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Ithaca Excelsior! IPAbbey

Formerly brewed at Ithaca Beer Company
Style: Imperial IPA
Ithaca, New York USA
Serve in Shaker, Snifter


on tap


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RATINGS: 110   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.59/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
A Belgo-American Ale brewed with special Canadian Honey Malt, generous additions of Simcoe, Amarillo, and Saaz hops, and an authentic Trappist Ale Yeast. Enjoy the tawny color, thick scent of tropical fruit and flowers, warming flavors of honey and clove, and clean, bitter finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
argo0 (13235) - Washington DC, USA - AUG 10, 2007
(750ml bottle, thanks scraff) hazy amber body topped by small beige head. Aroma is moderately sweet, caramel, orange, grapefruit. Taste is medium sweet, grapefruit/orange, caramel, peach. Medium-full body, alcohol held well by the body. Not sure where the Abbey comes in, but enjoyable nonetheless.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
3fourths (9137) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - AUG 10, 2007
Sample from a 750ml bottle. About 20-30% opaque, dark amber and burnt orange in color. Sweaty hops and burnt honey hit the nose, followed by a coarse wood cask smell - sweaty peaches in there as well. Minerally flavor of tea leaves and tobacco formed by the hops and yeast, followed by some sweaty oranges and some old, burnt peach malty sweet flavors. Texture is mildly frothy, moderately thick, but lightly bubbly on the tongue as well, and thankfully itís not viscous or syrupy for being so heavy. Very nice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
TAR (2676) - Marshall (Asheville area), North Carolina, USA - AUG 4, 2007
Hazy orange. Tight white head nestles into a tight surrounding while quickly settling. Peppery hops, blood oranges, honeyed biscuits, and soft notes of tangerine fill the nose. Carbonation is soft and dense, but sparse. Hop bitterness is simultaneously sharp and soft with vibrant notes of both citrus rind and pith. Spiciness soon exerts itself and continually builds while wonderfully assaulting the palate with pinpoint pricks. The core is saturated with oily resins which gorgeously adorn the rich nutty and cakey malt textures. Masterful malt extraction yields a lush, bouncy and full-bodied malt frame. Spicy alcohol imparts dryness while underscoring the fluffy malts. Quite honeyish throughout, but never overbearingly sweet thanks to the near impeccable attenuation and abundance of fruity esters and plump mango. Hops possess just enough acidity to gently buckle the cheeks and heighten drinkability, yet not enough to tarnish the delightfully dense oiliness. Soft and pillowy notes of orange pith are echoed by explosively flavorsome notes of mango which complement the understated and well-polished bitterness. Peachy acidity lends itself modestly beneath the more-forceful hoppiness. Finishes spicily hoppy and sappy, with substantial malt heft which lingers and balances the hop acids. Citric hop burps enhance the experience. My gut tells me that once they fine-tune the carbonation, which is just a bit low, this will be stunning. Thanks to jah noth for the bottle.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
dmradus (227) - Ithaca, New York, USA - JUL 29, 2007
Bottle 046, released April 07. Attractive murky light amber - does look quite like apple cider - very slight off-white head which is the only down point to this otherwise good looker. Complex aroma: pineapple is most apparent, other tropical fruits, coriander and clove as well - a real nice mix of the two styles. A bit of alcohol in the nose as well. Taste is upfront honey malt with a slight tinge of caramel as well - very malt centric which is surprising. Spicy and hoppy near the finish as the malts fade, moderately bitter, clean finish. After is rasping on the tongue and slightly yeasty. Palate is a bit full for a tripel - approaching a barley wine in its mouthfeel, with very fine carbonation that fades quickly. Lacks that carbonated kick of more traditional tripels, as the aftertaste sits heavily on the palate. Really, really good interpretation of this hybrid style that seems to be becoming quite popular.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JoeMcPhee (9267) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 28, 2007
Bottle # 161. Thick light tan head tops a deep golden orange brew. Really great looking brew. Lots of light spice, fruit and citrus up front. Fresh orange peel and a herbaceous spicy hop character as well. Soft resinousness showing pine and juniper. Malts are a bit honeyed with a soft earthiness and apple/pear esters. Warming brings up the sweeter honeyish character significantly approaching the sort of maltiness you might expect in a pale barleywine. Iíd like the body to be a bit thinner, but thereís nothing here that isnít pleasant. There is a lot of spearmint on the back with lingering yeasty spiciness and white pepper. Itís quite a nice brew with excellent balance and lots of complexity. The hops and light spiciness from the yeast complement rather than clash... which always seeems to be the problem with these hoppy tripels, but not here.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
MaxxDaddy (415) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - JUL 26, 2007
Bottle #160. Poured reddish-amber with plenty of white head. Aroma was more IPA than abbey I must admit, but a decent aroma nonetheless. I could smell a little Belgian spice in there, just not much. The taste was IPA dominated as well. A little more the Belgian side came out in the taste , some yeastiness and honey in there. After that, it was all piney hops in the finish. I enjoyed this beer, though I think Houblon did a better job with this style.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
nhorween (645) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUL 25, 2007
Bottle 1101. Reddish cider color with an oily white head. Not complex, but good hops. Drinkable for 9%. Lots of apples and a good bitter finish. Not carbonated enough for me, and a little oily. More of a barley wine than anything else.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
swoopjones (7021) - Buffalo, New York, USA - JUL 1, 2007
750ml bottle @ Coles Buffalo NY. Deep orange color with huge hop aroma. Definately more IPA than Abbey. Well balanced & delicious. By far the best offering from Ithaca to date

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
kmweaver (3207) - Petaluma, California, USA - JUN 22, 2007
750mL bottle, #080. Pours a clear, orangish ruby color; light tan head with good lacing. Nice dose of piney and citrusy hops in the aroma; some yeast and white pepper. Lively carbonation on the tip of the tongue, leading into a medium-to-full-bodied belgian tripel with a dose of piney hops; the tripel profile itself is quite nice and appropriate-to-style: somewhat dry and peppery, almost palate cleansing in its roughness, with some floral esters and plenty of yeast; the Simcoe profile adds a nice touch: somewhat resiny and chewy, melding well and giving a further dry pine and citrus earthiness to the rest of the beer; itís not quite the Houblon, but itís tasty and well-integrated. The deep pine notes linger for a while. Long, dry pine and citrus hop finish, with a dose of belgian sugars.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
GregClow (3194) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JUN 19, 2007
Bottle shared with HogTownHarry, blankboy, tupalev & jerc - courtesy of HogTownHarry. Bottle #588. Hazy dark amber colour with a small white head. Fantastic aroma - big, warm, sweet & hoppy. Flavour is dynamite, with sweet honeyish notes, hints of spice and yeast, and a long, dry finish. An interesting hybrid that I really enjoyed.

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