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Brute | Ithaca Beer Company

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BA SCORE
97
world-class
392 Reviews
THE BROS
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BruteBrute
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States
ithacabeer.com

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.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
392
Ratings:
842
Avg:
4.39
pDev:
9.34%
 
 
Wants:
1,072
Gots:
139
For Trade:
6
User Reviews
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Reviews: 392 | Ratings: 842
Photo of gregshead
4.37/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

enjoyed on 3/13/11. Reviewed from notes:

A: Pours into my tulip glass with a good 3 fingers of head.

S: sour funk. lemon/tangerine smell.

T: Lots of citrus. Lemon and tangerine. Maybe some granny smith apples

M: Light feel with lots of bubbles/carbonation. Has a champagne feel.

D: If you are looking for a mouth puckering sour, you'll want to cellar this one. I enjoyed it for the mildness with the citrus zing.

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Photo of alleykatking
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from 750ml bottle. Many many thanks go out to betsona and Lukafer for both bringing bottles to the tasting!

A- Pours a hazy golden yellow color. The middle of the beer is more golden color than the rest of the beer. Two and a half finger white head shows fantastic retention. Lots of sticky thick lacing which is sheety on the sides of the glass.

S- From the first sniff I get tons of brett funk with a nice underlying citrusy lemon tone. Oak comes through next and stays with a light grassy barnyard aroma. Hints of wet grain lead up in the backing of the aroma along with light green apple. The brett in this calm and very relaxed which I found to be nice at least in the aroma department

T- Upon first sip the brett comes out in a nice light pucking tone. Light green apple quickly gets covered with a large citrus tone that becomes a dominate flavor in this beer. Light wet grain/hay flavor in the the underbody mix well with a light woody note. The sourness in this beer to me is very calm and this leads to more flavors coming through. Lemon screams throughout the beer in both over and undertones depending on the portion of the beer. Light sweetness on the ending along with hints of alcohol and a mellowing brett overtone.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. High alcohol drying on the palate but doesn't take away from overall mouthfeel. Lemon, brett, and light oak left on the palate. Aftertaste is hints of alcohol, barrel notes, sourness, lemon, and wet hay are left in the aftertaste. Flavors were very well balanced more so than most beers like this. No off flavors were detected while drinking.

O- I thought this beer was amazing. A nice mellow wild ale that drinks fantastic. Lower ABV makes this a whole 750ml drinker if you dare. To be honest it was much more than I thought it could be.

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Photo of Wisconsinality
4.7/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage poured into tulip.

Thanks to Beerwolf77 for this one.

A- This beer pours a hazy apricot with a half finger worth of head. It dies down slowly and leaves some spotty lacing on the side of the glass.

S- Big hints of wild yeast with nice fruity and grape notes. There is also a good amount of funk to it as well.

T- Starts out with good tartness with some sour grapes and a nice balance of funk. There is also some good yeast presence and a wine like character.

M- Lighter bodied with sparkling carbonation that tickles the tongue. Pretty dry on the finish and a little sour puckering.

O- This brew lives up to its billing. Great flavors with a nice sour bite to it all while maintaining great balance throughout. Get this if you can.

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Photo of veinless
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Enormous thank you to AwYeh for sharing this with me, this will be one of my first tastes of a reputable east coast sour.

Vintage: Batch #E!010

Pours a very hazy blonde yellow with a deeper darker color near the top and in the middle. Head fizzes but is frothy and retains well at the same time. Lace just doesn't adhere to the glass, as you can see it slide down the sides when the beer is swirled.

Nose is very strong, with the immediate distinctive aroma of Brett hitting you hard. Green apple and wood are quite present and a slight breadiness is a good contrast too. It doesn't smell as tart as I expected, but there is enough of that as well to go with a bit of fruity sweetness.

Taste then punches you in the mouth with an intensely tart, mouth puckering sourness that is acidic and smooth all at once. Apple once again comes out a lot and loads of lemony citrus tart character pervade every cubic inch of your mouth. Sweetness is just enough to prevent this from becoming unpleasant, and the Brett yeastiness adds that little bit of funk that brings it all together. The finish is sticky and sour all at once.

Mouthfeel is creamy and very acidic, with your cheeks feeling like they are being stripped of their tissue. Carbonation is very high and lively - awesome, awesome mouthfeel. Drinkability is good due to the diverse finish that doesn't quit lingering until the next sip. The sheer strength of sourness and acidity combined with the finish not neutralizing too much of the tart character might hurt this if I was to have an entire bomber, but one glass or sipping the whole bomber is not a problem at all.

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

Batch E!010, poured into snifter.

A: Pours a cloudy golden yellow-orange color, much like that of the yolk of an egg. At least three fingers of fluffy, foamy white head, with great retention and loads of lacing.

S: Tart and sweet- I get big quantities of lemon, both in its natural sour state and as a sugared up dessert flavor. Grass, Brett, and oak all make appearances too.

T: Huge sour flavor to start things off; tons of lemon juice here. Once the initial burst of sourness fades just enough for other flavors become recognizable, I am met by a widely complex sweet flavor- lots more citrus, with light bits of malts floating in, complemented by oak and the lingering sour/its effects on my palate.

M: Light/medium bodied with lively carbonation; very smooth and bubbly, with a mouth-puckeringly dry, sour finish. The lingering finish causes an effect where everything tastes sweet, presumably in response to the sourness that had been there.

O: Outstanding beer; extraordinarily easy to drink, and with each sip I find something new in it. Highly recommended if you get a chance to pick this up or trade for it.

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Photo of sisuspeed
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for the bottle Paul!
Batch E!027

Pours with a huge, fluffy, white head. Body is an almost clear golden yellow. Big patches of lacing left behind. Looks great.

Earthy, grainy, brett-funk on the nose, mixed with wet hay, dried fall leaves and a touch of spice. Hint of sweet malts and faint citrus. Light acidic sourness throughout.

Funky, green-apple, citrus mixed with an earthy sourness on the tongue. Quite enjoyable. The corn actually comes through nicely. Didn't think I'd really taste it. Touch of grassy bitterness. The oak is light and there is also a bit of white grape.

Spritzy sourness for the mouthfeel. Somewhat foamy upfront, but crisp on the finish. At times there is a slightly creamy/cheesy feel to the body as it washes over your tongue. The sourness is assertive, but not overbearing. Well done.

Drinkability is good. I'm really enjoying the glass in front of me. It's nice to see another American wild that can hold it's own with the Belgians. The aroma on this beer is great and the flavor/body are well executed. I thought the corn addition was kind of interesting, and tasty, but I think I might enjoy the beer a bit more without it. All in all though, this beer is definitely worth picking up.

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Photo of Verecund
4.29/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch E!027, opened on March 12, 2011.

Pours a faded and hazy gold-yellow with a massive four-finger head. It settles to a nice, rocky two-finger head, but it certainly isn't much to look at as far as color or clarity is concerned.

Lemon zest, citrus, green apple, dry brett, and straw. It's somewhat musty and there's a hint of white pepper on the finish. Strongly citrus.

Nice citric and white grape acidity, with a wonderful emerging tartness mid-palate. Straightforward, but really clean, with a nice dry finish. A little oaky. (This is really more of a 4.25 for me, but I'll round up.)

Medium-bodied, with medium-high carbonation. Pretty smooth, with some effervescent champagne-like character.

This is an enjoyable beer. The flavor on the back of the palate is a bit dull, but I love the transition between acidity and tartness, and the citrus is bright and refreshing. One of the more drinkable American wilds I've had.

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Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from sour tasting notes

A. Pours a hazy pale yellow with one finger white head that clings to the glass.

S. Tart with light fruit champagne like flavors, very floral-like

T. Similar to the aroma with some additional oak character

M. Medium body with high level of carbonation; this drinks like champagne

D. Very good; I'll certainly pick this up again.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.57/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of Retsinis
3.9/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A fellow BA (thanks Adam) was generous to bring this to share at my birthday gathering.

Poured from a 750 ml bottle, (I belive this was a 2009 bottle) into a Bruery tulip glass.

The beer pours a hazy bright golden yellow, with a fluffy billowing white head that rose a good two inches, and retained for quite a while. Eventually faded a bit, but was still a generous inch of head or so throughout. Some light lacing.

The aroma's, to me were a mixture of sour funk, crisp apples, a hint of oak, and wet hay. Also some lemon citrus notes as well.

The taste was refreshing, and crisp. On the draw, I got some initial tartness, sour peaches, oak, and green apples. This was followed by that barnyard funk, a bit of spice, and a dry bitter finish. The flavors reminded me of a sour carbonated chardonnay wine a bit, if such a thing exists.

Mouth feel was medium to high carbonation, dry, not unlike champagne (which it sounds like they were going for that)

I will admit, I do not crave sours. I knocked the beer just a bit on drinkability for that reason, and of the 6 oz I got, it was enough for me personally. I've had a few sours, not been offended by any, but when I see them on the shelf, I tend to pass. Slowly, I'm starting to appreciate them, and this bottle helped that. Reminded me of a fine champagne, just with less alcohol.

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

Shared generously by Chico, been pretty excited to try this for a long time. Batch E!027, 2010?

A- Hazy golden yellow with a beastly white head. Brutally foamy with huge retention. Some suds but not a lot of lace.

S- Sour grape notes blast into my nostrils with a big vinegar/acetic presence. General apple, light fruit, wine Flanders feel.

T- Sour light fruit is up front (grape, lemon). Oak and vinegar round it out with just a bit of sweetness. Straw, funky barnyard and grape vine stand out as well.

MF- Creamy light body with cheek-puckering sour. Love the oily vinegar feel.

DB- Pretty sour and it reminds me sort of a mix of RR Temptation and Monk's Cafe somehow. Interesting and certainly worth trying if you have a chance.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been holding onto this since September, shared at a tasting last night. Batch E!027 (2010 release I think)

Hazy bright orange with a huge white head that takes a while to fall. Retains at a finger eventually and leaves a little lacing.

Bracing sourness and oak on the nose.

Taste - Sour all the way, warheads, oak, vinegar, mustiness, white grape, green apple, wheat/yeast. Definitely some champagne flavors going on and bit of vanilla. Really sour and vinegary. It reminds me of Temptation a little.

Definitely more sour than I expected... a little one-note seeming for a wild ale but good.

**9/9/11 - more notes**

Had the pleasure of trying an 08-11 vertical at Armsby Abbey, 4oz pours or so of each, great to have these side by side.

2011 was very low on the sour/brett scale, this was very light feeling and fruit forward, and left a pretty killer toasty finish.

2010 was probably my favorite overall, great balance between sourness and fruit. 2009 was similar. 2008 seemed a bit subdued or maybe a little past it's prime.

 1,040 characters

Photo of THECPJ
4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
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

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Photo of timtim
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

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

750ml bottle form 2008.

Pours clear gold with a crackling release of carbonation. A short spongy head of white quickly fell to a placid surface with zero lacing, and an unrelenting ascent of dancing lines of minute bubbles.

Aromatics lead off with brett funk and lemon pith. Wet horse, citrus-spritzed hay, green apples, cloves, and pineapple skin. Tannic and lemony.

Light bodied with a spritzy, pointed mouthfeel. Dry and sharp as tacks.

Husky wheat, lemon oil, apricots, and juniper start the palate. A mild tartness steps forward and a hint of honey adds the only residuals found in this beer.

Finishes with a lingering sharp, tannic dryness, lemony citrus, and a refreshing tartness.

Great beer. Really holding up well for a three year old, but I think I prefer a fresh one.

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Photo of sybilyang
3.95/5  rDev -10%
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.

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Photo of fastsrt
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 poured in a wine glass.

A: bright yellow, hazy, huge fluffy head that laces the glass as it mellows.

S: fuit, apples, grapes, oak

T: apples, lemon, oak, balanced to the point that I will keep going back for more

M: smooth, champaign like.

D: this bottle went down in minutes it was a truly amazing beer I have not been a big fan of sours, only been able to handle about 1 glass or so, untill this one.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to tenderbranson69 for sharing this at our wild ale tasting- poured from the bottle into a tulip.

Interesting to know it is bottle conditioned, but I guess most wild ales are. The color is deep golden like apple juice with head of white w/ good retention - tight bead and mildly hazed in the clarity dept. There are lots of fruity odors w/ slight funky ester and mild grain notes w/ subtle tangy of citrus and mild mango w/ a aroma of mineola which is sweet juicy and citrus fragrance. There is a similarity to grapefruit and the levity of kumquat is noted with its sweet/sour dichotomy. The feeel is very good w/ strong sweet and mild tannic bitter edge combined with a highly carbonted texture and slight tangy fruity element w/ semi-dry finkish and light sweet essence from the malt in the residual taste.

A great juicy and dry citrus taste w/ flesh, peel flavor and very broad range of tangy mixed with tropical elements and mild lemony bitter edges. The flavor of tangerines and slight acidic bite of grapefruit w/ accent of sweet fruit blanacing with an orange/mango combinated, light pineapple in the background and subtle taste of toasted malt w/ juiciness pretty strong and lasting into the finish. The drinkability is high - a wild ale I have enjoyed multiple times on tap and bottle, this is intensely sour and yet doesn't go to far. There is enough other flavors from the malt and adjuct to give it balance and retains complexity while giving slight puckering astringent and still has some residual sweetness

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.72/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Brute pours a bright electric yellow, sort of a strange color with a beer. Slight haze in the center, with tons of carbonation supporting a large, foamy head. Bubbles on the side and bottom of the glass rise up, giving the head great retention. Lots of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Green apple, white grape, pear, barnyard funk, a little vanilla, and some oak.

Taste: Oaky and sour. Some bretty funk turns sour, but it is not overwhelming. Tart green apples, white grapes, and a bit of pear. Woody oak helps to tie everything together. Very balanced.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy at the same time. Crisp, dry, and medium bodied. The acidity creates a puckering sensation in my lower cheeks.

Drinkability: At this stage in my sour drinking career, balance is something I look kindly upon, and Brute demonstrates an extremely good balance. I will go after this again.

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Photo of bnieman
4.97/5  rDev +13.2%
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!

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Photo of levifunk
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

generously brought to a tasting by madvike. reviewed from notes.

a - the pour is peach in color with a white head.

s - vinegar sourness, hay funk, and some sweetness.

t - wow, amazing balance. sour, but not overly...taste like a gueuze.

m - med/light body. nice carbonation. dry finish.

overall - phenomenal. I could drink this everyday.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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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.

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Photo of myatomicpolygon
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.41/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Massive thanks to nyrangerfan for a bottle of this in a recent trade. Batch #3! Served from bottle into a Duvel tulip. Poured a pale yellow-orange with a three finger very slightly off-white head. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, sourt, tart, and citrus. The flavor was of sweet malt, sour, tart, and slight funk. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was quite the excellent brew. I had gotten a sample of this at the recent ORF release at Foothills and HAD to have more of it. The reason being is that this is just an excellent tasting brew. Also a very nice aroma going on here as well. If you like sour/funky beers and haven't had this one yet, you need to get off your ass and do so. Even if you have to trade for it... It is worth it.

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Brute from Ithaca Beer Company
4.39 out of 5 based on 842 ratings.
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