CascaZilla | Ithaca Beer Company

very good
1,229 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 1,229 |  Reviews: 587
Photo of madmanjf
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this on tap on several occasions in various places. It's always been consistent.

(A) Pours a dark red with a decent amount of head on it.

(S) Hops ... can't miss it. Very floral but not in a citrus way

(T) Hops :) It's actually very well blanced with pleanty of malt to back up the bitter hoppiness

(M) Smooth and not acidic

(D) For the style, I'd have to say it's very drinkable. I can definately have more than one of these. If you're a hop-head like I am, you could almost concider it a session beer, but probably most would disagree with me.

I recently had this beer following Captain Lawrence Reserve Double IPA which is a close proximity. Both are excellent; however, this one was slightly more drinkable ... and interestingly are different styles. Perhapse a closer compare would be to Keegan Hurrican Kitty.

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Photo of younger35
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received a bottle of this from BeerTruth in his Fight Club BIF package. This will officially be my first brew from Ithaca. Drank from my Stone India Pale Ale flute.

Appearance- Pours a dark murky maroon brown with a very nice two finger bright white head that recedes very slowly, if at all. Loads of spotty spider web like lacing.
Smell- Plenty of hops in this "Monstrously Hoppy Red Ale" indeed! Bright and citrusy with loads of pineapple, apricots and grapefruit. Semi sweet smelling with some sugary sweet malt and brown sugar. Something reminiscent of red licorice and cotton candy seem to be in every Imperial Red Ale and this one isn't excluded. The alcohol isn't overwhelming but present.
Taste- Oranges and pineapple seem to flood my mouth with there citrusy goodness. Very hoppy and somewhat bitter its sweet enough to keep everything in check. Some of that cotton candy and red licorice sweetness that I always seem to get out of these Imperial Reds. The malt is more of a doughy type graininess than a caramel maltiness which seems a bit odd. The finish is full of lightly sweet oranges and bubblegum. The alcohol is covered pretty well.
Mouthfeel- Has a really big body with a slick oily feel. Carbonation is a bit light with some slight warming as it goes down.
Drinkability- This brew reminds me of Ports Shark Attack Red Ale with a bit more of a candy aspect. The hops are the star of the show (like you'd expect) and are put together really well. I have like 5 more Ithaca brews left from Adam and I can't wait to try the rest. Thanks again!

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Photo of russpowell
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this from Melbatoast93, cheers Hart!

Pours an effervescent caramel with 3 fingers of head. Insane head retention & lacing

S: Some breadyness & pineyness

T: Bready with with some toffee & citrussy hops up front. Earthy hops & caramel as this warms, along with dryness & leafy hops. Finishes with some oakyness & earthy hops

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation & good balance

Drinks easy, but I expected more hop profile from a beer of this name. A good amber to be sure

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one in a nice trade a while back and had really been itching to try it. I left it in the fridge for a long while, as I overlooked it time and again. Well last night and after a long drive home I decided now was the time and I broke this one wide open. Poured into a pint glass, this was consumed on 09/09/2008.

The pour was very nice with a rich, reddish tinted amber taking front stage. Nice bit of sediment in the bottom and some light cloudiness just worked its way into the sample. Good bit of carbonation could be seen streaming skyward throughout the session and a very nice two inch head of white graced the top. Easy receding left behind about a half inch of white that just nestled its way down to the surface.

The aroma was loaded down with hops as one would expect. Rich notes of citrus, orange and tangerine mostly were by far the dominant notes on this one. Some light biscuit in the middle and a very grainy presence persisted well into it. The flavor was more of the same, rich notes of orange, tangerine, and nice touches of all over this thing. Nice bready middle to the profile and a long, drawn out bitter finish capped it off quite well. Easy to session with a medium body and a profile that was hoppy, yet smooth.

Overall I thought this was a very nice hoppy red ale. I would have no issues at all with drinking this one over and over again. Definitely something to look forward to after a long day. I would have to recommend this one very highly.

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Photo of KOPBeerDrinker
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Rich copper color with 1 inch tan head. Lacing was left as the head disappeared. Smells of citrusy hops. Well balanced taste of biscuity malt and citrusy/piney hops. Finishes dry without much of an aftertaste. Mouthfeel is thick and almost syrupy. Overall a very well balanced beer and suprisingly easy to drink.

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Photo of animal69
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a part of the ithaca sampler, nice they slipped this one in, pours a clear, deep copper color w/ a thin head that disappeared immediately leaving little lacing in my goblet, giving a 3.5 anyway as it could be the glass ; a strong piney grapefruit-like aroma, some cereal grain & toffee and roasted nut notes, but is overpowered by the hops ; a rich flavor, nice well balanced hop bite backed up by a bready malt backbone, very good piney/citrus hop flavor, blends well with the nutty/caramel notes midway, a bit of mineral in the finish ; a med. body, kinda flat tho. more co2 would benefit this beer ; a pretty damn good brew, may as well be classified as an IPA for all i'm concerned...

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best By October; Sampled August 2008
A sharp pour produces a three finger-thick, light tan colored head that sits on top of a clear, deeply red stained, dark amber colored brew. When held up to the light the beer shows a brilliantly clear fully red, copper color. As I pour this really sticky, huge aromas of crystal malt waft from my glass. A closer inspection yields an ample hop character that helps to tame the crystal malt abuse; the hops contribute bright aromas of candied grapefruit peel, tangelo and some light lychee notes. The crystal malt character contributes toasty malt notes, sticky caramelized grain touches and a sort of toffee / brown sugar sort of Maillard-type note. The aroma is not nearly as bad as that first pure whiff of crystal malt suggested and is actually somewhat more balanced towards the hop character than that of malt.

Quite frothy and a bit over carbonated, the beer definitely foams a bit as it hits my tongue. Once this is vigorously swirled to a more manageable carbonation level I can notice that sweet, caramelized malt notes accentuate a sticky, citrus character reminiscent of tangelo zest and grapefruit. There are some notes of pine here as well, but these come in more towards the finish where there is also a substantial, but well tempered by the malt, hop bitterness. As the beer warms in my glass the crystal malt flavors become more pronounced; lots of caramelized malt sugars, sticky, with some astringent grain notes and an almost bitter malt character.

Not bad, but the focus on the crystal malt character can be a bit much at times. If I wasn't focusing on tasting this beer the over-use of crystal malt really wouldn't bother as much as it does.

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Photo of bonbini26
4.39/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ The Waterfront Grill in Brooklyn 08-26-08

A- dark Red/Amber with a nice foamy head

S- WOW awesome hoppy, sweet, piney, citrus nose...i had the bartender pour me a sample of it, just from smelling it i knew i wanted a pint of it

T- a tasty hopped up red ale, caramel malt body, fruity, juicy hop taste

M- light hoppiness at 1st then it sticks and builds to the tongue with each sip

Overall, an awesome red ale, a lot more hopped up, while at the same time very balanced.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, best before Oct '08, served in a standard pint glass.

L - clear reddish/amber color with a tan head that lasted a bit, leaving sheets of lacing.

S - citrus rind hop aroma with a hint of caramel malt.

T - good balance of hops and malts, nice dry finish.

F - medium bodied, mild carbonation, pleasant mouthfeel.

D - very good, easy drinking brew, crisp and clean. I enjoyed this beer and recommend it to all, don't let the name scare you away.

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Photo of treehugger02010
3.3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got this from the Ithaca Variety case from Bryn Mawr Beverage in Brywn Mawr, PA and poured it into a pint glass.
Appearance: It poured a dark amber body with a large tan head on top. The retention was ok and left good amounts of lacing.
Smell:There was a lot of herbal spicy notes contrasted with a sweet undertone.
Taste: Very spicy, almost hot. Not distinguishing features from the hops, just damn spicy.
Mouthfeel: Rigid.
Drinkability: Good to better.
Don't drink and review.

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Photo of skullx
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

first drank this at bobbique in ny on tap . picked up a case on mini vacation in pittsburgh . looks great in my brooklyn lager pint glass . nice color nice creamy head . drinks real good i dont know about a all night session but one real good beer . problem easy to find in pa then my homestate of ny .

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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 AKBelgianBeast
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to orcasteve for this extra.

Maybe the corniest most 1st edition jurrasic parkish VHS movie cover looking label art I have ever seen, but the beer inside is what matters. Pours a very nice looking clear super ruby red with a very nice off white fluffy head. Nose is hops and some creamy malt. Taste follows with a good portion of hops and some nice creamy malt backbone. An odd fruity taste through the middle. Mouthfeel is on the viscous side for an amber, but I kind of like it. Drinkability is quite good, despite the viscosity of the brew. Overall a very drinkable good amber, that would probably be somewhat of a regular in my fridge if it were available. Nothing really amazing, but a good hop presence and a solid amber ale. One and a halmber really. Good brew.

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Amber brown color with lighter highlisghts around the edge. Thich foamy khaki colored head with good retention and lacing.

S - Light sweet aroma with hints of cirusty malts. Not a very strong aroma at all but the hops are the dominant smell.

T - Very sweet taste of caramel and biscuits. A hop bitterness with citrus flavors come through in the middle. Finished sweet with light hints of milk chocolate. Very interesting flavor profile. A little too sweet for my liking but still a very good tasting beer.

M/D - Medium to full bodied with a crisp smoothness. Very easy drinking.

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Photo of Mit
3.52/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

S: The smell is a nice smoky hoppy aroma. Suggests a very complex beer.

A: A very nice dark reddish colour. I found the head to linger a little and leaves a nice light froth on top to accentuate the tastes.

T: Initial taste is quite creamy with a nice hoppy finish. Nothing too complex I'm afraid the smokey hop notes are still there but not a ton more. I found it very tasty with just those things present.

M: As one would probably expect the Cascazilla has a nice mouthfeel befitting an IPA. Started out a medium weight but I found it got a little lighter near the bottom of the glass.

D: I could drink this beer all day. The hoppiness is perfect and delicious with a slight chill on a summer day.

I have had this on Tap at the Moosewood in Ithaca as well and if you can get it that way I highly suggest it. But if bottles are all you can grab than they will do just fine.

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Photo of Lexluthor33
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a Reddish color with small head and tiny lacing.
The aroma is floral hops and malts.
The taste is Piney"BIG BOY HOPS",malts, fruit(grapefruit) notes and sweetness derived from a caramel flavor. There was some alcohol,but not much and it did not distract me from the hops.
The feel was medium body and carbonation and it was a little bitter in the finish as I expected it to be. Smooth and well balanced.

Notes: A good beer. Good bang for the buck.

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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 sholland119
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, deep amber with a thin white head and very nice lacing.

Smell is well balanced with pine hops and sweet malts in equal proportion.

Taste is very good for the style. A nice pine hop taste comes through in the finish with a sweet biscuity malt throughout.

Mouthfeel is a bit dry with a lingering bitterness from the hops.

A good sessionable beer. Interesting enough in taste but light enough in ABV to enjoy more than one.


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Photo of oneeye
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Mikey!
Poured into a pint glass.
Ahh... another hoppy red ale. Seems too be a favorite this summer.
A. Dark amber red that leaves behind a ruby tan soapy two fingered head. Looks thick and syrypy. Plenty of lacing going on as well.

S. A strong aroma of hops fills the room when this beer is poured. Piney and floral hops. Plenty of caramel malts present as well.

T. Monster hops is correct. Hops galore. Hops explode/burst at every sip. Citrusy hops dominate this beer. Grapefruity/orange. Caramel malts are in abundance to keep up with the complex hop mixture. If you like American Cascade hops, this is a must try.

M. The mouthfeel was a little thin. Slick and oily.

D. Gotta love these hoppy red American Ales. Refreshing and an easy drinker. Pucker Up!

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Photo of Biggness
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a very red amber that is very see though with little to no head. The smell was faint on this beer but what I got was nuts and malts. This was a good red ale with alot of hops flavor, well balanced, much better than the smell and appearance would suggest. The mouthfeel was very pleasant on this beer and its a highly drinkable

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle received from israel. Thanks, man! Into my Stone pint glass

A: Crystal clear deep amber red with a thin light brown head that thins out to a ring fairly quickly

S: Piney hop goodness with a strong malt presence. The malt is almost candy like - sweet but also has some fruity complexity with red and black plums.

T: Starts off pleasantly hoppy with pine and a floral hint followed by a satisfyingly sweet malt backbone that has a good deal of caramel and some fruit. Unfortunately, this disappears a little quickly but the finish is mildly bitter and medium-dry. Surprisingly, the alcohol is noticeable for such a low ABV beer

M: Medium body, great carbonation, decent finish.

D: I'd grab another fresh to see what it's like

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Photo of perfectkaos
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

the very last beer from my Ithaca variety case, also the first ithaca beer i ever had.

pours a brick red color with a thin off-white head. some lacing at the top of the glass.

smells very piney. hops and pine.

tastes hoppy up front. but not overpoweringly so. its no double simcoe or arrogant bastard.

this beer is super drinkable. the hops are there, but not in such force that the beer is tough to swallow. hands down, ithaca's best beer

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Photo of HopDerek
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear burnt orange with a reddish center. Two fingers of foamy off-white/beige head has good retention and leaves a spotty ring of lacing. Smells of caramel, bread, grapefruit, pine resin, and grain. Tastes of grapefruit followed by toasted grain and caramel, then a nice pickup of spicy, earthy hops with a pine/dry grass finish. Medium in body with good carbonation. Dominated by hops but yet not unbalanced with some sweetness and graininess and a nice dry finish. A good hopped up red ale.

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Photo of BDIMike
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly opaque brown color with a very thin white head. Little to no retention on the head.
Very nice hoppy smell on this amber. Great citrus hints of orange and grapefruit. Also a bit of a good plum malt smell.
Good strong taste on this red ale. There is a quick shot of malt, a bit of caramel. The hops then immediately take over, with a good amount of citrus and grapefruit taste.
Mouthfeel is very nice for an amber ale. A good thickness to it, but very smooth.
Drinkability is nice on this beer. It has a good smoothness to it and a really good hop taste. It is not too overbearing, though, making it a good session beer. A very nice selection in any weather or occassion.

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Photo of rsawyer
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BA member orcasteve for hooking me up with one of his local beers!

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a St. Arnolds Pint Glass.

By the way- I love the label!

Appearance- the beer pours a clear ruby amber. Off-white head, about two fingers thick formed, then slowly receded-leaving thick lacing around the glass. Little to no visible carbonation.

Smell- Hops jump right out at me at first. That being said- I am also able to get a nice balance of malt in here too. The hops smell bitter- with more of a floral note than a citrus note.

Taste- This is where the hops take right over. Floral, bitter, hops are tasted in the begining, as I continue though- I start to pick up a nice malty flavor that reminds me of the smell of freshly made wort.

Mouthfeel- Carbonation is not overly evident on the tongue. The beer feels right though- not water, but not thick... It feels how I would expect a Red to feel- smooth light body.

Drinkability- This beer goes down toooo easy! I am a big fan- and sad that I can't make it a regular down here!

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CascaZilla from Ithaca Beer Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 1,229 ratings.
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