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Alphalpha - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
AlphalphaAlphalpha

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

212 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 212
Reviews: 142
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 11.74%
Wants: 69
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: almychristopher on 12-30-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 212 | Reviews: 142 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gobzilla
Gobzilla

California

3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a burnt golden orange with yellow highlights that had a thin head and left some good frothy lacing sticking to the glass. The aroma had some leafy herb honey notes upfront alongside citrusy, hoppy, piney, and sweetness from the malts. The honey character was more apparent on the palate with leafy herb citrusy accents a mild hop bite and sweet bready notes from the malts. The brew was medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, earthy, hoppy, bitter, sticky finish. It was not too drinkable and leafy herb character was a bit out of place IMO.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2010 02:35:57 | More by Gobzilla
Photo of asabreed
asabreed

New York

4.35/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2010 04:35:05 | More by asabreed
Photo of jpmclaug
jpmclaug

South Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into my Duvel tulip. Picked this one up in Boston a few weeks ago.

A - Clear golden-orange body with a bubbly, soapy looking, white head resting on top.

S - Nice piney hop aroma with a nice honey sweetness mixed in.

T - Follows the aroma. Piney hop notes blend with a mix of honey notes. Kind of a lingering bitterness.

M - Really a bit on the thin side.

D - Pretty decent but kind of reminds me of a wannabe version of Hopslam, and really falls short compared to that monster. Enjoyable and I wouldn't mind drinking it again but I wouldn't seek it out.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2010 01:26:56 | More by jpmclaug
Photo of claspada
claspada

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aromas of floral, grassy hops on top of a bed of sweet biscuity malt. Honey is ever present and becomes more apparent as it warms.

The taste is centered around the mild but prevalent sweetness. The honey only enhances the lightly toasted biscuity malt and doughy yeast. Grassy, floral hops with a touch of lemon have their place up front and in the finish. A moderate rush of bitterness in the finish is very welcomed. As this warms it becomes exponentially more resiny/sticky, just an FYI.

Above average carbonation makes the mouthfeel a tad sharp for your average 2x IPA but I enjoy this atypical offering from Ithaca. There is also a decent amount of carbonation. There is a sticky, chewy presence from the honey and the hops; but it still remains dry and bitter throughout.

Overall this is a great beer. It is high drinkable despite the high ABV and extreme amount of hops addded. It has a lighter body than most 2x IPAs with a hop profile that isn't overly aggressive lends. The crisp, bitter, dry finish is nearly perfect.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2010 00:49:55 | More by claspada
Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
ToAzwethinkweizm

Maryland

5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed on 12 November 2010 at the "Ithaca Beer Happy Hour" @ Tap and Mallet.

This is my new favorite beer.

Official name for this is "AlpHalpHa Double Honey Bitter." This should be kept in mind while tasting. Poured into special Ithaca tall-stem tulip snifter, 12oz, color is a cloudy, slightly-dark gold-orange, 2-finger head, gives way to spider-web lacing like I've never seen before. Head stays for a while.

Aroma is super bitter hoppy -- WOW. Pine needles, semi-ripe grapefruit, and after swirling, a deep dark honey flavor. The tropical fruit/pine is quite mysterious. Taste is bitter hops without leaving nasty bitterness on the tongue. Hops are so bitter and fresh and leaves sweetness on the tongue. Belching this beer brings back awesome hop flavor. Putting your nose to this is the equivalent to putting your nose to a newly opened bag of hop pellets from the homebrew store. I could drink this all night. I am craving lamb chops with thyme. This is the best beer I've ever drank by far. This is the perfect hoppy beer.

Serving type: on-tap

11-15-2010 00:57:54 | More by ToAzwethinkweizm
Photo of andrewinski1
andrewinski1

New Hampshire

3.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. About a quarter inch head of large almost perfectly white bubbles. Hazy caramel colored body.

Smells like caramel, honey, and slight orange zest.

Nice gentle sweetness in the start, and a nice dry bitter finish. The caramel aroma is mimicked in the flavor nicely.

The mouthfeel is slightly flat, but not to a huge detriment.

Would love to get this again sometime. Very enjoyable and slightly unique.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2010 19:55:58 | More by andrewinski1
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #E!019 poured from a 750ml bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains floral hops, honey, caramelized malts and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of honey, citrus and caramel. Then a strong but not over-powering hops presence quickly follows. The malt character is hearty and provides a very good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, good kick, very good representation of style, I was skeptical about the honey but it brings a nice variation your standard 2IPA and makes this beer worth drinking for a long time.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2010 03:09:49 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of sybilyang
sybilyang

New York

4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Wow you better like hops. The beer was very bittery-puckery. There was a very solid bite on the back of the palate. The very carbonated mouthfeel helped that, but I would recommend pairing this with some very fatty foods just to cut the bitterness.

The hops were however, more floral then you would imagine- not just straight bitterness. A good food beer. A little too strong for straight drinking by itself IMHO.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2010 20:23:01 | More by sybilyang
Photo of EgadBananas
EgadBananas

Louisiana

4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2010 16:23:55 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of John_M
John_M

Oregon

3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the TDR during their recent hopfest.

The beer pours a slightly hazy, solid dark gold color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is interesting, showcasing a combination of earth, grapefruit and honey. The honey component really comes through on the palate in this fairly sweet IPA, though there is a considerable amount of bitterness in the finish. It helps to counter the sweetness somewhat, but at the end of the day, the flavor profile in this beer is dominated by the honey and sweet malt. Mouthfeel is no more than medium bodied, with a fairly long, fairly bitter finish. Drinkability is OK, but the sweetness and noticeable alcohol in the finish detract just a bit.

An interesting beer, though I'm afraid I'm just not a huge fan of the sweet IPA style.

Serving type: on-tap

09-24-2010 01:52:22 | More by John_M
Photo of steve8robin
steve8robin

Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this in my first BIF. Let's give it a go. 750ml...

A: Dark iced tea honey colored with a humongous 2 inch white head that fades at a decent pace. Good.

S: Sweet malts upfront blended with floral hops. Dark fruit caramel and iced tea in the middle with some lemon and grassiness on the backend. Good.

T: Very bitter honey upfront. An interesting caramel lemon blended with candi sugars and some dry hoppiness on the backend. Good.

M: Medium body with a medium carbonation. Very good.

D: This goes down once you get past the bitter wall. Good.

All in all, I like this brew. I've tried a couple Ithica brews to date and it seems like they make good brews, but so far from what I've tried, not great brews. Definitely worth trying if you like bitter beers with a good balance of sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2010 02:23:25 | More by steve8robin
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 7/24/10 notes.

a - Pours an amber color with an inch of white head.

s - Smells of caramel malts and sweet dark fruits. Also some fruity hops.

t - Tastes of bready malts, caramel malts, and some sweet, fruity malts and hops.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - A decent IPA that I found more on the malty side. Would try again.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2010 02:12:31 | More by mdfb79
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
brewdlyhooked13

Ohio

3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - an orangy tint to the yellow haze. Some notable lace up top, hangs around for a while and paints up the glass pretty good, too.

Aroma - very fruity and floral, a bit of estery heat. A little like Joseph's aspirin.

Taste - some sweet crackery malts start out. The sugars bring out the citrusy side of the hops at first, but the bitterness takes over pretty quickly. Pretty intense hoppiness, a little harsh at first but better with some warming and palate adjustment. Intense grapefruit threatens to go medicinal, but starts to mellow before things get out of hand. The aftertaste returns some of the citrus edge, also showing a touch of alcohol heat. The ending is dry, still some good residual flavor.

Mouthfeel - some decent smoothness but not as much as I was expecting. Carbonation is medium to slightly low, which I like. The body is solid but not big. Given that this a lower abv DIPA, it makes sense.

Drinkability - pretty enjoyable bomber, glad I picked it up. Some aging would lessen the bite, but it's a good drinker now a well.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2010 05:38:34 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of ktrillionaire
ktrillionaire

Florida

3.38/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours an orange-copper hue, with a khaki head that looks like bubbly pancake batter.

S - Smells strongly of sour-grapefruit-y malt, fused with grapefruit citric hops. Kind of strong on the one grapefruity note.

T - Tastes the same as the nose, with some of the same flavors I tend to find in rye beers. The hop is not expressed in a manner that is diverse enough for me, especially considering how hop-forward and bitter this brew is. There is a very big sturdy malt, but it mimics the hop to a large degree, just as in the nose.

M - DIPA. A bit syrupy, slightly.

D - In an overcrowded style, why bother? Step your game up here, Ithaca.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2010 18:52:48 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of OWSLEY069
OWSLEY069

Pennsylvania

4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy yellow color with a white head. In the aroma, flowery hops, clove, and a mix of other spices. In the taste, mostly flowery hops, but hints on pine ones too. Nice presence of clove as well. A small bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry, flowery hop aftertaste. Very close to Hop Slam and almost similar to a saison.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2010 13:54:38 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml foil capped bottle served at 48 degrees in my DT tulip. Batch# E!019 indicated on the label. Poured a semi-hazy, pale golden orange with a a dense, creamy, 2.5 inch bright white head that eventually collapses into a solid quarter inch cap. Residual strands of cloud-like, cascading lacing stream down the sides of the glass. Nose is very subdued but I detect some honey, perhaps toffee and some citrus fruit esters. Taste follows nose - starts sweet - toffee and honey initially, followed by citrus and finishing with a lingering bitterness which seems interspersed with a slightly sugary quality; however, a medicinal character remains present at the back of the throat between quaffs. Mouthfeel is medium-light in consistency, with a slight slickness that coats the tongue. Some acidity hits the tongue initially, followed by a lively carbonation that falls just short of being prickly. A slightly different variation on the style. It's definitely a DIPA, but the honey/toffee character substitutes the grapefruit sweetness, and nicely compliments the herbal/medicinal hop character. Interesting brew, but best shared, as the bottle continued to push foam slowly during the tasting.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2010 01:02:08 | More by Jwale73
Photo of brandoneast
brandoneast

Texas

3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2010 22:37:44 | More by brandoneast
Photo of thepeter
thepeter

United Kingdom (England)

4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured quite hazy and with a little head that turned to lacing quickly. The smell was fresh hops, citrus and maybe a bit of sweet sticky icky! This is a very well balanced IPA both in smell and taste. Lots of hop bitterness but with a substantial malt profile. Grapefruit citrus and pine and a touch of honey sweetness also all in there. I really dig this beer. It is also nice and light on the tongue and smooth as can be. One that I will remember!

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2010 20:08:51 | More by thepeter
Photo of Atricapilla
Atricapilla

Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a goblet. Appearance was a cloudy golden color with light copper tones. Head was thick, white and frothy. Aroma was very earthy, very floral. Scents of grass and malt. taste initiated with honey and grass, hops, although present, does not seem to be a dominant player. Slight citrus and acidity.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2010 15:12:23 | More by Atricapilla
Photo of ShadesOfGray
ShadesOfGray

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my large snifter tasting glass. Pours a light pale color, with a huge head forming immediately...frothy and off-white. Head retention is excelent, once it dissipates for the most part, it remains as froth resting over the surface. Lacing is outstanding...again, frothy and sticky.

Aroma is crisp, citrus, hops, and malts. Amoungst the citrus notes, there some other definite fruits coming through, possibly grapefruit?

Flavor is great, refreshing, and enjoyable! Light and crisp mouthfeel off the bat, moving over to a slightly more malty and heavier finish...but ending only slightly dry. Carbonation is high. Loads of citrus/grapefruit/and hops...and a tiny bit of booze. A very nice DIPA from Ithaca, very impressed!

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2010 20:32:27 | More by ShadesOfGray
Photo of mgbickel
mgbickel

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into multiple glasses. The thickly formed white head left lots of tufts behind as it receded. The body is a golden yellow color with orange hues.

The nose has lots of honey up front. You can pick up some citrus (hops) in the background. There is also a grainy, bready character present.

The flavor is similar to the nose...honey and bready with a slight hop presence throughout. The hops are more subtle that I would like. I am also tasting a bit of funk...infection??

The body is light/medium, astringent with moderate carbonation.

All in all a good beer. Nothing jumped out at me to rate this higher. Worth trying, but nothing I will go after again.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2010 14:33:06 | More by mgbickel
Photo of CosmoHopHead
CosmoHopHead

Kansas

3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a bright, cloudy yellow with a huge, fluffy two finger white head. Thick lacing left in the glass

S: floral hops and yeast with a very grassy, malty aroma

T: a slight sweetness at first gives way to a spicy hoppiness with a noticeable touch a honey and citrus. would like the hops to be more present. honey seemed to come out more as it warmed up

M: very dry and crisp. heavy carbonation that pops in mouth from start to finish. almost too much carbonation IMO

D: goes down fairly easy for a somewhat higher abv. the alcohol becomes more noticeable as it does down an warms the throat. a nice clean bitter finish

Overall an interesting beer. I like more hop domination in my DIPA's. Wouldn't turn down if offered more of it but not sure I'd go out of my way to get more.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2010 00:34:07 | More by CosmoHopHead
Photo of rfgetz
rfgetz

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazed gold color with bg puff of prickly white head. Smell is of freshly dried grains, hints of sweetness, nice floral and earthy hops charachter backed by a mild orange scent. Upon touching the tounge, the beer is dry, forward with the touch of mild orange and honey, almost herbal like quality to it as well. backs into a fresh grain and biscuty taste as it finishes. Medium bodied, active carbonation, dry. A nice beer that doesnt try to be too aggressive and turns out right.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2010 14:59:07 | More by rfgetz
Photo of oregonskibum
oregonskibum

Oregon

4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass. Batch E!013.

A: Colors is a light gold color with a faint hint of orange. Head is substantial - at least two inches - bright white and fairly dense. Head lasts for a long while and leaves substantial lacing on the side of the glass.

S: Interesting. Mandarin orange and cloves are the dominant smells. Some faint citrus or floral hops. Not much malt on the smell.

T: Continues to be interesting and fairly dynamic. First notes are of more clove spiciness, to the point of being a detractor. Then suddenly the flavors switches and the honey and citrus hops take hold. The finish is long with some faint bitterness, but mainly a mellow honey flavor that is quite nice.

M: Medium body with high carbonation. The beer is very lively in the mouth and drinks very easily.

D: Generally, this was a very nice beer and quite enjoyable. Without food, I thought the clove spiciness in the smell and right up front on the taste was a little much. But after taking notes and drinking the rest of the bottle with food, the clove spiciness mellowed substantially and the beer was very pleasant all around. Would definitely drink again.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2010 03:07:43 | More by oregonskibum
Photo of ColForbinBC
ColForbinBC

New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL champagne style bomber poured into a snifter; batch E!019

Pours a cloudy pale orange/apricot color with heavy golden accents. The paper white cap rises to fill the snifter and recedes slowly, leaving large chunks of lace all over the place.

Floral, grassy hops on top of a bed of sweet biscuity malt. Honey is ever present and becomes more apparent as it warms.

Sweetness prevails on the palate. Sweet honey only enhances the lightly toasted biscuity malt and doughy yeast. Grassy, floral hops with a touch of lemon have their place up front and in the finish. A moderate rush of bitterness in the finish is very welcomed. I will say that the onslaught of hops isn't really on par with most DIPA's.

Decent carbonation with a light-medium body and a sticky, chewy presence from the honey and the hops. The finish is dry and bitter.

High drinkability here. A lighter body with a hop profile that isn't overly aggressive lends itself to an easy drinker. The crisp, bitter, dry finish is nearly perfect. Just wish the hops were a little more unruly.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2010 00:33:40 | More by ColForbinBC
Alphalpha from Ithaca Beer Company
91 out of 100 based on 212 ratings.