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Brutal Bitter Ale - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,921 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,921
Reviews: 1,077
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 76
Gots: 107 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,921 | Reviews: 1,077 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of treznor
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of CortexBomb
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a lovely off reddish brown and hazy with a massive head. The initial smell is hoppy floral with a hint of citrus in the background.

Taste is not anything that I'd term brutal at all though, this is one smooth drinking heavily hopped ale! The taste starts out with a healthy dollop of hops with a tad of pine, and then switches over to a pungent ruby red grapefruit with smooth malts also present, and then finishes with a tingly, yet not overstated amount of bitterness that hangs around for a bit, but doesn't wear out it's welcome.

Mouthfeel is medium decent, it's definitely 'right' for the beer, but I generally like em thicker. Drinkability is not an issue with this, some bombers are a war to get through, this one ended up polished off in pretty short order, Brutal Bitter is definitely on my 'buy again' list!

Photo of yen157
3.55/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was one beer chosen to help teach my girlfriend about beer and what can be done with hops.

Poured a very hazy orange / amber with a soft, off-white head. Smelled of strong grapefruit with some pale malt hiding out in the background. This beer is catagorized as an ESB. This is certainly an American ESB. The difference between this and it's Brittish counterpart are as clear as an American IPA and a traditional version. It had a very pronounced hop bite (as expected) which was quite raw when compared to what's on the market, but not even close to Riverhorse Hop Hazard even though this beer was much more bitter. Some malt and vanilla flavors were found hiding behind the hops to balance.

My only problem with this brew was a retronasal soapiness that developed as the beer warmed. I guess it was because I was focusing on it, but by the end it was nearly too much. An otherwise pretty damn good beer left a bad taste in my mouth (literally) as a last impression.

I would buy this beer again, but I would have to make sure I drank it quickly and while chilled!!

Photo of sponberg
3.18/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled: On tap, pint glass

The aroma is almost purely hop, with a bit of malt behind it. An intensely hoppy beer - starts with malt and bitterness, and ends like you're sucking on a grapefruit rind that's been dipped in pale ale. Personally, I prefer more of a malt-hop balance - this bad boy leans too far to the hop side for repeated drinking. Given that, one of these from an icy cooler poolside on a broiling hot day could be a nearly religious experience.

Photo of Sunn
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of Vivs85
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of gspeer711
4/5  rDev +0.3%

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

22 oz bottle. Poured a cloudy orange with a huge white head that left lacing that looked like a lace tablecloth. Rich nose of citrus hops. Mouthfeel is very smooth and flavor is nicely bitter over the great citrus background. Hopheads are going to love this one, others beware. Great and long bitter finish.

Photo of Shnanign
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of CrazyMike
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy copper/golden appearance with minimal head that quickly disappears. Smell is very malty and floral with a hint of grain and orange.

Taste is very malty and grainy with a hint of citrus and brown sugar. Has a strong taste of hops, simple and clean taste overall. Medium bodied with decent carbonation. Aftertaste is bitter and malty.

This is an excellent, no nonsense, IPA. It's simple but still has some good characteristics and refreshing. This is worth a try for any beer fan.

Photo of SeattleBoB76
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of IceAce
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours orange / bronge, slightly hazy, and topped with a single finger of comfortable foam.

Despite the name, the taste is anything but Brutal...but it is a nice ESB. This brew finishes with a mild hop fade nicely supporting its quality malt.

Mouthfeel is thick without being chewy and drinkability is well above average.

Photo of Redwood21
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great amber color with an amazing head. the head is thick and foamy that lasts and sticks to the wall of the glass. the smell is hoppy but not overwhelming or particularly strong. the taste is really good. a little light and not as bitter or hoppy as i would have expected. very good regardless a very enjoyable and drinkable beer. the mouthfeel is a little lighter than i would like but medium to light in nature.

thoughts: extremely good beer i would enjoy a six pack if i could get anthing other than 22ouncers. def worth a try.

Photo of KGarrett
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Greels
4/5  rDev +0.3%

4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of sheenisgod
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of genog
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a few six packs of this on a hut summer afternoon, and it did not disappoint at all.

Poured a pale golden color with a decent amount of head foaming up in a cloudy, sudsy way. Aroma is strong floral notes with a lot of good ol american hops. Taste is malt/hop balanced, creating a very nice flavor and overall mouth feel.

Photo of SykDoc
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. It pours a clear orange color and forms a 1.5 inch off-white head that slowly reduces leaving a very nice lacing.

The aroma is primarily orange/citrus with a touch of breadiness and caramel malt in the background.

The taste has an orange rind component that provides the citrus and bitterness component. Not real stiff in intensity. A nice caramel sweetness lurks in the backgroung.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a somewhat sharp carbonation. It then becomes smooth and finishes with a light dryness.

Overall, this beer is decent. I wish the intensity had been a bit more intense, but the components are reasonable.

Photo of Metaltildeath
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of TommyW
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Copper/gold body with a tall, white head.

S- Smell of hops dominates the nose with a piney and fresh scent.

T- A slight malt sweetness is noticeable but quickly over-taken by the piney/raw hop profile; creating a bitter finish.

M- Medium to full feel with a nice carbonation.

D- A nice hoppy beer that isn't too boozy; great beer you cant drink a few of when you have a hop craving.

Photo of Jon
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As Rogue describes, this ale is an invention, not a style. Brutal Bitter pours a hazy apricot color with a rocky, off-white head. Some lacing is present down the glass. Aroma is primarily of hops. Loads of hops. A wonderful thing. Taste is excellent with notes of grapefruity, citric hops and a sufficient malt backbone. This is very well balanced with a dry, bitter finish. Mouthfeel is somewhat carbonated, but mainly smooth. Drinkability is quite strong. An excellent "invention" overall.

Photo of patpbr
4.19/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter. An orange body with a fluffy head
S - Hoppy citrus aroma, grapefruit and a little malt
T - Floral with citrus orange and hints of grapefruit. Malt flavors add a nice character. A smooth easy drinker not brutal or to bitter as the name suggests. Rename: Slightly Sweet and Pleasant IPA.
M - Medium body but with a letdown on the finish.
O - A simple well balanced IPA. Enjoyed the flavor changes as it warmed.

Photo of rcatalano
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of callmescraps
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I often pass on the rogue, but this was at a decent price point. So I'll give it a bid.

Appearance- A little cloudy orange/gold. Half inch of off-white soapy head. Almost yellowish. Minimal lacing.

Smell- Plenty of grapefruit up front. Definitely some pineapple in the background as well. Nice and fruity. A hint of graininess as well. Maybe some apricot.

Taste- Some nice hoppiness. The fruits are subdued. It's got a big bitter finish. A little grainy. Orange peel. A strange vegetal on the end. Pale malt sweetness comes in as well.

Mouthfeel- Nice. Not too thick. Goes down well.

Drinkability- No issues on that. Would buy again.

Certainly a good beer. Nothing special or particularly noteworthy. Better beers in this category readily available.

Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
89 out of 100 based on 1,921 ratings.