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Brute - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

805 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 805
Reviews: 389
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 9.23%
Wants: 1,131
Gots: 143 | 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: 805 | Reviews: 389 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of younger35
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this brew from the ever famous BeerTruth. I've been sitting on this one for way to long and can't wait to try it. Drank from my Ithaca Excelsior tulip while watching the Broncos vs. Jets.

Batch# E!010

Appearance- Pours a very hazy light yellow with a huge 2 finger fluffy white head that seems to last forever. The head never really falls below one finger as that cap leaves loads of frothy lacing.
Smell- Lightly fruity from the start with a lightly sweet, very melon like nose. Cantaloupe, honeydew, and maybe even a tinge of banana smell absolutely wonderful. Not as sour smelling as I was expecting but definitely light tinges of apple cider vinegar and earthy funk. The oak and vanilla really open up as the beer warms and maybe gets a hint sourer in the nose.
Taste- Whoa! Way more sour than the nose led me to believe! Bone dry and not all that fruity it has way more rice wine vinegar than melon fruitiness. Quenching and pleasing as a bit of green apple and white grape does show slightly as the beer warms. More wine than beer at times but none-the-less, delicious. Finishes with a light lingering vanilla woodiness that is my favorite part of these barrel aged sours. The aftertaste tastes EXACTLY like Russian Rivers Temptation.
Mouthfeel- Medium body that's very crisp and clean with sharp vibrant carbonation that would give any bottle of Champaign a run for the money. Very dry and quenching.
Drinkability- The first sip of this brew was fairly puckering but I acclimated quickly. I'm nearly finished with the bottle and I'm almost done with my review. The subtle oak and extreme dryness are really nice and make this an exceptionally easy drinking brew. Perhaps the easiest drinking Wild Ale I've tried. Big, HUGE thanks to Adam for sharing!

younger35, Nov 30, 2008
Photo of CrellMoset
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to bankhead for this longtime want, particularly from a style I'm still warming up to.

Appearance: Proteus93's pour is clear, crisp, and golden, while mine is of course hazy, orangey-yellow, capped by a good two fingers of slightly dull white head that fizzes and fades relatively quickly but nonetheless leaves a good ring of bubbly spongy lacing and a few smatterings of surface dusting. There may very well be carbonation in this brew, but the haziness does a fair job of denying me that.

Aroma: Faint, quenching, tart vinegar qualities, but a slew of complexities as well. Only a faint amount of cheesy funk, really, that comes across as faintly sweaty, faintly cheesy, farmhouse-y, and largely tart. The remainder of this brew is citrusy - orangey, largely lemony - slightly malty - in a golden, malty, sweet, soft sort of way - with none of those unpleasant medicinal smells and tons of those pleasant fruity, slightly spicy ones.

Taste: Ohhh damn. Quenching tartness, dry malts, tons of citrus, a fair amount of funk ... just an amazingly complex and balanced brew. Ohhh my god I just cleansed my palette and it just hit me all over again. This one's hugely tart, wonderfully complex, sweet, simple, and well-rounded. Lemon notes add a palette-quenching aspect to this one that augments the orange notes and faintly topical notes. Oy.

Mouthfeel: Hugely effervescent carbonation, with smooth, crisp, and terribly soft effervescence filling up a moderately smooth body that I would imagine would be sticky, thick, and syrupy if it weren't so dry and quenching.

Drinkability: Flavorful, complex, enjoyable, yet ... approachable. This reminds me a lot of Isabelle Proximus, actually - tart, complex, soft, smooth, flavorful. It's truly an amazingly well-made beer, not overly tart or overly funky or overly sour. It's just terribly balanced and terribly drinkable, and - at 6.5% - was a sober up beer for me at this period of the tasting. Not anything wrong with this one, actually, and I'm truly looking forward to batch 2 of this fantastic brew.

CrellMoset, Aug 23, 2009
Photo of boatshoes
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

boatshoes, Jun 17, 2010
Photo of alleykatking
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from 750ml bottle. Many many thanks go out to betsona and Lukafer for both bringing bottles to the tasting!

A- Pours a hazy golden yellow color. The middle of the beer is more golden color than the rest of the beer. Two and a half finger white head shows fantastic retention. Lots of sticky thick lacing which is sheety on the sides of the glass.

S- From the first sniff I get tons of brett funk with a nice underlying citrusy lemon tone. Oak comes through next and stays with a light grassy barnyard aroma. Hints of wet grain lead up in the backing of the aroma along with light green apple. The brett in this calm and very relaxed which I found to be nice at least in the aroma department

T- Upon first sip the brett comes out in a nice light pucking tone. Light green apple quickly gets covered with a large citrus tone that becomes a dominate flavor in this beer. Light wet grain/hay flavor in the the underbody mix well with a light woody note. The sourness in this beer to me is very calm and this leads to more flavors coming through. Lemon screams throughout the beer in both over and undertones depending on the portion of the beer. Light sweetness on the ending along with hints of alcohol and a mellowing brett overtone.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. High alcohol drying on the palate but doesn't take away from overall mouthfeel. Lemon, brett, and light oak left on the palate. Aftertaste is hints of alcohol, barrel notes, sourness, lemon, and wet hay are left in the aftertaste. Flavors were very well balanced more so than most beers like this. No off flavors were detected while drinking.

O- I thought this beer was amazing. A nice mellow wild ale that drinks fantastic. Lower ABV makes this a whole 750ml drinker if you dare. To be honest it was much more than I thought it could be.

alleykatking, Apr 06, 2011
Photo of SpdKilz
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to Chris (SpyCow) for sharing this at CBS. Batch E!018

Appearance – Pours a hazy lemon, golden color into a tulip with massive thick JP looking head.

Smell – Damn – lots of brett, lemon zest, citrus, slight barnyard funk/wet hay. Apricots and peaches come through a bit later.

Taste – A bit sweeter than I was expecting, though still quite mouth puckering. Lemon zest is prevalent, though it melds with malted grains. As I have heard others discuss, this is similar to Temptation (which happens to be one of my favorite RR sours). Other citrus notes of green apples, an oakiness, and earthiness. Quite good.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, dry.

Overall – Delicious. A great surprise to have (and I coincidentally brought a E!037 but of course Chris had to bust out the E!018) and I can only hope mine becomes this with age. A great sour.

SpdKilz, Nov 06, 2011
Photo of oline73
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tasting snifter.

The beer pours a clear golden amber color with a finger of off white head that fades to a ring around the glass. The smell is slightly funky with strong tart lemon and vinegar notes. I would describe the taste as very clean and extremely sour. I'm getting lemon, vinegar, and just a light funk. The finish is light and quite sour. The carbonation is creamy and foamy. There is a slight dryness in the finish.

oline73, Mar 06, 2013
Photo of alcstradamus
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Extremely careful pour still engulfs the glass with 4 fingers of head that camps out forever and leaves thick lacing. Murky golden straw color with some effervescent bubbles rising to the top.

Smell is faintly tart grapes, orange peel, tangerine, pineapple, a little sour twang, and traces of Brett.

The taste is an absolutely wonderful blast of citric fruit up front. Pineapple galore, brett funk, oranges, apples, lots of pear, white grapes. Sourness is fairly subdued but still noticeable mid palate. Not quite puckering, but still enough to add another flavor dimension. The taste of this beer is absolutely phenomenal, there is really no better way to describe it.

Mouthfeel is light with a truckload of prickly carbonation. Fairly normal for the style, but I would have a bit less prickle in a perfect world.

Drinkability is off the charts here. I almost want to chug this, and that is a rare occurance for a sour beer. The citrus component of this beer is insanely complex, and the subdued levels of funk and sourness may disappoint some people but I personally feel they are at perfectly fine for what this beer is trying to be. Bravo to Ithaca, I regret not trying this beer sooner.

alcstradamus, Jan 11, 2010
Photo of SpruceFish
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thank to Knifesyles for the trade

A- very cloudy yellow white billowing head and a white lacing around the glass

S-tart funk horse blanket the funk is amazing i would think this is was gueuze if i didnt know the sour is very pronounced and lemon grass

T- wow so tart and funky i love it i feel like im drinking gueuze there is no vinegar to this at all so funky horse blanket all over the place this is the best American wild i have ever had the brett come this so nicely

M- perfect carbonation medium body

D- i think im going to drink this hole bottle soooo smooth

notes- i have to say this brings amrican sours to a hole new lever

SpruceFish, May 06, 2009
Photo of levifunk
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

generously brought to a tasting by madvike. reviewed from notes.

a - the pour is peach in color with a white head.

s - vinegar sourness, hay funk, and some sweetness.

t - wow, amazing balance. sour, but not overly...taste like a gueuze.

m - med/light body. nice carbonation. dry finish.

overall - phenomenal. I could drink this everyday.

levifunk, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of aglose45
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review number 50, and on Christmas Eve!

A: Pours a nice hazy, light golden/straw color, with a frothy, almost white head. There are a bunch of tiny little bubbles, this really looks fantastic.

S: The nose has a pretty complex, mostly sour, smell to it. There is a nice bretty smell, followed by some ripe fruit (white grapes and tart peaches). These smells are quickly followed by a real dry, bready malt scents.

T: The taste starts off with a blast of sour, tart fruits..the same ones as in the nose. Next is a bit of a funky Brett attack. This lasts for a few seconds post-swallow before a dry, almost stale, bread malt flavor becomes present. As I move through the bottle, the flavor gets a bit sweet from the yeast.

M: The carbonation is nice and prickly, however, I feel that this beer gets a little bit watery near the end.

D: This beer is very drinkable for. It is one of my favorite Wild Ales.

aglose45, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of WesWes
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a very cloudy gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a super sour scent that explodes with brett yeast esters. The malt bill seems simple; pale malts with maybe one other specialty grain. The taste is awesome! This is one sour brew. It's a pucker from start to finish. Again it seems like just pale and maybe some wheat malt along with a healthy dose of brett. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is a tremendous tasting beer. Ithaca is really brewing some world class beers of late. Hail to the Chief!!!

WesWes, Aug 05, 2008
Photo of route66pubs
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jctribe25 (Patrick) for the wonderful, completely unexpected and totally unsolicited bottle. It was a wonderful thing you did, sir!

Batch E!018.

Pours a yellow golden blissful color, with lots of visible tiny carbonation bubbles running throughout, and a slightly unfiltered appearance shading the fingers held between the glass and the light. Slight white head stays for awhile, but does not hold to the glass well at all with each sip.

Quick to the funk in the aroma, the brett seemed to explode out of the bottle upon opening. Sour grapefruit notes followed with the pour. Once in the tulip glass, additional slight peppery notes followed, along with some fruit, mostly apple.

I readily admit that as a whole, sours are not my favorite style. This, however, is one of those that is so wonderful that I enjoy it heartily. Crisp fruity sourness are the only flavors I get, much like a sour apple pie without the pie.

Champagne yeast provides for wonderful, continual, tiny-bubble carbonation throughout the drinking experience. Very crisp continual sour bite continues from start to finish.

The sourness in this leaves a dry, wanting aftertaste, raising the drinkability score. But the fact remains, it is a sour, and how much of this can you really have?

Overall an extremely wonderful experience and one I will happily have again. (And the sour is a precursor drink for my expectations of how the United States will leave me feeling after the World Cup, which starts tomorrow.)

route66pubs, Jun 11, 2010
Photo of crashlimo
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch E!027

A: Pours a hazy golden yellow with apparent carbonation. A small amount of white head accumulates, but does not stick to the glass.

S: Sour citrus notes and funk permeate the air. Crisp smell with hints of apple.

T: Ever so crisp, dry and tart. Strong flavor of green apples, and hints of sour peach. Very refreshing, yet not understated. Wonderfully sour.

M: Mild carbonation created by the champagne yeast creates a light, crisp mouthfeel that compliments the light flavors.

D: Finishes slightly dry with a mild sour aftertaste that leaves you craving more, and more...and more. Flavors are just powerful and complex enough to stun ones taste buds into a slow leisurely drink (otherwise I'd worry about the urge to suck it down too fast)

crashlimo, Sep 29, 2010
Photo of schroederm
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In a chalice:

Tons of fine-bubbled white head over cloudy yellow/brown body. Excellent lacing. A huge sour presence in the nose with green apple all over the place. Grape soda present as well. Wonderful malt start followed by green apple bitter. Notes of currant and raisin. Tons of sour. Mouthfeel is quite smooth and very thick. Carbonation is a little too high. Overall, delicious and the flavor is not overwhelming.

schroederm, Jul 19, 2009
Photo of alpinebryant
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Batch E!018
Pours a healthy blonde head with a white lacing that does not go away.

Smell of sour tart pale malt with some funk.

Taste of pale malt mixed with acidic sourness of citrus, Czech hops, some barnyard and funk. There is a dry champagne finish to state the obvious as stated on the label that it is finished with a blend of three champagne yeasts. Could be slightly more complexity to the malt profile, but this is done well as is.

High carbonation, not gushing from the bottle, but very tasty and very drinkable. This went above my expectations and I am looking forward to many more sour ales from Ithaca Beer Company.

alpinebryant, Apr 03, 2010
Photo of CoolJosh
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle generously shared by Treyrab with Ashherb17 and myself. Poured into a tulip, pours a spritz golden orange with some pink tones that run through the body. Really nice soft white head that rests to a half-finger layer.

Incredibly tart lemon. The yeast shows through perfectly, and brings such an incredible sour component. Some lighter tart cherry lingers in with some nice soft vanilla creme. The fruits flourish out of the glass and smell unbelievably fresh. Some tart grapefruit adds a nice touch as well.

The taste is really good. Nice and easy drink. Very acetic, with some great tart lemons and orange. A light bit of grapefruit sourness. Really light, kind of falls off at the end and lacks complexity, but still a very nice sour by all means. It tastes like a sour patch kid.

Reminiscent of The Bruery's Cuvee Jeune with a little bit more carbonation.

CoolJosh, Jul 30, 2009
Photo of sonicdescent
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to twelvsies for this one!

Pours a great golden color with some really amazing carbonation and a nice foamy head.

Smell is of sour apples, brett, and barrel. Good.

Taste is..wow, this rivals a RR sour. Quite well balanced between the sour and sweet, definitely a bit more to the sour side, but nice no less. Apples makes another appearance as well as a vinous barrel taste. Very nice.

Mouth is thin and bubbly as it needs to be.

A world class sour.

sonicdescent, May 31, 2009
Photo of mdfb79
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 07/24/10 notes.

a - Pours a golden color with 1 inch of white head and light carbonation.

s - Smells of sour fruit, citrus, lemon, and some funk. Very enjoyable.

t - Tastes of tart, sour fruits, especially lemon. Nice citrus, tart, and funk. Very enjoyable.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - I loved this sour. I thought there was some great sour fruits and funk in the smell and taste. A great sour I would love to have again.

mdfb79, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of mhatters
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle in a tulip glass at Jose Pistolas @ their Ithaca event

Pours a light champagne color, highly ephervesint good size head, beautiful beer.

Citrus and light fruit dominate the nose, lemon, lime, peach, grape, apple. A Cava-like wine note appears, with an oak hint at the end. A hint of spice too.

Spectacular - citrus, pepper, light fruit, herbal, delightful. Really strong carbonation lift the flavors out, light in the mouth, dry on the tounge. Emmesily pleasable.

Perfectly balance, dry, crisp, lots of flavor, one of the best drinking beers I have ever had.

mhatters, Oct 11, 2009
Photo of treyrab
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to BeerTruth for this one. This has been sitting in the cellar for a few months and decided to bring it out after taking the first part of the CPA exam yesterday.

A: Pours a hazy vibrant yellow with a large white head on the first pour. The champagne yeast has really yielded a large head that lasts a while, but recedes to a skim of head atop the beer.

S: Nice, very vibrant and tart lemon coupled with other tart fruits of peaches and apple blended magnificently with some dry oak, white grapes and hints of vanilla.

T: Very sharp, and very acidic. Mouth puckering indeed. Tart lemon, dry oak, tart, sour apples, and hints of vanilla. This is great, but not much depth here. A nice easy, sour but not too complex.

M/D: The mouthfeel is very high thanks to the champagne yeast. It is nice, light and refreshing.

Overall, this was a great beer. Very easily drinkable sour that I would like to have to lay down for a few years.

treyrab, Jul 30, 2009
Photo of mjyoung
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Drank 6/25/11. Split w/ bbb099, scottfrie, et al. Bottled 2010, batch E!027.

A: A thick, robust head that leaves a fine lacing on the glass. A slightly hazy something or other.

S: Whew. Mmmm Brett. Nothing too overpowering, but definitely strong notes of barnyard and a slight hint of oak-y citrus. It's not the most complex smell, but pleasant.

T: The Brett is moderately hidden. Definitely sour, but quite fruity. It's remarkably peachy but not in an overpowering way. I'm having a hard time describing the taste, but it's fantastic.

M: Definitely reminiscent of champagne. The carb is delightfully high and the body is nice and airy. Very very nice.

O: A very good brew. I approve. Many thanks to scottfire for sharing!

mjyoung, Jun 25, 2011
Photo of afksports
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Effin' excellent brew. I'm an amateur here, so I'm totally unqualified to talk about hop notes or brett or lacing or whatever. I'm doing my homework on beer 101, but in the meantime I'd like to enjoy some. This I can.

Brute has a distinct type of sour that finishes clean but leaves me thinking about granny smith apples in the dryness of champagne. The carbonation and head are great, and I feel classy drinking this. Buy me another and take me home.

I almost feel bad calling it beer. But I don't feel bad calling it awesome. Would drink again - for sure.

afksports, Sep 29, 2010
Photo of jamescain
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a sniffer, thanks to who ever brought this to the bottle share!

Appearance: Large rocky white head about two fingers thick, opaque yellow-brown color.

Aroma: Tart, earthly and very rustic with a hint of barnyard funk, pineapples, citrus and peaches.

Taste: Apples, peaches, and citrus with a tart mouthfeel and sour finish. Very earthy and spicy.

Mouthfeel: Light body with high carbonation and a very dry finish.

Overall: Very good beer and I've wanted to try it for a while, I'm glad I finally got the chance.

jamescain, Sep 28, 2011
Photo of THECPJ
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes 2/25/11

Appearance: Hazy golden yellow, with a finger fluffy white head

Smell: funk, sour

Taste: sour fruits, sweet grapes,

Mouthfeel: mild carbonation, smooth, crisp, well balanced.

Drinkability: Very nice sour. Wish it wasn't so hard to come by.



THECPJ, Mar 02, 2011
Photo of billab914
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch # E!010 poured from a 750ml bottle into my brand new Lost Abbey sinner stemware. It poured a bright, golden amber color with a huge bubbly and active head to it. The head faded but kept a nice white covering over the beer well into drinking it. Decent lacing as well.

The aroma has a relatively sharp, acidic, sourness to it. Some sour fruit flavors come through with some apple and grape like qualities. A good amount of tartness is present along with some lemony and orange citrus flavors coming through as well. Some great sour and tart flavors to it overall.

The taste is sharp with an acidicness at first. More of the tart and sour fruits start to come through pretty quickly though. The soured grape and tart apple flavors are there and add some nice flavors. Just a hint of the woody oak shows in it. It finishes with more of a dry, tart and sour flavor. Excellent flavors overall.

The mouthfeel is pretty light with carbonation being very high. Pretty good mouthfeel for the style. Drinkability is very good, it had some great sour and tart flavors to it. It was complex and flavorful and a great version of the style. Very enjoyable and drinkable beer overall.

billab914, Nov 06, 2010
Brute from Ithaca Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 805 ratings.