CascaZilla | Ithaca Beer Company

very good
1,227 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: 1,227 |  Reviews: 585
Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into an Ithaca pint glass.

A: Standard pour creates a 1 finger frothy pale biege head with moderate retention that dissipates into a thin film atop the brew. Beer is a clear mahogany. Lacing is ruler-like with great legs but near no cling.

S: Nose is bready with notes of citrus, pine, black tea leaves, brown sugar, and hops. Overall aroma is a bit muted but detectable and rather appetizing.

T: Tea leaves, tree sap, citrus in the back, and not-so-sweet brown sugar. Also pine cone and astringent hops in the middle to end. I feel like I'm chewing on leaves that have dropped during the Fall season. Slightly biscuity. Finish is coarse and bitter with a sticky, though not oily aftertaste that clings to the palate.

M: Light bodied, coarse, and carbonated. Initially watery in the mouth but gains a measure of body as it warms a bit. Leaves a dry, astringent feeling in my cheek. Finish is messy and aftertaste lingers.

D: A very average amber from Ithaca. Nothing about this beer really stands out and sets it apart. That being said, its not bad either and definitely something that I can see myself reaching for again. Give it a try if you're into the style as its a fairly solid representation.

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

Decently balanced. Malty core with light hop finish. Much maltier than I was expecting with a name like cascazilla, sits much heavier and is much sweeter and not quite as dry as I was expecting, but still picked up lots of fruit notes. Over all a vert drinkable beer. Much sweeter finish, rather than a dry bitter hop finish.

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Photo of Lars3
3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I went shopping for some Flower Power today, as per the norm it was sold out, so I bought this instead. The bottle says best before October, I'm just hoping that is Oct. 2010 and not Oct. 2009. 12oz bottle to Sam Adams perfect pint.

I think this beer tastes great, but the thing that impresses me most is the head. It looks less like it belongs on a beer than on a gourmet cupcake. It is beautiful, sticky, and the color of coffee butter creme. As I drink it, it leaves loads of lacing the whole way down.

The smell is subdued, but the hops and malt are almost equally present.

I don't drink many Red Ales, but this is pretty good. I hate not having much to compare it to, but of the few red ales I've had this is the best to date. I'd like some more hops, but this beer tastes great.

Feels like beer in my mouth. I'm not trying to be difficult, but that is all that I'm getting. Nothing special or distinct about the mouthfeel.

7%abv??? I don't believe it. This beer feels like 5%. I'd like to think I could drink a 6er of this in an evening, but I'd probably end up puking and sleeping upright to avoid the spins.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Color is a dark burgundy color that fades to a dark reddish-orange along the edges. Pours with a thin 3/4 head that leaves some splotchy lacing and a thin film.

S: Lots of sweet caramel malts, some grassy, herbal hops. Faint citrus hops, notes of strawberry.

T: Bready malts are apparent right from the start. Sweet caramel flavors are still there. Some faint citrus and grassy hop flavors remain through the mid-taste. Finish is mild and pretty unremarkable.

M: Medium to medium-light body, moderate carbonation.

D: Fairly easy to drink, but nothing remarkable. Would have like a little more hop presence in the taste to balance the sweet caramel flavors. I wouldn't turn this down, but likely won't seek this out again either.

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Photo of mostpoetsdo
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Looks great, deep red, very vibrant, with a nice off-white head and great head retention. Fantastic lacing.

S: Mainly citrus hops up front, smell is subtle, though. Has a light toasty-ness due to malts.

T: Not the freshest, but still before the "best by" date. Has a good balance of hop to malt for this amber. The citrus hops aren't overwhelming, but give it good flavoring. There is also tasty toasted malt flavors in the background.

M: Good carbonation, near creamy.

D: This is very enjoyable, probably better fresher, but a very worthy Amber.

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

Had this on tap that the Ithaca Beer Company store front. It was an amber beer with some haziness to it. It smells of grapefruit and hops. I'm assuming from the name that the beer was brewed primarily (solely?) with cascade hops. A little thick with hop oils on the tongue but overall a good beer to kick back at the end of the day and fall asleep with as it is pretty strong.

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

Likely the best of the Ithaca beers that came in their variety pack. A very hop-forward Amber.

The pour brings a deep amber color with moderate haze, likely from dry-hopping. Off white foam forms a light head and holds firm at a sheet across the top of the glass.

Citrusy aromas of grapefruit and spicy pine notes come to life on a dry caramel malt and light toast maltiness. Low on fruitiness, the beer has a very clean and simplified aroma.

Flavors of sun kissed malts, mild toast, and Cracker Jacks candy round out the grain profile while grapefruit, orange peel, and fresh cut grasses provide the hoppy balance. Bitterness takes precedence, which is a bit odd for a Red Ale. Aside from some grain flavors in the end, this is a clean and refreshing beer.

The beer has an aggressive bite that keeps it from becomming smooth and easy to drink. But the beer isn't as thin or grainy as many from the brewery.

A good Red Ale that showcases hops rather than malts. Aggressive in bite and bitterness.

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Photo of dogfishandi
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle slightly chilled poured into a pint glass. best before august 2010.

pours a dark bronze red color, some of the most amazing off white head ive seen in awhile. looks like it just came off of the tap. left a nice 3 fingered head with a big fat cap. tons of sticky lace everywhere that leaves a ring after each sip i take. great retention. i dont really think a red could look any better.

in the aroma theres lots of citrus hops, obviously this was made with mostly cascade hops, and they show nicely. also a semi sweet caramel malt blends nicely with the hop aroma.

definatly a hop forward beer, but the malt still isnt missed, has somewhat of a balance to it. lots of resinous citrus grapefruit tastes. theres some caramel malt in there, but then the citrus hop bitterness takes over. slight hints of malt show up int the finish with a nice amount of lingering citrus hop bitterness. quite a tasty brew.

overall a nice mouthfeel. medium bodied, just the right amount of carb for the style. goes down smooth. the flavors are soft, but it leaves the palate a little wrecked by the hops, but thats never a problem.

my first bottle of this i didnt know the abv because its not listed on the bottle, then i cracked another one to do the review and surprise...7%. i would have guessed something like 5%. a little dangerous, but its a beautiful friday night on my back porch and i really dont see a problem with drinking the whole six pack. it was a long week. but needless to say, really good drinkability, if you dont mind the 7%, a great session beer.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours ruby orange with a beige head that is gone to a bubbly skim, but yet still leaves a crown of lace on each sip. Really pretty.

Floral and grapefruit aromas -- sweet grapefruit? Maybe some malt, but the sweetness of the hops is just right -- very inviting. If I could find much else I'd kick the rating up.

Hop forward, with a recovery of some bitterness that you can attribute to the toasted malt (which there is plenty of). Some bready/grainness follows to a lightly bitter and malty finish. Flavors are a bit soft (which you can also call smooth!). This might put some people off, but I like it -- makes it quite drinkable. Good balance, medium bodied, just the right amount of carbonation. This is very good beer. Holy dogshit! This is 7%? No hint of alcohol at all. OK, very dangerous beer here.

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Photo of philbe311
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Just shy of two fingers worthy of light tan colored head that is equal parts fluffy and creamy... Impressive retention... The deepest and dark of bronze colors with a faint crimson hue... Full of carbonation that starts slow and picks up some pace as it rises... The faintest of hazes...

S - A subdued but distinctive hop presence that is both citrusy and piney... A mild layer of caramel malt lies beneath... Simple, straight forward, and effective...

T - Wonderful balance... The cascade hops are foremost, but only by a hair... They are joined by a sweet toasty malt base... Some hints of wood and smoke can be noted on the finish along with a lingering mild bitterness...

M - The creamy head touches the lips first followed by a slight biting carbonation... Medium bodied... Dense...

D - A tasty and enjoyable treat from Ithaca... Hides the 7% ABV very well... Quaffable and quenching... Solid all the way around... An assertive and formidable American Red Ale...

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Photo of Sam21
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz into pint glass.

Appearance - Pours reddish brown with a large off-white head that never drops below half a finger. As the head recedes it leaves a sheet of lace against the glass. Great visual appeal.

Smell - The beer has a wonderful aroma of caramel and grapefruit that strike a nice balance.

Taste - The taste carries on what the aroma promises but takes it to a new level with an almost dry-wood roasted flavor that ties the notes of caramel and citrus together. As this roasted note subsides the hops come out and add a pleasant amount of bitterness to the caramel-like sweetness. There is great interplay between the caramel and citrus notes as they linger on the tongue. I'm also picking up the slightest presence of alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel - This is a medium-full bodied beer with a great balance and a smooth texture. Surprisingly it finishes dry.

Drinkability - Cascazilla is a fantastically complex and hoppy red ale that reminds me of a bold pale ale. The richness of the malt profile in addition to the bold, yet controlled, hop presence make for one delicious beer.

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Photo of Augustiner719
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass:

Appearance: Pours a deep blood orange color with an offwhite head that leaves fantastic lacing. Clear but dark and reddish, brownish in color.

Smell: Smell is muted a bit, has some hop characteristics like a lemony orangy aromas. Mostly malty and slightly spicy.

Taste: Tastes very bready, like sourdough bread. Has a big malt profile that is complex but lacks a freshness to it. Slight metallic taste on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth as ice. This goes down easy as hell and has perfect carbonation. Silk like texture and perfect carbonation.

Drinkability: This has a bit of a kick on the finish, probably from the abv. Funny this drinks like a brown ale but has the hops of an apa. Solid drinking beer, would try again.

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Photo of Duhast500
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pourde from the tap into a tasting glass.

The color is a dark amber with a foamy white head and some nice lacing.

The smell is a nice hoppy flavor that has a bit of lemon zest and other citrus flavors. A nice sweet malt flavor in there as well.

The taste is bitter hops with a nice piney earthy flavor, some citrus flavors mixed with a sweet malt malt flavor.

A good balanced IPA, the feel of this beer is pretty smooth and goes down well. It is pretty drinkable and has a nice refreashing feel to it.

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Photo of DmanGTR
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes on 4/17/10

Nice deep amber color, very clear, with an off white fluffy head of 2". Well retained and spots of lace left. Aroma is full of pine and resin with grapefruit zest and a healthy caramel malt background. Taste is a hop bomb. Rich bitterness and herbal hops all over the place. I hardly discern the malts here. Metallic as well. Not sure where this fits in though. Somewhat slick mouthfeel, decently full bodied for a red ale. Not something I would get all the time but I definitely think it's worth a try.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours glowing red-orange with rocky chunky white head that leaves patches of lace. Nose is gooey orange Swedish fish and burnt brown sugar. Strawberry juice malts with some roastiness and Seville orange sourness followed by oily resin and candied orange hops. Salty leave. Sticky, medium to full, no burn.

Heavy, clingy hop demon. After two, would I have another? Maybe not. A tad too sweet, and the hops don't clear that the way they should, but it brings the humulus.

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Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber red color with off-white head that has decent retention and lacing. Nose is more barleywine in style, in my opinion--some nice caramel and rye malts with big citrus hop presence. CascaZilla--smells like Cascade hops, surprise surprise.

Hop bill in the taste is a bit unexpected, I'm getting piney hops here. Some initial bitterness, followed by the piney kick, and some lingering sweetness from the malt. Something here just isn't right, not exactly what I thought I was getting myself into. I would like a bigger body on this one, but also with a bit more carbonation, though I'm not sure if I can have that. Decent drink, I'll have to revisit it in the future.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of shrek806 thanx bro.

A: poured amber with burgundy hues and a 2 finger light brown head that left nice sticky lacing.

S: had a creamy malty aroma with hints of nuts, caramel, and booze.

T: chocolate nutty flavors up front with sweet malts and a nice crisp bitter finish.

M: creamy medium body with light carbaonation and a nice crisp bitter finish.

D: red ales are not my favorite but this one was really tasty and went down great. I hope I can get my hands on some more.

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Photo of horshack7
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A little bit of a dark amber mahogany color with about one and half fingers worth of sour dough bread like head that has nice rentention and leaves behind nice lacing.

Aroma: Hops upon more hops. Remarkably cirtusy sweet fruit grapefruit sprinkled with sugar. A twinge of dryness in the nose. A little bit of sweetness from the malts rounds it out.

Taste: A smooth sticky mouthfeel with a nice bit of chewyness. The citrus notes are great with a little bit of a dryness towards the back end. A little bit of caramel malty sweetness.

Notes: This one is highly drinkable a great find from a great brewery. Cheers.

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Photo of capaneus
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

(A) poured into a verboden vrucht goblet. it's quite dark though not opaque with a reddish chestnut color. a one-finger creamy off white head quickly recedes leaving impressive lacing.

(S) smell is a strong suit of this beer. the hops are present with a strong sour tangerine smell that's really very nice. fruity esters show up with a fruity fresh apple smell. smells great!

(T) pronounced hop bitterness with a complex citric flavor. finish could be a touch sweeter for my preference, but it finishes slightly sweet/nearly dry.

(M) mouthfeel is balanced and superb: substantial enough to linger on the palate without being too heavy. it's very smooth due to the subdued carbonation yet there is a slight alcohol warming sensation - which I don't mind at all.

(D) i wouldn't guzzle these per se, but definitely would seek them out and drink a sixer 1 or 2 at a time. great beer.

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Photo of GoodBeerInc
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I would like to thank my dad for picking up this beer in a mix 12 pack. The other three beers were good as well as the Cascazilla.

Upon pouring the beer into my glass I see a dark amber, reddish, orange color with zillions of tiny bubbles making their way up the side of my glass. A nice pillow like head rests on top of the beautiful liquid. The head is off white leaving some lacing on the side of my glass.

The nose is terrific! A nice balance of hops and roasted and caramel malts. Hops are citrusy, and spicy and piney. The malts gives nice roasted, bread, sweet, and caramel aroma.

This is one tasty beverage. Cascazilla is very well balanced between the incredible hope flavor and bitterness and they sweet malts. I am not much of a hop head but do enjoy a good dose when they are balanced out as well as in this beer. Sweet and Bitter at the same time.
This is medium bodied with a smooth mouth feel. The hop bite lingers for the duration on your tongue but the sweet malts rinse it off with every sip.

I see myself sitting down with another bottle or two of this finely crafted beer in the very near future. It was a pleasure to drink and is highly recommended.

Please check out my video review:

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Photo of ommegangpbr
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is right up there with Nugget Nectar as far as I'm concerned, given the style. Not a style that most do too well, this is one that I enjoy quite a lot. I could have sworn I reviewed it years ago but somehow neglected to do so.
On the darker side of the spectrum; much more red than amber. A rich and pretty red at that Leaves some white lacing on the glass.
Smells are tart citrus and lightly fruity, almost sweet.
The initial taste is a tart, almost sour pucker assault on the palate, a la an authentic cask ale, then retreats a little bit. Bitterness lingers on the tongue but invites one to come back for more. Grapefruit and cranberry style bitterness, as well as fruityness, along with some red and dark berry flavor.
I'd be happy to get this again. Loads of flavor for around $9 a six pack. Those that enjoy hop flavor of the grapefruit variety should check this out.

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Photo of mstyne
3.47/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased as part of a six pack from Hoosick Street Beverage. Serious aroma as soon as the cap comes off; bread, malty, and sharp hop scents. A really nice dark amber/red coloring, as one would expect from this style. Minimal head that was gone before I had a chance to take a sip, but still enough for some lacing around the inside of my Long Trail pint glass.

Although I was expecting an overpowering IPA flavor with a name like Cascazilla, the 'hoppiness' is toned down somewhat, but not to the detriment of the brew. There is indeed a nice hop flavor but it falls off extremely quickly. A good, refreshing offering from Ithaca. Maybe difficult to enjoy more than two in a single session, but definitely worth a try.

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Photo of tigg924
3.15/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, clear, red/brown in color, moderate carbonation

Smell: pine and citrus hops, bread

Taste: citrus hops with bread and caramel

Mouthfeel: light bodied, medium carbonation, sweet start with a lingering bitterness that starts in the middle

Drinkability: A decent but not memorable red ale. I could have another one or just as easily pass on it.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a clear, deep reddish amber with an inch of creamy tan foam. Average retention and lace. Not bad at all.

S: Pretty even mix of caramel malt and clean, spicy hops. Simple and pleasant.

T: Follows the nose precisely: sweet caramel malt and some fruity, spicy hops. THe hops aren't quite prominent enough to ensure a bitter finish - plenty of residual sugars here. For something that promises to be "monstrously hoppy," I'd like a bit more bitterness on the finish. Still, pretty tasty.

M: Smooth medium body with a decent amount of rather hesitant carbonation. Again, pleasant but not impressive.

D: While a bit sweeter than I'd like, this is definitely a pleasure to drink.

Notes: I'm such a fan of Flower Power that I expected this to be a similarly hop-centered beer, just with a bit more color and body from the malt. Maybe this was a slightly older bottle, but the hops really didn't add much. That said, there was nothing unenjoyable about this beer, and it's a very tasty amber ale. Just don't expect monstrous hop presence.


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Photo of westy66
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a pint glass with a little haze and a nice rich amber/red color. less than a 1/4 inch of head. good tasting, a tiny bit of sweetness. reminds me of the red rye, but not quite as hoppy. good hop flavor, just not the citrus hop that i like best. id buy again.

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CascaZilla from Ithaca Beer Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 1,227 ratings.
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