15 September 2007

Ithaca Excelsior! IPAbbey (NY)

This is the second of four Excelsior! beers I've tried. The bottle is numbered 755 -- I grabbed this particular one because it was the week Bonds tied Aaron's record. Ithaca's informative brewer's blog says "basically, IPAbbey is one hoppy-ass beer fermented with a Trappist yeast rather than the more traditional American or English strains."

It pours somehwere between orange and amber with an off-white head that sticks around for a while. The aroma is sweet and citrusy. I like the body of this: creamy and lighlty carbonated (the brewer says this will be "tweaked" in future batches, but I kind of like the lower level). Other reviews I've read say this is more IPA than Belgian Abbey, and I think they're right. Still, It doesn't taste "hoppy-assed" to me, or at least it doesn't taste bitter. There's a noticeable sweet/fruity element to it, and it doesn't have quite so much of that grapefruit aftertaste. It's nicely balanced, and the aftertaste is long and dry. As far as the alcohol is concerned (9%), it's not really noticeable until you've hogged the whole bottle yourself. This really is more of a sipper.

Ultimately, this is a very good beer, better than White Gold IMO, and worth buying even at the $8-9 price.


Travis said...

I Agree. I picked up a bottle this past weekend while in Ithaca. The cap actually stuck a little bit and I cracked the lip of the bottle, but no harm no foul.

I thought it was definitely more IPA than Belgium Abby. It was lighter than I anticipated and more drinkable that I thought it would be. It was still a sipper, but I thought there would be a heavy Abby body and it was more of an Imperial IPA body.

Great beer though.

Buttle said...

Were you surprised that these have a cap and not a cork? No big deal, but I had my corkscrew out until I removed the wrapping.