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Alphalpha | Ithaca Beer Company

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding
144 Reviews
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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
Reviews:
144
Ratings:
225
Avg:
4.08
pDev:
11.76%
 
 
Wants:
68
Gots:
25
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 144 | Ratings: 225
Photo of Sammy
3.82/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

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

A: pours a bright, cloudy yellow with a huge, fluffy two finger white head. Thick lacing left in the glass

S: floral hops and yeast with a very grassy, malty aroma

T: a slight sweetness at first gives way to a spicy hoppiness with a noticeable touch a honey and citrus. would like the hops to be more present. honey seemed to come out more as it warmed up

M: very dry and crisp. heavy carbonation that pops in mouth from start to finish. almost too much carbonation IMO

D: goes down fairly easy for a somewhat higher abv. the alcohol becomes more noticeable as it does down an warms the throat. a nice clean bitter finish

Overall an interesting beer. I like more hop domination in my DIPA's. Wouldn't turn down if offered more of it but not sure I'd go out of my way to get more.

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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 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 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 dbrauneis
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served in a bottle at the Keg and Lantern in Brooklyn, NY

Note: Batch E!039

A: Pours a lightly hazy honey (now is that appropriate) yellow in color with moderate amounts of active carbonation streaming from the bottom of the glass and some light golden yellow highlights. The beer has a half finger tall sudsy white head that reduces to a medium sized patch of thick film surrounded by a thin film covering the majority of the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Slightly stronger than moderate aromas of honey over the top of lighter aromas of sweet grainy malts and floral hops.

T: Upfront there are light flavors of pale malts with a hint of grainy sweetness and moderate flavors of honey contributing to the overall sweetness of the beer. There are light to moderate flavors of floral hops which contribute a moderate amounts of bitterness that fades quickly.

M: Medium bodied with slightly heavier than moderate amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of dryness in the finish

O: With the amount of honey present in this beer making it initially sweet and the aggressive bitterness of the hops trying to balance that out, this is definitely a sipping beer. I enjoyed the flavors of the beer and I can honestly say this beer had the cleanest most natural honey flavor that I have encountered.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 tempest
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I didn't realize how much people dig this beer. I thought it was nice and fairly interesting, but not terribly special. The beer did hide it's strength well, while still having enough character to be slowly sipped. I enjoyed the clean nutty biscuit malt flavor that was complimented by a touch of honey. The hops, frankly, seemed subdued, with dry citrus punch flavor that didn't really stand out. Overall, an interested and tasty beer. But this cost like $15, and there are better options at that price.

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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 metter98
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle at Keg & Lantern, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is very hazy dark yellow in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short bright white head that died down and left a patch of bubbles in the center, a collar around the edge and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of floral hops are present in the nose along with notes of honey. The honey becomes a little stronger as the beer warms up.
T: Compared to the smell, the taste has a lot more flavors of honey and a light amount of bitterness from the hops.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer definitely tastes a little strong with all of the honey used to boost up the alcohol content. It is a sipping beer.

Note: Batch E!039

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Photo of doucmehu
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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Photo of pburland23
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml into half pint on 3/21/09. Thank to clockworkorange for sharing!

A - Poured a cloudy golden honey-colored body with some grit and more than a finger of rocky white head that receded to a quarter inch of retention and left behind some decent lacing.

S - Sweet and hoppy nose with citrus hops up front and some fairly tame alcohol notes. Malt is sweet and caramel-based with a touch of honey.

T - Pretty well-rounded hop profile with pine, resin and some citrus shining through to dominate the flavor. Hops are balanced by a caramel malt and sweet honey presence. Finishes up on the aggressive side with more resiny hop goodness.

M - Medium bodied and moderately carbonated with an oily texture and sticky mouthfeel overall. Assertively hoppy in the finish with mild alcohol sting.

D - Good stuff from Ithaca. This is my first of their Imperial series and it didn't disappoint. Their standard stuff is pretty hit and miss with me, but this one made the mark.

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Photo of IdrinkGas
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 into a snifter. Batch E!019

A:Pours golden and hazy. A finger of creamy off white head from a gentle pour. The slightly sticky lacing stuck around a little while.

S: Lots of honey and hops in the nose.

T: Nice balanced combo of floral hops, sweet malt, and honey. Lasting bitter after taste

M:Interesting acidic dry mouthfeel.

O: Its pretty sweet and acidic so a bomber split between two people is enough for me. Definitely will wreck your palate.

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Photo of weeare138
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to TomDecapolis for this...
Batch E!OI3

Appears a hazy, light gold with a small white cap that quickly fades into a mild head and collar. Tons of spotty remnants of film are left around the glass.
Smell is of doughy, citrusy, vanilla, and candy orange.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with some crystal(caramel) malts coming through in the flavors.
Mouthfeel is citrusy, prickly, sweet, and mildly bitter.

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Photo of Gavage
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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Photo of tpd975
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BeerTruth for the share. Actually drank this one awhile ago, just getting around to adding beers from notes.

A: Pours a nice somewhat cloudy orange hue. One finger solid bubbly head with a rocky top. Nice clingy lace most of the way down the glass.

S: Lots of sweet caramel malt and flowered honey. Hints of cut grass and citrus hops.

T: More subtle than I thought it would be, but in a good way. Wonderful honey sweetness, like the fresh honey I used to get in Indiana. Notes of lemon and floral hops.

M: On the lighter side of medium, with good carbonation.

D: Tasty, drinkable, One I could actually session with.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a cloudy yellow color with a huge white head. The aroma is citrus and grassy hops. The flavor is very bitter with some grassy, spicy and piney hops. After getting citrus in the aroma, it was all but absent in the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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

750 mL bottle poured into an Ithaca Excelsior! tulip. Thanks to GrindFatherBob for both the bottle and the match glassware. Nice.

Appearance - Hazy yellow body with a nice white head. The head settles without a lot of lacing, but the glass gets some sticky foam clinging to it.

Smell - Pine hops and a lot of sweet honey and light malt aroma. Smells nice, but very sweet.

Taste - Pine again, a bit grassy, but it's quickly overwhelmed by the sweetness. It's a nice, light sweetness from the honey, so it doesn't taste like a malty IPA, just a slightly sweet one. I get some booze in the finish, which is strange for only 8.5%.

Mouthfeel - A little thick, but not too thick. Makes for nice lingering sweetness to balance the slightly bitter finish. Not so high carbonation makes it feel a bit heavier.

Overall - Nice, not on my favorites list, but nice. The honey lends itself nicely, although I'd still go for an IPA with no sweetness at all.

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