1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Brute - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
BruteBrute

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

790 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 790
Reviews: 388
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 790 | Reviews: 388 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of orangesol
orangesol

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite wild's. Finally decided to break down and write a review. Thanks to whoever brought this bottle to Imminent Liquidation II

A - Pours slightly hazy golden yellow with a nice one finger tall white head leaving small stringy lace down the glass.

S - Smells of lemons, granny smith apples, bready yeast, oak, some sweetness and a good amount of lactic sourness. Not as funky as others in the style, but that isn't a bad thing.

T - Starts off with a nice jolt of citric fruit tartness quickly being enveloped by the lactic sourness and hints of chewy grain, green apple and plenty of dry oak tannins. The dryness continues through the finish. Could use a tiny bit more funk but thats just me.

M - Tart, dry feel with a spritzy feel from the moderately high carbonation. The champagne yeast really works well for this one and it isn't overly sour like others in the style.

O - Easily one of the best wild's out there. If you are looking to get into the world of sour beers this is a good starting point. It isn't overly sour and it is easy to drink. Awesome stuff for sure.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2012 15:48:08 | More by orangesol
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 750ml brown bottle stuck with a yellow synthetic corked and capped, poured into my favorite snifter. This is the most recent batch #E!027. Tonight is a celebratory type of night and this is the closest thing I have to champagne...only better.

Brute pours a hazed light golden orange color with more than 2 fingers of white head that slowly receeds leaving some patches of leggy lace about the glass. After the initial surge of carbonation and head formation, it settles to a thin cap supported by some rising bubbles. A light swirl revives the head back to a finger's strength. The orange glow that this brew displays is interesting. Even though it appears somewhat cloudy, it doesn't have any particles floating around or stuck in suspension that I can see.

The aroma of brute includes some sharp citrus notes reminescent of lemon upfront. All through the nose is the scent of brett with a contrasting smell somewhat like that of wet leather and funky goodness that is somewhat cheesy. Underneath the predominant character of brett and lemony citrus is a light grainy sweetness that ties it all together and really accents the citrus component of the nose. Once brute reaches warmer temperatures, some alcohol character comes out and really gives the first indication of some woodsy notes.

The taste of brute is tart upfront with the lemony citrus character that has a minor puckering quality. Some of the alcohol's presence comes through here and highlights the sharpness of this brew's flavor. Beyond the citrus aspect is a light grainy sweetness that blends into the brett's contribution of funk, cheese and leather. This brew finishes with a dry woodsy flavor that has a light grainy taste that offsets the tartness and acidity.

Brute is a light bodied brew with a moderately high level of carbonation that is prickly and light on the tongue. This beer is crisp, refreshing, complex and overall just well balanced without brett overkill to allow you to enjoy everything that is going on inside this brew. It has an excellent amount of drinkability and enough alcohol that allows you to enjoy another glass but without the effects playing too much of a factor.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2010 00:35:52 | More by stakem
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2010 22:10:27 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of duceswild
duceswild

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

02-27-2013 06:04:14 | More by duceswild
Photo of mothman
mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2009 20:49:58 | More by mothman
Photo of BARFLYB
BARFLYB

Pennsylvania

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!

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2009 18:10:46 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of BillRoth
BillRoth

Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

07-11-2013 02:45:40 | More by BillRoth
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2010 21:14:04 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

03-22-2012 01:54:59 | More by superspak
Photo of brandoman63
brandoman63

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

11-29-2011 20:20:31 | More by brandoman63
Photo of drewone
drewone

California

4.75/5  rDev +7%

05-07-2013 07:04:08 | More by drewone
Photo of Mebuzzard
Mebuzzard

Colorado

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2010 20:45:30 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-19-2009 20:36:17 | More by Viggo
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2011 04:31:26 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2011 16:32:21 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of Kelp
Kelp

New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

01-23-2013 05:22:15 | More by Kelp
Photo of PEIhop
PEIhop

Massachusetts

4.75/5  rDev +7%

08-12-2012 00:16:11 | More by PEIhop
Photo of beertunes
beertunes

Washington

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

01-11-2013 23:46:47 | More by beertunes
Photo of billab914
billab914

Virginia

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2010 00:44:21 | More by billab914
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2009 19:39:34 | More by HopHead84
Photo of THECPJ
THECPJ

Delaware

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

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2011 19:17:30 | More by THECPJ
Photo of TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

4.15/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch # E!010, from Buckeyesox and enjoyed in his memory (you're missed Dev). From the label: "Brewed with vintage local hops, American barley, wheat, and corn, Brute is fermented on oak for many months with Brettanomyces, then finished with a blend of three champagne yeasts".

The beer is hazy, pale yellow color, with about 3+ fingers of white foam that retains for about forever. The aroma is tart and fruity, kind of like white wine but a little sweeter. The taste both meets my expectations and surprises me a little all at once. I expected a sour bite but was unprepared for the bracing tartness with which this beer presents itself. None of the sweetness from the aroma comes through, really this is so sour and puckering that it shocked me. I love this style of beer but this tasted less funky than what you might expect, none of the horseblanket or grass or musty whatnot, just all the sour turned to 11. A strong white wine might be the best descriptor after all, a bit dry and more bitter than sweet. Or maybe not bitter at all, just acidic.

Despite those descriptions this is really very good, a nice achievement in brewing. We're at a lucky time in American brewing, many craft breweries are now experimenting with Brett, it wasn't that long ago that you only had some Belgian breweries and maybe Russian River to go to for these flavors. Here's to hoping that even more breweries go for it in the future.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2009 22:16:36 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of drummermattie02
drummermattie02

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

06-10-2013 15:19:44 | More by drummermattie02
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2011 01:04:22 | More by xnicknj
Photo of liamt07
liamt07

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2012 01:39:03 | More by liamt07
Brute from Ithaca Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 790 ratings.