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Alphalpha - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
AlphalphaAlphalpha

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

222 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 222
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: 222 | Reviews: 143 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of smcolw
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

Photo of beachbum1975
3.66/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle - batch # E!013 - served at fridge temps with DrewOSU and newtonty.

I was drawn to the description on this beers label, so I had to try it (I love honey and malt).

To my surprise, this poured a super cloudy, fleshy apricot color with brown lowlights. The head is a 3/4 inch light tan monster with big bubbles.

The nose is relatively mild with pineapple hops and light, sweet malts. Pretty simple nose...

Pineapple hops presence takes the stage with an orangey flavor throughout. There's very light alcohol in the finish with a malt presence that comes through, as well.

The overall flavor profile was much more simple then I was expecting. I was hoping for a larger honey taste, but only got traces. Nice, but overall I was a bit underwhelmed.

Photo of spinrsx
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml Bottle

Appearance - Hazy yellow colour with a large size frothy off white coloured head. It's hard to make out the amount of carbonation and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, grapefruit, hops, herbal notes, grass

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and the taste is made up lots of woody/herbal hops. There is also a light maltiness, some caramel, and a a bit of lemon/grapefruit juice and zest. It ends with a herbal hoppy aftertaste.

Overall - A little too herbal/earthy for my liking, but still an interesting beer worth trying. It needs just a touch more sweetness or a fruitiness to be a repeat beer for me.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

Photo of kzoobrew
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch E!029, poured into Stone IPA glass.

Hazy golden orange body. Fluffy three finger eggshell colored head. Retention is quite impressive. Thick sheets of lacing left behind as the head recedes.

The aroma is dominated up front by intense hops. Resinous wet hops cones and candied grapefruit. Very organic grassy aromas pour out of the glass. Light pale malt sweetness provides a subtle backbone.

Strong grassy hop flavor absolutely coats the tongue out of the glass. A more subdued citrus flavors lingers just behind. There is an underlying sweetness present in which I am struggling to put my finger on. My first instinct was caramel malt but that notion has gone by the wayside the more I work my way through. Warm biscuity malt sweetness is present but does not account for the sweetness as a whole. I am reluctant to attribute the sweet flavor to the honey, as it would ferment out, though I suppose some residual flavor may be left behind contributing to the overall flavor.

Medium bodied, slightly under moderate carbonation. Very creamy texture leaves a bit of an oily residue on the tongue. Lingering sweetness and grassy hop flavor makes of a much longer finish than anticipated.

Good beer, but not great. I would be very interested to sample this beer uber fresh. I believe the fresher the sample the better this beer is. Drinks quite easy though the sweetness does catch up, one pour is plenty. Nice beer overall.

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

22 0z bottle (from Pinocchios) poured into a Duvel snifter. Beer poured yellow/gold with a two-finger, white head (aggressive pour). Lacing was light and fragile. Smell was floral and citrus with some sweetness (honey?). Taste was honey, caramel, lemon and orange. There is some hop presence in the finish and nice dryness but this remain sweet, even in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is crisp, medium and a little sticky. Carbonation is about average for the style. All-in-all a decent offering I would try again.

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 suspect
3.74/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Dogfish Head signature glass. Split with mrmarmot.

A: Extremely cloudy beer with lots of chunky sediment. Some chunks were pebble sized. 2 finger fluffy head disappeared slowly to thick, sticky lacing. I was a bit put off by just how cloudy this beer was.

S: Ahhh, very nice mix of honey, hops and alfalfa. The malt backbone is steady and present along with a strong scent of multi-grain bread. This might just be the highlight of the beer.

T: Sweetness reigns supreme here thanks to the honeywith bitter contradictory notes thanks to the hops. Hops are a fruity mix of citrus and grass.

M: Sticky, chewy from the sediment. Alcohol is non-existent. Dries out the mouth leaving me wanting more.

O: This is a good beer and a very unique take on the style. Ithaca leaves the hoppy monsters to the west coast and uses its imagination to twist the DIPA expectations into something pretty nice. I would like to try this on tap or from a known fresh batch to compare.

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 gcare02
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of n00blar
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of surlytheduff
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of wrightst
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of maximum12
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my wife & a kind BA for bottles of this wanted beer. Unfortunately the one my wife picked up in New York - off the damn shelf - was over three years old & undrinkable. This one is batch E!019, which I gather from a quick search is more than 1 1/2 years old. Seriously. Ithaca should stop making this damn beer if they can't sell the damn things.

Pours sunny yellow, clear, with a good two fingers left in the bottle along with a bit of spent yeast. Smell is brilliant, bright honey, lovely floral hops. No bitterness, but very nice.

Alphalpha still bites when it should be in its death throes. The hops still sting, though there's that suggestion of last fall's leaves. Honey blows in like a sweet spring day. Malt? Maybe. Very simple structure on this one, but so, so, so easy to wash down, well, anything.

Even at this age, this is a good, solid IIPA. Love to try this one fresh sometime, although it seems fresh bottles are much rarer than those that have collected considerable dust.

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of jurbanik
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of tommyguz
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of andrewinski1
3.77/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

Photo of IBUnit63
3.81/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch E!013. It was around for a while before it hit Boston shelves so the hops may have faded quite a bit, but let's gizzit a toss into the Duvel tulip.

Well, it sure pours nicely. 2 fingers of eggshell/buttery head tops a rustic, organic honey-colored hazy body. Carbonation is prevalent but it moves very slowly...a testament to this deal's viscosity. Head retention is clutch - it has a strong proofed bread dough look. This is quite thick indeed.

Although fresh from the fridge there's a slight metallic tinge, the grapefruit hops in this show no signs of being thoroughly faded out. Partially? Most likely - less pulp than rind. Malt smells grainy - is that the organic thing? No, no...that's meat...actually there's a little bit of salt developing. I get the smell of honey a little bit, but it needs some warmth.

So far the taste matches the scent - slightly salty and metallic but what's prevalent is the grapefruit rind and a little bit of faint pulp. The honey shows up more in feel than in taste, as the sweetness comes a little more from the booze than from the honey. Malt is rather inert at first, but shows up with more of a straw-like taste after a while when the hops slowly fade into a bed of honey. A little dryness here.

This gets drier and drier with warmth, which is both surprising and enjoyable. It's almost out of style but has a very nice Belgian IPA feel at the moment.

It gets some legs with a decent amount of warmth and mellows out quite nicely. The Cascades are much more austere than the balls-to-the-wall unabased citrus of Centennials and Amarillos, so it definitely brings about a nice dry feel. The residual sugar ultimately loses its booziness but keeps some warmth. Very well done.

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 CosmoHopHead
3.83/5  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.

Photo of MasterSki
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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

Pours a murky swamp golden orange color with lotsa yeast settling at the bttom. nice bright white head with cool rings of we defined lace. aroma is super yeasty and hoppy. like must funk. taste is at first a tad much. but the hops chill out after a few sips. the honey is kinda noticeable. this is pretty damn drinkable. i would drink this super fresh.

Alphalpha from Ithaca Beer Company
91 out of 100 based on 222 ratings.