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Brute - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

389 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 389
Hads: 835
Avg: 4.39
pDev: 9.34%
Wants: 1,087
Gots: 141 | FT: 7
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: 835
Photo of TexIndy
4.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got in a trade with johnnnniee - many, many thanks as usual! Poured from a 750ml bottle with a yellow plastic cork (1st for that) under the crown. No date but batch E! 018 which just came out so it's fresh. It was a hazy golden yellow color with large amounts of carb streams. It had a massive fluffy white head that slowly settled to a constant foam fed by the carb. Quick sliding lace that didn't stick.

The aroma is amazingly good. Great brett slap in the face backed up with fruit and oak. A little more barnyard and this would be perfect. As is, it's a constant sniffer. The taste was exceptional. The sour is dominant but the fruit and oak also come through for a great balance. One of the best tasting wild ales out there. great tart bite from the start that finishes just shy of a pucker. Semi dry finish. Mouthfeel is crisp with carb and sour bites.

Overall, an outstanding wild ale that I highly recommend. Near perfect in all areas and worthy of the hype. I could drink this one anytime, anywhere. Now, I've just got to find some more! Rotation: not avail here - got in trade. If avail here would be heavy hitter. As is, need to find some more and/or roadtrip.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.89/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch E!018. I shared my bottle in line at the Veritas 007 release yesterday. Gave myself a decent pour though

Poured a nice light golden color, similar to a plain lambic not fruited and what not. Nice thin head. No real lacing.

Aroma of tart lemons and a little of the Brett funk you would expect. Smells great.

Taste is exceptional. Very tart but not as tart as say La Folie but up there. A little dryer than say Isabelle and to me slightly more oaky than others. Nice tartness with a slight funk with a champaign finish. Very similar to a champaign flavor but the tartness is the main player in this beer for sure.

Mouthfeel is very carbonated like a champaign. Probably due to the champaign yeast. Dry taste that works.

Overall an awesome beer. Glad to have another I have put away for a while. Hope everyone else enjoyed it as much as I did.

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Photo of Pahn
4.89/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle into Duvel tulip. Batch E!027, 2010. ABV: 7% this batch.

Appearance: Careful pour yields a three inch white head that dissipates steadily, leaving a few spots of lacing. Pours a hazy fulvous (I found this color 'fulvous' on wikipedia, and though it's more hilarious for me to just flatfootedly say 'fulvous', I leave this parenthetical note anyway). Doesn't leave much lacing to speak of.

Smell: At first it's effervescent and acetic, moving quickly to tart apple and peach, with some faint funk in the background. Freshly cut orange. While it stays effervescent, the acetic character pretty much drops out and the smell moves from tart fruit to sweet peach to citrus to a mild, creamy oak and vanilla to various berries. There's more happening (and more good happening) than I can meaningfully record.

Taste: So subtle and balanced, but so full-flavored. Tart but smooth, lots of fruit, with a big brett note in the finish. It tastes like it smells, but with a significantly larger brettanomyces influence at the end, more barnyard and musty than tangy. There's flavors reminiscent of champagne and white wine, and a persistent acetic character that keeps everything sour but never distracts from the beautiful fruit, wine, and funk.

Like the smell, there's too much happening here to describe it all, but what I can say is: the taste is flawless. I hate to give out 5s, but this really couldn't be better for what it is. It could be more sour, the oaky notes could be stronger, the brett (which is surprisingly big) could be bigger, but none of that is the point. Those flavors are all here (along with more), they're all distinct, they're all in harmony, they're all delicious. Drinking this beer is like listening to a brilliant symphony for the first time; you're picking out things you love, you're enjoying it thoroughly, but you know it has depths further than you can appreciate or understand in one listen.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Tart, but soft and creamy, with a dry finish. Fairly carbonated but not overboard. The feel is like the smell and the taste: all subtlety and class.

Drinkability: This beer is refreshing, complex, restrained, and delicious. I would drink this regularly. It's one of those beers such that, despite having a refrigerator full of world class beer, when its bottle is empty, I will be sad.

Honestly, I think Brute is flawless. It's a shame that it's relatively hard to get, because it would be a perfect gateway beer for wild ales. If these flavor profiles didn't make sense to you before, they would after having Ithaca Brute.

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Photo of mynie
4.89/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Saison yellow, hazy and effervescent. Decent head, pretty and gold.

Smells like beer yeast and sour candy. That's almost too simple an explanation for something that seems so alive. Like, if your son took his first steps and all you said in response was "Timmy is taking his first steps." It's technically accurate, yes, but doesn't capture it. Well--hrm... pretend I used a bunch of exclamation marks in this paragraph.

Tastes like yeast, real lemon juice, candy lemon flavoring, and the aftertaste of moderately sweet champagne. Again, add exclamations.

I'd say this is well balanced, but there's nothing really there that counteracts the sweetness. This is simply sweet at the exactly perfect intensity, backed up by just enough yeasty berriness to make it interesting from start to finish.

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Photo of beerwolf77
4.92/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to alcstradamus for tossing a bottle of this my way. You are one bad mutha in my book Adam.

Poured into my duvel tulip.

A: Crystal clear golden yellow. A huge three fingers of bright white head burst to the top of my glass. A fantastic cap forms leaving saopy lace around the rim.

S: Oh my god the aroma is like heaven in a glass. Sweet and tart white grapes simply envelope my nostrils. It smells just like a freah pack of grape big league chew. Modest hay and funk with a solid lactic sourness.

T: The taste is pretty much a mirror of the nose. White grapes with a solid dose of lactic sour to make my cheeks pucker. Lemon and green apple along with a touch of dry dusty wood and wet hay funk.

M: The body starts dry and bubbly yet finishes juicy. The carbonation level is really high. Maybe dialed back a hair to perfect it.

D: I could have finished this whole bottle myself. I love sharing beer but his one makes me sad I did. If it were possible I would drink this constantly.

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Photo of HopStoopid120
4.92/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch E!018 (Batch 2)

Brute pours an insane golden orange, that is cloudy, almost to the point of being opaque at first. There is an enormous white billowing head, that consumes nearly half of my glass. The head consists of large vigorous bubbles, due to the rapid carbonation racing from the bottom of the glass. The head recedes to thin ring around the edge of my glass, and there is no lacing.

Citrus. Lemon (zest), some funky (almost must like) aromas just leap from the glass. Vinegar is also present, but in a very appealing way. I am actually aware of most of the scents before even pouring this beer... from the second I pullled the cork, my nose was very aware of the magic inside of this bottle.

Sour, tart and funky, but not overdone by any means. A pucker is forced out of me but not to the point of pain (which I have found in some other wilds). There is a lot of citrusy fruits going on in here as well, and even a very faint sweetness, think the scent but more. Brute drinks dry, almost like a champagne (due to champagne yeast, probably) and with every sip, I cannot wait to take another.

The mouthfeel is around medium and perfect for the style. This beer probably has the most perfect carbonation. The bubbles just roll all over my mouth. It's awesome.

I could drink Brute every day. It is almost too easy to put back a 750 by myself.

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Photo of Cakanator
4.92/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml at turkeyday. One of my all time favorites, poured into my Portsmouth tulip. Nice hazy golden color with great lacing, reminds me of liquid gold. Aromas are sour and earthy with plenty of funk, it literally made my mouth water. First sip is crazy not crazy sour but enough to put it over the edge. Citrus acidity and mindblowing sour makes the finish dry. More please!

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Photo of deliriumfest
4.94/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Consumed on 1/17/09

750ml bottle

First of all, I'm going to have to agree with Mikesgroove and say that this is the best American sour I have had to date! Believe me, I bow down to my Russian River brews every time I see them reining over my beer closet but man this one was good. Poured a cloudy yellow/copper with not much head at all although if there were more I would have to say it would be nice and white. The aroma was plein de brett, brett et plus de brett. The taste was beautifully funky and citrusy. The mouthfeel was smooth - went down the hatch easy as pie thanks to the beautiful carbonation. The drinkability on this one is huge due to all its awesomeness and funkiness. I have to note that I brought this one to the Twin Cities January BA Gathering and it was the star of the show. I want to thank Ithaca for making this beer and I really hope they do it again in the future because I only have two bottles of this one left.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.94/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A – It pours a peachy-orange-gold with a good bit of foam and some spotty lace. It is clear for the first glass you pour. Cloudy thereafter. The more cloudy, the better it tastes, in my opinion.

S – By smell alone, this beer is certainly all its cracked up to be. The aroma presents a perfectly executed tartness, with tons of Champagne character, a gang of funk, fruity impressions including pear, apricot, peach, apple, lemon and cherry, as well as a distinct white oak character.

T – The flavor of this brew is outstanding and the balance is sublime; it is so perfectly potent and funky. Sour pear and white peach impressions are immediately apparent, but the fruitiness is myriad. The acidic-vinegar element is perfectly balanced and punctuated by the Champagne yeast. Everything about these flavors is big, bold, tart, and exceptionally potent, and then suddenly there is an amazing totally clean finish.

M – The mouthfeel is the best ever, it is so fully flavorful and brilliantly effervescent and then it just finishes totally and completely, leaving nothing but a clean mouth-watering sensation. Like magic.

D – Far beyond superlatives…

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Photo of zac16125
4.96/5  rDev +13%
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.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.97/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle split and poured into a Sierra Nevada tulip. 7% ABV, Batch # E!010, tulip pictured on the glass, <40°, keep cool and serve chilled, contents under pressure, open with caution, point away from people.

Big thanks to Beerwolf77 sharing this amazing brew. It's fairly low on the top 100 but we all loved it!

A - Crystal clear golden yellow in color with a massive white head. Low retention from the lactic acid in this brew, but some awesome little fingers of lace creep up the glass.

S - Orgasmic aroma of lactic wild brett notes. Gorgeous horse blanket and barnyard funk just escapes out of this beer with power. Crystal malts add just a tiny touch of sweetness to the amazing aroma. I can't get enough of this smell! White grapes and a hint of champagne make their way in as well.

T - Light pale and crystal malts provide a backbone to the super funky barnyard, horse blanket-laden brew. Light sourness, it has more of a lactic finish. Lemony citrus on the finish blends with notes of champagne white grapes. Complex yet simple at the same time. MMM.

M - So carbonated, I'm surprised it didn't gush actually, it's crisp and light-bodied with a sour finish accompanied by a sharp tickle. Very nice going down. Dry and champagne-like but fantastic.

D - After the gasps and outcries from the aroma, I told the guys it's good I brought a change of diapers for us all cause I figured something like this might happen tonight. But seriously, Todd was right to say, "I should have been greedy with this and not shared it with you guys." I agree. I could polish off a bottle of this alone. I need to find me some asap.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.97/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best, if not the best American sour I have had. Simply amazing. 750ml bottle was served chilled and decanted into a pint glass. Consumed on 01/03/2009.

The pour was very nice. A rich golden amber with a light cloudiness to it that was very evident as soon as your poured it. Nice head of white reaches up to a height of around three inches before settling back down and leaving just a nice quarter inch layer across the top that stayed with it throughout the session, lots of carbonation streaming up as well throughout.

The aroma was to die for. Sour, tart fruit notes just ripping through the air. Not so heavy on the vinegar in the smell, more of a sour apple like nose with lots of funk. As it warmed like notes of oak coming through way in the back and a fresh grapefruit like hoppiness. The flavor was explosive. My tongue took a bath in rich sour notes here. Lotso f fruit all over the place, pears, apricot, lots of grapefruit, and then that funky brett just hits you and wipes it all away. Puckering, but yet subtle and sweet at the same time. Words escape me. The champagne yeast did a number here and the carbonation was light, fine, and absolutely spot on. I could not have asked for that to come off any better. Rediculously drinkable and just a privledge to drink, this is one of the best beers I have ever had.

Hands down, nothing else I can say to sell you on this one. I did not think this could have come off as good as it did. It was simply amazing. Please go get this if you can, and Beertruth, send me more!

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Photo of bnieman
4.97/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch E!027

A - Light burnt orange, cloudy with a pillowing white cloud head.

S - Vinegar, sugar powder, pixie stick cloud, pastry, sour oak barrel. A sweet allure.

T - Fresh picked greenish yellow Pear. Granny smith apple. Hint of
oak. Sour white grapes. Creamy champagne.

M - Mouth-puckering fades quickly to smooth and creamy. Fine
carbonation bubbles.

D - The sour doesn't linger long making this brilliant brew oh so drinkable. I savored every drop.

Colossal thanks to BeerFMAndy for sharing this outstanding out-of-town beer!

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Photo of Risser09
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750mL bottle poured into a snifter - fridge temp - 2008 batch E!010

Appearance: Pours a golden color with lots of visible carbonation flowing to the surface. The head rises 1.5" tall with lots of foaminess and shows great retention. Spotty lace clings to the glass.

Smell: Tart and funky. Acrid apples, brettanomyces, horseblanket, some dormant lemon citrus. Slight hop aroma as well. Perfect for me.

Taste: Funky, sour and tart. This beer screams Belgian at the top of its lungs. Oak, apple, brett, lemon, horseblanket are all flavors. There are so many more complexities.

Mouthfeel: Effervescent, lightly bodied, tart, funky and oaky. Some tannins soaks through. Lingering tartness and sourness. Alcohol is there, but not in a big way.

Drinkability: Incredible. I had high hopes for this brew and I got my socks knocked off. Everything that you could want in a beer. Plenty of complexity and thirst quenching properties. One of my new favorites for sure.

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