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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: 830
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 4.82%
Wants: 1,094
Gots: 141 | 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: 830
Photo of SDDanC
4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have been holding on to this for a while now. I am very happy to review it. Poured from bottle into this narrow snifter I have. Nice fluffy white head with incredible rushes of carbonation bubbles from the bottom. Hazy golden, yellow color. Nose is full of funkyness, tart, green apple, slight bananas, and dry yeast. On the tongue this is great. Lots of flavor from the funk apples. Champange bubbles really exercise the dry, farmhouse notes. A nice sour treat. Mouthfeel is fluffy, and bubbly, almost like a cider. Easily enjoyable and intensely drinkable. Very great beer. (577 characters)

Photo of birchstick
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks goes out to SamuelJackson45 for snagging some bottles of this for me at the release!

A - pours a yellow straw color with a nice white head sitting atop it

S - the nose is apples, sweet lemons, and a lot of champange like notes that sort of hover like a fog over the other aromas

T - sweet fruits open this one up - lemony flavors fade to softer fruits (apples, pears). Soon, however, some sweet champagne flavors from the yeast take over, but yield to some more of the sour, lemony flavors. This is really nice because the sourness isn't crazy intense, but more flavorful than anything; the champagne also keeps the sourness in check and adds a nice sweetness to everything.

M - wow, really soft mouthfeel - goes down great

D - solid American wild on display here. It sour but doesn't bite too hard, which works really well. Highly recommended! (862 characters)

Photo of dogfishandi
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap into a snifter at the blue monk in buffalo, ny.

comes to me with a billowy white head that eventually died to a thin ring atop a cloudy light golden color. not much lace, not the best head retention.

big brett funk, musty, barnyard, big lemony citrus, with some tart sour pie cherry.

follows the aroma, all about the brett. musty, barnyard funk, lemony citrus, tart sour pie cherry.

nice tart feel, good level of sourness, a little more than i remember out of the bottle. crisp, refreshing carbonation. dry finish. such an easy drinking sour. i easily wouldve had another had i not been driving.

ive always had lots of love for this beer. an easy sour to get into, yet pleasing to any geek out there. all about the brett with this one. (748 characters)

Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden straw in color, nice thin layer of a white head, no lacing to be found. Head dissipates fast but still looks good with the high carbonation in the light.

S: Lemon juice concentrate, yeast.

T: Very sweet on the palate, lots of lemon in the front. Finishes on the dry side with some pucker in tow. Yeast and orange, tangerine, and lemon zest in the back. 5 star

M: Lots of carbonation with an after wash of saliva coming forward from the perkiness of the lemon and such. ABV detectable from the noticeable yeast, nothing overwhelming though.

O: If champagne and beer had an offspring, this would be it. Could easily substitute mimosas at a brunch. I seek this out... and with that...it definitely comes recommended. (728 characters)

Photo of korguy123
4.52/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch E!037 into tulip

A- Dark orange pour with two finger bubbly white head. Drops to thin cap. Champagne is working overtime in the glass. Gobs of sticky lacing.

S- Lemon, grass and a touch of sweetness. There is a vanilla with a light floral hop.

T- Bright lemon tartness, slight vinegar acidity. Sour apples and grape skins.

M- Medium bodied, huge carbonation from the champagne yeast.

O- Wild ale and champagne hybrid. Very good. (440 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch # E!037

750ml bottle poured into a Deschutes Tulip glass.

A - Pours a golden, straw color with a huge off-white head. Great retention.

S - Belgian yeast, spice, green apples.

T - Champagne like, apples, slight funk.

D - Belgian tartness, tons of carbonation with a light body.

O - Delicious, light and airy. (319 characters)

Photo of celticfutblclub
4.31/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

thanks to MyIronLung for this one.

750ml into a duvel tulip

A - opaque golden yellow/orange body with a pure white frothy head two to three fingers deep. superb retention.

S - sour apples, oak, earthy malts, peach.

T - sugary sweetness sour apple cherry peach earthy malts. some lemon zest in there as well.

M - light to medium bodied with tons of carbonation. great tartness from this brew. strong but not overbearing.

O - a superb brew. maybe a little bit more laid back than i prefer for this style but still very very good. (533 characters)

Photo of JordonHoltzman
4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

first ever sour ale.

poured into a champagne flute, foams just like champagne, other than the fact that it is not filtered, it pours and looks like champagne. very bubbly, and instead of fizzling out quickly like most champagnes, this has strong head retention.

has the tart and sour citrus smell, characters that derive from the champagne yeast used in the bottle conditioning.

The sourness is an unknown and interesting taste for me since this is the first time i've had a beer of this style, but i like it a lot. It is not mouth puckering strong, which is a good thing. has notes of grapefruit and lemon too.

mouthfeel is like a champagne, as the bubbles are effervescent. made for great carbonation

I look forward to having this beer a second time as well as trying new sour/wilds. great beer (803 characters)

Photo of rlee1390
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch E!37

A-Cloudy yellow-orange, two finger head well carbonated but goes flat after a while.

S-Lemon, tartness with some wheat.

T-Lemon, wheat. Not overly sour more of a well balanced tartness.

M-Light an very carbonated at first, but it starts to go flat after a while.

O-A wonderful beer. Not extremely sour but tart borderline sour. The lemon and wheat flavor is great. Glad I went to the release. (408 characters)

Photo of hippityhops85
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle poured into champagne flute

Pours an opaque orange/lemon peel color. Minimal head that forms a nice ring around the circumference of the glass

The nose is exceptional. Tons of lemon peel, citrus, bretty goodness. Granny Smith apples play a big role here as well.

The taste follows suit on the nose. Really exceptional and clean. Tons of tart lemony flavors along with a big Granny Smith apple puckering flavor. Very Dry. Yum.

The mouth feel is surprising but not expected. It is pretty aggressive on the carbonation but I feel that it adds to the tart characteristics of the beer rather that distract. Embraces the "Brute" label. Highly recommended. I hope this gets to see distribution again rather than a brewery release. (739 characters)

Photo of aasher
4.57/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 vintage. This bottle was courtesy of thagr81us in a massive trade a few months back. Thanks for hitting this HUGE want of mine Calton!

This beer pours a very cloudy and medium bodied tangerine orange in color with a two finger and beady head. This beer appears to have a lot of activity. It has a really nice nose. You get citrusy tartness, funk, brett, chapagne yeast, chardonnay barrel, and a white grape like fruitness. The flavors feature a nice tart white grape aspect, funk, brett, citrus peels, brett, and it finishes really smooth. This beer has insane drinkability for the style. It has the perfect level of tartness and is mouthwatering. I expected a lot from this beer and it delivered and then some. This beer is somewhat comparable to Temptation for me and I loved it. I'll have to track down a few more bottles. (831 characters)

Photo of mrand01
4.67/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle labeled batch E!027 poured in to a generic Crate & Barrel tulip.

A: Golden, opaque. Thin head that stays thicker towards the rim of the pour. Sticky lacing.

S: Funk, citrus zest, tart. Spicy in some way, but very hard to place.

T: Again, I've never had such a hard time describing a beer. Everyone I was drinking with agreed that it's most likely the addition of corn that contributes to the sweet & savory taste, but it's very difficult to describe.

M: Medium bodied with a playful champagne-like carbonation.

O: Knockout brew from Ithaca. Really wish this was getting distributed again instead of becoming a brewery exclusive. (646 characters)

Photo of UDbeernut
4.82/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared with friends, Hazy gold hue shines in the glass capped by a silkey white foam head with good retention. Nice funky aroma, lemon zest, perhaps apple too. Mild and enjoyable tartiness balance slight biscuit. All sorts of fruit enhance the taste. Smooth and bubbling mouth. Quite an enjoyable concoction. (308 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at BBF, and numerous times since then.

A - Pours a nice clear golden yellow hue with a thin white head that faded to leave a nice halo. Theres like the glow of the sun radiating from the glass.

S - Very nice aromas of a wild ale here. Very nice brett notes, with good sweet apples, funk, big citrus notes (lemon/oranges).

T - Great sourness/tartness here. It is more sour citrus than the barnyard funk in the nose. Almost puckeringly sour, delicious.

M - Mouthfeel is a bit harsher than I had expected. Higher carbonation here combined with the puckering tartness almost makes this a chore to drink, however, its so damn tasty one cant stop.

O - This is a very excellent wild ale. Great aromas, flavors, and mouthfeel here. A superb example of the wild ale style. (776 characters)

Photo of SpdKilz
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
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. (885 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.53/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a nice darker chardonnayish champagney looking beer. Really pretty. Aroma revealed more of the same aroma aspects from a white wine, but also some virgin oak I would guess with the clean brett existence (not so much funkitude up in this one).

Taste, beautiful, clean, sour. Very similar to The Vine from Cascade, this one is a little more sessionable and less sour, relying on brett more than the aforementioned, which I believe divies up its sourness between a variety of bugs. Acidity kept in check, I don't really care about that one, acidic or not, a beer is not good based upon that factor in my book. Fruit existence is low, might be something like green apple, maybe some light citrus like lemon, but that's about it, definitely no dark fruit. Carbonation was perfect.

I brought this one to the sour share in Reno last month. (845 characters)

Photo of ne0m00re
4.22/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

09/14/11- Review of a 750 mL from Batch El037. Before I begin, I'll just inform you that my first bottle blew up inexplicably in my cellar. It was kindly replaced by Ithaca (along with a very nice glass to boot). This was poured into this very glass.
A: Yellow golden with a slight glow, nice white head.
S: Nice rustic apple, angel food cake, slight honey and caramel with a citrus (tangerine). Excellent.
T: Mild tartness, good white wine acidity, fruitiness, bitter woodiness. Good.
M: Good creamy froth, medium body, mild, crisp finish.
O: Great. Well balanced and doesn't attack your taste buds. The acidity is great. (622 characters)

Photo of chalsk
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a gift from Damico. Held off on cracking this open until now... New Years Eve. Pours a golden orange color with a white foam head. Has an aroma of lemon, grass and funk with pehaps a hint of cherry. Has a dry sweet taste with a nice sour hit. Some gentle bitters mixed in. Nice medium mouthfeel from the carbonation kick up. Very champagne like. Here’s to 2011 kicking 2010’s backside. Happy New Year to my RateBeer campaneros Leafs93 and Damico. (455 characters)

Photo of amphion1065
4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle, Batch E!037, poured into a Duvel tulip. Kudos to Chris.

After removing the vaguely disturbing, slug-like orange wax cork, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this is quite a pretty beer. Hazy pale gold, almost peach. A huge, billowing, shockingly pure white head, an easy two fingers' worth. Crazy retention and lacing.

Aroma is rich with bretty funk. Huge citrus overtones, with big notes of lemon juice. Hay and grass, almost wheat-like. Some pineapples are in the mix as well.

The taste is more sour than funky, and it's delicious. Lots of tart, acidic citrus flavors. This is very lemony, with the kind of puckering sourness I long for in AWAs. Big brett notes, but without too much earthy, mineral funk.

Great, lively carbonation - I really dig the mouthfeel. I started to feel the burn after a little while, but couldn't bring myself to stop.

A really excellent wild ale, and it hit every note I look for in the style. I'd love to try one with a little age on it, and can only wonder how the sourness intensifies over time. I really hope this makes it into distro next year, though I won't hold my breath. (1,137 characters)

Photo of jayhawk73
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Generously shared by Matt- Thanks dude!

From notes:

Pours a golden color with a slim one finger white head. Good carbonation, and almost zero lacing. Very cloudy in appearance. Smell is that of grass, some fruit, funk, and oak. Amazing nose. Taste is tart, w/ a nice funk vibe. Very smooth feel in spite of the tartness. Very easy going down. Feel is a carbonated tartness w/ a smoothness that balances it out. Overall, this is a great beer, and I'm happy I got a chance to try it. (483 characters)

Photo of BrewCrew2010
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a bright straw body with a large, white, fuzzy head that has nice head retention, spotty lacing, and loads of visible carbonation.

S: Smells like champagne with a beer twist- duh! Notes of vinegar, lemon zest, white grapes, brett, and some funk.

T: Wow! This one is amazing! Lots of vinegar and funk which is to be expected from the Brett, but this taste like a champagne. Some sweetness balanced with some tart and some funk all makes this a great beer. A little fruity with some white grape adds a nice touch.

M: Light body; lively carbonation; puckering mouthfeel.

O: Wild ales aren't my favorite style, but I love this ale. Very drinkable, but like wild ales, I prefer them with food. So glad I got a case of this. (733 characters)

Photo of dmsohyea
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle opened by airfoil, thanks, this was a real treat.

A - Light yellow with just a bit of fizzy head that disapated to a small ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.

S - A little yeasty, but mostly nice table sugar and lemony tartness. Not much funk, just enough, also no cheesy scents that I have come accustomed to with some of these sour styles.

T - Wow, very much like a traditional gueuze. Nice sour funk and lemon peel. A good sweetness to back up the moderate tartness. Very nice, no alcohol present.

M - moderate body with upper moderate carbonation. A touch of astringency, and not at all watery.

O - very impressed with this beer. One of the best American sours I have had. (704 characters)

Photo of lovindahops
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

my favorite brewery has made brute a brewery release only. Phe.... I'm close to Ithaca

a- pours a flourescent hazy yellow with a SASSY head of foam on the glass.Brute is bright and literally glows across my ithaca tulip

S- a blast of citrus flavor and brett that is as strong as it can be. A slight theme of wheat and pepper round off that funky barnyard scent that some many love. Brute pushes the brett experience in a brew

t- very lively and powerful with the flavors. The freshness makes me pucker, due to the borderline sour taste. This is what an american wild should taste like. Bursting flavors of citrus and brett all over

m- carbonation is exactly how you would want it to be

o- what can be the closure for summarizing this brew? it has flavors of sweetness and sour elements that engulf the palate. experiencing brute makes an american wild ale experience complete. Great job ithaca (898 characters)

Photo of jamescain
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
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. (529 characters)

Photo of Chaney
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to Huzuhbendah for having this one at his house for a really cool tasting. Matt for President!

A: Clear, and sort of an orange-brown (in that order) color, and with a few bubbles collecting in the corner posing as a head.

S: Sort of a sour, brown sugar-esque quality, that was quite organic and gourmet in nature. Nothing fake about this one!

T: On the taste, the sourness overpowers the brown sugar a bit, but not by much. This was not a sour bomb in any way, shape, or form and I did not sense my jaw starting to lock even once.

M: The carbonation was low, which I quite expected, and the lacing was virtually nill. I didn't get anything that remotely resemble a vinegary linger and my palate stayed quite please throughout the siphoning of my share. I highly recommend this one! ISO:??? (809 characters)

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