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Brute - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
BruteBrute

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

796 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 796
Reviews: 389
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 9.23%
Wants: 1,132
Gots: 142 | 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: 796 | Reviews: 389 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SpdKilz
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to Chris (SpyCow) for sharing this at CBS. Batch E!018

Appearance – Pours a hazy lemon, golden color into a tulip with massive thick JP looking head.

Smell – Damn – lots of brett, lemon zest, citrus, slight barnyard funk/wet hay. Apricots and peaches come through a bit later.

Taste – A bit sweeter than I was expecting, though still quite mouth puckering. Lemon zest is prevalent, though it melds with malted grains. As I have heard others discuss, this is similar to Temptation (which happens to be one of my favorite RR sours). Other citrus notes of green apples, an oakiness, and earthiness. Quite good.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, dry.

Overall – Delicious. A great surprise to have (and I coincidentally brought a E!037 but of course Chris had to bust out the E!018) and I can only hope mine becomes this with age. A great sour.

SpdKilz, Nov 06, 2011
Photo of oline73
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tasting snifter.

The beer pours a clear golden amber color with a finger of off white head that fades to a ring around the glass. The smell is slightly funky with strong tart lemon and vinegar notes. I would describe the taste as very clean and extremely sour. I'm getting lemon, vinegar, and just a light funk. The finish is light and quite sour. The carbonation is creamy and foamy. There is a slight dryness in the finish.

oline73, Mar 06, 2013
Photo of alcstradamus
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.

alcstradamus, Jan 11, 2010
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 levifunk
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

generously brought to a tasting by madvike. reviewed from notes.

a - the pour is peach in color with a white head.

s - vinegar sourness, hay funk, and some sweetness.

t - wow, amazing balance. sour, but not overly...taste like a gueuze.

m - med/light body. nice carbonation. dry finish.

overall - phenomenal. I could drink this everyday.

levifunk, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of aglose45
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review number 50, and on Christmas Eve!

A: Pours a nice hazy, light golden/straw color, with a frothy, almost white head. There are a bunch of tiny little bubbles, this really looks fantastic.

S: The nose has a pretty complex, mostly sour, smell to it. There is a nice bretty smell, followed by some ripe fruit (white grapes and tart peaches). These smells are quickly followed by a real dry, bready malt scents.

T: The taste starts off with a blast of sour, tart fruits..the same ones as in the nose. Next is a bit of a funky Brett attack. This lasts for a few seconds post-swallow before a dry, almost stale, bread malt flavor becomes present. As I move through the bottle, the flavor gets a bit sweet from the yeast.

M: The carbonation is nice and prickly, however, I feel that this beer gets a little bit watery near the end.

D: This beer is very drinkable for. It is one of my favorite Wild Ales.

aglose45, Dec 25, 2009
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 route66pubs
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jctribe25 (Patrick) for the wonderful, completely unexpected and totally unsolicited bottle. It was a wonderful thing you did, sir!

Batch E!018.

Pours a yellow golden blissful color, with lots of visible tiny carbonation bubbles running throughout, and a slightly unfiltered appearance shading the fingers held between the glass and the light. Slight white head stays for awhile, but does not hold to the glass well at all with each sip.

Quick to the funk in the aroma, the brett seemed to explode out of the bottle upon opening. Sour grapefruit notes followed with the pour. Once in the tulip glass, additional slight peppery notes followed, along with some fruit, mostly apple.

I readily admit that as a whole, sours are not my favorite style. This, however, is one of those that is so wonderful that I enjoy it heartily. Crisp fruity sourness are the only flavors I get, much like a sour apple pie without the pie.

Champagne yeast provides for wonderful, continual, tiny-bubble carbonation throughout the drinking experience. Very crisp continual sour bite continues from start to finish.

The sourness in this leaves a dry, wanting aftertaste, raising the drinkability score. But the fact remains, it is a sour, and how much of this can you really have?

Overall an extremely wonderful experience and one I will happily have again. (And the sour is a precursor drink for my expectations of how the United States will leave me feeling after the World Cup, which starts tomorrow.)

route66pubs, Jun 11, 2010
Photo of crashlimo
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch E!027

A: Pours a hazy golden yellow with apparent carbonation. A small amount of white head accumulates, but does not stick to the glass.

S: Sour citrus notes and funk permeate the air. Crisp smell with hints of apple.

T: Ever so crisp, dry and tart. Strong flavor of green apples, and hints of sour peach. Very refreshing, yet not understated. Wonderfully sour.

M: Mild carbonation created by the champagne yeast creates a light, crisp mouthfeel that compliments the light flavors.

D: Finishes slightly dry with a mild sour aftertaste that leaves you craving more, and more...and more. Flavors are just powerful and complex enough to stun ones taste buds into a slow leisurely drink (otherwise I'd worry about the urge to suck it down too fast)

crashlimo, Sep 29, 2010
Photo of schroederm
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In a chalice:

Tons of fine-bubbled white head over cloudy yellow/brown body. Excellent lacing. A huge sour presence in the nose with green apple all over the place. Grape soda present as well. Wonderful malt start followed by green apple bitter. Notes of currant and raisin. Tons of sour. Mouthfeel is quite smooth and very thick. Carbonation is a little too high. Overall, delicious and the flavor is not overwhelming.

schroederm, Jul 19, 2009
Photo of alpinebryant
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Batch E!018
Pours a healthy blonde head with a white lacing that does not go away.

Smell of sour tart pale malt with some funk.

Taste of pale malt mixed with acidic sourness of citrus, Czech hops, some barnyard and funk. There is a dry champagne finish to state the obvious as stated on the label that it is finished with a blend of three champagne yeasts. Could be slightly more complexity to the malt profile, but this is done well as is.

High carbonation, not gushing from the bottle, but very tasty and very drinkable. This went above my expectations and I am looking forward to many more sour ales from Ithaca Beer Company.

alpinebryant, Apr 03, 2010
Photo of CoolJosh
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle generously shared by Treyrab with Ashherb17 and myself. Poured into a tulip, pours a spritz golden orange with some pink tones that run through the body. Really nice soft white head that rests to a half-finger layer.

Incredibly tart lemon. The yeast shows through perfectly, and brings such an incredible sour component. Some lighter tart cherry lingers in with some nice soft vanilla creme. The fruits flourish out of the glass and smell unbelievably fresh. Some tart grapefruit adds a nice touch as well.

The taste is really good. Nice and easy drink. Very acetic, with some great tart lemons and orange. A light bit of grapefruit sourness. Really light, kind of falls off at the end and lacks complexity, but still a very nice sour by all means. It tastes like a sour patch kid.

Reminiscent of The Bruery's Cuvee Jeune with a little bit more carbonation.

CoolJosh, Jul 30, 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 mdfb79
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 07/24/10 notes.

a - Pours a golden color with 1 inch of white head and light carbonation.

s - Smells of sour fruit, citrus, lemon, and some funk. Very enjoyable.

t - Tastes of tart, sour fruits, especially lemon. Nice citrus, tart, and funk. Very enjoyable.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - I loved this sour. I thought there was some great sour fruits and funk in the smell and taste. A great sour I would love to have again.

mdfb79, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of mhatters
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle in a tulip glass at Jose Pistolas @ their Ithaca event

Pours a light champagne color, highly ephervesint good size head, beautiful beer.

Citrus and light fruit dominate the nose, lemon, lime, peach, grape, apple. A Cava-like wine note appears, with an oak hint at the end. A hint of spice too.

Spectacular - citrus, pepper, light fruit, herbal, delightful. Really strong carbonation lift the flavors out, light in the mouth, dry on the tounge. Emmesily pleasable.

Perfectly balance, dry, crisp, lots of flavor, one of the best drinking beers I have ever had.

mhatters, Oct 11, 2009
Photo of treyrab
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to BeerTruth for this one. This has been sitting in the cellar for a few months and decided to bring it out after taking the first part of the CPA exam yesterday.

A: Pours a hazy vibrant yellow with a large white head on the first pour. The champagne yeast has really yielded a large head that lasts a while, but recedes to a skim of head atop the beer.

S: Nice, very vibrant and tart lemon coupled with other tart fruits of peaches and apple blended magnificently with some dry oak, white grapes and hints of vanilla.

T: Very sharp, and very acidic. Mouth puckering indeed. Tart lemon, dry oak, tart, sour apples, and hints of vanilla. This is great, but not much depth here. A nice easy, sour but not too complex.

M/D: The mouthfeel is very high thanks to the champagne yeast. It is nice, light and refreshing.

Overall, this was a great beer. Very easily drinkable sour that I would like to have to lay down for a few years.

treyrab, Jul 30, 2009
Photo of mjyoung
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Drank 6/25/11. Split w/ bbb099, scottfrie, et al. Bottled 2010, batch E!027.

A: A thick, robust head that leaves a fine lacing on the glass. A slightly hazy something or other.

S: Whew. Mmmm Brett. Nothing too overpowering, but definitely strong notes of barnyard and a slight hint of oak-y citrus. It's not the most complex smell, but pleasant.

T: The Brett is moderately hidden. Definitely sour, but quite fruity. It's remarkably peachy but not in an overpowering way. I'm having a hard time describing the taste, but it's fantastic.

M: Definitely reminiscent of champagne. The carb is delightfully high and the body is nice and airy. Very very nice.

O: A very good brew. I approve. Many thanks to scottfire for sharing!

mjyoung, Jun 25, 2011
Photo of afksports
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Effin' excellent brew. I'm an amateur here, so I'm totally unqualified to talk about hop notes or brett or lacing or whatever. I'm doing my homework on beer 101, but in the meantime I'd like to enjoy some. This I can.

Brute has a distinct type of sour that finishes clean but leaves me thinking about granny smith apples in the dryness of champagne. The carbonation and head are great, and I feel classy drinking this. Buy me another and take me home.

I almost feel bad calling it beer. But I don't feel bad calling it awesome. Would drink again - for sure.

afksports, Sep 29, 2010
Photo of jamescain
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a sniffer, thanks to who ever brought this to the bottle share!

Appearance: Large rocky white head about two fingers thick, opaque yellow-brown color.

Aroma: Tart, earthly and very rustic with a hint of barnyard funk, pineapples, citrus and peaches.

Taste: Apples, peaches, and citrus with a tart mouthfeel and sour finish. Very earthy and spicy.

Mouthfeel: Light body with high carbonation and a very dry finish.

Overall: Very good beer and I've wanted to try it for a while, I'm glad I finally got the chance.

jamescain, Sep 28, 2011
Photo of THECPJ
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes 2/25/11

Appearance: Hazy golden yellow, with a finger fluffy white head

Smell: funk, sour

Taste: sour fruits, sweet grapes,

Mouthfeel: mild carbonation, smooth, crisp, well balanced.

Drinkability: Very nice sour. Wish it wasn't so hard to come by.

Cheers,

The CPJ

THECPJ, Mar 02, 2011
Photo of billab914
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch # E!010 poured from a 750ml bottle into my brand new Lost Abbey sinner stemware. It poured a bright, golden amber color with a huge bubbly and active head to it. The head faded but kept a nice white covering over the beer well into drinking it. Decent lacing as well.

The aroma has a relatively sharp, acidic, sourness to it. Some sour fruit flavors come through with some apple and grape like qualities. A good amount of tartness is present along with some lemony and orange citrus flavors coming through as well. Some great sour and tart flavors to it overall.

The taste is sharp with an acidicness at first. More of the tart and sour fruits start to come through pretty quickly though. The soured grape and tart apple flavors are there and add some nice flavors. Just a hint of the woody oak shows in it. It finishes with more of a dry, tart and sour flavor. Excellent flavors overall.

The mouthfeel is pretty light with carbonation being very high. Pretty good mouthfeel for the style. Drinkability is very good, it had some great sour and tart flavors to it. It was complex and flavorful and a great version of the style. Very enjoyable and drinkable beer overall.

billab914, Nov 06, 2010
Photo of chcfan
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into New Belgium globe

Brute is a beautiful thing. It just fills the glass with bubbles upon the first pour. I can wait...it's well worth it. So much complexity in the smell and taste. It's just an experience. There's a tart bite, but it isn't overpowering. Some citrus notes are present in the taste.

The other American sours I've enjoyed most are from Russian River, but I believe this stacks right up with them.

chcfan, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of dogfishandi
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap into a snifter at the blue monk in buffalo, ny.

comes to me with a billowy white head that eventually died to a thin ring atop a cloudy light golden color. not much lace, not the best head retention.

big brett funk, musty, barnyard, big lemony citrus, with some tart sour pie cherry.

follows the aroma, all about the brett. musty, barnyard funk, lemony citrus, tart sour pie cherry.

nice tart feel, good level of sourness, a little more than i remember out of the bottle. crisp, refreshing carbonation. dry finish. such an easy drinking sour. i easily wouldve had another had i not been driving.

ive always had lots of love for this beer. an easy sour to get into, yet pleasing to any geek out there. all about the brett with this one.

dogfishandi, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of scootny
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.

scootny, Feb 07, 2010
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
Brute from Ithaca Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 796 ratings.