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Brutal Bitter Ale - Rogue Ales

Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale

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

1,696 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1696
Reviews: 1055
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.47%


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).

Malts: 100% Floor-malted Maris Otter, Cara Vienna, Cara Wheat.
Hops: Crystal.
Yeast & Water: Rogue's Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.

15º PLATO
59 IBU
76.1 AA
14.2º Lovibond

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-28-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,696 | Reviews: 1,055 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of LPorter33
LPorter33

Massachusetts

4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Purchased 22oz bomber from Martignetti's

Appearance = Lacing holds nicely..looks absolutely delicious and near perfect with a creamy looking, opaque orange-brown color.

Smell = Strong hops present with a bit of fruit flavor, mostly resembling pineapple.

Taste = Not sweet at all like the scent hinted at. Very tart and bitter upfront, with a strong citrus tone but not overwhelming in the least, blends together perfectly. Some malt is there to balance out the hops so it's not swayed too much in one direction. Absolutely delicious. I'm almost through with this 22oz'er in a few minutes. Thick on the mouth but not heavy on the palate. An exceptionally crafted beer and the best ESB I've had.

Mouthfeel = Silky smooth and near perfect. Feels like liquid satin in the mouth.

Overall = A masterfully crafted beer that overachieves in all facets. These guys at Rogue certainly know what they're doing. HIGHLY recommended.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2005 00:44:06 | More by LPorter33
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours deep honey with an off the charts beaded san colored head. good lacing and head retention

Smell: earthy hop notes &honey malt notes

Taste: Piney & citrussy hops (grapefruit) with a sweet malt up front. Great hop finish, perhaps a little too much for the style, but it works for me

MF: Rich & ballanced, good carbonation

Very drinkable, think this is more like a DIPA, would love to ty this side by side with SNCA, yummy

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2006 03:26:09 | More by russpowell
Photo of bosco7
bosco7

Pennsylvania

4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nonic with a monster pillowy head. Slight haze. Smells like Spring (extremely floral) and very clean with a slight biscuit aroma. Oh my god this ESB tastes great! Starts toasty, malty, with a lot of caramel flavors and finishes with a very clean florally citrusy bitterness. Mouthfeel is silky smooth with perfect carbonation (maybe just a little more than English varieties).

I love this beer; it is perfectly balanced and extremely enjoyable. Definately not a boring Amber Ale labled as an ESB, this is the real deal.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2007 03:28:19 | More by bosco7
Photo of terryeckmeier
terryeckmeier

Ontario (Canada)

4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

picked up a bottle of this as soon as I saw it on the shelf. We don't get to many American craft beer up in Toronto, especially from the west coast. Looks great, smells great, taste great. Great head retention, great carbonation and a beautiful medium dark amber colour. Nice mouth feel smooth and leaves a nice dryness after you has a drink. Nice an bitter as it says but not over the top well maybe if you are use to drinking Canadian or Coors but great lingering bitter taste almost like whole wheat toast or something along those lines. Nice maltiness and very well balanced between the hop flavour, malt and bitterness. Would buy it again

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2009 19:27:24 | More by terryeckmeier
Photo of JohnParadee
JohnParadee

Delaware

4.61/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thin head, but good lacing on pour from 22oz bottle. Pleasant floral grapefruit nose. Opaque orange color. Very smooth citrusy taste. Ample but not overpowering hops, and alcohol well integrated (almost hidden). Comfortable mouthfeel. Really like this well balanced IPA. Would (will) drink this one over and over again (I hope).

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2013 00:12:24 | More by JohnParadee
Photo of JahNoth
JahNoth

New York

4.63/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The name brutal need not be there because this beer is everything but. English malts meet northwest hops in a most delectable way. After the almost tea-like aroma, there is a lovely hint of grapefruit. As the beer warms the malt characteristics come alive making this a complex but extremely palatable ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2002 14:51:31 | More by JahNoth
Photo of paceyourself
paceyourself

Connecticut

4.63/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very cloudy amber pour with a small tight white head that slowly fades.Great aroma of lightly roasted coffee with a floral background. The sweet fruity flavors are sharp at first then a strong oily bitterness takes over and hold your attention for some time. This is a excellent bitter and i enjoyed the whole bomber but while drinking this i wondered how this would be on draught, it must be incredible. Another winner from Rogue.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2003 16:20:57 | More by paceyourself
Photo of TripelJ
TripelJ

Florida

4.63/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Now Quaffing: Rogue Brutal Bitter

Presentation: 22 oz. bomber. Several glasses out of short stemmed flute.

The first thing one will notice upon cracking the seal on this bomber is the wonderfully clean hop aroma. Pours a hazy copper/caramel with a thick white head. Lacing is sticky down the glass. Nice citrus and hop aromas beg you to take that first sip, which is not nearly as "brutal" as I had anticipated. In fact, its a smooth creamy symphony of citrus (ruby red grapefruit) and hops and lingers to a bittersweet end, which comes too soon with *only* 22 oz.... Yes its bitter, but its not overly so, in fact it exceeds my expectations of the normally "extreme" rogue....

Overall: While not as drinkable as the youngers special bitter, this is definitely a great beer that I will be going back to.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2003 01:14:05 | More by TripelJ
Photo of BrewMaster
BrewMaster

California

4.63/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Bright, near glowing reddish orange colored beer with a slight haze to it. Big fluffy off white head that thins to lacy islands after a long while. Very nice and sticky lacing on the sides of the glass as it is consumed.

Smell: Sweet malty nose with a big fruity scent to back it up. Pineapple and a bit of citrus.

Taste: Sweet, fruity, and malty up front followed quickly by a quick burst of hop bitterness. The bitterness gives way to a citrusy hop flavor and more sweet maltiness. More fruit flavors show up as the beer warms. Apple and some pear along with some faint candy sweetness and toffee.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and thicker on the palate than it looks. Smooth and syrupy as it coats the palate with a thick layer of goodness.

Drinkability: This beer has everything I want in an ESB. It's crisp and malty all the while being sweet and fruity (and a nice 6.5%). All around an excellent beer with a great flavor and a great feel. Yummy.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2005 04:44:45 | More by BrewMaster
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

4.63/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance – This is a deep, rich, thick orange in color with a modest head. The head was OK, but the body is just gorgeous. It looks like that Lite-Bright orange, a solid, cloudy orange with a light in the background barely shining through.

Smell – Ah, I love the scent that the Crystal hops give up. It is very sharp and distinctive and a bit rank, like some aged Indo. The lightly-toasted malt backbone is not to be ignored.

Taste – This is so good it’s hard to put down. The hops are tremendous at the taste and very tell done. They provide a perfect balance to the toasty malts. It almost tastes dry-hopped though because the Crystal hops are so dominant in the flavor profile.

Mouthfeel – This medium-bodied ESB has great carbonation and really isn’t “brutally dry” as the name would suggest. It’s much more easy in the cheeks than the bottled version.

The key here is the smoothness, which also enhances Drinkability. It goes down in long, beautiful swallows. It’s almost therapeutic to the tongue and cheeks. I haven’t found a beer that I enjoy holding in my mouth more than tapped Brutal Bitter.

Drinkability – It’s hard to find fault in this ESB. It goes down like silk and is one of the smoothest tapped beers that I’ve ever had.

Serving type: growler

04-20-2006 01:14:54 | More by RoyalT
Photo of ClassicBrad
ClassicBrad

Pennsylvania

4.63/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Poured an opaque copper with a velvety head that dissipates with no real sign of lace. Smell is of a 'brutally bitter' suggestion of apple and tart fruit and in-your-face hops. Taste is exceptionally pleasant for the style and the reputation. Mouthfeel was average but could have used more texture. For something called "Brutal Bitter Ale" this thing can be drunk all night. Too bad that I only have one.

Note: I found it odd that there was a good amount of sediment at the bottom of this bottle.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2007 21:14:27 | More by ClassicBrad
Photo of mydeadguy
mydeadguy

Massachusetts

4.65/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 22oz bomber. Pours a hazy tawny amber with an inch or so of fluffy head that drops fairly quickly, leaving plenty of lace. Aroma is of hop oils, slightly astringent (pine?), bitter, herbal notes .

This beer does not shy away from the hop bitterness and lives up to it's name. Also the malty sweetness in the mix balances well, a hop monster, maybe, but house trained. The finish is a lingering hop bitterness that is just sublime. Mouthfeel is full and round, rich, oily (again the hops). Drinkability, don't get me started, if this wasn't my second review, and I could stand the Red Sox traffic, I would be on my way to the store to pick up as many as they have...

Overall, this beer blows me away, just perfect.... Rogue does it again. If your the type who loves bitter hops, and you haven't tried this, do yourself a favor.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2003 20:49:17 | More by mydeadguy
Photo of connecticutpoet
connecticutpoet

Connecticut

4.65/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This poured a hazy amber with a huge, dense, foamy head that left copious lacing on the glass.

The aroma was of very strong rich citrus and powerful hops. Well done!

The taste was like a HUGE explosion of hops in my mouth, along with a flavor blend of citrusy flavors and a strong pine overtone. Excellent!

The mouthfeel was perfect for the flavor, and I would definitely drink more than one of these in a sitting, regardless of the larger bottle size. A GREAT beer from Rogue, and I recommend it highly.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2004 20:50:01 | More by connecticutpoet
Photo of Troyone
Troyone

California

4.65/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured with a three inch head that dissipated to half an inch with a good proportion of lacing, has lots of carb action, and a wheat apple juice hazy type of color.
Light cookie toasted caramel malt smell with a resin orange hoppy aroma.
A light sweet and moderate bitter taste; toasted caramel malt and pine orange background with hints of butterscotch, honey, and light cola.
Has a medium body, dry and slightly watery texture, soft and lively carbonation, and although this has a slight metallic feel the finish is chalky smooth.
Maybe the best ESB that I've had in a bottle, definitely a session beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2005 03:25:54 | More by Troyone
Photo of davidchollar
davidchollar

Washington

4.65/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

mmmm...
this is good shit.

looks really good , perfect golden orange
smells great. fresh and sour like breakfast with grapefruits.
tastes wonderful ... i wouldn't say it is brutally bitter but it definitely packs a punch. remarkably tasty, perhaps a little intense, so i give it a 4 for drinkability.

the best ESB i've tried.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2005 17:44:45 | More by davidchollar
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill

Wyoming

4.65/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle(room temp) with a quickly diminishing head.
The beer is a cloudy medium gold.

The smell is a wonderful mix of hops and malt...you can just about taste the beer from the aroma alone and you *know* it's gonna be good.

The taste is a wonderful balance of the sweetness and bitterness with the hops taking over in the aftertaste and leaving me wanting more.. That's how drinkable this brew is. A *must* try if you see it in your local store.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2005 23:26:55 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of cjgator3
cjgator3

Florida

4.65/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a coppery amber color with a large creamy white head. Aroma is hops, hops and more hops! Citrusy hops dominate the taste as well. Under all the hops, you can pick up some sweet malt. Mouthfeel is smooth and slightly chewy. Overall, this is an absolutely delicious brew for hopheads like I.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2006 00:46:36 | More by cjgator3
Photo of loren01
loren01

Oregon

4.65/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours an orangish color, good frothy white head, good lace all the way down the glass
S: Smell is very pleasant. Smells of citrusy hops, slight bit of yeast smell as well
T: Taste is sligtly malty up front with a nice crisp citrusy hop taste toward the end. I expected a more bitter beer with the name and all but its actually pretty well balanced out which is fine.
M: Medium bodied beer with medium to high amount of carbonation
D: I love this beer!! One of my all time favorite beers from Rogue I would have to say.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2009 15:55:39 | More by loren01
Photo of hossua34
hossua34

California

4.65/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Murky, hazy caramel color. Looks like cider. A medium-large head that fades pretty fast but leaves a lasting layer of bubbles. Could have a little more lacing, but overall very good.

S - Bitersweet fruity smell; I detect what smells like passion fruit and pineapple. Caramelly, citrusy, malty-hoppy goodness. Amazingly well balanced. I don't see how it could smell any better.

T - Very fruity and hoppy. Hints of passion fruit and grapefruit. The tartness is nicely tempered by a burned sugar, malty-sweet finish. A little on the hoppy side but not unbalanced.

M - Fantastic mouthfeel. Thick but not too thick, smooth, and evenly carbonated.

D - A tiny bit of a sour aftertaste, but it's not a huge concern. Hearty and filling, but it's totally possible to not sip this brew; one of the best from a fantastic brewery.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2009 23:20:02 | More by hossua34
Photo of dbell23
dbell23

Tennessee

4.65/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Libation Station for having this on draft. It's now called Brutal IPA. Poured from a growler into a tulip glass. Hazy amber orange in color, with a two finger head with good retention and great lacing.

Smell is sweet hoppy with malt undertones. Not hoppy like an ipa but more sweet hoppy with malt. Doesn't smell like an ipa.

Taste is really good. Slightly hoppy to start with sweet citrus hoppy in the middle and a really nice hoppy finish. Not hoppy like an ipa just really smooth hop flavor. This is an incredibly balanced beer. Almost perfect hop malt balance.

Mouthfeel is almost perfect as well. Really smooth with an almost oily mouthfeel.

Overall this is one of my favorite Rogue beers. Brutal? No. Ipa? No. Really good beer? Oh yeah. It's definitely an esb. If you go by the name and are expecting a smack in the mouth ipa you will be disappointed. If you like a great esb you'll really like this beer. Far be it from me to give advice to Rogue's marketing department, but if they called this what it is-an esb, they'd sell more beer.

Serving type: growler

09-15-2012 21:06:57 | More by dbell23
Photo of steeler
steeler

Ontario (Canada)

4.68/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I finally grabbed one of these from my local LCBO. Pours out a hazy orangey coppery color, with a nice thick whispy 1.5 inch head, that laces all the way down the glass. Really Nice. This smells great, you can really smelly the citrusy hops, and smells extremely fresh, this truly is a very nice smelling beer. The taste is just what I'm looking for, nice and hoppy, finishes dry and clean, with a lingering hop bitterness, this is great. Mouthfeel is nice and light, and goes down exceptionally smooth. Drinkability is perfect on this, this is something you could easily drink on a nice hot day, but be careful after a few of these big bottles, it will creep up on you. This is an exceptional beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2009 20:06:59 | More by steeler
Photo of vrushing88
vrushing88

Pennsylvania

4.68/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Copper, thin off-white head.

S - Heavy on Carmel malts.

T- Floral, extremely hoppy, and citrisy

F - Light, refreshing, easy drinking

O - Overall a great IPA. Comparable to Stone Ruination, but with a more citrusy character. Very easy drinking, and clearly higher in ABV, but well hidden.

Great Brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2011 02:59:46 | More by vrushing88
Photo of Elemental
Elemental

Oregon

4.7/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Woo hoo - this lives up to its name brutally bitter. Who'd a thought that there is only one type of hops used in this beer (crystal). The taste is light but with a large amount of bitterness. The taste is great all the way through from the beginning to the end. It has a wonderful aroma with a hint of coffee and citrus. Lots of head to bring out the hopiness with a light amber gold color.
Excellent beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2003 20:56:16 | More by Elemental
Photo of bultrey
bultrey

New York

4.7/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Oh yeah. This is the shiznit right here. On cask at Fathead's in Pittsburgh, this was a real treat that I won't soon forget. A nice hazy gold color, with a decent head and nice, full carbonation for a cask. The smell was fresh and hoppy, of the grassy, herbal variety. This thing tasted so damn good, fresh, clean and crisp... some real herbaceous hop notes. This had many of the same flavors as the hop wallop I recently tried for the first time, except this was much more balanced and smooth. The hops bitterness lingered on well after each sip, but faded enough to invite sip after sip, making this an extremely drinkable beer. I really loved this and would jump at the chance to have it on cask again.

Serving type: cask

11-11-2004 05:08:06 | More by bultrey
Photo of drpimento
drpimento

Wisconsin

4.7/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Watch out Brits, Rogue's giving you a run for your money with this beer! If they had this on a beer engine, it would be an example of divinity on earth. Poured with a creamy, yet frothy and foamy off-white head that lasts forever with loads of lace. Color is an amber hued copper. Aroma is very malty caramel with lots of hop in a mix of British and American hop fragrances. Enticing! Flavor is vedy, vedy British with perfectly complimentary American flavs - rich malt, toffee, caramel, hops, bittersweet. a slight bit toasty. Body is to die for: full yet not too heavy. Finish is just right so you want to have another sip. Session beer extraordinaire.

Serving type: on-tap

05-31-2009 17:21:27 | More by drpimento
Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,696 ratings.