Brute - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
BruteBrute

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

828 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 828
Reviews: 392
rAvg: 4.43
pDev: 9.26%
Wants: 1,101
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:
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 828 | Reviews: 392
Photo of Phelps
4.06/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle shared by ejyoung at a tasting. Brute’s a beastly beer brewed with American barley, wheat and corn, fermented on oak for months with brett and finished with three types of champagne yeast. Into a snifter it goes. Excelsior!

Pale sunflower with a very slight haze, topped with a one-finger head of puffy white that fizzles away to a gaunt, bubbly ring.

Smells tart. Orange and lemon peel, light apricot, oodles of vinous oak. Bright and champagne-like, with incredible balance.

Moderate to high tartness in the flavor, with notes of oak, grapefruit, lemon, green apple and a bit of sweet apricot again, along with hints of honey.

Light carbonation with big bubbles and a soft fizziness. As ejyoung said, “It’s got that bubbly going on.” Medium-light body. The tartness is brash, but not completely ass-puckering.

A drinkable, well-balanced sour. It’s lacking the depth and complexity of world class wild ales, but it’s right on the edge of awesome.

Photo of klikger
4.07/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml pour served in a Duvel tulip

A - Light yellowish-grey, decent head which died down quickly, decent lacing

S - Diapers, summer fruits - peaches & raspberries, & champagne

T - Initially tastes like some of the better gueuzes I've had - yeast & funk are evident right away --> wild yeast, essence of fresh fruits --> finish is sour, but pretty smooth at the same time

M - Carbonated nicely, light to medium-bodied

D - Very drinkable - I'd down a bottle myself no prob.

Brute is definitely tasty, and I look forward to trying it again. That having been said, there weren't particular elements that stood out for me - it was reminiscent of $15 gueuzes that I can buy off the shelf every day of the week. Very nice, just not spectacular.

Photo of nickd717
4.08/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle via trade thanks to Ineedabeerhere. Shared at a BA tasting.

A - Pours hazy golden yellow with a lasting white head and nice lacing.

S - Funky lemony aroma with a hint of other sour light fruits.

T - Flavor is mouth-puckering lemony, bretty tartness - not too sour though - with barnyard, green apple, and mild floral hops. A tiny bit of malty/grainy sweetness pokes through.

M - Sharp and acidic on the palate with medium body.

D - Well, it's sour. But it's almost like RR Temptation in that the tartness is not overwhelming and it's pretty damn light and refreshing. This is a nice sour overall.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.08/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Batch E!037. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Golden orange. Huge white head. Excellent lacing.

Smell - Acidic with a lot of hay and wheat. Lemony acidity. No real funk, but I guess that isn't the point of this.

Taste - Spritzy acidity. Good lemon sourness. Same grainy malts as the aroma. Not overpowering. Just a hint acetic. Dry and oaky in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Light and effervescent. Sprizty and champagney. All of those adjectives mean the same thing. Over carbonated, really, but it adds to the experience a lot more than it detracts.

Overall - Maybe not an exciting sour, but extremely well made. Technical excellence.

Photo of nataku00
4.08/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle, batch E'027, poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a hazy golden color with a big three finger white foamy head consisting of loose large bubbles. Head dissipates after a few minutes leaving light lacing to a half a finger. Carbonation streaming up from the bottom of the glass.

Nose is sweet stone fruits, apricot and peaches, light lemon, lactic acid, light floral hops.

Taking a sip, light lactic acidity upfront, then stone fruits and fruity esters, lemon. Some earthy funk as the beer warms on the tongue, combined with floral flavors. Lingering acidity on the finish, with stone fruit sweetness balancing it out.

Light body and very carbonated, bubbles quickly scrubbing your tongue clean with each sip and swallow.

Photo of liamt07
4.08/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle shared by Sammy, 2011 vintage - batch E!037. Into a tulip.

Hazy gold with a brilliant bubbly white head. Good retention and light lacing. Nose of tart apple, champagne yeast, a bit of sourness, lemon, a bit of funk and general fruitiness. Tastes quite tart, some lemon, a bit funky and yeast notes again. Effervescent mouthfeel, champagne yeast stands out. Tart, medium body, and no alcohol. A very drinkable brut, but not the best I've had in the style. Still very well done.

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.08/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one looks like champagne. Light chardonnay looking body, bubbles kind of all over the place. The head indicates that, yes, this is a beer. A semi-dense head, tight bubbles, not a whole lot of staying power.
Sharp aroma, a bit sour. White grape, lemon, green fruit. Effervescent in the nose.

Tangy and tannin in the taste. The white grape becomes a bit sour and the lemon is juicy. Lime and golden apples. Thin body, but it does a number on the palate. The carbonation combines with the sour to cut through anything before it. Quite a nice aperitif if you're starting out on a meal.

Photo of TheViolator666
4.08/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 ml corked bottle into pint glass.

Batch# E!010

This really is best served on the colder side, right out of the fridge. The sourness decreased as the temperature increased.

A: Pours a turbid golden hue with a nice big and fluffy white head that sparkles and fizzes as you pour it into your glass. The head thins down to a thin white cap and leaves no lacing.

S: You can smell how sour this one is! Notes of citrusy tartness.

T: Tastes incredibly sour. Pretty funky as well, truly tastes like what I'd imagine an American Lambic to taste like. Finishes pretty clean and and along with the tartness, leaves a citrusy lemon flavor as well as a tad bit of dryness. The Brettanomyces provides an excellent mouth puckering tartness that leaves your tongue craving more.

M/D: This one has the body of a wheat and the carbonation of a champagne thanks to the blend of three champagne yeasts as indicated on the bottle.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.09/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour at Woodshop 7 held at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Pours a slightly murky yellow with a foamy beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is sour, tart, and funky with some grain and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with an interesting Pez candy flavor in the mix. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is quite drinkable but smells better than it tastes in my opinion.

Photo of kevanb
4.09/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a WLV Zwanze 2012 stemmed glass. Thanks to Sweemzander for the share. Review is from notes.

Pours a nice golden color, hazy complexion, a few bubbles rising to the top of the glass. A nice, taught white head rises out of the beer, a half finger high before receding into a slight film leaving no lacing. The aroma is very nice, funky brett, pale grain, light citrus, tart apple with some floral notes as well, very light, effervescent and more importantly inviting. The flavors are bit muddled relative to the nose and a bit dirtier as well, the funky brett is definitely there but it's a bit mustier and earthier than in the nose, light citrus, tart fruit, apples for sure, light sweet grain, a touch of acidic vinegar with some floral elements behind it, almost a bit medicinal. The body is nice, definitely has a bubbly champagne quality, lively, prickly on the tongue, but finishes very smoothly.

Verdict: An impressive sour from Ithaca. I prefer LeBleu to this one for sure, but this is certainly an enjoyable beer and worth tracking down for any sour lover.

Photo of Spider889
4.1/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Ryan011235 for sharing this at our impromptu tasting.

Batch: E!OR8

The appearance is very nice. Super bright boiled corn yellow-orange. The head on my pour into a Lost Abbey tulip was tall and white. Despite a lackluster dull pop of the cork, with the pour this beer still came alive!

Crystal clarity too. The only issue is a lack of lace... only the most intermittent smears of foam dotted this glass after each sip.

The smell is of Duvel with brettanomyces added. Others were smelling PBR in this. I was not. Though a sourdough/lager-y type aroma is there.

Quite tart, I find Brute to be really brett forward. Corn is noticeable in the flavor, but not anything too far out there. The tartness leads into mild citrus and lemon specifically.

Bright and crisp, the carbonation is much stronger than we first anticipated. The finish is of dull boiled corn and crackery malt and doughy sourdough yeastiness.

Overall I enjoyed this a lot. Thanks Ryan for yet another Ithaca tick!

____

Got to try a B1 Brute recently and it was even more sour than the more recent batch. I liked it even more.

Photo of Arbitrator
4.1/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. Batch #E!018 on the bottle. Received in a trade from JayOh. Thanks Tim!

A: Pours an extremely murky straw color (with the milky look of an unfiltered hefeweizen) that thickens to golden in the center of the glass. Active effervescence up the sides signals that this beer is lively, but I already picked up on that from the huge, fluffy off-white head that filled most of the glass in a short pour. It subsided in a minute or so into a film on top of the brew. No lacing that sticks, but it does coat the glass nicely in bubbles whenever I sip.

S: Tart, with white wine grapes, green apples, lemon, leather, and earth. Very tantalizing.

T: Tart white grapes and lemon set the tone up front. They gradually give way to oak and green apple, with a noticeable undercurrent of leather and sweat. I'm guessing this is the brett contribution; not as much barnyard funk as I was expecting. Interesting development. Lactic sourness throughout, but it plays second fiddle to the tartness -- I'd love to see this stepped up. It's not very acetic, either. Oak and spice in the finish. It's nicely balanced; no flaws, very tasty.

M: Tart, lighly sour, with a semi-dry finish. Despite the fine bubbles, it rolls pleasantly across the palate without stinging. The overall effect is of a light white wine.

D: Not as much sourness as I had hoped, but it captures the right level of tartness and dryness that I enjoy. I don't plan to seek this out actively in the future, given that I can find some local sours that fit my preferences better. Nonetheless, I wouldn't turn it down in a future trade if I heard they made some tweaks while going along.

Photo of tai4ji2x
4.1/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on-tap at deep ellum, in allston, ma, on april 23, 2009, during the week of the craft brewers conference. served in orval chalice.

hazy straw blonde. nice creamy head, stays around as a wispy layer. lacing doesn't stick though.

aroma is more vinegary than the bottled version. citrus hint. funk later on as it warms.

sour tartness is still nice, but is a bit sharper than the bottle.

texture is more acidic as well.

compared to the bottled version, everything just seems less refined. still a nice sour, but the complexities seem muted. when asked, max (owner/manager of deep ellum) believes there is still champagne yeast involved. but somehow i have my doubts, or at least that's what my palate tells me. can someone at ithaca please illuminate?

frankly i am also not a fan of open, un-tuliped or untapered abbey-style chalices - at least not for tasting/reviewing purposes. also, it was served quite cold, so i had to wait a while for it to come to temperature.

Photo of abecall98
4.11/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this bottle in a trade from newtonty, thanks!

A - golden pale with a thick creamy white head. Looks so soft, I want to lay in it.

S - very minmal. Light sour smell, but not much else.

T - starts off rather spur, then the sourness subdues. Taste turns sweet and hints of orange come through. Very pleasant taste and flavor profile.

M - very smooth, creamy, and a dry quick mouthfeel. The carbonation is medium and perfect. Mouthfeel is great.

D - this beer is very light compared to other wild Ales and the fact that it is in overly carbonated makes this a very drinkable beer. The flavor and mouthfeel comebine to make you wanting more.

Photo of drunkmonk
4.12/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to broha jjayjaye for the opportunity on this one!

Pours murky golden, with a thick effervescent
head. Vinous aromas of Grape, green apple skin, lemon peel, yeast, some brett funk and slight oak. Loads of tart sweet fruit on the tongue, lemon pepper, sour green apple and spices. Finish is very dry. Oak presence is very subtle and masked by the tart sweetness. I would have liked more oak barrell influence to play off some of the sweetness. This is a really nice sour and one to be shared with friends. If you are sourhead, this is a must try.

Photo of GClarkage
4.12/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

06/07/09- Received in a trade with Younger35 and shared at a tasting.

Presentation- 750ml bottle. Not sure of a release date. Poured into my Orval chalice.

Appearance- Champagne-like looking pour with a smaller head and effervescent bubbles. Light yellow in color and ultra light lace spotting left behind.

Smell- A very nice brett aroma with sourness, some light urine and horse blanket notes. Tart fresh lemon rind as well.

Taste- All the flavors you would like in a wild ale (buckets of brett, tart lemon juice) but needs something to hold it totally together. Something was missing, but I'm not quite sure what it was.

Mouthfeel- Seems a touch watery with a sparkling wine carbonation mouthfeel. Good tart aftertaste.

Drinkability- A nice wild ale, but as stated above, missing something to make it to the top tier of wild ales.

Photo of Gtreid
4.12/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured into my Stone RIS tulip. Thanks go out to jamie2dope for a great beer.

A: Super cloudy, straw yellow color. The pour produced over a quarter size white head that hangs around and leaves minimal lace.

A: Citrus, lemon, green apple, white grape, and pear. Sharp and acidic. Some nice bready malts, and citrusy, earthy hops. Just a precurser to what's to come.

T: Sour citrus and champagne. Lemon, white grape, and the pear really come through. The bready malts and citrusy hops are balanced nicely. Very tart from the brett. Kinda a cross between a chardonay, champagne, and beer. Very nice. Finishes smooth and dry.

M: Light body. Aggressive carbonation. Very tart and sharp, but smooth at the same time, from the oak aging.

D and overall impression: Drinkabiliy is somewhat limited due to the tartness, but the ABV is certainly manageable. Overall, very nice example of a sour. Would definately have again. Skal.

Photo of DrewZ926
4.13/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a huge 3 finger head, very clear and white. body is a deep, opaque, amber bursting with carbonation. ample white lacing.

S- smells delicious, fresh green grapes, like a white wine, a hint of hay/barnyard funk. nicely complex. hints of lemon and flowers, very crisp and clean nose.

T- predominantly lemony and appley, strong brett undertones mixed with white wine and grape

M- very smooth, mild carbonation, acidic bite

D- pretty low abv + fresh and tasty = very drinkable. this is my second sour, after a cantillon classic gueuze, so i'm pretty new to this style. overall, it was quite refreshing and sessionable, going to try to land some more sours in the future.

Photo of ClevoPiwo
4.13/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch E!010

Pours a nice, and very hazy, deep yellow or golden color. Lots of carbonation, as expected, and a very nice head. The head is pretty big fizzy from all the carbonation.

Smell is tart and acidic. Yeast and spices come through as well as possibly some notes of citrus. The tartness is definitely most present though, that brett yeast isn't hiding.

This beer hits the palate with lots of fizzy and tickling carbonation. Very tart up front and throughout. The finish is slightly citrus-like and dry. No hop flavor comes through.

Overall, very light, crisp and refreshing with huge flavor. Very drinkable at about 7%.

Photo of thekevlarkid
4.14/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Out of a lovely, gold-labeled bottle, (batch E!018) this beer was a murky, golden hue with a thin white head. The collar was quite thin and the lacing in spots. The aroma was what I will describe as "fun", candy-like sweetness, fruity yeast, lemon and green apples similar to a jolly rancher candy. The flavors were tart and appropriate for the style with out being puckering. Though dominated by citrus notes, grapefruit and orange zest, there were hints of crystal malt in the background along with some wood. Tart, tart, tart but refreshing. The acidity was very high which made sense given the flavors but definitely took away from its drinkability. The mouthfeel was ok but slick no doubt due to the varieties of citrus-inducing hops, the body medium and the carbonation the same.

Photo of mintjellie
4.15/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden and slightly hazy with a compact white head (and lots of it!). Some lace, and a steady stream of bubbles renewing the head. Great retention!

Smells of sour lemon and apple. Sparkling white wine. A touch of vinegar.

Tart lemon hits the palate right away. Apple is there too. Tart and bone dry. Dry sparkling wine. This beer is very wine-like.

Light and effervescent mouthfeel. I found this surprisingly refreshing, especially after approaching it with some trepidation.

Photo of BeerImmediately
4.15/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into oversized wine glas. If I'm reading this correctly, it's batch# E!018.

Beautiful pour - 2F of thick, white head floating atop of an opaque golden body. Pretty heavenly when held to the light. Light carbonation showing at bottom.

Heavy musty smell, with vinegar cider, and a little lemon zest.

Flavor was of tart lemon hard candy, green apple skin, old white grapes, plenty of bretty funk, and more than just a little reminiscent of champagne flavor.

MF had a good bite to it, but not puckering sour. Pretty thin. Nice and dry.

I can't see dropping $25 on another one of these, but it would make for a good malternative to any situation that calls for white wine or champagne.

Photo of sisuspeed
4.15/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for the bottle Paul!
Batch E!027

Pours with a huge, fluffy, white head. Body is an almost clear golden yellow. Big patches of lacing left behind. Looks great.

Earthy, grainy, brett-funk on the nose, mixed with wet hay, dried fall leaves and a touch of spice. Hint of sweet malts and faint citrus. Light acidic sourness throughout.

Funky, green-apple, citrus mixed with an earthy sourness on the tongue. Quite enjoyable. The corn actually comes through nicely. Didn't think I'd really taste it. Touch of grassy bitterness. The oak is light and there is also a bit of white grape.

Spritzy sourness for the mouthfeel. Somewhat foamy upfront, but crisp on the finish. At times there is a slightly creamy/cheesy feel to the body as it washes over your tongue. The sourness is assertive, but not overbearing. Well done.

Drinkability is good. I'm really enjoying the glass in front of me. It's nice to see another American wild that can hold it's own with the Belgians. The aroma on this beer is great and the flavor/body are well executed. I thought the corn addition was kind of interesting, and tasty, but I think I might enjoy the beer a bit more without it. All in all though, this beer is definitely worth picking up.

Photo of seaoflament
4.15/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Shane for bringing this bottle down to ChulaJuana and sharing it at La Bella on 11/24. Batch E!0I8 which appears to be batch 2?

I had the first batch last fall/winter but was not in an environment for a proper review and I remember being quite impressed with it so I was looking forward to having this beer again.

The beer was a straw, pale, yellow with an egg-shell white colored foam on top, about a quarter inch in height. Nice clarity and presentation.

Upfront I detected a powdery sugar that quickly went to the background and then a rush of brett funk took over, hay, sweat, green apples, moderate level of vinegar, nice acidity, and lemon peel.

The taste was almost as good as the aroma but not quiet there. Green apple tartness, grape skin, light to medium acetic level, wheat dryness, a bit of oak butteriness and vanilla in the end. High carbonation level at first, very bubbly and sparkling but as the beer develops and opens up the carbonation settles to low. Nice dryness and tannic bitterness. A very nice sour overall.

Photo of BJRHOMEBREW
4.15/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch# 010!

AP- Golden, with a nice cloud of yeast from the bottom of the bottle. (had to shake this one up, to get all the funk out of it.)

A-Strong dry funk, from the brett no doubt. Sweet green grapes and another fruit i can't quite put my finger on.

T- Wonderful flavors of apple cider vinegar, with nice slice of sour green apple cut on the side. Has the usual suspects that you expect from sour beer, yes are old friends horse blanket and fresh cut hay are here as well.

M- Light and crisp, just what is needed on these hot summer days.

O- Overall, one of my favorite sour ales. Refreshing, with just the right amount of sweet dry funk to keep me wanting to come back for more. Well done!

Brute from Ithaca Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 828 ratings.