was also a fruity flavor that I couldn't figure out. Hell yea.

pgenius, Oct 11, 2006
Photo of Rudgers73
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from my Dinosaur BBQ growler.

A- 2 fingers of tan fizzy head. Crystal clear with very slight carbonation in a deep, saturated shade of reddish copper.

S- This smells AWESOME. So aromatic and rich. Sugary sweet in front of the hops. Citrus, grape, cherry...

T- Starts out round, full and sweet then disolves into a burst of mild hops. Undertones of sweet citrus throughout. It doesn't have that hop-bite, its a very well balanced beer.

D- Might be my favorite red ale... yup, it is...

Rudgers73, Oct 11, 2006
Photo of stegmakk
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a nice dep orangey copper with a good head yet minimal to nonexistant lacing.
Aroma was subtle pine hops with a hint of roasted malt.
Taste was mostly grapefruit/pine hops. I couldnt taste any malt at all. While I do like my hoppy beers, was surprised this was listed as a red ale...as it was all hop all the time for taste...strong at that also.
Drinkability is low because while it tastes good, i fear two would numb the tastebuds with all the hops.

stegmakk, Sep 26, 2006
Photo of PJKSR02
4.75/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I bought mine at the brewery, while visiting Ithaca--go there if you are near. Cascazilla has an immediately evident hops aroma, and taste, but is not bitter at all.

I've been comparing pale ales around the country, this past summer, and bought this for it's "monster dose of hops." Cascazilla has the hops and "nose" to compare to,say, Pyramid Brewery's "Thunderhead" IPA, but without the "dryness;" I think your sister would like it!

PJKSR02, Sep 18, 2006
Photo of blitz134
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

blitz134, Sep 14, 2006
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle>pint glass.

Golden Amber in color, good activity, 2" white head dissipated slowly, leaving sparse lacing behind.

smells like fruity hops including grapes and a sweet smelling malt.

Taste...red grape, slight redwine flavor, deep and pretty complex for a red. This is a sweet hop at first, turns mildly bitter and is evened out well with the malt for a decent balance.

Medium body, very lively and crisp feeling. good bite on the tongue and very clean going down.

I was pleasantly suprised by this choice, a total darkhorse when I purchased it. Tasty and easy enough to drink.

GratefulBeerGuy, Sep 07, 2006
Photo of LarryV
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was surprised to see that a lot of folks didn't get much head from this beer. Mine poured with a huge cloudlike head that stuck around for the duration. Left lacy patches of sticky foam down the side of the glass. Mild floral hop aroma dominates. Taste is hoppy with a mellow malt backbone, just a hint of balancing sweetness. Really a rather tasty and enjoyable beer, I could probably session a few of these pretty easily.

LarryV, Sep 06, 2006
Photo of kkosmoski
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. longneck into a Cascazilla pint glass purchased at the brewery:
(A very cool glass with some red hops on it)

A - Copper/red hue with about a 1/2 inch head that quickly died down to an outer ring and no lacing - maybe it was the glass' fault

S - Straight up pine and citrus from the hops, also some malt sweetness in there

T - A burst of hops to start with. Taste like west coast hops, and not too bitter, probably lots of late mid/late hop additions and dry-hopping, as there is a great hop flavor and aroma to this beer without too much bitterness. Good supporting role by the malt to keep the hops in check. Some definate lightly roasted malts mixed in there with some sweet caramels. Little bit of hop bite in the aftertaste.

M - Lighter than I was expecting, I thought it was going to be a good rugged medium to full bodied beer, whereas I will give it medium at best. Also thought the carbonation was a little too prickly.

D - Could sit down and have a few of these. Great flavor, not overly bitter, a little to high in gravity though for a true sessioner.

I think Ithaca has crafted a great beer here. Awesome job combining the characteristics of a red ale and an IPA. I would love to have this on cask.

kkosmoski, Aug 30, 2006
Photo of Celt44
4.53/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I quickly purchased the first six pack of bottles I've ever seen of this in the Binghamton area. I've had it on tap before at a local pub.
Apprearance is not impressive - dark reddish amber, no head to speak of with minimal lacing.

This one is excellent up front - floral hoppy aroma is delicious - splashes of grapefruit and malt.

Taste is superior for a "Red Ale" - definitely different than the usual malt character of most red ales. Slight taste of piney hops. Excellent.

Mouthfeel is smooth and carbonation is definitely present.

This is one of the most unique beers I've had in years - The hoppy taste without the bitterness is incredible. A great session brew for hop heads like myself.

Celt44, Aug 23, 2006
Photo of rousee
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber color--lvs very little head or lace.
You know as soon as you smell this that its gonna be good and I dont just mean for hopheads. Smell is all hops but delivered in a subtle manner --what a fine pale ale. The taste is excellent too as it has some good maltiness up front followed by woody hops character. Nothing that bites very sharply but still is apprent that this is a very American style pale ale. I like it a lot. I see it has been labeled as an amber--I stand by my earlier impresions. For drinkability, quite excellent also.

rousee, Aug 20, 2006
Photo of bwyker
4.65/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Colors range from a golden-yellow at the stem of the glass, up to a firery auburn at the surface, topped with a tan ring of foam. Grapefruit citrus with piney hops in aroma. More earthty hops in the taste, followed by a sweet fruity finish. Mouthfeel is a little sticky, but overall very refreshing. I can see this becoming a regular. Plenty of hop character, not too sweet, and a modest amount of alcohol.

bwyker, Aug 18, 2006
Photo of Bitterbill
4.43/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle a clear reddish gold with a medium sized head of foam that settled down to about a 1" layer and stayed the course that way.

The smell is a very nice caramel malt, similiar to what I get from a JW Lees Harvest or Thomas Hardy Ale, with similar results... leaves me going ahh.

The taste has that caramel flavour noted in the nose but there's definitely some biscuit and roasty goodness there as well and then the hops, in a pronounced grapefruit form, jump out at me but the finish returns to a fruity sweetness.... so there's a lot going on here in this Red Ale and I find that it's all working *extremely* well.

Bottom line: This is a *superb* Red Ale! I recommend it!!!

Thanks to Nutbrown for including this wonderful nectar in our trade!!

Bitterbill, Aug 13, 2006
Photo of Doomcifer
4.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Doomcifer, Aug 04, 2006
Photo of wedge
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear brassy red with a head of off-white sticky foam. Bold, nearly tropical fruity aroma with loads of citrus hops. Good dose of sweet malts to help balance the load. Juicy citrus hop flavor over a gritty maltiness - fruitiness follows the aroma. Body is a shade lighter than medium...solid bitterness and a little tart.

This is a pretty good hoppy treat. Nothing mind-blowing, basically a shit-ton of cascades packed into a bottle.

wedge, Jul 18, 2006
Photo of tastybeer
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coppery red, clear color with a foamy soft, off white head. Features a yummy 1/8" retention with blotches of lace here and there. Aroma is all cascade hop with a present malt sweetness. Smell is sweet with candied citrus, light and refreshing. Taste equals with sweet fruit and malts. The cascade is more present in the taste than the nose for me and is nice and refreshing. Modestly bitter with a good slightly resinous mouthfeel. Good drinkability too.

Cascazilla indeed.

tastybeer, Jul 18, 2006
Photo of Westsidethreat
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Looks like filtered cider but a bit more golden. Greyish white head made up of medium sized bubbles. Probably will leave a nice calling card ring around the glass after it falls.

S: Grapefruit, strawberry/watermelon malt aromas and a bit of toffee.

T: Obvious strawberry sweetness up front. Pink grapefruit then emerges and is balanced well with some cedar plank bitterness. The bitterness is thorough in its blanket of the tongue and lasts long after the sip on the back roof of the tongue.

M: Medium bodied with a full carbonation. Very good for the style.

D: Well this is a nice beer. I'm finding that I like these bitter ambers more and more. Good for malt lovers and hop heads.

Westsidethreat, Jul 12, 2006
Photo of cbl2
3.05/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle. No best by date.


Pours a nice deep copper with a half inch of foamy tan head adrift on top.


Having schooled in Ithaca (go big Red!!!) I love the play on words with the name (Cascadilla being a gorge), but the smell I don't love. Has an odd citrus/foot funk aroma.


Roasted nut flavor characteristic and not a whole lot more. How can you make a beer called Cascazilla, touting the Cascade hops, have a picture of hops on your label, and not bring the hops? Mouthfeel is somewhat week and insipid, and finish has a somewhat soapy taste to it. Not sure what Ithaca Beer intended with this one, but they failed.

cbl2, Jul 11, 2006
Photo of bjohnson
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled 07/01/06. Review from notes.

A: Pours a dark amber almost red color with an initial half finger white head that dissipates quickly with not much retention. Slight lace.
S: Huge hoppy pine and citrus notes. Floral and grassy notes also.
T/M: Good initial pine and grapefruit hops with a slight caramel malty background. A little sharp after the first blast. Kind of grainy mouthfeel. Good bitter ending with a dryness to it. Not a huge body, gets watered down towards the end. Well balanced hops vs. malt. Slick through the mouth with a sharpness on the bottom of the tongue.
D: Good offering from Ithaca. Kind of reminds me of a very hoppy rye ale. Probably would be good on cask with more of a resiny oily flavor coming through.

bjohnson, Jul 05, 2006
Cascazilla from Ithaca Beer Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,102 ratings.