Old Habit | Ithaca Beer Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Old HabitOld Habit
Very Good
164 Ratings
Old HabitOld Habit

Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States

Style: Rye Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A Robust American Ale brewed with four different Rye Malts, fresh Centennial and Crystal Hops and our proprietary Ale Yeast. It is partly fermented in Tennesee Rye Whiskey Barrels, then carefully blended. Enjoy the gorgeous ruby color, strong aromas of vanilla and black cherry, earthy flavors of nuts and oak and the warm spicy finish.

Added by zdk9 on 06-06-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 164 |  Reviews: 117
Photo of Arbitrator
1/5  rDev -74.4%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Chilled bottle into a glass. Shared by nickd717, I believe. Thanks Tick.

Batch E!017.

A: Pours murky brown in the glass. It's amply carbonated, with a good cap that remains for the duration of the drink. The bottle is a slow gusher. Sigh.

S: Minerals, funk, cherries. It is somewhat floral. At this point I know it's infected so I don't really bother parsing the nose too much.

T: ...Or the rest of it. Gave up on the notes here and threw my glass out.

I've had a few infected / off bottles from these guys and I find the pattern frustrating.

 552 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
1.11/5  rDev -71.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Yikes, the last few reviews of this note significant infection issues. This is batch E!017, I guess we'll find out how well QC did their job...

Appearance - just cracking the cap enough to let the first whisper of carbonation out starts a foam plug climbing the neck of the bottle. Yep - a slow foamer. Probably a fast foamer if I pop the cap off now. With the bottle opener, I let out the carbonation slowly, over the sink, and maybe an ounce or two collects in a teacup. I pour it carefully into a tall glass, but the foam is insistent. First two fingers, now three and four rising up over the glass and coning. The beer is a deep reddish color that is absolutely churning within. Nice color, but everything about this lets me know this beer is infected.

Aroma - I don't know if it is Brett specifically, but it totally dominates the nose outside of some background woodiness.

Taste - in the interest of beer science, documentation, and posterity, I drink. I do actually get the beginnings of some sweet malt and some vapory notes of oak and whiskey, but the rogue critters take it from there. Funky, dry, and astringent, the rest of the taste experience is a bust. I'm trying this 4, 5, 6 times, and it's getting harder each time. The only positive is a pleasant belly warmth into the finish. Not enough to save this one, though. It's too bad, too. Money's tight and money spent on infected beer hurts.

Mouthfeel - the beer has a nice smoothness, but the rampant carbonation is spoiling more than just the flavor.

Drinkability - even in this state, I can tell this beer has the potential to be a fine bottle of suds. I get glimpses of what the malt and barrel are attempting. It's all the more disappointing that it's undrinkable.

 1,738 characters

Photo of nickd717
1.35/5  rDev -65.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

750ml bottle thanks to Crack1Open.

Major gusher!!! Hazy weird reddish-brown appearance with a massive fizzy tan head. Lost half the beer into the sink (and most of the other half later when I drainpoured it).

Bretty, funky, oaky, aroma with slight dark fruit, infection evident.

Tart bretty flavor with an odd acrid finish. Some plum and fig notes. Not good.

Medium-bodied with carbonation WAY too high.

This is terrible. Ithaca needs to do something about this infection problem. This is the third or fourth DIFFERENT beer I've had from them recently that has been infected. Brute yeast doesn't work so well on beers other than Brute it seems.

 649 characters

Photo of davod23
1.43/5  rDev -63.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Well, that's a downer.

Bottle opens and begins a slow gush. Damn it. I quickly pour it into my Bruery tulip. It's a reddish brown color, pour is pretty thin. The clarity is okay, big tannish head.

Aroma is off, as expected from the gush. It's not terribly pungent, but what there is indicates infection. Dirt, minerals, a vague sour cherry. It smells a bit funky as well, a bit of dryer sheet.

Taste is bad. It's not the worst thing I've ever had, but it's close. Obviously nowhere near the mark. Sour cherry, rotten flowers.

Thin mouthfeel, long unpleasant finish.

Drainpoured it after 2oz. Brewing fail.

 612 characters

Photo of zoolzoo
1.84/5  rDev -52.9%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Batch E!017, oh no!

Once uncapped the bottle erupts like a volcano all over my counter and floor. This is one of the worst gushers I have ever seen. In fact, its still oozing over in my kitchen sink, AFTER a pour. I wonder if this is infected?

Alright, now that I mopped the floor lets see what we have here. Pours a turbid brown, big hazelnut head. Mouthfeel is way off, over carbed as expected. The aroma is sort of musty basement, dirt, a sour note, and a hint of whiskey.

The taste isn't totally rotten, but considering what this beer could have been its terrible. Think of a fucked up, muddled Flanders aged in whiskey barrels. Drinkability? Drain pour.

Maybe next time...

 683 characters

Photo of Brent
2.3/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Perhaps my bottle was not a good representation of the overall production of this beer, but I found it unpleasantly sour and harsh, more like a poorly-executed wild ale, although I don't believe we are dealing with an infection. The only beer that was a drain-pour during a BA gathering.

 287 characters

Photo of bsuedekum
2.5/5  rDev -36.1%

Photo of billab914
2.51/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Batch E!017. Poured from a 750ml bottle into my CBS snifter. It poured a murky dark brown color with a thick, foamy head filling the top two inches of the glass.

The aroma shows a lot of sour, tart cherry flavors to it. I get a little bit of a malty, caramely like flavor trying to peek through but the sour and tart flavors are a little overwhelming.

The taste also has a sour, tart cherry presence throughout the flavor. Towards the finish some of the malty, rye and woody oak flavors try and come out.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and carbonation is high. Overall I didn't find it that great of a beer. The sourness wasn't that bad tasting, but it overshadowed everything else in it. It wasn't an awful beer if you think of it as an American Wild, but it still wasn't that enjoyable beer overall.

 806 characters

Photo of Tilley4
2.6/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Stoked to be able to try this... Its the fabled E!017 batch so I'm curious to see if the funk has gotten to this one...

Well this is definitely infected for sure... Big time foamer with loads of sediment. Murky and dark...

Strange mixture of whiskey, rye, and barnyard... Not in a good way either. Really rough...

About like the aroma, this is a weird blend of funk and whiskey... Not very pleasant.. Hoped this would have turned sour but its more like dirty watered down whiskey..

Big disappointment...

 507 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
2.74/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

750mL champagne-style bottle. labeled batch "E!017".

gushes after the cap is popped. appears a murky dark mahogany, with actually not much head in the glass.

the aroma is a tart sour cherry aroma. smells like a wild ale, but the label doesn't say anything about that, so I don't believe that it's intentional.

taste does have a slightly funky note, but is a decent combination of spicy rye and strong oak flavor. the mouthfeel of the beer is decent, but has higher carbonation.

the higher abv has been mellowed out, and the flavors are complex. but that nose just throws it off for me when drinking.

when I go back for the second pour, a foamy head of about 4 inches has built-up inside the bottle.

 708 characters

Photo of Lothore
2.74/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A- As others have stated, this one is a gusher. I opened it in the sink and it quickly gushed out as i poured it into my glass. Very cloudy, murky brown color with a huge, tan head.

S- Dark fruit, toffee, raisin and a lingering funky sweetness that worries me.

T- Bold whiskey notes, dark fruit, raisin, brown sugar and a tart cherry finish. The cherry is very possibly an infection and it just throws the balance out of whack. Either my bottle wasn't at the stage of the last two reviews or the infection hasnt nearly taken hold as much but it is still there, lingering.

M- Thick with lots and lots of carbonation.

D- This is not entirely undrinkable in it's current state however it looks like sour cherry notes are pushing it there and it's not nearly the beer it is supposed to be. I wasn't able to finish my glass and drainpoured the rest of the bottle. Worth a shot I suppose.

 886 characters

Photo of t0rin0
2.75/5  rDev -29.7%

Photo of mjtiernan
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of logicalparadox
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of nh2032
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of mikey711
3.07/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Batch E!017

A: Murky deep brown, almost light mud, with way too much head as it was a bit of a gusher. Also the head held too well. The lacing was great

S: Heavy vanilla wood notes, some rye spice, brown sugar. Also some cherry and raspberry notes

T: Very earthy tasting. at times i felt like i was chewing on damop wood. The whiskey does provide a bit of smokiness and there is a pronounce chocolate note, but this one just seemed like a bit of a mess to me. Maybe I just wasnt in the mood for this type of beer but it really turned me off a bit

M: Very boozy but I think with some cellaring this will drastically improve

D: From the first sip I was not enjoying it. I did get more into as the night progressed but it is definitely a bit green

 749 characters

Photo of yourefragile
3.12/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Batch !017. Hooray for infection! Hooray for beer!

Opening the bottle, gusher ahoy! Cloudy, brown burgundy color with a massive tan head that never fades and coats the glass in lacing. Aroma is...lacking. Dry, and soda like and with sleight whiskey and alcohol pinch. Very medicinal and antiseptic, not very appealing. Flavor actually isn't as bad as expected. We agree it's a "mess", very thin, highly carbonated, almost oxidized body with smooth bourbon-y finish. Very little rye or malt character in the body. Oddly I sort of enjoyed this beer in this condition, but would love to try an uninfected bottle of this beer.

 623 characters

Photo of outoffocus
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of vonnegut21
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of Mora2000
3.28/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a reddish-amber color with a white head. The aroma is tart dark fruit and roasted malt. The beer is definitely infected, but it doesn't smell too bad. The flavor is rye and tart cherries and other dark fruit. I also get some roasted malt. The beer is fairly dry and is nice and drinkable, even if it is not as the brewer intended. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 429 characters

Photo of GeezLynn
3.42/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Batch# E!017

Got a ridiculous sunburn today, so I thought I'd take a chance on this beer. Regardless of flavor, that 9% should ease my suffering.

A: Gusher. Color is a dingy brown with a massive off-white head. Large white flecks settle out on the glass bottom.

S: Spicy rye malt and whiskey. Also some strong cherry and a big musty barnyard smell.

T: Along with obvious funkyness, there's some sweet caramel flavor, a little tart fruit, vanilla, wood, and a light whiskey presence.

M: Mouthfeel is pretty creamy with heavy carbonation.

After getting differing reports on this batch, I was hoping mine wouldn't be one of the infected bottles, but it was clearly apparent from the pour that this was going to be a funky experience. Not terrible, but I would like to try the beer as it was intended.

 803 characters

Photo of HopHeadRed
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I acquired this bottle from a friend because it was from the supposedly infected E!017 batch and he knows how much I love sours. I must admit, I was hoping for more funk, so keep in mind that my review may be skewed. We chilled the bottle excessively to avoid the gushing reputation.

Appearance is chunky and ruby red in color with a dissipating custard head. A very sexy beer.

Nose was initially what the label promised: oaky and bourbonian (pronounced: bur-boh-nee-uhn and it's my word, don't laugh!). As it warmed, several other aromas came out...fig, plum, and currants...think seriously bourbon-drenched fruit cake. Perhaps it's the 9% ABV, but the more I drink, the more random and delicious things I smell...possible salt and lime? Maybe some anise?

Taste had no real surprise. Definite lingering heat. Run-of-the-mill sweet vanilla bourbon flavors.

Mouthfeel is creamy.

Drinkability: Overall, I'm disappointed; the wonderful complexity of the nose gets drenched in alcohol and is lost in the taste. It's a beer that is more fun to look at. And I'm jealous of those who lucked into a sour-version.

 1,111 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of bird22
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of iatethecloudsfor
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Old Habit from Ithaca Beer Company
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 164 ratings