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: 1,225
Photo of Sharkophile
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Appears a clear reddish brown with a big off white head that settles slowly and leaves rings of lacing.

S: Toasted malt with some deeper roastiness and a smack of citrus and pine from the hops.

T: Brown sugar-like sweetness with some caramel and coffee undertones coming through. Then the grapefruit and spice character of the hops comes in and finishes dry and bittersweet. Some alcohol is felt in the chest but not so much the taste.

M: Medium body with a nice, fine carbonation and a sticky hop cling all over the mouth. Very nice.

O: Excellent amber ale.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-a red amber color with a smallish off-white head and some lacing

S-sweet malt, slight citrus, bread, hint of pine

T-sweet malt and bread, caramel, some citrusy hop character and bitterness in the finish

F-medium body with light to moderate carbonation

O-a decent amber ale, but a tad on the sweet side for me and lacking some of the complexity of other ambers (Zoe, Nugget Nectar)

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

1406th Review on BA
Bottle to Pint

Best by: May notched on label
Extra from Tony32408

App- A bit of a mix of browns, ambers, and a small red orange hue with a off khaki one finger head with very little cling.

Smell- A bit of a mix of hoppy creamy with a good malt backbone. A bit of pepper witha tinge of citrus.

Taste- It was a nice beer. Had some good balance and some well rounded hops. Wasnt the standard amber that America considers (FT). A strong citrus flavor with a bit of pepper like the nose.

Mouth- A lighter medium with a creamy medium carbonation. Had a residual hop kick.

Drink- A really nice extra. I could see this being amazing fresher. Always next time.

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Photo of C20Percent
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly hazy dark amber-brown with a nice head of tan colored foam on top. Tiny pieces of sediment in the body. Nice complexity in the body. Good appearance all around.

S: Lots of toasted grain smell. Borderline coffee smell. Little bit on hops, but mostly the roasty, toasty, smoky smell. For an Amber Ale right on the Imperial edge this isn't my favorite smell. Not bad, but I'm looking for something akin to Nugget Nectar or Zoe.

T: Taste better than the smell. Hoppy, rich, fruity flavor is the first to strike followed by the roasted grains. Not as sweet as some of the Imperial Amber Ales out there. This is more bitter. I like this, but again, I'd choose others first.

M: Nothing bad to speak of here. Smooth and creamy. Nice carbonation. Very buttery actually. Not a lot of chewiness. Almost a 4.5, but doesn't quite make it there.

O: Good beer -- would love to try this fresh on draft. This drink by date of July. So, should still be good according to label. Not a bad showing by Ithaca. But, just not at the level of Nugget Nectar, which is better.

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

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. Best by Nov notched on label. Purchased by my good friend Pat N at the brewery in Ithaca.

A: Murky amber with thick, 2-finger light beige lace with good retention and copious lacing.

S: Dank hops with herbal, earthy character meet a lot of higher kilned crystal malts. There is a bready maltiness to the aroma that is nice.

T: The flavor unfortunately sends the hops needle almost all the way towards dankness as the hopping comes across as herbal, earthy, dark and plant-like. This is not cascades as I would like them to be. I imagine this beer is highly dry-hopped, and the grassy herbal character derives from this mainly. The malt component comes through with a big dose of bready pale malt and some C80-120 crystal malts and a good bit of malt toastiness to provide some roundness. There is nothing wrong with the crafting of this beer -- I simply am not a fan of the dank, herbal, grassy hops character of this beer.

M: Very smooth and coating with relatively low carbonation and medium+ body.

O: A great beer for those who enjoy earthy, grassy, dank hoppiness and round malting. Not my cup of tea unfortunately.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.21/5  rDev -16.8%
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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Photo of GPHarris
3.07/5  rDev -20.5%
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 ryan1788a5
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe. Reviewed from notes.

A: Clear red-orange. Two inch white head settles shortly. Jagged, clumpy rings of lacing cement themselves onto the glass.

S: Fragrant pine needles, citrus fruits, fruit punch, caramel, and bread. A good nose, but a bit understated.

T: Plant-like, green, pithy, and dank hop tastes up front. Mild pine resin and pine needles. Suggestions of melon- honeydew and watermelon. Bitterness builds mid palate with a biting pine tar and grapefruit rind taste. Malt tastes of caramel and bread with a hint of grain. Finish is bitter, oily, plant-like hops and a touch of grain.

M: Medium bodied. Very lush, creamy, and well rounded. Seltzery carbonation has a scrubbing effect, and it adds a little crispness. Great mouthfeel.

O: One of the more memorable American reds I've had in a while. This one is right at the end of its optimal freshness period, but it's still drinking very well.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Translucent ruby brown, one finger head with some lacing.

S-Good deal of citrus hops, caramel malt and a tad bit of grass.

T-Balance of caramel malts and citrus hops. The finish has some bitterness, not over powering but well balanced.

M-Medium bodied, some carbonation, a tad on the watery side though.

O-A wonderful beer, not as good as Nugget Nectar but the everyday availability is a huge plus.

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

Not enjoying this bottle as much as the draught had in the Ithaca region (where bottle was purchased).

Hazy, dark amber with limited head and lacing. malt-forward aroma with surprisingly heavy oak tannins. Flavour is also malt-forward, with a dusky roasted backbone. None of the citrus or pine hop tones I remember enjoying on tap.

Believe this is a specific bottle issue - storage or bottling - rather than a recipe issue or problem with the beer itself. Will definitely try again, but may well purchase a single next time...

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Photo of match1112
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: reddish brown body. half finger of tan head.

s: nice bouquet of hops and sweet malts.

t: citrus hops and caramel malts with some bread in the background.

m: medium body starts out crisp from the hops then kinda melts into a smooth caramel body. decent carbonation and a little dry on the finish.

o: very good. really glad laxer8811 sent this!

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass- pours a relatively clear dark red (mahogany) color with a one finger head, modest retention and nice white lacing.

Smells like Cascade hops and some sweet malt.

Taste is very nice- mellow caramel malts are livened by bright citrus hops. Exceptionally smooth tasting. Nice dry finish.

Mouthfeel is very very pleasant- medium body with light fuzzy carbonation. An incredibly drinkable beer that I would like to come back to.

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Photo of PhantasIPA
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has a cloudy, dark, amber color. The head has an average thickness.

When I look at an amber beer I expect it to smell a certain way and this beer falls within those expectations. There is nothing exceptional about the smell. It is appealing but not outstanding.

The taste is outstanding! I like a hoppy beer and this beer has a really nice mixture of hops, sweetness (brown sugar), nuttiness (classic red ale flavor), and malt. Really refreshing and complex; I can taste multiple flavors with every sip...or gulp!

The mouthfeel is light and refreshing. It is very smooth for a hoppy brew with a 7% ABV.

Overall this beer is very good. The smell doesn't do the flavor justice, but in all other aspects the beer is nice.

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Photo of chefhatt
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes, drank this one on 2/23/12 at paradise by the slice.
This beer was served in a pint glass, it had a amber color body with 2" tan head. The smell was malty with nice a hop background to it. The taste is of bitter hops and some malt and fruit notes on the back of the tongue. The mouth feel was nice a smooth and overall a really good beer.

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Three Heads Brewing pint glass:

A-Ruby Red, decent head and lace

S-Hoppiness comes through, maybe some hint of fruit

T-very good, hops up front, then some interesting stuff in back, fruit and malt mainly

M-good, low astringency, clean finish

O-very solid offering from Ithaca

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Photo of SLeffler27
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown to rusty red with a dense, creamy beige head. There is a thin film of lacing marked by rings as the head follows each sip.

The aroma has pine resin with an orange background. This one is hop forward and spicy.

A Roosterfish pint glass contains this hoppy beer with moderate bitterness as anticipate from the aroma.
The malts are toasted, rounding out some sense of balance. The finish is long, subtle and earthy.

Chewy with well-tamed alcohol and modest carbonation. Cascazilla is rather clean and refreshing, reminiscent of a pilsner.

With lots of flavor, this one could easily be sessionable were it not for the high alcohol. As it is, it pairs well with meaty pasta.

Age is no friend to this beer, as is my experience with the bottled version.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review adapted from notes taken 9/17/11

Appearance: Pours somewhere between a dark red and a brown - starts with a beige head, fades to average lacing

Smell: Hoppy, with red ale malts - citrus rind, herbal, a little floral - malts smell sweet, like a sweet bread or a sweet bread crust

Taste: A nice mix of hops and malt - not particularly hoppy, but good - some bitterness, some citrus, some pine, herbal notes - malts are nice, sweet, without being too sweet - toasted, sweet bread, caramel malts - a touch of dark fruits, too

Mouthfeel: Medium body, smooth, but a bit too wet

Overall: Good, with nice malts and nice balance

I've had better red ales, but I really like what Ithaca did here. I just have the same issues I have with Flower Power. This needs to dry out. Otherwise, it's adequately interesting.

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Photo of AdamBear
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A-dark amber colored with a nice cream colored head

S-hoppy with a good spicyness. medium strength. some caramel.

T-comes in with an aged hoppiness along with some of the spices. its a smooth taste but not a very strong one. slightly complex the after-taste is mostly spicy.

M-creamy medium carbonation with a dry finish

O-i thought this one going to be one of those red ales that borderline an IPA, but its definitely more of a red ale. its slightly complex, and sort of balanced, but i'm just not a huge fan of this. it doesn't have a lot going for it.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served unto a pint.

Appearance: dark but clear amber, white head is maybe 1/4 off the body.

Smell: grapefruit, and light hops not too potent seems to dissipate quickly.

Taste: Grapefruit, and malty...not too bitter but just enough to say yum.

Mouth: medium carbonation, I can't say this was the smoothest beer. It might just comes rough around the edges but overall just crisp and I can't really complain.

Overall: Pretty good, not as smooth but I'm not complaining. Made to be something comfortable enough that you'll to really like it but not enough to call great. Hope you all enjoyed. Salud!

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Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark red/brown with a cream head

S - Roasted caramel and frutiness from the hops

T - Caramel, fruitiness, chocolate, and a bitter finish

M - Medium with a medium amount of sticky carbonation

O - This is a good beer that is drinkable with nice flavor, mouthfeel. It is really easy to drink and well balanced.

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

Pours a slightly cloudy amber color with a just off-white head. A nice citrus hop quality to this one. Orange and grapefruit hops with a nice bit of piney hop character, too. Under that is a fair amount of caramel and sweet malt. The flavor is a bit on the sweeter side, but there still is some good citrus and pine hop flavor and bite to it, just a moderate bitterness. Medium in body and carbonation.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
2.46/5  rDev -36.3%
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 keithmurray
3.3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - murky dark amber color with fluffy beige head

Smell - citrus, grapefruit, caramel, pine

taste - sour, dank citrus, grapefruit, malt sweetness, caramel

mouthfeel - bitter upfront, sour/sweet sensation in the middle, medium carbonation, medium bodied

overall - this may be a different beer fresh, a bit off as it doesn't really conform to style as other entrants into the category. Fits better into the IPA category versus an Amber Ale. decent beer, though.

Price Point - $1.99/12oz single

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

12oz Bottle

Appearance - Dark amber/brown colour with an average size fizzy and frothy beige coloured head. There isn't much carbonation showing and there is a good amount of lacing. The head lasted for 6 minutes before it dissipated.

Smell - Hops, caramel, malts, grapefruits

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and its has a fairly sugary sweet flavour. I can taste malts, caramel and a lots of hops. There is also quite a bit of a citrus blast with this beer... grapefruits and oranges. It ends with a malty sweet hoppy aftertaste.

Overall - One of the better beers that Ithaca makes for sure. As much as I enjoy their Flower Power I think that this might be the best beer I've had from them. I'm looking forward to drinking the rest of my 6 pack.

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Photo of mlazzaro
3.16/5  rDev -18.1%
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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CascaZilla from Ithaca Beer Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 1,225 ratings.
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