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Dark Humor | Ithaca Beer Company

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very good
52 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-18-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 52 | Ratings: 85
Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at Cole's, the only bar on elmwood open on July 4th. Dark, creamy, thick chocolate.Great porter. Very drinkable. Yes, thick chocolate milk shake, with some roasted coffee. As good as it sounds. Rich malty chocolate aroma. Ithaca on a roll.

 254 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Ithaca Ale House Memorial Day weekend 2011. Served in a goblet.

Pours a medium to dark brown color with a good tan head that stuck around as a thin cap for awhile before fading and leaving some spotty lacing. The nose carried some slight roast along with chocolate and a bit of brown sugar. Beyond that, a moderate amount of funk, though that didn't really come into play until the flavor and finish. Good funky presence in the taste along with some brown sugar and slight roast. Interesting combo that I really enjoyed. Medium body and a somewhat-dry finish. Good brew.

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Photo of oline73
2.97/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I had this on-tap at Capone's. Poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours black with a layer of tan head that goes away completely.

Smell: Quite sweet, ripe dark fruit and some molasses. Not very sour.

Taste: Here, there is some sourness. Mild roast, but nothing in the tastes pops out and gets your attention. A bit wine like.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with almost no carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I wasn't super impressed with this beer. A bit muddled and confusing. I may not get the sour porter style, who knows?

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Photo of jlindros
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap at Armsby Abbey

Creamy small head fades slowly pretty much pitch black color.

Nose dry stout, almost chalky, powdered chocolate, roast, nutty, some brett spicy funk.

Taste comes with porter at first, chocolate powdered and bakers, roasted malts, caramel, bit creamy. Then some funk but not a lot, light soured malt flavors, light dry bready funk. Finishes very dry, bit of funk and lots of lingering dark malts.

Mouth is a bit heavier bodied, decent carb

Pretty good, not a funky as I expected, nice porter flavors and malts, light soured malts.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Pinocchio's, Media, PA

An interesting and unlikely collaboration between Ithaca and Iron Hill. This beer was a dark cedary-brown color, not quite opaque, and a small cap of tan head that receded to a ringlet. Smell of dark toasty malts, yeast, pumpernickel, and light spice with a harbinger of sour fruit. Hints of coffee. Taste was a little thinned out at first, but filled out a bit after my taste buds adjusted; brown sugar, molasses, coffee grounds, dark bread, and an odd spicy yeast sensation (100% Brett in a porter? neat). Sour but tame, funky but not overbearingly so. Medium mouthfeel, and moderately drinkable.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.62/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

huge thanks to my man up north for this growler, i was thrilled to death to be able to try this one! Gotta love two new ithaca growlers!

pour was jet black with a small tan head that kept a ring around the entire glass leaving a good bit of lacing up and down the sides of the glass that really looked to be quite nice to me. aroma is deep peat and smoke, much more then i really thought it would be, nicely done. warming brings up lots of oak and touches of vanilla in the flavor. the grape and slightly sour character from the barrels is not very noticeable until it really warms and by that time it is still quite light but near perfectly placed. rich and smooth, with a deep smoke flavor that leaves a long lasting oak note on the palate an a light, but enjoyable finish that really gives a nice rounded profile.

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 12/1/11 notes. Had on tap at Churchkey in Washington, DC.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with one inch of off white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of brett, roasted malts, coffee, light fruit, light wood, and light toasted malts. The sour brett jumps out up front and mixes nicely with the roasted qualities. I'm a fan.

t - Tastes of brett, roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, and coffee. Less coffee than the nose, and more sour breet mixing with the roasted malts. Again, I like it.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

o - Overall an interesting beer, but I enjoyed it quite a beer. I love the smell of brett so thought the nose was great; something I'd certainly order again if I saw it on a menu.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On nitro at Capone's in Philadelphia.

The beer appears jet black, with a thick, creamy, beige head. The glass is completely coated with a heavy sheet of tan lacing. The aroma is of fruit, roast, fudge, cream, and vanilla. The flavor is unique to say the least. Chocolate ice cream with raspberry topping. Quite tasty. Sweetness grows with time. Really well done, and likely best in small quantities. One serving is plenty, though I did enjoy my sample.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.14/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bartrash for this extra. Served in a Heady Topper glass.

A - Quick-dissolving tan foam settles to a thin ring. Dark brown body that is slightly lighter at the fringes.

S - Chocolate marshmallows, sugary malts, and a light musky funk in the periphery. Never would have guessed this was a 100% brett beer. As it warms up it gets a touch medicinal, but it's mostly chocolate and dark fruits.

T - Taste is unusual - a mix of slightly sour cherries, milk chocolate, bread and yeast, and a light medicinal note in the finish. Reminds me a bit of Cherry Cola. Somewhat watery, but otherwise quite nice.

M - Smooth texture, medium body, lower carbonation, and a dry clean finish. Alcohol isn't present at all.

D - This was quite nice - a very interesting beer. I had no problem consuming a few pours of this one and I'd certainly try it again if they make a new batch.

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Photo of ShanePB
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Capone's in a 13 oz snifter glass.

A: Dark black body with a small slightly off-white head. Thick, patchy sticky lacing covers the glass walls and keeps a moderate retention ring around the edges. A really nice looking beer that seems to combine both porter qualities with the effervescence of a wild ale.

S: Roasted malts are up-front initially followed by a raspberry sweetness. Almonds, faintly bitter coffee beans, a funky tartness and chocolate covered cherries in the back end. Rich, robust and yet fruity and tart.

T: Sweet dark fruits (plum, black cherry), chocolate and roasted coffee beans are first. Tart red fruits like raspberry and cherry are mid-palate giving a nice transition from the roasted malty front of the beer. A few residual coffee notes are in the linger after the funk leaves the mouth.

M: Creamy, medium-bodied but still bubbly and active. It is somewhat dry on the palate in the finish, perhaps a combination of the tartness and bitter roasted flavors.

I'm noticing a trend growing here, combining the darker roasted malts, akin to a Porter or Stout and then throwing in some souring bacteria. It's new, it's different and generally it seems to be working. Tart of Darkness, Zwet.be and now Dark Humor are all beers I actually did enjoy that exhibit this new flavor profile. Keep them coming.

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Photo of tempest
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had a 10 oz. pour at Good Beer in the East Village. I like the balanced Brett character. I wouldn't have guessed the strength, but maybe the wild yeast has helped dry this one out a bit, the mild tang certainly seems to lift the body. Otherwise there's a wonderful, clear chocolate roast with a little bit of candy sweetness. The Brett pops in for a sharp, slightly acidic citrus note, but not much else. Heck of a beer.

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Photo of WesWes
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark brown/black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a nice mix of roasted and caramel malts along with a very aggressive Brett aroma. The roasted malts and Brett sourness compliment each other well. The taste is great as well. It has a damn fine malt flavor that boasts of roasted and caramel malts. It has a bit of caramel sweetness as well as a mild earthy feel. The Brett character is quite aggressive. It lingers on in the finish with a good deal of funk. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very good beer. The porters of the past used to get a slight Brett character due to barrel contamination. This one is unique and well done.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler shared by Matt awhile back.

Jet black color with a thin mocha head that fades to a wispy collar with thin lacing. Smells like a robust porter; chocolate, roast malt, brown sugar with only a hint of sour and dark fruit. Flavor is an interesting clashing contrast of a slightly sweet roast malt and chocolate porter with a healthy dose of bretty funk and light sourness in the finish. Medium bodied with a dry slightly bitter finish. Not quite perfect, and a little jarring at times, but I like all the flavors contributing and would love to have this again.

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Photo of akorsak
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

At the brewery.

A: The porter is dark, a forboding stout that envelops all colors of the spectrum. The darkness is punctuated by a dark, tan colored head that stands in sharp contrast. Lacing follows as the head recedes.

S: The strong bite of the porter is a cunning mix of sourness and hoppiness, possibly the oddest porter I've ever come across. Sweet cherry aromas mix with the dark, overly roasted porter notes and side of hops. The funky brett is a bold aroma against the dark roasted malts. Plenty of cherry coming out of the brett.

T: More roasted flavors, strong and dominant. The chocolate, coffee and burnt toast straddles the line with the brett. The dark roasts running into an immediate wall of funk. The transition is awkward at times. The sweet fruity dirtiness of the brett struggles against the dark porter flavors. Interesting.

M: Clean mouthfeel although the intense cherry brett flavors can easily be mistaken for the bite of citrus hops.

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Photo of rfgetz
2.3/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a murky light to medium brown color, some chalkyness to its appearence, small cap of tan head. Scent tastes lightly roasty, earthy and muddy, no massive brett presence, notes of cheap milk chocolate. One sip and I knew i was in for something different... sour pumpernickle bread, sour cherries, roasted nuts, cheap milk chocolate, rancid fruit, rancid yogurt, damp earth, musty wood... a lot of notes that I wouldnt look for in a beer. Medium bodied, chalky, highly carbonated for the style.

This is my second experience with a wild yeast porter, and the other, from Dock Street was much more appropriate to showcase the yeast.

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Photo of cbutova
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Sunset Grill.

A- Pitch black in a tulip. Small tan head with a nice creamy texture. Spotty lace on the glass.

S- Brett + porter = sour cherries, barnyard, smoke, licoriceand roast malts.

T- Like the nose but more intense and complex. Dark roast malt, cocoa, licorice, coffee thrown into a barnyard of sour cherries and straw

MF- Lighter end body with moderate carbonation. Tart makes me pucker up a bit.

Probably the best random menu choice I have ever made. All Brett porter is a great idea.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Cole's in Buffalo.

A: Pitch black, with a thin tan head. Small bubbles line the rim of the goblet. Lacing is solid. Sticky lacing that fades to thinner and smaller.

S: Roasty and sour. Tons of toasted malted barley with nice yeasty and hoppy notes.

T: Roasted malts, smoke, sour, and tons of brett yeast. It coats nicely on the palate. It's kind of sticky and chewy. There is a lingering sour flavor but it has nice balance.

D: It's quite a beer. I'm really enjoying this, but I don't know if I want more than 1 glass. The brett sour explosion is intense in this beer.

O: I had this in a 2 oz. sample at ACBF and hated it. Having a full glass of this on-tap seems to make a difference. I like this beer.

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Photo of rlee1390
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on top at IBC for their release of the beer

A-Deep black, some tan head. Not much lacing left.

S-Roasted Malt is the only thing I got.

T-The roasted malt is present. And then something that I can't put my finger in. It must be from the Brett. An interest flavor none the less.

M-Medium bodied, not much carbonation

O-A very interesting beer, glad I had the chance to try it. I can't wait to try more beers with brett.

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Photo of THECPJ
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown black with redish hue and 1 finger head

smell: roast, malts, funk from the brett, sour

taste: sour, roasted malts, tart

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: interesting take on a porter. good but not great.


 286 characters

Photo of xnicknj
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at good dog in philly

Pours a deep brown color, almost black, thick tanned head retains well. Spotty and cloudy lacing on the glass.

Pretty interesting nose with chocolate, nutty brown malt, light sweetness. The brett funk is also apparent with tartness.

Starts off like a regular porter with roasted malts and some chocolate undertones. Fairly sweet with some solid body, followed by bretty funk. Not necessarily sour but definite tartness towards the finish, which is a bit strong and dry.

Medium body, higher carbonation, lasting finish and smoothness. This was pretty much what I was expecting, and I wasn't disappointed.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to mikesgroove to sharing this one with me! Served from growler into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured a massively dark brown with a one finger khaki colored head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, tangerine, citrus, and citrus hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, citrus, citrus hop, floral, and tangerine. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. The citrus on this one was really nice on both the flavor and aroma. Really well balanced and enjoyable. Definitely glad I got the chance to try this one and I suggest you do the same.

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Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown colored beer with a tan head that faded to a thin cap and left a little bit of lace.

S - Little bit of roast, some chocolate, brown sugar malts. Dark fruits and a little bit of funk.

T - Brown sugar, roast, bit of dark fruit. It's a little bit different, with some cherries, yeast and cocoa. Not bad, very interesting tasting.

M - Smooth, medium bodied, lower carbonation.

O - Fairly unique beer, although not quite as funky as I would have guessed. Has some nice stuff going on the, pretty good, wouldn't mind drinking again.

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Coles in Buffalo.

Poured dark brown with a thin beige cap for a head. Actually looked kind of lively. I can imagine the base beer being a fairly roasty and chocolatey porter since I get a nice waft of toast, dark chocolate, and mineral from it, but there's an overlying funk and sourness that adds a whole new level of complexity to the beer. A lactic type of sourness and an earthy, leathery, and nearly musty type of funk makes for a very interesting drink. Not overdone at all, which is impressive. You can still tell this is a porter/stout, yet there's something different about it. No doubt, this is a different animal. The richness of the beer is retained and carbonation is spot on. You would expect the bugs to eat through the body of the beer but this is not the case. I wish they would bottle this, wouldn't mind a few to keep for a while.

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Photo of Tucquan
3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2011-07-30 At Capone's in Norristown, PA

A - Black as the night with a 1-finger tan head and remarkable lacing coating all of the glass.

S - -Mild coffee and chocolate malt.

T - Bold and unusual. Strong mixture of funky sour and sweet coffee, chocolate and mild vanilla. They pulled it off. While rich, it dries out nicely.

M - Creamy. Medium body and light carbonation.

O - Very nice. Never had a beer like this. Worth checking out.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a rich brown-black color with a finger of frothy brownish head. The head fades down fairly quickly to a thin ring leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of some sweet roasted caramel malt and some evidence of brett in some sourness and a hint of dark fruit.

T - Starts off with a mix of some sweet malt and some sourness and a touch of dark fruit. Through the middle some stronger roasted malt flavors and sourness come through with a hint of chocolate flavor. The finish is a mix of some sweet malt and some sourness that lingers nicely.

M - Medium bodied with low carbonation. Feels really smooth. There is some nice lingering sourness on the tongue after the beer finishes.

D - Very drinkable. Very interesting flavor combination here of the brett elements and the porter. Everything seems to mix together and work very well. The sourness is nice and does not overpower the beer.

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Dark Humor from Ithaca Beer Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 85 ratings.
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