Alphalpha | Ithaca Beer Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
AlphalphaAlphalpha
BA SCORE
4.07/5
Exceptional
225 Ratings
AlphalphaAlphalpha
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States
ithacabeer.com

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
Ranking:
#3,248
Reviews:
144
Ratings:
225
pDev:
11.79%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
67
Gots:
25
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 225 |  Reviews: 144
Photo of UMNbeerhunter
3.52/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch E!019 poured into a Darkness Snifter 2/11/11

Appearance is a cloudy yellow color with the sediment settling quickly. Foam also dissipates very quickly leaving little lacing.

Smell is of carmel and hay as well as a little citrus in the background.

Taste is different and complex. I can taste the hops and a earthy grassy taste but their is also a taste I can not pinpoint and it leaves a strange after taste.

Mouthfeel is good laces the mouth and slight carbonation tingle on the way through the mouth leaving a tingling on the roof of the mouth.

Drinkability is relatively low. I enjoyed the different twist on an IPA but this is not for me. Almost feels like a saison mixed with a citrus double IPA. Give it a whirl but don't expect to be dazzled.

 759 characters

Photo of BarrytheBear
2.75/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Batch E!019 courtesy of a great trading partner.

Sadly lacking much hoppy in the fridge, this beer met the expected before drinking criteria. While it seems this batch might be a bit dated, it doesn't seem too aged a bottle to constructively review.

Pours a very opaque, milky, pale yellow with a thin white surface film that last throughout: rather underwhelming.

Nose is yeast, pear, (maybe this is the honey?) , straw, and a faint and slightly muddled gumminess that I will attribute to a fading hop presence. As a Double IPA, this doesn't fit the bill.

Honey provides a strong base of sweetness. The yeast from the nose reappears and rides through til the end which finally shows off the Cascades used here. While welcomed, the hops here are almost to little too late. Everything here feels more like a wheat beer than are DIPA.

Mouthfeel is bright and bubbly and a bit over carbonated.

The overpowering yeat is giving me a headache. I'm not sure the remainder of this bottle isn't destined for the bottom of my sink. Disappointing and I don't think it's from the age.

 1,079 characters

Photo of Seanibus
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Peculiar but delicious. It is at once strong and restrained.

Pours a hazy golden with a medium head. The aroma is powerful - a big puff of hoppy aroma as soon as the cap pops. In the glass, the smell is strong and syrupy, with a golden taffy-like malt.

The flavor is the surprise - where a traditional DIPA starts in the front of the mouth, this beer happens in the middle and back, with a syrupy slick malt and an odd herbal perfume, like sucking on a stick of rosemary. The bitterness is sneaky and herbal, coming around the side of the mouth and arriving quietly at the back of the tongue.

The mouthfeel is thick and slick and surprisingly dry. There is a menthol-like finish that lingers long after the beer is gone.

A tasty and unusual DIPA in a field crowded with good examples.

 789 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch: E!029

Appearance: pours an orange color with a short 1/4" head that breaks apart qucikly.

Smell: caramel and a woody bitterness comes through to the nose.

Taste: caramel, pine, earthy bitterness, some grapefruit, and a honey sweetness create a well balanced beer. Alcohol is slightly noticable.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp to start, smoother at the finish. Some dryness arrives late.

Drinkability: slow sipping big IPA. Decent flavored beer that is nice to sip on a cold evening.

 509 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.82/5  rDev -6.1%
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 boston2bburg
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

 742 characters

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance
Slightly hazy copper brown that is a honey orange held to the light. An appreciable head forms and stays present, although thin, throughout the drink. Quite appealing, the beer turns darker and cloudier towards the end of the bottle.

Smell
Very complex, no single entity of the beer is overpowering, all smells present are pungent. The hops are light and citrusy in combination with a earthy mustiness and fruity esterness. Looking forward to the taste!

Taste
Excellent beer, a lighter IPA, but one with more properties of refreshment than most of the stronger west coast IPAs. There is something distinct and unique about this beer, that I am attributing to the yeast, but may also be related to the honey. The ethanol isn't raw and burning, it accompanies the beers flavor profile well.

Mouthfeel
Slight grapefruit rind bitterness, but overall balance and complexity in comparison to other IPAs I've had. This beer is very easy to drink and despite it's sweetness, is also bitter and had a little dryness towards the end. Delightful.

Drinkability
Excellent beer, but a hard find. Fairly priced and appropriate in a 750 ml bottle and served amongst friends or at a meal. I would compare this easily to some of the higher end Sierra Nevadas that I've enjoyed and would definitely try this beer again, it's an oitstanding beer that you will certainly enjoy

Cheers.

 1,379 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch E!029
Poured in to Duvel tulip

A - Honey coloured. Very slightly hazy but appears to be filtered. One finger of foamy white head.

S - Bitter hops up front - citrus, peach, pine. A nice sweet malt profile with caramel and honey coming through. A very fresh nose.

T - Bitter hops up front with citrus and pine notes. A very noticeable sweetness from the malts (and the honey?) with a big caramel flavour coming through. Well balanced.

M - Medium body, sticky, oily. A dry bitter finish. lightly carbonated.

 517 characters

Photo of kbnooshay
3.86/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky swamp golden orange color with lotsa yeast settling at the bttom. nice bright white head with cool rings of we defined lace. aroma is super yeasty and hoppy. like must funk. taste is at first a tad much. but the hops chill out after a few sips. the honey is kinda noticeable. this is pretty damn drinkable. i would drink this super fresh.

 352 characters

Photo of MLasoski
2.55/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured this into an ale glass. Two separate servings.

A: Light gold body, minimal head stayed around. The beer is opaque, unfiltered.

S: Malts, malts, and more malts. Cant really smell the honey per se; however, it does have a sweet aroma.

T: Its a bit flat. I didnt see much carbonation in the body so I shouldn't be surprised. It has a big malt character and the honey is subtle.

M: Malts upfront, finishing with a sweet honey flavor. I feel like I'm drinking alcholic tea.

D: I would rather drink an 8.50% ABV that has more taste, depth, and zing. A winter seasonal perhaps? Tis the season I suppose.

 608 characters

Photo of MoreThanWine
3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a meeger 1" head which quickly totally dissipated. Interesting hazy honey yellow color. Smell and taste are both hoppy IPA and frankly if they had labelled it as just that I probably would have been more supportive. But supposedly this has honey in it and honestly I'm not tasting that at all. And although it's hoppy I've had much hoppier. Nice beer, just not as nice as the label notes had hinted.

 406 characters

Photo of kzoobrew
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch E!029, poured into Stone IPA glass.

Hazy golden orange body. Fluffy three finger eggshell colored head. Retention is quite impressive. Thick sheets of lacing left behind as the head recedes.

The aroma is dominated up front by intense hops. Resinous wet hops cones and candied grapefruit. Very organic grassy aromas pour out of the glass. Light pale malt sweetness provides a subtle backbone.

Strong grassy hop flavor absolutely coats the tongue out of the glass. A more subdued citrus flavors lingers just behind. There is an underlying sweetness present in which I am struggling to put my finger on. My first instinct was caramel malt but that notion has gone by the wayside the more I work my way through. Warm biscuity malt sweetness is present but does not account for the sweetness as a whole. I am reluctant to attribute the sweet flavor to the honey, as it would ferment out, though I suppose some residual flavor may be left behind contributing to the overall flavor.

Medium bodied, slightly under moderate carbonation. Very creamy texture leaves a bit of an oily residue on the tongue. Lingering sweetness and grassy hop flavor makes of a much longer finish than anticipated.

Good beer, but not great. I would be very interested to sample this beer uber fresh. I believe the fresher the sample the better this beer is. Drinks quite easy though the sweetness does catch up, one pour is plenty. Nice beer overall.

 1,432 characters

Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch # E!029

750 ml bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Pours out a foggy light brown color with some nice red hues, a good inch of egg shell head and stellar lacing.

S: Sweetness of the malt pulls through with nice aromas of mellow honey. Grassy earth give way, quite pleasant in nature.

T: You get the sweetness of the honey played well with lots of bitter hops then things heat up in the back with a dose of the malt. The complexity is outstanding.

M: Medium body with some slickness in toe. Has a slippery feel to it, its very interesting on the tongue. Good carbonation throughout, abv is noticeable with some spiciness.

D: A unique beer that is worth seeking out.

 671 characters

Photo of Gobzilla
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a burnt golden orange with yellow highlights that had a thin head and left some good frothy lacing sticking to the glass. The aroma had some leafy herb honey notes upfront alongside citrusy, hoppy, piney, and sweetness from the malts. The honey character was more apparent on the palate with leafy herb citrusy accents a mild hop bite and sweet bready notes from the malts. The brew was medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, earthy, hoppy, bitter, sticky finish. It was not too drinkable and leafy herb character was a bit out of place IMO.

 581 characters

Photo of asabreed
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
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 jpmclaug
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into my Duvel tulip. Picked this one up in Boston a few weeks ago.

A - Clear golden-orange body with a bubbly, soapy looking, white head resting on top.

S - Nice piney hop aroma with a nice honey sweetness mixed in.

T - Follows the aroma. Piney hop notes blend with a mix of honey notes. Kind of a lingering bitterness.

M - Really a bit on the thin side.

D - Pretty decent but kind of reminds me of a wannabe version of Hopslam, and really falls short compared to that monster. Enjoyable and I wouldn't mind drinking it again but I wouldn't seek it out.

 582 characters

Photo of claspada
3.92/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aromas of floral, grassy hops on top of a bed of sweet biscuity malt. Honey is ever present and becomes more apparent as it warms.

The taste is centered around the mild but prevalent sweetness. The honey only enhances the lightly toasted biscuity malt and doughy yeast. Grassy, floral hops with a touch of lemon have their place up front and in the finish. A moderate rush of bitterness in the finish is very welcomed. As this warms it becomes exponentially more resiny/sticky, just an FYI.

Above average carbonation makes the mouthfeel a tad sharp for your average 2x IPA but I enjoy this atypical offering from Ithaca. There is also a decent amount of carbonation. There is a sticky, chewy presence from the honey and the hops; but it still remains dry and bitter throughout.

Overall this is a great beer. It is high drinkable despite the high ABV and extreme amount of hops addded. It has a lighter body than most 2x IPAs with a hop profile that isn't overly aggressive lends. The crisp, bitter, dry finish is nearly perfect.

 1,031 characters

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 andrewinski1
3.77/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. About a quarter inch head of large almost perfectly white bubbles. Hazy caramel colored body.

Smells like caramel, honey, and slight orange zest.

Nice gentle sweetness in the start, and a nice dry bitter finish. The caramel aroma is mimicked in the flavor nicely.

The mouthfeel is slightly flat, but not to a huge detriment.

Would love to get this again sometime. Very enjoyable and slightly unique.

 424 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #E!019 poured from a 750ml bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains floral hops, honey, caramelized malts and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of honey, citrus and caramel. Then a strong but not over-powering hops presence quickly follows. The malt character is hearty and provides a very good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, good kick, very good representation of style, I was skeptical about the honey but it brings a nice variation your standard 2IPA and makes this beer worth drinking for a long time.

 847 characters

Photo of sybilyang
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Wow you better like hops. The beer was very bittery-puckery. There was a very solid bite on the back of the palate. The very carbonated mouthfeel helped that, but I would recommend pairing this with some very fatty foods just to cut the bitterness.

The hops were however, more floral then you would imagine- not just straight bitterness. A good food beer. A little too strong for straight drinking by itself IMHO.

 414 characters

Photo of EgadBananas
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very cleverly named brew!

Golden honey in color, light white finger of head, laces nicely..

Aroma is slightly bitter, with some malts present. Citrus dominates the aroma.

Taste is nice and complex, starting with bittersweet citrus up front, followed but an interesting spicy herbal profile, a touch of honey and a lovely, balanced malty finish.

Good feel; slightly creamy, pushing more medium in body. Carbonation was present and pleasant.

I was very pleased with this offering, and would easily put the whole 750 away myself. Excellent drink.

 550 characters

Photo of John_M
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the TDR during their recent hopfest.

The beer pours a slightly hazy, solid dark gold color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is interesting, showcasing a combination of earth, grapefruit and honey. The honey component really comes through on the palate in this fairly sweet IPA, though there is a considerable amount of bitterness in the finish. It helps to counter the sweetness somewhat, but at the end of the day, the flavor profile in this beer is dominated by the honey and sweet malt. Mouthfeel is no more than medium bodied, with a fairly long, fairly bitter finish. Drinkability is OK, but the sweetness and noticeable alcohol in the finish detract just a bit.

An interesting beer, though I'm afraid I'm just not a huge fan of the sweet IPA style.

 780 characters

Photo of steve8robin
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this in my first BIF. Let's give it a go. 750ml...

A: Dark iced tea honey colored with a humongous 2 inch white head that fades at a decent pace. Good.

S: Sweet malts upfront blended with floral hops. Dark fruit caramel and iced tea in the middle with some lemon and grassiness on the backend. Good.

T: Very bitter honey upfront. An interesting caramel lemon blended with candi sugars and some dry hoppiness on the backend. Good.

M: Medium body with a medium carbonation. Very good.

D: This goes down once you get past the bitter wall. Good.

All in all, I like this brew. I've tried a couple Ithica brews to date and it seems like they make good brews, but so far from what I've tried, not great brews. Definitely worth trying if you like bitter beers with a good balance of sweetness.

 795 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 7/24/10 notes.

a - Pours an amber color with an inch of white head.

s - Smells of caramel malts and sweet dark fruits. Also some fruity hops.

t - Tastes of bready malts, caramel malts, and some sweet, fruity malts and hops.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - A decent IPA that I found more on the malty side. Would try again.

 341 characters

Alphalpha from Ithaca Beer Company
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 225 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.