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Cold Front - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
Cold FrontCold Front

Educational use only; do not reuse.

148 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 148
Hads: 347
Avg: 3.68
pDev: 15.22%
Wants: 8
Gots: 20 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Dark Ale |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: WesWes on 09-04-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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firstprev| 76-100 | 101-125 | 126-150  | next → last
Reviews: 148 | Hads: 347
Photo of ericmunley
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Went to my local Wegman's with a $10 bill and an adventurous mood. I've been spending the cold Pennsylvania winter enjoying stouts, so I figured I'd give this Belgian-style amber ale a go.

Ithaca Cold Front pours a very dark, almost opaque amber with a creamy pinkish tan head. Decent head retention and lacing. Pretty formidable looking beer.

Has the standard boozy Belgian smell with some dark fruit in the nose. Nothing out of the ordinary for this style of beer.

The taste was a pleasant surprise for the price of this beer. I had one with my brother, and he compared it to the St. Bernardus Christmas offering...which is high praise. Booze up front with dark fruits and some bitterness at the end (a good bitterness though...almost an oaky character).

Cold Front's mouthfeel is about average. It is a slighly syrupy, liberally carbonated ale. I'm used to drinking low carbed stouts so I'll chalk that up to the transition.

Drinkability is surprisingly good for an almost-7% ABV beer. I had two bottles without breaking a sweat.

Overall, Ithaca's Cold Front is a solid beer. Fans of true Belgians might not be as forgiving as I, but I enjoyed the drinking experience. If you have $10 that's burning a hole in your pocket, pick this sixer up.

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Photo of Anaom
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with little to no head and some light lacing. Slight banana and clove aromas. Flavor is very malt with that lingering banana. No hop character to speak of. Not that I would expect it with this style. Definitely could throw a few back without having to change. I like the fact that its not overly spiced like a lot of christmas/holiday beers seem to be as of late.

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Photo of Buckeyes67
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I would put this into my top three from here along with FlowerPower and Cascazilla. A good dark color but not cloudy. A good aroma and a great taste. Sits nicely in your mouth and is very easy to drink. This one you could sit down with and drink a couple and not have to change up to something else.

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Photo of yesyouam
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ithaca Cold Front... Amber Ale? This beer is brownish black with a smooth, dense, light brown head that has excellent retention and lacing. Dark fruit and clove are prominent in the spicy aroma. It's medium bodied, foamy and lively with a chalky finish. It has a bold, phenolic flavor that's nicely balanced with a touch of sweet, sour and bitter. It gets chocolaty and dusty at the finish. There are lots of cloves and prunes throughout. This is nice. What's with the interwebz calling this a Saison? To me, this is more along the lines of Trois Pistoles.

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Photo of tubdog13
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

First review - woohoo

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass

A - Light brown color when held up to light
with a slight cloudiness, shows little or no
carbonation, alive and inviting, left a 1" head
a heavy handed pour, good retention

S - Sweet/Roasted malts with a spicy/piney
hop smell

T - Floral to piney hop taste, slightly sweet

M - Chewy with medium body

D - Nice after dinner beer with a warming affect,
would probably drink two at most on a snowy

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Photo of Gavage
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: hazy dark brown in color with a 1" fluffy head. It falls to a thick surface foam.

Smell: yeast and spices are very pleasant.

Taste: malt sweetness, big yeast flavors, brown sugar, clove, and a general spiciness wraps itself around the beer. There is also a big earthy profile with this.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Crisp to start, less so at the finish. Very long aftertaste as the flavors stick to your tongue for a while.

Drinkability: decent cold weather beer based on the flavor profile. More of a slow sipping beer for me, and more than two or three would be pushing it in a session.

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Photo of scottg
3.87/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to beertruth.
12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a dark brown color with a thick one finger off white head leaving light lacing that slides back to the beer. Floral and yeasty aromas- banana, clove, and spices. Strong spice flavors- corriander and clove with pale malt and some lemon. Medium body and carbonation with an extra dry finish. Different from other saisons I've tried, not as clean but good none the less.

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Photo of younger35
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this brew from BeerTruth as part of Ithaca's seasonal sampler. Gotta love all the cool shit Ithaca pumps out. Drank from my Surly nonic pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a dark brownish crimson with a nice one finger super creamy light tan head. An incredibly nice cap and collar remains and somehow, someway, no lacing is left.
Smell- A definite Belgium yeast kick right from the start with a bit of bubblegummy spiciness. Some light banana esters with even lighter bits of clove and ginger. Some dark malts with a somewhat toasted side and a small musty earthiness.
Taste- Starts much the same as the nose but there is a distinct bitterness hiding in there. Slightly Belgium like with a dark earthy yeastiness that is earthy and spicy. Not so much of the banana in there but there is some clove and nutty maltiness. The beer is malty and somewhat clean but there is definitely a sneaky bitterness. It's citric and lightly fruity with a sharp bit of lemon peel and pear. I don't know what it is, but something in this beer reminds me of celery. Yes, celery. It's not bad at all, it just reminds me of celery when it all comes together. Weird.
Mouthfeel- Somewhere just a hair below heavy feeling with a lightly sharp bite of carbonation.
Drinkability- Definitely not really what I expected. The beer definitely blurs 'style' guidelines but it's interesting none the less. Probably a little bit too much Belgium influence for my tastes but I still didn't have any problems putting it down. Thanks for the opportunity Adam!

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Photo of aerozeppl
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Black. Black saisons seem to be one of the in beers this year. Has a half finger of bone colored head with a touch more brown thrown in. Spotty lacing.

S: Belgian yeast is up front. A little bit of roasted malt and a medicinal smell in the back. Little bit musty as well.

T: Taste is weird. It tastes like a saison but with a little bit of roast thrown in. End on a sweet note.

M: LIght bodied and well carbonated.

D: A good beer but not something I would want to drink all the time. A great winter beer though.

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Photo of hustlesworth
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- darkest saison I've seen yet, deep burgundy, almost black, with a big creamy beige head. Excellent retention and lots of sticky lace.

S- very Belgian, big clove and banana yeasty, with a good deal of that funky barnyard aroma. Similar to Matilda. Some dark fruits, raisin, prune, blackberry, with a touch of caramel malt sweetness.

T- bubblegum, clove, banana, toasty and kinda smokey, wood, stone, soil, like a saison/porter hybrid and it works well. Spicy, nutmeg, very mild cocoa and coffee, with earthy and floral hop in the finish. Some lingering fruit as well. Bitterness is just enough to compliment the roasted flavors.

MF- medium bodied and chalky, with snappy over medium carbonation. Leaves a coating of roasted feeling as well.

D- an interesting offering from a brewery with good potential. This is definitely the best beer I've had from Ithaca. Moderate abv (kinda) paired with good flavor makes this big tulip a chilly weather delight.

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Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, with best before dating notched onto the side of the label. (the month is nice, but dont you really need a year as well, I never understand why this is so hard for brewers to understand...) Pours quite dark, porter like in fact. Darker tan head, frothy and long lasting, then a tiny bubble film and a full collar. The nose I'm picking up is of some chalky chocolate, vanilla and some mild ripe fruit. More light chocolate on the tongue, very ripe bananas, dusty, drying hops, perhaps a hint of the barnyard or funk that others have noted. Decent fall/cool weather quaffer. Quite dry in the finish.

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Photo of Sammy
3.2/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Boring Belgian, had at Clark's Ale House in Syracuse. Very yeasty, medicinal. Dark colour. Mouthfeel above average, but still unsatisfying. Not too sweet other than the yeast, not getting much spices, though licorice and chocolate malt.Coca-cola like.

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Photo of Risser09
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pilsner - fridge - best by dec. 2009

Appearance: Pours a copper brown color with orange highlights and a vigorous carbonation. It leads to a 2" tall, cream-colored head that has great retention. Sticky lace remains off of the pillowy head.

Smell: Spicy Belgian yeast is full of pepper and clove, atop a dose of caramel malt. Toffee, citrus and licorice intertwine for a final touch.

Taste: Toffee and malt make the foundation for all of the Belgian yeast flavor. Clove and pepper are heavy flavors, while crisp citrus and cocoa are subordinate. An anise finish includes an ample alcohol feel.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, spicy, sweet-all things Belgian. The yeast envelops everything in this beer. Pepper and booze make up the finish.

Drinkability: A nice interpretation with lots of flavor, aroma and sweet drinkability. Goes down easy with pleasant aftertaste.

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Photo of wyattshotmaker
3.91/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a chalice,great head retention. very dark for a saison.smell is yeast spice character and a slight bit of coffee.taste has some dark malt sweetness up front,finishes dry with a slight bit of roasted malt.dark fruity esters are present throughout.

light mouthfeel,great drinkability for a fall beer.this is one im definately going back to throughout the fall.

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Photo of ProudBeerSnob
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok, let's start this review out with one caveat: This beer really does not seem like a "true" saison, but I'll ignore that and review it on its individual merits.

Poured from growler into a tulip glass. Nice head in the narrow channel of the tulip that dissipaptes nicely with very little lacing. Beautiful mahogany color.

Faint aromas of cherry, tastes of the same. Sweet and sour kind of taste.

Once I got used to the fact that this was not a typical saison, it was actually a very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of david18
3.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very good beer. Part of Ithaca Brewing's promotion that they're having at the amsterdam ale house in New York City. A very good beer. Dark in color, very belgian in flavor and aroma. Great carbonation. Mouthfeel is good and I enjoyed drinking it.

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Photo of tpd975
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a rich dark brown with hints of amber showing through. Nice cream colored head that dies to a nice cap. Some spotty lace.

S: Aromas of big league chew bubblegum, banana, and gooey caramel.

T: Nice and sweet up front. Flavors of old school banana Hubba Bubba bubble gum. Hints of spice, and earthy lightly funky saison yeast. Light apples and pears in the background. Sweet creamy caramel in the finish. I like this one alot, gets even better as it warms.

M: Medium in body, good carbonation.

D: Sat down and sipped the bottle all by myself. Thanks Jonathan, keep sending me all these draft only offerings.

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Photo of Gmann
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark chestnut brown color with a tight off-white colored head that dissipated into a solid ring. The aroma is sweet, some banana and clove, not much else. Though one dimensional, I enjoy the aroma so the rating is higher. The taste is similar with the banana and clove; perhaps some barnhouse and brown sugar. Despite the dark color I do not pick up any roasted flavors, no malt sweetness but no roasty/toasty either. The flavor profile is interesting; nice clove and banana, a bit of barnhouse leads to a Belgian style but not far off from a German weisse style. I like the brew just cannot figure out what it is or resembles. The feel is light to moderate with soft carbonation; finishes sweet and spicy. I enjoyed this brew though I cannot figure out what it is. All I know is I like the flavor.

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Photo of asabreed
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a Brooklyn tulip. How is this a Saison? Or is it a brown Saison ala SN?

Appearance: A darker and mildly hazy amber with cola-colored lacing that seems to die a bit faster than it should, especially for a Belgian.

Smell: A lot of spice and fruit esters and citrus coming in, with some dark cherries, pungent apple skin, and a lot of earthiness with some mild funk. Balanced but could be more complex. Still fairly nice.

Taste: Spicy, yeasty, distinctly Belgian, with a good amount of citrus hop bitterness and some good dark fruit esters and prominent apple skin. A mild, mild bit of earthy funk too. But the finish is just gone before you know it, which takes it down a notch for me.

Mouthfeel: Gets to be a bit chalky with the swirl and pour near the end, but before that it's medium bodied with good all-around coating carbonation and doesn't seem cloying.

Drinkability: A solid brew from Ithaca -- I just want to know what the hell it is. As a Belgian, it's a great sipper over the course of an evening. As a Saison, well, I'm not sure. Worth a try, and I'd try it again.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to Lumdog millionaire for sending me this bottle among many many other Ithaca treasures. You da man Paul!

Appearance, im not sure what to make of it. It's certainly not normal for the style listed, but this looks and smells like a BSDA, so im gonna review it as such for now. Pours dark and slightly murky with amber highlights and a stark white head that retains pretty well and leaves ok lacing down the glass.

Nose is of alot of belgian malt and smells pretty significantly of star anise. A little saison like yeast peeks its head out.

Yep. Pretty good stuff here. Belgian malt although not terribly sweet, does start us out. There is definitely some star anise in this beer, and it compliments it quite nicely. The finish is fairly dry, and im not sure what kind of yeast was used, but it really seems like it has a BSPA or saisonish yeast profile. An interesting amalgam of belgian classics.

Mouthfeel is pretty solid. Not too thick, right where it should be viscosity wise. Carbonation is right where you'd want it.

Drinkability is very solid for what i would peg to be an 8.5ish abv. Could easily put away a few of these.

Overall a very nice belgian style concoction. I like the mixture of belgian traits that come into play. A nice drinkable and flavorful beer. I like how packed with flavor it is while maintaining sessionable drinkability. Another winner from Ithaca, who continue to impress.

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Photo of Brianmerrilyn
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I tried this out at the Bronx Ale House last night. A new name from Ithaca and I was intrigued as to what the taste would be. Poured a frothery 2 finger head with an Ice-T brownish color. Minimal aroma beyond a big malt plate. First taste was a rush of the malt as well as wheat malt. I assumed this was a dunklewheat but perhaps a true American style saison as I've never seen one this dark and wheaty. Nevertheless went down with medium mouthfeel and as smooth as silk. This is another great brew out of Ithaca.

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Photo of almychristopher
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this beer pours a brown color, crystal clear with some red hightlights. the aroma deffintely prsents those nasty farmhouse esters... god bless 'em. there's a bit of roasty toastiness going on from the malts... the taste follows with a nice bit of malty sweetness, with the saison yeast doing there thing with the esters producing the requisite fruitiness and earthiness. the medium body and the tart finish makes this a nice drink. thanks for the growler pour weswes.

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Photo of WesWes
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours dark amber/brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a complex array of crystal and roasted malts along with a funky saison yeast aroma. The taste is decent. It has a pretty good malt bill that's a bit sweet with caramael malts. The yeast provides a good deal of esters. It's funky, but not as much as would be the case with just pale malts. The mouthfeel is fine. It is medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a nice idea. I like the taste, but I'm not in love with the beer as a whole. I'm not sure I like the choice of yeast with this one. Anyway, keep brewing up the good shit, Chief!

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Cold Front from Ithaca Beer Company
83 out of 100 based on 148 ratings.