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Brute - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
BruteBrute

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

814 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 814
Reviews: 388
rAvg: 4.43
pDev: 9.26%
Wants: 1,126
Gots: 145 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Brewed with vintage (aged) local hops, barley, wheat, corn, aged in oak with Brett and finished with three types of champagne yeast.

(Beer added by: albern on 06-22-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 814 | Reviews: 388 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by hayesez:
Photo of hayesez
4.28/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received in a trade with Benanomyces. Been looking forward to trying this for a while now. Cracked it open during a game of Hearts with one of my good friends from Montana as well as my wife and another friend.

Split this one between four different glasses. Poured mine into a Westvleteren chalice. Appears very hazy, yet light. Fizzy. A golden hued body supports a fairly frothy white head. No lacing is left behind.

A subtle funkiness is coupled with a tart lemon-zest. This beer smells crisp and sour and woody- exactly how I like them.

Ah yes, and the taste does not disappoint. There is the dry tart smash that I enjoy so much. It is fairly fizzy, but this does not detract one bit. Often these beers have a sweet entrance followed closely by the tart...not the case with this one. Starts of sour and tart and then quickly disappears. This beer is light, dry, and puckering. We're impressed.

Overall, I'm quite pleased with the Brute. I prefer beers that aren't too sweet, so this one fits right in line. Easy to drink, I had a fun time sharing this with virgin sour drinkers. Definitely looking forward to round two!

Consumed: 4-26-2010

More User Reviews:
Photo of zac16125
4.96/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

750mL bottle into a Teku
Batch # !010 (ie batch 1, bottled in 2008)

A huge thanks to dtmets84 for sending this one over in a trade. One of my top wants for a long time!

Beer review #521, and #95 out of the top 100 I set out to complete a couple years ago.

A: Pours an absolutely crystal clear pale golden yellow with 3 plus fingers width of white colored head. Head hangs around for a while before dissipating down to an outer ring. Leaves effectively zero lacing.

S: At first I get a big fruity aroma like apricots and peach, coupled with a white grape champagne dryness. There is also a citric and lactic tartness, and a subtle musty aroma. I then get barrel notes with oak and a bit of vanilla. Absolutely intoxicating aroma with a great combination of sweetness and tart sourness. I think this is the best aroma I have ever experienced in a sour ale.

T: Aggressive tartness up front, with lots of sour citrus notes. Subtle apple cider vinegar. Sour up front, with fruit flesh like peaches and apricot on the back end, then finishing up with a vanilla sweetness that lingers forever in the aftertaste. There are some funky Brett notes as well, that I can only describes as musty rather than barnyard. The sourness is puckering at times, in a really fantastic way. Wonderful balance; the sweetness on the finish pairing with the tartness up front, and just the perfect amount of funk. So complex, and so delicious.

M/D: There is a liveliness to the mouthfeel, with a huge effervescent bubbly carbonation. It has a medium body, and is drying on the finish. Drinkability is great, as I can't wait to take each sip.

O: Probably my favorite sour/wild ale to date and overall one of the best beers I have ever had.

Photo of tectactoe
4.38/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Many thanks to Jeff for cracking this long time want of mine. A nice displace of gold, orange, and copper pours from the glass with a thick-bubbled and pretty fussy white head topping it off. It sounds and looks volatile, much like you'd expect from a wild ale. Within moments, the head is gone and the slightly hazy brew is left bare, with barely a trace of foam at the edge.

A good grouping of musty lemon and bubblegum-esque Belgian yeast attacks my nostrils up front, slowly followed up by a more acidic, tight cherry-skin sourness. Lacto notes left and right, opening up more and more with time. There's a good barrel presence in this one, too, with plenty of dry oak staves that mix with the mildly funky Brett notes like peanut butter and jelly.

Well, that's quite tart. Even more tart on the tongue than on the nose, I'd say. Brash lemon flesh and voluptuous amounts of pears and sour fruits. The tartness gradient grows from start to finish, and the back-end is downright sour as hell, puckering levels of lactic acid and mild vinegar notes will have your cheeks touching in no time.

Dry and woodsy, though I'm not picking up as much barrel on the palate as I thought I would. The acidity is at a nice level; enough to rip across your taste buds like nothing, but you probably won't be waking up in the middle of the night with a stomach ulcer, either. I love the slightly lactic and oaky, white wine grape finish, with just a hint of vine and tannin. Highly carbonated and effervescent, wafting mouth feel.

Well, well, well. What can I say, besides the fact that I'm disappointed I'll probably never have this beer again. It really is a shame that Ithica's head brewer left and therefore seized the production of this fine wild ale. Hopefully one day we'll see this beer brewed again, even if under a different moniker - it's far too tasty for the recipe to be laid to rest this soon.

Photo of ricke
4.22/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to brewdan for this one.

Batch 1.

Hazy pale yellow with a big rocky white head. Good head retention.

The aroma is quite mild and light with a wheaty tart character. Notes of brett, barrel and sweet lemon peel, and hints of unripe bananas. Balanced smell.

The taste is more interesting, though, and more eventful. Nice sweet fruity character up front with some malts shining through. Then, a quite prominent tartness develops with notes of barrel and brett. The finish is dry and effervescent with tart fruity notes. All in all, lovely development of the flavors and aromas in the mouth.

The body is light and the carbonation is very lively. Dry mouthfeel but with some residual smooth sweetness.

Interesting and well done. Nice sparkling character, but gets repetitive after a while.

Photo of brownbeer
4.58/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pale golden with a big white head and lots of bubbles. Looks a little like Champagne.

Funky nose, as expected, white peach, sweat, and leather to boot. The aroma of a great American Wild.

Flavors of under-ripe peach and white grapes, great fruit to sour balance. CO2 effervescence and a super dry finish make it a very Champange-like experience. More? Yes, please.

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch E!037

A - Pours a beautiful yellowish/orange with a huge off-white head. Great retention.

S - sour apples, oak, earthy malts, peach.

T - The taste follows the nose. Really exceptional and clean. Tons of tart lemony flavors along with a big Granny Smith apple puckering flavor.

M - Medium bodied with a playful champagne-like carbonation.

O - One of the best sours I've ever had. This easily stands up to any of the RR sours. I hope they brew this again.

Photo of newk340
4/5  rDev -9.7%

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.72/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage. Batch# E!010

Pours into my glass a wonderfully clear golden yellow with super active carbonation that forms a cragly mountain of white foam on top of the brew. Aromas of crisp malts bathed in a wall of bright Brett and earthy barnyard accents. Grape and citrus fruit accents run throughout. Lemon zest as well.

First sip is a mix of bright fruit flavors and Brett with a crisp dryness throughout. Grape, citrus, lemon zest moving into a puckering tartness. A touch acidic with a nice barnyard funk kick. Flavors run all over the palate with a lingering tartness. Awesome brew.

Mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing with fast moving carbonation. Goes down easily and is a pleasure to drink. Quite an exemplary wild ale here, not too funky and not too sour. Just packed full of flavor. Well worth seeking out.

Photo of Marc33
1/5  rDev -77.4%

Photo of warnerry
4.48/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to woosterbill for this one. Cheers! Batch E!027

A - Pours a hazy golden brown tinged orange. Head has decent retention before fading to a cap.

S - Subtle but persistent funk with some sour apple, oak, Brett and lemon. Some white bread in the aroma as well.

T - Nice sourness. Not mouth puckering, but satisfying and refreshing with a great funky base. Lemon, faint barnyard, Brett, and grain. Nice amount of citrus. Delicious.

M - Mouthfeel is interesting. Definitely has a light crispness, but there is a bit of heft to it as well. Lively carbonation.

O - I could drink this all day long. Nice sourness and funk, without going overboard in any direction. Maintains a bit of fruitiness, and the Champagne yeast adds a nice character.

Photo of Callmecoon
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of tjthresh
3.63/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours the color of hazy dirty lemonade with some snowy white head. The nose is horsey, hay, different fruits (apple, pear, lemon), and some musty odors. Flavors are pretty balanced. Mild sour in the front with som citusy acid in the finish. Very acidic. And tart. Medium body and aggressive carbonation. Dry finish. Pretty damn good for a sour.

Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch # E!0I0, $14.99 @ Cable bev. in Bardonia, NY. Large bottle, capped and plastic corked. Pours hazy yellowy medium amber, the head initially is HUGE, light and fluffy with lots of air in it, nice retention shown, then a light whispy film and collar a slippery thicker lacing. I get some earthy mustyness in the nose and perhaps some light citrus. Yummy wild ale, with more then a moderate sour bite. I get plenty of lime, light barnyard, bracing tartness. Thirst quenching, palate cleansing, thoroughly pleasing AWA.

Photo of Mora2000
4.83/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to mar for sharing this bottle.

Pours a yellow straw color with a huge white head. The aroma is very tart with some citrus and oak character. Flavor is very citric and somewhat oaky. Lots of lemon and some tangerine. Some funk but more tart than funky. Highly carbonated and extremely drinkable.

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of Skye1024
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of fo1ksguitar
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of kingcrowing
3.95/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap poured into a sampling glass, reviewed from notes.

Pours a light slightly cloudy light wheat color with a very small white head. Nose is sweet and tart and a bit funky.

Taste is also quite tart and funky, it's got some sharp carbonation that works really well with the tart funkiness which adds to the drinkability. Finish is super dry.

Photo of mjtiernan
4/5  rDev -9.7%

Photo of dogfishandi
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap into a snifter at the blue monk in buffalo, ny.

comes to me with a billowy white head that eventually died to a thin ring atop a cloudy light golden color. not much lace, not the best head retention.

big brett funk, musty, barnyard, big lemony citrus, with some tart sour pie cherry.

follows the aroma, all about the brett. musty, barnyard funk, lemony citrus, tart sour pie cherry.

nice tart feel, good level of sourness, a little more than i remember out of the bottle. crisp, refreshing carbonation. dry finish. such an easy drinking sour. i easily wouldve had another had i not been driving.

ive always had lots of love for this beer. an easy sour to get into, yet pleasing to any geek out there. all about the brett with this one.

Photo of boatshoes
4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Received a my second bottle of this in a recent trade with Nonstick. Thanks!

Appearance- Pours a very bright but hazy straw color with a massive three-fingers or so of puffy white head that sticks around quite a bit for a wild ale and leaves some lacing as well. Dies back gradually to a thin sheeting across the top. Looks lovely in the glass.

Smell- Wow, a whole lot of fresh lemon zest on the nose here. It is up front, refreshing, and dominant but with some mild funk showing through towards the end. Just a very mild touch of lactic sourness on the end as well.

Taste- Again, big on lemon flavors. Lots of lemon zest but in no way overdone on the sourness. Some mild funk enters in about mid palate and finishes again on a very mild note of lactic tartness.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is light and well carbonated. Drinkability is fantastic and this makes a great, refreshing warm weather drink. Not the best American Wild Ale I've had but definitely one of the most refreshing and easiest to drink.

Overall, a very solid wild ale with exceptional drinkability. Give it a try if you haven't.

Photo of doremite
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of Soonami
4.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mikereaser for hooking me up with a bottle of 2010 Ithaca Brute. This was an excellent beer and easy trade.

Brute is a hazy hay colored beer that fills the glass with it's voluminous head. It looks like lemonade topped with egg foam. The sparkling white fluff stays on the entire time. The beer smells grainy and only faintly sour like ripening lemons. The acidity of Brute is actually less than I thought and was preparing myself for (especially after consuming a Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek) but was well balanced with the residual sweetness from the grain. The flavor is lemony and crisp with sour apples and a bit of wood-like phenol or tannin from the hops. This is a delicious beer that has good body (The Brewing Network interview with the brewer revealed a 4 Plato finishing gravity) and mouthfeel that looks great in a glass.

When this is released again this year, I'm going to try to get a case.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a nice darker chardonnayish champagney looking beer. Really pretty. Aroma revealed more of the same aroma aspects from a white wine, but also some virgin oak I would guess with the clean brett existence (not so much funkitude up in this one).

Taste, beautiful, clean, sour. Very similar to The Vine from Cascade, this one is a little more sessionable and less sour, relying on brett more than the aforementioned, which I believe divies up its sourness between a variety of bugs. Acidity kept in check, I don't really care about that one, acidic or not, a beer is not good based upon that factor in my book. Fruit existence is low, might be something like green apple, maybe some light citrus like lemon, but that's about it, definitely no dark fruit. Carbonation was perfect.

I brought this one to the sour share in Reno last month.

Photo of Reino
4.6/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I owe Paul (Lum) a ZJ for hooking me up with this beer.
Batch# E!010 7%abv
Consumed on Oct. 1st 2008

Appearance- My initial cautious pour produces 2 fingers of effervescent head that I figured would fade quickly. Boy was I wrong. The head settles into a tight/dense and flat finger that would probably still be around two days later if I gave it the chance. The lacing is solid as the head crawls down.
The beer itself is an apricot gold (noticed my man Joe used apricot to describe this, too. Wasn't trying to steal your words, that's just how I had it in my notes big guy.) Looking through the bottom, there is about a quarter of an inch gradient from a hefe blond into the apricot gold. This is such a great looking beer. I poured the second half for my wife, and must have poured some yeast in hers as well because it was much more blond than mine. Still pretty, though. Wish I could give this a 4.75, but you know how it is.

Smell- My first thought was fruity B.O. which is not a diss at all. The cast of smells that probably caused me to think that were: tart cherries, faint barnyard, raspberry juice, apricots and just the slightest bit of spiciness. As I drink on, the nose develops a bit of medicinal funk accompanied by sweet lemon and a bit of an earthy/produce aroma. Knowing that corn was used in this beer is making me think that I get a bit of corn, but that could be bullshit. Once again, the wife's glass with the yeast differs from mine. The yeast makes hers much more funky and less sweet. Mine is a delicious sweet/funk explosion. Once again I'm on the fence with the score. Just more reason to get another bottle from Paul ;) and redo the scores later.

Taste- A very sour and tart front accompanied by delicious fruity flavors and mild funk middle to end. What makes this beer so delicious and effective is the transition of flavors. Yeah, it's sour upfront, but these great sweet flavors sweep in to balance it out along with the horse blanket, grassy funk. It's not so sour that the fruit gets lost and it's not so devoid of sourness that I'm disappointed. If I drank this at a blind tasting, I'd think I'm drinking a crazy kriek or framboise, not a golden sour. The sweet/tart combo reminds me distinctly of a strawberry and orange juice smoothie, but with tart cherries, and earthy funk thrown in the blender. Each sip provides a different combination of fruit flavors on my tongue, and each pairing is exquisite. This a complex and sour piece of heaven.

Mouthfeel- Nice and bubbly, but not to a champagne extent. The carbonation has the fruit flavors bouncing all over my tongue, and I love it. The edges of my tongue, as well as my cheeks, tingle from the tartness, but not so much that it hinders my ability to enjoy the other flavors going on.

Drinkability- It's dumb how drinkable this beer is. 7% tastes like 3%. If I wasn't a newly wed, I probably would have snagged the other glass out of my wife's hands. Actually, I regret not doing it. I'm not sure if "it's better to have loved and lost" applies to this beer. I'm extremely sad that I cannot have this beer in my weekly rotation. How will I go on?

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Brute from Ithaca Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 814 ratings.