Brute - Ithaca Beer Company

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BruteBrute

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

389 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 389
Hads: 828
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 4.82%
Wants: 1,097
Gots: 142 | 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: 828
Photo of tarheels86
3.83/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL 2009 ed courtesy of nimbleprop. Pours a slightly hazy yellow with a thick, white head that has little to no lace (probably because of the unmalted wheat and just low sugar content in general). Aroma is Bretty, lemonade, cotton candy. Taste is tart, lightly acidic, lemonade, lemon squares. Reminds me of Berliner Weiss. 6/7/2010 8/4/7/4/14=3.7

750mL 2010 ed courtesy of kramer. Poured with a massive head that left excellent sheety lacing. Much drier, more funky in the nose with powerful light fruits, apricot, dust, leather. Taste is much drier, more complex, oak and white wine dryness coming through atop minimal sourness and heavy carbonation. Lively on the palate. Much improved. 9/16/2010 8/5/7/4/15=3.9 (717 characters)

Photo of Luk13
4.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2009 vintage thanks to Bearsonacid. Sunshine pour with decent white head. Aroma is bretty and barnyard with a so nice candied lemon. Nice yeast. The blend of brett, lemon and champagne yeast flavors are great. The palate is out of this world. Rich yet light at the same time. It really succeed at being a complex tasting brew while being perfectly sessionnable. (361 characters)

Photo of wd40
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
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. (966 characters)

Photo of iadler
4.77/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle courtesy of dmeadows. Thanks Dennis! '11 Bottle.

A- Pours a gorgeous sunset yellow with a fluffy head that dissipates slowly leaving adequate lacing behind.

S- Good amount of funk upfront with some barnyard notes and vinegar followed by lemon, apricot, peach, blood orange and apple.. A nice blend of funkiness and citrus/tropical fruit.

T- Some tartness initially with sweet tarts, a bit of vinegar and hay followed by big citrus and tropical fruit with notes of peach, apricot, lemon and apple. The flavors compliment each other so well without anything being overpowering.

M- Lively carbonation with a light body and a clean finish.

O-An incredible beer in regards to complexity and balance. Not overly tart nor sweet, Brute has to be one of the most memorable beers for me recently and one of the best overall beers I've had this year. (854 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.08/5  rDev -6.4%
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. (672 characters)

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.11/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by a kind soul at Woodshop 7

Look: Pours a murky cloudy dark yellow color with a 1/3 inch white bubbly head and some spotty lace

Smell: Funky yeast, oak, lemon

Taste: Holy sourness batman this is a sour bomb. There is some lemon and oak disguised amongst the sourness but it was so much of a distraction that I almost missed it

Mouthfeel: Lighter in body and lots of carbonation. Tons of dry sourness and pretty damn bitter

Overall: If your into sour bombs drink this. This one is not for me but I am glad I got the chance to try it (551 characters)

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

Big thanks to woosterbill for this one. Cheers! Batch E!027

A - Pours a hazy golden brown tinged orange. Head has decent retention before fading to a cap.

S - Subtle but persistent funk with some sour apple, oak, Brett and lemon. Some white bread in the aroma as well.

T - Nice sourness. Not mouth puckering, but satisfying and refreshing with a great funky base. Lemon, faint barnyard, Brett, and grain. Nice amount of citrus. Delicious.

M - Mouthfeel is interesting. Definitely has a light crispness, but there is a bit of heft to it as well. Lively carbonation.

O - I could drink this all day long. Nice sourness and funk, without going overboard in any direction. Maintains a bit of fruitiness, and the Champagne yeast adds a nice character. (750 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.09/5  rDev -6.2%
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. (540 characters)

Photo of sukwonee
4.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very good looking beer. Huge head (at least 3 fingers) with lots of bubbles and lacing. Cloudy orange body.

S: Lemon, yeast, oak, funk

Taste: Lemon, tart and sour, I also taste some breadiness, earthy-ness, barnyard, very good. Sour and puckering.

M: It's perfect. Good amoung of carbonation, mouth puckering, dry.

O: Very glad I got to try this bottle. It's been one of my top wants for a long time. (409 characters)

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch E!037

A - Pours a beautiful yellowish/orange with a huge off-white head. Great retention.

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

T - The taste follows the nose. Really exceptional and clean. Tons of tart lemony flavors along with a big Granny Smith apple puckering flavor.

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

O - One of the best sours I've ever had. This easily stands up to any of the RR sours. I hope they brew this again. (464 characters)

Photo of liamt07
4.08/5  rDev -6.4%
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. (491 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Funky aroma. Golden coloured bodied and lacey. Bg mouthfeel. Strawberry and grape tartness, as well as lemon in the finish. Good drinkability for its sourish characteristics. Not as good as the hype, still a very interesting.
Thanks Tim for saving me one. (255 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
4.48/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1367th Review on BA
Bottle to Ithaca Excelsior! Tulip
750ml Cap/Cork

Batch E!037

Thanks to Mjtiernan for this one

App- When the cork pops a little bit of a champagne fizz came out. Expected yes! The color of a ripe peach with a good mix of oranges/yellows and golds in the glass. A good density for a sour. Nice coloring. Giant head that was quick to gizz with a nice pond layer of bubbles.

Smell- Just a ton going on in this sour. Amazingly straightfoward but utterly complex. I think the BA below said it best, "Can you smell fizzy?" This was fizzy, brett, citrus, funk and sour. Not overly done either way and close to amazing.

Taste- This was one hell of a sour. Most people wont give credit to the champagne yeast but really adds a wonderful depth of character with the brett bringing a stinging barnyard, funk and earthiness to it. The sour is crisp and biting and a wonderful amount of citrus ties it all together.

Mouth- While a tad thick for such a bubbly sour I found it worthwhile none the less. So bubbly with a light medium body while shouldve been a little lighter. A very high carbonation keeps everything prickly and nicely balanced. Nice residual Brett and funk.

Drink- Huge thanks to Matt for the trade and was glad to drink while my boy who is all of two days old slept next to me in his rocker. Would loe another bottle of this one. (1,359 characters)

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

surprised not to have a review for this one...must be in the backlog of notes? none-the-less opened E!037 and filled a russian river tulip.

a - brew poured a transparent yellow orange with visible champagne like carbonation. a massive bubbly head filled half the glass and slowly fizzled away leaving spotty but chunky lacing on the side of the glass. fairly frothy for all those bubbles.

s - wonderful tart. acidy citric peach and tropical fruit with a glaze of sour candy sweetness. you can almost smell the fizziness.

t - really well balanced and complex sour flavors. the perfect meld of fruitiness and sourness. the taste is really spot on. oaky. extremely refreshing. fruitiness is orange peel mixed with citrus with a hint of peaches and a tropical almost kiwi like splash to finish it off.

m - prickly carbonation. finishes a bit dry and bitter...just a BIT. easy drinker, light and thirst quenching...ideal for the current heat wave.

o - overall, i've always dug brute, but i forgot how great it is. this is truly one of the better sours out there. the balance is mind blowing. if you don't like over the top sours, but still enjoy sours, this is your beer. wonderful tropical fruit flavorings with a nice burst of sour. non offensive...really well crafted sour. (1,276 characters)

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

Batch E!037. Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a large white, frothy head that takes some time to go down. Scent is a ton of sour notes with predominant Brett and lemon. Lovely oak aromas with aromas reminiscent to champagne. A good amount of citrus as well. Taste is amazing... perfect amount of sour for a beer that is very much like champagne. Lactic sourness with a ton of oak and some definitely funky, spicy flavors. Tons of lemon and citrus...great depth and complexity to this beer. Also get some lovely pear, green apple, and white grape flavors. A good amount of sour and funk to this with a good amount of oak. Mouthfeel is very dry and bubbly. Drinkability is very high. Overall, this was an amazing beer. So far, Ithaca has impressed me very much. (766 characters)

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

A: Light Golden with a little bit of haze. White head that stuck around and left some lacing.

S: Great aroma pouring off this beer, spicy, fruity, champagne like.

T: Clean, Crisp, fruity, hints of peaches. Great sour flavor but not to much bight. Great light finish, almost dry at the end.

M: Light, good carbonation. Feels very dry and open upon swallowing.

O: Very refreshing and enjoyable beer. Great sour ale with a lot of interesting flavors blended together really well. (480 characters)

Photo of atr2605
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pours hazy golden color with a slightly off white foamy head
S- citrus, green apple, subtle straw aroma.
T- tangy citrus that finishes tart with the oak coming through in the finish
M- light medium bodied with high carbonation
O- a really enjoyable sour and one of the better beers I have from ithaca beer company. Would definitely have it again. (352 characters)

Photo of xenjoiii
4.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml - Batch E!037

A: Poured a cloudy, and bright golden color with a two finger snow-white head.

S: Funk, acidity, citrus and a bit of oak.

T: The taste is by far the standout point of this beer. Mild to medium tartness upfront that evolves into a citrusy/oaky finish. Every sip is bright and refreshing.

M: Medium carbonation with a solid body.

O: Le Bleu minus the bleu. Brilliantly balanced, incredibly refreshing, and a taste that perpetually pulls you in for more. One of the best sours that I have had to date. (527 characters)

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
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. (772 characters)

Photo of tewaris
3.88/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brute
Thanks SourNotes for sharing a long time want.

Bubbly, very very bubbly. Clear golden color and big white head is inviting. Aroma is funky and leathery. Taste is dominated by acetic sourness but the (extremely) high carbonation keeps it alive... I am not a fan of vinegar in some Flanders style beers because it seems to settle on the palate but it works in Brute.

Very much champagne like as was expected... a simpler beer with great drinkability.

4.5, 4, 3.5, 4.5, 4 (477 characters)

Photo of orangesol
4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite wild's. Finally decided to break down and write a review. Thanks to whoever brought this bottle to Imminent Liquidation II

A - Pours slightly hazy golden yellow with a nice one finger tall white head leaving small stringy lace down the glass.

S - Smells of lemons, granny smith apples, bready yeast, oak, some sweetness and a good amount of lactic sourness. Not as funky as others in the style, but that isn't a bad thing.

T - Starts off with a nice jolt of citric fruit tartness quickly being enveloped by the lactic sourness and hints of chewy grain, green apple and plenty of dry oak tannins. The dryness continues through the finish. Could use a tiny bit more funk but thats just me.

M - Tart, dry feel with a spritzy feel from the moderately high carbonation. The champagne yeast really works well for this one and it isn't overly sour like others in the style.

O - Easily one of the best wild's out there. If you are looking to get into the world of sour beers this is a good starting point. It isn't overly sour and it is easy to drink. Awesome stuff for sure. (1,091 characters)

Photo of SLeffler27
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was a tough bottle to open, but well worth it. A huge, dense, foamy, white head dominates over an almost clear, dark gold beer with explosions of streaming carbonation. The head lasts long after the session, leaving thick patches of lace on a Brasseurs DeGarde flute.

Opens with strong, sour apple notes and a light funkiness. There is some lemon with warmth. A touch grassy and the apples turn to peaches.

A strong, sharp tang of acid cuts the sweetness down. Some spiciness with apples following through. The flavors are strong, but not heavy or overpowering. There is a long, dry, sour finish. With warmth, earthy flavors like oak are released.

Slightly chalky and definitely dry, Brute has a medium to full body with vigorous, to say the least, carbonation.

This is a great example of the style and will go well with pungent, creamy cheeses. I am tempted to make mac-n-cheese with bleu cheese. This would also be a fine conversation beer during a party.

I have subsequently had this on draught, and while it was the highlight of my trip to Ithaca, the bottled version was better. (1,094 characters)

Photo of Holland
4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: clear straw color with heavy carbonation and head of large bubbles.

S: sour apple, pear, and some earthy notes and light grain

T: taste is all funk - pear, apple, tartness/sourness, very fruity and dry but left room for a bit of sweetness.

M: highly carbonated and medium body makes for a crisp, dry feeling. At some points, there was a slight coating feeling of heavier malts, but it passed quickly.

O: more complex than my review can indicate. Great beer overall, thanks to vapodge for the taste! (508 characters)

Photo of Sideswipe
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. 2011 batch. I've received bottles of this from AleWatcher and Palmej1. Huge thanks to both!

An aggressive pour yields a huge four finger head which threatens to overflow my glass. The foam recedes leaving a white coaster floating atop the golden hued brew. The nose is fruity and sour, almost champagne like. Taste opens with notes of sour green apples and barnyard funk. Mid-palate there's a nice tartness which sets up a refreshingly dry finish. The beer is medium bodied with a smooth, creamy texture. Brute is a wonderful example of an American Wild Ale. An almost perfect blend of tart, sour, funky flavors combined with an expertly crafted body make this brew a joy to imbibe. Highly recommended (716 characters)

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

750ml bottle into a Tulip Glass. Batch E!027

A - Poured a hazy gold with a foamy white head that settles to a slight haze and ring.
S - Big aromas of Brettanomyces yeast, citrus hops, Granny Smith apples, lemon zest, and grape skins. Funky and delicious!
T - Quite similar to the nose, citrusy and funky! Tart green apples, white grapes, lemon juice, and orange peel all wrapped up with earthy, funky Brett. Excellent level of sourness, perfectly balanced between the funk and the tart.
M - Light and spritzy with a medium-thin mouthfeel, very crisp carbonation, and a long, dry finish.
O - A superb American Wild Ale that really does something different and new. A perfect celebratory beer, or an excellent way to start a meal! (729 characters)

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