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Brutal Bitter Ale - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,770 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,770
Reviews: 1,060
rAvg: 4
pDev: 10.75%
Wants: 61
Gots: 50 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Brutal Bitter Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,770 | Reviews: 1,060 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gottajiboo2


4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a cloudy amber orange-ish with viable small bits swirling around. it formed a medium head that quickly faded into a thin white halo around the glass. a delicious hop aroma embraced my nose, and tasted a bubbly bitter delight finishing a slight sticky bitter finish, nice mouth feel. I could drink a number of these. very tasty.


Serving type: bottle

03-06-2007 01:22:23 | More by gottajiboo2
Photo of FarmHouseJam


3.05/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy Orange/ gold color
Bitter but with the the rogue grain selection....nothing is too bitter, everything is very malty, almost to the point of an ice tea taste.

The beer is still balanced which is key in my mind for worth wile drinking....

this is a malt liqour? "Don't let me down" is how I feel about this brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2009 02:50:10 | More by FarmHouseJam
Photo of theaudist


4/5  rDev 0%

11-22-2011 06:03:09 | More by theaudist
Photo of vrushing88


4.68/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Copper, thin off-white head.

S - Heavy on Carmel malts.

T- Floral, extremely hoppy, and citrisy

F - Light, refreshing, easy drinking

O - Overall a great IPA. Comparable to Stone Ruination, but with a more citrusy character. Very easy drinking, and clearly higher in ABV, but well hidden.

Great Brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2011 02:59:46 | More by vrushing88
Photo of rfranklin7


4/5  rDev 0%

12-20-2011 02:52:31 | More by rfranklin7
Photo of Squeezemyhops


4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

06-25-2013 18:51:06 | More by Squeezemyhops
Photo of SirNoodle


3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

10-18-2013 01:21:26 | More by SirNoodle
Photo of redelephantdane

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a- orange, leaf color, thin lacing, 2 inch head.

s- really sweet, citrus, pear, some malts.

t- biscuit, soy, a little bit of hops, good balance, some malts

m- really dry, nice refreshing, leaves you wanting more.

d- i could really drink a lot of this if i wanted to.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2006 21:00:18 | More by redelephantdane
Photo of rm0312


4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle into my own Rogue pint glass - Loved the hoppiness of this beer as well as the bitter (but not too bitter) finish. Something of a citrus hint in there somewhere too. Great with steak or just about any hearty meal. One of my favorites...

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2007 23:25:19 | More by rm0312
Photo of southeastmat

4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Great burnt orangish color. A little hazy and small amount of head. It's a pretty IPA.

S: Huge grapefruit. A lot of tangerine on the back end. Resinous effect and nary a whiff of malt. It almost smells sticky.

T: Whoa, what a nice balance in this beer. That brutal label is a little misleading. It drinks so well you don't notice the huge IBUs in this brew. Doesn't pucker the lips. The only drawback is the after taste which for me is a bit too sweet for an IPA.

M: One of the chewier IPAs I've had, even without the malt character. A little syrupy for me.

O: It drinks amazingly well. For folks looking for a hop bomb, it's not here. If you want an IPA that you can come back to and maybe have more than one - this is it. Fantastic offering.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2012 00:44:02 | More by southeastmat
Photo of ArtoriosCastus


4.75/5  rDev +18.8%

08-14-2012 07:04:26 | More by ArtoriosCastus
Photo of Txphil


4/5  rDev 0%

08-04-2013 21:39:16 | More by Txphil
Photo of rugbycritic

New York

4.83/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is awesome stuff. Great hops, great malt, great alcoholic warming. This is legendary. It's the one we go to after a few, then stay for the evening.

Wonderful warm amber reddish darkness, sparkling white head with massive nose, a bit craggy if you will, with lace. The first taste on a clean palate is stunning. First is hops, then warmth, then hops, then a bit of sweet, then hops, then just nirvanna

Serving type: on-tap

09-20-2004 20:44:46 | More by rugbycritic
Photo of wofat


4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a golden amber ESB with a light and creamy head. It suprised me in that it looked like a slightly darker version of a weiss beer. I was a bit surprised at what I think is a lack of real big aroma that I would expect, mild but pleasant hints of fruit and coffee.

This is a smooth bitter. Light roasted flavor combined with a very smooth crystal hop and dry, bitter finish. Do I detect oranges? The cara wheat really comes through in this ESB.

This is a good, medium bodied beer who's little tiny carbonation bubbles really carry that flavor straight to your tastebuds! This is a beer I could really drink all afternoon... err... morning. Since I am drinking this in my hotel room with nothing better to do, I may just have to run back out and pick up a couple more!

Smooth and tasty!

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2003 10:08:16 | More by wofat
Photo of foxbat2500


4.53/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle from Bevmo.

A = Orange copperish. Like a new penny as others have said.

Smell = Maybe I am hard of smell today, but there is not much here. Very faint.

Taste = Very nice. Orange and pine & biscuit. Like a nice orange scone. Nice bitterness. Warm alcohol feeling at the end.

M & D = I would be happy to drink this all night.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2010 02:55:20 | More by foxbat2500
Photo of mafiasentinel21


4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 Oz. poured into a pint glass.

A: Very enticing hazy gold that doesn't leave much transparency. A one inch head from a pretty soft pour stays for about ten seconds. Little lacing stays on the glass.

S: Well...hops. I'm getting floral undertones but there is a definite hop domination.

T: Wow. Very, very tasty. I feel like I'm drinking crispy hop oils, and yet it remains not too overpowering. This is a very vibrant beer, and the balance and the crispness are absolutely insane. Spices just dance around on the palate. Whatever these bittering hops are, they're classy. The finish doesn't have the as strong a punch as I would hope, but it's still nice.

M: Medium - it's pretty smooth. This is a well carbonated beer, erring if at all on the conservative side.

D: Pretty damn high. This beer just drinks very well. Seeing as how it is focused on bitterness rather than the thicker malty Rogue that is usually par for the course, a 6'er is definitely not out of the question.

Overall one of my favorite beers. Just so crisp and hoppy, and it's even more impressive that Rogue can step out of its element to make such a brew. They have a trademark dense fruit + malt taste that this beer doesn't adhere to. Don't ignore this one based on the price tag!!! Hop-heads especially give it a go, you'd be nuts not to!!

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2009 01:36:26 | More by mafiasentinel21
Photo of Goatshaver


4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Nice orange/amber color. Nice two finger head that tapers off after a minute.

S. Citrus smells, I smell a little malt.

T. Nice subtle hops start, that is not really brutal but pleasant. Finish taste is citrus peel, grassy mixed with the hops bitterness.

M. A medium body, a nice warm feeling after.

D. Not the most "Brutal" ipa I've had but a decent brew that is enjoyable to drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2011 01:12:13 | More by Goatshaver
Photo of thejordanc

5/5  rDev +25%

06-28-2012 14:26:34 | More by thejordanc
Photo of thetzeng


5/5  rDev +25%

04-09-2014 17:56:10 | More by thetzeng
Photo of edonovan0


4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy dark orange, amber. Nice thick 1.5 finger head. Not much visible carbonation, mostly due to the deep hazy colour. Head holds nicely and leaves a nice lacing.

S - Subtle summer fruits. Peach, Apricot styles, which is different to the usual tart citrus esters, like the Grapefruit and Pineapple, that are common. Balanced well with the malts.

T - Really well balanced. Not in your face as the name suggests, but very nice. There is a hop bitterness there, but is quite smooth.

M - Quite full, but not too heavy. Carbonation is there. Smooth

O - Very nice. As some have stated, not a traditional IPA. I think of it more as a hoppy ESB. Would drink many of these.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2011 12:24:31 | More by edonovan0
Photo of Bigmatty42

3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

10-29-2012 05:16:44 | More by Bigmatty42
Photo of phunkydrummer


4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

12-31-2012 04:53:54 | More by phunkydrummer
Photo of JahNoth

New York

4.63/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The name brutal need not be there because this beer is everything but. English malts meet northwest hops in a most delectable way. After the almost tea-like aroma, there is a lovely hint of grapefruit. As the beer warms the malt characteristics come alive making this a complex but extremely palatable ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2002 14:51:31 | More by JahNoth
Photo of CreamAle128

Alberta (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nothing to complain about! a little cloudy which means some yeast remains. NICE!

Smell: Smells of piney hops, some bready malt, and very fresh

Taste: Instant bitter taste, more bready malt, fresh oily hops, slightly citrusy, it kind of tastes like rogues imperial IPA, only weaker. I can't disect these highly hopped beers well, but I enjoy this very much.

Drinkability: Surprizingly light, but the bitterness and hop might prevent a person from drinking gallons of this stuff. enjoy!

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2006 07:08:01 | More by CreamAle128
Photo of timholio


4.88/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of my new favorite top 5 beers. I like it as much as Fullers ESB which is the classic for this style according to others. This beer seems fresher than Fullers and seems to have more grapefruit flavors but Fullers a bit flatter and slighty 'soapier'(hops?).

I find this beer very drinikable - not too strong in ABV. I really like a bitter beer. So far I haven't found one thats 'too bitter', I'm not sure such a beer exists - if so bring it on. Good job on this one from Rogue.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2010 23:59:16 | More by timholio
Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,770 ratings.