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 johnnnniee
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch E! 018
Brought this back from the brewery on a recent NY trip.
Pours a slightly hazy golden straw color with a huge fluffy white head that sticks around forever. Aroma is fruity and funky and phenolic mmm mmm mmm. Light citrus, strawberry, and raspberry aromas being bullied about by some barnyard funk. The taste is lemony sour at first then you get some of the passion fruit, sour cherries, and tart acidic raspberries. Lemons and sour green apples kick in before the dryness moves in and leaves a lingering sour patch kids taste on your palette. Carbonation is crisp, medium body, puckering mouthfeel. Wow this is good! Makes me wish I hadn't traded two of these away.

 677 characters

Photo of stakem
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

 2,175 characters

Photo of JAHMUR
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of AlexFields
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of dfhhead25
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of chippo33
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

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

Photo of imperialking
5/5  rDev +13.9%

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

I was thinking hey I'll wait until tomorrow to try this one. Ha! Who am I kidding. I want some wild, dammit.

Pours a clouded yellow with a thicker creme head that falls fairly quickly. As I poured I took a whiff and when the Bret hit my nose I almost had an orgasm. Almost. Tart dryness really grabs the nose as well. God I love this style. Flavor is sour and dry. Hits the palate and fades, but leaves a lasting impression and a quite tolerable aftertaste. Sour is well balanced (in it's own way of course.) I even feel like I an getting some vanilla on the mix here. Feel is higher in carbonation and the liquid is a bit thick.

Ahhhh. That is just so good. I really wish more wild ales were available. I had planned to trade all my extras away of this (besides the two I have set aside already to pass on). But after trading and giving away all my Cuvee de Castleton this year, you'll have to really kiss up to me (or trade me an Isabelle, Cuvee de Tomme, Ichabod, Fifth Element, Upland lambic, etc., etc.) to get this out of my sour fingers. I just love this style. And this is another fine example of why.

Crazy love to charlesw for the hookup on this. Thanks a million man!!

 1,184 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

 520 characters

Photo of SadMachine
3.39/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Duff27
4.24/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage.

Inch tall off white head, fizzy bubbly head. Body is a dull peach. Cap and collar. Recede after about 4 minutes.

Grapes. Tart peaches, champagne yeast influenced.

More with the sour grapes with a funk presence this time. Beneath all of this there is a balancing sweetness about it.

Very lively bubble mouthfeel and carbonation level. Unique and perhaps my favorite aspect of Brute.

A solid, well built sour. Balanced with a great lively mouthfeel and carbonation. Thanks kawilliams81 for the long time want share! Thanks Kent.

 545 characters

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

Batch# E!010. Bottle from a long-ago trade with BeerTruth - thanks Adam! Served in a Darkness snifter.

A - Voluminous white foam that settles to a thick cap and leaves behind plenty of splotchy glass-coating lace. The body is transparent golden. Not sure how it could be much better.

S - Vinous notes, lemon, oak and vanilla, lactic acidity, some farmyard brett notes, light sweet malt backdrop. Pretty delicious smelling stuff.

T - Taste is largely the same as the aroma, but with more sweetness and less in the way of vinous and sour flavors. Some malted grains, and perhaps even a hint of sweet corn. More of a fruity brett beer with some acidity than a Cantillon-esque sour. Some similarities to Temptation, but this seems sweeter (we opened a Batch 003 Temptation to confirm this). I like the complexity of the aroma a bit more.

M - Zesty champagne-like carbonation, medium body that has sufficient heft but is still light on the palate. Dry finish that is crisp, clean, and refreshing. Spot on for the golden sour style.

D - Incredibly drinkable stuff. I'll have to get a few more bottles, as it's great for converting champagne lovers. Something I wish were more readily available and a worthy East Coast response to Temptation.

 1,240 characters

Photo of GClarkage
4.12/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

06/07/09- Received in a trade with Younger35 and shared at a tasting.

Presentation- 750ml bottle. Not sure of a release date. Poured into my Orval chalice.

Appearance- Champagne-like looking pour with a smaller head and effervescent bubbles. Light yellow in color and ultra light lace spotting left behind.

Smell- A very nice brett aroma with sourness, some light urine and horse blanket notes. Tart fresh lemon rind as well.

Taste- All the flavors you would like in a wild ale (buckets of brett, tart lemon juice) but needs something to hold it totally together. Something was missing, but I'm not quite sure what it was.

Mouthfeel- Seems a touch watery with a sparkling wine carbonation mouthfeel. Good tart aftertaste.

Drinkability- A nice wild ale, but as stated above, missing something to make it to the top tier of wild ales.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Curran at his tasting.

Pours a hazy golden yellow, with a small half inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells fairly tart and funky, with lots of lemon, peach, and white grapes.

The taste is similar. This is slightly less sour than I was expecting, but still fairly puckering. There's a strong champagne taste, with lots of tart and sour fruits- oranges, green apples, lemons, grapes, peaches. There's a good amount of lactic acid that lingers on the lips throughout drinking this.

Light to medium bodied, crisp, tart, and dry mouthfeel. Very drinkable. Medium carbonation is lovely and keeps this refreshing.

A wonderfully dry sour, I wish Ithaca could still make beer like this.

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Photo of aasher
4.57/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 vintage. This bottle was courtesy of thagr81us in a massive trade a few months back. Thanks for hitting this HUGE want of mine Calton!

This beer pours a very cloudy and medium bodied tangerine orange in color with a two finger and beady head. This beer appears to have a lot of activity. It has a really nice nose. You get citrusy tartness, funk, brett, chapagne yeast, chardonnay barrel, and a white grape like fruitness. The flavors feature a nice tart white grape aspect, funk, brett, citrus peels, brett, and it finishes really smooth. This beer has insane drinkability for the style. It has the perfect level of tartness and is mouthwatering. I expected a lot from this beer and it delivered and then some. This beer is somewhat comparable to Temptation for me and I loved it. I'll have to track down a few more bottles.

 831 characters

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

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

Long time want, great great beer. Did not disappoint. I will be seeking this beer out in greater quantities.

Beer is straw yellow and hazy. Forms a thin white head with a lot of lacing on the glass.

The aroma is strong citric sour....beautiful.

Beer is medium to low bodied. Great sweetness followed by huge tartness. Woodsey, funky. There is a lot of carbonation in the mouth to carry that sour throughout. I love this beer.

 430 characters

Photo of beernads
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of ShanePB
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Gobzilla
4.21/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: poured a bubbly golden yellow in color with pale yellow highlights and a thin bubbly head that left slight wisps of lacing sticking to the glass.

S: plenty of funky brett was noticeable upfront on the nose with great citrusy notes, oaky wood character, mild vinegar coming through and slight vinous fruit.

5. The funky brett character was more apparent on the palate alongside some citrusy twang, very nice oaky barrel accents, champagney bubbly dry flavor accompanied by vinous fruit notes and a touch of vanilla.

M: the brew was medium in body with a good amount of bubbly carbonation which had a sweet, bretty funky, oaky, citrusy, mild vinous tart and dry finish.

O: thought it was a solid brew all around and the yeast definitely brought out champange characteristics.

 780 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

 588 characters

Photo of liamt07
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

 491 characters

Photo of tempest
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

 505 characters

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