CascaZilla | Ithaca Beer Company

very good
1,228 Ratings
no score
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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: 1,228 |  Reviews: 586
Photo of
3.33/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle

Poured a hazy, orange brown color. Medium size, tan colored head, composed of large bubbles. Minimal legs, decent lacing.

Scent was pine and caramel. Some earthiness. Overall, somewhat muted.

Taste was more bitter than sweet, pine and grass. A bit of metallic taste showed up, not a plus. Sweet component was wheat bread with honey. Bitterness lingers well.

Medium to full body. Low to medium carbonation. More dry than sweet.

OK, better "big reds" out there.

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Photo of frazbri
3.34/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Cascazilla poured deep red. Crystal clear body was topped by a very dense, tall, creamy, off-white head with good lacing. Aroma had notes of pine with some grapefruit and a touch of sweetness. Honey and maple sweetnees was followed very assertive bitterness. Body and carbonation were medium level with a very dry finish.

This ale had a beautiful appearance. The other aspects weren't as wonderful, but the only disappointing part was the mouthfeel. There was an arid level of dryness that I didn't care for, but don't let that keep you from drinking it.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint

Pours a crystal clear mahogany amber with loads of tiny bubbles finding their way north. A two-finger pillowy bone white head had some staying power and left good amounts of lacing all the way down the glass.

Smells of funky, earthy, caramel malt and piney, citrus hops.

The taste is dominated by murky caramel malt. There is light grapefruit hop backbone that is just enough to make this beer satisfying.

Slightly creamy and medium bodied. Crisp and dry.

I could easily drink a few of these in an evening.

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Photo of Tilley4
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to joeybeerbelly for throwing this in as an extra!

Murky brown pour with a rather small head..

Aroma is dominated by sweet malts..almost barleywine like in its smell. Maybe some faint hops but mostly

Not much in the way of hops left in this bottle, this is all sweet malts and as it warms they get damn tasty!

Very similar in taste and aroma to a barleywine without all the alcohol.. Wasn't sure I liked it at first, but it really started to get tasty after a few minutes...thanks, Joe!

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Photo of jhammerly
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to EGledhill for this.

An amber, medium-bodied ale with a huge head that dwindled down to a thick ring leaving lacing on the sides with each sip. A piney aroma with some floral hints. A good amount of malt attempts to balance out with the hops, but the bitterness comes out a little stronger. The lingering taste of alcohol that hangs out too long is the only negative for this beer. A solid beer that I would like to try again in the future.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a wood stain brown. Thick white head that never quite dissolves. Stringy lace clinging to the edges of the glass. Nose has a nice hoppy bite.

Flavor is just popping with hops. Malts provide a balance to the hops but hardly stand out on their own. Some stringent woody tannins to. Medium to light mouthfeel. Hop oils really cling to the cheeks. Drinkable but 3 or so of these would blow your taste buds for much else.

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

I was awesomely suprised by this beer.

A- This beer has a reddish/amber color, which yeilded a clean pour with a 2 finger head. The head unfortunally dissapated quickly but left behind good lacing.

S- Smell...The smell is a wonderfully floral/hoppy smell, very pleasing to the nose.

T,M- The taste was a bueatifully hoppy earthy taste with a slight bitterness at the finish, but nothing to overpower the taste.

D- I'd give this beer a permanent spot in "my" fridge although it might not be right for others.

I just recently had this beer on tap also and it is even better and smoother than a bottle!

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

Appearance: The pour is a deep, rich copper color with a white head that fades to a thin layer, nearly covering the beer.

Smell: The nose has plenty of grapefruit, a dash of pine and a solid bready malt backbone.

Taste: The flavor profile has zesty grapefruit up front, a mixture or earthy and floral hops come in towards the mid-palate, joined by sweet and biscuity malts, followed by a juicy resurgence of grapefruit.

Mouthfeel: It's medium-bodied and slightly oily with average carbonation.

Drinkability: This is a very solid beer. It has some balls, yet it's still easy-drinking.

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Photo of Drewcifer
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a pleasant amber color with a little orange hue to it. A thick, finger high off-white head that stays around for a long while.

The aroma is pretty much all hops, with a tiny bit of malts, all with a slighty piney undertone. The hops are not overpowering, but pronounced.

Definite grapefruity hops taste with some biscuity malt in there, but as it promises, it's all about the hops. I'm not a hophead by any means, and found the taste to be more to my liking than I expected.

Fairly smooth, medium bodied with a slight amount of carbonation, it does leave a bit of an oily feel to the mouth afterwards.

Overall, a very drinkable beer. What impressed me was that it is a very well balanced brew, an easy drinking hoppy ale that doesn't beat you over the head with the hops, them cram them into your unconcious mouth. I will most certainly be enjoying more of these in the future.

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Photo of dickieb
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber orange with about a finger of white head, which works down quickly leaving some nice lacing. The smell is of grass and piny hops. The flavor is on the hoppy side but nat as overpowering as some of the style. A good amount of citrus hops followed by some medium malt backbone, and a lingering grapefruit bitterness. The mouthfeel is right on for the beer, and this one tends to be pretty drinkable. Not my favorite example of the style, but a good hoppy red ale.

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Photo of gottajiboo2
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got a free sample bottle of this from Wheatland Distributors when I was picking up a case of Nugget Nectar.

Poured a deep copper amber-ish color. One inch thick tan head. Foaminess remained for quite a while.

Smelled of citrus and pine needles.

Taste was very grapefruity and a bit orange-ish but a hearty maltiness still shines its way through. sweet yet bitter

Mouthfeel was medium bodied and smooth.

This was a very easy drinking hoppy beer that I will definitely buy a case of sometime.


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Photo of TheTrevor
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured a red-tinged brown with a single finger tan head. The nose was mostly hops with some fruity and floral notes. The taste is all Cascade hops, with the distinct tastes of pine and grapefruit without as much of a bite as I expected. It has a decently smooth almost oily mouthfeel and is very drinkable for a beer that's so hoppy.

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Photo of rickcampie
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cascazilla pours a clear copper color with a small off white head on top. The foam dissolves quickly to a thin ring around the surface leaving only a couple spots of lace behind.

This beer rocks. It is super easy to drink and the hops are not too much. As far as the style goes, I guess it is a little on the hoppy side, but I just cannot resist the flavor.

Cascade hops. Surprise surprise. It is a very focused beer. The nose and mouth are almost souly about the cascade but it deviates slightly to showcase some caramel, biscuity malt and bread dough, and then all is washed over again by cascade hop flavors of grapefruit and pine.

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Photo of Dodo2step
2.08/5  rDev -46.1%
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 johanvond
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is dirty red in apperance with a slight chill haze. There a bit of a malty sent but the malt is fighting off the hops the whole time. This beer has a robust resiny body where you can just taste the citrusy resins. Other flavors you get are a grassy aroma with lemon and peper. It also appears by the label that there showcasing the cascade hops if so they did a good job. Good for hop heads , i just look for more malts from an amber or red. Also, evean though its not beer but on the bottle, the lable is hidiously kitchy.

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

Thanks to Rageagainst123 for the trade!

Appearance: Dark murky brown ale with a fingers worth of off white head. Head turns to a thin sticky layer of foam as you go.

Smell: Caramel maltiness and a bit of hops. This is a good smell, but it is quite faint and you have to stick your nose deep into the glass to get the scent.

Taste: Good, balanced hoppy red ale. You get the sweet caramel and malt at the front, which then gives way to the sticky piney hop flavor. The balance of the two flavors is fantastic and they really complement each other rather than one dominating and the other taking a back seat.

Mouthfeel: Smooth beer with a decent amount of carbonation, however, it feels a bit thin in the mouth. You get a good pine hop flavor that lingers on the palate but does not overpower.

Drinkability: This is the best hoppy red ale I have tried. The balance is what makes this so good, since many can go too heavy on the hoppy side. This is a beer that I would seek out again. Good job.

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Photo of armock
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured an amber color with an off white head that leaves lacing

S - Theres a lot of hops at first backed up by malt

T - A strong hop presence that blends well with the malt

M - Medium bodied it coats the mouth

D - I think this is my favorite Ithaca beer its like an IPA ale definitely worth a try if you find it

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Rich auburn colored beer that pours up with a medium sized head that is short lived. Only tiny flecks of lace line the sides. I

S - A monstrously hoppy aroma - mostly pithy, medicinal and woodsy hops. A touch of pine and malt as well.

T - A hoppy pine flavor with a touch of grapefruit pith and a bit of coffee malty undertones. Aftertaste is a linger coffee bitterness with a bit of grassy and woodsy hops.

M - Thin brew with a very faintly oily texture and high carbonation. A bit drying.

D - Pretty good. A pleasantly hoppy ale that's worth a try. It is flavorful and pleasant, I might have it again.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear amber with at least 2 finger widths of off-white poofy foam. It eventually settles down some and retains very well, leaving some huge lacing down the the sides of the glass. Very nice looking beer. Aroma is huge with the fresh, floral smell of Cascade hops and some light sweetness.

Taste is a fresh hop bite up front with a nice undercurrent of citrus, malt sweetness, and spice. Finshes sweet at first and then with some ligering hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is light but still contains some fairly lively carbonation.

The great smell, taste, and easy drinking of this guy make this a winner in my book. Next time, I'll pick up a six pack, instead of just the one single. This went down way too fast.

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Photo of erosier
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a nice amber color with a red tint with a nice medium sized white head that is fairly thick and sticks to the sides of the bottle. The smell is of hops and some roasted malts, but mostly Cascade hops. The taste is a nice red ale with alot of hops. Good roasted malts followed by a citrisy, flowery, bitter hop flavor to finish it off. Pretty refreshing if you like that sort of thing. Good mouthfeel with the right amount of carbonation. Overall a pretty drinkable beer.

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

Pours a clear but fairly dark ruby with some tan head. Nose is sticky sweet with a good amount of hops. Flavor is smooth with slightly firm hops with a sweet tone. Touch of wood there as well. A hint of bitter on the edge. Feel is nice with the carbonation on the tongue and good with the liquid feel too. Overall very drinkable. A smooth and even red ale. Well worth trying, just not an overly inventive beer.

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Photo of DIM
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a: This is on the dark side for an amber ale. Pours crystal clear with a large white craggy head that leaves some lace.

s: This is a one dimensional smell but a fantastic one. An amazingly fresh and lively lemon/grapefruit hop smell is all there is here and thats just fine.

t: There is a mild dry peaty malt backbone here. The citric hop is nice but it smells somewhat better than it tastes.

m: The body is a bit thin and the carbonation could be more lively.

d: alhrabosky was kind enough to give me this one and now I want a lot more. I'll try this next to Nugget Nectar in a few months.

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Photo of shertz
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up thanks in large part to the fire-breathing Godzilla on the front. Of course, a Hopped-Up Red Ale grabbed my attention too.
Nice head, goes away quickly and is of course...Red(duh). Nice lacing. Smell is cascade and sweet malts, hints of chocolate. Taste is very nice...hoppy, but nicely balanced with those sweet malts. I dig the chocolate/hoppy taste. Mouthfeel is just a little numbing from hops, but not overly so. Drinkablility is quite good. I could drink more than a few of these. If I didn't have some Barley Wine calling my name, I might stick with these for a night. But, this is very nice and will drink again.
Cheers, Scott.

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Photo of albern
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was expecting a ridiculous, extreme hoppy beer just from the label and the marketing. I was pleasantly surprised by the modestness and moderateness of this beer. It pours a very clear amber with a soapy type head that laces and somewhat retains. The smell is hoppy resin, pine notes, some soapy aromas that detract somewhat. I can't quite figure out what the added smells are about. The beer is moderately carbonated, nicely hopped, but quite well balanced until the finish where the hops do impose themselves above all else. You will get a light to medium bodied beer that has that very nice hop resin taste and texture. There are some malts to balance things out. The aftertaste is a bit sharp, but would you expect anything less from a beer that labels itself as "monstrously hoppy?" Worth seeking out. L'Chaim.

I had this beer two days later on-tap at Red Bones in Davis Sq. in Somerville, MA. This beer is very good, and I would add some overall points to the beer. The dry maltish backbone very much complements this beer, and the piney hop resin notes do come through quite nicely. There is also more of a creamy mouthfeel with the beer on tap.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cascazilla pours a clear copper color with a small off white head on top. The foam dissolves quickly to a thin ring around the surface leaving only a couple spots of lace behind.

The aroma is hoppy with a strong pine smell and some sugary sweetness mixed in. Each sip of this medium bodied beer is slightly chewy with a mild carbonated fizz on the tip of the tongue. The flavor has a nice balance of sweet malt and hops. Notes of pine and citrus are balanced with some sweet and bready malt flavors. Once gone some of the pine hop flavors linger on the palate.

This is a well balanced beer that is easily drinkable for 6.5% ABV. However, like all hoppy beers it's better to drink this one fresh.

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CascaZilla from Ithaca Beer Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 1,228 ratings.
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