Brute | Ithaca Beer Company

844 Ratings
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Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with vintage (aged) local hops, barley, wheat, corn, aged in oak with Brett and finished with three types of champagne yeast.

Added by albern on 06-22-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 844 |  Reviews: 391
Photo of DovaliHops
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

 766 characters

Photo of AltBock
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml capped and corked bottle with a gold label that has the word "Brute" in a ancient Roman font. Flanking both sides of the name of the beer are Ancient Roman coins. Below the name is a description of the beer and a batch number in a rectangle. To the right of that is a paragraph that talks about the Excelsior series. Keep going to the right and you'll find the Government warning, correct glassware, and correct serving temp. This bottle was from batch E!010. I couldn't find a batch number listing, but I have a feeling that its from 2009/2010.

A Great Lakes Snifter was my choice for this beer. From behind the gold label came a hazy pure gold colored beer. There's gold in this beer! This beer was so hazy that I could only see the brief silhouette of my fingers on the other side of the glass. The head of foam was equally impressive as the beer's color. Up rose a tall 1 inch+ cloud white head of foam. This head of foam took its sweet time receding. It left behind a thin white film and quite a few clingy streaks of lace around the glass. Eye candy all the way!

The aroma was funky! Not a bad funky. It was a sour and tart funkiness. It was sour and tart with white grapes, green grapes, green apples and a little lemon and pineapple. As you can tell, it was the beer's fruitiness that kicked off the aroma. Following the fruits was a touch of oak. When the oak had its small amount of fun, the beer then finishes up with a nice semi sweet barnyard funkiness. It was an interesting and nice aroma. It was one of those aromas that my nose couldn't get enough of.

The taste was more sour and tart than it was funky. Like the aroma, it was the beer's tart fruits that kicked off the taste. I tasted tart green grapes, white grapes, a drop of green apples, and a splash of lemon. I detected a little oak after all the fruits. Since this beer wasn't aged IN oak, the oak couldn't control this beer. After all this, the beer then finished up with a slight barnyard funkiness. It would have been easier to write that this beer tasted like it smelled. That would have been too easy. I liked how the barnyard funk didn't completely take control of the taste. It was this beer's sour level that controlled this taste.

This was a light to medium bodied Wild Ale that had plenty of carbonation and nice sour and tart aftertaste. The aftertaste contained more sour and tart green grapes, white grapes, green apples, lemons, and a pinch of barnyard funkiness. Only the sour and tart fruits will linger on the roof of your mouth.

I see that age hasn't taken away any of this beer's sour and tartness. This is one of those beers that did a disappearing trick in front of my eyes. A little bit and a little bit there and before I knew it, the entire 750 was gone. Would I drink it again? I sure would if Ithaca ever decides to make it again.

 2,846 characters

Photo of rtepiak
4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

an above average american lambic interpretation. Pour is golden with a fantastic amount of bubbles. About four fingers initially. And a consistent amount of bubbles coming up. Like a good pilsner. Some mild cloudiness. At first as the nose is cold and tight its grassy. Citrus sour notes but most brett. Subtle raspberry, that fades. To peach, and floral lemon peel. Palate is a well backed lambic. Nice mild sour character that doesn't marginalize other qualities. The wood is always there. In the malt and smooth settle of the sour. And in the bitter to give it dimension and minerals. Great beer. Decent sour.

 612 characters

Photo of greg4579
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of bauermj
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of lovindahops
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

my favorite brewery has made brute a brewery release only. Phe.... I'm close to Ithaca

a- pours a flourescent hazy yellow with a SASSY head of foam on the glass.Brute is bright and literally glows across my ithaca tulip

S- a blast of citrus flavor and brett that is as strong as it can be. A slight theme of wheat and pepper round off that funky barnyard scent that some many love. Brute pushes the brett experience in a brew

t- very lively and powerful with the flavors. The freshness makes me pucker, due to the borderline sour taste. This is what an american wild should taste like. Bursting flavors of citrus and brett all over

m- carbonation is exactly how you would want it to be

o- what can be the closure for summarizing this brew? it has flavors of sweetness and sour elements that engulf the palate. experiencing brute makes an american wild ale experience complete. Great job ithaca

 898 characters

Photo of cvstrickland
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my friend Lum for making an exception to his trading hiatus and getting this sexy Brute into my greedy little hands!! Prost, homeboy!!

Handsome gold-labeled corked and capped Champagne-style bottle opened with a healthy pop!, poured into a small tulip glass yields a bright golden-lemonade body with some haze and plenty of streamers of active carbonation feeding a thick cap of soft bright white foam. The head retains at a thick sheet and leaves blobs of foam and irregular fat rings of lacing on the glass.

The smell of the drink is somewhat fruity with an herbal note and some light Bretty funkiness that leans towards sour, but not at all eye-crossingly so. A bit of pale malt is buried deep in the profile, but it's there and provides a bit of footing for the yeasty fireworks show.

The taste is crisp, a touch fruity and dryly tart with a deeper level of sourness that rolls around the back of the tongue before going quietly into a clean finish. This "Golden Sour Ale" remains more 'tart' than 'sour' throughout the drink, with a juicy note reminiscent of fresh cider without the associated sweetness until the drink begins to warm and soften a bit. As my evaluation of this brew progresses, just a touch of sushi vinegar emerges to supplement the sour character, but never threatens to take control of the drink, even as a sweet woody note of oak rises to help counterbalance all the twang. Brute is dry, dry, dry throughout the encounter, with just a little bit of tooth-squeaking astringency that fits the character of this Ithacan masterpiece just perfectly.

The drink is on the burly side of medium-bodied with a wonderful sizzle of carbonation that lightens the impact of the sourness on the palate and refreshes the drinker masterfully. Though certainly "wild", this Brute is no dumb one, but is instead a big cuddly sour that makes me glad I have a second one languishing in the bullpen. Superb. Stupendous. Kickass. Thanks again, Lum!

 1,965 characters

Photo of victory4me
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of monitorpop
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of callmemickey
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch E!010. Poured into two tulips and shared with the lady.

A: Bright, rich golden colored body with fantastic hazing. Large fluffy white head which slowly recedes to a nice coating with no patches. Good spotty, fluffy lacing.

S: Soft green apples, lemon, orange, funk. Overall slightly tart and sour.

T: Amped up explosion of sour green apples and tart citric fruits. Light funk in the background. Absolutely divine flavor profile. Everything is silky smooth and loaded with delicate complexity.

M: Tart and sour with a nice light-medium body. Clean, crisp and refreshing finish. Somewhat sweet in the middle.

D: A super sour. Not sure what I could have done with the whole bottle to my self, but this is a nice light sour. Reminds me very much of temptation crossed with fantome saison. Get one.

 805 characters

Photo of Lawnboy33
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of claytong
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of antoines15
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of KAP1356
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1st time trying this and very psyched to be doing so. Shared with my brother and his girlfriend on 1/1/2011. 750 ml. bottle marked Batch E!027 into a Victory Golden Monkey tulip glass...

A - Poured a very hazy, golden-yellow color which actually looked extremely inviting when placed in the light. Very soapy-white and bubbly 2 finger head slowly recedes to a small layer. Some ever so slight lacing is present. Bubbles are racing to the top of the glass.

S - Bretty, funky, musty, attic-like smell right up front. VERY excited now. Some nice malt backbone and fruits come next; some peaches and lemons.

T - Gotta love that funky barnyard taste! Lots of Brett, funk, acidity and sourness up front. Nice lemon zest flavors follow with a solid malt backbone peeking its head in when it can. Almost gueuze like really.

M - Light bodied with a very nice carbonation, ala champagne. Nice bite from the acididty and a nice dry finish. Really quite nice.

D - Really wishing I had more than 1 bottle of this guy. Great beer and one that I could easily have had multiples of. It is much lighter for the slightly higher ABV (for a Wild Ale) which adds nicely to its drinkability.

 1,175 characters

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.51/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to eclectic for this one!

This one pours a foggy peach and straw color that's very clear around the edges. The head is a soft fluffy white.

Smells of dry cranberry and tart green apple with a touch of dry oak. There's also a touch of cork to this. Beneath is a subtle cocktail of soft pie crust and almost nutmeg along with a hint of barn yard funk.

Tastes of a similar cranberry, apple, oak and cork. The balance here is lovely. The way these tart and funky flavors just seem to float around on their own is really impressive.

Feels soft, smooth and tingly leaving my mouth with a sour snap.

This one's pretty outstanding. The drinkability for an assertive sour beer here is off the charts.

 704 characters

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Matt (Huhzubendah) for bringing this to a recent tasting at my place, been wanting to try this in a 'controlled' tasting setting for a long time having only tried this at festivals.

A: Very pretty orange color with a ring of white head with minimal lacing. Pretty.

S: A very refined smell of clean citrus tartness, farmhouse malt and robust yeast (nice!), and great light fruit overall. I get a nice helping of brett in the nose as well as the oak. Overall seems like a tart version of a great white wine.

T: Excellent full layer of flavor here. Has a defined taste up front of tart citrus, a bigger fruit rind and sweeter middle, and a little bittering finish with ripe fruit. Overall, oak and vanilla preside over all of this. Very excellent clean and refined tartness and flavor.

M: Clean and juicy without any annoying 'overtart' or overdrying qualities.

Overall a great beer I'll be looking to have again sometime.

 940 characters

Photo of BeerThursdays
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of dwoolley1
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of linnymtu
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of thebouch01
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of asabreed
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Corked and capped 750 ml. bottle poured into a Brooklyn tulip.

Appearance: A hazy cloudy bright yellow, like someone threw an Alka-Seltzer and a highlighter into some soda water. Nuts. The head with each pour bubbles up into a bright white fountain, slowly going back to the body of the brew, letting nice drops form on the side. This looks damn good in the glass.

Smell: What's weird here is I'm getting a lot of corn smell, which I'm not really digging. I would've questioned that anyway, if the label didn't say it, but you can smell the earthy sweetness of the corn. That said, I'm also getting, of course a ton of Brett sourness, but there's a good undercurrent of brighter red fruits, especially cherry and strawberry. The oak's also evident, of course.

Taste: Wowness. This is not your training wheels Wild Ale, and this is one of those beers I'm glad I had many years after I got into beer. The complexity's up there, but the sourness is going to new levels here. Yet there's also enough sweetness from the fruit esters and the yeast to balance things out. But make no mistake: this sucker's a madly puckering brew. Still, there are lots of bright flavors throughout, from the first pour to the last, including the nice sour cherry component and good but not overly-used oak. And again, the balance here is key, because the fruit and citrus sweetness keep it in check the entire way, making the puckering finish also lip-smacking.

Mouthfeel: I love Ithaca's use of champagne yeast, and if I'm not wrong about this, it seems like more and more breweries are competently experimenting with this finisher. It gives it a completely fizzy yet complex element and softness that makes everything go together very well. It also works well with the complexity of the flavors.

Drinkability: Believe the hype about this brew, especially if you're into Wild Ales. I'll definitely be picking up at least one more bottle if I can find it in the future, and I can't wait to see what Ithaca keeps putting out there in the future.

 2,031 characters

Photo of TexIndy
4.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got in a trade with johnnnniee - many, many thanks as usual! Poured from a 750ml bottle with a yellow plastic cork (1st for that) under the crown. No date but batch E! 018 which just came out so it's fresh. It was a hazy golden yellow color with large amounts of carb streams. It had a massive fluffy white head that slowly settled to a constant foam fed by the carb. Quick sliding lace that didn't stick.

The aroma is amazingly good. Great brett slap in the face backed up with fruit and oak. A little more barnyard and this would be perfect. As is, it's a constant sniffer. The taste was exceptional. The sour is dominant but the fruit and oak also come through for a great balance. One of the best tasting wild ales out there. great tart bite from the start that finishes just shy of a pucker. Semi dry finish. Mouthfeel is crisp with carb and sour bites.

Overall, an outstanding wild ale that I highly recommend. Near perfect in all areas and worthy of the hype. I could drink this one anytime, anywhere. Now, I've just got to find some more! Rotation: not avail here - got in trade. If avail here would be heavy hitter. As is, need to find some more and/or roadtrip.

 1,173 characters

Photo of scootny
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Capped and corked with some kind of foamy plastic. A sizable head with good retention and bits of lace here and there. Quite a bit of carbonation in the glass. Smell is like a deep dry white wine. Sour apples and grapes abound. Light malted grains and funky Brett. Taste is vinous with a healthy malt core A light fruitiness with a firm woody oak. Tart and juicy with a strong dry puckering sourness in the finish. A lingering taste of malted grains. Wonderfully subtle and complex. Feel is crisp and light with a velvety texture as it develops in the mouth. Quite drinkable and a great one to have around wine snobs. This has all the strong points of a great white with the added flavors of a superb fermented grain beverage.

 726 characters

Photo of cfrances33
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of pknyc
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Brute from Ithaca Beer Company
4.39 out of 5 based on 844 ratings.
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