Brute - Ithaca Beer Company
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Ratings: 793 | Reviews: 389 | Display Reviews Only:
4.38/5 rDev -1.4%
Many thanks to Jeff for cracking this long time want of mine. A nice displace of gold, orange, and copper pours from the glass with a thick-bubbled and pretty fussy white head topping it off. It sounds and looks volatile, much like you'd expect from a wild ale. Within moments, the head is gone and the slightly hazy brew is left bare, with barely a trace of foam at the edge.
A good grouping of musty lemon and bubblegum-esque Belgian yeast attacks my nostrils up front, slowly followed up by a more acidic, tight cherry-skin sourness. Lacto notes left and right, opening up more and more with time. There's a good barrel presence in this one, too, with plenty of dry oak staves that mix with the mildly funky Brett notes like peanut butter and jelly.
Well, that's quite tart. Even more tart on the tongue than on the nose, I'd say. Brash lemon flesh and voluptuous amounts of pears and sour fruits. The tartness gradient grows from start to finish, and the back-end is downright sour as hell, puckering levels of lactic acid and mild vinegar notes will have your cheeks touching in no time.
Dry and woodsy, though I'm not picking up as much barrel on the palate as I thought I would. The acidity is at a nice level; enough to rip across your taste buds like nothing, but you probably won't be waking up in the middle of the night with a stomach ulcer, either. I love the slightly lactic and oaky, white wine grape finish, with just a hint of vine and tannin. Highly carbonated and effervescent, wafting mouth feel.
Well, well, well. What can I say, besides the fact that I'm disappointed I'll probably never have this beer again. It really is a shame that Ithica's head brewer left and therefore seized the production of this fine wild ale. Hopefully one day we'll see this beer brewed again, even if under a different moniker - it's far too tasty for the recipe to be laid to rest this soon.
09-05-2013 12:22:31 | More by tectactoe
4.49/5 rDev +1.1%
Thanks goes out to Lum for this beauty, good choice! The 750 fills my glass with a hazy apricot liquid with carbonation shooting from every surface of the glass. There's enough haze to keep me from seeing through the body but the carbonation is highly visible. The head rose so quickly I had to slow the pour to a trickle. The fizzy white head eventually settles to a thick cap, which sticks around forever, and leaves strands of lacing in its wake.
Mustiness jumps out of the glass right away and dusts all the other aromas. A field of wildflowers, cobwebs and the faintest touch of damp wood make up the funkiness in the nose while fruitiness makes up the sweeter side. Muscat grapes leap from the glass and combine with musty peaches and apricots to form a pleasant yet mild sweet component that play off the funkiness. The apricots step forward as this beer warms. I could keep my nose in this glass all night long, it smells that good but now it's time to start drinking.
I'm happy to say the nose lead me in the right direction. Slightly sweet over ripe fruit snaps across the taste buds the second this beer hits the tip of my tongue. A slight pucker comes around mid palate with hints of tart grapes, unripe peaches, and unripe apricots. The mustiness pokes its head up here and there but manages to stay toward the back. The sweet and sour play off each other perfectly, switching from one to the other multiple times throughout each drink. One thing that is constant is the sourness on the finish, there's just enough there to feel it on my cheeks and sides of my tongue. Brute has a great depth of flavor.
The mouthfeel is right where it should be. The body has a moderate consistency but the crisp carbonation keeps the body snapping across the tongue and creates the feel of lighter bodied ale. The sourness invades the back of the tongue briefly to create a pucker and disappears just as quickly. After the swallow this beer dries you out and leaves me wanting more.
The drinkability is off the charts. The sweet and sour along with the dryness keep this beer flowing until the bottle is empty and then leaves me wishing there was more.
I've become a big fan of Ithaca and this beer puts them over the top. Nicely soured with enough sweetness to work off each other. Thanks for the bottle Paul, this stuff is delicious!
08-19-2013 00:51:42 | More by joe1510
4.5/5 rDev +1.4%
750ml capped and corked bottle with a gold label that has the word "Brute" in a ancient Roman font. Flanking both sides of the name of the beer are Ancient Roman coins. Below the name is a description of the beer and a batch number in a rectangle. To the right of that is a paragraph that talks about the Excelsior series. Keep going to the right and you'll find the Government warning, correct glassware, and correct serving temp. This bottle was from batch E!010. I couldn't find a batch number listing, but I have a feeling that its from 2009/2010.
A Great Lakes Snifter was my choice for this beer. From behind the gold label came a hazy pure gold colored beer. There's gold in this beer! This beer was so hazy that I could only see the brief silhouette of my fingers on the other side of the glass. The head of foam was equally impressive as the beer's color. Up rose a tall 1 inch+ cloud white head of foam. This head of foam took its sweet time receding. It left behind a thin white film and quite a few clingy streaks of lace around the glass. Eye candy all the way!
The aroma was funky! Not a bad funky. It was a sour and tart funkiness. It was sour and tart with white grapes, green grapes, green apples and a little lemon and pineapple. As you can tell, it was the beer's fruitiness that kicked off the aroma. Following the fruits was a touch of oak. When the oak had its small amount of fun, the beer then finishes up with a nice semi sweet barnyard funkiness. It was an interesting and nice aroma. It was one of those aromas that my nose couldn't get enough of.
The taste was more sour and tart than it was funky. Like the aroma, it was the beer's tart fruits that kicked off the taste. I tasted tart green grapes, white grapes, a drop of green apples, and a splash of lemon. I detected a little oak after all the fruits. Since this beer wasn't aged IN oak, the oak couldn't control this beer. After all this, the beer then finished up with a slight barnyard funkiness. It would have been easier to write that this beer tasted like it smelled. That would have been too easy. I liked how the barnyard funk didn't completely take control of the taste. It was this beer's sour level that controlled this taste.
This was a light to medium bodied Wild Ale that had plenty of carbonation and nice sour and tart aftertaste. The aftertaste contained more sour and tart green grapes, white grapes, green apples, lemons, and a pinch of barnyard funkiness. Only the sour and tart fruits will linger on the roof of your mouth.
I see that age hasn't taken away any of this beer's sour and tartness. This is one of those beers that did a disappearing trick in front of my eyes. A little bit and a little bit there and before I knew it, the entire 750 was gone. Would I drink it again? I sure would if Ithaca ever decides to make it again.
08-12-2013 00:14:55 | More by AltBock
4.26/5 rDev -4.1%
Aggregate review from notes dated 12/19/10 and 4/16/2012.
Appearance: Cloudy with a solid bright gold color. Head is brigh-white with good retention. Tight bubble-structure kept alive by the lively carbonation. Nice streaks and splotches of lacing.
Smell: Tart with a distinct edge of brett. Funky with a mildly damp mustiness. Lemon zest and some very light pale malts. Nice layer of oak gives it some depth. Very light sweet amidst a vaguely lactic tartness.
Taste: Layers of funk and tart/sour. Gets a bit funkier as it warms, giving the brett some room to shine. Lactic tart edge coupled with some lemon zest and juice. A nice clean sour element. Malts are incredibly light and pale, adding a mild backing sweetness. Oak adds a nice layer, lending a woody/earthy element. Almost floral at times. Warms to a funky, slightly musty grass. Wheat sneaks through a bit.
Mouthfeel: Puckering up front, but gives way to a slightly crisp light bodied affair. Moderate carbonation keeps it lively, but not sparkling.
Overall: Et tu Brute.
You're not going to kill someone for this beer, but it would be tough. Gets better with age and has a nice soft complexity. Tart in all the right places with a bit more carbonation than other wilds.
08-09-2013 23:26:01 | More by Goblinmunkey7
4.25/5 rDev -4.3%
Thanks Dio for bringing this one down!
This pours a beautiful golden/yellow. The head on my pour was nearly perfect. Very foamy and attractive white that sat at the top of the glass and didn't disappear.
Smell was a fruity funky smell. I could tell right away I would like this beer.
In the taste, I get that brett taste that I smelled, along with many fruits. Very tart, but not too tart. Its easy to drink this one fast, its so pleasant and smooth.
08-01-2013 16:05:12 | More by davewlfpckfan29
Brute from Ithaca Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 793 ratings.