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CascaZilla | Ithaca Beer Company

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Very Good
1,235 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,235 |  Reviews: 589
Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I first tried his beer out of a cask at the blue monk in buffalo. It was beyond words how good it was then, but my current review reflects my tasting from a growler poured at the brewery one day ago.

Dark reddish brown color with a fluffy tan head. There is no haziness. Unfortunately the head falls apart quickly once drinking commences, but enough of a halo is left to leave lines of sticky lacing down the inside of the glass.

Sweet malt and cascade hops have me excited every time I drink this beer. There are undernotes of slight tomato, honey, and raisin. All of the sweetness of the malt is checked by pungent hops that make this beer exceptionally grapefruity as well. This is the definition of a fresh ale.

The beer tastes remarkably fresh and clean. The bitterness gives ample bite and dryness, while the sweet malt sugars hit the taste buds and linger. This is seriously a beer I could imagine myself drinking all night and not being overwhelmed in the least.

The beer provides great balance in respect to its bitter and sweet components. The body of this beer is a rich medium, but because of it's freshness it remains crisp and refreshing like a light beer. The alcohol is the most pronounced in this beer's aftertaste and it lingers along with the bittering cascade hops.

This beer is my Ithaca go-to beer and has provided me with satisfaction every time I've consumed it. I have tried many beers trying to incorporate strong hoppiness with rich malt (ie. Black IPAs), but this one is obviously different from the others. For the affordability of this beer, I would say it's worth trying a six pack at least once. However, it is superior served in a cask or growler.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.89/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby brown color with a thinnish beige head that dissipates to form a ring on top. Smell is nicely balanced between malt and hop. Grapefruit and citrus meet caramel and brown sugar. A tried and true combination because it works so well. Taste is malty with darker sugar and caramel jumbled together with citrus and grapefruit. Slight mineral water type bite midway through with a long lingering citrus bitterness. Moderate level of carbonation and a medium body. Seven percent abv is nowhere to be found. Great brew, I'm glad I picked up six.

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

12oz bottle straight from the brewery poured into a Snifter glass

A- Pours dark brown with a strong reddish hue. A fluffy 1 finger head rests on top and sticks around. Leaves splotchy lacing as it goes down the glass.

S- Strong bitter grassy hops up front with subtle notes of citrus and fruit. After giving it a swirl the caramel malts come out quite a bit giving it a sweetness, breadiness, and blend really nicely with the hops.

T- Tastes just like the aroma. Nice paler caramel malts up front create a nice full and flavorful body for the strong earthy grass tasting hops to sit on. Slight notes of citrus in there but the more earth notes come through stronger. Some roasted nut like flavors come through as well as some bread.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a nice bitter strong finish.


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Photo of SickGnar
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Rich, dark, robust red – a bit tawny in the shadows, but vivid in the light.. Clear with a good-size, slightly rocky, light tan head that keeps a rim and leaves super lacing. It ain’t art, but it is pretty.

S: Cascade hops for sure – juicy grapefruit with rind and some pine notes. Nice complement of malts – caramel & toasty grain, with hints of darker roast. Could stand to be a bit more pungent in the hot department, but the malts are oh so inviting.

T: Firm bitterness & cascade character. Lots of pulpy grapefruit & zesty rind. The open also has a bit of juicy tangerine and orange. Through the middle some pine shows up and then spice which blends into the end and that lingers with some resin in the finish. Muscular malt backbone is mostly robust & mildy sweet caramel malt rounded out by toasty grain and hints of darker roast notes that grow stronger in the end & finish. While the nose may be lacking a touch in the hops, the flavor is dank enough to give the palate a good workout.

M: Some over medium body with carbonation to balance and keep from feeling overly thick. Destrins and some hop tannins give a bit of chewiness. Starts semi-sweet, but leans a touch drying from the hops and roast malts.

D: A pretty fine and robust red ale. Not quite imperial at 7.0% abv, but hefty enough and a little bit sneaky. Interesting and nicely drinkable, and a good East Coast does West Coast take.

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Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Paddy's in Hornell, NY

Pours a cloudy reddish-brown with minimal head. Caramel and nutty malts come through on the nose with a some mild hops coming through as well. Taste is a nice balance of malt and citrusy hops with a nice nutty finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth; well carbonated. I rather enjoyed this amber ale, will probably have it again in the future.

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Photo of jmpizzo
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into slightly chilled pint glass

A - Brownish red small head active carbonation. Small head with lacing filling the glass nicely as it goes down.

S - Sweet berries with a hint malty nuts. Actually my least favorite thing about this brew... it comes across a bit too much for me.

T - Sweet and hoppy. Finishes a little like the Ithaca Nut Brown but with more bitterness.

M - Medium thickness just enough for this style. Lacing adds some stickiness as the glass empties.

O - This is a nice amber ale. It's hoppy, it's malty it's nutty, it has so many different angles it pulls you in after every sip. I like the thickness and the lacing.

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Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense beige head that consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface as well as thick rings of lacing down the sides of the glass..
S: There are light aromas of pine resin hops and caramel malts in the nose.
T: There are initial flavors of caramel and malty sweetness in the taste, however these are balanced out by the underlying hops, which lend some hints of bitterness towards the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied, very smooth and somewhat creamy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is easy to drink because it has a good balance and the hops prevent it from becoming overly sweet, despite all of the caramel and malty flavors. No traces of alcohol are perceptible in the taste.

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Photo of Kinsman
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
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 +4.4%
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 +1.3%
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 +3.9%
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 +8.1%
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 +4.4%
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 +2.3%
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 +5.2%
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 -6.5%
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 +3.1%
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 -3.4%
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 -22.5%
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 +4.4%
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 +5.2%
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 -7.8%
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 -4.2%
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 +18.8%
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 -0.8%
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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CascaZilla from Ithaca Beer Company
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 1,235 ratings
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