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Brutal Bitter Ale - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

1,942 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,942
Reviews: 1,080
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 78
Gots: 112 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Rogue Ales visit their website
Oregon, United States

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,942 | Reviews: 1,080
Photo of NorCalYeti
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

taste- crisp hops, spices, bready malt flavors

color- honey

clarity- foggy

smell- citrusy hops, sulfur, biscuits

body- medium-weight body and medium-length finish. drink is a heavy refresher. pale malts are present for sure. a little hop bite at the front of the tongue and oily of the edges.

appearance- slightly off-white creamy head, great carbonation when agitated, then it fades pretty fast with spotty lace retention depending on the pour. beer has a mandarin hue to it...very interesting. bottle pours spent yeast

overall impression- okay beer, nothing i would seek out anytime soon. probably be refreshing in warm weather conditions. beer is slightly above average across the board

notes and comments- really disappointed if this is the beer that replaced brutal bitter...a far superior effort in my opinion. drinkers are mislead if they think they're in for a "brutal" experience...not!

beer spy- bevmo, danville ca, 2/5/11, 22 oz. bottle

glassware: pint

Photo of TheKingofWichita
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazed yellowish orange color with a thick off white head and a little lacing. Smells of piney hops and not much else. Hops dominate the flavor as well. Pine and some citrus here but not much else. Mouthfeel is medium with a fairly strong carbonation. Drinkability is medium.

Photo of putnam
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

20 year old copper penny colored with a quick, scaly, sticky top of off white. Aromas of lemon peel, cinnamon candy and crunchy dried herbs. A mouthful is a bitter tonic of sticks and herb infusions along with sugary caramel flavored alcohol. The finish is dry and balanced. A common style with signature Rogue bitter sweet flavors.

Photo of aubuc1
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a hazy, golden orange with a nice off white head. Smells of malty hops. Not too sweet, but very hoppy. Taste is smooth with hops present. Much more bitter than traditional esb. Does not register as anything special, despite hefty price tag. Nice feel in mouth, but nothing special.

Photo of vfgccp
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

Photo of malloyca
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

Photo of Blakaeris
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

Photo of dgilks
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

Photo of hophugger
3.52/5  rDev -11.8%
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..

Photo of Shawn_Money
3.52/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of kjyost
3.52/5  rDev -11.8%
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...

Photo of DiabolikDUB
3.52/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

Photo of AndyKate1005
3.52/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of GreenWBush
3.51/5  rDev -12%
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.

Photo of Bfarr
3.51/5  rDev -12%
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.

Photo of TheBeerdedCharmer
3.51/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.51/5  rDev -12%
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.

Photo of iemailjack
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of rdilauro
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
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

Photo of InfernoBoss
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of CWVegas
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of aztraz
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of Renegawam
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of dapatte2
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

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Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
89 out of 100 based on 1,942 ratings.