Brute - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
BruteBrute

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BA SCORE
98
world-class

828 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 828
Reviews: 392
rAvg: 4.43
pDev: 9.26%
Wants: 1,101
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:
Beer added by: albern on 06-22-2008

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 828 | Reviews: 392
Photo of deliriumfest
4.94/5  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.

Photo of calise1122
4.72/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Very...

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

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

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

Photo of Estocker
4.65/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice golden color

Smell is a big relief. In fact, I am actually starting to salivate. Nice aromas of funk and apple, grape skins, slightly yeasty. I want to say I smell some apricots as well.

WOW! This is perfectly sour. This immediately reminds me of Temptation, but I believe it is even more sour. The taste of green apple, green grape skins, and some citrusy fruits are dominant and a slight barnyard funk lingers. This is delicious.

The mouthfeel is perfect. It's well-carbonated and incredibly sour. I opened this at Xmas with my family and I only poured them 1-2oz pours so that I could finish the rest of the bottle by myself.

Photo of BJRHOMEBREW
4.15/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch# 010!

AP- Golden, with a nice cloud of yeast from the bottom of the bottle. (had to shake this one up, to get all the funk out of it.)

A-Strong dry funk, from the brett no doubt. Sweet green grapes and another fruit i can't quite put my finger on.

T- Wonderful flavors of apple cider vinegar, with nice slice of sour green apple cut on the side. Has the usual suspects that you expect from sour beer, yes are old friends horse blanket and fresh cut hay are here as well.

M- Light and crisp, just what is needed on these hot summer days.

O- Overall, one of my favorite sour ales. Refreshing, with just the right amount of sweet dry funk to keep me wanting to come back for more. Well done!

Photo of M-Fox24
4.24/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Small head, hazy Orange(ish) color, beautiful lacing

S: Nice sourness presence and the presence of fruit, grape, cherry, melon, some brett & lemon, oak….great aroma

T: Similar to the smell: a calm sourness/funk/tartness, oak notes & brett, accompanied by the lemon, grapes, and melon

M: Fizzy/carbonated; usual suspects of the oak, sour, tart, and funk existence; light/medium-bodied

O: Quite a tasty product from Ithaca and a superb demonstration of the sour, funky, wild ale style

Photo of BeckyFreesTibet
3.96/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip, (although a flute might be even more appropriate), from a corked and capped 750 ml bottle--much like a bottle of champagne.

Cloudy and peachy-gold in color with visible champagne-like carbonation. The head was thick, bright white and formed stiff, meringue-like peaks.

The aroma was yeasty and lightly funky like a saison. Citrus, especially lemon zest, was apparent immediately. A sweetness creeps in as it opens up. All in all, there was not enough aroma for my liking.

The taste is immediately tart and citrusy with notes of sour apples and other under-ripe tree fruit. Noticeably wheaty and yeasty with a sweetness in the aftertaste to balance it out. The taste is fairly interesting and extreme, but not very complex.

The carbonation is extremely aggressive, just like a good champagne. Very dry finish. The mouthfeel is certainly not something everyone would love, but I was fascinated by how similar it is to champagne.

Drinkability is surprisingly good despite the over-the-top carbonation, tartness and dryness. The wine-like qualities give it a lightness so that it that doesn't feel like a 6.5% ABV beer.

The three strains of champagne-yeast really do make a product that's remarkably similar to champagne. Not for those who don't appreciate bubbly, but a fantastically creative (and tasty)wild ale.

Photo of ixnay21
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-orange,hazy color. finger head, quickly dissolving with no lacing.

S-has a Belgium funk to it with a white grape forefront.

T-very tart up front a bite of carbonation the funk is very apparent in the taste. sourdough bread comes to mind.

M-very dry, with a very nice carbonation bite.

D-Back to the store!!!

A very enjoyable beer would keep this on stock all day, every day!

Photo of alyankus
4.17/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a 750ml bottle purchased from the brewery in Aug of 09. Tasted from a Spiegelau champagne flute

This is a very solid wild. It pours a hazy yellow with a little head and slight lacing. The nose is a lot of fresh ripe lemon juice and a good hint of funk. The nose on this reminds me of a more elegant wild than many americans are currently producing though that may be a function of its youth. Over time the nose picks up more citrus peel and hints of sweatiness that are not overbearing. The taste has more lemon with soft acidity cleansing the palate with every sip. The funk is there again but is still fairly subtle. The finish rounds out with a slight saltiness that makes this quite refreshing. I'm very glad that I have half a case of this to go as I'm quite interested in seeing how this will age. A big tip of the hat to Ithaca on this one.

Photo of masterhomebrewer
4.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A = Pours a light golden color with a big-ass (three inches +), white head of tight, small bubbles that fades quickly, leaving a short cover of about a half centimeter.

S = Green apples, bretty funk, vomit sour, white grapes.

T = Lactic sour, white grapes, lemons, and dusty-leather brett quickly give way to a streaming dryness.

M = Prickly carbonation and light body combine with dryness to make for a crisp and refreshing mouthfeel.

D = Wow. Really drinkable. Moderate alcohol, high carbonation, moderate sourness and ultra-dry finish all work in tandem to create a supremely drinkable sour.

Photo of myatomicpolygon
4.65/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle was opened on my birthday. Batch # E027.

Appearance- I gave it a violent pour into my Duvel tulip and am rewarded with a billowing huge white head that settles down to about a finger after several minutes. It has a beautiful hazy orange color and I can hear the bubbles as they rise to the surface. After about 20 minutes the head completely disappears.

Smell- fantastic aroma. the barnyard funkiness associated with the brett mingles well with a citrus orange peel fruitiness and the wood from the oak. I could sit and smell this one all day.

Taste- sour apple, tart, citrus...with a long dry finish that leaves you puckering and longing for more. well balanced....the tart is very inviting and seeks to enliven the taste buds rather than destroy.

Mouthfeel- medium to full bodied with slight oily slick characteristics and champagne like dryness and effervescence.

Drinkability- smooth and dry...very easy to drink...and after every sip I'm already going in for another. Though a little pricey at 20 dollars a bottle...this one is definitely worth the extra money.

Photo of crashlimo
4.42/5  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)

Photo of bert13tj
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours like a champagne. Golden color

Smells very sweet and a little sour.

Taste a bit sour, but not overbearing. You can definently taste the champagne yeast used to brew this beer.

Not something I would drink everyday, but I would definently buy this again.

Photo of knucks999
3.55/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch E027. Pours with a lot of head, this beer is definitely carbonated! Aromas of brett funk and vinegar predominate. This beers taste is much the same, mostly lactic sour, but bordering on too much acetic for my liking. Very tart finish and high carbonation result in a very dry tasting beer. Mouthfeel is great with the CO2, nice acidity as well. Cork was a little hard to get out!

Photo of bnieman
4.97/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch E!027

A - Light burnt orange, cloudy with a pillowing white cloud head.

S - Vinegar, sugar powder, pixie stick cloud, pastry, sour oak barrel. A sweet allure.

T - Fresh picked greenish yellow Pear. Granny smith apple. Hint of
oak. Sour white grapes. Creamy champagne.

M - Mouth-puckering fades quickly to smooth and creamy. Fine
carbonation bubbles.

D - The sour doesn't linger long making this brilliant brew oh so drinkable. I savored every drop.

Colossal thanks to BeerFMAndy for sharing this outstanding out-of-town beer!

Photo of sybilyang
3.95/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's true to its style. It is definitely sour and puckery - in that proper Belgian way. It would pair nicely with a sweet lemony dessert - and that's exactly what I did - a lemon mouse.

The beer poured out of the bottle with that amber haziness that reflects bottle conditioning. Good thick foamy head that settled into about 1" after a few minutes. Not nearly as sour as sucking on a lemon, but close. Drink either on a really hot summer day, or pair with a fish dish or something that needs a clean kick on the pallet.

Photo of Dobby
4.65/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into my Dixie Red Cup. Here's to being classy!

A: Hazy straw yellow with about a one finger head.

S: Lots of lemon/citrus notes, a little funk, some grass

T: Love this sour. Lots of lemon/citrus coming out, a good tart flavor overall.

M: Well carbonated. Sour but not too sour so it doesnt wreck the palate.

D: One of my favorite sours overall. I brought this on a trip with me so my non-BA friends could get a taste (hence the classy red cups). Everybody loved it, just wish I could get this locally!

Photo of Mrmarmot
4.34/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tap at Ithaca Brewery on Release day.

very Fizzy light head, murky pale color

Nose Odd, sour tart fruit, lemon citrus.

Taste had nice golden malts with light off taste. I am not a big sour fan but this was not bad it was more on the lighter side of the sours i have had.

Mouth is light bodied, Lots of Carb.

Overall Good

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Brute from Ithaca Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 828 ratings.