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Cascazilla - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.

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very good

1,142 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,142
Reviews: 576
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 44
Gots: 72 | 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:
Beer added by: shippos on 07-14-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,142 | Reviews: 576 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PJKSR02
4.77/5  rDev +24.5%
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!

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 GratefulBeerGuy
4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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.

Photo of kkosmoski
4.39/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

Photo of Celt44
4.54/5  rDev +18.5%
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.

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.

Photo of bwyker
4.67/5  rDev +21.9%
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.

Photo of Bitterbill
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
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!!

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 wedge
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Photo of tastybeer
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Photo of cbl2
3.06/5  rDev -20.1%
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.

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.

Photo of GlockAmore
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cascazilla has an inviting look that screams "Drink Me!" The amber color belies its light, crisp flavor, but its nose gives away the taste treat that awaits.

The head is long lasting and off-white in color. Lacing is pronounced, and carbonation severe (watch your pour).

Taste is fruity, hoppy, with dry citrus flavors and long finish. It's a very refreshing beer, very drinkable, and can be served cold without giving up too much flavor.

Photo of Gavage
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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

Nice dark orange red with a two-finger head that lasts.

Aroma is, not surprsingly, a big whiff of cascades. Sweet toasty malt is there too.

Taste is hoppy without high bitterness. Leafy but mild ruby red grapefruit leads out, with a medium biscuity body taking over. Slightly dry finish. Regardless of the name, this is no hop monster. Rather, just a nice red ale with a good deal of leafy and grapefruit hop flavor up front. Balancedzilla might be more like it.

Photo of rarevos
4.62/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a copper red with a thin head, less than a finger's worth. Disappeared quickly.

S: Wonderfully grapefruity. Doesn't have the sticky sweetness of the aroma of actual grapefruit juice, as it's cut by a slight woodsiness. Aroma is appealing and appetizing.

T: Holy hops. Just, wow. Not as strong as an IPA, but this is distinctly hoppier than most amber ales I've had. The finish moves from fruity to hoppy to lightly smoky and warming at the very end. Terrific, rustic finish.

M: Drank it without food, so can't speak to how it stands up to a meal. Not too bubbly.

D: Quickly becoming a favorite, regardless of season. A wonderful beer.

Photo of krantul
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep amber-red in hue, with as much clarity as you could manage. Nice florally hoppy nose with a little maltiness.

This is a medium-bodied red ale, with the good caramel maltiness of the style and the expected bite of hop bitterness, but it's the hop flavor (independant of the IBU's) that really stands out. It's got a pleasing, fresh, flowery taste that hopheads will enjoy, but it's not an enormously bitter beer. In that sense, it lives up to its promise as a "monstrously hoppy red ale," without being overwhelmingly sharp.

Ultimately, drinkability comes down to hop appreciation, with this one. I could have a couple.

Photo of Redrover
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had a couple of pints of this while consuming some tasty BBQ at the Dinosaur BBQ in Rochester.

The beer is a nice bronze/copper with a smallish off-white head. There is also a bit of a chill haze.

Nice nose of citrus (grapefruit for sure), pine and a hint of something sweet.

The taste is bracing and a bit puckering in all the best ways. There is lots of grapefruit, a dash of pine with a bit of sweet malts for a touch of balance.

The mouth is sturdy and the beer has good active carbonation. This went well with my BBQ and was able to cut the heat of some of the spicier offerings. Well done!

Photo of NolateM
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Nonic pint glass. From the cask, this beer poured VERY cloudy medium brown, like a muddy opaque color... which I guess is really different from the bottle, according to other reviews. Not much lacing, very bubbly head.

Aroma: MILLIONS OF GRAPEFRUITS. What a wonderful aroma!

Taste: GRAPEFRUITS. A little bitter, a little sweet, a little spicy, VERY GRAPEFRUITY! Doesn't taste like 6.5%, it tastes milder than that... like grapefruit juice with a little bit of alcohol in it. I cannot even describe how grapefruity this beer is. I swear they must have made hybrid grapefruit and hop plants to make this beer.

For some reason I had a bit of trouble finishing it... which MAY have been because the bar was closing earlier than usual so I had to drink fast, or may have been because it wasn't really cold, and I generally prefer my beer pretty damn cold (no matter what kind of beer it is). But still, awesome beer! Probably the best Ithaca beer I've tried (even though I've only had a couple others). Try it if you're a hophead, or if you really enjoy grapefruit juice.

$5 a glass

Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was pretty psyched to find this today, seems like there has been an influx of upstate New York beers in Western Massachusetts recently. Bold adverting scheme, I was a little surprised to find such hops in a Red Ale, but it does a nice job with it.

Obviously red body, with a healthy head, small lacing, nothing great, average. A nice blast of hops on the nose and tongue. I find this beer exceptionally average. A good craft beer that falls into the BA realm of 3.5-4.0 rating of a mediocre craft beer.

Photo of jmz62565
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours a clear amber with a large tan foamy head, a pretty good looking beer. The smell is a real citrus and hoppy aroma that's very strong. The taste is strong with hops for a red ale, this is an IPA to me. The hops are really overblown on this beer,I like the taste,but it's not really a up to the style.. The m/f is light with the flavors mixing pretty well,but the malt and hops are a little off. This is a decent beer,unusual but good. I'd have this again,but how about calling this what it is an IPA?.

Photo of soultrain
4.14/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a Stella Artois glass.

A-Crystal clear amber beer. 1" head settles to a scrim in a minute, with some lacing.
S-Smells good. Cascade hops/grapefruit/pine/citrus: Wham! Nice.
T-Hop burps are starting after 2 sips. Groovy, and better than many IPAs I've tried. As far as the "Monstrously Hoppy" on the label, well....it's the most one dimensional hoppy beer I've ever had, but I really, really like that dimension, or lack thereof, and appreciate it in a red ale, hence the "4" score. I'm obviously biased. Sue me.
M-Good carbonation. Light/medium mouthfeel, suprisingly.
D-Supreme drinkability. This is sessionable stuff imho, and the availability around here is, overnight, like, off the hook: it will probably find a spot in the DBF this summer, why not?
CRUX: GOOD HOPPY RED ALE EVERYDAY DRINKER. Why they don't just call it an IPA is baffling to me, but then, many things are. Oh, well. Wish I could get, say, "Red Seal Ale" by North Coast Brewing around here. Until then, this will do.

Cascazilla from Ithaca Beer Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,142 ratings.