Alphalpha | Ithaca Beer Company

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

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.

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!

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.

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.

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


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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of kbnooshay
3.86/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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Photo of MLasoski
2.55/5  rDev -37.5%
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.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
3.53/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

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Photo of kzoobrew
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

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Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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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.

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Photo of jpmclaug
3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

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Photo of claspada
3.92/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
5/5  rDev +22.5%
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.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.77/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of sybilyang
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of John_M
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of steve8robin
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - an orangy tint to the yellow haze. Some notable lace up top, hangs around for a while and paints up the glass pretty good, too.

Aroma - very fruity and floral, a bit of estery heat. A little like Joseph's aspirin.

Taste - some sweet crackery malts start out. The sugars bring out the citrusy side of the hops at first, but the bitterness takes over pretty quickly. Pretty intense hoppiness, a little harsh at first but better with some warming and palate adjustment. Intense grapefruit threatens to go medicinal, but starts to mellow before things get out of hand. The aftertaste returns some of the citrus edge, also showing a touch of alcohol heat. The ending is dry, still some good residual flavor.

Mouthfeel - some decent smoothness but not as much as I was expecting. Carbonation is medium to slightly low, which I like. The body is solid but not big. Given that this a lower abv DIPA, it makes sense.

Drinkability - pretty enjoyable bomber, glad I picked it up. Some aging would lessen the bite, but it's a good drinker now a well.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.38/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours an orange-copper hue, with a khaki head that looks like bubbly pancake batter.

S - Smells strongly of sour-grapefruit-y malt, fused with grapefruit citric hops. Kind of strong on the one grapefruity note.

T - Tastes the same as the nose, with some of the same flavors I tend to find in rye beers. The hop is not expressed in a manner that is diverse enough for me, especially considering how hop-forward and bitter this brew is. There is a very big sturdy malt, but it mimics the hop to a large degree, just as in the nose.

M - DIPA. A bit syrupy, slightly.

D - In an overcrowded style, why bother? Step your game up here, Ithaca.

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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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Photo of Jwale73
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml foil capped bottle served at 48 degrees in my DT tulip. Batch# E!019 indicated on the label. Poured a semi-hazy, pale golden orange with a a dense, creamy, 2.5 inch bright white head that eventually collapses into a solid quarter inch cap. Residual strands of cloud-like, cascading lacing stream down the sides of the glass. Nose is very subdued but I detect some honey, perhaps toffee and some citrus fruit esters. Taste follows nose - starts sweet - toffee and honey initially, followed by citrus and finishing with a lingering bitterness which seems interspersed with a slightly sugary quality; however, a medicinal character remains present at the back of the throat between quaffs. Mouthfeel is medium-light in consistency, with a slight slickness that coats the tongue. Some acidity hits the tongue initially, followed by a lively carbonation that falls just short of being prickly. A slightly different variation on the style. It's definitely a DIPA, but the honey/toffee character substitutes the grapefruit sweetness, and nicely compliments the herbal/medicinal hop character. Interesting brew, but best shared, as the bottle continued to push foam slowly during the tasting.

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Photo of brandoneast
3.86/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium blonde with a touch of haze and a frothy collar of foam. The initial pour filled the glass with funky, like gym socks and toe jam aromas; very off putting. Those smells quickly died down and then opened to aromas and flavors of orange zested creme brulee crust, honey chevre, orange candy slices, mint, and wheat crackers. The Cascade hop bitterness came through and helped balance some of the initial senses. The honey added a nice kiss to the mouthfeel and it finished quite well, kind of like HopSlam but leaving extremely dry.

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Photo of thepeter
4.49/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured quite hazy and with a little head that turned to lacing quickly. The smell was fresh hops, citrus and maybe a bit of sweet sticky icky! This is a very well balanced IPA both in smell and taste. Lots of hop bitterness but with a substantial malt profile. Grapefruit citrus and pine and a touch of honey sweetness also all in there. I really dig this beer. It is also nice and light on the tongue and smooth as can be. One that I will remember!

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