TWELVE - Ithaca Beer Company
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 134 | Reviews: 90 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by dougofthefuture:
4.22/5 rDev +8.2%
Reviewed as part of blind BIF #6.
A - Murky brown, with a nice two finger head that has some staying power.
S - Wow, this smells great. The first thing that comes to mind is fudge brownies. Follow that up with some dark fruits, and a very noticable vinous port-like character. 4.5
T&M - This has to be a winter warmer or spiced up BSDA. Either way, very fitting for the coldest day of the winter so far. This is immediately warming, with lots of undisernable spices (cinnamon? clove? nutmeg?) and a nice strong finish without much boozy bite. Fairly highly carbonated, it walks a fine line between too light or too syrupy. The fruitiness is present, but in more of a phenolic yeast character than a sweetness or body. Must be a belgian strain. 4/4.5
O - This is a great cheery beer. I want to eat a fudge browny with it. Very well balanced for being so spicy. 4.5
01-19-2012 00:12:30 | More by dougofthefuture
More User Reviews:
3.98/5 rDev +2.1%
I have had a few of the Excelsior series of brews from Ithaca and have been impressed with most of them,glad to try this one.Poured into a chalice with a huge blooming off white head a hazed amber brown,the head was all encompassing.A mix of spicy yeast,toast,and caramel in the nose,there is some fruity esters as well.Flavors of the spicy yeast like clove and white pepper,mixed with rich caramel at mid swallow,the fruit is subdued in my opinion.It begins to get a bit sticky after a bit but is pretty solid,its not overly complex but again pretty good.
04-07-2010 23:17:50 | More by oberon
4.05/5 rDev +3.8%
Presentation: It was poured from a brown 750ml bottle into a chalice glass. The label has a nice description of the beer and the Excelsior Series from Ithaca. There is also a batch number for the beer. (Batch # E!020)
Appearance: It pours with great carbonation (gusher) which fills the glass and makes for a huge light tan head. This tall head hangs on very well and makes lots of cool lacing patterns on the glass. Under the tall volumes head lays a very cloudy, dark mahogany beer, which is full of yeast sediment.
Smell: The aroma fills the nose with the foreshadowing of a sweet malty bomb. It is full of dark sweet caramelized maltiness and dust yeast.
Taste/Palate: There is a heavy sweetness with lots of dark caramel sweetness, sweet bread and some dark fruit like raisins and plum. It also has a layer of dusty and almost leather like earthy yeast as well. Hops are very distant on this beer and offer very little to balance the sweetness of the malt. It has a fairly heavy feel and full body with plenty of carbonation to help move the sweet malt moving along.
Notes: To me this beer comes of as more of a very sweet low hopped Barleywine with a slight Belgian twist. Still it is an interesting quadruple. I should also note that the 12%abv is very well hidden.
02-12-2011 00:32:23 | More by generallee
4.35/5 rDev +11.5%
Capped and foiled bomber, Batch E!020, $11.99 @ DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY. Pours murky darker brown. The head is huge, rocky and long lasting, going to multi layered froth, and leaving world class lacing. Dark, ripe fruit infused nose, with raisins, rum, and a spiced up yeasty snap. Full flavor NY State take on the classic Belgian style. Soft and buttery mouthfeel, this one is quite yummy already, curious what a year or two in the bottle would do. More ripe fruit, raisins, figs, vanilla, cloves, warming alcohol, yeasty spiced up finish. Flavorful, complex and nicely crafted, understated,highly drinkable..real nice job here by Ithaca
02-16-2010 23:40:45 | More by Billolick
3.33/5 rDev -14.6%
750ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.
Pours a deep dark almost black brown, there's a very thin light brown head. Nose is sweet and fruity, almost like grapes.
Taste is sweet, fruity ad very grapey. Mouthfeel is pretty light an crisp. Overall quite drinkable.
11-21-2010 03:07:06 | More by kingcrowing
4.08/5 rDev +4.6%
ATTENTION: HAVE AT LEAST TWO GLASSES ON HAND IF YOU PLAN TO OPEN A BOTTLE OF THIS ANYTIME SOON.
I hate to use capital letters, but let me preface this quickly by saying a few things. I need to learn not to put bottles of beer on wine racks, especially beers that aren't corked, but I did it with this one two nights ago. As I was talking to a friend today on the phone, I picked up the bottle to read the label again, and I noticed my fingers were slightly wet, and the smell was beer, and the beer was indeed coming from the Twelve bottle.
Worried that this may have been a bad bottle, I decided not to screw around anymore, so I put it in the fridge for about 50 minutes and just opened it 10 minutes ago.
If you've read more reviews below, you'll know that this is pretty much a gusher, most likely because I imagine the champagne yeast levels weren't as tweaked as they needed to be as it was bottled.
I had to use a pint glass, my Brooklyn tulip, and a Samuel Smith 12 oz. nonic (all three clean glasses within reach of the cabinet) to combine pours before the carbonation stopped finally and slowly gushing out of the top.
Now, I'm pretty sure, due to the reviews below, that it's not just my bottle. So is this intentional? Did Ithaca put too much champagne yest in this sucker?
Not sure, but let's go ahead and get it reviewed, not that half the bottle has been sipped and transferred and finally all, so far, poured into the Brooklyn tulip.
Appearance: If you read what I wrote above, you know this is a gusher. That said, it's also a very pretty beer in the glass. Extremely dark red, almost opaque, with a huge lighter mocha-colored head that just erupts, growing rocky dense crags at the top of the body, and leaving crater-sized holes as it dissipates, along with raucous sheets and caverns of lacing clinging to the glass.
Smell: Belgian yeast and dark fruit esters dominate this beer, along with earthy and soil-like phenols coming through. There's definitely some unsweetened cocoa and chocolate malt presence too, along with some sweeter caramel. There also seems to be a huge sense of spice in here, but I imagine it's the different strains of yeast rather than spices, but the huge peppery tingles the nose a bit, in a good way.
Taste: Thinking of age, and I'm not one to usually say something this -- maybe because I just can't detect it -- but this one's definitely a little hot on the palate. I'm not sure if it's the alcohol I'm discerning, but you can definitely tell this is a strong brew. It doesn't take away from the experience, but it's definitely present here. Also, there are the dark berries from all the fruit esters, in addition to some citrus. A lot of spiciness from the yeast. Some nuanced caramel and chocolate sweeter malt flavors. And some nice bitterness from the hops at the end, lingering with the chocolate and sweeter flavors and the earthiness also from the yeast.
Mouthfeel: The champagne yeast and Trappist yeast really makes this wonderfully full and creamy and spritzy all at the same time. One of the best things about this beer, despite the initial gushing of the first few pours.
Drinkability: Will age mellow out the carbonation truly? If so, let this one sit in the basement, and DO NOT let it sit on a wine rack; make sure you keep it upright. I think I paid around $8 for the bottle, and to me, for something like this, that's a steal. I wonder if it would've made a difference if it were corked and caged instead of capped? I can't help being caught up with the carbonation issues, but I'd be really interested to open a bottle two years down the road and see what happens. Maybe grab two, but this is definitely more than worth a shot overall.
03-22-2010 19:11:29 | More by asabreed
4/5 rDev +2.6%
Gusher warning! I lost about a sixth of the bottle in a few seconds. I aged this more than a year. Dark caramel colour, rich aroma of yeast and caramel and candi, and booze. Above average mouthfeel, rich, right on the style. Good spiciness. A sipper, still good drinkability.
10-02-2011 02:04:33 | More by Sammy
4.28/5 rDev +9.7%
Out of a 750ml foil and capped bottle. Pours a dark chocolate brown color with an explosive tan head, watch out for this one. Lots of big bubble in the head, which slowly settles leaving some chunky lacing. The aroma is disappointing for a big brew. I pick up some fruity sourness but that is it. The flavor starts of chocolatey and woodsy, which is very nice, gives it an earthy edge to a style that can be overly sweet and fruity. Some brown sugar/dark candi sugar sweetness, some tobacco. The quad has a light dark fruit tart finish. I wish most quads/BSDAs tasted like this, great balance. The feel is moderate with fizzy as hell carbonation, very burpy. Seems that they used champagne yeast. It is a touch hot from the ABV. Though overcarbonated, it suits the brew well. This drinks very well for a BSDA, nice earthy offset to the sweetness, nothing cloying on this one. Biggest negative to the brew is easily offset by burping, which I like doing. An excellent American made quad.
03-07-2010 06:06:09 | More by Gmann
3.68/5 rDev -5.6%
A gusher!!! After pouring off a bit it still kept sending foam up the neck and into the sink. Got another glass. A kind of muddy brown with a nice sized head, a bit soapy looking but nice. Smell is toasted malts and sweet toffee. Some Belgian funk and fruit esters. Taste is sweet and malty with a good brown bread and molasses center. A nice cocoa dusting as it moves toward the finish. Hops are mild but there is a metallic bitterness that may be from the yeast. Normally it would be on the bottom but the explosive opening would have mixed it into the whole bottle. Too bad as a smoother finish would have moved the score. Feel is aces however. Thick and creamy with a rich texture. Quite drinkable in spite of the metallic yeast and another bottle sampling is in the offing. No trace of the high abv and still a good tasting brew.
01-13-2011 02:38:18 | More by scootny
4.18/5 rDev +7.2%
Monastary-style Quadrupel ale. Batch E!021.
A: The label best describes the coloring so I cannot take credit here, a chestnut pour that had glistening highlights of cadmium orange. Against backlighting the color appeared a dark ice-tea color with murky burgundy glimpses around the glass edges. The head is slight, about a finger high, pie crust in color, with a medium sense of retention.
S: The alcohol is very well mannered here on the nose for a quad with a defining touch of sherry and some barrel woodiness. After some agitation the alcohol tends to show though a bit more along with some dark fruit of prunes. My overall impression was on that was mixed, thankful for the restraint of such a large beer, but somehow still left me wanting more.
T: The flavor opens with a heavy show of malts laced with some Belgian candy sugar. Dark fruit of black cherries and plums add some spicy and sweet notes complimenting the warming alcohol and caramelized sugars. Spicy licorice, warm cola combine with the earthy and woodsy german hops. The finish finds a particular spiciness of fennel sweet mixing well with the sweet caramelized sweet palate. I absolutely love how the alcohol adds its own spiciness, with enough to be appreciated, but never distracts, from the other flavor and attributes. In the end were some smoky woody afterthoughts.
M: Thick luscious malt lie heavily on the tongue with a syrup like consistency. Warm, spicy feel on the inner cheeks while the swallow reveals boozy sweet dried rum.
D: The abv of 12% was never a hinderance or overbearing like many other quads and actually felt a few points lower. This one was more focused on the sweet malty nature with spicy alcohol notes that remains very manageable consumption wise. Easy drinking for a quad and highly enjoyable.
08-06-2010 00:21:56 | More by beerthulhu
1.63/5 rDev -58.2%
Bottle: Poured a dirty beige/amber color ale with a huge off-white head with good retention and some lacing. Bottle was quite a gusher which makes me wonder if everything was fine. Aroma is grossly oversweet with lots of notes of dry fruits. Taste is quite unbalanced with loads of sugar and excessively sweet dry plums and gross caramel notes. Body is quite full with excessive carbonation (even for the style) and no detectable alcohol. I either got a bad bottle or this is one incredible mess.
08-17-2010 18:27:14 | More by Phyl21ca
2.58/5 rDev -33.8%
Aroma: Phenolic and fruity with a moderate noble hop character in the background. There are some malt characteristics but they are very restrained for this style. The balance seems to be too much toward the yeast.
Appearance: Huge head from a very gentle pour that sustains itself for a long time. Brew is a hazy/cloudy light brown. Head suggests over-carbonation as does the rapidly streaming bubbles rising up through the beer.
Flavor: Very similar to aroma in that the malt characteristics are overwhelmed by the carbonation and yeast character. There is a lingering roasty character but otherwise a lack of malt richness and complexity. Bubbles make it seem overly dry and harsh.
Mouthfeel: Crisp, slightly thin, and CARBONATED!
Drinkability: Overall this beer was not unpleasant but didn't really have the characteristics and balance I expect from a strong dark or quad. I would enjoy it more with increased malt character, at least the impression of sweetness, and a more restrained fermentation profile. The alcohol is well hidden though.
02-25-2010 16:16:26 | More by jlapennas
4.05/5 rDev +3.8%
This bottle leaked while traveling but lost only 2 or 3 ounces. The cap and foil remained perfectly intact however. I've read reports of gushing issues so this comes as no surprise.
750mL bottle to tulip. Batch E!020. Sampled 8/1/11.
A: The pour produces 3 fingers of light khaki brown head, frothy, bubbly and very long lasting. The body is a dark chestnut brown and completely opaque. Extremely solid appearance.
S: The label indicates French malts, German hops & Trappist yeast. Sounds awesome and smells pretty good too. Cookie, caramel and cocoa powder dominate the aroma with toasted bread and nut notes in the background.
T: The yeast imparts strong flavors of leather, earth and must. Hop flavor is minimal, adding woodsy qualities if anything. Adding sweetness is plum, quince and other general dark fruits. The integration of flavors works extremely well.
M: Disappointing mouthfeel. The body is rather light and carbonation rather high. Never good for a quad. Minerally texture with fine, fizzy, expansive effervescence. On a positive note, alcohol is nowhere to be found, although the bottle doesn't list the ABV. (It drinks like a 9.5%.)
O: The first half of the bottle was lackluster. Coming to room temperature and losing some of the excess carbonation really brought this beer into its own in the second half. Quite enjoyable with standout flavor.
11-13-2011 12:56:33 | More by FeDUBBELFIST
4.03/5 rDev +3.3%
Very happy to be able to try this one, now I just gotta pop that 11 I have been on the lookout for and we will have the vertical in the books.
Pour is massive, nice medium brown color with a good bit of cloudiness and sediment in the bottom of the glass. Huge off white head rises up almost the width of the hand in a snifter before getting massively rocky and cratered and settling itself out nicely. Dark fruits and brown sugar like spices are dominating it here early on for me. Warming yields plums, figs, raisins, and a touch of alcohol that seems to prickle at the nose a touch. First sip is well carbonated and a touch hot, needs to mellow for a few months I would think. Rich raisins and plums, roasted malts, a touch of peat and leather in the back giving it some much needed balance. Nice dry finish here caps it off well leaving just a hint of fruit and sugary glaze on the palate until you come back for the next sip.
Overall not the biggest quad I have ever had but I really think it serves its purpose quite well. Give it some age I am sure this will end up being simply outstanding.
02-07-2010 14:21:00 | More by mikesgroove
4/5 rDev +2.6%
a: ruddy brown in color, pours a finger-width layer of off white head, soon falling back to a well retained coating and full ring
s: run glazed fruitcake, spicy alcohol, prune and dark raisin, toasted sugars, big and malty, booze soaked dark fruits, some Belgian yeast influence
m: carbonation light, delicate, medium smooth body, some silkiness
t: dark fruit, plum and raisin, light woody roast drying up the finish and lingering with a mild bitterness, aged hop flavors, toasty burnt sugars, moderate yeast influence, spicy alcohol
d: a pretty nice quad, flavorful and true to style, but lacking in some of the complexities of a finer example, fairly easily drinkable for a 12 percent beverage
750 from Westmere in Albany, batch 23
11-01-2010 01:18:20 | More by blackie
4.35/5 rDev +11.5%
I hope to make it to Ithaca later this year, but in the meantime, picking this up in Philly is just fine by me. Batch E!020.
A: Poured into what I felt would be an appropriate St. Bernardus chalice. It was a decision that played out very well... it pours beautifully. Dark brown topped with an easy three fingers of creamy tan head.
S: Some soft notes of caramel complement a rather modest and yet complex aroma of dark breads along with a touch of biscuit. I even find myself picking up on some leafy notes... I almost want to say grassy, but it's not quite that. Some hints of dark fruit, though nothing in particular stands out, and it's quite mild - but certainly there, playing a role.
T: Rich and malty, and I would go so far as to say that I am finding a bit of nuttiness in it, which is not expected, but very welcome. Like the aroma, dark breads are noted, as are some and maybe even a bit of an intriguing spiciness of nothing in particular (that I can place a finger on, at least!). Some modest fruitiness, perhaps most like plum. The very balanced characters of both the aroma and flavour do great things for this beer.
M + D: Quite a big body, with a big, sparkling carbonation to go with it. It's a quality I tend to enjoy very much in a such styles... a rich, and almost drifting over the tongue just enough to be savoured and then lifted away in the finishing dryness. I do find that it feels a little bloating, but nothing there is a deal-breaker. They've done very well at putting together an American brewed take on the style and, while they can stand up quite proud among the quads on the other side of the pond, they make home proud with a bit of an American take on it. Very nice. Hopefully I'll get my hands on some more before it's all gone!
08-16-2010 02:28:47 | More by Proteus93
TWELVE from Ithaca Beer Company
87 out of 100 based on 134 ratings.