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Brutal Bitter Ale - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale

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1,879 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,879
Reviews: 1,069
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 67
Gots: 84 | 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: 1,879 | Reviews: 1,069 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JHeskew
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of fightingwords
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bought as a single bottle and served into a 16oz American pint glass.

A--Amberish, Golden-orange color. Hazy unfiltered appearance with noticable carbonation. A a strong fizzy head that eventually dissapated to a light head with good lacing all the way down. Alot more "pale" than I had expected from a beer listed as an ESB.

S--Over the top hop odor with earthy hints of fruits. Like an IPA but a bit more subdued. One good whiff gave me a bit of a bitey alcohol hint.

T--Not a very balanced bitter, but balanced isnt what I would have expected from Rouge. This had very earthy hop tones that finished with a sweetness that must have been the from what little malt I could make out. I dont have the discriminating palate to pull out all the flavors or a beer that is complex as this. As the beer warmed a bit the hops began to fall back and it became a really good beer. The alcohol was noticable at all times, but enjoyable.

M--Earthy and strong, good finish. Definately felt like I was drinking full flavored beer.

D--Wouldn't drink more than 2 in a sitting. To be honest the whole time I drank this I considered eating food but for the sake of the review I resisted. I dont know if people would consider this a food beer, but I would really enjoy this beer with a cheeseburger.

O--A unique interpretation on a beloved style of mine. I can see where people would consider this an IPA/Bitter hybrid. A beer for when I'm feeling like a unique treat. There are less expensive more traditional bitters out there for sure--but when has Rouge been traditional.

Photo of BHep
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of chambeam
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of johnmac
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of GregBrewski
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark copper color with a descent head of moderate retention, no lacing left on the glass. The nose was mostly of sweet fruit and malts, some hints of spice from hops and slight hints of alcohol. The taste is smooth, sweet, and light in the front, that gives way to a citrus bitter hop-y flavor in the finish. Not as hopped or bitter as an IPA, kind of like a toned down version of one, while maintaining excellent beer qualities.

Photo of reviticus
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of topheim
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of DontCallMeSurly
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. I'd say there was about 1.5 inches of very frothy, highly carbonated head on top which dissipated to about a quarter of an inch within minutes of pouring. The beer itself is a golden-ish, peachy, honey color. All I get from scent is a bread-like, doughy aroma. I can't smell any hops. Finally, onto the taste. Again, the hop profile isn't coming through, I taste a lot of malts. The alcohol is somewhat easily detected too.

Photo of timmay41
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: The pour offers a hazy copper hue and a healthy off-white head with nice lacing.

Smell: The bomber bottle touts that there's a "stupendous hop aroma." It reminds me of the smell of a wet-hopped beer... it has that kind of thick fragrance.

Taste: Well, I did have this beer on draught a couple weeks ago and it was more nuanced, but this still has character--well balanced, starting on the mild side, them some malty qualities before more active hop bitterness enters the equation.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, with just enough carbonation, and a kind of slippery quality that contributes to mouthfeel as well as taste. The mouthfeel reminds me of Quintine Blonde actually.

Drinkability: I feel like a fool for not discovering this beer sooner, as it's a great option in a style/category I don't go to often enough. Pleasantly balanced and drinkable.

Photo of GoreStorm
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

bomber bottle poored into a liter beer mug.

A - i really like the way this beer looks. generally i favor the look of darker beers with my eyes but this is exceptional. poored with a big rocky head that mostly stayed to the bottom of the glass. the color and look of the beer could easily be mistaken for an unfiltered spun honey. very nice.

S - floral and hoppy, i don't get too much of a malt profile here, or rather, not as much as i'd like.

T - pretty damn solid, a very good hop flavor here with a nice sweet malt background.

M - the carbonation is moderate and pleasant, solid.

D - even with an above average ABV i could put these back all night, this is a super drinkable beer.

additional notes - hooray for rogue, they're one of the first craft brewers i fell in love with back when i first started to get into good beer and they still impress me today, i'll be buying much more of their product.

Photo of BubblesInMyBeer
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

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

A&S: Pours opaque honey/amber colored with very little head and a healthy amount of sediment... much more than I was expecting and kind of spooked me as someone who doesn't have a ton of experience with sediment. After doing some googling I determined that this was not unheard of with beers from Rogue, so I continued. Smell is sweet and slightly hoppy.

T&M: Taste is a smooth slightly hoppy flavor. Pretty mild. Much thicker than most other IPAs that I've had and the taste is less of a "smack you in the face" type flavor. Mouthfeel is smooth, with only slight carbonation, and as I mentioned, thick and pretty heavy tasting.

O: It's good. I'm still getting over the slightly odd look of tons of sediment floating in the pour and left at the bottom of the bottle. A very middle of the road IPA for when I want hoppy flavor but don't want my taste buds torn off.

Photo of OleLouIPA
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of iain_reeve
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of johannasclimacus
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Not quite as bitter as I'd expected. I am getting most of the bitterness towards the end and in the aftertaste. It's got great carbonation and a smooth moutfeel, and I think this is one of the most drinkable beers I've tried.

A good offering from Rogue, perfect for a warm summer evening.

Photo of Nm4452
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of Schwarzwald
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice heady pour into glass. Hoppy smell with a lot of citrus fruit. Not as hoppy as I would imagine but very very nice. Some IPA can be a little much and I am not a huge fan of the style, but this is great. Beautiful rich red-ish orange amber color with a huge 3-4 finger head. Head stayed with drink and loved the flavor complexity that I come to expect with Rogue. Very very nice!

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

Poured an opaque orange with a nice two fingered head. Lacing was pretty good all the way down.

Smelled really nice. Buttery hops and sweet malts.

I thought the hops would dominate, this being named "Brutal Bitter," but it was pretty balanced. Actually, it was very balanced. There's a hop bite which was very nice, but the malts rush in and it almost thickens in your mouth. Finishes smooth and sweet.

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

Rogue brutal bitter

pours a cloudy amber hue with small bubbles ans a thin white head.

smells of peaches,mandarin oranges and bergamot.

tastes of oranges, grains of paradise,hops. theirs a orange peal essence on the back.

theirs a full mouth feel with small bubbles and medium carbonation

this beer has a exotic taste to it not really expected a real must buy.


Photo of terrapinfan88
5/5  rDev +25.3%

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

Big old 22oz bottle poured ever so smoothely. Built a nice two finger head with some large bubles that was rather frothey. Nice golden peach color and is a bit hazey. The nose is a little hoppy with some citrus and other fruitey aromas.

The taste doesn't live up to the name of being brutal but is beautifully bontiful of hops and only the slightless twinge at the end while being a little dry. The higher ABV is detectable but isnt too harsh. Pretty drinkable overall and this is just a very good beer.

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

the amber coloured beer has a slight haze. The foam has big bubbles.
the aroma is citrus and hoppy. Inthe taste there is a lot of bitterness to. A light caramel taste in the following taste, afterwards the caramel goes to a little carton flavour, maybe not a very fresh bottle? Best before date is still four months to go.
In total a pleasant beer, but next time I will try to find a fresher bottle.

Photo of Tunguska
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of dmatsui
3.38/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a Chimay Goblet. Tulip was dirty, so sue me.

Two-finger off white head, good retention. Looks like a typical, unfiltered IPA.

Mostly malt characteristics in the nose but with some grassy hops, There's a sweet, raw honey-esque sweetness.

Good spicy hops, clean malts and good mouthfeel. The hops are not particularly strong or robust, but very clean. The mouthfeel is perfect.

Overall Brutal is a fairly standard IPA in my opinion but very well balanced and is definitely a quality brew.

Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,879 ratings.