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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

1,765 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,765
Reviews: 1,060
rAvg: 4
pDev: 10.75%
Wants: 60
Gots: 49 | 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: 1,765 | Reviews: 1,060 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of feelmefoam
feelmefoam

South Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a nice golden grain color, very hazy but sparkling in the light. With a nice amount of carbonation running up the glass, this beer has the appearance of a bubbly wheat beer. Two fingers of off-white foam came with the pour, leaving a moderate amount of lacing down the glass.

Brutal Bitter presents a nice hop aroma in the nose, specifically putting forth a nice grapefruit scent mixed with some other citrusy/spicy scents.

This is certainly a tasty beer; the hops are up front and clean with a nice citrus and grapefruit flavor. Although this beer is advertised as "brutal" that is not the adjective I would use to describe it, as the hop presence is certainly not overwhelming. Maybe a better adjective is scrumptious. Either way, after the nice hop kiss there is a slight showing of pale malts used to balance out the flavor. Very tasty.

A smooth, crisp, medium body accentuated with a decent amount of carbonation allows the beer to dance around on your tongue a bit before you swallow.

A very drinkable, flavorful, yet not intimidating beer that I could drink several of in one sitting. Its bark is worse than its bite, but I don't mind at all, because the bite hurts so good.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2009 03:12:24 | More by feelmefoam
Photo of clockwerk
clockwerk

Ontario (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a 22oz wine glass.

A- Very nice. I'm not sure what to call the colour. Deep gold? Basically, it's the same colour as urine after a night of whisky, with a couple drops of bile from that kidney punch you got when your sloppy drunk ass started that fight. That's a good thing. It's a rich colour. Slightly hazy. Nice foamy head forms and recedes at a normal pace leaving a nice lacing and forming a foamy cap. It's not blowing my mind, but it's definitely pretty.

S - I guess that's Crystal? Nice, I like it. Strong citrus aroma hits the nose right away. It's pretty dominant. I get whiffs of other things underneath but frankly, it's so subtle compared to the citrus it's adequate to just say there's some balance. It's a really nice, clear and crisp smell. I'd go so far as to call it "fresh" smelling. But not like laundry detergent "fresh". Not at all.

T - I guess that's Crystal again. The taste follows the smell. Bitter citrus fruit balanced against a little sweetness in the background and the mildest touch of warmth from the alcohol. I like that it's one supremely well expressed hop. The bitterness kicks in nicely at the end drying out the mouth.

M - Medium bodied (I think) and well carbonated. (To me that means there's enough carbonation to make it feel lively without being distracting).

D - This is my new "go to" beer for things like sporting events. It goes down easy.

Notes: I like this single hop idea. It's pretty artful. I'll admit I was skeptical of Rogue after the Nut Brown Nectar, but this was a seriously pleasant surprise. I've gone back and picked up a few more bottles to have on hand. I guess my free form conclusion to this beer is "It's a great session beer, that provides maximum flavour without being too assertive. It doesn't force me to pay attention to it. It just repeatedly makes my mouth happy while doing something else".

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2009 02:28:14 | More by clockwerk
Photo of thecarster1
thecarster1

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- bottle poured into a pint, one finger creamy head that fades slowly to an uneven thin layer of lace, it's got a hazy burnt orangey chestnut brown color with only a few streams of bubbles.

s- grapefruit, sweet caramel malt, smells good and very aromatic, a bit peppery with maybe a hint of vanilla.

t- grapefruit off the bat, thats backed up very nicely by an almost equal measure of sweet caramel malt, there are some pepper notes and some vanilla too that i smelled before, there is a nice amount of bitterness that lingers long.

m- medium body with a creamy texture and a bit of slickness.

d- really nice, i enjoyed this as a welcome change of pace from the ipas that i know and love, yet another solid offering from rogue, i paired this with a creamy, peppery penne pasta with sausage and peas, it went so well. i'd definately drink this again.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2009 20:30:13 | More by thecarster1
Photo of eljefe21
eljefe21

Virginia

4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Hazy orange with tints of yellow. Single finger head of off white foam sinks to a thin but constant layer. Nice, fine lacing.

S: Crisp, clean hoppy smell emanates from the glass. Full, heady and enticing.

T: Crisp hop taste rolls over the outer edges of the tongue to blend with a sweetish biscuit-y malt flavor in the center of the tongue.

M: Carbonation bite on the outer tongue is followed by a long, dry finish on the center tongue. Medium bodied mouthfeel.

D: I think/hope this is pretty low alcohol. I could definitely find myself putting back a few of these in a night. Heavy and thick enough to hold up to cool weather, while crisp and dry enough to work in warm weather.

Served: in a standard pint glass.

Review from notes taken on: 11/10/09.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2009 01:24:09 | More by eljefe21
Photo of mightymoksha
mightymoksha

Florida

3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in pint glass.

Pours a deep, translucent copper, with a light khaki head. Head retains nicely. Visible particulate suspended throughout.

Piney, resiny, floral hop aroma is dominant, with a pecan-like sweetness backing it up.

Floral, oily hop flavor dominates the flavor profile here. A toasty malt sweetness is lingering in the background, which balances nicely. Notes of pine, honey and citrus rind also present. A dry, mildly spicy finish.

Mouthfeel is medium in body, smooth and slightly chewy, with a pleasant carbonation. Particulate is undetectable.

Nothing too exciting, but very tasty.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2009 03:27:23 | More by mightymoksha
Photo of scottyshades
scottyshades

Florida

3.55/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours transparent gold with a fluffy/airy looking head. Retention is pretty good along with the lacing

S: Honey, resiny hops, and very floral. Pretty good balance between the hops and malts

T: Definitely not as bitter as I was expecting. Again, honey, resiny hops, and very floral. The malts are sweet and do a nice job of keeping the hop profile at bay.

MF/D: Medium body, smooth resinous finish

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2009 19:30:23 | More by scottyshades
Photo of RJay
RJay

Minnesota

4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured a hazy orange color with visible particles suspended. The Carbonation stirs these particles which eventually settle on the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Has a sweet/sour smell, citrus and some alcohol.

Taste: Well it is bitter, but not too bitter; it is actually balanced pretty well. I was expecting to be punched in the face with bitterness.

Mouth feel: Very smooth with lots of carbonation dancing on the tongue and cheeks. It is surprisingly not very gritty with all the particles.

Drinkability: Not bad, I could definitely drink a few of these in a night. However, a 6 pack may be death for a weak stomach and light drinker.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2009 00:50:20 | More by RJay
Photo of KChardstock
KChardstock

Illinois

3.1/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I bought this bottle a few days ago after having their shakespeare, and chocolate stout. good stuff. but this one not so much. brutal bitter pours great into a a nice fluffy foam. foam retention is good and locks in taste. the appearance is an orange haze with dense carbonation. the orange appearance is followed up with a citrus flavor. The taste is infact bitter, but not very brutal. i liked this beer, but it didn't strike much of a fancy.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2009 20:27:43 | More by KChardstock
Photo of tigg924
tigg924

Massachusetts

3.23/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: orange-brown in color, 1 inch head, cloudy, high carbonation

Smell: hops and lots of floral scents

Taste: a bready start with a super hoppy finish

Mouthfeel: smooth, super bitter, medium body

Drinkability: I expected a bit more balance, but this is really bitter. The hops are featured here. This is a sipper and I would only have one per session max.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2009 17:06:51 | More by tigg924
Photo of brewerburgundy
brewerburgundy

California

3.48/5  rDev -13%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2009 00:26:04 | More by brewerburgundy
Photo of OlRasputin989
OlRasputin989

Arkansas

3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into pint

A:alot of hazy sediment. fades from old gold to a dark copper color. big fluffy head with good retention leaves strips of lacing.

S: biscuity, caramel honey-grapefruit peel, some nice floral notes, maybe some butterscotch

T: praline, grapefruits, honey. fades with piney grapefruit, peanut butter, orange peel, and some spice

M:very lively carbonation in a medium full body. leaves mouth dry and resinous

Overall, a nicely done ESB, although i thought the malt could have been a little more present. Of course, Rogue was generous with the northwest hops (not a bad thing). Blends the traditional English examples with the aggressively hopped style of American craft brews.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2009 00:32:11 | More by OlRasputin989
Photo of tobyandgina
tobyandgina

Nevada

2.8/5  rDev -30%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A finger of off-white foamy head, quickly dissipating.
Orange in color, murky, big chunks of sediment.

Citrusy, hop aroma, kind of stinky maltiness.

Thin, mild mouthfeel with bitter, piney hops. Some apple skinand resin aftertaste.

A not-too-exciting offering from Rogue.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2009 16:29:22 | More by tobyandgina
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

2.78/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I drank this from the bottle into a tulip.

It pours a medium brown with a white head, poor retention and lacing.

The aroma is mostly hops, pretty disappointing.

The taste is always disappointing, not what I thought it would be. The front end is really sweet and there is not a bitterness to the beer at all.

Mouthfeel is ok, hard to drink down one, let alone many.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2009 18:45:04 | More by jrallen34
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this at Market Cross Pub in Shippensburg, poured chilled into a 1/2 pint from the 12oz brown bottle.

A - The appearance is clear pale honey w/ very good clarity and rocky beige head of approximately 2 fingers. The lace clings well and retention is good.

S - A honeyed fruit, citrus rind and mild biscuit aroma w/ light bitter orange accents and grassy tinges in the hop aroma

M - A very bitter fell right off(duh) w/ a mild malt and moderate carbonation. An almost creamy middle but too much lingering bitterness IMO, the style should have more of a malt backbone, finishes on the dry side

T - A crisp spiced hop taste up front w/ citrus acidity from the NW hops and very light malt flavor. The citrus rind taste lingers and a creamy bitter combo is tasted w/ only a mild accent of malt as it finishes

D - The drinkability is better than average but for this I consider it a mediocre example of the style. It is overly hopped and tastes like a hoppy pale to me

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2009 13:56:47 | More by Slatetank
Photo of kegger22
kegger22

Michigan

3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy amber with a generous head that reduced to a skin. The aroma was hoppy/citrusy right off the bat. The hop taste is there but not in overpowering amounts. I could also taste the malt sweetness hidden behind the citrus, nice balance. Mouth feel was medium bodied with adequate carbonation. Drinkability was good with a reasonable ABV and relatively mild flavors.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2009 16:55:41 | More by kegger22
Photo of Casey10
Casey10

Maine

4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not bad was quite surpised similar to stone 13th aniversary but a bit more toned down.

A - Small head light brown copper look nice.

S - Malt, almost slight grassy smell.

T - Hint of chocolate (might be the malt) sort of burnt taste.

M - Light crispy taste, leaves a bit of a lingering feel after drinking.

D - Good beer to have if you are looking for this style would definately drink again.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2009 01:02:25 | More by Casey10
Photo of TheFlern
TheFlern

Idaho

3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smell: Hoppy bitterness that invites you to take a sip.

Taste: Very balanced between hop and malt notes. Nothing really sticks out which makes this beer taste like a beer instead of a hopfest or sugar rush of a malty beer. Its hoppier up front and finishes with malt but is very balanced.

Mouthfeel: This beer just feels good in the mouth. The texture is what you would want from an ESB, not to thin and not to thick.

Drinkabilitly: A six pack of this would get you perhaps a little too drunk. However, this is a good beer that I wouldn't mind having again.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2009 23:47:41 | More by TheFlern
Photo of Docer
Docer

Washington

3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just pouring...

- Cloudy orange/yellow almost hefe-like appearance with a little bit of off-white bubbly head quickly down to a lot of lacing.

- Sweet malty backbone with a bitter punch to the nose... and some alcohol as well. Sweet with some citrus. Smells strong.

- Rather mild and sweet with some earthy hop tones, bitter bite, and lemony zest... overall not bad! Creamy in a way...

- Bit sweet and slightly chewy.. certainly dry, but the zing adds saliva.

- Pretty good, and much more drinkable than the nose would provide information for...

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2009 02:29:17 | More by Docer
Photo of ImusBeer
ImusBeer

Georgia

4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this at my local Mall of Georgia Taco Mac.
They were pouring this out of a draft cask with some extra hoppyness with some simco hops.

It poured a light orange amber, a bit hazy with off white head. The head died quickly which may have had something to do with the extra hop filter.

It smelled hoppy but not overly so, with some citrus.

The taste was mainly citrus, possibly some Peaches and Apples? A hoppy mouthfeel but light along with some bitterness at the finish. A very good a beer all around.

Serving type: cask

09-16-2009 15:40:23 | More by ImusBeer
Photo of witster18
witster18

Tennessee

3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is half IPA and half a best bitter. There's some really piney hops going on here much like Sam Adam's Hallertau and it has a pretty good kick. Not real bitter though. An interesting cook pear/apple thing goin on in the backdrop there and dry to the bone. I like the taste of this though it has an original sweetness all it's own...kinda like Paulaner Brews do...

Hoppy bitter IPA that is great for one or too but a bit heavy on the palate for much more. Will definately buy again and keep in fridge as a 'jus got home need 2-3 staple'....

everything from rogue is pretty *&$# good.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2009 20:16:37 | More by witster18
Photo of JRed
JRed

New Jersey

4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy orange hue with large white bubbly head. Aroma of citrus, cream, west coast hops, hop resin. Crisp taste of citrus, hops, bitter finish. Medium carbonation zaps the tongue. Refreshing and crisp in taste but thick on belly. An American English style bitter that sits west coast hops on the palate and thick hops and resin on the belly.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2009 01:43:10 | More by JRed
Photo of popery
popery

California

4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brutal Bitter is a nicely balanced beer that still retains Rogue's signature style. The beer pours a light ochre with a nice bubbly head. The aroma is mildly citrusy with a healthy caramel malt sweetness. The flavor has a touch of alcohol, but it's mostly a fairly hoppy version of an ESB. It's dryer and somewhat more grassy, lemony bitter than most IPAs, but it's also not a very British taste, not that I've had all that many British beers really. At any rate, it drinks easily and the mouthfeel is good, sudsy, light. I also appreciate that the beer is unfiltered, always a nice touch in contrast to all of the filtered IPAs.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2009 06:42:14 | More by popery
Photo of jbennett1919
jbennett1919

Ohio

4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice golden yellow with a nice one finger head.

Smell is of nice floral hops and grapefruit.

Tastes absolutely great. This beer should be called an IPA and not a bitter. Taste is of hops and grapefruit. Solid finish!

Mouthfeel is pleasant from start to finish.

I did not expect a solid IPA to come out of this 'Brutal Bitter' bottle; I was taken off-guard, but for a pleasant surprise. I think this is probably my second favorite Rogue brew behind the Juniper Ale.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2009 00:42:36 | More by jbennett1919
Photo of ADZA
ADZA

Australia

4.4/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a light copper hue with beautiful carbonation that leaves a nice frothy two finger head with sporadic lacing,it has a dominant aroma of pine coated grapefruit hops a beautiful smell,and the taste doesnt let it down it has a light mouthfeel and the grapefruit hops are dominant and it finishes a little bitter but not extreme the perfect balance between hops and malts plays out in the finish to make this beer very easy to drink prob one of the best examples of this style for me.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2009 10:53:11 | More by ADZA
Photo of jsh420
jsh420

Illinois

4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours a golden yellow with a 1+ finger head that left no lacing

smells of grapefruit hops and not much else - love it

taste says IPA not ESB - grapefruit hops upfront that mesh well with the sweet malts that come in at the finish

mouthfeel was light and perfectly carbonated

drinkability is out of this world and i am glad i bought a sixer over the bomber

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2009 03:47:24 | More by jsh420
Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,765 ratings.