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TEN - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

198 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 198
Hads: 239
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 13.37%
Wants: 53
Gots: 6 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerTruth on 03-06-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Imperial American Extra Special Double Red Ale

"Our Anniversary beer, TEN is brewed with too many malts to list and an excess of American hops, including several additions during fermentation.

Enjoy the russet color, aggressively hoppy aroma and flavor, rich body and fiery finish."
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 198 | Hads: 239
Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Spcy Ithaca, one of their beter ones. it was an aggressive hoppy taste with a redish colour. The rye lends a sweet and spicy taste that made it dangerously drinkable. Bit of astringency from grapefruit hops.Great for style.Had over a year later and mouthfeel and smell there, even the colour. But taste past due.

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Photo of brentk56
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch E!oo6

Appearance: Pours a cloudy brownish amber with a huge head; lots of miniscule bubbles that last forever and a day and leave continental maps of lace

Smell: Big caramel aroma with hints of the piney hops that I am sure used to be present

Taste: As suspected, a huge caramel base up front, with piney hops appearing in the background mid-palate; there is plenty of bitterness left in this beer but it is clearly oxidizing into barleywine territory; after the swallow, the bitter flavors battle the best they can, but the caramel flavors dominate

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate to high carbonation

Drinkability: Received this in a BIF earlier this year and should have consumed it right away; clearly a powerful beer that I have tried to rate had it been fresher

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to bmanning for sharing this in a tasting.

A: Pours a beautiful crimson with a nice white head.

S: Lots of sweet malt and some leftover hops; sweetness comes through from all angles.

T: Malt sweetness and still some remaining piney, tropical bitterness from the hops.

M: Medium-heavy with a good amount of carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable. A very solid brew--wish they'd make it again.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a cloudy amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of citrus hops and deep caramel and toffee malt backbone. Taste is also dominated by some deep caramel malt backbone with their sweetness well balance by citrusy and bitter hops. Full body with limited filtration and great carbonation while no alcohol is apparent. Not as complex as I had expected but still very well done and very enjoyable.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch E!006. Equal parts tangerine orange, coral red and copper penny. A yeast-flecked haziness looks fantastic, as does a three finger crown of golden sandstone colored foam. This is the most attractive head and lace combination that I've seen in quite some time.

Ithaca describes Ten as an Imperial American Extra Strong and Special Double Red Ale. Hmmm... can't say that I've ever run into one of those before. I think it smells like a caramel malty American barleywine with an abundance of C-hops. Oh yeah, it smells fantastic... and we aren't anywhere near room temperature yet.

Ten is a wonderful big beer that tastes like it's chock full of both malt and hops. Power and complexity is an intoxicating combination (both literally and figuratively) when it comes to beer. American strong ale works, Imperial red ale works... hell's bells, call it anything you please, just don't forget to call me when the pouring begins.

The label says there are 'too many malts to list'. It tastes like the most abundant are those that provide flavors of toasted brown bread and caramel-toffee-brown sugar. There's also an earthiness that brings Munich malt in the equation, and I wouldn't be surprised if some chocolate malt was present as well. I love beer that beats the taste buds into submission with both malt *and* hops.

Speaking of hops, there's still a huge lupulin load after almost one year in the bottle. This beer won't age indefinitely (as the brewery claims), but it will last quite some time. On the other hand, if you're a hophead, I wouldn't let it go much past 12-15 months if you want maximum enjoyment.

Hard to say what varieties are responsible for the top end flavors of grapefruit, orange and passionfruit. Simcoe, Amarillo and at least one of the C-hops are my guesses. Ten tastes like a 10.0% ale that has its alcohol buried extremely well. That might seem like a contradictory statement, but it really isn't. Trust me, there are no chinks in the armor.

Time and additional pours add scads of soon-to-be-crusty lace to the pint glass. A perfect appearance score isn't out of the question. The mouthfeel is *just* full enough. It's also glassy smooth and has an ideal amount of laid-back carbonation. Well done... again.

I thought Ten was a one-off anniversary ale. Now I see that multiple batches are being reviewed. If they haven't already done so, Ithaca Beer Company needs to make this big, beautiful ale a regular release because it's the finest thing they've ever created. Thanks NutBrown.

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Photo of oberon
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Man was I glad to see this on the shelves around my neck of the woods before I leave for good next weekend,I really wanted to get some of this and man am I glad I did.Poured a deep hazed brown with some amber-like tinit a very tight put together two finger off white head that settled into a creamy mass after settleing very slowly leaving broken lace behind.Oh the blessed hops all thruought this beer in the aroma and flavors are just awesome whiffs of pine needles and grapefruit rind are intense there is also a big carame and chocolate nose to it as well it all just comes together nicely.First off the mouthfeel is just as lush and full as one could ever expect just smooth as hell,there is nothing flawed in my mind its perfect,flavors hit ya with a huge piney punch melding into a citric blend all along a hefty chocolatey,caramelly sweet malt base keeps pace but doesnt interfere with the great hop profile.Wow this beer was everything I wanted it to be and more,Ithaca should be commended for this one.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I received this beautiful Batch 006 bottle from beertruth earlier last month and had been waiting to give this one a try. The monstrous looking 750ml bottle was just begging to be opened when I got home, so you know what had to be done. I popped this one open and served it at a bit lower then cellar temp and poured it into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance - Absolutely perfect. This was a tremendously good looking beer. A rich ruby tinted amber toned was presented to me with a good amount of clarity to it. A more then decent looking three inch high head f off white colored lace then rose up from this and lasted for what seemed like an eternity, only really coming down after a good five minutes and even then it was still a good inch and a half in height. Lots of side glass lace with this one, it really thickened up quite a bit and had an awesome presentation to it. One of the biggest looking beers I have seen in a while.

Smell - The aroma was a hop lovers dream. Tons of rich citrus and floral hops just ripping through the air when I took my first sips of this one, it was tremendously complex as it warmed though. Wonderful mixture of malts coming through with it as it hits the sweet spot temp wise, however it is still driven primarily by the hops here. Huge pine notes, but nice and sweet at the same time, really pushing this through. This was a really great smelling beer.

Taste - The flavor followed suit almost identically, starting out with a massive hop assault and a touch of hot alcohol in the back. A decent malt base was underneath but you had to really look for it. There were large amounts of floral hops, grapefruit, orange, and hints of pine that were really coming through very nicely. Lots of bitter, dry flavors in the finish as well, really making you goes back in for another sip. The alcohol was there but it was very well masked.

Mouthfeel - Very rich and creamy, I was shocked by how full the body was on this one. It was done very nicely with a huge rich palate and great carbonation that lasted throughout the entire session. Almost a sticky like feel from the hop resin as well, very nicely done.

Drinkability - For 10%ABV, this was remarkably drinkable. The bottle caught up with me in the end, but admittedly it took a while to do so. Really very well masked and something that I enjoyed sipping on for a good long while. I would have loved to have had this forever.

Overall this was one of the best beers I have had. It was more of a double IPA then a strong ale, as it was indeed very hoppy; however it was excellent in every regard if you are able to get a hold of this one, and I would go out of my way to get it. It is definitely worth it.

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Photo of oline73
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this at the November Baltimore BA tasting. Poured from the bottle into a tasting snifter.

Appearance: The beer pours a cloudy reddish amber color with a layer of off white head that sticks around quite nicely.

Smell: Definitely malt forward with dark fruit and mild caramel malt note. The overall smell is a bit fruity.

Taste: Definitely reminds me of a red ale. The malt is the dominant flavor but it doesn't seem overly sweet. I'm getting some dark fruit. This beer may be a bit faded due to the age. The finish is slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium to a bit syrupy. Lots of smooth carbonation with a dry finish.

Overall: I liked this beer now, it was probably even better in its prime. Still quite nice.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a hazy, burnt umber body with a small, though sustaining, ivory-colored head.

Smell: Resinous, hoppy aroma smelling of oily grapefruit rinds and earthy wood tones. Comparatively mild malt notes of caramel and toasted grains.

Taste: Sweet caramel flavor with a taste of toasted biscuits followed by a sugar shooing kick of medium-high hop bitterness. Resiny, citrusy (pithy even) hop flavors. Plenty of wood in there too. Bittersweet finish with a definite alcohol heat to it.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Some creaminess to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A bit reckless with the hops for me, but hey, if that's what the kids are doing these days.

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Photo of jlindros
3.74/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared with many people at my cellar cleaning.

Light fizzy head, clear cranberry dark brown color.

Nose sweet candy, dark fruit, caramel and toffee, mild oxidation, chewy malts, mild bitter hops, dark fruits and nuts, fig, candy,

Taste sweet little candy, chewy malts, mild bitter hops, mild dark fruits and nuts, caramel, toffee, etc. Little oxidation, loss of caramel. Semi sweet semi bitter finish, chewy, little syrupy.

Mouth is med to heavier bod, syrupy, little carb, booze is hidden well at least.

One of the beers I really regret not reviewing fresh, as it was pretty good back then, and a bit of a let down now. Still had some of the nice qualities, but some oxidation and loss a lot of the goodness. Oh well.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a very large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, floral hops and citrus.

T: The taste is very well-balanced with strong flavors of caramel & citrus sweetness up front that are quickly tempered by a strong but not over-powering hops bitterness. There's a hearty malt character and no trace of the 10.00% ABV. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, although the hops seem to be toned down some, this is a very good high-powered beer to drink for a very long time.

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Photo of russpowell
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this one from Jw347, cheers Jonathan!

Batch E!006 Pours caramel/orange with 3 fingers of fluffy cream colored head. Insane lacing & head retention

S: Fruitty as all get out, & leafy hops

T: Fruitty, leafy hops, orange rinds, & earthy hops & a bit of pine up front. Dryness, a bit of booze, plums, marmalade, with more leafy & piney hops, as this warms. Finishes with oaky dryness, leafy hops in proliferate amounts, earthy hops are pretty evident as well; almost pulled a 4.5

MF: Chewy, sticky, with minimal carbonation; some boozey burn detracts a bit

The complexity & booze warmth, slows me down, pretty good ASA, not really reaching me as far as an elite beer, but I can see why others are in love with this offering

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a foggy ruby brown with a creme head.

Flavor is smooth with a bit of a brighter red ale side to it. Slight alcohol tone, but it's not overly noticeable. Definite hoppy character that rests firmly on the red ale side. As it warms some nice fruit edges come out. Also as it warms it really mellows out. It's just what this beer needs and the warmer temperature really brings out the smooth side of thise one. Tasty, tasty.

Feel smooths out as it warms as well.

This is pretty drinkable. Definitely a worthy anniversary brew. And definitely worth letting it warm up a bit.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a deep ruddy ruby brown hue with a thin large bubbled undercarbonated head, I know each one of these brews are bottle conditioned but this one is really light with the bubbles. Just a thin collar of lacing forms to the edge of my Gulden Draak chalice, even speckled lace clings to the glass with each sip.

Aroma is evidently multifaceted however deep alcohol infused ripened fruit layers arise first for me with tropical fruit thrown in with accents of grapefruit. Pretty intense burn caramelized sugar with a good amount of booziness. Other hop accents than just the intense citrus grapefruit experience would include a mint like evergreen note with an underlying earthiness.

Flavor is brash with hop bitterness and flavorful waves of pine and grapefruit pith assault the palate initially with a crushing caramel juicy malt backbone following, no doubt one of the more complex offerings I've ever had from Ithaca. I need to grab White Gold next, Bocktown is one of the few places offering bottles across the Burgh. In the finish the unwavering bitterness gives of earthy and pine tree bark notes.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with oily textures flowing and a moderate body overall. Rye adds complexity to both flavor and body but in this case I'm really getting alot of extra texture from it's addition. Carbonation maybe my one issue with my sample of this brew, I don't think this beer is flat but definitely light in the CO2 department. With all of those big flavors and body it needs a bit more bubbles to carry it all along.

Drinkability is pretty spot on even with those minor issues I mentioned the flavors although big and harsh at times are balanced with big malts to back up a massive amount of hops. I will continue to sample other Ithaca beers but this one so far is a highlight in their repertoire, excellent stuff.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

E!009 bottle given to me by Jan (biegaman) - thanks dude! Looks to be about 9 months old or so. Shared at a restaurant with friends, served in red wine glasses.

A - 1.5 fingers of orange-tan foam with good retention and tons of sticky lacing. Hazed ruby red color with many streams of tiny bubbles initially that dissipated as the evening went on. Really excellent looking considering the ABV and the serving vessel.

S - Tons of sweet malt flavors, with plenty of caramel, chocolate, brown sugar, and toasted bred. Even after 9 months there is still a fair bit of piney hoppiness with some candied citrus and apple notes. Unfortunately there's also a touch of medicinal alcohol as well.

T - The alcohol hints are fortunately gone in the taste, which is huge and complex. You could tell this was initially a hop monster when fresh as there are still some citric and pine notes, but it has held up extremely well considering the ridiculous malt content. Tons of chocolate, raspberry truffle, caramel, dark fruits, bread, and apples in there - I suspect they use one of the same malts as Kuhnhenn does in their high-gravity stuff as there's a mild similarity in flavor profile.

M - Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, lots of stickiness, with a dry apple-y finish. I'd like a bit more body from such a big beer. There's a touch of heat, but it never gets overly boozy or astringent.

D - Four of us easily killed the 750ml bottle, but I suspect it would have been simple enough for my wife and I to share on our own. The sweetness got a touch cloying by the end, but otherwise it was delightful, with its mild bitter aftertaste and spot-on carbonation.

I'd love to try a fresh batch for comparison, but this is definitely a brew you can feel comfortable aging.

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Photo of mothman
2.35/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours little head. Color is a hazed copper amber.

Aroma: Caramel and bready malts. Some weedy and grassy some. A bit of spice shows. Big malt profile.

Taste: Metallic flavors, caramel malts, bready, sweet. Hops are faded, but still provide some bitterness. Very malty.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, but no good hop flavors. Creamy as well. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends sticky and weedy.

Overall, I'd like to have tried this fresh as this one just wasn't doing it for me. It was too malty for my liking and the hops just weren't what I was looking for.

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Photo of WesWes
4.55/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a ruby red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a nice malty scent that boasts of pale, Carapils, crystal, and bisquit malts along with a wonderful hop nose. This is going to be one hoppy brew. The taste is awesome. It has a silky smooth malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes with some light warming. The hops are tremendous! It is one of the hoppiest beers I've ever had. It's a bitter bomb from start to finish. The malts do provide excellent balance. The mouthfeel is great. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine beer. What a way to celebrate ten years of brewing. This may be their best beer yet. Happy Anniversary!!!

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Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a reddish-amber color with an off-white head. The aroma has a lot of the malt I typically associate with red ales, as well as some toffee and grass. The flavor is similar, with a lot of red ale notes, toffee, grass and alcohol. As the beer warms I start to get some cinnamon notes, as well a some pine and resin from the hops. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Billolick
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Large bottle, capped with wax/foil covering. Batch "E! 009" Enjoyed in a Belgian tulip. Pours ruddy, coppery amber, tight knit head, and leaving plenty of ringed sheeting as well as fine, intricate lace. Nice looking glass of beer. Earthy, peat/smokey nose. Full flavor, heady and complex creation. Taste notes of more smoke, more earthiness, some light wood, rum raisin, oatmeal cookies and dark malty goodness. Wonderful, luxurious mouth feel, all adds up to make this a terrific and most enjoyable brewing creation. Bitter dark chocolate notes late and in the finish. Yummy stuff, well worth a try. Quality late night sipper/night capper.

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

Batch E!006; Sampled January 2012
A solid pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces a two finger thick, amber tinged, dirty tan colored head. The beer is a dark amber / plum color that shows a lightly hazed brightly red stained, amber color when held up to the light. The aroma smells of lightly aged malt, dark fruit, and aged citrus / berry fruit aromatics (this last seems distinctly like a hop signature). Oxidized, caramelized malt notes lean a bit towards sweet tea (though without the sticky sweetness), definite caramel, toasted-brown-sugar-crusted desert breads and a touch of nuttiness that is even more accentuated by some oxidation character. The hop character here is still quite present, even after four years, though it is certainly greatly diminished it still reminds me of citrus infused berries and ruby red grapefruit.

The beer is fairly sweet tasting, though this is fairly well tempered by a lot of citrus oil hop character, some palate coating hop bitterness and a toasted and nutty / oxidized malt character that comes into its own towards the finish. Flavors reminiscent of caramel soaked grapefruit zest, fresh pine needle syrup, ripe / fresh spruce tips (with that woody / citrus vibrancy). The hop character still has enough vibrancy to them to add a green, almost astringent edge towards the end of each sip, and there is still a lot of fruity hop character here, despite it being obvious that the hop character has been quite reduced since it was fresh. My wife describes the confluence of aged / oxidized malt and hops as smoky, which I can definitely see, but wouldn’t have come up with on my own.

This definitely has a nice character to it; it reminds me a lot of an aged bigfoot; it is certainly better fresh for those that are pure hop heads, but this is close to the sweet spot for the oxidized malt yet still fairly aggressive, but greatly mellowed hop character. Actually, as I work my way through the second glass, after the beer has warmed up a fair amount I really start to get a peaty, smoky, umami / not-quite salty character that is definitely noticeable; I would swear that there is some smoked malt in this, but age could have done it, and seems the most likely that this last is the case.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 10oz or so pour in a small goblet at Barcade in Brooklyn.

A: Cloudy, nearly opaque reddish amber body with a slightly off white head, nice retention and rings of lace with slow bubbles of carbonation.
S: Very sweet and hoppy with a light alcohol pinch as well. Primarily piney hops with sweet caramel malt and some oakiness.
T: Like the aroma, mix of sweet and hops. Starts off up front with piney and floral hops, not overpowering, balanced nicely with a caramel malt backbone, but then the hops start to fade in the finish and the candied sweetness takes over and lingers in the finish (almost becoming cloying). Something seems to be lacking in balance as the finish is too sweet and a little too strong in alcohol. Medium body with plenty of carbonation and the sweet dry finish. I think this is my first Ithaca beer and was happy to try this on tap, but overall I wasn't very impressed given the price and availability of this beer.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.37/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ithaca Ten

Pours a murky brown with small particles of yeast. Decent sized head forms and leaves some lace behind. Aroma of booze, fruits, caramel, and faint butterscotch. In the taste, where once was a hoppy beer, the malt has taken over. Brown sugar, molasses, prune and lots of alcohol make up most of the flavor profile. There is a trace of hops, but not enough to make much of an impression. This is a boozy malt bomb, and at best resembling an aged barleywine. Mouthfeel has held up pretty well, medium to low carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, probably peaked, but at this point, I'd set it aside for a few more years and see if anything develops.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BeerTruth for trading this to me. What a great beer! Pours a slightly hazy reddish brown, with a great head several inch head that sticks around as a cap. Really nice lacing as well. Quite a bit of hops in this beer. Both the aroma and flavor have substantial presence of nice citrusy hops, with a good bit of grapefruit and pine as well. Stiff, firm malt lends some fruitiness, some sweetness, and some breadiness. Beautifully integrated and quite smooth and even a bit waxy in the mouth. The aggressive hop profile really balances any residual sweetness. The balance and hoppiness of this beer is really pleasing. It's a big beer, but the alcohol is really well hidden and it is super easy to drink. Great job!

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Photo of HopHead84
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Consumed on 9/18/2009 and poured into a snifter. Thanks for opening this, Alex. The beer is the color of dark menstrual blood with a fizzy beige head.

What remains of the hop profile is essentially all pine with a whisper of citrus. There is a lot of caramel malt with a little sweetness and a touch of metallic character. The caramel is rich and becomes more pronounced as the beer nears room temperature.

The flavor is lots of caramel with a lot of pines and no citrus. The bitterness is at a high moderate level, but the perceived bitterness is higher due to some astringency.

I think this beer will get better with time when the astringent bitterness fades and the rich caramel is allowed to be the center of attention.

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Photo of biegaman
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from bottle with notes from draught. Both from first release - Batch E!006

A rosy chestnut that reveals to be especially dazzling when held straight up to the light. Within this blend of coppered tones, it is ruby that often bleeds through the most. Although it possesses a very dark complexion it sits with stunning clarity. Its ecru stained head is riddled with bubbles but maintains prominent outlining and a consistent sheet of cream.

The aroma is a warming, comforting smell that boast both hops and malt in big time proportion. To recreate it simply follow these steps: first, take a whole field worth of hop vines and shake them out into the glass. Second, find a factory's worth of caramel, melt it, and strain it in. Lastly, stir in a few buckets of pine sap and the zest of two bushels worth of citrus. There, you're done in just three easy steps!

Not to be outdone, the taste is all that and perhaps even more. The hops continue to impart sticky, sappy, syrupy pine notes and enough citrus to ward off a lifetime's worth of colds. They can also come across at times very leafy and herbal, somewhat like a green tea. The malts are a fantastic blend of crisp toffee, spicy cinnamon, caramelized sugars, butterscotch pudding and perfectly toasted breads.

Ithaca TEN has all the characteristics (aroma, flavour, depth, alcohol percentage) as a good, hearty barleywine. Whether fortunate or unfortunate - I have yet to decide - it is much more quaffable and thus will disappear much faster. Its strength is concealed and I fear now that even a 750ml bottle won't be enough (just as the two pints weren't either when I first had this on tap!)

Ithaca appears to be using their 'Excelsior! Series' to flirt with wine and digestif territory. Also offered in the capsule topped wine bottles (among others) is a beer enriched with alfalfa honey (Alphalpha), one injected at bottling with freshly pulled espresso shots (Kaffinator), and most significantly, the 'Brute' which is finished with three types of Champagne yeasts...

As far as TEN goes, it is a beer with definite table presence, something that would pair wonderfully with various foods, and seemingly, has some aging potential. Although their regular lineup is fairly underwhelming, I'd be sure never to pass up on anything released from the Ithaca 'Excelsior! Series'. I've enjoyed all those offerings so far, and to date, I'd have to say the TEN is what's impressed me most.

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TEN from Ithaca Beer Company
90 out of 100 based on 198 ratings.