CascaZilla | Ithaca Beer Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Very Good

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!

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 591 | Ratings: 1,254
Photo of scootny
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

 579 characters

Photo of ummswimmin
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

 477 characters

Photo of gcamparone
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

 638 characters

Photo of elgiacomo
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

 670 characters

Photo of wspscott
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

 686 characters

Photo of Smakawhat
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

 806 characters

Photo of Sharkophile
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

 565 characters

Photo of MDDMD
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
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)

 386 characters

Photo of FosterJM
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

 682 characters

Photo of C20Percent
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

 1,074 characters

Photo of argock
3.38/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

 1,178 characters

Photo of SawDog505
3.21/5  rDev -16%
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.

 701 characters

Photo of GPHarris
3.07/5  rDev -19.6%
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.

 374 characters

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

 951 characters

Photo of rlee1390
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

 404 characters

Photo of hopsolutely
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
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...

 529 characters

Photo of match1112
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
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!

 349 characters

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

 471 characters

Photo of PhantasIPA
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

 732 characters

Photo of chefhatt
3.63/5  rDev -5%
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.

 358 characters

Photo of aranheaney
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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

 315 characters

Photo of SLeffler27
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

 768 characters

Photo of angrybabboon
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

 815 characters

Photo of AdamBear
3.63/5  rDev -5%
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.

 559 characters

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.66/5  rDev -4.2%
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!

 601 characters

CascaZilla from Ithaca Beer Company
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 1,254 ratings