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 JonathanL7890
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
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. (868 characters)

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 gyllstromk
4.59/5  rDev +5.3%
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! (390 characters)

Photo of johnd513
4/5  rDev -8.3%
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. (278 characters)

Photo of Lazerlobe
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
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. (480 characters)

Photo of 7ways
4.85/5  rDev +11.2%
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. (1,159 characters)

Photo of youbrewidrink
4.8/5  rDev +10.1%
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. (450 characters)

Photo of AshleyMiller
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (620 characters)

Photo of hayesez
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
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 (1,149 characters)

Photo of gibby
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (734 characters)

Photo of vrazionale
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (1,351 characters)

Photo of DrewZ926
4.13/5  rDev -5.3%
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. (678 characters)

Photo of Jdiddy
3.45/5  rDev -20.9%
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. (392 characters)

Photo of tendermorsel
4.58/5  rDev +5%
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 (673 characters)

Photo of abecall98
4.11/5  rDev -5.7%
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. (646 characters)

Photo of schroederm
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
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. (420 characters)

Photo of mjyoung
4.43/5  rDev +1.6%
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! (729 characters)

Photo of drunkmonk
4.12/5  rDev -5.5%
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. (557 characters)

Photo of TheViolator666
4.08/5  rDev -6.4%
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. (931 characters)

Photo of airohead2001
3.48/5  rDev -20.2%
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. (343 characters)

Photo of Popkas
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
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". (370 characters)

Photo of aglose45
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
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. (906 characters)

Photo of mbudner
4.46/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch E!018 poured from bottle into a snifter

A- Looks like everything I want in an American Wild. Hazy golden in color with a puffy 3-finger white head that leaves a nice thick, splotchy lacing and doesn't recede too quickly.

S- Nice lemony, tart acidity. Some vinegar on the tail end. Mustiness from the oak. Smell of alcohol and white grapes that's not quite white wine. As it warms and with swirling, a distinct funk comes out from the brett, but this is definitely not the predominate aroma.

T- The acidic sourness hits my cheeks near the molars before I can taste anything, what I call the "smile receptors"...a good sour makes you smile (though this alone is not a definitive indication.) Generally, I get an amalgamation of tart fruits from american wilds, but this seems to be heavy on the lemony/citric sourness. I definitely get lemon peel as well (i.e. a slight bitterness) and maybe some faint orange peel. The oak definitely plays a part, I think I would almost call it a vanilla flavor (which I often get in oaked stouts, but not as much in oak-aged sours.) The sourness really flattens out/subsides as I keep drinking (which is obviously partly due to the havoc wreaked on the palate), but also giving way to a slight funk and then a rather simple, smooth finish. Also, I do get some green apple after sipping on it for awhile

M- Great carbonation (probably from the 3 strains of champagne yeast.) Nice and crisp on the tongue. Not too thin either.

D- A great sour. This is the third bottle I've been able to try and my favorite tasting of this beer so far. Not sure that it has gotten more sour yet, but sitting down with a bottle to review it definitely allowed me to realize things about this beer that I may have overlooked in the past. Not at all difficult to drink a 750mL by myself. A great beer to sip on. (1,835 characters)

Photo of hippityhops85
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle poured into champagne flute

Pours an opaque orange/lemon peel color. Minimal head that forms a nice ring around the circumference of the glass

The nose is exceptional. Tons of lemon peel, citrus, bretty goodness. Granny Smith apples play a big role here as well.

The taste follows suit on the nose. Really exceptional and clean. Tons of tart lemony flavors along with a big Granny Smith apple puckering flavor. Very Dry. Yum.

The mouth feel is surprising but not expected. It is pretty aggressive on the carbonation but I feel that it adds to the tart characteristics of the beer rather that distract. Embraces the "Brute" label. Highly recommended. I hope this gets to see distribution again rather than a brewery release. (739 characters)

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

750ml bottle poured into a champagne flute. I've been lucky enough to have this one multiple times, but this is the first time I've been able to take a break from enjoying it to write a review. Sad to see my last bottle go...

Batch E!018

A - The cork comes out with a nice POP. Pours a brilliant golden yellow. The body is cloudy and the airy, light, bubbly head is nearly 2 fingers.

S - The nose is tart and acidic, but not overpowering. The aromas bring scents of lemon, green apples, and other light citrus.

T - The first sip brings a very manageable puckerness and tartness. Again, wonderful tastes of light juicy green apples. Only the smallest amount of oak notes poke through in the finish. The beer leaves a light drying finish in the mouth. The acidity and sourness here seems to be the perfect amount.

M - Light/medium body with a creaminess to it. Lively carbonation is present. Very sparkling wine/champagne like.

D - Drinkability is over the top. The alcohol is nearly undetectable. This is a very easy drinking sour that would please anybody.

To anybody who hasn't had this, I really recommend taking the time to seek it out. (1,147 characters)

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