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Cold Front - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
Cold FrontCold Front

Educational use only; do not reuse.

148 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 148
Hads: 347
Avg: 3.68
pDev: 15.22%
Wants: 8
Gots: 20 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Dark Ale |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: WesWes on 09-04-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 148 | Hads: 347
Photo of Neecee513
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass

A: Light reddish brown, moderate head and retention

S: Sweet caramel w/ slight spicy aroma

T: Malty/toasty w/ spicy hop bitterness

M: High carbonation, dry finish, medium body

D: Smooth, well balanced, and extremely enjoyable!!

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Photo of hossua34
4.4/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Thick, dark brown-black color. A large, fluffy head that lasts a long, long time. Quite a bit of lacing.

S - Very complex scent. Fruity bread dough, rye crust, molasses, spice and a zesty citrus overtone. Very strong and appealing.

T - Very Belgian taste. Molasses and gingerbread notes. Spicy and sweet at the same time. Banana-like fruitiness, with a tart finish.

M - Couldn't ask for much more.

D - A bit of a citric aftertaste, and I could stand the finish being a little less sour. However, overall this beer was way more than I had expected. Definitely will be buying this again.

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Photo of Brianmerrilyn
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I tried this out at the Bronx Ale House last night. A new name from Ithaca and I was intrigued as to what the taste would be. Poured a frothery 2 finger head with an Ice-T brownish color. Minimal aroma beyond a big malt plate. First taste was a rush of the malt as well as wheat malt. I assumed this was a dunklewheat but perhaps a true American style saison as I've never seen one this dark and wheaty. Nevertheless went down with medium mouthfeel and as smooth as silk. This is another great brew out of Ithaca.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Woo hoo! This is today's sleeper. I thought I had remembered good things about Ithaca beers. It was a good memory and this is adds to that.

First off, I am heading back to that store and buying MORE. It was a super deal - $6.99 for 6. I don't think that's right. This tastes like something that should be more expensive.

Very authentic tasting. Rich and Belgian tasting. Dark and kind of woody. This is how it should be. At $6.99, I'm getting as much as they have!

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Photo of btorsdog
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep Dark Brown with beautiful white head and lacing. Faint nose of hops with a mild belgian yeast thing going on. Tastes somewhat strong but with some nice fruity stuff happening to bring it full circle,very nice! Medium mouth but good carbonation ,a lot going on here! Great change of pace brew and the name spells it out perfectly,this is the second year I'll be enjoying this one through the winter. Glad to have come acrooss this one!!!!

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Recently picked up a 6'er of this at Big Z's in Huntington, NY after a "Taste of NY" beer tasting event that they hosted. I tried 2 others from Ithaca and at least 2 from each of several other breweries from NY and this was one of my favs (hence leaving with the 6'er).

Poured from 12oz bottle into an Ommegang tulip.

A - Poured a deep dark ruby brown with hints of amber on the sides when held to the light. Very thin yeasty head.

S - Sweet candy followed by citrus and malty fruitpunch. Great smelling beer.

T - Cherry, grape, sugar, citrus, orange and some alcohol spices. Really complex Saison. Much darker and rich in flavor than some others I've tried. The alcohol is definitely there, but the blend is pretty even and smooth.

M - Crisp and evenly blended. LOTS of carbonation, but it goes well with this beer. One of my favorite seasonals I've tried this year.

D - At the tasting, after trying everything I found myself going back and forth between this one and the capt lawrence liquid gold. Cold Front is an extremely drinkable brew and I think this one would be accessible to a wide variety of palettes.

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Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a hazy, dark brown with almost no head from a 12 oz bottle with freshness date on the label but no ABV.
Aroma is typical of a belgian; hints of spice, nutmeg and green cardamom, with sweet fruity esters/banana and yeast.
Taste upfront is of cherries, dried fruits (raisins), some licorice and alcohol sweetness, typical of a dubbel. Very good lacing along the insides of the glass.
Mouthfeel falls short of what I was expecting of a dubbel. Nowhere near as silky and creamy as I would have liked. By saying that, I am taking nothing away from this ale, which in its own right is still a solid and delicious brew.
Drinkability is good mainly because the ABV is masked well.
Another solid ale from Ithaca Beer Company and should be tried by anyone who enjoys dubbel's. Definitely recommended.

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Photo of anotherpg
4.29/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Came out with nearly half head when poured into a high glass. This amber ale smelled fantastic -- very memorable. The taste is a sweet Belgian dark style -- chewy is the best way to describe it. It's a craft brew for sure: this would scare your average beer drinker away. I'm more of Belgian purist and this is an interpretation of the style more than anything else. Worthy if you can get it.

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Photo of danmcg62
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a nice cherry red-reddish brown color. Head is about a thumb width. Head holds up nicely.

S-A real nice smell to the beer, very pleasing to the senses. Huge floral notes up front. I don't know if "amber" refers to a colder time of year, but I smell a season. Almost like a late fall/early winter combo (p.s. I know amber refers to color ;)) A tad fruity as well (can't place the fruit smell).

T-Almost a grape/apple cocktail. I like this very much. Hops are present at the top of the mouth.

M-Super smooth and a bit chewy. I like the way the beer feels in my mouth.

D-Insanely drinkable for a belgian style ale. Smooth drinking.

I've enjoyed this beer for a few months now. I'm glad I've gotten around to finally reviewing it. Ithaca is slowly becoming one of a my new favorite breweries.

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Photo of cooch69
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium brown. Nice two finger creamy head which keeps well.

Cloves, figs and wintergreen in the aroma.

Taste - Tobacco leaf, alcohol warmth, cloves, some dark malts.

Overall pretty dry and fluffy in the mouth.

This beer was my favorite Ithaca so far. It is easy to drink and pretty damn tasty.

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Photo of Minotaur
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A dark brown beer with some amber highlights form the tap at Blue Tusk into a pint glass; the head is about one finger's worth and hangs around for most of the beer. Upon drinking through the glass some frosty lacing remains.

There is a definite dark and roasted malt, spice, yeast, candi-sugar/molasses element.

The taste is reminiscent of the aroma but it is not overly sweet. It is actually more pleasantly bitter, toasty, rich and bready tasting (like its Belgian origin) than would initially be expected. This lends a heartiness vs. a "desert" flavor. The spices are mellow like mulled wine rather than fruit-cake like. The use of the wheat malt leaves a very chewy flavor and mouthfeel.

This beer is quite drinkable with a moderate alcohol and little of that taste coming through. Cold Front was the "surprise" winner at our Blue Tusk outing. It is a well thought-ought, crafted, and balanced winter ale.

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Photo of horshack7
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Into a tulip is a deep, rich and dark mahogany with amber hues around the edges. Above all that is an tan head that is two fingers tall.

Aroma: Faint notes of figs, plum, solid amounts of banana bits of molasses. Toffee, and dark bread notes towards the back.

Taste: Banana, plums, ripe fruits, figs. A fairly smooth mouthfeel with a touch of stickiness and a little bit chewy. At the end is a wisp of black licorice.

Notes: Dam tasty all over. Cheers.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a snifter.

Deep russet color with a fluffy beige head that had plenty of legs and left bits of sticky lacing.
Belgian yeast and spicy aroma, nice.
Taste is very good, fine balance of roasted malt, Euro-hops and 'farmhouse' yeast spices.
Medium bodied with a clean, crisp feel.
Very tasty, easy drinking beer.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber mahogany brown hue with a large fine bubbled tan khaki head, forms fine scattered lacing. Aromatics offer up sharp fruity tart/sweet layers intertwined. A bit of floral/grassiness and malts/honey combined to form a very pleasant nose. Cherry earthiness with juicy raisin a bit of tart apple as well, call it a Belgian amber/dubbel it fits the mold. Maybe it's the yeast but this is complex as all hell, maybe a bit too sweet for my tastes but the spicy yeast/tart apples/juicy raisin sweetness with some earthy/herbal faint hops combines to create pure bliss. A really nice seasonal offering more beautiful beer coming out of Ithaca I love these guys. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, bottle says best by February I say forever. Seven percent not really hoppy, a bunch of Belgian yeast packing it's magic this will lay down for awhile. Carbonation is effervescent excellent use of Belgian yeast, really seems like a quality American brewed version. Drinkability I will be back, classic example of why Ithaca beers are a go to option, pure quality expressed with every beer I've had from them.

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Photo of stxp
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: deep brown, barely translucent in light, soft head with some dimples, small bubbles

smell: fresh bread, nutty brown, slight belgian spice

taste: very bready, thick malty, a bit of belgian, not overly hoppy, long bready linger

mouthfeel: very thick and rich, stays creamy the whole time, quite filling, low alcohol

overall: incredibly filling, rich fresh baked bread, thick but not overpoweringly alcoholic or hoppy

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Photo of tpd975
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a rich dark brown with hints of amber showing through. Nice cream colored head that dies to a nice cap. Some spotty lace.

S: Aromas of big league chew bubblegum, banana, and gooey caramel.

T: Nice and sweet up front. Flavors of old school banana Hubba Bubba bubble gum. Hints of spice, and earthy lightly funky saison yeast. Light apples and pears in the background. Sweet creamy caramel in the finish. I like this one alot, gets even better as it warms.

M: Medium in body, good carbonation.

D: Sat down and sipped the bottle all by myself. Thanks Jonathan, keep sending me all these draft only offerings.

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Photo of Risser09
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pilsner - fridge - best by dec. 2009

Appearance: Pours a copper brown color with orange highlights and a vigorous carbonation. It leads to a 2" tall, cream-colored head that has great retention. Sticky lace remains off of the pillowy head.

Smell: Spicy Belgian yeast is full of pepper and clove, atop a dose of caramel malt. Toffee, citrus and licorice intertwine for a final touch.

Taste: Toffee and malt make the foundation for all of the Belgian yeast flavor. Clove and pepper are heavy flavors, while crisp citrus and cocoa are subordinate. An anise finish includes an ample alcohol feel.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, spicy, sweet-all things Belgian. The yeast envelops everything in this beer. Pepper and booze make up the finish.

Drinkability: A nice interpretation with lots of flavor, aroma and sweet drinkability. Goes down easy with pleasant aftertaste.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 12/30/09 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of Belgian yeast, wheat, dark fruit and dark malts.

T: The taste is sweet with flavors of dark fruit and some spices. Then some wheat and Belgian yeast breadiness that come in next. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy. The hops presence is mild very mild but still brings a good balance. The after-taste is bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style while adding some variation, this is a very nice Belgian beer that is worth drinking for a long time.

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Photo of ProudBeerSnob
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok, let's start this review out with one caveat: This beer really does not seem like a "true" saison, but I'll ignore that and review it on its individual merits.

Poured from growler into a tulip glass. Nice head in the narrow channel of the tulip that dissipaptes nicely with very little lacing. Beautiful mahogany color.

Faint aromas of cherry, tastes of the same. Sweet and sour kind of taste.

Once I got used to the fact that this was not a typical saison, it was actually a very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Thickfreakness
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice cherry/mahogany into my Bruery tulip. 2 1/2 finger off white head that sparkles and shimmers. Nice bits of lacing drip down the glass leaving a sticky foam that fades away.

S- Dried cherry, raisin and figs. Nice banana and bubblegum from the yeast. Hints of pepper, lemon zest, basil and anise. Really nice and complex.

T- Huge flavors of banana, raisins, figs, and lemon-pepper spice. Hints of maple syrup and caramel. Decent hop presence.

M- Nicely carbonated for a Dark Ale. Loving the Belgian yeast and fruity sweetness. This one really hit the spot tonight! It's like a dark ale and a Wheat beer in one!

O- I was very pleased with this offering from one of my favorite somewhat locals. Fruity, wheaty, dark and delicious.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in a pint(ish) glass.

Appearance: very dark brown with ample head and thick lace

Nose: horse blanket, old grass, minor dark fruit

Taste: smokey, aged and complex, minor dark fruit in the finish

Mouthfeel: crisp and effervescent

Drinkability: this is a great cold weather day brew to drink during a snow storm

I didn't pay attention to the label when I opened the beer. I thought it was a traditionally hoppy winter ale. Much to my surprise, its a dark farmhouse ale. Wow, get this if you have a chance. It is a beautifully different rendition of the traditional saison.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark red-brown with lots of bubbles and a giant three-finger, off-white, creamy head that lasted a couple minutes. Pretty good lacing.

S: Bread, dark fruit, and spice.

T: Moderate sweetness and light to moderate bitterness. Very malt forward. Lots of roasted qualities. Less Belgian in characteristic than I'm used to with this style. Good though.

M: Medium bodied with soft carbonation. Smooth.

O: Really interesting roasted qualities that weren't quite what I was expecting for the style. This is a good beer.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to Lumdog millionaire for sending me this bottle among many many other Ithaca treasures. You da man Paul!

Appearance, im not sure what to make of it. It's certainly not normal for the style listed, but this looks and smells like a BSDA, so im gonna review it as such for now. Pours dark and slightly murky with amber highlights and a stark white head that retains pretty well and leaves ok lacing down the glass.

Nose is of alot of belgian malt and smells pretty significantly of star anise. A little saison like yeast peeks its head out.

Yep. Pretty good stuff here. Belgian malt although not terribly sweet, does start us out. There is definitely some star anise in this beer, and it compliments it quite nicely. The finish is fairly dry, and im not sure what kind of yeast was used, but it really seems like it has a BSPA or saisonish yeast profile. An interesting amalgam of belgian classics.

Mouthfeel is pretty solid. Not too thick, right where it should be viscosity wise. Carbonation is right where you'd want it.

Drinkability is very solid for what i would peg to be an 8.5ish abv. Could easily put away a few of these.

Overall a very nice belgian style concoction. I like the mixture of belgian traits that come into play. A nice drinkable and flavorful beer. I like how packed with flavor it is while maintaining sessionable drinkability. Another winner from Ithaca, who continue to impress.

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Photo of bobsy
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was pumped to find this beer on tap at Coles.

Essentially a dark saison, this beer pours a deep mahogany with a tan head that drops to a film, but leaves some nice lace spots. The aroma is sweet and spicy, not all that heavy for a saison, but nicely put together. There's some depth from the wheat and a nice peppery zing in the nose.

Like the aroma, this is sweeter than you'd usually find for the style. Lots of candy sugar, dark fruit and chocolate (perhaps chocolate malt lends more than colour to this beer). A surprising amount of roast in the middle. Some nice peppery yeast in the finish, and a good wheat zing that stops things from becoming cloying. There's also a pleasantly assertive bitterness. The body is crisp and well-clipped, and its medium mouthfeel and carbonation suit the style well.

I think this is the darkest looking saison I've ever had, and the added roast and dark fruit flavours certainly make it distinctive and stand out from the field. Its perhaps sweeter than I'd prefer, but still gets a big thumbs up from me!

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Photo of bourbonbock
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a six pack of this at the Ithaca Beer Company. Although they were out of this on tap I generally like Belgian Ales so I picked this up.

A. Great looking beer! This pours a deep amber with glints of caramel. The head is extremely frothy and verrrry slow to dissipate.

S. Roasted barley and yeasty overtones. The smell is somewhat subdued compared to the flavor. Or I may just be drinking this one a little too cold.

T. Spicy roasted malts with a very good yeast profile. This beer has a very malty profile with only a little hint of hops in there to balance it back a little bit. The aftertaste is getting to me a little bit in the back of the throat.

M. Very heavy and almost excessive carbonation. I think this beer would be much more balanced if IBC were to tone back the carbonation slightly.

D. I drank this one back quick. It was good but it'll catch up to you quick. Definitely not a session ale.

Overall a very good beer. The presentation is great each sip has left a ring around the glass.

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Cold Front from Ithaca Beer Company
83 out of 100 based on 148 ratings.