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Ithaca Excelsior! Thirteen

 (RETIRED)
overall
99
97
style
Serve in Snifter, Tulip

bottled
available

on tap
unknown

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RATINGS: 142   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.8   EST. CALORIES: 267   ABV: 8.9%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Our anniversary ale, THIRTEEN is carefully brewed with raw and malted wheat and flaked oats, assertively hopped with Citra and Sorachi Ace, spiked with an addition of orange and lemon peel and vigorously fermented with an American Ale yeast. Enjoy the incandescent appearance, immense citrus aromas and flavors, soft and fluffy mouthfeel and bitter zing.


3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
pete4999 (1044) - Buffalo, New York, USA - JUN 27, 2011
Bottle, 750 mL. Pours a nice deep gold, and tastes pretty much like youíd expect. A little bit of honey, a little bit of citrus...really just a good hoppy wheat with a little bit of sweetness. Tons of little islands in the pour.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JCB (3999) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - JUN 11, 2011
750ml from Caponeís, Norristown. Nose and creamy body of a citrusy, floral DIPA: deep pale gold, lightly cloudy but as if it had a bright light behind it. Big sticky fluffy head, with tons of retention. Nose is quite grassy, citrus rind, and so forth but with a sharp raw yeast and flaky barley quality that makes for an appealing contrast with the fruits. Things get even more interesting with the taste, which has all the virtues of a DIPA but with a spicy weizen character (and again, some very sharp grains and barley) plus some quality that makes it seem barrel-aged, a bourbony note right through the middle. Very distinctive and well done.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
rudolf (2341) - Buffalo, New York, USA - JUN 10, 2011
Pours a hazy gold white a nice white head. Nose is cocoanut & cream, citrus, a bit of toasty malt & very light cattiness. Flavor is cocoanut, a bunch more of the citrus character than is apparent in the nose, nice lightly toasted malt. This is a strongly bitter beer with a good amount of citrus peel character. The finish has more of that great cocoanut/vanilla cream character that was apparent in the nose. Alcohol is noticeable, but not in a bad way - its tying everything together. Its nice - Iím really starting to dig beers that use Sorachi. Absolutely perfect soft body on this one.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Jesterdeal (1856) - Marlton, New Jersey, USA - JUN 9, 2011
Aroma of lemon and grApefruit. Pours yellow with little head. Tastes of grapefruit and cream. This is truly yummy.

4.4
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chalsk (1065) - North Caldwell, New Jersey, USA - JUN 7, 2011
Bottle shared at Damicoís Philly Beer Week event. Pours a cloudy golden orange color with a white soapy head. Aroma of apricot, orange, and perhaps some honey. Has an absolutely amazing aroma. Intoxicating. Sweet wheat beer taste with a perfect hop layer. Great combination of a wheat beer and a IPA. Aromatic and well balanced. Loved it.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chad9976 (1176) - Albany, New York, USA - JUN 3, 2011
Iíve often said Iím a big fan of experimental brewing and Ithaca Excelsior Thirteen is a good example of why. Depending on who you ask itís a wheat wine, a weizenbock or an imperial IPA. If you ask me, itís a hybrid of all three. Packed with flavor and spices you tend to get from the first two and the bitterness and aroma you tend to get from the latter, this is a very impressive anniversary ale.

I poured a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy marmalade, flame, dark amber color with particulates floating in the beer but very little carbonation evident. Forms a huge, fluffy, frothy, creamy white head which leaves gorgeous lacing on the glass throughout.

Smell: For a wheat-based beer this is very reminiscent of something in the IPA range. Massive hops are present in the nose with huge floral and tropical fruit aromas. Orange, tangerine and papaya seem to be the most prominent with a light, almost perfumey backbone. As the beer warms, it begins to emit a solvent or fusel-like smell, though.

Taste: I love it when beers have two distinct characteristics to their palate. Thatís definitely the case with Ithaca 13 - the first half is a very bitter, dry hop assault. The bitterness almost scrubs my tongue with its intensity. The second half seems to be an apology for the first with a fruit cocktail-like assortment of flavors. Orange, orange peel and orange sherbet seem to be the dominating flavors here. Itís an impressive and refreshing change from the first halfís sheer bitter edge. The palate itself is almost refreshing due to its juicy qualities. Right on the finish is a quick burst of spice. Coriander, allspice, and clove kick the tongue right before the beer goes away. This all adds up for a complex and very tasty palate.

If I had to find a flaw it would be the fact the hops linger here. Not at first, but after a while to be sure. Slowly but surely it becomes cloying, but is still tolerable throughout.

Mouthfeel: Not quite thick and sticky, but not crisp and fizzy, either. Quite dry and bitter throughout with a slight bit of warmth.

Drinkability: At 9% ABV and with the robustness of a killer beer, Ithaca Excelsior Thirteen is still quite drinkable. While energetic in the mouth, it doesnít tear up the tongue. And although it is noticeably dry in the aftertaste, it doesnít suck all the moisture out of the mouth like many Belgian beers tend to do. There is noticeable warmth, but itís overshadowed by the genuine flavors of the palate.

Overall, a very impressive and highly enjoyable beer in virtually all aspects. Not quite what I would consider perfect, but oh so close.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Thorpe429 (5012) - , Illinois, USA - MAY 31, 2011
On tap at the Ithaca Ale House. Served in an Ithaca Excelsior! tulip. Pours a deep golden color with a nice big white head that sticks around for a bit before falling into a thin cap, leaving behind quite a bit of ringy lacing. The nose bursts with tropical hops as well as a good dosing of lemon peel. Citrus abounds as does mango and other fresh summer fruits. The flavor scales back a bit, focusing more on the bitterness though certainly not lacking in hop flavor. Very mild sweetness and malt in the background. Feel is light to medium with a fairly-bracing bitterness and a bit of an alcohol punch. Really solid. One of the better hoppy beers Iíve come across in awhile.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
TheBeerGod (5249) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - MAY 29, 2011
Bottle. Amber with a short white head. Big tropical fruit, light vanilla, faint coconut, peach, and big luscious hops. Taste is sweet malt, grains, resinous hops, peach, tropical fruit, and citrus peel. Body is big resinous notes and lingering bitterness atop a medium body and a dense carbonation. Ends with more big tropical fruit, resinous hops, sweet malt, citrus, herbal notes and light vanilla.

4.5
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
GandGKevin (920) - Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA - MAY 29, 2011
The nose is amazing. Tropical fruit flavors and aromas. Nice bitterness on the palate. Wonderful american strong.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Glouglouburp (6023) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 27, 2011
In short: A very good blonde, yeasty Double IPA with an apricot fruity hops character.
How: Bottle 750ml. Consumed fresh approximately 2 months after bottling
The look: Cloudy blonde body topped by a large white head with good retention
In long: Nose is dominated by fresh fruity hops with a distinctive apricots character. Taste is honeyed fresh bakery bread, fresh apricots, yeast, a little lemon, hops resin. Medium bitterness level. Medium after-taste length. Hops bitterness hiding mode of the sweetness. Creamy mouthfeel with a very lively almost Belgian-like carbonation. More nourishing than refreshing. Iím not too sure why this is currently classified as an American Strong Ale. This beer is similar to the likes of Moylans Hopsickle IIPA. A very nice IIPA and I drank my 750ml as if it was a session beer. I truly believe that this beer should be classified as a IIPA and not an American Strong Ale as it is right now. This was a superb Double IPA. Thirteen is not an unlucky for Ithaca. I donít believe that thirteen is an unlucky number for anybody. I am not superstitious, I firmly believe that it is bad luck to be superstitious.


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