750 ml bottle sent to me by the amazing Lum. Batch E!011. Served this bitch up in a snifter, Terrapin snifter to be exact. Lets see what all the talk is about.
A: Pours a strange, cloudy ass brown color. Every time I hold it up, it seems to be a different shade of brown. Sometimes has a bit more black in it, then it has some red in it. There is a white haze in this beer at times as well. Didn't really get what I would call a head, just a whole bunch of tight, big ole bubbles. There is a light circle of head in the center. The bubbles do stick a bit to the glass, leaving the slightest amount of lace on the glass.
S: Smell is . . . uh, can you say hops? So much pine. Tons of pine just seeping out of this glass. There is also some really nice citrus coming out with a bunch of grapefruit as well. This sucker isn't all hops, but it is the majority. If you stick your nose in the glass and just leave it there, you can work your way past the hops and smell a fine layer of caramel coming out. Really nice.
T: Taste is opposite to the nose. So much malt. Lots of caramel and do I taste a touch of butterscotch? The malt is thick and sweet. But wait, the hops work their way through keeping this from being just a malt bomb. The hops work in not as aggressively as in the nose, but the pine and citrus (grapefruit and orange peel) come out clearly. The balance is just stupid. I don't know if you can get so much of hops and malt and have them blend as well as they do in this beer.
M: Medium to almost full in body. This beer is slick with a creaminess and an oily nature. It just coats the mouth and allows the flavors to just sit down and relax. ABV is not there. I can't believe there is barely any heat off the 10%. Aftertaste is a fine balance of caramel and pine. Carbonation is light but just enough to make this one go down oh so easily.
D: For such a big beer, this bitch is easy drinking. This beer is amazing. The balance of flavors and aromas is ridiculous. The feel is perfect for what they wanted from this beer, allowing you to fully appreciate the balance that worked its way out of this brew. Just awesome. Thanks Lum!!!
Serving type: bottle
Reviewed on: 01-14-2009 06:53:58
Served In: Snifter
Received this in a recent trade with BeerTruth, thanks Adam! Ithaca presents their Excelsior Series really well. The bottle labels this as a "double red ale". TEN pours a dark red that borders on brown when it's sitting by itself. When backlit it glows ruby with very few streams of carbonation bubbles creeping to the surface. A healthy two finger + dirty white head formed on the pour and instantly became creamy and meringue like while leaving big chunky lacing as it fell. Leaves behind great lacing.
There's a good deal of hops in TEN. Pine and citric notes greet the nose all at once along with ghost like floral qualities. Orange and sweetened pink grapefruit handle the citric aspect but the pine is the dominant hop aroma. A sweet caramel maltiness plays a big role in here as well. It tries to balance out the hoppiness and, while falling short, gives a valiant effort. A touch of alcohol spiciness wafts up here and there.
Flavor is just as the aroma suggested with a caramel malt presence that lays down a solid foundation for the hoppiness. The pine takes a bigger lead on the tongue leaving the citric hoppiness to add complexity. The pine resins leave a growing bitterness and the spicy alcohol adds yet another layer of complexity. This is a very good beer from Ithaca. The bitterness continues to grow but the malts and hops seem fairly balanced.
The mouthfeel is on the heavier side of the spectrum but doesn't sit long on the tongue. The bitterness keeps on growing and eventually becomes a tongue stomper. I like the mouthfeel more and more as I work my way through the bottle.
At first this beer seemed a little too thick to be an easy drinker and the alcohol seemed too high. As I type I glance at my glass and it's about empty. I'm drinking this much faster then I planned and having no problem with it.
TEN is another high quality brew from Ithaca. I'm a big fan of hoppy reds and this is a hoppy "double red". I really like what Ithaca is doing with their Excelsior series and hope that they keep up the good work.
Served In: Tulip
I have been looking forward to this one for months now.
Pours a dark, earthy amber color. Monstrous two finger almond colored head- big, fluffy and full. Excellent retention. Talk about lacing... sticky and clinging-never lets up. Beautiful and enticing, this beer be...
Aroma is of sweet malts and massive citrus/pine hops- intertwined yet individually outstanding. I would swear when first held to the nose, that I pick up a faint hint of cinnamon.
Oh man, I like this! Massive amounts of citrus hops assault the tongue, only to be soothed by equal massive amounts of sweet caramel malts. Fantastic balance between the two. The alcohol lends its warmth to the experience, and in a complimentary fashion. Earthy and yet aggressive, but in a "mature" like way. There is an almost oaky feel to this. The finish has to be experienced... I truly can't describe it accurately... excellent.
Medium, almost full in body. Mouthfeel is smooth, CREAMY and OILY. The carbonation is well balanced to the taste. Very nice!
This is a big beer lovers dream. The hops will back hand you across the face as the malty backbone will coddle you and assure you everything will be all right. Fantastic balance between the two, as this is somewhat complex in nature. This is the biggest thing for me -- how the whole taste experience just coats the entire mouth with aggressive yet soothing flavor... Excellent addition to your Excelsior! lineup, Ithaca Beer Co!! Nice!! And Congrats on ten years of brewing excellence!! Here's to many more...
Super 'Zilla? You bet- and more.
A Must Try!!!
Served In: Goblet
Thanks to bakes for the bottle.
A - Pours a copper colored body with garnet highlights. Clean and clear. Head is buttery in color and huge, standing in at about 2 full inches of thick foam. The head is a thing of beauty really, made up of tight bubbles that seem to make up one big mass. Superb retention and sticky lacing.
S - Big toasty malts are the first thing to meet my nose. Alone with the toastiness is a sweetness of light red fruits, mostly strawberry. Big time piney, resinous hops. They certainly didn't let up with this one.
T - Starts off with bit time, toasty caramel malts that just fill up your taste buds. Sweetness comes in with a flavor I am having a tough time pinpointing, but it could just be more sharp caramel malt flavors. In come the hops. They scream to take over as the centerpiece of this beer. Big resinous piney hops blast the palette with bitterness. Sort of a nutty flavor on the finish, with bitterness lasting for a while in the aftertaste.
M - Big a full bodied. Not quite chewy, but it's almost there. Carbonation is high, but yet smooth.
Overall - Great brew. Could be my favorite from Ithaca as they continue to do great things with the Excelsior series. Lots of depth and flavor. Recommended.
Served In: Tulip
Described as an "Imperial American Extra Strong and Special Double Red Ale"
Poured into my Middle Ages pint glass. Brilliant dark copper/red with an immense offwhite head that lasts forever. Aroma is of toasty, slightly roasty malts, big time chewy sweetness, and citrusy, slightly piney hops.
Ohhh, man, it's o-bop-sh'bam, it's lay down, break down birdie on the hot side of town! Starts with a vast chewy nutty-caramelly-toasty maltiness with an herbal yet citrus-rind hoppiness. Vast sweet chewiness abounds, but stays just this side of cloying. Citrusy, piney hops dance across the roof of your mouth while the seemingly supersaturated caramel-toffee-nut malt solution flows over the tongue. Nice bitterness grabs the tongue in the finish along with a refrain of the initial maltiness. Very little in the way of alcohol burn here. Damn. Even the foam tastes amazingly good.
Just vast, and very young in the bottle - I'm going to pick up a few bottles because this has the possibility of aging spectacularly.
Thanks to the Chief for brewing this, and for taking Ithaca's brews up several notches in the past couple of years.
Price: $9.00 Served In: Pint Glass
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