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: 1,226
Photo of FLima
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy copper color with a foamy head with medium retention and leaving some laces.
Nice citrus aroma with notes of pine, toasted malts, red fruits and caramel.
What a delicious flavor, balanced but still quite hoppy and malty. Notes of caramel, toasted malts, earthy, pine, floral and citrus hops. Dry and bitter aftertaste with its lingering taste and some hidden chocolate.
Medium body with natural carbonation. A bit sticky and hard to believe that it contains 7% abv.
So far Ithaca hasn’t disappointed me. This is a great beer, hoppy but caramel malt is very present in its flavor, not only giving body to sustain its hoppy profile.

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Photo of MikeWard
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into standard pint glass. gift from an Ithaca University grad. Label was a bit confusing, best by October (no year on the notching,) elsewhere on the label 2012 Ithaca. this over a year old? We'll see.

Poured fairly enthusiastically, and was rewarded with a 2 finger foamy head, which only dissipated slightly during the drink. Lots of carbonation, amber copper coloring to the body. However, LOTS of floaties here, which the carbonation kept mixing around. Lacing was thick and foamy all the way down.

Was almost scared to take a whiff, but, surprise, surprise, nice hoppy smell with some sweetness from the malts. Checked the floaties again, yep, they're still there. Time for a swig.

Taste...not bad at all, getting nice maltiness on the top of the tongue mixed with hop bitterness on the back and sides. How'd they do that?

Mouth was a bit thin, and oddly enough, no tingling from the obvious carbonation.

Overall, not a bad beer at all. Guessing that it must have been best by October 2013, since I cant't believe hop taste would have hung around for a year. Sediment finally settled (was a long drink), possibly malt? Have enjoyed this on draft in the past, and would have it again. Hopefully with less floaties.

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Photo of Omnium
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours a cloudy brown, not really red at all, 1 finger of thin fizzy off white head. No lacing.
S - Big citrus, grapefruit and pine hop aroma, toasted bready malts, some caramel, dark dried fruits.
T - Taste is bold, kinda tart and sweet from the citrus and the malts, has a bit of floral mix as well.
M - Kinda soapy and sticky at the same time, but overall a medium feel.
O - A decent red IPA, but nothing I"d put in my top 5 for sure. The tartness is a bit much.

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Photo of 57md
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy reddish-copper with a finger of fluffy beige head. The head stuck around for a decent amount of time and left some nice lace rings behind. The nose has both malty and hoppy notes. Malt is featured in the flavor profile along with a touch of caramel. The finish is a bit of a downer; nevertheless, it is clean and slightly bitter.

This is a solid and very drinkable red, but can't quite compete with the top tier reds out there.

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Photo of emyers
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a murky amber-brown with a one inch fluffy off-white head.

Smell: Health dose of citrus/grapefruit and grassy hops up front. The malt kicks in next with caramel malt and toasted bready malts. Very nice balance between the hops and malt - they play quite well together.

Taste: Similar to the smell, but with a bit more grassiness. It's one of those things that can happen with cascade hops, and it throws the balance off a bit with this one. Still a very good flavor profile overall between the citrus hops and the well-developed malt profile.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a medium carbonation level. Finishes fairly dry.

Overall: Very well done red IPA. Nails the malt-hop balance, which can be difficult to do well for the style.

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Photo of Roguer
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Almost opaque dark red, really brown with red highlights. Two fingers of cream-colored head. Slick lacing, and decent retention.

S - Lovely hop nose off of this. Citrus, some peel. Toast and caramel malts, while we're at it, and possibly some piney hops. Fairly subdued overall, though; a balanced nose.

T - Whoa, heavy, heavy on the malts; caramel, toast or biscuit, even some sweet, dark fruitiness. But the hops...where did they go? All that was promised in the nose seems to be hiding. A little bit of fresh orange peel seems to be the only hops remnant.

M - Light and thin. No sting, but no oily residue, either. Hides the alcohol fairly well.

O - Yet another beer in my "I think I got ripped off with some old beer at Sunoco Aplus" series. The malts match exactly with what I'd expected from what Ithaca calls a "Red IPA." And honestly, if they left IPA off the bottle, this is a fine amber ale. But they didn't, and the hops are still present in the nose, but not so much the taste.

Thus, my overall will fall as an inbetween-er: for an amber ale, it's pretty tasty. For an IPA, it's a little disappointing. Yet again, I find myself hoping to get a fresh bottle and see if my opinion changes, or if this is just indicative of the style.

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Photo of rickyleepotts
3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have no idea what this beer is going to smell or taste like. Until I grabbed this from the fridge, I didn't even know this was on the list. I landed this beer in a trade a few weeks ago, and it has been starring at me every time I open the fridge. I have never heard of the Ithaca Beer Company, either. This is the only beer from them on the list, which, after learning about their beers, is fine by me. They named their pale ale… well, they named it Pale Ale. They do have a clever name for their wheat beer, but this is apparently their most popular.

They also mention hop heads, which has me excited. Most red ales don't impress me. You need to take it to a double red to get me excited. However, they keep bringing up the hops. Fine by me. Bring it on. Cheers!

In the Glass: It looks like an American red ale. It has a nice copper color to it, and the beer produced a nice thin white head. The lace is pretty impressive, too. The beer is quite cloudy. Oh, and I just noticed some hop on the label. Fun!

Nose: Not a lot of hops in the aroma. There is a nice somewhat fruity finish. It's like a fruity spice. On a second whiff I am picking up some hoppy character. Not like a pale ale or an IPA, but there are some noticeable hops in there. Let's drink.

Flavor: Yeah, that has a TON of hop flavor. I would never know that was a red ale in a blind taste test. The hops are quite muted in the finish, though. The hops really start as soon as the beer hits your mouth, but as soon as you swallow the hops are gone.

Hang on… Sheryl is talking about the hops. She isn't a big fan of hops. One day!

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is nice. It drinks like a good beer should. You would never know it was 7% ABV. If you want to get a true sense of the hops used in this, swish the beer around a little bit. The hops really come forward. The beer becomes overly carbonated when doing that, so be careful.

Aftertaste: Unless you move the beer around in your mouth a little bit, you aren't getting much in terms of an aftertaste here. It does have a nice drying thing going on… but nothing to write home about. If I lived in Ithaca, New York I would drink this stuff, but only as a daily drinking beer. It's not quite a session beer, but you could get away with it if you like hops.

This is the first, and maybe the last beer that I will have from the Ithaca Beer Company. I might need to chug a Ruthless Rye before I go to bed! Cheers!

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a McDonald's collector glass (I'm...away from my glassware at the moment). Deep amber/red with a thin white head that fades into a thin disc of foam. Smell is nice and malty, with a generous helping of hops as well. Taste is bitter and crisp hops, with a clean malt background that has a slightly odd sweet twang to it (horrific memories of Cortland Red Dragon are resurfacing) but it doesn't stay long enough to ruin the beer. Overall I think the hop flavor could be more complex, but it's a fine drinkable beer.

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Photo of JG-90
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a moderate sized light beige head. Beer is a deep brown that looks a little orange/reddish in light. Head has okay retention and leaves moderate lacing. Smells of caramel malt, pine, and a bit of orange.

Taste starts with pine, then moves to a dark caramel malt, finished with citrus. Has a malty, citrusy aftertaste. Has a moderate/heavy body with slightly above average carbonation for a Red Ale / Red IPA.

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Photo of hopley
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Appearance is a nice amber, pours with an inch of head which settles to nothing - limited lacing.

S - I'd say average - a little grapefruity

T - The thing that stands out the most to me is I) the grapefruit taste and ii) the bitterness. Really good taste.

M - Medium body.

O - A good coiffing beer. Nothing amazing about it - not outstanding but not bad at all. Not something I'd buy again (like its cousin - Ithaca Flower Power), but not something I'd scoff at either.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours cloudy, amber with ruby highlights. An off white head of creamy foam that fell slowly and left a cap with some fine , sticky lace. Nose is toasted malt, fat, sweet and nutty. There is the faintest whisper of chocolate. Light yeast. Hops are earthy with orange, grapefruit and dark fruits behind that. Light sweet pine and a little dank and oak as it warms. Taste is mellow and malt forward with toasty caramel, bread and grain. Toffee sweetness. Hops are oily and bitter with some light sweet pine, citrus and floral. Body is a little on the heavy side with a little butter and prickly carbonation. Finishes dry with a short lived bitter on the back palate and another whisper from the chocolate as the malt steals the show again to bring it to bittersweet. It’s not boozy but it is rich.

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Photo of Gatch
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Nice amber hue with an off white, fluffy, soapy head. Plenty of lace and great retention.

S: The nose is mostly sweet malt but there's a nice hop presence. Not enough to be considered a "Red IPA," though.

T: Pretty balanced between hops and malt. Not as Cascade heavy as the name implies but it is a Red so there should be plenty of malt and the hop profile is unique.

M: Smooth and sweet with lots of flavor. Barely enough of a hop presence to live up to its name.

O: Solid Red IPA that had all the qualities you look for but nothing exceptional. And not enough hops to be considered a true "Red IPA."

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Photo of thecheapies
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Humungous 22oz pour. Deep garnet in color. Sports a coarsely hung off-white head of an inch. Laying slathered on-top for awhile.

Forward notes of pine and tangy grapefruit. Ruggedly toasted in the malt backbone. Earthy and bitter aromas. Perhaps some bitter orange and a hint of cooked rhubarb.

Dry profile with earthy hops with tea and pine notes. Unripe citrus without the sour. Pithy and savory. Notes of bitter greens and mollusk shell. Sounds strange, but it's like an oyster IPA... or maybe I'm nuts. Latent bitterness, but not spicy. Alcohol under veil here. Definitely not that hoppy. Earthy notes accentuate that balancing malt toastiness. Carbonation is a medium-plus. Viscosity is a little weak. Not a whole lotta body.

Doesn't hold a candle to Flower Power. Needs some more fruitiness, but the umami notes are delightful.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.59/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – The beer is served a hazy copper color with a one half finger white creamy head. The has a pretty nice level of retention, slowly fading to leave a good level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of a toasted malts and a lighter caramel smell. Mixed with these aromas are notes of some hop being of a citrus and pine nature, but with some lighter aromas of a floral nature as well.

Taste – The taste starts out with A toasted malt flavor with a bit of a caramel malt sweetness. Upfront there are some flavors of citrus hop being of a more grapefruit flavor. As the taste advances however, some more hop flavors begin meeting the tongue, overwhelming the little bit of grapefruit hop. Hop flavors of a pine and floral nature then find their way to the tongue. These mix with an almost roasted cocoa like flavor as well as some more sweetness at the end to leave a moderate resinous and malty flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel- The body of the brew is on the slightly thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is rather average. The creamier body is quite nice for accentuating the hoppier pine and floral tastes at the end of the brew as well as the toasted malt flavors mixed with a bit of rye that are in the base of the brew.

Overall - A decent American amber. It has a nice hop flavor blend starting with more of a citrus and developing more of a pine later on.

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Photo of BigRedGator
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Powerful and smooth. The color is dark coppery red and the carbonation is very fine and small. So smooth, rich and hoppy. The rich flavor and full body blend wonderfully with the alcohol content so that you would never guess it is as strong as it is. Not until you finish the second beer. The best of Ithaca.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer and left some nice lacing on the glass. It is an amber copper color with great clarity and bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Caramel malts, mango, pineapple, tangerine, and grapefruit.

Taste: Pretty tasty beer. The tropical and citrus hops blend well with the caramel and chocolate malts.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, full bodied, medium carbonation, and very enjoyable.

Overall: This is a very tasty red. Such a nice springtime beer that is good to drink and share with other red ales.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.89/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Brickwood Bar and Grill in Rochester, NY.

Pours a dark reddish-orange, with a one inch head, and lots of sticky lacing down the glass.

Smells like grapefruit, caramel malt, pine, and orange. Smells very pungent.

This is a hop attack! Very bitter, but not unpleasantly so. The malt backbone is strong, as typical for a hoppy amber, with toasted bread and caramel. The hop attack is varied, with lots of pine, grapefruit, black pepper, and orange. Very tasty.

Medium bodied, slightly creamy mouthfeel. Medium carbonation. Very drinkable.

One of Ithaca's better beers for sure, love it.

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Photo of oline73
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass.

The beer pours a cloudy reddish amber with a small amount of off white head. The head sticks around more than I would have guessed. The nose has some nice citrus hops in it as well as a touch of malt spice. I found the taste to be more interesting than the smell. The citrus peel hops are stronger and the malt backs them up nicely. I'm also getting a mild fruity undertone. The body is medium and the finish is slightly slick.

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Photo of ranger60
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had it on tap at Southside Grille in South Bound Brook, NJ

Appearance - beautiful copper coloer with a nice creamy head.

Smell - picking up the pine, nothing unusual.

Taste - the hops come through, if not strong, and the malt is nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel - nice feel, not too carbonated.

Overall - very drinkable. Had it after a Yards Brawler Pugilist, so it came across as much more flavorful.

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Photo of scootny
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A dusky brownish red with a light covering and some lace. Mild grapefruit and citrus. Caramel sweetness with a toasted whole grain bread underpin. Light yeast fruit esters. Taste is lovely and feel is surprisingly cask like. Mild and smooth hop bitterness with a toasted caramel malt core. An almost English fruitiness in the yeast. No alcohol in the taste. Finish is quite clean and dry with light grapefruit and faint coffee note. Feel is like the name says. Mildly carbonated but perfectly so. Supple and highly drinkable. A super beer that hides its abv well so beer careful.

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

I poured this into a tulip glass. There was about two fingers of foam that disappated quickly above the reddish beer.

Off the top I pick up a really good dose of the piney cascade hops. I like the way this beer smells.

The flavor falls off a little bit. The malt still comes through, but the hops aren't as present in the taste of this beer. The balance is a little off in this one.

This is a pretty good beer. I'd like to get a really fresh version of this to re-review it.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Purchased in Wakefield, RI.

A- Pours a very hazy, amber red body with a thick off-white head that exhibits medium retention and leaves some uniform lacing.

S- Very floral, yeasty, citrus, slightly tropical. Caramel and toffee. I can tell it's fresh. Quite inviting.

T- Starts off with a piney, floral hop bite that transcends into a malty caramel and toffee flavor.

M- Slightly watery, which is really the downfall of this beer in my opinion. Medium-low carbonation.

Overall an easy drinking, tasty red ale which a nice hop-malt balance. I'd drink it again but I wouldn't seek it out.

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

12oz bottle, best by Dec 2012...better drink up! Served at around 40-45F.

Pours semi-hazy copper/red with a two finger off-white light beige head that recedes to a small foamy cap and leaves some decent lacing behind.

Aroma is piney, citrusy, somewhat earthy hops, good malt of dark fruit and caramel. Good strength.

Flavor is caramel malt, dark fruits (black cherries), decent hop kick with some citrus and resinous hops, mild sweetness, mild to moderate bitterness, a little alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, a little sticky, moderate carbonation.

Pretty good hoppy Amber Ale. It’s right at the best-by date so I bet the hops would be really nice if fresher.

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

12oz bottle in Sam Adams glass
best by December (in the fridge since June)

A: Dark amber/red color with a 1/2 finger creamy, light tan head that coats the glass and leaves tons of lace.
S: Pine in front with citrus in the back combined with a distinct sweetness
T: Sharp hoppy bitterness that is quickly blended with caramel sweetness.
M: Round mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation
O: A very good example of an American Red ale, I wish it was 6% vs. 7% so I could keep drinking. I'm not usually a fan of this style, but it turns out to be great as the weather gets cold. Given we have a lot more cold ahead of us, I wish I had more of these in the fridge. Worth trying.

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

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A real noticeable and wonderful forming head, light tan in appearance giving to thin bubbles and large in it's creation. Body provides a bit of dull but nice brown somewhat red amber appearance. Pretty solid looking brew, great retention and clumpy.

Great simple nose on this. Toasty malts with a sweetness controlled and a little subdued. Some faint hop floral like action. Milk chocolate is hiding in the background just so slightly. Real nice.

Boy this is rich. A real nice chocolate like blast here, probably matching the thick body of high abv to go with it. Not boozy either. Mild hop action on this, but mostly a good simple malt forward milky chocolate angle.

Overall, really dig this, don't care if this is hoppy or not, just a solid good amber.

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CascaZilla from Ithaca Beer Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 1,226 ratings.
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