Alphalpha - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
AlphalphaAlphalpha

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

224 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 224
Reviews: 143
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.79%
Wants: 67
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 224 | Reviews: 143
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 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 brian44556
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 750mL into a Stone Tulip. Batch #E!029.

Pours a honey color, with a thick, bright white head that was about 2 fingers thick. The head made its presence known by staying for a good while. Great white lacing left on the sides of the glass with every drink. Smell was decent. I caught a lot of citrus from the hops and sweet honey. Taste was very pleasant. Tasted of bitter hops, but with a sweet honey mixture that didn't make this a hop bomb. Also caught notes of tropical fruit. Medium carbonation was present. I really enjoyed this beer. Glad I had a chance to try it and if I see it on the shelves while out of state I will gladly pick up a bottle.

Photo of MVotter
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - The Alphalpha Imperial IPA pours into a chalice a light gold color with a healthy 2-finger head.

S - Fruity esters, floral and citrus hops detected ... hint of diacetyl.

T - I have to say that the honey presence in this brew is evident from the start. It is weirdly close to what I consider a diacetyl taste (which is supposed to be reminiscent of butterscotch). Or could I be confusing a diacetyl taste with a very distinctive malt flavor which I am failing to recognize? These two elements combine to give Alphalpha a rather bitter-sweet beginning. The finish has a more bitter hop tang.

M - Extremely effervescent brew. I'm a sucker for that. This beer explodes with tiny bubbles on your tongue. It's a medium to heavy feel, and dry.

D - I think that the dry, bubbly mouthfeel to this brew gives it a lighter feel than its actual density. That said, it's still a sipper. This one reminds me of Ithaca's Anniversary "10." The "10" was a pretty intense brew ... weighed in at around a 10% abv. If you liked that, you'll love this "bitter-sweet honey" version of it.

Cheers!

Photo of Atricapilla
4.39/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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 israel
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into my Ithaca Excelsior tulip.

A- Hazy appearance with the color of gold and a beautiful frothy, rocky and white head. the head fades a it but leaves huge globs of foam clinging to the edges of the glass which seems more than just lacing...looks amazing.

S- Lots of the hoppiness that would be expected especially the citrusy side . Behind it all there is some sweetness from the honey and malts which rounds it all out.

T- Honey up front with an explosion of cascade flavors overwhelming the taste and quickly being balanced with the maltiness.

M/D- Medium body with just enough carbonation and a dry finish that works really well. I could drink this again and again....

Photo of jm1229
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle with no date opened on 9/10/11 and poured into a Goose Island pint glass. Served at 55 degrees.

A- Pours a nice golden yellow/orange with a two finger, fluffy white head. Leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. I will repeat, very fluffy.

S- Wow, smells awfully sweet. The honey is really coming through. Some malt, too, but it's really sweet. Smells more like a barleywine than a IIPA.

T- It's initially hoppy (sorta), followed by the malt. Really a sweet beer, very sugar-y. Some pine, too.

M- Very creamy, yet light and fluffy, too. Very easy to drink (and that's a good thing when drinking the whole bottle alone).

O- Not really what I was expecting from this one. As a IIPA, it doesn't really work, but as a toned down barleywine (Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog comes to mind), it's really great. Overall, a good, but not great, IIPA.

Photo of DrewOSU
3.56/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours dark yellow to light orange, topped with a ½ inch cloudy white head. Lacing is thick and sticky, on the side of the glass. After about 10 mins of sitting, a thick white chunk of suds forms in the middle. Amazing head.

S: Sweet floral and earthy notes. Nothing overwhelming, but has a nice fragrance. I thought by the pour, it would be a little more on the nose.

M/T: A lighter medium body on the tongue. Big hit of earthy, almost a farmhouse quality taste on the first taste. I get a hoppy presence, but the alphalpha and earth tones definitely drowns out the cascades. The honey also contributes taking the bite off the floral. You get more of the hop flavor after the swallow, as it finishes dirty, with a floral back lash that sticks to the roof of your mouth.

D: Great pour, great look, big hop flavor on the second wave. I was hoping for more, but you can't say this beer is boring or average. A unique flavor for sure. The drinkability is not superior as it finishes a little grungy, but with fresh ingredients are nice.

Photo of Katahdin
3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a nice rich and robust color and the aroma is isntantly surrounding your senses. A definite floral/hoppy/slight fruity smell to the beer. The taste is all hops, both on the palate and going down. The floral nature of the hops overwhelms the taste and texture of the beer giving it a strong, lingering hoppy aftertatse. Not as exceptional as I had heard from others but an OK beer if you don't mind getting overwhelmed by Hops.

Photo of dbexpert
4.71/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow! suprising brew, not sure what i expected but pleasantly suprised!

A. definitely unfiltered(whoo-hoo!)Dark golden color with tight carbonation, pours an excellent head!

S.Herbacious hop notes with slight hint of citrus cuting through the sweet smell of malt

T.Starts with sweet malt notes quickly interupted by a hop bite with is balanced with a honey sweet and hop sour.

M.excellent, soft bite with overtones of sweetness

D.8%abv, drinks like 6%, i personally could down 2/3 btls in the right setting, absolutly a beer i will be back to, price keeps it to one at a time for me(and availibility).

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 NorthsideFred
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the most fascinating beers I've ever tasted. This is the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of beer.

My first pour was into my SN pint glass (which, by the way, is quickly becoming one of my favorite summertime glasses.) Chaos and confusion quickly ensued...

A: This is beutiful. The beer poured a magnificent, crystal clear, light orange, with nice white lacing. As I began taking notes, I also looked at previous reviews, and was shocked to read that it was bottled conditioned and that many stated it has a cloudy appearance.

I immediately pulled out a tulip glass, into which I poured the second half of the bottle. The appearance is much cloudier.

S: Both glasses smell identical - pine: sweet and sticky with a hint of bitterness.

T: So smooth. Very nice. This beer continues to improve as it warms up. I'd say it keeps opening up and improving until just before it hits room temperature.

M: Medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

O: Very tasty. The first pour is awesome. The second pour has the same nice scent, but is thick with sediment. Not bad, just different. You'd never guess the two pours came out of the same bottle.

Photo of Levich
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a 75cL bottle of this one on a recent trip to visit my sister in Ithaca. This is part of the "Excelcior!" Series, Batch E!039. Poured from the bottle into a goblet.

The color is light amber with whispers of red. The head dissipates very quickly even in a his is part of the Eceglass with etching, however, a light film of white foam is left for the duration of drinking.

Upon opening the bottle, I got a hint of yeast on the nose, but that was soon overpowered by the hoppy aroma of an IPA. It is floral and grapefruit with hints of sweeter citrus.

The initial sip is smooth at the front moving to a bitterness toward the end. It's more subtle than expected and actually does have a herbal grassy undertone that grows more detectable as more sips are taken. After about half of a glass, a honey sweetness becomes present on the front, with the hoppy finish still intact. The Alphalpha is not as bitter as one might expect in a double IPA, but there is a characteristic hoppy finish.

The mouthfeel is rather smooth with minimal, fine carbonation. However, it does have enough body and has a distinct creaminess.

Overall, this is a decent beer. The distinct flavors are subtle, but I guess that is what makes it good. The folks at Ithaca Beer Company took a great style and tweaked it just enough to make something different while keeping the feeling of the original.

I would like to put this in the cellar if I get back to Ithaca soon!

Photo of yusef
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bottle poured into a DFH Signature glass

A: Pours a golden/orange color with a 2 finger white head. Hazy, low carbonation, and solid head retention.

S: Didn't get too much on the nose. Hops, slight, herbal, sweetness from the honey, and malt.

T: I get hops first followed by the honey and malt which balance everything out. Finishes slightly bitter.

M: Medium bodied and not much carbonation.

O: A good IPA, not one of my favorites, but worth trying. The honey adds an interesting element, but I prefer IPA's that are not as sweet.

Photo of TonyVic
4.67/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a great beer. It's amazingly sweet and floral on the nose, this is where the honey really comes through. On the pallate, it brings forward a very hoppy, spicy taste, but not overpowering. It follows through with a nice, crisp, grassy flavor and finishes clean. This beer is very well balanced for the style.

This beer goes down really easily and I wish that I could get this beer everywhere.

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

750ml bottle purchased at the brewery store and opened up on a warm evening a few days later.

Pours a slightly cloudy golden color with a full white head in the tulip glass. Fairly thick layer of sediment in the bottle.

The nose is rich and very floral. You can really pick out the cascades.

Taking the first sip is very surprising because the taste is much more complex than the hoppy nose leads you believe. Initially there is a citrusy and slightly piney hop character but also a subtle sweetness layered in there too. The hops return as the beer reaches the back of your tongue and it finishes of with the rich sharpness of a well made double ipa.

Overall this is quite a beer and I think it does a nice job creating a complexity that make it different from of lot of double ipas.

Photo of sybilyang
4.15/5  rDev +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.

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Alphalpha from Ithaca Beer Company
91 out of 100 based on 224 ratings.