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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: 1,135
Gots: 143 | 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 brownbeer
brownbeer

Missouri

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

Pale golden with a big white head and lots of bubbles. Looks a little like Champagne.

Funky nose, as expected, white peach, sweat, and leather to boot. The aroma of a great American Wild.

Flavors of under-ripe peach and white grapes, great fruit to sour balance. CO2 effervescence and a super dry finish make it a very Champange-like experience. More? Yes, please.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2010 00:41:28 | More by brownbeer
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 ricke
ricke

Sweden

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

Thanks to brewdan for this one.

Batch 1.

Hazy pale yellow with a big rocky white head. Good head retention.

The aroma is quite mild and light with a wheaty tart character. Notes of brett, barrel and sweet lemon peel, and hints of unripe bananas. Balanced smell.

The taste is more interesting, though, and more eventful. Nice sweet fruity character up front with some malts shining through. Then, a quite prominent tartness develops with notes of barrel and brett. The finish is dry and effervescent with tart fruity notes. All in all, lovely development of the flavors and aromas in the mouth.

The body is light and the carbonation is very lively. Dry mouthfeel but with some residual smooth sweetness.

Interesting and well done. Nice sparkling character, but gets repetitive after a while.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2010 22:33:39 | More by ricke
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Long time want, great great beer. Did not disappoint. I will be seeking this beer out in greater quantities.

Beer is straw yellow and hazy. Forms a thin white head with a lot of lacing on the glass.

The aroma is strong citric sour....beautiful.

Beer is medium to low bodied. Great sweetness followed by huge tartness. Woodsey, funky. There is a lot of carbonation in the mouth to carry that sour throughout. I love this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

02-22-2010 03:36:20 | More by drabmuh
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

4.63/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I drank this from a bottle into a tasting glass at EBF.

The beer pours a light murky gold with good retention and lacing on a white head...Aroma is light but its really nice. Funky start to finish, but its so nice and eniticing turns, me on to try...The taste again is nothing spectacular but its awesome funk start to finish...The feel is nice and this is a really drinkable sour...This was one of my highlights at EBF. I couldn't wait to try it and when I did, I had to go back for seconds. A really really really good wild ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2010 21:16:44 | More by jrallen34
Photo of projectflam86
projectflam86

Ohio

4.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch E!018

A- Pours a light golden color with a touch of orange. A large frothy foam head appears and leaves nice lacing.

S- I'm getting tons of light citrus and fruit aromas. Mostly orange, lemon, apple, and peach. A bit of funk and leather as well.

T- Huge tart splash of fruit with a mouth puckering sour finish. Loads of lemon zest, orange peel, and green apple throughout. The Brett character is quite present. A bit of earth, musty hops, and funk in the finish.

M- A touch thin with plenty of carbonation.

D- Overall a very nice sour but a bit taxing if you want to drink the whole bottle alone.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2010 04:44:01 | More by projectflam86
Photo of donkeyrunner
donkeyrunner

Massachusetts

3.18/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Foil + cap + cork ensures no one will open this beer accidentally. Runaway, bulbous white head. Hazy golden straw color. Great retention.

Smells slap your grandma sour: Lemon Heads candy, sweaty penny, and tortilla chip aroma. Doesn't taste as sour as it smells. Lemon meringue (suggestive?) and corn notes.

A lot of times when I sample beers on the top 100 it's evident why it's there even if I don't like said beer. I'm at a loss with this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2010 19:14:55 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of rfgetz
rfgetz

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, pale straw color with full, large bubbled white head. Decent retention and no lacing. Smell is a light blend of straw, white grape, sour apple and a tart sourness. Taste mimics smell but is a little more agressive and brings hints of oak. Body is medium but very spritzy due to the champage yeasts. Fantastic brew, while the flavors are not the most complex, this is one of the best overall blends of simple ingredients in a wild ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2010 16:24:18 | More by rfgetz
Photo of PerzentRizen
PerzentRizen

Mississippi

3.8/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

I finally got a chance to try Brute. Now I'm not a sour nut, but this one is very good. Light and spritzy on the tongue. Tangy flavors but not overpowering. The color is golden with a stark white head. This one has high carbonation, low alcohol and is fairly dry.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2010 01:11:30 | More by PerzentRizen
Photo of ThaBobfather
ThaBobfather

Ohio

4.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasting notes from Formal in Fratlinburg, TN

Pours a nearly neon golden-yellow color with a decent topping of bleached white foamy head.
Smell is highly acrid with some citrus hints-like opening a pickle jar.
Taste lives up to the name-this is a brute- flavor profile is offensively acidic with a sour patch kids taste.
Finish is not clean with a solid citrus-sour after-bite.
Drinks well-flavor will hang up lesser men especially at this ABV.

*Fiance hated it*

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2010 17:06:19 | More by ThaBobfather
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Batch 1 courtesy of imperialking and opened to share at the PtY release on 2/5/10.

A: The pour is a cloudy light golden straw color with a fluffy white head.

S: The nose is not terribly complex nor funky, but has a very nice amount of lactic tartness. This provides a refreshing citrus and white grape aroma which I find very pleasing in wild ales. There is a slight touch of oak and Brett, to keep things in check.

T: This is not a terribly "funky" beer, but that does not bother me. The lemon, green apple, and grape notes go quite well with the dry and tannic feel of the beer from the wood and the Brett.

M: The body is a bit on the light side with a very high level of carbonation and a dry finish. The champagne yeast definitely provides a little something different here.

D: I've heard mixed reviews of this beer, but I found Batch 1 to be quite delicious at this point. I have a bottle of Batch 2 which I will be saving for some time as it appears this one gets better with age.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2010 18:59:42 | More by womencantsail
Photo of scootny
scootny

New York

4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2010 02:19:25 | More by scootny
Photo of Katahdin
Katahdin

Pennsylvania

3.8/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An interesting beer that belies its small ABV. Definitely seesm much bigger. Has a heavy citrus aroma on the pour and a tangy taste to it. The oak aging is tough to discern in the taste or the feel but one can definitely taste the champagne yeast. Very chewy at times, probably from the corn and malt. Compares to Otter Creek's Quercus but not as good of a beer as that.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2010 17:06:17 | More by Katahdin
Photo of tpd975
tpd975

Florida

4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a cloudy pale shade of yellow. The head is nice, tall, and puffy. Shows good retention and lace.

S: Nice lemon grass type aromas. Very citric, with light oak, and brett.

T: Lemony up front, nice acid tartness. The Brett is there along with light oak and green apple.

M: Very light, very bubbly.

D: Very good, I really dig the Ithaca sours.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2010 23:50:12 | More by tpd975
Photo of thekevlarkid
thekevlarkid

Maryland

4.1/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Out of a lovely, gold-labeled bottle, (batch E!018) this beer was a murky, golden hue with a thin white head. The collar was quite thin and the lacing in spots. The aroma was what I will describe as "fun", candy-like sweetness, fruity yeast, lemon and green apples similar to a jolly rancher candy. The flavors were tart and appropriate for the style with out being puckering. Though dominated by citrus notes, grapefruit and orange zest, there were hints of crystal malt in the background along with some wood. Tart, tart, tart but refreshing. The acidity was very high which made sense given the flavors but definitely took away from its drinkability. The mouthfeel was ok but slick no doubt due to the varieties of citrus-inducing hops, the body medium and the carbonation the same.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2010 23:18:48 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of Popkas
Popkas

Colorado

4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
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".

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2010 02:28:04 | More by Popkas
Photo of Jmoore50
Jmoore50

Nevada

4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Batch E!018

The appearance is yellow with a one finger crisp white head. The carbonation is strong enough to kill the head and produce a coca cola like fizz. No lacing.

The smell is good, lemon tart and grass. Does not smell sour, just really sweet and a bit tart.

I was really blown away with how tasty this thing was. It is not very complex, it is a very drinkable Wild. There is a huge lemony tart aspect that is the main flavor. There is a bit of oak, some peach skins, orange or citrus rind, and a bit of gym sock sourness. This is really tasty.

The mouthfeel is good, but not sour and acidic. I like them offensive and brutal, but this one is fun. I finished the bottle fairly fast. I am very glad this one turned out to be a winner.

J

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2010 05:38:29 | More by Jmoore50
Photo of Casey10
Casey10

Maine

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

Picked this up at winchester wine and liquiors a couple of months ago and actually drank on New Years and New Years Day as had this before and after midnight.

A - Hazy golden yellow wispy head really nice.

S - Sour funk definate champaign notes.

T - Again taste sour really more like a champaign then a beer but understand the difference.

M - Gives that puckering sour feel that is amazing for a great beer like this !!

D - I had had this a the Belgian Beer Fest back in October, I had sat on this bottle for a bit before opening it, it is really nice but can't rate higher because of the specialty of it.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2010 04:06:14 | More by Casey10
Photo of mynie
mynie

Indiana

4.9/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Saison yellow, hazy and effervescent. Decent head, pretty and gold.

Smells like beer yeast and sour candy. That's almost too simple an explanation for something that seems so alive. Like, if your son took his first steps and all you said in response was "Timmy is taking his first steps." It's technically accurate, yes, but doesn't capture it. Well--hrm... pretend I used a bunch of exclamation marks in this paragraph.

Tastes like yeast, real lemon juice, candy lemon flavoring, and the aftertaste of moderately sweet champagne. Again, add exclamations.

I'd say this is well balanced, but there's nothing really there that counteracts the sweetness. This is simply sweet at the exactly perfect intensity, backed up by just enough yeasty berriness to make it interesting from start to finish.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2010 02:58:37 | More by mynie
Photo of HopStoopid120
HopStoopid120

Connecticut

4.93/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch E!018 (Batch 2)

Brute pours an insane golden orange, that is cloudy, almost to the point of being opaque at first. There is an enormous white billowing head, that consumes nearly half of my glass. The head consists of large vigorous bubbles, due to the rapid carbonation racing from the bottom of the glass. The head recedes to thin ring around the edge of my glass, and there is no lacing.

Citrus. Lemon (zest), some funky (almost must like) aromas just leap from the glass. Vinegar is also present, but in a very appealing way. I am actually aware of most of the scents before even pouring this beer... from the second I pullled the cork, my nose was very aware of the magic inside of this bottle.

Sour, tart and funky, but not overdone by any means. A pucker is forced out of me but not to the point of pain (which I have found in some other wilds). There is a lot of citrusy fruits going on in here as well, and even a very faint sweetness, think the scent but more. Brute drinks dry, almost like a champagne (due to champagne yeast, probably) and with every sip, I cannot wait to take another.

The mouthfeel is around medium and perfect for the style. This beer probably has the most perfect carbonation. The bubbles just roll all over my mouth. It's awesome.

I could drink Brute every day. It is almost too easy to put back a 750 by myself.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2010 14:23:19 | More by HopStoopid120
Photo of bulletrain76
bulletrain76

California

3.9/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

75cl bottle courtesy of illidurit. Hazy yellow with a big white head. Funky brett and sour aroma with a fresh yeast touch and light oak. The flavor is sour and relatively clean, but the acidity is somewhat subdued. Dry crackery malt adds some complexity. Light-medium body with higher carbonation. Good but a pretty indistinctive sour ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2010 05:06:03 | More by bulletrain76
Photo of alcstradamus
alcstradamus

Washington

4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Extremely careful pour still engulfs the glass with 4 fingers of head that camps out forever and leaves thick lacing. Murky golden straw color with some effervescent bubbles rising to the top.

Smell is faintly tart grapes, orange peel, tangerine, pineapple, a little sour twang, and traces of Brett.

The taste is an absolutely wonderful blast of citric fruit up front. Pineapple galore, brett funk, oranges, apples, lots of pear, white grapes. Sourness is fairly subdued but still noticeable mid palate. Not quite puckering, but still enough to add another flavor dimension. The taste of this beer is absolutely phenomenal, there is really no better way to describe it.

Mouthfeel is light with a truckload of prickly carbonation. Fairly normal for the style, but I would have a bit less prickle in a perfect world.

Drinkability is off the charts here. I almost want to chug this, and that is a rare occurance for a sour beer. The citrus component of this beer is insanely complex, and the subdued levels of funk and sourness may disappoint some people but I personally feel they are at perfectly fine for what this beer is trying to be. Bravo to Ithaca, I regret not trying this beer sooner.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2010 04:58:45 | More by alcstradamus
Photo of illidurit
illidurit

California

4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle courtesy kmurray. Pours a hazy light gold color with a creamy white head, displaying good retention for a sour. Aroma is sweet and pastry-like, lemon meringue, white wine grapes, a touch of bretty chlorine. Flavor is lemons, chardonnay, lacto, vanilla. Moderately acidic and sour. Not a super harsh sour, pretty drinkable. Comparable to Duck Duck Gooze.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2010 23:04:40 | More by illidurit
Photo of prototypic
prototypic

Ohio

4.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to csmiley for the bottle. You're generous dood and I appreciate it.

Batch E!OIO

Brute pours a light gold color. It's very clearly and is a very bright shade of gold with light behind it. Active carbonation yields a huge, fluffy white head. It's easily over three fingers tall. It was very slow to recede. Thick chunks of lace line the glass as it descends.

The nose kicks off with a very musky, earthy scent. It's a little barnyardish and funky, but not to an offensive degree. Frankly, it's probably moderate on the Brett intensity scale. That suits my preference nicely. It features some nice, light fruit notes. Lemon, apple, and pear are the most notable. There may be others present to a lesser extent. Yeast is subtle and light smelling. Alcohol is as good as absent. I'm not picking up any. This is a very nice smelling beer. The musky, earthy scents tend to overshadow some of its other fine notes. But, it's still very good. Just an observation.

The flavor really delivers in a special way. Everything comes together much better and creates an explosively delicious beer. Fruit flavors appear earlier. Lemon, apple, and pear are noted. They're a little sweet. They blend well with a distinct earthy, musky, and funky flavor. Again, the Brett impact is moderate and not overdone at all. Brute is exceptionally balanced in that respect. It's anchored down nicely with pale malts. Alcohol never really seems to be a factor. It's buried. I'm not getting any here either. It finishes musky, a little funky, and dry. I'm really impressed with the flavor. Ithaca did an excellent job.

Brute has a light body that graduates to light-medium with a little warming. It's nice and smooth. Active carbonation is slightly buzzy, but doesn't throw things too far off track. It has a good feel that's close to the next highest score. Drinkability is very high. It has an excellent flavor that keeps drawing you back. This 750 is going disappearing far too fast. At 7%, it's not too intimidating. I wish I had more.

Ithaca certainly deserves outstanding marks for Brute. It's a very nice addition to the Excelsior Series. It may well be the best of the bunch. The flavor is nothing short of delicious. Its balance is its strongest asset. The nose doesn't display quite how good it really is, but that's nitpicking. Brute is an excellent beer that should be sought out. Highly recommended. Thanks a ton, Chris.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2010 03:36:11 | More by prototypic
Photo of woosterbill
woosterbill

Connecticut

4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked bottle (batch E:018) into a Mad Elf tulip.

A: Slightly hazy yellow-gold body with greenish hints; 1.5" pillowy head of pure white foam. Fairly quick dissipation and minimal lacing.

S: Piquant aroma of sour apple and pear, funky Brett, and a round spiciness. Fresh, complex, and intriguing.

T: Light, sweet & sour fruitiness at first, with the funky barnyard Brett dominating the palate through the middle. A dry, crisp finish rounds things out nicely.

M: Fresh, light, and lively with a veritable explosion of fine effervescence. Perfect for the style.

D: Stays fresh and crisp throughout the 750, leaving me thirsty for more.

Notes: This is the first Wild Ale I've reviewed (and only the second I've tried), and I'm definitely seeing the reason for their popularity. Brute has a terrific balance of fruitiness, funkiness, and tartness, and was well worth the fairly hefty price tag. Great beer.

Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2010 05:13:22 | More by woosterbill
Brute from Ithaca Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 790 ratings.