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Brutal Bitter Ale | Rogue Ales

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
90
outstanding
1,103 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,103
Ratings:
2,118
Avg:
4.01
pDev:
14.71%
 
 
Wants:
91
Gots:
199
For Trade:
0
Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-28-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,103 | Ratings: 2,118
Photo of mwearl
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rich copper in color, this bitter has a thick head with excellent lacing. Nothing special about the smell, maybe a little citrus scent. As the name states, a great bitter beer. Not a lot of complexity as the bitter is very predominent. Overall, a great beer in its class of bitter beers.

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Photo of hurleymanvw
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving Type: 12 oz bottle

Pours a nice hazy orange in color with a two finger whitish head. Nice malt flavor with a good bitter bite. Flavor is malty and slightly yeasty. Fruity/citrus hop flavor stays with you. Not too bitter but very drinkable...good finish.

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Photo of huhl23
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First off this IPA is not Brutal. Tasty yes but I expected more of a hop ass kicking than I got. It actually is a very easy drinker. Pours a light amber orange with two finger head, and decent lacing. Good nose, with some fruit and floral. Taste is a little more malty than hoppy so I'd prefer it to be a bit more balanced but overall a good brew. Might want to change the name to Not Quite So Brutal though.

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Photo of superdavex
3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is like you typical dark gold ESB hue with a decent level of carbonation. It leaves a nice sticky lacing.It smells like an IPA with a hoppyness that exceeds that of your everyday ESB.It tastes like a malty IPA also. Very hoppy and very bitter backed by a decent amount of malt to push it back into the ESB category and out of the IPA. A thin mouthfeel feeds into the drinkability category which is excellent. A very unique beer.

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Photo of kevinl6
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Whoa!!! I'd say this one is appropriately named! It is a cloudy, apricot color with a silky, one finger deep head. It has a very strong, very nice aroma. Fruity, albeit not too specific, is what comes to my mind. Very fruity. The taste has a citris 'bite' in it, and man is it bitter! Mouthfeel was perfect for me....slightly tingly, but at the same time silky smooth and gentle on the palate. I liked the bitterness and the taste of this one, but to be honest, I split it with my drinkin bud, and neither of us wanted another. I'll be drinking this again though! Another fine/different offering from Rogue.

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Photo of jjazz
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A head never even formed on this one in clean glassware.

A good beer. Very...un bitter; Somewhere between a mild IPA and a Pale Ale. I've never had an ESB, but I like this one. Nicely balanced and easy to drink.

Some nice citrusy hops with mild malty notes. A nice change of pace from all of the IPAs I've been having lately.

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Photo of Sdesenberg
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought 22 oz Joe Lewis at a local liquor chain for about three bills. Pours an opaque Carmel color with a good amount of head which leaves substantial lacing. A really good looking beer with a very complex smell. Hops are obviously prevalent, but so is biscuit, chocolate, lots going on.

The taste is also very interesting. At first the hops are quite strong, but soon the balance takes over and the malt comes into play. Mouthfeel is very full and chewy. Overall, a very good, complex flavorful beer.

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Photo of badbassrandy
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a much more golden color than I was expecting, which made me happy because I was looking for the extreme hoppiness in a U.S. West Coast style of ESB.

S - This smelled downright scary bitter and hoppy. Not for the faint of heart! A great blend of all kinds of earthy, spicy and hop-infused notes.

T- Hachi Machi! This one blows other bitters away that I've had, in terms of intense hop destruction of the palate. It would make mere mortals' faces implode, it's that bitter and hoppy -- delicious.

M - A nice rollable character in the mouth, not too thin at all but not killer heavy. Coats the mouth, leaving stinging spice from the hops all over.

D - Granted this brew is delicious, however I think it's extreme character means you can't drink them too fast. That being said, it's deliciously drinkable, just not something I would want to session.

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Photo of deeznuts420
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

a decent example of a sessionable ipa, and that's about it. the bottle cost me almost $9, and with a 5.8 abv your not getting your bang for the buck. good flavors of a typical ipa, especially considering they used one type of hop. just not worth the cheese, as with most rogue products

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Photo of WalterHeisenberg
4.9/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Aggressive pour into goblet
A: cloudy orange fat off white head. Dies slowly good lacing. Looks mighty tasty
S: Biscuity big lemon orange citrus malty floral hops.smells bitter. Smells as good as it looks
T:Biscuty malty hoppy Bitter orange rind Bitter malty orange dry finish. Malt orange bitter hops linger BUT all balanced very well. Hoppy over the toppy. It ain't called brutal bitter for nothing
M: a tad bit thin at first. Then smooth chewey sticky.
O: It is bitter all around but not brutally. But it's a balanced bitter. Very smooth. Overall a top notch IPA looks smell taste are all quality.You can definetly do way worse I can see this being a bitter pale ale.And this particular bottle was old. I found it in the back of my pantry. Been there 10-12 months. Still pretty nice.

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Photo of BigPapaLager
4.19/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This bitter poured a nice slow head. As per the style it was easy drinking with very little lacing. I could drink this beer all day. Anyone looking for a session beer should look here, as the drinkability is high on this one, though tastes are not notably
mentionable.

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Photo of pibbxtrasucks
4.44/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Beer pours a golden/amber color with a decent head that doesn't last too long. As soon as I opened the bottle I swear I could already smell the hops. After the pour I took a big wiff and it was nothing but hops. in a good way. A bitter, hop taste hits you as you take the first sip, and it closes out with a nice earthy, mlty taste. perfect carbonation and nice mouth feel. his is a very good beer, easy to drink and overall very impressive.

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Photo of ChrisSimpson1968
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an unclear amber orange with a billowing off white head that hangs around a long time. Good lacing throughout. The aroma is of ctirusy hops, mostly tangerine and grapefruit. The taste is very well balanced with the citrus hops and biscuity malt with a medium bitter finish. Very nice IPA that I will certainly be picking up again for the price.

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Photo of jorjoria
4.31/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just picked up a growler at Finger Lakes Beverage Center.

http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/5465/

A: Has a nice caramel color but very little carbonation and practically no head. (This could be because the keg was a little flat)

S: Great raw hoppy smell.

T/M: The hops cut through in a big way. The beer is very crisp and lingers on the back of tongue. Despite the hoppiness the beer is very well balanced and pleasure to drink. I'm really going to enjoy this growler.

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Photo of BJA
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into perfect pint glass

A: This beer is burnt orange in color, clear and crisp and has plenty of tiny bubbles making their way to the top. The head was about two fingers on a hard pour. It is creamy and white. It is leaving a generous amount of lacing as it dissipates. (note: there was a lot of sediment in the bottle, so on the second pour, the beer was cloudy with tiny floaters visible. The head was also more pronounced. It still looked good).

S: I get a scent of slightly toasty, biscuity malt with fresh, citrusy, slighty dank hops.

T: This beer has a solid fresh, flowery hop taste backed up by a good amount of biscuit tasting malt. I also taste an ever-so-slight grapefruit taste. I seem to get that grapefruit taste up front and then with the immediate aftertaste: the first few breaths out. The hop bitterness is present but not overwhelming to me.

M: I find this beer to be medium bodied with a taste that fills the palate. It finishes medium-long and does not leave a bitter hop aftertaste on the tongue or roof of the mouth as some IPAs do.

O: I have really enjoyed this beer. Despite its name, it does not seem brutally bitter to me. This is likely because I drink a bunch of super hoppy 100+ IBU IPAs on a regular basis. This past month I have added several IPA to my at-home rotation that I have really enjoyed. They all seem to be around the 60 IBU mark. I am finding that I really like this area for IPAs when I don’t want to challenge my palate too much.

Overall I found this IPA very drinkable. It is balanced extremely well. You can tell these brewers are exceptional with the kiss of grapefruit that shines through at certain moments in the most appropriate way. This is my first time having it (surprisingly), and I do have a soft spot for Rogue. This was the first American brewery to introduce me to awesomely adventurously phenomenal beer with Dead Guy Ale well over 10 years ago. I have always found their beers to be really solid.

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Photo of TheBeerWolf
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a orangish amber color. The head poured white and left pretty quick with mine but left some lacing.

S: The first thing that hits you is the piney hops and then citrus aromas.

T: Wow! Lots of hops man. The bitter hops were the first thing that hit my tongue. Toasty malt notes are there too with a sweet cirtus aftertaste. The bitterness pretty much dominates as the name implies. If you like the more bitter beers you will enjoy this one otherwise might want to pass on this.

M: The moutfeel is kind of oily from the hops. Quite a bit of carbonation but as others have said not too dry.

D: Not too bad but the bitterness might be too much for some. But then again you would not be buying this style if you did not like bitter right? Me personally after having one of these I would move to something a little less bitter.

Overall a good quality beer and if your in the mood for a bitter can't go wrong with this one.

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Photo of slagle9480
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Copper tones with an off-white head that looked too enticing to just sit and admire.

S: Bring on the hops! This ESB smells great. The hops are definitely present. There's also some citrus here.

T: Hell yes. Rogue brews kick ass. The malt and hops blend beautifully. What a sick beer. Love this ESB.

M: Smooth as hell. Medium-bodied, kinda creamy. Nice mouthfeel.

D: I could drink this brew all day. The 6.5% alcohol isn't overpowering and the hops are just too good to stop at one. If you can get this at your local grocery market I envy you.

Great beer from Rogue. Props on the Crystal hops. I'm a fan.

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Photo of nqdell
4.31/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a glass from the bottle

A- A good finger head quickly dissipates but leaves a solid lining over the top of the beer and laces the glass the entire way

S- Nothing, light hop smell, carmel notes.

T- Bold and bitter with a hint of sweetness. The after taste tingles the sides of my mouth

M- The creamy smooth swallow leaves a slime in my mouth

O- A great IPA or Bitter that lives up to the Brutal name. A little heavy on the gut.

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Photo of JordanPhraczek
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Baxter Brewery Can-shaped glass out of a 22oz Bottle bought at Depot Liquors in Beverly, MA.

A - Clear dulled orange body with a quickly rising beige head. Bubbles in this burst apart like molten lava and eventually dissipate into a one finger head. Filtered.

S - Smooth citrus hop smell. No alcohol detected. I dipped my nose into the head because the smell was luring me in, I wish it was even stronger. Pine notes upon exhalation.

T - Crystal hops with a nice earthy malt taste, lighter but this beer delivers. The namesake of this beer would not lead you to believe it is 5.8% alcohol, but given all the IPAs that raise the alcohol % way up to achieve this kind of flavor, I'd say this beer flawlessly delivered a drinkable ale with great hop taste. As with lots of Rogue beers and some of the other Northern Cali/Oregon beers the cleanliness of the brew is noticeable.

M - The malt sticks to your tongue and forms an even film on your tongue that the hop taste builds off, so the mouthfeel in this beer is pretty outstanding. The head on the beer lasted until the end and formed a pillow of foam to drink once the beer was finished.

O - I thought because of the name that I was getting a DIPA, and I am pleasantly surprised that this beer was lighter than most northwest IPAs with this kind of flavor. A clean, crisp, earthy offering from Rogue that reminds you of great home brew.

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Photo of SingleCell
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

650ml bottle poured into a mug after warming out of the fridge for 20 mins. Best before 31 March 2010.

A: Beautiful straw, light rust, burnt orange colour. An aggressive pour produced a two inch cream coloured head which subsided slowly leaving and almost cob web like lacing on the side of my mug.

S: I was greeted by the smell as soon as I pried the cap off the bottle. Very citrusy hoppy aroma. Pungent grapefruit, slight orange peel, just a hint of caramel maltiness. Alcohol cannot be detected at all.

T: Bitter hops right up front. Behind is the pungent and bitter grapefruit detected earlier in the nose, slightly spicy. Finish is bitter with hints of bready yeast, caramel and more grapefruit. Alcohol can just be detected behind all the flavours featured in this beer.

M: Medium to heavy carbonation. Light to medium bodied. Hops leave a bitter mouthfeel but are balanced out by the malts in the finish.

D: Very drinkable. ABV is just above what I like to consider a session beer.

Overall an excellent beer. My first of the style and it did not disappoint. I'll have to pick up a few more from my local LCBO before the disappear. Cheers everyone!

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Photo of liddytime
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Copper color

S: Tart with a nice hop aroma.

T: Perfect hoppiness with a lingering bitterness, definitely not overpowering. They use solely Cascade hops for this brew and the pure taste comes through nicely.

M: Nice, full body.

D: Excellent! Certainly not brutal, and not all that bitter! This is one of my favorite Rogue beers. Great with burgers! I wish I had another....

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Photo of n0rc41
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured beer into a pint glass from bottle.

A= Great copper penny color with good head, creamy white 1" head or so.

S= Aroma is nice pine, bread smell.
T= Great taste I love it. nice bitterness, but with some low pine and caramel. doesnt linger really at all on the palate.

M=Mouthfeel is great nice smooth, carbonated just right. doesnt linger..

D= great drinkability I could easily down a few more.

I bought this from world market(only place I can find good beer in this town) Its a great overall beer, Great taste color and aroma, Taste is perfect. I Just thought it would taste a little more bitter, for being "brutal bitter" name beer

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Photo of mightymoksha
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in pint glass.

Pours a deep, translucent copper, with a light khaki head. Head retains nicely. Visible particulate suspended throughout.

Piney, resiny, floral hop aroma is dominant, with a pecan-like sweetness backing it up.

Floral, oily hop flavor dominates the flavor profile here. A toasty malt sweetness is lingering in the background, which balances nicely. Notes of pine, honey and citrus rind also present. A dry, mildly spicy finish.

Mouthfeel is medium in body, smooth and slightly chewy, with a pleasant carbonation. Particulate is undetectable.

Nothing too exciting, but very tasty.

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Photo of buck1futter
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a-pumpkin in color haziy with very small yeast particles. decent creamy colored head.

t-malt sweetness with a little tart. not much else

t-bitterness hits quick then settles to a mild sweetness, with some breadyness'.This taste more so of an esb than an ipa for sure. as for an ipa its ok but it should be labled and esb imo. a very good esb though.

m- very soft and creamy, goes down really really easy. slightly watery at the end.

ITS A ESB NOT IPA, now labled brutal ipa.

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Photo of Seumas
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I never realized what the Brutal in Brutal Bitter meant until I tasted it back-to-back with the equally hoppy but considerably more refined Southern Tier IPA.

Brutal Bitter, which I supped second, came up much more earthy and lingeringly bitter than the IPA. Not more bitter, it's just that the bitterness in the Brutal just stuck to the tongue much longer than that of the IPA. If I had to guess, I'd put it down to late and aroma hopping in the latter, and continuous hopping in the former.

I can't imagine how much Crystal you'd have to put into a brew to arrive at the advertized 59 IBU from a relatively low-alpha, aroma hop like that. I should imagine you'd have to put in one heck of a lot and put it in steadily throughout the boil.

Come to think of it, Brutal Bitter bears more than a passing resemblance to Dogfish Head's 60 Minute IPA, which supposedly does use continuous hopping.

In all, Brutal Bitter is a good solid ESA/APA for hop heads who aren't looking for much finesse.

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Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,103 ratings.