Alphalpha | Ithaca Beer Company

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225 Ratings

Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 225 |  Reviews: 144
Photo of FrankyLikesIt
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of vonburgey
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of ZacharyJ
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of Whimpers
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
5/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed on 12 November 2010 at the "Ithaca Beer Happy Hour" @ Tap and Mallet.

This is my new favorite beer.

Official name for this is "AlpHalpHa Double Honey Bitter." This should be kept in mind while tasting. Poured into special Ithaca tall-stem tulip snifter, 12oz, color is a cloudy, slightly-dark gold-orange, 2-finger head, gives way to spider-web lacing like I've never seen before. Head stays for a while.

Aroma is super bitter hoppy -- WOW. Pine needles, semi-ripe grapefruit, and after swirling, a deep dark honey flavor. The tropical fruit/pine is quite mysterious. Taste is bitter hops without leaving nasty bitterness on the tongue. Hops are so bitter and fresh and leaves sweetness on the tongue. Belching this beer brings back awesome hop flavor. Putting your nose to this is the equivalent to putting your nose to a newly opened bag of hop pellets from the homebrew store. I could drink this all night. I am craving lamb chops with thyme. This is the best beer I've ever drank by far. This is the perfect hoppy beer.

 1,035 characters

Photo of sideshowe
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of groetman
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of jwelsh
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of rab53
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of afausser
4.82/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter--batch number E!013

A: A very fizzy copper at the moment it's poured, with the initial bubbles instantly dancing to the top of the glass and disappearing nearly completely into the head. Nice and bubbly, a little hazy, and when held to the light has a tint of color and tone a bit reminiscent of a blood orange. About 2 fingers of thick bubbly head with huge bubbles that are quickly popping and dissipating--as I've typed this it's gone down to about 1.5 fingers (which I wonder, after the last beer I've reviewed tonight, if it will have negative implications for lasting carbonation in the mouthfeel). The carbonation bubbles, while slow moving, are fairly individually large. Leaves a nice, thin (but inconsistent) ring of lacing. Very pretty--I can't wait to taste it.

S: Simple, clean scents predominate, with complex subtleties as the nose is aggravated. Smells like a spring garden. sweet notes of honey, vanilla and cream (in fact, a bit like vanilla ice cream with honey on top), light citrusy fruits (oranges) and floral chamomile and lily of the valley notes predominate the nose initially, and are followed up by a strong scent of hops. I'm also getting ginger, strawberries and brandy out of the nose as well as a bit of a woody, earthy scent and a slight clove/anise spicy warmth.

T: I cannot emphasize enough here how heavy (but not syrupy) the predominating honey taste is here. It is incredibly strong, along with the nearly equally strong hops here as well as some malts. Still a bit of a sweet grass and flowery taste, but not nearly to the extent as was present in the nose. Caramel, brown sugar, and light candy notes make themselves present here. And the hops--ohhhh the hops. Strong and well blended into the taste, and not at all overdone. There's also subtle hints of apricot and raisin.

M: Very nice and crisp, yet smooth and creamy. For having such large bubbles, I'm surprised at how fine the mouthfeel is. Does feel a little foamy here and there, but nonetheless very excellent and well-crafted. All of my fears about the carbonation were entirely unfounded.

D: Very smooth, hoppy, delicious, and drinkable. Split this one with a friend and wish I hadn't. Truly excellent, this one's about to get put on my wants list.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%
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 ng85
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of Orbfan
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of beerdedbiker
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of nycwinter
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of cp45
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of corby112
4.73/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark copper color with golden orange hues and a massive frothy, soapy head. Excellent retention with huge chunks of soapy lacing.

Beautiful citrus west coast style hop aroma with lots of grapefruit, orange peel and pine notes. I'm also picking up some guava and other tropical fruit notes along with some sweet honey.

Creamy medium body with a an amazing sweet honey/molasses and caramel malt presence that balance out the floral citrus hops. This beer is ridiculously smooth with an almost undetectable ABV. Very smooth and refreshing, one of the most quaffable beers I've had to date. I have to stop myself from pounding the whole glass.

Extremely well balanced with nice citrus hop bitterness, caramel malt, smooth swet honey and guava/tropical fruit notes. Pine, grapefruit, lemon zest, orange peel flavors with a slightly dry finish.

This is an excellent beer that I wish I could buy by the case.

 915 characters

Photo of dbexpert
4.71/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow! suprising brew, not sure what i expected but pleasantly suprised!

A. definitely unfiltered(whoo-hoo!)Dark golden color with tight carbonation, pours an excellent head!

S.Herbacious hop notes with slight hint of citrus cuting through the sweet smell of malt

T.Starts with sweet malt notes quickly interupted by a hop bite with is balanced with a honey sweet and hop sour.

M.excellent, soft bite with overtones of sweetness

D.8%abv, drinks like 6%, i personally could down 2/3 btls in the right setting, absolutly a beer i will be back to, price keeps it to one at a time for me(and availibility).

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Photo of number1bum
4.67/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to BeerTruth for this one! Batch E!013

Pours a golden amber color with a prominent, creamy three fingers of off-white head. It's pretty hazy and has some floating sediment, but keeps a very nice lace and leaves a bunch of rings of stick. This would actually be almost prototypical in terms of appearance if not for the sediment and substantial haziness.

Smells of lots of fresh and enticing cascade hops. Lots of grapefruit and resiny pine. There are few things finer than fresh cascade hops.

Taste is also chock full of fresh cascade hop flavor. Grapefruit and pine, a bit earthy, juicy and delicious. Bitterness is pretty substantial but this is no hop bomb. It's very well balanced with some sweet and bready malt. Also a touch of grain. I can't claim to know what alfalfa tastes like exactly, but there is a grassy quality to this beer that I wouldn't expect to find with cascade hops so I'm thinking that may be the alfalfa. The honey really becomes more noticeable in the finish where there is a pleasant lingering honey sweetness. This is supremely balanced and just plain delicious.

Mouthfeel is a medium-full body, appropriate carbonation, creamy and smooth with an hop-oily slickness with a semi-dry finish.

The alfalfa honey seems to add some nice complexities to this beer, which takes an already excellent DIPA and makes it outstanding. Great beer, plain and simple. This beats out Hopslam in my book, along with many others. This Excelsior series is outstanding! Definitely get this while it's fresh.

 1,531 characters

Photo of TonyVic
4.67/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a great beer. It's amazingly sweet and floral on the nose, this is where the honey really comes through. On the pallate, it brings forward a very hoppy, spicy taste, but not overpowering. It follows through with a nice, crisp, grassy flavor and finishes clean. This beer is very well balanced for the style.

This beer goes down really easily and I wish that I could get this beer everywhere.

 400 characters

Photo of BigPlay1824
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a snifter

A: pours a very slightly hazy yellow hay color with two fingers of large bubbled creamy pure white head that lingers beautifully and leaves thin bubbly lacing on the glass
S: very fresh citrus hop notes, really nice and pure, has a nice earthy undertone at the end
T: oh shes a beaut this one, she drinks so smooth and has such a great citrus hop note with a really smooth malt finish that really balances it out, just the slightest alcohol note at the very very end, i want more of this, gonna need a case
M: medium carbonation tingle, slight slight alcohol burn at the very end, smooth and just a bit thick
O: one hell of a beer from one hell of a brewery, the Excelsior series from Ithaca is really fantastic, i havent come across one i didnt thoroughly enjoy yet, cant wait to see what they pop out in the future

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Photo of 120minuteman
4.61/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ppoitras
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle from charlew, thanks man! Black plastic "foil", Batch E!013.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1 1/2" off-white head over the effervescent clear golden brew. Head rises boldly, but does not overflow, with a meringuey island in the center, and tons of chunky lacing. Aroma is fresh pine, through and through. Taste starts sweet, goes pine in the middle, which carries through to the end to mesh with the alcohol. Mouthfeel is smooth, a sometimes rare feat for the style, and drinkability is excellent. Great representation of the style.

 560 characters

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle served in a snifter.

Cloudy orange/gold color with a huge creamy white head that didn't quit leaving globs of sticky lacing.
Pine/Citrus hop aromas are abundent.
Great tasting beer, a little honey sweetness is tasted upfront and then the hops kick in hard and heavy. Overall the taste is balanced, be it from the malts or the addition of honey to all those bitter hops.
Medium bodied, smooth feel, very easy to drink such a delightful tasting beer.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.52/5  rDev +11.1%
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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Alphalpha from Ithaca Beer Company
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 225 ratings