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Brutal Bitter Ale - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,820 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,820
Reviews: 1,062
rAvg: 4
pDev: 10.75%
Wants: 65
Gots: 59 | 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: 1,820 | Reviews: 1,062 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beerbrains
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%

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.

beerbrains, Aug 13, 2010
Photo of Chrixsus
4/5  rDev 0%

Chrixsus, Jun 07, 2012
Photo of twizzbeatz
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

twizzbeatz, Mar 07, 2012
Photo of ToddT
4.48/5  rDev +12%

A- Mildly hazy copper color topped with a fluffy off white heat. Head has some legs and leaves lots of spotty lace on the glass.

S- Hops and more hops, nice grapefruit and pine notes, but not much else can be picked out over the hops.

T- Big notes of citrus, grapefruit and pine hops at first, balanced out in the middle by some nice malt character that keeps the hops in check. Finish is dry and clean with a lingering final note from the hops.

M- Medium in body and carbonation, clean and easy on the palate with minimal build up of oi from all of the hops in this.

O- Another solid beer from Rogue, the 5.8% ABV makes this an easy drinker and the tastes are well balanced. This is not just another hop bomb, and it makes very interesting use of a single hop variety.

ToddT, Apr 07, 2012
Photo of IPx
4/5  rDev 0%

IPx, Mar 26, 2012
Photo of Dmann
4.4/5  rDev +10%

I really enjoyed this beer, and if it were not $9.00 a six pack I would get this way more often! I loved the color of this beer, the outer edges were a nice medium gold color, but as you got to the middle it became more of a dark copper color with nice bubbles and a great head as well. The smell was inviting with its light hop oil and sweet fruity scent. The taste was excelent and definantly a imperial bitter. The hops were assertive but not overpowering and blended well with the malt. The aftertaste was lightly sweet and made me grab for another drink very quickly while the nice carbonation tickled my tounge and made this beer very refreshing. A great choice and highly recommended!

Dmann, Jun 06, 2005
Photo of AWS2111
3/5  rDev -25%

AWS2111, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of BigGold
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

BigGold, Feb 26, 2014
Photo of hanco005
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%

12 oz single bottle purchased at Cellar’s at Larp and Lex, poured into a pint glass

A—light copper and cloudy liquid with a tan 1 inch pillow top head, fades down in a few minutes, moderate bubbly lacing is produced

S—citrus and floral hop tones with some sweet sugar malt notes, it’s all balanced well for an inviting aroma

T—moderate bitterness with floral flavors as strongest, some mild sweetness lingers until the bitter dry finish wraps this one up nicely

M—a little rough, but it adds to the experience, medium bodied, lighter carbonation

D—a solid ESB, very refreshing…I would have this again and again.

hanco005, Aug 08, 2006
Photo of whoneeds8
3.25/5  rDev -18.8%

whoneeds8, Mar 11, 2013
Photo of zapahoppa
4/5  rDev 0%

zapahoppa, Feb 01, 2014
Photo of CMOrak
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

CMOrak, Apr 04, 2013
Photo of jkd03c
4/5  rDev 0%

jkd03c, Jun 25, 2013
Photo of Gaisgeil
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Not exactly an ESB yet not an IPA either, this one walks the line. Pours a deep gold in color, looking like it could be either with a thin white head with decent retention. Nose is pretty hoppy, more hoppy than any ESB I've ever had for certain. Taste follows that theme, fairly malty, but not enough to balance the pretty extreme bitterness for the style. Quite nice though overall and nicely drinkable.


Gaisgeil, Jul 20, 2006
Photo of Absolut
4/5  rDev 0%

Absolut, May 23, 2013
Photo of bosco7
4.6/5  rDev +15%

Poured into a nonic with a monster pillowy head. Slight haze. Smells like Spring (extremely floral) and very clean with a slight biscuit aroma. Oh my god this ESB tastes great! Starts toasty, malty, with a lot of caramel flavors and finishes with a very clean florally citrusy bitterness. Mouthfeel is silky smooth with perfect carbonation (maybe just a little more than English varieties).

I love this beer; it is perfectly balanced and extremely enjoyable. Definately not a boring Amber Ale labled as an ESB, this is the real deal.

bosco7, Apr 22, 2007
Photo of bfields4
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%

Small frothy head. Hazy light copper body.

Floral hoppy smells. A little sweetness maybe a hint of spiciness I can't quite place.

Hoppy tastes come through to the taste. The spice comes through as well. Bit of biscuity flavor too.

little carbonation and a nice malty creamy body.

bfields4, May 14, 2009
Photo of RandyBoBandy
3/5  rDev -25%

RandyBoBandy, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of buzzed
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

buzzed, Mar 04, 2014
Photo of goldbot
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%

Pours orange amber, a bit of haze present. Thinnish white head and decent carbonation.

Smells of an even, balanced mix of malt and hops. Bready, doughy malt with a touch of caramel, with a touch of pine tree and floral hops. This has a very clean, bright flavor. Along with aromas identified, there is also a hint of lemon flavor which adds to the brightness. There is some bitterness but it is not too intense.

Light bodied and smooth feel. A very balanced, smooth beer with light crispness. While certainly not "brutal", this is a great, clean tasting beer which is an excellent candidate for a lot of food pairings.

goldbot, Feb 08, 2010
Photo of MikalMick
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

MikalMick, Apr 28, 2013
Photo of LuckySevens82
4.4/5  rDev +10%

22 oz bomber.
Pours a dull orange, perhaps copper with massive carbonation, this, of course, leads to a very nice 2 finger head. This beer has great lacing. The head sticks to the glass from the top all the way down to the very last drop.
Smells very malty with some hops aromas (I have read reviews where the aroma is nothing but hops, my beer was hoppy but not nearly excessively so...certainly not as strong as a good IPA). Nice citrus as well.
Taste very much is influenced by the hops. There is some malt characteristic to the brew but the major flavor comes from the Crystal hops.
At 6.5% abv, this isn't a session, but this is a very nice brew that I could see myself picking up on occasion. Rogue has once again proved that they consistently make quality brews.

LuckySevens82, Mar 29, 2004
Photo of goz
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%

22oz bomber.
Slighty hazy light amber, with a large cloud-like white head that slowly diminishes to leave good amounts of lace. Aroma is strong on the hops - citris peel, pine, some floral qualities. Flavor starts with a tiny hint of malt sweetness, middle and end are dominated with citric hop flavors that linger on forever. Medium-full bodied. A truly fabulous ale, why did I wait so long to try this?

goz, Sep 16, 2003
Photo of Toddv29424
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%

This beer pours with a traditional dark gold color, but has a very unconventional cascade effect when poured vigorously. Smell is a well balanced blend of hops and malt, with the hops slightly overpowering. There is a surprising amount of hops for a Bitter, but I would expect nothing less from Rogue. They give it a very fruity taste with a perfect amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel is also great, again with a good balance of flavor and carbonation.

Toddv29424, Aug 20, 2006
Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,820 ratings.