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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: 1,133
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 mbudner
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch E!018 poured from bottle into a snifter

A- Looks like everything I want in an American Wild. Hazy golden in color with a puffy 3-finger white head that leaves a nice thick, splotchy lacing and doesn't recede too quickly.

S- Nice lemony, tart acidity. Some vinegar on the tail end. Mustiness from the oak. Smell of alcohol and white grapes that's not quite white wine. As it warms and with swirling, a distinct funk comes out from the brett, but this is definitely not the predominate aroma.

T- The acidic sourness hits my cheeks near the molars before I can taste anything, what I call the "smile receptors"...a good sour makes you smile (though this alone is not a definitive indication.) Generally, I get an amalgamation of tart fruits from american wilds, but this seems to be heavy on the lemony/citric sourness. I definitely get lemon peel as well (i.e. a slight bitterness) and maybe some faint orange peel. The oak definitely plays a part, I think I would almost call it a vanilla flavor (which I often get in oaked stouts, but not as much in oak-aged sours.) The sourness really flattens out/subsides as I keep drinking (which is obviously partly due to the havoc wreaked on the palate), but also giving way to a slight funk and then a rather simple, smooth finish. Also, I do get some green apple after sipping on it for awhile

M- Great carbonation (probably from the 3 strains of champagne yeast.) Nice and crisp on the tongue. Not too thin either.

D- A great sour. This is the third bottle I've been able to try and my favorite tasting of this beer so far. Not sure that it has gotten more sour yet, but sitting down with a bottle to review it definitely allowed me to realize things about this beer that I may have overlooked in the past. Not at all difficult to drink a 750mL by myself. A great beer to sip on.

mbudner, Nov 12, 2009
Photo of weeare138
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on tap at TJs...
Appears a hazy light straw toned gold. Acfluffy white cap slowly fades into a mild head. Scattered streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of vanilla, light oak, lemon zest, light funk, and earthiness.
Taste is of the aromas with an apple flavor and dry white wine flavor pulling through. Delicious stuff.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, salty, sweet, fruity, funky, and tart. Citrusy, tart, and dry.

weeare138, Oct 18, 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 Viggo
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at NotF, had me a few glasses of this gem. Need to get some bottles.

Pours a cloudy yellow, almost a honey colour, thin white head forms, settles down to a solid ring, no real lacing.

Smell is amazing, very sour and funky, lots of lemon, charred wood, vanilla, oak, apricots and light fruit, good malty middle, lots of acidity.

Taste is great too, a bit of a weird and hard to place fruity sourness, lemons, wood, big and malty funky middle, light on the acidity but very sour in the finish.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation. One of the more drinkable sours, tons of character and funk but quite drinkable.

Viggo, Oct 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 JoeMayo
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 2 Brute, poured into a wine glass.

A- Pours a hazy golden color with a white, fluffy head.

S- Very citric and funky. A distinct horseblanket funk leads the way into aromas of lactic sourness and sour apple. This already smells way better than batch 1!

T- Very dry and sour. The dominant flavor is tart, green apples with herbal, peppery tones and a hint of funk towards the end.

M- Crisp and dry.

D- Very well balanced and far superior to batch 1 Brute.

JoeMayo, Sep 13, 2009
Photo of gford217
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 1 bottle shared at the Brick Store by a generous soul.

Pours a milky golden yellow with a fluffy white head that recedes to a small soapy cap that leaves decent lacing.

The aroma is light and vibrant with tart lemons and some citrus hops. The brett character is present but not dominant as the aroma is seemingly all about the light tart fruit.

The taste starts with a puckering tart sourness. Lots of lemons with a hints of vinegar and funk. There is an underlying fruit sweetness as well with peaches and green apples. It's a very bright tartness overall with a bit of funk and spicy oak in the finish.

The mouthfeel is effervescent with the champagne yeast very evident. It's light to medium bodied and extremely crisp and dry in the finish.

This is a wonderful beer and just so tart in a bright, lemony tart king of way. So refreshing and drinkable.

gford217, Mar 14, 2010
Photo of rudzud
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at BBF, and numerous times since then.

A - Pours a nice clear golden yellow hue with a thin white head that faded to leave a nice halo. Theres like the glow of the sun radiating from the glass.

S - Very nice aromas of a wild ale here. Very nice brett notes, with good sweet apples, funk, big citrus notes (lemon/oranges).

T - Great sourness/tartness here. It is more sour citrus than the barnyard funk in the nose. Almost puckeringly sour, delicious.

M - Mouthfeel is a bit harsher than I had expected. Higher carbonation here combined with the puckering tartness almost makes this a chore to drink, however, its so damn tasty one cant stop.

O - This is a very excellent wild ale. Great aromas, flavors, and mouthfeel here. A superb example of the wild ale style.

rudzud, Nov 06, 2011
Photo of brewandbbq
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle form 2008.

Pours clear gold with a crackling release of carbonation. A short spongy head of white quickly fell to a placid surface with zero lacing, and an unrelenting ascent of dancing lines of minute bubbles.

Aromatics lead off with brett funk and lemon pith. Wet horse, citrus-spritzed hay, green apples, cloves, and pineapple skin. Tannic and lemony.

Light bodied with a spritzy, pointed mouthfeel. Dry and sharp as tacks.

Husky wheat, lemon oil, apricots, and juniper start the palate. A mild tartness steps forward and a hint of honey adds the only residuals found in this beer.

Finishes with a lingering sharp, tannic dryness, lemony citrus, and a refreshing tartness.

Great beer. Really holding up well for a three year old, but I think I prefer a fresh one.

brewandbbq, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of xnicknj
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

250TH REVIEW

750mL bottle poured into wine glass - batch E!027

Pours a slightly hazed apricot yellow with some darker orange tones. A frothy white head bubbles up quickly, then slowly retreats into some well retained film creating a collar around the glass.

Plenty of tart sourness in the nose with lemon, citrus zest, green apple peel and a touch of grain.

A blast of fruit tartness up front with pears and green apples. Citric qualities add to the overall sour profile, which is actually less puckering than the nose suggests. The beer avoids becoming lactic or acidic with some soft sweetness driven by apricot and pear. Dry sourness rides through towards the finish with bubbly warmth.

Medium body, full bubbly carbonation. Very dry around the edges and lingers on the palate similar. I've had sours before that reminded me of champagne, but Brute really put the yeast to work with some amazing results. The alcohol is smoothed out, and the slightly milder sourness makes this incredibly easy to drink.

xnicknj, Jan 22, 2011
Photo of klewis
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy golden with a huge foamy head. Great sustain and lacing.

A: Apricot with a spicy mint character and light Brett funk.

T: Moderately sour. Zesty citrus with a gentle funk. There's also a somewhat floral quality with soft oak notes.

M: Light-bodied with moderate-high carbonation. Clean finish with a quickly dissipating sourness.

D: Not quite as complex as a Russian River or Cantillon sour, but definitely outstanding nonetheless.

klewis, Jul 07, 2009
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Solmon420 for sharing this with the wife and I.

Poured a nice golden color with a nice white head. Nose is sour with lots of fruit and tartness going on. I picked up on lemon, wood, green apples. Taste is very smooth and the ABV was well hidden on this. Big tartness up front with highlights of orange, lemon, wood, apples. Very tasty and very drinkabke. The wife loved it too. Winner all the way and its so smooth I could finish the damn thing myself.

barleywinefiend, Aug 13, 2009
Photo of jjayjaye
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours like champagne; a hazy pale golden color with a big fizzy bleach white foam head that fades to surface, being kept alive from visible effervescence. Little lacing remains in its wake. The smell is great with an earthy tart lemon character. Full flavored the taste is reflected well...bright tangy fruity lemon tartness with earth oak notes that linger well past the crisp clean finish. Another world class beverage from Team Ithaca!! Congratulations!

jjayjaye, Jun 26, 2009
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 warnerry
4.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to woosterbill for this one. Cheers! Batch E!027

A - Pours a hazy golden brown tinged orange. Head has decent retention before fading to a cap.

S - Subtle but persistent funk with some sour apple, oak, Brett and lemon. Some white bread in the aroma as well.

T - Nice sourness. Not mouth puckering, but satisfying and refreshing with a great funky base. Lemon, faint barnyard, Brett, and grain. Nice amount of citrus. Delicious.

M - Mouthfeel is interesting. Definitely has a light crispness, but there is a bit of heft to it as well. Lively carbonation.

O - I could drink this all day long. Nice sourness and funk, without going overboard in any direction. Maintains a bit of fruitiness, and the Champagne yeast adds a nice character.

warnerry, Jul 26, 2012
Photo of FosterJM
4.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1367th Review on BA
Bottle to Ithaca Excelsior! Tulip
750ml Cap/Cork

Batch E!037

Thanks to Mjtiernan for this one

App- When the cork pops a little bit of a champagne fizz came out. Expected yes! The color of a ripe peach with a good mix of oranges/yellows and golds in the glass. A good density for a sour. Nice coloring. Giant head that was quick to gizz with a nice pond layer of bubbles.

Smell- Just a ton going on in this sour. Amazingly straightfoward but utterly complex. I think the BA below said it best, "Can you smell fizzy?" This was fizzy, brett, citrus, funk and sour. Not overly done either way and close to amazing.

Taste- This was one hell of a sour. Most people wont give credit to the champagne yeast but really adds a wonderful depth of character with the brett bringing a stinging barnyard, funk and earthiness to it. The sour is crisp and biting and a wonderful amount of citrus ties it all together.

Mouth- While a tad thick for such a bubbly sour I found it worthwhile none the less. So bubbly with a light medium body while shouldve been a little lighter. A very high carbonation keeps everything prickly and nicely balanced. Nice residual Brett and funk.

Drink- Huge thanks to Matt for the trade and was glad to drink while my boy who is all of two days old slept next to me in his rocker. Would loe another bottle of this one.

FosterJM, Jun 25, 2012
Photo of DovaliHops
4.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch E!037. Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a large white, frothy head that takes some time to go down. Scent is a ton of sour notes with predominant Brett and lemon. Lovely oak aromas with aromas reminiscent to champagne. A good amount of citrus as well. Taste is amazing... perfect amount of sour for a beer that is very much like champagne. Lactic sourness with a ton of oak and some definitely funky, spicy flavors. Tons of lemon and citrus...great depth and complexity to this beer. Also get some lovely pear, green apple, and white grape flavors. A good amount of sour and funk to this with a good amount of oak. Mouthfeel is very dry and bubbly. Drinkability is very high. Overall, this was an amazing beer. So far, Ithaca has impressed me very much.

DovaliHops, Jun 19, 2012
Photo of joe1510
4.49/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml
Batch# E!010

Thanks goes out to Lum for this beauty, good choice! The 750 fills my glass with a hazy apricot liquid with carbonation shooting from every surface of the glass. There's enough haze to keep me from seeing through the body but the carbonation is highly visible. The head rose so quickly I had to slow the pour to a trickle. The fizzy white head eventually settles to a thick cap, which sticks around forever, and leaves strands of lacing in its wake.

Mustiness jumps out of the glass right away and dusts all the other aromas. A field of wildflowers, cobwebs and the faintest touch of damp wood make up the funkiness in the nose while fruitiness makes up the sweeter side. Muscat grapes leap from the glass and combine with musty peaches and apricots to form a pleasant yet mild sweet component that play off the funkiness. The apricots step forward as this beer warms. I could keep my nose in this glass all night long, it smells that good but now it's time to start drinking.

I'm happy to say the nose lead me in the right direction. Slightly sweet over ripe fruit snaps across the taste buds the second this beer hits the tip of my tongue. A slight pucker comes around mid palate with hints of tart grapes, unripe peaches, and unripe apricots. The mustiness pokes its head up here and there but manages to stay toward the back. The sweet and sour play off each other perfectly, switching from one to the other multiple times throughout each drink. One thing that is constant is the sourness on the finish, there's just enough there to feel it on my cheeks and sides of my tongue. Brute has a great depth of flavor.

The mouthfeel is right where it should be. The body has a moderate consistency but the crisp carbonation keeps the body snapping across the tongue and creates the feel of lighter bodied ale. The sourness invades the back of the tongue briefly to create a pucker and disappears just as quickly. After the swallow this beer dries you out and leaves me wanting more.

The drinkability is off the charts. The sweet and sour along with the dryness keep this beer flowing until the bottle is empty and then leaves me wishing there was more.

I've become a big fan of Ithaca and this beer puts them over the top. Nicely soured with enough sweetness to work off each other. Thanks for the bottle Paul, this stuff is delicious!

Reviewed: 9/28/08

joe1510, Aug 19, 2013
Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch E!037

A - Pours a beautiful yellowish/orange with a huge off-white head. Great retention.

S - sour apples, oak, earthy malts, peach.

T - The taste follows the nose. Really exceptional and clean. Tons of tart lemony flavors along with a big Granny Smith apple puckering flavor.

M - Medium bodied with a playful champagne-like carbonation.

O - One of the best sours I've ever had. This easily stands up to any of the RR sours. I hope they brew this again.

SkiBum22, Jul 06, 2012
Photo of Callmecoon
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Callmecoon, Aug 26, 2012
Photo of Skye1024
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Skye1024, May 13, 2012
Photo of fo1ksguitar
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

fo1ksguitar, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of doremite
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

doremite, Jun 13, 2013
Photo of EricLarcom
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

EricLarcom, Jun 16, 2013
Photo of GimmeGumballHead
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

GimmeGumballHead, Dec 19, 2011
Brute from Ithaca Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 796 ratings.