TWELVE | Ithaca Beer Company

very good
143 Ratings
no score
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Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by klewis on 01-01-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 143 |  Reviews: 90
Photo of Atricapilla
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet. Appearance was a deep brown chestnut with a medium sized ivory colored head.Aroma was predominantly malt with some fairly strong yeast presence. Taste was earthy; again with malt and yeast predominating. Some sweetnes was present, perhaps too much for my liking.Slight hints of caramel and ethanol flavors were also present.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750mL bomber poured into a chalice; batch E!23

Pours a deep chestnut brown with mahogany highlights throughout. The thin, off-white cap didn't stick around for too long, leaving some scattered powered sugar type covering over the body.

The nose is of cherries, mild roast, spice, Belgian yeast and some earthy hops. Broad and clean, not very deep.

Rich, dark fruits and caramel on top of a bed of tart Belgian yeast. Some earthy hops (noble?) and clove spiciness through the middle leading to a mild roast and a slightly sugary/bitter finish. It's like a lingering cherry sweetness battling out with earthy, bitter hops.

Different than traditional Quads in that this is clean and somewhat bright. Smooth and creamy feel with a medium body.

This is pretty easy to drink, but I think misses some of the traditional qualities of a Quad. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Ithaca did a pretty solid job with this one. I enjoyed it.

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Photo of levifunk
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had at Madison, WI BA Tasting #2

appearance - I think this is the one that gushed when opened. poured dark cloudy brown with a white head.
smell - smells fruity, caramel
taste - earthy flavor (spices), subtle sweetness, but no where near what i expected off the nose. a little bitterness even.
mouth - very fluffy. too much carbonation for me, its basically champagne.
overall - very good job covering the alcohol, well balanced flavor, but maybe a little bland?

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Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got from jjayjaye through a trade...thanks man! Poured from a 750ml bottle into my chalice. Pours a lighter brown, like ice-tea...but ends up very muddy brown in the glass. Tons and tons of creamy tan head. The head has excellent retention...and is SUPER frothy! Leaves wonderful full coated lacing all over the glass. As the beer settles, the head remains a good 1/2 inch or cream, and tons of spotty settling at the bottom of the glass. The longer it sits, the thicker the sentiment gets too.

Aroma is awesome and full of fruit and Belgian yeasts. Very malty to the nose...booze is pretty hidden for 12%...but slightly detectable.

Creamy, smooth, sharp, crisp...and a nice bite! A solid Belgian Strong ale with nice spices. The booze is a lot more noticeable through the mouthfeel...and swallow for that matter. Very good beer! Ithaca really knows how to make a solid and consistent line-up of beers! I would say this is just a step down from some of the Trappistes Belgians, but right there with the best American version Belgian beers.

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Photo of oberon
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have had a few of the Excelsior series of brews from Ithaca and have been impressed with most of them,glad to try this one.Poured into a chalice with a huge blooming off white head a hazed amber brown,the head was all encompassing.A mix of spicy yeast,toast,and caramel in the nose,there is some fruity esters as well.Flavors of the spicy yeast like clove and white pepper,mixed with rich caramel at mid swallow,the fruit is subdued in my opinion.It begins to get a bit sticky after a bit but is pretty solid,its not overly complex but again pretty good.

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Photo of soco7tyx7
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark brown with a ruby hue. Hazy with a super thick soapy off white head with some decent lacing. Leaves a heady film throughout

S - Dark fruits, black berries, warm caramel, spicy yeast

T - Sweet dark fruits, with a roasted quality. Earthy, spicy, and yeasty. Finishes with a touch of alcohol and some residual bitterness from that roast character

M - Smooth, medium champagne like body. Feels thick in the back of the mouth. Finishes with a bit of heat

D - Overall a very tasty Quad. I enjoyed drinking it, but it's definitely a sipping beer. It hits ya kinda quick so eat something before or with it. The alcohol, though detected is well disguised so watch out!

Notes: I think this one would age especially well. The alcohol could chill out a little and it would be interesting to taste how the roasted character and the high carbonation plays out after a few years

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

I poured from a 750 ml bottle into 2 oversized wine glasses. It pours a murky, fuzzy, brown with a big, big white head. I did not have any gushing problems some previous reviews had, but it was highly carbonated. Sweet dark fruits soaked in light alcohol rule the aroma. Dates and sweet figs are up front on the flavor. It finishes dry and has the slightest bit of alcohol in the finish. It is full/medium in body and highly carbonated. A bit of a sipper it is a another nice brew by Ithaca.

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Photo of asabreed
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


I hate to use capital letters, but let me preface this quickly by saying a few things. I need to learn not to put bottles of beer on wine racks, especially beers that aren't corked, but I did it with this one two nights ago. As I was talking to a friend today on the phone, I picked up the bottle to read the label again, and I noticed my fingers were slightly wet, and the smell was beer, and the beer was indeed coming from the Twelve bottle.

Worried that this may have been a bad bottle, I decided not to screw around anymore, so I put it in the fridge for about 50 minutes and just opened it 10 minutes ago.

If you've read more reviews below, you'll know that this is pretty much a gusher, most likely because I imagine the champagne yeast levels weren't as tweaked as they needed to be as it was bottled.

I had to use a pint glass, my Brooklyn tulip, and a Samuel Smith 12 oz. nonic (all three clean glasses within reach of the cabinet) to combine pours before the carbonation stopped finally and slowly gushing out of the top.

Now, I'm pretty sure, due to the reviews below, that it's not just my bottle. So is this intentional? Did Ithaca put too much champagne yest in this sucker?

Not sure, but let's go ahead and get it reviewed, not that half the bottle has been sipped and transferred and finally all, so far, poured into the Brooklyn tulip.


Appearance: If you read what I wrote above, you know this is a gusher. That said, it's also a very pretty beer in the glass. Extremely dark red, almost opaque, with a huge lighter mocha-colored head that just erupts, growing rocky dense crags at the top of the body, and leaving crater-sized holes as it dissipates, along with raucous sheets and caverns of lacing clinging to the glass.

Smell: Belgian yeast and dark fruit esters dominate this beer, along with earthy and soil-like phenols coming through. There's definitely some unsweetened cocoa and chocolate malt presence too, along with some sweeter caramel. There also seems to be a huge sense of spice in here, but I imagine it's the different strains of yeast rather than spices, but the huge peppery tingles the nose a bit, in a good way.

Taste: Thinking of age, and I'm not one to usually say something this -- maybe because I just can't detect it -- but this one's definitely a little hot on the palate. I'm not sure if it's the alcohol I'm discerning, but you can definitely tell this is a strong brew. It doesn't take away from the experience, but it's definitely present here. Also, there are the dark berries from all the fruit esters, in addition to some citrus. A lot of spiciness from the yeast. Some nuanced caramel and chocolate sweeter malt flavors. And some nice bitterness from the hops at the end, lingering with the chocolate and sweeter flavors and the earthiness also from the yeast.

Mouthfeel: The champagne yeast and Trappist yeast really makes this wonderfully full and creamy and spritzy all at the same time. One of the best things about this beer, despite the initial gushing of the first few pours.

Drinkability: Will age mellow out the carbonation truly? If so, let this one sit in the basement, and DO NOT let it sit on a wine rack; make sure you keep it upright. I think I paid around $8 for the bottle, and to me, for something like this, that's a steal. I wonder if it would've made a difference if it were corked and caged instead of capped? I can't help being caught up with the carbonation issues, but I'd be really interested to open a bottle two years down the road and see what happens. Maybe grab two, but this is definitely more than worth a shot overall.

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

Warning: 12 became to latest Ithaca 750ml offering that turned out to be a gusher for me, so beware. After the original gush, foam slowly rose from the bottle neck for about five minutes.

The head exploded after the pour, causing me to wait a little bit before I poured some more and attempted to drink. Although there is a little bit too much head here, it is thick and sticky. Great retention with very good lacing.

The aroma has some dark fruits, a lot of caramel-malty sweetness, clove and a ton of yeasty, peppery flavors.

12 gas a flavor that is pretty complex and pretty good. Dark fruits that features mainly a raisin flavor pair with just a touch of sugary sweetness. The malt profile is big and sweet, with caramel and a lightly toasted taste to it. There is also a hint of clove. The most pronounced flavor in 12 is the peppery, spicy flavors from the Belgian yeast, which lends an almost medicinal character to the beer (but not in a bad way). The finish has just a hint of warming from the alcohol, but nothing that could tip you off that this bad boy is packing 12% ABV.

12 explodes on my tongue, a lot like a good Saison. Although this is not typical for a quad, I'm not too surprised considering the carbonation issues I had with this bottle. With that said, the feel seems to work for 12, so I won't complain too much.

12 is yet another big beer from Ithaca that I enjoyed very much. I'm sure that I will pick up another bottle before they are gone from the shelves around here.

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Photo of Gmann
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Out of a 750ml foil and capped bottle. Pours a dark chocolate brown color with an explosive tan head, watch out for this one. Lots of big bubble in the head, which slowly settles leaving some chunky lacing. The aroma is disappointing for a big brew. I pick up some fruity sourness but that is it. The flavor starts of chocolatey and woodsy, which is very nice, gives it an earthy edge to a style that can be overly sweet and fruity. Some brown sugar/dark candi sugar sweetness, some tobacco. The quad has a light dark fruit tart finish. I wish most quads/BSDAs tasted like this, great balance. The feel is moderate with fizzy as hell carbonation, very burpy. Seems that they used champagne yeast. It is a touch hot from the ABV. Though overcarbonated, it suits the brew well. This drinks very well for a BSDA, nice earthy offset to the sweetness, nothing cloying on this one. Biggest negative to the brew is easily offset by burping, which I like doing. An excellent American made quad.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at Teresa's Next Door for their Ithaca night in a tulip glass.

TWELVE is chestnut brown in color with some reddish trim if you look close enough. On the top lays a scattered cap of burnt sugar colored foam that's kinda condensed. This fades to a small ring around the glass. Only some poka-dot lacing sticks.

Malt driven but supposedly there is some hops in there, I can't pick them out. What's weird about this is I'm getting alot of roast that's reminding me of coffee, I've never smelled anything like it in a quad. Some sugary sweetness and some dark fruits. Some lingering spice

Well, there it is again, roast and coffee, I thought I was going crazy but it's there. Blocking that out, some dark fruit with fig and plum, maybe some berries. The malt is there but not as sweet as Belgian versions. There is a nice amount of Belgian yeast giving out bread and keeping this in check.

A big medium bodied beer that is malt forward, yet does not come off as silky smooth like a bernie 12 or the like. Carbonation is pretty light and a afterthought. The aftertaste is pretty tame as well. Truthfully, I thought i was drinking some perkulator dopplebock, perhaps I'm off my rocker. I have no problems with the feel though.

I'm glad I had 12 but won't be going back for it. Perhaps aging a bottle will take out all that roast but for no it's getting in the way. This is good beer and perhaps just a different approach on the style. Need some more fruit flavor and malt sweetness.

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Photo of jlapennas
2.6/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Aroma: Phenolic and fruity with a moderate noble hop character in the background. There are some malt characteristics but they are very restrained for this style. The balance seems to be too much toward the yeast.

Appearance: Huge head from a very gentle pour that sustains itself for a long time. Brew is a hazy/cloudy light brown. Head suggests over-carbonation as does the rapidly streaming bubbles rising up through the beer.

Flavor: Very similar to aroma in that the malt characteristics are overwhelmed by the carbonation and yeast character. There is a lingering roasty character but otherwise a lack of malt richness and complexity. Bubbles make it seem overly dry and harsh.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, slightly thin, and CARBONATED!

Drinkability: Overall this beer was not unpleasant but didn't really have the characteristics and balance I expect from a strong dark or quad. I would enjoy it more with increased malt character, at least the impression of sweetness, and a more restrained fermentation profile. The alcohol is well hidden though.

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Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Capped and foiled bomber, Batch E!020, $11.99 @ DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY. Pours murky darker brown. The head is huge, rocky and long lasting, going to multi layered froth, and leaving world class lacing. Dark, ripe fruit infused nose, with raisins, rum, and a spiced up yeasty snap. Full flavor NY State take on the classic Belgian style. Soft and buttery mouthfeel, this one is quite yummy already, curious what a year or two in the bottle would do. More ripe fruit, raisins, figs, vanilla, cloves, warming alcohol, yeasty spiced up finish. Flavorful, complex and nicely crafted, understated,highly drinkable..real nice job here by Ithaca

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very happy to be able to try this one, now I just gotta pop that 11 I have been on the lookout for and we will have the vertical in the books.

Pour is massive, nice medium brown color with a good bit of cloudiness and sediment in the bottom of the glass. Huge off white head rises up almost the width of the hand in a snifter before getting massively rocky and cratered and settling itself out nicely. Dark fruits and brown sugar like spices are dominating it here early on for me. Warming yields plums, figs, raisins, and a touch of alcohol that seems to prickle at the nose a touch. First sip is well carbonated and a touch hot, needs to mellow for a few months I would think. Rich raisins and plums, roasted malts, a touch of peat and leather in the back giving it some much needed balance. Nice dry finish here caps it off well leaving just a hint of fruit and sugary glaze on the palate until you come back for the next sip.

Overall not the biggest quad I have ever had but I really think it serves its purpose quite well. Give it some age I am sure this will end up being simply outstanding.

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Photo of JAramini
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Gentle pour yields massive head. This one is active. Don't move too fast or you'll have TWELVE all over your counter. It then subsides into pillowy and fluffy finally settling in at a thin layer of foam that clings to the glass.

In the pour it doesn't seem that dark, but in the snifter it's pretty well opaque and dark brown to black in color.

The aroma is primarily roastiness and smokiness. The same goes for the taste.

Carbonation is pretty high. The bubbles are more reminiscent of a tripel than a quad. Very bright and active with carbonation. Perhaps overcarbonated for the style.

Overall, I'd say this beer is a bit of a disappointment. If I were tasting it blind I don't know that "Quad" is the first style designation I would jump to. For a quad it isn't particularly complex and doesn't show much in the way of dark fruit. All I get is malt and smoke. The smoke isn't overwhelming, but is one of the more prominent flavors. If I didn't know the style I might call it a Belgian Stout.

Not bad, but not particularly interesting or exciting. There are many, much better quads out there.

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Photo of david18
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer has a very interesting aroma and flavor that has a much smokier and hoppier sensibility than I would have expected from a quadrupel. I did not have a very big glass (it was afternoon and I didn't want too much alcohol) but what I had was excellent and I may go back there tonight to get another one.

Overall, good light color, great flavor, aroma and mouthfeel. One of the better US/Belgian fusion beers I've had.

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

The beer pours a cloudy brown color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a tremendous dark fruit and caramel malt scent. The taste is good as well. It has a really nice roasted and crystal malt flavor highlighted with the addition of Belgian yeast esters. It boasts of dark fruits and roasted malt character. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an easy drinking quad. It's complex, but not overly so. It has good malt flavor with excellent yeast character.

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Photo of klewis
4.67/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy, dark ruby color with a huge , frothy head. Good sustain with decent lacing.

S: A bready, yeasty smell with aromas of pepper and other miscellaneous spices.

T: Big, complex, and wonderfully balanced. Mild phenols mix with soft flavors of prunes, walnuts, and figs while a mixture a spices mask any appearance from the alcohol.

M: Big and full-bodied with a champagne-like carbonation. Finishes quite dry.

D: Absolutely delicious. Worth seeking out.

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TWELVE from Ithaca Beer Company
3.89 out of 5 based on 143 ratings.
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