18 September 2007

Ithaca Cascazilla (NY)

Since I've already reviewed a number of Ithaca beers, I figured I'd tackle Cascazilla. Formerly a fall seasonal, but has been upgraded to year-round status. The label claims this is a "monstrously hoppy red ale." Beer Advocate lists it as a amber/red ale, ratebeer as an IPA. I think the former is more accurate.

It pours clear, somehwere between copper and amber, but its head doesn't last. The body is perhaps a bit too light with moderate carbonation. There's definitely a sweetness to it that distinguishes it from IPAs or pale ales: a bit of caramel and maybe cherries (or maybe it's just the redness that makes me think that). There's also an element of grapefruit hoppiness --nothing monstrous -- and a dry finish. I've had this before, and recall it being a little more potent. My bottle says best before September, so maybe it faded a bit. I am not really complaining, though, as I like the balance. Also, I'd never guess this is 6.5% ABV.

I'd probably recommend Cascazilla as the first beer to try from this brewery.

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