Ithaca Beer Company

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American Strong Ale
4.1 | pDev: 12.68%
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: Imperial American Extra Special Double Red Ale

"Our Anniversary beer, TEN is brewed with too many malts to list and an excess of American hops, including several additions during fermentation.

Enjoy the russet color, aggressively hoppy aroma and flavor, rich body and fiery finish."
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Reviews: 196 | Ratings: 238
Reviews by koopa:
Photo of koopa
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yet another bottle in my cellar that I probably waited too long to open :o

Appearance: Cloudy burnt sienna pour with a 2 finger buttery/khaki rocky crown that displays good retention and lace.

Smell: Some stale hops, some floral peppery hops, some accentuated malt sweetness, a dash of prune and lots of figs.

Taste: Same as nose.

Mouthfeel: On the thick side of medium bodied and could use a bit more carbonation in my opinion.

Overall: A good beer that was probably even better a year ago!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of erosier
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a nice amber color with a medium sized and medium bodied tan colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of nice malts, and some vinous fruits.
T: Very nice mix of sweet malts, vinous fruits -grape, raisin flavors - and then a touch of a bit of piney hops at the end.
M: Very warming, relaxing with the right amount of carbonation.
D: Pretty drinkable as this bottle was able to be finished with such a high alcohol content. None of the flavors are too overpowering, the alcohol just hits you at one point.

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Awesome, ultra-thick latte-colored head with deep, cloudy chestnut/mahogany body.

Sweet caramel, almost nutty malt dominates with ample amount of very aromatic floral hops. Alcohol is the tie that balances and binds.

Very viscous tones of caramel apple/cider with a little smoky feel. Moderate overabundance of malt, hops and alcohol creates solid, plentiful balance.

Viscous cider tones provide for even-keeled, plentiful mouthfeel...mellow alcohol burn blends well with tangy, almost citrus hop pucker.

I feel like I should be a lot more eloquent about this offering but it flies a little bit under the radar. It doesn't have one single element that blows me away. Rather, it's so well-made and well-balanced that the synergy of all working in perfect sync lift this well above the sum of its parts. Like peanut butter and chocolate, they taste great together. Very well-made.

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Photo of Nickls
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch E!009

A - Poured with a decent light khaki color of head that dissipates quickly. Slight spotty lacing. Murky golden-brown color.

S - Spicey pine-like hoppiness at first; dark fruits; prune-like sweetness; slight alcohol presence

T - Aggressive hoppiness with more cedary and piney characteristics, but backed up with a hefty maltiness. Some sweetness from the malts, and a touch of fruitiness (plums and maybe raisins?)

M - Very light but noticeable carbonation, and a touch creamy on the palate. Nearing on medium for overall MF, and definitely warming.

D - Definitely a sipper, but a damn enjoyable one. Alcohol doesn't trump anything in taste, but slows me down a bit with the sample...as it should.

Overall, really fantastic brew. Kinda a heavy hitter in all elements, but scarily drinkable. Highly recommended.

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Photo of joepais
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to the Easter Bunny (Israel) for sending this long time want out. Batch E!014
Bottle poured into my DFH snifter produced a wonderful finger of off white head that settled to a thick lace. The body of the brew was a nice burgandy red color.

Surprisingly there is still a nice big hop note to the aroma in this bottle. You also get a nice caramel and bread aroma as well. The flavor is slightly sweet at the first sip, but more towards the bitter in the finish. I got some citrus and pine from the hops and caramel and bread also made a flavor appearance. It was a solid medium feel in the mouth with ample carbonation.

I see the bottle is slowly disappearing before my eyes and I will miss it when it's gone. A little strong to be a brew that one would session but tasty enough to finish the bottle for sure.

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Photo of jlindros
3.74/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared with many people at my cellar cleaning.

Light fizzy head, clear cranberry dark brown color.

Nose sweet candy, dark fruit, caramel and toffee, mild oxidation, chewy malts, mild bitter hops, dark fruits and nuts, fig, candy,

Taste sweet little candy, chewy malts, mild bitter hops, mild dark fruits and nuts, caramel, toffee, etc. Little oxidation, loss of caramel. Semi sweet semi bitter finish, chewy, little syrupy.

Mouth is med to heavier bod, syrupy, little carb, booze is hidden well at least.

One of the beers I really regret not reviewing fresh, as it was pretty good back then, and a bit of a let down now. Still had some of the nice qualities, but some oxidation and loss a lot of the goodness. Oh well.

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Photo of hwwty4
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to both IBUnit63 and Lum for this one. I've received from both but can only review it once.

Poured a 25oz bottle into my Tripel Karmeliet tulip. This beer pours a murky, turbid brown, with a huge beige 3 inch head, that leaves behind some intermittent lacing. The aroma is brown sugar, roasted barley, vanilla, tart apples, and what could have been quite a hop bite that died down over the months. The flavor is a huge malty bomb. Very barleywinesque. The flavor is malted barley, brown sugar, raisins, and booze. The mouthfeel is full and leaves a nice sugary sensation on the palate but it also is a bit hot. This is a tasty beer and I'm very glad I have another because the biggest thing I have against this beer is how hot it comes across. I would have liked to see the alcohol a bit more hidden.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a reddish-amber color with an off-white head. The aroma has a lot of the malt I typically associate with red ales, as well as some toffee and grass. The flavor is similar, with a lot of red ale notes, toffee, grass and alcohol. As the beer warms I start to get some cinnamon notes, as well a some pine and resin from the hops. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of DrDogbeer
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Tom for sharing this baby! Poured into a shaker pint. I did not know much about this beer before trying it, not even what kind it was. As soon as it was poured and I smelled it, I knew- a giant red IPA!! I love these beers because you get the best of both worlds and this one is no exception. Big blast of hops in the nose. Lots of piney and sticky hops. Taste is similar at first, but then I get the caramel and smooth malt finish. This beer has lots of flavor and lots of alcohol, too. I get some alcohol during each taste.
Great take on the style and keepmaking more of these babies!! Best imperial red so far, but I have a Mars to try next!

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Photo of glid02
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by jyounger30 - thanks!

Pours a hazy dark amber color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of loads of malts - sticky caramel mostly but with good amounts of milk chocolate aromas and lighter amounts of toasted malt aromas. Also present are slight amounts of leafy and spicy hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sticky caramel malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by solid amounts of milk chocolate and toasted malts. Midway through the sip a light bitterness comes on accompanied by slightly spicy and earthy hops. The hop flavors share equal billing with the malts through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a full mouthfeel is grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I have to say that I think I would have enjoyed this more about a year ago but I also have to say that this was still a very good beer that didn't exhibit the normal flavors in a hoppy beer that's been aged. Well worth a shot, no matter how old.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a an amber orange color with lots of carbonation nad a big tannish head. Amazing. Nose is rather muted but good with brown sugar, dried fruits. Taste is big, chewy, malty with dried fruits, brown sugar, molasses. Mouthfeel is nice but a little astringent. Drinkabulity os good. ABV is well hidden.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to orcasteve for the trade.

Pours a nice deep red/orange amber brown with a nice light tan super fluffy head. Nose is very similar to an american barleywine, but the hops seem a bit fresher. Taste follows with superb malt flavor and a very nice floral hop presence. sugary. Some toffee maybe caramel like notes with good sugary stickiness. I could a mouthfeel that was a touch more viscous, but it is quite good as it is. Drinkability is good, but it is defenitely a bit hot yet. Excited to see how the other bottle does with a couple years on it. Overall a very impressive strong ale/barleywine from ithaca. Will put some age on this one and save it for a cold winter night by the wood stove at the cabin. great brew.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.14/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A very nice looking beer. Dark, amber body with lots of little streams of carbonation bubbles. Tan head with good retention. Leaves behind a good amount of lacing.

Smells very sweet and malty. Boozy.

The taste is definitely dominated by sweet malts, all kinds of malts. Lightly roasted, caramel, molasses. I don't really detect any hop presence here. Pretty boozy though.

Something that was just too sweet and alcohol-tasting for me to drink a ton of.

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Photo of BgThang
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to LUM for this awesome Extra!

I am still looking for some more of this if anyone is wanting to do a trade!

This pours a deep brownish red color. The nose is great on this as well. The mouth I got was toffee, caramel, hoppiness.

The nose was hop and spices that blended well.

I will be searching this one out again.

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Photo of scootny
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 009

A huger majestic head that stays for days and leaves thick clumps on the glass and a good covering. Light carbonation is visible through the lightly cloudy, reddish copper brew.

Smell is a ginormous malt core that is so deep and sweet that I am salivating at a profuse level. Caramel, toffee. sweet dark dinner rolls and a good helping of honey. Big citrus hops with a touch of sweet pine. Layer after layer of sophisticated malt and hop blending.Complex fruitiness with cherry being the feature.

Taste is a wonderfully developed extension of the nose. Huge malt core delivers a thick and chewy bread and caramel biscuit up front. It folds into a honeyed hoppiness that is aggressive while still leaving the malt up front. The grapefruit is big and
almost puckering but not quite. There is an herbal and earthy quality that mellows the bittering and pulls it back into the malt. Cherries and a touch of vnaliia. The astringent dryness that flows from a hop oil presence coats the mouth and cleans the finish up. A light touch of alcohol ester shows up and quickly hides in a mint like sensation. Feel is perfectly carbonated to break up the full, thick, quality that stops just short of heavy syrup. This still feels supple. There is a velvety smoothness in the way it wraps around the tongue. Almost like a 15 year old single malt.

Drinkability is oh so good. You just keep going for more and more as the abv seems like a lie. Only the weight of it keeps you from losing touch with reality.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of IBUnit63 - many thanks! Been looking forward to trying this one for a while. Red foiled and capped, batch E!006, poured into a cervoise.

Appearance: Pours a turgid, hazy amber brown, lighter orange around the edges but still dirty. The head if meringue-like, rocky, full, and sticky. It's slightly off-white and about equal parts "bubble" and "foam." The retention is good - impressive for the alcohol level, so I'm anticipating lots and lots of hops. There's plenty of active, fine-bubbled carbonation, rivulets and streams of them cascading upwards towards the head (which is still around). The lacing is also huge, fluffy, dense - it almost forms a funnel, with the center of the head collapsing first and slowly dragging the rest of the massive mountain of fluff down with it. If the color were a little more vibrant and lively, it'd get a 5.0.

Aroma: This smells like it was at one time, likely, quite the hop bomb. It is now an amalgamation of delightfully roasted and toasted malts - on the pungent side, toffee, graham cracker, rye, brown sugar, other random, caramelized, doughy sugars; on the fainter side, milk chocolate, marshmallow, and a few other random, darker, toasted astringencies, never harsh, always pleasant and smooth. And sure, there are still some hop notes - robust, zesty citrus on the heavier side, spicy, peppery grass-like notes on the lighter side of things - though, as mentioned above, I imagine they've fallen ever-so-slightly from their former glory.

Taste: This one has mellowed out quite nicely, I do believe. Malt heavy, with many of the same notes as the nose, though in different proportions - more sweet, simple, doughy breadiness and less toasted notes. It's overall fairly sweet, though there's a fair amount of balancing bitterness remaining and a handful of hop notes, similar to the nose, though perhaps with a hint more citrus and pineyness and a little less herbal notes. It's also faintly hot in the finish, with a peppery, warming alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly delicate and smooth, soft, slick, and subtle, yet simultaneously firm, full, and fast-bubbled. The latter adds the slightest prickle to the robust, full body - or is it the rye? - and really isn't noticeable in that sense, and more so in the way it lightens everything up.

Drinkability: Yes please. Quite the quaffle brew, and fantastic with a solid yearish of age on it, the 10% on this one is melded very well with its surroundings. Toasty, tasty malts and an ethereal hop aura that I would have likely enjoyed even more in its prime, I'd snatch this one up off the shelf if you see it. Quickly now, before it's all gone! Bring this one back Ithaca - it's a winner!

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Photo of Proteus93
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy deep red with some golden hues... not quite amber. A nice, creamy offwhite / pale khaki head that leaves a little foam after a decent retention

S: A soft fruitiness (peel), bigger floral aroma, some citrus aromas outside of the other fruitiness that sit in there nicely.

T: This is quite a tasty beer. Hops take the forefront, but malts are not at all forgotten, with some nice and big caramel/toffee flavours in the mix. A delicious beer. I'm very impressed.

M + D: Lighter carbonation, a fuller medium body.... a little stick. I'm very impressed by this beer and hope that I'll be able to make it up to Ithaca again or acquire another bottle before it's gone. Delicious, and very well done.

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Photo of bobsy
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Rich red pour with a finger of off-white head that drops to a thin cap and leaves a few lace spots. Sweet caramel nose with some peppery spice and alcohol. Flavour is interesting. This is a malty beast of a beer, with layers of caramel providing a sweetness which is amplified by bready malts. The hops have faded a lot, but still lend a faint leafy bitterness that helps provide balance. Still... the malts rule the show. Big, sticky mouthfeel works really well for a brew of this weight and I like it.

Past its prime, for sure, but it grows on you and reminds me somewhat of a decent barleywine. Thanks to Eric for bringing this over.

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Photo of philbe311
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A very active pour with swirling quickly receding carbonation... Once settled there is a huge three plus fingers worth of slightly rocky batter-like off-white head with a faint reddish hue... Stellar retention... A murky burnt sienna color that is lighter at the bottom of the glass and drastically darker at the top...

S - Complexity abound... Loaded with malts... Fresh baked dark bread... Caramel... Toffee... Nuttiness... Butter... A mild hint of brown sugar... Faint undertones of a mix of hops... Some citrusy, some piney...

T - The mix of rich malt flavors come and go rather quickly... They are replaced by a rush of candied citrusy hops... Slightly medicinal on the finish...

M - The lips are first with with a delicate lush foam... Once the liquid hits the tongue its rich and creamy... Loads of modest carbonation... Medium to full bodied... End slightly sticky with a faint warming affects of the alcohol... Quite smooth, especially with a little age on it...

D - A terrific brew... Great looking with wonderfully complexity in both aroma and taste coupled with excellent mouthfeel... Yep, this one is a winner... Terrific job by the folks at Ithaca... The double digit ABV and rich heaviness of the brew keep this from being something I could drink all night long...

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Photo of spokeydonkey
4.52/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours cloudy and reddish copper with a thick off-white head. Leaves considerable lacing down the glass.

S - Lots of rich malt character. A background of citrusy resiny hops, but that's covered up by the malt. Very little alcohol in the nose.

T - Wow! Starts off with malt sweetness. Caramel, plums, and a hint of cherry in the flavor. Then it gives way to a nice citrusy hop punch, and finishes off with a whallop of spiciness. Good complexity and great balance in this one.

M - Rich and full bodied. Relatively low carbonation.

D - Exceptionally drinkable! It's listed as 10% ABV, but it tastes like 6-7%. The balance is also exceptional, and the interesting spicy kick at the finish is wonderful. Definitely an exceptional and unique beer.

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Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of cvstrickland
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The drink pours a creamy hazelnut color with pale ecru foam that retains great and leaves quite a bit of chubby lacing on the glass.

Smell is malty and juicy, and makes my mouth water.

Taste is all that it should be. TEN is big and malty, with notes of chocolatey toffee, red apples coated in toasty caramel, brown sugar and a bit of alcohol that fits right in.

Smooth and full-bodied with nice drinkability.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into red wine glass. Batch E!014 - this one's fresh.

Pours a dark, mahogany brown, with a nice, thick fluffy bone-white head head, that lingers with some nice lacing.

Aroma is resiny pine, almost minty and cool, alongside lots of sweet citrus (grapefruit rind), with a spicy alcohol note underneath. Hops come through very green. Syrupy sweet caramel malt comes through as well, just a bit toasty. Simply fantastic, even if a bit hot.

Starts off with a molasses-like restrained sweetness, dark and spicy and a bit roasty, pinned down by a big, muscular layer of spicy, resiny hops. Prickly, both from the hops and the alcohol. Finish is long and richly bitter, with the bitterness sitting heavy on the palate along with the echoes of the rich, slightly roasty malt body. Taste is a bit more muddled than the aroma. Definitely a beer to savor over a cold winter day with the snow falling outside.

Mouthfeel is a sharp, active but light carbonation over a sticky, syrupy body. The two aspects make for a well-balanced feel.

Drinkability - not much problem knocking the bottle out, but the heat and the freshness of the beer certainly kept me from craving another bottle right away.

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Photo of DmanGTR
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of ckeegan04
3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Russet amber in color with bright amber hues around the fringe. Bubbly head is very thin and quickly fades to almost nothing.

S - Dark fruits and floral hops. Very impressed with how strong the hop aroma still is. Lots of dark malts as well. Touch of alcohol in the nose.

T - Malty sweetness up front is quickly matched by a clean floral hoppiness. Light bitterness mid-drink. Alcohol provides a light burn late in the drink.

M/D - Thin with a light crisp carbonation. Alchol burn knocks drinkability down just a touch. Aged very well and I can only imagine what it must have been like fresh.

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TEN from Ithaca Beer Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 238 ratings