Friday, October 28, 2011

Bad Beer Reviews- Ithaca Cascazilla

One of my favorite beers that I discovered when we went to Ithaca, was Ithaca Brewing Cascazilla.  Sure, everyone knows Flower Power, and rightfully so, it is delicious, but Cascazilla became a quick go to beer for me there.  It was on tap at most places and was absolutely delicious.

Today, I got to thinking about it, so I decided to see what the fine people on BA and RB had to say about it.  I have no problem with people not liking beer that I like. It is just when you see somethings in a review that don't add up:

1) Purchased as variety pack from Westy's in Mechanicsburg, PA.
A- a dirt red cloudy appearance.
S- N/A
T- very dry and bad aftertaste
M-It felt like i was eating powder
D-i put it down but i wont have another.
I am just not a very big fan of Red Ales and that might be the case of the poor review but i really did not enjoy this beer and will not be having it again.
I feel that it is probably a good chance that this review states why it might be a "poor review".  They knew what they were getting into, and choose to give it bad marks because they don't like red ales.

2)Bottle acquired through trade with jchow79 and poured into standard curved shaker pint glass.
A: Pours a very deep orange, almost *brown*... very dark for an IPA. Frothy off-white head, about 1 finger in size, sits on top.
S: Very malty-sweet and earthy, with a mild scent of pine hops.
T: Earthy flavors and the taste of sweet-and-sour sugars that I find to be so prevalent in East Coast IPAs. Some pine bitterness on the back end. For me, the sugars are just overpowering. What I want out my IPA is lots of hops. Bitter hops, oily grapefruit presence, citrus hops, ect. This beer just doesn't have much of any of that.
M: Reasonably good carbonation and lots of tongue coating with the sugars and hops.
D: This isn't my kind of IPA. Just not enough bitterness or grapefruit hops in them for my liking.
This beer reminds me a lot of a Dogfish IPA, particularly 90 Minute. A lot of my friends love Dogfish 90. I'd recommend this beer to any of them. But much like Dogfish 90 (and most East Coast IPAs, for that matter), this one just isn't for me.
This person chose to rate and review this red ale as an IPA. I would have given it an F as an IPA too. On the label it says "Red Ale". Sure it has a lot of hops in it for a red ale, but that doesn't make it an IPA.

3)Excited I finally found single of this.
Appearance - Heavier on the brown side than I expected. No real hints of red at all. Just sort of a dirty sour looking caramel. Chunks of yeast floating around everywhere.
Smell - Smells like your standard red ale. Slightly sour with hints of caramel. Just sort of plain, honestly.
Taste - Slightly sour with hints of light fruits. A zesty citrus that seems slightly skunked. very musty tasting.
Mouthfeel /Drinkability - As stated, quite musty. Drinkability is high. But there were actually solid chunks of yeast that got stuck in my teeth. It just sort of tastes like a musty, slight sour and mellowed red ale. On my list of red ales, this is very low.
Sure, I am weird and a beer nerd, but I would have not reviewed a non-bottle conditioned beer if there were solid chunks of yeast in it.  I would have probably sent Ithaca an email with the bottle number/lot number whatever I could find to let them know.  Skunk, Must and Floaties are all bad signs that do not normally happen from a respected brewery.

These are the types of reviews that kill trustworthy reviewers.  As I have said in the past, I think we should just post the reviews and not worry about a rating system.  There was one other review that was under a C, but his was straight forward, with a good review.

I urge people to keep reviewing beers, that is helpful when searching for something new, but think about what you typed before you click post.


  1. I'd say that this is truly the worst review out there. I mean who does this drinkdrank guy think he is?

  2. i would say that is a good review. at least you didnt think that you were drinking an IPA, or review a bad bottle.

  3. So what is the alternative? Only review beer styles you enjoy? Only leave positive reviews? Only review beers you like? Look, BA and RateBeer are overloaded enough with fawning appreciation and cheerleading. What if I say "I don't normally like sour beers, but [XZY] is different, enjoyable!" That's a positive review of a beer that may well disappoint those that prefer excruciatingly tart beers. Or what about a positive review of an IPA that isn't overflowing with IBU's the way many BA reviewers seem to demand?

    Some of the best beers I've had in my life were beers of styles that I wouldn't normally order--a hefeweizen in Arizona, for example, or a Belgian-yeast "Scottish Ale." Do we want to reward conformity to a "standard" (cookie-cutter) BA reviewer, or do we want a diversity of opinions? We are already suffering this "Balkanization" of political thought in American discourse today; why do we want to encourage more of it in the beer universe that some of us crawl to in order to escape such balderdash?

  4. First off, what was the belgian scottish?

    I totally agree with you AMIV. I do love the crazy beers, but when someone is rating a beer based on it being a IPA, and it is really an Amber (sure it was much more hoppier than a normal amber, but still), they have a perverted impression to begin with. Or with the bad bottle, of course it isnt going to be good, I would hate to have floaties in my glass too.

    I don't think that there is a good way to rate beers. That is why I don't like to normally look at the ratings, but I look at the reviews.

  5. I think you mean "click post" ;)

  6. Click, Clip, same difference (thanks, edited)