Chalsk (1005) - North Caldwell, New Jersey, USA - JUN 7, 2011
4.4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
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.
Chad9976 (1065) - Albany, New York, USA - JUN 3, 2011
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
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.
Thorpe429 (4968) - , Illinois, USA - MAY 31, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
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.
TheBeerGod (5003) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - MAY 29, 2011
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
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.
GandGKevin (912) - Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA - MAY 29, 2011
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
The nose is amazing. Tropical fruit flavors and aromas. Nice bitterness on the palate. Wonderful american strong.
Glouglouburp (5929) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 27, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
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.
ngeunit1 (1555) - San Francisco, California, USA - MAY 23, 2011
4.2 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
A - Pours a bright cloudy golden-orange color with a nice finger of frothy white head atop. The head fades slowly to a thick ring around the glass leaving behind some nice lacing on the glass.
S - Aroma is bursting with citrus and hop aroma. There is a ton of grapefruit and lemon coming off the beer. There is a bit of wheat in the background with some spices as well. Smells amazing.
T - Starts off with some strong citrus hop flavor with lots of grapefruit flavor and bitterness. There is also some nice wheat and lemon flavor mixed in. Through the middle, some stronger bitterness and some spices come through as well. The finish is a mix of citrus hop and bitterness with some wheat mixed in that lingers nicely.
M - Medium-full bodied with moderate lively carbonation. Feels really smooth and even crisp. The finish is full of bitterness and wheat flavors that linger together really nicely.
D - Very drinkable, especially considering the heavy complex flavors and 9% abv. The aroma is just amazing. The flavors are really nice with the strong hop flavor and bitterness.
italianjohn (2207) - Penndel, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 23, 2011
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pale golden pour thin soapy white head and light sticky lacing .... aroma of orange peel, citra hops, grapefruits a little wheat and lightly herbal ... taste is of citrusy and bitter hops, little floral and herbal with a bitter/zesty orange and lemon peel, sweet malt, wheat and grapefruit with a dry bitter hop finish .... lots of flavor well balanced and the abv is hidden ... a great brew thats well put together
dionysus (1449) - Arizona, USA - MAY 19, 2011
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle pours orange/gold with a creamy white head. Aroma shows notes of stonefruit, citrus, pine, and bread. Flavor shows the same with definitive lemon, orange, and yeast. Overall body is moderate and soft with a crisp, lightly bitter finish.
jeff789 (1401) - West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 19, 2011
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pungent Aroma, citrus grapefruit with loads of tropical fruits... hazy golden, small white head, viscous.... lively, creamy, full bodied, dry finish, loads of citrus and tropical fruits, poss some coconut and pineapple, really great flavors... nice creamy body without the flavors being muddled, a mild sweetness that doesnt overpower the hops... starts with citrus, finishes tropical... This beer is amazing...