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Brute - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
BruteBrute

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

805 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 805
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: 805 | Reviews: 389 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of duceswild
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

duceswild, Feb 27, 2013
Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch # E!0I0, $14.99 @ Cable bev. in Bardonia, NY. Large bottle, capped and plastic corked. Pours hazy yellowy medium amber, the head initially is HUGE, light and fluffy with lots of air in it, nice retention shown, then a light whispy film and collar a slippery thicker lacing. I get some earthy mustyness in the nose and perhaps some light citrus. Yummy wild ale, with more then a moderate sour bite. I get plenty of lime, light barnyard, bracing tartness. Thirst quenching, palate cleansing, thoroughly pleasing AWA.

Billolick, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of tempest
4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to my friend Keith for sharing a bottle from Ithaca. This was a fantastic sour that reminded me of the best gueuzes I'm sampled. The main difference between this and its Belgian counterparts was the lack of the barnyard character that make a lambic extra funky. This, instead a had a lightly sweet, but mostly sour herbal lemon tang. The oak aging adding a subtle candy vanilla while the champagne yeast helps with a dry finish to round the beer out. If you like sours, you need to find this.

tempest, Sep 15, 2010
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden with a relatively thin but tightly beaded head that sticks around. A nice golden glow to this beer. Smells acetic to start, then spicy oak, and then a more mellow creaminess on the finish. Very nice flavors here. Lots of big acetic notes. a slight touch of funk, big spicy oak, and some nice horseblanket notes. Outstanding. Prickly and very sour in the mouth, this beer is extremely refreshing. I really enjoyed on a late summer day in Atlanta.

Georgiabeer, Sep 11, 2010
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 mothman
4.15/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch E!010

Opens with a subtle pop.

Poured into thin stemmed wine glass.

Pours a huge fizzy white head that settles very quick. No lace. Color is an appealing orange mango. I can't see through this one.

Aroma: This is a sour one. Very tart. Brett and oak chips are fairly present. The brett creates a nice farmhouse funk to it. It also has some very sour fruits in the background and a citrus aroma.

Taste: Big oak flavor, brett funk, citrus. Very, very tart almost too tart. I like it, but it puckers the much so much. A nice wild, but there are better.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly sour and tart. Kind of funky. Light bodied with a very high amount of carbonation. Ends with a sour oak clean aftertaste.

Overall, this beer is just a little too sour for me. It is drinking very slow for me. I couldn't drink an entire bottle, but one glass is a nice sipper. However, it is decently tasty.

mothman, Aug 11, 2009
Photo of akorsak
4.38/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A corked and capped 750 mL bottle purchased at the brewery on the day of release, July 31.

A: The cork came out without even a phhtz. In my glass, ale is hazy like a weizen with a pale straw tone. The carbonation is evident in the pour, generating nearly two fingers in my snifter before disappearing with no lace.

S: The nose is acidic and tart, sour from the very first drag. Lemon and green apple are prickly, driving the funk.

T: The tartness immediately caused me to pucker up. So as you'd imagine, the lemony sour aspect is particularly high. What is so surprising though is the pale malt base that follows up tartness. Before the biscuit malts arrive though, the ale becomes dry, bone dry. That dryness is where the apple flavor is most pronounced. The sweeness of the malts are a nice contract to the dry flavors, lingering nicely on the palate. An abundant citrusy lemon flavor crops up at the end of each sip, blindingly tart with a nice finish. Even my burps have a sweet lemony finish.

M: I like the pucker factor, it almost causes me to cringe at the bite. The lemon and green apple really drive the flavor but the malty sweetness (nicely described by others as Juicy Fruit-like) is a counterpoint that works nicely.

D: The bottle says 7.0%, BA says 6.5%. Either way, the ale never betrays its strength. The combination of sweet and sour makes this very accessible despite the immediate tartness.

akorsak, Sep 28, 2009
Photo of superspak
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

superspak, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.7/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared at my tasting on May 29, 2010.

Brute appears a light, golden hue with a tiny head that leaves no lacing, which isn't terribly surprising for a wild ale. Aromas of wild yeast, particularly brettanomyces, straw, and hay are wonderful and inviting. This is going to be a tasty beverage, I can tell. The taste is absolutely wonderful, and even exceeded my expectations based on the aroma. This beer is smooth and easy to drink. The feel is slightly thin, but not necessarily in a negative way. This is a really fantastic beer. Highly recommended.

Huhzubendah, Jun 24, 2010
Photo of BARFLYB
4.85/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml corked bottle into a large wine glass. Batch 10 in the excelsior series. Thanks goes out to Goryskhewych for the bottle in a trade. I tried a sample of this in a bottle before and had it on tap, I just cant get enough of this stuff.

A- Taking out the cork. Brute pours a bright golden color with some spots of yellow. Brute has a cloudy appearance from all that was put into making it. A nice streamed pour yielded little to no head but what was there was white and fizzy. A nice golden color in sight. This is very gueze like in presense and looks great in the wine glass.

S- Sweet sour heaven. Not sweet in that sense but scents of barnyard and funk mixed with various types of yeast(champagne variety) making for a wonderful nose. Getting a lot of brett aroma's telling me this was expertly innoculated. Getting some citrus notes as brute opens up and does its thing. A great smelling beer to sum up.

T- I first had a 2oz sample of this a while ago and i've been searching for this since since it wowed me, and brute did it again. I simply am in awe over this and need more. A nice innoculated golden ale with funky brett and champagne yeast, what's not to love? The champagne yeast used really gives brute a face of it's own in an ever increasing sour market. Brute is funky with barnyard written all over it. Some earthy and floral qualitys with some sour green apple thrown in as well. Simple but elegant.

M- Crisp and very nicely carbonated. Brute has it all. A nice mouth puckering sourness that's not overkill, well at least not for me. This is very light bodied and has a good nice dry finish. This almost reminded me of wine sometimes and has a similar profile to temptation IMO. A great beer to pair with cheese, meat, lamb, whatever.

D- A low abv and a great taste make this an exceptional sour in my book. The mouthfeel is also to die for. I would drink a bottle of this to myself no problem and now that Brute is getting some distribution I very well may do that. I cant wait for the next batch. I will say this, Brute is my favorite east coast sour by far. Congratz Ithaca!

BARFLYB, Apr 29, 2009
Photo of Mebuzzard
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one looks like champagne. Light chardonnay looking body, bubbles kind of all over the place. The head indicates that, yes, this is a beer. A semi-dense head, tight bubbles, not a whole lot of staying power.
Sharp aroma, a bit sour. White grape, lemon, green fruit. Effervescent in the nose.

Tangy and tannin in the taste. The white grape becomes a bit sour and the lemon is juicy. Lime and golden apples. Thin body, but it does a number on the palate. The carbonation combines with the sour to cut through anything before it. Quite a nice aperitif if you're starting out on a meal.

Mebuzzard, Aug 14, 2010
Photo of BillRoth
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

BillRoth, Jul 11, 2013
Photo of mdaschaf
4.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Review from notes 2/25/11. Thanks to THECPJ for sharing this bottle! Very excited to try it.

A: Poured a pale amber with a slight cloudiness. Nice white head that grew up to two fingers in height but dissipated to a 1/2 finger layer of foam bubbles that lasted throughout.

S: Lots of tart fruit, extremely strong. There is some sour apple and a little bit of grapefruit, apricot, and peaches. Very inviting.

T: A very nice sour/tart flavor. Lots of fruit flavors - apples, grapefruit, apricots, and some peaches. There is a very nice grassy/earthy hop component that has a bit of lemony flavor as well.

M/D: Has a nice mouth puckering quality. Light to medium bodied with spot on carbonation. Extremely drinkable with an amazing flavor profile.

mdaschaf, Mar 11, 2011
Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

brandoman63, Nov 29, 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 Kelp
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

Kelp, Jan 23, 2013
Photo of KAF
4/5  rDev -9.9%

KAF, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.75/5  rDev +7%

iL0VEbeer, Apr 10, 2014
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 Beerandraiderfan
4.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a nice darker chardonnayish champagney looking beer. Really pretty. Aroma revealed more of the same aroma aspects from a white wine, but also some virgin oak I would guess with the clean brett existence (not so much funkitude up in this one).

Taste, beautiful, clean, sour. Very similar to The Vine from Cascade, this one is a little more sessionable and less sour, relying on brett more than the aforementioned, which I believe divies up its sourness between a variety of bugs. Acidity kept in check, I don't really care about that one, acidic or not, a beer is not good based upon that factor in my book. Fruit existence is low, might be something like green apple, maybe some light citrus like lemon, but that's about it, definitely no dark fruit. Carbonation was perfect.

I brought this one to the sour share in Reno last month.

Beerandraiderfan, Oct 25, 2011
Photo of ShanePB
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

ShanePB, Feb 22, 2013
Photo of PEIhop
4.75/5  rDev +7%

PEIhop, Aug 12, 2012
Photo of liamt07
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle shared by Sammy, 2011 vintage - batch E!037. Into a tulip.

Hazy gold with a brilliant bubbly white head. Good retention and light lacing. Nose of tart apple, champagne yeast, a bit of sourness, lemon, a bit of funk and general fruitiness. Tastes quite tart, some lemon, a bit funky and yeast notes again. Effervescent mouthfeel, champagne yeast stands out. Tart, medium body, and no alcohol. A very drinkable brut, but not the best I've had in the style. Still very well done.

liamt07, Jul 04, 2012
Photo of HopHead84
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours vibrant golden and slightly hazy into my snifter. The white head is mountainous and cavernous with excellent retention. Thick lacing is left behind after the head recedes.

The aroma is lemon and other light fruits, with oak and Brett. The Brett imparts mustiness and barnyard notes. Some acetic acid is evident in the nose. As the beer warms, citrus is coaxed out of hiding and soft notes of orange, grapefruit, and apricot to shine.

The taste is an immediate lemon zing, with noticeable oakiness. The Brett has some horse blanket and barnyard with some tartness, but it's not overwhelmingly funky. This beer has a nice balance of dry funk and fruit. Some earthiness is noticeable. The finish is very dry, exhibiting just a touch of sweetness, and fruity tartness lingers.

The beer is light bodied and effervescent with a dry mouthfeel.

HopHead84, Jun 22, 2009
Photo of Alieniloquium
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Batch E!037. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Golden orange. Huge white head. Excellent lacing.

Smell - Acidic with a lot of hay and wheat. Lemony acidity. No real funk, but I guess that isn't the point of this.

Taste - Spritzy acidity. Good lemon sourness. Same grainy malts as the aroma. Not overpowering. Just a hint acetic. Dry and oaky in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Light and effervescent. Sprizty and champagney. All of those adjectives mean the same thing. Over carbonated, really, but it adds to the experience a lot more than it detracts.

Overall - Maybe not an exciting sour, but extremely well made. Technical excellence.

Alieniloquium, Sep 12, 2012
Brute from Ithaca Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 805 ratings.