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Brute - Ithaca Beer Company

BruteBrute

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BA SCORE
98
world-class

768 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 768
Reviews: 385
rAvg: 4.43
pDev: 9.26%


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: 768 | Reviews: 385 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Reino
Reino

Oregon

4.6/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I owe Paul (Lum) a ZJ for hooking me up with this beer.
Batch# E!010 7%abv
Consumed on Oct. 1st 2008

Appearance- My initial cautious pour produces 2 fingers of effervescent head that I figured would fade quickly. Boy was I wrong. The head settles into a tight/dense and flat finger that would probably still be around two days later if I gave it the chance. The lacing is solid as the head crawls down.
The beer itself is an apricot gold (noticed my man Joe used apricot to describe this, too. Wasn't trying to steal your words, that's just how I had it in my notes big guy.) Looking through the bottom, there is about a quarter of an inch gradient from a hefe blond into the apricot gold. This is such a great looking beer. I poured the second half for my wife, and must have poured some yeast in hers as well because it was much more blond than mine. Still pretty, though. Wish I could give this a 4.75, but you know how it is.

Smell- My first thought was fruity B.O. which is not a diss at all. The cast of smells that probably caused me to think that were: tart cherries, faint barnyard, raspberry juice, apricots and just the slightest bit of spiciness. As I drink on, the nose develops a bit of medicinal funk accompanied by sweet lemon and a bit of an earthy/produce aroma. Knowing that corn was used in this beer is making me think that I get a bit of corn, but that could be bullshit. Once again, the wife's glass with the yeast differs from mine. The yeast makes hers much more funky and less sweet. Mine is a delicious sweet/funk explosion. Once again I'm on the fence with the score. Just more reason to get another bottle from Paul ;) and redo the scores later.

Taste- A very sour and tart front accompanied by delicious fruity flavors and mild funk middle to end. What makes this beer so delicious and effective is the transition of flavors. Yeah, it's sour upfront, but these great sweet flavors sweep in to balance it out along with the horse blanket, grassy funk. It's not so sour that the fruit gets lost and it's not so devoid of sourness that I'm disappointed. If I drank this at a blind tasting, I'd think I'm drinking a crazy kriek or framboise, not a golden sour. The sweet/tart combo reminds me distinctly of a strawberry and orange juice smoothie, but with tart cherries, and earthy funk thrown in the blender. Each sip provides a different combination of fruit flavors on my tongue, and each pairing is exquisite. This a complex and sour piece of heaven.

Mouthfeel- Nice and bubbly, but not to a champagne extent. The carbonation has the fruit flavors bouncing all over my tongue, and I love it. The edges of my tongue, as well as my cheeks, tingle from the tartness, but not so much that it hinders my ability to enjoy the other flavors going on.

Drinkability- It's dumb how drinkable this beer is. 7% tastes like 3%. If I wasn't a newly wed, I probably would have snagged the other glass out of my wife's hands. Actually, I regret not doing it. I'm not sure if "it's better to have loved and lost" applies to this beer. I'm extremely sad that I cannot have this beer in my weekly rotation. How will I go on?

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2008 20:24:07 | More by Reino
Photo of barleywinebrewer
barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

4.4/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2008 12:47:31 | More by barleywinebrewer
Photo of aerozeppl
aerozeppl

New York

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

Thanks to dmeadows again.

I have been wanting to try this for a while now but had not been able to track a bottle down.

A: Hazy golden color. Almost no head which was white. Some lacing.

S: Sour in the nose. Not really much else.

T:Subtle tartness. Really reminded me of a bolder version of Magic Hat's sour ale. The sour is there but it is not overpowering. A slight touch of funk but as usual I wanted more.

M: Medium body. Well carbonated.

D: Amazing drinkability. Perfect beer for a glorious day. I would love to sit on a patio on a late summer day and sip this all day. Next time more funk though. Always could use more.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2008 23:42:20 | More by aerozeppl
Photo of cvstrickland
cvstrickland

North Carolina

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

Thanks to my friend Lum for making an exception to his trading hiatus and getting this sexy Brute into my greedy little hands!! Prost, homeboy!!

Handsome gold-labeled corked and capped Champagne-style bottle opened with a healthy pop!, poured into a small tulip glass yields a bright golden-lemonade body with some haze and plenty of streamers of active carbonation feeding a thick cap of soft bright white foam. The head retains at a thick sheet and leaves blobs of foam and irregular fat rings of lacing on the glass.

The smell of the drink is somewhat fruity with an herbal note and some light Bretty funkiness that leans towards sour, but not at all eye-crossingly so. A bit of pale malt is buried deep in the profile, but it's there and provides a bit of footing for the yeasty fireworks show.

The taste is crisp, a touch fruity and dryly tart with a deeper level of sourness that rolls around the back of the tongue before going quietly into a clean finish. This "Golden Sour Ale" remains more 'tart' than 'sour' throughout the drink, with a juicy note reminiscent of fresh cider without the associated sweetness until the drink begins to warm and soften a bit. As my evaluation of this brew progresses, just a touch of sushi vinegar emerges to supplement the sour character, but never threatens to take control of the drink, even as a sweet woody note of oak rises to help counterbalance all the twang. Brute is dry, dry, dry throughout the encounter, with just a little bit of tooth-squeaking astringency that fits the character of this Ithacan masterpiece just perfectly.

The drink is on the burly side of medium-bodied with a wonderful sizzle of carbonation that lightens the impact of the sourness on the palate and refreshes the drinker masterfully. Though certainly "wild", this Brute is no dumb one, but is instead a big cuddly sour that makes me glad I have a second one languishing in the bullpen. Superb. Stupendous. Kickass. Thanks again, Lum!

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2008 11:47:37 | More by cvstrickland
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2008 03:35:01 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of almychristopher
almychristopher

New York

4.22/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a really cloudy golden color with a thick white head that fades to thick lacing. The aroma that it puts off is exceptional very sour, the yeast esters are very noticeable, the malt still comes through nicely. the taste is exactly what I would like from a sour beer the nice grapefruit citrus flavor ends on a dry note. the mouthfeel is a of a medium to heavy body with effervescence sliding up the side of the glass. a great beer, I don't think that I would drink too many of them for fear of heartburn, but still a quality product.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2008 22:10:23 | More by almychristopher
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
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!!!

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2008 22:00:36 | More by WesWes
Photo of Nickls
Nickls

District of Columbia

3.78/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Gold color all the way, a little cloudy, and with a head that looked like champagne to me

S - Fruity, tangy (I'm thinking really tangy actually with that wild yeast), and a bit more like a champagne smell

T - Sour, tangy, fruity, lots of yeastiness

M - Bubbly! Lots of great carbonation

I could definitely put this away quickly, but I think the tang and champagne-like nature are just a bit much for me. That being said, this is one of the most interesting brews that I have had in a while. Great job Ithaca!

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2008 13:30:15 | More by Nickls
Photo of BeerTruth
BeerTruth

Connecticut

4.63/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2008 01:01:43 | More by BeerTruth
Photo of albern
albern

Massachusetts

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

I had this at the American Craft Beer Fest and it was a very good change up from the preponderance of IPAs at the festival. They labeled this beer as an American Golden Sour Ale, which really doesn't exist as a separate style. It is a Farmhouse ale with all of its yeasty sourness. As to the availability, I have no idea of this beers frequency, so you'll have to seek it out on its own terms. This beer poured a fairly cloudy pale color with a stong nose of vinegar, florals, and yeast. The taste reminded me of some fig and/or Hibiscus Flowers. I also got a strong flavor of juniper and maybe some ginger. The farm house style isn't may favorite, the sourness is a bit yeasty, not nearly as sourly refreshing as say the Belgian Flemish reds, but I appreciated it as one of the few of its style at the festival.

Serving type: on-tap

06-22-2008 10:39:16 | More by albern
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Brute from Ithaca Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 768 ratings.