Brute - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
BruteBrute

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

389 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 389
Hads: 828
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 4.82%
Wants: 1,098
Gots: 142 | 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:
Beer added by: albern on 06-22-2008

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 389 | Hads: 828
Photo of nrbw23
2.44/5  rDev -44%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a hazy golden color with a nice fizzy white head. Head forms a ring around the edge.

S- Lemon zest, musty, funky, wet grass, grapes and brett. A bit of bready malts.

T- This one follows the nose and I already know I'm in trouble. Lemons strike first very sour, grapes, and vinegar.

M- Pretty light in body and good amount of carbonation.

O- I understand how you guys like these, but I'm not digging these sours at all. If you like straight up lemon juice this ones for you. (488 characters)

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.01/5  rDev -31%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A long time want, knocked off the list by Ryan011235. Batch E!018.

Appearance
This is a pretty one. Lots of lively carbonation can be seen through it's clear, pale golden body.

Aroma
I do love a stinky, funky beer. This one is very horsey with a shot of lemon sourness. It has a chalky, earthy, funky yeast profile to the overall bouquet.

Taste
I'm really not enjoying this as much as I expected to. Its acidic and quite sour. The flavors of the vinegar acidity comprise a bit of a tomato ketchup flavor that I just can't shake.

Mouthfeel
This beer feels as carbonated as it looks, but the bubbles aren't so sharp as to be painful. The finish is semi dry and the body is light. It really does have the feel down for an easy drinking wild.

Overall
I could take it or leave it. Its visually appealing and smells good. From there, however, it seems this beer slipped. I can't call it a bad beer, but average is close enough. (931 characters)

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.11/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by a kind soul at Woodshop 7

Look: Pours a murky cloudy dark yellow color with a 1/3 inch white bubbly head and some spotty lace

Smell: Funky yeast, oak, lemon

Taste: Holy sourness batman this is a sour bomb. There is some lemon and oak disguised amongst the sourness but it was so much of a distraction that I almost missed it

Mouthfeel: Lighter in body and lots of carbonation. Tons of dry sourness and pretty damn bitter

Overall: If your into sour bombs drink this. This one is not for me but I am glad I got the chance to try it (551 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.19/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Foil + cap + cork ensures no one will open this beer accidentally. Runaway, bulbous white head. Hazy golden straw color. Great retention.

Smells slap your grandma sour: Lemon Heads candy, sweaty penny, and tortilla chip aroma. Doesn't taste as sour as it smells. Lemon meringue (suggestive?) and corn notes.

A lot of times when I sample beers on the top 100 it's evident why it's there even if I don't like said beer. I'm at a loss with this one. (449 characters)

Photo of Jdiddy
3.45/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow, I wanted to love this beer but it just fell way short. Proves my thoery that US sours are good, but not quite as good as the Eurpoean counterparts.
Poured a pale/straw yello and had nice carbonation. Nice sour beer. Sad to say, that's where it ends for me. I just can't see the rave reviews for this. As a US sour, it is great. Compared to the rest of the world, it is just average IMO. (392 characters)

Photo of airohead2001
3.48/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very pretty beer - cloudy orange/yellow with a small half finger head that lingers around. Smell is decent, but mainly just sour with a small amount of funk. Taste is average sourness up front, but does have a nice biscuity aftertaste. This ones a little too bubbly for me. Overall, this is a good beer. But top 100?? Racial expletive, please. (343 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
3.53/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fiery golden
laced with brett
this beer is certainly a threat
sticky lace
fizzles thin
let the drinking begin

sour apples
tart and free
hints of other fruit
maybe cherry ?

Mouthfeel spritzy
taste is weak
not enough funk for this here freak

Drinkability is good
should you try this?
Yes you should
but it's certainly not the best
but for an American wild it passed the test (377 characters)

Photo of knucks999
3.55/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch E027. Pours with a lot of head, this beer is definitely carbonated! Aromas of brett funk and vinegar predominate. This beers taste is much the same, mostly lactic sour, but bordering on too much acetic for my liking. Very tart finish and high carbonation result in a very dry tasting beer. Mouthfeel is great with the CO2, nice acidity as well. Cork was a little hard to get out! (385 characters)

Photo of Bendurgin
3.55/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I got the one from the incredibly generous 6DaysBottomOcean who graciously extended his cellar to me. The appearance is hazy golden with a rocky white head about a finger thick. The smell is faintly sour; it reminds me of tart apples with a bit of brett funk and earthy oak flavors. The taste is sour green apples with a bit of vinegar. Slight funk from the brett with a little bit of oakiness. The tartness is perfectly what I want, ever so slight with a bit of sweetness. The mouthfeel is fair, the carbonation being what I would expect, nice and lively with a medium body. Easy to drink but overall not my absolute favorite. Still a solid beer worth trying. (660 characters)

Photo of ChadQuest
3.55/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The pour presents a hazy golden hue that resembles a sunshine lit straw prairie at sunset. large voluminous head that is white as the bone of skeletor.
The aroma has some levels of funk but not a massive onslaught of funk and sour notes, about the level i would expect a good authentic saison to have, with some subtle barnyard notes and some mild fruits.
The flavors are enjoyable and refreshing, subtle and pulls you into itself to seek out the funk, pears, apples, peach, straw and wheat, and some citrusy notes.
This beer is really dry and attenuated, super clean and refreshing on the mouthfeel with crisp light bubbles and intice another sip. (649 characters)

Photo of tjthresh
3.64/5  rDev -16.5%
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. (344 characters)

Photo of kbutler1
3.66/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours a slighlty cloudy yellow golden color with a nice large 2 finger head. Having never had this before I have heard it is very brett forward but upon smelling it, it doesn't seem like that at all. The aroma is a nice balance between some florals, citrus, and lemon zest. Light mouthfeel with good carbonation. The taste is similiar to the nose as it starts with some funky slightly medicinal flavors which then transitions to some nice tart zest citrus notes. Overall, this one surprised me on how much I liked it. I could see that if this sat for a while, the brett may take over and dominate the aroma and taste. (625 characters)

Photo of PerzentRizen
3.78/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

I finally got a chance to try Brute. Now I'm not a sour nut, but this one is very good. Light and spritzy on the tongue. Tangy flavors but not overpowering. The color is golden with a stark white head. This one has high carbonation, low alcohol and is fairly dry. (263 characters)

Photo of Nickls
3.8/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Gold color all the way, a little cloudy, and with a head that looked like champagne to me

S - Fruity, tangy (I'm thinking really tangy actually with that wild yeast), and a bit more like a champagne smell

T - Sour, tangy, fruity, lots of yeastiness

M - Bubbly! Lots of great carbonation

I could definitely put this away quickly, but I think the tang and champagne-like nature are just a bit much for me. That being said, this is one of the most interesting brews that I have had in a while. Great job Ithaca! (516 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.8/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jjayjaye for sending me this bottle in a trade...quite a while ago (last summer?). All of the other great Ithaca brews he sent are long gone, but this one survived. Split three ways on our first night of vacation on the shores of Clamshell Lake with my mother & wife.

Pours a fizzy, woodish yellow, matching the cedar furniture nicely. Smells like tart lemon & bright sunshine, without dust motes.

The taste follows the nose closely. The brett is on top here, of course, lending a quick zing of lemon that brings on a light pucker. Very dry. No water for two days in the Sahara dry, no doubt the influence of the oak, which is prominent. Almost like a sparkling cider in the mouth. I don't get much subtlety out of this one, but I don't need it. And really like it. Not so much anyone else. I end up with half the bomber. Fine by me!

A very good, light, sipping beer with a book in one hand. Doesn't fill me up, light, but terribly tasty. It doesn't hit the high notes everyone else seems to find, but I really enjoyed this one. (1,043 characters)

Photo of tarheels86
3.83/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL 2009 ed courtesy of nimbleprop. Pours a slightly hazy yellow with a thick, white head that has little to no lace (probably because of the unmalted wheat and just low sugar content in general). Aroma is Bretty, lemonade, cotton candy. Taste is tart, lightly acidic, lemonade, lemon squares. Reminds me of Berliner Weiss. 6/7/2010 8/4/7/4/14=3.7

750mL 2010 ed courtesy of kramer. Poured with a massive head that left excellent sheety lacing. Much drier, more funky in the nose with powerful light fruits, apricot, dust, leather. Taste is much drier, more complex, oak and white wine dryness coming through atop minimal sourness and heavy carbonation. Lively on the palate. Much improved. 9/16/2010 8/5/7/4/15=3.9 (717 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Funky aroma. Golden coloured bodied and lacey. Bg mouthfeel. Strawberry and grape tartness, as well as lemon in the finish. Good drinkability for its sourish characteristics. Not as good as the hype, still a very interesting.
Thanks Tim for saving me one. (255 characters)

Photo of Katahdin
3.85/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An interesting beer that belies its small ABV. Definitely seesm much bigger. Has a heavy citrus aroma on the pour and a tangy taste to it. The oak aging is tough to discern in the taste or the feel but one can definitely taste the champagne yeast. Very chewy at times, probably from the corn and malt. Compares to Otter Creek's Quercus but not as good of a beer as that. (370 characters)

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.85/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, batch E!010. Pours a hazy light yellow with a thick, bubbly white head. Aroma of light tartness, wheat malt, sour grapes, grapefruit, bitter hops, and a hint of barnyard funk. Most reminiscent of JP Bam Biere to me. Flavor is initially quite tart and sweet with lots of sugar candy notes and wheaty malt. Not very acidic, but certainly sour and tart. Very champagne-like too. This one grew on me a bit--very nice. (421 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.86/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to whoever brought this to the Dec. '12 Philly suburbs bottle share!

Poured a hazy yellow color with a foamy white head; moderate retention and doily lacing. Slightly lacto-tart in the nose, with scents of lemon and white grape, earthy. Tasty, but not a mouthgasm as the hype would indicate. The tartness here was very mellow, which is nice, the flavor was a bit subdued, but crisp and clean...this isn't a face-puckering sour. Lemongrass came to mind, with a mild farmhouse character, grassy, earthy, and a hint of Chardonnay. Body was pretty light, crisp, generous carbonation. Not bursting with flavor, instead humble and refined...which made the name "Brute" come off kind of ironic to me. Maybe that's what they were going for. Or maybe I'm just being too philosophical. Quite drinkable and enjoyable overall. (822 characters)

Photo of Gmann
3.87/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 750ml corked, capped, and foiled bottle. Pours a bright golden straw color with a soapy pure white head that dissipated into a light ring. The aroma is of dry champagne grapes and tart lemon concentrate. The taste is of lemon, unripe green apples, champagne, perhaps an unripen cherry as well. I don't pick up much in the way of malt or hops. The sour and tart characteristics hit me right in the back of the jaw. The feel is light and ultra fizzy; sour and tart all over the place. I don't have much experience with the style and its not one of my favorite styles. However, Ithaca seems to nail down the style. Very champagne like with a good punch of tartness. Clean and crisp. (686 characters)

Photo of glazeman
3.88/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into a snifter, thanks to airohead2001 for procuring this long-time want. On a side note, this is the first bottle I had that was corked and capped, which was a little confusing at first.

A: the beer pours a hazy golden straw color with a one finger white head. The head has fairly good retention and lacing.

S: Lots of funk and sour patch kids on the nose. Not much fruit, citrus, or earthiness. Pleasant, but somewhat uninteresting.

T: Fairly sour, although I wouldn’t classify it as mouth puckeringly sour a la beatification. The main flavors are tart tangerines and tart cherries, mixed with sour candy and a bit of funk, but not much. Good, but left me wanting more.

M: Appropriate carbonation for the style. Nice aftertaste, but not much lingering sour. Average viscosity.

O: Glad to try this beer, but for me it was only slightly above average on the scale of sours I’ve had. (898 characters)

Photo of Cavery
3.88/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle was sent to me to cellar for my brother (Klym) over the holidays. Unfortunately this thing tarted to leak, and there was dark soy smelling residue all over the neck and body. Such a bummer, but the only thing to do is to crack fresh and hope for the best. Fortunately I'd say my sample was very sound.

Poured into a Lost Abbey Tulip. 2011 sample.

A: Looks a lot like that artificial butter that people smother all over their popcorn. A really homogonized fluffy cloudy yellow butter look to it. It has a really strong resemblance in color to most fats. Some egg shell foam remains pretty consistently atop the body of the beer giving it more of a lemony dessert tart look. Happy that it looks reasonable considering my plight.

S: Light roasted peanuts, corn, popcorn, and a dab of whipped yeast. A little bit of funky yellow leathers in the nose that make me a bit concerned, they swirl in a kind of purgatory between going bad and spoiled. The nose returns in the end with some consistent notes of brown olives and peanut oils. Little bit strange, but some light lemon zest helps clean up any inconsistencies. In the very least, it covers them up.

T: Some mildly tart yeast that comes off very buttery. In the world between butters and yeast we get some nice visits from baked garlics. A little bit of acorn funk in the middle that comes off a bit greener than I'd like, but is low in the acidity. Nutty oak takes over with the corn giving it that sugary oily note. However, the corn is done great justice by going nutty with the oak. A mild taste of avocado near the skin. Quite good, quite a relief.

M: Still pretty well carbonated for a light-medium body the sizzles only moderately. The mouth does an interesting thing where a three way battle takes place for mouth-feel supremacy. Nutty oaks clash with drying champagnes, and both are flanked by a weakened canola oil. Due to the conflicting feels, it more or less finds a stasis somewhere at the crossroads of all three. It's not too astringent, oily, or acidic. The balance is pretty nice, and I think this might improve a little if the oak took over.

O: All things considered I can't be so upset about the status of this beer. I'm very glad to have tried it, but I certainly feel that I had more than a few really funky rips throughout the course of my glass. Some very strange old avocado and dead salty yeast flavors attacked me when I least expected it. If this hadn't occurred, I think the overall score would have benefited. I'd love to acquire another bottle to hold onto, but it's hard to justify when this beer seems to be as much of a risk to ship as it is. I will revisit this, but take the necessary precautions when sending or receiving this beer coast to coast -- You'll be glad that you did. (2,783 characters)

Photo of tewaris
3.88/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brute
Thanks SourNotes for sharing a long time want.

Bubbly, very very bubbly. Clear golden color and big white head is inviting. Aroma is funky and leathery. Taste is dominated by acetic sourness but the (extremely) high carbonation keeps it alive... I am not a fan of vinegar in some Flanders style beers because it seems to settle on the palate but it works in Brute.

Very much champagne like as was expected... a simpler beer with great drinkability.

4.5, 4, 3.5, 4.5, 4 (477 characters)

Photo of bulletrain76
3.88/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

75cl bottle courtesy of illidurit. Hazy yellow with a big white head. Funky brett and sour aroma with a fresh yeast touch and light oak. The flavor is sour and relatively clean, but the acidity is somewhat subdued. Dry crackery malt adds some complexity. Light-medium body with higher carbonation. Good but a pretty indistinctive sour ale. (339 characters)

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Brute from Ithaca Beer Company
96 out of 100 based on 389 ratings.