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."
Reviews: 196 | Ratings: 238
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 Buebie
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm super happy to finally get my hands on this, thanks to bkrefetz.

Poured from the bottle into an oversized snifter. A 1'' foamy tan head pops up, receding quickly, to leave an island of bubbles and froth with a thick collar.
The beer is a dark brown, with some glowing brownish amber when held to light. Although its not at all transparent and very murky.

Aroma is delicious. Super calafragalistic amounts of malt here. Its the maltiest malt bomb I've ever smelled. The hops have reached perfume grade, with so much caramel and sweet deliciousness going on, its overwhelming my nose.
Some pine and loads of sweet grapefruit nectar. Honey, caramel, grains, bready as all hell.

Wa wa wee wa (Boratt) This thing tastes just as good as aroma would lead it too. Big dank weed hop flavors, pine, mild alcohol, more weed, mild cleaning product flavors, I imagine its the hops. Caramel sweetness throughout and plenty of bready yeast punch. Just a touch of burnt caramel in there. Finishing quite bitter, and lingering for several minutes. Hops bite!
Alcohol is a bit more noticeable as it has warmed, giving my esophagus a nice warm hug on its way down.

Mouthfeel seems a little flat in the carbonation department. This is not a heavy beer in the MF department, its slick and mildly full bodied, but has more of a watered down feel mixing with some very small amounts of slick creaminess.

Thanks Brett! This beer is delicious.

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Photo of WeedKing4
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle pours a very dark, hazed red amber. Can't see through the second glass at all. A strong amount of carbination with the first glass, and a little less with the second glass. Smells very sweet, similiar to the more malty imperial ipas I have had. The taste sweet, and quite malty. This is a well balanced beer. Drinkability is good considering its 10.1% abv as the bottle indicates. Very smooth overall, and tasty. Too bad this site says its retired. Glad I got to try it though.

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Photo of TheKingsOfHop
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml. bottle poured into our Portsmouth tulip glasses:

A: A dark rusty red, with a thin egg shell colored foamy edge gently coating the top. The foam left behind spotty lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Lots of sweet malts followed by a fruity hop aroma. Vanilla, and a touch of bourbon/whiskey pulling through the nose towards the end.

T: Upfront on the palate there is a strong malt presence, very sweet with some pins and needles on the tongue from the hops. A little bit of funk with smokey characteristics throughout. It tastes like there is brown sugar just crystallizing in your mouth with a hint of burnt toffee. Then towards the finish you get a mouth full of dank bud just streaming down the back of your throat.

M: Medium bodied with a slight alcohol presence.

D: Ten went down smooth. Fellow beer hunters look out for "Diez" (that's Ten in Spanish for all you non bilingual beer geeks). Something everyone should try at least once.

The Kings Of Hop

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

Pours a ruby/amber color with nice off white head. Good lacing. Smell is of all kinds of malts and hops - a little bit of carmel, pine, apricot, grapefruit, brown sugar, nuts, bread. The taste is just as complex as the scent. This is obviously slightly aged and all the flavors blend perfectly... as noted in the scent, the rich and sweet matls take center stage - carmel, toffee, nuts and bread. The hops have become muted over time and only add to the sweetness at this point. Pine and grapefruit hops noted. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied, slightly chewey and coating.

Excellently complex and full flavored beer, ABVs hidden well... a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of mikey711
3.42/5  rDev -16.6%
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 gyllstromk
2.59/5  rDev -36.8%
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 beveritt
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured from a wine bottle into red wine glasses. Label is very no frills, but full of good information. Thanks go out to my non-beer geek friend Carla, who recognized something interesting a recent trip and gave me a phone call.

Appearance: Pours with 1 finger of light tan head. This settles slowly to a thin, incomplete coating of foam, leaving behind nice lacing. The beer itself is medium brown with distinctive orange and red tones. Decent amount of sediment in the bottle.

Smell: Slightly sweet caramel malt with hints of apricot. Medium strength hops in the finish.

Taste: Slightly sweet caramel malt upfront with hints of butterscotch diacetyl. Finishes with a medium hop bitterness. Alcohol is hidden very well, slight warming effect.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation. Body is good.

Drinkability: A nice middle of the road strong ale. Not over the top with respect to ABV or hop profile. I have another bottle that I think I may drink sooner rather than later.

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Photo of khiasmus
4.11/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The cloudy dark amber of of a fiery sky, a couple of bubbles floating along, but really a deathly still night. And we march.
Our heads spinning into a daze, thinking of whatever sweet thing each fancies, take the mind off of the chafing rucksack and the reality of how far we are from our wives and families, how we may never see them again. So i think of an aroma of rich sweet malt, brown sugar, oxidization, caramel, biscuity, grapefruit hopping, very faint resin, light warming alcohol, an excellent aroma, the kind that makes us continue this absurd hobby. And so we march on, a screech rends the air from whatever dark thing is wheeling high overhead...
And I think of a flavor of brown sugar and warming alcohol, light hop-bitterness, a faintly alcoholic and rather bitter finish, my worried wife and children, what the world will be like if we don't win this war.
The mouthfeel is not as good, or maybe it's my cottonmouth-nervousness and dread about the upcoming fight... but to me it's rather watery, syrupy, and lightly dry and warming in the finish. Always the battle, day and night, until we bring our enemies' heads home, we cannot stop, it is for the survival of freedom and justice in our time. Make your body a machine, buffet it, take it all in stride... and think of something delicious with which to distract yourself.

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Photo of xpimptastikx
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade a while back, forgot who sent it...
Batch E!011

A - Pours a deep caramel color with off white head that disappears quickly.

S - Great! Huge caramel with a little piney hops.

T - The hops aren't there, but this beer is a bit old I believe. It's huge in the malt territory and appears more like an aged barleywine. Reminds me of an aged Old Stock Ale a little, and I'm enjoying it a lot.

M/D - Small amount of carbonation works well and makes it extremely drinkable. The alcohol is perfect balanced. I wish I had another bottle.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to bmanning for sharing this in a tasting.

A: Pours a beautiful crimson with a nice white head.

S: Lots of sweet malt and some leftover hops; sweetness comes through from all angles.

T: Malt sweetness and still some remaining piney, tropical bitterness from the hops.

M: Medium-heavy with a good amount of carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable. A very solid brew--wish they'd make it again.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Consumed on 9/18/2009 and poured into a snifter. Thanks for opening this, Alex. The beer is the color of dark menstrual blood with a fizzy beige head.

What remains of the hop profile is essentially all pine with a whisper of citrus. There is a lot of caramel malt with a little sweetness and a touch of metallic character. The caramel is rich and becomes more pronounced as the beer nears room temperature.

The flavor is lots of caramel with a lot of pines and no citrus. The bitterness is at a high moderate level, but the perceived bitterness is higher due to some astringency.

I think this beer will get better with time when the astringent bitterness fades and the rich caramel is allowed to be the center of attention.

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Photo of Kadonny
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A: A dark reddish brown with a two finger off white fluffy head. Big glass lacing.

S: Dark fruits, sweetness and floral piney hops.

T: Deep and dark fruits start with a caramel and sugar sweetness, butterscotch and bready malt. Hops come in the middle with pine, floral and some earthy hints. Finish is bitter but the sugary fruity sweetness overcomes the hops for a sweet finish.

M: Full, prickly with some alcohol heat.

D: Not great for me, I was tired by the end of the bottle.

Overall a very good beer, but it just wasn't what I expected. This was almost barleywine-esque with the deep malty fruity flavors. Maybe this was a different beer fresh as I don't know how old the bottle was.

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Photo of kkipple
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
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 bert13tj
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark cloudy brown with a cream colored head.

Great aroma. The aroma is complex and very pleasant one. Mix of sweet, floral, hops.

Very dominate sweet taste, there are hints of alcohol tast, but not overbearing.

Heavy feel in the mouth. Medium carbonatio.

Surprisingly drinkable for a 10% abv. I would definently recommend this to anyone and would buy again and again.

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Photo of Ryanthebear
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours dark cloudy brown with a thin cream colored head.

S: Very nice aroma. It is a blend between candy sweetness, tropical fruits, floral hops, pine, and a bit of alcohol. The aroma is complex and, in my opinion, a very pleasant one.

T: Mostly sweet fruit and caramel malt flavors. Some hop flavors show themselves, but the sweetness is predominant. Alcohol is noticeable but not intrusive. It becomes more apparent as the beer warms.

M: Heavy mouthfeel. Low to medium carbonation.

D: Very drinkable for 10% abv. Definitely a sipping beer, but I certainly never got tired of drinking this. It is a very good beer and one I would like to have again.

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Photo of MVotter
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The Ithaca TEN American Strong Ale poured into a chalice a dark tea color ... foggy appearance; leaving a cream colored thin head.

The aroma was hops, phenolic/diacetyl/alcohol, butterscotch.

The taste was extremely complex. Starting with caramel malts, phenolic/alcohol notes, fruity, amaretto; and transitioning to some hop flavors. It finishes with some slightly bitter coffee notes! Wow!

The mouthfeel is heavy, with low to medium carbonation.

The Ithaca Ten is most definitely a sipper. It makes no apologies for its robust 10% abv. It delivers a big beer which features a different flavor characteristic for every location of the inside of your mouth.

Quite an experience.

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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 Yetiman420
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed in a Unibroue tulip glass.

Pours reddish brown with a two finger foamy tan head which leaves spongy lacing.

Delightful malty sweet aroma balanced with hops. An impressive balance for a guy who prefers unbalanced to the hoppy side. Excellent.

First couple of sips have a hint of coffee-chocolate malt and a seriously creamy mouthfeel.

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Photo of dukedevil0
3.82/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this 750mL bottle on a business trip to Pittsburgh from Bocktown Bar and Grill.

A: Pours a slightly hazy dark brown with reddish tint and some off-white bubbles but very little "head" that doesn't really lace the glass much.

S: Smells like caramel, brown sugar, molasses, mild hops, some raisin and other darker fruits

T: Tastes similar to the smell with lots of caramel malts, brown sugar, molasses, faded hop flavor but left over bitterness, raisin, also piney flavor in the finish...strong intense flavors here along with some alcohol

M: Somewhat thin and not very carbonated at all...possibly this is intentional to an extent, but i think I would like it better if the beer had a fuller mouthfeel

D: Not gonna lie, this isn't that drinkable in my eyes. The flavor is super intense, and while someone that really likes malty beers might like it, it's just too much for me to want to keep taking sips. The alcohol flavor hurts the score here too.

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Photo of natasharai
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured with a creamy smooth light tan dead that dissipated leaving some nice lacing at the top of my glass. The beer is a hazy brownish orange.

Smell: Fresh citrus hops, very sweet carmel, roasted malt, roasted marshmallow or slightly burnt carmel.

Taste: Citrus orange/grapefruit hops, carmel, roasted marshmallow or caramelized sugar, sweet and spicy earthy flavors.

Mouthfeel: Smooth at first, nice and thick body, good carbonation, dry then leaves mouth a bit sticky.

Overall: Great drinkability, nice citrus hops character balanced by a delicious roasted carmel sweetness. Nice subtle earthy flavors toward the end. Really good Imperial Red Ale!!

Thank you Lum for this Tasty beer from Ithaca!!! :-)

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Photo of Overlord
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer has probably mellowed quite a bit since its release, but still quite good.

Pours a ruddy, hazy brown. Big tan foam. Fairly long lasting, considering the ABV.

Smell is quite nice. Bready, yeasty caramel and a splash of grapefruit, and pine.

Taste doesn't quite live up to the aroma, but still good. The grapefruit is more sticky, sweet, and juicy rather than bitter, and the pine is just a hint now. It's definitely got that caramel/brown sugar with yeasty bread thang goin' on, but it's a bit more muted, and has a somewhat harsh twang to it, that I didn't expect.

Nice chewy mouthfeel. Very quaffable.

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

Courtesy of a traveling colleague. Batch E!033;006. This brew is a dark brownish amber color with a thick and foamy beige head that recedes slowly. Patches of lacing on the glass. The aroma is piney with notes of hops, caramel and fruit. Medium-bodied and chewy with flavors of hops, pine, malt and some fruit. The finish is hoppy with some spice and bready malt lingering. Good all around.

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Photo of caminiti
3.23/5  rDev -21.2%
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 ClockworkOrange
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my nonic Imperial pint glass. Ten appears a murky amber chestnut color akin to fresh brewed iced tea. The glass is capped off with about an inch of pillowy light rust colored foam. The head leaves a decent lace on the inside of the glass as I sip my way to the bottom. Flavor and aroma are of tropical fruits such as mango and pineapple, mint, excellent caramelized frutiness. Still a bit of alcohol poking through as well. Some bitter resinous pine coming out as it warms. Medium to full bodied, leaning heavily towards being full bodied with adequate carbonation. A great attempt at the style. Seek it out if you dig strong ales.

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