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Review by joe1510 on 11/26/09  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
86 3 9 17 5 9 2009
750ml

Batch# E!006

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.

Reviewed: 6/1/08

Served In: Tulip