Old Habit
Ithaca Beer Company

Old HabitOld Habit
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Rye Beer
4.01 | pDev: 16.46%
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Old HabitOld Habit
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 117 | Ratings: 164
Photo of nickd717
1.35/5  rDev -66.3%
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 Arbitrator
1/5  rDev -75.1%
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 JohnQVegas
3.89/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, batch E!007, into The Bruery tulip. I've been saving this one for awhile, and decided today was the day it was intended to be drank. One of the very last of the relics brought down from Brooklyn in the move. No special occasion, just an otherwise subpar day.

Pours deep brown, almost black, with a thin, frisky tan head on top that is nicely persistent. Nice lacing.

Nose is beautiful, and unlike pretty much any other beer I've smelled before. Rye whiskey is first up, bringing a beautiful mixture of spicy alcohol, rich rye graininess and deep, dry oak to the mix, malt underneath has a rich, densely sweet breadiness reminiscent of toffee. A tiny hint of chocolate as well. It's odd, the nose doesn't exactly leap from the glass - you really have to pull it out. But what's there is fantastic. Beautifully put together. As it warms, a bit of cardboard does emerge which pulls this one back a bit.

Taste is interesting as well. Certainly the first signs of some cardboard like oxidation found in this one, though it doesn't ruin the beer. Dry oak and rye whiskey notes are still prominent, as is a bit of a toffee character as seen in the nose, though with a restrained sweetness that fades quickly. Dark and a bit grainy, bordering on chalky. Hints of chocolate show up on the long finish.

Mouthfeel is very nice - medium bodied, a bit on the light side, with a carbonation that is light, almost fluffy, though fades quickly. Dry, a bit oxidized, leaves a bit of a cottonmouth feel after the fact. Still, though faded a bit, still a very nice mouthfeel.

Drinkability is fairly decent, despite the oxidation. The alcohol is very restrained, the flavor is still quite enjoyable, and the mouthfeel excellent. At its peak, this must have been a powerhouse of a beer.

 1,780 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, batch E!017.

Pours murky, dark amber with an inch-plus head of dense bone. Plenty of lacing and a solid skim coat for the duration as well.

Aromatics are loaded with whiskey, grape jam, plums, and juicy malt. Vanilla, oak, hazelnut and a hint of smoke follows through.

On the fuller side of medium bodied. The carbonation is a bit expansive and prickly, which allows it to cut through some of the sticky, thickish mouthfeel.

Grape jam, plump malt, caramel, figs, raisins, and whiskey start the palate. A solid booziness sets up shop and stays for the duration. Tasting quite fresh and juicy with plenty of whiskey kick and quad character.

Finishes with lingering whiskey, plums, jam, raisins, and sweet malt.

Great beer! My only gripe is that the crown cap is a 13mm and I can't reseal the bottle to enjoy the rest tomorrow. Oh well, the sacrifices my liver does make.

 889 characters

Photo of BigMike
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark cherry brown with a frothy tan colored head.

S: Awesome nose. Whisky, woody notes, vanilla and rye.

T: lots and lots of whisky up front. Some cherry notes, vanilla, roasted nuts and chocolate on the finish. Also a nice rye spice.

M: pretty much full bodied. Carbonation is medium and it's overall pretty viscous. Coats entire mouth.

Overall: If you like whisky you'll like this. A pretty macho beer as far as flavor profile. Very enjoyable as a sipper.

 476 characters

Photo of Tilley4
2.6/5  rDev -35.2%
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 -31.7%
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 gford217
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 17 bottle.

Pours a murky brownish red with an enormous frothy beige head. In fact, I poured the initial glass and when I went back for more, the beer had foamed out of the bottle. Great lacing.

Aroma has lightly tart cherries, musty earth notes and plenty of spicy rye. The whiskey is present but not dominant with some vanilla and oak from the barrel as well.

The taste starts out with a mixture of smooth, spicy rye and tart cherries. The backbone features dark fruits and yeast with a finish that definitely features the whiskey and some dry oaky notes.

The mouthfeel is crazy smooth due to the rye with the cherry tartness catching me off guard a bit.

This is a complex beer and, like others have said, it's unclear if the tart fruit character is intentional or not. I'm lean
Ng toward a slight infection but I enjoyed the beer nonetheless.

 855 characters

Photo of dougofthefuture
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 017 - thanks to billyshears for the trade! This bottle came out of the beer fridge after a few weeks and sat for a few minutes before opening. When I popped the cap, I noticed some sediment buildup on the cap and the bottle near there. Just as I was watching it, the beer slowly rose up and gushed over. Be careful with this one!

A - Big creamy tan/white head on a caramel brown body. There is definitely sediment even in the first pour. I wonder how old this beer is?

S - Not much at first, but as it warms, plenty of whisky, and a fair amount of spice from the rye. Less malt than expected, but the caramel sweetness is there. A bit of cherry might be hiding as well.

T&M - Very complex - a full bodied rye forward beer with plenty of oak and whiskey. The creamy carbonation is a great platform for all these flavors, and there is definitely a tartness at play as well. Infection or not, it works well to give extra depth to an already interesting beer.

D - Different, but not earth shattering. I'm glad to try it and might do so again at some point to find out if there is any consistency between batches.

 1,118 characters

Photo of bheilman
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good Beer! Get this if you like rye beers. It is tastiest rye beer I've had. Solid head, spicy smell with a malt scent wafting through, taste is complex with spiciness plus sweetness in raisins and mild licorice. The aftertaste has a nice hop ting but allows the overall taste to still linger. The flavors are so full and unique that I probably wouldn't want to drink too much of this. I will have to find more beers from this brewery.

 435 characters

Photo of Mora2000
3.28/5  rDev -18.2%
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 Huhzubendah
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle c/o hobbie100. Thanks Richard!

Shared with Matt, Jeff, and Adam.

A: Old Habit appears a dark walnut shade, with yeast sediment in suspended animation. The floaties are trapped in the beer! Don't fret, I'll get them out. The beer has a light, khaki head akin to the pants I'm forced to wear to work on occasion. The head has some serious staying power. When it finally gets off the top of my beer, it leaves a mess all over the glass.

S: Funky tree branches soaked in whiskey barrels that were left out in the rain. Also lurking in there is a large and in charge malt presence.

T: This beer has a fair amount of complexity about it. It's odd and funky. Some say it's infected. I don't necessarily subscribe to that point of view. There are a few pungent scents and flavors, but I don't think there is a bacterial (yeast) infection. No need to get the brewer's Monistat at your local homebrew store. It's just woody.

Maybe the brewer went on vacation and was like:
"Honey, did you take that beer out of the oak barrel like I asked you to?"

"Sorry dear I thought you said add more oak to the barrel."

M: There is a formidable alcohol presence and a hoppy, bitter finish. Where did that come from? The hops must've sneaked out and jumped in the wrong brew kettle.

D: Splitting a bottle four ways was a good move. This beer was half-decent, but not something I'd want to drink too much of.

 1,400 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.55/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle cracked by the other Matt at his place last night. Supposedly these were infected but I don't think so after drinking this last night. I think its over oaked.

Beer is dark brown and forms a huge off white dirty yellow head of small / medium bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Beer is heavily carbonated (sign of infection) but the bubbles rise through the beer so slowly, it makes the beer appear super thick. There are also floaties in my pour, little tan flecks of probably yeast cake from the bottle. Looks OK.

Aroma is odd, its almost liquor like, tannic, and sweet.

Beer is heavy in the mouth but the high carbonation cuts it well. Its sweet and has a lot of bitterness at the back of the mouth. The bitterness isn't from hops, at least I don't think so, it feels more like tannins to me, like wood. Seems very over oaked. Its OK, overall, but I'm not super impressed.

I'm not saying that this beer isn't infected but I would expect a lot more lactic flavors than I got. I also think its vogue to say a bottle is infected right now. Start a thread on it and you'll get 200 replies of people all weighing in a beer they've never had. There may have been a brett note in the nose, but I didn't get any in the palate. So I would say there may be some brett in the bottle but definitely no lactobacillus.

 1,327 characters

Photo of StephenRich
4.97/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Rye beers somehow make their way straight to my heart. The rich uniquely sweet and earthy flavors and distinct freshness just get me every time. Ithaca Beer Co stopped me in my tracks last weekend when I sat down with my good bud and we enjoyed a bottle of their Old Habit Strong Rye Ale; part of their Excelsior line of beers. This Rye beer is aged in Kentucky Rye Whiskey Barrels. Ummmm... Thank you!

First of all, I really appreciate the design of this bottle. To the untrained eye it is obviously a wine bottle. All the way from the shape of the bottle, to the very classically designed label and the rubber cap on the head of it make it stand out as something special. It has been brewed with four different rye malts, fresh centennial and crystal hops and then fermented in gorgeous oak barrels from Heaven Hill.

I picked this bottle up with many others during my most recent beer mission to Buffalo, and this proved to be a very very worthy choice.

I poured the Old Habit into two snifter style glasses to capture all the aroma and flavor that I was expecting to come. This beer is 9%abv, and is loaded with rich aromatics. The pour was gentle but extremely lively building a dense and creamy tan colored head with rich browns and lots of action. By the end of the pour there was a powerful two inch mountain of head resting gently above a deep ruby beer.

This picture unfortunately does not do the color justice, but it really was a purple and mahogany deep ruby with streaks of amber and black ivory piercing through it. Completely opaque, with minimal carbonation apparent, it starred at me telling me to drink it, now! I would of course oblige, but first would go in for a nose.

I brought my nose close and breathed deep. A rush of rye malt sweetness and soft caramel maltiness tingles the nose. Shortly, a huge rush of aroma comes bursting at you from the oak ageing. Massive aromas of oak and whisky sweetness are very obvious. Spicy rye whisky, the sweet vanilla and spice of the whisky too shows itself with no regard for shame. It comes right out there raw and uninterrupted. If you look deep, there are light berries and dark cherries hidden too in the nose, and a light field fresh scent of hops. Absolutely magnificent.

I would now dive into this beer, as I promised it I would - instantly lightly tart but hugely sweet rye malts flow over your tongue while the whisky and oak sweetness melts over the sides and aggressively caresses your cheeks. Warming and soft vanilla and caramel makes its way in with malty warmth and honey sweetness. This beer shows significant complexity and spice from the rye. The cherry and berry lively fruit aromas come in now also with light touches of sweetness. Light smoke begins to show, but its subdued under huge oak and malt sweetness.

Also though, the Oak barrels undoubtedly have contributed much spice and charter to this beer. Notes of coriander, white pepper, cinnamon, allspice and cumin seed are all playing in the background. The rugged alcohol sweetness of rye is floating by aiding the strength of this warming, soft soothing beer. The mouthfeel is actually exactly that - minimal carbonation gives it a sublime body which aids its cause perfectly. To much carbonation would have created a beer that attacks you, rather than delights.

By now too, I am impressed with the beers head retention. A good 10 minutes later and still a dense creamy light brown head managed to keep its cool. The finish is sharp and sweet, ripely quenching with crisp hops, and leaving me wanting more. Very appetizing. It really was a huge pleasure to enjoy, and is without a question among the best Oak Aged Beers I have ever had.

To often all you see are oak aged stouts, which are beautiful. But sometimes the oak can overpower a stout and become unbalanced. This Rye Beer example is superb, and I tip my cap to Ithica for creating such a magical beer. I will be very excited to enjoy theirTwelve, a Belgian Style Quadrupel.

 3,979 characters

Photo of GbVDave
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet.

Batch # E!017

A: Very strong "pffft" when I started to crack the crown top. I prepared myself for an epic gusher, but instead got a slow foamy creeper. Pours a muddy caramel brown with lots of suspended lumpy sediment. Carbonation was on the active side and thankfully so. I fed a wonderfully silky and creamy dark khaki colored head that managed to stick around, in gradually diminishing thickness, for the entire glass.

S: Interesting aroma. Right out of the fridge, this was loaded with aromas of spicy rye, sweet caramel, and whiskey. As it warmed I was able to detect some roasty malt, dark fruit, cherry, vanilla, and something that I can only describe as "grandmas' damp Chicago basement" smell.

T: I took my time with this and enjoyed how the flavor progressed as the temp changed. It started out with a ton of spicy rye and gradually took on more sweet dark fruit, vanilla and caramel notes as well as the subtle funk I mentioned before. The Whiskey flavor is not overpowering in the least.

M: Fantastic creamy mouthfeel that's punctuated by spicy rye and dry alcohol. I didn't notice too much heat (maybe its' time laying down helped).

D: I heard about the storied Batch E!017 being infected and I got a little excited about that. Judging by the slooow gusher, It had a bit of infection but not enough to sour it. I have a feeling that this was pretty much as Ithaca intended it.

 1,452 characters

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Huge carbonation. A bit of a brown murky gusher.

S - Barrel, booze and bittersweet rye. Great barrel aroma, still quite a bit of discernible hops.

T - Huge booze, but not overpowering; lots of rye flavor all around. Sour-sweet maltiness and lots of barrel flavor; follows on the nose. Whiskey and rye beer elements are very obvious, straightforward, and sublime.

M - Great feel, too. Very enhancing.

D - Very drinkable, if you like strong and sweet and boozy and bitter. I like strong and sweet and boozy and bitter, personally.

 536 characters

Photo of HopHeadRed
3.48/5  rDev -13.2%
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 biggred1
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch E!017 the evil infected one..oh well, it was a gift.

This was not the gusher I expected after reading other reviews of this batch, I burped the cap a little and it poured nice albeit with a fairly massive head.

Deep dark cherry with millions of suspended yeast particles and a creamy pinkish tinted tan head that melts slowly leaving tons of crusty lace on the glass. The aroma is excellent, dark cherries and figs with spicy rye and toasted oak. Rich dark fruit with spicy rye and warmly alcoholic oaky whiskey flavors. Complex and kind of funky, finishes hot. Full bodied with tons of carbonation which adds to the drinkability. Well, if it looks good, smells good and tastes good it must be good.

 707 characters

Photo of GeezLynn
3.42/5  rDev -14.7%
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 animal69
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

batch E!017, the infected one :

A- pours a slightly murky deep reddish brown color w/ a fluffy tan head that settles into a moderate lace in my snifter

S- well for an infected beer this don't smell too bad, tons of whiskey barrel and a sour fruit (cherry?, apple?), got some serious funk in the mix as well as some noticable alcohol

T- taste starts out w/ a fruity tartness and a rye sharpness rather than bitterness before being dwarfed by big whiskey flavors, oaky vanilla and tobacco, and... ah yes, there's that brett-like funk that must be the infection; very interesting in the fact if you didn't know better, you'd swear it was part of the recipe, the "funk" works very well here with the oaky whiskey barrel notes, some hot alcohol and a touch of bitterness in the finish

M- a very dry beer gives it an almost light-med body combined with all the co2 in there

D- not really too undrinkable, but you gotta like the "funk" to finish one of these

 956 characters

Photo of yourefragile
3.12/5  rDev -22.2%
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 philbe311
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch E!017 - I've been eager to try this one for a while...

A - A wee bit of a gusher which I wasn't expecting... A mammoth billowing medium tan head that is both foamy and slightly rocky displays stellar retention... A medium to dark brown color that allows some light to leak in... Some mild ruby highlights... Murky... Some small slow paced carbonation bubbles can be seen rising if one concentrates, but could be missed with a quick glance... Loads upon loads of lacing clings to the glass...

S - As one The whiskey barrel again is undeniable, but it's quite pleasant and not overpowering... As one would should expect, the rye is also at the forefront... It's a very spicy rye... Slightly funky... Perhaps some hints of cherry and vanilla are noted as well...

T - The whiskey flavors picked up through the barrel again are paramount and dominate the palette... Any other flavors are muddled and hidden behind the whiskey... It's hard to tell, but there seems to be an interesting interplay between the rye and some sweet malts deep down beneath the surface...

M - Medium bodied... Prickly carbonation... Chewy... An astringent alcohol dryness permeates... Sticky...

D - The gushing at open was a severe distraction... Barrel aging should compliment and not dominate a beer... In terms of Old Habit and the aroma, that's the case, however in terms of the palette the rest of the flavors get lost amidst the whiskey flavors which is another distraction... All that being said, it's still a solid offering... Perhaps my expectations were slightly unrealistic, but I had hoped for an epic offering and only got a very good one...

 1,641 characters

Photo of klewis
4.01/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark brown with a giant, foamy, everlasting head. Perpetual sustain and heavy lacing.

S: A spicy molasses aroma amidst a backdrop of whisky and oak.

T: A strong whiskey and earthy taste with a spicy character, mild sweetness, and a bit of heat. Overall, an intense flavor.

M: Full-bodied with too much carbonation. Thick and syrupy.

D: Overall, solid.

 371 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

E!017 batch. Possibly infected. Poured into a tulip.

A: Pours A very dark mahogany with a bit of an almost purple hue. Pours with one of the most massively billowing heads I've seen and it stays up for a long, long time, leaving thick lacing in its wake.

S: Initial whiff is a bit of sourness, so I'm guessing this is at least partially infected; however, if I hadn't heard about these issues, I'd think it was appropriate. The sourness fits in quite well with the zip from the rye and the bit of whiskey that comes through in the nose. I'm actually really enjoying how this has all come together, intended or not. As the beer warms, the sourness fades a bit as well, bringing out more of the whiskey.

T: A very slight amount of sourness (and maybe it's just my mind playing tricks), nice whiskey, spicy rye, a bit of alcohol heat, and hints of dark fruits.

M: Quite creamy and on the heavy side of medium-bodied. A slight alcohol touch.

D: Pretty drinkable. Nice complexity comes through, especially as it warms.

 1,021 characters

Photo of ritzkiss
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml bottle picked up in Buffalo, Batch E!017

Crack it open and the bubbles rise too quickly to get it into a glass without a little spillage and continue to foam and bubble in the bottle. Something's amiss. Pours into the glass a ruddy brown with a hint of auburn and thinning around the edges.

Cherry and vanilla waft up initially, a hint of whiskey follows on its tail and there's a hint of something just 'off', I'm not sure how to pin it down.

Whiskey comes through a bit stronger in the taste but is still well integrated with a smooth vanilla, a hint of spicy rye, some dark fruits especially cherry and plum, a bit of brown sugar, and touch of molasses. Again, something just seems a touch off. Some heat in the back but nothing distracting. A bit of a dry, almost tart finish as well - it's only here that I think perhaps the infection has done some damage. Hard to pin down but something just seemed a touch off for me - dragged the drinkability down.

I was really looking forward to this beer and am a touch disappointed that perhaps it wasn't as up to snuff as it should be. Still, it was a pleasant beer, well integrated barrel aging and nice use of the rye.

 1,176 characters

Old Habit from Ithaca Beer Company
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 164 ratings