CascaZilla | Ithaca Beer Company

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1,236 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

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Ratings: 1,236 |  Reviews: 589
Photo of mvanaskie13
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
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 +0.8%
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 +4.7%
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 +9.9%
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 +4.7%
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 -10.5%
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 -8.4%
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 +9.9%
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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Photo of jsanford
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

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Photo of aepb1
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
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

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Photo of Jesse13713
2.07/5  rDev -45.8%
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.

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Photo of neorunner
3.44/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

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Photo of busterthecat
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.47/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

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Photo of Durge
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

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Photo of IIKaRuII
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of sybilyang
4.11/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

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Photo of cooch69
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of IronLover
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of ism
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of Chaney
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
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...

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Photo of gabedivision
4.07/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

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Photo of JamnesCameron
4.16/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

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Photo of Pahn
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

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Photo of CaptDavyJones
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

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CascaZilla from Ithaca Beer Company
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 1,236 ratings
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