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Brutal Bitter Ale | Rogue Ales

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
90
outstanding
1,102 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,102
Ratings:
2,112
Avg:
4.01
pDev:
14.71%
 
 
Wants:
91
Gots:
196
For Trade:
0
Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
**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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-28-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,102 | Ratings: 2,112
Photo of vfgccp
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Opalescent orange amber. Frist glass poured clear while everything else poured with a murky haze.

S - Surprisingly mild. Orange, touch of pine and grass. Underwhelming considering the "brutal" label.

T - Soft malt into bright hops with a blend of citrus rind and pine. Sharp bitter bite right as the hops drop off in the aftertaste.

M - Dusty finish with a soft lingering sweetness.

D - The hops really pop mid profile, but the bitterness doesn't really cling to your palate in the way a lot of other IPAs do.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Great color: A burnt orange which made the appearance look great. Almost as bitter as some Australian bitters I had while Down Under. The hops are noticable in both the taste and the aroma. Unfortunately, I think this beer is too bitter for me to handle more than a couple of these.

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Photo of malloyca
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The 22 oz bottle was labeled Brutal IPA, rather than Brutal Bitter Ale, but it looks like they are the same thing. Poured a clear, amber-gold color without a large head. There were aromas of clove and orange, little maltiness and some mild hops. Fairly restrained as far as American IPAs go, this lacked overwhelming, mouth drying hop flavors, but had good depth of flavor.

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Photo of Blakaeris
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours clear, light copper in color. Head is initially thick and pillowy, slowly dissipating while leaving a thick sheet of lacing.

Aroma is bready caramel malt and mild citrus hop with plenty of fruity esters.

Taste is similar to the nose. Balanced malt and hop. Malt is bready, and a little grainy with a hint of nut and a strong caramel backbone. Hops are resinous and full of grapefruit citrus. However, both malt and hops are well balanced. Finish is clean with a slight metallic twang.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Slight hop oil feel.

Overall a good session beer. Aggressiveness marks this an an American version; lacking some the subtlety and smoothness of an English ESB. That said, this is a quite drinkable brew that is somewhere between an ESB and an APA.

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Photo of dgilks
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rich, caramel malt aroma. Light notes of grapefruit and cinnamon.

Mostly clear, gold colour with a fluffy, off-white head. Decent head retention.

It's not back. The malt is fairly laid back in the flavour with it playing a supporting role. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to have a star to support. The hops are reclusive, sitting back with just a moderate bitterness and a light sprinkling of citrus hop flavour coming out to play. It's okay but certainly nothing special. A light twang in the background suggests that there is a possible infection but it isn't significant enough to pick what it is.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. It's okay.

At the end of the day, this is a moderately decent beer. There isn't anything particularly wrong with it but it lacks the 'brutal' Rogue character I expected.

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Photo of hophugger
3.52/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours your typical IPA orange-gold color. Head is decent and so is the lacing. Aroma is very light with touches of hops and loads of citrus. Taste is very nice, hops are there but the main taste is fresh orange. Very interesting and very citrusy. I would have liked a little more ABV. Calling it a Brutal IPA and having less than 6% alcohol doesn't seem quite right. Also could have had a little more IBU kick. Anyway, this beer is very smooth going down and leaves a very pleasant orange and hop taste when done. One of Rogue's better brews..

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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.

 430 characters

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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Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,102 ratings.