By Kevin Burns, Beer Columnist
Ithaca TEN is an "imperial American Extra Special Double Red Ale" that was created to celebrate the Ithaca Beer Company's 10th anniversary. The beer was released in March of 2008 as part of the Excelsior! series and is described by the brewery as an "exploded version of CascaZilla". In 2008 at TAP-NY, Ithaca TEN was awarded the gold medal of the F.X. Matt Memorial Cup as the best beer in New York State.
The bottle is labeled Batch# E!011.
TEN poured a light brown color with a small, pen-width, tan head. The nose had quite a bit of rich malt, with a decent amount of hops underneath and a few hints of alcohol. The body is heavy on dark malt up front with a real sweetness. The body has great depth, and the dark fruits (figs, dates?) really steal the show. Like the nose, the alcohol is noticeable and grows more apparent as the beer warms. The hops show through in the finish, leading to a short, yet substantially dry finish.
Overall, this is a nice imperial beer. It has a big flavor, but is not overly heavy. The body is bold but well balanced. This limited release is worth a try and has me eagerly awaiting Ithaca's ELEVEN.
Producer: Ithaca Beer Company
Price: $12 (750mL Bottle)
Rating: (4 out of 5 | Delicious, Distinctive )