Cold Front
Ithaca Beer Company

Cold FrontCold Front
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Brown Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #71
Ranked #40,297
3.66 | pDev: 15.3%
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States
Cold FrontCold Front
Reviews: 147 | Ratings: 346 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of msquared36
msquared36 from Ohio

2.49/5  rDev -32%
look: 1.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Very dark brown with a copper tint, but not opaque. Ver little lacing.

Faint toasted malt scent.

Label says Belgian style amber, not sure why though. Coffee is the predominant taste with a slight sour aftertaste.

Very watery with almost no noticeable carbonation.

Reminds me more of a weak and watery stout than a Belgian.

Feb 08, 2014
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Suds from Missouri

3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This brew, sampled on a cold and snowy winter night, is a brown, hazy liquid. The head is thick, white, and stable. The aroma is a very Belgian, bubblegum, rich dark malt, yeast, pepper and spice, and phenols. Nice. The taste follows the smell. It is a moderately sweet, very malty beer. It has a nice effervescence. Full body. Good for a cold night.

Jan 26, 2014
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MistahBeah from Massachusetts

3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear chestnut hue. Lively bubbly white head with mild retention. I would expect some more retention for the style. Some spots of lace

Smells of dark and citrus fruits - cherries, lemon, plums, raisins, some tart apples also. Actually this smells pretty tart. Caramel malts and a faint roastiness. A definite smokiness wraps it up

Taste is very malt-forward. Roasty and smoky. Those tart fruits begin to shine through next. Lemon, tart berries, cherries. Some sweet plums and raisins. A good deal of spice - definitely picking up some pepper and coriander. Some herbal bitterness rounds out the spices. This is a pretty complex beer

Feels lively. Carbonation and spiciness play on the palate nicely. Light body for the style. Clean, even a tad watery

Overall a tasty compex Belgian style brew. Pretty well-balanced. No alcohol detected here. Not a great example of the style but better than you'd think. Worth a try for sure

Dec 30, 2013
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ColdOneKev from North Carolina

3.29/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A - Very dark brown, close to black, only amber at the edges when held up to light. Small white head, large bubbles, not foam.

S - Spicy, raisins, black licorice, light roast.

T - Peppery, spicy, like a Belgian should, some more of that black licorice, ends with some malt sweetness.

M - A bit thick when compared to Belgian beers, but perhaps that is the winter style coming through, low carbonation.

O - An interesting blend of the amber ale as a Belgian and a winter ale. Caught my curiosity, I usually enjoy Ithaca's offerings, but this one just didn't do it for me. Enjoyed the one, but I won't come back to it.

Dec 15, 2013
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brentk56 from North Carolina

3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a rather modest head for a Belgian style beer; a reasonable number of dots linger on the tulip's side

Smell: Caramel, powdered sugar, banana and spice cake elements

Taste: Opens malt-forward, with the caramel, but an odd assortment of spices build through the middle; there is some banana and spice cake but also a cherry medicinal aspect that lingers well through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I would characterize this as Belgian-influenced rather than Belgian-style and, while I rather enjoyed the beer, I was not fond of the medicinal taste; the mouthfeel was very American and not at all in the Belgian manner

Dec 05, 2013
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micromaniac129 from Pennsylvania

3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Aroma was pleasent enough and bordered on the dubbel side too.
Yeasty and malty upfront with a dry sweet sherry aroma.
The appearance is murky russet ruby brown. A medium sized head was produced and was long lasting.
Taste was pretty good. Had a sweet and sour taste but also had the sweet dark fruits one associates with a dubbel.
A good beer with som promise.

Nov 28, 2013
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aaron72 from New York

3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

poured from a bottle into a unibroue belgian style chalice glass.

it pours a cloudy dark red, amber color with a 3/4" head. the head is tan & robust at first then fades quickly to lacing on the glass. their was a bit of sediment on the bottom of the bottle that i swished to top my glass off with.

the smell is of sweet & sour fruit, smoke & very little hops. a very odd smelling brew!

the taste up front is sour fruit.... slight belgian spice... uhhh?.... i like the yeast flavor.... the alcohol is there but well hidden... ive never tasted another ale like it.... slightly smokey & the hops are not prevalent. the taste is belgian but not quite belgian. paradoxical.

the mouthfeel is slightly carbonated & smooth.

this is an original brew! the bottle says "belgian style amber ale" & i would agree. it's belgian inspired but original all on its own. as the ale warms it offers more belgian flavor notes.... i really dig this brew as it's very easy to drink. i give the ithaca brewery credit for this daring offering!!

Nov 03, 2013
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utopiajane from New York

2.89/5  rDev -21%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ithaca Cold Front poured a caramel color with almost no head and no lacing. I expected frothy and creamy and when I saw it I checked and saw the freshness date was close but not past. Look is cloudy with a a thin ring and spotty lacing. Nose is bready, malty, a bit of Belgian yeast and nutty. Taste was terrible. Like stale peanuts that came out of a tin can. Stale, flat, metallic. Had a little resin and hop bitterness but the flavors were dead. Alcohol was right up front on the palate. I rated it as high as I did because of the fact that in the 6 pack 1 or 2 of the bottles were just slightly better than this. It has potential.

Jun 12, 2013
Photo of brureview
brureview from Massachusetts

3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured in a snifter. Bottle date good by March.

Good caramel color Light aroma of caramel and toffee.

Carbonation a bit strong.

There is caramel, some lemon, and too much alcohol

in the finish for the ABV.

An okay beer. Drink warmer for a more balanced taste.

Jan 16, 2013
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SolipsismalCat from Pennsylvania

4.12/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark red-brown with lots of bubbles and a giant three-finger, off-white, creamy head that lasted a couple minutes. Pretty good lacing.

S: Bread, dark fruit, and spice.

T: Moderate sweetness and light to moderate bitterness. Very malt forward. Lots of roasted qualities. Less Belgian in characteristic than I'm used to with this style. Good though.

M: Medium bodied with soft carbonation. Smooth.

O: Really interesting roasted qualities that weren't quite what I was expecting for the style. This is a good beer.

Jan 14, 2013
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dirtylou from District of Columbia

3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, hilliards can-pint

I didn't realize what style this was when I poured it, or I may have considered an alternate serving vessel. Regardless, this was a nice little winter seasonal - big belgian yeast profile, brwon sugar, banana, fruity esters, quite sweet. Not a game-changer, but quite drinkable and a nice change of pace for me on this given day

Jan 07, 2013
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suspect from New York

3.61/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A: Crystal clear amber color. Aggressive center pour leads to a 2 finger light khaki head that fades slowly to a slight ring and a cumulonimbus cloudy looking center. Lacing is pretty consistently spotty.

S: Grainy malts, yeast and some hop bitterness. Diacetyl and a touch of booze shows up in the nose as well.

T: Follows the nose but pulls a few flavors from an amber lager which is a bit unexpected. The grains are nice and the malt is really the all-star here. Not much else in flavor here.

M: Crisp finish, medium body. Perfectly carbonated.

O: An easy drinking Belgian Dark that I'm pretty sure doesn't really fit the style.

Dec 25, 2012
Photo of mattbk
mattbk from New York

4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: Amber/brown, fairly cloudy, a nice shade, decent amount of carbonation.
smell: Nice Belgian yeast aroma, banana esters, light bready malt coming through. Maybe slightly metallic. A nice aroma though.
taste: Same Belgian yeast in flavor. The yeast esters dominate the flavor profile. Some slight sweetness, although the beer is fairly dry. It is a bit rough, the metallic/tin that I picked up in the aroma is in the taste as well. Maybe a bit of grape in the flavor as well. Despite a few flaws, the beer is fairly drinkable and fairly smooth, and I still like it. Maybe just enough complexity to make it interesting.
mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel, definitely dry though, the carbonation is just right on this beer.
overall: I liked this beer more than I thought I would. Not unusual for Ithaca beers - one of my favorite breweries. This beer would go well in several situations - with food, as a fairly sessionable beer because of the dryness, or as a final beer for the night, because of the decent amount of complexity. A nice beer, will recommend.

Dec 16, 2012
Photo of stxp
stxp from New York

4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: deep brown, barely translucent in light, soft head with some dimples, small bubbles

smell: fresh bread, nutty brown, slight belgian spice

taste: very bready, thick malty, a bit of belgian, not overly hoppy, long bready linger

mouthfeel: very thick and rich, stays creamy the whole time, quite filling, low alcohol

overall: incredibly filling, rich fresh baked bread, thick but not overpoweringly alcoholic or hoppy

Dec 13, 2012
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is one of those beers i got wasted and sick drinking too many of years ago and have unfairly sworn off ever since. i revisited it yesterday and have to say, ive really been misssing out. this is an exceptional beer, totally different from the countless generic winter beers out there now. the pours is dark dark brown, but not thick or heavy looking, light still passes through, and there is a smallish off white head around for just a few seconds before it flattens out. the nose is really odd, smokey but not quite at that rauch level. there is also belgian yeast and candy sugar present, making this more of a dubbel than an amber in my book, but its more than that. there is that life and limb birch syrup smell and taste as well, which doesnt come across as very sweet here, but it adds a lot of depth to the aroma and flavor. its woody in taste, oaky, kind of drinks like and old ale, but this is certainly a curious mishmash of styles. complex malt profile on the medium to heavy roast side, but tempered by a very vibrant belgian yeast strain. the alcohol content is just right for these cold dark months, and the light carbonation combined with the fuller body make this is nice winter beer that sticks to your guts in all the right ways. one of ithacas best seasonals.

Dec 10, 2012
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MrCee from Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smoky...almost like a rauch bier. Nice caramel color but light than would expect from the taste. It seems like it should be darker. Very pleasant body. Not much to report in the way of smell. A good transition beer into winter or a winter-like beer for those that don't like winter beers.

Nov 30, 2012
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RblWthACoz from Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks nice. Smells nice. A decent stab at the style. Won't go down as the greatest Belgian amber ever, but it's still coming off respectable. Could stand a bit more tweaking and smoothing around the edges, but it definitely works. Especially considering the style and how often it's mediocre at best.

Aug 31, 2012
Photo of TheBrewo
TheBrewo from New York

3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into our tasting snifters, this deep reddish mahogany colored beer throws up an impressive four finger head of creamy tan bubbles. Retention is phenomenal, and the lacing is as thick as the head. Carbonation appears average, and there are bits of yeasty sediment floating about the thick haze. The nose is rich with a deep caramel malt base, and strong fruity notes of pear, red apple, and raw plantains. The malts show a brown sugar sweetness, and even a bit of a smoky quality. Metallic yeast is also abundantly clear, completing the Belgian picture. Our first impression is that this is a nice, sweet, smooth, and boozy beer, with a contrasting bittering finish. As we sip, caramel malts, brown sugar, strawberries, and a lemon freshness combine for a robust start. The grain deepens with a bit of a roasty and steely quality. The yeast adds metal and bite, becoming most noted at the peak of the swallow, at which point a good deal of the sweetness is lost to souring and bittering grain. These last two notes pull us deep to the finish, where the grain becomes even more souring and puckering, with a hint of acetylaldehyde tartness. The grain is muddy, with mineral and chalk, and that metallic yeast from the nose. Booze comes in at this point, offering that classic peppery rumble. There is the faintest balance of sweetness from dark cherry and ripened strawberries. The aftertaste breathes more with that souring grain, yeast, clovey phenols, and sweetness of toffee and caramel malts. The body is medium and the carbonation is big. Each sip gives fantastic audible froth, slurp, cream, and smack. The mouth is initially coated, but eventually dries with a souring astringency. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks easily.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the crazy look, the nose, and the creaminess to each slurp. The nose gave a rich and appropriate preview of what was to come in the nose, while the flavoring subsequently delivered on all accounts. The end actually became a bit muddled, and the sourness of grain took away from the initial balanced and sweetness of the brew. Additionally, the feel was beautiful at the outset, but the huge carbonation became overwhelming at times. This is a great beer, but some aspects could use some refinement.

Apr 30, 2012
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ThePorterSorter from Oregon

3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pouring this chilled beer into a goblet caused a near explosion of carbonation. I wasn't quick enough.

A slightly dull brown-amber with a dense tan head that takes minutes to fade. There's sticky lacing and no sediment. The beer's aroma is dominated by yeast and fruitiness with a slight alcohol bite and sugary sweetness. The taste paints a different picture with heavy sweetness and yeast mainly in the aftertaste. It's quite smooth and drinkable with a slightly bitter, tobacco bite following each sip.
It's really a great belgian-style beer, although something isn't quite right overall. It's like comparing a really great generic cola to coke...lot's of good belgian character, but not quite perfect.

Apr 25, 2012
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jdhilt from New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Explodes out of bottle with a 5+ finger khaki head that fades quickly to a thin layer, leaving some lace. Hazy amber color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Belgian yeast nose and flavor is caramel and Belgian yeast, hops are subdued. $2.35 for a 12oz bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

Apr 19, 2012
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DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

3.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Going into this I knew it was old, finding it in the dollar beer section but I never had it. With good reviews and little sediment in the bottle I picked it up.

A - For what it's worth it does produce a nice 1/4 inch of tan colored head a top of some deep ruby brown colored beer.

S - Initial smells are still rather strong of caramel malt, fruity yeasts, and mild hops.

T - Taste is pretty good with the hops giving it a bitter almost cardboard like bitterness. I am surprised how bitter this is rather than sweet but fruity yeasts do play a part in keeping it from being too bitter. Not bad.

M - Mouthfeel was nice with a medium bodied and no chalky yeasts.

Overall I am not sure how great this beer was but a year or two (maybe more) down the road it's good.

"I'd buy that for a dollar!" -Robocop

Apr 02, 2012
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Thickfreakness from New York

4.12/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice cherry/mahogany into my Bruery tulip. 2 1/2 finger off white head that sparkles and shimmers. Nice bits of lacing drip down the glass leaving a sticky foam that fades away.

S- Dried cherry, raisin and figs. Nice banana and bubblegum from the yeast. Hints of pepper, lemon zest, basil and anise. Really nice and complex.

T- Huge flavors of banana, raisins, figs, and lemon-pepper spice. Hints of maple syrup and caramel. Decent hop presence.

M- Nicely carbonated for a Dark Ale. Loving the Belgian yeast and fruity sweetness. This one really hit the spot tonight! It's like a dark ale and a Wheat beer in one!

O- I was very pleased with this offering from one of my favorite somewhat locals. Fruity, wheaty, dark and delicious.

Mar 15, 2012
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goblue3509 from Pennsylvania

3.39/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with a slight one finger head which leaves no lace presence. The aroma is of candied yeast a bubblegum like aroma with a nice dark fruit aroma after. The taste has a caramel malt backbone there is then a big candied yeast flavor, again it is a bubblegum like flavor. There is also a dark fruit in the back end. The mouthfeel is light and thin. Overall it was a solid brew, it is not best in class but it is a good beer. Not as complex as some.

Feb 05, 2012
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BeerResearcher from Massachusetts

3.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. brown bottle. Best before date etched on label (but no mention of what year)
Served in in Westy goblet.
It pours a dark leathery brown color with a firm 2" foamy head along with some patchy and trailing lace.
The smell of doughy malt rises and falls at first pour. Earthy and woody smells edge forward, as does the clovey yeast and resinous hops. A little spice and hint of citrus pulls though. A very slight rum perfume is way in the background.
The flavors match the smells fairly closely. A bit sweeter in taste than in the nose. Close your eyes and you are drinking a Belgian Brown Ale.
I'm a bit surprised at the ABV. I would have guessed 6%...tops.

Jan 12, 2012
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chimaylvr from Rhode Island

4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Here's a beer with a lot of fine features:

1.5 fingers of foam retaining thin lacing throughout; proper deep amber hue

smell is strong, spicy, raisin, juniper, clove

taste is also strong, hints of orange, full of flavor, a crisp maltiness

feel is light syrup to start, finishes astringent perhaps from citrus notes

Overall this beer was quite enjoyable. Maybe because I really like Belgians but there's nice balance in this beer. Nothing too dominant but flavors assert themselves. Bold and balanced

Jan 08, 2012
Cold Front from Ithaca Beer Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 346 ratings