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TWELVE - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

89 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 89
Hads: 140
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 11.34%
Wants: 18
Gots: 35 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: klewis on 01-01-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 89 | Hads: 140
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tieman for sharing this one at his tasting.

Batch E!020.

Pours a murky orange-brown with a foamy beige head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, and dark fruits. Taste is much the same with a mild spice bitterness with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some nice aromas and flavors.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a chalice. The nose is some pretty dark brown with a nice tan and creamy head. The nose brings forward some really nice dark fruits with some fig and dates being the most prominent. The taste is more dark fruits with a bit of booze and quite a bit of complexity. The mouthfeel is a bit creamy with a really nice body. Drinks quite well and I'd love to see how this ages.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
1.65/5  rDev -57.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

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.

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Photo of oberon
3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of jlindros
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Shared with many people at my cellar cleaning.

Light fizzy head, semi clear dark chestnut brown color.

Nose nice molasses and barrel, toasty nutty hazelnut, rummy, little toasted coconut, brown sugar.

Taste similar, sweet brown sugar, candy malt, little syrupy malt, some warming booze, mild chewy earthy spicy hops, sticky and syrupy. Finish is hot booze, more earthy spicy hops, syrupy caramel molasses like candy, etc.

Mouth is fuller bod and syrupy, nice popping carb.

Overall not bad, but not as special as I expected it to be, a bit too sweet and sticky overall, so def could have improved.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.52/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

Big thanks to Trxxpaxxs for this bottle!

Batch E!028. Reviewed blind as part of Blind BIF 6. It pours a hazy sienna-ruby topped by a third-of-a-finger of short-lived dirty tan bubbles. That's right, not even a real head, just a collection of foam-like bubbles at the surface. The nose comprises brown sugar, dark wheat, clove, light cocoa, light fig, and a light kiss of red grape. The taste holds notes of cocoa, fig, dark fruits (in the back), cashew, light wood, banana, dark greens, cinnamon, brown sugar, clove, and a touch of pine resin. The flavors kinda clash slightly at times, while at others they mesh beautifully. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth, kinda grainy feel. Overall, a decently solid quad, one that is currently showing some age, but still has some wisdom to impart to us.

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Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: bottle share at Beermongers, Portland, OR
Vintage bottle consumed in Dec. '11. Thanks to writerLJberg for the share!

Heard a lot of reports of gushers on this one, but fortunately we didn't have that problem. Poured a hazy cider brown color with a generous cap of off-white head even in our little sampler glasses. Aroma of caramel and ripe fruits. Huge pear profile in the aroma, and also very dominant in the taste. Also notes of caramel, brown sugar, and dried fruits--aside from the pear--and a bit of leather; nearly nothing to mention as far as hops go. Very smooth and flavorful, probably really benefited from aging. I really liked this one.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into goblet, batch E!020. Pours deep dark brown color with 1.5 fingers of light tan head with fantastic retention that reduces to a nice lacing cap. Some decent lacing clings to the glass as well. Aromas of strong nutmeg, chocolate, caramel, toffee, and dark fruits. Big on the nutty aromas here, pretty interesting. Taste of huge caramel, toffee, chocolate, and nuttiness. Big sweetness in the taste with lingering notes of caramel, chocolate, and nuttiness with a bit of spiciness on the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full bodied. Alcohol is well hidden, none in the taste and a small warming on the finish. Nicely smooth drinking despite the level of carbonation and alcohol level. Overall, a very nice quadrupel from Ithaca!

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Photo of Huhzubendah
2.59/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On draft at The Pony Bar in NYC.

I am always excited and hopeful when trying an American quad. This beer appears a dark walnut hue with a very tiny head and no lacing. The aroma is basically missing everything I identify with a quad. It's too sweet and a bit artificial. There is no yeasty or Belgian characteristics that I can detect. The flavor is off and finishes with an odd astringency. Oh well, I tried. Ithaca makes awesome wild ales. Quad...not so much.

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Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a cloudy brown color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a tremendous dark fruit and caramel malt scent. The taste is good as well. It has a really nice roasted and crystal malt flavor highlighted with the addition of Belgian yeast esters. It boasts of dark fruits and roasted malt character. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an easy drinking quad. It's complex, but not overly so. It has good malt flavor with excellent yeast character.

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Photo of billab914
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into my CBS snifter. Dark brown in color with a thin tan head barely covering the top of the beer.

The aroma has a rich maltiness to it. I get a lot of dark fruit to it with notes of raisin, cherry and plum all coming out. I get a little bit of the yeast spice, but the malts are clearly the star of the show.

The taste follows through with some really nice malty flavors. It's sweeter up front with more notes of cherry and plum. The finish has some balancing bitterness with a touch or roasted malts. Some of the yeast spice comes out in the finish as well.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being low. Overall I thought it was a really good beer. The aroma felt very sweet and malty, but they managed to add some bitterness to the finish that really helped out. Very rich and flavorful beer overall and a very nice version of the style.

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Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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Photo of Gavage
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a hazy brown color with a 1/2" head that falls to a surface foam quickly.

Smell: huge malt and fruit sweetness along with a tinge of alcohol. Some earthiness is also detectable.

Taste: big malt profile here. Dark fruit sweetness, brown sugar, earthy tones, yeast, warming alcohol, and a moderate bitterness. This comes across a bit unbalanced as the sweetness is overpowering.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Smooth throughout with a velvety finish. Aftertaste is long lasting.

Drinkability: between the big sweetness and alcohol, an 6 oz pour was more than enough in a session. Definite slow sipping beer.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at Teresa's Next Door for their Ithaca night in a tulip glass.

TWELVE is chestnut brown in color with some reddish trim if you look close enough. On the top lays a scattered cap of burnt sugar colored foam that's kinda condensed. This fades to a small ring around the glass. Only some poka-dot lacing sticks.

Malt driven but supposedly there is some hops in there, I can't pick them out. What's weird about this is I'm getting alot of roast that's reminding me of coffee, I've never smelled anything like it in a quad. Some sugary sweetness and some dark fruits. Some lingering spice

Well, there it is again, roast and coffee, I thought I was going crazy but it's there. Blocking that out, some dark fruit with fig and plum, maybe some berries. The malt is there but not as sweet as Belgian versions. There is a nice amount of Belgian yeast giving out bread and keeping this in check.

A big medium bodied beer that is malt forward, yet does not come off as silky smooth like a bernie 12 or the like. Carbonation is pretty light and a afterthought. The aftertaste is pretty tame as well. Truthfully, I thought i was drinking some perkulator dopplebock, perhaps I'm off my rocker. I have no problems with the feel though.

I'm glad I had 12 but won't be going back for it. Perhaps aging a bottle will take out all that roast but for no it's getting in the way. This is good beer and perhaps just a different approach on the style. Need some more fruit flavor and malt sweetness.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep shade of ruby with a frothy off white head that slowly recedes but never dissipates. Smells of spicy Belgian esters, lots of dark fruit and caramel in there. Sweet tasting with load of caramel and melanoids, spicy yeast and hints of dark fruit and alcohol. I was hoping there would be more dark fruit in the taste but as I expected from the aroma it seems lacking. Sweet sticky mouthfeel, thick body, moderate level of carbonation. Nice sipper, but seems to be missing that indescribable something that makes it world class.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle shared by torino at woodshop 5.1

Poured a dark brown with reddish highlights with a finger of head that left good sticky lacing on the glass. It had belgian yeast and brown sugar aromas with hints of caramel, dark fruits, and booze. The belgian yeaast dominate the taste with caramel and dark fruit accents that had slight spice brown sugar notes. There was also a fair amount of booze as well.. the beer was medium to full body with lots of carbonation that had a sweet spicey boozy finish. Quads aren't really my favorite style of beer but this one was pretty damn tasty and drank decent that wasn't overly boozy.

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Photo of biegaman
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle apparently contains an orgy of Trappist yeasts but, at least for the first two pours, nothing would muck up this flawlessly clear, lustrously polished chestnut-colored beer. (Note: get to the bottom and it looks like a high-school science class experiment.) Transfer into the glass made a lot of fizzy noises but ultimately didn't result in any head.

Most quads have more flavour in their aroma than most other beers do their entire body but this one, not overly fragrant, smells relatively plain. What's there is good though. There is the expected sweetness but it actually favors savoriness and spice, showcasing a duo of something like (but not exactly) nutmeg and something like (but not exactly) sage.

12 has a flavour that threatens to become a little (or a lot) cloying with warmth, but with some chill on it it's delicious. A chewy, tootsie-roll like taste predominates with a butter tart flavour on the finish. As well as the conventional dried fruit notes (slightly understated in this example), it also has a root-beer or Jägermeister kind of root herbalness to it, with hints of citrus peel, liquorice, anise, poppy seeds, ginger, and juniper berries.

The aftertaste is considerably dry, with a pure cocoa-like sootiness and tea leaf bitterness. The stark herbal qualities again shine through with a significant earthiness and resemblance to the French liquor Chartreuse. And I'm not sure if it's the French malts or Belgian yeasts but there is a very musty, cellar-like character typical of Bières de Garde.

When you advertise emulating the great strong beers of Belgian Trappist monasteries you're pretty much sticking your neck out to be put in a noose. But, like the phenomenal Brute, Ithaca has not only succeeded but thrived where others have failed in trying to replicate the hardest of old-world recipes. Trust me, the monks don't do much better than this.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to ybnorml for this brew.

Batch: E!023

Poured into a Westy glass a very nice grapy color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger thick/creamy light tan head, with lots of small islands left behind. The nose is malty, very slight yeast note, figs, raisins, plums. The taste is very nice, slightly sweet, malty, some yeast notes, lots of figs/raisins/plums. Full/Medium body, ABV is almost not existent. Very Drinkable, a very tasty brew. Thanks Wayne!

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of rudzud
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to JLindros for sharing.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice crystal clear brown hue with a thin mocha head.

S - Aromas of sweet malts, light plums, faint alcohol.

T - Taste is tons of sweet malts, cardboard, caramel.

M - Mouthfeel is sticky, syrupy.

O - Overall this beer was far too sticky to be enjoyable.

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Photo of Viggo
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle picked up in Buffalo.

Pours a slightly hazy dark orange, brown away from the light, thick and rocky light tan head forms and settles down to a medium layer and ring around the glass, some lace spots stick.

Smell is neat, sweet and sugary, quite yeasty with a lot of dark fruit, big plum character, some raisin/date, brown sugar, alcohol, a bit of wood/earthiness, really crazy fruit character, caramel, a bit of wafer, pretty neat.

Taste is very sweet, tons of raisin and plum, dates, caramel, lots of brown sugar, candi sugar, big biscuit through the middle, alcohol, a bit of woodiness, a touch of roastiness, huge sweet and intense fruit character in the finish, pretty nice.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, some warmth, a bit sticky and sweet, pretty crazy character for a quad, real rich with a ton of dark fruit.

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Photo of claspada
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not sure why everyone is having problems with the carbonation of this beer. I opened mine and it was fine, get it real cold to open and let it warm up not that hard. Batch E!020 BTW.

Anyway, a fairly thin looking pour from a beer with a 12% ABV. Retention is great, with a thick creamy full lace and a rich coating on the sides of the glass.

Smell is large and fruity, with lots of dark fruits, slightly sour cherries, a bit of raisin, and some green apple. Malt-wise there is some bready, slightly sweet caramel and maybe a little clove from the yeast. Yeast also adds some great Belgian esters to the party. Really a great smelling beverage, quite inviting.

Taste is sadly not quite as complex as the nose, but still has a lot of character. Tastes of slightly toasty bread and I am detecting some dark caramel or pale chocolate. Really smooth but not as estery as I would have expected from the nose. There is some dark fruit and a hint of apple but that's about it. Fruit comes out a bit more as it warms closer to room temp. Finish is extremely smooth and clean. As it warms you detect a little bit more of the alcohol but nowhere close to an abrasive level.

This is a well done, tasty beer from Ithaca. I actually haven't been a fan of many of their offerings but this is by far my favorite. Love the complexity of the nose although I wish it translated more fully to the palate. Glad I waited 6 mo to crack it open as I read it needed some time to let the alcohol mellow, which it has.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750mL bomber poured into a chalice; batch E!23

Pours a deep chestnut brown with mahogany highlights throughout. The thin, off-white cap didn't stick around for too long, leaving some scattered powered sugar type covering over the body.

The nose is of cherries, mild roast, spice, Belgian yeast and some earthy hops. Broad and clean, not very deep.

Rich, dark fruits and caramel on top of a bed of tart Belgian yeast. Some earthy hops (noble?) and clove spiciness through the middle leading to a mild roast and a slightly sugary/bitter finish. It's like a lingering cherry sweetness battling out with earthy, bitter hops.

Different than traditional Quads in that this is clean and somewhat bright. Smooth and creamy feel with a medium body.

This is pretty easy to drink, but I think misses some of the traditional qualities of a Quad. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Ithaca did a pretty solid job with this one. I enjoyed it.

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TWELVE from Ithaca Beer Company
87 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.