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 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 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 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 Jeffo
2.54/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Received this in a trade with belgbeerdrinker a while back. Thanks man!

From a 750ml bottle into a snifter.
Batch E!016

APPEARANCE: Cap came off way too easily on this one. That's usually not a good sign. Pours dark brown and produces a two finger, medium-looking, tan head with good retention. Black in the glass with some carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a decent wisp, but only a ring remains leaving s few dots of lacing down the glass. Relatively clear as well, but decently thick for the style.

SMELL: Pretty bold and enticing nose. Lots of burnt coffee, some roasted malts, dark chocolate, and hints of vanilla and lactose sugars make an appearance as well. A nice nose that jumped out of the bottle and did well after the pour.

TASTE: Unfortunately this is starting to oxidize a bit, like some other reviewers below have pointed out. A slight bit of sourness at the beginning, but certainly not too bad yet. Some sweet malt, coffee flavors, and lactose come through the middle, with touches of vanilla as well. Flavors are a little muted, however. After the swallow, some coffee, roasted malts, and sweet milk sugars ride out a mild but pleasant enough aftertaste. Not nearly as good as the nose had advertised, though the oxidization is not far along enough to make it unpalatable.

PALATE: Medium-thin body with slightly higher levels of carbonation. Creamy enough, goes down smooth and finishes almost astringent on the palate. Way too dry, thin and carbonated for the style.

OVERALL: The bottle states that this brew can be aged indefinitely, but the way it's drinking right now, any further age certainly wouldn't do it any good. There was a lot of potential here, as the nose had me ready for a treat of a brew, but I fear oxidization has started to rear its ugly head, at least with this bottle. It's still drinkable now, so if you've got one, pop it open sooner rather than later. Thanks again for giving me the opportunity to try this one belgbeerdrinker.

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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 II 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 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 corby112
2.73/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle, batch E!016

Pours a deep dark brow, almost black color with slight mahogany edges when held to a light source. Completely opaque with visible carbonation bubbling up the side of the glass. One finger dark mocha head that very quickly dissipates into a thin ring. No lacing at all.

Deep roasted malt aroma with hints of dark fruit, lactic cream and earthy hops. Hints of chocolate, burnt coffee bean, toffee, oatmeal ans slightly acrid burnt character. The lactic presence and dark fruits give off a slight licorice and soy scent. There is a lot going on here, too much possibly and the aroma is slightly off putting.

Slightly viscous medium body with a very prominent roasted malt flavor. There is a nice luscious chocolate malt presence underneath but it is overpowered by the acrid burnt toast and deep roasted coffee presence. There is also an overwhelming bitter earthy hop presence up front which compliments the roasted character but cancels out any lactic creaminess(I'm not picking up much) and smooth maltiness. The dark fruit and licorice character from the aroma becomes more evident as this beer warms. This beer is complex but not very well balanced and even though it is only 7.5% this beer tasted pretty hot. I'm a fan of Ithaca and a big fan of the Excelsior! Series but this beer was very disappointing.

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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 ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Photo of beertardis
3/5  rDev -22.3%

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 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 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 frothyhead
3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark brown with a one-finger tan head into a snifter.

Nose is huge with Sumatran coffee and roasted malt with a little bit of sugar sweetness and a milky creaminess coming through. Coffee pretty much dominates.

Mouthfeel is pretty thin for the style. Medium bodied with medium to high carbonation. A bit of creaminess for sure but this is secondary to the thin, watery first impression.

Taste is, as expected, all about the coffee. Sugary sweet up front with a ton of roastiness powering through and dominating the rest. Some mild dark fruit trying to stand out among the sweetness but not doing a great job.

Drinkability is relatively high. The thin mouthfeel actually makes it easier to continue drinking and makes it feel like less of a sipper. The 7.5% ABV will sneak up on you, and I'm pretty sure the coffee is contributing to a healthy caffeine buzz, making you even more likely to keep on sippin' (and maybe rearrange all the furniture or paint the house or ...).

Overall this is a decent beer. Honestly, it's different than I expected, mostly due to the thin mouthfeel. On a side note, the Sumatran coffee taste is actually the closest commercial equivalent that I've had to the taste of my last home brew. It's a different taste, and one I wasn't entirely sold on in my beer or this beer, but it's definitely worth trying.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of mixylplik3
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.52/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750ml bottle into an Ithaca pint glass. Courtesy of schen9303 who share all her beer with me ;).

A: Gentle pour yields a 1.5 finger semi-coarse light coffee head with poor retention. Beer itself is a near opaque black with a slight tint of red. Lacing is stringy.

S: Overwhelming coffee bean nose, if I was blindfolded and smelt this... I wouldn't be able to distinguish it from coffee. Slightly milky as it warms but otherwise the coffee masks all other flavors.

T: Opens sweet, milky, lactose. Coffee is pronounced as the nose suggests. Roasted malts, slightly acidic in the middle to finish. Finish is a roasted coffee sourness. Besides the milkiness in the beginning, its hard to push past the espresso flavor. A little too intense and one dimensional for me.

M: Light bodied and overly coarse. The feel doesn't really work for me here. Finish is messy and coffee is very strong in the aftertaste. Its sticky, but from the coffee, not any real sugar flavor.

D: This one is ok, but not really my favorite milk stout. Not smooth and like I said before, a bit one dimensional and it doesn't take advantage of the milk sugar aspect like it could Mouthfeel doesn't help any either as the coarsity prevents the other flavors from really emerging.

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

750 mL bottle shared with 321Jeff

Clear, dark black color with a tan head and lots of sediment in the bottom of the glass. Aroma is burnt coffee grounds , roast malt and more char. Begins with a strong coffee flavor with a strong roast malt body before finishing with a lactic milk stout sweetness that lingers well into the finish. Not bad, but nothing special and not worth the price for a 750.

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Photo of rosmhuire
3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Had this on tap at Copperfield's in NYC

A: Dark brown. Not a lot of carbonation.

S: Holy chocolate and coffee batman!

T: All malt here. This is extremely interesting. I'm not sure if I'm drinking a chocolate latte or a beer.

M: N/A to me.

D: Not even close to being a drinkable beer. The milk component really asserts itself. This is sort of a beer milkshake. It is definitely unique, and I'm glad I tried it, but this is not something you can session.

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Photo of infi
3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch E!0I6, shared with BA brun.

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Pours like a typical stout.. looked very viscous coming out of the bottle. Dark, yet translucent. Even with a conscious and vigorous pour, no head would emerge. Just a thready amount of bubbling found on top with no lacing. You could also see the legs of alcohol on the glass. Smell is one giant coffee bomb and that's all. Extremely roasted and sweet-smelling. A freshly brewed pot of coffee through and through.

Taste has a bit of an oxidized sourness in the beginning but then transitions into a generous sweetness from the malt and milk sugar. Towards the end, the Sumatra coffee completely swarms the palate along with its roastiness and a minimal astringency. I'm a little concerned about the oxidation even though I heard a definitive audible air release sound. But overall, it was a good beer.

Mouthfeel was more on the carbonated side, fairly thin and lightbodied. Was expecting a bit more, but it's not of great concern. Drinkability is slow, due to the unfortunate oxidation in the beginning but the coffee makes up for it in the end. If you love coffee, this beer is definitely for you.

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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 oriolesfan4
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of steve8robin
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml found in a local beer store. Let's give this a try...

A: Super pitch black with a tiny off-white head that quickly fades to a lace atop the brew. Good.

S: Holy coffee bean! Smells kind of like coffee ice cream. Heavy roastiness. The coffee buries all other scents. Decent.

T: Wow! Hello coffee! Tastes of super roasted coffee bean with hints of earthy creamy hops. Not too complex, but still good. Decent.

M: Heavy bodied with a thick taste left on the palate. Definitely a palate riuner. Good.

D: This goes down very easy despite the heavy coffee flavor. Good.

All in all, this is a decent coffee brew. If you like the nice roasty coffee flavor, then definitely hunt this one down. If not, then don't bother, it will not be worth your while.

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