Double Zilla | Ithaca Beer Company

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Double ZillaDouble Zilla

Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Twice the experience of Cascazilla, we brewed Double Zilla with too many malts to list and an excess of American hops. Russet color, aggressively hoppy aroma & flavor, rich body, and fiery finish.

Added by MisSigsFan on 10-17-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 41 | Ratings: 188
Photo of corby112
2.31/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep, dark golden copper color that appears almost grown in the glass with a two finger, off-white head that very slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Very good retention, taking a while to settle and coating the glass with soapy lacing on the way down.

Slightly floral hop aroma that's overpowered by a prominent sweet malt profile. Not much about the nose of this beer reminds me of an IPA/hoppy beer. Hardly any hop character at all with lots of sweet and leathery malt character. Sweet caramel and toffee with hints of bread, biscuit and dark fruit. Pretty bland.

Medium body with a blast of stale dirty hops that lingers over a prominent malt backbone into a bone dry finish. Earthy, soil-y and extremely bitter with piney, grassy hops countered by sweet and leathery malt notes. Hints of shoe leather and creek water followed by subtle caramel sweetness, toffee, dark fruit and stale bread. Astringent metallic finish that leaves a really unpleasant aftertaste. I'm not sure how old this beer is at this point but it isn't very good at all.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
2.36/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2

Aw crap. I had one drain pour already tonight and I might be heading for two. That hasn't happened in a very long time.

Pours almost as dark as a brown ale. Sticky nose that almost seems like hairspray. I'm barely drinking it so it's sitting here and the smell is mildly repugnant.

Tastes like watered down hairspray. Boozy and way too sickly sweet off malts. It's a mess. Not worth the effort or money at all.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
2.95/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Definitely the biggest miss from Ithaca Box of Hops. Just not all that good.

Pours out a rusty looking red, with a one inch head, and a little bit of lacing down the glass.

Smells quite sweet and boozy, with some pine-sol like hop flavors.

Just a chore to drink this one down. Incredibly unbalanced and boozy, more like a shitty barleywine than an imperial amber IPA. Some cloyingly sweet malt flavors, a bit of piney hops try to poke through, lots of bitterness.

Sticky, syrupy, sweet mouthfeel, not all that drinkable due to alcohol. Low carbonation.


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Photo of BB1313
2.96/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a hazy dark copper; small off-white head that fades and leaves nice retention and decent lacing. The aromas are very sweet. Lots of caramel malts and dark fruits. Lots of raisins, fig, dates, and prunes. Some subtle alcohol notes in the nose as well. Flavors are very big and bold. The flavors seem to really match the nose. More dark fruits. It's not quite boozy, but it's pretty close to it. It definitely has a warming sensation to it. Extremely earthy flavors. There's not much hop flavor, but there's a ton of hop bitterness. There's also some pine resin in the mix. The flavors aren't as sweet as I anticipated. Mouthfeel is full-bodied. It's slick and syrupy; active carbonation. This is a very heavy and robust beer. It's fitting for the fall season. This is definitely a sipper. The flavors and aromas do open up as it warms up.

I'm a huge fan of Cascazilla, so I was really anxious to try this. I'm not going to call it a mess at all, it's just odd and takes a bit of getting used to. I really am trying to like this, but I'm not too crazy about this one. I do appreciate them going all out and swinging for the fences. Big beers are fun to drink, and this is no exception, I just wish everything was more refined.

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Photo of zimm421
3.03/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured into a SA Perfect Pint glass. Appears a dark amber color, which is almost brown, with a nice red hint. The head is tan, but not as thick as expected. Some lacing left on the glass.

The nose is full of caramel, brown sugar and floral hops. The malts are overwhelming here, with a noticeable lack of hops in the nose. The taste is very similar and complex on the malt side. Again lots of caramel, with nuttiness and brown sugar. The hops are again tough to locate in this, but there is some floral and citrus character there. This just doesn't work for me...

The mouthfeel is full bodied, low on carbonation, and finishes slightly sticky. Overall, this is interesting and not something you see everyday. That being said, the flavor combinations do not work for me. The overwhelming malt character, combined with a load of hops makes this overpowering, and gives the beer no focus.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
3.26/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bottle into a stemless wine glass

A- pours brown with a one finger light tan head. Lacing is nice, but this is dark dark dark.

S- very dank aroma. Tobacco seeps through as well. Not very appealing for an IPA IMO

T- not much bitterness. Lots of sweetness. Mild hoppiness - tastes more like a malty barleywine

M- medium bodied, but the alcohol is well-hidden

O- not the type of beer I'm into at all, too much of the "red" not not enough of the "IPA"

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Photo of Gmann
3.28/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a murky brown color with amber highlights. The tan head is short and dense, settles into a light cap.

The aroma is of a piney and citrus hop. A bit dank. Sweet brown bread from the malt. Deep caramel scent. Slight spice. Noticeable alcohol smell.

The taste is quite malty. Big brown bread and caramel flavors. Some toffee. There is a prunes/raisiny note. The hops are a bit piney and minty. Some resin bitterness in the finish. Fusel alcohol flavor in the end. A tad unpleasant.

The feel is moderate with fizzy carbonation. Sweet throughout but does finish with a hoppy bitterness to balance. The ABV is a bit harsh.

I think Ithaca missed on this one. Too malty and not enough hops. The alcohol presence is a killer.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.28/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle pour at the DTLA bottle share held at Beer Belly in Los Angeles, CA.

Thanks to JayORear for sharing this one.

Best before 1/2014.

Pours a clear orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, and herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with herbal and adhesive bandage flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is fairly drinkable but the bandage flavor I am getting is a bit odd.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.47/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Reddish copper with a short tan head that dissipates quickly. Has a pretty cloudy appearance.

Smoky, woody, toffee and grapefruit.

Smoked cherrywood (?) and some alcohol heat. Caramel and sugar backbone with notes of toffee. Moderate hop bitterness with grapefruit zest and dried pine needles.

Medium-plus bodied, warming and oily.

Not bad but definitely not what comes to mind for an Imperial Red IPA. Expect a smoked American Barleywine and you'll enjoy it much more.

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Photo of IronLover
3.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark red with chestnut brown hues and a bit murky. Poured with a short off-white foam that quickly reduced to a thin, wispy cap. Huge sweet malty aroma with floral and ripe citrus hop notes. Not sure if it's the combination of malt and pungent hops but there are definite smoky notes in the aroma as well. Medium bodied with even, tangy carbonation through the middle. Intense caramel malt and pungent hop flavors struggle to find balance. The result is intense, slightly smoky, undiscernible flavors that made this a little difficult to enjoy.

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Photo of dogfishandi
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter. Best Before January notched on the label.

Pours out a very deep red color, almost opaque, a small, but retentive light tan head. Spotty lacing.

All about the malt in the aroma, stone fruit like sweet maltiness. alcohol heat, more and more as it warms. A bit of a earthy, spiciness, perhaps from the hops.

Again, quite malty. Alcohol is more subdued in the taste put still is quite warming with each swallow. Burnt caramel, sweet, stone fruits, slightly spicey, earthy hops. More sweetness than bitterness

Sticky, big bodied beer.

Not that enjoyable of a beer, really more of a strong ale or barleywine than a DIPA. Kind of puts shame to regular cascazilla which is a really good beer and way more focused on the hops than this malt bomb.

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Photo of Gavage
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a nice copper color with a wispy head.

Smell: big caramel flavors with a load of hop bitterness.

Taste: very big malt sweetness here, along with some fruit and brown sugar sweetness. The bitterness is big, but the sweetness still dominates. Alcohol is very noticeable and warming here.

Mouhtfeel: heavy in body. Smooth from start to finish. Long lasting aftertaste consisting of the sweetness and bitterness.

Overall: this was a very slow sipping beer that I felt was a bit too sweet and boozy despite the large dose of hop bitterness. This would probably go better as a dessert beer, as opposed to a mid afternoon beer.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.54/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to NewBewBB for the opportunity to try this one. 12oz. bottle served in a tulip. Best by January notched on the label. Pours A semi-hazy mahogany with a loose, quarter-inch, khaki-colored head that dissipates into a soapy slick. Some spots and strands of lacing revealed during the tasting. Nose expresses sweet citrus and malty notes. Taste is not what I expected - citrus, tobacco, smoked malt, an herbal/medicinal quality and ethanol at the finish. Mouthfeel is medium in body with an even carbonation and a light oiliness. A mild residual heat is present at the finish. Overall, my preference is for the standard Cascazilla. This one just doesn't do it for me.

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Photo of metter98
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is slightly hazy very dark auburn in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high beige head that quickly died down, leaving some lacing in the center of the glass and a collar around the edge.
S: Light to moderate aromas of pine resin hops are present in the nose along with hints of roasted malts.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that pine resin hops aren't nearly as prominent and there are stronger flavors of malts with notes of roasted malts and hints of caramel and toffee along with slight hints of alcohol.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. Little, if any crispness is noticeable.
O: This beer reminds me a lot like a Black IPA and less of an Imperial IPA, except that it doesn't have nearly as much in the way of roasted malt flavors. It hides its alcohol well and tastes more like an 8% abv beer instead of 11%.

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Photo of Greywulfken
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: the label says this is a red double India pale ale - an opaque brown body capped by a few fingers of tan head that left some lacing down the sides

S: earthy, herbal, and woodsy hops amid hearty malt aromas

T: toffee and pine resin; herbal flavors and chewy caramel malts; hint of coffee

M: medium-light feel, some carbonated fuzziness, slight stickiness, some aftercoat

O: an amber-brown DIPA basically - hefty malt and hop bills - plenty of sweet lush maltiness to go toe-to-toe with the bittering hop barrage.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours a very hazy brownish red. Very turbid. Thinner head leaves webby lacing.

A-Smells a bit like saltwater taffey. Banana flavored? Quite sweet. Some perfumey hops. Loads of caramel. Malt forward but I enjoy the overall aroma.

T-The flavor is like licking a band-aid. Rich, deep caramel with some odd woody flavors. Medicinal hops. Marzipan. Very different. Doesn't taste anything like any sort of DIPA. Spicy hops.

M-Hot and a bit sticky. Induces slow sipping. Soft carbonation.

O/D-Interesting. It's pretty harsh. This is a monster of a beer. It's gonna be hard to put back the other 2 bottles of this from the variety pack but I sadistically am looking forward to it.

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Photo of jhartley
3.64/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a poco grande glass.

Dark rust-red-brown body with a fluffy tan head full of small tight bubbles. Leaves great lacing down the sides.

Smells of malts: bready and fruity. Hops: pine and dank ness. A burnt char smell comes through as well.

Tastes of the huge amount of malts and hops comes out at once. A bitterness followed closely by a sweet malt.

A fizzy carbonation helps out with the heavy malt and bitter hops.

Listed as a Red DIPA on the label and having a huge malt bill and a ton of hops this is pretty tasty. Not a beer that you could sit back and chug down; with an 11% abv you could get into trouble quickly, but it's still a brew you can easily drink.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.67/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle thanks to the one, utopiajane. Thanks, Maria!

This pours a surprisingly dark red, auburn? It looks very hazy and brings a 2 finger head of foam and some nice lacing.

Lots of caramel malt on the nose but equally...lots of fruitiness that I pick...cherries...out of my hat..err..nose. There's also a strange smokiness I'm getting that reminds me of some of the Scotch Ales I've had before. A plus?

Bitter starts my tasting off. Caramel malt follows closely behind and there IS a cherry flavour here that I notice, once again, when I swish the beer in my mouth. Swishing reveals all sorts of good things and..sometimes bad things. Now there's a roasted maltiness I'm tasting that compliments the caramel goodness. Then things go kind of south for me; the smoke I mentioned in the smell is beginning to become noticeable. I'm not a fan of Scotch Ales mostly for this.

Great mouthfeel and quite smooth for the abv. If only that darn smoke...

I prefer Cascazilla.

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Photo of FeloniousDrunk
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a tulip pint glass. Color was of rich mahogany: deep, dark brown with reddish hues on the outside at the base. A thick, 1-finger tan head emerged, then left with just a thin ring around the outside. No lacing.

S: Aroma similar to better scotch ales I've had, perhaps with a bit more hop notes. Lots of malt, with strong esters of alcohol and almost a banana/maraschino cherry hint. Other smells include tawny port, some grass notes, caramel, and a touch of coffee.

T: Big flavor in the mouth: smoky up-front, with a fruity middle and dry woodsmoke finish. Lot's to wrap one's palate around with this big beer. There's a lot of woodsmoke in this, and some oakiness to it as well. Notes of banana peel, cranberries, strong alcohol notes, almost brandywine-like in flavor profile.

M: Syrupy, with an alcoholic hotness. The best part of this mouthfeel is that fresh smoke that comes through your nose on the swallow: it's very distinct and vivid, as if you just swallowed a lit match. Overall, this feel is a bit on the syrupy side for me, with not much in the way of volume or texture in the mouth.

O: This is not an imperial IPA. It is an Imperial RED IPA, which makes a big difference. The malt profile takes a step forward, and the hops are almost nonexistent in the flavor. It's big and bold and sweet and smokey all at the same time. Definitely a one-and-done beer, and at 11% abv, you don't need much more.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Wasn't really the biggest fan of Cascazilla but this was based on an older bottle with sediment. With little sediment and a best by January at least this one is under 6 months old.

A - Pour is a very deep hazy amber brown with a solid 2 inches of mocha tinted head. I am in awe they were able to get this much carbonation for an 11% brew.
S - Smell is of strong pine and caramel like malts. Not overall sweet so I guess it has some woody hints to it. Amazingly no ethanol choking the nostrils so it may not taste terrible.
T - Body is pretty malts mostly some alcohol bite but nothing too extreme. Taste like double Nugget Nectar in a way with a strong caramel base and mild pine almost citrus bite.
M - Not bad it drinks with a medium to heavy body so it really doesn't hide the ABV well. Still it's a great beer.

Overall it was a very enjoyable beer very high octane yet balanced enough to drink. I still find "The Creeker" a perfect example of balance and hops but this is still better than the Cascazilla I had. Worth trying once.

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Photo of Kendo
3.71/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured from the bottle into a Duvel tulip. Body is brown with a half-finger tan-colored head that's gone quickly. No lacing.

S: Nice blend of malt - caramel and toffee - and hops - citrusy.

T: Frankly, I think this beer should be categorized as an American Strong Ale, a la Stone Double Bastard, rather than as a Double/Imperial IPA. Very quickly I become aware of the high alcohol (11% ABV) content, as a warming sensation toward the back end. Up front I get a lot of toffee, brown sugar and caramel malt, with some dark fruits underneath. It is quickly overwhelmed, however, by a touch of hop bitterness and then the alcohol. There's also a sense of smoked peat or smoked malt lingering in the aftertaste, reminding me of a Scotch or Scottish Ale. Drying alcohol esters at the finish are there in force.

M: Carbonation is active but fine-bubbled. Heft is on the heavy side.

O: OK. Don't even think of comparing this to your standard DIPA. Think more along the lines of a Lagunitas Brown Shugga or Stone Double Bastard, though with the alcohol more predominant here. A decent winter warmer as a high octane sipper, but I wouldn't seek this out on its own (it came with the Box of Hops). On the bright side, I should be moderately toasted shortly.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.72/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a sam adams custom glass: color is murky amber, opaque, cloudy, tan head that presents 1/2 inch thick then dissipates to a ring and froth with some good lacing.

Aroma is caramel, quickly overtaken by a stronger booziness, some toffee, then big hops, grapefruit, pine linger on the finish.

Taste is booze forward, some heat from that flavor, but the caramel flavors overtake quickly, get to the edge of cloying then hops take over and the bitterness compenstates. the flavor is somewhat muddled, booze, caramel, hops, but they are distinguishable. Hops seem to be grapefruit forward then piney on the finish and lingering flavor. The amount of booziness does not indicate 11%, but hard to get by without it at this level - it is not deterrent or off flavor.

Mouthfeel is somewhere between a dipa and a barleywine, flavors seem to fresh for barleywine but the lingering near cloying sweetness is similar.

Overall, a good brew, pushing the limits on some exteremes but flavorful and interesting.

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Photo of spokeydonkey
3.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

I suspect this is mis-categorized on the site. It's definitely not an imperial IPA.

Pours rich amber with little head visible and only small bubbles--clear. Smell is extremely rich and complex: malt and caramel sweetness, some piney citrus hoppiness in the background and a sharp alcohol twang. Smells very much like a barleywine.

Taste starts off rich and sweetly malty, followed up with significant alcohol bite, and subdued hoppiness (given the malt profile). A lot of roast notes in the finish. Finishes with lingering caramel sweetness and a touch of bitterness. The roast is a bit excessive for my taste--in fact, the beer tastes like a nice american barleywine with the exception of that roastiness.

Mouthfeel is rich and heavy, almost syrupy, as a barleywine should be. Low carbonation and significant alcohol warmth, but not harsh alcohol flavors at all. I figured this was around 7-8% until I checked the site.

Overall a decent beer. If I enjoyed roast, I might rate it higher, but the roast note detracts from both the hops and the maltiness for me. Wouldn't seek this one out on that account. Good beer if you like that, though.

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Photo of gabedivision
3.77/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce to a tulip glass

A- hazy deep deep mahogany brown with a small white head that thins to a nice slight lacing

S- deep rich brown sugar, caramel, a fruitiness with a slight pine, a really nice dark fruit flavor coming through on the finish, fig and raisins, a nice breadiness all around.

T- Sweet bready caramel up front, a touch of those dark fruits, touches of toffee, some hops start to shine through mid mouth with a orange character followed by grapefruit on the finish. a layer of alcohol seems to be swiming through every inch of the sip, sometimes in a good way to help warm and wrap it up and sometimes sharp and cutting

M- Full bodied, bready, sweet, low carbonation.

O- a good brew with even better potential, this really drinks like a barleywine to me, its decent now, but im willing to bet some age will help all these malts find their place and wrap up the complexity a bit more, so ill buy some more and throw some in cellar, and enjoy some fresh.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A nice fresh smelling beer with bright wet hops. The appearance is quite dark and borderline stout though it is a russet brown color. No head formed on the pour with the exception of a small collar and of course no lacing.
The taste wasn;t that great. It was malty but it was also very bitter. The finish is dry and bitter with a dose of warming alcohol.
Overall it's a one and done.

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Double Zilla from Ithaca Beer Company
3.6 out of 5 based on 188 ratings.
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