CascaZilla | Ithaca Beer Company

Liked This Beer
3.82 w/ 1,231 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,231 |  Reviews: 588
Photo of mothman
2.98/5  rDev -22%
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 +7.9%
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 -3.9%
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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Photo of StoneTSR
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: 12 oz. bottle poured into a classic pint glass. Very deep, dark copper. Almost looked like a stout, but with a much more bubbly head - about a quarter of an inch thick.

SMELL: Solid dry, rye aroma. Nothing else. And I like it. Wow, seriously, just took another sniff and this stuff smells more like rye bread than rye bread does. Not sure why it isn't actually called a red rye.

TASTE: As the aroma would indicate, the rye flavor hits the tongue right off the bat and sticks around. This beer is committed to staying dry, avoiding sweetness and forcing the drinker to taste the hops - the way a beer should.

FEEL: Refreshing is the first word that comes to mind. Feels a bit like a dish scrubber going down, but in a good way. Can quench any thirst.

OVERALL: This beer seems to have been brewed for craft beer aficionados, not the average or casual beer drinker. This is a bold beer drinker's beer.

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Photo of afksports
3.18/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap at Washington Commons back in August at the start of the BeerQuest (Read: start of drunkenness).

From notes: It's bubbly. It's red. It's got a great name. It's... OK. Pours an amber reddish hue, fairly clear, lots of head that stays. Smells like malts, hops, and brown sugar. Taste follows. I suppose it's the Cascade hops that stand out the most. Mostly remarkable is the highly carbonated feel keeps it sitting in your mouth with the dullishly-done style. Drinkable enough, if reds are your thing. They aren't mine.

Initial grade was a B-... upon further consideration... yeah.

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Photo of djmichaelk
2.84/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle courtesy of soulforpeanuts (thanks, Rick!) into a perfect pint.

A - Nice rocky couple of fingers of head, pours a hazy amber. Decent retention and lacing.

S - Somewhat muted, but I get some semblance of hoppiness and sweet malt. Not bad by any means, but a bit of a letdown after trying Flower Power.

T - Again with the muted flavors. There's definitely a sweet malty backbone, and somewhere in there are some piney hops, but you really have to search. It might be an old bottle, as there is a bit of an oxidized flavor.

M - Definitely on the full-bodied side, and pretty sticky.

D - This would be a beer I could drink more of if the flavors and aroma were better, despite the higher abv.

O - Nice enough, but there are many superior examples out there to spend my money on.

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Photo of thecarster1
3.12/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a- bottle poured into a pint, one plus fingers of head fades quick leaving lots of lace, dark walnut coloring.

s- sweet, interesting, a bit dry, toasted malt, some light hops.

t- bitter - not in a great way though, savory/sweet biscuit, light hops.

m- medium bodied.

d- okay, not as good as i was expecting, i had higher hopes for this. i wouldn't pick this up again, i'll stick to nugget nectar.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.16/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours a clear red gold color with a fluffy slightly off white head. Big aroma of sweet malt and fruit type hops characteristics. Whoa, such a malt bomb! Very sweet up front with a kick of hops in the end that lingers on. Medium mouthfeel and chewy. The balance is just ok with it being just a little too skewed to the malt side but overall not a terrible beer. Slight warming alcohol apparent.

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Photo of DoctorDog
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz bottle into an nonic.

A- Fairly murky, deep copper. Pours with 1+ fingers of tan head, which fades very slowly into a thin cap. Tons of sticky lacing.

S- Orange-ish citrus notes. Sturdy amount of fruit and caramel sweet malty aroma takes over as the head dies down.

T- Slightly resiny, piney hop notes, along with some citrusy hints provide a sturdy amount of bitterness. Fair amount of caramel sweetness. Feint touch of alcohol.

M- Somewhat light and watery. A bit too low carbonation, and the feel suffers a bit for it.

D- Pretty decent. Nothing to get tremendously excited about, but goes down easily.

Future outlook: Decent beer...happy to have tried...probably won't need to repeat.

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Photo of jizfiasco
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Always looking to try a new red. Pours a good red color with decnt head, fades quickly though. Smell is definately cascade hops not piney but sweet. The malt is obvious. Taste is bit weak and fades fast. This beer is good though nice and cold but dont expect it to be as sharp as some better reds. Carbonation level is very good and continues throughout the pint. All in all a good session red as long as its cold.

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Photo of bruachan
3.69/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

i still don't understand the "red" designator. it's an amber ale, but the color has strayed a little into red territory, right? are amber and red so far off that we need a new style (or at least a "/")? moving on...

good head to start but it vanishes. the beer is red

smells like cascade but also some others. pretty fresh smelling. a little sweetness--some from the hops themselves. i think i smell that "cat piss" NW hop scent people speak of

hop flavors are like their respective aromas. decent caramel backbone, but not very dynamic.

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Photo of zoso1967
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours reddish tinged dark amber with a parchment head. The head is very fluffy and has great staying power, leaving nice lace as it recedes.

The aroma is of citrus hops with a bit of an herbal character to them as well. Orange and grapefruit are at the forefront, with just a touch of pine in there as well. It is fairly sweet nose with some caramel like malt tones.

The flavor is also wonderfully hoppy with a juicy citrus character that is well accented by the big malty body. Candied orange and grapefruit coexist with a slightly herbal spicy hop character and a caramel malt backbone. Bitterness is fairly firm, but the malt backbone really stands up to it. I am getting a touch of toasted malt in the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium and quite nice. Smooth, with subdued carbonation, but just enough not to feel dead. The finish is just as smooth as the body with only a slight tinge of bitterness on the back end.

Pretty drinkable and a solid imperial amber. I would think about getting this again, but I would also never take this beer over a Nugget Nectar.

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Photo of dudemuskie
3.29/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a single bottle in a mix-a-6er at Andersons in Toledo.

Appearance- Pours a brilliant deep red, nearly amber color with a big light beige head that billows and lingers. Nice lacing with each sip. Light sediment on the bottom of the bottle.

Aroma- Big citrus and floral hop aroma up front with notes of grass, herbal spice, and a touch of pungency. Loads of hop aroma, but very delicate and not overly pungent or resinous. A breath of bready maltiness beneath it all.

Flavor- Pleasant floral hop flavor and light caramel malt sweetness starts, but is quickly pushed off the palate by a tongue-coating grassy, pungent bitterness. After the initial onslaught of hops, a nice balancing maltiness emerges with flavors of soft caramel, burnt sugar, and toasty biscuit. Fairly clean finish, though hops certainly linger.

Mouthfeel- Resinous stickiness and big hop bitterness leaves a slightly puckering/drying sensation on the tongue. Low residual sugars and a dry finish really bring hops center stage. Moderate CO2, medium bodied.

Overall- Not bad. Would more than likely be outstanding fresh- looks like this bottle is a tad on the older side and officially expires this month. Big hop bitterness but not quite as bright flavor-wise as I was expecting with a name like that. Because it falls a little flat on flavor, drinkability is a bit on the lower side. Will seek out a fresh batch or hopefully get a taste on draught and do another review!

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Photo of Lukafer
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks once again to AlleyKatking for the hookup!

Pours a dark amber, nice 2 finger of beige head, nice lacing.   I smell caramel malts, slight hips, slight plum.  Tastes are some caramel, toffe, hop finish.   By the name and the label art I thought it was going to be a hop bomb, but it turns out to be extremely balanced and very drinkable.  Reds usually aren't my thing, but I could drink this often.

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Photo of robwestcott
3.57/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

thanks to Shumista for this one

poured from the bottle a hazy copper brown to a sun king shaped pint glass with a thinnish short lastig head leaving nice retention.

aroma of (piney ?) hops, closely followed by sweet malts and brown sugars.

sharp hops on the first sip, fading relatively quickly to a sweeter malty after. interesting balance on this one - more of a battle of flavors than a melding. certainly an amber ale, but the hops are more of a focus than any amber I've tasted before.

slightly bitter and more highly carbonated on the tongue than I personally prefer.

drinkable enough.

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.38/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to shrek806 for this one!

12oz pry-top brown glass bottle. Best Before A(ugust).

Pours a murky hazy brown with some creamy tan head that has great retention. Nose is pretty hoppy with some amarillo hop notes and a little toasted barley.

Palate is sharp with some alcohol and then snaps bitter with dark caramel malt and roasted barley. Somewhat smoky like coffee beans. Hops are there but mostly on aroma and bitterness, not so much in the flavor aspect.

A decent brew, but a little heavy on the red ale roasted malt for me. With a name like CascaZilla, I expected it to focus more on the hops.

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Photo of jlindros
4.09/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice rich head rises up to a little over a finger and fades at a medium pace over the murky brown slight reddish hue auburn color.

THe nose brings lots of fresh hops and nice malts, some piney hops and citrus with even a little grapefruit and earthy hops. Some nice toasty malts in the background add a touch of sweetness. With that is plenty of oak, a nice toasty oak character and little vanilla, and very light bourbon.

Taste brings more of the same, but starts with more of the malts this time. A light red and toasty malt flavor, semi sweet, and little creamy. Some lighter hops this time come, with a very light pine and citrus. Some bitterness as well, but light. WIth all that is some oak, not as much as the nose, but there. A little vanilla and touch of a dark fruit.

The mouth comes with a light creamy feel and medium body with good carbonation.

It finishes semi bitter with a little earthy and spicy hop addition this time, some light creamy malts as well, and dries off quite a bit. Almost no oak anymore, but just a hint of the vanilla. Actually, as it lingers more of the oak starts to shine through. A light lingering fruit flavor too.

Overall a decent beer, the oak and hops play pretty well, tasty, not the best beer in the world but tasty.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On draft at The Pony Bar in NYC.

Pretty ruby hue with a moderately sized head. Decent lacing and retention. Nice blast of Cascade hops in the aroma as well as the taste. The initial flavor is very hop forward, followed by a sturdy malt backbone with appropriate sweetness. The feel is great. The alcohol sneaks up on you, as it's hidden quite well. I really enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of stakem
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Standard 12oz brown bottle care of Jdiddy, thanks.

Poured into a snifter, Cascazilla appears a clear amber red color with more than 2 fingers of creamy yellowish stained offwhite head. Lacing sticks all over the glassware in patches as the head slowly receeds.

The aroma of this brew includes a blend of piney, citrus and herbal hops upfront with a bit of a metallic twinge in the back. Also included in the nose is some caramel like sweetness from the malt that comes across a bit toasty.

The taste of this brew is lightly bitter upfront with the flavor of the piney hops. Light caramel malt sweetness through the body that yields to a slightly fruity and mildly solvent alcohol character. There is a lingering taste of lightly toasted grain left inside the mouth along with herbal hops.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. Fairly drinkable for 7%. It has been more than a year since I last had this brew but this is the first time I am reviewing it and it certainly was much different than I remembered it being. Not bad overall, I would drink it again.

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Photo of drinkiusmaximus
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-pour a deep amber brownish with nice red highlights. nice fluffy two fingers head which leaves a slight lacing.

S-maltiness with a nice piney/grassy aroma with a roasty character to it.

T-piney hops up front snoothed by malts.hop profile lingers but is carried by a nice slight sweetness.

M-medium bodied nicely carbonated robust and warming.

D-drinkability is high on this one love the amber style paired with significant hoppiness.


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Photo of fbone
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Of course,this beer is loaded with hops.Hence the name.

A-murkey brown color,nice head,but didn't last.

S-hops strong smell and yeasty.

T-strong hops slightly step over the malt and yeast flavors.

M-medium body-the hops are pine like.

D-This beer is not too hard to drink,strong alchohol.If you like hops you should have no problem with this beer.The red malt is interesting and makes an unusual pair with the hops.a fruity taste tries to poke it's way out but is kept at bay by the hops.I may buy this again when I crave a strong beer with lots of hops.

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Photo of korguy123
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz into my SA Perfect Pint

A- Caramel/toffee pour, slight haze to it. one finger, off white head that dicipates to a faint ring. Lacing is phenominal in this if only you could see my glass right now.

S- The hops are suprisingly hidden, if I didn't know they were there I would be suprised come first sip. Little citrus (mandarin and lemon rind) strawberries and slight yeasty smell.

T- The hops are there but not as much as I was expecting. Light spiciness, and very faint breadiness.

M- my mouth is confused one sip it feels creamy and another sip it feels a little watery. Both feelings are not off putting just I wish my mouth could make up it's mind.

I've had the pleasure of enjoying an entire 6er of this and with this being my last one I figured it was time to review. Excellent beer can't wait to get more of these.

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Photo of SluggerOToole
3.74/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with best-before date of Sept 2010.

Poured into tall clean glass. Beer is ruby amber and very cloudy with some particulate matter/sediment - I suppose it is unfiltered after the dry hopping. The head is tan and quick to fizzle out. The nose is of nutty amber malts and lemony hops. The sweetness and acidity is pungent at first.

On the palate it is dominated by the caramel malt and a toasty sweetness. The finish is bitter and dry. The body is average with medium carbonation. Quite drinkable and nice with food.

All around, this tends to remind me the most of an ESB, but with an exaggerated hop bitterness focus.

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Photo of Tomdee74
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decided to give this a try and split a sixer with smutty33.. flower power is pretty good so let's give this one a try..

A - Poured into a tulip glass about an 1 and 1/2 inch head that is slowly dissipating.. nice lacing on glass.. this is second time i'm trying it.. pours a dark brown copper color.. i like swooshing it around you can see there is body...

S - pretty nice fruity and honey smell.. smells like it's gonna have some hop kick to it..

T - Good body to this.. i'm glad it lives up to the name as it has a pretty big taste to it.. i'm not blown away i would give this a B+ as it is worthy and a nice little change.. i'm glad to have picked it up fresh and would pick it up again in the future if i see it fresh..

M - Good carbonation and refreshing..

D - I would only go for one of these in a sitting.. maybe two but they would be a nice thing to grab... i would recommend picking this up if you come across it fresh...

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Photo of MVotter
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - The Cascazilla Red Ale pours into a chalice a clear-tea color, with a 1/2 inch cream colored head.

S - Ahhhh, the smell of fresh grains ... and, honey??

T - Starts with a hop tang, no doubt! Love it. The honey aroma that I thought I detected in the smell, also comes through a bit in the taste (is there such thing as honey-malt?); it tempers the hops (maybe a scaled-back version of Ithaca's big "Alphalpha" brew, which does contain honey). The grain aroma is also represented in the taste.

M - Nice effervescence, medium-heavy body, creamy quality.

D - This is a very drinkable brew with a very confident, hop flavor ... faint "honey-grain malt" finish rounds out a really interesting, tasty experience.

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CascaZilla from Ithaca Beer Company
Beer rating: 68.2% out of 100 with 1,231 ratings
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