Brute - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
BruteBrute

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BA SCORE
98
world-class

828 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 828
Reviews: 392
rAvg: 4.43
pDev: 9.26%
Wants: 1,101
Gots: 143 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 828 | Reviews: 392
Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
4.73/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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

750mL corked and capped bottle, batch E!08 poured into maudite stemmed glass, reviewed on 5/1/11

A: Pours a hazy peach color with tons of fluffy white head, decent retention and lots of lacing around glass.

S: Slightly sweet with plenty of sour and funk. Lots of fruit as well, tart apples, lemons, oranges and earthy yeast.

T: Nice and tart, but not quite as sour as the nose led me to believe. Citrus fruits, grapefruit and lemons along with some funk and earthyness, pretty unique taste.

M: Millions of tiny spritsy bubbles almost like a champagne. Medium bodied, starts sweet and tart, finishes pretty dry

O: Great sour all around with practicly no alcohol detectable anywhere. The citrus flavors work really nicely with the wild and champagne yeasts. Would definitely be buying bottles of this if it were available locally.

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

first ever sour ale.

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of JonathanL7890
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle brought over to my house by BgThang last night. Thanks!
Batch E!010. Bottle was capped and corked with a new synthetic cork.

Poured into my New Belgium Globe with a huge foamy , more like soapy head.
Color was a bright yellow, very clear. Bubbles kept the head throughout the whole glass. A perfect beer to see the benefits of a laser etched glass.

Smell: A little funky, fruity, I get some malts and a touch of hops.

Taste: Wow. this is a flavor spectacular! Lots of fruit that becomes quite tart in the back of the tongue. Almost like a good Berliner Weiss but more complex than that.

Mouthfeel: good light mouthfeel. Maybe a bit gassy due to the high level of carbonation.

Drinkability: What a wonderful drinkable sour! I could put away several pints of this stuff.

Another excellent brew from Ithaca. The Excelsior series from these guys amazes me.

Photo of tarheels86
3.83/5  rDev -13.5%
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

Photo of gyllstromk
4.59/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My friend Ted gave me this awesome beer as a wedding gift.

Pours a hazy golden with a big, foamy head. Nose is tart green apples, sweet tarts, pineapple, a well balanced Brett undertone. Flavor is tart, Bretty champagne. Tartness is slightly tamer than I expected but quite tasty. Very bubbly and drinkable, although the tartness may be overpowering after a while for some.

Awesome stuff!

Photo of johnd513
4/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours light hazy orange in color with a fizzy white head. Smells sour and citrusy. Tastes of lemon, citrus, funk and oak. The mouthfeel is highly carbonated and tickles the taste buds. Drinkability is good, I had no trouble finishing the bottle. Overall top notch for the style.

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

2010 Batch

Look: Brilliant golden hue with neat white foam, holding tight for the 15 minutes since my pour.

Smell: Lemon, must, fruity esters

Taste: Melon, lemonade, bubblegum, light cobwebbiness and a mild tartness prevail with a dry, crisp finish. Awesome flavors but the bubblegum is a little off-putting.

I'd like to give this a little time to let the brett take more of an assertive role. Great sour overall and I'm proud to be sipping on something from my own backyard.

Photo of 7ways
4.85/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

3rd batch. And it's just as amazing as the first two.

Pretty murky straw and orange colored, like the sky when it gets all creepy before a good storm. Well constructed head. Thick lacing. It looks like a painting.

Initial Brett aroma literally makes my mouth water. Smells sweet, citrusy and dry (can a beer smell dry?). Kind of reminds me of picking apples in upstate New York when I was in grade school, how's that for an aroma-induced flashback?

Tastes much more sour than it smells. This is the youngest one I've had, and it's much less puckering than what happens to it with 6 months to a year on it. The flavors of raw oak, lemon, lime, orange, and apple are much more straightforward. The apple is more like a golden delicious than a granny smith. But the rich earthiness and sour kick are still there...waiting.

As with the older vintages I've had, carbonation has no room for improvement. Lovely effervescence like a fine champagne. But there is also a depth and subtle richness that brings it all together.

I like it better with at least half a year on it, but I'm a sour junkie. I've had Temptation, Isabelle, and DDG, and Brute owns them all.

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

a special thanks to Ejeffer11 again for this beer! poured into a stone snifter. batch E!037.

a- the perfect warm sunny yellow-brown, an opaque masterpiece with thousands of tiny champagne bubbles

s- heavenly, brett in all its glory

t- much the same as the smell, quick tart apple-pear tinge with a clean finish, not acidic mouth-puckering, but sour non the less

m- the body of the trickle off of third dam, a lesser known ithaca waterfall, a rush of balanced sour on the tongue, softening quickly

o- truly a delight to drink. not overwhelming. simple elegance in a bottle. will be seeking this one out permanently.

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

Received in a trade with Benanomyces. Been looking forward to trying this for a while now. Cracked it open during a game of Hearts with one of my good friends from Montana as well as my wife and another friend.

Split this one between four different glasses. Poured mine into a Westvleteren chalice. Appears very hazy, yet light. Fizzy. A golden hued body supports a fairly frothy white head. No lacing is left behind.

A subtle funkiness is coupled with a tart lemon-zest. This beer smells crisp and sour and woody- exactly how I like them.

Ah yes, and the taste does not disappoint. There is the dry tart smash that I enjoy so much. It is fairly fizzy, but this does not detract one bit. Often these beers have a sweet entrance followed closely by the tart...not the case with this one. Starts of sour and tart and then quickly disappears. This beer is light, dry, and puckering. We're impressed.

Overall, I'm quite pleased with the Brute. I prefer beers that aren't too sweet, so this one fits right in line. Easy to drink, I had a fun time sharing this with virgin sour drinkers. Definitely looking forward to round two!

Consumed: 4-26-2010

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

Acquired via trade through younger35, thanks again Dan for this and the 09' darkness. Been sitting on this for a few months so I decided to crack it open for Christmas. New to the sour world so my reviews kind of suck.

Poured a very nice gold color into my duvel tulip glass. Little bit of pillowy white head that went away rather quickly. A lot of bubbles, reminiscent of a champagne. Smelled a lot of lemon and other citrus qualities. Taste goes right back to the lemon with a really nice sourness. I found the sourness to be very pleasing to to the palate. Great mouth feel with nice carbonation. I thought the drinkability was very high. I drank the 750ml on my own and I enjoyed every drop. Highly recommended. Well done Ithaca.

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

750 mL bottle at refrigerator temperature poured into a snifter.

A - Pours a hazy straw-colored body with a fluffy, thick head with very good retention.

S - Wow. An absolutely wonderful nose. Apples, basement funk, lemon, wet wood, floral notes, orange, horse blanket. A practically perfect integration of bright fruit and dark funk flavors.

T - Deliciously tart. Has a flavor profile vaguely similar to a funky apple cider, only with much more lemon and floral flavors. The finish is long - I'm still tasting the subtle fruity, funky finish for minutes after each sip.

M - Crisp, with a very well-crafted body. The use of barley, wheat, and corn sounds daunting, but the brewers did a spot-on job of blending the malts to create the perfect background for the brett yeast to do it's thing. The Champagne yeasts certainly give this brew it's fair share of effervescence.

D - It's hard to put a beer this good into words. Certainly one of the best sours I've yet come across, and I think that it will be difficult to do much better than this. I'd drink this with cheese (a citrusy fresh goat's milk cheese, a young Comte, or the always-delicious Tomme Crayeuse) or a big plate of fresh oysters. I could have easily given this brew a "5" in any of the above categories - but I couldn't choose. You owe it to yourself to get your hands on this brew.

Photo of DrewZ926
4.13/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a huge 3 finger head, very clear and white. body is a deep, opaque, amber bursting with carbonation. ample white lacing.

S- smells delicious, fresh green grapes, like a white wine, a hint of hay/barnyard funk. nicely complex. hints of lemon and flowers, very crisp and clean nose.

T- predominantly lemony and appley, strong brett undertones mixed with white wine and grape

M- very smooth, mild carbonation, acidic bite

D- pretty low abv + fresh and tasty = very drinkable. this is my second sour, after a cantillon classic gueuze, so i'm pretty new to this style. overall, it was quite refreshing and sessionable, going to try to land some more sours in the future.

Photo of Jdiddy
3.45/5  rDev -22.1%
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.

Photo of tendermorsel
4.58/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was lucky enough to score some of this wonderful beer on tap at Deep Ellum during craft brewers week.

Straw yellow colored with a fluffy long lasting head. Very sexy looking beer.

The smell was not as funky as I would have expected but it may have more to do with the crowded bar than the beer.

Wonderful sour flavor. A near prefect balance of lactic sourness and barnyard funk. Quite a pleasant finish and extremly drinkable.

This is an AWESOME sour. It would stand up to any American Wild Ales I have ever had. I have a few bottles tucked away and can't wait to try the bottled verison with a few months on it.

Highly reccomended if you are down with the funk

Photo of abecall98
4.11/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this bottle in a trade from newtonty, thanks!

A - golden pale with a thick creamy white head. Looks so soft, I want to lay in it.

S - very minmal. Light sour smell, but not much else.

T - starts off rather spur, then the sourness subdues. Taste turns sweet and hints of orange come through. Very pleasant taste and flavor profile.

M - very smooth, creamy, and a dry quick mouthfeel. The carbonation is medium and perfect. Mouthfeel is great.

D - this beer is very light compared to other wild Ales and the fact that it is in overly carbonated makes this a very drinkable beer. The flavor and mouthfeel comebine to make you wanting more.

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

In a chalice:

Tons of fine-bubbled white head over cloudy yellow/brown body. Excellent lacing. A huge sour presence in the nose with green apple all over the place. Grape soda present as well. Wonderful malt start followed by green apple bitter. Notes of currant and raisin. Tons of sour. Mouthfeel is quite smooth and very thick. Carbonation is a little too high. Overall, delicious and the flavor is not overwhelming.

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

Drank 6/25/11. Split w/ bbb099, scottfrie, et al. Bottled 2010, batch E!027.

A: A thick, robust head that leaves a fine lacing on the glass. A slightly hazy something or other.

S: Whew. Mmmm Brett. Nothing too overpowering, but definitely strong notes of barnyard and a slight hint of oak-y citrus. It's not the most complex smell, but pleasant.

T: The Brett is moderately hidden. Definitely sour, but quite fruity. It's remarkably peachy but not in an overpowering way. I'm having a hard time describing the taste, but it's fantastic.

M: Definitely reminiscent of champagne. The carb is delightfully high and the body is nice and airy. Very very nice.

O: A very good brew. I approve. Many thanks to scottfire for sharing!

Photo of drunkmonk
4.12/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to broha jjayjaye for the opportunity on this one!

Pours murky golden, with a thick effervescent
head. Vinous aromas of Grape, green apple skin, lemon peel, yeast, some brett funk and slight oak. Loads of tart sweet fruit on the tongue, lemon pepper, sour green apple and spices. Finish is very dry. Oak presence is very subtle and masked by the tart sweetness. I would have liked more oak barrell influence to play off some of the sweetness. This is a really nice sour and one to be shared with friends. If you are sourhead, this is a must try.

Photo of youbrewidrink
4.8/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I sampled this at BCTC this past summer and knew I had a new best friend.

The color is a hazy straw with a tight white head.

The aroma is of citrus and green apple.

The taste is a fresh and tart with a noticeble corn flavor accompanied by the bright fruit. the funk is present but very subtle. I love this beer.

The carbonation was dead on giving this a great mouth feel.

The drinkablity is way up there due to the taste and carbonation balance.

Photo of TheViolator666
4.08/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 ml corked bottle into pint glass.

Batch# E!010

This really is best served on the colder side, right out of the fridge. The sourness decreased as the temperature increased.

A: Pours a turbid golden hue with a nice big and fluffy white head that sparkles and fizzes as you pour it into your glass. The head thins down to a thin white cap and leaves no lacing.

S: You can smell how sour this one is! Notes of citrusy tartness.

T: Tastes incredibly sour. Pretty funky as well, truly tastes like what I'd imagine an American Lambic to taste like. Finishes pretty clean and and along with the tartness, leaves a citrusy lemon flavor as well as a tad bit of dryness. The Brettanomyces provides an excellent mouth puckering tartness that leaves your tongue craving more.

M/D: This one has the body of a wheat and the carbonation of a champagne thanks to the blend of three champagne yeasts as indicated on the bottle.

Photo of airohead2001
3.48/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very pretty beer - cloudy orange/yellow with a small half finger head that lingers around. Smell is decent, but mainly just sour with a small amount of funk. Taste is average sourness up front, but does have a nice biscuity aftertaste. This ones a little too bubbly for me. Overall, this is a good beer. But top 100?? Racial expletive, please.

Photo of Popkas
4.7/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch: E!018

A: Pours a shiny light golden hue with a foamy top with tons of lacing. Very nice.

S: A heavy barnyard must melded with nice citrusy notes.

T: Nice complex taste that runs from a biting citrus front then the middle and back is almost perfectly sour. Just on the cusp of puckering making this extremely drinkable.

M: Light and everevescent.

D: See "T".

Photo of aglose45
4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review number 50, and on Christmas Eve!

A: Pours a nice hazy, light golden/straw color, with a frothy, almost white head. There are a bunch of tiny little bubbles, this really looks fantastic.

S: The nose has a pretty complex, mostly sour, smell to it. There is a nice bretty smell, followed by some ripe fruit (white grapes and tart peaches). These smells are quickly followed by a real dry, bready malt scents.

T: The taste starts off with a blast of sour, tart fruits..the same ones as in the nose. Next is a bit of a funky Brett attack. This lasts for a few seconds post-swallow before a dry, almost stale, bread malt flavor becomes present. As I move through the bottle, the flavor gets a bit sweet from the yeast.

M: The carbonation is nice and prickly, however, I feel that this beer gets a little bit watery near the end.

D: This beer is very drinkable for. It is one of my favorite Wild Ales.

Brute from Ithaca Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 828 ratings.