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Cold Front | Ithaca Beer Company

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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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 148 | Ratings: 347
Photo of Jayli
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Track 84 12/18
Served in a pint glass

A: This beer pours a mahogany brown with a 1/4 inch of offwhite head. Head disappears immediately, and leaves no lacing to speak of.

S: Nose is dark fruit - raisin, date, caramel and corriander.

T: Taste starts with a good deal of malt in the forefront. Caramel and toffee notes fill the mouth. Raisin and corriander fill the middle. Finish has a bot of oak and hop bite to it.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, crisp at first with an oily finish.

D: Goes down easily, pretty tasty, not too filling, nice kick, and nice representation of style.

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Photo of pmlondrigan
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice initial pour with one finger of head, medium sized carb bubbles hangs around awhile but eventually fades to a thin film. Color is between a ruddy brown and deep buckwheat honey amber. Aroma is full of banana and clove and dominated by the belgian yeast. The first thing I notice is the flavors of the yeast, again banana and clove. There is a dark bready quality to the body and a nice bite from some hops right at the end. M&D I expect a little more luxuriation in bda, but then again I don't believe this is bottle conditioned at that probably has something to do with that. All in all though this is a nice beer and I like it alot.

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Photo of LeibJ
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice seasonal beer, the coor was excellent an almost perfect shade of amber (somewhere between red and orange). The color was somewhat cloudy. There was a taste of cinnamon that I did not expect. The smell was just to die for, it was very floral. All in all a beer I would drink again and again this time of year, because it certainly make me feel warmer.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.91/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from a variety pack. Pours dark brown with a tanned, foamy, long lasting head. Aroma of Belgium yeast, bread, some dark fruit and hints of spicy hops. Medium, tangy and somewhat sweet body. Flavor of caramel malt, spicy hops and yeast. Long, dry, spicy finish. Very interesting brew.

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Photo of wyattshotmaker
3.91/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a chalice,great head retention. very dark for a saison.smell is yeast spice character and a slight bit of coffee.taste has some dark malt sweetness up front,finishes dry with a slight bit of roasted malt.dark fruity esters are present throughout.

light mouthfeel,great drinkability for a fall beer.this is one im definately going back to throughout the fall.

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Photo of lovindahops
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into ithaca pint glass (yup, went to the brewery today)

A- dark as night. Looks like a coca cola. Good rocky head that disappears. Lacing not that great

S- great belgium scents of cinnamon, bananas, and toffee. Very fruity and flavorfull. It hides the alcohol well

T- brown sugar surrounds a dark flavor profile. Very sweet malty flavor that is surrounded by the toffee flavor. Bready flavor exits

M- decent carbonation with a thick flavor

D- another good brew from ithaca brewery. The dark flavors provide a good brew for the colder seasons. I really recommend this for someone who wants a filling, flavorful craft brew for the cold

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Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
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 dirtylou
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
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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Photo of Buckeyes67
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I would put this into my top three from here along with FlowerPower and Cascazilla. A good dark color but not cloudy. A good aroma and a great taste. Sits nicely in your mouth and is very easy to drink. This one you could sit down with and drink a couple and not have to change up to something else.

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Photo of number1bum
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, sort of like a cola color, with about two inches of quickly rising tan head. Head settles slowly and keeps a decent lace, along with a few splashes of stick on the sides.

Smell has some dark caramel sugar, sweet, freshly baked bread, some yeasty character and a bit of spice. It's pleasant, but not terribly strong or very complex.

Taste also starts with some dark caramelized malt, bread dough and subtly musty yeast, and finishes somewhat spicy with a hint of bitterness. A bit of anise flavor too. It's a bit more complex than the nose was, and it's quite smooth and flavorful.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty crisp, with a very clean finish. It dries out in the finish as well.

This reminds me quite a bit of Sierra Nevada's brown saison. I quite enjoyed it and considering the very reasonable pricetag I'd definitely pick it up again. Worth picking up for sure.

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Photo of MrCee
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of younger35
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this brew from BeerTruth as part of Ithaca's seasonal sampler. Gotta love all the cool shit Ithaca pumps out. Drank from my Surly nonic pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a dark brownish crimson with a nice one finger super creamy light tan head. An incredibly nice cap and collar remains and somehow, someway, no lacing is left.
Smell- A definite Belgium yeast kick right from the start with a bit of bubblegummy spiciness. Some light banana esters with even lighter bits of clove and ginger. Some dark malts with a somewhat toasted side and a small musty earthiness.
Taste- Starts much the same as the nose but there is a distinct bitterness hiding in there. Slightly Belgium like with a dark earthy yeastiness that is earthy and spicy. Not so much of the banana in there but there is some clove and nutty maltiness. The beer is malty and somewhat clean but there is definitely a sneaky bitterness. It's citric and lightly fruity with a sharp bit of lemon peel and pear. I don't know what it is, but something in this beer reminds me of celery. Yes, celery. It's not bad at all, it just reminds me of celery when it all comes together. Weird.
Mouthfeel- Somewhere just a hair below heavy feeling with a lightly sharp bite of carbonation.
Drinkability- Definitely not really what I expected. The beer definitely blurs 'style' guidelines but it's interesting none the less. Probably a little bit too much Belgium influence for my tastes but I still didn't have any problems putting it down. Thanks for the opportunity Adam!

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Photo of scottg
3.87/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to beertruth.
12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a dark brown color with a thick one finger off white head leaving light lacing that slides back to the beer. Floral and yeasty aromas- banana, clove, and spices. Strong spice flavors- corriander and clove with pale malt and some lemon. Medium body and carbonation with an extra dry finish. Different from other saisons I've tried, not as clean but good none the less.

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Photo of jsanford
3.86/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Mad Elf Tulip Glass.

A - Pours a dark mahogany with a 2-inch creamy khaki-colored head that settles to a thick cap. Quite pretty, actually.
S - Dark and malty, with a good dose of caramel, dark candi sugar, port-soaked dates, bubblegum, and a spicy Belgian yeast.
T - More dark flavors of caramel and toffee, candi sugar, raisins, and dates with some bready malt and peppery yeast character. Yeast almost reminds me of a Saison, which is perfectly fine with me.
M - Medium bodied with fairly sharp carbonation and a moderately dry finish.
O - I really liked this one, it makes for a great Wintertime sipper!

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Photo of zdk9
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours out a dark deep walnut brown that's impenetrable to the light. A finger of pretty froth that leaves some pretty lacing.

S- Smells of dark dried fruit, wood, rum, unbaked dark wheat bread.

T- Taste is malty, dark wheat, light rum. Some roast- well toasted almonds perhaps.

M- Bitter and dry on the sides of my mouth. Sweet in the middle. Alcohol is pretty hot in the throat. Carbonation is higher than expected. A lot of stuff going on in the mouthfeel.

O- An interesting beer. Good flavors, complexity, interesting mouthfeel. I like it. Another good offering from IBC and continuing their foray into Belgian offerings.

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Photo of josefnewsong
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - pours a dark ruby/brown with little head and little to no lacing (maybe because the girl poured it this time)
s - smells immediately of alcohol, then hints of dark fruit and spice
t - dark fruits, some kind of roastiness, and hints of spices that i can't quite pinpoint individually
m - a little syrupy at first, fairly full-bodied, with a nice carbonated finish
d - i could toss back a couple for sure.

Similar to Ommegang Three Philosophers with less taste complexities, less fruit, more spice, and less alcohol...lol so maybe not that similar but that's what it's reminding me of at the moment....
As it warms the subtle tastes start to pop out a bit. I like.

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Photo of animalchin
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Semi-clear maroon body with a brownish tint alongside a thick smooth to rocky head at the initial pour. Appears a more brownish, burnt orange toward the light. A little reserved in aroma, but picking up some dry malt alongside dark fruit and spice. Very aggressive taste - plum, dark cherry with very reserved action concerning the hops, with a little more malt upfront.
Has a certain thickness in feel, accentuated further with the active carbonation.

Definitely a fine Belgian ale worth trying, and it's made in one of my favorite towns of all time. They have a great interpretation on the style - not too complex, but also keeps your senses quite active. Would love to try this baby on tap.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ithaca Cold Front has a body that is about the color of cola, with a small tan head that as ok retention and leaves a few scraps of lacing on the glass.

The aroma is big on sweet malts complemented by a bunch of peppery and clove-like yeast scents. A little bit of saison yeast is in there also.

Most of the flavor of Ithaca cold front comes from what seems like a blend of a few different malts to me. Lots of sweetness with flavors of caramel, toffee and some bread-like notes. A hint of dark fruits gives way to a good dose of peppery yeast that comes with what seems like a bit of clove. After that some funky saison yeast rounds out Cold Front.

For a Belgian dark or amber, the mouthfeel might be a little light to moderate. For a saison, it would be way too heavy. I'll assume this is an amber that just happens to have some saison-type yeast and say the mouthfeel is ok.

I got to sample this beer quite a few times, from when it was first tapped at the brewery until months later at local bars both on-tap and in bottles. The fact that I kept trying it reveals that I liked it every time. I have to say, that the spring saison from Ithaca, Ground Break, is better, but that doesn't diminish the fact that Cold Front is a pretty good beer itself.

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Photo of BB1313
3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Best Before March 2010. 12 oz bottle poured into standard pint glass. Pours a very dark brown, almost black.. reminds me of Coke/Pepsi. Very nice fluffy head and nice lacing. The smell is wonderful, filled w/ cherries and candied sugars. The taste is more bitter than I anticipated. Along w/ the cherries and fruits, there is a strong chocolate/toffee presense. The mouthfeel is nice for the style, very carbonated. Drinkability is ok, one worked for me.

Perhaps this would be more enjoyable when it's cool out versus this heat we're dealing w/ now. Nonetheless, this is a pretty unique brew.

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Photo of TheTrevor
3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a dark brown with ruby highlights and a big fluffy three-finger tan head. The smell is very Belgian, with some of the characteristic yeastiness and a bit of fruitiness and spiciness. The taste starts off with some sweet breadiness with a bit of alcohol in the middle and some spiciness in the finish. The mouthfeel is satisfying thick with some fine carbonation. This beer is probably my favorite from Ithaca, if I didn't know better you could probably convince me it's actually from Belgium.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Clear light amber with a two finger head.

S-Some dark fruits and raisins, some yeast as well. Slight, slight hops.

T-Similar to the nose, with sweet dark fruits as the main attraction. Mild bitterness in the finish.

M-Creamy, rather carbonated and medium bodied.

O-Another solid beer from Ithaca, an interesting choice for a winter seasonal but good nonetheless.

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Photo of Suds
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on November 13, 2011. It pours a handsome looking dark amber with a nice, silky, tan head that lingers. The aroma is emboldened with blended European malts, yeast, and a freshly baked bread element. The body falls well into the medium range but it is kind of carbonated. The taste begins powerfully with candied sugar and sweet Belgian malts at the start followed by a slightly unexpected sharp hopped bitterness at the tail end. It really catches the feel of a good Belgian influenced dark ale but it seemed just a little off the mark. But it would not stop me from buying it again.

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Photo of SickGnar
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Very dark & tawny reddish amber - almost a warm brown. Slightly hazy with plentiful bubbles rising to join the good-size, fluffy, light tan head. Foam turns sort of rocky then fades to a cap and leaves some nice lacing - especially at first.

S: Belgian nose in a yeasty and fruity way. Fruit is estery grape skins, dark dried fruits, and a light zesty twang. Yeast is a bit peppery (a sort of saison character), but also blends well with a bread crusty malt aspect. Picking up some darker, roasty malts too. Not much in the way of hops. Intriguing and inviting.

T: A bit of candy sweetness accents the toasty bread crust malts. Faint caramel with some darker stuff lending a nice toffee edge. Dark fruit (raisins & prunes) seem malt derived and blend in with the estery grape skins and soft almost citrus yeasty twang. Yeast also lends a bit to the bready aspect is more peppery up front. There is also a super faint clove note. Hops make an appearance at the end and come across as spicey and herbal. The aftertaste is almost abrupt - even crisp - and then some earthy bitterness lingers on with a slight, slight funk. Just a tad more robust would get the next rating.

M: Slightly under average attenuation with a bit over average CO2. Almost full, yet lively. Some residual sugars to chew on. Finish trends semi-sweet, and is balanced by a peppery twang. Just a touch warming.

D: Not as funky or out-there as some Belgian style interpretations. It does hit the right notes and is reasonable complex, but just lacks a little in the umph department. I do like how the yeast gives a bright, zesty, sort of counter-seasonal (almost summery) twang. Great as fall or even spring seasonal.

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Cold Front from Ithaca Beer Company
3.68 out of 5 based on 347 ratings.
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