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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,231 |  Reviews: 588
Photo of JohnQVegas
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into Sam Adams lager glass.

Pours clear dark copper, with an off-white, creamy, dense one-finger head that sticks around. Nice thick lacing.

Nose is caramel and citrusy grapefruit. Just a bit of a hoppy bite underneath.

Taste is sweet, lots of citrusy grapefruit goodness with an underlying layer of slightly dry, aspirin-like astringency. Some light, fruity esters in there as well. Finish is long, firmly bitter.

Mouthfeel is nice, light but crisp carbonation over a lightly sticky body.

 501 characters

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

12oz bottle

Pours a bright copper red amber color with a medium sized off white head with good retention and some soapy sticking. Dry bitter leafy hops, dried fruit such as apricot and apple and a red wine grape tartness and earthiness. Lots of hop flavor, fruity hops weak malt character, enough honey sweetness to begin to create balance but it just falls short. Its got a kind of medicinal, alcohol rich aftertaste and a sticky body. Good fizzy carbonation, bright and interesting enough to drink a few but this one doesnt quite wow me.

 540 characters

Photo of Proteus93
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep amber, almost leaning towards copper. A nice and foamy head, quite sizable, with a great cling on the glass.

S: Nice citrus, fruity notes of apple and mild plum. Some sugary maltiness fr balance.

T: Some fruit medley... green grapes, green apple, herbal hoppiness with touches of piney flavours.

M + D: Easy to take down ... Nice sparkling carbonation and a nice lingering of flavour.

 398 characters

Photo of UA8
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep ruby color with a thick khaki colored head.

S- A bit light on the nose overall but hints of citrus hops, and roasted caramel malts.

T- Leads with a touch of citrus and some kind of smoky flavor. Finishes with a semi sweet malt character and a bit of rind.

M- A touch over carbonated, but nice and round.

D- A solid effort but having had this in the bottle and on draft. The draft is a touch less balanced with bitter hops being more pronounced but the flavors are also less concentrated.

 507 characters

Photo of Hophead101
3.59/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

drank on 3.9.09 (post midnight) at home while working.

great head - off white, with superb lacing. hazy awesome reddish copper color nice looking beer. smell is hoppy with some cherries, not much smell, struggled to find something.

slightly sweet taste, hoppy throughout but not 'monstrously' hoppy. hops come and go and don't linger. good medium body taste, the flavor spreads well throughout.

 396 characters

Photo of PEBKAC
3.47/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Initially purchased & consumed in December. Worked on a couple extras sixers throughout the winter. BB notch of March. First fresh examples of this beer I've ever had in a bottle. Wow.

Ommegang anniversary glass. Light tan lathered head, sticky/scummy lace over a filtered rich dark bourbon amber.

Smell is predominately toasted grains & caramel(lots), spiced sharply with pine & orange rind. Caramel to the point of being honey-ish. Alcohol is quite noticeable for 7%.

Taste is mainly honey, toasted/burnt grains, & husks upfront, with juicy grassy & floral hops making their way in. Some tangerine rind. Not monstrously bitter at all, but very much the pronounced taste of unripened(green) fruit. A big detractor is that the alcohol is all there.

Carbonation is lower then I'd like, body is a bit grainy & slick as well. It finishes dry though, with a hint of remaining bitterness.

Great one at a time, & as a decent substitution for when Nugget Nectar isn't in season.

 976 characters

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

A: Amber-copper, off-white head, good retention & lacing.

S: Citrus, pine, caramel and light grains.

T: Pine, citrus & grass from the hops, nice toffee from the malts, good bitterness, alcohol is well-hidden.

M: Moderate body is smooth with carbonation on the low side of moderate.

D: A hop-forward, but relatively balanced red... quite drinkable.

 351 characters

Photo of Morey
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice reddish-brown with a nice light tan head that settles to a bubbly and somewhat thick lace after a couple of minutes. The head has some nice stick too.

Smells of burnt sugar and roasted malts.

This beer is pretty well balanced with the hops and malts both coming through nicely. Hops are noticable and pleasent, but they don't hang around in the aftertaste. Almost has some characteristics of a porter.

This beer goes down pretty smooth. I could do a six pack of these no problem.

Morey's Bottom Line: A well made red ale for sure. However, not quite as good as Red's Rye, or Nosferatu.

 602 characters

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

Poured from a bottle. Poured a reddish amber color with a white head that didn't leave too much lacing. The smell was hoppy that followed with hints of citrus fruit. The taste was the same it was slightly bitter with hops and citrus, then finished with a nice malty flavor. Medium body very fresh taste good carbonation.
It was very drinkable. Very good red ale!

 363 characters

Photo of grayburn
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice reddish color into a tulip at around 50 degrees. bone white head a couple fingers deep. head stayed around pretty well and left some lacing around the glass.
Hoppyiness is front and center, a little malt in the background, barely perceptible.
Taste is very hop oriented as well, not so much bitter as just plain hoppy. The aroma and flavoring hops are certainly the defining characteristics of this beer.
The mouthfeel is pretty good, well carbonated and pretty smooth. Easy to drink, alcohol is well hidden, a well balanced brew.

 543 characters

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

Had on tap at Ordinary Joe's in Oakville, pours a beautiful dark amber in color, nice red highlights, beautiful size head and nice retention. Aromas peeking through are nice cascade hop properties, grapefruit, mango and a nice zip of some malt sweetness. This one taste like your traditional red, a nice dose of malt is backed by a huge amount of fruity hops, nicely balanced and presented well to the palete. Nice carbonation on this one, the malt smooths it out a bit but the hops take over on the finish. I liked this brew alot, has great balance and was tasty to the last drop. Will defintley have this again, an awesome brew from the guys at Ithaca.

 654 characters

Photo of bhalter8
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks, once again, to Reagan1984 for tossing this in on a recent trade. Pours a nice, deep red color with a dense, foamy white 1 finger head. Decent lacing left as that head slowly recedes. Smells delicious! If you are a hop head like me that is, a strong, sweet citrus hops aroma. Oddly that strong hop punch is a little muted in the flavor, as the sweet malts of the red ale style kick in to balance the bitter out. As stated, this is a amber/red, so I guess I should roll back my hops hopes, but that smell was so strong. Nice complexity to the taste, though, with that sweet and bitter battle in your taste buds. Fair amount of carbonation holds me back from being able to take too many of these, but a nice, somewhat new take on the style.

 745 characters

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

poored a clear copper brown, a thin filmy white head, nice lacing
smell is pine with some citrus and all hops
the taste follows the nose with a bit of a malty bread like backbone to it
mouthfeel is medium bodied and drying to the mouth due to the hops and bitterness
as for drinkability well if hops are your goal in life this would be the red ale for you no doubt, was a bit more pronounced in the hop flavor when I had it on tap at CNY brewfest

 446 characters

Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a transparent, reddish toned orange with a 1 finger head of white fluff that slowly fades. Tubular rings of lacing are left around the glass, as the bubbly collar sticks around.
Smell is of citrusy, herbal, mildly spicy hops, followed by caramel, honey, and toasted biscuit.
Taste is of homestyle biscuits and sugary grapefruit with a slap of gooey honey. Pretty well balanced.
Mouthfeel is, again, well balanced. Medium bodied, chewy, enough hops to keep me coming back with a nice malty backbone. This goodness mellows out to a nice, smooth, creamy finish.

 566 characters

Photo of duffextracold
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- orangish-amber. very thin head. left a little lacing.

S- Lots of hops, with some sweet malt aromas. a hint of dried fruit, like maybe banana or pineapple.

T- A blast of bitter hops up front, with some sweet malt struggling to get through. as it warmed up, the malt seemed to shine a little more, balancing the beer a little better, but its still quite bitter.

M- nice & bubbly. a bit syrupy.

D- Not bad. A tad too bitter to drink a lot of, but that's what it's supposed to be.

 483 characters

Photo of jwc215
4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap in a bar in the Philadelphia area. Armock sent me a bottle, as well - thanks Anthony!

Pours amber with a white head that has great retention, leaving lacing.

The smell is of grapefruit, tangerine, some pine - classic "C-hop" aroma. Spicy with a touch of caramel.

The taste is of sweet citrus - grapefruit. Hoppy, but on the sweet side. The hops have a firm caramel backing.

It has a creamy, smooth, medium-to-full body.

A bit strong, even for abv (which I would have guessed to be slightly higher than it is) as the alcohol does have a sharpness to it.

This is a nicely hopped, yet not too bitter, red ale that is very enjoyable. I liked it a bit more on tap than in the bottle, but still a delicious hoppy brew!

 729 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from a 6 pack into a penn pilsner pint glass. Pretty fresh.

A- Cascazilla pours a deep amber color with red highlights. A semi thick one inch white head came up leaving minimal lacing on the way down. Very clear with no sediment.

S- A bunch of toasted malt with some bittering hop flavor probably cascade. Some banana with very bready and earthy scents coming from this. Some grapefruit in the smell.

T- A very hoppy red ale indeed. The bitterness of this is a bit off putting but is toned down by some toasted malt. Some grapefruit not much though but very citrusy, some pine. Some additional sweetness may be coming from an addition of sugars but i cant tell for sure.

M- A very bitter brew that is uncompromising. Maybe a little more malt would of rounded this a bit tighter. This has a medium mouth to it with some carbonation. A bit of an oil and slickness to it when i'm on my 2nd bottle. A bit of alcohol with warming. Pretty decent.

D- If I was out of nugget nectar and wanted a hoppy amber I would go to this before others in the style. I could only drink two bottles in a sitting as this got a bit to bitter for my taste. This has a very dry finish to itself.

 1,186 characters

Photo of bobsy
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber with a frothy off-white head. Laces well. Nice hop aroma, some herbs, a bit of citrus, sweet smoked malts. Smells pretty complex and sophisticated. Biscuit malt provides the backbone for flavours of pine resin and citrus. Medium mouthfeel with a lingering bitterness due to the hop oils. Really good drinkability - to me this is an IPA in everything but name.

Tasted this again a few months later, and I still think this is a solid offering. The hops really shine, but are well balanced by the malt. I also like the funky bottle.

 549 characters

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.01/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark amber with a medium off-white head that quickly fades to a foamy swirl. Minor lace smatterings.

Smells sweetly of grapefruit hops and caramel malt.

Very sweet and fruity. Sweet, cherry flavored malt with citrus hops. Some hop bitterness at the end as well. Very syrupy mouthfeel made this beer seem like drinking a melted Luden's cherry coughdrop. Cascazilla seems to want to be part of the new big-ass hoppy amber style that seems to be catching on (Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale, Lagunitas Mondo Red, etc.) but falls short. Just be yourself little buddy. I think there's a metaphor in there somewhere.

 610 characters

Photo of scottbrew4u
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear amber with thick light-tan colored head was formed from a hard pour. Some ruby highlights hints to it being a red ale.
S: Fresh herbal, floral hops hit the nose first. Bitter roasted malt with a husky grain aroma. Some sweet burnt toffee smell as well.
T: Citrus and floral hops combine with a smooth, mellow malt profile. Only semi sweet and somewhat overpowered by the hops but not in a bad way. A bit astringent in the finish.
M: Smooth light to medium body for this one. Carbonation is moderate not overpowering.
D: Very generously hopped red ale! Good flavor and drinkability. Hops definitely coat the tongue here. Some good strength and crisp freshness make this one very worth trying.

 701 characters

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

A: Poured clear reddish-brown with two fingers of tan head, no retention.
S: Hops, never had a red ale that smelled so hoppy. Floral, Sweet.
T: Spicy, mallty, bitter, citrus, and definitely hoppy for a red.
M: Smooth.
D: I was impressed with this ale. I didn't expect the hoppiness from a red. Definitely wortyh checking out.

 325 characters

Photo of jonziefle
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Apperance: Poured a clear reddish amber. Two finger head with an semi-aggressive pour. Just off white with good retentention. Some visible carbonation. Leaves all the way down the glass.

Smell: Smells of sweet syrupy/oily/resiny hops. Citrus and pine, with grapefruit coming out the most.

Taste: Tastes moderately hoppy, not as big as it smells. Some bitterness from the hops, but balanced very well with the sweetness. Slightly malty/bready finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, but very filling. Very smooth for a "hoppy" ale. Some carbonation bite.

Drinkability: Good moderately hoppy ale. Easy to drink because of the balance, but hard to drink a lot because its filling. Thought it might be a little hoppier though.

 720 characters

Photo of cleeze
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another great addition to a recent trade.

Appearance was a dark amber, with a nice frothy head and showed some bad ass lacing.

Smell was a great mixture of citrus and floral notes. Smells amazing. Hops shine through as well.

Taste was straight up hops. Great bitterness.

I deffinatly could put back a few of these

 318 characters

Photo of rhinos00
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle I picked up in New York into a Founder's pint glass.

A- Amber, very similar to the color of maple syrup. Two fingers width off white head formed and dissipated as the beer was consumed.

S- Very nice smelling beer. Had floral, citrus qualities (granted it was very subtle) mixed with a sweet malt backbone.

T- Attempted to follow the nose, but just fell short. The taste had the beginnings of something great, but the the finish of each sip was weak. One second the flavor was there and before you knew it, it was gone.

M- A little watered down to me. Would have preferred a little more body to this one.

D- Really drinkable. Once the beer warms up, the sweet aroma really comes out.

Overall, a good beer. If the taste would have just continued and followed through the sip it would have been much more enjoyable.

 849 characters

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

deep amber color with generous amount of head and lacing. smell is incredible with lots of hops and floral notes. some grapefruit and spicy citrus there too. taste is malty up front and then the hop bitterness comes and takes over at the end. taste is kind of perfumey at the end with the floral hop flavor, but it doesn't really detract from the enjoyableness of the beer. mouthfeel has enough carbonation to carry the alcohol and bitterness. quite drinkable.

 460 characters

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.