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Brute - Ithaca Beer Company

BruteBrute

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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 Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2012 20:20:47 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.08/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2012 01:39:48 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.97/5  rDev +12.2%
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!

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2009 17:39:36 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

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

Bottle from Batch 1 courtesy of imperialking and opened to share at the PtY release on 2/5/10.

A: The pour is a cloudy light golden straw color with a fluffy white head.

S: The nose is not terribly complex nor funky, but has a very nice amount of lactic tartness. This provides a refreshing citrus and white grape aroma which I find very pleasing in wild ales. There is a slight touch of oak and Brett, to keep things in check.

T: This is not a terribly "funky" beer, but that does not bother me. The lemon, green apple, and grape notes go quite well with the dry and tannic feel of the beer from the wood and the Brett.

M: The body is a bit on the light side with a very high level of carbonation and a dry finish. The champagne yeast definitely provides a little something different here.

D: I've heard mixed reviews of this beer, but I found Batch 1 to be quite delicious at this point. I have a bottle of Batch 2 which I will be saving for some time as it appears this one gets better with age.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2010 18:59:42 | More by womencantsail
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

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

Appearance: Pours a cloudy apricot nectar color with a prodigious head that leaves a nice pattern

Smell: Tart and oaky, with lemon, green apple and Juicy Fruit notes

Taste: Tart and oaky right from the outset, with a developing fruity lemon/green apple character that adds a peppery element by mid-palate; after the swallow, there is a hint of sweetness that enters to offset the wild and funky elements, but the finish is primarily, oaky and sour, with that Juicy Fruit flavor lingering to the very end

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with spritzy carbonation

Drinkability: Not the funkiest wild ale by any stretch but this is just how I like them - riding on the edge but not heading over the cliff

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2009 16:05:21 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

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

Bottle: Poured a cloudy dirty beige color ale with a quite large bubbly head with average retention and some lacing. Aroma of sour notes with distinctive notes of oak with light green apple notes. Taste is also a very well balance notes between some oak with some sour notes and some light barnyard notes with a distinctive Brett dry finish. I must admit that this is one of the best American sour I have tasted to date and very close to some of the Belgian lambic. Body is quite full with limited filtration and good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Very well done and something I would buy again even considering the hefty price tag.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2009 03:02:08 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

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

I've got a crazy-good beer on my hands here. If you love Duvel but wish it had more artisinal Belgain character, then here it is.

The pour brings a very lively decant. Efforvescent foam billows from the liquid with a cotton-white color, great formation, very good retention, and a ton of lacing. Canary yellow and medium haze round out the appearance.

Strong vineous aromas of lemons, limes, under-rippenend berries and fruits, peaches, white grapes, pears, appricots, and granny smith apples leap out and attack the nose. Champagne-y wine notes combined with sharp citric acids, lactic notes, and oak for a well rounded, melded scent that steers away from vinegar. Peppery throughout.

Flavors are a direct transfer from the nose, with emphasis on the acidic fruits, grapefruits, and pepppery phenols that burst with juiciness. Hop flavor offers up dried grasses, lemon-grass, and sharp herbal tones. Very nice.

Astringent and sharp sensations hit the jawls and promote mouthwatering. After the initial shock, the maltiness is found with a softer pilsner malt base that remains crisp and dry. Dryness is the name of the game. Not much sweetness beyond the cracker-like malts. Instead, the acidic pang of lemons and grapefruit take the foreground while hop bitterness and light saltiness follow up in the finish.

This is a beer with a lot going on, yet is pretty simple and put together very well. It has the dryness and crispness of Duvel, but that Brett character helps to add the sour fruit notes to the dryness. Hop flavor and bitterness compound the effect of the Brett and other yeast blends to make the beer as arid, sharp, and acidic as possible without offending.

Thanks jampics2

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2009 04:30:19 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to bmanning for this bottle.

A: Pours a hazy barnyard yellow with an unbelievably large bone-white head that is completely cratered surfare of the moon style. Bubbles in the head slowly pop as it makes its way down the glass, leaving plenty of lacing.

S: The initial nose is tart, but not overly so. Some citrus, green apple, green grape, and a little bit of earthiness. There are some hints of slightly more tropical fruits, and perhaps the faintest touch of a honey-like sweetness.

T: A little bit of moistened barnyard funkiness along with some fruity tartness. Perhaps a little bit of lemongrass in there. Vague hints of oak. Quite good but not extreme enough--I'd like a little bit more of a sour kick, but all around quite tasty and worthy of its acclaim.

M: Moderately dry, yet quite wet at the same time--it's very intriguing. It feels like the back portion of my palate is getting quite a bit of acidic dryness while the front is feeling the sweetness--I've never had a beer so divide my taste buds before. The carbonation is good--high for a beer in general but definitely not too much for the style. A slight puckering effect, making this a much more sessionable wild than most. The use of champagne yeast is certainly evident.

D: With the low alcohol level, thin body, and agreeable amount of carbonation, this is one of the most drinkable sours that I've had, and I'll definitely be looking for some more of this.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2009 00:53:20 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4.29/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at Mugs Alehouse, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is hazy yellowish orange in color. It poured with a finger high beige head that has excellent retention properties and consistently left a quarter finger high head covering the surface.
S: Light to moderate aromas of sourness and oak are present in the nose.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell and has sourness with notes of oak, the latter of which stands out in the finish.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is simple yet is pleasant to sip and savor. It is quite easy to drink and an excellent representation of the style.

Note: Batch E!027

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2013 12:15:03 | More by metter98
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Big thanks to the Central PA group of the Gang Bang BIF for this bottle!

Batch E!027. Heard some good things about this beer for over a year now, about time I got to see how true the statements have been. It pours a clear golden straw topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises tart orange, light horse blanket, white wine, tart peach, and very light graham crackers. The taste brings in more of the same, though the horse blanket is diminished, and some tart white grape and somewhat sweet red grape is added to the mix. The body is a light medium, with a moderate carbonation and a dry, sticky finish. Overall, a very nice wild, one that doesn't go overboard on the Brett (good touch) and doesn't o'erwhelm with sourness. An enjoyable brew indeed.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2011 19:07:17 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There's not much more to be said about this beer that hasn't already been said.

It's clearly pretty effervescent, but still delicate on the tongue.

And it looks great in the glass - nice golden color and big, bright white head (although the retention and lacing could be a bit better).

It smells like peaches and apples and lemon; and soft grass with just a soft bit of leather, wet straw, and earth.

The flavor is tart and fruity, and lightly funky but it's not puckeringly sour. It's dry and a hint mineralish, or maybe I should say slightly chalky - as with Champagne, it makes me think of citrus rind, but that's not really there; and it suggests some astringency, but that's not really there either. Interesting.

What makes it stand out, however, is how far they were actually willing to take this - it really is sharp! It's not just a lightly done Brett beer - no, there's more to it than just wild yeast. Perhaps it's the aging on oak, and perhaps it's the Champagne yeast. And with that said, it's pretty damned clean for being "funky". On the other hand, a little more mustiness and barnyard would give it more depth; but I don't think that's what they were going for. In my mind it's more like a "Biere du Champagne", or at least a kind of cross-over hybrid. But whatever it is, it's really drinkable, and I can live with that. Interesting, charming, and drinkable!

P.S. - I paid a high price for this at $22 a bottle, but that's still less than Deus; and although it hasn't been shipped to France and treated as "Champagne", I still enjoyed it just as much, and possibly more.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2009 01:50:15 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch# E!010. Bottle from a long-ago trade with BeerTruth - thanks Adam! Served in a Darkness snifter.

A - Voluminous white foam that settles to a thick cap and leaves behind plenty of splotchy glass-coating lace. The body is transparent golden. Not sure how it could be much better.

S - Vinous notes, lemon, oak and vanilla, lactic acidity, some farmyard brett notes, light sweet malt backdrop. Pretty delicious smelling stuff.

T - Taste is largely the same as the aroma, but with more sweetness and less in the way of vinous and sour flavors. Some malted grains, and perhaps even a hint of sweet corn. More of a fruity brett beer with some acidity than a Cantillon-esque sour. Some similarities to Temptation, but this seems sweeter (we opened a Batch 003 Temptation to confirm this). I like the complexity of the aroma a bit more.

M - Zesty champagne-like carbonation, medium body that has sufficient heft but is still light on the palate. Dry finish that is crisp, clean, and refreshing. Spot on for the golden sour style.

D - Incredibly drinkable stuff. I'll have to get a few more bottles, as it's great for converting champagne lovers. Something I wish were more readily available and a worthy East Coast response to Temptation.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2011 02:47:17 | More by MasterSki
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

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

Thanks to beertooth for sharing this, review is from notes. Batch E!010

Pale and hazy unfiltered visibility, lemony apricot color, solid head of lasting foam. Initial aroma of wet stone and minerals, soft wheat and mild "clean" horseblanket. The funk is restrained and well incorporated. Fruity sweet & sour interplay, nice contrast, elements of white grape and peach pit. Champagne effervescence that scrubs the palate. Body is light, very quenching and clean.

The clean lactic sourness and funk character was similar to a Berliner Weisse and Calabaza Blanca. The slight grape sweetness really added a nice contrast to balance the sourness. Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2009 18:34:35 | More by emerge077
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a very cloudy gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a super sour scent that explodes with brett yeast esters. The malt bill seems simple; pale malts with maybe one other specialty grain. The taste is awesome! This is one sour brew. It's a pucker from start to finish. Again it seems like just pale and maybe some wheat malt along with a healthy dose of brett. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is a tremendous tasting beer. Ithaca is really brewing some world class beers of late. Hail to the Chief!!!

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2008 22:00:36 | More by WesWes
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 Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4.83/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to mar for sharing this bottle.

Pours a yellow straw color with a huge white head. The aroma is very tart with some citrus and oak character. Flavor is very citric and somewhat oaky. Lots of lemon and some tangerine. Some funk but more tart than funky. Highly carbonated and extremely drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2010 21:50:50 | More by Mora2000
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 Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer easily produces a three-finger thick, pale, cream colored head in my 25cl tulip. The beer is a murky, pale amber color that shows an almost completely opaque, yellow, straw color when held up to the light. The aroma is pleasingly tart but with a slightly sweet, fruity, white wine grape like aroma. There is an interesting note that is sort of a cross between musk melon, honeydew and the sweat from someone who drank too much wine the night before. Fruit aromas of Muscat grapes, a musky tropical fruit, some tart / sweet apple and a touch of star fruit are all found in the aroma too. I like how the funkiness has taken a turn that I have never quite experienced in a beer before, the Brett is much more sweaty, but in a clean non-barnyard way, than usual.

Wow, much more dry and tart than I was expecting; with all of the fruit notes in the aroma I expected there to be a fair amount of sweetness left in this beer, but there is none at all. While bone dry this still has a nice, creamy body to it that is also note hindered by the fizzy carbonation that causes the beer to foam up as it rolls across the tongue. The texture of this beer is quite exquisite. The oak character here is quite soft and subtle; actually it is most noticed by it effect on the texture of this beer. There is a touch of oak-spiciness towards the finish as well as a slight woody oak note.

My second pour of this has me noticing a spicy oak component in the aroma that I did not pull out the first time around. Flavors of Lactic acid define the sourness in this brew, which, along with the oak really makes this seem like a dry, tart, oaked white wine. While in many ways this is much like a Lambic, it has a much softer feel to it somehow. Certainly the acidity is not approaching the levels of a hard Lambic and the funkiness is actually quite subtle (apart from the sourness). This does have a touch of the sweatiness that was noticeable in the aroma, as well as a touch of mustiness to it. As the beer warms up it picks up just a hint of sweetness, which does a good job of accentuating a nice white wine grape fruitiness.

A tasty beer, though it could use a boost in complexity (more funk would certainly suit me right). The aroma definitely is quite a bit more complex than the flavor, it promises ample funk and a substantial fruitiness that the flavor just doesn't quite deliver upon. Still this is quite enjoyable and it is quite easy for me to finish off this 750ml bottle.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2008 03:35:01 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This poured out as a very nice clear yellow color with a foamy white head on top. The retention was light with a subtle lacing also. The smell of the beer has a nice amount of funk on the nose but it doesn't cancel out the base elements of the beer which I like. The taste of the beer is tart up front with a sharp funky citrus in there. The finish of the beer is interesting, there is an interesting sweetness in there that might be wheat or something like that coming through. The mouthfeel of the beer is light bodied, very drinkable and nicely carbonated. Overall, very good stuff. Really nice simple complexity in there , I liked it a lot.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2013 20:42:34 | More by Knapp85
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

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

I was thinking hey I'll wait until tomorrow to try this one. Ha! Who am I kidding. I want some wild, dammit.

Pours a clouded yellow with a thicker creme head that falls fairly quickly. As I poured I took a whiff and when the Bret hit my nose I almost had an orgasm. Almost. Tart dryness really grabs the nose as well. God I love this style. Flavor is sour and dry. Hits the palate and fades, but leaves a lasting impression and a quite tolerable aftertaste. Sour is well balanced (in it's own way of course.) I even feel like I an getting some vanilla on the mix here. Feel is higher in carbonation and the liquid is a bit thick.

Ahhhh. That is just so good. I really wish more wild ales were available. I had planned to trade all my extras away of this (besides the two I have set aside already to pass on). But after trading and giving away all my Cuvee de Castleton this year, you'll have to really kiss up to me (or trade me an Isabelle, Cuvee de Tomme, Ichabod, Fifth Element, Upland lambic, etc., etc.) to get this out of my sour fingers. I just love this style. And this is another fine example of why.

Crazy love to charlesw for the hookup on this. Thanks a million man!!

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2008 06:13:23 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

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

Thanks to Solmon420 for sharing this with the wife and I.

Poured a nice golden color with a nice white head. Nose is sour with lots of fruit and tartness going on. I picked up on lemon, wood, green apples. Taste is very smooth and the ABV was well hidden on this. Big tartness up front with highlights of orange, lemon, wood, apples. Very tasty and very drinkabke. The wife loved it too. Winner all the way and its so smooth I could finish the damn thing myself.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2009 01:16:22 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to my friend Keith for sharing a bottle from Ithaca. This was a fantastic sour that reminded me of the best gueuzes I'm sampled. The main difference between this and its Belgian counterparts was the lack of the barnyard character that make a lambic extra funky. This, instead a had a lightly sweet, but mostly sour herbal lemon tang. The oak aging adding a subtle candy vanilla while the champagne yeast helps with a dry finish to round the beer out. If you like sours, you need to find this.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2010 01:44:42 | More by tempest
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 07/24/10 notes.

a - Pours a golden color with 1 inch of white head and light carbonation.

s - Smells of sour fruit, citrus, lemon, and some funk. Very enjoyable.

t - Tastes of tart, sour fruits, especially lemon. Nice citrus, tart, and funk. Very enjoyable.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - I loved this sour. I thought there was some great sour fruits and funk in the smell and taste. A great sour I would love to have again.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2010 01:35:40 | More by mdfb79
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

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

A corked and capped 750 mL bottle purchased at the brewery on the day of release, July 31.

A: The cork came out without even a phhtz. In my glass, ale is hazy like a weizen with a pale straw tone. The carbonation is evident in the pour, generating nearly two fingers in my snifter before disappearing with no lace.

S: The nose is acidic and tart, sour from the very first drag. Lemon and green apple are prickly, driving the funk.

T: The tartness immediately caused me to pucker up. So as you'd imagine, the lemony sour aspect is particularly high. What is so surprising though is the pale malt base that follows up tartness. Before the biscuit malts arrive though, the ale becomes dry, bone dry. That dryness is where the apple flavor is most pronounced. The sweeness of the malts are a nice contract to the dry flavors, lingering nicely on the palate. An abundant citrusy lemon flavor crops up at the end of each sip, blindingly tart with a nice finish. Even my burps have a sweet lemony finish.

M: I like the pucker factor, it almost causes me to cringe at the bite. The lemon and green apple really drive the flavor but the malty sweetness (nicely described by others as Juicy Fruit-like) is a counterpoint that works nicely.

D: The bottle says 7.0%, BA says 6.5%. Either way, the ale never betrays its strength. The combination of sweet and sour makes this very accessible despite the immediate tartness.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2009 01:00:28 | More by akorsak
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to whoever brought this to the Dec. '12 Philly suburbs bottle share!

Poured a hazy yellow color with a foamy white head; moderate retention and doily lacing. Slightly lacto-tart in the nose, with scents of lemon and white grape, earthy. Tasty, but not a mouthgasm as the hype would indicate. The tartness here was very mellow, which is nice, the flavor was a bit subdued, but crisp and clean...this isn't a face-puckering sour. Lemongrass came to mind, with a mild farmhouse character, grassy, earthy, and a hint of Chardonnay. Body was pretty light, crisp, generous carbonation. Not bursting with flavor, instead humble and refined...which made the name "Brute" come off kind of ironic to me. Maybe that's what they were going for. Or maybe I'm just being too philosophical. Quite drinkable and enjoyable overall.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2012 08:12:50 | More by Rifugium
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Brute from Ithaca Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 768 ratings.