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CascaZilla - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.

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very good

1,147 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,147
Reviews: 578
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 44
Gots: 73 | 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 KickbacksSteve
3.56/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into unibroue tulip. Aroma is a nice burst of sweet malts and hops, some heat noted in nose. Taste is along the same lines, pretty nice. Nice masking of the abv in the taste. Pretty good balance of malts and hops. Solid offering.

Photo of kegger22
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ithaca Cascazilla Red Ale is red/brown in color with a half inch, beige head that dissolves to a collar.

The aroma is more citrus hops and to a lesser extent, malt sweetness.

A nice balance of flavors make up the taste, citrus and malt battling it out, and citrus hops the ultimate winner over caramel malt.

The mouth feel is medium bodied with sufficient carbonation.

Drinkability is good due to a satisfying taste and reasonable ABV of 7.00.

Cascazilla is a solid red ale, one that I'd recommend and will sample again.

Photo of ClavisAurea
3.47/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle in a pint glass.

Appearance: very thick and creamy head, light brown with a slight red hue

Nose: complex spicy and hops

Taste: effervescent, hoppy, crisp

Mouthfeel: crisp and does not linger

Drinkability: I can drink this all day long.

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

12oz bottle served in an oversized wine glass

A - poured a solid finger of tight frothy light khaki colored foam. beer is a sharp bold amber color, clear with decent amount of bubbling. moderate lacing down the glass.

S - smells of cascade hops, strong caramel, touches of pine and grassy hops. nice balance.

T - starts off with a flash of the caramel sweetness before the cascade hops fly through the palate. malts fight back before the pine grassy notes take hold. a good kind of unabashed aggressiveness all around as the flavors fight for attention.

M - medium bodied with a huge stickiness and quite chewy, weird kind of thinning out near the end is a bit of a dissappointment. very mild alcohol burn.

D - im a big fan of cascade so this was quite pleasant for me. not my favorite red but a yummy sipper.

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

Bottle from an Ithaca brewing company sampler poured into a sam smiths pint glass. Smells real friuty and florally, a lot like froot loops actually. Taste is more of the same but with a very hoppy piney background. club soda like carbonation and easy drinkability make this a real nice beer almost sessionable.

Photo of Buckeyes67
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer has grown on me since I started drinking craft beers. It has a nice amber appearance and is clear. It has a flowery smell to it and the hops are just right when you take a drink. It sits nicely on your palate not to heavy and it flows smoothly. I would put this in my top 3 beers from this company.

Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a perfect pint glass. Pours a reddish copper color with a fluffy white head with moderate retention. Nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma is very hoppy, nice citrus and fruity flavors with some caramely sweet malt as well. Taste is hoppy at first bit the sweet caramel flavor of the malt really comes through as well. The bitterness nicely balances out the sweetness of the malt.

Mouthfeel as medium bodied and carbonation is moderate. Nice drinkability, no flavors are overpowering and I could drink several of these without getting bored with the flavors.

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 kels
3.74/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This review is on a bottle poured into pint glass. The pour is a rusty shade of reddish-brown with a 1 finger, well-retained head of tan, tightly packed, tiny bubbles. The beer has moderate clarity with a good deal of carbonation running throughout. Lots of specks and splotches of sticky lace remain on the walls of the glass throughout the drink.

The aroma of the beer is hard to detect. There's a light, toasty grain presence, and a hint of grapefruit hops. That's about it. Nice smell, but not too big nor well-defined.

Hops are definitely the forward flavor in this beer. There's a definite citrus hop presence throughout the drink, from the first sip to the aftertaste. There's more of a grassy hop presence initially that fades fast, giving way to the sweet, slightly caramelized malts and toasty grains that provide a backdrop in this beer.

The feel of the beer is okay. It is pretty well carbonated, but still somehow on the thin side. It goes down quickly and smoothly, and all the remains behind is a citrus-rind bitterness and slight stickiness. It is definitely drinkable, and while not my favorite in the style, I would definitely try it again.

Photo of Pinto21
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice heads forms on the pour, then receds fairly quickly. Perfect amber colour.

Smell is all cascade, citrus with hint of pine, with carmel malts coming through in the end.

Caramel malts that is then hit by the cascade hops, then a sweet end to it. The bitterness still lingers around though. Not overy bitter though. A nice hop taste to it. A very well crafted brew that show cases cascade hops and balances it with caramel malts.

Nice mouth, ok for an Imp amber. Woulda like a bit more to it though.

A nice Imp amber but I think Troegs Hopback tastes better, more of a malt backbone and hop presence in it. Cascazilla has a bigger ABV but i wouldnt have guessed it. I think it could be more ramped up and be amazing

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

this beer pours a nice red color with a thick off white head that recedes to rocky lacing rather quickly. the aroma presents a nice bready malt aroma backed nicely by citrus hops. the taste follows with a nice balance of the sweet biscuit malt flavor and pine hop bitterness. the medium body and the good co2 make this a beer that I never pass up in the tasting room.

Photo of prototypic
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cascazilla's a really attractive copper color. It's moderately hazy, but has an orange tint to it with a little backlighting. It's topped with a large, fluffy off-white head. It stands over two and a half fingers tall and is very slow to recede. Thick, sticky chunks of lace line the glass as it descends.

The nose is good. Hops are strong in the mix and have a blend of citric and piney qualities. Grapefruit, pineapple, and orange are all noted. Pine smells really nice in here, too. Whatever the hop profile is, it's a winner. There's also a healthy amount of caramel malt sweetness present. However, hops win the day and smell stronger. That's a recipe for success in the hoppy amber part of the world. Alcohol is not noted at all.

The flavor profile is likewise very good. I'm on the fence with the score. Hops are a rather intense part of the flavor throughout. They're very citric and feature grapefruit, orange, and pineapple flavors primarily. They also have a tasty pine flavor and are very dry. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem very bitter. I like the hop flavor, but wish it had more bitterness. Caramel malts are sweet and balance it out a little. Ultimately, the hops survive. At least the flavor does. Alcohol is blended well and is barely noticeable. It finishes dry and citrusy. The score suffers a little from the lack of bitterness, but this is still very good beer.

Cascazilla has a medium body and is smooth. Carbonation is a just a little high and prevents it from reaching a creamy feel. Drinkability is good. A strong argument could be made for awarding the next highest score here. This stuff goes down easy and has a really good flavor. I like it a lot. It's not too scary at 7% abv either.

Ithaca Brewing makes some impressive beer. Cascazilla's no exception. The only complaint I have is that it's not very bitter. I'd like it even more if it had more of a bitter kick to it. Otherwise, it's spot-on for a hopped up Amber Ale. This is damn good stuff that's well worth seeking out. Highly recommended.

Photo of MrDanno96
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Opaque amber color. Starts off with two fingers of head and demonstrates good retention by maintaining almost a finger the entire time. Lots of foamy lacing down the sides of the glass. Looks good.

S: Smells like a hop bomb with some floral aromatics mixed in. Daunting, but appealing.

T: A big hop taste is all I really get. It seems as if some sweetness is trying to break through, but never quite makes it. Despite the big hop flavor it isn't overly bitter.

M: Medium body with lots of bite from the carbonation and hops. Leaves your mouth and tongue tingling.

D: This brew is good. I'm not exactly impressed, but it performs respectably in all categories. I wish there as a little more flavor, but I guess it is supposed to be a hop bomb. I would drink this again, but probably won't seek it out.

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

Pours a clear caramel with a light white head that settles on the sides after settling. Sweet hoppy citrus scent and malt aroma with some pine.

Tastes like a red ale with a healthy dosing of hops. Nice citrus and pine combination. Sweet malt body with medium mouthfeel. Definitely drinkable as the hops balance nicely in this red ale.

Last but not least, this label says stay away, minus the Ithaca beer co. It appears almost like a mighty morphin power ranger label with a dragon spewing fire out of his mouth with hops in the flames. +1 for originality , -3 for label cheese

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 NittanyBeerFan
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass, pours a deep ruby color that when held up to light produces golden amber hues. The head is thin and evaporates quickly.

Hops pour out of this beer, much more than expected from a red ale. Floral and citrusy (grapefruit) hops are the dominant aromas. All in all, this smells more like an IPA than it does a Red or Amber Ale.

Grapefruit and floral hops evident in the nose impart some nice bittering qualities to this beer, and it catches me a bit off guard. Didn't expect so many hops...but as I drink, I find that this beer is balanced as hell. Caramel notes come forth from the crystal malts and give a great sticky backbone to this over-hopped red ale.

Smooth and crisp with a bit of a resinous malt feel in the middle and end of the sip. Nicely textured and thoroughly interesting, the only thing that knocks this beer's rating down a bit is its representation of the style. Not quite a sessioner (7%, even though you'd never know it), but I drank these all night.

Photo of aaronh
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice amber body topped by a thick, long-lasting head. Aroma is heavy on malt at first, then a nice pop of rosin followed by another blast of sweetness. Flavor is a wonderful mix of grapefruit and tangerine blended with pine balanced by caramel and biscuit malt flavors. Borders on a typical IPA of 8-10 years ago for bitterness. One of the more balanced beers I've had with regards not being well hopped but not numbing to the taste-buds. Mouthfeel tends to get a little aggressive carbonation-wise. Drinkability is good. Six-packs don't last too long. This has been a go-to dependable beer for a few years for me.

Photo of drabmuh
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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

From the 355 ml. bottle with a notched off "September" on the label. It does not say which year but I sampled it on October 8, 2009 so I have to think it is September 2009. A decent sounding amber-red pour into the pint glass with about a quarter-inch, long lasting beige head and rather cloudy in clarity. The aroma wafts of very sweet malts and pungent Cascade hops. The mouthfeel is pretty heavy with long lasting consistency. The taste is an enticing merger of sweet caramel malts and bitter Cascade hops almost to the level of a decent IPA. A nice spin on the Red Ale recipe.

Photo of emsroth
4.26/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

App: Huge 2-3 finger, tan head. Deep reddish amber in color. Devilishly dark and opaque. Makes you think it's truly from a monster.

Smell: Fruity north american hops dominate. I am reminded of unripe peaches and strawberries. I detect a faint, malty undertone; it smells like sweet, dark bread. This is a nice touch to a hoppy beer, because as we know, they malt rarely ever gets through.

Taste: Greeted by a rush of carbonation and a touch of sweet, indistinguishable malt. Then on to the main show: the hops! Their flavor is mostly pine with a hint of citrus bite. Not the most flavorful, but such a wonderful bitterness. As it warms, undertones of apples seep out. The aftertaste is mostly bitter and floral, but it does have the occasional malty chew.

Crisp medium body and carbonation that is as biting as the hops.

It's a rough brew, and certainly challenging to the palette. Monstrously hoppy with out being overbearing in anyway. A genuinely delicious brew.

Photo of ahalloin
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired as an extra in a trade with Hopstoopid120. Thanks bro!

Popped the cap on a 12 oz. bottle with a "Best Before: September" marking. Still September, so I expect good things. Nice artwork on the bottle with a "Godzilla-like" lizard breathing out red fiery hop cones.

Pours very dark for a "Red Ale", almost a molten caramel color with a slight hint of red in there. Cloudy fluid with a light tan foamy head of about two fingers width. Had to slow pour the final bit, as I was in danger of losing precious beer. Head retention excellent with remaining foam still atop the beer.

Smell has a nice moderate citrusy hop aroma balanced fairly well by a caramelly malty backbone. I also detect a slight cotton candy sweetness.

Taste is a very well balanced showcase for the citrusy hops. Starts with a thin sweetness akin to a dry caramelly flavor. Slight grapefruit hop flavor appears before a very bitter, long-lasting finish that sticks in the mouth for 30 seconds after the swallow.

Mouthfeel: Bland medium bodied with rather low carbonation. I actually dig it this way, even though style parameters would want a medium to high carbonation. Finish is bitterly astringent which I also dig.

Drinkability, I think, is very good. The beer goes down very smooth and has a nice flavor. The excessively bitter finish may turn some people off.

Photo of asabreed
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Darker amber with copper color, with another great-looking frothy head that refuses to let go, as seems to be with all the Ithaca brews as of late.

Smell: Yep, a big and hoppy red ale, with a good and rich malty backbone, with hints of chocolate, roasted malts, and mild dark fruits. Also some bigger citrus of orange and lemon and leafy hops.

Taste: Just because a beer is a hoppy monster of a red ale, it shouldn't mean that balance needs to be forgotten. And it isn't, necessarily, but I feel like Flower Power, which isn't far away from this ABV, is much more balanced. It feels like the darker and roasted malt flavors, along with the rich fruit that's supposed to be coming to fruition, are kind of eclipsed by the hops, which seem a little earthier, root-like, and bitter than maybe they should be. It's not unpleasant, and it's still very tasty, but something's a bit off in making me not flip out over this, which the profile seemingly has the potential to do. Not as it is in its current state, however.

Mouthfeel: Rich and medium-bodied with creamy carbonation and a silky feel. Best part of the brew.

Drinkability: This is a solid brew, but it almost seems a little much for me, probably as far as balance goes. The strength of it isn't as balanced as it probably should be in order to enjoy a few. Granted, 7% isn't a low ABV, but it seems a bit more raucous than it should be, and with more malt balanced and less askance bitterness, this could be something much different and much more sessionable.

Photo of mikel52588
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a deep brownish coffee-like color with a 2 finger length head, leaves a soapy lacing

Smell: a blend of maltyness and hoppyness

Taste: Sweet caramel maltyness, mixed with apples and a piney citrus, and a nice hop presence in the background

Mouthfeel: dryness feeling that apples leave on the tongue, smooth and slick on the tongue, light-medium body, and medium carbonation that dissipate quick.

Drinkability: Its pretty drinkable, not too heavy, looks nice, smells nice and, even tastes nice; the one thing is that the alcohol really makes an appearance at the bottom of your glass as all the other complexities diminish.

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

Appearance: Poured from a 12 oz into dogfish signature. Has a nice dark amber hue which is translucent up to light. In the head department this one ranks high; has a thick frothy head that coats the entire glass and retains throughout the duration of the session.

Smell: Has a nice pungent scent of cascade hops that dominates with a counterpart of nice toasted nutty malt.

Taste: They weren't lying this really has a big kick of hops. They are dry, herbaceous and bitter and even partially spicy from pepper to some cinnamon. The bitter is held up by a crutch of an ever so slight nutty malt and a few woody aspects. Past the hop forward tastes there is a sharp biscuity yeast and hints of apple and floral attributes.

Mouthfeel: Quite smooth and slightly robust. Finishes bitter and crisp with a dry lingering hop-oil aftertaste.

Drinkability: Not a hop bomb but is surely hopped to a nice degree. Has a moderate abv that isn't detectable and I was somewhat surprised when I read that it was a 7%.

Overall: Quite an well executed 'monster' it doesn't ruin your palate but rather is a nice nuance of hops and an interesting twist on the amber ale category. First time having an ithaca brew (even though they are so close to home) and was pleasantly surprised.

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