ColdfrontJanuary 1, 2010 Ithaca, NY
Ithaca Beer Co.
Available: CT, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, VT, RI(soon)
The Finger Lake region of New York contains many local wineries, but until Ithaca Brewing Co. opened in 1997, there were no local sources for beer.
Original gravity: 1064
The amber body is topped by a deep collar of foam. You don’t have to stick your nose too far into the head to pick up the intense aroma of candied fruits, dark grain and spicy hops. The beer is bittersweet in the mouth with powerful hints of apricots, damsons and pears, all balanced by rich, slightly smoked malt and a deep hop resins note. The hops take over in the finish with spicy and peppery notes but there’s also a good underlying hint of ripe fruit, creamy malt and a late hint of chocolate. Superb.
- Roger Protz
Though the label says “Belgian-style Amber,” the beer itself is dark brown and forms a thick, tan head. The aroma is an interesting blend of caramel, dark fruit and some clove-like notes. On the palate, the beer is full-bodied, opening with sweet malts and moderate bitterness. Caramel plays through the center into a long finish. Quite unlike any Belgian beer I’ve had, this seems more like an American brown ale fermented with a Belgian yeast. Still, it would be a nice base for—and partner to—a very Belgian carbonade flamande.
- Garrett Oliver
Roger Protz is the author of Complete Guide to World Beer and 300 Beers to Try Before You Die. He is a respected beer authority and editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.
Internationally recognized brewer and expert on traditional beer, Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and the author of The Brewmaster's Table.
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