Fourteen - Ithaca Beer Company
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Ratings: 148 | Reviews: 48 | Display Reviews Only:
4.15/5 rDev +3%
We peel the foil and crack the bottle of Batch # E! 044, pouring into our Founders snifters per the label’s suggestion. It shows the color of cola, letting up ruby hues towards the bottom when held directly to light. It holds a foamy one and a half finger tall head of latte colored bubbles, showing solid retention. Lacing is sheeted, thick, and ridged. No real haze or sediment is noted, and carbonation appears to be light. The aroma gives slippery notes of black leather, licorice, butterscotch, burnt barley, dark wheatiness, soft medicinal phenols, shoe polish, browned apples, grassy and herbal hops, syrupy brown sugar sweetness, envelope adhesive, lactic creaminess, toffee, cinnamon and black pepper, soy sauce, ginger, cardboard, fresh coconut, and icy metallics. Our first impression is that although the hops have faded noticeably, the malts more than make up for it with a healthy burn and smoke following through to the back. As we sip, the taste begins with bittersweet licorice, smoked wheat and black maltiness, cashew oiliness, biting herbal hops, curious scotchy peatiness, salted caramel and brown sugar cloy, and light bubblegum esters, earthy and soiled hoppiness. The middle peaks with smooth heavy creamer, citric hop acidity, twiggy resins, cooked coffee malts, mineral, powdery ale yeastiness, and alcohol. The end washes through with chlorine and bright chemical phenols, clove and black pepper spice, fusel booziness, soy sauce saltiness, burnt smoky malts of black, wheat, and caramel varietals, brown rice, lacquer, and ceramic. The aftertaste breathes of raw coffee and espresso bean, burnt gingerbread, smoldering campfire smokiness, aluminum, freshly pulled leather, black and caramel maltiness, cherry and red apple fruit juiciness, salt water taffy, vegetal leafiness, sunscreen, fish oil, and powdered vitamins. The body is medium but chewy, and the carbonation is medium. Each sip gives excellent slurp, smack, cream, froth, glug, pull, and pop. The mouth is creamed and coated, but drags into a chalky, tannic astringency. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks back very nicely.
Overall, the best thing about this brew is its flavoring, but the nose is not too far behind. This is Ithaca’s fourteenth anniversary brew, and although their sixteenth was just released not too long ago, this one is holding up quite nicely with the age on it. The hops have diminished as expected, but this did something kind of amazing. It allowed for the malts to deepen and darken, unmasking layer after layer of smoky, malty complexity. The hops are still present, but in a very earthy and organic way, playing well with the depth and frankly surprising smokiness of the malts. The creaminess of feel adds yet another piece to the puzzle, softening any perceived harshness of malts. This is by no means our first Ithaca beer, but it is our introduction to their anniversary and “Excelsior!” series.
05-31-2014 00:52:55 | More by TheBrewo
3.68/5 rDev -8.7%
Deep dark brown, nearly black in color. A modest foam and not overly carbonated in the mouth.
Nice resiny flavor with a good dose of the dank hops and burnt malt. what makes it pleasant is the malty sweetness that gives the stuff some foundation. Hops are piney and spicy.
A fruity tart taste gives this some balance. Hoppy enough to give a little tingle to the lips, but mellows out to a modest hop burn. On tap at The Perch in downtown Philly. [notes from 05/24/2012 visit]
10-06-2013 22:27:53 | More by mactrail
3.23/5 rDev -19.9%
2 fingers of tan head rise up audibly crackling as it settles, at first it seems like a conversation but tapers off quickly into murmurs, the head has some integrity as it sticks together when rolled around the glass, as expected this is nearly back, not quite opaque as there is some ruby edges where light can circumvent the density, carbonation is lively and active streaming up single file throughout the glass, a good looking lot
earthy brown hops, hints of roast and whiffs of smoke, thoughts of birch beer, this does not pop like buddy christ
effervescent feel carbo wise, drinks rather light bus maintains enough body, mildly flavored, you get a bit of everything from the nose with nothing being up front, the roast flavor is good, the hop bitterness has a decent bite, the alcohol seems stronger than what is indicated on the bottle, you do get some hints of chocolate towards the end.
all well and good but not much memorable. a good beer but nothing great, worth checking out if you happen upon it but I wouldn't go out of my way for it
07-28-2013 04:53:01 | More by Ego
Fourteen from Ithaca Beer Company
90 out of 100 based on 148 ratings.