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.

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Ratings: 97 |  Reviews: 74
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 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 PicoPapa
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle, Batch# E!016. Pours a very dark brown/black color with a slight head and not much lacing. The smell is a strong coffee aroma with some roasted malts. The taste is excellent. Strong delicious coffee taste. Not too boozy and a bit of sweetness. You can tell this beer has some age on it but the flavors are still present. Somewhat of a slow drinking beer but mighty tasty. Ithaca continues to impress me.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +3.6%
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 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 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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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 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 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 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 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 animal69
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a thin almost opaque brown/black color w/ very little lt. brown head and no lace to speak of in my snifter, a serious deficit for a milk stout

S- smell is almost all cold coffee from the start, some nuts, raisony/dates and coconut-like notes come into play as it warms however the coffee almost completely covers them, no alcohol detected

T- taste is also chock full of cold, stale sweetened coffee (yet not in a bad way), a little bit of minerally bitterness more from hops than the coffee, an earthy, "meaty" note midway, finish is also coffee-laden with notes of toffee and darker fruit and not a hint of booze

M- a nice med. body, hardly any co2 left in this one, left a flat, slick feeling overall

D- a quite drinkable beer, wish i had a fresher one tho, the flatness cost it points here also

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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.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +3.6%
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 scootny
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch E!016. A black brown beer with a brown head of decent proportions and good lacing. Smell is smokey and rich with coffee, light vanilla and dark roasted grains. Taste is like a perfect latte. The milk sugar adding a smooth sweetness while the coffee broadens the roasted malts and makes this one a real winner with cheesecake or any other rich creamy dessert. Finish is quite dry and clean with coffee and touch of condensed milk sweetness. Some earthy hops combine with the coffee to dry the palate. Feel is lightly syrupy with a mild carbonation that breaks it up nicely. This goes down like mothers milk with a satisfying warm roastiness as you drink it. Quite easy to work your way through a bottle or two of this. glad I have more.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
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 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 gford217
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
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 Casey10
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I rated this one based on my experience I just really was not into this one the taste is okay was almost a weak coffee flavor like when it goes stale.

Overall not bad but I won't have this one again. Glad I at least tried it.

A - Brown

S - Faint coffee

T - kind of a stale coffe flavor not that great.

M - its okay once it warms up a bit.

D - Low like I mentioned won't have this again.

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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 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 Ineedabeerhere
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my buddy Greg for picking this one up for me. Can't wait to try the BA version at EBF. Shared this one with my pops the other night, review from notes.

Nice black brew pours into my DFH snifter with a really nice fluffy tannish foam. Good amount of big lacing and decent retention.

Pleasant coffee aroma, not really acrid or roasted or anything. More of a clean nutty flavor, not hazelnut per se but and leaning towards a sweetened coffee beverage rather than a fresh brewed pot of black coffee. A little bit of sweet malt and lactose as it warmed. Taste follows with this coffee flavor, a bit of milk chocolate mid-palate, but coffee dominates throughout. Definitely toward the sweet side of things, but it is a milk stout after all. I appreciate the reserved lactose presence, sometimes the abundance of that shit in milk stouts makes me sick. Just enough coffee bitterness to take the edge off. Very creamy mouthfeel and fluffy body without being too thick. I split the 750mL with ease, but I really didn't desire more of it. A pretty good offering.

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

A capped 750ml bottle thanks to number1bum. Poured into my Imperial nonic pint glass. The stout appears a very dark brown color with about two fingers of fizzy, quickly dissipating tan foam. Nose and flavors consist of sweet cream, roasted coffee beans, milk chocolate, mocha, earthy hops, a touch of vanilla, mild spiciness, ever so slightly sour. Somewhere between medium and full bodied with adequate carbonation levels with a bittersweet slick finish. Not much alcohol heat to speak of here, nicely mellowed. Thanks again Josh and I see you got these from BeerTruth, so thanks as well Adam.

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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 number1bum
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Been looking forward to trying this one for awhile. Gave 3 bottles I had away and then had to wait forever to get 2 more from BeerTruth. Finally...

Pours very dark brown with a fizzy finger and a half of tan head. It settles pretty quickly to only a thin lace and doesn't leave much stick.

Smell immediately greets me with a very nice roasted coffee aroma. It's very aromatic, not a dark roast I wouldn't call it but a medium one. Also some sweet milk chocolate and some floral hops. Great coffee nose.

Taste isn't quite as bold as the smell but still showcases a nice roasted coffee flavor. It's also sweet like the smell, with a rich milk chocolaty flavor. Maybe a tad too sweet actually; I like more of a dryness in my coffee stouts. There is some vanilla and a light smokiness here too.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty rich, with an intense sweetness. As I said earlier I think it's a bit too sweet, and I wish there was more of a dryness in the finish.

This is a really nice beer with great coffee flavor, and an even better coffee nose. Cheers to another great year Ithaca.

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