CascaZilla | Ithaca Beer Company

very good
1,228 Ratings
no score
Send samples

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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,228 |  Reviews: 586
Photo of jsanford
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Pint Glass.

A - Pours a clear, dark copper with a generous head of off-white foam that recedes fairly fast, leaving some sudsy lacing.
S - Sweet caramel malt and piney, grassy hops. Definitely more on the malty side, but the hops smell nice and pungent.
T - Very similar to the nose, pungent grassy hops and sweet caramel malt. Floral, and nicely balanced.
M - Fairly crisp, with a medium body and sharp carbonation. ABV is hidden nicely, I'd never guess this was 7%.
O - Another winner from Ithaca, but not even close to Flower Power.

 562 characters

Photo of aepb1
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to ba vapodge for sharing this one with me!

A- Deep amber body with an off-white, airy head

S- Piney/grassy hops with some sweet caramel malts showing up too

T- Nice caramel malts up front and a nice piney hop finish but not as prominent as in the nose. A more balanced taste than the nose

M- Medium body, upper end of carbonation, lingering bitterness

D- Very easy to drink and will return if vapodge graces me again or if I'm able to pick it up elsewhere

 473 characters

Photo of Jesse13713
2.07/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 1 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Excited I finally found single of this.

Appearance - Heavier on the brown side than I expected. No real hints of red at all. Just sort of a dirty sour looking caramel. Chunks of yeast floating around everywhere.

Smell - Smells like your standard red ale. Slightly sour with hints of caramel. Just sort of plain, honestly.

Taste - Slightly sour with hints of light fruits. A zesty citrus that seems slightly skunked. very musty tasting.

Mouthfeel /Drinkability - As stated, quite musty. Drinkability is high. But there were actually solid chunks of yeast that got stuck in my teeth. It just sort of tastes like a musty, slight sour and mellowed red ale. On my list of red ales, this is very low.

 698 characters

Photo of neorunner
3.44/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Blind Beer #7 -

Thanks to Kevin (shrek806) for sending me this in Round #4 of the Blind Beer BIF.

A bit out of order at this point, but I don't think it matters. On the tail end of a cold so my smell may be a bit tainted but food is tasting right so time to get back on the blind horse.

12oz bottle poured into my Unibroue tulip. Color is murky copper red with a solid creamy thick head. Aroma is simco pineyness and citrus hops. Flavor is a mix of medium fruity bitterness and rye bread. This beer is pretty quaffable with a nice clean wet residual mouth feel.

Going to go with a hoppy red ale on this one.

Answer is Ithaca Cascazilla. Another tasty treat from Ithaca, not quite as spectacular as Flower Power but still a solid brew. I wouldn't complain one bit if this was on tap at a local watering hole.

 836 characters

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

Label dated March.
A- Pours a deep copper with red hue. A thick eggshell head lingers leaving good lacing with each taste.

S- Mellow citrus with light piney hops dance upon a stage of caramel sweet malt. Medium aroma overall.

T- Mild/ sweet clean malts with piney hops that present a mellow bitterness. A simple but well done blend of flavors.

M- Medium body, Wet that dries nicely. Flavors are balanced and linger well. pleasant on my palate.

D- No alc. Really easy to drink. I only bought a single to try but would have had kept drinking this if had more.

 562 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.47/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this beer up at Vintage Estate in Ohio. Served in a tulip.

Pours a very ugly muddy copper color with a brownish hue. Short off-white head comes and goes quickly and leaves a touch of lacing behind. The nose brings forward some piney and citrus hops along with a bit of sweet bready malt. The flavor is fairly hoppy, though there's too much sweetness falling in behind it. Mouthfeel is medium with adequate carbonation. Good bitterness in the finish, though again it's too sweet. Pretty drinkable and I'd have it again, though not likely something I would purchase again.

 578 characters

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

Enjoyed this one fresh on tap at the comfortable confines of the Chapter House in Ithaca. From the pint glass this shows a slightly orange-ish brown wth a fair light oatmeal colored head that leaves a nice trail of lace. The aroma offers a pleasing malt vinegar and citrus brightness. The flavor is mellow caramel malt with a nice citrus bite that finishes bright with solid carbonation for a tingly and somewhat chalky feel. There's some grassiness to it, toffee and a vague smoke hidden in there. Just a very drinkable hoppy brew that is refreshing and satisfying. Nice to finally try it on tap.

 597 characters

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

Thanks to Arnolds Carry out for the FREE beer!
Pours a see thru red pepper color. forms a thick two finger head. looks well carbonated. Lacing is heavy, trailing from the top all the way down.
smells fruity, bitter, and spicy. slight cherry aroma. overall though very sweet smelling.
surprisingly pretty malty. the bitterness is really well masked. The hops tend to come out last, but dont linger. sweetness is wall balanced.
refreshingly smooth on the palate. surprisingly drinkable. for something being advertised as "monstrously hoppy" I was gearing up for it.

 565 characters

Photo of sybilyang
4.11/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep malty amber color - I've had this beer in many ways (btl, tap, and tap at the brewery). Have never been disappointed. This is a hoppy beer, much more mellow and balanced than Flower Power. The maltiness is a good match for the level of hops, but that seems to be its only purpose, to help tone down the hops a bit. A better food beer than Flower Power I think.

 365 characters

Photo of cooch69
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep shade of see through brown. Nice small head and lasting lacing.

Nose of caramel malts, brown sugar, and piney grassy hops.

Taste comes with the hops upfront followed by a nice rich caramelly maltiness. Semi dry nice and crisp and creamy in the mouth. Biterness does'nt linger very much.

I was pleasantly surprised with this beer. I am not a man of many hops and this beer is one of the many that I tried that I am enjoying.

 450 characters

Photo of IronLover
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 12oz bottle with a best by March 2011 on the label. Poured a murky, brownish-red with a brief off-white head. The foam reduced quickly, but left a healthy cap for the duration. Sweet malty aromas with a hint of maple syrup and mellow, floral hops. Medium bodied, with a resinous feel and assertive carbonation. Malty sweetness in the beginning, again with a hint of maple syrup. The flavor slowly transitions from sweet to hoppy from beginning to end. Floral hop flavors through the middle with a bitter pine hop finish. The bitter finish tends to linger for a while.

 582 characters

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

Dark copper body with a wonderful ruby hue, topped by a dense 2-finger creme-coloured head. Patches of dense lacing in sporadic formation, with decent retention.

Bright floral aroma from the cascade hops, nice earthy undertones, a bit of pine, and dark fruit.

Slightly sweet caramel malt, with smoky earth, a touch of spice, very well-balanced. The alcohol is hidden quite well. Pine resin and spice open up in the finish, and earth lingers.

Medium mouthfeel, a little bready, very smooth and clean.

Easy to drink and pleasurable.

 534 characters

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

I found this brew over at Schneider's in DC. This was a major want of my so now I'm really stoked!

A: Fairly clear, dark blood red color, with about a 1-2 finger creme colored head that finally settled down after I let it settle for a few minutes.

S: Exceptionally fruity, with some cherries and dates. On the hoppy end... not too bitter actually.

T: Peppery fruit, with bleached out sweetness - straight up! Extremely smooth from start to finish and the sweet elements were exceptionally tempered down and disciplined.

M: A good bit of lacing, but on the feel end, the pepper and alcohol spaced the hop bite out to the tenth power! Very well carbonated.

D: I never would have guess Amber on this one. I would have said ESB due to the lack of sweetness and bitter front end. However, this was a very nice drinker...

 820 characters

Photo of gabedivision
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle to 16 oz pint glass.

A- very cloudy dark brown with a thin steady head.

S- high alcohol scent for a beer thats only 7%. nice hoppy flavors with a sweet sugary smell.

T- This tastes amazing, i cant stop drinking it, im actually licking the sides of the glass, its so good. Very well balanced hops with the haze of the red ale on the finish. Excellent taste.

M- Plays well in the mouth lot of malt and hop characteristics that keep your tongue begging for more.

D- Damn fine beer.

 507 characters

Photo of JamnesCameron
4.16/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a murky deep amber color with a light tan head that drops rather quickly. Lots of chunks floating in my beer. Not cool. No warning on the bottle about a careful pour. Slight lacing, leaving depth marks after each sip.

Aroma of mild citrus and pine resins. Citrus is light, not overpowering, grapefruit, lemon zest. Malt character is buried by the hop aroma, but some caramel does poke through.

First sip is a light lime-ade quality, with a mildly puckering bitterness. Citrus zest tartness, limes. Slight sweet malt notes, emphasis is on the hops. Not the big hoppy monster I was expecting, rather restrained, flavorful, not in your face bitterness. Finish is medium, lime zest and bitterness. Fades slowly, begging for another sip.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, hop resins coat your mouth. Slight pull at the cheeks. Good level of carbonation, slight prickle, not overly gassy.

Overall very drinkable, once you get beyond the chunks of stuff floating in your glass.

 1,001 characters

Photo of Pahn
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass. Best by April 2011.

Appearance: Careful pour yields a two inch, pillowy offwhite head that slowly and rockily recedes into a quarter inch head that almost outlasts the beer, leaving huge, raised lacing all over the glass. If you're a homebrewer looking to give your beers big attractive heads, you may want to ask the brewers at Ithaca about it. Pours a semi-translucent reddish brown and leaves predictably enormous lacing.

Smell: Really interesting. Almost lime like, with pine and some vague sweet tropical fruit... Kind of reminds me of pink Starburst actually (weird). Some malty undertones.

Taste: Follows the nose. Less lime, more pine, with a great balance of hop flavor and caramel malt sweetness. Mild tingle of bitterness at the end, before going on into a long cookies and cream aftertaste. These flavors are all good, and they work well together.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Mildly juicy and creamy at the same time. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: This is my kind of beer. Relatively unique, punchy, flavorful hop notes, and a strong malt influence. Sweet but not too sweet (and kept well in check by the bitterness). I will probably grab another 6pack or two before I leave NYC.

Cascazilla is an easy drinking, flavorful, well-constructed beer. What it lacks in complexity or various "wow factors", it makes up for with near flawlessness in most areas. The kind of beer that would be one of the ones that come to mind if I needed to illustrate to someone what American craft beer is.

 1,541 characters

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

Poured a murky brown color into a pint glass from a 12 oz bottle with the 'best-by' date on the label. The label says the best-by date is Nov, but not sure if it is Nov'10 or Nov'11.
No mention of ABV.
A solid two finger frothy head that dissipated fairly quickly, leaving frothy lace all along the insides of the glass.
Aroma is sweet with hints of hops.
Taste is also malty and sweet with a slight twang of hops at the end. Everything about the taste makes me feel like this is an old bottle past the 'best-by' date.
Nonetheless, it is still very drinkable and worth trying.

 578 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Wow that looks murky. I even poured the sediment bottom in another glass and it looks about the same. Very mild lacing and hardly no head.

S - Mildly hoppy and slight caramel. Smells good.

T - Wow it's pretty smooth but not very hoppy so I believe this beer is old. Still very malty and sweet so its not all bad. Smooth.

M - Medium bodied. Drinks pretty good.

D - Well I don't really like it and would maybe get a fresh bottle but I believe I can find more hoppy brews so it's just OK in my book.

 504 characters

Photo of BB1313
3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a dark auburn w/ nice fluffy head and decent lacing. What do you know, a big blast of cascade hops! There are also hints of caramel and toffee, which makes this one bittersweet. The fruitiness of the hops really make this one special. There's something about Cascazilla that reminds me of candy. Full-bodied; rich and creamy. Smooth and easy drinking. This is a great red ale!

This one may get lost in the shadow of Flower Power, but this one stands on its' own. I've always been a fan. Great beer from a great brewery. Recommended.

 586 characters

Photo of rowingbrewer
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this last night, poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a hazy red color with a strong inch and a half head.

smell is amazing, cascade is one of my favorite hops for aroma, and you can definitely smell it here.

The taste is kinda like a slightly malty pale ale, the flavor from the hops really comes through with out to much bitterness.

Mouthfeel is light and very carbonated. this is a very drinkable beer at 7%

 428 characters

Photo of samie85
3.03/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A-Pours a hazy auburn amber color with two fingers of white head that dissipate quickly.

S-Big aromas of pineapple, light malt and some papaya.

T-The taste is very similar to a less bitter version of Two Hearted for me. Pineapple and light malt with some peachy notes.

M-The mouth is a little thin and a bit too much carbonation for my palate.

D-Easy drinking but not a terribly thought-provoking, or interesting beer.

 422 characters

Photo of gford217
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Seth for this bottle.

Pours a murky reddish brown with a hefty beige head that recedes very slowly to a rocky cap with lots of carbonation feeding it from the bottom.

Aroma is sweet with caramel malts and some toasted bread alongside the spicy floral and light citrus hop combo.

Taste starts with some pineapples and lemon zest before the caramel malts and bready malt base come in. The finish has a slightly resinous pine character.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with high carbonation and overall very lively on the palate.

This is a hop-forward amber with the cascade really bringing the hop complexity to the beer. It's not as big and hoppy as Nugget Nectar but it's in the same vein.

 703 characters

Photo of mbusster88
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle with best by Nov.

A: Pours great amber color with tan head. Very dense head that clings to the side of the glass. Not much carbonation noticeable at all.

S: Smells off a great hop character right away. Some malt characters of bread, but very minimal. Nearly all of the smell is the hop presence.

T/M: Very thin mouth feel. Clean and rather refreshing. Great hop character in the body of this beer. But then some caramel and malty notes take over. This finishes very clean and well balanced.

D: This is well put together, but not necessarily a top beer of the style. However, I loved this beer and would pick this up regularly.

 654 characters

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

Bottle tasted blind courtesy of KimR, thanks again!

Pours a dark amber color, slightly cloudy, with a decent off white head.

Aromas are nice. Citrus, hard candies, and light resin hop notes.

Taste starts of with a cereal grainy flavor. Then settles into some brewed tea and slightly sweet caramel sweet notes. Finish is crisp and bready with a mineral hop bite.

Mouthfeel is so so, but I think this lacks body.

Drinkability is good. This is a tasty and complex beer, but I wish it had a thicker body. Still good stuff.

 523 characters

Photo of Leviathan
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased this at Beers of the World on a trip through Rochester, NY. I've enjoyed several IBC beers so I looked forward to trying this one.

Beer pours a nice hazy amber with a good head. Has a citrus and slight pine hops smell, as well as malts.

The bottle states that this is a Red Ale. It has the taste characteristics of a typical amber/red, but with a much more prominent hop taste. Not overly hoppy, yet enough to overpower the caramel malt base and leave some bitterness in your mouth. It works very well and helps distinguish this beer from the everyday Red Ales.

I rated this higher in drink ability because three or four won't destroy your palette or fill you up too quickly. This beer pairs very well with some really sharp cheddar or peppery foods.

Clearly this beer was brewed to be more muscular than its name implies. I'm a fan!

 848 characters

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.