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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 225 |  Reviews: 144
Photo of yesyouam
4.51/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Alphalpha is a hazy golden, brew with a fluffy, bubbly, yellowish white head that has good retention and leaves fancy patterns on the glass. The fresh, fruity, candy-like hop aroma is very clear and bold. There's a sweetness to it that just makes it literally mouth watering just from a whiff. It's pretty full bodied, smooth and oily. The finish is the slightest bit abrasive from the acidity. It has lots of hop flavor that comes off as flowers and grass. There is a little tang and a nice bit of sweetness that seems to come from the honey. The flavors work together very well and give it a bright, outdoorsy taste. It tastes like a sunny meadow full of wildflowers is what I'm saying. The bitterness lingers on the back of the tongue for a while. Wow, I'm really starting to think that these big bottles of Ithaca are the way to go. This is an invigorating drink.

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Photo of jdaddy
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of pathman
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of 2dogbrew
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of Jspriest
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of tat2dhllblly
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of Boilerfood
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of brewsclues
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of thepeter
4.49/5  rDev +10.3%
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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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.

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

Alphalpha is brewed with honey and indeed has a sort of nectarous look; this heavy golden concentrate looks viscous, despite its incandescence against the light, and denies sight of even a shadow of a finger on the other side. Its head is foamy and thick, with big, round bubbles that look like pearls. Its lacing looks like crashing waves frozen in time.

The aroma is like a colour swatch of the many different hop flavours: grassy, soapy, citrusy, floral, stinky, piny resinous and earthy pungent, among more. Knee-jerk reaction was to award the perfect score. A nectarous honey is buried somewhere beneath it all, although I'm not sure I would have picked up on it if not for being tipped off before hand.

Wowzers! Can you ever taste the honey! And so much more... hops that are colorfully fruity, with notes of candied pink grapefruit and lemon and orange rinds as well as malts that taste of toasted biscuits. The alfalfa honey, however, steals the show: it lends a perceptible waxiness, a light spice and a soft herbal/floral quality I'll relate to lavender tea.

Alphalpha is so rich and sweet that it borders on digestif territory. At the same time, however, it has brisk, needle-point bitterness and lively, keen-edged carbonation that give it the superpower of refreshment; the image of a sunny pasture coated in wild flowers pops into mind with every sip. It is perhaps the definitive summer quencher.

Ithaca utilized all that is charming about American IPAs and infused those features with an ambrosial, distinctive honey so as to create a beer so artistic and elegant and ingenious that I feel it might warrant its own style guidelines. Its uniqueness cannot be overstated, and neither can its deliciousness: imagine a blend of your favourite DIPA and favourite mead. Let's hope the brewery has the good sense to make this a perennial release.

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

Rich amber in color with a light haziness to it. A nice head of white, perhaps two inches in height rose up from the bottom of the glass and settled down with some decent lacing along the sides. Nice aroma of orange, thick, pungent and sweet with a nice malted backbone that really gave it some nice balance. Smooth, easy flavor here with all the abv non existent and really well done. Rich orange and pineapple flavors, buttery, biscuit like malt notes mid palate and a nice thick, medium feel that was accented nicely by some of the richest carbonation.

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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.

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

750ml bottle purchased at the brewery store and opened up on a warm evening a few days later.

Pours a slightly cloudy golden color with a full white head in the tulip glass. Fairly thick layer of sediment in the bottle.

The nose is rich and very floral. You can really pick out the cascades.

Taking the first sip is very surprising because the taste is much more complex than the hoppy nose leads you believe. Initially there is a citrusy and slightly piney hop character but also a subtle sweetness layered in there too. The hops return as the beer reaches the back of your tongue and it finishes of with the rich sharpness of a well made double ipa.

Overall this is quite a beer and I think it does a nice job creating a complexity that make it different from of lot of double ipas.

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

The beer pours a hazy gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a super fresh hop aroma that screams Cascade hops. The malts add a nice level of balance, but this is a hop lovers beer. The taste is great as well. It's quite bitter with some residual hop taste in the finish. It's malty with just a hint of the Alfalfa honey. The mouthfeel is great. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. I've been waiting for this release for a while now. I wasn't disappointed. Hail to the Chief!!

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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.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
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 Hojaminbag
4.41/5  rDev +8.4%
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 TurdFurgison
4.41/5  rDev +8.4%
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 rlee1390
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Batch E!029

A-A cloudy orange, does not leave behind that much lacing, but there was some. About a two finger foam head.

S-Hops, honey, earthy tones.

T-Wow. Well balanced, starts very sweet with honey flavors, some earthy/pine notes as well. Ends bitter. Extremely well balanced.

M-Light and smooth

D-An amazing beer. My first journey in Ithaca's Excelsior series. A great beer, Downed the 750mL a little faster than one should but it is such a great beer. My hat is off to Ithaca Brewing Company on this brew.

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Photo of RedBaron
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
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 Atricapilla
4.39/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a goblet. Appearance was a cloudy golden color with light copper tones. Head was thick, white and frothy. Aroma was very earthy, very floral. Scents of grass and malt. taste initiated with honey and grass, hops, although present, does not seem to be a dominant player. Slight citrus and acidity.

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Photo of jlindros
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch E!013

A: Even with a slow pour it still rises with the huge 50% of the glass head, which seemed to be forced by the bottle. It's a creamy rich head that slowly fades, leaving a lacing on the glass. The color is a slightly hazy golden honey straw orange color.

N: Nose has some bright chewy hops, with a little grassy and floral hop aromas, as well as a slight malt character and sweet honey. A very slight boozy aroma goes with that. The honey comes out more and more as I get past the hops.

T: Starts pretty sweet actually, with quite a bit of honey. Fresh honey is the key of this one. The adds a bunch of nice hops, some grassy, spicey, and chewy hops. A decent bitterness as well. Some lighter malts are present but hidden. I get a slight metallic flavor as well. The booze came out a bit on the nose but is almost non-existent on the taste, hidden well. A very slight nougat sweet flavor goes along with the honey. If this had a little brett to give it some bready quality it would have a really interesting combination here.

M: Medium to light body with decent carbonation. A slight oily or sticky honey like sensation hints in there as well.

F: Finish is pretty bitter, and dries off quite a bit (with the hop help). A lingering honey taste is there, but without the sweetness. A lingering hop flavor, with some grassy taste is also present. It dries off so quick that i almost get a sense of wild yeast dryness and bready quality, as I was hoping for. I would love to see a brett version of this beer. It holds up on it's own already, but that would just put it over the top. Now, to try to get through the entire 750ml by myself. At least I have all afternoon. I'm also surprised the beer held up so well this long, as I've had it almost a year now.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really like this one.

A - Murky medium honey, solid 1 inch white head, leaves slow to cling lace and thin disk.

S - Malty, malty, malty malty.... Almost Barleywine in smell. Some pine there.

T - Caramel candy bar. More sweet than bitter, but that is ok by me. Hops are subdued compared to others, but I like this one.

M - Medium body, very coating, good carb, balance adequate.

D - Could drink this for hours.

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