Alphalpha | Ithaca Beer Company

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144 Reviews
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BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by almychristopher on 12-30-2008

BEER STATS
Reviews:
144
Ratings:
225
Avg:
4.08
pDev:
11.76%
 
 
Wants:
68
Gots:
25
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 144 | Ratings: 225
Reviews by OWSLEY069:
Photo of OWSLEY069
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy yellow color with a white head. In the aroma, flowery hops, clove, and a mix of other spices. In the taste, mostly flowery hops, but hints on pine ones too. Nice presence of clove as well. A small bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry, flowery hop aftertaste. Very close to Hop Slam and almost similar to a saison.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of scootny
4.01/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clean whit head that has decent retention and good lacing. Pale gold that grows murkier as the yeast starts to mix in. Smell is lightly alcoholic with honey and lots of hops and this from a bottle from 2008 (E!09) Taste is honeyed and light bodied malt. Yeast add a bit of dough. Clean firm bitterness from the NY state Cascade. Tingly mint lingers, light crackery bits as well. Feel is smoothly carbonated with a light creaminess. Lighter than you might think from the abv. Crisp and quenching. This is a superb bottle conditioned hop bomb. It ages better than you might think. Cant wait to update this with a review of fresh. Had this with a mushroom carpaccio and maple mustard tempe sandwiches from the Cinnamon Snail in NYC. Yum

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Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A frothy three fingers of creamy off white bubbles reaches the rim of my glass and equals a beautiful head. head fades super slowly leaving a hole filled wall of lace. Body is a very appropriate honey amber colored. Nose exudes a balance of marmalade based hops and earthy sweet malt all together nicely. As you take first sip the flavor comes off as more malty and crisp, rich but then the hops kick in to balance and almost take over. You get a bitter tingle on the back of the tongue that has a real bite to it. The bitter feel grows considerably as you drink but isn't harsh at all. The mouthfeel is a big bitter hue all over the palate. Drinkability for this bitter bomb is solid.

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Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle at Keg & Lantern, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is very hazy dark yellow in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short bright white head that died down and left a patch of bubbles in the center, a collar around the edge and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of floral hops are present in the nose along with notes of honey. The honey becomes a little stronger as the beer warms up.
T: Compared to the smell, the taste has a lot more flavors of honey and a light amount of bitterness from the hops.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer definitely tastes a little strong with all of the honey used to boost up the alcohol content. It is a sipping beer.

Note: Batch E!039

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served in a bottle at the Keg and Lantern in Brooklyn, NY

Note: Batch E!039

A: Pours a lightly hazy honey (now is that appropriate) yellow in color with moderate amounts of active carbonation streaming from the bottom of the glass and some light golden yellow highlights. The beer has a half finger tall sudsy white head that reduces to a medium sized patch of thick film surrounded by a thin film covering the majority of the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Slightly stronger than moderate aromas of honey over the top of lighter aromas of sweet grainy malts and floral hops.

T: Upfront there are light flavors of pale malts with a hint of grainy sweetness and moderate flavors of honey contributing to the overall sweetness of the beer. There are light to moderate flavors of floral hops which contribute a moderate amounts of bitterness that fades quickly.

M: Medium bodied with slightly heavier than moderate amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of dryness in the finish

O: With the amount of honey present in this beer making it initially sweet and the aggressive bitterness of the hops trying to balance that out, this is definitely a sipping beer. I enjoyed the flavors of the beer and I can honestly say this beer had the cleanest most natural honey flavor that I have encountered.

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Photo of oberon
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I Have been wanting to try this beer for awhile,I always missed it when in western NY before,Iam glad to finally get my hands on it.Poured into an imperial nonic a hazed orange tinged lemony color with tight formed pillow-like one finger white head that left a solid ring of lace as it settled slowly.Fresh citric hops really hit home during the pour,I could smell it a few feet away,light alcohol sweet zing in there as well.Sharp citric hops up front on the palate,citrusy at the beginning with a sharp bitter edge in the finish,the alfalfa honey does provide some underlying sweetness as well as some alcohol induced sweetness to balance the beer out somewhat.I like this beer because it's not an overly sweet alcohol laden DIPA,the hops are the main focal point of the beer as it should be.

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Photo of boston2bburg
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful 750 bottle, received as a Christmas gift from my dad.

Hazy golden body with ample white head, good retention and clumpy lacing.

Gorgeous aroma of piney, floral hops, reminiscent of a rougher, woodsier Simcoe crossed with a super Willamette. Solid biscuity malt backbone which melds well with an exotic honey sweetness. Citrusy in the mold of Grand Marnier.

The honey is very well done, giving sweetness and floral character while drying out the finish just enough to not detract from the full bodied base malt's contribution. Everything is in balance; not typical of most Double IPAs. Leans towards the strong English IPA range in character.

Nice and warming, doesn't wear out the palate, yet keeps you interested. Awesome beer.

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Photo of steelerguy
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured deep gold with healthy head and plenty of carbonation. Lot of lacing as the level dropped but some head remained throughout.

S - Lots of citrus and pine hops with a hint of sweetness from the malt.

T - Lots of alphas up front, smooth malt middle, a little sweetness and alcohol warmth on the finish. The honey add some nice complexity but I think a touch more darker caramel malt would have been nice.

M - Nice and dry, you do get some alcohol warmth but nothing harsh. Nice tingle from the carbonation.

D - Quite drinkable, high on the IBU and alcohol but not hard to finish a 750 ml bottle.

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Photo of Billolick
4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large bottle, green foil and capped, batch E! 013. Pours cloudy/hazed darker apricot/drownish amber. The head is long lasting, large, light khaki, settling to merangue, persistant thick blobs of fine bubble lace and skads of tiny bubble sheeting, world class look to this one. Delicate, but faint minty hop nose. Soft and inviting in the mouth. Simply delicious DIPA, the hops dont smack you in the face, but instead steadily accumilate on the palate and add up to a healthy, yet somehow still soft grapefruity and yummy blast. Underneath the hoppy notes, ride a steady sidenote of malty goodness. Complex yet subtle with quality craftsmanship abounding. Well done Ithaca, more high quality brew from NY State. Hoppy beer/DIPA lovers go get some and enjoy. $11.99 from DeCicco's in Adsley, NY.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a cloudy yellow color with a huge white head. The aroma is citrus and grassy hops. The flavor is very bitter with some grassy, spicy and piney hops. After getting citrus in the aroma, it was all but absent in the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 319 characters

Photo of kingcrowing
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a cloudy deep amber color with a light thin bubbly white head.

Taste is a bit of honey and light malt. Lots of cascade hops here as well. All comes together to make this super drinkable and so tasty! Seek it out.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.8/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is a testament to what bottle conditioned brews can do...keep in mind it's from 2008 according to my label and batch number is E!019 hop character is still banging. A bit subdued but hops still explode I'd love to try this fresh this is my second bottle of the same batch and it's been great. Pours a murky golden peach color with a bright white head foam is effervescent and thick with tiny bubbles due to the bottle conditioning. Usually stale hops straight up offend me, in this case the nose is rich with hop essence including pine,citrus, and herbal grassiness. It's lively more than 2 years after the bottling date what gives? How did this beer not go hop stale on me. Every other hoppy IPA or pale I come across is much better fresh this just seems awesome right now, next batch I will seek fresh. Flavor with the yeast brings a great nutty character to the party with the hop flavor still blasting with citrus/pine, and earthy/herbal tones great brew. A double honey bitter according to the website, great. Creative juices were flowing I love this stuff. Mouthfeel has effervescence and strong ample bitterness with some resinous hops going on. Drinkability overall is challenging compared to most other brews and really a whole new experience that I can't get enough of. Go for it. I love this stuff and I'm willing to do more of the coffee beer that they make that's still in stock outside of the Burgh, Ithaca Eleven was awesome I can't wait to age some Ithaca 12.

 1,485 characters

Photo of tugg407
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of asabreed
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

25.6 oz. bottle into a Brooklyn tulip.

Appearance: A beautiful dusky, mildly hazy, orange color, with a lot of retention going on, in addition to a bubbling head with every pour. With light coming through, this is a pretty radiant-looking brew.

Smell: I have a feeling that there will be more breweries trying to brew with alfalfa honey. Even the earthy and sweet aroma you can tell is different from esters and sugars and malt. There's a distinct, I don't know, maybe pureness, if you will, coming from a lot of the sweetness here. A caramel and earthy note that mingles insanely well with the cascade hops, imparting some fresh, wet, crystallized marijuana aromas along with nice bitter orange and minor grapefruit notes.

Taste: Thankfully, as I was hoping, the honey does something wonderful here with the hops. I don't know exactly how to describe it, however. But what's here is the freshness; I feel like the beer was made recently, and I just got a growler of it and poured it into a glass. But the honey is sweet, fresh, flowery, earthy, and though it meshes well with the pungent and also seemingly fresh cascade hops, the balance is pretty nuts here. Pungent, lip-smacking, balanced, and delicious. A lot to admire here.

Mouthfeel: It seems like Ithaca has a good control of how they deal with the carbonation, and this is no different. I wasn't sure exactly what to expect with the honey going on, but it does a good job of balancing everything here, and I imagine whatever yeast they're using is the trick, though I could easily be wrong here. But it maintains a good creaminess overall, with microscopic carbonation merging to make it champagne-like.

Drinkability: Very, very impressed by this beer. Every small batch brew they brew has been something I seek out. Thankfully I live close, which means I'm extremely excited for Thirteen when it's here. They're a small operation, but they seem like they're growing, and for good reason.

 1,958 characters

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to the old man of LUMancha for this fine Ithaca offering.

Pours a hazy yellowy orange color, nice n cloudy with a stark white head that retains very well and leaves very nice thick lacing.

Nose reeks of cascade hops. There is some slight honey in the nose, but most of it is lost in the sweetness of the malt profile in the smell.

Taste is very fine. This is certainly one of the better hop centered brews on the east coast, can tell you that right off the bat. Cascade hops are defenitely showcased, and for the bitterness and piney flavor that this beer is showcasing, there has to be boatloads of them in here. A bit of citrus in here as well. Lacking the typical toned down spicey hop flavor most EC IPAs "showcase". Very refreshing. The malt profile is balanced very nicely, maybe a slight bit soft for the amount of hops in here (can't beleive im saying this about an EC IPA. hahaha) As the finish approaches some slightly unchecked bitterness arises and a very dry finish enhances this. Honey comes out a bit more on the aftertaste, but the hops still linger dominantly.

Mouthfeel is pretty much right where it should be as far as viscosity, but is a touch drier than I would like. Carbonation is pretty well done.

Drinkability is good for the most part. A slight bit of unchecked bitterness and extremely dry finish hampers it a bit, but as far as the abv, incredibly well hidden.

Overall this is a fine DIPA, especially being from the east coast. This is very similar to many IPAs found on the west coast. Big props go out to Ithaca for growing some balls (unlike most east coast breweries) and brewing a real DIPA. I am continually impressed with Ithaca and the Excelsior! series especially. A fine brewery they got there in Lumtown, fine indeed. Thanks again Lum!

 1,797 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.82/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared with Dan at Pizza Plant, and others. This is not an on-the-mark DIPA because of its understated hop bitterness. Its still an enjoyable beer, with the slightly tangyness and honey hitting up front, some Cascade bitterness washing over the palate in the finish, and building up over a few samples. More of an IPA in its perceived bitterness. A cask appearance.

 372 characters

Photo of jh1982
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of augustgarage
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to northyorksammy for sending this my way! Batch El019. Poured from a 750mL bottle into my Dogfish Head oversized snifter.

Rich cloudy gold liquid with a humongous stand of foam which recedes to a dense two-finger cloud of off-white burbling merengue. Thick sheets of lacing reach out towards the center of the glass. Superior retention.

Aromatics burst forth with waves of fruit (peach, apricot, pineapple) and flowers (violets, chamomile, more)...backed with a gentle sweetness and light yeast phenols.

Clean and spicy palate entry, herbal and grassy (as you would expect from the alfalfa), with a brisk pomelo-kissed bitterness. Delicate complexities come forward in the finish which is dry yet still possessed by honey and hard to disect floral notes.

Medium-bodied, effervescent, and faintly oily. Crisp and refreshing.

A unique grassy/floral ambrosia, rather unlike any example of the style I've thus far sampled. You can tell great care went into this bottle, and I feel grateful to have the opportunity to empty it.

 1,037 characters

Photo of tempest
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I didn't realize how much people dig this beer. I thought it was nice and fairly interesting, but not terribly special. The beer did hide it's strength well, while still having enough character to be slowly sipped. I enjoyed the clean nutty biscuit malt flavor that was complimented by a touch of honey. The hops, frankly, seemed subdued, with dry citrus punch flavor that didn't really stand out. Overall, an interested and tasty beer. But this cost like $15, and there are better options at that price.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into an Ithaca Excelsior! tulip. Thanks to GrindFatherBob for both the bottle and the match glassware. Nice.

Appearance - Hazy yellow body with a nice white head. The head settles without a lot of lacing, but the glass gets some sticky foam clinging to it.

Smell - Pine hops and a lot of sweet honey and light malt aroma. Smells nice, but very sweet.

Taste - Pine again, a bit grassy, but it's quickly overwhelmed by the sweetness. It's a nice, light sweetness from the honey, so it doesn't taste like a malty IPA, just a slightly sweet one. I get some booze in the finish, which is strange for only 8.5%.

Mouthfeel - A little thick, but not too thick. Makes for nice lingering sweetness to balance the slightly bitter finish. Not so high carbonation makes it feel a bit heavier.

Overall - Nice, not on my favorites list, but nice. The honey lends itself nicely, although I'd still go for an IPA with no sweetness at all.

 947 characters

Photo of jdaddy
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of Gmann
3.74/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of a 750ml foiled and capped bottle. Pours a light honey golden color, fairly clear, with tons of carbonation bubble racing to the top. The head equals or surpasses Duvel. Big and rocky, just won't dissipate, pure white, super chunky lacing...beauty. The aroma is of a honey malt, quite bready. Aroma reminds me of a munich lager. Hops are kind of weak in the aroma, slightly grassy. The taste is sweet with honey and heavy with bready malt. Quite a full body for such a light looking brew. The hops seem only to be there to add a grassy flavor to the brew, not much hop flavor detected. Enough to offset the malt but lacking for the style. Perhaps the hops faded. Solid moderate body with fizzy carbonation, drinks well. The grassy hops do help offset the malty breadiness and sweetness. Again, drinks very well. Seems to be more focused on the honey malt than the hops. A touch more floral hop flavor and this would be excellent.

 935 characters

Photo of FrankyLikesIt
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of dtx00
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

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Alphalpha from Ithaca Beer Company
91 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.
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