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Beer Information
Average Review High Score Low Score Reviews Tried Consumed
86 88 84 3 15 11

Top Beers:
American Double / Imperial Pale Ale
Top Beers:
Ithaca Beer Company
Who's Drinking this?:
Last 5 Drinks Consumed
Review by joe1510 on 11/24/09  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
84 3 10 17 4 8 2009

Batch E!013

My man Lum sent me this bottle as an extra, that generous bastard! Alphalpha struts around with a sunset orange body. There's enough haziness to make it nearly impossible to see through the glass but it's not milky. The head snapped to attention at two fingers and held tight with a crazy looking bubbled but meringue-like head. Patchy, crackly lacing adorns the glass after each gulp.

Crazy citric aromas comes from everywhere in this IPA. The hoppiness leans mostly toward orange with the fruit, candied peel and oil are all present. I've never had alfalfa honey before but it brings a touch of sweetness to this brew that's also reminiscent of oranges, although slightly musty. Rich caramel brings up the rear in a big sort of way. There's some floral hoppiness throughout but the orange citric qualities rule the roost. The more this beer warms the more nose candy it throws down. The honey adds great character.

Alphalpha is one unique IIPA. Not only is all the orange present that the nose showed off but the hoppiness takes on the flavor of lemon peel as well. All that caramel the nose was flaunting turns into more of a toasty breadiness that I prefer to the huge caramel for flavor. The finish snaps with moderately bitter lemon juice. The honey adds a touch of sweetness and some more citric depth.

The mouthfeel fits this particular IIPA nearly perfectly. The body is a hair over moderate in weight and the carbonation brings along a snappy finish. The bitterness grows with each drink and peaks at moderate maybe even a little over.

For a big IIPA Alphalpha drinks like an IPA which I could see becoming rather dangerous. The lemon brightness on the finish and hoppy bitterness keeps the glass tipped more often than straight.

This is another stellar brew from the up and comers over at Ithaca. I've wanted to try this unique IIPA since I first heard about it a long time back. Thanks for the hook up Lum!

Reviewed: 6/14/09

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by Lum on 11/04/09  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
86 3 10 17 4 9 0
Batch #E!013
Served up at cellar temperature.
First glass out of the bottle pours a gorgeous brassy golden color, and crystal clear (second glass is much more hazy). Huge, frothy, creamy white head springs to attention, with impressive retention. As it recedes, it grabs hold of the glass in clumps - and I haven't even lifted it yet! Carbonation is slowly on the rise upon inspection, feeding the always constant clumpy cap. Just gobs of lacing.

Aroma screams cascade hops - just opening the bottle confirms this. The glass is all of two foot in front of me, and cascade hops are all I can smell - mouthwatering. Very floral with strong, heavy handed blasts of citrus: orange rind, tangerine, grapefruit pith and perhaps a squeeze of lemon. The honey is noticeable here, nice subtle notes. A nicely balancing malt backbone is very present, but playing second string to the hops - caramel, biscuit, somewhat grainy. Nice.

This is very hop forward. The citrus taste is dominate, and justly so - grapefruit, with some subtle hints of oranges. Very grassy, as the label states. The honey is evident, and adds it's sweet balance very well to this brew, intertwined with the malts... nicely done. Beautifully sweet yet hugely bitter and somewhat alcoholic finish round this thing out - and the finish just doesn't give way...

Listing on the heavy side of medium in body, smooth, yet brash and almost tongue scrubbing mouthfeel - crisp. Very dry and warming. Carbonation is excellent. Did I mention dry?

I love this - Ithaca Beer Co. just keeps putting out excellent stuff in their Excesior! lineup, and this one is right up there with the rest. Very hop forward, yet sweet and so very well balanced... nicely crafted. A cascade lovers wet dream. I love to see local products being put to such good use... Well done IBC!
A Must Try!

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by bakes on 12/29/08  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
88 3 11 17 4 9 2009
This beer is a "Double Honey Bitter" per the label.

Pours a brilliant straw-gold with a fluffy white head that lasts forever - seriously, 20 minutes in there's still 1/4" of foam on this one. Insane aroma - full of grassy, catty, citrusy hops (Clyde bless Pederson's Hop Farm Cascades!), honeysuckle-like floral notes, and a warm, bready, slightly toasty malt. Nowhere near as intense as Dreadnaught in aroma, but a lot going on here.

There's a really firm bitterness that goes on from start to finish - sets a nice counterpoint to the flavors going on. Starts out with a citrusy/piney hop bite, slightly subdued, with a floral honey flavor complimenting it in the background. Hints of apricots. There's not a tremendous amount of malt complexity going on, but the honey/hop/malt interplay is fun. Aromatic spiciness mid sip, along with a slight warming surge. Finishes with a lingering but dry honey sweetness and Cascade bitterness. A slight amount of alcohol/honey hotness is all that detracts from the otherwise silky mouthfeel.

The question with this beer, as with any beer with honey, is - drink fresh, or let it age? No doubt this one will mellow when left to age properly, the heat dissipating and all kinds of fruity flavors emerging as it smooths out; but how much of those delicious hop aromatics will it lose in the process?

Partial answers to questions above: Drank a bottle after 2 months in the fridge. Very little of the hop bite has left; and some of the warming alcohols have vacated the premises. Sweet. Prime to drink now IMO, but still worth aging one.

Price: $10.00 Served In: Pint Glass

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