Tuesday, January 19, 2010

203. Ithaca CascaZilla Red Ale

Our second beer from Ithaca Beer Company; the last one was Flower Power IPA. CascaZilla has a rich caramel malt nose with toffee notes and a general hop spiciness, but nothing distinct—certainly not the citrus and grapefruit hop aroma implied by the name—along with a murky orange brown color and an eggshell head. Starting bready with toasted and caramel malt flavors, CascaZilla gets nutty in the middle, followed by some light hop bitterness and minimal amounts of citrus hop flavor. It closes dry, but with caramel and toffee flavors, and possibly some light chocolate. CascaZilla has a medium body with a medium level of carbonation bite running through the second third of the beer. The malt profile is the most distinctive and interesting component of this beer—it tastes slightly like Boulder Brewing’s Flashback minus the hop profile—while it is labeled as a “monstrously hoppy red ale,” it tastes more like a moderately hopped brown ale, although not enough to be an American brown ale. Ultimately, we’re not really sure what this beer is supposed to be; it’s not that bad, but it’s not put together that well. We do like the dragon creature on the label flaming the hops red hot to make it a red ale—we just wish some of those red hops made it into the ale.

From the Ithaca website: “The name CascaZilla is a play on both the name of a gorge in Ithaca called Cascadilla and the monster amounts of Cascade Hops we use to make the beer. The predominant flavor and aroma of this beer comes from fresh American hops. CascaZilla gets its distinctive red color from a healthy portion of caramel malt, which also lends to the beer, a hearty body and sweetness. It is a hoppy red ale!”

ABV: 7.0%
IBU: 50
Malts: 2-row, Crystal, & Black
Hops: Cascade, Chinook, & Crystal
Dry Hops: Cascade & Amarillo


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