1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Brutal Bitter Ale - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,879 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,879
Reviews: 1,069
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 67
Gots: 84 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Brutal Bitter Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,879 | Reviews: 1,069 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of FirstBrewsoon
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Rootdog316
4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Cloudy cider orange. The aggressive pour yielded almost no head. Yeast sediment was floating throughout.

Aroma: Sweet flowery hops.

Taste: Citrusy hops and sweet malts, but not an over abundance of either.

Mouthfeel: Thin, yet silky.

Overall: Highly drinkable, and I would love to find this on tap. It's flavor profile reminds me of a sessionable double IPA. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of Sunn
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of jaluria
3.48/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appeared a slightly murky, heavily carbonated, soft-orange and yellow color with a thin head that dissipated quickly. Aromas of alcohol, malt, and hops. The flavor was as expected for this style with a nice balance between malt and hops, though hops grow in strength as the session continues. Crisp and flavorful with a hoppy finish. A hint of fruit comes out in the finish as well. Interesting and enjoyable, but too thin and hoppy for the style. I would definitely enjoy another, but not if I was in the mood for a bitter or ESB.

Photo of Absolut
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of xgrigorix
3.4/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Twentytwo ounce brown silk screened bottle. No dates.

Deep burnished orange colour. Hazy, with fast moving carbonation. Topped by an impressive off white head. Foam is dense & retains very well, leaving plenty of sticky lace on the glass.

Some biscuity malt aromas lie beneath pithy citrus aromatics.

Plenty hoppy - loads of citrusy flavours. Malt is muted, and overall the flavour is just "plain jane." Medium bodied, rugged carbonation.

Photo of rcatalano
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of BamaBeerBuff
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Copper, amber, and orange--the color is a combination of the three. Head is pale beige or tan with amber hints--it lasts for just a bit and recedes to a moderate film over the surface. Minimal lacing.

S: Hops, period. Piney, citrus, and slightly floral hop aromas. Some grapefruit, as well. That's about it--hops dominate the aroma (but in a good way).

T&M: I think I'm getting turned onto hops in a big way... It's got a bitter citrus and piney flavor. I can detect the malt now in the background--but only barely, as it sort of off-sets the full bittering power of the hops. The flavor profile isn't as complex here as some of the darker beers I enjoy, but it's still good. Body is on the light side of medium with a balanced (not oily, not smooth, not astringent) mouthfeel. Lots of carbonation dances across the tongue--further unpacking the bitterness and flavor of the hop profile of the beer.

D: drinkable because of it's balanced bitterness. Some ESBs are too damn bitter to be overly drinkable, but this one hits the spot. Very sessionable, especially on a hot day. Similar in character to Terrapin Rye Pale Ale, but slightly more bitter.

Photo of Shnanign
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of jkd03c
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of chugamugofsud
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My experiences with Rogue beers have left me a little disappointed. However, this one is right on.

Hazy, unfiltered, unpasturized. Looks like apple cider. Not much in the way of head retention or lacing. Tasting this beer has provided me with one new sensation. Bitter, bitter, bitter. A little overpowering, but that's the point. I really cannot smell many of the floral tones that were there on the first sip. Taste damn good.

First experience with this type, I like it.

Photo of Phocion
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a Fuller's nonic. Dark, golden color with an explosive head which settles into a nice thin, but creamy layer that seems like it's here to stay to the end. Nice lacing around the glass as well.

A little toasty, with some very slight citrus scents coming through. But mostly the hops. Is this an ESB or an IPA? Not really sure what to expect with this one, but as a fan of both styles, my expectations are high...

The hops are still there, but not quite as overpowering as the smell is. Roasted malt and the hops are nicely balanced here, with a nice tang of lemon peel in the background. As it warms up and I get farther down into the glass the hops come more alive. This isn't a typical ESB, but it tastes damned good nonetheless.

This is definitely a full-bodied beer, very creamy and soft on the palate.

The only downfall. This beer is not very refreshing, and it's a little heavy for a 6.5%, as well. I think I'll switch to something a little lighter after this one...

Photo of Metaltildeath
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of bryehn
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, rusty caramel colour with an abundant tan head that leaves a fair amount of lace behind. Settled as a thick collared film. Its look reminds me of many DIPAs

More of a sweet, fruity aroma than a typical AIPA; like cherries in syrup with a thick, bready maltiness. Clementine or tangerine peel citrus.

Strongly bitter up front, with a well-balanced malty sweetness. There is a faint citrus tang too that gives it a bit of pop before going back to bitter. Unassuming, but solid, not sure why they stopped calling it Brutal Bitter.

Fairly thick and heavy on the tongue like yeast at first. A medium carbonation eases it down and somehow it seems to get even more bitter in the finish, but remains tame enough to prevent puckering or dry cheeks.

Well this is like a hybrid of a fruity English ESB that has a slight citrus character like a west coast IPA. It's a blend that works quite well and one I'll seek out again. Probably my favourite out of the 5 Rogue offerings I've tried.

Photo of dragomni
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of packetknife
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A color as if you've burned amber with a thin but dense tan head that laced. Hops and grapefruit on the nose, quote powerful and fills the senses well. When it first hits your tongue you thing it's going to be more sweet and acidic but then the bitter clobbers your senses into submission. Almost exclusively when I've offered this to people they've noted it has more kick and that they like it. Some metallic tones as you work your way through the glass. Hops kick on the finish too. It was reasonably carbonated and you won't notice the warming on a cool night.

Photo of treznor
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of CUbeerfan
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of dwtyler
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of hyuga
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of TheBierBand
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Dewey's Pizza in Clifton (Cincinnati, OH). It arrived with a thin cap from an apparently very soft pour. Lacing left on the glass was medium as I drank. The color was a light-ish amber.

The smell was minimal, but I got hints of a piney hops.

The taste was not brutal or bitter. I was expecting quite the hop bomb given the name... it was a pleasant quaff though. The piney hops came through and were balanced by a roasted malt taste.

Mouthfeel was nice and robust.... carbonation was about right for my taste.... not too fizzy.

Drinkability... This beer went VERY WELL with my Bronx Bomber Pizza. I would recommend this beer.

Photo of factoide
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of BeerBob
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brutal Bitter Ale pours a hazy deep golden amber from a 650ml very dark brown glass bottle with a pry off cap. Head went to over three fingers before settling out to a full firm carpet of light tan foam and ample lacing along the walls of my 26oz beer glass.

Nose is a most fragrant floral hops with no hint of anything else. Palate is a bitter beyond bitter... slightly citrus with just a touch of pine... soberingly well done bitter.

Rogue Brutal Bitter Ale should satisfy the most demanding hop head among us.

Photo of beerbrains
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a Brutal IPA bottle.

Pours a hazy orange-gold topped with a nice white head.

Aroma is hoppy citrus with some fruity sweetness mixed in.

Biscuit malts and grassy citrus hops.... delicious.

The hops and malt are more balanced than expected from an American IPA.

Overall, a well crafted beer I will return to again and again.

Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,879 ratings.