CascaZilla | Ithaca Beer Company

very good
1,229 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: 1,229 |  Reviews: 587
Photo of Brenden
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew is a deep red that's very nearly mahogany. A very tight, dense head forms at about two fingers and stick around at one, leaving a thick curtain of lacing behind.
There's certainly a monstrous hops presence in the aroma, and it's backed pretty well by malts. There's a light tangy citrus just detectable under the stronger flavors, and a very subtle sweetness lingers softly.
Hops are big and raw in the flavor as well. Malt isn't strong enough to perfectly balance this one out, but it does pretty well. The citrus lies underneath with the light sweetness, and a leafy earthiness from the hops is in a lingering semi-dry finish.
The mouthfeel has a nice blend of crisp and smooth in a medium to full body with light to moderate carbonation.
This is surely a tasty brew with some nice raw hops flavor, fairly balanced by the roasted malt and sweetness and with a pretty decent complexity.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the 355 ml. bottle with a notched off "September" on the label. It does not say which year but I sampled it on October 8, 2009 so I have to think it is September 2009. A decent sounding amber-red pour into the pint glass with about a quarter-inch, long lasting beige head and rather cloudy in clarity. The aroma wafts of very sweet malts and pungent Cascade hops. The mouthfeel is pretty heavy with long lasting consistency. The taste is an enticing merger of sweet caramel malts and bitter Cascade hops almost to the level of a decent IPA. A nice spin on the Red Ale recipe.

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Photo of emsroth
4.26/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

App: Huge 2-3 finger, tan head. Deep reddish amber in color. Devilishly dark and opaque. Makes you think it's truly from a monster.

Smell: Fruity north american hops dominate. I am reminded of unripe peaches and strawberries. I detect a faint, malty undertone; it smells like sweet, dark bread. This is a nice touch to a hoppy beer, because as we know, they malt rarely ever gets through.

Taste: Greeted by a rush of carbonation and a touch of sweet, indistinguishable malt. Then on to the main show: the hops! Their flavor is mostly pine with a hint of citrus bite. Not the most flavorful, but such a wonderful bitterness. As it warms, undertones of apples seep out. The aftertaste is mostly bitter and floral, but it does have the occasional malty chew.

Crisp medium body and carbonation that is as biting as the hops.

It's a rough brew, and certainly challenging to the palette. Monstrously hoppy with out being overbearing in anyway. A genuinely delicious brew.

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Photo of ahalloin
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired as an extra in a trade with Hopstoopid120. Thanks bro!

Popped the cap on a 12 oz. bottle with a "Best Before: September" marking. Still September, so I expect good things. Nice artwork on the bottle with a "Godzilla-like" lizard breathing out red fiery hop cones.

Pours very dark for a "Red Ale", almost a molten caramel color with a slight hint of red in there. Cloudy fluid with a light tan foamy head of about two fingers width. Had to slow pour the final bit, as I was in danger of losing precious beer. Head retention excellent with remaining foam still atop the beer.

Smell has a nice moderate citrusy hop aroma balanced fairly well by a caramelly malty backbone. I also detect a slight cotton candy sweetness.

Taste is a very well balanced showcase for the citrusy hops. Starts with a thin sweetness akin to a dry caramelly flavor. Slight grapefruit hop flavor appears before a very bitter, long-lasting finish that sticks in the mouth for 30 seconds after the swallow.

Mouthfeel: Bland medium bodied with rather low carbonation. I actually dig it this way, even though style parameters would want a medium to high carbonation. Finish is bitterly astringent which I also dig.

Drinkability, I think, is very good. The beer goes down very smooth and has a nice flavor. The excessively bitter finish may turn some people off.

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Photo of asabreed
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Darker amber with copper color, with another great-looking frothy head that refuses to let go, as seems to be with all the Ithaca brews as of late.

Smell: Yep, a big and hoppy red ale, with a good and rich malty backbone, with hints of chocolate, roasted malts, and mild dark fruits. Also some bigger citrus of orange and lemon and leafy hops.

Taste: Just because a beer is a hoppy monster of a red ale, it shouldn't mean that balance needs to be forgotten. And it isn't, necessarily, but I feel like Flower Power, which isn't far away from this ABV, is much more balanced. It feels like the darker and roasted malt flavors, along with the rich fruit that's supposed to be coming to fruition, are kind of eclipsed by the hops, which seem a little earthier, root-like, and bitter than maybe they should be. It's not unpleasant, and it's still very tasty, but something's a bit off in making me not flip out over this, which the profile seemingly has the potential to do. Not as it is in its current state, however.

Mouthfeel: Rich and medium-bodied with creamy carbonation and a silky feel. Best part of the brew.

Drinkability: This is a solid brew, but it almost seems a little much for me, probably as far as balance goes. The strength of it isn't as balanced as it probably should be in order to enjoy a few. Granted, 7% isn't a low ABV, but it seems a bit more raucous than it should be, and with more malt balanced and less askance bitterness, this could be something much different and much more sessionable.

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Photo of mikel52588
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a deep brownish coffee-like color with a 2 finger length head, leaves a soapy lacing

Smell: a blend of maltyness and hoppyness

Taste: Sweet caramel maltyness, mixed with apples and a piney citrus, and a nice hop presence in the background

Mouthfeel: dryness feeling that apples leave on the tongue, smooth and slick on the tongue, light-medium body, and medium carbonation that dissipate quick.

Drinkability: Its pretty drinkable, not too heavy, looks nice, smells nice and, even tastes nice; the one thing is that the alcohol really makes an appearance at the bottom of your glass as all the other complexities diminish.

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

Appearance: Poured from a 12 oz into dogfish signature. Has a nice dark amber hue which is translucent up to light. In the head department this one ranks high; has a thick frothy head that coats the entire glass and retains throughout the duration of the session.

Smell: Has a nice pungent scent of cascade hops that dominates with a counterpart of nice toasted nutty malt.

Taste: They weren't lying this really has a big kick of hops. They are dry, herbaceous and bitter and even partially spicy from pepper to some cinnamon. The bitter is held up by a crutch of an ever so slight nutty malt and a few woody aspects. Past the hop forward tastes there is a sharp biscuity yeast and hints of apple and floral attributes.

Mouthfeel: Quite smooth and slightly robust. Finishes bitter and crisp with a dry lingering hop-oil aftertaste.

Drinkability: Not a hop bomb but is surely hopped to a nice degree. Has a moderate abv that isn't detectable and I was somewhat surprised when I read that it was a 7%.

Overall: Quite an well executed 'monster' it doesn't ruin your palate but rather is a nice nuance of hops and an interesting twist on the amber ale category. First time having an ithaca brew (even though they are so close to home) and was pleasantly surprised.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My wife brought us home a six pack and I wasn't to sure about this to be honest. Damn was I impressed. Pours a clear amber color with a thick off white heading that leaves a covering all throughout the tasting.

Smell is not as hoppy as I would have thought. A nice whiff of maltiness takes hold,

Taste is now a bit bitter for a lager. Damn I was wrong about the hoppiness there is plenty of it. The malts and hops make a perfect combo in this tasting.

Mouth is medium bodied good retention and ridiculously slippery smooth.

Drink is good very easily sessionable and again absolutely smooth and enjoyable.

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

Ithaca Cascazilla
12 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip glass

Pours a reddish brown color with a fluffy and puffy head on top. Decorative trails of sticky lacings are all over the glassware.

Super hoppy and malty nose.

Juicy sweet caramel malt flavors with a biscuit profile. Sweet and sugary with a massive hop punch on the finish. The great thing about this beer and this is often the case with other good red ales is that wonderful malt to hop profile. The malt lays down a nice base that the piney hops compliment.

The cascade and chinook (?) hops are just so prominent here and I really dig it. Fruity citrus and distinctive pine flavors blend together to make the mouth pucker with bitterness.

This is my first time have a beer made by Ithaca Beer Company and I am pleasantly surprised.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am always buying brews that are new to me, and it seems that at least a quarter of the time I am regretting my purchases. I am especially a sucker for ones that claim to be hoppy or big (malty).

This one claims to be monstrously hoppy. They aren't lying. It's a monster, and I love monsters. Actually, compared to some of what I call over hopped, this is tame, but it also is just right.

I pleasant surprise. A totally drinkable, nicely balanced, well made product.

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Photo of cboerman
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was a delicious beer purchased in KY. Hat's off to Steamhead for the recommendation!

A- This poured with a beautiful head. 1 inch with a almost copper hue. The beer poured a little cloudy with a amber copper color. Great retention and was still coating the glass when the beer had left the building.

S: Pungent smell of cascade hops with a nice bit of toasted, nutty malt.

T: Great toasted malt flavor with hints of nut. Dissipated to a predominately hoppy finish. very balanced for an aggressive beer.

M: Full and lasting that stays on the palate for a bit. Almost a little chewy as it sits on the tongue.

D: This beer was delicious and not your normal amber ale in my book. This was an excellent drinking experience and I would keep this in the fridge if I could get it in TN!!!

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Photo of washburnkid
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 6er of this, and they lady checking me out promised it to be a very hoppy experience.

A: Cloudy caramel and light brown. The frothy head is 3 fingers tall and beige in color. There's a hearty finger of retention for most of the session and a ton of lacing. I love it.
S: Bready malt is both sweet and spicy. I can't get hops to pull through too much here. The aromas are really basic and not all that impressive, but I'm looking forward to the flavor either way.
T: Hops definitely come out more in the flavor, though only mildly at first. Spiciness is full-fledged in the flavor, with pepper and cinnamon coming in and out. The bready/yeasty profile is there, and it's too big for me. Hops are floral mostly and come out more with warmth, and the bitters really linger here. The hops hide and appear at different sips. Strange, but good.
M: Light to medium body with higher carbonation. There is so much residual bitterness lingering on my palate. It really balances out that sometimes overwhelming bready malt.
D: This is a beer that I would love to have on tap.

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Photo of corby112
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy dark ruby red/copper color with a one finger frothy off-white head that slowly receeds into a lasting cap that coats the pint with soapy rings of lacing.

Hoppy piney floral aroma with a hint of rye and a nice caramel biscuity malt backbone.

Very bitter and hop forward with a strong resinous piney hop mouthfeel. Caramel malt backbone with some biscuit notes and a slight touch of rye. The strong bitterness of the hops lasts throughout lingering over the malt backbone into a resinous bone dry piney hop finish.

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

Beer sent courtesy of naproxen in the Naked Beer Geek BIF - thanks again! My first beer from Ithaca, so the bottle makes it to my wall of fame!

Arrived with a bright amber / copper into the Bitburger pilsner glass, massive tan head volcanoed up with a hard pour. Sticky laces clinging to the sides like gorilla glue.

Hoppy, resinous, woody aspects in the aroma and quaff. Just a small hint of doughy bread in the finish. A sharp and crisp drinking brew, very tasty and enjoyable in the STL summer heat. No hint of a surprising 7% load o' alcohol.

A sturdy drinking beverage, glad to have tried it.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Damn sexy looking in my pilsner glass. Big off white head that stands out above the rim. It sits atop a slightly hazed, deep red almost apple cider colored body. The head retention is phenomenal, as it leaves absurd amounts of lace. This is the kinda stuff I wish all beers had.

S- Bready, buscuity malts underlie a sweet, juicy hop presence. So far Im not totally buying the "monstrously hopped" claim.

T- At front its alot like the nose. Bready malts rule at first. They do, however, give way to some hops. The hops arent brutally bitter or piney or resinous or any of that. Instead they are crisp and juicy.

M- Medium body, little carbonation, crisp finish that approaches dry.

D- The ABV is what I, as a Barleywine/RIS fan, would consider on the low side. But no matter who you are you will agree that the ABV is undetectable. In the end I dont agree with the claim of "monstrously hopped", but instead I find a quite nicely balanced and crisp, SEXY looking red.

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Photo of WalrusJockey
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- cloudy dark orange, with piles of bone colored head.

S- rich, thick aromatic hop aroma full of grapefruit and oranges and other tropical fruits, all competing to smell sweeter than the last. A faint, sweet, roasted malt aroma is noticeable in the background.

T- bracing hops plunge into a bitter wash over the palate. This gradually gives way to an increasingly sweeter and sweeter orange flavor, and a bit of roasted malt. Swallow is oddly bitter-sweet, but that passes almost instantly into a clean, watery finish. Not much malt presence, for the style.

M- fairly light body, combined with a fairly high carbonation makes this a very crisp, bracing beer. Combined with the bitterness and the almost lack of an aftertaste, it is an odd combination, but makes the beer a sudden assault, with no sustained attack.

D- not bad. This isn't my favorite beer in the style, but something about it makes it hard to put the glass down.

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

On cask into pint @ Cambridge Commons.

Deep red-amber hue with a one finger eggshell color head, which stays up and never settles (common characteristic of cask ale).

Very floral hops, with citrus aromas and a little pineapple. The hops hide the malt aromas pretty well.

Very light grain flavor, somewhat dry, with a little caramel. The hops linger for a while, adding some citrus and grapefruit. Full bodied, lower cask-style carbonation.

Very good red ale, almost like an Irish Red. The hops were the highlight of the beer. Recommended.

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

Got this one as an extra from Cuzco. Thanks and cheers! Best buy August date on bottle.

Pour is quite the sight to behold. Three fingers of thick, lasting off white head over a murky red/brown liquid and insane amounts of carbonation in my nucleated glass.

Scent is a citrusy hop monster. Very light malt background. Good.

Taste mirrors the scent but a bit more subdued. The caramel malt gets a little more room to shine, but cascade hops are the star here.

Mouth is passable, medium in body and carbonation.

While slightly subdued than some IPAs that I am used to, this is still a quality drink.

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Photo of PhxHorn
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours a deep dark cloudy red with a massive tan head. It took a few minutes to get this one poured, and the lacing was huge. This is a beautiful beer. Smells of malt and hops. Tastes of citrusy hops mixed with sweet malt flavor in a nice balance of the two. Hoppy amber ale, that's what it says and that's what you get. As I worked my way through it, the flavors tended to get in the way of each other a little bit, as I was hoping one or the other would assert itself, but that never happened. Could have been a bit more complex, but still a fine drinkable beer.

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Photo of atremains
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours golden orange with a 2 finger head that's leaves a massive ammount of lacing. Nose is hoppy with a caramel sweetness and some baked goods. Taste is the same but not as strong as the nose. Sweetness is upfront. The mouthfeel is on the weak side. Good brew but nothing to make it stand out over other choices available.

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Photo of david18
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer is all of a sudden everywhere and I'm not sure why. It has somehow become the local brew in new york city and I suspect because it's contract brewed somewhere around here. Anyway, not a bad beer but nothing to get crazy over. Decent color, good drinkability but not much else that distinguishes it from the many other choices out there.

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Photo of BitterPachyderm
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

big thanks to tapoutjoe for the kind extra...12 oz. bottle poured into SN pint glass (best before August 09)...

huge khaki colored head with good lacing and excellent retention...dark orange body with some hazy ruby hues skirting the edges...with an enormous billowing sticky cap, this is a gorgeous brew!

tons of bready malts and caramel with a strong doese of citrus, hops are a bit subdued, but it still retains a spicy pepperiness (cocoa???)

sweet...unique...not a whole lot else going on...some muted citrus and spruce, some bready malts with a biscuity feel to it...a tinge of hops near the end...

a bit of good carbonation, but it feels a tad watery at times...

no offputting flarors and pretty damn good for the most part...

you can tell that it's dying off, but there is just enough of it left to tell how good it was in it's hay day...need a fresher one to double check on that...

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Photo of stewart124
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The huge off-white head catches my eye first and it isn't going away. Dark amber in color with noticable carbonation.

To say that there is a huge amount of hops in the nose would be an understatement. Lots of pine and pungent grapefruit.

Very sweet in taste. Lots of caramel sweetness and a lingering bready sweetness. The hops are quite bitter but add a very nice amount of pine to the beer. The bitterness is a bit milder than I initially picked up and expected. Bits of pear and apple can be found in the flavor along with an almost toffee-like sweetness. Pretty complex.

The mouthfell is medium but still has some chewiness.

A very nice amber ale and easy to drink. It's nice to see a beer that can be so complex with just a single hop.

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Photo of GordonQuid
4.94/5  rDev +28%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured froma 12oz bottle to a standard 12oz pub mug.

Deep amber w/ a rocky 1 inch head, ample lacing present.

Smells like pure cascade hop; like getting hit in the face w/ a burlap bag full of fresh cascade!

Taste is exceptionally balanced cascade hop and caramel malts. Ithica did not skimp on ingredients w/ this one. As it warms more malt characteristics come through beyong the dominant hop profile. Very smooth and silky quality in the finish. I'm falling in love w/ it, the fourth bottle is just as good as the first.

This beer would be admired by those who enjoy the american IPA variety as well as those who like a good classic american strong ale. This beer represents a nice balance between the two characteristics in my humble opinion.


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

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into my pint glass. s a clear deep amber red color. The fluffy looking head is about an inch thick when pured, settling to a very nice surface coating about 10 minutes later with some very nice lacing indeed as well. Aromas of citrus and piney cascade hops followed by a nice biscuit like malty sweetness. The taste is the same, the sweet biscuit malt flavor with hints of caramel hit my palate first, giving way to subtle citrus and piney bittering cascade hops. A simple beer flavor wise, but very good! Very well balanced I thought. This beer certainly coats the inside of your mouth. Has a smooth, crisp, sort of frothy mouthfeel with a medium body and light to moderate carbonation. Very drinkable in the way well crafted beers are meant to be.


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CascaZilla from Ithaca Beer Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 1,229 ratings.
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