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Brutal Bitter Ale - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,949 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,949
Reviews: 1,082
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 78
Gots: 114 | 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: 1,949 | Reviews: 1,082
Photo of ujsplace
3.96/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nonic

Pours a hazy orange with thick yeast particles suspended throughout. Creamy white head with nice lacing.

Smells of bready yeast and citrus and a hint of malt sweetness.

Big hop bitters - citrusy... grapefruit and maybe a hint of lemon. Biscut-like bready yeasts.

Medium mouthfeel - nice carbonation, crisp.

This is a very drinkable - yet bitter brew. Not overly hoppy, which makes it drinkable for those who are not hopheads.

Photo of GiantMidget
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of Hautacam
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy amber with a big foamy head in a pint glass.
The hops piney aroma is mixed in with a bit of steel.
Sweet biscuity caramel malt. Bitter citrus rind hops balance this brew pretty well. A bit of metal near the end. Finishes dry with little aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is medium as is the carbonation.
A pretty drinkable ESB, although more intense than most others of that style that I've had.

Photo of WeedKing4
3.63/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle pours a cloudy orange with a decent amount of foam using a rogue pint glass. There was a bit of grapefruity bitter taste upfront, but its kinda bleak. Drinkability is ok considering, but it still lacks overall flavour. This is a great beer for beginners to craft beer, but its very average if you are a veteran. I definately have drank a lot worse beers then this, but this is probably the last time I will pick up a bottle.

Photo of Padron4KM
3.47/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

hazy orange with a solid 2 finger head and nice lacing.

Lemon cookie aroma

Flavor is grapefruit with some pine and a touch of sweetness.

Tingly bitter finish.

Name is a little misleading, not brutally bitter, but nicely bitter.
Very tasty well balanced beer.

Photo of boudreaux
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

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

Hazy golden orange body sits below a towering off-white head. The head is extremely retentive and almost completely coats the walls of my glass with lace as it slowly dissipates. Biscuit, floral, and pine notes lurk behind it's juicy & ripe mango aroma. It's a tropical paradise in your mouth as the flavour of mango and passion fruit explodes on your palette across a bread & caramel backdrop. Contrary to its name, the lengthy and firm bitterness it finishes with is more moderate than brutal, with just enough malty sweetness to provide the perfect foil to it. Very balanced.

Medium bodied with an oily & resinous mouthfeel. Its slickness is especially noticeable between sips. More carbonation than the typical English bitter, but it's use of American hops make it far from typical to begin with. Some of Rogues other offerings like Hazelnut Brown Nectar or Mom Hefeweizen have left me slightly undewhelmed in the past, especially at the premium price point their brand commands. At $6.10, Brutal Bitter is worth every last dime you pay for it. Delicious.

Photo of TheBungyo
2.72/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours a golden orange, with a nice 1/2 inch white head. Nose is awful, like rancid chicken soup or boiled corn. Yuck.
Taste is better, but this doesn't taste like a bitter to me. I'd almost say an IPA, but it isnt hoppy enough. Taste is a cross of lemon and grapefruit and that's it. Very one dimensional. Mouthfeel is pretty good but at this point who cares? Nope, don't want to buy it again. I'll opt for a real IPA or bitter if the mood strikes me.

Photo of Sunn
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of ark57
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a cloudy dark orange with a big light tan head that is almost meringue like. The aroma is mostly hops (floral, earthy, and some citrus) and there is some malt detectable as well. It is malty with some caramel and herbal earthy hops. The finish is quite bitter and long lasting. Pretty good balance despite the heavy bitterness, but the aftertaste is all hops.

Photo of AleHunter805
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of JohnnyM2002
3.28/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass at approximately 35 degrees.

Not very pleased with this offering from Rogue. It poured a nice orange/light brown with a 2 inch head. Smells nice, too - of citrus and hops with a little spice. Very hoppy but not much to balance the hop-kick. The citrus smell didn't carry over to the taste buds and I had a hard time figuring out the taste because of that...kept expecting more than I was getting out of it.

Not in my top list of Rogue brews...not a good balance of hops and taste.

Photo of grubefresh
4/5  rDev +0.3%

4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of riored4v
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 2/12/09

Poured into a Sam Adams glass. Clear and copper in color. A nice, fluffy, off-white head.

Smell was malty and sweet. Slighty piney and spiciness back by a very mild citrus aroma.

Taste had a nice, fairly mellow, upfront and finishing bitterness. Spicey hop profiles w/ floral hints. Great caramalness in the body. Hint of nutty flavors and the mild citrus bitterness showed up as well.

Mouthfeel was medium/light. Well carbonated.

Good drinkability. Crisp, slightly dry finish with a good malty backbone.

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

Pours a cloudy orange colour with a nice creamy head. Citrusy, grassy, bready aroma. Very thirst quenching on a hot day, nice and bitter, grapefruit-citrusy and spicy with notes of hay and vanilla and also somewhat piney. Very drinkable, I would definately buy this beer again.

Photo of cameraman
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A hazy amber color that fades towards the bottom of the glass. An inch thick head forms and it laces slowly along the sides of the glass. A very stong malty sweetness, with touches of dried fruit in the aroma, then a the sweeping scent of citrus comes in to blend the aroma, though it is not to overbearing. That maltiness starts out in the flavor, then a burst of bitterness comes out and stays with you till the very end. A very tasty beer. A heavy feel, much like a barleywine, then it slowly fades as it reaches the back of the palate. A very good beer, great to sip on and forget the day. The solid flavor and beautiful aroma, makes you want to drink another or go by another bottle.

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 hckyfn9999
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden copper color with a nice cream colored head and some good lacing too. Aroma is citrus hops, toffee, and caramel. Taste is very hoppy for an ESB with some citrus and pine hops present as well as some sweet malt. A very drinkable beer. Despite the hoppiness for an ESB this is a very solid brew.

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

pours a bright copper with orangish hues from the light, pinky thick white head.
the aroma of hopsack lofts out of the bottle and smacks you across the face followed by a firm base of malt.
the flavor is rich with malt and hops, spicy, little pepper, grassy, drops off to a lingering hopsack.
this is a great beer love the flavor, but brutal is correct, since i started drinking it, i think i am having an alegric reaction to the hops or something. skin is atarting to itch and turn red. like what happens with me and red wine :-(

Photo of SIRIUS2
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from bottle into a pint glass producing a foamy off-white head with about okay retention and good lacing. Color was a ruddy orange with a light haze.

S: A nice clean floral nose with minor secondary hint of citrus.

T: Reasonable and enjoyable hops are prominent over a light tasting yet medium bodied brew. A light caramel maltiness is there if you look for it beyond the hops.

M & D: Good body and perfect carbonation combine with great flavored hops makes this go down smooth. The finish is great with a light lingering of the hop bitterness.

Very nice beverage! A nice bitter has got to be one of my favorites and this one didn't disappoint. Although a bit heavy on the finishing hops, the body of the ale is balanced well with the malts allowing everything to blend nicely. Very nice.

Photo of SavvyStudent
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of Honus1
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Jackal
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

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

Poured from the brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date on the bottle.

A - The body of the brew is a cloudy dark amber in color with huge chunks of sediment settling on the bottom of my pint glass and floating around in the beer. All of this was topped by a fluffy white head that had excellent retention and left wispy lacing down the inside of the glass.

S - Big citrus hop aroma. Smells bitter...and inviting.

T & M - Some serious hop flavor in this brew...almost more earthy with a citrus tang. Seems to balance out with a small amount of malt about 3/4 of the way through, and ends with a bitter hop aftertaste. Medium bodied and crisp. Nothing brutal about this brew!

D - The Rogue website proclaims that this brew has 59 IBU's...I would have thought it to be higher. An excellent brew, any hop lover would enjoy this beer. Absolutely recommended.

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Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
89 out of 100 based on 1,949 ratings.