TWELVE - Ithaca Beer Company
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Ratings: 134 | Reviews: 90 | Display Reviews Only:
3.35/5 rDev -14.1%
Poured from bomber into tulip glass. Pours cloudy, opaque, dark brown with an average tan head that slowly recedes to some very thin spots of lace with a thin collar. The nose has some spicy yeast with a bunch of roasted malt, chocolate, and caramel, some alcoholic heat, and a bit of alcoholic heat. The flavor is lightly sweet with a good amount of caramel, and brown sugar malt with underlying spicy yeast, and a hint of burnt and hops bitterness. The body is full with light carbonation and a medium malty and alcoholic heat finish. Bit disappointed with this offering.
11-22-2011 22:37:25 | More by CuriousMonk
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
4.1/5 rDev +5.1%
Received as an extra in a recent trade. Thanks again Thanks again David...
Poured from a 750ml bottle into a RR snifter...
A - Pours a dark chestnut with a one finger off white head the dissipates at a hasty pace. Lace is minimal...
S - Plums, figs, and various other dark fruits. There is also a good amount of sweet malts to complement the dark fruits...
T - Lots of sweet notes up front. Caramel, and toffe being the most prominate. Finishes with figs, plums, a hint of alcohol, and a little spiciness in the aftertaste. Although the alcohol makes a presence in the finish, it is really smooth...
M - Medium bodied with a good amount of carboantion...
O - A little over carbonated for my likings, but still a really solid brew. Definitely something I would be interested in trying again...
11-03-2011 02:53:12 | More by comfortablynumb1
4/5 rDev +2.6%
750ml bottle....batch# E!028
A- Poured into a tulip. Dark brownish red. No light penetrates this "mud". Finger and a half, sandy, off white colored head that dissapates quickly. Soapy lacing lasts throughout.
S- Sweet malt, dark fruit, caramel, and brown sugar.
T- Dark fruits, caramel, brown sugar.
M- Medium light carbonation. Sticky, syrupy.
O- Not bad, not great. Will try again. Somewhat surprised that some have said that this beer pours "clear". How can that be? When I cannot see through it??!!
10-13-2011 21:03:21 | More by capeannbass36
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
4.1/5 rDev +5.1%
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.
09-21-2011 03:50:30 | More by biegaman
3.58/5 rDev -8.2%
A: Deep brownish red pour with an off white head. Hardly any retention or lacing.
S: Dark fruits, plums, grapes. Tons of candied sugar and perhaps some grain, all built on a backbone of booze.
T: The taste starts with the dark fruits and involves into candied sugar and booze. Leaves a strange taste on the back of the mouth.
MF: The beer coats the mouth, is medium bodied, and full of alcohol. Not all that balanced.
O: Only average. Considering I just got to try a bunch of De Struise quads, this falls short.
08-27-2011 23:54:29 | More by russwbeck
3.5/5 rDev -10.3%
750ml bottle into cervoise
A - Pours a brownish red to darker brown. Lots of fluffly, bubbly white head suggesting over-carbonation. Takes a while to pour
S - Dark fruits of currants, dark cherries, raisins. Some citric hops, orange rind. Brown sugar and toffee
T - A solid backing of the aforementioned dark fruits accented by a smoky malt presence contributing minor chocolate and charcoal. Slight grass and pine hops as well as some pepper and cherries
M - WAY overcarbonated. This caused the mouth to be prickly and full. Body seemed lighter than it should be also due to this.
O - Aside from the carbonation problems affecting the appearance and mouth, I think this would be a pretty good Quad. ABV was hidden fairly well too.
08-09-2011 19:20:46 | More by OakedCanuck
4/5 rDev +2.6%
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!
08-01-2011 03:47:30 | More by superspak
3.58/5 rDev -8.2%
A dark, nutty chestnut brown that can't be seen through. A good settling orange-brown head rises with active carbonation.
Smell is a lot of prunes with a bit of soy soy and speck, some smoked meats. Hints at bread and yeast with a light touch of honey.
Dark fruits overwhelm my mouth, mostly plums and prunes with bits of alcohol soaked raisins coated in sweet BBQ sauce. An interesting lager-like light toast and brown sugar flavor comes out, making this one complex.
It finishes sticky and slightly overpowering with the alcohol that is still present even after a year has passed. Prickly, almost too intense carbonation follows as well.
A good brew, though, and the differing flavors shine, creating a nice display and array of the dark fruit notes that are common for the style, despite its lack of spice.
07-17-2011 02:28:51 | More by ManVersusBeer
3.83/5 rDev -1.8%
Pours a dark chestnut brown with half a glass of off-white foam that quickly faded and left some lacing down the glass. The aroma is roasted malts, dark fruit, fig, brown sugar and a hint of smokiness. The taste is more sweet, brown sugar, dark fruit, and a syrupy sweetness. Its medium bodied with very lively carbonation, more than I would like. It sort of makes it hard to drink and enjoy, the flavor is lost pretty quickly.
07-07-2011 04:38:03 | More by mikereaser
4.22/5 rDev +8.2%
A - Pours a rich dark brown color with a bit of red mixed in and a finger of tanish head atop. The head fades fairly quickly down to a thin layer leaving behind some nice lacing.
S - Aroma is mix of sweet dark fruit (plum and raisin) and some sweet malt. There is also some earthiness and a bit of booze as well.
T - Starts off with a lot of dark fruit flavors and some earthy malt flavor and a bit of caramel malt. Through the middle some brown sugar, a bit of smoke, and some spiciness. The finish is a mix of dark fruit flavor and some booze that lingers nicely.
M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Fairly smooth and a touch think and syrupy. The finish is fairly sweet with some booze warming as well.
D - Very drinkable. A nice American take on the Quad style. The addition of the smoky flavor in the beer is really nice and everything feel well balanced.
05-23-2011 20:34:39 | More by ngeunit1
3.23/5 rDev -17.2%
a - opened the bottle and filled my la trappe chalice. classic quad color of deep purple with a reddish tint, but the creamy head that i look for in this style was nowhere to be found.
s - spicy nutmeg and a lot of earthy notes. dark fruit is there, but has taken a backseat to the spicy earthy odor. the earthiness is very barley and grain smelling.
t - the same earthy barley found on the nose is what the taste is all about. there is a lot of sweetness in the flavor as well. not sure if this one really works that well for me. certainly not the authentic yeasty quad that i love, but another spicy american take that kind of misses the mark for the style in my opinion. very grainy instead of creamy...and too sweet in a nutmeggy way.
m - medium bodied and good carbonation. booze isn't in your face, but sweetness is a bit.
o - overall this brew is very grape-juice like and not quad-like, could use a few steps off of the sweetness and a bit more creaminess to the body. it isn't bad, but not something that i will seek out again. kind of wish it was a 12oz bottle and not a 750.
04-24-2011 01:42:15 | More by cosmicevan
3.78/5 rDev -3.1%
thanks to trxxpaxxs for this. Batch E!028
A-Pours muddy chocolate brown with 1/2 inch of foamy tan head. Reduces slowly, leaving soapy lacing.
S-Dark stewed fruit, condensed milk, caramel, booze.
T/M-Stewed plums, cinnamon, smoky wood, clove, candi sugar, molasses. Thin body for a quad, which exposes some boozy phenolic character. The finish is papery and a bit smoky.
O-Pretty good at the start, but it falls apart in the finish. Not a traditional quad flavor profile, but certainly interesting and worth trying.
04-23-2011 03:16:40 | More by DaveHS
3.75/5 rDev -3.8%
A - It pours an initially impressive fig-brown hue, capped with a big honey-tan head. Two seconds later it looks closer to flat soda. Still, the style tends to be this way.
S - The smell is more like the Dubbels I am familiar with, rather than BSDA or Quad. Medium and orchard fruits are available in the nose: bruised peach, bruised and brown apple, plum, pluot, and carambola. Some cinnamon spice, too. There is also a healthy dose of grain, from impressions of straw and raw barley, to sweet oat and roast barley.
T - The good: there is a nutty and carob-like overtone to this beer which is quite reminiscent of a few of the better Dubbels I can recall. The comparison to Dubbel is, I guess, laudable, given the ABV. Nuances of various shades of grain, bruised and browned orchard fruits, unripe papaya and sharp, spicy alcohol give this flavor a broad enough spectrum to keep it interesting. The bad: the flavor is neither complex nor vibrant enough for the style. A quad should be more dynamic than this two-note offering (grain, orchard/stone fruit). Also, the flavor does not change throughout the quaff: it tastes the same when it crosses your lips as it does while lingering for a good minute after said sip. This bothers me for some reason.
M - The feel is too thin and not expansive enough to handle the booze. Not terrible, per se, but no great shakes either.
O - I like this quite a bit more than the score will reflect. I seem to rate stringently on Quads.
04-22-2011 19:29:16 | More by ktrillionaire
4/5 rDev +2.6%
25.4 fl oz mL brown champagne bottle served in a goblet.
Deep mahogany-hued caramel in color beneath a creamy, off-white head that leaves an intact whispy sheet.
Sweet Belgian candied sugar; residual brown sugar whaffs of sweetness. Deep molasses, fig, raisin, plum; notes of rounded citrus: orange, grapefruit. The alcohol aroma is pronounced, but balanced.
The sweetness is noticed immediately and lasts throughout the sip; however, the range of flavors provide a decent balance. Dark fruit: plum, grape, fig, and raisin with a touch of tartness; orange peel, lemon, green apple. The warming alcohol is a little too heavy-handed, but doesn't rob this quadrupel of its other flavors.
Medium in body; remarkably smooth considering the slightly bulky alcohol presence. Just a shade over-carbonated.
A lot of really good flavors going on here despite the somewhat bulkiness of the alcohol character. Definitely one to be shared...with a monk.
04-13-2011 23:57:31 | More by NEhophead
3.45/5 rDev -11.5%
750ml bottle into Duvel tulip. Batch E!023.
Appearance: Free pour yields a one inch, frothy, off-white head that dissipates quickly and lacelessly. Pours hazy dark red and leaves a few sweeping peaks of lacing that fade to spots.
Smell: Effervescent, grassy, grape, a little floral. Mild cola. Earthy. After a little time in the bottle, starts to suggest some dark fruit and sweetness. Eventually settles into the nice grape/fig note that largely characterizes the flavor, with floral highlights. Would be scored higher if the smell weren't kind of faint; everything happening is good, it's just not very complex and a little too subdued.
Taste: First impression: not bad. Smooth and grape-like. Strong Belgian yeast influence, but neither spicy nor tangy. Long potato-bread-like finish.
To be blunt, it tastes a little washed out. I like a subtler Belgian strong dark ale now and then, but this is going too far. That said, the semi-dry finish goes really well with full-ish body and low bitterness.
Further into the bottle, the taste opens up a little bit, with a dominant grape/fig/Belgian yeast note that has a hint of sourness to it. A lot more happens in the aftertaste than anywhere else; it gets bready, spicy, fruity. For a bit of a self-indulgent analogy, it's like reading a very good essay about a boring movie. Interesting enough, but I'd prefer a good movie.
The alcohol heat really accumulates (12% ABV? Not hidden in this beer...), but thankfully it is not offensive at all, and actually elevates the few flavor elements that are happening.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Moderate carbonation. Great semi-dry finish.
Overall: This is a good beer, but not a great beer. Everything about it over-promises; it's made by Ithaca (easily one of my top 5 American breweries), it's an anniversary release, it's a quadrupel, it's 12%ABV (serious brewers don't make the beer 12% ABV because they want to get trashed, they do it because they're getting big flavor from adding all that sugar in). On no front does it deliver the expected greatness.
This beer is, to me, like a well-made but uninspiring Cabernet Sauvignon. I like it, and I'll drink all of it... but I'm spending most of the experience wishing the beer were better. Tasty enough, but not an impressive effort, and (to again be kind of blunt) the idea of comparing it to Belgian heavyweights like Saint Bernardus 12, Chimay blue, Rochefort 10, etc. is laughable. This is worth noting not just because the beer purports to be in the same style, but also because the brewers at Ithaca have made comparable (if not superior) beers to those on more than one occasion.
04-04-2011 01:00:39 | More by Pahn
4.08/5 rDev +4.6%
Picked this up at Wegman's in Buffalo. Pours a murky brown colour with hints of amber. Thin white head dissipates fairly quickly. Smells of vanilla, brown sugar, plums, butterscotch and some mild chocolate. Quite a complex aroma. Flavour is very sweet, aftertaste is dominated by brown sugar. Smooth mouthfeel. This is quite easy to drink, I had the bomber by myself with no issue.
03-29-2011 03:26:38 | More by kwjd
TWELVE from Ithaca Beer Company
87 out of 100 based on 134 ratings.