Alphalpha | Ithaca Beer Company

144 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 144 | Ratings: 225
Photo of kiddynamite920
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch #E013, 750 ml bottle, 2008 apparently. Beautiful golden orange with a very frothy white head. Small amount of sediment fell to the bottom of the glass. Leaving a nice lace. Smells very citrusy and sweet like honey. Taste is very full of piney hops, orange and a nice honey backbone. Absolutely delicious and a very well crafted IIPA. Just smooth enough to be very drinkable. The citrus notes keep me going back for more, fantastic beer!

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.41/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle, batch E!013, purchased at Belmont Party Supply in Dayton. Label info: "Double Honey Bitter. A hoppy upstate ale brewed with organic barley malt, New York state grown Cascade hops, local alfalfa honey, pure Cayuga lake water, and American yeast".

The beer is hazy and pale yellowish orange with a MASSIVE rocky head, easily 6 fingers of thick creamy bubbles that cling onto the walls in huge clumps. The aroma gave me pause at first, a little too much caramel malt for my tastes. But it gives way to floral aromas from the honey, providing nice complement to floral hops aromatics. The taste is about perfect, sweet and estery with a mildly bitter aftertaste. Light carbonation, somewhere above cask level but not by too much. An exceptional beer, no real faults except those that would satisfy my personal tastes, I'd like more pale malts and less bitterness from the hops, but really this is a great creation.

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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 TheKingsOfHop
4.11/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml. bottle poured into our Portsmouth tulip glasses:

A: Solid orange amber with a steady carbonation. An amazing white rocky ice cream float like head just billowing out of the glass. As the beer sits it leaves a wall of lace all over the tulip glass.

S: A blend of grassy hops and fresh fruits like apricots and peaches with a touch of honey comb.

T: Smooth and creamy honey with notes of sweet malts, and bitter hops. Each characteristic is more pronounced then the last.

M: Very well carbonated with a medium light body. There is nothing negative about this mouthfeel. It literally is perfect...

D: Overall really an easy drinking, fairly complex beer that Ithaca Brewing Co. should be proud of.

The Kings Of Hop

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Photo of RedBaron
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought this 25oz bottle at Jungle Jim's Food Emporium outside Cincinnati, OH two months ago. It's a beer I've yet to see in my area (Chicago).

Appearance: Peach/grapefruit color; excellent sustaining head; dense bubbles; good Brussels lace.
Smell: Huge floral bouquet, sunny fruit smell (grapefruit, orange), distant pine perhaps.
Taste: Oh, brother. A beautiful honey sweetness up from and in the middle, with nice hints of toasted/biscuity malts, finishing fantastically hop bitter. Also a dry finish.
Mouthfeel: The honey/malt/hop balance is achieved superbly, but the beer finishes a bit watery, slightly odd for an 8%abv brew.
Drinkability: My goodness...this is a great and unique beer! I've never had a beer with honey in it that I truly enjoyed, but I've now found one! I hop(e) to make this linger, since I had to travel about 300 miles to get it. Great job, you folks in Ithaca, NY.

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

A 750 mL bottle purchased at the brewery a month and a half ago.

A: The DIPA is rather light, a translucent straw-brown color. The first pour yielded two and a half fingers of craggy white head. As the head receded, extensive lacing was left behind.

S: The nose has a very sweet hop edge, enjoyable but one can tell that it is bitter. I'd liken the aroma to that of a clementine, rind included. Plenty of caramel and biscuit malt balances things out.

T: When the ale was cold, a generally hoppy bitterness pervaded it. As it warmed, caramel malts, slightly more roasted than normal (but not quite a black IPA), delivered a big taste. Coupled with that, so as to not downplay it, is a bold hop profile. The hops are oily and resiny, dripping with boozy heat and citrus. Grapefruit, clementines and orange rind all make an apppearance, along with pine and pepper. The alcoholic heat is a little intense, a strong side effect of the big hop profile. The last pours of the bottle, including yeast, have a vegetal flavor that further sets up the hoppiness. A strong hoppiness leaves a lasting flavor. A nice ale that benefits from the lack of filtering.

M: The mouthfeel is focused on the hops, bold and oily. That being said, the malts don't shy away from the limelight, adding dark caramel malts.

D: I enjoyed tasting the ale as it warmed, moving from blindingly bitter to bold and balanced. This may be the only bottle I have tonight but I'm enjoying the slow pace.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.53/5  rDev +11%
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.

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Photo of portia99
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle (batch E!013) poured into a Portsmouth goblet.

A - Pours a hazy, golden orange color with a huge off-white, whipped cream head. Head has lots of staying power and sits solidly on top through the entire glass. Beautiful, sticky lacing coats the entire glass as the beer disappears.

S - Great big citrusy aromas and freshly cut grass. Huge grapefruit with touches of orange. Sweet honey aroma blends very nicely with the citrus. Big and bold aroma...excellent!

T - Grapefruit, piney, grassy flavors on top of a honey infused malt backbone. Good, solid bitterness - crisp and very full. Unmistakable cascade hop flavor, bitterness and honey flavors all blend together perfectly. Enough malt and honey sweetness against tons of hop flavor - loving this beer.

M - Quite full bodied. Plenty of malt here. Carbonation is at a medium level and is extremely creamy. Bitterness stays long into the aftertaste lingering for a long time.

D - 8.5%...really? Not detecting this at all. Very well hidden. Full bodied and full flavored DIPA. For me, one of the better ones out there. Not too sweet, enough malt, and plenty of hops. Really good stuff.

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Photo of IBUnit63
3.81/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch E!013. It was around for a while before it hit Boston shelves so the hops may have faded quite a bit, but let's gizzit a toss into the Duvel tulip.

Well, it sure pours nicely. 2 fingers of eggshell/buttery head tops a rustic, organic honey-colored hazy body. Carbonation is prevalent but it moves very slowly...a testament to this deal's viscosity. Head retention is clutch - it has a strong proofed bread dough look. This is quite thick indeed.

Although fresh from the fridge there's a slight metallic tinge, the grapefruit hops in this show no signs of being thoroughly faded out. Partially? Most likely - less pulp than rind. Malt smells grainy - is that the organic thing? No, no...that's meat...actually there's a little bit of salt developing. I get the smell of honey a little bit, but it needs some warmth.

So far the taste matches the scent - slightly salty and metallic but what's prevalent is the grapefruit rind and a little bit of faint pulp. The honey shows up more in feel than in taste, as the sweetness comes a little more from the booze than from the honey. Malt is rather inert at first, but shows up with more of a straw-like taste after a while when the hops slowly fade into a bed of honey. A little dryness here.

This gets drier and drier with warmth, which is both surprising and enjoyable. It's almost out of style but has a very nice Belgian IPA feel at the moment.

It gets some legs with a decent amount of warmth and mellows out quite nicely. The Cascades are much more austere than the balls-to-the-wall unabased citrus of Centennials and Amarillos, so it definitely brings about a nice dry feel. The residual sugar ultimately loses its booziness but keeps some warmth. Very well done.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.53/5  rDev +11%
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 HopHead84
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Consumed on 8/28/2009 and poured into a snifter. Thanks for the extra jleblanc.

The beer apperas hazy orange with a thick frothy off white head. The retention is excellent and some nice lacing is left lingering.

The nose is reminscent of a faded floral hop boquet. There's noticeable honey sweetness, which adds a nice touch. Alcohol is well hidden and the malt is light and caramely. There's a little lemon as well.

The flavor is very bitter, with honey sugary sweetness. The hops are reminscent of citrus and pine, but the most prominent characteristics of the beer are the sweet honey and the bitterness. The alcohol is pretty strong. The finish is sweet and bitter with lingering booze.

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

Bottle. Pours a cloudy light orange with a thick, foamy white head that leaves nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of hop oils, citrus hops, grassy hops and some crackery malt. Very resiny. Flavor is equally resiny, with more citrus and crackery malt. Light bitterness in the finish. There is a light sweetness, I guess from the honey. It is very subtle but really complements the beer nicely. I was expecting more honey, but was pleasantly surprised that it was a mild presence. Definitely not too sweet as others have suggested (in fact it is more on the bitter side). Nice IIPA, don't let the "honey" in the title fool you.

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Photo of meatyard
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very hazy, apricot color with a large, fluffy, white head that leaves big, splotchy, areas of thick lace. Retention is good.
The smell is honey, oranges and a mixed floral aroma.
The taste is a gentle blend of the smell with a bitter hop bite.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth and dry at the end.
Drinkability is good. ABV is up there so a full bottle is a bit much but it's very nice on a warm summer day.

Mine is from the same batch as early (1/09) reviewers so I'm unsure how old this is or how it might have changed. There are hops still present but I don't see how this can be called a DIPA so I'm not reviewing as if it is. It is a good beer worth drinking, even from this batch. Even fresh I doubt this was intended to be a DIPA, even an east coast one. I don't know what to call it.

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Photo of TonyVic
4.67/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

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Photo of corby112
4.73/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

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Photo of rhinos00
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tulip glass. Batch E!013

A- Pours a murky, apricot color with hues of brown in between. Produced three fingers width of frothy, white head. Laced the glass nicely.

S- Getting a bit of floral hops in the nose along with a bit of sugared sweetness from the honey. In the background there is a constant aroma of grassy type hops.

T- The honey was evident in this beer. However it was not overdone and was used as more of a component in this beer instead of as the main ingredient. Nice amount floral and grassy hops, but again not too overpowering. Decent amount of bitterness in the finish.

M- This one had an awesome mouthfeel. Very similar to when I had Hopslam on cask. Medium bodied, but had a full, creamy feel to it. Fantastic.

D- Alcohol was not a factor here. This one goes down the hatch pretty easily.

Overall, I'm hesitant to call this one an IPA/DIPA and I'm not sure if the brewers wanted it to be classified as such (see the bottle). While there were certain flavor profiles similar to an IPA/DIPA this was more about melding the flavors together rather than showcasing bittering hops. IMO the honey was a bit underplayed, but still a great beer.

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Photo of JoeBloe
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass yielding a deep yellow color with a three finger thick pillowy head that continues to yield heavy lacing and retention - cloudy due to it's unfiltered nature with a fair amount of yeast 'sludge' in the bottom of the glass( down the hatch!) - smells citrussy hoppy which follows thru in taste with a substantial malt backbone - not so much a hop bomb as others of this ilk - but tasty, well balanced, and easily drinkable -
finish is sharp, and still lingering - making for a nice summer early in the day enjoying the backyard brew - a winner from ithaca.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.41/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A cloudy golden body that has a decent amount of yeast and other sediment floating around. A huge, three finger plus head that is tan and has ridiculous retention. A thick, rocky, chunky ring of foam stays on top of the beer throughout the entire time I drink it. Tightly packed rings of lacing that are numerous and very thick and sticky. This beer has an exceptional appearance.

Bitter grapefruit hops are the most powerful aroma, with the malt backbone coming through also. I notice a good collection of floral hop aromas also, along with a good dose of honey.

Just like the aroma, hops represent the most noticeabel flavor here. Some bittering grapefruit-flavored hops that taste like cascade to me are the focal point of Alphalpha. The malt backbone makes a small appearnance with a very slightly biscuity taste. The finish is where the honey really expresses itself, and without even knowing that honey was involved in brewing, you would notice this honey. Overall, this is a very good and well-balanced IIPA. The honey serves to balance out the hops more than malt in this case though. It reminds me a little bit of hopslam actually, which isn't really a coincidence considering that Hopslam is also a IIPA brewed with honey. Alphalpha is less bitter than Hopslam though.

The body is modium to heavy feeling for the body with ample carbonation. The beer is quite oily, even making your mouth feel as if it has a slight coating of oil to go along with the aftertaste.

This is a very drinkable IIPA, and overall I am very impressed with it.

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Photo of DrewOSU
3.56/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours dark yellow to light orange, topped with a ½ inch cloudy white head. Lacing is thick and sticky, on the side of the glass. After about 10 mins of sitting, a thick white chunk of suds forms in the middle. Amazing head.

S: Sweet floral and earthy notes. Nothing overwhelming, but has a nice fragrance. I thought by the pour, it would be a little more on the nose.

M/T: A lighter medium body on the tongue. Big hit of earthy, almost a farmhouse quality taste on the first taste. I get a hoppy presence, but the alphalpha and earth tones definitely drowns out the cascades. The honey also contributes taking the bite off the floral. You get more of the hop flavor after the swallow, as it finishes dirty, with a floral back lash that sticks to the roof of your mouth.

D: Great pour, great look, big hop flavor on the second wave. I was hoping for more, but you can't say this beer is boring or average. A unique flavor for sure. The drinkability is not superior as it finishes a little grungy, but with fresh ingredients are nice.

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Photo of beachbum1975
3.66/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle - batch # E!013 - served at fridge temps with DrewOSU and newtonty.

I was drawn to the description on this beers label, so I had to try it (I love honey and malt).

To my surprise, this poured a super cloudy, fleshy apricot color with brown lowlights. The head is a 3/4 inch light tan monster with big bubbles.

The nose is relatively mild with pineapple hops and light, sweet malts. Pretty simple nose...

Pineapple hops presence takes the stage with an orangey flavor throughout. There's very light alcohol in the finish with a malt presence that comes through, as well.

The overall flavor profile was much more simple then I was expecting. I was hoping for a larger honey taste, but only got traces. Nice, but overall I was a bit underwhelmed.

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Photo of dbexpert
4.71/5  rDev +15.4%
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 Deuane
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch E!013

A-Cloudy golden yellow with a fluffy white head. Head retains nicely and leaves spotty lace.

S-Sweet citrus hops primarily of orange with a touch of bitter grapefruit rind.

T-Sugar coated oranges, melon with the bitter grapefruit finishing things off. A bit of herbal spiciness and sweet caramel in the finish.

M-Medium body with a nice balance of sweetness and bitterness. This comes off almost candy like. Smooth at the start with a building dryness.

D-Fresh, easy to drink and tasty. Honey aspect came through with some sweetness but did not overwhelm. A very nice brew.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Trying to clear out the hops in the fridge - next up is Alphalpha - shared with the two Daves. Batch E!013. Served in my Surly pint glass.

A - Huge billowing off-white foam with awesome retention and tons of sticky lacing. Pale apricot yellow color that is slightly hazed.

S - Lots of grassy hops with some orange zest flavors as well. The hops have held up pretty decently even though this is a few months old, but there's a pretty hefty balance of malt and honey sweetness kicking around as well. Doesn't really leap out of the glass.

T - Taste is a little disappointing - mostly sweet malts and honey with a touch of grass and a decent amount of residual bitterness in the aftertaste. Not as much of the zesty flavors, which is mildly disappointed.

M - Mild-to-moderate carbonation, medium body, lots of residual stickiness. Pretty decent, but nothing unusual here.

D - Drinkinability was solid, with solid carbonation, moderate bitterness. Well hidden ABV on this one. We had no problem splitting the 750ml bottle.

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Photo of dukedevil0
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Alex (MasterSki) for having me over for drinking anything he wanted to "get rid of" before his trip to Europe. Ha, get rid of good beers, I'm in! Batch E!013

A: Pours a pale yellowish-orange color with a decent amount of white head and lots of lacing on the glass.

S: Smells interesting - honey, sweet hops, citrus, orange, some candi sugar, slight maltiness bringing up the rear

T: Very similar to the smell, the sweet honey comes out a lot in the flavor with a sweet hops, citrus, orange, light candi sugar, light malt in there too

M: Full bodied, but the carbonation definitely goes a lot into the head, but this goes down smooth

D: I like the flavor and the sweetness isn't too much, no alcohol really in the flavor so i think the drinkability is high

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Photo of joe1510
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Batch E!013

My man Lum sent me this bottle as an extra, that generous bastard! Alphalpha struts around with a sunset orange body. There's enough haziness to make it nearly impossible to see through the glass but it's not milky. The head snapped to attention at two fingers and held tight with a crazy looking bubbled but meringue-like head. Patchy, crackly lacing adorns the glass after each gulp.

Crazy citric aromas comes from everywhere in this IPA. The hoppiness leans mostly toward orange with the fruit, candied peel and oil are all present. I've never had alfalfa honey before but it brings a touch of sweetness to this brew that's also reminiscent of oranges, although slightly musty. Rich caramel brings up the rear in a big sort of way. There's some floral hoppiness throughout but the orange citric qualities rule the roost. The more this beer warms the more nose candy it throws down. The honey adds great character.

Alphalpha is one unique IIPA. Not only is all the orange present that the nose showed off but the hoppiness takes on the flavor of lemon peel as well. All that caramel the nose was flaunting turns into more of a toasty breadiness that I prefer to the huge caramel for flavor. The finish snaps with moderately bitter lemon juice. The honey adds a touch of sweetness and some more citric depth.

The mouthfeel fits this particular IIPA nearly perfectly. The body is a hair over moderate in weight and the carbonation brings along a snappy finish. The bitterness grows with each drink and peaks at moderate maybe even a little over.

For a big IIPA Alphalpha drinks like an IPA which I could see becoming rather dangerous. The lemon brightness on the finish and hoppy bitterness keeps the glass tipped more often than straight.

This is another stellar brew from the up and comers over at Ithaca. I've wanted to try this unique IIPA since I first heard about it a long time back. Thanks for the hook up Lum!

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Alphalpha from Ithaca Beer Company
4.08 out of 5 based on 225 ratings.
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