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Brute - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
BruteBrute

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

801 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 801
Reviews: 389
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 9.23%
Wants: 1,131
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: 801 | Reviews: 389 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GClarkage
4.1/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

06/07/09- Received in a trade with Younger35 and shared at a tasting.

Presentation- 750ml bottle. Not sure of a release date. Poured into my Orval chalice.

Appearance- Champagne-like looking pour with a smaller head and effervescent bubbles. Light yellow in color and ultra light lace spotting left behind.

Smell- A very nice brett aroma with sourness, some light urine and horse blanket notes. Tart fresh lemon rind as well.

Taste- All the flavors you would like in a wild ale (buckets of brett, tart lemon juice) but needs something to hold it totally together. Something was missing, but I'm not quite sure what it was.

Mouthfeel- Seems a touch watery with a sparkling wine carbonation mouthfeel. Good tart aftertaste.

Drinkability- A nice wild ale, but as stated above, missing something to make it to the top tier of wild ales.

GClarkage, Jun 15, 2009
Photo of emerge077
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to beertooth for sharing this, review is from notes. Batch E!010

Pale and hazy unfiltered visibility, lemony apricot color, solid head of lasting foam. Initial aroma of wet stone and minerals, soft wheat and mild "clean" horseblanket. The funk is restrained and well incorporated. Fruity sweet & sour interplay, nice contrast, elements of white grape and peach pit. Champagne effervescence that scrubs the palate. Body is light, very quenching and clean.

The clean lactic sourness and funk character was similar to a Berliner Weisse and Calabaza Blanca. The slight grape sweetness really added a nice contrast to balance the sourness. Good stuff.

emerge077, Jun 13, 2009
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.85/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, batch E!010. Pours a hazy light yellow with a thick, bubbly white head. Aroma of light tartness, wheat malt, sour grapes, grapefruit, bitter hops, and a hint of barnyard funk. Most reminiscent of JP Bam Biere to me. Flavor is initially quite tart and sweet with lots of sugar candy notes and wheaty malt. Not very acidic, but certainly sour and tart. Very champagne-like too. This one grew on me a bit--very nice.

LilBeerDoctor, Jun 09, 2009
Photo of Overlord
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to JCB!

Pours a golden yellow, with maybe the faintest hint of orange. Huge white foam head that fills the glass and basically looks like a champagne head. Ridiculous foam on every pour. Nice to see some brewers still carbonate their beer!

Smell is a clean, tight horseblanket aroma with hints of lemon, vinegar, and a surprising wheat/citrus/tropical fruit (cantaloupe?) overtone.

The beer is as dry as the Sahara. You'll feel like having some water between your sips. No sweetness whatsoever to be found. Somewhat disappointingly, the complex nose doesn't carry through. This is a razor sharp, one-note flavor on display. Sour apple, pungent lemon, and a vinous note merge into a very harmonious, but also very focused, taste. Typically with a beer of this quality, I'll discover a different nuance throughout the tasting. Not this time. The beer basically "is what it is."

Love the mouthfeel. At first I thought "too many bubbles," but this brew needs it. It really has the feel and taste of a dry white wine gone musty-sour, in a good way.

Overlord, Jun 07, 2009
Photo of craytonic
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: cloudy pale straw yellow-gold; huge champagne bubble head, nice lacing

Smell: Sour, with a bit of vinegar and lots of delicious brett and some chardonnay grape, peach, pear, apricot, pineapple, lemon, melon, tropical fruits, soft oak, fiji apple and honeydew aromas.

Taste: Deliciously sour with a touch of funk; not as much funk as others but I appreciate the soft nature of it in this one, goes well with the subtle wood and light carbonation. Perhaps not as complex as it could be is the only complaint.

Mouthfeel: Perfect creamy champagne carbonation and incredibly tart and bone dry. (5.0)

Drinkability: Light and delicious, I couldn't believe the bottle was empty (5.0)

craytonic, Jun 01, 2009
Photo of sonicdescent
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to twelvsies for this one!

Pours a great golden color with some really amazing carbonation and a nice foamy head.

Smell is of sour apples, brett, and barrel. Good.

Taste is..wow, this rivals a RR sour. Quite well balanced between the sour and sweet, definitely a bit more to the sour side, but nice no less. Apples makes another appearance as well as a vinous barrel taste. Very nice.

Mouth is thin and bubbly as it needs to be.

A world class sour.

sonicdescent, May 31, 2009
Photo of GbVDave
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a capped and corked 750ml bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet. Extra special thanks to Ineedabeerhere for the trade and hook-up!

Batch # E!010

A: Pours a hazy, bright, and glowing pale golden color that's capped with an incredibly creamy, bright-white, 1/2 finger head that leaves some thick ropes of lace behind. Carbonation is very active.

S: Tart and/or sour green apple and berry that's backed by a mildly funky aroma and snatches of vinegar. Tangy citrus also makes its' presence known. As it warmed I noticed aromas of pear and wildflowers.

T: Sour apple, lemon, berry, and vinegar in the forefront. Also in there are mildly funky Brett flavors as well faint flavors of grapes, and a slight woodyness.

M: Bracingly sour with an incredible dry tartness that plays on the tongue. Acidic and puckery without being at all obnoxious.

D: Excellent! I wasn't exactly sure what this beer was about, but I was sure it was going to be interesting, at the very least. A first class Wild Ale from the east coast...I'm really liking this!

GbVDave, May 28, 2009
Photo of brdc
4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks Israel for this one. Large capped and corked bottle, poured into a tulip.

Hazy, light golden color, with a voluminous, long lating, lace producing off white head. Very nice looking.
The aroma keeps up, and it leads the way with tartness, sourness, acidic notes, but also some sweet malts, fruity notes, and a little, just a little, funkiness.
A lot of carbonation makes this light bodied brew even more refreshing on a hot day. The funkiness is minimal, but there is a nice combination of acidity, tartness and sourness dominating the flavor. Oak is minimal, spicy notes are also just lightly in the background.
Funkiness is very subtle.
This is a very nice, refreshing beer, and I am glad I have more. It falls just short of outstanding.

brdc, May 25, 2009
Photo of SpruceFish
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thank to Knifesyles for the trade

A- very cloudy yellow white billowing head and a white lacing around the glass

S-tart funk horse blanket the funk is amazing i would think this is was gueuze if i didnt know the sour is very pronounced and lemon grass

T- wow so tart and funky i love it i feel like im drinking gueuze there is no vinegar to this at all so funky horse blanket all over the place this is the best American wild i have ever had the brett come this so nicely

M- perfect carbonation medium body

D- i think im going to drink this hole bottle soooo smooth

notes- i have to say this brings amrican sours to a hole new lever

SpruceFish, May 06, 2009
Photo of BARFLYB
4.85/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml corked bottle into a large wine glass. Batch 10 in the excelsior series. Thanks goes out to Goryskhewych for the bottle in a trade. I tried a sample of this in a bottle before and had it on tap, I just cant get enough of this stuff.

A- Taking out the cork. Brute pours a bright golden color with some spots of yellow. Brute has a cloudy appearance from all that was put into making it. A nice streamed pour yielded little to no head but what was there was white and fizzy. A nice golden color in sight. This is very gueze like in presense and looks great in the wine glass.

S- Sweet sour heaven. Not sweet in that sense but scents of barnyard and funk mixed with various types of yeast(champagne variety) making for a wonderful nose. Getting a lot of brett aroma's telling me this was expertly innoculated. Getting some citrus notes as brute opens up and does its thing. A great smelling beer to sum up.

T- I first had a 2oz sample of this a while ago and i've been searching for this since since it wowed me, and brute did it again. I simply am in awe over this and need more. A nice innoculated golden ale with funky brett and champagne yeast, what's not to love? The champagne yeast used really gives brute a face of it's own in an ever increasing sour market. Brute is funky with barnyard written all over it. Some earthy and floral qualitys with some sour green apple thrown in as well. Simple but elegant.

M- Crisp and very nicely carbonated. Brute has it all. A nice mouth puckering sourness that's not overkill, well at least not for me. This is very light bodied and has a good nice dry finish. This almost reminded me of wine sometimes and has a similar profile to temptation IMO. A great beer to pair with cheese, meat, lamb, whatever.

D- A low abv and a great taste make this an exceptional sour in my book. The mouthfeel is also to die for. I would drink a bottle of this to myself no problem and now that Brute is getting some distribution I very well may do that. I cant wait for the next batch. I will say this, Brute is my favorite east coast sour by far. Congratz Ithaca!

BARFLYB, Apr 29, 2009
Photo of francisweizen
3.53/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fiery golden
laced with brett
this beer is certainly a threat
sticky lace
fizzles thin
let the drinking begin

sour apples
tart and free
hints of other fruit
maybe cherry ?

Mouthfeel spritzy
taste is weak
not enough funk for this here freak

Drinkability is good
should you try this?
Yes you should
but it's certainly not the best
but for an American wild it passed the test

francisweizen, Apr 29, 2009
Photo of Gmann
3.88/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 750ml corked, capped, and foiled bottle. Pours a bright golden straw color with a soapy pure white head that dissipated into a light ring. The aroma is of dry champagne grapes and tart lemon concentrate. The taste is of lemon, unripe green apples, champagne, perhaps an unripen cherry as well. I don't pick up much in the way of malt or hops. The sour and tart characteristics hit me right in the back of the jaw. The feel is light and ultra fizzy; sour and tart all over the place. I don't have much experience with the style and its not one of my favorite styles. However, Ithaca seems to nail down the style. Very champagne like with a good punch of tartness. Clean and crisp.

Gmann, Apr 26, 2009
Photo of tendermorsel
4.63/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was lucky enough to score some of this wonderful beer on tap at Deep Ellum during craft brewers week.

Straw yellow colored with a fluffy long lasting head. Very sexy looking beer.

The smell was not as funky as I would have expected but it may have more to do with the crowded bar than the beer.

Wonderful sour flavor. A near prefect balance of lactic sourness and barnyard funk. Quite a pleasant finish and extremly drinkable.

This is an AWESOME sour. It would stand up to any American Wild Ales I have ever had. I have a few bottles tucked away and can't wait to try the bottled verison with a few months on it.

Highly reccomended if you are down with the funk

tendermorsel, Apr 24, 2009
Photo of gregc
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle

Pours a cloudy yellowish color with a nice white head.
Aroma hits you as you pour it. Nice sour lemon, brett funk, and i get a trace of the aged hops used in this beer.
Taste is wonderful, its full or brett and lacto funk, sour lemons, nice balance, and again i taste a small amount of the aged hops.
Beautiful carbonation, very champagne like. Very drinkable, this is up there on my favorite sour list.

gregc, Apr 23, 2009
Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a nice opaque bright yellow. huge white head. outstanding retention and lacing.

S: huge aroma of brett. massive sour notes. tons of citrus.

T: like sex in a glass for me. great sours and brett flavors. an amazing wild ale. great pale malt flavors with a ton of sour citrus. lemons.

M: mild body. huge carbonation level. nice tart mouthfeel. very clean and crisp.

paulthebeerguru, Apr 12, 2009
Photo of JohnQVegas
4.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle into red wine glass.

Pours a a light, orangey-gold, warm glow, cloudy with lots of effervescence. 3-finger fluffy white head that recedes into a dense white cap, which eventually thins into a soapy white layer. Sticks to the walls of the glass nicely.

Poured straight out of the fridge, but allowed to warm quite a bit before tasting.

At cellar temp or a bit below:

Nose comes through with green apple skins, some mellow but vivid earthy barnyard funk, hints of tropical fruits, vanilla, and bright citrus. Maybe a bit of white grape skins in there as well. So clean and well balanced though, while still holding on to just enough beautiful musty earthiness from the brett.

Taste is beautifully crisp, tart, dry up front, big explosion of sharp carbonation still can't hide the lemon and green apple notes entirely. The flavors explode around mid palate - again, lemony citrus and green apple are front and center, quite sour, with a lingering finish that's clean and crisp, yet still carries with it a hint of the earthy funk. There's a subtle cidery apple presence on the finish that is fantastic. The flavors are so snappy, they just seem to pop.

Edit: the very last glass was, I think, just a bit warm for this particular beer, and the earthy barnyard really came alive in it, with a bit of wet leather coming out as well. Green apple recedes, lemony citrus sourness remains. I preferred it just a hair cooler to get those amazing fruit notes, but even now, the beer is spectacular.

Mouthfeel is light and sparkling - effervescent and spritzy. Big champagne-like carbonation over a light, refreshing body.

God, I can't wait for the next batch of this beast to be released. Spectacular.

JohnQVegas, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of DrDogbeer
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely stoked to see this on the shelves of the local store last week. Had it at a tasting last year courtesy of Warriorsoul, but this is based on the bottle I had all to myself last week :-)

Poured onto a dogfish snifter- pours a straw yellow with a champagne-like white bubbly head. Tons of fun funk in the aroma. I got some chardonnay, sour fruits, funk and a bit of oak to boot. Love the golden sour ales- I dig on the whole white wine-like taste and this is what you get here. SOme sour apple and vinegar, but it is not overpowering. Great lively, fizzy mouthfeel. Dry finish. Definitely puckered up by the end of this one, but extremely drinkable. Love this beer!

DrDogbeer, Apr 07, 2009
Photo of calise1122
4.7/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Was so excited to hear that a local store received a couple cases... I changed my plans instantly, headed down and loaded up. What a beautiful Spring Sunday and what a perfect beer to enjoy it with. Top it off that I just bottled my first batch of homebrew and it came out not just drinkable, but actually tasty!

I throw on shuffle all, and Stevie Wonder guides the way with Black Man from Songs in the Key of Life... and away we go.

As I watch it pour, it reminds me of the time I just crushed the heck out of green grapes... the color of the pour has that faintly green sort of hue to it as it finds the palm of the glass. But as the tart smelling juice spreads around the wine glass... it settles into a beautiful orangey golden color. Nice light head settles on top and caps off... leaving incredible lacing. It looks great, and as I attempt to use the Brute filled glass as a telescope, I realize that it is cloudy and thick and that the golden hue is deep and full and I can't see through it at all. And while this looks really really pretty... I can't dodge that sour amazing aroma.

My nose meets my hand and the glass halfway and I freeze... unable to move from this position because the smell is intoxicating. My fiancée walks in and gives me that look that I get when I geek out by myself with beer... you know the look... it's a mixture of confusion, doubt, humor all sewn together with respect and love... she shakes her head, laughs and walks out. I am still hunched over with my nose acting as a diving board on the rim of the glass. The brett is obvious, giving it that wet cat meets hockey equipment meets an old...

(Song change, Jeff Tweedy covering Dylan's "Simple Twist of Fate"... off the I'm Not There album... what a compilation)

...afghan blanket that has been tucked in the attic for to many years. The citric lemon, sour champagne smell is there as well... with a nice, fairly subtle but noticeable oak character. Man, that is a good smelling beer.

So, I have been into sours for a while now... and I often find myself at a bar like say, the Tiger, with a good pal that likes good beer, just doesn't seek it out or really buy it. The other day I was there with a great buddy from Chicago and the lady. I order three beers, let him try them all and pick his favorite... in the mix we had a sour. He decided to go with the Aventinus, thinking on first sip the sour was to much. A few minutes later he asked for another sip, then another... and after essentially drinking my entire beer explained; "it's like Tabasco... Not necessarily the taste I expect to want or like, but the more you have the more you need". I can't help but think that sums it up for me. I need it, and once I get that initial brett/sour taste I need more quick. Brute is incredibly dry and tart, leaving your mouth pleading for more...

(Song change, Lykke Li, "Complaint Department". Saw her a few months back and she was captivating, if you get the chance check her out)

...Citric, sour, lemon, orange, all under the umbrella of Brett and his manly mustiness... giving it that funk. Sour apple is really dominating at first, but it those other fruits start to poke their heads out more as it warms.

Brute is extremely carbonated giving it a great mouthfeel... reminds me of Cuvee de Castleton in its medium body, dry finish, yet incredibly full of carbination. It's the type of beer I could swish around my mouth for hours (or minutes, maybe a couple seconds)

Very...

(Song Change, now we get the real thing... Dylan, off of Blonde on Blonde, "I want you". Great song "The drunken politicians, leaps upon the street where mothers weep, and the saviors who are fast asleep... they wait for you.")

... very drinkable. It is so dry that it takes some resistance to slow down and enjoy each sip.

Overall, great, great beer. Ran into the brewer at a CL beer dinner and he said that he, at first, didn't think it was that good. It took his customers to let him know how damn good it was to start and feel confident behind it. Great offering, great beer, great Sunday

calise1122, Apr 05, 2009
Photo of Risser09
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.

Risser09, Apr 03, 2009
Photo of Floydster
4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml corked and caged bottle brought to the SeaO'Floydster tasting by Dr. Bill, thanks for joining us and supplying this wild ale, reviewed from notes, poured into my Rader snifter

A-Golden yellow color with some orange tint, 3/4 inch bubbly white head, fizzes away pretty quickly but does leave a white ring, good legs
S-Lots of citrus including lemon, grapefruit, orange, and tangerine, also mild hops, sweet yeast, apricot, tart, and oak
T-Starts off with a big citric acid flavor, tons of fruit in the middle, very dry finish with oak and sour apples, this has a big yeast presence and a nice tarty profile, fruit tastes more tropical as it warms, nice balance and continued changes in taste
M-Dry, tarty, fruity, and citrusy mouthfeel, medium bodied, lots and lots of carbonation, taste lingered a long time because the dryness in the aftertaste
D-Could drink this big bottle myself, fairly light in alcohol and not overly sour or sweet, can be refreshing and prefer this colder and more crisp

First beer from Ithaca and glad this was it, nice introduction to their brewery, this beer is a lot like champagne in ways, wish I had some to put down in the cellar and see how it evolves, recommended

Floydster, Apr 02, 2009
Photo of twelvsies
4.03/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really glad to see more American brewers doing these kinds of beers. And doing them well. This is a real handsome brew - golden bubbly hazy yellow, I love the way the head just fluffs up after the pour, and holds up strong. Full of brett and oak in the nose, a bit of a soft creamyness as well. Approachably sour at first, giving way to a nice profile of lemon and crab apple, with a bit of old mustyness. So crisp. I don't believe this is what the brewer was going for, but I could stand to see a bit more of a malt backbone to fill this beer out, but as is this beer is incredibly light and refreshing. This is the perfect beer to introduce people to sour ales or lambics. It's got enough of the funk to keep those in the know interested, yet it isn't too sour or brash to really challenge an uninitiated palate. This beer makes you say "Ahh".... and smile.

twelvsies, Mar 30, 2009
Photo of Shaggy9356
4.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch# E!010
Nice glowing cloudy orange color with 1 cm ring of foam clinging around the edge of my Portsmouth tulip. Smell is brett funkiness and citrus... yum! Crisp with sourness upfront, followed by some lemon lime citrus, a gorgeous clean, dry finish. The carbonation level is maybe a little high, but works for the champagne characteristics. This beer can be enjoyed right away, now sure aging would help this one but would like to try it a year later anyway. Overall an absolute beauty from Ithaca. The best they've put out to date in my opinion and one that can hold its own against any wild sour.

Shaggy9356, Mar 29, 2009
Photo of Hojaminbag
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A light orangey color that is very hazy. Big creamy head comes without even a very vigorous pour. Retention is good and some sheets of lacing are left to hang around.

Smell is nice. A ton of light fruits like apricots and even peaches are noticeable, along with a bite of sourness and some oak notes.

Taste is surprisingly more sour than sweet. The fruit from the nose is almost non existant and is instead replaced by a good dose of sourness. An ok, woody flavor comes through in the finish. A pretty solid beer, not overly complex but certainly tasty.

Mouthfeel is rather good. Extremely dry and somewhat creamy in thickness. That is until it slides across your tongue and the ramped up carbonation turns Brute into fizz.

This one is really drinkable and a good beer overall. I'd sampled this a few times and was happy to jump on buying the bottle when I ran into it.

Hojaminbag, Mar 22, 2009
Photo of IBUnit63
4.38/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

IBUnit63, Mar 22, 2009
Photo of flexabull
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of charlesw, thanks again!

I'm been curious about this one for a while now. I feel that the best American Sours are made in Northern California by Vinnie at Russian Russian, let's see how a sour from upstate New York compares. This one certainly has some great scores on here.

Pours a bright and cloudy gold color. With a very big white head. It has some floaters, but it really has a nice glow to it.

Bright sour aromas. Lots of lemon, grasses, apples, pears, and really light vinegar. This one has some funk, but also has some pleasant sour fruit notes too.

Taste is very clean and crisp. Light green apple flavors, puckering lemon, and a dry mineral like bite on the finish. Sourness and brett is present, but subdued much more than I thought it would be. It adds a nice funky light vinegar backdrop, it's there, but certainly not up in your face. In a strange sort of way, this kind of reminds me of a wit beer that is brewed with brett.

Mouthfeel is good, could use a little more depth on the finish, but it's not bad at all.

Wow, I am impressed. This is a very drinkable sour. Nice sour flavors, but not over the top. Kind of reminds me of Sanctification Jr. Good stuff, and kudos Ithaca, this is a very nice interpretation of the style.

flexabull, Mar 21, 2009
Brute from Ithaca Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 801 ratings.