TEN | Ithaca Beer Company

238 Ratings
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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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 238 |  Reviews: 196
Photo of NJpadreFan
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ithaca- Excelsior Ten

Thanks to dmeadows(Denis) for this 1!

A- Deep cloudy chunky reddish brown with a huge foamy head. Solid messy lacing!
S- Big sweet caramel malt with huge doses of fruit; cherry, grape, and lechee (rambutan).
T- Sweet and malty. Doses of caramel, sugar, and licorice come through. Good equal balance of fruits like; orange rind, grape, cherry, and melon.
M- very sweet and dry throughout with a touch of alc. in the end.

Overall- A bit sweet but tasty and enjoyable. Easliy drank the big 750ml bottle after work!
(Thanks Denis!)

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Photo of BgThang
4.7/5  rDev +16%
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 Damian
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Drank from a 750 mL/1 Pint 9.4 FL OZ bottle purchased at Cambridge Liquors, Cambridge, MA
Batch# E!006

The beer poured a near opaque, deep, dark, russet-brown color with a creamy, bubbly, light tan, one-finger head. The long-lasting head eventually faded to a thick, frothy ring. Huge, odd-shaped blocks of lacing stuck along the top half of the glass.

The aroma was hoppy yet balanced. Citrusy, smooth and rich with notes of sweet caramel malts, brown sugar and pungent, fruity hops. As the beer warmed, the aroma became even sweeter. Vanilla was noticeable as well.

The taste was quite complex and flavorful. Thick, rich, caramel malts appeared up front. Notes of spices and candied oranges came through in the center. The finish was hoppy (piney) and quite boozy. Slightly harsh and bitter with an unexpected roastiness. The piney, roasty and boozy notes intensified in the long-lasting aftertaste. As the beer warmed, both the sweet, candy-ish notes up front and the alcohol sharpness on the back end became more pronounced.

The mouthfeel was full-bodied. Ultra creamy, frothy and rich on the palate. Supple and smooth. Slightly sticky and syrupy on the lips.

Drinkability was average. While I really enjoyed both the flavors and the aromas in this beer, I found the alcohol sharpness to be a bit overwhelming, particularly on the finish.

Even though this beer is technically listed as a "strong ale," it exhibits many characteristics of a complex and robust barleywine (or possibly an imperial red ale mixed with a barleywine). It is definitely a fine brew now. Given time to mellow out however, it could likely became an outstanding one.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
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 drseamus
4.79/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Cloudy ruby red color with a nice cream head.

S: Delicious weed. I can't describe it any better than that. Slight sweetness but all weed. Probably illegal.

T: Great hoppiness with nice malt sweetness. A heavy sweetness lingers. There is a touch of weed in the taste also. Very balanced.

M: Deliciously think and creamy. Perfect.

D: Outstanding. Top notch.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to Spacecoyote for the trade.

Dark ceylon tea coloured with a small whispy head of tannish foam. Aromas of heavy caramel malts, sugar, booze, and slight tads of tinged green hops in the back. Taste is caramel burnt sugar vanilla pudding with nice tight green hoppiness in the back palate. This reminds of sugary sweet, yet extra malty, barleywine version of a highly hopped, high abv red ale. Burnt sugary toast dominates and melts with the hops and bready heavy malts very well. Mouthfeel is medium light for a beer of this size, which lends to great drinkability hindered only by the inherent sweetness of this brew. This one is a keeper.

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Photo of ccrida
3.07/5  rDev -24.2%
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 kirok1999
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to sholland119 for being very generous!
Pours with a massive off white head that settles to a thin head and leaves chunks of lace on the glass. A cloudy, dark copper color with lots of floaties swimming around.
Smells wonderfully malty and slightly spicy.
Tastes much the same, lots of sweet malt and a nice lingering bitter hop finish. There's nice amounts of fruitiness, caramel and citrus hops.
Really wouldn't have pegged this as a red ale. Very unusual for the style but a great brew. Goes down rich and creamy with a nice amount of carbonation.

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Photo of DrDogbeer
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
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 MisterDeeds
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark orange reddish color.Thick foamy head with lots of bubbles.

Smells hoppy and floral with a twist of citrus.

Tastes sweet up front with caramel and malt. The hoppiness balances it out with a sticky aftertaste of grapefruit and bitter hops.

Very full mouthfeel. This beer gets better as it gets closer to room temperature. The aftertaste combines the sweet caramel with bitter citrus like they were separated at birth.

As drinkable as they come. This is a very well made brew.

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Photo of tpd975
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Matt at Capone's for putting this one on and giving me a free sample.

Since I had it recently, and it was similar on tap I will abbreviate the review a bit.

A: Pours a brillant garnet hue with a bold rocky head. Godd retention and lace.

S: Nice balance of malt and hops. There is alot going on. Caramel malt dominate but you can pick up tinges of citrus, pine, and floral hops.

T: Taste was same as in the bottle but everything was a bit more crisp. Very tasty, very balanced, very good.

M: Full bodied with nice carbonation. Somewhat dry finish.

D: Darn drinkable for such a big beer. No hint at the ABV in this one.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25.4 oz dark brown bottle Batch E!006. Poured into a Piraat Tulip-shaped glass.
Pours a garnet-tinged dark coffee color with a sturdy (considering the ABV) beige head, along with some sticky and sliding lacing.
An upfront dark rummy nose makes way for smells of roasted malt, rye bread, molasses and citrusy and resinous hops.
The flavors are varied and all very LARGE. All aggressively vie for attention. First and foremost is a BIG Kahlua and alcoholic rum punch hit. Tastes of toffee mingle with well-balanced sharp citrusy and metallic bitterness. A taste of rye is noticed. Whoa! This brew packs quite a wallop! Not shy at all. Better suited for a cold winter's eve by the fireplace than this hot and sultry night such as now.

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Photo of cvstrickland
4.13/5  rDev +2%
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 jamie2dope
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I could be wrong, but I am pretty sure this is my first time trying a brew from Ithaca. Glad to see that this one made it to Massachusetts. Poured in to a Duvel glass a ruby color, with two fingers worth of white robust heading. Aroma is dominated by hops and toasty grains. It reminds me somewhat of Stone's Double Bastard smell wise. Taste is dominated by a certain sweetness, mixed with the bitter hops. Honey, strawberry jam on toast, grapefruit and molasses all come to mind in the flavor profile. Feel is surprisingly light, but within that light body, quite a bit of flavor is packed in. Alcohol is present, and it shows, one glass may be a bit much for some, including myself. A pretty damn good beer from Ithaca. Lately I have been intrigued by how some high gravity beers with lighter bodies can still manage to be so full of flavor (Angels Share Bourbon Barrel Aged is another that comes to mind). Check this one out if you get the chance. Cheers

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Photo of jmalex
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sampled sometime in the last week of June at Capone's. Review from notes.

APPEARANCE: Served in a small snifter, it was a deep amber brown with a slight red tint. The one-finger high head had decent retention and left a huge collar with a hazy film.

SMELL: Big, clean grapefruity hops loomed large over a slightly sweet malt background.

TASTE: Light and balanced. Hop flavor is fleeting, but when they're there, they're intense. A surprising strength of roasted/toasted malt lasts from beginning to end until the finish clears everything out and ends up quite clean.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body feels a bit syrupy. Carbonation is on the lower side of things.

DRINKABILITY: Easy drinking for what it is. No trace of the 10% is perceptable. A pint of this would definitely be doable.

Thanks to Matt for putting this on tap. I enjoyed it but may not go back because of the price and available of so many other similar beers.

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Photo of BDIMike
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very nice-looking unfiltered offering. There is a very dark copper color with a lot of carbonation causing an inch-thick tan colored head that never goes away.
Good smell has a nice balance to it between malt and hop. The smell starts with very nice hops, with a little grapefruit. The hops are immediately taken over with a nice malt balance of a nice plum smell, ending with a bit of alcohol.
The taste has a very nice balance as well. The first I can taste is the good hops, with a nice grapefuit tone and then taken over by the earthy malts. Very interesting alcohol bite at the end of the sip.
Perfect mouthfeel. A tad bit of sharpness to it that wakes up the mouth, but the liquid is so smooth, with a perfect amount of thickness.
Probably some of the best drinkability I have ever tasted out of a beer with an ABV of 10% or more. I cannot really taste the strong alcohol and the smoothness of the mouthfeel combined with the balance of this beer make for a recipe for disaster of me drinking a lot of this and not realizing the alcohol until it is too late.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BeerTruth for trading this to me. What a great beer! Pours a slightly hazy reddish brown, with a great head several inch head that sticks around as a cap. Really nice lacing as well. Quite a bit of hops in this beer. Both the aroma and flavor have substantial presence of nice citrusy hops, with a good bit of grapefruit and pine as well. Stiff, firm malt lends some fruitiness, some sweetness, and some breadiness. Beautifully integrated and quite smooth and even a bit waxy in the mouth. The aggressive hop profile really balances any residual sweetness. The balance and hoppiness of this beer is really pleasing. It's a big beer, but the alcohol is really well hidden and it is super easy to drink. Great job!

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Photo of gpcollen1
3.63/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured this lovely one into my Smutty Big Beer tulip. Nice dark ruby amber color topped with a big fluffy head - slow to settle and remains clinging to the surface.

Aromas are rich and sticky sweet - sticking the hops in the background. Hits the palate with a blast of bitterness, carbonation and a rich sweetness that just twists the tongue a bit. Finishes caramelly sweet with a pleasant bittering dryness - one catch - the booze in this thing is way to big and builds toward the end getting very very boozey.

Overall very big and very interesting. I think I cannot get past the strong booziness of this one as it is just too much. I bet if that mellows a bit with some age, this one may be quite good. Dunno...

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
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 SkinnyElvis
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought in a case split from the Beer Yard with haveabrew. Cheers.

Pours a dark amber with a large head. Smell & taste reminds me of Yulesmith: sweet, boozy, and hoppy. More of an alcohol burn than Yulemsith and not as hoppy. Drinkability & mouthfeel are affected by the burn. A nice strong ale but I don't see this as highly rated as others.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy/ hazy orange-ish/ copper color with a light tan head. In the aroma, grapefruity hops and a small alcohol presence. In the taste, grapefruity hops and a malty alcohol flavor. A hoppy bite and a big bodied mouthfeel, with a dry grapefruity hop aftertaste. A big hop presence, big alcohol presence, kind of abrasive, yet very nice.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.78/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I got this bottle in a trade with nutbrown. Thanks Alan!

This pours from red foiled and capped 750ml bottle(batch E!006) a clear reddish amber with a 2 finger and growing head of billowy foam. Holding my glass up to the light, I can see that it's slightly hazy. Ha! This certainly is a looker in my glass and the head looks like it's not going anywhere soon.

The smell is a malt lover's delight! Loads of caramel malt hit my nosebuds right off the bat but there's also a fruitiness in the nose along with some toffee.

The taste starts off with big notes of sweet malt but then I get roasted malt, some bread, tofee, some fruit(mostly cherry when I swish it in my mouth), the complexity just never seems to stop! And....where *is* the 10abv?? You gotta be kidding me! Ok, by the end of the session, I guess that's where I'll notice it but dang, no sign of it in the taste and no sign of it after the swallow. Amazing.

Update on the appearance: Ring after ring of lacing after every sip and the head is still a solid 1". Also, it goes cloudy after the second pour.(I use mini pours to refill my glass)

I want to say that this is full bodied because of how silky smooth it is so, I'll say it, it's full bodied with a nice lightish amount of carbonation.

I haven't mentioned any hop presence thus far but it *is* there...some nice notes of grapefruit that kick in some bitterness in between the luscious layers of malty goodness.
Wow. Is this a fine American Strong Ale or what?!

Ok, bottom line time. I'm really having a hard time finding *any* faults with this beer. In fact, I'm going to ask nutbrown if he can get/save me another bottle. Ithaca has proven to me, time after time, that they have some real masters of the brewing art in their fold and this one literally is off the charts. So *damn* highly recommended! 'nuff said.

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Photo of sholland119
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a deep hazy amber with a generous amount of white head and nice lacing.

S-Excellent. Lots of maltiness, with toffee and caramel notes mixing with a fine grapefruit hoppiness.

T-Follows the nose and lives up to it. Starts and ends with a terrific malty, caramel sweetness, with a nice hoppiness in the middle.

M-Nice carbonation, very silky smooth.

D-Very drinkable for a 10% ABV with little to no hint of alcohol.

First beer I have had from Ithaca, will not be the last. Excellent!


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Photo of Viggo
4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle picked up in Buffalo, E006!

Pours a slightly hazed reddish orange, like a sunset, massively thick off white head forms, super retention, thick layer, great lacing, looks real nice. Smell is nice and malty, thick toffee, some sweet malt, light pine, citrus/grapefruit and orange, brown sugar, real thick malts, lots of fruitiness, strawberry and cherry, awesome. Taste is real nice, pineapple, toffee, real thick grainy malt, brown sugar, floral, light chocolate maltiness, grapefruit and pineapple in the finish, strong bitterness, real balanced. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low to medium carbonation, very thick on the tongue, malty goodness, awesome! Alcohol is about as hidden as it gets, perfect mouthfeel, could drink this all day.

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Photo of grub
4.63/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Viggo was nice enough to share this one. thanks eric!

750ml bottle. batch E!006. sampled july 30/08.

pours deep red, crystal clear, with a huge fluffy tan head. i also tried this on tap a couple days ago, and the only noticeable difference in appearance was a bit of haze. the head drops very slowly and leaves tons of lace the whole way down the glass.

aroma is great. bit of pine and grapefruit. tons of malt. bit of caramel and slightly burnt brown sugar. whole wheat bread. biscuit. bit of cracker. light alcohol. bit of orange and tangerine. maybe some rye too?

taste is great. medium high bitterness level. bit of alcohol, but certainly doesn't seem like 10%. multi-grain bread, lightly toasted. biscuit. cracker. i get a bit of a caraway/rye thing too. light pine. grapefruit. caramel. bit of toffee. touch of tangerine and orange. bit of dark fruit too.

mouthfeel is great. medium well integrated super smooth carbonation. medium-large body.

drinkability is great. this balance is great, with the alcohol hidden very well. i had a glass of this a couple days ago at coles and loved it so much that i immediately went back for another. i definitely need to pick up a few more bottles of this one, as it is truly great stuff.

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TEN from Ithaca Beer Company
4.05 out of 5 based on 238 ratings.
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