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Alphalpha - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
AlphalphaAlphalpha

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

223 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 223
Reviews: 143
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.79%
Wants: 70
Gots: 27 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: almychristopher on 12-30-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 223 | Reviews: 143
Reviews by GonzoHomebrewer:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I Have been wanting to try this beer for awhile,I always missed it when in western NY before,Iam glad to finally get my hands on it.Poured into an imperial nonic a hazed orange tinged lemony color with tight formed pillow-like one finger white head that left a solid ring of lace as it settled slowly.Fresh citric hops really hit home during the pour,I could smell it a few feet away,light alcohol sweet zing in there as well.Sharp citric hops up front on the palate,citrusy at the beginning with a sharp bitter edge in the finish,the alfalfa honey does provide some underlying sweetness as well as some alcohol induced sweetness to balance the beer out somewhat.I like this beer because it's not an overly sweet alcohol laden DIPA,the hops are the main focal point of the beer as it should be.

Photo of boston2bburg
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful 750 bottle, received as a Christmas gift from my dad.

Hazy golden body with ample white head, good retention and clumpy lacing.

Gorgeous aroma of piney, floral hops, reminiscent of a rougher, woodsier Simcoe crossed with a super Willamette. Solid biscuity malt backbone which melds well with an exotic honey sweetness. Citrusy in the mold of Grand Marnier.

The honey is very well done, giving sweetness and floral character while drying out the finish just enough to not detract from the full bodied base malt's contribution. Everything is in balance; not typical of most Double IPAs. Leans towards the strong English IPA range in character.

Nice and warming, doesn't wear out the palate, yet keeps you interested. Awesome beer.

Photo of steelerguy
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured deep gold with healthy head and plenty of carbonation. Lot of lacing as the level dropped but some head remained throughout.

S - Lots of citrus and pine hops with a hint of sweetness from the malt.

T - Lots of alphas up front, smooth malt middle, a little sweetness and alcohol warmth on the finish. The honey add some nice complexity but I think a touch more darker caramel malt would have been nice.

M - Nice and dry, you do get some alcohol warmth but nothing harsh. Nice tingle from the carbonation.

D - Quite drinkable, high on the IBU and alcohol but not hard to finish a 750 ml bottle.

Photo of Billolick
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large bottle, green foil and capped, batch E! 013. Pours cloudy/hazed darker apricot/drownish amber. The head is long lasting, large, light khaki, settling to merangue, persistant thick blobs of fine bubble lace and skads of tiny bubble sheeting, world class look to this one. Delicate, but faint minty hop nose. Soft and inviting in the mouth. Simply delicious DIPA, the hops dont smack you in the face, but instead steadily accumilate on the palate and add up to a healthy, yet somehow still soft grapefruity and yummy blast. Underneath the hoppy notes, ride a steady sidenote of malty goodness. Complex yet subtle with quality craftsmanship abounding. Well done Ithaca, more high quality brew from NY State. Hoppy beer/DIPA lovers go get some and enjoy. $11.99 from DeCicco's in Adsley, NY.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a cloudy yellow color with a huge white head. The aroma is citrus and grassy hops. The flavor is very bitter with some grassy, spicy and piney hops. After getting citrus in the aroma, it was all but absent in the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a cloudy deep amber color with a light thin bubbly white head.

Taste is a bit of honey and light malt. Lots of cascade hops here as well. All comes together to make this super drinkable and so tasty! Seek it out.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is a testament to what bottle conditioned brews can do...keep in mind it's from 2008 according to my label and batch number is E!019 hop character is still banging. A bit subdued but hops still explode I'd love to try this fresh this is my second bottle of the same batch and it's been great. Pours a murky golden peach color with a bright white head foam is effervescent and thick with tiny bubbles due to the bottle conditioning. Usually stale hops straight up offend me, in this case the nose is rich with hop essence including pine,citrus, and herbal grassiness. It's lively more than 2 years after the bottling date what gives? How did this beer not go hop stale on me. Every other hoppy IPA or pale I come across is much better fresh this just seems awesome right now, next batch I will seek fresh. Flavor with the yeast brings a great nutty character to the party with the hop flavor still blasting with citrus/pine, and earthy/herbal tones great brew. A double honey bitter according to the website, great. Creative juices were flowing I love this stuff. Mouthfeel has effervescence and strong ample bitterness with some resinous hops going on. Drinkability overall is challenging compared to most other brews and really a whole new experience that I can't get enough of. Go for it. I love this stuff and I'm willing to do more of the coffee beer that they make that's still in stock outside of the Burgh, Ithaca Eleven was awesome I can't wait to age some Ithaca 12.

Photo of asabreed
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

25.6 oz. bottle into a Brooklyn tulip.

Appearance: A beautiful dusky, mildly hazy, orange color, with a lot of retention going on, in addition to a bubbling head with every pour. With light coming through, this is a pretty radiant-looking brew.

Smell: I have a feeling that there will be more breweries trying to brew with alfalfa honey. Even the earthy and sweet aroma you can tell is different from esters and sugars and malt. There's a distinct, I don't know, maybe pureness, if you will, coming from a lot of the sweetness here. A caramel and earthy note that mingles insanely well with the cascade hops, imparting some fresh, wet, crystallized marijuana aromas along with nice bitter orange and minor grapefruit notes.

Taste: Thankfully, as I was hoping, the honey does something wonderful here with the hops. I don't know exactly how to describe it, however. But what's here is the freshness; I feel like the beer was made recently, and I just got a growler of it and poured it into a glass. But the honey is sweet, fresh, flowery, earthy, and though it meshes well with the pungent and also seemingly fresh cascade hops, the balance is pretty nuts here. Pungent, lip-smacking, balanced, and delicious. A lot to admire here.

Mouthfeel: It seems like Ithaca has a good control of how they deal with the carbonation, and this is no different. I wasn't sure exactly what to expect with the honey going on, but it does a good job of balancing everything here, and I imagine whatever yeast they're using is the trick, though I could easily be wrong here. But it maintains a good creaminess overall, with microscopic carbonation merging to make it champagne-like.

Drinkability: Very, very impressed by this beer. Every small batch brew they brew has been something I seek out. Thankfully I live close, which means I'm extremely excited for Thirteen when it's here. They're a small operation, but they seem like they're growing, and for good reason.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to the old man of LUMancha for this fine Ithaca offering.

Pours a hazy yellowy orange color, nice n cloudy with a stark white head that retains very well and leaves very nice thick lacing.

Nose reeks of cascade hops. There is some slight honey in the nose, but most of it is lost in the sweetness of the malt profile in the smell.

Taste is very fine. This is certainly one of the better hop centered brews on the east coast, can tell you that right off the bat. Cascade hops are defenitely showcased, and for the bitterness and piney flavor that this beer is showcasing, there has to be boatloads of them in here. A bit of citrus in here as well. Lacking the typical toned down spicey hop flavor most EC IPAs "showcase". Very refreshing. The malt profile is balanced very nicely, maybe a slight bit soft for the amount of hops in here (can't beleive im saying this about an EC IPA. hahaha) As the finish approaches some slightly unchecked bitterness arises and a very dry finish enhances this. Honey comes out a bit more on the aftertaste, but the hops still linger dominantly.

Mouthfeel is pretty much right where it should be as far as viscosity, but is a touch drier than I would like. Carbonation is pretty well done.

Drinkability is good for the most part. A slight bit of unchecked bitterness and extremely dry finish hampers it a bit, but as far as the abv, incredibly well hidden.

Overall this is a fine DIPA, especially being from the east coast. This is very similar to many IPAs found on the west coast. Big props go out to Ithaca for growing some balls (unlike most east coast breweries) and brewing a real DIPA. I am continually impressed with Ithaca and the Excelsior! series especially. A fine brewery they got there in Lumtown, fine indeed. Thanks again Lum!

Photo of Sammy
3.82/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared with Dan at Pizza Plant, and others. This is not an on-the-mark DIPA because of its understated hop bitterness. Its still an enjoyable beer, with the slightly tangyness and honey hitting up front, some Cascade bitterness washing over the palate in the finish, and building up over a few samples. More of an IPA in its perceived bitterness. A cask appearance.

Photo of augustgarage
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to northyorksammy for sending this my way! Batch El019. Poured from a 750mL bottle into my Dogfish Head oversized snifter.

Rich cloudy gold liquid with a humongous stand of foam which recedes to a dense two-finger cloud of off-white burbling merengue. Thick sheets of lacing reach out towards the center of the glass. Superior retention.

Aromatics burst forth with waves of fruit (peach, apricot, pineapple) and flowers (violets, chamomile, more)...backed with a gentle sweetness and light yeast phenols.

Clean and spicy palate entry, herbal and grassy (as you would expect from the alfalfa), with a brisk pomelo-kissed bitterness. Delicate complexities come forward in the finish which is dry yet still possessed by honey and hard to disect floral notes.

Medium-bodied, effervescent, and faintly oily. Crisp and refreshing.

A unique grassy/floral ambrosia, rather unlike any example of the style I've thus far sampled. You can tell great care went into this bottle, and I feel grateful to have the opportunity to empty it.

Photo of tempest
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I didn't realize how much people dig this beer. I thought it was nice and fairly interesting, but not terribly special. The beer did hide it's strength well, while still having enough character to be slowly sipped. I enjoyed the clean nutty biscuit malt flavor that was complimented by a touch of honey. The hops, frankly, seemed subdued, with dry citrus punch flavor that didn't really stand out. Overall, an interested and tasty beer. But this cost like $15, and there are better options at that price.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into an Ithaca Excelsior! tulip. Thanks to GrindFatherBob for both the bottle and the match glassware. Nice.

Appearance - Hazy yellow body with a nice white head. The head settles without a lot of lacing, but the glass gets some sticky foam clinging to it.

Smell - Pine hops and a lot of sweet honey and light malt aroma. Smells nice, but very sweet.

Taste - Pine again, a bit grassy, but it's quickly overwhelmed by the sweetness. It's a nice, light sweetness from the honey, so it doesn't taste like a malty IPA, just a slightly sweet one. I get some booze in the finish, which is strange for only 8.5%.

Mouthfeel - A little thick, but not too thick. Makes for nice lingering sweetness to balance the slightly bitter finish. Not so high carbonation makes it feel a bit heavier.

Overall - Nice, not on my favorites list, but nice. The honey lends itself nicely, although I'd still go for an IPA with no sweetness at all.

Photo of Gmann
3.74/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of a 750ml foiled and capped bottle. Pours a light honey golden color, fairly clear, with tons of carbonation bubble racing to the top. The head equals or surpasses Duvel. Big and rocky, just won't dissipate, pure white, super chunky lacing...beauty. The aroma is of a honey malt, quite bready. Aroma reminds me of a munich lager. Hops are kind of weak in the aroma, slightly grassy. The taste is sweet with honey and heavy with bready malt. Quite a full body for such a light looking brew. The hops seem only to be there to add a grassy flavor to the brew, not much hop flavor detected. Enough to offset the malt but lacking for the style. Perhaps the hops faded. Solid moderate body with fizzy carbonation, drinks well. The grassy hops do help offset the malty breadiness and sweetness. Again, drinks very well. Seems to be more focused on the honey malt than the hops. A touch more floral hop flavor and this would be excellent.

Photo of scootny
4.01/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clean whit head that has decent retention and good lacing. Pale gold that grows murkier as the yeast starts to mix in. Smell is lightly alcoholic with honey and lots of hops and this from a bottle from 2008 (E!09) Taste is honeyed and light bodied malt. Yeast add a bit of dough. Clean firm bitterness from the NY state Cascade. Tingly mint lingers, light crackery bits as well. Feel is smoothly carbonated with a light creaminess. Lighter than you might think from the abv. Crisp and quenching. This is a superb bottle conditioned hop bomb. It ages better than you might think. Cant wait to update this with a review of fresh. Had this with a mushroom carpaccio and maple mustard tempe sandwiches from the Cinnamon Snail in NYC. Yum

Photo of brandoneast
3.86/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium blonde with a touch of haze and a frothy collar of foam. The initial pour filled the glass with funky, like gym socks and toe jam aromas; very off putting. Those smells quickly died down and then opened to aromas and flavors of orange zested creme brulee crust, honey chevre, orange candy slices, mint, and wheat crackers. The Cascade hop bitterness came through and helped balance some of the initial senses. The honey added a nice kiss to the mouthfeel and it finished quite well, kind of like HopSlam but leaving extremely dry.

Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 750 mL bottle purchased at the brewery a month and a half ago.

A: The DIPA is rather light, a translucent straw-brown color. The first pour yielded two and a half fingers of craggy white head. As the head receded, extensive lacing was left behind.

S: The nose has a very sweet hop edge, enjoyable but one can tell that it is bitter. I'd liken the aroma to that of a clementine, rind included. Plenty of caramel and biscuit malt balances things out.

T: When the ale was cold, a generally hoppy bitterness pervaded it. As it warmed, caramel malts, slightly more roasted than normal (but not quite a black IPA), delivered a big taste. Coupled with that, so as to not downplay it, is a bold hop profile. The hops are oily and resiny, dripping with boozy heat and citrus. Grapefruit, clementines and orange rind all make an apppearance, along with pine and pepper. The alcoholic heat is a little intense, a strong side effect of the big hop profile. The last pours of the bottle, including yeast, have a vegetal flavor that further sets up the hoppiness. A strong hoppiness leaves a lasting flavor. A nice ale that benefits from the lack of filtering.

M: The mouthfeel is focused on the hops, bold and oily. That being said, the malts don't shy away from the limelight, adding dark caramel malts.

D: I enjoyed tasting the ale as it warmed, moving from blindingly bitter to bold and balanced. This may be the only bottle I have tonight but I'm enjoying the slow pace.

Photo of DrewZ926
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a brilliant tangerine at first but later on pours more cloudy. About an inch of off white head.

S- Earthy, lots of honey and wheat, piney and resin hops, grassy and a bit floral.

T- not much bitterness, more piney and earthy hops with a nice grapefruit finish. pretty sweet with a honey finish as well.

M- creamy for an ipa, very mellow but well balanced

O- another very good selection from the excelcior! series. not sure if i will be seeking this out again though as flower power (though much different) is far better in my opinion

Photo of TheKingsOfHop
4.11/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml. bottle poured into our Portsmouth tulip glasses:

A: Solid orange amber with a steady carbonation. An amazing white rocky ice cream float like head just billowing out of the glass. As the beer sits it leaves a wall of lace all over the tulip glass.

S: A blend of grassy hops and fresh fruits like apricots and peaches with a touch of honey comb.

T: Smooth and creamy honey with notes of sweet malts, and bitter hops. Each characteristic is more pronounced then the last.

M: Very well carbonated with a medium light body. There is nothing negative about this mouthfeel. It literally is perfect...

D: Overall really an easy drinking, fairly complex beer that Ithaca Brewing Co. should be proud of.

Cheers,
The Kings Of Hop

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch E!029
Poured in to Duvel tulip

A - Honey coloured. Very slightly hazy but appears to be filtered. One finger of foamy white head.

S - Bitter hops up front - citrus, peach, pine. A nice sweet malt profile with caramel and honey coming through. A very fresh nose.

T - Bitter hops up front with citrus and pine notes. A very noticeable sweetness from the malts (and the honey?) with a big caramel flavour coming through. Well balanced.

M - Medium body, sticky, oily. A dry bitter finish. lightly carbonated.

Photo of MLasoski
2.55/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured this into an ale glass. Two separate servings.

A: Light gold body, minimal head stayed around. The beer is opaque, unfiltered.

S: Malts, malts, and more malts. Cant really smell the honey per se; however, it does have a sweet aroma.

T: Its a bit flat. I didnt see much carbonation in the body so I shouldn't be surprised. It has a big malt character and the honey is subtle.

M: Malts upfront, finishing with a sweet honey flavor. I feel like I'm drinking alcholic tea.

D: I would rather drink an 8.50% ABV that has more taste, depth, and zing. A winter seasonal perhaps? Tis the season I suppose.

Photo of EgadBananas
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very cleverly named brew!

Golden honey in color, light white finger of head, laces nicely..

Aroma is slightly bitter, with some malts present. Citrus dominates the aroma.

Taste is nice and complex, starting with bittersweet citrus up front, followed but an interesting spicy herbal profile, a touch of honey and a lovely, balanced malty finish.

Good feel; slightly creamy, pushing more medium in body. Carbonation was present and pleasant.

I was very pleased with this offering, and would easily put the whole 750 away myself. Excellent drink.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received as a cool wants list extra from Gory4d.. Thanks a bunch Greg. Sharing this one with the wife. Mine is poured into my Delirium goblet.

Big foamy white head.. the brew is hazy lite orange.. nice lacing.

Nice balance for a DIPA.. citrus and bits of floral hops mesh well with the pale malts and hints of lite caramel.

Again the flavor is nicely balanced.. descent bitterness melts into a mild malty sweetness and then is finished out with citrus and floral hops... I guess I see where "honey" comes in, but it isn't a sweetness more of the essence of honey flavor. Honestly reminds me of a well aged American barleywine. a pretty big body is pulled up by a good carbonation.. really drinkable.. no EtOH and just a well made brew.

Thanks again Greg.. really glad I got to try this gem.

All 4's.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich amber in color with a light haziness to it. A nice head of white, perhaps two inches in height rose up from the bottom of the glass and settled down with some decent lacing along the sides. Nice aroma of orange, thick, pungent and sweet with a nice malted backbone that really gave it some nice balance. Smooth, easy flavor here with all the abv non existent and really well done. Rich orange and pineapple flavors, buttery, biscuit like malt notes mid palate and a nice thick, medium feel that was accented nicely by some of the richest carbonation.

Photo of IdrinkGas
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 into a snifter. Batch E!019

A:Pours golden and hazy. A finger of creamy off white head from a gentle pour. The slightly sticky lacing stuck around a little while.

S: Lots of honey and hops in the nose.

T: Nice balanced combo of floral hops, sweet malt, and honey. Lasting bitter after taste

M:Interesting acidic dry mouthfeel.

O: Its pretty sweet and acidic so a bomber split between two people is enough for me. Definitely will wreck your palate.

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Alphalpha from Ithaca Beer Company
91 out of 100 based on 223 ratings.