Brute | Ithaca Beer Company

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844 Ratings
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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
Ratings:
844
Reviews:
391
Avg:
4.39
pDev:
9.34%
 
 
Wants:
1,069
Gots:
138
For Trade:
6
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 844 |  Reviews: 391
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There's not much more to be said about this beer that hasn't already been said.

It's clearly pretty effervescent, but still delicate on the tongue.

And it looks great in the glass - nice golden color and big, bright white head (although the retention and lacing could be a bit better).

It smells like peaches and apples and lemon; and soft grass with just a soft bit of leather, wet straw, and earth.

The flavor is tart and fruity, and lightly funky but it's not puckeringly sour. It's dry and a hint mineralish, or maybe I should say slightly chalky - as with Champagne, it makes me think of citrus rind, but that's not really there; and it suggests some astringency, but that's not really there either. Interesting.

What makes it stand out, however, is how far they were actually willing to take this - it really is sharp! It's not just a lightly done Brett beer - no, there's more to it than just wild yeast. Perhaps it's the aging on oak, and perhaps it's the Champagne yeast. And with that said, it's pretty damned clean for being "funky". On the other hand, a little more mustiness and barnyard would give it more depth; but I don't think that's what they were going for. In my mind it's more like a "Biere du Champagne", or at least a kind of cross-over hybrid. But whatever it is, it's really drinkable, and I can live with that. Interesting, charming, and drinkable!

P.S. - I paid a high price for this at $22 a bottle, but that's still less than Deus; and although it hasn't been shipped to France and treated as "Champagne", I still enjoyed it just as much, and possibly more.

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

Tap at Armsby Abbey, four vintages 08-11.

Fizzy light head, opaque murky pale color, fresher is fairly clear but all the aged ones are very murky.

Nose funky, sour tart fruit, lemon citrus, brett funk, fresher has more of the golden Belgian malts and it gets funkier and more tart lemon as it ages.

Taste on the fresh had nice golden malts with light funk. Gets more funk and a lot more sour as it ages. Light funky barnyard brett, tart lemon citrus fruit dry grainy bready finish. Some weird sour peach and pear in some of them. Light grape skin as well. 09 is really nice sour and funky, nice fruits. 08 seems to drop off a bit but is still very tart and smooth finish. 10 is most fruit fresh peach and tart. Fresh has little funk and sour more nice Belgian ale. Nice tart sour lemon finish and a bit flemmy finish on all of them. My mouth is watering for a long time after making me continue to sip.

Mouth is med bodied, good carb.

Overall awesome, age about 3 years for perfection.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Rifugium
3.86/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to whoever brought this to the Dec. '12 Philly suburbs bottle share!

Poured a hazy yellow color with a foamy white head; moderate retention and doily lacing. Slightly lacto-tart in the nose, with scents of lemon and white grape, earthy. Tasty, but not a mouthgasm as the hype would indicate. The tartness here was very mellow, which is nice, the flavor was a bit subdued, but crisp and clean...this isn't a face-puckering sour. Lemongrass came to mind, with a mild farmhouse character, grassy, earthy, and a hint of Chardonnay. Body was pretty light, crisp, generous carbonation. Not bursting with flavor, instead humble and refined...which made the name "Brute" come off kind of ironic to me. Maybe that's what they were going for. Or maybe I'm just being too philosophical. Quite drinkable and enjoyable overall.

 822 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mendvicdog
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of billab914
4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

 1,178 characters

Photo of smithj4
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of vfgccp
3.92/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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.

 752 characters

Photo of drewone
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of duceswild
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of millerbuffoon
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.97/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best, if not the best American sour I have had. Simply amazing. 750ml bottle was served chilled and decanted into a pint glass. Consumed on 01/03/2009.

The pour was very nice. A rich golden amber with a light cloudiness to it that was very evident as soon as your poured it. Nice head of white reaches up to a height of around three inches before settling back down and leaving just a nice quarter inch layer across the top that stayed with it throughout the session, lots of carbonation streaming up as well throughout.

The aroma was to die for. Sour, tart fruit notes just ripping through the air. Not so heavy on the vinegar in the smell, more of a sour apple like nose with lots of funk. As it warmed like notes of oak coming through way in the back and a fresh grapefruit like hoppiness. The flavor was explosive. My tongue took a bath in rich sour notes here. Lotso f fruit all over the place, pears, apricot, lots of grapefruit, and then that funky brett just hits you and wipes it all away. Puckering, but yet subtle and sweet at the same time. Words escape me. The champagne yeast did a number here and the carbonation was light, fine, and absolutely spot on. I could not have asked for that to come off any better. Rediculously drinkable and just a privledge to drink, this is one of the best beers I have ever had.

Hands down, nothing else I can say to sell you on this one. I did not think this could have come off as good as it did. It was simply amazing. Please go get this if you can, and Beertruth, send me more!

 1,542 characters

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

 1,532 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 07/24/10 notes.

a - Pours a golden color with 1 inch of white head and light carbonation.

s - Smells of sour fruit, citrus, lemon, and some funk. Very enjoyable.

t - Tastes of tart, sour fruits, especially lemon. Nice citrus, tart, and funk. Very enjoyable.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - I loved this sour. I thought there was some great sour fruits and funk in the smell and taste. A great sour I would love to have again.

 449 characters

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

Bottle from Batch 1 courtesy of imperialking and opened to share at the PtY release on 2/5/10.

A: The pour is a cloudy light golden straw color with a fluffy white head.

S: The nose is not terribly complex nor funky, but has a very nice amount of lactic tartness. This provides a refreshing citrus and white grape aroma which I find very pleasing in wild ales. There is a slight touch of oak and Brett, to keep things in check.

T: This is not a terribly "funky" beer, but that does not bother me. The lemon, green apple, and grape notes go quite well with the dry and tannic feel of the beer from the wood and the Brett.

M: The body is a bit on the light side with a very high level of carbonation and a dry finish. The champagne yeast definitely provides a little something different here.

D: I've heard mixed reviews of this beer, but I found Batch 1 to be quite delicious at this point. I have a bottle of Batch 2 which I will be saving for some time as it appears this one gets better with age.

 1,003 characters

Photo of orangesol
4.27/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

 1,091 characters

Photo of PA-Michigander
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

 672 characters

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of TMoney2591
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Big thanks to the Central PA group of the Gang Bang BIF for this bottle!

Batch E!027. Heard some good things about this beer for over a year now, about time I got to see how true the statements have been. It pours a clear golden straw topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises tart orange, light horse blanket, white wine, tart peach, and very light graham crackers. The taste brings in more of the same, though the horse blanket is diminished, and some tart white grape and somewhat sweet red grape is added to the mix. The body is a light medium, with a moderate carbonation and a dry, sticky finish. Overall, a very nice wild, one that doesn't go overboard on the Brett (good touch) and doesn't o'erwhelm with sourness. An enjoyable brew indeed.

 805 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.67/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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