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Brute - Ithaca Beer Company

BruteBrute

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

768 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 768
Reviews: 385
rAvg: 4.43
pDev: 9.26%


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: 768 | Reviews: 385 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of brystmar
brystmar

Texas

4.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Blind Tiger during VSK. Pretty sure this was the most recent vintage (E!037).

Pours a deliciously hazy gold with plenty of foamy white head up top. Leaves good lace on my glass as the drink continues. Aroma is quite dry with effervescent champagne yeast and grapes imparting funk and complexity. Dry and yeasty, grassy, mild hops, some tartness.

Dry and surprisingly smooth on the palate. Fruity with lots of funk hanging in the balance. Mild fruits and some citrus to finish things off, and just the right amount of tartness to separate this baby from its champagne cousins. Body is much more full than I remembered which, although nice, leaves me wanting more.

I recall Brute having more carbonation (and it really needs that), so I assume the over-carbonation issue the bartenders initially had when it was tapped was over-corrected by dialing back the CO2 too far. Shame.

Overall, I didn't remember Brute being this good. I've now had every batch; batches 1 & 2 are wildly different from both each other and the two more recent releases. 2 still remains my favorite, but any Brute is always worth seeking out.

Serving type: on-tap

11-29-2012 20:52:23 | More by brystmar
Photo of wd40
wd40

New York

4.38/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage served on-tap

Golden yellow color with amber hues. Barely any head on the beer. Smelled great, lots of apple which paired with the acidic tartness. Taste was really nicely balanced between acidity, fruit, and tartness. Pretty subtle sour beer. Doesn't hit you over the head, but is really pleasant. It was not as complex as I expected, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes simplcity when executed really well is more rewarding. In fact, if I had no limitations on my ability to aquire and drink sours, I'd probably drink this one pretty regularly as a nice easy going aperitif. Part of this is due to its lack of sweetness and the dryness of its finish. Its lightness and subtly remind me a lot of Russian River's Temptation, which is one of my favorite sours. If anyone can get their hands on this, it's worth a try.

Edit: I forgot to mention that the carbonation was perfect for my taste. It was effervescent without being at all rough.

Serving type: on-tap

10-15-2012 00:25:41 | More by wd40
Photo of ColForbinBC
ColForbinBC

New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap, served in an 8oz snifter

Slightly cloudy golden color with a firm paper white cap. Good staying power with some decent retention.

Huge sour notes. Lemons, hay, barnyard, some oak, and tart fruit. The Brett is really pronounced here. Tons of layers and complexity.

On the palate, oak comes out a little more, adding a layer of woody dryness on top of the tartness and barnyard funk from the Brett. Loads of citrus and some cider vinegar lend a pretty potent sour punch.

Light bodied, effervescent and extremely crisp and dry. This is a funky little number that finishes with a nice dryness. Surprisingly easy to drink.

This beer is very impressive. Had been chasing this one for a while and finally found it on tap. It did not disappoint. Excellent sour beer.

Serving type: on-tap

04-09-2012 14:57:25 | More by ColForbinBC
Photo of dogfishandi
dogfishandi

New York

4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2011 23:38:41 | More by dogfishandi
Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
BuffaloTapHugger

New York

4.33/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2011 06:01:33 | More by BuffaloTapHugger
Photo of Mrmarmot
Mrmarmot

New York

4.3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tap at Ithaca Brewery on Release day.

very Fizzy light head, murky pale color

Nose Odd, sour tart fruit, lemon citrus.

Taste had nice golden malts with light off taste. I am not a big sour fan but this was not bad it was more on the lighter side of the sours i have had.

Mouth is light bodied, Lots of Carb.

Overall Good

Serving type: on-tap

09-09-2011 14:00:18 | More by Mrmarmot
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tap at Armsby Abbey, four vintages 08-11.

Fizzy light head, opaque murky pale color, fresher is fairly clear but all the aged ones are very murky.

Nose funky, sour tart fruit, lemon citrus, brett funk, fresher has more of the golden Belgian malts and it gets funkier and more tart lemon as it ages.

Taste on the fresh had nice golden malts with light funk. Gets more funk and a lot more sour as it ages. Light funky barnyard brett, tart lemon citrus fruit dry grainy bready finish. Some weird sour peach and pear in some of them. Light grape skin as well. 09 is really nice sour and funky, nice fruits. 08 seems to drop off a bit but is still very tart and smooth finish. 10 is most fruit fresh peach and tart. Fresh has little funk and sour more nice Belgian ale. Nice tart sour lemon finish and a bit flemmy finish on all of them. My mouth is watering for a long time after making me continue to sip.

Mouth is med bodied, good carb.

Overall awesome, age about 3 years for perfection.

Serving type: on-tap

09-09-2011 02:43:56 | More by jlindros
Photo of ThePorterSorter
ThePorterSorter

Missouri

4.05/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"Ithica Take Over" at the Blue Monk. A night of terrific beers, some of which will never be seen again.

Appearance:
Light golden orange with a fluffy white head, which eventually faded into a light blanketing. Good carbonation throughout, little lacing.

Smell:
The beer was served far too cold to let the wild ale breathe and invigorate my senses. Light vinegary sourness, we shall see how much this beer drys and whether or not it satisfies.

When warming the beer does become more alive.

Taste:
Delightful, a tremendous american wild ale with a palatable amount of vinegary sourness, but still a hearty golden ale backbone. The carbonation and vinegar leave an overwhelming seltzer-like burn. This beer is very refreshing and cleanses the palate for my next sip.

Mouthfeel:
Strong and biting mouthfeel with a residual drying sourness. The beer is sweet at the end like a warhead. Very interesting beer to drink; it goes through many phases to keep you captivated.

Overall:
This beer is priced fairly, rages with complexity and is stirring with character. It's unfortunate that this beer is currently unavailable, I would have liked to hold onto a bottle for a later date. If Ithica decides to repeat I will definitely indulge and recommend to others.

Serving type: on-tap

04-23-2011 04:58:20 | More by ThePorterSorter
Photo of trappistlover
trappistlover

Arizona

4.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(750ml bottle at RBWG!). Pours hazy golden with massive white head. Decent carbonation. Awesome funky aroma with some fruit (apricot, green apple, and papaya. Taste is tart/funky with a nice amount of vinegar that isn’t typical of many american beers. Medium bodied with a dry finish. This is a bright, incredible sour. This is a fantastic beer!

Serving type: on-tap

04-18-2011 03:34:36 | More by trappistlover
Photo of Jdiddy
Jdiddy

Rhode Island

3.48/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow, I wanted to love this beer but it just fell way short. Proves my thoery that US sours are good, but not quite as good as the Eurpoean counterparts.
Poured a pale/straw yello and had nice carbonation. Nice sour beer. Sad to say, that's where it ends for me. I just can't see the rave reviews for this. As a US sour, it is great. Compared to the rest of the world, it is just average IMO.

Serving type: on-tap

11-19-2010 02:01:46 | More by Jdiddy
Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
ToAzwethinkweizm

Maryland

4.78/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed on 12 November 2010 at the "Ithaca Beer Happy Hour" @ Tap and Mallet.

Served in a non-standard, 8.5oz tasting glass, appears cloudy gold, one-finger head, heavy but runny lacing at first. Head goes away quickly but leaves beautiful filmy head. Aroma is slightly funky, all-brett yeast, but beer is not deep enough down the glass to evaluate aroma, nor warmed up.

Taste is only SLIGHTLY sour, and ends with a fresh dryness. It's as if the beers foams up and coats the roof of the mouth. Little hints of apricot and lemon peel. Halfway down the glass, foam film gets heavier and lacing becomes stickier. Tasting more The sour funk gets wilder and the dry feeling on the palate becomes addicting. Reminds me of Russian River Tempation, but more dry and less sour. Love it.

Back to aroma -- the old bearded man next to me is looking at me funny and shaking his head as I put my nose into the glass. Aroma hasn't changed. It is still a delightful dry funk, like the dry white wine of beer. Met up with Matt Schultz of Ithaca, and he then told me that this beer is all-brett, single hopped. Amazing brew, Ithaca.

Serving type: on-tap

11-14-2010 23:45:31 | More by ToAzwethinkweizm
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes - served in a tulip. Pours a hazy orange with a dense, bright white, half-inch head. Nose suggests grapefruit and screams tart. Taste follows nose - tart without being overly sour. Mouthfeel is light-medium, with a lively, palate-cleansing carbonation and an acidity that lightly stimulates the salivary glands. This is a top notch American Wild. Tart and refreshing; I've been wanting to try this beer for quite some time and was not at all disappointed. I definitely need to track a bottle of this down.

Serving type: on-tap

10-15-2010 01:16:56 | More by Jwale73
Photo of kingcrowing
kingcrowing

Vermont

3.95/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-05-2010 01:37:43 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of oglmcdgl
oglmcdgl

Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at kraftworks.

A- comes to me with two fingers of bright white head that settles in a bit to an almost mirror finish. Hazy golden yellow orange in color.

S- tart peaches and lemon zest. Hint of florals and honey. Pale wheat and funk.

T- sour peaches and lemon juice. slightly sweet pale wheat and a nice yeastiness. Sweet tart finish.

M- medium in body with a nice understated carb.

D- this is a beautifully put together wild ale. The layers of sweet and sour are amazing. I love this stuff.

Serving type: on-tap

09-18-2010 04:05:12 | More by oglmcdgl
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Long time want, great great beer. Did not disappoint. I will be seeking this beer out in greater quantities.

Beer is straw yellow and hazy. Forms a thin white head with a lot of lacing on the glass.

The aroma is strong citric sour....beautiful.

Beer is medium to low bodied. Great sweetness followed by huge tartness. Woodsey, funky. There is a lot of carbonation in the mouth to carry that sour throughout. I love this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

02-22-2010 03:36:20 | More by drabmuh
Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
FeDUBBELFIST

Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Served in a tulip.

A: Looks beautiful. Large, lasting, billowy white head. Decent lacing left behind from the head. The golden yellow body was so hazy that it rendered it completely opaque. Gorgeous.

S: Mostly bready malts with a bit of hay or straw. Lemony hops. The yeast was earthy and very funky.

T & M: White grape and green apples clobbered the palate. Additional flavors of pear and peach come through as well. Flavors are reminiscent of oak aged white wine. The mouthfeel was so sour & tart and completely stimulating. Despite the dry finish, this brew makes you salivate. The duration is long and the acidity is harsh. The effervescence of the Brute is so lively that it feels like the carbonation is cleaning your tongue. Your entire mouth is dominated by the concentrated flavor and extreme mouthfeel. Quite a memorable experience.

D: As with all beers of this nature, this one rates the highest on my personally altered drinkability scale. The Brute is a premier American wild ale.

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2009 15:07:19 | More by FeDUBBELFIST
Photo of hoppymcgee
hoppymcgee

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled a 6 oz. pour at Brett Fest at Spuytin Duyvil in Brooklyn, NY in August 2009.

A: 1-finger lasting head, very fizzy.

S: Brett-forward nose and makes you wanna scream "it's time to get funky"!

T: Not sure what batch this was, but probably older as it developed a little bit of a dull prune taste. Very sour and tart as it hits the back of the mouth.

M: The bubbles compliment this beer well as they make this Golden Sour Ale not as lip-puckering.

D: The best feature of this beer. You can drink the 750ml bottle this comes in with no problem.

Overall, one of the best wild ales I've had.

Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2009 01:57:23 | More by hoppymcgee
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a very hazy dark golden yellow with a ruddy ripe banana hues and a one and a half frothy white head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Earthy bretty funk aroma with some barnyard horseblankety character. Dry brett and earthy oaky funk complimented by some crisp golden fruit notes, especially apple.

Slightly dry with some nice earthy bretty funk which becomes mellowed out by a smooth lactic creaminess and subtle bready yeast character. Prominent light crisp fruit notes, especially apple and pear along with some banana. Nice dry champagne effervescence complimenting the tart dry funky wild yeast. Dry finish. This beer is sweeter and not as sour/tart as I expected. I was told that this was the most recent batch so maybe it needs a while for the brett to develop. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed it and recommend it to both sour fans and those looking to delve into the style

Serving type: on-tap

12-18-2009 19:23:59 | More by corby112
Photo of philbe311
philbe311

Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - An extremely hazy pale lemony yellow color... Did I mention hazy??? Even with the haze, this one has a certain glow about it... One fingers worth of fluffy slightly rocky white head sits a a tap... Loaded with fast paced carbonation...

S - Green Apples... Sour lemons... Wheat... Yeast... Some white grapes...

T - Granny Smith Apples... Lemon Zest... Tart peaches... A pinch of salt... Yeast... The funkiness of the brett is present, but not overwhelming... More tart than funk, but that's okay by me...

M - Light to medium body... Highly fizzy, yet quite sturdy... Even and consistent... Dry... Soft... Delicate... Sophisticated...

D - I could drink this all day and night long, each and every day... Overall, this one is better than the sums of it's parts... I would gladly move aside most other beers for another oppurtunity to be reunited with this one... This one is anything but a Brute... Awesome beer...

Serving type: on-tap

12-13-2009 21:56:36 | More by philbe311
Photo of Kadonny
Kadonny

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from tap at Capones sour event into a tasting glass.

A: Cloudy pale yellow color that looks exactly like grapefruit juice. Slight thin white head no lacing.

S: Tart fruits with apple and some funk.

T: Again the tart blasts out first with sour apples, apricot, pear and some grape. A sugar sweetness offsets the sour for a few seconds but that sour funk comes pounding back in. I got some grassy hops that offset the sour and smooth out the finish. Not as crisp and clean as the Temptation. Finish is not near as lingering either.

M: Tart, crisp but a bit thin on finish but overall very smooth. No alcohol traces at all.

D: High, these are much more mellow and smoother than the Temptation, thus more drinkable.

Overall a great beer that left me wanting just a little bit more. It is still awesome and a beer I would drink anytime.

Serving type: on-tap

12-11-2009 22:02:28 | More by Kadonny
Photo of bonkers
bonkers

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap today at Capones. It was served in a 9 ounce snifter, turbid gold in color with a fizzy white head. Tart fruit dominate the nose. The flavors of green apples and oak dominate. The beer is tart, but not vinegary, and the finish is bone dry. For me this was a sipper that I am glad I got to try.

Serving type: on-tap

12-10-2009 23:29:15 | More by bonkers
Photo of NittanyBeerFan
NittanyBeerFan

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got the last beer out of the keg last night at the end of the weekend of TJ's East Coast/West Coast Throwdown. What lucky break! Reviewing from my notes...

A: Pours a pale hazy orangey amber color with a nice cap of 1cm thick frothy head. Thin delicate laces appear on the sides of my tulip as I drink.

S: Completely devoid of horseblanket, this beer's aroma is big and funky. The sourness is incredible, and it makes my nostrils pucker as I enjoy the aroma. There are some wispy notes of citrus, but the sour dominates.

T: The funky sour tangy taste melds nicely with an almost oakey flavor. this is combined with the citrusy flavors of lemon and apricot.

M/D: The initial feeling is a tingly sour sensation that envelops the tongue and insides of my cheeks. Carbonation gives way to a dry, almost acidic finish. Very nicely textured, light but not thin. I wish there was a bit more fruity flavor to this to keep my going, but overall, this is a great beer. I wish there was more, but I will take my last glass and be happy. I would love to have this with a bit of age on it in my cellar, so I may be looking for a bottle soon.

Serving type: on-tap

10-20-2009 03:17:09 | More by NittanyBeerFan
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at NotF, had me a few glasses of this gem. Need to get some bottles.

Pours a cloudy yellow, almost a honey colour, thin white head forms, settles down to a solid ring, no real lacing.

Smell is amazing, very sour and funky, lots of lemon, charred wood, vanilla, oak, apricots and light fruit, good malty middle, lots of acidity.

Taste is great too, a bit of a weird and hard to place fruity sourness, lemons, wood, big and malty funky middle, light on the acidity but very sour in the finish.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation. One of the more drinkable sours, tons of character and funk but quite drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

10-19-2009 20:36:17 | More by Viggo
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on tap at TJs...
Appears a hazy light straw toned gold. Acfluffy white cap slowly fades into a mild head. Scattered streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of vanilla, light oak, lemon zest, light funk, and earthiness.
Taste is of the aromas with an apple flavor and dry white wine flavor pulling through. Delicious stuff.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, salty, sweet, fruity, funky, and tart. Citrusy, tart, and dry.

Serving type: on-tap

10-18-2009 21:59:57 | More by weeare138
Photo of tai4ji2x
tai4ji2x

Massachusetts

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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-27-2009 06:27:48 | More by tai4ji2x
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Brute from Ithaca Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 768 ratings.