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Brutal Bitter Ale - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,899 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,899
Reviews: 1,071
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 71
Gots: 97 | 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: 1,899 | Reviews: 1,071 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KGarrett
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 Sunn
3.75/5  rDev -6%

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 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.

Photo of Shnanign
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of MmmIPA
4.36/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber poured into a pint glass.

A-Faint color,amber,Huge head

T-Very hoppy,citrus with some pine.

S-Very hoppy smell with hints of citrus.


D-I loved it!I thought it wasnt really bitter but then maybe ive been drinking Bitter beers for the past 2 weeks.I would love to have it on tap.I want more and Highly recommened to anyone who likes a bitter beer.


A year and some days later I try this beer again since im a better reviewer now.

Amber hue with a small white head that fell pretty fast to a ring and some small patches.

The aroma is piney hops.You can also smell some malt in there as well.

The taste is bittering hops and some of the hop taste taste like "tea".I think this bottle isnt the freshest.The bittering hops still make you pucker.Grapefruit is in the taste also.

The mouthful is pretty awesome on this beer.It is in between of thin and thick.Very easy to drink and goes down very smooth.

This stuff is still awesome and im glad I got to try it again.This is the epitomy of a ESB in my book.

Photo of pburland23
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one as part of a beer themed Christmas gift and I'm finally getting around to drinking and reviewing.

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into my CBS snifter.

Appearance: Beer pours a hazy mild orange with a touch of sediment suspended within. Created about two fingers of fluffy white head. Head lingers lazily before fading into some great lacing.

Smell: Earthy, funky hops. Some piney notes backed up by some biscuity malt. Nothing extraordinary here. Run of the mill IPA aroma.

Taste: Starts off with a lot of hops bitterness up front. Fruity and floral. The bitterness is counteracted by some caramel malts. It's not a palette ruiner by any stretch however it's a good straightforward American IPA.

Mouthfeel: Very drinkable (at 5.8%) IPA with a medium bodied and a pretty standard level of carbonation.

Overall: Rogue has a pretty bad rap here on BA, but I don't really mind Rogue. Brutal IPA is a better than average American IPA. Loads of hops but very well balanced.

Photo of troegaarden
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of BWH999
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Vivs85
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.11/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of vhmf1978
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of Stoneman78
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at the Rogue Public House in San Francisco:

a- pours a cloudy dark red/amber, with small, white, creamy head and fair lacing throughout
s- Wow, what a great blend of hops and pine scents, really impressive aroma that is not too overwhelming
t- Taste too is dominated by pine and citrus flavored hops, some sweet malts in the background as well, slight warming alcohol presence
m- full-bodied with light carbonation, smooth dry finish
d- Strong red ale that is not too high on the abv, i could definitely spend a night drinking this beer, the red ales have really been the only Rogue types that I have been overly impressed with (including the St. Rogue Red), I would buy this beer again if I found it in San Diego.

Photo of Drinkerofales
3.05/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This bottle is still labeled as Brutal Bitter, so it may be old?

Pours murky orange amber, with a huge off-white head with nice lacing and unfortunately, a fair amount of sediment.

Smell is of sweet caramel malts, slight bitter floral hops, and soapiness.

Taste is smooth and mild, certainly not brutal. Some fleeting piney bitter hops in the middle and a clean finish.

Feels creamy and easy to drink.

Overall, this barely qualifies as an IPA. Flavors are all on the weaker side. No bite, no punch, low abv. All this may be attributed to a possibly old bottle, except the abv. All the rest is understandable, but the low abv is just criminal.


Photo of CMOrak
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of gkunkle
3.46/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light amber color, definitely on the darker side of IPAs. Head is about 1" in my imperial pint glass. Retention is okay, leaves a little lacing. Smells of citrus and pine hops, pretty standard for this area, not really catching any malts. Taste is dominated by grapefruit/citrus hops, pine hops play second fiddle, and a bit of malt is in the background. Mouthfeel is medium, good amount of carbonation. Overall, a decent beer, glad I tried it, but it's a bit spendy and there are other northwest IPAs I enjoy more.

Photo of FirstBrewsoon
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Rootdog316
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
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 jaluria
3.45/5  rDev -13.5%
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 Metaltildeath
4/5  rDev +0.3%

4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of xgrigorix
3.43/5  rDev -14%
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.

Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
89 out of 100 based on 1,899 ratings.