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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

1,826 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,826
Reviews: 1,063
rAvg: 4
pDev: 10.75%
Wants: 65
Gots: 63 | 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: 1,826 | Reviews: 1,063 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Toned down bitter. Hazy orange. Froth dissipitates from the bomber. Smells like a citrus IPA with pine. Fruit midsip. Downs bitter yet toned down with a faint lemoniness and Bittersweet aftertaste. Oily 59 IBU. Americanized ESB. Forget Wheat, this at the end of the hot day.

Sammy, May 14, 2004
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev 0%

t0rin0, Dec 25, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Haven Gastropub in Pasadena, CA.

Pours a hazy honey orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of citrus fruit, citrus zest, and honey. Taste is much the same with a malt finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink but it’s definitely not brutal in any sense.

UCLABrewN84, Aug 14, 2012
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev 0%

djrn2, Dec 10, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a light copper color with a nice white head. The nose brings hops that are floral, citric, and a bit herbal in character. A tad bit of light bready malt in the background. The flavor has some nice hops and a dry earthy character. Good, light, and bitter mouthfeel. Drinks quite well, although not nearly as well as it could given the fairly hefty price point for a sixer of this.

Thorpe429, Oct 24, 2010
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

zestar, Nov 12, 2013
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev 0%

nmann08, Apr 21, 2013
Photo of metter98
3.96/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is hazy orange-amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a collar of large bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of floral hops are present in the nose along with notes of caramel malts.
T: The taste generally follows the smell, except that that the malts are slightly more prominent and the hops contribute a light to amount of bitterness that lingers through the finish.
M: It feels nearly medium-bodied and somewhat crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer might not be as bitter as other IPAs, but seems to be quite bitter because it is a litter lighter in body compared to other beers in the style and the aromas and flavors also aren't as strong. This beer is extremely drinkable.

metter98, Aug 20, 2013
Photo of brentk56
4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a medium amber color and a beaten eggwhite head; boistrous lacing all over the pint glass

Smell: Fruity aroma with apricot and grapefruit esters

Taste: Apricot flavors on the front end are joined by a steady progression of piney bitter flavors; a touch floral on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium/heavy bodied with low carbonation

Drinkability: Superb drinker - nicely balanced between the fruity and bitter flavors

brentk56, May 11, 2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gauzy peachy orange with what looks like dust motes swirling within the liquid. The light beige head persists for a bit as a thick, sponge-like disk atop the beer and leaves chunky scraps of lace on the glass.

The nose is impressively hoppy. If I didn't know better, I'd have said that Cascade, Centennial or a combination of the two make up the hop bill. So this is what Crystal hops smell like. They smell more like pink grapefruit than white and I think that I can pick out some pineapple esters as well. Malt, schmalt. This one is all about the hops.

Upon tasting... it appears as though I can add another hop to my growing list of favorites. I don't absolutely love Crystal as I do some others, but it is very, very good. Pithily bitter citrus fruit is front and center with pink grapefruit leading the way.

In terms of flavor contribution, malt is in the background. I'm only aware of its presence because the bittering is so well-supported and because there's a hint of underlying pale malty sweetness. The body is full enough to be pleasurable in the mouth while being light enough to allow the beer to be downed scarily quickly. I'm finding out firsthand that a bomber of 6.5% ESB is fully capable of mounting a sneak attack if gulped.

Brutal Bitter is yet another first-rate beer from Rogue. I'm glad to have made the acquaintance of another fine hop of the citric persuasion and I'm even more glad that this beer is available in my local grocery. Brutal Bitter isn't brutally bitter, but it is significantly hoppy and it is mighty good.

BuckeyeNation, Jul 27, 2004
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a light hazy brown color ale with a huge bubbly head with slightly better then average retention. Aroma of cirtusy hops is clearly dominant. Taste is huge on cirtusy hops, which provide some bitterness, but is well back by some malt. This beer really seems to be halfway between an ESB and an IPA. Interesting and would definitely like top try this again.

Phyl21ca, Mar 27, 2006
Photo of BEERchitect
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a very good beer. Always a fan of ESB's, I've been looking for a flavor like this. Pours a dark, carbonated coper. Slightly yellowish head that retained and laced really well. Smells are what you expect (malt, caramel, toffee, and a sharp hop bite) only a bit more aggressive. Tastes nicely with barley malt, caramel, vanilla, coffee, and spicy American hops. The hops add complexity, florals, esters, and flavor. Balanced out with a big malt body, the hops stay within balance. Not an IPA or an APA, this beer has custom English flavor with American hops. A good blend.

BEERchitect, Aug 15, 2005
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev 0%

Texasfan549, Oct 11, 2013
Photo of mikesgroove
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Barleys, this was a very nice treat. Poured a nice light amber with a off white head that was slow to recede. A good lace present down the sides. Smell was highly hopped, with lots of pine resin apparent here and it melded well into the flavor profile which was just about the same. Good smooth feel with a light balance that let it more the sessionable. A really dry bitter after taste that linger for a good long while. This was the perfect beer to have with a slice of pizza, just blended so perfectly. Really a nice treat and was very pleased with it. Awesome but I would really call this an IPA

mikesgroove, May 27, 2007
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev 0%

kjkinsey, May 01, 2013
Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

GRG1313, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

ygtbsm94, Oct 26, 2013
Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

spycow, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of kylehay2004
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

kylehay2004, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

jaydoc, Jan 05, 2014
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Fine-looking murky copper body with a creamy, off-white head. Plenty of lacing throughout.

Smell: Hmm. An acutely cakey aroma paired with a fresh floral-citrus scent.

Taste: Zestful citrus flavors, perhaps a little bit of earthy pine, too, with a small amount of malts bouncing in amongst the hops. Crisp, lasting (though in no way overwhelming) bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. The carbonation is fine, and somewhat prickly at times.

Drinkability: Well, its anything but brutal. But whatever, it still makes for easy drinking.

ChainGangGuy, Nov 19, 2006
Photo of Knapp85
3.35/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Knapp85, Apr 22, 2011
Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep hazy orange with a real nice fluffy head that leaves some great lacing,aroma hops hops and more hops,very citric and resiny.Taste is definently hop tilted very zesty,oily and dry I get a slight dry maltiness but not much.Iam not a hophead but gotta give this brew props,by far the most hoppy ESB I have ever had.

oberon, Apr 07, 2004
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -18.8%

westcoastbeerlvr, Jan 11, 2013
Photo of TMoney2591
3.13/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a tumbler at The Tribes.

I figure I should try some more of Rogue's offerings for some reason. Might as well, right? This one pours a clear sunset brass topped by a finger of light off-cream-white foam. The nose comprises greens, buttery caramel, grass, and some very light leek. The taste brings in more of the same, with the caramel coming off a bit darker and the grass increased ever-so-slightly. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a pretty silky feel. Overall, an okay beer, nothing close to outstanding or impressive, but nothing really bad, either. I'd pass if offered this again.

TMoney2591, Dec 11, 2011
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Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,826 ratings.