ELEVEN | Ithaca Beer Company

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Very Good

Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States

Style: English Sweet / Milk Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with British, German, and French malts, American hops, and milk sugar, then aged for weeks on locally roasted Sumatra coffee beans.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 74 | Ratings: 97
Photo of cpetrone84
2.3/5  rDev -40.4%

Pour is dark brown with a small amount if fuzzy dark brown head. Nose is fairly clean roasted coffee, very strong, with notes of milk chocolate and a touch of soy sauce. Taste is rough, highly acrid and sweet residual sugar in back. Coffee bitterness lingers through the finish. Body is oily and falls off in the finish with low carbonation.

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Photo of jlindros
3.29/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Shared with many people at my cellar cleaning.

Small fizzy head, dark mahogany color little light.

Nose ground coffee, stale coffee, lactose, somehow burnt milk, little cocoa, dark malts, creamy milk stout, little cardboard.

Taste lots more coffee, roasted coffee grinds and burnt, cardboard, dry lactose and milk stout, little dusty cocoa, slight metallic acrid roast, little acidic bite, dusty. Dry slight bitter acrid finish.

Mouth sticky slight syrupy, little acrid acidic like burn, mild carb.

Overall a big mess, too much burnt coffee, oxidation, bitter acrid metallic roast, and dry but cooked milk that was meh. Not really enjoyable.

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Photo of rudzud
2.86/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to JLindros for sharing.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice dark brown hue with no head, yep.

S - Aromas of old support bitter green coffee. Super bitter.

T - Taste is pretty burnt sweet coffee. Almost undrinkable.

M - Mouthfeel is lowly carbonated.

O - Overall this beer was really a mess.

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Photo of TheBeerologist
3.37/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

750 poured into a New Belgium globe

Pours a watery brown with a tan 1" head. Looks to be dark brown in the glass.

Smells strongly of coffee and roasted malt..and some more coffee

Again, coffee. The base beer is pretty much nonexistent and is dominated by the coffee flavor here. I really don't get anything else other than a slight hint of malty sweetness.

Mouthfeel is thin and very light, though this was very nicely carbonated

This was a good COFFEE brown ale, if thats your thing. Its not my thing, so I can live without it.

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Photo of beertunes
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into fluted goblet. Poured a solid black and very still. Low carbonation and just a bit of head that had low retention and lacing.

The aroma was dominated by roast and coffee, but did have just a bit of sweetness underneath. The flavors were the same story, bit some tartness and a pleasant light funk did show through behind the strong coffee and roast aspects.

The body was smooth and solid, very nice. Drinkability would depend on your taste for coffee. I hate coffee, so this isn't a good thing for me, but the beer was good for what it was trying to be. Overall, a nice brew that probably wasn't harmed by aging, but may not have been helped either. If you happen to see a bottle, this brew is worth your time.

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Photo of soulfly1492
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Bitter coffee, burnt actually. Chocolate, a little funky too. Smokey, a little bit of musty basement and cigarette ash.

Appearance: What looks like melted chocolate is stuck to the underside of the cap and the top rim of the bottle. Not sure if it was planned this way. Black in color, opaque. The pour develops a noisy dark brown head which fizzes away in about 60 seconds like a soda. Some bubbles around the rim and not much lacing, although it's still cold.

Taste: Nice. Instantly reminds me of Southern Tier Mokah. Actually tastes like bold, dark coffee, then a bit of lactose. Some smoke and roastiness follows. Some bitterness also, must be the Northern Brewer hops shining through the sweet malts and sugar additions.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied. Oily overall, but a mild tingle/drying sensation from the coffee and hops. Carbonation is nonexistent. No warming.

Overall: Bold, smooth, accurate coffee, mild lactose and chocolate. Just enough bitterness and roastiness to help balance out the large quantity of sugars.

Notes: Batch E!OI6. Tasted 2/25/2012.

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Photo of SLeffler27
2.69/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

The head bubbles up then quickly disappears over a dark brown , shade shy of black, beer. Thin film hangs on the glass with each swirl and there is no lacing.

Smells uncannily like cigarette ashes, but there is also some black coffee and burnt malt. Oddly dusty.

It is difficult to get past the cigarette aroma and taste. I am left wondering if this bottle went bad, because while I do detect coffee, lactose and roasted malt, they are clearly secondary players. Coffee is more akin to day-old coffee grinds.

Eleven has a full body, satin texture and light carbonation with no hint of alcohol.

While I do like Ithaca’s beers, especially in a Dogfish Head IIPA pint glass, this one missed the mark. Maybe this bottle went bad, or perhaps just wasn’t to my liking.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Gushue3 for this bottle!

Pours nearly pitch black. Medium tan head forms, 2 fingers, nice retention. Aroma has bits of chocolate, roasted malts and bittersweet coffee notes. Appears the coffee may be faded a bit. Not really surprising given the age, but it's still nice and pleasant. Same kinda goes for the taste, though it is a bit more robust and a bit more sweet and definitely more chocolate. Slight notes of just coffee beans, which is a good thing and definitely impressive. The feel is a nice surprise too. Wonderfully full bodied, with a creamy texture.

I think this has held up nicely. Not as good as I'm sure it was in the past, but very glad to have tried it!

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Photo of mikereaser
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my new belgium glass on 7/6/2011

Pours a pitch black with very little foam that quickly faded to just a flat surface. The aroma is all coffee and roasted malts. As expected, the flavor is roasted coffee, roasted malts and a bit of lactose sweetness. I like the flavor and eventhough it tastes like coffee, you don't forget you're drinking a beer. Its medium bodied with light tingly carbonation. Its easy to drink and has a nice flavor. I would probably get another bottle if I could.


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Photo of sulldaddy
2.72/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Splitting this bottle with Stopper. Pouring at room temp into a snifter. The beer pours a jet black color with minimal beige head that recedes quickly to an edge layer.
Aroma is roasted malt and coffee mixed with just a bit of dark chocolate.
The coffee aroma is a little dominant and seems like older coffee that has been in a pot on the burner too long.
First sip reveals average body with fine yet fizzy carbonation that rolls across my palate. Texture is pretty smooth. Flavor is similar to the nose. Coffee and roasted malt dominate with the coffee being a little too much making for a bitter experience. Fairly drying on the finish, but the flavor is again not of a good but an old pot of coffee. I didnt enjoy this one too much no the nose or flavor but otherwise it was okay, something about the coffee jsut rubbed me the wrong way.

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Photo of aasher
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle was shared with a good friend in what turned out to be a pretty solid tasting. It pours a viscous black in color with a one finger beige colored. The nose is initially straight sumatra coffee beans. Yes please. As far as flavors go, the melted chocolate integrates very well with the coffee and infinite lactose. Damn this one is smooth! I'd say it's pretty heavy on the mokah. The longer you sip it the better the blend. The coffee is so perfect at this point. It is exceptionally smooth and drinks oh so well. I'd say this beer is drinking perfectly right now. Pick one up if you still can!

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Photo of armock
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Beers of the World in Rochester NY

A - Poured a very dark brown color with a tan head

S - Is dominated by coffee and lots of it

T - Just like the smell its like drinking cool carbonated coffee

M - This beer has a thin body with medium carbonation to it

O - Its a good thing I've started to like coffee in beer because thats what this is worth getting or taking a sample of if you see it around still

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Photo of brentk56
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a fudge brown color with just a hint of tawny highlights; the head was very modest and frittered away quickly, leaving just a few dots of lace

Smell: Smells like a rich cup of Sumatra with just a bit of sugar and lactose

Taste: Strong coffee flavor at the outset, with a developing lactic sourness that overwhelms by mid-palate; hints of chocolate and sugar linger underneath, after the swallow, but the profile is somewhat one dimensional

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low carbonation; a bit thin for the style

Overall: I have bumped up the scores by .5 across the board to account for the age and oxidation factor; I suspect this beer was a lot better in its youth but as other reviewers have noted, it has not aged particularly well

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Photo of Damian
3.21/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Drank from a 750 ml/1 pint 9.4 fl oz bottle
Batch# E!016
Served in a pint glass

The beer poured a dark brown/black with a fizzy, short-lived, tan colored head.

Espresso dominated the aroma. This was one of the most coffee forward beer I have ever smelled. It reminded me of sticking your nose in a bag of freshly ground coffee beans. Not much else was noticeable, but that was fine by me.

The flavor profile was very harsh and metallic initially. It seemed that that this beer was highly oxidized and definitely past its prime. Strong wet cardboard notes were apparent. Aside from the oxidation, roasted malts appeared up front. Coffee notes were also noticeable but they were not nearly as strong as in the nose. Sweet caramel malts came through as well. The dry, roasty, lingering finish contained distinct notes of coffee grounds. As I drank this beer, the oxidation was still present but it continued to subside to a tolerable level. At the same time, the coffee notes continued to become more and more prominent.

The body of this beer was disappointingly thin and watery with a minimal amount of carbonation. It seemed that time had indeed affected the mouthfeel as well.

Even though this beer had some redeeming qualities, it was difficult to see past the negative effects of aging. I really wish I could have sampled this while it was fresh.

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Photo of mjtiernan
2.43/5  rDev -37%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Batch E!016

A: Black as night. Thin brown head that dissipated into nothingness quickly. Zero lacing.

S: Delicious roasted coffee beans. Easily the best quality of this brew.

T: Not as sweet as other milk stouts that I've had. Purely a coffee flavor, but too watery for my liking. Needs a bigger supporting cast. Alcohol is barely present. I never got to try this fresh.

M: Thin and watery. Virtually no carbonation.

D: Easy to drink but would prefer more carbonation. This feels totally flat and past its prime.

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Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Date: 12 February 2011
Glass: Standard 10oz snifter
Type: 750ml bottle, capped and foiled

Poured aggressively, leaves a brief 1-finger head with no lacing, slightly less-than-average carbonation, color is black, head is/was beige. Aroma is off-the-charts incredible, consisting of extremely fresh heavily-roasted coffee beans. Also a distinct smell of chocolate, just like those foil-sealed Santa-shaped milk chocolate bars you leave in the candy jar at Christmas time...the ones with peanut butter in the middle. Taste is okay....a little watery for a 7.5%ABV beer with zero alcohol burn. The coffee is not as predominant and beautiful on the tongue as it is on the nose. Maybe a slight chocolate flavor follows into the taste. Mouthfeel is very thin, and little flavor lasts between tastes...only slight coffee much like an iced coffee. Definitely not a drain-pour, and could be better.

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Photo of kwjd
3.54/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This bottle was shared by Sammy. Pours pitch black with almost no head or lacing. Coffee in the aroma, but not as fresh and vibrant as many coffee stouts. Some sweetness does come through in the flavour. Mouthfeel is quite thin, seems undercarbonated.

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Photo of acehart1
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage, Sampled on Jan. 22, 2011

When you take a whiff of this beer, you totally smell chilis. It smells like Tobasco sauce. You can really tell they used some strong coffee in this one...maybe like a strong Turkish roast. You can really tell that this beer must've been super-strong when it was first fresh. Got damn. I wish the smell was backed up by a stronger taste. The coffee is very present, but it isn't as sweet as you would expect out of a lacto-stout. Overall, I was very happy with this beer. It was very drinkable, but not as sweet as I was expecting.

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Photo of Sammy
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Part of the Exelior anniversary series. A good though not overwhelming beer. Incredible coffee nose. Black with some bubbles. Leaves lace. Lactose to make it a sweeter milk stout, and that adds a little sourness in the finish. Carbonation has eased off through cellaring a couple of years. A little light on mouthfeel. Not so great for coffee fans, but decent drinkability.

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Photo of krisandajt
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a brew I've been sitting on for far too long now. It was given to me by number1bum, a truly generous BA. Thanks Josh!

Appearance: Poured from the bottle, this brew pours like a cola. It's dark, black, an surprisingly effervescent. At first there's a fairly decent half inch worth of head, but it immediately fades away to complete and absolute nothingness. There's not even a thin ring of bubbles surrounding the brew. I'll be honest...I've never seen this in any brew before.

Smell: Lightly roasted coffee (surprising that I'm getting any coffee given the age of the brew), mild milk chocolate, and faded hops. Everything is subtle and well combined and smells good. I would have liked to try it sooner, though.

Taste: Well, the coffee has faded, but it is still noticeable. There's also some sweet milk chocolate and a moderate lactose sort of quality. Unfortunately I have not had this brew fresh, though it was given to me as such. I have to say time did treat this brew well, but I wish I could have tried it at its peak.

Mouthfeel: A little thin, but that's a stretch. Smooth texture, and it goes down pretty easy.

Drinkability: A decent drinking brew that time has treated well. I can't imagine holding on to this one longer, so if you've got one drink it.

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Photo of jaxon53
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you to mikereaser for sending me this in the Coffee BIF. Never had a chance to try this before. Served this chilled, in a snifter, rom a 750 ml bottle.

Appearance: ELEVEN pours out a deep black, that cannot be penetrated by a single ray of light. A somewhat hard pour results in about an inch and a half of pillowy, coffee brown foam. Head sat nicely for a while and slowly settled into a quarter inch of creamy foam. Glass was completely coated with thick lace.

Smell: Smooth coffee aromas were quite strong. Light cocoa in the background fit nicely with the coffee. Thick waves of roasted malt were noted along with some faint toffee. Just the slightest bit of smoke.

Taste: Rich coffee flavor. Plenty of smoky roasted malt. Light toffee and a faint berry flavor deep in the backgound. Finishes bitter with another blast of freshly ground, roasted coffee. Alcohol is well hidden.

Mouthfeel: Thick, creamy mouthfeel. Borderline full bodied. Lower carbonation.

Drinkability: Quite drinkable for such a big brew. A rather tasty beer from Ithaca.

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Photo of Ryan011235
1.59/5  rDev -58.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a snifter on 11/19/10

Batch E!016

Dark matte brown, settling near black - dark cherry hues around the edges when held to the light. Fidgety bubbles & foam managed about 1/3rd of an inch. Head retention simply isn't to be; it began imploding upon itself, fizzling out in no time. Hardly any lace, save a few random splotches.

A slew of coffee tones hits the nose, progressing in intensity - coffee beans, roasted coffee & burnt coffee dregs. Maybe a bit much, but it's to be expected. I'm cool with that. What I'm not cool with is whatever is going on with the lactic sugar. There's a really unpleasant spoiled milk aroma. It's soured to the extent that I'm questioning drinking this.

Admittedly the lactic stench mellows over time. I know; the glass sat a long time while I sized it up. Apprehensiveness overtook me as I finally summoned the will to take a sip...

Whew, not quite as bad as I feared. The interplay between the milk sugar & depth of coffee seem to be at odds; uncomfortable bedfellows, as it were. Burnt coffee flavors abound as do roasted tones, though to a lesser degree. Very earthy & pretty dry, aside from the lactose. Maybe a hint of cocoa. As it warms the lack of integration between ingredients becomes all the more apparent.

While I initially thought "interesting good" now I'm thinking "interesting not-so-good."

Eleven is medium-full bodied with a rather slick feel. Carbonation is pretty close to spot on; just some smooth agitation. Burnt coffee aftertaste that I would normally love seems weird when coupled with residual milky notes & the slickness of the feel. Actually, it's quite coating. Potent coffee residuals linger for a long spell.

Quite honestly, this is one of the only beers (maybe even the first) that has made my stomach uneasy. Though not an intense queasiness, it's enough for me to take each next sip reluctantly. Most likely I was psyching out myself as the uneasiness subsides. Regardless, this is not a joy to drink & is easily in the bottom tier of the style. Maybe I sat on it too long. Ah, well...

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle that was - I think - purchased somewhere on Long Island way back when, though it also quite possibly could have been part of a trade or given as a great extra from a generous trader. Many thanks, either to myself or to someone else. Poured in to a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a cocoa charcoal, a nice hue really, dark but not oppressively dark, though it does look considerably thinned out by age and the coffee addition. This belief is confirmed by the permanency of the head, or rather the lack it - one finger of fizzy, frothy, foamy sienna head gurgles itself in to oblivion after about ten seconds of fervent activity ... definitely an oily coffee addition here. The side and surface lacing are similarly ethereal, or perhaps nonexistent is more appropriate a word. A few stray streams of bubbles rise relatively quickly to the otherwise devoid and empty surface, again suggesting a thinned body.

Aroma: Pretty darn close to a mocha, and I like it a lot. A very robust and complex aroma, inviting and warming while simultaneously refreshing and not overbearing at all. Half to full roast coffee strikes a good balance between green and springy and earthy and roasty, with elements from the full gamut being augmented by sweet, lactic milkiness. Toasty and cocoa notes emerge from the morass with slight agitation.

Taste: Sweet, with tons of high, milky lactose notes, though there's also a slew of malty sugar notes here, too - light toffee, caramel, cocoa (milk chocolate-esque w/ the lactose notes). Dryer malts - toast, coffee-esque malts - mingle well with the earthy coffee overtones. It's liqueur-esque in its sweetness, but the booze on this one isn't nearly high enough to evoke that one such important element of me describing anything as liqueur-esque.

Mouthfeel: Oily and thinned, as it looked (see above). It also has a fair amount of embedded carbonation, so you would expect this one to be a little eruptive, uneven, frothy ... but it somehow manages to maintain a degree of smoothness and creamyness, likely a result of the surface tension introduced by the oil and the lactic sugar. Not fantastic, but pretty good.

Drinkability: Eleven is not near the masterful beer that TEN was. That's not to say Eleven isn't good - it is good - it's just not as mindblowing and sensory-encompassing as its illustrious predecessor. Eleven is merely a solid milk stout, well made, with a lot of flavor and an enjoyable set of flavor and aroma notes ... and sometimes that's enough. I wonder how this one would have tasted fresh, but suppose I'll never know. I'm also a fan of the abv% of this one - 7.5% is perfect for a big old 750 mL that you want to polish away on your own while sitting in front of a warm fire and finishing up some work.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a tulip glass. Color is very dark brown bordering on black with a tan head and a bit of lacing. The nose brings forward a pretty good dose of roast and coffee with a little bit of chocolate in there. The flavor is coffee and chocolate and has a nice bit of cream, which is quite nice in the mouthfeel. Good carbonation and body. Drinks fairly well, but a bit too roasty with the coffee being a tad bit burnt.

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Photo of Axic10
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bottle into a standard pint glass. Batch E!016.

Appearance: Pitch black with a finger or so of mocha colored foam that settles almost instantly.

Smell: Strong roasted coffee, dark chocolate and cream.

Taste: Roasted coffee and cream, dark chocolate and some milk chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, smooth and creamy.

Drinkability: Solid offering from Ithaca. Although it is retired, I have another bottle that I will have in the future. This is a 750ml that I don't have any problems finishing.

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ELEVEN from Ithaca Beer Company
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 97 ratings