TEN | Ithaca Beer Company

197 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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."

Added by BeerTruth on 03-06-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 197 | Ratings: 239
Photo of kbnooshay
1.56/5  rDev -61.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I have had this forever! Hope age didn't kill it by turning it in to a malty mess. Poured a very murky orange-brown with virtually no head. Aroma is a pungently nasty. It smells like snot. Seriously. I can pick up some dark fruit and lots yeast but overall something weird is going on. MUST BE THE AGE. UGhhh. So i took a sip, instant drain pour unfortunately. There is no way this is the way it should taste and i feel awful about it.

WHy am i reviewing it then?

Well because the bottle says that that this can be aged indefinitely. Yet the bottle says it can be aged. The hops here have changed into the over sweet bitter death. Mouthfeel is irrelevant. POUR. Soured and ruined. The bad kind of sour!

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Photo of Jesse13713
1.61/5  rDev -60.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Thanks to Aw Yeh for spiltting this beer with me!

Appearance - Pretty impressive lacing on this one. Fairly dark brown with a hint of red. Much darker than I expected. Three fingers of head on this beer.

Smell - Smells very malty and caramel-like. Smells very sweet. I am actually overcomes by the sweet smell in this beer.

Taste - Wow. Very, very hard to swallow. A huge bitter burn on the way down. Quite malty. Tastes more stout-like or even like a lighter Wee-Heavy. This didn't really taste like a red ale and I was expecting more from a double. Slight pepper. Tastes like molasses in a way.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - Entirely too sweet for my tastes. There's no way I can drink this entire 750. The bitterness and sweetness don't combine well together. I gave this beer more than enough chances, but I ended up dumping out my share of it.

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Photo of ncaudle
1.88/5  rDev -53.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Preface - I fear, no, hope my bottle was bad.

Bottle poured into large wine glass.

NO head at all and unfortunately VERY, VERY flat.

The good - I liked the thick reddish-brown color and the smell was different than what I expected. Not a bad smell, just different, like a very floral Saison aged in wine barrels... almost sourish.

The bad - I think I've had water with more carbonation before... Pouring it I knew something was up but I truly had no idea until I tried drinking it.

I fear mine may have even been infected. No other review for this beer mention any sourness, yet this one was. I could almost get beyond the flatness, but the combination of no carbonation and the sourness made this a drain pour...

I'm kind of surprised I was able to down half a glass.

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Photo of mothman
2.35/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours little head. Color is a hazed copper amber.

Aroma: Caramel and bready malts. Some weedy and grassy some. A bit of spice shows. Big malt profile.

Taste: Metallic flavors, caramel malts, bready, sweet. Hops are faded, but still provide some bitterness. Very malty.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, but no good hop flavors. Creamy as well. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends sticky and weedy.

Overall, I'd like to have tried this fresh as this one just wasn't doing it for me. It was too malty for my liking and the hops just weren't what I was looking for.

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Photo of jdklks
2.5/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a super dark amber, more like mahogony, with absolutely no head. I'm wondering if it is carbonated at all. It is two years old. The smell is similarly average. No longer any hoppiness to speak of, unfortunately. Huge malt roastiness that reminds me of roasted almonds. Some sweet dark fruits, especially cherry, and a heavy dose of alcohol.

I'm going to talk about the flavor and the mouthfeel at the same time, because the latter affects the former greatly. There is little, almost no, carbonation here, which doesn't allow any of the flavors that this could potentially have to develop on the palate. Instead, you get a pretty basic straightforward alcohol burn, with a little indistinct sweetness up front and a roasted finish that is by far the best part of the beer.

Drinkability=Drain Pour.

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Photo of gyllstromk
2.59/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

These overblown beers evoke a house of college roommates trying to make a beer as big and bad as possible. The Brute by Ithaca was such a delicate treat but this one was pretty hard to choke down.

Pours a nice, bubbly red as advertised. Nose is a deep overdose of hops and a touch of the roasted malt and caramel. Flavor is huge hop bitterness that obscures any hop flavors. Malt has a smokey feel to it that pervades the aftertaste. Sherry notes bring to mind some of my homebrew accidents. Mouth is sticky and unappealing. I am not enjoying this one.

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Photo of sweemzander
2.96/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle poured into a snifter. Yet again, I need to thank Kyle for the generosity this weekend!

(A)- Pours a deep reddish amber color that produced a nice tan colored head with decent retention and lace.

(S)- Lots of rich run raisin aromas and a dry oaky nuance.

(T)- Same as the smell. A raisin rich dry oaky profile.

(M)- A good carbonation level. A bit dry and woody, but has some left left in it. Starting to get a bit "muddy"

(D)- It is definitely starting to lose some of its life, so I wouldnt continue to hold onto this if you do in my opinion, but its still enjoyable for what it is.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
2.98/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Big thanks to rlmartin and Thorpe429 for the hook-up

A - It pours a big orange-amber, with a voluminous off-white head and lots of lace.

S - The hops have faded, obviously, but they still pack a bitter wallop. There is also a ton of rich caramel maltiness. Notes of grapefruit, pine and caraway are also apparent.

T - The taste is quite spicy. Hops are still quite pungent in the mix, and there is a heavy rye-like spiciness that overwhelms the brew. The big caramel malt seems to exacerbate the situation, causing a brew that is too spicy, sweet and bitter. Alcohol is too prominent. The mouthfeel is also a culprit here.

M - Syrupy and sticky. Not helping the whole deal.

D - Past its prime, or perhaps it never had a prime, I can only speculate. I do know that the Ithaca Excelsior! Series tends to be very good across-the-board. This one, not so much.

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Photo of ccrida
3.07/5  rDev -24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a stem glass, Ten is a dark, murky copper with a very large tan head, with large bubbles but long lasting, rocky settling, with fairly heavy lace. While the brew is a bit muddy, the head is in Belgian territory, fantastic.

Smell is, initially, kind of gross. Chocolate and earthy hops, it comes off a bit like stagnant water, and didn't have me to excited about drinking any! After I did, it was less offensive, mainly wet hops, tea like, with alcohol and malt.

Taste is, thankfully, not too bad. Nice maltiness, touch of cocoa, earthy, spicy hops, a decent double amber ale. I prefer a more aggressive hop profile, like a red DIPA, or maybe I should say west coast red DIPA, rather then what I assume are noble hops here...more like a hoppy wee heavy, but I have no idea how old it is (I just bought it yesterday in Boston), it could have faded somewhat. The bottom line is it's worth trying, but has a kitchen sink feel to it that lacks real direction.

Mouthfeel is kind of slick, medium body, not bad for the size.

Drinkability is not bad, while not really my style, it's pretty well made, clean, with the ABV very well hidden. Still, it's not to cheap, limited (according to the label), and nothing really special. Check it off the list and move on...

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Photo of klewis
3.1/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Batch E!014

A: Pours a murky brown with a moderate head. Light lacing.

S: Nutty, biscuit-like aromas with earthy undertones.

T: An intense full-flavored brew. The "too many malts to list" create an olio of malt flavors that turns out to be a big mess on the palate. A soft, citric hop flavor in the finish.

M: A medium-body with high carbonation makes the beer feel a bit thin.

D: I'll pass on this one. Like the Hebrew Twelve, this concept of throwing as many different things into the brew kettle as possible falls WAY short in every aspect of this beer.

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Photo of BlackWednesday
3.12/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

0mL bottle, Batch E!006. Poured slightly murky medium orange with a short-lived cap of beige head (subsequent pours left more head, so I’m bumping it up a notch). The aroma was strong with floral notes, peppery spices, and some citrus over a bed of pizza dough, caramel, and redder fruits.. definite alcohol amplification. The flavor was similar in terms of stuff going on, but it lost some of its luster.. caramel and fruity notes at the core with pine, citrus, and spicy bitterness around.. something was breaking down in there, leaving strong, boozy, cardboardey notes in places.. muddled with too much going on. Heavier-bodied on the palate with enough carbonation to keep it moving.. sticky and messy in terms of flow, but it did leave a satisfying feel on the finish.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.13/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours a very deep red amber color with very minimal head. The aroma is loaded with malty sweetness and caramel with a slight touch of hops. The taste is super sweet but was expected. Drinks actually fairly easy. Minimal alcohol notes for a 10% abv beer. Medium mouthfeel. Starts with the aforementioned malt sweetness with a subtle hoppiness in the back end.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.14/5  rDev -22.3%
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 Spider889
3.15/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shared by Ryan011235. He never ceases to amaze by pulling out old Ithaca bottles from his cellar at tastings.

A - A ruddy, brackish orange copper color. Cloudy, full of sediment (though we got a bad pour at the tasting I believe). Tall head and good lace.

S - Hoppy despite the age. Maltiness is a little odd, a bit woody.

T - Rye flavors. Has an oaky, almost an old dry driftwood quality to it.

M - Dry dry dry.

O - This was probably much more enjoyable fresh.

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Photo of Patrick999
3.23/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured brown, with decent foam for its age.

Aromatics mostly of caramel and toffee. Malt-forward, which is pretty much what I was expecting.

Unfortunately, the taste just leaves me flat. It's not bad...it's a caramel malt bomb. But just that - I don't get a lot of interesting flavor development here, little complexity. I was hoping for more out of a 10% strong ale. This is (or was) probably one of those American Double Reds that was hopped to all hell, and was incredible when fresh, but aged into a simple caramel malt bomb. I was hoping for some aged barleywine-like complexity, and didn't get too much of it. It's OK, though. I can drink it. There's just nothing about it at this point that wows me.

Carbonation is pretty good, pretty good rich chewy mouthfeel.

Again, I can drink it, but it didn't turn out to be the lush cellar experience I thought it could be. Oh well. I guess I'm slightly more disappointed than usual, given the recent excellent reviews on this. It was probably pretty kick ass when fresh....but right now, I find myself in the odd position of being a statistical outlier.

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Photo of caminiti
3.23/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Im obviously in the minority here, but I just did not think it was that good of a beer. When I first tried it, I thought it may have just been a beer gone bad, and by reading the reviews, I think I was correct. I poured mine into the standard stolen pint glass, light copper with absolutely no head. THere was a hint of pine and vanilla, though something resembling paint thinner as well. Tasted like the nose said it would, some vanilla, but more like a beer that had been open for a while. A little oily, it was a beer that I did not finish, which is rare for the price.. I would not regard this as a true review, since I think I had a bad bottle.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.37/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ithaca Ten

Pours a murky brown with small particles of yeast. Decent sized head forms and leaves some lace behind. Aroma of booze, fruits, caramel, and faint butterscotch. In the taste, where once was a hoppy beer, the malt has taken over. Brown sugar, molasses, prune and lots of alcohol make up most of the flavor profile. There is a trace of hops, but not enough to make much of an impression. This is a boozy malt bomb, and at best resembling an aged barleywine. Mouthfeel has held up pretty well, medium to low carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, probably peaked, but at this point, I'd set it aside for a few more years and see if anything develops.

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Photo of Derek
3.38/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Perhaps a little past its prime.

A: Hazy chestnut, light tan head, thin ring of retention, good lacing.

S: Brown sugar with plenty of alcohol & hints of American hops.

T: Brown sugar, sherry, nut, good bitterness.

M: Very well-attenuated for its weight, with a VERY drying alcohol finish.

D: Seems a little boozy, without the depth of flavour. You'd think it would have mellowed?

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Photo of kkipple
3.4/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A. Dirty red, dingy and un-see-thru, low filthy head, pretty unappealing, really, but looks... dense.

S. Severly malt-based, buttery, rich dark, sweet, sugary... lacks balance. Hops are there but have either faded or were low to begin with.

T. Very sweet, rich and fruity. Malty... yeah... uhm.. pretty "Red", some hops, muted now, caramel, toffee, a bit of metal, thin, fruity... I'm not getting the love, personally... this may simply be past its prime, but it right now is 2 dimensional and bland.

M. Lowly carbonated, thin, watery, sweet and malty finish... rather disappointing all said.

D. I don't get the hype. Ithaca Ten is mediocre, right now. I'd love to revisit it fresh.

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Photo of mikey711
3.42/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Finally getting around to try this one

A: Murky reddish brown with a soap off white head that leaves minimal lacing.

S: Strong hoppy aroma that I can smell almost across the room with a background of caramel sweetness.

T: Bitter pine notes and a bit soapy tasting. Not as complex as I was hoping. Some butter and bready notes as well

M: Full bodied but I just couldnt get past the intense pininess

D: I wish I had somebody to split this bottle with

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
3.42/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle poured into a Darkness snifter glass, sharred with a fellow BA.

A- Pours a dark brown cloudy color, sediment is evident, decent carbonation, tiny bubbles in the head, one finger off white head that dissipates to a nice layer around the glass.
S- The aroma is interesting, Dark fruits, REALLY malty, bready/nutty notes, some woody notes as well, earthy characteristics, the hops are nowhere to be seen.
T- Huge malt bomb, some dark fruit notes come out (plums, raisins), lacks carbonation, flat, sweet bitterness.
M- Medium mouth feel, under carbonated, alcohol is hidden, dry finish.
O- Interesting beer, would love to try this when it was fresh, can definitely tell this is an aged beer huge, malt bomb, not bad for being almost 4 years old.

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Photo of rudzud
3.43/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to JLindros for sharing.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice crystal clear hazelnut hue with as thin head.

S - Aromas of older malts, cardboard oxidation. Old.

T - Taste is caramel sweetness, toffee, light alcohol.

M - Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

O - Overall this beer was past it's prime.

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Photo of goatgoat
3.51/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks mikereaser for the opportunity.

Batch E!006.

Pours a clear garnet red. A huge billowy tan head takes it's time falling. Leaves a good amount of sheet-like patches of lace.
Aroma is caramel, earthy, with a flash of citrus.
Flavor is very sweet and malty. Caramel, toffee. No real bitterness or hops. There is an earthy, aged character in the mix as well. Finish is sweet, with a hint of resin, and a lingering alcoholic heat.
Medium body with low carbonation that combines for a very smooth feel. Suave.

Other reviews suggest that this batch is already 1+ year old (another reason I like 'born on' or 'best by' dates instead of batch numbers). This does it no favors, IMO. I heard a couple of folks that compared this to Nugget Nectar. I can taste how that could be true for a fresh batch.
As is, it's a decent, malt heavy slightly boozy brew.

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Photo of beachbum1975
3.57/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I decided to have my buddy pwoods over for a last minute beer tasting. I've been dying to try some of my traded beers, so despite the fact there's no holiday or special occasion, now seemed a better time than ever. Written up on the fly while we cracked it...

I acquired this bottle via a trade with Israel. It's been sitting in my fridge - staring at me to open it - for a few months now, so I am gonna give it what it wants.

Presented in a wine bottle. The TEN looks like a TEN DOLLAR BILL, holy cow - ha ha ha! (?)

A: An aggressive pour shows off a nice, brassy/copper, but as it rests in my glass, it's a clear, dark amber goodness. World-class, sticky lacing running all the way up the side of my sippie cup with an attractive vanilla colored head (kidding, wanting to see if you were really reading this one). This baby is a thing of beauty to look at..

S: I got lots of citrus and dry pine aromas trailed by mildly caramelized malts. The aromas are rich and too the point on this one.

T: Without reading reviews, I'm guessing a lot of Cascade hops were used in the creation of this one. I can taste the rich, strong alcohol pretty easily, as well - definitely a strong ale here. Relatively simple tasting of rich hops, lightly roasted malts and alcohol.

M: Medium bodied with ample carbonation.

A real treat to finish off the night. This is by no means sessionable, but rather a nice, occasional treat. Thanks to the ABV, it won't be hard to fall asleep after this one.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
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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TEN from Ithaca Beer Company
4.04 out of 5 based on 239 ratings.
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