ELEVEN | Ithaca Beer Company

very good
74 Reviews
no score
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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.

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Reviews: 74 | Ratings: 97
Photo of Sammy
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
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 brentk56
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
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 Thorpe429
3.58/5  rDev -7%
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 jlindros
3.29/5  rDev -14.5%
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 Slatetank
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
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 smcolw
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Near black in color. Large, beige head that leaves ample lace on the glass. No light shines through the glass, even on the edge.

Deep dark chocolate and earthy nose. No coffee smell at all.

The flavor continues the aroma profile except drier but with an essence of dried fruit, like raspberries and sour cherries. Lots of burnt toast! On the tongue, there's a strong bitterness that is similar to coffee grounds--very surprising. Not at all creamy or sweet. Long lasting, black patent malt aftertaste.

Overall, a very different stout with extraordinary burnt malt flavors.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.62/5  rDev +20%
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 MasterSki
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
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 aasher
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
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 Wasatch
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2200th Review

Thanks goes out to ybnorml for this brew.

750ml Bottle
Black Foil/Capped
Batch: E!016

Poured into a chalice a black color, nice carbonation, little fizzy tan head, with minimal sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with lots of chocolate/toffee/coffee, some roasty notes. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, very nice smoke/roast note, a big coffee note, with some chocolate/toffee. Medium body, a nice smooth/creamy texture. Drinkable, this one is pretty tasty today. Glad to have gotten a chance to try it, Thanks Wayne.

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Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a very nice roasted malt and coffee scent along with some sweet lactose and chocolate malt aroma. The taste is good as well. It has a dry roasted feel with a bitter black malt and coffee edge. It gives up a bit of hop character and a slightly sweet finish. I think I would have left the lactose out of this one myself. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a pretty good stout. I love the concept, but I'm a bigger fan of the Kaffinator beer. This one might be a little too bold for it's own good.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is strong coffee and vanilla. The flavor is roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. This is an excellent sweet stout that I hopefully will get to try again.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.58/5  rDev -7%
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 rudzud
2.86/5  rDev -25.7%
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 corby112
2.73/5  rDev -29.1%
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 beertunes
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
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 cpetrone84
2.3/5  rDev -40.3%

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 jaxon53
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
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 OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a light brown to tan head. In the aroma, coffee, hazelnut, vanilla, and hints of alcohol. In the taste, sugary coffee, vanilla, and alcohol hints. A smooth and medium to big mouthfeel, with a small dry coffee like aftertaste. Quite rich, big coffee and somewhat creamy.

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Photo of gford217
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle courtesy of steelersxl poured into a tulip.

Pours a dark chocolate brown with a bubbly tan head that receded fairly quickly to a big collar and swirl on the top. Some sticky lacing on the sides as well.

The aroma is like a iced latte, roasted coffee with a shot of cream. It's a bit bitter in the nose with some cocoa.

The taste is even more bitter, with a dominant espresso flavor up front with lots of lactose and chocolate. The finish is mostly coffee, and, like the aroma, tastes like an iced latte.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and certainly not in the impy stout territory but great for a milk stout.

This is a solid stout that's really all about the coffee and lactose. Not one of my favorites, but not too bad.

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Photo of Jeffo
2.54/5  rDev -34%
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 kwjd
3.54/5  rDev -8.1%
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 EgadBananas
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
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 tpd975
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to BeerTruth for this one. One I really wanted to try the minute I heard it was being made.

A: Pours a nice dark flat black with a tall cream colored head. Okay retnention but no real lace noted.

S: Nice strong coffee in the aroma, more fresh medium roast than espreeso. Bakers chcolate, roasted malt, and a touch of char.

T: Nice bold roasted coffee, just short of espresso. Bakers chocolate, smoke, and grassy green hops. The lactose sweetness is on the front end, with the finish having a good blast of coffee bitterness, and bitter grassy green hops.

M: Medium in body, good carbonation, bitter coffee/hoppy finish.

D: Good, put down the bomber all by myslef for breakfast. Nice tasty coffee brew which as of last has been my favorite style.

Thanks Adam, it was worth the wait!

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Photo of sulldaddy
2.72/5  rDev -29.4%
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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ELEVEN from Ithaca Beer Company
3.85 out of 5 based on 97 ratings.
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