Alphalpha | Ithaca Beer Company

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 tat2dhllblly
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of bentonquest
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of nycwinter
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of spinrsx
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml Bottle

Appearance - Hazy yellow colour with a large size frothy off white coloured head. It's hard to make out the amount of carbonation and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, grapefruit, hops, herbal notes, grass

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and the taste is made up lots of woody/herbal hops. There is also a light maltiness, some caramel, and a a bit of lemon/grapefruit juice and zest. It ends with a herbal hoppy aftertaste.

Overall - A little too herbal/earthy for my liking, but still an interesting beer worth trying. It needs just a touch more sweetness or a fruitiness to be a repeat beer for me.

 707 characters

Photo of THECPJ
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Orbfan
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of oberon
4.15/5  rDev +2%
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.

 794 characters

Photo of maximum12
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my wife & a kind BA for bottles of this wanted beer. Unfortunately the one my wife picked up in New York - off the damn shelf - was over three years old & undrinkable. This one is batch E!019, which I gather from a quick search is more than 1 1/2 years old. Seriously. Ithaca should stop making this damn beer if they can't sell the damn things.

Pours sunny yellow, clear, with a good two fingers left in the bottle along with a bit of spent yeast. Smell is brilliant, bright honey, lovely floral hops. No bitterness, but very nice.

Alphalpha still bites when it should be in its death throes. The hops still sting, though there's that suggestion of last fall's leaves. Honey blows in like a sweet spring day. Malt? Maybe. Very simple structure on this one, but so, so, so easy to wash down, well, anything.

Even at this age, this is a good, solid IIPA. Love to try this one fresh sometime, although it seems fresh bottles are much rarer than those that have collected considerable dust.

 1,002 characters

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.

Pours a very nice light orange color with some nice straw golden notes. Slightly hazy. There is a nice 0.5 inch head that is white and slightly dense but recedes to a nice thin film.

The brew has a delicious citrus hop notes to start. Very yummy. very fresh and grassy. There are some nice resinous pine hop notes. Nice orange notes and some slight grapefruit. Very refreshing and fresh with an undertone of bready biscuity malt.

Starts off with an intense and delicious hop bitterness. Citrus bomb. Very delicious, fresh and refreshing. Tons of orange, tangerine notes and some ruby red grapefruit notes. The citrus hop notes are near perfection and goes very well with some slight caramel hints. There are some nice tropical fruit hints as well with some pineapple notes and some mango. Awesome flavored DIPA with great bitterness. Mouthfeel is near perfect with great carbonation and some nice dry bitter notes.

Very good brew. Delicious DIPA with great citrus notes, I'm loving the Cascade Hops a good earthy grain backbone. There is also some slight piney notes. Great mouthfeel and very well crafted flavors that play well together.

 1,190 characters

Photo of doucmehu
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received from mjtiernan in BIF, looks like a fairly fresh batch E!39.

A: Bright yellow surprises me, hazy with a stark white head that leaves some sticky lacing.

S: Lots of floral and pine hops, a bit of honey and lemon sweetness.

T: Strong but smooth and soft floral hops, with sticky pine resin, day old mowed grass and citrus fruit rind, some smooth maltiness (maybe from the honey) at the end.

M: Very dry and bitter finish follows a rich and creamy body, leaving a bit of a parched feeling. Seems a bit lighter and thinner than most DIPA, but solid.

O: A nice, well made offering with a surprisingly bright and summery yellow appearance. The hops are a bit earthy and overly bitter without much sweetness, which is not my favorite style, but still enjoyable.

 768 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

 838 characters

Photo of Tyrawlings
4/5  rDev -1.7%

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

I've been ducking this beer for so long. Seeing it on shelves for the past three years, I gave in on the newest batch made. #39. Into a Ithaca 10th anniversary pint glass.

Alphalpha Glides in the glass a light golden color almost reaching a straw color when up to the light. A nice amount of burnt sugar foam with decent retention and minor stick. A slight haze when towards the light.

Smell comes off semi sweet forward as alot of East Coast DIPA'S do, but there is a nice amount of aroma hops to fill the void. This seems almost subdued compared to some. Getting my nose in it, some light citrus rind, lemon, a certian malt profile builing with time. Some alcohol seeping through. blech.

Taste is nice on the 1st half of the glass. The hops take hold and do some work on the mouth, but it Alphalpha does not destroy. the honey kinda dulls whatever the hops may have done. It's a nice balance though, enjoyable.

There is a nice medium build to the body of this beer and the liquid has a small syrupy feel to it. Bitterness is subdued by the honey addition halfway down the glass. Again not a palate wrecker.

This is a beer worth trying. I wonder why this is not kegged more often, bottles seem to pop up every 18 months or so. I would like to try this off the tap with a bit more pop.

 1,290 characters

Photo of chrispoint
3/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of modernartblues
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into DFH Tulip

A- cloudy orange-amber body, thin head, but good retention, excellent lacing

S- earthy, lots of citrus, floral, def. get some honey and wheat as well

T- follows the nose, not tons of bitterness, nice malt background (perhaps hints of the honey?)

M- def. less full and abrasive compared to a normal DIPA

O- worth the money and a cool diversion on the norms of the style

 395 characters

Photo of pburland23
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Excelsior Series Batch E!039

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into my CBS snifter.

Beer pours a clear golden amber. About a finger of bright white head. Head lingers lazily for some time. Some very nice sticky lacing.

Smell features piney, earthy hops with some strong upfront floral notes. The honey and wheat are very noticeable. Really nice smelling DIPA. To me, this is what I exactly what a Double Imperial IPA should smell like.

Taste starts with some aggressive bitterness up front. The bitterness then hangs around a little bit longer than it probably should. Piney earthy hops on the palette. There's an almost tea like quality in the middle of the sip. On the tail end, a touch of sweetness shows up, most likely from the honey.

Mouthfeel is pretty light for a DIPA all things considered. Alcohol is barely noticeable. Quite drinkable.

Overall, a tasty DIPA. It's a fairly run of the mill. Nothing to get too excited about but not a bad beer.

 953 characters

Photo of GehenHerzog
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of tugg407
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of hotmanflab666
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Ratman197
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle fom Half Time poured a clear gold with a lasting creamy ivory head. Aromas of straw, grassiness, grapefruit, orange zest, light pine and light honey. Mouthfeel was light bodied and crisp with a dry finish. Flavors of stra, gapefruit,grassiness, light pine and light honey with a crisp dry bitter lingering grapefruit finish.

 338 characters

Photo of Levich
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a 75cL bottle of this one on a recent trip to visit my sister in Ithaca. This is part of the "Excelcior!" Series, Batch E!039. Poured from the bottle into a goblet.

The color is light amber with whispers of red. The head dissipates very quickly even in a his is part of the Eceglass with etching, however, a light film of white foam is left for the duration of drinking.

Upon opening the bottle, I got a hint of yeast on the nose, but that was soon overpowered by the hoppy aroma of an IPA. It is floral and grapefruit with hints of sweeter citrus.

The initial sip is smooth at the front moving to a bitterness toward the end. It's more subtle than expected and actually does have a herbal grassy undertone that grows more detectable as more sips are taken. After about half of a glass, a honey sweetness becomes present on the front, with the hoppy finish still intact. The Alphalpha is not as bitter as one might expect in a double IPA, but there is a characteristic hoppy finish.

The mouthfeel is rather smooth with minimal, fine carbonation. However, it does have enough body and has a distinct creaminess.

Overall, this is a decent beer. The distinct flavors are subtle, but I guess that is what makes it good. The folks at Ithaca Beer Company took a great style and tweaked it just enough to make something different while keeping the feeling of the original.

I would like to put this in the cellar if I get back to Ithaca soon!

 1,452 characters

Photo of brodah
1/5  rDev -75.4%

Photo of FrankyLikesIt
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of DrewZ926
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a brilliant tangerine at first but later on pours more cloudy. About an inch of off white head.

S- Earthy, lots of honey and wheat, piney and resin hops, grassy and a bit floral.

T- not much bitterness, more piney and earthy hops with a nice grapefruit finish. pretty sweet with a honey finish as well.

M- creamy for an ipa, very mellow but well balanced

O- another very good selection from the excelcior! series. not sure if i will be seeking this out again though as flower power (though much different) is far better in my opinion

 547 characters

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