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Brute - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
BruteBrute

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

810 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 810
Reviews: 388
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 9.01%
Wants: 1,130
Gots: 144 | 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:
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: 810 | Reviews: 388 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

NeroFiddled, Jul 28, 2009
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
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!!

RblWthACoz, Oct 19, 2008
Photo of Slatetank
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to tenderbranson69 for sharing this at our wild ale tasting- poured from the bottle into a tulip.

Interesting to know it is bottle conditioned, but I guess most wild ales are. The color is deep golden like apple juice with head of white w/ good retention - tight bead and mildly hazed in the clarity dept. There are lots of fruity odors w/ slight funky ester and mild grain notes w/ subtle tangy of citrus and mild mango w/ a aroma of mineola which is sweet juicy and citrus fragrance. There is a similarity to grapefruit and the levity of kumquat is noted with its sweet/sour dichotomy. The feeel is very good w/ strong sweet and mild tannic bitter edge combined with a highly carbonted texture and slight tangy fruity element w/ semi-dry finkish and light sweet essence from the malt in the residual taste.

A great juicy and dry citrus taste w/ flesh, peel flavor and very broad range of tangy mixed with tropical elements and mild lemony bitter edges. The flavor of tangerines and slight acidic bite of grapefruit w/ accent of sweet fruit blanacing with an orange/mango combinated, light pineapple in the background and subtle taste of toasted malt w/ juiciness pretty strong and lasting into the finish. The drinkability is high - a wild ale I have enjoyed multiple times on tap and bottle, this is intensely sour and yet doesn't go to far. There is enough other flavors from the malt and adjuct to give it balance and retains complexity while giving slight puckering astringent and still has some residual sweetness

Slatetank, Feb 16, 2011
Photo of jlindros
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

jlindros, Sep 09, 2011
Photo of MasterSki
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

MasterSki, Jun 14, 2011
Photo of oline73
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tasting snifter.

The beer pours a clear golden amber color with a finger of off white head that fades to a ring around the glass. The smell is slightly funky with strong tart lemon and vinegar notes. I would describe the taste as very clean and extremely sour. I'm getting lemon, vinegar, and just a light funk. The finish is light and quite sour. The carbonation is creamy and foamy. There is a slight dryness in the finish.

oline73, Mar 06, 2013
Photo of drabmuh
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

drabmuh, Feb 22, 2010
Photo of mendvicdog
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

mendvicdog, Mar 01, 2013
Photo of Rifugium
3.88/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

Rifugium, Dec 13, 2012
Photo of MarkyMOD
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

MarkyMOD, Mar 07, 2014
Photo of mdfb79
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

mdfb79, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of beernads
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

beernads, Sep 12, 2013
Photo of WesWes
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
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!!!

WesWes, Aug 05, 2008
Photo of Mora2000
4.83/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Mora2000, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of oriolesfan4
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

oriolesfan4, Feb 27, 2013
Photo of drewone
4.75/5  rDev +7%

drewone, May 07, 2013
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.2/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Gueuzedude, Sep 07, 2008
Photo of GClarkage
4.1/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GClarkage, Jun 15, 2009
Photo of imperialking
5/5  rDev +12.6%

imperialking, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of orangesol
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

orangesol, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of yourefragile
4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle shared by beandip with starrdogg. Batch !018

Beer 4 in our tasting, following DDG, Blabaer and Flaming Fury sets a high bar for this beer and provided some nice perspective on it. Tasting this after a break with a clean palate, Brute stand out as an exceptional American Wild. While not comparing apples to apples, side by side with the others Brute was clearly a level or two beneath them, though still enjoyable.

Pours a hazy golden honey color with a dense, fluffy white head. Moderate retention with abundant rings of lacing. Aroma is a dominated by champagne yeast, bread, lemon, grass, apple; pleasantly sour and tart. Sour and effervescent up front and throughout the beer. Nowhere near as complex or nuanced as DDG; almost balanced and smooth to a fault. Not as much funk as expected either. Extremely high, prickly carbonation as expected producing a light, fluffy full bodied mouthfeel. Better than most, but lacking the complexity to make this exceptional

yourefragile, May 15, 2011
Photo of duceswild
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

duceswild, Feb 27, 2013
Photo of stakem
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 750ml brown bottle stuck with a yellow synthetic corked and capped, poured into my favorite snifter. This is the most recent batch #E!027. Tonight is a celebratory type of night and this is the closest thing I have to champagne...only better.

Brute pours a hazed light golden orange color with more than 2 fingers of white head that slowly receeds leaving some patches of leggy lace about the glass. After the initial surge of carbonation and head formation, it settles to a thin cap supported by some rising bubbles. A light swirl revives the head back to a finger's strength. The orange glow that this brew displays is interesting. Even though it appears somewhat cloudy, it doesn't have any particles floating around or stuck in suspension that I can see.

The aroma of brute includes some sharp citrus notes reminescent of lemon upfront. All through the nose is the scent of brett with a contrasting smell somewhat like that of wet leather and funky goodness that is somewhat cheesy. Underneath the predominant character of brett and lemony citrus is a light grainy sweetness that ties it all together and really accents the citrus component of the nose. Once brute reaches warmer temperatures, some alcohol character comes out and really gives the first indication of some woodsy notes.

The taste of brute is tart upfront with the lemony citrus character that has a minor puckering quality. Some of the alcohol's presence comes through here and highlights the sharpness of this brew's flavor. Beyond the citrus aspect is a light grainy sweetness that blends into the brett's contribution of funk, cheese and leather. This brew finishes with a dry woodsy flavor that has a light grainy taste that offsets the tartness and acidity.

Brute is a light bodied brew with a moderately high level of carbonation that is prickly and light on the tongue. This beer is crisp, refreshing, complex and overall just well balanced without brett overkill to allow you to enjoy everything that is going on inside this brew. It has an excellent amount of drinkability and enough alcohol that allows you to enjoy another glass but without the effects playing too much of a factor.

stakem, Oct 01, 2010
Photo of corby112
4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
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

corby112, Dec 18, 2009
Brute from Ithaca Beer Company
99 out of 100 based on 810 ratings.