CascaZilla | Ithaca Beer Company

very good
1,228 Ratings
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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 Kinsman
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper colored body with a light tan colored head that is just sticky enough to provide a good head for the beer.

Pine resin and some floral character give a nice hop aroma that is balanced out by a strong caramel and slightly bready malt aroma.

Unfortunately this bottle is a bit old but I'm still enjoying the hop character. Piney with a decently bitter kick and some citrus character to round it out. Sweet caramel plus a good dose of maltiness put the red in this red ale.

Mouthfeel is relatively light and bubbly for 7%abv. Overall, I'm enjoying this red ale but need to grab a fresher bottle next time. Still, even at a few months old the flavor holds on well and stands out from many a boring red/amber ale.

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

Very nice, dark reddish/gold color with a thick foamy head. Nice lacing. Lovely hops aroma with citrus and pine noticeable. Full, rounded flavor and mouthfeel, good balance of hops, malt, bitterness, and booze. As others have noted, not a super hop-forward brew. And I like that! Everything doesn't have to hit me over the head with the hops all the time. Subtle notes emerge as the beer warms, particularly citrus fruit and biscuity malt.

Enjoyed this one quite a bit. Would love to do a side by side with BP Calico, another red I have tried recently.

Good stuff Ithaca!

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Photo of Florida9
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep dark brown in color, though light still shows through on the bottom of the glass. Forms a foamy, light tan head. Very good retention. Good lacing.

S: Rather muted combination of pithy grapefruit, citrus, and pine. Some rich caramel in the background.

T: Lightly sweet with lots of caramel malt. Some roasted malts as well. Citrus hops. Mild bitterness.

M: Heavier side of medium with appropriate carbonation.

O: A good, but not great, red ale. Not as hop forward as I was expecting.

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Photo of jayhawk73
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours an amazing brownish red w/ a two finger perfect cocoa colored head, which sticks around for a bit. Great carbonation and lacing. Can't see through the beer at all- really nice looking brew.

S- Hops, malt, sweetness, some fruit. Subdued nose, but definitely good smelling. Very balanced and pleasant to the senses. Nice.

T- Hops rule the day here. Some malt and fruit get in there as well. Very dry finish in the aftertaste. Very tasty, although I don't think I can put this past a 4 in the category. Big malt backbone as well- plenty of malt in this brew.

M- This is the downfall of this brew. Not great, but not horrible. The malt overwhelms the feel a little too much for my taste, and that leads to just over average feel for me. I'd like a little more balance to earn a higher score.

O- A nice beer overall, and recommended if you haven't checked it out. Glad I got to try this one.

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Photo of NaLoGra
4.14/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Great brew from Ithaca all around. Poured into a pint glass from the bottle. Decent head at first, then dwindled down to nothing, but with excellent lacing.

A - A dark brownish red color, very interesting.

S - This thing smells beautifully of wheat and floral notes...maybe some hops if im not mistaken.

T - Very strong flavor, almost too strong at first...then it settles down into a pleasant hoppy flavor and small traces of malt.

M - Carbonated...a little too much actually. For me, this is where this beer lacked a bit.

O - Great beer overall. I enjoyed my sampler pack from Ithaca, but this is the type of beer I would only have one of in a night.

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

Appearance: Dark copper with a big, fluffy head that fades slowly with chunky lacing.

Aroma: Piney hop resin with some floral notes underneath and a hint of sweet malt.

Taste: A hefty amout of hop bitterness right off the bat fading with some toasted, slightly nutty malt filling the void before a return of the tongue-pricking bitterness on the way out. The finish is lingering with quite a bit of residual bitterness

The Rest: This is an old standby that I've had dozens of times but just never reviewed. For me, this is a good local, reasonably priced way to get a dank hop kick.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Samuel Adams perfect pint glass. Part of a mixed 12 pack of 3 of each of Nut Brown, 'Zilla, Apricot Wheat, and Groundbreak.

A: Pours a dark copper color. Aggressive pour leads to a 2 finger fluffy head that disappears in under a minute. Leaves little to no lacing.

S: Malt heavy with spicy back end and slight notes of caramel and fruit - perhaps prunes or raisins.

T: Malt heavy here as well but with plenty of bitter hoppy punch to escort the sweetness from my palate. Wonderful mix of sweet and bitter makes this Red Ale quite delicious.

M: Slightly thin bodied is my only complaint with this being slightly undercarbonated but I'm really being nitpick-y here.

O: Overall, this is a really well done Red that is good just about any time of the year. Yet another stellar offering from Ithaca.

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Photo of jbeerto1
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark, orange brown althought still translucent with a large off-white tan head.
S- Caramel malt is immediately noticeable along with a strong hop smell and a hint of citrus.
T- Caramel, along with the smell, is immediately noticeable. Citrus hops balance the malt in the finish.
M- medium body, very clean, easily drinkable.
O- decent brew worth trying, good balance of malt and hops, at first I thought the caramel malts would be overwhelming but not at all.

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

Poured into a Russian River bowled glass a dark ruby amber with several fingers of off-white suds.

Nose has a light Cascade pine scent alongside some bready caramel.

Medium bodied with prickly carbonation - pine bitterness jumps out with caramel malts and a smooth lingering earthy pine and citrus finish.

I guess for a beer called Casca Zilla I was expecting a bigger hop bite, but upon reflection - as a red ale, it's pretty solid.

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Photo of THECPJ
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: copper orange with a 1 finger off white head

smell: hops, citrus, malts, caramel

taste: caramel, malts, grass, hops

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body

overall: pretty decent red ale wish it was alittle more smooth and not such a dry finish.


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Photo of Knapp85
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The pour of this beer is a nice looking red color with decent tan head on top. The smell has a really good hoppy aroma with some sweet caramel on the nose. The taste gives off a nice sweet flavor at first is kind of semi sweet with a pleasant hoppy bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium and rather enjoyable. It's a good brew, it's worth trying again.

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Photo of chugalug06
2.97/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A - Very light foamy head with soapy undertones. Head is off white with mild lacing. Head pour strong and reduces nicely into a decent crust. Brew is dark brown with red and orange hues.

S - Quite disappointing scent. Very bland. Cinnamon, Caramel, and pine/grass stick out.

T - Very nice and complex flavor. Hops are out of balance, but just to the point of distraction. Overly hopped for the style, IMO.

M - Slightly bitter, great carbonation, and quite dry. A very heavy Red. Very nice up front and harsh on the back.

O - A very out of balance brew. Not one I would pour out, but flavor is slightly all over the place. A good brew, just missing a few pieces.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear red color with some brown hints mixed in and a big finger of frothy off-white head. The head fades down slowly to a thin ring leaving behind some nice lacing in the process.

S - Aroma is a nice mix of sweet caramel malts and some citrus and pine hops. Bit of bready aromas as well.

T - Starts off with some sweet caramel malts and some piney hops and bitterness. Through the middle some bready flavors and citrus hops come through. The finish is a mix of some citrus bitterness and some copper tasting malts that linger nicely.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth and crisp without being watery. The finish is nice and crisp and a touch bitter.

D - Very drinkable. The flavors all mingle really nicely and the hop malt balance feels spot on. There is a nice balance of sweet malt and some deeper bread malts that mix well.

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Photo of UMNbeerhunter
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter on 5/19/11.

Pours a beautiful dark amber with tons of red hues, and a frothy carbonation filled off white head that dissipates in about 2 minutes leaving moderate lacing. I like the look 4.5/5.

Smell is delightful as well. Nice malt backbone filled out with a bunch of hops, pine and citrus. Some malty bill, like a biscuit like aroma. Nice but somewhat subdued. May be because its a little older but very good none the less. 4/5.

Taste is of a biscuit malt profile and tons of piny hops. It fades to a little more sweetness but not much. After taste is toasty malt. Taste is good but would liked a little more hop profile. 4/5.

Mouthfeel is light to medium in weight. Sticks to the palate nicely and leaves a biscuity flavor with a little pine hop presence. 4/5

Overall this is a very solid brew but not excellent. I would like to try this one again in the future. Very good.

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

Had this on 2011-05-04 in Columbia, PA

A - Mahogany with a 2.5-finger head into a nonic glass. Moderate lacing.

S - Caramel, bread, hop floral and mild citrus. Not a strong aroma.

T - Caramel, spice, orange zest, floral and moderate bitterness. Aftertaste gets a little more bitter and sweet-tartish as it partially dries. It's a good flavor but I'm not ga-ga for it.

M - Thinner than I expected with medium+ carbonation. Creamy and effervescent.

O - Well done but I wouldn't trade it for a Nugget Nectar or Hop Rod Rye.

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Photo of musicforairports
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz into tulip. Marked best by halfway between this month and next month.

Pours cloudy dark amber, with a decent, fluffy head.

Smells like sweet, smooth, toasted caramel.

Taste is that of a smooth red ale. Lots of caramel malt flavors, smooth and finishing bitter. Some citrus/pine flavors noticeable in the finish, but I think this might taste a lot different very fresh. The malt flavors are rather robust.

Medium mouthfeel, lightly creamy and smooth.

A good red ale. Even though I live in New York, it seems tough to find this one very fresh. I'm curious to see how the hops are then.

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Photo of CRumple
4.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Attracted by the name alone, I had this beer on tap for the first time a few weeks ago and haven't been able to quit it yet. It pours an amber color without much head. The Cascazilla smells malty and toasted and it tastes like hop heaven. f'ing delicious!

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft a few weeks ago and then picked up an ithaca variety pack.

Poured into tulip shaped pint glass (new belgium), pours a nice amber-brown with tan head about 1/2" thick, nice lacing

Smell is mild malt roasted sweetness, light biscuit notes, followed by the cascade bitter/pine/fruitiness.

Taste is a nice punch of the cascade bitterness, more pine notes than grapefruit, followed by a solid light roasted malt, light biscuit sweetness.

Mouthfeel is a touch heavy on the tongue, but I like the hoppy amber ales this way.

Overall, well done brew, slight tilt to the hop side, but a good roasted/biscuit malt followup.

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Photo of liamt07
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from New Beer Distributors, 12oz into a pint glass. Best before September (of this year, I'll assume).

Pours a brownish orange, with 3+ fingers of fluffy, lofty offwhite head. Great retention, loads of lacing. Nose has big citrus and grapefruit hops. Loafs of toffee and caramel goodness to balance it out, feels prototypical of the style in my eyes. Taste leads with the malt, caramel again, and fades into some indiscriminate citrus. Flavour finishes again malty, with more caramel notes. Some bitterness lingers. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Balance in this one is towards to malt, but I think I wanted a bit more hop flavour and 'bite' out of this one. Enjoyable, but left something to be desired.

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

Appearance: 12oz bottle poured into Imperial Pint (due to a lack of clean pints.) Pours a nice amber colour with a thin bubbly head that fades with good lacing.

Smell: Lots of malt with lots of hops following suit. There is a soothing spicy-sweet quality to it as well.

Taste: Not as hoppy as the smell but it is still the most prominent flavour. There is also some malt behind as well as some lingering booze.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a nice oily, syrupy feel to it. A little bit of a bite at first.

Overall: A good brew of this style. Nothing too interesting but not bland by any means. A solid beer, definitely a must-try for red ale lovers.

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Photo of jampics2
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ the Winking Lizard. Served in a pint glass for around $5.

The first time I had this beer was right before Ithaca came to Ohio. My friend helped put together the deal, so he came to a Browns game with a cooler full of Ithaca beers that the brewmaster had sent him a few days earlier. Cascazilla was one of those beers, and it was an experience. I've found, however, since that day that this beer can suck if it's too old. As in more than a month or so. And I've been searching to review only a fresh glass full. Finally, I have one that rivals that first encounter back in the day.

The beer looks nice in the glass. It's an orange-brown with red notes and an off-white, billowing head that leaves surprisingly little lace.

The smell is where this starts heating up. There's some crystal, sweet caramel and huge toasted malt notes that are literally smothered in hops. Grapefruit and orange impressions follow, pure cascade candy.

The taste is pure fire-breathing awesomeness. The malt base is sublime, with just enough sweetness, toast and breadiness to support the hop rampage. And that rampage happens on cue, with huge pine and grapefruit flavors exploding from every angle as the utility lines go down. People scream, but the onslaught of bitterness never rages out of control. Instead, things are kept grounded and the hops never get out of control.

The mouthfeel is a touch on the sticky side, but the medium body has enouygh carbonation from being slick to a flaw. Overall, this is a very enjoyable brew when it's this green. Fear not, beer drinking people. This monster won't be toppling over buildings in your city any time soon. It's not that fierce. But it is a great cross-over take on a hoppy American Red ale and one I'll be seen swigging any time it's fresh.

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

A - Great orangey tofee colored body with a nice swiss cheese head. Sticky all the way down the glass.

S - Great floral hop nose, slight citris nuances. A tad spicy and sweet smelling. Some vegetable notes too.

T - Big floral hop mouth with some spice and alcohol looming around. Semi dry hop charachter and some sweetness as well. Detecting some grassy/vegetable tang.

M - Nice easy drinker with a little wamrth in as it evaporates in the mouth and on the way down.

O - A solid red and easy to drink. Hoppy and smooth.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.42/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into pint glass

A - Pours a reddish, brown and hazy. Very minor light yellow head, basically no lacing.

S - Bitter, grassy hops. Sweet caramel malts.

T - Much of the same as the nose. Grassy hops with a touch of lemon citric bitters. Strong caramel, almost a touch too heavy.

M - Sticky, medium, slightly dry

O - A basic straight-forward red ale. ABV is hidden well. Easy to drink but not overly interesting.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Third beer of the night last night at the Yard House, Dedham, as my drink with my dinner. Served on tap into a pint glass. Dark reddish orange color. Not much head. Mix of hops and malt in the nose. Taste was pretty straight forward. Malty body, with a hit of hops at the end on the palate. Mouthfeel was smooth, and hid the 7% abv sort of well. Overall this beer was good with my burger, but really just seemed like an average red ale. I guess I had higher expectations due to the reputation I've heard about this beer in the past.

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

Poured from 12 oz bottle (no date stamp) into a snifter glass at a local restaurant in DC which was a pleasant surprise as Ithaca beers are seldomly found in the DC area. Pours a hazy red-brown color with a two to three finger creamy head of off-white to light tan colored bubbles, there is some effervescence in the glass and retains nice lacing throughout the session. There were aromas of citrus, pine and grapefruit hops with lots of caramel and malt, a good amount of caramel & dark honey sweetness as well. Flavors consisted of caramel, piney hops with caramel, light bread and grain malt. Has some good hop bitterness on the palate after the finish and give a good drying on the tongue. Mouthfeel is about medium with a bit of carbonation through out, a nice IPA with generous caramel accents. A nice upgrade over the more popular Flower Power in my opinion.

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