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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 seaoflament
4.13/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Shane for bringing this bottle down to ChulaJuana and sharing it at La Bella on 11/24. Batch E!0I8 which appears to be batch 2?

I had the first batch last fall/winter but was not in an environment for a proper review and I remember being quite impressed with it so I was looking forward to having this beer again.

The beer was a straw, pale, yellow with an egg-shell white colored foam on top, about a quarter inch in height. Nice clarity and presentation.

Upfront I detected a powdery sugar that quickly went to the background and then a rush of brett funk took over, hay, sweat, green apples, moderate level of vinegar, nice acidity, and lemon peel.

The taste was almost as good as the aroma but not quiet there. Green apple tartness, grape skin, light to medium acetic level, wheat dryness, a bit of oak butteriness and vanilla in the end. High carbonation level at first, very bubbly and sparkling but as the beer develops and opens up the carbonation settles to low. Nice dryness and tannic bitterness. A very nice sour overall.

seaoflament, Dec 10, 2009
Photo of VaTechHopHead
4.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Opaque/cloudy yellow and hazy. Big white head when poured with a gratuitous amount of carbonation on display.

S - Very impressed. Dry and tart aromas with hints of lemon, yeast funk, hay, and barnyard. Complex to say the least

T - Again, very dry and tart with a lot of brett funk right off the bat. Transitions to dry hay in the middle. The corn adds a lot of carbonation and a nice earthy/dusty flavor. Light citric notes from the champagne yeast and finishes dry and woody.

M - Lots of carbonation on this one that fills the palate. Light/medium body that leaves the palate bone dry almost. A sipper due to the dryness and amount of carbonation present.

O - A superb example of style IMO and a very interesting line-up of ingredients. The brett blends excellently with the champagne yeast and the flavors produced are spot on.

VaTechHopHead, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of Agold
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

Agold, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of sendsilk
3/5  rDev -32.4%

sendsilk, Jun 11, 2012
Photo of Mistofminn
4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

In honor of our current trade, I decided to crack open a bottle from our previous trade. This one goes out to kmurray8621.

Batch E!018

Pours a clear golden color initially, and subsequent pours get more hazy and more orange. A very lively carbonation going on inside the glass. The head fizzes up and fizzes out without leaving and lacing, kind of disappointing but for a wild ale not uncommon. Probably the champagne yeast used.

The nose is incredibly sweet. I was kind of shocked, to say the least, after hearing how sour this was and how enjoyable. Sweet is somewhat of a turn off in wilds for me, and this one just isn't doing it for me. I get light (very light) tart smells but it's mostly sweet. Distinct sweet pear smell.

Thank god...this isn't sweet at all. In fact, it's incredibly tart and sour. Boy was I getting a little worried, but the first sip put all my worries to rest. A sour pear like flavor comes through the most, with light Brett characters right in the finish. A dry, acidic finish.

Mouthfeel is light to medium, with a crisp carbonation bite to go along with the stinging sourness and acidity. Drinkability is really good, maybe one of the most drinkable sours I've had.

Overall, while the nose wasn't quite what I wanted it to be, this one steps it up and finishes a winner. Glad I got to try this and even gladder I got a second bottle to sit on for a little while longer (while the only thing I hope it improves upon is losing the sweet nose).

Mistofminn, Feb 25, 2010
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 Kadonny
4.05/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from tap at Capones sour event into a tasting glass.

A: Cloudy pale yellow color that looks exactly like grapefruit juice. Slight thin white head no lacing.

S: Tart fruits with apple and some funk.

T: Again the tart blasts out first with sour apples, apricot, pear and some grape. A sugar sweetness offsets the sour for a few seconds but that sour funk comes pounding back in. I got some grassy hops that offset the sour and smooth out the finish. Not as crisp and clean as the Temptation. Finish is not near as lingering either.

M: Tart, crisp but a bit thin on finish but overall very smooth. No alcohol traces at all.

D: High, these are much more mellow and smoother than the Temptation, thus more drinkable.

Overall a great beer that left me wanting just a little bit more. It is still awesome and a beer I would drink anytime.

Kadonny, Dec 11, 2009
Photo of kbnooshay
4.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am still peeved that Ithaca uses wine bottles for their whole excelsior! series. The cap has embossed grapes on the top. Come on! Anyways, the label is shiny and gold.

a- This poured a super hazy, murky golden otange color with a super massive frothy, fizzy white head. This head holds its shape well. Aroma is super fruity. Candy sweet. Lots of nice bitter apple smells. Awesome champagne character.

t - Funky and earthy! Fucking brilliant! Lots of champagne flavor from the yeast they added. Nice tart apple flavor. Some pepperyness.

Mf/d- Champagne but less carbonation than one. Slightly drying finish that makes your mouth water.
Beautifully balanced and surprisingly refreshing.

kbnooshay, Sep 05, 2010
Photo of tewaris
3.85/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brute
Thanks SourNotes for sharing a long time want.

Bubbly, very very bubbly. Clear golden color and big white head is inviting. Aroma is funky and leathery. Taste is dominated by acetic sourness but the (extremely) high carbonation keeps it alive... I am not a fan of vinegar in some Flanders style beers because it seems to settle on the palate but it works in Brute.

Very much champagne like as was expected... a simpler beer with great drinkability.

4.5, 4, 3.5, 4.5, 4

tewaris, Apr 05, 2012
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 brownbeer
4.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

brownbeer, Mar 05, 2010
Photo of PhineasGage
5/5  rDev +12.6%

PhineasGage, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of Gushue3
4/5  rDev -9.9%

Gushue3, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of cfh64
4.75/5  rDev +7%

cfh64, Jul 21, 2012
Photo of jbuddle
3.75/5  rDev -15.5%

jbuddle, Jan 16, 2013
Photo of leschkie
4/5  rDev -9.9%

leschkie, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of timtim
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

batch E!027 pours a hazy, glowing, (pink?)peach color with an off-white head that holds for a while before shrinking to a substantial film with a big collar. wow! nose!!! this beer is gorges. first thing i am reminded of is those sticks of candy that looked like a piece of chalk that you would dip in different flavors of flavored stuff. grapefruit comes through next, accompanied by apricot, peach, earth, hop?(thought they would have lost all their flavor before aging), the slightest tiniest bit of oak and a touch of wet-rock-cobweb-barn-funk. complex, but bright and playful. taste is a blast of citrus (and tropical fruit), tart and sweet with a lively level of prickliness that lifts everything off the palate to expose a really kind of like wet rock mountain spring thing that really gets the point across about why they call this Brute (brut). dry as a bone and citrusy sweet? nicely done. medium body that is relatively creamy underneath the zippy carbonation and zing of the wheat. something in the finish of this beer definitely says ithaca too, and i like that. accidentally started chugging my glass halfway through my first pour. 5 for drinkability. creative. unique.

timtim, Mar 01, 2011
Photo of Googs
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

Googs, Nov 29, 2012
Photo of jayhawk73
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Generously shared by Matt- Thanks dude!

From notes:

Pours a golden color with a slim one finger white head. Good carbonation, and almost zero lacing. Very cloudy in appearance. Smell is that of grass, some fruit, funk, and oak. Amazing nose. Taste is tart, w/ a nice funk vibe. Very smooth feel in spite of the tartness. Very easy going down. Feel is a carbonated tartness w/ a smoothness that balances it out. Overall, this is a great beer, and I'm happy I got a chance to try it.

jayhawk73, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of cavedave
4.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a cloudy dark straw color, topped by a thick and massive light beige head. Sheets of lace cling to the glass.

The aroma is a mixture of the full range of funk, lighter tart, and even some sweet. It is a strong bouquet, perfectly balanced, with layers of the smells creating enticement.

The taste doesn't disappoint. Like the nose it is strong, a mix of funkiness and lighter tart, a touch of sweet, with staggering complexity in the layers of flavor. As it warms the tart gains a bit, but never overbears, and the clean flavors stay sharp and delicious.

Mouthfeel is perfect, highly carb.'ed, but not overcarb.ed by any means, thick but easy drinking, and an epic finish that is just dry enough.

Drinkability is extremely high for the style.

Impression: The best wild ale I have tried.

cavedave, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of jjheinrichs
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

jjheinrichs, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of Callmecoon
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Callmecoon, Aug 26, 2012
Photo of Lunch
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Lunch, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.9/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch E!018. I shared my bottle in line at the Veritas 007 release yesterday. Gave myself a decent pour though

Poured a nice light golden color, similar to a plain lambic not fruited and what not. Nice thin head. No real lacing.

Aroma of tart lemons and a little of the Brett funk you would expect. Smells great.

Taste is exceptional. Very tart but not as tart as say La Folie but up there. A little dryer than say Isabelle and to me slightly more oaky than others. Nice tartness with a slight funk with a champaign finish. Very similar to a champaign flavor but the tartness is the main player in this beer for sure.

Mouthfeel is very carbonated like a champaign. Probably due to the champaign yeast. Dry taste that works.

Overall an awesome beer. Glad to have another I have put away for a while. Hope everyone else enjoyed it as much as I did.

PeprSprYoFace, Apr 19, 2010
Photo of tsauce2
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

tsauce2, Dec 07, 2013
Brute from Ithaca Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 796 ratings.