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Brutal Bitter Ale - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,798 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,798
Reviews: 1,060
rAvg: 4
pDev: 10.75%
Wants: 63
Gots: 60 | 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:
**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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-28-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,798 | Reviews: 1,060 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UnionMade
UnionMade

New York

3.4/5  rDev -15%

The beer is a hazy orangey amber, topped with a thick dollop of off-white foam. Great head retention, lasting past the liquid, with clumpy rings of lace stepping all the way down the glass. Very attractive cascade from the hand pump, as well.
The aroma is dominated by grapefruity citric hops. The malt barely breaks through the pacific northwest onslaught, providing a trace of toasty aroma. Some yeast is apparent, with a bit of appley esters sneaking under the hop radar as the beer approaches room temperature, along with a faint waft of alcohol. Plenty of piney and herbal hop aroma, as well. The dry hopping and late additions must be insane to produce this kind of hoppiness.
The flavor starts out with a pretty solid toasty maltiness, almost instantly overpowered by rind-like citric hops. A rather oily feel, with tons of hop bitterness. The carbonation is nice and smooth, typical cask fare, supporting a rather heavy full body. Faint apple/pear esters in the middle, which are quickly trampled by the hops. Most of the subtleties are blotted out in a hop fugue, only barely perceptable as your palate deadens enough to the hops to taste anything else. Some piney and herbal hopping is apparent in the finish. It tastes like some sort of cascade crossbreed, maybe with something german. A slight yeasty breadiness in the finish, with a trace of alcohol. The aftertaste....what do you think?
Eli Cannon's in Middletown, CT used to have this on the beer engine all the time. I actually got tired of it pretty quick, and just started to pass it up in favor of regular tap beers. Really unusual for me. It's a good beer, but not my idea of ESB. Definitely more like an IPA. The hops really aren't incredibly powerful, but not quite what I was expecting at first. It's pretty much an imperial bitter, if there was such a thing.

01-20-2004 10:40:13 | More by UnionMade
Photo of xgrigorix
xgrigorix

Michigan

3.4/5  rDev -15%

Twentytwo ounce brown silk screened bottle. No dates.

Deep burnished orange colour. Hazy, with fast moving carbonation. Topped by an impressive off white head. Foam is dense & retains very well, leaving plenty of sticky lace on the glass.

Some biscuity malt aromas lie beneath pithy citrus aromatics.

Plenty hoppy - loads of citrusy flavours. Malt is muted, and overall the flavour is just "plain jane." Medium bodied, rugged carbonation.

09-20-2004 17:18:01 | More by xgrigorix
Photo of jujubeast6000
jujubeast6000

Texas

3.4/5  rDev -15%

Reviewed 12/20/2008 (bottle):

Pours a huge foamy head, whitish, diminishing. Body is very clear golden amber body. Very hoppy grapefruity aroma. Hoppy taste but a big balancing malty taste, some nuttiness like hazelnut. Nice taste, would make a good session beer. Very carbonated mouthfeel. Drying aftertaste. A little much after a bit.

01-04-2009 23:05:54 | More by jujubeast6000
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

3.4/5  rDev -15%

on tap at the wishing well in philly - i cant believe i havent reviewed this yet

Pours a slightly hazed caramel color with some brighter orange hues. A thinner white head dissolves into wispy film, leaving plenty of spotty lacing behind.

Bready and malty in the nose, with hints of sweetness and a flair of hops. Fairly soft though overall, would like to see more hop presence here.

Nice bitter bite up front with some pine and softer citrus notes. A touch of orange before the larger malt backbone comes crashing through. Biscuit and bread crust with touches of caramel and faint honey. A bit sweet, and finishes with some residual hop bitterness.

Medium bodied, nice carbonation, a little creamy and sticky. A pretty decent drinker, especially if you like a larger malt presence in your IPAs.

08-01-2011 21:53:42 | More by xnicknj
Photo of dmatsui
dmatsui

California

3.38/5  rDev -15.5%

Poured from a bomber into a Chimay Goblet. Tulip was dirty, so sue me.

Two-finger off white head, good retention. Looks like a typical, unfiltered IPA.

Mostly malt characteristics in the nose but with some grassy hops, There's a sweet, raw honey-esque sweetness.

Good spicy hops, clean malts and good mouthfeel. The hops are not particularly strong or robust, but very clean. The mouthfeel is perfect.

Overall Brutal is a fairly standard IPA in my opinion but very well balanced and is definitely a quality brew.

10-11-2012 01:21:24 | More by dmatsui
Photo of Spidey13
Spidey13

Kentucky

3.35/5  rDev -16.3%

Brutal Bitter pours a cloudy orange-amber with a nice white head that leaves a good amount of lacing behind. The smell is very nice, with some juicy, grassy hops with some citrus-orange notes in there.

There is a bit of malt to the flavor, but the bitterness quickly takes over. Some breadiness shows up on the finish, but the bitterness really seems to dominate the flavor for me. The mouthfeel is nice, with medium body and carbonation.

This beer seems a bit one-dimensional to me with the bitterness, but not too bad; a decent brew.

07-14-2008 02:08:34 | More by Spidey13
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.35/5  rDev -16.3%

Had this with a few other IPA's I picked up and wanted to split with a friend. The list of beers that night was Bavarian Barbarian 2x4, Brutal IPA, Terrapin So Fresh So Green and Lukcy Basartd Ale.

This beer came in 3rd in my opinion to the ones we had that night. The Terrapin was 4th. This beer seemed like it something I'd love, The name sounded great and the ratings were high. It had a lot going for it.

The beer pours out at a light copper color with a pretty good head on it. The aroma is very good along with the appearance. The smell is strong with hops which I love. The taste was hoppy but it just didn't seem to have enough kick to it. I didn't find it to be "Brutal". The mouthfeel was on the lighter side as well. It's a good beer but I wouldn't rave about it.

04-22-2011 03:28:49 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jsled
jsled

Vermont

3.33/5  rDev -16.8%

P: 3/5. Very hazy straw/gold. minimal head, receeding as well. some carbonation.

A: 3/5. fruity citrus hops. herbal. some bubblegum. some malty notes, but minor.

F: 7/10. bitter. slightly sweet. relatively well balanced. some astringency.

M: 3/5. good. some lingering aftertaste, but nothing dramatic or unpleasant.

O: 7/10. a good ipa, though not great.

09-05-2011 00:38:45 | More by jsled
Photo of TangTKE402
TangTKE402

New York

3.33/5  rDev -16.8%

Poured from a bomber bottle into an imperial pint glass. Thick 3 finger head appeared that settled down to a nice 1 finger head that lasted the duration of the beer.

Warm aromas of rye, pine, and a touch of hay persisted.

The taste is dry and a little thin. Caraway seeds, a touch of cornstarch and a little bit of resin are the overall notes. This beer has some nice dry bitterness to it, without any major hop notes to speak of: absent are the floral flavors of other IPAs. Perhaps it's the Willamette hops used.

The mouthfeel is a tad thin, and a slightly metallic taste hits you on the swallow right before the bitterness leaves your mouth high and dry.

Overall, not a bad IPA, but a bit thin on character for my tastes.

09-02-2010 01:12:34 | More by TangTKE402
Photo of Dalem
Dalem

Michigan

3.33/5  rDev -16.8%

Cloudy gold in color with a fair amount of sediment floating around. Head was there and gone but still left a fair amount of lacing around the glass. The description on the side of the bottle talks about a "stupendous hop aroma" but really all that I'm detecting is a lot of malt up front and a slight citrus like hop scent in the distance. The hops seem to jump out much more in the taste though but not until after sweet malt introduction. The odd thing is that this is a bitter (and supposedly a "brutal" one at that) but there's almost a mix orange and mint gumdrop flavorings going on. Not as obnoxiously sweet and gooey as a gumdrop or anything but for some reason there's something about the way of the sweetness of this has me thinking that. As it goes down the throat the hop taste shows up a little more along with some peppery undertones but not really all that bitter and far from brutal.

03-28-2009 23:44:08 | More by Dalem
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
MuenchenerKindl

Germany

3.3/5  rDev -17.5%

Reviewed from a 22 oz bottle named after Max's tap house. The liquid is orange with good carbonation. The head is big off white and leaves good lace.

The smell is ok a bunch of bitter earthy hops and some bready malt to add balance.

The taste is not so great, a bit of a soapy flavor over earth and flowal hops and malt/

The mouthfeel is good, ni ce body and good carbonation.

The drinkability in not up to my par, I would not seek this out as the taste just does not seem to work for me. MK

12-01-2007 18:47:42 | More by MuenchenerKindl
Photo of TheDeuce
TheDeuce

New York

3.3/5  rDev -17.5%

Rouge Brutal Bitter Ale...on tap at Mugs Ale House

Appearance-Amber with gold notes in the color on the pour into a pint glass, medium to large head sizes up, disappears after a few seconds.

Smell-piney with hops but also very noticeable malt, still a dry pungent smell befitting a powerful beer.

Taste/Mouthfeel-bitter is right, hop flourish mixed with alcohol makes for a dry tart hop smash, full mouthfeel, rash finish of burnt malt and fruity pine.

Drinkability-rash but no big flaws

Overall-decent, a little much on the rashness but it balances out ok, certainly worth a try but not overwhelmingly great.

08-01-2010 17:22:12 | More by TheDeuce
Photo of JohnnyM2002
JohnnyM2002

Maryland

3.3/5  rDev -17.5%

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass at approximately 35 degrees.

Not very pleased with this offering from Rogue. It poured a nice orange/light brown with a 2 inch head. Smells nice, too - of citrus and hops with a little spice. Very hoppy but not much to balance the hop-kick. The citrus smell didn't carry over to the taste buds and I had a hard time figuring out the taste because of that...kept expecting more than I was getting out of it.

Not in my top list of Rogue brews...not a good balance of hops and taste.

09-18-2006 02:25:12 | More by JohnnyM2002
Photo of bigblueheron
bigblueheron

Georgia

3.3/5  rDev -17.5%

The presentation was a 22 oz bottle poured into a room temperature glass. Rich honey-amber appearance and fresh smell adhered to my expectations. I was anxious for a taste. It started out great, but what a bitter finish punch that lingered forever. I don't doubt this is a well-regarded example, but I didn't have my game face on for this experience.

02-04-2006 03:11:39 | More by bigblueheron
Photo of FranklinPCombs
FranklinPCombs

Massachusetts

3.3/5  rDev -17.5%

Orange amber color, murkey with a decent beige head, little lacing. Smell was dominantly burnt chocolatey and mossy notes up front, with a bit of malt and cherry finish. Taste was slightly bitter, but more what I would describe as sharp and chalky. Same burnt taste, but most everything is masked by the "bitter". The mouthfeel is, again, dry and chalky, and there is a strange sharpness on the back, but had decent body. I was looking for a much more balanced beer, but this one didn't deliver that.

07-30-2006 22:23:06 | More by FranklinPCombs
Photo of BeerBelcher
BeerBelcher

Ohio

3.28/5  rDev -18%

I'm stunned at the rating of this beer on this site. I had this beer from a bottle at Comet Cafe, and thought it to be rather disappointing although by no means a horrible beer. It was somewhat hoppy, but not nearly as bitter as I expected, or as I was hoping for. However, the beer was extremely balanced with some nice maltiness.

Appearance was an amber color with a commercial-looking head of small uniformly sized bubbles. Aroma was hop and significant maltiness which struck me as very balanced. A watery mouthfeel struck me before the flavor, which was a soft hoppiness that kind of masked the bitterness of this beer. While I appreciate the fact this beer was balanced, it was still nonetheless disappointing.

I would recommend this beer, yet I would still characterize it as highly over-rated.

07-14-2007 01:52:53 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of whoneeds8
whoneeds8

Texas

3.25/5  rDev -18.8%

03-11-2013 23:45:03 | More by whoneeds8
Photo of switzer
switzer

Oregon

3.25/5  rDev -18.8%

08-19-2013 03:49:29 | More by switzer
Photo of RickS95
RickS95

Indiana

3.25/5  rDev -18.8%

I spun the bottle a little to mix up the goodness at the bottom and was rewarded with a hazy pale orange pour. Up top was a couple fingers of cloud. As the white bubbles dissipated, it gave great lacing.

Initially, there is a nice kick of citrus, but it left quickly. In the background is a combination of flowers and pine...kind of like a forest.

There's not a lot of flavor. You'll pick up a bit of pine and what I'm thinking is orange peel, but nothing dominates.

This is anything but a brutal IPA. It's the mildest IPA I've ever had. The mouthfeel is slightly neutral most of the way thru with just a slight hoppy bite in the swallow.

I expected a lot more based on the name alone. It's barely strong enough to be a pale ale and certainly not worthy of being called an IPA. In general, it goes down pretty easy, but for the style, it's pretty lacking.

03-27-2011 03:17:43 | More by RickS95
Photo of spartanlaker
spartanlaker

California

3.25/5  rDev -18.8%

11-18-2013 02:06:48 | More by spartanlaker
Photo of Seaba
Seaba

Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -18.8%

02-26-2013 20:23:23 | More by Seaba
Photo of Nage37
Nage37

California

3.25/5  rDev -18.8%

04-09-2013 02:19:14 | More by Nage37
Photo of user785335
user785335

Florida

3.25/5  rDev -18.8%

02-20-2014 22:29:59 | More by user785335
Photo of WoodenLeg410
WoodenLeg410


3.25/5  rDev -18.8%

08-10-2012 01:06:25 | More by WoodenLeg410
Photo of Caudalie
Caudalie

Quebec (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -18.8%

05-08-2013 14:21:44 | More by Caudalie
Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,798 ratings.