CascaZilla | Ithaca Beer Company

very good
585 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
The name CascaZilla (Cas-kuh-zil-uh) is a play on both the name of a gorge in Ithaca called Cascadilla and the monster amounts of Cascade Hops we use to make the beer. The predominant flavor and aroma of this beer comes from fresh American hops. CascaZilla gets its distinctive red color from a healthy portion of caramel malt, which also lends to the beer, a hearty body and sweetness. It is a hoppy red ale!

Added by shippos on 07-14-2004

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Reviews: 585 | Ratings: 1,225
Photo of GordonQuid
4.94/5  rDev +28%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured froma 12oz bottle to a standard 12oz pub mug.

Deep amber w/ a rocky 1 inch head, ample lacing present.

Smells like pure cascade hop; like getting hit in the face w/ a burlap bag full of fresh cascade!

Taste is exceptionally balanced cascade hop and caramel malts. Ithica did not skimp on ingredients w/ this one. As it warms more malt characteristics come through beyong the dominant hop profile. Very smooth and silky quality in the finish. I'm falling in love w/ it, the fourth bottle is just as good as the first.

This beer would be admired by those who enjoy the american IPA variety as well as those who like a good classic american strong ale. This beer represents a nice balance between the two characteristics in my humble opinion.


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Photo of orcasteve
4.85/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this is as good as it gets, this is big and hopy and well balenced with the malt hitting sweet up front and fades effertlessley into hops. this beer should be out all year long insted of just seasonal, i always pack away a case for hibernating in the winter. the only porblem with this beer is that when it is served it only lasts for a few sips befor i find it gone. TRY THIS, ITS FINOMIANAL!!!

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Photo of PJKSR02
4.77/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I bought mine at the brewery, while visiting Ithaca--go there if you are near. Cascazilla has an immediately evident hops aroma, and taste, but is not bitter at all.

I've been comparing pale ales around the country, this past summer, and bought this for it's "monster dose of hops." Cascazilla has the hops and "nose" to compare to,say, Pyramid Brewery's "Thunderhead" IPA, but without the "dryness;" I think your sister would like it!

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Photo of roan22
4.7/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance is a clear reddish orange hue, with two inches of luscious, off white, creamy foam at the top. It dissapates after a while but the lacing left is immaculate.

It smells like a pine forest...and citrus fruit. maybe a touch of booze which isnt a bad thing at all.

The taste of this red hoppy ale is juicy and really bitter, so flavorful just like I like it. Also backed up appropriate level of malts to make it not too puckery. Brilliant.

Mouthfeel is not sticky, and the massive amount of hops used leave a bitterness on my tongue which lasts a long time.

Drinkability also gets a five since I can drink more than one in a session, as its below 7%. Such a wonderful beer. This and the Flower Power. Cheers!

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Photo of trbergman
4.68/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed on tap at Deep Ellum - 16oz pour.

A - Deep red chestnut with one finger of solid, creamy off-white foam that lasts and lasts. Nice lacing all the way down.

S - Caramel, cherry pie, lemon zest, resiny pine.

T - Rich, slightly sweet malt, caramel, pine, lemon, some grapefruit. Puckering, zesty bitterness lingers long after the last sip.

M - Sensuous, full body; gentle carbonation.

D - Amazing. This is one hell of a beer.

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Photo of bwyker
4.67/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Colors range from a golden-yellow at the stem of the glass, up to a firery auburn at the surface, topped with a tan ring of foam. Grapefruit citrus with piney hops in aroma. More earthty hops in the taste, followed by a sweet fruity finish. Mouthfeel is a little sticky, but overall very refreshing. I can see this becoming a regular. Plenty of hop character, not too sweet, and a modest amount of alcohol.

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Photo of OKCNittany
4.64/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Poured a thin white head with decent retention, leaving a little lacing. Body was a deep amber with good clarity.

S: Aroma was full of fresh pine and plenty of it. Outstanding.

T: Flavor was spectacularly hoppy with notes of citrus and some pine. Thanks to a good amount of caramel malt, it remained in balance. Delicious.

M: Just short of medium bodied - similar carbonation. Hop oils coat the tongue.

D: Thank God my friend took my keys. The 7% abv was perfectly masked. Normally at Coopers (Scranton) I switch from beer to beer, but this one was too good to switch away from. Its biggest flaw is that it's not available in OK.

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Photo of rarevos
4.62/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a copper red with a thin head, less than a finger's worth. Disappeared quickly.

S: Wonderfully grapefruity. Doesn't have the sticky sweetness of the aroma of actual grapefruit juice, as it's cut by a slight woodsiness. Aroma is appealing and appetizing.

T: Holy hops. Just, wow. Not as strong as an IPA, but this is distinctly hoppier than most amber ales I've had. The finish moves from fruity to hoppy to lightly smoky and warming at the very end. Terrific, rustic finish.

M: Drank it without food, so can't speak to how it stands up to a meal. Not too bubbly.

D: Quickly becoming a favorite, regardless of season. A wonderful beer.

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Photo of Will46andbrew
4.6/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm not a big Red Ale fan, but when it's rediculously hopped...I'm all over it! The taste is pretty smooth, with a great hopped character. It's not bitter at all, which is always a good thing. Overall it's a great beer with a great taste. If you like hoppy, this is for you.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.57/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright copper color with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is hoppy and sweet, with the sweetness being that of citrus along with some caramelized malt in the background.

T: A nice burst of hops comes out first and is quickly balanced by the fruity citrus sweetness and decent malt character. Even though the hops presence is strong, it fades after you swallow and leaves a sweet after-taste, which is one of the few characteristics that make this beer different from an IPA.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Very tasty, goes down very easily, not very filling, there’s a good kick to it, this beer has all of the qualities that make it a good one to stick with for the duration of an evening.

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Photo of JustinJTisdale
4.57/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This red ale pours clear with a small but noticeable off whitish head. Very heavy with Cascade hops but at that right point where its enough without being too much. Its mellowed off towards the end by a slight caramel flavor but overall a super crisp tasting beer. I wish they made a cologne because this beer smells fantastic!

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Photo of CRumple
4.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Attracted by the name alone, I had this beer on tap for the first time a few weeks ago and haven't been able to quit it yet. It pours an amber color without much head. The Cascazilla smells malty and toasted and it tastes like hop heaven. f'ing delicious!

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Photo of dacrza1
4.54/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Coming full circle, we kicked off this year's Penn State Brew Fest weekend with a brew we raved about at last year's event. Word was the demand had the State College distributors ordering cases only days after the event ended... indeed worth a year's wait. Dark ruby red body with medium effervescence--uneven off-white brownish head in a pint glass, opaque but intimidating... robust hops intrude immediately, appropriate to the bottle's label...beautiful malt balance with spruce, toasted caramel and occassional peat scents for complexity...heavy, full-bodied, warming rush...actively effervescent and crunchy palate... "monster" hops early, mega malt late hammering like twin pistons on the tongue--rich, pucker-sweet and a bit of smoke(?)...BIG taste but again, balanced beyond the predictable "I ate a Christmas tree" feeling that we sampled from others at the event. Now, in a 12 oz. and without the pressure of comparison, truly this beer is a standout in the style.

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Photo of Celt44
4.54/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I quickly purchased the first six pack of bottles I've ever seen of this in the Binghamton area. I've had it on tap before at a local pub.
Apprearance is not impressive - dark reddish amber, no head to speak of with minimal lacing.

This one is excellent up front - floral hoppy aroma is delicious - splashes of grapefruit and malt.

Taste is superior for a "Red Ale" - definitely different than the usual malt character of most red ales. Slight taste of piney hops. Excellent.

Mouthfeel is smooth and carbonation is definitely present.

This is one of the most unique beers I've had in years - The hoppy taste without the bitterness is incredible. A great session brew for hop heads like myself.

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Photo of timfelix
4.53/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had this at the brewery just outside of Ithaca NY.
Show up and they let you try all their beers. In general they are all good to excellent.
The Cascazilla has a wide variety of flavor. quite unique. malty, hoppy, sweet and bitter all in one. Some strong flavors but they make a great flavor.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big red color. 1 1/2 fingers of head with great lacing.

Toasty malts come out in a big way in this one and blend beautifully with cascades that have a bit of a spicy pepperyness with some citrusyness.

Big toasted malts come out. The malt backbone is superb. The caramel malts combine with the cascade citrusy/spicyness to create an absoultely wonderful beer.

The beer maintains such a nice crispness and fullness. The way the malts are used and the way that the combine with the cascades are absolutely amazing.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am always buying brews that are new to me, and it seems that at least a quarter of the time I am regretting my purchases. I am especially a sucker for ones that claim to be hoppy or big (malty).

This one claims to be monstrously hoppy. They aren't lying. It's a monster, and I love monsters. Actually, compared to some of what I call over hopped, this is tame, but it also is just right.

I pleasant surprise. A totally drinkable, nicely balanced, well made product.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.48/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My last of the sixer from this summer. What a delicious beer!

Appearance - slightly hazy orange/amber. Lots of creamy manila foam, leaving a blanket of lace all over.

Aroma - for a 7%er, tghis smells like a big barleywine. Chewy, juicy orange and mango, yummy.

Taste - even, biscuity grain opening, segued smoothly by some citrusy, not very bitter hops. They had a little more bite back in the summer, but now they show off more of a citrusy leafy flavor. Hmm, a barleywine-light perhaps, lol. Some mild hop snap on the swallow but not much. Still delicious though. The finish does dry out some, mild hoppiness pervading.

Mouthfeel - pretty regular body for the abv, I was a little surprised. Good carbonation, a little gassy but not too much.

Drinkability - it's hard for these to hang around long, they are too drinkable for their own good. And they are good!

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Photo of beachbum1975
4.48/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks for this BONUS beer in our trade israel - you're the best!!!

I love the packaging on this one. The label made me feel like Godzilla met Quinton Quentin Tarantino and made a beer!

Appearance: 12 oz bottle with no freshness date. Poured a clear, dark amber with a nice ¼ inch head with big, sticky lacing.

Smell: Cascade hops all over the place balanced by nice sweet, carmelized hops. Can't wait to try this one, my mouth is watering!

Taste: Yum, if you like Cascade hops (like me), this is the beer for you! It's a delightfully balanced caramel (or toasted?) malts with a generous ample of cascade hops. Aftertaste is good and oily, with slight yeast.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium bodied and crisp with a nice clean finish.

Drinkability: I'm not sure where the "Red" was in this beer, other than it's color, but I'd highly recommend this as a session beer if you're a fan of hops like me. Great work, Ithaca Brewing!

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.48/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is my favorite beer... period.

The first time I had it I knew I'd be coming back to this one often. A super hoppy, well balanced red ale. The hop flavors and aroma's are perfect and make for a very drinkable beer. Add in the fact it's available all year and isn't expensive and it makes it even better.

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Photo of billybob
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours reddish amber color with a one finger tan head that fades fairly quickly with a fair lacing to the finish. honey fruity hoppy smell. taste is caramel honey bready with hoppy ending. mouthfeel is medium and smooth with the hop lingering on. nice beer i would put it on my buy list.

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Photo of RocketWidget
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fellow BA’s Cooter and Charthepirate went on an ultimate Frisbee tournament this weekend, and as a nice surprise they brought back a tasty growler of this. I have now found a beer unlike any I’ve tried before! I would describe it most as an American India double red.

Pours a clear mahogany color, with medium brown-white head. Smell is immediately attractive, deep and potent, composed of nutty, earthen flavors. Taste is excellent. First of all, the hops are extremely complimentary; they draw you into this beer, yet they don’t have the sharp bite one would often find in highly-hopped beers. Meanwhile the malt is meaty and strong, filling yet still makes for a refreshing beer. A flavor hard to describe, but easy to compliment. Try this beer when given the opportunity – you will find yourself demanding more.

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Photo of rousee
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber color--lvs very little head or lace.
You know as soon as you smell this that its gonna be good and I dont just mean for hopheads. Smell is all hops but delivered in a subtle manner --what a fine pale ale. The taste is excellent too as it has some good maltiness up front followed by woody hops character. Nothing that bites very sharply but still is apprent that this is a very American style pale ale. I like it a lot. I see it has been labeled as an amber--I stand by my earlier impresions. For drinkability, quite excellent also.

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Photo of mobud
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A- Dark red with little head that disappears quickly. The beer is clear with active carbonation.

S- Piney hop s smell with a sweet apple-like crispness.

T- Hop resin taste with a great red ale base. The sweetness balances well with the hop bomb within.

M- Medium mouthfeel with oily hops impact that beats up your tongue.

D- A very drinkable beer for those who love hops and I am one. The different base for the hops (red ale vs IPA) throws a curve, but is well worth finding and drinking. Can wait for my next trip to the area to get a case of the stuff.

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Photo of cavedave
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful red amber, clear, thick looking, topped by two fingers of beige foam. The head slowly recedes to a half inch cap, and leaves arms and spots of lace upon my pint glass.

The nose is an understated mix of yeast, floral, bitter, and piney citrus. Smelling it gives a pleasant tingly feeling. Successive sniffs reveal more of an herbal earthiness to it.

The taste is a wow followed by another wow. Caramel and bitter start the sip, which slides through sweet florals, citrus, alcohol, hints of pine, and finishes marvelously dry and long with bitter and earthy herbosity Not as complex as other, different styles ferrsure, but it is complex as any of this style I've tried. Wonderful flavor, can't say it heartily enough, this beer fucking rocks my taste buds.

Medium bodied, pleasantly resinous, light in the mouth, but could clear out a bit better. Mouthfeel is this beer's weakest point. Or should I say least awesome point?

Hard to rate drinkability for this overly-broad style which includes many delicious lighter bodied beers of lower ABV, but the taste makes it highly drinkable in my book.

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CascaZilla from Ithaca Beer Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 1,225 ratings.
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