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Brute - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
BruteBrute

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

802 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 802
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: 802 | Reviews: 389 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of jamie2dope
4.38/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank goodness we got a really awesome American made wild ale in here. Sometimes I think that we are lacking in this style around here. Poured in to a Duvel tulip a cloudy golden color, with not much more than a white laced heading. Plenty of lactic acid and lemon qualities in the nose. Almost reminds me of lemonade. Not so much funky as just sour. Taste is more of the same; citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges, vinegar, bits of sweetness pull through from time to time. Body is light, no alcohol can be detected as far as I can tell. Drinkability is superb if you are in to sours. It is actually a really refreshing drink. I don't want to say that this is a perfect wild sour beer, but it comes close to the top of the ones I have tried. One of the mosr remarkable beers I have had in a while. Cheers

jamie2dope, Mar 19, 2009
Photo of JonathanL7890
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle brought over to my house by BgThang last night. Thanks!
Batch E!010. Bottle was capped and corked with a new synthetic cork.

Poured into my New Belgium Globe with a huge foamy , more like soapy head.
Color was a bright yellow, very clear. Bubbles kept the head throughout the whole glass. A perfect beer to see the benefits of a laser etched glass.

Smell: A little funky, fruity, I get some malts and a touch of hops.

Taste: Wow. this is a flavor spectacular! Lots of fruit that becomes quite tart in the back of the tongue. Almost like a good Berliner Weiss but more complex than that.

Mouthfeel: good light mouthfeel. Maybe a bit gassy due to the high level of carbonation.

Drinkability: What a wonderful drinkable sour! I could put away several pints of this stuff.

Another excellent brew from Ithaca. The Excelsior series from these guys amazes me.

JonathanL7890, Mar 08, 2009
Photo of everetends
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.

everetends, Feb 18, 2009
Photo of deliriumfest
4.95/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Consumed on 1/17/09

750ml bottle

First of all, I'm going to have to agree with Mikesgroove and say that this is the best American sour I have had to date! Believe me, I bow down to my Russian River brews every time I see them reining over my beer closet but man this one was good. Poured a cloudy yellow/copper with not much head at all although if there were more I would have to say it would be nice and white. The aroma was plein de brett, brett et plus de brett. The taste was beautifully funky and citrusy. The mouthfeel was smooth - went down the hatch easy as pie thanks to the beautiful carbonation. The drinkability on this one is huge due to all its awesomeness and funkiness. I have to note that I brought this one to the Twin Cities January BA Gathering and it was the star of the show. I want to thank Ithaca for making this beer and I really hope they do it again in the future because I only have two bottles of this one left.

deliriumfest, Jan 27, 2009
Photo of drunkmonk
4.1/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to broha jjayjaye for the opportunity on this one!

Pours murky golden, with a thick effervescent
head. Vinous aromas of Grape, green apple skin, lemon peel, yeast, some brett funk and slight oak. Loads of tart sweet fruit on the tongue, lemon pepper, sour green apple and spices. Finish is very dry. Oak presence is very subtle and masked by the tart sweetness. I would have liked more oak barrell influence to play off some of the sweetness. This is a really nice sour and one to be shared with friends. If you are sourhead, this is a must try.

drunkmonk, Jan 17, 2009
Photo of mikesgroove
4.97/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best, if not the best American sour I have had. Simply amazing. 750ml bottle was served chilled and decanted into a pint glass. Consumed on 01/03/2009.

The pour was very nice. A rich golden amber with a light cloudiness to it that was very evident as soon as your poured it. Nice head of white reaches up to a height of around three inches before settling back down and leaving just a nice quarter inch layer across the top that stayed with it throughout the session, lots of carbonation streaming up as well throughout.

The aroma was to die for. Sour, tart fruit notes just ripping through the air. Not so heavy on the vinegar in the smell, more of a sour apple like nose with lots of funk. As it warmed like notes of oak coming through way in the back and a fresh grapefruit like hoppiness. The flavor was explosive. My tongue took a bath in rich sour notes here. Lotso f fruit all over the place, pears, apricot, lots of grapefruit, and then that funky brett just hits you and wipes it all away. Puckering, but yet subtle and sweet at the same time. Words escape me. The champagne yeast did a number here and the carbonation was light, fine, and absolutely spot on. I could not have asked for that to come off any better. Rediculously drinkable and just a privledge to drink, this is one of the best beers I have ever had.

Hands down, nothing else I can say to sell you on this one. I did not think this could have come off as good as it did. It was simply amazing. Please go get this if you can, and Beertruth, send me more!

mikesgroove, Jan 04, 2009
Photo of DefenCorps
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a bottle of this from israel, split with largadeer on day one of our epic tasting.

A: Hazy golden yellow with a massive white head made up of rather big bubbles. Great retention.

S: Grassy, hay-like funk with a sharp citric acidity. Mild green apple, almost salty. There's a mild floral honey-like note that balances things a bit but this is predominantly funky and awesome.

T: Opens up with a lot of funk - barnyard, hay, grass, lemon zest and a wonderful, refreshing tartness that really cleans and rejuvenates the palate. Crisp and clean with lemon-like sourness with great acidity. Finishes dry with a pleasant lemon-zest flavor that I love

M: Light, crisp, great finish. Great balance between sourness, acidity and funk

D: Ridiculously drinkable!

**Edit 17 Dec 2011**

I've been fortunate to have all the batches of this beer so far, and it seems like Ithaca's only growing stronger. This is batch 4 (or E!037, as it's called), received from Alex. Thank you, man!

A clear golden orange with a dense, white head with excellent retention, this is a very nice looking beer. The nose is a wonderful expression of Brett. Plenty of clove with a little plastic, some tropical fruit and just plain wildness, this is rather rustic and refreshing. A surprising honeydew melon and honey-like sweetness are present as well. A mild acidity is also present, with some lactic acid and grapefruit zest-like citrus character. The palate opens with a very pleasing lactic sourness, lip-smacking good and with a moderate citrus pith-like sourness. No real acetic character is present, though the Brett character is intense with a blend of clove, plastic phenols and wet hay. A mild sweetness is present with a blend of honey and fruit, before a lactic finish with some Brett phenols take over. No real oak character is present, though some grainy, husky tannins are discernible. Excellent stuff, and while my original scores might be generous (I'd drop the taste to a 4), I'll let it slide for now.

As an aside, I do wish that they'd let a barrel or two age for 2-3 years, as I can imagine this would make a wonderful transition from a jonge lambic-like character (that is currently present) to a nice oude lambic of some sort.

**Edit 28 June 2013**
Batch 2 (E!017). Happy birthday, Mark!

This has aged quite nicely. Earthy and citrusy brightness, grassy and hay-like funk, a touch of acetone, quite nice. The palate is better with a blend of lactic and lemony sourness, a touch of earth. Funk is modest, and mostly grassy/hay like with a touch of mushrooms. The acetone character has increased with age, but is still wholly pleasant. A touch vinous/musky. Solid. 4/4/4

DefenCorps, Jan 02, 2009
Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml kindly shared by dyan. Batch 1.

Appearance: Hazed gold with a great big white head, excellent retention and tons of lace.

Smell: Salty, sweaty, footy funk. Brett has done wonders to this one. Lemon, hay, farmyard, and the faintest hint of burnt rubber. No sweetness is present whatsoever - this one's all funk.

Taste & mouthfeel: Lemony sourness and loads of yeasty funk. Moderately acidic with great balancing dryness in the finish. Nice light crisp body, remarkably easy to drink.

largadeer, Jan 01, 2009
Photo of antilogic
4.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First off -- this is a great beer. I pop'ed a 750ml bottle (!E010) of Brute to celebrate finishing the GMATs. Nice to see the brew co from my old college town really turning up the quality on beers. It's great to see a $15 beer that gives the $20-30 JP,RR, LA sours a run for their money.

Color was cloudy gold with a white thin head. Aroma was slightly funky/sour with a nice mix of fruit and floral. Taste is definite sour, with some sweet with a hint of wine or mead (honey). Non-overpowering sourness, maybe apple. This beer is dangerously drinkable. I'm going to do my best to get a few bottles of this when I'm on the east coast this winter.

Recommended!

antilogic, Dec 09, 2008
Photo of Haybeerman
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Lightly clouded deep gold color. Poured a coarse white 2 finger head that dissipated quickly to a skim thickened at the edges. Thin, inconsistent lacing. Decanted continually.

S: Sweet, floral and fruity; reminded me of some white wines. There is a deep bread and honey sweetness that dies with a pungent yeast funk.

T: Bread and honey sweetness. Green apple and grape sourness puntuate the middle. Other light-colored fruit flavors come through (like peach, pear) with a subtle sourness as well. Finishes with champagne and a lingering wild yeast funk.

M: Light body. Ample carbonation. Smooth and dry.

D: My personal bias, I like the style in small doses so I would not normally rate it as highly drinkable. That said, its really classic in smell, taste and mouthfeel and a very good beer for the style so I'm rating the 4.5 based on that along with the way IBC did a nice job on the balance.

Haybeerman, Dec 06, 2008
Photo of younger35
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this brew from the ever famous BeerTruth. I've been sitting on this one for way to long and can't wait to try it. Drank from my Ithaca Excelsior tulip while watching the Broncos vs. Jets.

Batch# E!010

Appearance- Pours a very hazy light yellow with a huge 2 finger fluffy white head that seems to last forever. The head never really falls below one finger as that cap leaves loads of frothy lacing.
Smell- Lightly fruity from the start with a lightly sweet, very melon like nose. Cantaloupe, honeydew, and maybe even a tinge of banana smell absolutely wonderful. Not as sour smelling as I was expecting but definitely light tinges of apple cider vinegar and earthy funk. The oak and vanilla really open up as the beer warms and maybe gets a hint sourer in the nose.
Taste- Whoa! Way more sour than the nose led me to believe! Bone dry and not all that fruity it has way more rice wine vinegar than melon fruitiness. Quenching and pleasing as a bit of green apple and white grape does show slightly as the beer warms. More wine than beer at times but none-the-less, delicious. Finishes with a light lingering vanilla woodiness that is my favorite part of these barrel aged sours. The aftertaste tastes EXACTLY like Russian Rivers Temptation.
Mouthfeel- Medium body that's very crisp and clean with sharp vibrant carbonation that would give any bottle of Champaign a run for the money. Very dry and quenching.
Drinkability- The first sip of this brew was fairly puckering but I acclimated quickly. I'm nearly finished with the bottle and I'm almost done with my review. The subtle oak and extreme dryness are really nice and make this an exceptionally easy drinking brew. Perhaps the easiest drinking Wild Ale I've tried. Big, HUGE thanks to Adam for sharing!

younger35, Nov 30, 2008
Photo of drseamus
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice light straw body with a touch of white head. Good carbonation.

S: Light appley fruit on the nose. Somewhat typical for a wild ale.

T: Very light and restrained but with noticeable brett. A touch of dustiness but with great tartness.

M: Very light with not much body added by the tartness.

D: All day baby...very drinkable.

drseamus, Nov 05, 2008
Photo of number1bum
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks as always to BeerTruth for this goodie from Ithaca.

Pours a slightly hazed golden color with a fizzy two plus inches of white head. Although it's on the fizzy side it does keep a very full, yet thin lace, and leaves a bit of stick.

The second I popped the cork out of this one I could smell the sour. I've had a handful of Wild Ales as of late and this is probably the most sour nose I've experienced. There's a lot more than just fruit going on, though; lemon zest, bready grain, a bit of sweetness even, some pepper, oak and a hint of vanilla.

The taste also starts off sour, with fruity lemon tartness especially. The nose had some sweetness but there really isn't any residual sweetness in the taste. There is some black pepper, as well. Gets very dry through the finish, with a cracker sort of dryness lingering in the mouth. Not as much oak in the taste as there is in the smell, which is too bad because it was really nice in the aroma.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with ample carbonation but also a light creaminess. It's quite dry through the finish.

As sours go this is a really good one that is quite drinkable. Really prominent sourness in both aroma and taste. Awesome job here by Ithaca.

number1bum, Oct 27, 2008
Photo of lightindarkness
4.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Lum for this bottle!

750mL capped and corked, 7% alcohol

A - Pours a full, frothy, tiny-bubbled, white, three finger cap over a hazy hay-yellow body.

N- Smells tart and sour, with tons of bretty hay and barnyard, crisp and clean. Dry oaky wood over tart crisp green grape skins, underripe pear and melon. A little grainy background, all very nicely blended.

T - Whoa, sour punch up front that quickly fades into a very interestingly balanced body that smoothes out nicely. Hay and tart horse stall funkiness start somewhat sharp and then ease into citric acid, blending further into a nice full stale grain flavor at the finish, still highlighting plenty of brett. Throughout the sip are notes of lemon zest, melon rind, honey, and crisp yellow apple, all wrapped up nicely by a bright tannic oak flavor. Combination of brett and champaign yeasts serve to create a very crisp clean flavor with nice depth and complexity.

F - Lighter medium body comes across as being very light from the tight crisp champaign bubbles and a dry clean mouthfeel.

D - Simply put, I could drink a lot of this. It's refreshing, satisfying, smooth, crisp, light, full, and extremely tasty all at the same time. I'm sure I've had better beers than this (maybe), but few that were this easy to drink.

lightindarkness, Oct 25, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was thinking hey I'll wait until tomorrow to try this one. Ha! Who am I kidding. I want some wild, dammit.

Pours a clouded yellow with a thicker creme head that falls fairly quickly. As I poured I took a whiff and when the Bret hit my nose I almost had an orgasm. Almost. Tart dryness really grabs the nose as well. God I love this style. Flavor is sour and dry. Hits the palate and fades, but leaves a lasting impression and a quite tolerable aftertaste. Sour is well balanced (in it's own way of course.) I even feel like I an getting some vanilla on the mix here. Feel is higher in carbonation and the liquid is a bit thick.

Ahhhh. That is just so good. I really wish more wild ales were available. I had planned to trade all my extras away of this (besides the two I have set aside already to pass on). But after trading and giving away all my Cuvee de Castleton this year, you'll have to really kiss up to me (or trade me an Isabelle, Cuvee de Tomme, Ichabod, Fifth Element, Upland lambic, etc., etc.) to get this out of my sour fingers. I just love this style. And this is another fine example of why.

Crazy love to charlesw for the hookup on this. Thanks a million man!!

RblWthACoz, Oct 19, 2008
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to the one and only Buffalo Brute, Sir Lum.

Beautiful golden bottle for a beautiful golden sour. Capped and corked with some new futuristic super processed rubber cork goo.

Pours a nice looking quite cloudy yellow/light orange with a fizzy stark white head. head fizzles to a ring quickly and lacing is minimal, but this is a sour were talking about here.

Nose is an indication of a quality sour right off the bat here with some fresh apple, crabapple, and tart lemon zest, brett is quite evident with some horseblanket here.

Taste follows the nose, almost to a T. Starts right off the bat with a tart apple and crabapple jolt. Very crisp. Horse blanket and brett flavor come roiling out half way through the taste. A slight sweetness, and more tart apple through the middle, slight tart lemony crispness, just before the real mouth puckering sourness kicks in. Some slight peach in here as well. A nice sour one with good pucker effect, however a bit less sour than your average RR, similar sour profile to Cuvee de castleton, in fact i think they are quite comparable. Apple and horse linger on the very dry finish.

Mouthfeel is unique on this one as it is slightly (very) more carbonated than your average american sour, but the carbonation is very soft. Noticeably bigger, but softly so. Hard to explain. Makes the "Champagne yeasts" on the label stick out a little more. Mouthfeel is quality here.

Drinkability is very very nice on this one. The slight added carbonation makes it quite nice. A more gentle sour, than your balls out beatification types, but very very good in flavor, and make no mistake, this is a sour beer.

Overall, this beer is quite impressive. TEN turned my eyes toward Ithaca and Brute has reassured this confidence in the Excelsior! series. Love the tart apple effect in here. A very tasty sour. Make no mistake, this is in the top quality sours made on this side of the pond. A very well crafted beer. Certainly one of my new favorite wild ales. Thanks again to the original Greybush. NOBODY! circles the wagon like Lum.

Edit: Batch 2 is quite similar, but there is a significantly greater awesome green apple presence in the nose especially but also in the taste, a bit more lemon zest as well. Also inspired me to increase the mouthfeel to 4.5. This is one amazing beer folks. If you get the opportunity to get ahold of one, DO NOT let it slip away. A true gem.

AKBelgianBeast, Oct 19, 2008
Photo of Reino
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
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?

Reino, Oct 03, 2008
Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

barleywinebrewer, Sep 23, 2008
Photo of aerozeppl
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

aerozeppl, Sep 10, 2008
Photo of cvstrickland
4.38/5  rDev -1.4%
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!

cvstrickland, Sep 07, 2008
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.2/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Gueuzedude, Sep 07, 2008
Photo of almychristopher
4.22/5  rDev -5%
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.

almychristopher, Aug 05, 2008
Photo of WesWes
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
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!!!

WesWes, Aug 05, 2008
Photo of Nickls
3.78/5  rDev -14.9%
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!

Nickls, Aug 05, 2008
Brute from Ithaca Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 802 ratings.