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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

1,758 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,758
Reviews: 1,060
rAvg: 4
pDev: 10.75%
Wants: 60
Gots: 48 | 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).

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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Brutal Bitter Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,758 | Reviews: 1,060 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cask from Trappeze in Athens, GA.

Pours a hazy copper color with two fingers of off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of floral and grapefruit hop aromas with hints of mildly spicy malts.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Robust malt flavors up front are joined by grapefruit hop flavors in short order, though they're not quite as intense as the smell led me to believe. A small amount of spiciness comes out near the end of the sip before a bitter ending that manages to become more bitter as the beer disappears.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a nice thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could easily have another.

Overall this was a tasty beverage that I think benefitted from the cask conditioning - the hops were able to shine a bit more. Worth a shot.

Serving type: cask

08-13-2009 16:14:49 | More by glid02
Photo of donmonkey1
donmonkey1

Tennessee

3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy dark orange with a really large white head. Good lacing. Good head retention.

Smell: Mild floral hops.

Taste: Floral hops, very strong but not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy but boring. No carbonation or sting or anything.

Drinkability: Easy to drink, great flavor. After you swallow, there's a mild and clean aftertaste.

This is a great beer. It's perfect for its style.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2009 01:07:08 | More by donmonkey1
Photo of loren01
loren01

Oregon

4.65/5  rDev +16.3%
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 LordAdmNelson
LordAdmNelson

Ohio

4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a nice turbid orange-peach color with white head that sticks around for a while. Nice lacing.

S- Lots of pleasant citrus hops here. Some light caramel in the background, but hops are the main player.

T- Some citrus hops, nice leafy and resinous hops, balanced with a decent caramel-like backbone. Tastes kind of like an IPA. Refreshing. Somewhat of an earthy finish. I wish there was some more malt character though.

M- A bit over-carbonated for my taste. Light bodied, dry finish.

D- This is supremely enjoyable. Light and refreshing, this one's an easy drink. Not the best quality beer from Rogue, but I definitely enjoy it.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2009 00:36:21 | More by LordAdmNelson
Photo of MaxBrews
MaxBrews

Connecticut

3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

355ml bottle poured in a mug. No idea of the best by date.

Appearance. Pours hazy copper orange color. Average head with average retention which dissipates into a thin unimpressive soapy lacing.

Smell: Very hoppy. Hops have a wide range of notes; floral, fruity, citrus. Rustic wooden notes from the malt. A faint alcoholic aroma.

Taste: Hits a lot less harder on hoppy taste then I expected. From the malt I picked up rustic notes, raisins and dark pitted fruit. A tiny bit of floral hops picked up though not as much as its very pronounced hop smell.

Mouthfeel: extremely high carbonation tingles the tongue in the way over-carbonated soda does. Finishes with a very dry bitter note. This beer does live up to its name on that. While its not brutal for me I could see many thinking this was large. A bit too carbonated I think but other then that this has a decent bite, that you really shouldn't be surprised about seeing this is called the "brutal bitter".

Drinkability: A well balanced beer, but too bitter and high and alcohol in my opinion to be a decent session. I would sample again though even though this wasn't an instant hit with me.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2009 02:43:12 | More by MaxBrews
Photo of pmcadamis
pmcadamis

Illinois

4.83/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - This one is a hazy orange with a nice thick white head. Good lacing and retention, but nothing mind-boggling.

S - Wow. Hops out the ying-yang. This is floral, breezy, and fresh with a contrasting sharp hop note. Fresh bread, yeast, and grassy hops. Nice!

T - Super hoppy and bitter! This is a hop-heads wet dream, but its also very balanced and relatively even keeled.

M - Medium bodied, ridiculously fresh, and tingly with effervescent carbonation. This produces an odd fuzzy sensation on my tongue that I really like.

D - Super-session material for sure. This is one of the best all-arounders I've had in a long time. This (other than the easy going, but far from bland appearance) is a jack of all trades, and pretty much a master of them too. Ridiculously good beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2009 00:17:15 | More by pmcadamis
Photo of DiabolikDUB
DiabolikDUB

Oregon

3.53/5  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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-16-2009 05:46:35 | More by DiabolikDUB
Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,758 ratings.