Cold Front | Ithaca Beer Company

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Cold FrontCold Front
346 Ratings
Cold FrontCold Front

Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States

Style: Belgian Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by WesWes on 09-04-2009

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 346 |  Reviews: 147
Reviews by StoneTSR:
Photo of StoneTSR
3.66/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: Deep, dark brown with a hazy opaqueness which would come through more clearly if this beer weren't so dark. A fantastic, inch-thick head with very big, homogeneous bubbles. It did dissipate quickly, but an eighth of an inch remained strong long after the rest had faded. The only area it lacked in was lacing.

SMELL: Strong smoky aroma with hints of malt and just a wisp of coffee and chocolate.

TASTE: Smoky, oak, malt flavors with hints of spice, coriander and raisins. While the Cold Front tastes malty it is, somehow, not too sweet. A nice balance.

MOUTHFEEL: A bit syrupy, but with a light sparkle. Smooth and easy drinking.

OVERALL: I initially tried this beer at the brewery in Ithaca and remember being quite delighted in the taste after the bartender described it for us. Typically a Belgian-style amber would be too sweet and not hoppy enough for me. While the hops weren't there, it wasn't sweet at all and actually was quite delightful. A shame this was only brewed once.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of aszatk01
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of steelerguy
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Caramel color, nice light tan head, and moderate carbonation. The head dissipated pretty quickly with some lacing left on the sides.

S - Some light and sweet toffee and chocolate aromas. Some penols also come though that give it a little tang on the nose.

T - Like the smell, a lot of malt up front with a bit of a toffee sweetness. The spice/phenols become prevalent. Then it ends with a bit of hop bitterness.

M - Light crisp feel, quite refreshing feel.

D - This is a good beer, which was enjoyed, but the spiciness becomes a bit tiring after awhile.

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Photo of danthehopslamman
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of DWolf
2.75/5  rDev -24%

Photo of generallee
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured into a tulip glass from a growler which was filled at Consumers Beverage.

Appearance: The body has a dark brownish color with reddish highlights. The pour produced only a small tan head which quickly fades to wispy thin covering. Lacing is minimal and very slick, sliding right down the sides of the glass.

Smell: Its aroma is pleasantly sweet, fruity, estery and yeasty.

Taste/Palate: The flavor starts with sweet malty, bready and earthy yeasts notes for the base. As it warms some mild dark fruity notes come out along with a hint of spice and hops. It finishes with a sort of sweet and funky fruity yeast thing going on. The texture has a firm smooth feel with mild carbonation.

Notes: Overall not a real stand out but it can hold its own and it is very drinkable.

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Photo of TimoP
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Doomcifer
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, with best before dating notched onto the side of the label. (the month is nice, but dont you really need a year as well, I never understand why this is so hard for brewers to understand...) Pours quite dark, porter like in fact. Darker tan head, frothy and long lasting, then a tiny bubble film and a full collar. The nose I'm picking up is of some chalky chocolate, vanilla and some mild ripe fruit. More light chocolate on the tongue, very ripe bananas, dusty, drying hops, perhaps a hint of the barnyard or funk that others have noted. Decent fall/cool weather quaffer. Quite dry in the finish.

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Photo of tigg924
3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: minimal head and carbonation, cloudy, chestnut brown in color

Smell:toasted malt, plums, hops, alcohol, and bread

Taste: bread, apple, raisins, and roasted malt

Mouthfeel: semi-sweet, modearte carbonation, medium bodied

Drinkability: An average saison that I want another of, but am in no rush to get. Not a bad effort.

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Photo of reitzbrewing
4.75/5  rDev +31.2%

Photo of alienlifeforcecube
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of mjtiernan
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of dogfishandi
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle. pours a big fluffy off white to biege colored head. a little bit of lacing and some pretty good retention. appearence is quite dark almost black. reveals a slight ruby mahgony color in the light. hazy, but not a whole lot of sediment.

smell is quite yeasty, bubblegum, flouride,some ripe dark fruits, sweet malts.

the yeast come in big on the taste as well. flouride, solvent, bubblegum flavors. sweet malts, ripe ripe fruits. some very nice chocolate roasted undertones in there. ripe dark fruity finish.

medium body, dry finish. a little chalky and astringent from the ripe fruity yeasty flavor.

i wouldnt want more than one of these, although its very nice to drink. its definately worth a try, not a bad example of the style from a brewery i wouldnt really expect to know much about belgians. however definately nothing like an authentic belgian. i couldnt see myself ever buying this, but if i was offered, i couldnt refuse.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.18/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber mahogany brown hue with a large fine bubbled tan khaki head, forms fine scattered lacing. Aromatics offer up sharp fruity tart/sweet layers intertwined. A bit of floral/grassiness and malts/honey combined to form a very pleasant nose. Cherry earthiness with juicy raisin a bit of tart apple as well, call it a Belgian amber/dubbel it fits the mold. Maybe it's the yeast but this is complex as all hell, maybe a bit too sweet for my tastes but the spicy yeast/tart apples/juicy raisin sweetness with some earthy/herbal faint hops combines to create pure bliss. A really nice seasonal offering more beautiful beer coming out of Ithaca I love these guys. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, bottle says best by February I say forever. Seven percent not really hoppy, a bunch of Belgian yeast packing it's magic this will lay down for awhile. Carbonation is effervescent excellent use of Belgian yeast, really seems like a quality American brewed version. Drinkability I will be back, classic example of why Ithaca beers are a go to option, pure quality expressed with every beer I've had from them.

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Photo of mrosenfeld32
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of dacrza1
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Situation: Sunday after Christmas--what a good celebration...
Glassware: Rare Vos slanted pint...
Appearance: tremendously erupting thick brown head that serves a quarter of the glass... velvet black when held to the Christmas tree--a dark take on the saison indeed...
Aroma: the spices and cloves pleasantly frame the hops; a full-bodied flavor is foretold in the aroma...
Palate: vivacious, active medium-bodied ale; warming but not hot; alcohol strengthens as an undergirding form...
Taste: light fruitiness dances above mellow maltiness and softened floral hops--yet this beer also has a fortified strength that makes ir a good winter match...
Overall: a strange blend of a brew--heady and heavy at times, creamy and gulpable at others; fits the winter sampler, and if available around ehre, I might even seek it out on its own merits...

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Photo of prdstmnky
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

*review from notes on 9/28/10*

Fairly aggressive pour yields a medium brown ale, with some amber tints to it, a healthy 2+ fingers of tan head, and light lacing. Lots of Belgian yeast and dark fruits, and a bit of spiciness in the nose. The taste seems to follow right along with the smell, dark fruits (prunes, raisins, purple plums), a nice yeastiness (if thats even a word), also some sweetness (caramel / toffee) and spice - a nice flavor profile. I get alot of carbonation in the mouth, and its dry. I didn't have huge expectations going into this tasting, and it pretty much lived up to that - an overall decent Belgian ale.

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Photo of Griffith
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of asabreed
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a Brooklyn tulip. How is this a Saison? Or is it a brown Saison ala SN?

Appearance: A darker and mildly hazy amber with cola-colored lacing that seems to die a bit faster than it should, especially for a Belgian.

Smell: A lot of spice and fruit esters and citrus coming in, with some dark cherries, pungent apple skin, and a lot of earthiness with some mild funk. Balanced but could be more complex. Still fairly nice.

Taste: Spicy, yeasty, distinctly Belgian, with a good amount of citrus hop bitterness and some good dark fruit esters and prominent apple skin. A mild, mild bit of earthy funk too. But the finish is just gone before you know it, which takes it down a notch for me.

Mouthfeel: Gets to be a bit chalky with the swirl and pour near the end, but before that it's medium bodied with good all-around coating carbonation and doesn't seem cloying.

Drinkability: A solid brew from Ithaca -- I just want to know what the hell it is. As a Belgian, it's a great sipper over the course of an evening. As a Saison, well, I'm not sure. Worth a try, and I'd try it again.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to Lumdog millionaire for sending me this bottle among many many other Ithaca treasures. You da man Paul!

Appearance, im not sure what to make of it. It's certainly not normal for the style listed, but this looks and smells like a BSDA, so im gonna review it as such for now. Pours dark and slightly murky with amber highlights and a stark white head that retains pretty well and leaves ok lacing down the glass.

Nose is of alot of belgian malt and smells pretty significantly of star anise. A little saison like yeast peeks its head out.

Yep. Pretty good stuff here. Belgian malt although not terribly sweet, does start us out. There is definitely some star anise in this beer, and it compliments it quite nicely. The finish is fairly dry, and im not sure what kind of yeast was used, but it really seems like it has a BSPA or saisonish yeast profile. An interesting amalgam of belgian classics.

Mouthfeel is pretty solid. Not too thick, right where it should be viscosity wise. Carbonation is right where you'd want it.

Drinkability is very solid for what i would peg to be an 8.5ish abv. Could easily put away a few of these.

Overall a very nice belgian style concoction. I like the mixture of belgian traits that come into play. A nice drinkable and flavorful beer. I like how packed with flavor it is while maintaining sessionable drinkability. Another winner from Ithaca, who continue to impress.

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Photo of Sammy
3.2/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Boring Belgian, had at Clark's Ale House in Syracuse. Very yeasty, medicinal. Dark colour. Mouthfeel above average, but still unsatisfying. Not too sweet other than the yeast, not getting much spices, though licorice and chocolate malt.Coca-cola like.

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Photo of whatname
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.03/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an Ithaca snifter.

A: Standard pour yields a 1.5 finger fine, light tan head that recedes as quickly as I can measure it into a thin wisp floating atop the brew. Beer is a unique near opaque dark purple-brown. Lacing sits where the head used to be with a waterfall effect to the level of the beer. Pretty beer.

S: Big pleasing Belgian yeastiness upfront with a mix of various ripe dark fruits and cocoa nibs.

T: Again, Belgian yeastiness is present upfront with an ample mix of over-ripe prunes. This blends neatly into an aggressive cocoa flavor that makes this beer a bit too abrasive and powdery. Hurts my throat when I swallow. Finish is a ripe fruit sourness mixed with a slight bitterness from the cocoa. Finish is oily, thick, and smoky, but thankfully, dissipates quickly.

M: Medium bodied, highly carbonated, and extremely coarse. I feel like I'm drinking undissolved cocoa powder at times and its hard to keep down. Watery in the mouth with a finish that just keeps getting thicker. This one is saliva inducing.

D: I won't be having this again. As it warms, this beer becomes more and more aggressive and harder and harder to keep down. Belgian side is nice and complex and I appreciate that. However, the cocoa side has me fighting to finish this one. I won't be revisiting this one again.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
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

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Cold Front from Ithaca Beer Company
Beer rating: 3.62 out of 5 with 346 ratings