CascaZilla | Ithaca Beer Company

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1,236 Ratings

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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,236 |  Reviews: 589
Photo of shbobdb
3.28/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A pretty solid brew. The beer has a nice red color to it, with a fair bit of lacing. So far so good.

The nose is fairly muted on this bottle. Even as it warms, it is still pretty unimpressive. Some nice lemon, but nothing too mindblowing.

But the taste is pleasantly balanced. A nice light lemon and grapefruit taste with a solid toffee background from the malt. A nice bitter finish too.

The beer is nice and drinkable. It isn't too thin, but nor is it so thick that the malt gets in the way.

Overall, a pretty solid beer. Not mindblowing, but good. I could see myself knocking back a few of these without complaining. I guess, overall, that is my complaint -- it doesn't really commit in any direction, leaving a nice light, drinkable beer. But I guess when I think of "red ale" I think of a very thick, rich, malty beer. Couple that with "monsterously hoppy" and I expect big malt and big hops to forge out a balanced drinking experience. Instead, I got fairly mild hops and a nice light malt presence working together to make a balanced drinking experience.

Bigger isn't always better, but when you name your beer "Cascazilla", you'd better deliver on something big.

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Photo of hyland24
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one was a gusher. Poured from a bottle into a pilsner. Poured a cloudy ice tea brown with a tan white head. Spider web lacing with decent head retention. Smell was a nice mix of hops and malt. The taste was great. Hops up front followed by a nice creamy caramel malt finish. Very well balanced beer with a smooth medium bodied creamy mouthfeel leaving behind all sorts of flavor. Not as bitter as I expected which is a good thing. Perfect carbonation with a great body and an awesome example of this style. Jump on this one if you get the chance. Ithaca has yet to disappoint.

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Photo of Deuane
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Dark copper with a thin, light tan head that leaves a nice bit of lace behind.

S-Hello! Cascade hops. Plenty of pine, citrus and floral qualities here! Backed up by a generous amount of sweet caramel malt.

T-Big ole' smack of pine needles and then citrus. Certainly a hop forward brew...but barley...sweet caramel malt quickly follows. Overall very nice. Leaves a pleasant bitterness in the aftertaste.

M-Medium body with some cloying. Lots of lingering hop bitterness.

D-A good brew that stradles that hoppy amber/IPA line. A beer that is always nice to see on tap...doesnt stand up to some other offerings for me....but certainly not a beer I shun! I never have an issue putting away a few of these!

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Photo of OKCNittany
4.64/5  rDev +21.5%
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 allergictomacros
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Good looking brew - pours a clear copper/red with an inch of dense sticky foam.

S - Pine and grapefruit hops in the forefront, with a bit of sweet malt in the background. A bit of an alcoholic tinge as well.

T - Nice hoppy flavour here, with a bit of a toasted middle. Citrus, toast, grapefruit. Good balance and solid bitterness in the aftertaste. Some generic fruitiness, but hops carry the day.

M - I guess the malts give this much more body than a typical IPA. Solid mouthfeel and nice smooth carbonation.

D - Nice drinking beer. Good balance and tasty.

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Photo of alexgash
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle.

Dark golden amber body. Clear. Full, thick finger of dense, sticky, glass-lathering head. Nice. Graham cracker malt nose with a very juicy, piny, herbal hop backing. Resinous. Must have been dry-hopped liberally.

Toasted caramel malt flavor up front. Sweetish cookie dough backbone. Piny, resinous hop flavor and bitterness come on strong and deliciously. Herbal hop bitterness in the finish. Chewy sweet malts linger. Nice. Medium body is maybe a bit too carbonated. Otherwise a very nice drinking amber ale, especially if you like hoppy ones!

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Photo of number1bum
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A couple years ago when I first got into craft beer I tried Ithaca's Pale Ale and Nut Brown and wasn't very impressed, and unfortunately I wrote them off for a long time and hadn't tried any of their other standard offerings. I've now had a few of their Excelsior beers, however, and have decided to give them another shot. Lucky for me, because Cascazilla doesn't disappoint!

Pours a reddish bronze color with good clarity and about one finger of light beige head. Keeps a thin lace and leaves a little bit of stick.

Smell has a good dose of grapefruit and some more earthy hops, as well as some caramel malt sweetness and a bit of bready/toasty malt, too.

Taste starts off with some grapefruity/citrusy hops, along with some pine and earthy flavors. Nice amount of caramel malt sweetness adds some balance. Midway through and into the finish there is some toasted malt flavor that mingles nicely with a moderate level of hop bitterness. Finishes with some piney bitterness.

Medium mouthfeel and good level of carbonation. This is a beer I could drink a number of in a sitting. Really tasty and just plain solid across the board.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to beertruth for the bottle.
Loud amber color. Kind of an amber made from crimson and burgundy. The head looks like butterscotch icing on a cake. Very attractive.
Smells of caramel malts and hops. Citrus. I must admit that for a beer that advertises itself as a monsterous hoppy ale, the aroma kind of disappoints me a bit. It's not that it's bad. I was just expecting more hops in the nose.
The hops that are missing in the nose come forward full force in the flavor. Nice hoppy flavors of citrus, grapefruit with plenty of camamel malt to carry it. Also a hint of toasted flavor in the finish.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied and suits the style well.
Not sessionable due to the 6.5% abv which is too much for me to session but a very drinkable solid beer.

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Photo of
3.33/5  rDev -12.8%
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 -12.6%
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 -5%
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 -6.3%
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 -0.5%
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 -7.6%
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 +10.5%
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 +4.7%
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 +11.8%
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 -3.7%
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 +8.6%
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 -7.6%
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 +1.6%
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 -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 johanvond
3.35/5  rDev -12.3%
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 +0.3%
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 +12.6%
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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CascaZilla from Ithaca Beer Company
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 1,236 ratings
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