ELEVEN | Ithaca Beer Company

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Very Good
97 Ratings

Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States

Style: Milk / Sweet 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.

Added by BeerTruth on 08-22-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 97 |  Reviews: 74
Photo of FrankyLikesIt
5/5  rDev +29.5%

Photo of Murchmac
5/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Lum for sending this beer to me under duress. You see we had a bet on the Bills Pats MNF game to open the season. Needless to say Lum's blind allegiance to a perennial crappy team has yielded me an excellent beer to drink.

Black, dark black, head that vanishes into the darkness like T.O.'s debut as a Bill who quietly caught 2 passes and dropped many others. Gone, like the expectations that Owens carried into Buffalo International Airport that summer day. Oh and Moss, he had 141 yards that day.

Coffee, some heat, bakers chocolate. Smells like a team grasping defeat from the jaws of victory...

Immediately feel the coffee effects upon drinking it. Feel undercurrents of the milk stout in it too...some smoke, so that means there's fire right? When Leodis McKelvin went down and you saw the Patriots players jumping for joy, you thought maybe where there's smoke there's fire. Only after your first sweet sip of victory did you know, yes, he fumbled in the red zone. What a delicious beer. It tastes like the dark dread of fear and anxiety of Bills fans with 1 minute and 6 seconds left as Brady connects to Ben Watson to go up by a point. 1 minute people. How sweet this beer is...

Nice sweet aftertaste. This tastes a little better than the bookend to the 2003 season beating the Bills 31-0, or when Troy Brown intercepted Drew Bledsoe when he was a Bill. This beer will age as well as the memories of the Pats coming back to beat the Bills that game. Thanks Lum for making this even better.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.62/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears like pitch black dark roasted coffee and forms a mocha tan head that is fleeing and dwindles very quickly, thin speckled lacing is whimsical. I love all of these Excelsior brews that I've come across this is batch E!016 and this isn't the first time I've had it. This is my second encounter with the Eleven and it was a gift. It smells of ice brewed Sumatra coffee, this is great stuff. Aroma fills the senses with dark roasted malts and sharp acidity it's definitely creamed with milky lactose additions bringing that sharp character that works with the coffee additions. Flavor works so well this beer is kickin' with coffee. Creamy layers of coffee and chocolate this is a milke stout with layers of complexity and coffee. Mouthfeel is oily with fresh coffee beans cracked, incredible soft carbonation flows smoothly, the body is medium bodied and feels so good. Drinkability overall is solid I can't take it this 750 ml bottle drains itself. Awesome stuff between complexity/flavor/drinkability and feel to the experience this should be brewed again in the future. Awesome Ithaca beer much like Ten and Alpha Alpha. Great brews from this series.

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Photo of Jayli
4.54/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer pours a deep dark opaque chocolate brown with a one finger of light brown sudsy head. Head recedes pretty quickly, leaving some spotty lacing.

S: This has to be one of the best beers that I have ever smelled. Nose is of milk/creaminess, nice roasted malts, and a great coffee aroma. Nose isn't overpowering, perfectly done.

T: Taste starts with roasted malt and dark bitter chocolate upfront. Middle has a touch of milk chocolate, toastiness, and cream. Finish has quite a bit, possible hop presence, and a distinct coffee bitterness.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, somewhat dry finish, coffee bitterness remains.

D: Oh this is extremely well down, well blended, very tasty and goes down far too easily. I could sit with this one all night.

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Photo of dtx00
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of thebouch01
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of DoctorB2B
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of BeerTruth
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Malt beverage with coffee added.

Our anniversary ale, ELEVEN is brewed with British, German, and French malts, American hopsand milk sugar. It's aged for weeks on locally roasted Sumatra Coffee Beans.

Enjoy the deep mocha color, sumptuous roasted aroma, rich flavor, and smooth creamy finish."

Picked this up at the brewery for $10, heard about this one for a while now, really been looking forward to it.

750 ml bottle poured into my Ithaca Excelsior! tulip. Batch# E!016.

Pours an absolute black with a quick two finger light brown head that dies down to a thin layer of bubbles that last throughout. Not much in terms of lacing, a couple spots here and there but that's about it. Smell...ok folks, this is probably one of the most intense coffee aromas I've ever experienced in a beer. Strong fresh ground coffee beans with chocolate malts and a touch of vanilla. Some lactose and slight smokiness in the nose as well. Taste is seriously all about the coffee. Rich French roast coffee that was brewed this morning with cane sugar and a few drops of creamer. Aftertaste is sweet with cocoa powder, vanilla beans, and a touch of smoked malts. It's really hard to believe that this is beer. Body is surprisingly light with a fairly creamy feel and a touch aggressive carbonation. The abv is not listed on the bottle, but I can't imagine it being more than 6%...and if it is, Chief did a hell of a job masking the warmth. I enjoyed this most at close to room temperature. If you're a coffee lover, this is an absolute MUST! Another winner in the Excelsior! lineup, but what else did you expect? Hopefully multiple batches of this are brewed like there were of TEN. Cheers to the whole Ithaca crew for adding another amazing beer to your arsenal.

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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 Proteus93
4.37/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black with a lighter, bubbly head that doesn't retain all that much. It's very sea-side foamy and dissipates to nothing very quickly. In some ways, there is an intriguing beauty to looking at a glass of straight up, black liquid.

S + T: Pleasant malts, coffee and cream, some vanilla. Overall, it's a rich mocha scent and flavour. Coffee is certainly the predominant flavour, but there is a cookie quality that comes to it with a little age. That does it incredibly well, at least at this point in time. The bottle states that it could be aged indefinitely, though I would likely feel that the oxidation could hurt it over the next couple of years. Nonetheless, this is a fantastic beer... both scent and aroma are incredible.

M + D: The body of the brew is a little lighter than a lot of more common in the stout style... most RIS will be thick or chewy, and this is neither. Rather, it's a modest body, assertively carbonated, yet on the lighter side. In this case, it serves the beer well. The coffee serves as 'the front line,' even over the beer quality. This is one I would hope to come by again, as the age doesn't hurt it at this point in time.

 1,159 characters

Photo of GbVDave
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Loterbol tulip.

Batch # E!016

A: Pours a dark cola brown on the verge of black with some faint lightening at the edges, much like Coke. Not a huge head, by any stretch of the imagination, but a pretty modest, fizzy/bubbly, 3/4 finger at its' fullest. Retention was fleeting and no lace was left behind. Carbonation was quite active.

S: There's definitely coffee in there. High quality, micro roast Sumatra. Temperature plays a big factor here as it was pretty hard to get any aroma out of this straight out of the fridge. As it warms, it wakes up. Second pour unleashes a bunch of cocoa in the nose.

T: Here's where this beer shines. Huge, high quality, dark roast Sumatra dominates from the beginning on through the finish. Also along for the ride are dark chocolate, tart berry, char, heavily roasted malt, cocoa, dark fruit, and milk chocolate.

M: Doesn't feel watery, and it doesn't feel like a coffee shake. Pleasantly dry coffee bitterness mingles with a touch of ashy smoke, creamy milk sugar, tangy berry, and rich savory chocolate.

D: An excellent coffee stout. So nice to be able to enjoy a coffee stout out of a 750 and not have it be 10% or more. Thoroughly enjoyable.

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Photo of jampics2
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle - I've been dying to try this one since hearing it was in the works only to have none show up in Ohio. But, the bottles finally made it (almost a year late, but better than never). Found a pair of these at Chucks in the cooler and snagged them.

Poured into a goblet, slightly chilled. Dark lovely cola brown. Head disappears almost instantly. Lots of big bubbles rising up - this almost looks like a cola.

Smell is coffee and cream, almost a touch stale though.

Taste is much better than the nose led me to believe. Almost a perfect coffee and cream stout, much like Shorts Cup a Joe. Tons of coffee with some nice depth to its roast flirts with a creamy taste from the lactose. Some bitterness but overall a remarkable tasting beer with a TON of flavor.

Mouthfeel is good. The carb is strange on this one. Not terribly prickly but just feels a bit off, otherwise, this feels great!

Drinkability is excellent. I'm enjoying this and I'm glad I grabbed an extra bottle for a Ten/Eleven/Twelve vertical sometime soon.

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Photo of mgbickel
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Duck Rabbit snifter. A sand colored head formed on top of a pitch black body. The single finger layer of foam dissipated quickly leaving nothing but swirling paisley shapes on the opaque body.

The nose has lots of roasted malts and black coffee aromas. Very nice, but pretty subtle...

The taste is similar to the nose, but much bolder. Starts off with a roasted coffee bean flavor that turns sweeter (like adding cream and sugar) in the middle before finishing with a bitterer, black coffee punch.

The mouth feel is a lot lighter that what you would expect. Lots of carbonation and creaminess.

This is a nice drinking brew. I intended to split this bottle with the wife, but finished it before she has a chance to do much more than grab a sip. Would love to get more...

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Photo of Slatetank
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to tenderbranson69 for sharing this bottle - poured chilled from the 750ml into a flared pint.

A- A dark opaque mocha color w/ reddish brown color at the base w/ thick cap of med brown. The head appears frothed w/ average sized beading - streamers of lace cling

S - A milk chocolate aroma w/ really sweet accent and roasty. Mild aroma of coffee w/ a creamy hint of vanilla

M - A moderately creamy feel w/ medium level of effervesence. The feel has a slight roasted texture, but overall malty w/ a smooth feel and mild sweet almost sugary finish

T - The flavor has a creamy maltiness that hints at lactose w/ light coffee and the taste has a subtle candy-like vanilla/carmel malt flavor w/ subtle milk chocolate smoothness in the taste. The hint of spice accents the stout w/ mild coffee bean notes...earthy, yet not dry w/ creamy as the best descriptor here. The flavor has a quality almost like tiramisu, w/ roasted coffee, cocoa and vanilla dessert flavors

D - The drikability is great w/ a smooth, not overroasted coffee and milk stout blend. So flavorful and subtle it tastes like under 5%, you only notice the alcohol as it nears cellar temp, a little strong/ sweet for more than 2 in a session IMO.

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Photo of nickd717
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draft sampled.

A - Pours black with a medium tan head and good lacing.

S - Amazing aroma of coffee, roast, chocolate, and hints of dark fruit.

T - Coffee and cream, vanilla, roasted malt, burnt notes, mild smoke, and berries. This is damn good.

M - Finish is a bit dry yet palate is smooth. Just a bit watery for the style.

D - Good for the style. Overall this is a great beer.

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Photo of dbexpert
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh my god, Holy shit, those where the words drawn out by the aroma.
A. dark chocolate color w a tinge of an amber glow, Head definetly has a nice chocolate milk color
S. One of the better smelling beers, The coffee and rich roasted malt notes are extrordinary
T. Not sure of what i was looking for but definetly hits style but not over delivered, definitly a beer to be pared with a dessert. coffee is dominant, followed by rich robust roasted malt flavors, all though, well-balanced
M. rich, dominated by coffee notes, I would prefer a more cream texture, similiar to LH's milk stout, but good overall
D. Definitly not something i would consume in large quanities. The 750ml is enough expeirence to satisfy two people and maybe a third if you are willing to share

Definitly a beer to try. I would like to revist this beer after cellaring for a year or so. I think this would round out the flavor balance. If you find them buy two, One now, one to cellar! p.s. if you don't like coffee don't buy this beer and say it is awful because it taste like coffee, just say'n!

 1,075 characters

Photo of DmanGTR
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of GonzoHomebrewer
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of KAP1356
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

A - A dark black/brown with just a slightly lighter color around the edges of the glass. A small espresso colored head slowly fades to a nice tan lacing on the beer.

S - COFFEE!! BIG coffee aromas dominate the nose. I also detect some roasted malts and some slight chocolate as well. There is a sweetness present which I can only assume is the milk sugar coming through.

T - Big bold coffee flavors with a great milky sweetness to it. Some great chocolate flavors mix very well with what is otherwise a completely coffee dominated flavor profile. It may be the coffee, but I also detect some dark fruits as well.

M - Very creamy and smooth, as I would expect from a milk stout. Nice velvet texture that just smooths over the palate.

D - Quite drinkable and enjoyable. It was a fun one to drink even despite the intense/heavy coffee presence.

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Photo of klewis
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with a thin, quickly dissipating head. Little lacing.

S: Fresh coffee grinds with light anise.

T: Malty with a mild sweetness and full flavor. Chocolate up front followed by a strong but pleasant coffee aftertaste. Quite nice.

M: Medium/full -bodied with moderate carbonation.

D: A solid beer at a reasonable price. Worth buying again.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up in Brookline at Wine Gallery. Served in a stein.

A - Two and a half fingers of quick dissolving tan foam that leaves a few isolated spots of lace and a solid cap. Dark, dark, brown color, that would be transparent if held to a very bright light. Some nice hints of lighter browns and reds.

S - Wow - there is a ton of coffee in this bad boy! There's also a good amount of baker's chocolate, lactose sugar, a hint of vanilla, and even a bit of floral hop character.

T - The taste is quite similar, but with a fair amount of roasty bitterness in the finish. The aftertaste features an odd and slightly off-putting old coffee flavor, which brings this beer down a tiny bit.

M - Carbonation is a little too tingly for my liking, and the body is medium-thin but still fairly smooth. Lots of residual stickiness.

D - Very drinkable at 7.5%, as the alcohol is very well-hidden and the flavor is quite nice. Not as intense or "special" tasting as the TEN, but still a very enjoyable brew.

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Photo of philbe311
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch E!016

A - A huge cascading frothy medium to dark brown head with modest retention that settles comfortably at about one fingers worth before receding until a creamy rich lacing... A completely opaque black abyss... No noticeable carbonation though some random bubbles can be seen clinging to the sides of the glass...

S - The forefront is dominated by delectable coffee beans... Buried under the surface are notes of roasted malts, sugars, and a touch of chocolate...

T - The coffee isn't as predominate on the palette and blends will with notes of milk chocolate, roasted malts, and just the faintest hint of charred smoke... The aftertaste is comprised of an acidic coffee bitterness...

M - Medium bodied with just the lightest prickle of carbonation... Extremely smooth... A touch of creaminess...

D - Easy drinking sip after sip... Not as full bodied or intense as I expected, but that's not necessarily a bad thing... My glass hasn't even hit the table before I'm contemplating another sip... A job well done by the fine folks at Ithaca...

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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 Stigs
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 bottle, split - served in a small snifter

A - barely a finger of loose bubbly khaki colored foam settles to some floating bubbles and a thing ring. the beer is pretty much pitch black in color.

S - fresh, bold french roast coffee. slightly burnt and charred malts, cream, and a touch of nuts and dark chocolate.

T - on the sweeter side with the cream/lactose really coming through though cut into sharply by some still lively fresh coffee flavors. other more subtle notes of toasted nuts and some milk chocolate.

M - thick and syrupy with a lingering creamy sweetness that sticks to the mouth. moderate carbonation. lingering burnt coffee and lactose coat the throat.

D - solid around, this actually held up quite nicely and hasnt shown much loss or oxidation (i've kept it in cold storage since purchasing). sweetness can be over the top at times but no real problem drinking the majority of this bottle myself.

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