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Brute - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

819 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 819
Reviews: 389
rAvg: 4.43
pDev: 9.03%
Wants: 1,115
Gots: 145 | 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: 819 | Reviews: 389 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CityofBals
3.5/5  rDev -21%

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

Thanks to the one and only Buffalo Brute, Sir Lum.

Beautiful golden bottle for a beautiful golden sour. Capped and corked with some new futuristic super processed rubber cork goo.

Pours a nice looking quite cloudy yellow/light orange with a fizzy stark white head. head fizzles to a ring quickly and lacing is minimal, but this is a sour were talking about here.

Nose is an indication of a quality sour right off the bat here with some fresh apple, crabapple, and tart lemon zest, brett is quite evident with some horseblanket here.

Taste follows the nose, almost to a T. Starts right off the bat with a tart apple and crabapple jolt. Very crisp. Horse blanket and brett flavor come roiling out half way through the taste. A slight sweetness, and more tart apple through the middle, slight tart lemony crispness, just before the real mouth puckering sourness kicks in. Some slight peach in here as well. A nice sour one with good pucker effect, however a bit less sour than your average RR, similar sour profile to Cuvee de castleton, in fact i think they are quite comparable. Apple and horse linger on the very dry finish.

Mouthfeel is unique on this one as it is slightly (very) more carbonated than your average american sour, but the carbonation is very soft. Noticeably bigger, but softly so. Hard to explain. Makes the "Champagne yeasts" on the label stick out a little more. Mouthfeel is quality here.

Drinkability is very very nice on this one. The slight added carbonation makes it quite nice. A more gentle sour, than your balls out beatification types, but very very good in flavor, and make no mistake, this is a sour beer.

Overall, this beer is quite impressive. TEN turned my eyes toward Ithaca and Brute has reassured this confidence in the Excelsior! series. Love the tart apple effect in here. A very tasty sour. Make no mistake, this is in the top quality sours made on this side of the pond. A very well crafted beer. Certainly one of my new favorite wild ales. Thanks again to the original Greybush. NOBODY! circles the wagon like Lum.

Edit: Batch 2 is quite similar, but there is a significantly greater awesome green apple presence in the nose especially but also in the taste, a bit more lemon zest as well. Also inspired me to increase the mouthfeel to 4.5. This is one amazing beer folks. If you get the opportunity to get ahold of one, DO NOT let it slip away. A true gem.

Photo of sideshowe
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml into tulip. From notes. Unsure of batch. Consumed in April 2010.

A- Nice golden pour, fluffy snow white head with pockets of air.

S- Lemony, grassy, a bit funky. Nice nose on this one.

T- White grapes, green apples. Nice and tart, like biting into a granny smith. Really spectacular balance here- nothing is out of place or overbearing. Nice funky yeast notes with a dry finish.

M- Fairly high carbonation, the bubbles are sublime. Very good.

D- One of the most approachable sours, one I could drink a lot of. This stuff is awesome. I think this is one of the best American wild ales out there. Highly reccomended.

Photo of SFLpunk
4.27/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to Shrek806 for this hook-up. 750mL brown-glass cork and capped. E!037.

Pours a hazy orange with frothy white head. Nose is very bretty, orange juice ladden, and a note of hay.

Palate is full-on tart heading sour. Orange juice with pulp, lime zest, wood chips, sweet hay. Really complex palate with luscious mouthfeel. Tart and juicy, dripping with citrus.

Notes: The best Ithaca beer I've had yet and heads-and-shoulders above Le Blue

Photo of BeerTruth
4.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a few of these the day of the release on August 1st at the brewery. They had a sixtel for samples that day, but after that keg kicked that was it. The sample I had made me even more anxious to open a bottle as soon as possible.

750 ml. corked bottle poured into the Excelsior! tulip glass for review, where it should be, not a 2 oz. sampling glass. Batch# 010!

Pours a cloudy golden hue with a white two finger head that falls to a thin layer of bubbles. Lacing is pretty minimal but there's some here and there. The aroma begins light and floral with a sweet honey scent as well. White grapes and a touch of oak tickle the nose with some brett and bread. Taste starts off much more funky than the smell gives off. Sour apples, pears, and lemon up front on the tongue. Honey wheat and yeast midway with a grassy flavor mixed in. The sour kick comes in the aftertaste with a zesty sting. Light body with soft and pillowy feel that's extremely refreshing. The carbonation is strong and very champagne like, but that's how it should be. I've had a few Wild Ales and they have suffered a bit in the drinkability department. Brute is the complete opposite, I finished the bottle much too quick. Luckily I have a few stashed in the cellar because I've been told through the grapevine this will be a pleasant surprise in 10 years, just in time for their 20th anniversary :) 250 cases were bottled for mostly brewery only purchase, get your hands on this one for sure. Chief and IBC continue to raise the bar, this beer is not to be missed. Love it, love it, love it.

Photo of Bendurgin
3.55/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I got the one from the incredibly generous 6DaysBottomOcean who graciously extended his cellar to me. The appearance is hazy golden with a rocky white head about a finger thick. The smell is faintly sour; it reminds me of tart apples with a bit of brett funk and earthy oak flavors. The taste is sour green apples with a bit of vinegar. Slight funk from the brett with a little bit of oakiness. The tartness is perfectly what I want, ever so slight with a bit of sweetness. The mouthfeel is fair, the carbonation being what I would expect, nice and lively with a medium body. Easy to drink but overall not my absolute favorite. Still a solid beer worth trying.

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

Capped and corked with some kind of foamy plastic. A sizable head with good retention and bits of lace here and there. Quite a bit of carbonation in the glass. Smell is like a deep dry white wine. Sour apples and grapes abound. Light malted grains and funky Brett. Taste is vinous with a healthy malt core A light fruitiness with a firm woody oak. Tart and juicy with a strong dry puckering sourness in the finish. A lingering taste of malted grains. Wonderfully subtle and complex. Feel is crisp and light with a velvety texture as it develops in the mouth. Quite drinkable and a great one to have around wine snobs. This has all the strong points of a great white with the added flavors of a superb fermented grain beverage.

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch E!037

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

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

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

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

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

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

Batch E!018
Pours a healthy blonde head with a white lacing that does not go away.

Smell of sour tart pale malt with some funk.

Taste of pale malt mixed with acidic sourness of citrus, Czech hops, some barnyard and funk. There is a dry champagne finish to state the obvious as stated on the label that it is finished with a blend of three champagne yeasts. Could be slightly more complexity to the malt profile, but this is done well as is.

High carbonation, not gushing from the bottle, but very tasty and very drinkable. This went above my expectations and I am looking forward to many more sour ales from Ithaca Beer Company.

Photo of Houser
4/5  rDev -9.7%

Photo of KeefD
4.66/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Once again, another huge thanks go out to Knifestyles for this lovely treat!

Batch E!018

Pours a lovely golden color with light orange in the middle, hazy pineapple if you will, with an enormous white head that left some generous lacing all down the Tripel Karmeliet tulip. Looks perfect.

Aroma is a nice blend of funk, light leather, citrus, oak, and white wine acidity. I used to think I liked the nose of wild reds more than whites, but this opinion may be changing after the last two wilds I've tried.

Wonderful citric, tart flavor. Plenty of lemon, maybe some orange, and pineapple, oak, light bitterness, and very light sourness. I'm even picking up a little bit of peach and mango in there. Wow, this is tasty! There is some sweetness up front, but it quickly dries out on the finish. Beautiful balance in this beer between the lightly sweet malts, the wood, and the funky/tart brett flavors. It's definitely more tart than it is funky, but it's awfully delicious.

It's sour/tart but not puckeringly so. Plenty of carbonation, but it's very smooth. I mean, I can see a zillion tiny carb bubbles in the glass, but I can barely feel them on the tongue. This is exactly what I want in a wild as far as mouthfeel goes.

All around, this is a great beer. I only wish I could trade for more of these sours because I would love to see how they do with age.

Thanks once again, Chris, for providing me with another fantastic East Coast goodie!

Photo of jarrgal
4/5  rDev -9.7%

Photo of ritzkiss
4.37/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml capped and corked from a recent trade with G311 - thanks man! Split with viggo.

Pours a totally murkey golden yellow with a thinnish wispy head which has some good retention.

This beer has two things really going for it - the fantastic smell that wafts to my nose: a complex lemon tartness, nicely balanced funk and a hint of sweetness. And it's insane drinkability. A complex balance between the lemon tartness, a slightly acidic sourness, sweet biscuity malt base and a hint of earthy oak. The champagne yeast provides a spritzy yet pillowy mouthfeel that makes this one of the few sours where you would gladly sit with a 750 to yourself and not tire by the end.

Not overly complex flavor but the balance is stunning. Clearly well made and quite enjoyable.

Photo of DangerDawg
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

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

thanks to beertruth for the chance to try this great beer! What stood out most for me on this beer was a real nice complimentary apricot, pineapple, malt note with a great balance of sour and tart. acid level is modest which works for me too! One of the better American wild ales I've had. Well worth trying if you get a chance.

Photo of axeman9182
4.17/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle from 2009 (batch E!018) poured into my Duvel tulip.

The beer pours a very nice hazy gold, with a voluminous white head. Retention is decent, but an almost complete lack of lacing keeps me from giving it a higher appearance score. This beer was aged in barrels with brett and then allowed to sit in the bottle for a year, and all that is evident with the first whiff. The nose is overwhelmingly of the classic barnyard funk, with some background tartness and faint apple sweetness. The taste is largely the same, though there was a certain harshness to the brett flavors while this beer was still warming. Once it approached room temperature though things smoothed out and Brute became a much better beer. The mouthfeel was great, very dry and a great bubbly, but not overbearing, carbonation. Like with the taste, Brute's drinkability gets dinged by how much worse of a beer it was right out of the fridge. Wild ales are such natural slow sippers though that most of this beer was consumed at an appropriate temperature. I look forward to hopefully getting my hands on some of this year's Brute and trying it with a little less age on it.

Photo of IBUnit63
4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch E!010 poured into a Riedel Extreme Burgundy glass 'cause I haven't used it in a while and it seemed like it would work nicely. Have at it, we will...

Pours like a Champagne at first. Bready, lemon/light honey color with plenty of vibrant head - about 3 fingers worth of a big bubble bath. Second pour is a little more restrained. Carbonation is nicely present.

The yeast strains in this combined with a moderate wheat component mix it up with the Brett hay, gentle horse blanket and prominent citric sourness to generate a fair amount of electricity. There's some light pine or baso woodiness from the light grains and mild hop presence. Depth expands and softens with warmth.

One of the brighter sours I've encountered - most likely the champagne yeast is helping this along. Very nice light grains complement the sour funk of this all - perhaps the power of suggestion but it does have a Champagne-like component that really brings it all together. Nice very light woodiness provides a good yet mild hop and grain component.

Some wild ales require an adjustment period. Not necessarily this one. Sure, the first taste has that sour stable pucker, but it really softens over time and transforms into a lighter, more pleasant, medium-bodied and well-balanced ale. The light grains, yeast and Brett strains and a little bit of hop pine are working in Beautiful Chemistry. By no means over the top but very well-balanced.

While this is a rare treat that is quite contemplative and complex, it really drinks well - not only for the style but overall. I was very disappointed to see the end of this bottle. When this ages for a while it will be very interesting to sample. Another incredibly well-balanced effort from the Excelsior! series.

Photo of Mike
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of gueuzegossage
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of sgoro
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of blabaer
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of jkane101
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of TubaDan
5/5  rDev +12.9%

Photo of stevec32
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Brute from Ithaca Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 819 ratings.