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Dark Humor - Ithaca Beer Company

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Dark Humor
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BA SCORE
89
very good

86 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 86
Reviews: 52
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 12.44%
Wants: 1
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-18-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 86 | Reviews: 52
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of mjtiernan
3.96/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a New Belgium globe

A: A finger and a half of khaki colored head. Sparsely spotted lace remains as you consume. I’m fairly color blind so I’ll take the others’ word that it’s somewhere between dark brown and black with reddish hues.

S: Grape bubble gum with some subtle hints of roasty malt. The roasted notes come to the forefront with some vigorous swirling and you start to get some chocolate in there.

T: Delicious bittersweet chocolate and coffee that fades to moderately biting tartness. I know the brett is present, but this doesn’t have any of the champagne quality that I associate with any of the other sour beers I’ve had. Much easier to drink than I anticipated although I’d probably like to re-visit that sentiment after two glasses.

M: Medium to heavy body. Quite acidic. Appropriately astringent. The carbonation's biggest contribution is to add a creamy characteristic like a stout. The very finish brings you close to the edge of being puckering but you’re never really worried that you’ll be carried over.

O: A fantastically interesting and well executed experiment from Ithaca and Iron Hill. While I truly enjoyed this, the biggest thing I got out of it was wondering what they used for the base beer before they infected it…because that alone could be a really great one.

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

Enjoyed on tap at Cole's, the only bar on elmwood open on July 4th. Dark, creamy, thick chocolate.Great porter. Very drinkable. Yes, thick chocolate milk shake, with some roasted coffee. As good as it sounds. Rich malty chocolate aroma. Ithaca on a roll.

Photo of tempest
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had a 10 oz. pour at Good Beer in the East Village. I like the balanced Brett character. I wouldn't have guessed the strength, but maybe the wild yeast has helped dry this one out a bit, the mild tang certainly seems to lift the body. Otherwise there's a wonderful, clear chocolate roast with a little bit of candy sweetness. The Brett pops in for a sharp, slightly acidic citrus note, but not much else. Heck of a beer.

Photo of thagr81us
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to mikesgroove to sharing this one with me! Served from growler into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured a massively dark brown with a one finger khaki colored head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, tangerine, citrus, and citrus hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, citrus, citrus hop, floral, and tangerine. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. The citrus on this one was really nice on both the flavor and aroma. Really well balanced and enjoyable. Definitely glad I got the chance to try this one and I suggest you do the same.

Photo of mfunk9786
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Didn't expect to like this as much as I did. Picked up a growler from Iron Hill Media (An aside: I wish Iron Hill weren't so touchy about filling my flip-top growlers, taking home theirs is always a race against the clock to finish a half gallon of beer before it goes flat, which takes place in about a day. Ugh.)

Anyway... the beer pours a lovely ruby-toned black, and smells like it tastes - like a particularly sour cherry dunked in dark chocolate. I really didn't expect Ithaca and Iron Hill to be able to pull off such a masterful use of brett, and was expecting something like an infected bottle of Abyss (especially when very fresh without as much of a chance to come together) but I was very impressed with what we've got here. And I'm surprised that Russian River didn't jump all over the idea of an all-brett porter first, it's really quite novel. This is right up there with Bell's Cherry Stout as one of my favorite sour/chocolate combination beers, and I'll definitely be picking up another growler soon if it hangs around. I'm very lucky to live close to one of the sources of this stunner of a beer.

Photo of Damico
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sweet light bitter chocolate notes on top of light cherries, absolutely awesome aroma. The brew pours awesome dark black with a huge creamy mocha colored head frothing on top. The flavor is light tart chocolate covered cherries on a creamy body,need I write more,

Photo of akorsak
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

At the brewery.

A: The porter is dark, a forboding stout that envelops all colors of the spectrum. The darkness is punctuated by a dark, tan colored head that stands in sharp contrast. Lacing follows as the head recedes.

S: The strong bite of the porter is a cunning mix of sourness and hoppiness, possibly the oddest porter I've ever come across. Sweet cherry aromas mix with the dark, overly roasted porter notes and side of hops. The funky brett is a bold aroma against the dark roasted malts. Plenty of cherry coming out of the brett.

T: More roasted flavors, strong and dominant. The chocolate, coffee and burnt toast straddles the line with the brett. The dark roasts running into an immediate wall of funk. The transition is awkward at times. The sweet fruity dirtiness of the brett struggles against the dark porter flavors. Interesting.

M: Clean mouthfeel although the intense cherry brett flavors can easily be mistaken for the bite of citrus hops.

Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
4.26/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft pour served in a pint glass for $7.00.

A: A frothy, medium brown head of 1 finger goes quickly. The body is completely black and nothing can be seen through the other side of the glass. As the drinking continues, half sheets of lace are stuck behind. Not bad, but a very standard appearance.

S & T: Dark malts, heavy roast and chocolate - all backed by a strong brett component (100% brett fermentation), plus some rich soil and a little wood. Cherry and other dark berry fruits are modest but noticeable. Dark earth and leather work their way in on both the upper and lower palate, and the fruitiness much more noticeable on the lower.

M: Medium body with a semi thick texture. A predictably dry finish and above average effervescence wipes the tongue clean.

O: Dark Humor is a very well executed all-brett porter. If you like brett dominated beers, you will definitely appreciate this one.

Photo of jsanford
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Churchkey in D.C.

Pours a dark brown with a soapy ivory head. Lots of earthy Brett aromas (I can't help but smell peanut) with a good amount of chocolate and a bit of banana. Taste is predominately bitter chocolate and earthy Brett, luckily not getting that peanut sensation here. Smooth and creamy, with a medium-full body and fairly low carbonation. Overall a very interesting beer, love seeing different takes on what Brett can do!

Photo of musicforairports
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Half-growler from Westmere Beverage in Guilderland, NY.

Pour is black, with a decent head that dissipates quick but leaves good lacing.

Smells like roasty chocolate malts and a lactic sour character.

Taste is like a light porter, with a green apple musty/funk on top of it all. The brett is neither sour nor very funky, but it's noticeable for sure. It keeps the dark malts from dominating, but doesn't smack you with barnyard.

Mouthfeel is light for a porter but a bit robust for a brett beer, if that makes sense.

I wasn't sure what to expect. While I think the flavors work fine together, this won't automatically please fans of either porters or sour beers, both of which I love. It's a unique animal. Like someone who reviewed this earlier said, the brett adds a new dimension to a porter that lots of hops would, but it's a different flavor.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.62/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

huge thanks to my man up north for this growler, i was thrilled to death to be able to try this one! Gotta love two new ithaca growlers!

pour was jet black with a small tan head that kept a ring around the entire glass leaving a good bit of lacing up and down the sides of the glass that really looked to be quite nice to me. aroma is deep peat and smoke, much more then i really thought it would be, nicely done. warming brings up lots of oak and touches of vanilla in the flavor. the grape and slightly sour character from the barrels is not very noticeable until it really warms and by that time it is still quite light but near perfectly placed. rich and smooth, with a deep smoke flavor that leaves a long lasting oak note on the palate an a light, but enjoyable finish that really gives a nice rounded profile.

Photo of Blanco
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is dark/brown black typical of porters. smell is of roasted malts mostly, chocolate, with only a hint of brett. The taste is all porter, and a fantastic one at that. the roastiness from the malt comes off smooth rather than bitter. The brett is more of a background flavor that only starts to come through as the beer warms more and you get toward the end of the glass. Medium bodied. Overall, I'm impressed with the beer, but more with the porter components. I can't help but wonder what it would taste like to try the base beer without the brett because it would probably be fantastic.

Photo of rlee1390
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on top at IBC for their release of the beer

A-Deep black, some tan head. Not much lacing left.

S-Roasted Malt is the only thing I got.

T-The roasted malt is present. And then something that I can't put my finger in. It must be from the Brett. An interest flavor none the less.

M-Medium bodied, not much carbonation

O-A very interesting beer, glad I had the chance to try it. I can't wait to try more beers with brett.

Photo of ShanePB
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Capone's in a 13 oz snifter glass.

A: Dark black body with a small slightly off-white head. Thick, patchy sticky lacing covers the glass walls and keeps a moderate retention ring around the edges. A really nice looking beer that seems to combine both porter qualities with the effervescence of a wild ale.

S: Roasted malts are up-front initially followed by a raspberry sweetness. Almonds, faintly bitter coffee beans, a funky tartness and chocolate covered cherries in the back end. Rich, robust and yet fruity and tart.

T: Sweet dark fruits (plum, black cherry), chocolate and roasted coffee beans are first. Tart red fruits like raspberry and cherry are mid-palate giving a nice transition from the roasted malty front of the beer. A few residual coffee notes are in the linger after the funk leaves the mouth.

M: Creamy, medium-bodied but still bubbly and active. It is somewhat dry on the palate in the finish, perhaps a combination of the tartness and bitter roasted flavors.

I'm noticing a trend growing here, combining the darker roasted malts, akin to a Porter or Stout and then throwing in some souring bacteria. It's new, it's different and generally it seems to be working. Tart of Darkness, Zwet.be and now Dark Humor are all beers I actually did enjoy that exhibit this new flavor profile. Keep them coming.

Photo of oline73
2.97/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I had this on-tap at Capone's. Poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours black with a layer of tan head that goes away completely.

Smell: Quite sweet, ripe dark fruit and some molasses. Not very sour.

Taste: Here, there is some sourness. Mild roast, but nothing in the tastes pops out and gets your attention. A bit wine like.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with almost no carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I wasn't super impressed with this beer. A bit muddled and confusing. I may not get the sour porter style, who knows?

Photo of VoiceOfTheSoul
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft at Iron Hill - Media into a tulip.

A Pours a pitch black, different from the porter from which it was spawned, tan 1.5 finger head that shrinks to about half a finger without drinking, once a sip is taken is leaves a foamy layer on top with thick bubbbly lacing.

S Roasty and tart, cocoa, slight cola scent, earthy, thyme.

T Sweet and roasty, carmelly, earthy, very strong tart and bitter, but its quite smooth as long as it doesnt sit too long in your mouth thats when it realy kicks in, raspberries and tart cherries with slight sour strawberry, thyme (esp in the belches), hidden hints of citrus like lime.

M Biting sourness on the front and sides with strong burnt-like bitterness in the back, smooth still and abundantly carbonated.

O Immensely complex, like a huge party and everyones dancing and swirling and having a great time with sourness and roastiness being the long lingerers at the end of the party.

This was a great collab between Iron Hill and Ithaca. I love what the guys at Iron Hill - Media have been doing.

Photo of Arenbeer
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served at the brewery in a taster glass.

A- Pitch black with a 1 finger tan head that sticks around.

S- Dark roasted malt smokiness, that's quickly taken over by brett and funk.

T- Just like the aroma. Thick creamy malts that have been burnt and smoked. Tons of funk and brett dry out the mouth after it goes down leaving you wanting more.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and I nice dry sour finish.

If they weren't out of stock on growlers I would have definitely gotten one filled. Such a damn good beer!

SkÅL!

Photo of cbutova
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Sunset Grill.

A- Pitch black in a tulip. Small tan head with a nice creamy texture. Spotty lace on the glass.

S- Brett + porter = sour cherries, barnyard, smoke, licoriceand roast malts.

T- Like the nose but more intense and complex. Dark roast malt, cocoa, licorice, coffee thrown into a barnyard of sour cherries and straw

MF- Lighter end body with moderate carbonation. Tart makes me pucker up a bit.

Probably the best random menu choice I have ever made. All Brett porter is a great idea.

Photo of ESATIKKFAN
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Iron Monkey in Jersey City. Served in a pint glass. Minimal head upon arrival. Had a nice toasty aroma. Has a nice roasted taste that gives way to a malty sweetness. The taste has hints of chocolate. Has a smooth mouthfeel. Enjoyable even in warmer weather.

Photo of rfgetz
2.3/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a murky light to medium brown color, some chalkyness to its appearence, small cap of tan head. Scent tastes lightly roasty, earthy and muddy, no massive brett presence, notes of cheap milk chocolate. One sip and I knew i was in for something different... sour pumpernickle bread, sour cherries, roasted nuts, cheap milk chocolate, rancid fruit, rancid yogurt, damp earth, musty wood... a lot of notes that I wouldnt look for in a beer. Medium bodied, chalky, highly carbonated for the style.

This is my second experience with a wild yeast porter, and the other, from Dock Street was much more appropriate to showcase the yeast.

Photo of OneDropSoup
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Excited to see this on tap at Fathead's original location.

Poured into a nonick pint: Black with dark red highlights, ring of foam around the crown with just a dusting of lace. Little lacing as the beer disappears.

Smell is sharply grapy, a little musty, with some tart cherry & that nice twang to it with wild yeast. Some light cocoa appears, but it's kind of subdued by the funk.

Nice combination of dark, roasty, almost coffee malt up front in the taste, & melded with that tart twang, like cherry skins. Actually balances out pretty well & ends nicely. The mixture of the acidity from the dark malt & brett is pleasant & not overwhelming. There's a kind of crayon waxiness in the aftertaste, something I get in coffee stouts a lot. A strong roasted bitterness emerges after a bit.

Medium-bodied, nicely slick & smooth. Acidic, leaves me salivating afterward. Some astringency, as mentioned above. As also afore-mentioned, it kind of coats the mouth with a slightly waxy feeling.

I'm really into this, changes a little as it goes & warms. Interesting, a good balance of disparate flavors. I kind of wonder if this is equivalent to an American black ale, just with a different flavor component to counter the roasty malt (funk vs. hops).

Photo of Thorpe429
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Ithaca Ale House Memorial Day weekend 2011. Served in a goblet.

Pours a medium to dark brown color with a good tan head that stuck around as a thin cap for awhile before fading and leaving some spotty lacing. The nose carried some slight roast along with chocolate and a bit of brown sugar. Beyond that, a moderate amount of funk, though that didn't really come into play until the flavor and finish. Good funky presence in the taste along with some brown sugar and slight roast. Interesting combo that I really enjoyed. Medium body and a somewhat-dry finish. Good brew.

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

Tap at Armsby Abbey

Creamy small head fades slowly pretty much pitch black color.

Nose dry stout, almost chalky, powdered chocolate, roast, nutty, some brett spicy funk.

Taste comes with porter at first, chocolate powdered and bakers, roasted malts, caramel, bit creamy. Then some funk but not a lot, light soured malt flavors, light dry bready funk. Finishes very dry, bit of funk and lots of lingering dark malts.

Mouth is a bit heavier bodied, decent carb

Pretty good, not a funky as I expected, nice porter flavors and malts, light soured malts.

Photo of Rifugium
3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Pinocchio's, Media, PA

An interesting and unlikely collaboration between Ithaca and Iron Hill. This beer was a dark cedary-brown color, not quite opaque, and a small cap of tan head that receded to a ringlet. Smell of dark toasty malts, yeast, pumpernickel, and light spice with a harbinger of sour fruit. Hints of coffee. Taste was a little thinned out at first, but filled out a bit after my taste buds adjusted; brown sugar, molasses, coffee grounds, dark bread, and an odd spicy yeast sensation (100% Brett in a porter? neat). Sour but tame, funky but not overbearingly so. Medium mouthfeel, and moderately drinkable.

Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown colored beer with a tan head that faded to a thin cap and left a little bit of lace.

S - Little bit of roast, some chocolate, brown sugar malts. Dark fruits and a little bit of funk.

T - Brown sugar, roast, bit of dark fruit. It's a little bit different, with some cherries, yeast and cocoa. Not bad, very interesting tasting.

M - Smooth, medium bodied, lower carbonation.

O - Fairly unique beer, although not quite as funky as I would have guessed. Has some nice stuff going on the, pretty good, wouldn't mind drinking again.

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Dark Humor from Ithaca Beer Company
89 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.