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CascaZilla - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.

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very good

1,147 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,147
Reviews: 578
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 44
Gots: 74 | 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

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: 1,147 | Reviews: 578
Photo of bruachan
3.69/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

i still don't understand the "red" designator. it's an amber ale, but the color has strayed a little into red territory, right? are amber and red so far off that we need a new style (or at least a "/")? moving on...

good head to start but it vanishes. the beer is red

smells like cascade but also some others. pretty fresh smelling. a little sweetness--some from the hops themselves. i think i smell that "cat piss" NW hop scent people speak of

hop flavors are like their respective aromas. decent caramel backbone, but not very dynamic.

Photo of zoso1967
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours reddish tinged dark amber with a parchment head. The head is very fluffy and has great staying power, leaving nice lace as it recedes.

The aroma is of citrus hops with a bit of an herbal character to them as well. Orange and grapefruit are at the forefront, with just a touch of pine in there as well. It is fairly sweet nose with some caramel like malt tones.

The flavor is also wonderfully hoppy with a juicy citrus character that is well accented by the big malty body. Candied orange and grapefruit coexist with a slightly herbal spicy hop character and a caramel malt backbone. Bitterness is fairly firm, but the malt backbone really stands up to it. I am getting a touch of toasted malt in the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium and quite nice. Smooth, with subdued carbonation, but just enough not to feel dead. The finish is just as smooth as the body with only a slight tinge of bitterness on the back end.

Pretty drinkable and a solid imperial amber. I would think about getting this again, but I would also never take this beer over a Nugget Nectar.

Photo of dudemuskie
3.29/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a single bottle in a mix-a-6er at Andersons in Toledo.

Appearance- Pours a brilliant deep red, nearly amber color with a big light beige head that billows and lingers. Nice lacing with each sip. Light sediment on the bottom of the bottle.

Aroma- Big citrus and floral hop aroma up front with notes of grass, herbal spice, and a touch of pungency. Loads of hop aroma, but very delicate and not overly pungent or resinous. A breath of bready maltiness beneath it all.

Flavor- Pleasant floral hop flavor and light caramel malt sweetness starts, but is quickly pushed off the palate by a tongue-coating grassy, pungent bitterness. After the initial onslaught of hops, a nice balancing maltiness emerges with flavors of soft caramel, burnt sugar, and toasty biscuit. Fairly clean finish, though hops certainly linger.

Mouthfeel- Resinous stickiness and big hop bitterness leaves a slightly puckering/drying sensation on the tongue. Low residual sugars and a dry finish really bring hops center stage. Moderate CO2, medium bodied.

Overall- Not bad. Would more than likely be outstanding fresh- looks like this bottle is a tad on the older side and officially expires this month. Big hop bitterness but not quite as bright flavor-wise as I was expecting with a name like that. Because it falls a little flat on flavor, drinkability is a bit on the lower side. Will seek out a fresh batch or hopefully get a taste on draught and do another review!

Photo of Lukafer
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks once again to AlleyKatking for the hookup!

Pours a dark amber, nice 2 finger of beige head, nice lacing.   I smell caramel malts, slight hips, slight plum.  Tastes are some caramel, toffe, hop finish.   By the name and the label art I thought it was going to be a hop bomb, but it turns out to be extremely balanced and very drinkable.  Reds usually aren't my thing, but I could drink this often.

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

thanks to Shumista for this one

poured from the bottle a hazy copper brown to a sun king shaped pint glass with a thinnish short lastig head leaving nice retention.

aroma of (piney ?) hops, closely followed by sweet malts and brown sugars.

sharp hops on the first sip, fading relatively quickly to a sweeter malty after. interesting balance on this one - more of a battle of flavors than a melding. certainly an amber ale, but the hops are more of a focus than any amber I've tasted before.

slightly bitter and more highly carbonated on the tongue than I personally prefer.

drinkable enough.

Photo of SFLpunk
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to shrek806 for this one!

12oz pry-top brown glass bottle. Best Before A(ugust).

Pours a murky hazy brown with some creamy tan head that has great retention. Nose is pretty hoppy with some amarillo hop notes and a little toasted barley.

Palate is sharp with some alcohol and then snaps bitter with dark caramel malt and roasted barley. Somewhat smoky like coffee beans. Hops are there but mostly on aroma and bitterness, not so much in the flavor aspect.

A decent brew, but a little heavy on the red ale roasted malt for me. With a name like CascaZilla, I expected it to focus more on the hops.

Photo of jlindros
4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On draft at The Pony Bar in NYC.

Pretty ruby hue with a moderately sized head. Decent lacing and retention. Nice blast of Cascade hops in the aroma as well as the taste. The initial flavor is very hop forward, followed by a sturdy malt backbone with appropriate sweetness. The feel is great. The alcohol sneaks up on you, as it's hidden quite well. I really enjoyed this beer.

Photo of stakem
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Standard 12oz brown bottle care of Jdiddy, thanks.

Poured into a snifter, Cascazilla appears a clear amber red color with more than 2 fingers of creamy yellowish stained offwhite head. Lacing sticks all over the glassware in patches as the head slowly receeds.

The aroma of this brew includes a blend of piney, citrus and herbal hops upfront with a bit of a metallic twinge in the back. Also included in the nose is some caramel like sweetness from the malt that comes across a bit toasty.

The taste of this brew is lightly bitter upfront with the flavor of the piney hops. Light caramel malt sweetness through the body that yields to a slightly fruity and mildly solvent alcohol character. There is a lingering taste of lightly toasted grain left inside the mouth along with herbal hops.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. Fairly drinkable for 7%. It has been more than a year since I last had this brew but this is the first time I am reviewing it and it certainly was much different than I remembered it being. Not bad overall, I would drink it again.

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

A-pour a deep amber brownish with nice red highlights. nice fluffy two fingers head which leaves a slight lacing.

S-maltiness with a nice piney/grassy aroma with a roasty character to it.

T-piney hops up front snoothed by malts.hop profile lingers but is carried by a nice slight sweetness.

M-medium bodied nicely carbonated robust and warming.

D-drinkability is high on this one love the amber style paired with significant hoppiness.


Photo of fbone
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Of course,this beer is loaded with hops.Hence the name.

A-murkey brown color,nice head,but didn't last.

S-hops strong smell and yeasty.

T-strong hops slightly step over the malt and yeast flavors.

M-medium body-the hops are pine like.

D-This beer is not too hard to drink,strong alchohol.If you like hops you should have no problem with this beer.The red malt is interesting and makes an unusual pair with the hops.a fruity taste tries to poke it's way out but is kept at bay by the hops.I may buy this again when I crave a strong beer with lots of hops.

Photo of korguy123
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz into my SA Perfect Pint

A- Caramel/toffee pour, slight haze to it. one finger, off white head that dicipates to a faint ring. Lacing is phenominal in this if only you could see my glass right now.

S- The hops are suprisingly hidden, if I didn't know they were there I would be suprised come first sip. Little citrus (mandarin and lemon rind) strawberries and slight yeasty smell.

T- The hops are there but not as much as I was expecting. Light spiciness, and very faint breadiness.

M- my mouth is confused one sip it feels creamy and another sip it feels a little watery. Both feelings are not off putting just I wish my mouth could make up it's mind.

I've had the pleasure of enjoying an entire 6er of this and with this being my last one I figured it was time to review. Excellent beer can't wait to get more of these.

Photo of SluggerOToole
3.74/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with best-before date of Sept 2010.

Poured into tall clean glass. Beer is ruby amber and very cloudy with some particulate matter/sediment - I suppose it is unfiltered after the dry hopping. The head is tan and quick to fizzle out. The nose is of nutty amber malts and lemony hops. The sweetness and acidity is pungent at first.

On the palate it is dominated by the caramel malt and a toasty sweetness. The finish is bitter and dry. The body is average with medium carbonation. Quite drinkable and nice with food.

All around, this tends to remind me the most of an ESB, but with an exaggerated hop bitterness focus.

Photo of Tomdee74
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decided to give this a try and split a sixer with smutty33.. flower power is pretty good so let's give this one a try..

A - Poured into a tulip glass about an 1 and 1/2 inch head that is slowly dissipating.. nice lacing on glass.. this is second time i'm trying it.. pours a dark brown copper color.. i like swooshing it around you can see there is body...

S - pretty nice fruity and honey smell.. smells like it's gonna have some hop kick to it..

T - Good body to this.. i'm glad it lives up to the name as it has a pretty big taste to it.. i'm not blown away i would give this a B+ as it is worthy and a nice little change.. i'm glad to have picked it up fresh and would pick it up again in the future if i see it fresh..

M - Good carbonation and refreshing..

D - I would only go for one of these in a sitting.. maybe two but they would be a nice thing to grab... i would recommend picking this up if you come across it fresh...

Photo of MVotter
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - The Cascazilla Red Ale pours into a chalice a clear-tea color, with a 1/2 inch cream colored head.

S - Ahhhh, the smell of fresh grains ... and, honey??

T - Starts with a hop tang, no doubt! Love it. The honey aroma that I thought I detected in the smell, also comes through a bit in the taste (is there such thing as honey-malt?); it tempers the hops (maybe a scaled-back version of Ithaca's big "Alphalpha" brew, which does contain honey). The grain aroma is also represented in the taste.

M - Nice effervescence, medium-heavy body, creamy quality.

D - This is a very drinkable brew with a very confident, hop flavor ... faint "honey-grain malt" finish rounds out a really interesting, tasty experience.

Photo of PicoPapa
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle. Color is a brownish-red. Very little head but some lacing throughout. Nice aroma of citrus, hops and a bit of pine. The taste is very balanced. Flavors of hops, pine and some malts. Not overly bitter, but does have a solid bitter flavor. A solid beer I try to pick up as often as I can.

Photo of beerdrifter
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Save-On, a great beer store in Mentor Ohio. Clear amber, copper pour with big caramel-white head and great lacing. Big spicy, hoppy nose with an earthy, caramel malt backbone. The Cascade hops are definitely the star here, but it's balanced quite well with a nice toasty caramel malt sweetness. Great earthy, herbal taste with just enough hop bitterness and malty sweetness. A very unique interpretation of the style that truly sets it apart from the standard Red. Nice almost creamy mouthfeel with a really smooth finish. Extremely drinkable for a 7% beer. This may have just taken the top spot for me in the Red beer category. Wish I would have picked up more of this.

Photo of dougofthefuture
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from trade - I'm excited to try this!

A - Pours a cloudy yellow with maybe a bit of orange. Surprising color for what the bottle calls a "red ale". A big frothy 3 finger head at first, with lots of lacing.

S - Fairly subdued, especially compared to the bitterness in the taste, but a nice floral hop presence makes itself known.

T&M - Very thin body, which isn't necessarily a negative, but it is the first thing that I notice. The bright, tea-like hops work well with this mouthfeel and make it very drinkable. Perhaps a bit more lingering bitterness would round this out, but it's very nice. As I continue to drink, I'm changing my mind - this is a bit too flat for me.

D - Decent, and a unique "red ale". Likeable, but nothing amazing. I'm glad to have tried it once.

Photo of wedgie9
3.06/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tasted from 12oz bottle obtained in a trade. Pours dark amber with a medium bubbly head that slowly recedes to lace. Nose is both hoppy with citrus and soap, and malty with bread and hay. On the palate, the beer is hoppier with the malts taking a back seat. The hops linger for a long time with a nice bitter finish. The body is light with lively carbonation. The alcohol is masked well, but the watery body and active carbonation don't quite fit. This is a good beer that I could drink a lot of, but it is lacking the complexity and depth that I look for.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into an Ithaca pint glass.

A: Standard pour creates a 1 finger frothy pale biege head with moderate retention that dissipates into a thin film atop the brew. Beer is a clear mahogany. Lacing is ruler-like with great legs but near no cling.

S: Nose is bready with notes of citrus, pine, black tea leaves, brown sugar, and hops. Overall aroma is a bit muted but detectable and rather appetizing.

T: Tea leaves, tree sap, citrus in the back, and not-so-sweet brown sugar. Also pine cone and astringent hops in the middle to end. I feel like I'm chewing on leaves that have dropped during the Fall season. Slightly biscuity. Finish is coarse and bitter with a sticky, though not oily aftertaste that clings to the palate.

M: Light bodied, coarse, and carbonated. Initially watery in the mouth but gains a measure of body as it warms a bit. Leaves a dry, astringent feeling in my cheek. Finish is messy and aftertaste lingers.

D: A very average amber from Ithaca. Nothing about this beer really stands out and sets it apart. That being said, its not bad either and definitely something that I can see myself reaching for again. Give it a try if you're into the style as its a fairly solid representation.

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

Decently balanced. Malty core with light hop finish. Much maltier than I was expecting with a name like cascazilla, sits much heavier and is much sweeter and not quite as dry as I was expecting, but still picked up lots of fruit notes. Over all a vert drinkable beer. Much sweeter finish, rather than a dry bitter hop finish.

Photo of Lars3
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I went shopping for some Flower Power today, as per the norm it was sold out, so I bought this instead. The bottle says best before October, I'm just hoping that is Oct. 2010 and not Oct. 2009. 12oz bottle to Sam Adams perfect pint.

I think this beer tastes great, but the thing that impresses me most is the head. It looks less like it belongs on a beer than on a gourmet cupcake. It is beautiful, sticky, and the color of coffee butter creme. As I drink it, it leaves loads of lacing the whole way down.

The smell is subdued, but the hops and malt are almost equally present.

I don't drink many Red Ales, but this is pretty good. I hate not having much to compare it to, but of the few red ales I've had this is the best to date. I'd like some more hops, but this beer tastes great.

Feels like beer in my mouth. I'm not trying to be difficult, but that is all that I'm getting. Nothing special or distinct about the mouthfeel.

7%abv??? I don't believe it. This beer feels like 5%. I'd like to think I could drink a 6er of this in an evening, but I'd probably end up puking and sleeping upright to avoid the spins.

Photo of oregonskibum
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Color is a dark burgundy color that fades to a dark reddish-orange along the edges. Pours with a thin 3/4 head that leaves some splotchy lacing and a thin film.

S: Lots of sweet caramel malts, some grassy, herbal hops. Faint citrus hops, notes of strawberry.

T: Bready malts are apparent right from the start. Sweet caramel flavors are still there. Some faint citrus and grassy hop flavors remain through the mid-taste. Finish is mild and pretty unremarkable.

M: Medium to medium-light body, moderate carbonation.

D: Fairly easy to drink, but nothing remarkable. Would have like a little more hop presence in the taste to balance the sweet caramel flavors. I wouldn't turn this down, but likely won't seek this out again either.

Photo of mostpoetsdo
3.74/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Looks great, deep red, very vibrant, with a nice off-white head and great head retention. Fantastic lacing.

S: Mainly citrus hops up front, smell is subtle, though. Has a light toasty-ness due to malts.

T: Not the freshest, but still before the "best by" date. Has a good balance of hop to malt for this amber. The citrus hops aren't overwhelming, but give it good flavoring. There is also tasty toasted malt flavors in the background.

M: Good carbonation, near creamy.

D: This is very enjoyable, probably better fresher, but a very worthy Amber.

Photo of bourbonbock
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap that the Ithaca Beer Company store front. It was an amber beer with some haziness to it. It smells of grapefruit and hops. I'm assuming from the name that the beer was brewed primarily (solely?) with cascade hops. A little thick with hop oils on the tongue but overall a good beer to kick back at the end of the day and fall asleep with as it is pretty strong.

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CascaZilla from Ithaca Beer Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,147 ratings.