Ithaca Beer Company

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American Wild Ale
4.29 | pDev: 9.32%
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
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Reviews: 207 | Ratings: 452
Photo of alcstradamus
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Jim for this one. Pours a beautiful grapefruit color with a large 3 fingers of head that camps out forever.

The smell is nicely tart. Hints of band aid and cobwebs. There is definitely a juicy fruitness present, but I would not be able to identify the blueberries if I didn't already know they were there. Some grape skins and earthiness round out the nose.

Onto the taste....wow, this is pretty damn solid. There is not any big funkiness, sourness, or fruitness, but all three components do blend together quite well and provide an incredibly balanced wild ale. Not an easy achievement for the style. The blueberries aren't really prominent which means there is some room for improvement, but they do come out in the finish and linger on the back of the tongue for a bit.

Mouthfeel is light with a high level of prickly carbonation. Not really dry at all, in fact my mouth salivates after every swallow. Drinkability is very high due to the balanced flavor profile.

Well....overall I have to say that this beer is a winner. Probably won't knock many peoples socks off simply because of the lack of funk and sour, but standing on its own this beer delivers great flavor and is very refreshing.

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Photo of koopa
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I got to try a 6oz sample of this thanks to a very generous friend (non-BA) who grabbed a bottle at the brewery on the way home from a ski trip in Canada!

Appearance: Pours an attractive pink with a slight cloudiness to it. The crown is white with pink highlights, 2 fingers, fairly fluffy / rocky, shows some retention and lace.

Smell: Muscat grapes, barnyard, a hint of blueberry, a hint of lemon, and a dash of urine. Very similar to Brute but with a toasted barrel quality and blueberry dryness.

Taste: Mild barnyard must, hay, grapes, and a hint of blueberries. I'd give it a 4.3 if I could. My favorite aspect is the interplay between the tart blueberries and the lightly charred oak barrel notes.

Mouthfeel: Extremely light and fairly well carbonated so it's crisp. Nice but I'd like it to be a touch more hefty. UPDATE: Drinking a bottle on 2/9/10 and finding that the champagne yeast is really starting to smooth out.

Drinkability: Extremely drinkable example of the style.

Another nice wild ale from Ithaca Beer!

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Photo of naproxen
4.31/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Made the snowy trek on New Years Eve from Syracuse to Ithaca with BeerTruth for this much anticipated release. The sample we had at the brewery barely held me over until this morning's Le Bleu and blueberry pancakes breakfast :)

If a beer can be pretty, this one is the princess barbie of beer in my Ithaca Excelsior! tulip. The thick, very pale pink head stays in a meringue like state for a good 3 minutes before reducing to a heavily laced glass and a thin but persistent layer of froth. The color itself is medium reddish/purple pink, hinting at hues of slight amber, hazy body. It kind of reminds me of a thinned out raspberry jam.

Le Bleu reminded of me of Brute at first inhale, but I like the nose on this much more. The blueberry is very well hidden in the nose, I think it adds more of a balance and sweetness that stands it apart from brute. These blueberries come out much more in the taste, but again not trying to win over all the other flavors that are here as well. It starts out sweet and blueberry, turning right into a pleasant sourness with a hint of vinegar, and a dry finish and slight sour puckering. I actually think I am getting more blueberry now in the aftertaste which is a lovely departing gift. There is no question as to the drinkability on this one, at 5% it is crisp and refreshing.

Edit: Blueberry is coming out much much more now that it's been sitting here another 10 minutes.

I enjoy the addition of fruits to sours/wilds. In more cases than not, the fruits work well to balance out some of the more extreme flavors that the wild yeasts produce. Le Bleu is an excellent example of this. The blueberries never jump out and scream "taste only me", opting instead to bring all the flavors together. Le Bleu is drinking amazing right now in its youth, I look forward to seeing what age evolves this into.

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Photo of BeerTruth
4.68/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a couple bottles at the brewery.

750 ml. (blue) corked bottle with a blue foil top poured into a tulip. I was told this was aged in three different wine barrels from three different local Finger Lakes wineries...awesome. Not enough wine barrel aging in the beer world if you ask me. Paired with Aliza's blueberry pancakes :)

Pours a stunning reddish-purple with a light pink three finger fluffy cloud head. Amazing stick with this, thick lacing holds on tight to the sides of the glass. Just an amazing looking beer overall. Very Brute-esque in the nose; funky aromas consisting of citrus, grass, horse blanket, and earth. As for the blueberries, they're definitely there but kept in check with a good dose of wine barrel as well. Taste starts off with tart berries, funky hay, and a touch of oak. Midway crisp lemon flavors emerge with a slight vinegar sting, but not much. Aftertaste is quick and crisp with a sour bite. Only thing I could use more of on the tongue are more blueberries, still amazing flavors regardless. The feel is killer. So light and refreshing with a high carbonation, perfect for the style. As for drinkability, Le Bleu is insanely easy to drink...almost too easy. I love this beer, do I dare say I love it more than Brute? Yes. Another amazing sour from Chief. Looking forward to seeing what some age will do to this. Get this one while you can folks.

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

Pours a hazy rose color almost like a pink grapefruit juice but with a light amber glow and a surprisingly foamy white head. The smell is an aggressive funky sour lemon fruity citrus that reminds me of Brute, with a suggestion of the berries. Full flavored, bright sour fruity taste earthy funk with a touch of sweetness that grounds it out. The effervescent mouth feel really lightens up the texture of the body. It's not over powering, finishes with clean tart notes that linger briefly. Low ABV easy drinker.

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Photo of WesWes
4.77/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer pours a reddish/pink color with a thick frothy white head with pink tints that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a damn sour aroma with some light blueberry accents. It's light and dry and ohh so sour. The taste is perfect. It's light and fruity with a killer sourness right up there with some of Cantillion's best offerings. Wow, what a beer! The chief has really delivered with this one. The blueberry character is present, but really only adds color and a bit of complexity. The rest is unadulterated Brett, horse hair sourness. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a beautiful beer. It's more than I could have imagined. Great job, everyone at Ithaca Beer Company! Hail to the Chief!

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Photo of almychristopher
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this beer pours a very pretty amber red color with an off white head, the off white is a bit purple. the foamy head seam is determined to last out the session. the aroma brings the wild yeast strains; ala, le brute strong in the forefront backed nicely by the fruity esters and fruit from the blueberry. the taste starts very nicely with the sweet blueberry and malt, and contrasts nicely with the sour fruity wild yeast esters, and the spicy finish. the light body, low alcohol and aggressive carbonation will make this an easy bottle to finish.

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LeBleu from Ithaca Beer Company
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 452 ratings