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
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 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 stegmakk
3/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from cask at J. Ryan's Firkenteenth event.

A - Beer looked GOOD. Dark opaque motor oil with a good amount of tan head and a little lacing.

S - Roated malt with a hint of something else...couldn't quite put my finger on it until the taste

T - OK...maybe I am one of the only ones that did not like this beer. I got a roasted coffee up front with a ton of sour flavor and some bitter coffee at the end. TOO much sour tasting for an american porter in my opinion.

M - Crisp smooth

O - It LOOKS good and feels good...just didn't taste good. If the sournees was smoother or blended well, this could be decent. But the usual chocolatey taste of some of my favorite porters got drowned out by the sourness.

Photo of Lillie1128
3.16/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into my black Terrapin pint glass

A - Pours a deep espresso with a medium coffee colored head

S - Hoppy and a little sour

T - Kind of sour, very interesting. Finishes with a mild hoppy note. Think mine might have gotten a little funky in the mail

M - medium, a little carbonated

D - pretty easy to drink

Thanks to BobCS for this one!

Photo of MsRif
3.33/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured dark with a quickly dissipating head. Had an aroma of molasses, smoky flavor and dark fruit. Tasted of roasty malts, dark fruits...a tad bit of sweetness.

Medium-bodied with low carbonation. Finish is bitter. It was hardly a "bad" brew...but I think this will be my only time trying it. Complexity was poor...while there were several flavors, they were not balanced adequately. Average brew.

Photo of beer4colin
3.35/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Served in a 12 oz tulip at Union Brewhouse? Pours a dark mahogany with thin wispy head that dissipates quickly with little lace.
S - Toasted brown sugar and slight smoke.
T - Big start with coffee and burnt toast. finish is surprisingly subdued and dissolves into a lemony taste.
MF - a tad thin for a porter. Maybe I have just had too many Founders lately but this is very light and watery.
OA - not Ithaca's best. Gorges Smoked Porter is much better. I'll be passing in the future.

Photo of THECPJ
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown black with redish hue and 1 finger head

smell: roast, malts, funk from the brett, sour

taste: sour, roasted malts, tart

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: interesting take on a porter. good but not great.

Cheers,
The CPJ

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 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 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 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 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 xnicknj
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at good dog in philly

Pours a deep brown color, almost black, thick tanned head retains well. Spotty and cloudy lacing on the glass.

Pretty interesting nose with chocolate, nutty brown malt, light sweetness. The brett funk is also apparent with tartness.

Starts off like a regular porter with roasted malts and some chocolate undertones. Fairly sweet with some solid body, followed by bretty funk. Not necessarily sour but definite tartness towards the finish, which is a bit strong and dry.

Medium body, higher carbonation, lasting finish and smoothness. This was pretty much what I was expecting, and I wasn't disappointed.

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

Growler shared by Matt awhile back.

Jet black color with a thin mocha head that fades to a wispy collar with thin lacing. Smells like a robust porter; chocolate, roast malt, brown sugar with only a hint of sour and dark fruit. Flavor is an interesting clashing contrast of a slightly sweet roast malt and chocolate porter with a healthy dose of bretty funk and light sourness in the finish. Medium bodied with a dry slightly bitter finish. Not quite perfect, and a little jarring at times, but I like all the flavors contributing and would love to have this again.

Photo of Tucquan
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2011-07-30 At Capone's in Norristown, PA

A - Black as the night with a 1-finger tan head and remarkable lacing coating all of the glass.

S - -Mild coffee and chocolate malt.

T - Bold and unusual. Strong mixture of funky sour and sweet coffee, chocolate and mild vanilla. They pulled it off. While rich, it dries out nicely.

M - Creamy. Medium body and light carbonation.

O - Very nice. Never had a beer like this. Worth checking out.

Photo of CharlieMurphy
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours dark chocolate black with a brown trim. Looks real thick, like milky chocolate. Leaves a slender cream head that sits like foam and laces like a . Carbonation is stagnant if even there at all after a certain point.

S: Smells of pepper, chocolate, hickory, smoke. The brett does something interesting in it's interplay with these dark malts that I can't quite define. It definitely seems to contribute this "hickory" smell. This could be the yeast's handling of the sugars which gives it a sort of mild warmth. Requires agitation to really get any bretty tartness.

T: More subdued than I was expecting. Very barely sour, however the thin sourness is what you get first rather than the decently robust dark malts - the opposite of what I might have expected. The brett's influence does carry through the dark roasted malt flavored finish but contributing the pepper/hickory flavor, but not in the dose the nose received. Very... interesting. Some candy-like tartness penetrates more toward the bottom of the glass. Unexpected, but interesting.

M: Thin for a more robust porter, and thin for a sour beer too. More on point for a bruin tho. Again, carbonation is docile and bogged down in this. And I can't stop mentioning this hickory aspect of it that kind of starts to tan my tongue toward the end, but I love it. Very very easy drinking though.

O: A curious brew if I ever did have one. Would definitely drink this again, wish it was a tad cheaper though.

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 wcintula
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Awesome to finally stumble across this beer. Had on tap at Mexi Q in Astoria.

Poured into a shaker pint with a black body and a small, thin tan head. Strong roasted malt, coffee-like aromas are noted. Drinks something more like a stout than a porter, but I get it. Peat and smoke overtake and leave light bitter and sour notes as supporting roles. Not wowed, but it's a good beer.

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 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 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 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.

Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 12/1/11 notes. Had on tap at Churchkey in Washington, DC.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with one inch of off white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of brett, roasted malts, coffee, light fruit, light wood, and light toasted malts. The sour brett jumps out up front and mixes nicely with the roasted qualities. I'm a fan.

t - Tastes of brett, roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, and coffee. Less coffee than the nose, and more sour breet mixing with the roasted malts. Again, I like it.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

o - Overall an interesting beer, but I enjoyed it quite a beer. I love the smell of brett so thought the nose was great; something I'd certainly order again if I saw it on a menu.

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.

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