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Brute - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
BruteBrute

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

810 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 810
Reviews: 388
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 9.01%
Wants: 1,130
Gots: 144 | 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: 810 | Reviews: 388 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WorldWideStout
3.75/5  rDev -15.5%

WorldWideStout, Aug 09, 2012
Photo of Nickls
3.78/5  rDev -14.9%
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!

Nickls, Aug 05, 2008
Photo of maximum12
3.78/5  rDev -14.9%
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.

maximum12, Jun 20, 2010
Photo of Katahdin
3.8/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

Katahdin, Feb 03, 2010
Photo of tarheels86
3.8/5  rDev -14.4%
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

tarheels86, Nov 13, 2012
Photo of PerzentRizen
3.8/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

PerzentRizen, Feb 13, 2010
Photo of tewaris
3.85/5  rDev -13.3%
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

tewaris, Apr 05, 2012
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.85/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

LilBeerDoctor, Jun 09, 2009
Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

Sammy, Jun 26, 2012
Photo of Gmann
3.88/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

Gmann, Apr 26, 2009
Photo of Rifugium
3.88/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

Rifugium, Dec 13, 2012
Photo of pmarlowe
3.89/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Batch E!037.

A: Pours a brilliant orange-tinted gold, with a finger and a half of foamy bright white head. Excellent retention, with a thick ring of foam lasting forever, but minimal lacing. Champagne-like effervescence.

S: Initial impression is loads of pineapple, along with earth, orange, funk, tangerine, and golden ale. The aroma subsides substantially after the initial impression.

T: More subtle flavors on the palate than the nose. A little pineapple and tropical flavors, water, earthiness, with a medium length, quite dry, round citrus and malt finish.

M: Creamy/milky mouthfeel, medium-high, almost-sharp carbonation and medium body.

O: Aroma is nice, but the taste is pretty watery, which really detracts from the experience. There are lots of other shelf sours out there which have this beaten by a furlough.

pmarlowe, Jul 20, 2013
Photo of glazeman
3.9/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

glazeman, Aug 24, 2011
Photo of Cavery
3.9/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

Cavery, Aug 18, 2011
Photo of Retsinis
3.9/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A fellow BA (thanks Adam) was generous to bring this to share at my birthday gathering.

Poured from a 750 ml bottle, (I belive this was a 2009 bottle) into a Bruery tulip glass.

The beer pours a hazy bright golden yellow, with a fluffy billowing white head that rose a good two inches, and retained for quite a while. Eventually faded a bit, but was still a generous inch of head or so throughout. Some light lacing.

The aroma's, to me were a mixture of sour funk, crisp apples, a hint of oak, and wet hay. Also some lemon citrus notes as well.

The taste was refreshing, and crisp. On the draw, I got some initial tartness, sour peaches, oak, and green apples. This was followed by that barnyard funk, a bit of spice, and a dry bitter finish. The flavors reminded me of a sour carbonated chardonnay wine a bit, if such a thing exists.

Mouth feel was medium to high carbonation, dry, not unlike champagne (which it sounds like they were going for that)

I will admit, I do not crave sours. I knocked the beer just a bit on drinkability for that reason, and of the 6 oz I got, it was enough for me personally. I've had a few sours, not been offended by any, but when I see them on the shelf, I tend to pass. Slowly, I'm starting to appreciate them, and this bottle helped that. Reminded me of a fine champagne, just with less alcohol.

Retsinis, Mar 11, 2011
Photo of bulletrain76
3.9/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

bulletrain76, Jan 12, 2010
Photo of claspada
3.93/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of fastpass17.

Pours a light golden yellow with crazy amounts of foam and carbonation here. Would have thought is was champagne if I didn't know any better.

Aromas are quite vinous as well. White grapes, tart green apples. In the background there is a little mustiness and light citrus fruits.

Tastes begin with a lot of tart green apples and apple skin. Slightly earthy and musty from the Brett and also maybe the wheat malt. I also get some more white wine vinous notes and lemon rind in the sweet yet dry finish.

The mouthfeel is light and dry and crisp on the palate, just like a champagne. Plenty of carbonation in this brew, makes it kind of hard to drink which is my only major issue with this beer.

Overall I enjoyed this beer. While it is not my favorite style it was still quite enjoyable. It's one of those beers that drinks so dry/tart that it makes you sip more and the process is repeated, which I find dangerous because the glass is empty before you know it, such is life.

claspada, Aug 14, 2011
Photo of kingcrowing
3.95/5  rDev -11%
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.

kingcrowing, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of sybilyang
3.95/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's true to its style. It is definitely sour and puckery - in that proper Belgian way. It would pair nicely with a sweet lemony dessert - and that's exactly what I did - a lemon mouse.

The beer poured out of the bottle with that amber haziness that reflects bottle conditioning. Good thick foamy head that settled into about 1" after a few minutes. Not nearly as sour as sucking on a lemon, but close. Drink either on a really hot summer day, or pair with a fish dish or something that needs a clean kick on the pallet.

sybilyang, Feb 23, 2011
Photo of BeckyFreesTibet
3.98/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip, (although a flute might be even more appropriate), from a corked and capped 750 ml bottle--much like a bottle of champagne.

Cloudy and peachy-gold in color with visible champagne-like carbonation. The head was thick, bright white and formed stiff, meringue-like peaks.

The aroma was yeasty and lightly funky like a saison. Citrus, especially lemon zest, was apparent immediately. A sweetness creeps in as it opens up. All in all, there was not enough aroma for my liking.

The taste is immediately tart and citrusy with notes of sour apples and other under-ripe tree fruit. Noticeably wheaty and yeasty with a sweetness in the aftertaste to balance it out. The taste is fairly interesting and extreme, but not very complex.

The carbonation is extremely aggressive, just like a good champagne. Very dry finish. The mouthfeel is certainly not something everyone would love, but I was fascinated by how similar it is to champagne.

Drinkability is surprisingly good despite the over-the-top carbonation, tartness and dryness. The wine-like qualities give it a lightness so that it that doesn't feel like a 6.5% ABV beer.

The three strains of champagne-yeast really do make a product that's remarkably similar to champagne. Not for those who don't appreciate bubbly, but a fantastically creative (and tasty)wild ale.

BeckyFreesTibet, May 13, 2010
Photo of newk340
4/5  rDev -9.9%

newk340, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of mjtiernan
4/5  rDev -9.9%

mjtiernan, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -9.9%

acurtis, Sep 16, 2012
Photo of roostor07
4/5  rDev -9.9%

roostor07, Oct 26, 2013
Photo of Beerontwowheels
4/5  rDev -9.9%

Beerontwowheels, Jan 12, 2013
Brute from Ithaca Beer Company
99 out of 100 based on 810 ratings.