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Brutal Bitter Ale - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,095 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,095
Hads: 2,094
Avg: 4.01
pDev: 14.71%
Wants: 88
Gots: 186 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States | website

Style | ABV
American IPA | 5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-28-2001

**NOTE: This beer is now called "Brutal IPA" **
It has also been bottled as "Portland State IPA" (2010).

An Imperial bitter with exotic traditional floor malts, citrusy, hoppy flavor and stupendous hop aroma. Rogue brewmaster John Maier describes his Brutal IPA as a cross between a Very Extra Special Bitter and an Indian Pale Ale. Hedonistic!

8 INGREDIENTS: 2-Row, Carawheat, C15 & Rogue Farms Dare™ & Risk™ Malts; Rogue Farms Alluvial™ Hops; Free Range Coastal Water & Pacman Yeast.

22oz Bottle & Draft / 15° Plato / 46 IBU / 81 AA / 13° Lovibond
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Brutal Bitter Ale Alström Bros
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Reviews: 1,095 | Hads: 2,094
Photo of BSquaredGolf
3.49/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Piney malts and a long finish. Extremely complex. Not a typical IPA. Very solid beer but wouldn't be a go to if I was looking for a standard IPA. That being said helluva good beer.

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Photo of irrevjim
3.89/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

from a bottle to a beer tulip
look; cloudy golden orange, 1" head, pretty good retention
smell; pine, cereal malt, hint of passion fruit, a little whiskey
taste; bitter hops, some pine, some fruit, nice malt, honey roll, something fresh about it
feel; bitter and smooth, medium body and medium light carbonation, nice
overall; a heavyweight name and vibe for a nicely balanced medium bodied bitter with moderate hops, enjoyable to drink

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Photo of GrumD
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Orange and hazy on appearance, this beer is certainly not brutal but still packs a punch. The aroma hints at the hops inside, covering the usual bases of tropical fruit and piney resins. Taste sings of citrus flavours with a lovely balanced sweet and hop hit. Bitterness lingers but is not overtly strong.

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Photo of Tone
4.01/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, copper color. 2/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of piney hops, sweet malt, hint of pale malt, hint of citrus hops, and slight rye. Fits the style of an American IPA. Mouth feel is sharp and clean, with an average carbonation level and a strong bitterness at first. Tastes of sweet malt, piney hops, citrus hops, slight alcohol, hint of caramel malt, and a hint of rye. Overall, good appearance and blend, decent aroma and body, the bitterness mellows throughout the beer.

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Photo of wuthrichj15
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite breweries. This beer pours a copper color. Big citrus smell. Taste is pretty hoppy, what you would expect from an IPA. Nice orange notes and a pretty bitter beer. I would definitely get this again.

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Photo of psycHOPathy
3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

deep amber with weak ass head
malts, woodsy earthy orange peel pine resin
hops, grass, earth, alcohol, appropriately bitter
meadium heavy body with little carbonation
too ale-y, not much else going on. but as far as ales go at least its relatively complex

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Photo of PorterPro125
4.49/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: 650 mL Bottle

A- Pours a Cloudy Copper-Amber body topped by a 2 finger slightly off-white head. Decent retention.

S- Orange, Lemon zest, and a slight tinge of Tropical fruit.

T- Orange with a citrus hop bitterness. Slight Pine note.

M- Light-Medium body with moderate carbonation.

O- Easy drinking like a Bitter but with the hop notes that you would find in an IPA. Extremely well balanced.

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Photo of Biggiekrock627
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had poured from bomber into tulip glass. Pours a orange with hazy straw yellow with a thin head. Deep citrus smell with a bitter backend taste that overpowers the Flavor.

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Photo of PZBREW
4.49/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Favorite old ipa. It's been a long time. Still very good!
Hoppy, lots and f pine and spices. Looks like ipa should!
Not too bitter still, and easy to drink.
I always have more than one!

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Photo of MrBrach
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Orange / Copper color, cloudy.

Smell: Smells how it looks, tangerine, orange peel, mango, masked undertone of lemon.

Taste: Zesty orange, lemon, bitter.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body.

Overall: As with the other members who have reviewed this, I wouldn't call it a Brutal IPA. Balanced flavor, fruity, and bitter. Enjoyable IPA. I would definitely drink more of these.

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Photo of Troy-Hawaii
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was expecting a really bitter beer, but it actually isn't. It is a pretty smooth and easy drinking beer. Cloudy amber color, fruity smell, slight aftertaste. Overall a great beer.

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Photo of FickleBeast
2.93/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle poured into a Savor snifter. Not able to find a date code on bottle - my bottle has a red label . Pours a cloudy orange color with two fingers of foam that fill the glass and coat the edges as it recedes very slowly. Aroma is fairly subdued. Kind of citrusy, with a hint of melon. Expected more from the nose.

First sip is is mostly bitter. Thin bodied with a lot of astringency. However, there is not much hop flavor, only bitterness. The malt backbone really isn't there, so this tastes mostly unbalanced to me. I'm not sure if this is an off bottle or not, but I really don't understand how this is rated so highly. I will come back and update if the other bottles in the 6 pack are better, but for now I can't recommend this.

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Photo of SWOhio-aquifer
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer fits my palate so well.

Why: Uh.. It is just good. Kind of like dead guy with a little less malt a touch more hop.

Balanced-yes. Bitter-no.

Used to be my go to. I remember drinking a ton of it one summer building kayaks and other wood working endeavors.

Just something about it. I recently picked up a six pack. It been years since I have had.

Still great. Should be up their with dead guy but the name throw people a lot. Kind of like the saying don't judge a book .; you know the rest.

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Photo of ChrisMon02
3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A bit confused with this one. Looks good. Nice head and retention. It's not bitter nor is it brutal. Couldn't find a bottle date so not sure how old this is. Smell is like perfume. I get sweet malts and some nice hop flavor but definitely on the sweeter side. One of the better Rogue beers I have had. Would like to try super fresh and compare to this bottle.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rogue Brutal IPA has a thin, white head, narrow lacing, and a murky, orange appearance, with lots of tan, powdery sediment suspended throughout. The aroma is fruity (mango?), with a white bread note. Taste is the same, with mild bitterness and slightly-turned fruit. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and this beer finishes somewhat like a lager in its crispness. A tart ale.


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Photo of Bone53
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an orange copper color with a one finger off white head

Smell: Tangerine, orange, lemon peel, stale malt

Taste: Orange marmalade, floral pine, lemon zest

Mouthfeel: Medium body, just right for the style; Substantial dry, bitter finish

Overall: This bottle is five months old and im surprised how well it has held up. Most IPAs would be a malty mess by now, but i still pick up plenty of citrus and pine in the flavor. I get more of a skunky malt character in the nose. Id love to have a fresh one to compare. I enjoyed this offering quite a bit regardless

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Photo of Sam-VW
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This beer pours a Cloudy Amber with a decent sized White head with good retention. It dissipates leaving rings of lacing around the glass as you drink. Probably one of the best IPA's I've had for a while for looks! On the nose there's some Apricot, Mango, Pine and Citrus fruits. I'd love to get my hands on the Rogue hops. Now for the palate, loads of Mandarin and Marmalade, Citrus fruits, peach, a little pine and floral notes. The malt backbone rides at the back of your mouth throughout with Caramel and slightly bready notes. Well balanced. Full body for this style, finishing surprisingly sweet for something called Brutal IPA. One I'll definitely drink again

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.76/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Darker shade of amber. Hazy. Creamy off-white head retains at a quarter inch. Thin rings of lacing.

S: Mango purée, tangerine, lemon peel, orange marmalade. Rich malt aromas of scones and pound cake, yeasty and brothy.

T: Mango purée, leafy and slightly vegetal hop flavors, herbal spice and peppery hop tastes too. Blonde tobacco. Stiff bitterness. Grapefruit rind creeps in. Brothy. English malts shine through with tastes of bread and scones. Flash of tangerine. Bitter hop finish is earthy, leafy, and spicy.

M: Fat medium body. Round and creamy. Chewy, even. Sits with a whipped airy lightness. Nice body.

O: It's basically an Americanized ESB. I understand the decision to brand it as an ipa, but I don't necessarily agree with it. A solid enough beer at any rate, and nice for a change of pace.

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Photo of MUTINY
4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Quick review. Nicely balanced, slightly darker than expected. Drinks a bit light without too much hops. Everything here works together so well, very drinkable.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Hazy, amber beer with an almoust one finger high head.

Nose: Apricot, dried fruit, mandarine, pine, citrus and floral hops.
Taste: Orange marmelade, citrus, pineapple, peach, grass, caramel malt and honey.
Body: Medium body with crisp carbonation. A light bitterness at the end that stays on the tounge.

This is a great IPA!

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Photo of Cramshawbar
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Brutal is a strong name for this lovely IPA. Just enough bitterness, just enough citrus flavour, just enough strength and voila - you have a winner.
Well balanced, well made.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid about $2.29 for the single pretty much for the reason of not having a Rogue beer in a while.

A - Hazy looking amber brown with a great looking head a 1/2 inch that slowly fades to a lace ring. Some stickiness to the sides of the glass.
S - Herbal smelling but not overbearing it smells rather balanced with the malts. I sip.
T - Surprising bit of herbal hops to the taste not way overbearing but enough to quench the hop thirst.
M - Light to medium not watery or overbearing bitter.

Overall it was good I liked it more than their standard "Yellow Snow IPA" worth picking up since it's fairly cheap.

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Photo of mikesnotesonbeer
4.68/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Cloudy, orange-gold.
S: Hoppy and citrusy. Light pine.
T: Citrusy upfront, with a nice hoppy finish.
M: Refreshingly crisp, though a little dry.
O: It’s hoppy, but not enough to be off-putting. This is an IPA that both a novice and a connoisseur can appreciate.

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Photo of Mlkluther
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours an orange copper with a finger of slightly off white head that leaves some lacing.

Nose is very fruity and floral. Mango, pear, peach, slight citrus.

Taste follows nose. Slight bitter finish. Light mouthfeel.

Nice beer.

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Photo of TJBOtt
4.34/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A very good IPA. Citrussy,, not too heavy, but with a very nice flavor. Its my favorite IPA that is regularly available in the liquor stores locally (LCBO) here in Ontario.

I'm not sure about the brewer's description, as a blend between an ESP and an IPA though. Intriguing.

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Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,095 ratings.