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Brutal Bitter Ale - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,095 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(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
Reviews: 1,095 | Hads: 2,094
Photo of kjyost
3.52/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

No date on 660 mL bottle purchased in July at the LCBO in Ottawa. Poured into a beer mug

Pours a beautiful sunset orange with a gorgeous white head that caps and laces beautifully. Literally nothing more I could ask for from a beer. The aroma though lacks. Initially I got soap followed by a lightly spicy, though mainly earthy hop aroma. The taste is somewhat sweet with a viscous mouthfeel with a bit of hop flavours, and the bitterness comes into play over time. Enjoyable, though not fantastic. At times reminds me of a weak barleywine. Worth having again, though only if I see it, don't seek it...

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Photo of DiabolikDUB
3.52/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On-Tap @ the Portland Pub poured into Pint glass.

Pours a cloudy orange color with a thin off-white head and leaves a slight ring around the glass. The aroma is hops, orange peel and some other citrus. The flavor is much of the same with the orange peel being in the forefront and a lingering bitterness and some slight yeast. Its medium bodied with a moderate carbonation. Good stuff, one of the beers that really got me into IPA's. That being said I could have used a little more flavor as this felt a bit thin although it could be because it was served frosty cold.

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Photo of GreenWBush
3.51/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Searching the county for residual Rogue Imperial Stout, I was shocked to find a stray six-pack of Brutal Bitter on the shelves of gorgeous Fort Wayne, Indiana. I had purchased the beer more than a few times at Kahn's Fine Wines in Indianapolis for the relatively steep price of $10.99/6 and enjoyed every drop of it, so I figured that I couldn't go wrong dropping that much in this modest, mediocre, middle-class town.

My eyes popped out when I got the final ticket: $13.99 a SIX PACK. I hadn't been informed that I was actually in Manhattan, not the painfully urban sprawled ghost-town of Fort Wayne so lets just say I was a bit taken aback. But still, great beer deserves a little wallet devestation, right?

NO. What the fuck happened to Rogue, let alone the Brutal Bitter? Price your beers through the roof: understandable. Raw materials are becoming more expensive. Transit, more expensive. Keeping the genius of John Maier, probably pretty goddamned expensive.

BUT KEEP THE PRODUCT THE SAME! WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?

A modest English bitter this is; no potent hop quotient is left in this beer AT ALL.

A tasty beer? HELL YES. Something worth that much money? FUCK NO. This beer has become incredibly water and just downright boring. This is a delicious session beer, but nothing more.

I remember the days when this beer would knock everyone's socks off, even two years old in the bomber. Now, the universal response anyone and everyone can muster is "meh. Tasty".

When I drop 1400 pennies for 72 ounces of liquid I expect world class. This is something my neighbor down the street could brew a 5-gallon batch of for the same price I paid.

I love you Rogue, but you're losing me...and quick.

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Photo of Bfarr
3.51/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy amber with some light highlights, a thin tan head, and nice lacing. Light citrus aroma. Balanced sweet citrus with such light hop linger. Smooth velvety feel.

Smooth easy IPA but really the hopping is so light it’s nearly a pale ale. Pleasant clean flavor sure not to offend anyone.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.51/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Fine-looking murky copper body with a creamy, off-white head. Plenty of lacing throughout.

Smell: Hmm. An acutely cakey aroma paired with a fresh floral-citrus scent.

Taste: Zestful citrus flavors, perhaps a little bit of earthy pine, too, with a small amount of malts bouncing in amongst the hops. Crisp, lasting (though in no way overwhelming) bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. The carbonation is fine, and somewhat prickly at times.

Drinkability: Well, its anything but brutal. But whatever, it still makes for easy drinking.

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Photo of rdilauro
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I-- rated this one straight down the line.
From the initial pour, which was ok, to the almost absent detectable nose, to the mouthful and aftertaste, there was not a lot I can praise about this beer, but at the same time, I could not find fault with it.

To me, it could be the stepping stone for someone who has been used to the normal 30 /36 packs of canned beer to craft beers

Its a very easy beer, totally drinkable.

I intend on using this beer as a transitional beer for people who dont know what craft beers is all about. A good way to learn

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Photo of mrmanning
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at Chaucer’s in London- This one is amber through and through. The head is unimpressive and fails to leave the lace I expect from most rogue beers. Strong grapefruit and citrus fruits in the nose, with some leafy/pine. Bad ass hop profile takes the fillings out yer’ teeth as it enters the mouth. Pine/grapefruit/oranges with a thin malt spine, finishing astringent and enjoyable. Yep, it is certainly bitter. A nice one.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazed coppery gold color with minimal ring of head. Scent is very mild, light herbal and citrusy hops, musty grain smell and bready yeast. Taste is a little more aggressive with some citrus up front, evolving into a strange mangled bitter rush of pine and herbal hops - almost juniper and gin like. A slight crackery and carmel background smooths out the finnish just a touch. Medium bodied, lightly carbonated, slightly harsh lingering tastes. Like many Rougue Beers, comes out mild where it should be aggressive and aggressive where it should be mild, lacks balance.

 576 characters

Photo of Gaisgeil
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not exactly an ESB yet not an IPA either, this one walks the line. Pours a deep gold in color, looking like it could be either with a thin white head with decent retention. Nose is pretty hoppy, more hoppy than any ESB I've ever had for certain. Taste follows that theme, fairly malty, but not enough to balance the pretty extreme bitterness for the style. Quite nice though overall and nicely drinkable.

Slàinte!

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Photo of UDbeernut
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap at the Dutch with a Brutal IPA handle, pours a burnt orange/amber into the cheater pint capped by an impressive foam white head with fair retention. Head reduces to a lacing cap, and rings the glass. Scent is a blast of floral hop. Taste with well balanced pale malt with enough floral hop presence to make it interesting. Mouth is light and almost a bit watery.

I wish Rogue would not market this as an IPA becaue an IPA it surely is not. Just tell me the truth.... its an ESB.

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Photo of champ103
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a lightly hazy amber/orange color. A two finger white head forms quickly, but recedes in a second. Light lace is left behind.
S: Big grapefruit and citrus hops up front. A substantial, but not over barring bitterness. Really nothing else.
T: Follows the nose. Big grapefruit and citrus hops. A substantial bitterness. I can't help but think that a bread and biscuit malt balance would make this exceptional. As is, this does not reach that level.
M/D: A lighter body than I would have thought. Fairly crisp and dry though. Not hard to drink, but nothing that I am going to come back to often.

Not bad at all. Though it is really one dimensional, to the beers detriment. If there was just some sweetness or bread/biscuit flavor for balance this would be exceptional. As is it, this is still very much worth a try and a worthy year-round IPA.

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Photo of Hautacam
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy amber with a big foamy head in a pint glass.
The hops piney aroma is mixed in with a bit of steel.
Sweet biscuity caramel malt. Bitter citrus rind hops balance this brew pretty well. A bit of metal near the end. Finishes dry with little aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is medium as is the carbonation.
A pretty drinkable ESB, although more intense than most others of that style that I've had.

 392 characters

Photo of Imstillthegman
3.49/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very cloudy copper with lighter orange hues on the edges. Light head that doesn't last very long. Leaves light lacing. The smell is fairly subdued with a light citrus scent from the hops about all I can notice. The citrusy hops are more dominant in the taste. A touch of sweetness up front quickly overtaken by the hop bitterness. Medium body with low carbonation as is usual for this style. Nice brew to celebrate a great beer bar.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.49/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Overall a disappointing bitter brew, but not a bad beer by any stretch. Not much flavor and not much complexity here. Pours light golden with fluffy white head. Aroma of grassy hops, more on the german pilsner side than the west coast aromatics. Flavor follows with light bitter, subdued sweetness from the malts, sligthly dry. Easy drinking, but pretty standard. Perhaps a good start for those slowly trying to get into enjoying bitter/hoppy beers. Not likely to go for it again, but I wouldn’t turn it down if handed to me.

 527 characters

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 rastaman
3.48/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dig the hazy appearance, nice glowing murky orange-gold. The nose is very hoppy, very fruity (lychees, grapefruit) and piney nose. The flavour is quite sweet at the start, very hoppy, with a citric bitter finish, as i've come to expect in Americaan bitters/IPA's/Pale ales, Out of the the Rogue beers i've had this is one of my favourites, really fresh and summery, had this sitting in my dads backyard in the sun.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
3.48/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle with no freshness date.

A: Looks light until most of it is in the glass, then it is a pumpkin shade of yellow and orange. Not crystal clear and there was a good amount of sediment, about an eighth inch. Small head that receded to a nice little cap. Many small bubbles rising, many. No lacing.

S: Earthy English hops and bread and biscuit malt. Not smacking the drinker around with anything at all and it does tell the whole story.

T: I think that this and the Great Divide Denver Pale Ale I had last night are quite similar to Fat Tire. I think calling Fat Tire an amber ale is incorrect, and that it fits into the English bitter or pale ale category. All your standard bread here, not sweet and not very bitter. Some diacetyl richness.

M: Full and satisfying.

D: It is full of nice hop aroma but the malt is too singular. I would not buy more than one because I do not prefer biscuit malt only. Other than that personal taste, nothing wrong. This bottle is likely very old and most of the hops have gone.

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Photo of beernut7
3.48/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Being a rogue brew I was expecting a certain level of hop overkill, and I was far from disappointed. Pouring a hazy honey color with a creamy head, the HUGE sharply spicy aroma hits one in the face with reckless abandon. The first flavor brings the grapefruitiest hop flavor in existence stopming on what might be a decent amount of malt--we may never know. Brutal is definitely an accurate portrayal of this ale. More on the level of an IPA than any bitter I have ever tasted. One must be in the mood for this beer, not one for the faint of heart.

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Photo of mentor
3.48/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a thin layer of light tan head over a very cloudy copper liquid. Must have been some sediment that I poured in. Smells terpene, clean pith, and some orange pulp. Hops and that's pretty much it.

Tastes hop flavored and hop bitter. Flavor is oranges and wood. Bitter is relatively clean of grassy cohumulone and flat heavy hop oils. Early, the hops are supported by a malt sweet that eventually rises to dominate. Touch of metallic in the malty character. Fruity esters are present in the form of pear and mildly of peaches. Md body and modest, but sharp carbonation. The carbonation serves to clean the tongue and keep this a summer refresher.

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Photo of Padron4KM
3.47/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

hazy orange with a solid 2 finger head and nice lacing.

Lemon cookie aroma

Flavor is grapefruit with some pine and a touch of sweetness.

Tingly bitter finish.

Name is a little misleading, not brutally bitter, but nicely bitter.
Very tasty well balanced beer.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
3.46/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle labeled Brutal IPA with no discernible bottling date.

Pours a medium bodied orange with an inch thick head that dips to a thinner though steady cover. Lacing is thick and comprehensive: a nice looking IPA.

Smells of grass, kumquats, and biscuity malts. Not unappealing but it seems a bit faded.

Kumquatiness is uncanny and I happen to enjoy these fruits. Some rind from the skins is evident. Creamy through the middle with a finish that's modestly bitter and baby aspiriny. Malts help carry the mothfeel and the hops.

Creamy and light though dusty and not as poppy as anticipated. Would love to know if I'm getting the best this beer has to offer. A good, but not great, stab at the style.

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Photo of gkunkle
3.46/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light amber color, definitely on the darker side of IPAs. Head is about 1" in my imperial pint glass. Retention is okay, leaves a little lacing. Smells of citrus and pine hops, pretty standard for this area, not really catching any malts. Taste is dominated by grapefruit/citrus hops, pine hops play second fiddle, and a bit of malt is in the background. Mouthfeel is medium, good amount of carbonation. Overall, a decent beer, glad I tried it, but it's a bit spendy and there are other northwest IPAs I enjoy more.

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Photo of ralree
3.46/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Really cloudy orange, nice head, good retention and lacing. 1.5 fingers.

S: Sweet yet toasty malt, weird fruit smell - almost a little too sweet - it's turning me off from it. Hops come through nicely - very flowery. Some spices in this one as well.

T: A nice hop flavor - really aromatic, but with a big bitter bite. Bitterness lingers on the tongue after swallowing. Malt is nice and toasty, and there's a lot of banana flavor in this. Now, the banana flavor isn't coupled with an overwhelming sugary flavor like in some other beers, so it's tolerable, but i would have preferred some more citrus. The alcohol makes itself known, but it's tolerable. It's a little too much banana and not enough citrus for me in this style to balance out the bitterness and alcohol.

M: Good carbonation, slightly astringent, a little oily. Medium-heavy body.

D: It drinks alright - goes down pretty easy, but the banana flavor gets old pretty quick. I don't find it very refreshing. There's definitely some alcohol in this one, which slows my normal quaffing pace. All in all though, not too bad.

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Photo of KajII
3.46/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

[BThe pour was a light hazy orange with a huge (3-4 finger) white frothy head that was mostly diminishing and had some fair spotty lacing.

The aroma was kind of mild of a light biscuit malt, citrus hops and a cobweb scented yeast with notes caramel and citrus (grapefruit).

The taste was bitter and lightly sweet with a caramel presence early on, and progressed into a nice bitter hoppy taste that was a tad acidic with a note or citrus towards the end. The flavor hung on for a long while with a tasty hoppy citrus finish.

Mouthfeel was light in body and dry in texture with a medium carbonation.

Overall a nice basic IPA that was hoppy, citrusy and quite tasty with an awesome drinkability...
est served in a Shaker glass]

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Photo of PhillyStyle
3.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Pizzeria Paradiso, Washington, DC:

The beer appeared a nice, slightly hazy deep orange color with a nice white, thick head. The aroma of the beer was good, a nice strong hoppy aroma, but the taste was much different. I felt that it was weak. I expected a very hoppy, bitter beer, but did not get that at all. I would say that it was on par with an average IPA. Not sure what happened given the rating and usually Pizzeria Paradiso beer quality is very good, so I am not sure if it was the beer or not. The beer had a medium body to it and had decent drinkability, but I am sure that would have improved if the beer lived up to its rating. I will have to give this beer another shot at a later date.

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