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Brute - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
BruteBrute

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

790 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 790
Reviews: 388
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 9.23%
Wants: 1,133
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:
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: 790 | Reviews: 388 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of afksports
afksports

New York

4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Effin' excellent brew. I'm an amateur here, so I'm totally unqualified to talk about hop notes or brett or lacing or whatever. I'm doing my homework on beer 101, but in the meantime I'd like to enjoy some. This I can.

Brute has a distinct type of sour that finishes clean but leaves me thinking about granny smith apples in the dryness of champagne. The carbonation and head are great, and I feel classy drinking this. Buy me another and take me home.

I almost feel bad calling it beer. But I don't feel bad calling it awesome. Would drink again - for sure.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2010 04:49:17 | More by afksports
Photo of Diomede
Diomede

California

5/5  rDev +12.6%

11-27-2011 21:49:28 | More by Diomede
Photo of Mike
Mike

New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

06-20-2013 04:59:42 | More by Mike
Photo of andrewinski1
andrewinski1

New Hampshire

4.55/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bendurgin for sharing!

Batch E!027

Poured into a tulip. Color is hazy golden and the head is huge when poured. The white head shrinks into lacing.

This smells of tart apples and the funkiness is well tamed for a brett beer. A hint of lemon citrus also noted.

This is really a wonderful tasting beer. A slight bit of sweetness first hits the tip of the tongue but is followed by a crisp, tart finish. I am pleasantly surprised by the flavor, as there is not much dirty, horseblanketyness to it. This is really a brett beer for the people.

This is a fantastic beer that I'm glad to have tried. I will definately be on the lookout for more

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2010 03:54:18 | More by andrewinski1
Photo of DangerDawg
DangerDawg

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

09-21-2013 01:54:50 | More by DangerDawg
Photo of Retail1LO
Retail1LO

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

04-09-2013 12:51:22 | More by Retail1LO
Photo of taospowder
taospowder

New Mexico

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

11-24-2013 19:11:20 | More by taospowder
Photo of sukwonee
sukwonee

Washington

4.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very good looking beer. Huge head (at least 3 fingers) with lots of bubbles and lacing. Cloudy orange body.

S: Lemon, yeast, oak, funk

Taste: Lemon, tart and sour, I also taste some breadiness, earthy-ness, barnyard, very good. Sour and puckering.

M: It's perfect. Good amoung of carbonation, mouth puckering, dry.

O: Very glad I got to try this bottle. It's been one of my top wants for a long time.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2012 05:54:23 | More by sukwonee
Photo of ithinkimasofa
ithinkimasofa

Washington

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

11-15-2011 07:38:31 | More by ithinkimasofa
Photo of nanobrew
nanobrew

California

4.75/5  rDev +7%

11-14-2011 18:39:42 | More by nanobrew
Photo of Quackus
Quackus

New York

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

01-11-2013 20:28:31 | More by Quackus
Photo of seaoflament
seaoflament

California

4.13/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Shane for bringing this bottle down to ChulaJuana and sharing it at La Bella on 11/24. Batch E!0I8 which appears to be batch 2?

I had the first batch last fall/winter but was not in an environment for a proper review and I remember being quite impressed with it so I was looking forward to having this beer again.

The beer was a straw, pale, yellow with an egg-shell white colored foam on top, about a quarter inch in height. Nice clarity and presentation.

Upfront I detected a powdery sugar that quickly went to the background and then a rush of brett funk took over, hay, sweat, green apples, moderate level of vinegar, nice acidity, and lemon peel.

The taste was almost as good as the aroma but not quiet there. Green apple tartness, grape skin, light to medium acetic level, wheat dryness, a bit of oak butteriness and vanilla in the end. High carbonation level at first, very bubbly and sparkling but as the beer develops and opens up the carbonation settles to low. Nice dryness and tannic bitterness. A very nice sour overall.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2009 19:41:51 | More by seaoflament
Photo of VaTechHopHead
VaTechHopHead


4.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Opaque/cloudy yellow and hazy. Big white head when poured with a gratuitous amount of carbonation on display.

S - Very impressed. Dry and tart aromas with hints of lemon, yeast funk, hay, and barnyard. Complex to say the least

T - Again, very dry and tart with a lot of brett funk right off the bat. Transitions to dry hay in the middle. The corn adds a lot of carbonation and a nice earthy/dusty flavor. Light citric notes from the champagne yeast and finishes dry and woody.

M - Lots of carbonation on this one that fills the palate. Light/medium body that leaves the palate bone dry almost. A sipper due to the dryness and amount of carbonation present.

O - A superb example of style IMO and a very interesting line-up of ingredients. The brett blends excellently with the champagne yeast and the flavors produced are spot on.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2011 03:02:57 | More by VaTechHopHead
Photo of kevanb
kevanb

Illinois

4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a WLV Zwanze 2012 stemmed glass. Thanks to Sweemzander for the share. Review is from notes.

Pours a nice golden color, hazy complexion, a few bubbles rising to the top of the glass. A nice, taught white head rises out of the beer, a half finger high before receding into a slight film leaving no lacing. The aroma is very nice, funky brett, pale grain, light citrus, tart apple with some floral notes as well, very light, effervescent and more importantly inviting. The flavors are bit muddled relative to the nose and a bit dirtier as well, the funky brett is definitely there but it's a bit mustier and earthier than in the nose, light citrus, tart fruit, apples for sure, light sweet grain, a touch of acidic vinegar with some floral elements behind it, almost a bit medicinal. The body is nice, definitely has a bubbly champagne quality, lively, prickly on the tongue, but finishes very smoothly.

Verdict: An impressive sour from Ithaca. I prefer LeBleu to this one for sure, but this is certainly an enjoyable beer and worth tracking down for any sour lover.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2013 21:57:21 | More by kevanb
Photo of Agold
Agold

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

01-08-2013 22:59:37 | More by Agold
Photo of zac16125
zac16125

South Carolina

4.96/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

750mL bottle into a Teku
Batch # !010 (ie batch 1, bottled in 2008)

A huge thanks to dtmets84 for sending this one over in a trade. One of my top wants for a long time!

Beer review #521, and #95 out of the top 100 I set out to complete a couple years ago.

A: Pours an absolutely crystal clear pale golden yellow with 3 plus fingers width of white colored head. Head hangs around for a while before dissipating down to an outer ring. Leaves effectively zero lacing.

S: At first I get a big fruity aroma like apricots and peach, coupled with a white grape champagne dryness. There is also a citric and lactic tartness, and a subtle musty aroma. I then get barrel notes with oak and a bit of vanilla. Absolutely intoxicating aroma with a great combination of sweetness and tart sourness. I think this is the best aroma I have ever experienced in a sour ale.

T: Aggressive tartness up front, with lots of sour citrus notes. Subtle apple cider vinegar. Sour up front, with fruit flesh like peaches and apricot on the back end, then finishing up with a vanilla sweetness that lingers forever in the aftertaste. There are some funky Brett notes as well, that I can only describes as musty rather than barnyard. The sourness is puckering at times, in a really fantastic way. Wonderful balance; the sweetness on the finish pairing with the tartness up front, and just the perfect amount of funk. So complex, and so delicious.

M/D: There is a liveliness to the mouthfeel, with a huge effervescent bubbly carbonation. It has a medium body, and is drying on the finish. Drinkability is great, as I can't wait to take each sip.

O: Probably my favorite sour/wild ale to date and overall one of the best beers I have ever had.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2014 15:00:13 | More by zac16125
Photo of Gtreid
Gtreid

Florida

4.1/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured into my Stone RIS tulip. Thanks go out to jamie2dope for a great beer.

A: Super cloudy, straw yellow color. The pour produced over a quarter size white head that hangs around and leaves minimal lace.

A: Citrus, lemon, green apple, white grape, and pear. Sharp and acidic. Some nice bready malts, and citrusy, earthy hops. Just a precurser to what's to come.

T: Sour citrus and champagne. Lemon, white grape, and the pear really come through. The bready malts and citrusy hops are balanced nicely. Very tart from the brett. Kinda a cross between a chardonay, champagne, and beer. Very nice. Finishes smooth and dry.

M: Light body. Aggressive carbonation. Very tart and sharp, but smooth at the same time, from the oak aging.

D and overall impression: Drinkabiliy is somewhat limited due to the tartness, but the ABV is certainly manageable. Overall, very nice example of a sour. Would definately have again. Skal.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2009 01:39:11 | More by Gtreid
Photo of Mistofminn
Mistofminn

Minnesota

4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

In honor of our current trade, I decided to crack open a bottle from our previous trade. This one goes out to kmurray8621.

Batch E!018

Pours a clear golden color initially, and subsequent pours get more hazy and more orange. A very lively carbonation going on inside the glass. The head fizzes up and fizzes out without leaving and lacing, kind of disappointing but for a wild ale not uncommon. Probably the champagne yeast used.

The nose is incredibly sweet. I was kind of shocked, to say the least, after hearing how sour this was and how enjoyable. Sweet is somewhat of a turn off in wilds for me, and this one just isn't doing it for me. I get light (very light) tart smells but it's mostly sweet. Distinct sweet pear smell.

Thank god...this isn't sweet at all. In fact, it's incredibly tart and sour. Boy was I getting a little worried, but the first sip put all my worries to rest. A sour pear like flavor comes through the most, with light Brett characters right in the finish. A dry, acidic finish.

Mouthfeel is light to medium, with a crisp carbonation bite to go along with the stinging sourness and acidity. Drinkability is really good, maybe one of the most drinkable sours I've had.

Overall, while the nose wasn't quite what I wanted it to be, this one steps it up and finishes a winner. Glad I got to try this and even gladder I got a second bottle to sit on for a little while longer (while the only thing I hope it improves upon is losing the sweet nose).

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2010 02:15:03 | More by Mistofminn
Photo of KAP1356
KAP1356

Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1st time trying this and very psyched to be doing so. Shared with my brother and his girlfriend on 1/1/2011. 750 ml. bottle marked Batch E!027 into a Victory Golden Monkey tulip glass...

A - Poured a very hazy, golden-yellow color which actually looked extremely inviting when placed in the light. Very soapy-white and bubbly 2 finger head slowly recedes to a small layer. Some ever so slight lacing is present. Bubbles are racing to the top of the glass.

S - Bretty, funky, musty, attic-like smell right up front. VERY excited now. Some nice malt backbone and fruits come next; some peaches and lemons.

T - Gotta love that funky barnyard taste! Lots of Brett, funk, acidity and sourness up front. Nice lemon zest flavors follow with a solid malt backbone peeking its head in when it can. Almost gueuze like really.

M - Light bodied with a very nice carbonation, ala champagne. Nice bite from the acididty and a nice dry finish. Really quite nice.

D - Really wishing I had more than 1 bottle of this guy. Great beer and one that I could easily have had multiples of. It is much lighter for the slightly higher ABV (for a Wild Ale) which adds nicely to its drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2011 05:01:57 | More by KAP1356
Photo of Risser09
Risser09

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750mL bottle poured into a snifter - fridge temp - 2008 batch E!010

Appearance: Pours a golden color with lots of visible carbonation flowing to the surface. The head rises 1.5" tall with lots of foaminess and shows great retention. Spotty lace clings to the glass.

Smell: Tart and funky. Acrid apples, brettanomyces, horseblanket, some dormant lemon citrus. Slight hop aroma as well. Perfect for me.

Taste: Funky, sour and tart. This beer screams Belgian at the top of its lungs. Oak, apple, brett, lemon, horseblanket are all flavors. There are so many more complexities.

Mouthfeel: Effervescent, lightly bodied, tart, funky and oaky. Some tannins soaks through. Lingering tartness and sourness. Alcohol is there, but not in a big way.

Drinkability: Incredible. I had high hopes for this brew and I got my socks knocked off. Everything that you could want in a beer. Plenty of complexity and thirst quenching properties. One of my new favorites for sure.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2009 12:49:11 | More by Risser09
Photo of Kadonny
Kadonny

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from tap at Capones sour event into a tasting glass.

A: Cloudy pale yellow color that looks exactly like grapefruit juice. Slight thin white head no lacing.

S: Tart fruits with apple and some funk.

T: Again the tart blasts out first with sour apples, apricot, pear and some grape. A sugar sweetness offsets the sour for a few seconds but that sour funk comes pounding back in. I got some grassy hops that offset the sour and smooth out the finish. Not as crisp and clean as the Temptation. Finish is not near as lingering either.

M: Tart, crisp but a bit thin on finish but overall very smooth. No alcohol traces at all.

D: High, these are much more mellow and smoother than the Temptation, thus more drinkable.

Overall a great beer that left me wanting just a little bit more. It is still awesome and a beer I would drink anytime.

Serving type: on-tap

12-11-2009 22:02:28 | More by Kadonny
Photo of udubdawg
udubdawg

Kansas

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

09-13-2012 17:10:58 | More by udubdawg
Photo of kbnooshay
kbnooshay

New York

4.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am still peeved that Ithaca uses wine bottles for their whole excelsior! series. The cap has embossed grapes on the top. Come on! Anyways, the label is shiny and gold.

a- This poured a super hazy, murky golden otange color with a super massive frothy, fizzy white head. This head holds its shape well. Aroma is super fruity. Candy sweet. Lots of nice bitter apple smells. Awesome champagne character.

t - Funky and earthy! Fucking brilliant! Lots of champagne flavor from the yeast they added. Nice tart apple flavor. Some pepperyness.

Mf/d- Champagne but less carbonation than one. Slightly drying finish that makes your mouth water.
Beautifully balanced and surprisingly refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2010 17:18:45 | More by kbnooshay
Photo of tewaris
tewaris

Minnesota

3.85/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brute
Thanks SourNotes for sharing a long time want.

Bubbly, very very bubbly. Clear golden color and big white head is inviting. Aroma is funky and leathery. Taste is dominated by acetic sourness but the (extremely) high carbonation keeps it alive... I am not a fan of vinegar in some Flanders style beers because it seems to settle on the palate but it works in Brute.

Very much champagne like as was expected... a simpler beer with great drinkability.

4.5, 4, 3.5, 4.5, 4

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2012 19:09:50 | More by tewaris
Photo of everetends
everetends

Alabama

4.75/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle sent to me by the great Lum. I have heard him and the rest of the LNBA crew that have enjoyed this pimp the hell out of it, and I am stoked to have the chance. Served up in a tulip. Batch # E!010

A: First off this beer is capped and corked. Once you uncork this fool, you get a huge pop. Have to be careful when you pour this sweetheart because she foams easily. Slow pour got me a huge white, foamy head. Head has decent retention and doesn't really ever go away, only falling to a completely solid top cap that produces some spotty lacing. The body is a really pretty hazy, sunny yellow color that shine brighter when held to the light. Lots of carbonation steadily streams from the bottom of the glass. Really pretty beer.

S: My goodness does this lady wear a fine perfume. As soon as you pop that cork, a massive amount of aroma fills the area and really gives you a treat. There is first a foremost a really dank ass musty, musky scent coming out. Then comes all that sweet ass and sour ass fruity goodness. Sour, sweet and tart fruits. Green apple, grape, melon, pear, lemon, orange. All of these are in here. There is a slight and sweet vinegar smell coming out as well. Then, comes a bit of wood (oak) and earthiness (a barn full of hay). This is just great.

T: Man is this a tart and tasty little lady. The fruits take center stage, no teasing whatsoever, just full on entertainment. The sweet and sour green apple. Sweet melon, zesty lemon, sugary and tart pear. Grapefruit pucker. Grapes all over this with a nice white wine tartness. Stupid amount of fruit goodness. There is an apple cider vinegar presence that is slightly vinegary but still adds to the fruity sweetness in here. The barnyard funk is here as well with some dirty hay and a touch of salty leather. It can't get much better than this. I would give it a 5 but my experience with Wild Ales is minimal, so I will give the others the benefit of the doubt but I don't think it can get any better.

M: This is a medium bodied brew that has just a high carbonation crispness that doesn't stop. The beer is just so damned light and bubbly on the palate and tingles on the way down. ABV is low and doesn't even play a factor in here. The beer is very light on the palate and doesn't linger too long but doesn't leave too early. All those fruits come out in the aftertaste and allow you to thoroughly explore this crazy good beer.

D: This beer is amazing. Hands down, amazing. This beer is an incredible achievement and it is successful in all categories. This beer is just so complex, yet easy to drink and enjoy. This is one of those beers you pop for nonbelievers, serve up in wine glasses, let them enjoy, and then BAM, "Thats a beer, bitches!". No one will believe you. Just a powerful and beautiful brew that goes down so easy I had to keep myself in check and from gulping this down. This 750 will be savored and then mourned once it is killed. I envy those in and near Ithaca. Thanks, Paul.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2009 05:36:28 | More by everetends
Brute from Ithaca Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 790 ratings.