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 timfelix
4.53/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had this at the brewery just outside of Ithaca NY.
Show up and they let you try all their beers. In general they are all good to excellent.
The Cascazilla has a wide variety of flavor. quite unique. malty, hoppy, sweet and bitter all in one. Some strong flavors but they make a great flavor.

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

Appearance: Pours a truly amber color with substantial head that clings and sticks around for a while.
Smell: Aroma is of fresh citrus hops and bready malts.
Taste: Sharp, hoppy (but not too oppressive) citrus hops lead the way on top of a bready base malt that also has some caramel character. Grapefruit is a good descriptor of the Cascade hop flavor profile. The finish is dry with the hops lingering on.
Mouthfeel: Smooth and medium-bodied.
Drinkability: Great for those who like a little hop in their amber ales. Probably not optimal for a session, but not too tough to go for a second.

Overall- Edge to the hops here, throwing off the balance a bit. But, it is Cascazilla and was designed in this fashion. Not bad!

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Photo of GJ40
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on tap at Doherty's in Pawtucket, RI.

Amber with good clarity and a moderate beige head with good retention. Good lacing as it empties. The aroma is caramel malts and floral hops. The flavor is balanced with caramel, bread, biscuits and a lingering bitterness. It's got a creamy texture and a nice low to moderate carbonation.

I liked the flavor but I thought it could use more hops. Maybe the keg I sampled from had been around a while but I expected more.

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Photo of devinoconnor
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another pretty good Ithaca Brewery performer.

Has a nice warm redish brown color.

Smells delicious, malty.

Taste is a nice red amber. Goes down fairly smooth.

One or two is all I'd drink of this. It's a good red ale, but nothing too special.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This was one of the better amber ales I've come across, but nothing I would spend money on again. Maybe I'm not an amber ale aficionado.

Average look to start, with cask/real ale features. Amber/tawny color, slight chill haze. Bit of a dense, creamy, sloppy-soap bubble thing with the head. Lacing languid.

Fruity esters and citrusy hoppiness greet the nose, with some light toasted grain tickling the nosehairs in the end.

Smooths over the tongue with a full-ish, puffy feel - fruity, crystal/cara- malt profile. The hops are a good bit resiny, firm, citrusy-spicy bitterness... sweet/toasty grain and English yeast roundness.

It's okay - no stand-out qualities (though the 7% hardly seemed to show up in any facet - notable, I suppose) - a cheap six-pack beer (provided I can sniff it out cheap). But, really, it was a one-pint stand.

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Photo of albertjr21
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I experienced the "Cascazilla" with my favorite sausage pizza and was very satisfied with how well they both got along. Into a pint glass, this poured a dark amber color with a slight red hue and carried a light sweet malt and citrus blended nose. It opened up with a mildly sweet taste into a malty center before ending with a light grapefruit bitter aftertaste. Nice balance and complexity in general and a great carbonated mouthfeel to cleanse the palate for that next bite of pizza. I'll be revisiting this again soon...

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

12 oz bottle. Code under label + best-by month notched on label.

Pours a slightly hazy, dark burnt orange. A thick off-white head sticks around big-time. I pick up some pretty decent floral and herbal tones from the smell, as well as some sweet and dark syrupy notes. Nice and complex. Taste starts off mellow, but quickly twists into a green, minty hops. Thus the feel is cool and smooth. Is that detritus taste from the yeast, ala Mendocino? The hops stay around at the end, along with some earthy barley backing. The malts are kind of subdued on this one - my only complaint. The beer feels just a bit flat and "round" as a whole, yet because of the interesting hops, it's pretty tasty. A favorite of the ambers that I've tried.

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

A: Poured in a heffe glass dark orange in color with a two finger white head that fizzes down leaving a lot of lacing to a white cap that stayed for the duration of the drink. Chunky Floaties abundant.

S: Sweet malt, pine, cherries, citrus

T: Starts off with a bready,sweet malty cherry taste that is soon taken by beautiful bitter cascade hops. Leaves a nice bitterness on the tongue. Very rich, smooth, and balanced. Another amazing beer by Ithaca

M: Full bodied with gentle carbonation. Extremely smooth!

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Photo of psuKinger
2.29/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle acquired through trade with jchow79 and poured into standard curved shaker pint glass.

A: Pours a very deep orange, almost *brown*... very dark for an IPA. Frothy off-white head, about 1 finger in size, sits on top.

S: Very malty-sweet and earthy, with a mild scent of pine hops.

T: Earthy flavors and the taste of sweet-and-sour sugars that I find to be so prevalent in East Coast IPAs. Some pine bitterness on the back end. For me, the sugars are just overpowering. What I want out my IPA is lots of hops. Bitter hops, oily grapefruit presence, citrus hops, ect. This beer just doesn't have much of any of that.

M: Reasonably good carbonation and lots of tongue coating with the sugars and hops.

D: This isn't my kind of IPA. Just not enough bitterness or grapefruit hops in them for my liking.

This beer reminds me a lot of a Dogfish IPA, particularly 90 Minute. A lot of my friends love Dogfish 90. I'd recommend this beer to any of them. But much like Dogfish 90 (and most East Coast IPAs, for that matter), this one just isn't for me.

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Photo of stonermouse
3.42/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a Sam Adams glass.

This is one gorgeous pour. Constant head throughout. The color is a dark cherry and hazy, really pretty.

Aroma is of the hops only, with nothing else really pushing through. The hop aroma profile is fairly generic, but floral hops are slightly more suggestive.

The flavor is interesting, and not quite what I was expecting. I can't tell if the malt, hops, or perhaps rye is the main contibutor to the woodiness in the flavor, but it's sort of tastes like fresh sawdust smells. This isn't gross,'s more unique and interesting. The hops contribute some dryness and a bitter bite, but aren't quite the star of the show.

Mouthfeel is good... fairly dense, and the ending stickiness is pretty solid.

Drinkability is only fair, because the flavors are really unique, but I can't imagine coming back to this again and again. While this brew wasn't really what I was expecting, it blends some interesting flavors, and some new ones I'd never experienced. Pick it up once, anyway.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a dark, yet transparent brown with bubbles constantly rising to the top. Darker tan head rises then dies leaving a smallish head that leaves nice lacing.

S-Hoppy. Combined with sugary malts. A bit spicy. A unique smell. Smells inviting.

T-Hops are mildly muted. Spicy found in the nose arises. Sugary, bready malts as well. Tasty. Not overpowering. Bitterness sneaks up on you.

M-Medium bodied. Creamy and slick. A good mouthfeel. Different.

D-Alcohol is well masked. Cool mouthfeel. Pretty drinkable.

Unique to me. Happy to try it.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a reddish/brown color with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is pine and citrusy (grapefruit) hops, and some caramel malt. Taste is just like the aroma, it's all pine/citrusy hops and caramel malt. There's good balance between the hops and malt, and there's also a nice lingering bitter hoppy finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and is well carbonated. Drinkability is good, I think it's easy and enjoyable to drink. I think it's a good beer, I'd buy this again.

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Photo of SkunkWorks
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've also had this on tap, but this is a review of the bottled version. 12 oz bottle poured into an Irish pint glass.

Look: delicate pour gives a 2 finger, eggshell head. Its already down to a thin layer on top of the beer and its already left a sick amount of lacing. The beer itself is amberish red, with some haziness to it. Not as clear red as the tap version was.

Smell: smells much hoppier than I remember the tap one being. Smells like, oh, I dunno, Cascade hops. There's also some malt in the background. It smells like caramel. Citrusy bitterness, caramel and a little toastiness are here.

Taste: much hoppier than I remember it being, so perhaps my hunch about the keg not being as fresh as it could've been was correct. There's citrus and resiny hops along with a nice malt backbone of caramel, toffee, and biscuit. There's also some brown sugar tastes as well. Improved over the tap version due to the extra hoppiness.

Feel: this is the only place where I think the beer was better on tap than in the bottle; the mouthfeel is a good deal thinner this way. I remember it being medium bodied tending towards full bodied, but now its medium bodied tending towards thin. Its crisp with a lot of carbonation and the bitterness of the hops. The 7% ABV remains nicely well hidden.

Drink: since its enjoyable, easy drinking and the alcohol is hidden on this guy, you could drink this all night.

Overall, I really like this beer. I liked it when I first had it on tap and now I like it in just different ways. Where it was malty, now it is hoppy. Ithaca is capable of great things (Flower Power, Cascazilla) but also some nasty crap (Apricot Wheat), but never fear! This is one of the greater ones. Cheers!

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Photo of claspada
2.41/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Aromas are of pine and citrus hops, bready malts. Would have expected/hoped for a little more caramel additions.

The taste is pale malt and typical Cascade/citrus hops. Forgettable at best. The mouthfeel is light bodied, medium carbonation.

Overall this is a decent but not memorable red ale. I could have another one or just as easily pass on it, on second thought pass all together.

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

Thanks to korguy123 for this one!

A: Pours a reddish/brown color with a nice one finger head that lasts for a little bit. Nice lacing on this one.

S: Whoa, lots of hops. Much more than expected, citrus and grapefruit mixed in. Balanced very nicely with a malty backbone and a toasted aroma.

T: The taste is similar to the nose. Starts off with some citrus hops and transitions to a malty/toasted flavor. Also get a little bit of oak in there. Has a hop/bitter finish.

M/D: Medium bodied and on the creamy side. Very nice carbonation. Overall pretty good, very glad to have had it.

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

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass from the bottle. Got this nice little extra from charlesw.

A - Hazy amber to brown body with a small white head on top.

S - A mix of floral and citrus hops with a solid bready like malt backbone. A hint of sweetness at the end.

T - Well balanced beer. Some floral hop flavors and handful of bready malt notes as well. Pretty balanced and slightly sweet. Some citrusy hop bitterness is mixed in as well.

M - Medium bodied, fair amount of carbonation

D - Pretty drinkable well balanced beer. I am enjoying this one and wouldn't mind drinking it again but wouldn't seek it out.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from a variety pack. The beer pours dark amber with an off-white, foamy head. Aroma of caramel malt, cherry fruit with hints of piny hops. Light, crisp body with a piny hops fill the mouth. Caramel malt provide some balance. Long, dry, earthy, hoppy finish

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brownish in color with ruby hilights. Average size foam head with good carbonation.
Toffee malt aroma with a fresh herbal hop bouquet.
Tastes of caramel and toffee malts, sweet.
Hop flavor is fresh citrus and herbs, but is understated. I was expecting more of a hop bite that was suggested according to the website.
Medium bodied beer that is balanced nicely.
A dry finish with a smooth clean aftertaste.
There's some sediment in the bottle.
Personally I think it could be hopped up alittle bit.
Drink well my friends.

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Photo of cmq103
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a Sam Adams Boston Lager Perfect Pint glass to view a darker copper brew with a decent head, almost no lacing though.
S: Moderate hoppy smell with sweet malty background.
T: I really like this blend. You catch a moderate hoppiness, followed by a very smooth malty backbone finish.
M: Smooth and creamy for sure. Went down way to easy for me.
D: I think I found a very good Amber/Red ale. I hope it comes in a 1/6th keg in my area. Very smooth going down. I'm surprised it's a 7%'er, as it tasted much lighter.

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

*review from notes on 9/28/10*

Poured into a pint, Cascazilla is amber colored with a solid inch of white head that lingers a couple minutes, leaving nice lacing. This amber ale has a some nice aromas, pine, citrus, sweet malts, and a bit bready. Tastes is somewhat malt forward, which was unexpected. Sweet and bready upfront, with some citrus in the middle and back. It is a creamy in the mouth, light carbonation, alcohol well hidden. Simply an OK amber ale.

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Photo of cpolking
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark copper to light brown with a tint of amber. It is a bit cloudy. The aroma is of floral hops and a bit of caramel malt. The flavor is of roasted caramel malt and floral hops with a slightly bitter finish. There is a good interplay between the malt and the hops with the hops predominating slightly. There is just a touch of sour in the beer as well. This is an interesting brew.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.44/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into my Darkness glass...Pours an ugly dark brown, pretty clear in the light. A dark tope head with decent retention and lacing...The aroma is totally hop forward, a medium strength ipa with a hint of caramel and rye on the back. Has me intrigued...The taste is all malt, the caramel and rye that took a backseat before now present in a suffocation way that almost makes me gag at first, way to strong and sweet. Slight pine hop finish, but not enough to break up the sweetness. Pretty boring to drink.


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Photo of mothman
2.98/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into pint glass

Pours 1 finger of creamy khaki head. Good retention with some thick lace. Color is a hazy amber copper.

Aroma: Floral earthy hops, grapefruit citrus, pineapple, and orange. It has some caramel malt and a bit of bready flavors.

Taste: All malts up front. Bready, biscuity, and caramel. Some grassy hops with a little citrus kick. A bit of alcohol shows as well.

Mouthfeel: Bitter and chewy. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry and sticky.

Overall, not the best take on the style. A bit too malty for my liking. Not something I want to drink a lot of.

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Photo of HotHands
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a glass stein.

A - pours a dark amber with a fluffy tan head. This is one of the darkest amber ales I have seen.

S - nice citrus hop smell with hints of brown sugar and caramel.

T - strong caramel/toffee flavor up front supported by a significant amount of grapefruity hops. Finish is quite bitter with a lingering bitterness.

M - carbonation seems higher than average. Medium body. A bit of a slick coating effect.

D - quite drinkable for the ABV. I would find it hard to get tired of this.

This is another solid beer from Ithaca and probably their best easily available beer (Flower Power availability can be a bit spotty). I especially enjoy Cascazilla with food; it goes well with beef and pork.

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Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 26 October 2010, poured into Sierra Nevada XXX snifter, pours a 1-finger head that quickly dissipates. Color is deep orange in the light, enough that it appears brown. Lacing is very good, covering 90% of the glass. I'm assuming that Cascazilla is a portmanteau of cascade (hops) and Godzilla. I'm no expert at hops, but my guess is that cascade hops are important here. Aroma is light in spicy hops, brown sugar. Taste is an excellent balance of sweet malt with a very basic hop flavor. Bitterness -- not too much, not too little. Carbonation is I'm going into this review a little biased, as I am from Rochester, and LOVE Ithaca Brewing Company. This is one of my favorites from them. It is nothing that deserves to be on center-stage, but certainly a beer that others should check out. If you like an aggressive ~7% beer and like hops, drink this one.

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