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Cold Front - Ithaca Beer Company

Cold FrontCold Front

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

324 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 324
Reviews: 148
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 15.19%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: WesWes on 09-04-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 324 | Reviews: 148 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of goblue3509


3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with a slight one finger head which leaves no lace presence. The aroma is of candied yeast a bubblegum like aroma with a nice dark fruit aroma after. The taste has a caramel malt backbone there is then a big candied yeast flavor, again it is a bubblegum like flavor. There is also a dark fruit in the back end. The mouthfeel is light and thin. Overall it was a solid brew, it is not best in class but it is a good beer. Not as complex as some.

Serving type: on-tap

02-05-2012 21:57:24 | More by goblue3509
Photo of DrinkSlurm


4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Pony Bar, NYC. Poured into standard pint. Raison brown amber color. Strong belgian aroma...sweet and malty.
Belgian yeast dominates, with hints of toasty fruit and vanilla. Very nice winter style from Ithaca Beer Company...and overall a nice brew.

Serving type: on-tap

11-27-2011 01:22:49 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of hippityhops85


3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at the Blue Dog in Lansdale, PA. Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass.

Pours a murky brown with ruby highlights. Lots of beautiful lacing with this glass. Must be quite fresh.

The nose has a ton of lager-like aspects to it with a belgian character tying it all together. Really looking forward to it.

The taste follows suit. It was poured super cold so the initial tastes had a strong lager-like character but as the beer warmed the spicy, clove-like notes of the Belgian yeast became apparent. This beer transformed a lot as it warmed.

The mouthfeel was nice and crisp. It finished super dry which I was happy about. It did pick up a slight medicinal note towards the absolute end of the glass which was slightly off-putting but other than that, I was happily surprised.

Serving type: on-tap

11-26-2011 13:53:34 | More by hippityhops85
Photo of amphion1065


3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. pour into a tulip at Bukowski's in Inman. I knew nothing about this beer before ordering it, and my curiosity got the best of me. Reviewed from notes.

The body is a very dark amber, brown shade. A half-finger off white head last for quite a while. Really gorgeous lacing, with cascading sheets of soapy foam all over my glass.

The aroma is utterly beguiling. I got a ton of peanuts from this - it really reminded me of Short's Uber Goober. Amber malt, with a touch of sweetness and bread. Dark chocolate. Espresso grounds, with a coffee bitterness.

The taste is similarly confounding and unique. Again, just a boatload of peanuts at work here. The spice profile is very interesting. After about twenty minutes of drinking my glass, I determined that the most predominant spice in the mix is cardamom. Very floral.

The carbonation is on the low side, but it feels smooth and rich. I spent quite a while drinking this, although that's more a testament to the complexity of flavors than any particular flaw.

A very unique beer, and one I'm glad I had the chance to try. I couldn't see myself enjoying this with any regularity, but it is an interesting showing from a brewing that can really pump out some innovative beers.

Serving type: on-tap

10-24-2011 00:51:55 | More by amphion1065
Photo of Rifugium


3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Brigid's, Philly, PA

Pretty decent. Had on tap in December, so I figured it was a winter warmer, and it wasn't, but it was vaguely similar.

Poured a slightly hazy mahogany brown with a small head that dissipated quickly. Caramel malts in the nose with some essence of dark fruits. The taste was mostly caramel malts up front, light sugar, and some dark fruits and spices in there, but not very distinctive. Medium body and a bit of film left in the mouth. Decent and moderately drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

05-12-2011 13:55:32 | More by Rifugium
Photo of Jayli


3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Track 84 12/18
Served in a pint glass

A: This beer pours a mahogany brown with a 1/4 inch of offwhite head. Head disappears immediately, and leaves no lacing to speak of.

S: Nose is dark fruit - raisin, date, caramel and corriander.

T: Taste starts with a good deal of malt in the forefront. Caramel and toffee notes fill the mouth. Raisin and corriander fill the middle. Finish has a bot of oak and hop bite to it.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, crisp at first with an oily finish.

D: Goes down easily, pretty tasty, not too filling, nice kick, and nice representation of style.

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2010 21:27:52 | More by Jayli
Photo of LeibJ

New York

3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice seasonal beer, the coor was excellent an almost perfect shade of amber (somewhere between red and orange). The color was somewhat cloudy. There was a taste of cinnamon that I did not expect. The smell was just to die for, it was very floral. All in all a beer I would drink again and again this time of year, because it certainly make me feel warmer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-06-2010 20:58:11 | More by LeibJ
Photo of Stinkypuss


3.33/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Darkest of browns in color with an off-white foam that looks like mocha cream. Lots of lacing.

Smell: Roasted malts, some bread notes.

Taste: Dark fruit, coupled with some mild chocolate. Faint coffee and roasted flavors. Hops have died down to a ghost bitterness that keeps the beer from being cloying. After some time in storage, this beer has had the malt take over with just a wee bit of alcohol being noticed.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. A bit thin. Carbonation is OK, though somewhat low.

Drinkability: Decent tasting, but alittle past it's prime. What's there is nice however, and if this is in your cellar it may be time to consume.

Serving type: on-tap

08-24-2010 13:42:30 | More by Stinkypuss


3.23/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served in a pint glass.

A: Garnet or russet colored with an above average size creamy tan head. Great retention. Spare lacing. The body has an 85% opacity and ruby edges line the glass.

S: Malt heavy, sweet smelling dark fruits, mainly raisin/prune, herbal hops, lightly spiced and pronounced Belgian yeast. The yeast is very distinct and recognizably Belgian. (Coincidentally, a quick check on the Ithaca website reveals: "fermented with a legendary Belgian 'Farmhouse' yeast."

T: Exactly what you would expect given the nose. Only weaker.

M: Dry finish. Seems to lack sweetness and is much too thin for my preference.

D: The Ithaca website calls this a Belgian-style Amber Ale and the BA website is calling it a Belgian Dark Ale. Whatever this beer is, it's certainly not a BSDA which is what the pub menu led me to believe, and possibly why the Cold Front received mostly average ratings. Or maybe it was on the merits of the beer alone... Nonetheless, this one needs some help...or heart...or tweaking or something.

Serving type: on-tap

04-07-2010 07:58:50 | More by FeDUBBELFIST
Photo of thekevlarkid


3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Off tap at the brewery this beer was a dark garnet/copper color with two fingers of khaki-colored head. The aroma was spicy with hints of fruit, wild yeast and sandalwood. The flavors were odd! A combination of earthy malt first then followed by a sourness in the middle coupled with the tart notes of Bret-like yeast. Hints of roasted malt appeared as it warmed up along with more esters and caramel malt. The mouthfeel, body and carbonation were all average. A Belgian dark ale? I wasn't exactly sold.

Serving type: on-tap

04-06-2010 15:29:26 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of plaid75

New York

4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Mr. Beery, Bethpage, NY.

Poured a deep amber hue with a half finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a bold ester, candy sugar and an earthy hop.

The taste consisted of an upfront spicy ester, followed by a light sweetness and finishing a bit bitter.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a tasty dark ale.

Serving type: on-tap

03-27-2010 20:13:20 | More by plaid75
Photo of blackie


3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: deep brown in color, head light to average

s: some lighter aromas of dark fruits - mostly prune - and a mild spice, lightly hopped, some heavier sugars, not bad but there's something missing

m: light-medium body, dull carbonation

t: malty dark fruits and a yeast flavor that seems to be one-dimensional spice, prunes, mild hops and a slight sharpness, don't think the "dark farmhouse" worked out as well as hoped, but it's a reasonably enjoyable beer

d: reasonably drinkable, but not much here to bring me back

heavy chalice at Eulogy, Philadelphia

Serving type: on-tap

03-15-2010 00:25:56 | More by blackie
Photo of Hojaminbag


3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ithaca Cold Front has a body that is about the color of cola, with a small tan head that as ok retention and leaves a few scraps of lacing on the glass.

The aroma is big on sweet malts complemented by a bunch of peppery and clove-like yeast scents. A little bit of saison yeast is in there also.

Most of the flavor of Ithaca cold front comes from what seems like a blend of a few different malts to me. Lots of sweetness with flavors of caramel, toffee and some bread-like notes. A hint of dark fruits gives way to a good dose of peppery yeast that comes with what seems like a bit of clove. After that some funky saison yeast rounds out Cold Front.

For a Belgian dark or amber, the mouthfeel might be a little light to moderate. For a saison, it would be way too heavy. I'll assume this is an amber that just happens to have some saison-type yeast and say the mouthfeel is ok.

I got to sample this beer quite a few times, from when it was first tapped at the brewery until months later at local bars both on-tap and in bottles. The fact that I kept trying it reveals that I liked it every time. I have to say, that the spring saison from Ithaca, Ground Break, is better, but that doesn't diminish the fact that Cold Front is a pretty good beer itself.

Serving type: on-tap

03-10-2010 00:56:39 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

01-17-2010 19:58:18 | More by bobsy
Photo of Minotaur


4.25/5  rDev +17.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2010 05:14:36 | More by Minotaur
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.15/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2009 16:17:05 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of Buckeyes67


3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I would put this into my top three from here along with FlowerPower and Cascazilla. A good dark color but not cloudy. A good aroma and a great taste. Sits nicely in your mouth and is very easy to drink. This one you could sit down with and drink a couple and not have to change up to something else.

Serving type: on-tap

12-11-2009 15:40:24 | More by Buckeyes67
Photo of hustlesworth


4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- darkest saison I've seen yet, deep burgundy, almost black, with a big creamy beige head. Excellent retention and lots of sticky lace.

S- very Belgian, big clove and banana yeasty, with a good deal of that funky barnyard aroma. Similar to Matilda. Some dark fruits, raisin, prune, blackberry, with a touch of caramel malt sweetness.

T- bubblegum, clove, banana, toasty and kinda smokey, wood, stone, soil, like a saison/porter hybrid and it works well. Spicy, nutmeg, very mild cocoa and coffee, with earthy and floral hop in the finish. Some lingering fruit as well. Bitterness is just enough to compliment the roasted flavors.

MF- medium bodied and chalky, with snappy over medium carbonation. Leaves a coating of roasted feeling as well.

D- an interesting offering from a brewery with good potential. This is definitely the best beer I've had from Ithaca. Moderate abv (kinda) paired with good flavor makes this big tulip a chilly weather delight.

Serving type: on-tap

11-09-2009 19:58:21 | More by hustlesworth
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.18/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Boring Belgian, had at Clark's Ale House in Syracuse. Very yeasty, medicinal. Dark colour. Mouthfeel above average, but still unsatisfying. Not too sweet other than the yeast, not getting much spices, though licorice and chocolate malt.Coca-cola like.

Serving type: on-tap

10-27-2009 00:58:46 | More by Sammy
Photo of david18

New York

3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very good beer. Part of Ithaca Brewing's promotion that they're having at the amsterdam ale house in New York City. A very good beer. Dark in color, very belgian in flavor and aroma. Great carbonation. Mouthfeel is good and I enjoyed drinking it.

Serving type: on-tap

10-15-2009 21:55:33 | More by david18
Photo of Brianmerrilyn

New York

4.38/5  rDev +21%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-16-2009 13:24:20 | More by Brianmerrilyn
Photo of msquared36


2.53/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 1.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Very dark brown with a copper tint, but not opaque. Ver little lacing.

Faint toasted malt scent.

Label says Belgian style amber, not sure why though. Coffee is the predominant taste with a slight sour aftertaste.

Very watery with almost no noticeable carbonation.

Reminds me more of a weak and watery stout than a Belgian.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2014 23:26:00 | More by msquared36
Photo of Suds


3.76/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This brew, sampled on a cold and snowy winter night, is a brown, hazy liquid. The head is thick, white, and stable. The aroma is a very Belgian, bubblegum, rich dark malt, yeast, pepper and spice, and phenols. Nice. The taste follows the smell. It is a moderately sweet, very malty beer. It has a nice effervescence. Full body. Good for a cold night.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2014 01:00:19 | More by Suds
Photo of MistahBeah


3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear chestnut hue. Lively bubbly white head with mild retention. I would expect some more retention for the style. Some spots of lace

Smells of dark and citrus fruits - cherries, lemon, plums, raisins, some tart apples also. Actually this smells pretty tart. Caramel malts and a faint roastiness. A definite smokiness wraps it up

Taste is very malt-forward. Roasty and smoky. Those tart fruits begin to shine through next. Lemon, tart berries, cherries. Some sweet plums and raisins. A good deal of spice - definitely picking up some pepper and coriander. Some herbal bitterness rounds out the spices. This is a pretty complex beer

Feels lively. Carbonation and spiciness play on the palate nicely. Light body for the style. Clean, even a tad watery

Overall a tasty compex Belgian style brew. Pretty well-balanced. No alcohol detected here. Not a great example of the style but better than you'd think. Worth a try for sure

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2013 01:40:27 | More by MistahBeah
Photo of kjfinnerty


3.25/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A - Very dark brown, close to black, only amber at the edges when held up to light. Small white head, large bubbles, not foam.

S - Spicy, raisins, black licorice, light roast.

T - Peppery, spicy, like a Belgian should, some more of that black licorice, ends with some malt sweetness.

M - A bit thick when compared to Belgian beers, but perhaps that is the winter style coming through, low carbonation.

O - An interesting blend of the amber ale as a Belgian and a winter ale. Caught my curiosity, I usually enjoy Ithaca's offerings, but this one just didn't do it for me. Enjoyed the one, but I won't come back to it.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2013 03:43:05 | More by kjfinnerty
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Cold Front from Ithaca Beer Company
82 out of 100 based on 324 ratings.