Kaffinator | Ithaca Beer Company

very good
32 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerTruth on 06-05-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 38
Photo of ClockworkOrange
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A capped 750ml bottle poured into my nonic Imperial pint glass. Bottle # 2072, June '07. Appears a clear crimson brown color with about an inch of creamy ecru foam. The head has good staying power and leaves behind a mild lacing on the glass. Nose and flavor consist of browned toast, espresso, milk chocolate and caramel notes, rich roasted coffee, brown sugar. approaching full bodied with adequate carbonation. Pretty nice! This one needs a comeback.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I sampled a 2 year old bottle poured into a pint glass at room temp. Pours a cola brown with some garnet highlights. A tan head foams up and fades to a sturdy surface layer. Aroma is toffee and roasted malt and coffee bean. Sweet malt and brown sugar mix in as well. First sip reveals a light to average body and almost no carbonation. Thougth it may be a little bigger but it is still nice.
Flavor is malty with a fairly sweet and clean taste caramel and coffee mixing. Easy to drink and very nice beer, I wish this wasnt retired.

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Photo of hellbilly
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bottle #769 from 6/2007 by way of alldaydrinker.

pours on the brown side of ruby brown with a small agitated beige head which quickly fades. it does manage to deposit some spotty lacing before it goes.

smells like a really nice porter... spent wet coffee grounds, toasty grains, molasses, brown sugar, scalded cream and lots o' maltiness.

it's barely sweet on the palate and the coffee taste is much more tame than the aroma... flavors of amped up malt powder, chocolate, graham crackers and light ashiness with a dry slightly sour finish. nice mellow coffee bean aftertaste... mmm. medium body with an airy texture and super creamy lush mouth feel.

terribly delicious but very uncomplicated. i could probably drink another one right now if i had it, though!

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Photo of drseamus
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Aerozeppl for sharing this.

A: Deep red body. Not very dark at all. It's hard to think of this as a bock though since the coffee makes it seem like a stout.

S: Super intense nose. Big roast malt, dark espresso coffee and chocolate. Again, it smells a lot like a big stout crossed with a bock.

T: Coffee is pretty mellow but chocolate is strong and sweet. Good strong bock malt sweetness supports the other flavors nicely.

M: SUPER smooth and creamy. Amazing mouthfeel.

D: Phenomenal except that they don't make it any more.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Mostly black with some brown around the edges. Good looking traditional bock color. Nice lacing and some coffee colored head.

S: Nice mix of coffee and chocolate. Even some hints of chile in there. I think time has downed the espresso and melted everything together.

T: Nice mix of coffee and chocolate. Milk chocolate. everything has really melted together. Really nice malt backbone holds everything together. Nice sweetness.

M: Super creamy mouthfeel. Wonderful.

D: For the reasonable ABV 7% and big taste this is a wonderful beer. I have cellared this since the June 07 bottling. Bottle 1197.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BeerTruth for knocking this off my wants list.
Released June 2007
Bottle #2205

Pours a dark brown color with some brown/reddish hues when held up to the light, lots of head, great retention as it fades slowly, leaves some patchy lacing.

Smell is highly roasted with a good strong whiff of coffee.

Taste is malty with a good bitter coffee aftertaste, seems a bit thin and watery though, if it was a bit "thicker" it would have been great.

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Photo of brentk56
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a lovely shade of dark brown with a rocky head that retains fairly well and leaves some shards and dots behind

Smell: Interesting blend of coffee and dark fruit, primarily prune; a hint of plastic phenols

Taste: Opens with a black bread flavor that moves in a roasted espresso direction by mid-palate; after the swallow, the fruit comes through to join with the black bread and coffee flavors; nice lingering coffee aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I sure do like the Ithaca Excelsior series; this is my last of the original four and it is a tough call with the Old Habit as to which I prefer; this one is more a coffee beer than a dopplebock with coffee, but I like it just fine

Thanks, BeerTruth, for the opportunity to try them all

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

Deep mahogany color-on the border of being black but not quite. Small tan head on top. Decent amount of carbonation. Coffeeish aroma. Mild roasted grain and a toasted nut scent. Good malty flavor up front. Decent coffee flavor with a very nice graininess to it. Lingering bittersweet cocoa. Very good body-none of the syrup like qualities of some doublebocks. Very easy going down and quite enjoyable. Nice beer for a cool summer's night. Thanks to tayner for this sample when she was offering "free" beer while cleaning out her cellar.

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Photo of mcallister
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared this brew with me lady Pixel at Spuyten Duyvil. Deep chestnut colored with an off white head that slowly fades into some spotty lace.

Nose full of espresso, mocha, caramel, brown sugar, breads, yeast, and hints of milk chocolate. Very enticing.

Creamy smooth great mouthfeel. Very well balance of the espresso and dopplebock. Works great together. Mocha, espresso, vainlla extract, almond, brown sugar, caramel, and thick sweet bready malts. A damn easy drinking beer that I like.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

05/15/08- Generously shared by BA member Talisker.

Presentation- 750ml bottle with a bottled on date on the label. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance- A dull grey black color with a 1/2 inch head on the pour. Did leave behind nice lace patchwork.

Smell- Espresso coffee grounds, a bit of chocolate and that's about it. Pretty much about the coffee. Pretty much spot on for the beer description.

Taste- As noted above, espresso coffee. As Talsiker said, it's like someone dropped a shot of espresso in the beer. I did get a bit of chocolate and a very light hoppy note in the aftertaste. Malty, but not as full as would expect for a Doppel.

Mouthfeel- A tad thin, not watery, just not full. Lightly creamy and a bit milky at times. Coffee aftertaste that lingers.

Drinkability- Seemed more like a coffee porter than a coffee doppelbock. I really liked the taste but knocked it down a touch because it wasn't quite to style. Still, very refreshing...did I mention it was 100 degrees yesterday?

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Photo of number1bum
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle 2199, from my buddy BeerTruth. Thanks ahole.

Pours nearly black but shows ruby hues around the edges of the glass, and reveals itself to be more like a deep, dark brown when held to the light. Only about one finger of coffee colored head builds on top and leaves just a thin, patchy lace and minimal stick.

Coffee is definitely the dominant aroma going on here, with some sweetness to it but really not much else. Straightforward but pleasant.

Good coffee flavor, too, with some moderate sweetness and a bit of espresso-like bitterness. As it warms the sweetness comes out more and there are some chocolate notes to it. It's pretty one dimensional but tasty.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and the carbonation is pretty aggressive, but not to the point of being bothersome.

This is a solid and tasty, if pretty one dimensional brew. Definitely worth a try if you can still find it.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I received this one, as well as the rest of the Ithaca big series from a fantastic NY trader. This was the first of the series I was going to try and chose to pick it last night as I was in the mood for something a little bit heavier with a god dose of coffee! Can't go wrong right? This one just looked great with a huge 750ml bottle that had a nice wrapped cap top and really just a sleek look to it.

Appearance - The look was very nice on this one, with a thick black liquid pouring out of the bottle. Some brown poking through around the bottom and the sides, but mostly inky black in color. A nice touch of tan colored lace then came up over the top of it. It reached a height of around two fingers before settling down to a thin crown that lasted throughout the rest of the session. Some nice side glass lace was present as well.

Smell - The aroma was all coffee as one would expect it to be. Not much hint of anything else going on here, just a rich, sweet coffee aroma that really pushed through rather nicely. Very good depth to it, and the longer it sat, the sweeter it seemed to get. Really very nice.

Taste - The flavor followed suit perfectly. A rich coffee flavor poured over the tongue and left little room for anything else. There was really no way this was a bock, just too thick, and with none of that earthy flavor you would expect from it. There was a touch of a biting bitterness in the finish, but overall it was really just an excellent coffee porter like flavor.

Mouthfeel - Pretty thick, especially for the style, it was really very nicely done. A good medium bodied ale, it was really nicely carbonated and a good bit fuller then what I would have expected from the style.

Drinkability - As far as the drinkability, it was absolutely excellent, I could have had this going on tap all day long. The alcohol was non existent and the flavors were rich and full. Great follow through and awesome carbonation, there was really noting in this one not too like.

Overall I thought this was excellent, really a fine example of a little seen style and a good beer from Ithaca. If the rest of the Excelsior series lives up to this I would be a very happy camper. One of the better beers I have had in a while. Definitely a nice one here you should seek out if you can find it.

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Photo of SkinnyElvis
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to SS biegaman for this brew. Dated June 2007. A coffee lager...hmmm. Taste and smell is all coffee. I don't taste much dopple in here b/c of the coffee. Black with a thin head. Held up pretty well for almost a year but I would drink this if you have it. Smooth mouthfeel & drinkable. An interesting brew.


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Photo of boulevard2
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

June 07 Bottle# 1941

Pours a dark lager with no head nice retention. Dark roasted chocolate , burnt coffee and sugar. Crisp and smooth. Paired nicely with some chocolate tiramisu.This is the second of a big bottle series that I've tried. A must try and a great beer from Ithaca.

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Photo of Deuane
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 1892 bottled on 07/07.

A-Deep dark brown with a medium tan head. Leaves nice lacing.

S-Light roasted coffee scent with hints of vanilla and dark roast.

T-Not as strong in coffee flavour as I would have thought. The coffee tatse is very natural tasting. Really nice certainly not overpowering.

M-Full bodied, smooth and round. A very nice feel to this one.

D-Highly drinkable. An interesting blend of a dopplebock / coffee beer. I was not sure what to expect at first but I was very pleased with the outcome.

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Photo of crwills
3.62/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased a bottle of this at Beers of the World in Rochester (I think) about 6 months back. Drank it with a friend while brewing our fifth (collectively) batch of homebrew!

Poured a very attractive dark brown, nearly black, with a slightly browish head. We shared this in pint glasses so didn't get the full effect, but it's quite nice looking. Aroma is very pleasant with hints of both dark, black coffee and espresso, as well as some bitter chocolate. Light smoky notes as well.

Flavour is a bit disappointing after the aroma -- not bad, but very one dimensional black coffee. The coffee flavours dominate most of what would normally come from a doppelbock, although as it warms up it definitely improves, and the sweet malts, bready/yeasty notes, and dark fruits shine through. Mouthfeel is slightly on the watery side.

Honestly, not something I'd purchase again -- I love coffee, but there are a lot better coffee beers out there, and I don't think a doppelbock is the best style for it. Interesting, though!

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.41/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A bock with coffee?
Yep, I guess so.
Coffee and powdered milk chocolate flavors predomidate.
Mouthfeel is thin in comparison to the taste and this one could use a few more ABVs to match the taste as well.
Delightful, but the size of the flavors compared to the rest of the beer makes for something unbalanced and a bit of a disappointment.
Great taste, but I would expect it to be more filling as well.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown with a darker tan/brown head. Nose is definitely coffee influenced. Flavor is strong with coffee, but it seems to be watery a bit too much after the initial shock of flavor wears off. Feel is the same, a bit thin on the liquid and very little carbonation. I have to say this is not as well made as Old Habit, which I tried and appreciated much more.

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Photo of JDV
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of littlebreeze. Big thanks! Light black pour with very little head. Smell is burnt coffee grounds. Taste is nicely flavored of coffee, with a thinnish body. Biting, bubbly carbonation which really grew on me although I normally dislike thin bubbly bodes on richer flavored beers. Almost refreshing, and very nice and drinkable. Delicious beer that exceeded my expectations!

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Photo of AaronHomoya
3.67/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a near-black, very dark brown with a little, tan-colored head that quickly faded to nothing. Low carbonation.

Aroma is very strong of espresso beans. A sweet, almost creamy aroma with hints of vanilla is also present.

Taste is pretty smooth - creamy, roasty, coffee with notes of sweet malt and vanilla. Smooth finish.

Pretty thick mouthfeel. Again, very creamy and smooth. The low carbonation is nice here.

Alcohol is well hidden in the taste, but leaves a mild warming. I think this could be even better at a lower ABV.

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Photo of Kendo
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a pilsner glass. Body is clear, mahogany/crimson-hued black with a small tan head. No bubbles visible whatsoever, and no lacing.

S: Coffee and roasted malt, but the coffee is substantially fainter than expected given the hyperbolic description on the label on how they load this up with espresso.

T: Coffee -- almost straight coffee up front, with a bit of roasted malt and something nutty. Slight cofee-type bitterness lingers. As it warms there's some chocolate as well.

M: Light-to-medium in heft, decent carbonation despite the absence of any evidence of it in the appearance.

D: Pretty good.

Notes: I had this early in the day on Thanksgiving, wondering if there was in fact a decent amount of caffeine in it that would keep me going. It was good all around, but in my opinion not worth the $ I paid for it in the Buffalo area a couple months back (I think it was $7.99 or $8.99 at a Consumers). I'm glad I had the chance to sample it, but I would pass at a second bottle at these prices -- there are just a lot of beers out there that I'd prefer at that cost.

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Photo of Viggo
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up at Premier Gourmet in Buffalo.

Pours a clear reddish brown, thick tan head, head slowly settles to a layer and leaves some lace spots. Smell is roasty, cherries, espresso, chocolate, toast, yeast, intense coffee roast bitterness. Taste is similar, nice clean bready malt, chocolate, espresso, cherries, caramel, basically tastes as its billed, malty doppelbock with espresso, and the roast works very well with the malts. Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied with medium carbonation, very smooth. Nicely done!

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Photo of tpd975
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BeerTruth supplied this one.

A: Pours big and bold...dark black with a khaki colored head. This is a medium amount of lacing.

S: Nice coffee aromas with a hint of chocolate.

T: Tons of Coffee and chocolate. Very Nice. Kind of reminds me of a cooled cafe mocha.

M: Medium to thick in body. I really like it.

D: Very Nice.though this is one big bottle of beer.

Overall: Nice drinking brew with tons of coffee and chocolate. Very nice, would love to have another.

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Photo of caminiti
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Kaffinator bottle 1167 from Halftime Beverage in Poughkeepsie, one dark and stormy night, feeling tired and thirsty, poured into a standard pint glass, thin, a little bit of a head. The aroma was absolutely coffee, as advertised (or was it espresso, whatever...)
The caffeine gimmic may work for some, but someone who drinks three or four cups of coffee a day, it didnt do much, it just made what was an ordinary stout a little different.
I have a second bottle that will sit in the cellar for about a year, or until I am completely out of beer, and I expect it to be better with age.

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Photo of Sammy
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Although Alesmith Speedway Stout is the original, this would go great in a vertical tasting. Smooth, with roast secondary, well-malted, and the 7.2% abv is serviceable, I shared out quite a bit at Cole's from my bomber. Dark black, chocolate, coffee, tasty and enjoyable.

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Kaffinator from Ithaca Beer Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 38 ratings.
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