CascaZilla | Ithaca Beer Company

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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!

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 591 | Ratings: 1,254
Photo of Jesse13713
2.07/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Excited I finally found single of this.

Appearance - Heavier on the brown side than I expected. No real hints of red at all. Just sort of a dirty sour looking caramel. Chunks of yeast floating around everywhere.

Smell - Smells like your standard red ale. Slightly sour with hints of caramel. Just sort of plain, honestly.

Taste - Slightly sour with hints of light fruits. A zesty citrus that seems slightly skunked. very musty tasting.

Mouthfeel /Drinkability - As stated, quite musty. Drinkability is high. But there were actually solid chunks of yeast that got stuck in my teeth. It just sort of tastes like a musty, slight sour and mellowed red ale. On my list of red ales, this is very low.

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Photo of Dodo2step
2.08/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Purchased as variety pack from Westy's in Mechanicsburg, PA.

A- a dirt red cloudy appearance.

S- N/A

T- very dry and bad aftertaste

M-It felt like i was eating powder

D-i put it down but i wont have another.

I am just not a very big fan of Red Ales and that might be the case of the poor review but i really did not enjoy this beer and will not be having it again.

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Photo of psuKinger
2.29/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle acquired through trade with jchow79 and poured into standard curved shaker pint glass.

A: Pours a very deep orange, almost *brown*... very dark for an IPA. Frothy off-white head, about 1 finger in size, sits on top.

S: Very malty-sweet and earthy, with a mild scent of pine hops.

T: Earthy flavors and the taste of sweet-and-sour sugars that I find to be so prevalent in East Coast IPAs. Some pine bitterness on the back end. For me, the sugars are just overpowering. What I want out my IPA is lots of hops. Bitter hops, oily grapefruit presence, citrus hops, ect. This beer just doesn't have much of any of that.

M: Reasonably good carbonation and lots of tongue coating with the sugars and hops.

D: This isn't my kind of IPA. Just not enough bitterness or grapefruit hops in them for my liking.

This beer reminds me a lot of a Dogfish IPA, particularly 90 Minute. A lot of my friends love Dogfish 90. I'd recommend this beer to any of them. But much like Dogfish 90 (and most East Coast IPAs, for that matter), this one just isn't for me.

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Photo of claspada
2.41/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Aromas are of pine and citrus hops, bready malts. Would have expected/hoped for a little more caramel additions.

The taste is pale malt and typical Cascade/citrus hops. Forgettable at best. The mouthfeel is light bodied, medium carbonation.

Overall this is a decent but not memorable red ale. I could have another one or just as easily pass on it, on second thought pass all together.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
2.46/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Enjoyed in a pint glass

A: pours a nice red color that is perfectly clear and has a ton of carbonation bubbles, pours with a finger of creamy light brown colored head that dissipates rapidly and leaves spotty lacing around the glass
S: umm pretty interesting scent here, im picking up fresh meats, ham maybe? and something deep like molasses and deep malts, also a slight alcohol tinge
T: musty taste, begins with malts then moves into an odd musty taste that really just isn't the best, actually left and alcohol tinge in my nose which was odd, kind of tastes like a tree, not woody like other beers but for some reason it is definitely reminding me of a tree in a not so pleasant way
M: medium carbonation, leaves an actually pleasant silky feeling on the mouth, kind of sticky and the alcohol tinge is only slight, brief and in the nose
O: the best parts about this beer were the parts that i put a little else stock in, scent and taste were just off putting and unpleasant, not the best one from ithaca, actually, the worst one ive had from them

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Photo of jneiswender
2.8/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on tap at the Yardhouse in Dedham, Massachusetts.

A-beige head and a murky light brown body.

S-sweet cream smell and a floral hop scent

T-very profound hoppy front, some sweet grain finish


D-not a bad beer. I bit too hoppy for my taste in relation to the style. I would have it again but with reservations.

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Photo of djmichaelk
2.84/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle courtesy of soulforpeanuts (thanks, Rick!) into a perfect pint.

A - Nice rocky couple of fingers of head, pours a hazy amber. Decent retention and lacing.

S - Somewhat muted, but I get some semblance of hoppiness and sweet malt. Not bad by any means, but a bit of a letdown after trying Flower Power.

T - Again with the muted flavors. There's definitely a sweet malty backbone, and somewhere in there are some piney hops, but you really have to search. It might be an old bottle, as there is a bit of an oxidized flavor.

M - Definitely on the full-bodied side, and pretty sticky.

D - This would be a beer I could drink more of if the flavors and aroma were better, despite the higher abv.

O - Nice enough, but there are many superior examples out there to spend my money on.

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Photo of aerozeppl
2.9/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Typical red ale color. Orange amber. Decent amount of head that quickly dissipates.

S: Hops, pine floral combo. Some hints of flowers as well

T: Hops hit you at first but as you drink the beer they diminish (or your taste buds do) the malt helps balance this out a little bit.

M: Medium body with a slight syrupy feel. From the hops maybe?

D: Definitely a hopheads beer. I had one and I need no more. The hops actually were not as overwhelming as you would think. I have had better beers from Ithaca.

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Photo of chugalug06
2.97/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A - Very light foamy head with soapy undertones. Head is off white with mild lacing. Head pour strong and reduces nicely into a decent crust. Brew is dark brown with red and orange hues.

S - Quite disappointing scent. Very bland. Cinnamon, Caramel, and pine/grass stick out.

T - Very nice and complex flavor. Hops are out of balance, but just to the point of distraction. Overly hopped for the style, IMO.

M - Slightly bitter, great carbonation, and quite dry. A very heavy Red. Very nice up front and harsh on the back.

O - A very out of balance brew. Not one I would pour out, but flavor is slightly all over the place. A good brew, just missing a few pieces.

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Photo of mothman
2.98/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into pint glass

Pours 1 finger of creamy khaki head. Good retention with some thick lace. Color is a hazy amber copper.

Aroma: Floral earthy hops, grapefruit citrus, pineapple, and orange. It has some caramel malt and a bit of bready flavors.

Taste: All malts up front. Bready, biscuity, and caramel. Some grassy hops with a little citrus kick. A bit of alcohol shows as well.

Mouthfeel: Bitter and chewy. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry and sticky.

Overall, not the best take on the style. A bit too malty for my liking. Not something I want to drink a lot of.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.01/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark amber with a medium off-white head that quickly fades to a foamy swirl. Minor lace smatterings.

Smells sweetly of grapefruit hops and caramel malt.

Very sweet and fruity. Sweet, cherry flavored malt with citrus hops. Some hop bitterness at the end as well. Very syrupy mouthfeel made this beer seem like drinking a melted Luden's cherry coughdrop. Cascazilla seems to want to be part of the new big-ass hoppy amber style that seems to be catching on (Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale, Lagunitas Mondo Red, etc.) but falls short. Just be yourself little buddy. I think there's a metaphor in there somewhere.

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Photo of samie85
3.03/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A-Pours a hazy auburn amber color with two fingers of white head that dissipate quickly.

S-Big aromas of pineapple, light malt and some papaya.

T-The taste is very similar to a less bitter version of Two Hearted for me. Pineapple and light malt with some peachy notes.

M-The mouth is a little thin and a bit too much carbonation for my palate.

D-Easy drinking but not a terribly thought-provoking, or interesting beer.

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Photo of cbl2
3.06/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle. No best by date.


Pours a nice deep copper with a half inch of foamy tan head adrift on top.


Having schooled in Ithaca (go big Red!!!) I love the play on words with the name (Cascadilla being a gorge), but the smell I don't love. Has an odd citrus/foot funk aroma.


Roasted nut flavor characteristic and not a whole lot more. How can you make a beer called Cascazilla, touting the Cascade hops, have a picture of hops on your label, and not bring the hops? Mouthfeel is somewhat week and insipid, and finish has a somewhat soapy taste to it. Not sure what Ithaca Beer intended with this one, but they failed.

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Photo of wedgie9
3.06/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tasted from 12oz bottle obtained in a trade. Pours dark amber with a medium bubbly head that slowly recedes to lace. Nose is both hoppy with citrus and soap, and malty with bread and hay. On the palate, the beer is hoppier with the malts taking a back seat. The hops linger for a long time with a nice bitter finish. The body is light with lively carbonation. The alcohol is masked well, but the watery body and active carbonation don't quite fit. This is a good beer that I could drink a lot of, but it is lacking the complexity and depth that I look for.

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Photo of GPHarris
3.07/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

a - poured a one finger thick tan head into a pint glass that didn't leave much head retention. the body was a clear reddish-brown color.
s - bready, caramel and toffee dominate with a hint of floral hops.
t - the flavor is the same as the aroma.
m - medium thickness, creamy.
o - solid beer but this is one of my favorite styles and it didn't stand up to others i have had.

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Photo of thecarster1
3.12/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a- bottle poured into a pint, one plus fingers of head fades quick leaving lots of lace, dark walnut coloring.

s- sweet, interesting, a bit dry, toasted malt, some light hops.

t- bitter - not in a great way though, savory/sweet biscuit, light hops.

m- medium bodied.

d- okay, not as good as i was expecting, i had higher hopes for this. i wouldn't pick this up again, i'll stick to nugget nectar.

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Photo of tigg924
3.15/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, clear, red/brown in color, moderate carbonation

Smell: pine and citrus hops, bread

Taste: citrus hops with bread and caramel

Mouthfeel: light bodied, medium carbonation, sweet start with a lingering bitterness that starts in the middle

Drinkability: A decent but not memorable red ale. I could have another one or just as easily pass on it.

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Photo of jmalex
3.15/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice gift from some friends who went to Ithaca. Tonight is finally the night to drink it.

APPEARANCE: Pours a very clear reddish amber into a shaker pint. The head starts small and drops immediately to a very thin collar and small hazy patch.

SMELL: Cascades. Citrusy, resinous cascades. A slight toasted malt aroma comes through slightly, but mostly it's cascades.

TASTE: Again, it's a hell of a lot of cascades. The malt background just doesn't come up to meet it. It's slightly sweet on the finish with caramel and toasted malts, but the hops are quite overpowering.

MOUTHFEEL: It's medium-light bodied and the carbonation is quite low. It's a bit on the watery side.

DRINKABILITY: Just not a fan of this. It goes down easy enough, but it's a bit too out of balance for me.

Yeah, I'll be passing on this one from now on. I suppose it's decent, but there is much better available.

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Photo of keanex
3.15/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

A: Hazy mahogany with a thin tan head that quickly dissipates.

S: Slightly tropical piney smell not very strong though.

T: An earthy piney flavor, not as bitter as I was expecting, oak hints in here as well.

M: Rather syrupy with not much carbonation.

O: I think this may be old, maybe not fair to review it under these conditions, but I'll be revisiting this when I can assure it's fresh.

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Photo of mlazzaro
3.16/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle. Very hazy redish color with a creamy khaki colored head. Remarkable head retention. Smell is surprisingly lacking. My nose is literally in the head and I can't smell a thing. At least it's clean and not bad smelling. Flavor is very familiar. Solid bitterness, not scorching or lingering. Body supports hoppiness of the beer, thin-medium w/ light sweetness. Sugar is caramelized - dark flavored. Minimal malt character. Hops are as advertised very "cascadie", with a citrus-grapefruit-must flavor. I enjoy this beer much more on the cooler side. Not surprised by the ABV, it does have an overall booziness. Fortunately, I'm a sucker for Big Hopped Red Ales. I would love to have a freshy from closer to the brewery, this one might be a touch old.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.16/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours a clear red gold color with a fluffy slightly off white head. Big aroma of sweet malt and fruit type hops characteristics. Whoa, such a malt bomb! Very sweet up front with a kick of hops in the end that lingers on. Medium mouthfeel and chewy. The balance is just ok with it being just a little too skewed to the malt side but overall not a terrible beer. Slight warming alcohol apparent.

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Photo of donniecuffs
3.16/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer has somewhat of a cult following in these parts, so I was excited to get my hands on one. Poured dark copper into an American pint, with two fingers of white head, fair lacing, and fair carbonation. The smell was somewhat sickly sweet, with pineapple, blood orange, maple syrup, plum, and raisins all apparent. The taste confirmed the smell; very cloyingly sweet from start to finish, with pineapple and maltiness most prominent. The mouthfeel was nicely medium-bodied, with a good mix of carbonation. Given the smell and flavor, I expected the feel to be more syrupy. Anyway, one was enough for me. A little bit of a disappointment after all of the hype.

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Photo of afksports
3.18/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap at Washington Commons back in August at the start of the BeerQuest (Read: start of drunkenness).

From notes: It's bubbly. It's red. It's got a great name. It's... OK. Pours an amber reddish hue, fairly clear, lots of head that stays. Smells like malts, hops, and brown sugar. Taste follows. I suppose it's the Cascade hops that stand out the most. Mostly remarkable is the highly carbonated feel keeps it sitting in your mouth with the dullishly-done style. Drinkable enough, if reds are your thing. They aren't mine.

Initial grade was a B-... upon further consideration... yeah.

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Photo of david18
3.2/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer is all of a sudden everywhere and I'm not sure why. It has somehow become the local brew in new york city and I suspect because it's contract brewed somewhere around here. Anyway, not a bad beer but nothing to get crazy over. Decent color, good drinkability but not much else that distinguishes it from the many other choices out there.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.21/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass, best by 5/12 thanks to the guy at the store for putting this together for me so my brother could grab it for me while in Long Island. He either didn't no his stuff or purposely screwed me. Pours a deep amber with a half inch off white head, that leaves some lace. Smell is carmel, pine, apricot, and grass. Taste is similar, with a kind of stale apricot and carmel finish, not bad for being a little old. Body is medium, enough life, not really dry, and drinkable enough. Will edit my review if I have fresh. I have been burned before when having someone pick it up or online orders. This is why I normally avoid getting IPAs or DIPAs with out someone giving the date.

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CascaZilla from Ithaca Beer Company
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 1,254 ratings