Alphalpha - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
AlphalphaAlphalpha

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

143 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 143
Hads: 224
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 7.09%
Wants: 68
Gots: 28 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 143 | Hads: 224
Photo of Sammy
3.82/5  rDev -6.6%
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. (372 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle at Keg & Lantern, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is very hazy dark yellow in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short bright white head that died down and left a patch of bubbles in the center, a collar around the edge and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of floral hops are present in the nose along with notes of honey. The honey becomes a little stronger as the beer warms up.
T: Compared to the smell, the taste has a lot more flavors of honey and a light amount of bitterness from the hops.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer definitely tastes a little strong with all of the honey used to boost up the alcohol content. It is a sipping beer.

Note: Batch E!039 (824 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a slightly-hazy yellowish color with a moderate white head and a spot or two of lacing on the way down. The nose carries some citrus fruits along with some tropical notes and a bit of light sweetness. The flavor has honey and semi-sweet malt along with a moderate citrus and tropical hop presence. Body is more toward medium with a bit of residual sweetness and a nice bitter finish. Solid brew. (423 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
3.62/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer started off as a nice golden colored IPA. The further down the bottle I got the sediment actually changed the color to a milky looking yellow. Kind of gross looking actually. The smell was of earthy hops. The taste had a good hop bite to it and was too bad really. If this brew didn't have so much sludge on the bottom of the bottle it wouldn't be that bad. I found this brew to be a little too much for me and probably would buy it again. (449 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
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. (555 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
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. (794 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
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. (847 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch E!013

A: Even with a slow pour it still rises with the huge 50% of the glass head, which seemed to be forced by the bottle. It's a creamy rich head that slowly fades, leaving a lacing on the glass. The color is a slightly hazy golden honey straw orange color.

N: Nose has some bright chewy hops, with a little grassy and floral hop aromas, as well as a slight malt character and sweet honey. A very slight boozy aroma goes with that. The honey comes out more and more as I get past the hops.

T: Starts pretty sweet actually, with quite a bit of honey. Fresh honey is the key of this one. The adds a bunch of nice hops, some grassy, spicey, and chewy hops. A decent bitterness as well. Some lighter malts are present but hidden. I get a slight metallic flavor as well. The booze came out a bit on the nose but is almost non-existent on the taste, hidden well. A very slight nougat sweet flavor goes along with the honey. If this had a little brett to give it some bready quality it would have a really interesting combination here.

M: Medium to light body with decent carbonation. A slight oily or sticky honey like sensation hints in there as well.

F: Finish is pretty bitter, and dries off quite a bit (with the hop help). A lingering honey taste is there, but without the sweetness. A lingering hop flavor, with some grassy taste is also present. It dries off so quick that i almost get a sense of wild yeast dryness and bready quality, as I was hoping for. I would love to see a brett version of this beer. It holds up on it's own already, but that would just put it over the top. Now, to try to get through the entire 750ml by myself. At least I have all afternoon. I'm also surprised the beer held up so well this long, as I've had it almost a year now. (1,770 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.8/5  rDev +17.4%
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. (1,485 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Trying to clear out the hops in the fridge - next up is Alphalpha - shared with the two Daves. Batch E!013. Served in my Surly pint glass.

A - Huge billowing off-white foam with awesome retention and tons of sticky lacing. Pale apricot yellow color that is slightly hazed.

S - Lots of grassy hops with some orange zest flavors as well. The hops have held up pretty decently even though this is a few months old, but there's a pretty hefty balance of malt and honey sweetness kicking around as well. Doesn't really leap out of the glass.

T - Taste is a little disappointing - mostly sweet malts and honey with a touch of grass and a decent amount of residual bitterness in the aftertaste. Not as much of the zesty flavors, which is mildly disappointed.

M - Mild-to-moderate carbonation, medium body, lots of residual stickiness. Pretty decent, but nothing unusual here.

D - Drinkinability was solid, with solid carbonation, moderate bitterness. Well hidden ABV on this one. We had no problem splitting the 750ml bottle. (1,023 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.65/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear and dirty gold color. The head is reasonable while it settles slowly. Lots of "cloudy" lace (meaning more than spotty but less than a blanket).

High alcohol and moderate hop dominate the smell. More earthy than floral on the nose.

Strong hop bitterness in the swallow. The alcohol is very evident, particularly in the swallow. I do not detect any honey or mead-like flavors despite the "Double Honey Bitter" monicker except for a touch of sweetness. Otherwise, this is all peppery bitterness. Long aftertaste. The body above moderate with a corresponding level of carbonation.

Overall, I would describe this as a near extreme beer--lots of hop and alcohol, but little complexity. (689 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
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. (341 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served in a bottle at the Keg and Lantern in Brooklyn, NY

Note: Batch E!039

A: Pours a lightly hazy honey (now is that appropriate) yellow in color with moderate amounts of active carbonation streaming from the bottom of the glass and some light golden yellow highlights. The beer has a half finger tall sudsy white head that reduces to a medium sized patch of thick film surrounded by a thin film covering the majority of the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Slightly stronger than moderate aromas of honey over the top of lighter aromas of sweet grainy malts and floral hops.

T: Upfront there are light flavors of pale malts with a hint of grainy sweetness and moderate flavors of honey contributing to the overall sweetness of the beer. There are light to moderate flavors of floral hops which contribute a moderate amounts of bitterness that fades quickly.

M: Medium bodied with slightly heavier than moderate amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of dryness in the finish

O: With the amount of honey present in this beer making it initially sweet and the aggressive bitterness of the hops trying to balance that out, this is definitely a sipping beer. I enjoyed the flavors of the beer and I can honestly say this beer had the cleanest most natural honey flavor that I have encountered. (1,396 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a hazy gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a super fresh hop aroma that screams Cascade hops. The malts add a nice level of balance, but this is a hop lovers beer. The taste is great as well. It's quite bitter with some residual hop taste in the finish. It's malty with just a hint of the Alfalfa honey. The mouthfeel is great. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. I've been waiting for this release for a while now. I wasn't disappointed. Hail to the Chief!! (551 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -2.2%
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. (319 characters)

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

750ml bottle split with some friends and poured into a pint glass. This brew appears a clear golden orange color with some faint particulate stuck hanging in suspension despite a careful pour. A finger of creamy/fluffy yellowish stained head appears and holds strong. Thick patchy lace holds in a webbing pattern along the glassware.

The smell of this brew is herbal with hops and spiked with a sweetness of honey. The aroma includes a very fresh scent of something like garden herbs - basil maybe but overloaded with lots of honey. As it warms, it picks up a light fruit quality which seems to be a mix of esters and hops.

The taste is also herbal with hops that impart an orange rind flavor. Just like the nose suggested, this brew even tastes like fresh herbs from a garden, sweet basil and an overload of honey. There is a modest bitterness included which keeps the residual honey sweetness in check.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. The mixture of herbal qualities and honey made for a pairing of flavors and aromas that really worked well together. This is a nicely done, easy drinking beverage with well hidden alcohol. This might be the most forward honey flavored brew I have had. I think the listing of DIPA here might be misleading. The entire time I was drinking this, it felt like a hearty ESB. People drinking this expecting DIPA might be let down but as-is, it was quite enjoyable. (1,431 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
3.7/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've been ducking this beer for so long. Seeing it on shelves for the past three years, I gave in on the newest batch made. #39. Into a Ithaca 10th anniversary pint glass.

Alphalpha Glides in the glass a light golden color almost reaching a straw color when up to the light. A nice amount of burnt sugar foam with decent retention and minor stick. A slight haze when towards the light.

Smell comes off semi sweet forward as alot of East Coast DIPA'S do, but there is a nice amount of aroma hops to fill the void. This seems almost subdued compared to some. Getting my nose in it, some light citrus rind, lemon, a certian malt profile builing with time. Some alcohol seeping through. blech.

Taste is nice on the 1st half of the glass. The hops take hold and do some work on the mouth, but it Alphalpha does not destroy. the honey kinda dulls whatever the hops may have done. It's a nice balance though, enjoyable.

There is a nice medium build to the body of this beer and the liquid has a small syrupy feel to it. Bitterness is subdued by the honey addition halfway down the glass. Again not a palate wrecker.

This is a beer worth trying. I wonder why this is not kegged more often, bottles seem to pop up every 18 months or so. I would like to try this off the tap with a bit more pop. (1,290 characters)

Photo of Gavage
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch: E!029

Appearance: pours an orange color with a short 1/4" head that breaks apart qucikly.

Smell: caramel and a woody bitterness comes through to the nose.

Taste: caramel, pine, earthy bitterness, some grapefruit, and a honey sweetness create a well balanced beer. Alcohol is slightly noticable.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp to start, smoother at the finish. Some dryness arrives late.

Drinkability: slow sipping big IPA. Decent flavored beer that is nice to sip on a cold evening. (509 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
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. (793 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
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. (504 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
4/5  rDev -2.2%
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. (947 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.73/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark copper color with golden orange hues and a massive frothy, soapy head. Excellent retention with huge chunks of soapy lacing.

Beautiful citrus west coast style hop aroma with lots of grapefruit, orange peel and pine notes. I'm also picking up some guava and other tropical fruit notes along with some sweet honey.

Creamy medium body with a an amazing sweet honey/molasses and caramel malt presence that balance out the floral citrus hops. This beer is ridiculously smooth with an almost undetectable ABV. Very smooth and refreshing, one of the most quaffable beers I've had to date. I have to stop myself from pounding the whole glass.

Extremely well balanced with nice citrus hop bitterness, caramel malt, smooth swet honey and guava/tropical fruit notes. Pine, grapefruit, lemon zest, orange peel flavors with a slightly dry finish.

This is an excellent beer that I wish I could buy by the case. (915 characters)

Photo of weeare138
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to TomDecapolis for this...
Batch E!OI3

Appears a hazy, light gold with a small white cap that quickly fades into a mild head and collar. Tons of spotty remnants of film are left around the glass.
Smell is of doughy, citrusy, vanilla, and candy orange.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with some crystal(caramel) malts coming through in the flavors.
Mouthfeel is citrusy, prickly, sweet, and mildly bitter. (414 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Consumed on 8/28/2009 and poured into a snifter. Thanks for the extra jleblanc.

The beer apperas hazy orange with a thick frothy off white head. The retention is excellent and some nice lacing is left lingering.

The nose is reminscent of a faded floral hop boquet. There's noticeable honey sweetness, which adds a nice touch. Alcohol is well hidden and the malt is light and caramely. There's a little lemon as well.

The flavor is very bitter, with honey sugary sweetness. The hops are reminscent of citrus and pine, but the most prominent characteristics of the beer are the sweet honey and the bitterness. The alcohol is pretty strong. The finish is sweet and bitter with lingering booze. (693 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.36/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a glowing, cloudy orangish yellow color with good carbonation initially leaving a nice white cap which quikly resedes into a small ring of white bubbles, no lacing and so much for head retention

S: Fresh. Lots of citrus, little spice, flowers, not like rose pedals or your traditional IPA floral note but moreso freshly picked from a rolling green hill type floral...unique. A little bit of honey dashes across the nose does some biscuity goodness

T: Initial grass and floral blend, fresh citrus, buscuit and grains, this beer is amazingly and shockingly good. The fresh notes are followed by a little honey sweetness, spice and some moderate bitterness takes hold. The finish idry, crisp, clean, refreshing with a light tinge of booze

M: Light-medium bodied, tasty, well carbonated, refreshiing mouthfeel, loads of flavor hang on.

O: When I initially read the label description I stuck this beer in the back of my beer fridge as a last resort beer. I am very impressed. I honestly wish I had another. (1,015 characters)

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Alphalpha from Ithaca Beer Company
91 out of 100 based on 143 ratings.