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Brutal Bitter Ale - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,085 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,085
Hads: 2,052
Avg: 4.01
pDev: 14.71%
Wants: 80
Gots: 164 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,085 | Hads: 2,052
Photo of MrBrach
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Orange / Copper color, cloudy.

Smell: Smells how it looks, tangerine, orange peel, mango, masked undertone of lemon.

Taste: Zesty orange, lemon, bitter.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body.

Overall: As with the other members who have reviewed this, I wouldn't call it a Brutal IPA. Balanced flavor, fruity, and bitter. Enjoyable IPA. I would definitely drink more of these.

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Photo of Troy-Hawaii
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was expecting a really bitter beer, but it actually isn't. It is a pretty smooth and easy drinking beer. Cloudy amber color, fruity smell, slight aftertaste. Overall a great beer.

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Photo of FickleBeast
2.93/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle poured into a Savor snifter. Not able to find a date code on bottle - my bottle has a red label . Pours a cloudy orange color with two fingers of foam that fill the glass and coat the edges as it recedes very slowly. Aroma is fairly subdued. Kind of citrusy, with a hint of melon. Expected more from the nose.

First sip is is mostly bitter. Thin bodied with a lot of astringency. However, there is not much hop flavor, only bitterness. The malt backbone really isn't there, so this tastes mostly unbalanced to me. I'm not sure if this is an off bottle or not, but I really don't understand how this is rated so highly. I will come back and update if the other bottles in the 6 pack are better, but for now I can't recommend this.

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Photo of SWOhio-aquifer
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer fits my palate so well.

Why: Uh.. It is just good. Kind of like dead guy with a little less malt a touch more hop.

Balanced-yes. Bitter-no.

Used to be my go to. I remember drinking a ton of it one summer building kayaks and other wood working endeavors.

Just something about it. I recently picked up a six pack. It been years since I have had.

Still great. Should be up their with dead guy but the name throw people a lot. Kind of like the saying don't judge a book .; you know the rest.

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Photo of ChrisMon02
3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A bit confused with this one. Looks good. Nice head and retention. It's not bitter nor is it brutal. Couldn't find a bottle date so not sure how old this is. Smell is like perfume. I get sweet malts and some nice hop flavor but definitely on the sweeter side. One of the better Rogue beers I have had. Would like to try super fresh and compare to this bottle.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rogue Brutal IPA has a thin, white head, narrow lacing, and a murky, orange appearance, with lots of tan, powdery sediment suspended throughout. The aroma is fruity (mango?), with a white bread note. Taste is the same, with mild bitterness and slightly-turned fruit. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and this beer finishes somewhat like a lager in its crispness. A tart ale.


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Photo of Bone53
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an orange copper color with a one finger off white head

Smell: Tangerine, orange, lemon peel, stale malt

Taste: Orange marmalade, floral pine, lemon zest

Mouthfeel: Medium body, just right for the style; Substantial dry, bitter finish

Overall: This bottle is five months old and im surprised how well it has held up. Most IPAs would be a malty mess by now, but i still pick up plenty of citrus and pine in the flavor. I get more of a skunky malt character in the nose. Id love to have a fresh one to compare. I enjoyed this offering quite a bit regardless

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Photo of Sam-VW
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This beer pours a Cloudy Amber with a decent sized White head with good retention. It dissipates leaving rings of lacing around the glass as you drink. Probably one of the best IPA's I've had for a while for looks! On the nose there's some Apricot, Mango, Pine and Citrus fruits. I'd love to get my hands on the Rogue hops. Now for the palate, loads of Mandarin and Marmalade, Citrus fruits, peach, a little pine and floral notes. The malt backbone rides at the back of your mouth throughout with Caramel and slightly bready notes. Well balanced. Full body for this style, finishing surprisingly sweet for something called Brutal IPA. One I'll definitely drink again

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.76/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Darker shade of amber. Hazy. Creamy off-white head retains at a quarter inch. Thin rings of lacing.

S: Mango purée, tangerine, lemon peel, orange marmalade. Rich malt aromas of scones and pound cake, yeasty and brothy.

T: Mango purée, leafy and slightly vegetal hop flavors, herbal spice and peppery hop tastes too. Blonde tobacco. Stiff bitterness. Grapefruit rind creeps in. Brothy. English malts shine through with tastes of bread and scones. Flash of tangerine. Bitter hop finish is earthy, leafy, and spicy.

M: Fat medium body. Round and creamy. Chewy, even. Sits with a whipped airy lightness. Nice body.

O: It's basically an Americanized ESB. I understand the decision to brand it as an ipa, but I don't necessarily agree with it. A solid enough beer at any rate, and nice for a change of pace.

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Photo of MUTINY
4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Quick review. Nicely balanced, slightly darker than expected. Drinks a bit light without too much hops. Everything here works together so well, very drinkable.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Hazy, amber beer with an almoust one finger high head.

Nose: Apricot, dried fruit, mandarine, pine, citrus and floral hops.
Taste: Orange marmelade, citrus, pineapple, peach, grass, caramel malt and honey.
Body: Medium body with crisp carbonation. A light bitterness at the end that stays on the tounge.

This is a great IPA!

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Photo of Cramshawbar
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Brutal is a strong name for this lovely IPA. Just enough bitterness, just enough citrus flavour, just enough strength and voila - you have a winner.
Well balanced, well made.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid about $2.29 for the single pretty much for the reason of not having a Rogue beer in a while.

A - Hazy looking amber brown with a great looking head a 1/2 inch that slowly fades to a lace ring. Some stickiness to the sides of the glass.
S - Herbal smelling but not overbearing it smells rather balanced with the malts. I sip.
T - Surprising bit of herbal hops to the taste not way overbearing but enough to quench the hop thirst.
M - Light to medium not watery or overbearing bitter.

Overall it was good I liked it more than their standard "Yellow Snow IPA" worth picking up since it's fairly cheap.

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Photo of mikesnotesonbeer
4.68/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Cloudy, orange-gold.
S: Hoppy and citrusy. Light pine.
T: Citrusy upfront, with a nice hoppy finish.
M: Refreshingly crisp, though a little dry.
O: It’s hoppy, but not enough to be off-putting. This is an IPA that both a novice and a connoisseur can appreciate.

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Photo of Mlkluther
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours an orange copper with a finger of slightly off white head that leaves some lacing.

Nose is very fruity and floral. Mango, pear, peach, slight citrus.

Taste follows nose. Slight bitter finish. Light mouthfeel.

Nice beer.

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Photo of TJBOtt
4.34/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A very good IPA. Citrussy,, not too heavy, but with a very nice flavor. Its my favorite IPA that is regularly available in the liquor stores locally (LCBO) here in Ontario.

I'm not sure about the brewer's description, as a blend between an ESP and an IPA though. Intriguing.

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Photo of Grayson
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a cloudy, medium-brown color with a finger of medium head.
S: Hoppy, lemony. Seems fruity.
T: Pretty hoppy and floral. Moderately bitter, moderately fruity. Pretty great blend of in-between. Tasting a couple fruit notes, but I could be off.
MF: Medium, thin. Very reasonable.

Overall: A quality IPA. One of the most well-balanced I've had.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%

Pours hazy dark orange with a white pillow head that subsides to a nice sticky froth in a minute or so.
Smell of pineapple, tangerine, pink grapefruit, faint peach, really faint earthy hop, honeyed malts, caramel, bit of pine, bit of spicy leafy hop.
Sweet citrus upfront, a bit like orange jam with lots of peel in it. Some pineapple, some juicy peach, lemon zest, faint mango. Caramel, lightly toasted malts. Pine, some earthy grassiness starts to develop, with a clear English hop note attached to it, aside for a faint dankness/spicy leafiness. Nice and bitter.
Aftertaste is hoppy, but just lightly fruity, with an earthy bitterness lingering. Bit of malt sweetness to mellow things down.
A really nice IPA with a pretty cheeky English innuendo. Nice balance, refreshing, tasty and smart.

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Photo of hophugger
3.52/5  rDev -12.2%
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..

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Photo of jercasper
4.25/5  rDev +6%

A great IPA. Didn't find the balance of flavors to be as even as one might taste in other IPAs but not enough to deter me from ordering this IPA gem again.

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Photo of BeerWatcher
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%

Pours a murky burnt orange, with a thick white head that settles down rapidly. Aromas of citrus hops, and caramel malts. Quite well balanced in this regard. Tastes start off citrus and turn to caramel malts in the middle of the process, as it flows over the tongue, finishing with a lemon zest tingle. Overall, in a word, balanced.

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Photo of corywalston
4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A. Slightly aggressive poor 1 inch of white head dissipates to ring around glass within minutes. Color is hazy golden orange. Beautiful.
S. Hops, citrus, light pine.
T. Hops, citrus, sweet maybe honey, pine needles. Good as hell.
M. A little dry crisp, but not a refreshing crisp. Promotes dry mouth.
O. This IPA is the bomb. I like the pine needle taste most. I recommend trying it. Very good buzz for 6% ABV.

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Photo of FLima
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Original version with just crystal hops.
Clear amber color with one finger aired head with short retention, but leaving some laces.
Nice aroma with notes of tea leaves, grapefruits, orange marmalade, molasses and herbs.
Likewise, flavor of caramels, grapefruit, lots of tea leaves, tangerine peel, a drop of lemon and finishing with toasted malts, and pine, floral and herbal notes. Hints of mango. Dry and bitter aftertaste. Not fresh and still quite good.
Light body with appropriate carbonation, a bit fizzy. Alcohol of roughly 6.5% abv is well hidden.
It sure felt like a combination of an English Extra Bitter and an American IPA. Quite assertive and not overly complex. If you like ESB and IPAs, you will sure like this.
I was curious in tasting this given that I just made a beer with a similar recipe.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%

A: Pours a pretty hazy orange-ish copper in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation streaming from the bottom of the glass and moderate golden yellow + amber highlights. The beer has a two finger tall sudsy foamy light beige head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of caramel malts with moderate aromas of floral and pine hops.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of slightly sweet caramel malts, though not too sweet. That is followed by moderate flavors of slightly bitter floral, herbal, and pine hops which contributes a moderate amount of bitterness which fades slowly.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly crisp and smooth.

O: I imagine when this beer first came out, it was probably one of the most bitter IPAs available but that is no longer the case - though the bitterness is higher than I would expect for the body of the beer. Not too difficult to drink but not one that I would want to have more than one of...

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Photo of beerdrifter
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Hazy copper-orange pour with a two finger white head with decent retention and lacing. The nose is rather subdued, malt forward, and somewhat vegetal with hints of pine, caramel, and grapefruit. The taste is unique with the same vegetal notes noticed in the nose. Hints of caramel, pine, grapefruit, tangerine, orange peel, grass, and brown bread. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with slightly fizzy carbonation, decent balance,, and a bitter, dry finish. Overall, I kind of get the IPA/ESB thing the brewer was aiming for, but the vegetal thing was a bit off-putting for me. Still a decent beer...

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Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,085 ratings.