Monday, March 1, 2010

Cascazilla, Ithaca Beer Co., Ithaca, NY

Sitting down to watch the USA Canada Gold Medal Hockey game this weekend, I knew I had to have everything just right. Doritos? Check. Bugles? Check. Labatt's? Um, NO. I needed to have an American beer. I couldn't afford to leave things to chance, you know how Miller is from Millewaukee but owned by South African Brewing; so I went with an Ithaca Cascazilla Red Ale, born and brewed in Ithaca, NY a mere 5 hour drive from Lake Placid, home of USA Hockey's greatest triumph. Now I was ready for the game.
We've joked a few times on the site that IPAs are easy to spot because they often have hokey names derived from hops, Hop Devil, Hoptical Illusion etc. So imagine my surprise when I realize that the Cascazilla is not an IPA, it's a Red. Granted I had some beers prior to picking this beauty out at the store so my judgement may have been impaired. However popping off the cap of the brew you are immediately hit with an aroma of hops, so to the blind eye you may still be thinking IPA. However once the beer is poured and you see the rich dark color of the beer, it is clearly not an IPA. The picture on the left totally captures the foaming head that emerges from the glass as the beer is poured. The caramel malt synchs perfectly with the hops and creates a smooth flavor which ends with a just a hint of bitterness as the hops get in the last word edgewise. The beer also has a nice 7% ABV.
Now, the US didn't win, which was sad. But I found this great new beer, which was good. How good? 4.0 good. Definitely keep an eye out for this one because I won't be sharing the remaining 5 I have at my house.

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