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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 roan22
4.7/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance is a clear reddish orange hue, with two inches of luscious, off white, creamy foam at the top. It dissapates after a while but the lacing left is immaculate.

It smells like a pine forest...and citrus fruit. maybe a touch of booze which isnt a bad thing at all.

The taste of this red hoppy ale is juicy and really bitter, so flavorful just like I like it. Also backed up appropriate level of malts to make it not too puckery. Brilliant.

Mouthfeel is not sticky, and the massive amount of hops used leave a bitterness on my tongue which lasts a long time.

Drinkability also gets a five since I can drink more than one in a session, as its below 7%. Such a wonderful beer. This and the Flower Power. Cheers!

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

Gorgeous ruby red color with two fingers of off-white head. Head dissipates slowly leaving lots of lacing. Nice cascade aroma, plenty of citrus. Citrus flavor comes through with a good malt backbone that bring a nice balance. Finishes slightly sweet with a citrus twang still in there. Medium bodied with good drinkability.

Photo of tayner
3.26/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle. Label states "monstrously hoppy red ale"

Poured a nut brown color with the very slightest red hue into a pint glass. Lots of foamy head that lasted the whole pint and lots of sticky lacing all over. By the sticky, foamy nature I am assuming there will be alot of hop resins and oils in there.

Smell is somewhat muted from what i expected from a "monstrously hoppy" ale. It has a sweet citrus nose, but almost more sweet than hoppy.

Taste is also a bit sweet. I was expecting a hoppy beer, and what i got was a malty beer with a hop accent. I am wondering if this bottle is old, although I just received it recently. It has very good flavor, just not nearly as monstrously hoppy as i had expected.

Plenty of carbonation in this one to make it light to medium. A tiny bit overly sweet though, and i like my beers sweet on occasion.

This one seems like it is more like an 8% not 6.5 as it claims here. there is nothing noted on the bottle, but I am surprised when drinking it.

I didnt mind this one, but would not seek it out again.

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

poureda clear copper color with a thin thin offwhite head. giving way to bits of suds floating around on the surface

Pine and citric hops up front, balanced nicely by a solid malt profile.

super hoppy on the front of the tongue, resiny, juicy citrus and pine balanced out nicely by some slightly roasty caramel malts towards the back.

Mediumish body with moderate fine bubbled carbonation. Clean slightly drying finish.

A solid beer, one i'd most definately reach for again

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

Nice ruby/amber body with a small off-white head. Leaves a little bit of sticky lacing on the glass.

Smells really good. Nice cascade hops with a malty undertone.

Taste has lots of hoppy goodness up front and in the finish. The middle is dominated by malts that remind me of caramel. Big sweetness. Good beer, well-balanced with loads of hops and malt.

The mouthfeel is pretty good, with a big chewy feel to it.

This is a drinkable beer. Although it is pretty balanced, I would give the nod to the hops over the malt.

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

Grassy Ass Beertruth.

I really wanted to taste this beer as I used to go to cascadilla gorge all the time, drunk, and high.

This beer pours a beautiful dark ruby red, like big red bar in collegetown.

Smells very sweet and spicy like around harvest time and christmas tree bud rolls into town.

Tastes like a hit of acid on your tongue during the wintertime in a blizzard. Even better than rogans wings!

Leaves an aftertaste of sweet cristiano's pizza in your mouth.

I love this beer. And if you've lived in Ithaca, I hope you enjoyed my review.

Photo of beachbum1975
4.48/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks for this BONUS beer in our trade israel - you're the best!!!

I love the packaging on this one. The label made me feel like Godzilla met Quinton Quentin Tarantino and made a beer!

Appearance: 12 oz bottle with no freshness date. Poured a clear, dark amber with a nice ¼ inch head with big, sticky lacing.

Smell: Cascade hops all over the place balanced by nice sweet, carmelized hops. Can't wait to try this one, my mouth is watering!

Taste: Yum, if you like Cascade hops (like me), this is the beer for you! It's a delightfully balanced caramel (or toasted?) malts with a generous ample of cascade hops. Aftertaste is good and oily, with slight yeast.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium bodied and crisp with a nice clean finish.

Drinkability: I'm not sure where the "Red" was in this beer, other than it's color, but I'd highly recommend this as a session beer if you're a fan of hops like me. Great work, Ithaca Brewing!

Photo of unclecrappy
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass from 12 oz. bottle.

I almost typed "pine" instead of "pint." Given the dry, sharp hops featured in this beer, it's an understandable mistake.

A: Dead on: Dark red, almost brown, with a thick, tan head that leaves a good lace behind.

S: Also, dead on. Hops are right up front, but a caramel maltiness is right there on its tail.

T: Hoo, the hops. You get dry and pine-y with each sip. But this is nicely balanced, too -- the aforementioned malt richness comes next, balancing this out to a very nice beer. Although ABV is bumped up a bit, you don't notice.

M: Good. Malts add a little creamy.

D: Also good. If you're having more than a couple, have a glass of water nearby -- you're going to be thirsty.

I'm comparing this with my memories of Great Lakes' Nosfaratu, and to my recollection, this holds up well. An exceptionally well-done shot at this style.

Photo of WeisGuy
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Lum for this extra!

a - pours a copper color with a two-finger off-white head, decent retention and lacing, clear

s - deep caramel maltiness mixed in with the piney hoppiness, surprising amount of toffee as well

t - as in the nose, caramel maltiness and piney hop bitterness in dominate the taste, hints of toffee as well as some biscuit, no alcohol present, not really "monstrously hoppy" as the label proclaims

m - medium-bodied, moderate carbonation, dry finish

d - the dryness of the finish limits somewhat, but overall, a pretty drinkable ale, the 6.5% abv is not evident at all

Overall, a decent balanced red ale. Nothing spectacular here, but worth a try. Don't expect a big hoppy red though.

Photo of TheBlackMallard
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Adam(saucya) for this. The label looks like an ad for a monster truck rally.

Pours Amber with a small head that disappears pretty quickly, leaves modest spots of lacing.

Smell: Bread, Caramel, Toffee, Fruity, Floral and Piney Hops.

Taste: Nice and bitter, just a hint of malty sweetness that's gone about as quickly as it shows up but lingers a bit more as it warms. Starts with Pine and Citrus followed by a nice Grassy and Citrus finish. Clean, crisp, balanced, and very drinkable.

Photo of nasty15108
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. After sampling Cascazilla on tap at TAP NY I had to give it a 2nd try.

A - Poured a reddish brown color, reminiscent of strong iced tea. This ale had lots of carbonation and the pour produced a tannish head that quickly faded into a bubbly film, leaving scattered lacing behind.

S - A buttery malty aroma of chocolate covered cherries and toffee. Slightly floral with hints of citrus and pine.

T - Creamy and malty. Lots of ripe fruit and toffee up front. This ale finishes off with a hoppy bite of pine and citrus. Although billed as a red ale, I found it to have alot of the same characteristics as a good Dopplebock.

MF&D - Full bodied, creamy and sticky. Might not be a sesion beer, bit its very good nontheless. Check it out.

Photo of shbobdb
3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A pretty solid brew. The beer has a nice red color to it, with a fair bit of lacing. So far so good.

The nose is fairly muted on this bottle. Even as it warms, it is still pretty unimpressive. Some nice lemon, but nothing too mindblowing.

But the taste is pleasantly balanced. A nice light lemon and grapefruit taste with a solid toffee background from the malt. A nice bitter finish too.

The beer is nice and drinkable. It isn't too thin, but nor is it so thick that the malt gets in the way.

Overall, a pretty solid beer. Not mindblowing, but good. I could see myself knocking back a few of these without complaining. I guess, overall, that is my complaint -- it doesn't really commit in any direction, leaving a nice light, drinkable beer. But I guess when I think of "red ale" I think of a very thick, rich, malty beer. Couple that with "monsterously hoppy" and I expect big malt and big hops to forge out a balanced drinking experience. Instead, I got fairly mild hops and a nice light malt presence working together to make a balanced drinking experience.

Bigger isn't always better, but when you name your beer "Cascazilla", you'd better deliver on something big.

Photo of hyland24
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one was a gusher. Poured from a bottle into a pilsner. Poured a cloudy ice tea brown with a tan white head. Spider web lacing with decent head retention. Smell was a nice mix of hops and malt. The taste was great. Hops up front followed by a nice creamy caramel malt finish. Very well balanced beer with a smooth medium bodied creamy mouthfeel leaving behind all sorts of flavor. Not as bitter as I expected which is a good thing. Perfect carbonation with a great body and an awesome example of this style. Jump on this one if you get the chance. Ithaca has yet to disappoint.

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

A-Dark copper with a thin, light tan head that leaves a nice bit of lace behind.

S-Hello! Cascade hops. Plenty of pine, citrus and floral qualities here! Backed up by a generous amount of sweet caramel malt.

T-Big ole' smack of pine needles and then citrus. Certainly a hop forward brew...but barley...sweet caramel malt quickly follows. Overall very nice. Leaves a pleasant bitterness in the aftertaste.

M-Medium body with some cloying. Lots of lingering hop bitterness.

D-A good brew that stradles that hoppy amber/IPA line. A beer that is always nice to see on tap...doesnt stand up to some other offerings for me....but certainly not a beer I shun! I never have an issue putting away a few of these!

Photo of OKCNittany
4.64/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Poured a thin white head with decent retention, leaving a little lacing. Body was a deep amber with good clarity.

S: Aroma was full of fresh pine and plenty of it. Outstanding.

T: Flavor was spectacularly hoppy with notes of citrus and some pine. Thanks to a good amount of caramel malt, it remained in balance. Delicious.

M: Just short of medium bodied - similar carbonation. Hop oils coat the tongue.

D: Thank God my friend took my keys. The 7% abv was perfectly masked. Normally at Coopers (Scranton) I switch from beer to beer, but this one was too good to switch away from. Its biggest flaw is that it's not available in OK.

Photo of allergictomacros
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Good looking brew - pours a clear copper/red with an inch of dense sticky foam.

S - Pine and grapefruit hops in the forefront, with a bit of sweet malt in the background. A bit of an alcoholic tinge as well.

T - Nice hoppy flavour here, with a bit of a toasted middle. Citrus, toast, grapefruit. Good balance and solid bitterness in the aftertaste. Some generic fruitiness, but hops carry the day.

M - I guess the malts give this much more body than a typical IPA. Solid mouthfeel and nice smooth carbonation.

D - Nice drinking beer. Good balance and tasty.

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

12 oz. bottle.

Dark golden amber body. Clear. Full, thick finger of dense, sticky, glass-lathering head. Nice. Graham cracker malt nose with a very juicy, piny, herbal hop backing. Resinous. Must have been dry-hopped liberally.

Toasted caramel malt flavor up front. Sweetish cookie dough backbone. Piny, resinous hop flavor and bitterness come on strong and deliciously. Herbal hop bitterness in the finish. Chewy sweet malts linger. Nice. Medium body is maybe a bit too carbonated. Otherwise a very nice drinking amber ale, especially if you like hoppy ones!

Photo of number1bum
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A couple years ago when I first got into craft beer I tried Ithaca's Pale Ale and Nut Brown and wasn't very impressed, and unfortunately I wrote them off for a long time and hadn't tried any of their other standard offerings. I've now had a few of their Excelsior beers, however, and have decided to give them another shot. Lucky for me, because Cascazilla doesn't disappoint!

Pours a reddish bronze color with good clarity and about one finger of light beige head. Keeps a thin lace and leaves a little bit of stick.

Smell has a good dose of grapefruit and some more earthy hops, as well as some caramel malt sweetness and a bit of bready/toasty malt, too.

Taste starts off with some grapefruity/citrusy hops, along with some pine and earthy flavors. Nice amount of caramel malt sweetness adds some balance. Midway through and into the finish there is some toasted malt flavor that mingles nicely with a moderate level of hop bitterness. Finishes with some piney bitterness.

Medium mouthfeel and good level of carbonation. This is a beer I could drink a number of in a sitting. Really tasty and just plain solid across the board.

Photo of wcudwight
3.79/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to beertruth for the bottle.
Loud amber color. Kind of an amber made from crimson and burgundy. The head looks like butterscotch icing on a cake. Very attractive.
Smells of caramel malts and hops. Citrus. I must admit that for a beer that advertises itself as a monsterous hoppy ale, the aroma kind of disappoints me a bit. It's not that it's bad. I was just expecting more hops in the nose.
The hops that are missing in the nose come forward full force in the flavor. Nice hoppy flavors of citrus, grapefruit with plenty of camamel malt to carry it. Also a hint of toasted flavor in the finish.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied and suits the style well.
Not sessionable due to the 6.5% abv which is too much for me to session but a very drinkable solid beer.

Photo of
3.33/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle

Poured a hazy, orange brown color. Medium size, tan colored head, composed of large bubbles. Minimal legs, decent lacing.

Scent was pine and caramel. Some earthiness. Overall, somewhat muted.

Taste was more bitter than sweet, pine and grass. A bit of metallic taste showed up, not a plus. Sweet component was wheat bread with honey. Bitterness lingers well.

Medium to full body. Low to medium carbonation. More dry than sweet.

OK, better "big reds" out there.

Photo of frazbri
3.34/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Cascazilla poured deep red. Crystal clear body was topped by a very dense, tall, creamy, off-white head with good lacing. Aroma had notes of pine with some grapefruit and a touch of sweetness. Honey and maple sweetnees was followed very assertive bitterness. Body and carbonation were medium level with a very dry finish.

This ale had a beautiful appearance. The other aspects weren't as wonderful, but the only disappointing part was the mouthfeel. There was an arid level of dryness that I didn't care for, but don't let that keep you from drinking it.

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

12oz bottle poured into a pint

Pours a crystal clear mahogany amber with loads of tiny bubbles finding their way north. A two-finger pillowy bone white head had some staying power and left good amounts of lacing all the way down the glass.

Smells of funky, earthy, caramel malt and piney, citrus hops.

The taste is dominated by murky caramel malt. There is light grapefruit hop backbone that is just enough to make this beer satisfying.

Slightly creamy and medium bodied. Crisp and dry.

I could easily drink a few of these in an evening.

Photo of Tilley4
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to joeybeerbelly for throwing this in as an extra!

Murky brown pour with a rather small head..

Aroma is dominated by sweet malts..almost barleywine like in its smell. Maybe some faint hops but mostly

Not much in the way of hops left in this bottle, this is all sweet malts and as it warms they get damn tasty!

Very similar in taste and aroma to a barleywine without all the alcohol.. Wasn't sure I liked it at first, but it really started to get tasty after a few minutes...thanks, Joe!

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

Thanks to EGledhill for this.

An amber, medium-bodied ale with a huge head that dwindled down to a thick ring leaving lacing on the sides with each sip. A piney aroma with some floral hints. A good amount of malt attempts to balance out with the hops, but the bitterness comes out a little stronger. The lingering taste of alcohol that hangs out too long is the only negative for this beer. A solid beer that I would like to try again in the future.

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

Pours a wood stain brown. Thick white head that never quite dissolves. Stringy lace clinging to the edges of the glass. Nose has a nice hoppy bite.

Flavor is just popping with hops. Malts provide a balance to the hops but hardly stand out on their own. Some stringent woody tannins to. Medium to light mouthfeel. Hop oils really cling to the cheeks. Drinkable but 3 or so of these would blow your taste buds for much else.

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