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 beertunes
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received in a recent trade with orcasteve. Poured a nice, rich deep red with an inch of tan head that had low retention but good lacing.

The aroma was very sweet, with some sharp hop notes. The flavor was also malty sweet, with that sharp bite of Cascade hops across the tongue. The body was good, reasonably full, but a little bit sticky. Drinkability was pretty good, depending on your tolerance for the sticky-ness.

Overall, a solid and enjoyable beer from a very good brewery.

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Photo of dpodratsky3
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Tight bubbled head, kind of fizzy, but stays around 1. fingers, creamy and off white, beer is deep amber/brown, some hints of burgundy

S: Nice and juicy, fruity hops, definitely has that nice amber ale sweet malt background that makes it smell gooey, some slight roast in the malt too

T: Has a ton of hops, however the entire time you can taste that malt in the background, big juicy cascade hops, it is definitely a one note hop flavor but thats what it is supposed to be, a ton of cascades

M: A little carbonation sting, makes it hard to pinpoint the exact body

D: Good

Notes: If you like cascade hops then you need to try this beer. It isn't the best amber ale you will ever try, but it is near the top of the list especially if you like this hop profile.

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Photo of Naugled
3.37/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a pint glass.

Deep brown/red color, crystal clear, with a thin tan head.

Smell of both big malts and big hops apparent.

Very malt caramel forward taste, has a strong bitterness but follows the malt, pretty good balance for a big beer. Reminds me of an old ale with subtle notes of dark fruits, plums and prunes. With aging the bitterness should subside and make this beer even better.

Nice rice mouth feel and has ok drinkability.

IMO this is a good cellaring beer, it should get better with age.

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Photo of morimech
4.11/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark reddish amber color with a large tan head that had good retention. Heavy lacing is left on the glass. The aroma consists of a little Cascade hops, and that is about all. Kind of weak. But more hops come through in the flavor. Nice hoppy elements of citrus and pine. Malt gives a nice semi-sweet backbone for the hops to work off of. Not just another hoppy one-trick pony. Bitterness is moderately high. No sign of alcohol. A good body and carbonation. Maybe it could use a little more substance. A very good red ale that has good balanced elements. Rivals the best from the West Coast.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark coppery amber color with full fluffy off-white head. Good retention and nice sticky lacing. Smell is of pine resin and light molasses. Taste is a big rush of bitter piney hops, backed by a sweet and bready carmel malt presence. Mouthfeel is suprisingly creamy, medium bodied, smooth and not overly drying on the end. Slight bitter aftertaste. Nice beer, not to complex and maybe just a touch too bitter. Big Hops and Big Malts tgether make a pretty good beer.

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

Poured from bottle into ithaca excelsior!

A- dark, dark amber with a great head of foam. Foam is thick, but not much for lacing

S- fantastic. Sweet malt and piney hops. Very impressive

T- the malt is the initial hit and followed by some strong hops. Bitterness at the end

M- medium bodied and creamy

D- the body of the beer and the scent was very impressive. The beer is very drinkable as well. Good brew

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

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my SA perfect pint glass. It pours a clear red/amber with a 2 figer sticky white head. Big pine notes on the aroma. Up front this is a hop bomb with lots of sweet citrus and piney back bone. The hops linger into the finish without overpowering. Cascazilla is medium in body and average carbonation. A damn good imperial red ale.

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

A = Pours solid red with a 1-inch head that lingers as pond scum might. Head is beige, with various-sized bubbles: some small and tight with others larger and loose. Leaves gorgeous lacing through the drink.

S = Cascade hops (obviously!) are foremost in the form of citrus and pine; sweet malt then dominates.

T = Hop-forward with a deep malty backbone for durable support. Great balance between hops and malt.

M = Really nice oily thickness in the mouth, giving way to a gentle astringency.

D = This is a beer that I could drink all day long. The balance -- just perfect -- makes it a refreshing gulper of which I do not tire quickly.

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Photo of blackie
3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: curvy dogfish pint, big beige head atop a deep orange-amber ale, really nice retention and heavy lace

s: moderately hopped - a blend of muted citrus and grassy tea, bready toffee malt body, light toast

m: moderate carbonation, medium body, smooth

t: bready malt body with some toffee and toasted grain, grassy citrus hop profile, a malty amber with a healthy hop counterbalance, but I'd like to see the hops a little more vivid/resinous, light-moderate bitterness

d: not bad

single from the Foodery, NL, Philadelphia

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Photo of TonyReaves
3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was the first local beer I tried at a restaurant upon getting to Syracuse last weekend, and I made sure to grab a six-pack on the way out of town.

Pours a warm red/amber, but I couldn't get any head out of it. Maybe half a finger after pouring straight into a pint glass.

Smell is piney, grapefruity hops, with some toasty breadiness underlying. Very appetizing.

Tastes great. Classic American red with sweet caramel malt overtaken by herbal, fruity, piney hoppiness. The malt starts the quaff with ample sweetness but quickly makes way for a bitter finish. Reminds me of a slightly sweeter Nugget Nectar.

But this doesn't have quite the palate-cleansing carbonation of Nugget Nectar, which is the main reason this experience isn't as good. But it's close.

I don't know if I could stick to these in a session. The sweetness is pretty high, and I think I'd switch to something else after a couple of these.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jwc215 for sending me this bottle.

The beer pours a brownish-amber color with a cream-colored head. The aroma is citrusy hops with some malt. The aroma is subtle. The flavor is orange, pine and juicy citrus. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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

Off tap at the brewery this beer was an amber/copper color with ruby highlights. The one-finger, khaki-colored head retained well leaving clingy and streaky lacing. The aroma was nice, a balance of Cascade hops (citrus/pine) and caramel malt. The flavors were huge and hoppy without being overwhelming. Lots of grapefruit hops, citrus zest and biscuity malt The mouthfeel was smooth, the body was medium and the carbonation average. Defined and yet sessionable. The 7% was well-concealed. A confusing Red Ale in the sense that it almost came off as an APA or IPA, but still enjoyable.

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

On draft served in a pint glass.

A: Dark brown/ruby body that sits perfectly clear in my glass with a light brown sudsy head atop. Good retention and lacing seems like it will stick (and it does fairly well). When the head falls, I'm left with no film but a crescent moon shaped ring along the edge of the glass.

S: The aroma is a blast of cascade hops as the name would suggest. Grassy, piney and floral with little to no citrus quality. Toasted grainy, caramel malts are prominent too. Overall, the aroma was good but a bit of a let down.

T: The taste follows the nose, and while being far from exceptional, it is still decent. Finishes bitter with respectable flavor duration.

M: The mouthfeel has a restrained fizzy carbonation. Also a little underwhelming.

D: I think the name suggests something more monstrous than what the beer delivers. After a few very solid offerings from Ithaca, I was a bit let down in several departments. Overall, a quality brew but it is clear that my anticipation got the best of me. But hey, a 3.6 aint bad.

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

(Served in an American pin glass) best before jan (of any year?) A- This beer has a deep reddish brown slightly dense body with a strong carbonation racing to a thin film of tan foam.
S- The big pine bite has hints of Christmas trees and a slight pungent quality followed by a fruit punch hop note to the hoppy finish.
T- This beer has a light toasted malt flavor followed by a big pine hop flavor. The finish is a dandelion bitter bite that lingers for a bit. As the hops settle down a sweet malt and caramel undernote comes through in the taste.
M- This beer has as light mouthfeel with a slippery texture but no alcohol heat.
D- This beer has some nice depth to the hops but the main player is the pungent bitterness which is to strong and kicks you in the teeth. The malt backbone is good and is a welcome addition as the beer warms.

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

Courtesy (once again) of ShogoKawada (thanks!). Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Hazy rusty body with sinopia highlights and a towering beige head which recedes to a small creamy hill surrounded by a thin slick on the surface and a high crenellated collar on the sides. Messy, sticky, and somewhat sandy lacing.

Caramel, citrus and pine-laden hops and a touch of malt form the nose. Lime zest, barley, and apple skins complete the picture.

Orange and berry seeds, light toast, pears, a little caramel, and English biscuits on the palate. Hops contribute a touch of spice, citrus, and a pleasant earthy bitterness along with a vague soapiness. The finish is malty yet dry. Well balanced.

Medium bodied, creamy and effervescent.

A nice, hoppy amber, though not a replacement for Nugget Nectar if you are a true hop-head.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A – It pours like a foamy glass of iced tea, with large soapy bubbles but not a huge head.

S – The smell is great. Hoppy, with strong impressions of grapefruit and ripe citrus coupled with a rye-like bitter malty base that shows a hint of oxidation.

T – The taste continues to be malty and grapefruit hoppy and also grassy, with notes of caramel. Good flavor, but not great. The oxidized malt flavor clouds the succinct flavor of hop, unfortunately; it is also what gives it the 'big red' quality, which it definitely has. I am not a huge 'red' guy, so I prize that red-ness less.

M – Nice feel, fuller-bodied with good carbonation.

D – One of the better reds I've had of late.

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Photo of fragilemacabre
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

First reaction upon smell: sulfur. Like passed gas.

First reaction upon taste: PEACHES!

I don't tend to like red ales or amber ales. I like EVERYTHING Stone has put out EXCEPT for Levitation, for instance. But I DO like this beer. There's a bitterness to it that I wish wasn't there, but it is easy to drink and definitely a step above other beers of this style that I've tried. I wouldn't kick it out of bed, but it isn't on the top of my list either.

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Photo of Jesstyr
3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a pint glass with excellent 2-finger head - that lingers throughout the entire drink at a few cm. The appearance is the definition of amber. Smell is overwhelmingly hoppy and quite floral.

Taste is completely hops, with all the usual expectations that follow. quite earth and a finish that does have a slight fruity nature. This lines the mouth and lingers, a little syrupy and malt. Drinkability is affected by the dry hops - the lack of balance makes this a little less enticing.

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Photo of goblue3509
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cider like hazy color with no head and some lacing. The aroma is of floral and earthy hops with a slight roasted malt. Deep roasted malt and caramel malt backbone with floral and earthy hop overtones. The moutfeel is light bodied. The drinkability is good, there is a nice complexity and a nice big malt taste followed on the backend by a nice hop bite. You might not go all night with it, but a few is for sure not out of the question.

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Photo of donniecuffs
3.16/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer has somewhat of a cult following in these parts, so I was excited to get my hands on one. Poured dark copper into an American pint, with two fingers of white head, fair lacing, and fair carbonation. The smell was somewhat sickly sweet, with pineapple, blood orange, maple syrup, plum, and raisins all apparent. The taste confirmed the smell; very cloyingly sweet from start to finish, with pineapple and maltiness most prominent. The mouthfeel was nicely medium-bodied, with a good mix of carbonation. Given the smell and flavor, I expected the feel to be more syrupy. Anyway, one was enough for me. A little bit of a disappointment after all of the hype.

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Photo of deereless
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The color reminds me of pine bark, significant head on a hard pour that seems to stick around and leave some lacing as it drops - 4.00, S: Wonderfully fragrant hop aroma, lots of citrus especially grapefruit which shouldn't be a shocker given the name and implications that Cascade hops play a big part in this beer, there's also a touch of molasses or brown sugar in the depths along with a mild toastiness - 3.50, T: Pronounced hop bite, grapefruit zest and pine needle, solid backing of malts to back up all the hops, light caramel flavors - 3.50, M: Quite sticky - 3.00, D: A pleasant beer, edges more towards an IPA than an amber in many ways but that is certainly not a problem in my book - 3.50

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Photo of beer1018
4.39/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in a pint glass. First off the only thing that makes this a red ale in my opinion is the color. It seems Ithaca already had an IPA but the head brewer wanted to make another heavy hop bomb so he created Cascazilla red ale. Color is a copper red like i think it should be. The smell is all hops and citrus, one of the better smelling bears i have had. I exspected the taste to be dominated by hops but you can tell the brewer spent time to balance this beer and not make it to bitter. It has a nice citrus bite to it but nothing to dominating like Torpedo in my opinion. Mothfeel is smooth with not to much carbonation. The alchol is masked very well and i could drink several of these easily. So far my favorite red ale i have had.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ithaca- Cascazilla

A- clear golden amber red with a thick frothy, good lacing, head.
S- Sweet sugary caramel malt with molasses, bready malt, tobacco, and sweet fruity pine hops.
T- Thick sweet caramel/ molasses malt slightly bready/ doughy, a hint of licorice with a fruity sweetness. Oily floral and pine hops in the back half but never becoming bitter. Sweet and malty throughout.
M- Thick sweet malt, slightly syrupy but juicy oily floral hops and a thicker dose of malt finish this one off. Alc. is well hidden.

Overall- Very malty and hoppy. This 1, at 7%, is too easy to drink.

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

on tap at the Tea and Taproom in Albany.

A: Reddish but see through.

S: Hop aroma up front. A little fruity but masked by hops.

T: Smoooth first, then nice and hoppy. A bitter citrusy hop.

M: Smooth and somewhat bubbly. Medium bodied and semi dry finish.

D: Very good and very hopppy red ale. I like this beer and have had my share. Glad to see it on tap and welcome most anything by Ithaca.

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Photo of zachary80
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz into a shaker, starting at 40 degrees

The beer has an excellent thick, creamy tan head, and a brownish-red hue. Strong lacing left down the glass.

The smell is very good: strong citrus and pine; cascade hops dominate the smell.

The taste is great and left me wishing I had more than one bottle. Hoppy, but a little too sweet for my preference.

The alcohol is definitely not noticeable, and the beer is a little thin. I don't consider either of these to be significant problems, and the beer just leaves me wanting more, more, more.

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