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 MistahBeah
3.79/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours darker than I thought it would. Almost a muddy brown. Ruby around the edges. Thick tan head with mild retention. Thick sediment throughout. Murky and no visible carbonation.

Aroma is big and fruity. Apples and pears followed by grapefruit. Huge caramel and toffee follow. This is a realy sweet-smelling beer...almost barleywine-like. I smell a good amount of booze as well which isn't surprising considering this Ba.d Larry is 11%. I like the nose on this one.

Taste follows suit except much more caramel-forward. In fact, this starts out like drinking straight caramel. Toffee in the background. The aforementioned. fruits pop up here and there but, for the most part, this is a sweet and boozy beer. Undeniable amber malt presence with a juicy finish.

Feels thick and kinda flat on the tongue. Goes down smooth with just a hint of alcohol. Typical of imperial ambers or English barleywines.

Overall pretty darn tasty. ABV is pretty well hidden. Considering the fact that this was in their Box of Hops I was expecting a more hop-forward brew. Actually not much in the hop department. Not quite as good as say Lagunitas' Imperial Red or Oskar Blues' G'Knight but still pretty tasty. If it were available in a 6 pack I would buy it...if only every now and then

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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 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 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 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 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 JohnParadee
4.08/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep amber/brown into a chilled pint glass. Minimal tan head, which dissipated somewhat quickly. Decent if uneven lacing. On the nose, the malt dominates, with tones of burnt tangerine/orange and earthy spiciness. On the palate, the malt and the alcohol overwhelm the hops, but there is plenty going on here. Toffee, nutmeg, charred fruit. The power of the malt and alcohol may frustrate DIPA fans in search of "balance" here, but I kind of liked this nevertheless. Different in a good way. An interesting deviation from the expected path. Not sure I'd buy this in bottle on a regular basis, but I would love to try it on tap (I suspect it would fare better in that format).

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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 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 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 Slatetank
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I purchased this as part of the box of hops mixed case, enjoyed chilled in a tulip

The color is dark rust with thick hazed look and light tan head which collapses to a ring of beads. Lace collects in a wave pattern on the glass. The smell has a slight woody aroma with slight caramel and floral accent, pretty strong malt aroma for the style, but considering the original beer that was 'doubled' it makes sense. The feel is very good with slight malt up front with subtle bitter texture that builds toward the middle with moderate warmth and mild sweetness with some bitterness lingering after the swallow with relatively high alcohol influence.

The taste is good with mild pine and caramel combo with somewhat zesty ruby red taste in the forefront with a mild toasted taste and slight woody almost smoky flavor with more smoked IPA beginning to occur to me as it warms with slight tangy citrus emerging to with alcohol flavor pretty apparent, yet not overpowering. Overall this is a complex brew to me it lacks the hops to be considered a true Imperial IPA, but it sure is a strong ale with a ton of flavor - pretty balanced and drinkable for 11%

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.02/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a hazed ruby color with a light off white head. Just a bit of lacing, as the head dies to a ring on this big assed beer.
Aroma of rummy sugar and slightly citrusy like meringue pie.
In the taste, piney and earthy, with fresh citrus pairing with a slight malt. Strong bitterness and an almost melon like taste from the malty sugars and tropical notes.
For an 11% brew this is well balanced and a testimony to fine brewing.
Overall, this is a helluva beer. Big hops, big malt, big taste.

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Photo of HopHeadRyan
3.94/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A very unique brew...a great beer for the cold months...a dark garnet with cloudy sediment...the nose contains smoked malts, spicy herbaceous hops, and hints of pine and caramel...

Flavored to Mach...not overly bitter...a sweet winey juicy taste...very different...probably the most interesting beer I've ever tasted...

Very apparent strength...the smoke is there...and I really like it...this is too complex for one review so I will follow up as I taste additional bottled...will probably age this for a while...

Give it a try...a definite cure for a fatigued palette...

Will follow up soon...


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Photo of Altrurian
4.43/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Nice terra-cotta hue, short tan head, minimal cling. Intense, unusual, but altogether pleasant persimmon aroma. The beer's taste is difficult to categorize--maybe that of an Earl Gray tea, heavy on the bergamot, with a grapeskin and orange peel finish. Rich texture. This one might never find its niche, but I like it a lot. Here's to Ithaca for pushing the envelope.

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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 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 Scrapss
3.97/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a well rinsed Turbinator.
A: deeeppp ruby red, almost stout dank. thin tan head with 2 mm disk that persists. minimal lacing. Bricky patches on head persist. Little active carbonation, very still. No suspended solids visible through haze and opaqueness/darkness.

S: Bitter citrus. Grapefruit. Bitter under-ripe mango. Some malts, like caramel. Very faint bready yeast.

T: Strong bittering agents. Malt is sweet and reminds me of toffee. Bitter agents subside,then flood back as less bitter citrus and more of a mango. Buttery/diacetyl at swallow/finish barrier.

M: Smooth, buttery, toffee with medium body. Bitter/buttery outbreath with bitter orange, then some malt sweetness. Hot & boozy, some rich bitter tropical butter at ultimate outbreath. When warm, gets very pronounced.

O: Tasty. not complex for complexity sake, but interesting enough to have more. buttery notes are different for a DIPA of this bitter/strength.

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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 wvsabbath
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Dark brown/hazy orange without much of a head, and minimal lacing.

Smell - Roasted malts mixed with some pine hops, caramel/toffee, a little alcohol ester, mixed in spices and red rye.

Taste - First sip starts out with a roasty malt flavor mixed with some piney hops. Sweet caramel along with some bitter hops. Has a bit of a herbal note mixed in with some brown sugar. Warm and strong.

Mouthfeel - Thick and strong, tongue gets the malts and pine hops. Palate gets more of the same with a bitterness at the finish. Aftertaste is malty, piney and bitter.

Overall - Pretty good, but a very strong beer. Its a one two punch of roasty malts, then piney hops with minor spices and sugars mixed in. Its a beast of a beer, and im glad its a 12oz bottle. Worth a drink, closer to a strong ale then a dipa for sure.

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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 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 WVbeergeek
3.93/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This Double Zilla is labeled an imperial red IPA, if you ask me it's bordering into barleywine country. Pours a deep ruddy mahogany amber brown almost completely opaque. Light khaki tan head forms nicely, leaves speckled thin lacing evenly. Aroma dark fruits, big raisin, over ripened plums, caramelized malt sugars all combine in the nose. Flavor bright fruit juice, thing figs, raisins, hints of nearly burnt sugars drizzled over orange peel zest. A bit cloying as it warms but really melds, hops, alcohol presence, and big over powering malts better than most big beers like this one. Hop bitterness runs deep with citric, pine, and herbal earthy notes. Mouthfeel is surprisingly easy to handle, but it's a sipper. A bit rough on the palate lingering bitterness seems more like a fresh Bigfoot Barleywine, than an imperial red IPA. Overall, I'm so glad I got some of the Box of Hops, great encompassing sampler something for every beer geeks must have super fresh Flower Power, fantastic DIPA, intriguing black IPA, with this beast of beer known as Double Zilla.

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