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Alphalpha - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
AlphalphaAlphalpha

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

221 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 221
Reviews: 143
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 12.04%
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: almychristopher on 12-30-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 221 | Reviews: 143 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dukedevil0
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Alex (MasterSki) for having me over for drinking anything he wanted to "get rid of" before his trip to Europe. Ha, get rid of good beers, I'm in! Batch E!013

A: Pours a pale yellowish-orange color with a decent amount of white head and lots of lacing on the glass.

S: Smells interesting - honey, sweet hops, citrus, orange, some candi sugar, slight maltiness bringing up the rear

T: Very similar to the smell, the sweet honey comes out a lot in the flavor with a sweet hops, citrus, orange, light candi sugar, light malt in there too

M: Full bodied, but the carbonation definitely goes a lot into the head, but this goes down smooth

D: I like the flavor and the sweetness isn't too much, no alcohol really in the flavor so i think the drinkability is high

Photo of joe1510
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml

Batch E!013

My man Lum sent me this bottle as an extra, that generous bastard! Alphalpha struts around with a sunset orange body. There's enough haziness to make it nearly impossible to see through the glass but it's not milky. The head snapped to attention at two fingers and held tight with a crazy looking bubbled but meringue-like head. Patchy, crackly lacing adorns the glass after each gulp.

Crazy citric aromas comes from everywhere in this IPA. The hoppiness leans mostly toward orange with the fruit, candied peel and oil are all present. I've never had alfalfa honey before but it brings a touch of sweetness to this brew that's also reminiscent of oranges, although slightly musty. Rich caramel brings up the rear in a big sort of way. There's some floral hoppiness throughout but the orange citric qualities rule the roost. The more this beer warms the more nose candy it throws down. The honey adds great character.

Alphalpha is one unique IIPA. Not only is all the orange present that the nose showed off but the hoppiness takes on the flavor of lemon peel as well. All that caramel the nose was flaunting turns into more of a toasty breadiness that I prefer to the huge caramel for flavor. The finish snaps with moderately bitter lemon juice. The honey adds a touch of sweetness and some more citric depth.

The mouthfeel fits this particular IIPA nearly perfectly. The body is a hair over moderate in weight and the carbonation brings along a snappy finish. The bitterness grows with each drink and peaks at moderate maybe even a little over.

For a big IIPA Alphalpha drinks like an IPA which I could see becoming rather dangerous. The lemon brightness on the finish and hoppy bitterness keeps the glass tipped more often than straight.

This is another stellar brew from the up and comers over at Ithaca. I've wanted to try this unique IIPA since I first heard about it a long time back. Thanks for the hook up Lum!

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 banker
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
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 cvstrickland
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to daddy Lum for this jewel lovingly nestled in a fat trade crate: From Batch E!013...

The crowned Champagne-style 750 ml arrived yesterday, and chilled overnight in the fridge the brew pours bright golden amber with a thick cap of bright white foam atop. The head is creamy-smooth and glossy and leaves broad rings of fine webby film at the sip lines of the passing drink. The foam relaxes lazily, in no hurry to go anywhere, the fine head the epitome of sticky clinginess as it lies against the sides of my gold-rimmed Maredsous goblet. Subsequent supplemental pours to the glass really jack up the carbonation display, leaving cloud-shaped wallops of 3-D foam protruding from the interior surface.

Crisp, grassy, lemony citrus and succulent floral honey greet the nose right away and are quickly reinforced with a pinch of orangey zest and a splash of alcohol that hides in plain sight, only thinly disguised as juicy golden apple. A bit of mild toffee sweetens the aroma just a touch.

The taste is caramel-candy sweet with a rich medium toasted malt backbone-- just before a sweeping hoppy dryness desertifies the palate. Stiff bitterness is balanced nicely with a dollop of dark honey, but an assertive grassy hoppy dryness lingers in the aftertaste, pleasantly parching the drinker and commanding him to take another sip. I obey. Alcohol is a muted, mildly appley-pineappley flavor component of Alphalpha; the booze is coolly refreshing, drying on the palate, and warming in the belly. This super-duper Excelsior! brew is fresher, hazier, drier, more bitter, and increasingly grassy as the drink progresses. Excellent!

The drink is crisp and medium-bodied and punishingly-quaffable given the significant 8.5% ABV. Lum, no worries, homey! Hops aplenty remain!

Photo of tpd975
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BeerTruth for the share. Actually drank this one awhile ago, just getting around to adding beers from notes.

A: Pours a nice somewhat cloudy orange hue. One finger solid bubbly head with a rocky top. Nice clingy lace most of the way down the glass.

S: Lots of sweet caramel malt and flowered honey. Hints of cut grass and citrus hops.

T: More subtle than I thought it would be, but in a good way. Wonderful honey sweetness, like the fresh honey I used to get in Indiana. Notes of lemon and floral hops.

M: On the lighter side of medium, with good carbonation.

D: Tasty, drinkable, One I could actually session with.

Photo of joepais
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Israel for sending this along.
Bottle shared among friends poured into tulip glasses produced a two finger white head, which leaves behind great lace. The body of the brew was a clear (didn't stir up the dregs in the first glass) apricot to gold yellow.

It was amazingly fragrant tons of cascade hops aroma filled my head. The flavor of honey hits your lips first then followed by a nice hop bitter finish a great IPA in my book. It had a medium feel in my mouth with good carbonation for the tongue.

Very drinkable we polished of or glasses rather quickly and was left wanting more. Another good brew from Ithaca

Photo of sholland119
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a hazy apricot amber with a fluffy white head and lots of nice lacing.

S-Grapefruit hops dominate, with a very small amount of sweetness. Not as much as I would have expected after reading the label but still nice.

T-Lots of hops in the front, dissolving to honey sweetness and grapefruit in the finish. Quite tasty,

M-Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D-Quite drinkable. Great flavor, a pleasure to drink.

HV

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my glass on 3/21/09. Appears a rather cloudy (after stirring up the dregs in the bottom of the bottle) golden yellow color with about two fingers of fluffy white foam. A nice looking pour. Smells of sweet citrusy hops such as orange as well as bitter grapefruit and caramel. Tastes of sweet, honey tinged tangerines, grapefruit rind, a lot of herbal and flowery notes as well and balanced by caramel malt. Medium in both body and carbonation. This beer was very fresh tasting and pleasant to drink. Glad I've got another bottle.

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 ffejherb
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml into half pint on 3/21/09. Thank to clockworkorange for sharing!

A - Poured a cloudy golden honey-colored body with some grit and more than a finger of rocky white head that receded to a quarter inch of retention and left behind some decent lacing.

S - Sweet and hoppy nose with citrus hops up front and some fairly tame alcohol notes. Malt is sweet and caramel-based with a touch of honey.

T - Pretty well-rounded hop profile with pine, resin and some citrus shining through to dominate the flavor. Hops are balanced by a caramel malt and sweet honey presence. Finishes up on the aggressive side with more resiny hop goodness.

M - Medium bodied and moderately carbonated with an oily texture and sticky mouthfeel overall. Assertively hoppy in the finish with mild alcohol sting.

D - Good stuff from Ithaca. This is my first of their Imperial series and it didn't disappoint. Their standard stuff is pretty hit and miss with me, but this one made the mark.

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

Wow..another lofty Excelsior series endeavor! Sooo glad that team-Ithaca can put it together like this.

(Go with the words from IBC on this one...trust me!) Pours a cloudy pale golden amber color with a huge stiff off white head that decomposes like an ice cream float. You've gotta know that cloudy means 'standby for goodness'. A seriously nice amount of Belgian lacing enjoyed with each mouthful, some 3-D. The smell is intense, aggressive and suggests that a ton of quality ingredients went into this bad boy. The soft freshness of the pour comes from the honey-side of things. Behind all that is an intense grassy resin. The mouth feel is complex...bursts of the resin characteristic finishes cleanly...as if dampened by the honey. Very drinkable...the oily resin character builds up as you get closer to the visible 'chunky goodness' awaiting at the bottom of the vessel. This interpretation is an example of preserving all of the classic 'expectations of style' while revealing TOTALLY imaginative ways of getting you there! If you have ANY idea of what i'm talking about, then it's 'scoring points'...highly recommended.

Photo of ckeegan04
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Lum for this one. Batch E!013.

A - Golden honey in color with a huge foamy head (after a rather passive pour). The head slowly fades to a solid two finger chunkiness on top with big lace on the sides. Rather clear with the slightest haze (chill haze?).

S - Smells exactly like what you would expect from the label. A big nose of citrusy goodness (love some C-hops!) with lots of orange, graprefruit, and a hint of lemon. A light honey aroma is noticeable and the malt backbone provides just enough balance with a light, biscuity sweetness.

T - The taste of honey is very noticeable initially, but that is quickly overcome by a very dry citrusy bitterness. Lots of grapefruit and a little orange. Also a grassy quality to the beer. The malt backing is just strong enough to keep this beer from being a giant hop bomb. A bready and biscuity maltiness is present.

M/D - Medium bodied and very dry feel. Carbonation is well done and the beer is very drinkable. An excellent sample from the folks at Ithaca.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
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 younger35
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this brew from my #1 gal BeerTruth. Got this not long ago and have been pretty damned excited to try it. Drank from my Stone India Pale Ale tulip.

Batch# E!011

Appearance- Pours a hazy orange with a huge two finger bright white head that is super fluffy. The head never really recedes smaller than maybe a half finger, leaving rings and rings of lacing that remind me every sip.
Smell- Loads of Cascades jump out of the bottle upon opening. Super fruity and citric from the start with bits of grapefruit, tangerines and candied orange. Slightly floral as well with a bit of lilac and lavender. Lightly sweet biscuit, a bit of brown sugar and light bubblegum finish the nose.
Taste- Mmm... Deliciousness here. Slightly bitter with a refreshing burst of the usual suspects including some light grapefruit pith, orange rind and lemon peel. Not a lot of pine is present but enough to give it a light early grassy twang. Some candied sugars and red licorice add a light bit of sweetness. As does a bit of upstate New York Alfalfa honey (I totally got that because I'm a honey connoisseur, not cause it says on the bottle). Finishes lightly fruity with a touch of subtle roast.
Mouthfeel- Medium body with a nice crisp bite and semi dry finish.
Drinkability- This is only my 2nd Excelsior brew and so far Ithaca is 2 for 2. It's not overly bitter yet nicely hoppy and fruity. Brews with honey in them are hit or miss with me and more times than not it's a miss. Not with Alphalpha. They apparently used just enough to give it a slightly dry finish and help prop up the Cascade goodness. Big thanks for your generocity Adam!

Photo of number1bum
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to BeerTruth for this one! Batch E!013

Pours a golden amber color with a prominent, creamy three fingers of off-white head. It's pretty hazy and has some floating sediment, but keeps a very nice lace and leaves a bunch of rings of stick. This would actually be almost prototypical in terms of appearance if not for the sediment and substantial haziness.

Smells of lots of fresh and enticing cascade hops. Lots of grapefruit and resiny pine. There are few things finer than fresh cascade hops.

Taste is also chock full of fresh cascade hop flavor. Grapefruit and pine, a bit earthy, juicy and delicious. Bitterness is pretty substantial but this is no hop bomb. It's very well balanced with some sweet and bready malt. Also a touch of grain. I can't claim to know what alfalfa tastes like exactly, but there is a grassy quality to this beer that I wouldn't expect to find with cascade hops so I'm thinking that may be the alfalfa. The honey really becomes more noticeable in the finish where there is a pleasant lingering honey sweetness. This is supremely balanced and just plain delicious.

Mouthfeel is a medium-full body, appropriate carbonation, creamy and smooth with an hop-oily slickness with a semi-dry finish.

The alfalfa honey seems to add some nice complexities to this beer, which takes an already excellent DIPA and makes it outstanding. Great beer, plain and simple. This beats out Hopslam in my book, along with many others. This Excelsior series is outstanding! Definitely get this while it's fresh.

Photo of weeare138
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Photo of hopdog
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle shared courtesy of TomDecapolis.

Poured a medium and cloudy golden-orange color witha small sized off white head. Aromas of citrus, floral hops, caramel, and lighter honey. Tastes of citrus, lighter floralness, pine, some honey, and caramel. Light alcohol in the finish, but overall well hidden.

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

This beauty uses organic barley malt, NY cascade hops, and local alfalfa honey. Nice!

750 ml bottle poured into the appropriate Ithaca Excelsior! tulip glass. Batch# E!013

Pours a foggy rustic gold hue with a big three finger fluffy off-white head that takes its sweet time settling down. Super sticky chunky lacing clings to the sides of the glass, maybe it's because of the honey ;) Superb looking brew, simple as that. Smell is a sweet blend of fresh clementine oranges and crisp grapefruit. Honey, bready malts, and grass tickle the nose with a touch of sweet butter as well. Taste starts off with gritty earth and grass with a splash of orange and lemon zest. Midway the honey and malt balance out the big hop presence. Aftertaste is bitter and sweet, pretty much what this beer is all about. Lots of complex flavors that truly shine when the beer starts to warm up a bit. Medium to full body with a chewy feel and lively crisp carbonation. There's a touch of alcohol here and there with this brew, but nothing too crazy. Another wonderful addition to the oh so lovely Excelsior! line-up. Keep brewin' em and I'll keep drinkin' em. Good stuff, get it while it's fresh!

p.s. - I'd take this over Hopslam anyday

Photo of WesWes
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
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!!

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

this beer pours a very hazy golden orange color with a creamy off white head that glings to the glass rather thickly. the aroma presents a bit of floral and citrus up front and a touch of the promised honey. the taste delivers a lot of the hops the nose promised and a bit of clean smooth malt. the mouthfeel delivers a nice full body with a decent level of co2. another very drinkable beer from Ithaca

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Alphalpha from Ithaca Beer Company
91 out of 100 based on 221 ratings.