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Cold Front - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
Cold FrontCold Front

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

334 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 334
Reviews: 148
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 15.19%
Wants: 8
Gots: 14 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: WesWes on 09-04-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 334 | Reviews: 148 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of trxxpaxxs

New York

3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

04-24-2014 19:22:08 | More by trxxpaxxs
Photo of Riggsy


3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

03-12-2013 16:15:26 | More by Riggsy
Photo of Zkman87

New York

3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

03-05-2013 15:19:43 | More by Zkman87
Photo of jborg

New York

3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

06-29-2013 23:34:55 | More by jborg
Photo of BeerOps


3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

01-07-2013 00:15:18 | More by BeerOps
Photo of BeerGodz

New Jersey

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

Look: Deep chocolate color, fizzy head that dissipates quick, good lacing

Smell: Brown sugar, alcohol, wood, slight banana

Taste: Up Front: Cola, spice, burnt toast, clove
Finish: Toffee, chocolate, bread, slight banana

Mouthfeel: Slightly sticky, carbonated, dry

Drinkability: I probably wouldn't drink more than 2 of these in a sitting

Overall Impression: This is an OK beer. I'm not running around naked singing "Halleluiah" while I'm drinking it! It didn't hit my "Belgium G Spot", but it wasn't the worst beer I ever drank. Try it, you might like it.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2010 11:27:07 | More by BeerGodz
Photo of brureview


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

Poured in a snifter. Bottle date good by March.

Good caramel color Light aroma of caramel and toffee.

Carbonation a bit strong.

There is caramel, some lemon, and too much alcohol

in the finish for the ABV.

An okay beer. Drink warmer for a more balanced taste.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2013 02:53:14 | More by brureview
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 metter98

New York

3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy brownish amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige colored head that died down rather quickly, leaving a large patch of bubbles on the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are lots of earthy aromas of yeast in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of earthy yeast and lots of malts (but without any associated sweetness) and hints of dark fruits. Peppery spices are evident in the finish. No bitterness is noticeable.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate to high amount of carbonation. There is a bit of dryness in the finish.
O: The beer hides any traces of alcohol very well but would be a lot more drinkable if it had some malty sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2011 02:56:53 | More by metter98
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Rust orange with so much carbonation that a massive crown of soft and fluffy foam was a foregone conclusion. Actually, there aren't *that* many visible bubbles, so things may be all right in the end. Some lace manages to stick.

Even though IBC describes this brew as a Belgian-style amber ale, it smells like a Belgian dark ale. Some percentage of roasted malt (in addition to wheat and Munich) will do that. The nose is fruity and spicy and slightly phenolic and... enjoyable.

Cold Front does taste Belgian, so props for that. Trouble is, it doesn't come together as well as it could (partly as a result of the mouthfeel) and will probably miss out on a good score as a result. Let's see what the middle four ounces have to say for themselves.

Specifics include dark fruits, pumpernickel toast, black pepper and clove. There's a little too much Band-Aid phenolic character for this to be a keeper. Besides, the beer is too thin and too harshly bubbled to seep into the taste buds like it needs to in order to impress.

While the passage of time helps the mouthfeel to some extent, it never does rise above average; especially when compared to a real Belgian brew. Drinking it fresher might have helped, but then any 7.2% ale that can't last for two seasons beyond the release doesn't deserve high marks.

Ithaca Beer Company has given us some amazing ales (Ten and Old Habit come to mind). Cold Front didn't leave me chilly, but I never did really warm up to it either. Thanks to jwc215 for the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2010 12:24:09 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of philbe311


3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Two plus fingers worth of delicate fluffy light khaki colored head with a bit of a rocky top... Average retention yields to a thick layer of slightly rich moderately creamy lacing... The color is a deep warming ruby red... A slight bit of rapid paced carbonation can be seen rising at the top of the glass...

S - Candy apples... Dark fruits... A touch of cinnamon... Toffee... A bit of smokiness... Some slight Belgian yeast notes...

T - The aromas translate on the palette but they seem to become quite muddled and confused... An odd mix of dark fruits, spice, smokey wood character and sugared gummy candies... Perhaps some tobacco notes as well...

M - Medium bodied... Dense... Biting carbonation... Turns a bit too swishy and foamy for my liking... Uneven and not very consistent...

D - A less than inspiring Belgian Dark Ale... Probably my least favorite Ithaca offering to date... Not terrible, but not anything I would either recommend or reach for in the future if provided the opportunity...

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2011 02:08:41 | More by philbe311
Photo of DrDemento456


3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Going into this I knew it was old, finding it in the dollar beer section but I never had it. With good reviews and little sediment in the bottle I picked it up.

A - For what it's worth it does produce a nice 1/4 inch of tan colored head a top of some deep ruby brown colored beer.

S - Initial smells are still rather strong of caramel malt, fruity yeasts, and mild hops.

T - Taste is pretty good with the hops giving it a bitter almost cardboard like bitterness. I am surprised how bitter this is rather than sweet but fruity yeasts do play a part in keeping it from being too bitter. Not bad.

M - Mouthfeel was nice with a medium bodied and no chalky yeasts.

Overall I am not sure how great this beer was but a year or two (maybe more) down the road it's good.

"I'd buy that for a dollar!" -Robocop

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2012 22:37:23 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of CHickman

New York

3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish brown with a 1/4 inch foamy tan head; smells of malt, yeast, spices, coriander, cinnamon and dark fruit.

Tastes of sweet malt, yeast, spices, coriander, cinnamon, dark fruit, caramel, chocolate, faint hops and then comes a roasted malt finish. Nice balance with light carbonation and sweet malty start then a roasted finish on the dry side.

Pretty good beer that is a good US representation of a Belgian style ale, which actually leans towards a US brown ale style. There is a nice mix of flavors that kept my palate guessing and interested, and this is another enjoyable beer from Ithaca.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2010 18:54:02 | More by CHickman
Photo of TheHoppiest


3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle served at Mavis Winkles in Independence, OH into a pint glass. Pours a copper/amber color with a thin, creme-colored head.

Has a sweet smell, with grapes, cherries, and other dark fruit. Smoky malt and yeast are also present.

This beer has a sweet start, with fruit juice, some toffee, and malt, ending with a raspberry tart finish, with a hint of lemon.

Thin to medium bodied, although the mouthfeel improved as it warmed.

Drinkable enough, though I'd probably want to let it sit longer than my typical 5-10 minute wait time if I order this out again.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2011 02:32:00 | More by TheHoppiest
Photo of suspect

New York

3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A: Crystal clear amber color. Aggressive center pour leads to a 2 finger light khaki head that fades slowly to a slight ring and a cumulonimbus cloudy looking center. Lacing is pretty consistently spotty.

S: Grainy malts, yeast and some hop bitterness. Diacetyl and a touch of booze shows up in the nose as well.

T: Follows the nose but pulls a few flavors from an amber lager which is a bit unexpected. The grains are nice and the malt is really the all-star here. Not much else in flavor here.

M: Crisp finish, medium body. Perfectly carbonated.

O: An easy drinking Belgian Dark that I'm pretty sure doesn't really fit the style.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2012 03:24:11 | More by suspect
Photo of BeerResearcher


3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. brown bottle. Best before date etched on label (but no mention of what year)
Served in in Westy goblet.
It pours a dark leathery brown color with a firm 2" foamy head along with some patchy and trailing lace.
The smell of doughy malt rises and falls at first pour. Earthy and woody smells edge forward, as does the clovey yeast and resinous hops. A little spice and hint of citrus pulls though. A very slight rum perfume is way in the background.
The flavors match the smells fairly closely. A bit sweeter in taste than in the nose. Close your eyes and you are drinking a Belgian Brown Ale.
I'm a bit surprised at the ABV. I would have guessed 6%...tops.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2012 17:09:36 | More by BeerResearcher
Photo of muletrane


3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle (best by 12/12) into a Bruery tulip.

A: Pours a hazy plum colour with 2.5 fingers of dense, creamy light tan head. Good retention and lacing.

S: Lots of Belgian style yeast notes and dark fruits. Also a touch of tartness as well.

T: Similar to the nose with a touch of spiciness but doesn't quite reach the same level. The flavor is still nice and very drinkable. Finishes dry with some lingering yeast notes.

M: Moderately thin body with moderate carbonation.

Overall I think this a solid winter offering from Ithaca. Alot of nice Belgian characteristics in this beer. Not too spicy like some other winter offerings.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2011 15:02:51 | More by muletrane
Photo of Anaom


3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with little to no head and some light lacing. Slight banana and clove aromas. Flavor is very malt with that lingering banana. No hop character to speak of. Not that I would expect it with this style. Definitely could throw a few back without having to change. I like the fact that its not overly spiced like a lot of christmas/holiday beers seem to be as of late.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2009 21:05:30 | More by Anaom
Photo of jlindros


3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was expecting a much lighter beer, being called an "amber" ale, but it is Belgian and I guess made for winter-ish time. It forms a creamy and fizzy 1 finger head that fades at a medium pace, over very dark chocolate brown colored beer.

The nose has some Belgian dark ale aromas, some dark candi sugar, a little brown sugar and molasses, some fruit too, little raisin, some dark malts, Belgian dark malts, crystal malt, a touch of booze, and a faint chocolate malt aroma.

The taste comes more with porter like flavors. Some roasted malt, a hint of chocolate again, some toasty malts, dark Belgian malts still, touch of toffee. More sugar as well, a little candi sugar, touch of molasses, and caramel malts. Some fruit too, little raisin and other dried dark fruits. SOme sweetness with a touch of warming booze. I also get a little coffee, the fresh coffee flavor with a little acidity and juicy coffee taste. It finishes with a little roasted malt minerality, and a little bitterness coming out on the finish too. A touch of a sticky feel at the end, and some lingering candi sugar, and toffee.

The mouth is medium body with some syrupy feel and decent carbonation. Long syrupy sticky finish too.

The drinkability is a little lower, but OK for the style at least. It has quite a bit of sweetness and syrupy tastes, and sticky finish, and drinks a little warm for only 7.2%. It's a definite winter or late fall cold day to sip, perhaps by a fire, or while cuddling with a loved one.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2010 18:40:54 | More by jlindros
Photo of BARFLYB


3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a plain old pint glass before supper. No best by date, but i'll assume it's fresh.

Chestnut brown with ruby red highlights towards some light, Cold front is indeed a dark ale that is a dark amber as well. A sustaining off/white caramel colored foam stood to an inch before settling to a frothy cap leaving blotchy spots.

CF's nose is bold and bursting with varying scents although it's a bit muddled. There is alot of spices and a big yeasty scent giving slight barnyard/saison type scents. Some earthy hops in here, nothing citrusy though. Malts in the back reminding me this has a amber base.

Beginning middle and end with the yeast upfront and noted. Barnyard and a light musk with heavy handed bread, you can just taste it. Under that a small wheat underneath some barley. Toasted malts give off the amber ale in the end. The Belgian comes out in the yeast, but perhaps too much. The spices are big, but I can't place them. Sadly, i don't get any fruit at all from this.

A healthy medium build with enough carb to cut through the liquid to hit the tounge although lightly. There is a big aftertaste of spice that STAYS. This was good for a gander but I think that ull do. This was a good one to sip on from time to time, big gulps would of drowned out the palete real quick with spice and yeast which docks drinkability a bit.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2010 00:14:27 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of OtherShoe2


3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours brownish orange with an off-white head. A ring of retention all thru the pin. No lace.

Smells spicy, yeasty, a little toasted wheat, a little sour funk.

A Belgian-style brew for sure, we have some toasted malt, some candied notes, a little yeasty funk, moderate bitterness, and a mild bitter and slightly bready-sour note at the end. I like the grain in this one, and the finish is nice.

Medium bodied - barely. A little light.

Overall, this cannot compete with Belgian brews - uh, from Belgium -- but this is a very decent domestic version of the style. I wanted a bit more of the toasty note, but that is my only complaint. To find this quality in a 6 is a nice opportunity of all of us. Decent brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2012 19:33:31 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of BeerLover99


3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: deep ruby red/tan body, finger head, beautiful lacing

S: malt, mild citrus, nuts, caramel, ripe fig/dates

T: sweet ripe (dates/figs), malt, light bready/biscuity
smooth/semi-dry finish

M: medium body, smooth mouth

O: Very nice Winter offering.
Ithaca has delivered another fine brew.
I would get this again and recommend.


Serving type: bottle

10-13-2011 22:04:35 | More by BeerLover99
Photo of aerozeppl

New York

3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Black. Black saisons seem to be one of the in beers this year. Has a half finger of bone colored head with a touch more brown thrown in. Spotty lacing.

S: Belgian yeast is up front. A little bit of roasted malt and a medicinal smell in the back. Little bit musty as well.

T: Taste is weird. It tastes like a saison but with a little bit of roast thrown in. End on a sweet note.

M: LIght bodied and well carbonated.

D: A good beer but not something I would want to drink all the time. A great winter beer though.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2009 23:19:29 | More by aerozeppl
Photo of dogfishandi

New York

3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle. pours a big fluffy off white to biege colored head. a little bit of lacing and some pretty good retention. appearence is quite dark almost black. reveals a slight ruby mahgony color in the light. hazy, but not a whole lot of sediment.

smell is quite yeasty, bubblegum, flouride,some ripe dark fruits, sweet malts.

the yeast come in big on the taste as well. flouride, solvent, bubblegum flavors. sweet malts, ripe ripe fruits. some very nice chocolate roasted undertones in there. ripe dark fruity finish.

medium body, dry finish. a little chalky and astringent from the ripe fruity yeasty flavor.

i wouldnt want more than one of these, although its very nice to drink. its definately worth a try, not a bad example of the style from a brewery i wouldnt really expect to know much about belgians. however definately nothing like an authentic belgian. i couldnt see myself ever buying this, but if i was offered, i couldnt refuse.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2010 23:13:03 | More by dogfishandi
Photo of asabreed

New York

3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a Brooklyn tulip. How is this a Saison? Or is it a brown Saison ala SN?

Appearance: A darker and mildly hazy amber with cola-colored lacing that seems to die a bit faster than it should, especially for a Belgian.

Smell: A lot of spice and fruit esters and citrus coming in, with some dark cherries, pungent apple skin, and a lot of earthiness with some mild funk. Balanced but could be more complex. Still fairly nice.

Taste: Spicy, yeasty, distinctly Belgian, with a good amount of citrus hop bitterness and some good dark fruit esters and prominent apple skin. A mild, mild bit of earthy funk too. But the finish is just gone before you know it, which takes it down a notch for me.

Mouthfeel: Gets to be a bit chalky with the swirl and pour near the end, but before that it's medium bodied with good all-around coating carbonation and doesn't seem cloying.

Drinkability: A solid brew from Ithaca -- I just want to know what the hell it is. As a Belgian, it's a great sipper over the course of an evening. As a Saison, well, I'm not sure. Worth a try, and I'd try it again.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2009 02:25:17 | More by asabreed
Cold Front from Ithaca Beer Company
82 out of 100 based on 334 ratings.