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Brutal Bitter Ale - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

1,847 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,847
Reviews: 1,063
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 65
Gots: 71 | 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: 1,847 | Reviews: 1,063 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CBFanWish
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange/amber in color. Hazy appearance. This is an IPA you couldn't see through. It also had a nice head with decent lace. The smell was both floral and fruity at the same time, yet wasn't overpowering in any way. The taste was the same way. Fruity and floral, yet well balanced, like most Rogue beers. It was a great beer and I look forward to drinking more.

CBFanWish, Jan 05, 2004
Photo of counselor
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bomber size bottle poured 1 & 1/2 into the pint glass. Nice mellow gold color with tight white head. Hoppy aromas, almost IPA levels. Cool crisp malt flavors with super citrusy hop flavor at the end of each mouthful. Good balance between the sweet malt and the dry hops. Would make an easy session beer. Very refreshing carbonation levels. The second half of the bottle poured with the yeast added a different level of flavor and made the beer a little chewy, almost like bread, but good - more complex. I always like that part of bottle conditioned beers.

Good marks all along on this beer

counselor, Jan 02, 2004
Photo of Loki
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from the infamous Rogue 22oz bomber with tons of info except dates.

Appearance: Dull orange honey color. Very cloudy, hazy, and completely opaque. Big, thick, froathy head with thick weblike lacing. The wheat malt is very evident in the appearance.

Smell: Malt and wheat goodness. Citrusy floral hops. Like somebody fused an IPA and a German Hefe fascinating and nearly maddening all at once. Many unique and varried aromas mingling together wonderfully.

Taste: Sweet malt, wheat, and then bitter citrus. Some floral hop flavors and a little clove. Very well balanced sweet malt and bitter hops.

Mouthfeel: Good medium body, but a bit on the dry side for my tastes. Good carbonation

Drinkability: Great. A wonderful blend of malt, hops, and wheat that could be enjoyed anytime of year.

Loki, Dec 25, 2003
Photo of Foxman
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a golden orange, very much like honey, and quite hazy. There's a quick, off-white head of various sized bubbles and foam, which retains nicely and well. The head falls to a lumpy coat of foam across the surface, and there's some delicate lacing.

The first whiff brings a solid assertion of grapefruity hops, with a very understated touch of floral tones. The malt smells slightly sweet, with a pleasant blend of caramel in the background.

The first sip brought a light toffee semi-sweetness from the malt, with an almost simultaneous washing of the dry Crystal hops across the tongue. There's a lingering light-citrus fruity background. It finishes with a dry hop tingle on top and a light malt grainy sweetness underneath, giving the overall flavor a genuine texture.

It's medium bodied, coating nicely then sliding down and back with a little viscosity, leaving behind the dry legacy of the hops.

It's not especially complex, very straightforward in fact, but it's honest and damned good. There's the easy sweetness of the malt well-balanced by the lightly floral dry citrus bitterness of the hops. It's very drinkable, crisp and fun, making more than one a virtual certainty. Stacked against beers with so much multi-dimensional complexity, this beer readily shows that sometimes simple is the way to go.

Foxman, Dec 19, 2003
Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Head of variegated small-to-medium sized white bubbles fades out very slowly and slowly slips down sides of glass leaving slight lace; a few lazy streamers. Drop-dead gorgeous color: bronzest bronze at the top of my pint fades through to burnt orange at the bottom with honeyish highlights; very hazy and practically glows when held to light. Aroma is basically all grapefruity hops with a reedy quality; now don't get me wrong--it's a great smell--just sorta one-dimensional. It's compensated for in the flavor by leafy, citrusy hops, and how grapefruity they are! grapefruit flesh, and especially rind to a tee; leaning towards orange as they bite sweetly into sides of the mouth and grab hold; bit of pine sap and the barest butteriness in a tart, refreshing finish. Mouthfeel is very smooth--hop is bitter but not "twangy"--and slightly tingly, leaving resins that had me running my tongue across my teeth for minutes afterward, trying to get every last flavor. Very balanced for drinkabililty although not as serviceable as a standard Pale Ale. I would like to try this again in the summer and see if the marks improve; unfortunately this was the last bottle at the shop!

NearerMyBeerToMe, Dec 17, 2003
Photo of Shiredave
4.83/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The more I drink this beer, the more I like it. I just had to come back and raise my scores. Its nice to have it available in 12oz bottles now, tho I never had a problem drinking 22oz of it.

Bright copper with a firm white head draping the inside of the glass. Great retention ; 1/2 in. head kicks up w/ a few swirls. Slow, sparse carbonation.
Intensley flowery and piney aroma, rich vanilla and warm jelly sweetness sucks your nose into the glass.
Flavor is sharp up front - grapefruit and bitter spruce tips take a juicy bite on the tongue and dominates. Crystal is apparently one potent cone! The hop outshines the underlying grainy malt, but doesnt overpower it..
Medium body struggles to balance the FULL Hop flavor. Honey and bread notes come thru faintly but cant gain a foothold against all the hop going on untill the finish where malt sweetness coats the mouth surounding the sharp bittering.
I love this beer. Cask conditioned, it was near perfect having more balance, mellower bittering and fuller, softer mouth feel.
Amazing "One Hop" showcase Ale.

Shiredave, Dec 07, 2003
Photo of IrishRedRock
4.6/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thank you beer gods, for bestowing this gift of delightful Rogue upon your faithful son. For some reason, the purple and yellow colors of this 22 oz. bomber make this beer highly appealing before I even crack the crown. I pour. Light barely eeks through the cloudy tan body. A rocky, pillowy white head retains perfectly. Aroma could pass for a strong IPA. Hops! Orange peel and citrus aromas abound as well. Despite the hoppiness of the nose, the flavor is not nearly as hoppy, which is great, leaving room for the many other flavors to come out. So well balanced. Signature Rogue yeast flavor, grapefruit, wheat-like malty middle, finishes dry and hoppy. Awesome, awesome beer.

IrishRedRock, Nov 30, 2003
Photo of ElGuapo
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A hazy golden copper brew with a massive fluffy off-white head on top. The aroma is nice and spicy with a lot of citrus. There are subtle sweet notes thrown in the mix as well.

The body is medium with a bubbly and crisp mouthfeel. It is hoppy, but not really intensly bitter. Orange peels and a floral character lead the way with a touch of sweet malts to balance. It is smooth and very drinkable. A real nice beer across the board.

ElGuapo, Nov 17, 2003
Photo of NickLovesBeer
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brutal Bitter pours a golden amber body with a massive white head laced with carbonation. As I was pouring the smell hit me like a ton of bricks, hops hops and more hops permeated the air and with in a minute you could smell it all the way across the room. The taste was surpisingly smooth and while extemely bitter and hoppy it was not was not overpowering creating the "bitter beer face" and finished with a nice sweetness to it. Brutal Bitter is another excellent brew by Rogue, and probably my favorite ESB.

PAX

NickLovesBeer, Nov 10, 2003
Photo of SixpointJMH
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a cloudy orange colour with a nice, frothy, just plain huge head. instant smells of hops and citrus with some of earthy wood tones and some bread hints as well. the taste here is pure hoppiness. hops are all over this one and clearly dominate. there's a bit of a bite to this one that, whilst not detracting from the drink, could have been toned down just a notch. this was much better as it warmed up so let it sit for 5 or 10 mins if need be.

SixpointJMH, Nov 08, 2003
Photo of nomad
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a highly murky and highly browned orange color. Had a white pillowy head, lots of tiny swift carbonation underneath, dots and things of stain, and a nice dispersing lace.

Smell explodes with pine scents: light, clean, clear and dizzying at first. A nice malt mixes Caramel and Maris Otter well with a grainy touch from the cara wheat. These differing scents come together as the beer opens to form a honeycomb-like aura, while also opening to the nice spice and light floral tone of Crystal hops. All combine to form an ambrosia of sweet but hearty and tough bitter hop scents. Lovin' it.

Tastes of tasty bitters with a strong graininess washing over some citric notes. With the hops its spiciness grows as its acidity recedes - intersting. In the middle some sweet british maltiness is perceived alone as a flash but then deftly undergirds the beer’s whole profile. Finish was of a more citrusy type of grapefruit flavor mixed heavily with hearty amounts of earthy grain tones - a great finish. Can't forget the pleasing grapefruit burp – a very good sign.

Nice moderate mouthfeel, real easy to drink, this is a Rogue but not overdone bitter. A biased favorite, this hits my british ale spots hard.

nomad, Nov 05, 2003
Photo of barleypop
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I stepped up to this one after trying their Younger's Special Bitter. I knew I was taking a big step up in hop class.

The appearance was your typical pale ale. Golden sunshine with amber streaks.

I could smell this one from across the room. Hops anyone? I wonder if I have the courage to take a sip.

I was pleasantly surprised by the wonderful sweet citrus flavors that accompanied the blast of hops. Lots of character in this one. Just as soon as it takes hold of your tongue it leaves with a nice dry finish.

Overall a big thumbs up for the depth of flavor and character that this one possesses. A bit more hoppy than my usual tastes but nonetheless very enjoyable. Hopheads rejoice!

barleypop, Nov 03, 2003
Photo of hotstuff
3.08/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

If you like very, very hoppy and bitter beers, this one's for you!! This one was just way too bitter and hoppy, but then again, I'm not a hophead. It poured a small sized ivory head that contained fine-large sized bubbles that was mostly diminishing. The body was cloudy and uncarbonated with a yellow-gold hue. The nose was heavily hopped and the flavor was as well and also heavily bitter with a lingering fore and aftertaste. The mouthfeel was tingly and medium bodied. The lacing was fair.

hotstuff, Oct 26, 2003
Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of the best Rogues I've had. Not as excessively hoppy as some of their beers (very misleading title, probably would have tried it sooner if I had known). Acheives an excellent balance. I had a Fuller's ESB in between glasses from this bomber. This bears no resemblance to the Fuller's in any way. Much more of a micro-ale for sure, but an excellent one. Pours a beautiful glass of beer, with a thick foamy head, great retention. Smells of fruity hops. Finishes a little dry and bitter, but not nearly as much as some micro-ales. I liked this so much, I bought two more bombers today.

JohnnyDuvel, Oct 26, 2003
Photo of BierReise
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This has become my favorite everyday ale of choice. Got to hand it to the folks at Rogue, that work horse of a brewery that keeps churning them out, year after year. This ale pours a cloudy amber with a huge frothy head that really sticks. Aroma of crystal hops is huge and pleasant with floral notes and a slight citric character. You really need to drink this at 50f or warmer to appreciate the aroma and flavor. An outstanding blend of malt and crystal hops that is bitter but definitely not brutal in any sense. Body is full and smooth and extremely drinkable.

BierReise, Oct 26, 2003
Photo of SetarconeX
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was sorta avoiding this one until I'd tried all of Rogue's other brews. Just didn't seem appealing to me. Boy, was I ever wrong. This is, in fact, one of the tastiest brews I've had in a while.

Solid cloudy orange appearance. Almost resembles a mug full of fruit juice. A wonderfully sweet citrusy smell. The smell immediately reassured me that there was something to this particular beer.

And the taste, oh how to describe it. Sweet and citrusy, like the smell would indicate, but Rogue's tendancy to use hops like crazy comes into play in full force here. Bitter? Well, yes, but in a wonderfully good way. A real treat.

Rogue fans owe it to themselves to try this one.

SetarconeX, Oct 16, 2003
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears: Slightly cloudy amber brown copper tone with a cream off white nice thick and substantial head, great amount of lacing even and full. Aroma: Frivilous hopping here floral, piney, and citrus toned hops explode upon my senses but that doesn't set aside this beer from other Rogues what does is the malty syrupy sweetness that is also represented here in teh aroma very balanced. Taste: Syrupy sweet mixture of hops so good the piney edge to the hops complements the caramel malt so well, true to the style by bringing true balance to the table that can only be compared to the American amber that they brew. Mouthfeel: Fuller bodied smooth best beer yet from Rogue. Drinkability: If I didn't have to drive I may of had a few more pints from this one so drinkable on draft I must be sure to sample it in the bottle to compare.

WVbeergeek, Oct 14, 2003
Photo of beernbbq
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A potent and heady elixir, both in look and taste. Like ESB on steroids. Appearance is cloudy orange with a firm white head. I love the sweet taste of the Maris Otter malt they use. The Crystal hops balance the sweetness nicely, giving it an appealing bitterness. More bodied up than your average ESB (and some IPAs for that matter) and finishes off nicely.

beernbbq, Oct 09, 2003
Photo of Naerhu
4.8/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a screamingly good beer. It makes me giddy.

Distinticive hop aroma tearing out of the bottle upon opening.

A - Opaque orange body and frantic off-white head.
S - I am floating on a bed of extra spicy hop aroma.
T - This is a bitter, but complex and soft brew. The bitterness is smooth, unlike any other beer. There is a long oily-sweet after taste that pulls on my soul.
M - The beer is of medium body. The brilliance of the complexity comes from the malt integrity.
D - This is amazing.

Naerhu, Oct 08, 2003
Photo of DESTRO
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a copper color with a small head. aromas of pine and big juicy hops rise up and out of the pour. the taste is basically bitter hops, just like the name implies. a tad of malt comes out but it cant contend with the bitter hop rush. nice medium smooth mouthfeel and pretty drinkable. a drinkable big beer huge on the hops and bitter just like the name implies. delicious if your into something full of flavor and hefty.

$4.99 a bomber.

DESTRO, Oct 01, 2003
Photo of mydeadguy
4.65/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 22oz bomber. Pours a hazy tawny amber with an inch or so of fluffy head that drops fairly quickly, leaving plenty of lace. Aroma is of hop oils, slightly astringent (pine?), bitter, herbal notes .

This beer does not shy away from the hop bitterness and lives up to it's name. Also the malty sweetness in the mix balances well, a hop monster, maybe, but house trained. The finish is a lingering hop bitterness that is just sublime. Mouthfeel is full and round, rich, oily (again the hops). Drinkability, don't get me started, if this wasn't my second review, and I could stand the Red Sox traffic, I would be on my way to the store to pick up as many as they have...

Overall, this beer blows me away, just perfect.... Rogue does it again. If your the type who loves bitter hops, and you haven't tried this, do yourself a favor.

mydeadguy, Sep 25, 2003
Photo of beerguy101
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Orange gold color. Medium head. There are chunks of something in the bottom of the glass. Aroma is floral and grapefruit. A very nice bitter. Hops are very pronounced. Complex flavors, the dominant hop flavors being grapefruit, floral and pine. Yet there is a very strong malt backbone to this beer. It's a very hoppy and bitter beer. Yet for all that bitterness, it's a very smooth tasting bitter. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is very bitter. Don't think I want to know what's sitting at the bottom of the glass though. Etched/painted beer bottle.

beerguy101, Sep 18, 2003
Photo of goz
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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 ManekiNeko
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served chilled from a 22 oz bomber.

Appearance: Hazy peach in color with a very minimal white head. Constant bubbling for the few minutes after I poured into my gloss. Nice lacing on the glass.

Smell: Strong citrusy hops with grapefruit quite prominent, followed by orange. Slight piney aromas foreshadow what is to come.

Taste: The taste delivers on what the name promises. It's very bitter and slightly sour. I can taste an entire forest full of conifers! You got a descriptor for the various bitter hop tastes? Just like they said about Prego, it's in there. Not for the faint of heart, let me tell you. Can't taste the alcohol either.

Mouthfeel: Moderately full bodied and very astringent and puckering.

Drinkability: Hrrmmm... I'll equivocate here and say it's drinkable for something with as high an IBU score as this sucker has. I think this beer gave me a headache, but I might have been just a bit too full when I had this. I'd honestly say you really have to be a hophead to lerv this beer. I'm willing to give this one another shot later, but not tonight.

Other: I'd love to try this puppy cask-conditioned. I'm jelly of those that have had the oppurtunity to do so.

ManekiNeko, Sep 13, 2003
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A coppery orange color, pours with a cream/ tan colored head when roused sufficiently, this beer had a relatively low carbonation level (which in my book is good for this style). It is cloudy at first, but this is just chill haze, as it warms up it becomes quite clear. There is a floral woody, almost medicinal, aroma to this beer. The floral hoppy aroma travels the furthest from the glass though. It is much thicker bodied than I was expecting but perfectly in line with how the beer is advertised on the bottle (I am not sure why I was not expecting this). There is a solid malt presence that is infused with a pronounced hop presence in both the flavor and the bitterness. The bitterness starts at the back of the tongue and then hangs out in ones mouth as you swallow the beer, and then is even there after the beer has disappeared down ones throat. This beer is definitely a hoppy ale, in the American style but featuring a not so typical hop (the Crystal variety), which is a nice contrast to the typical cascady type flavor found in most American examples. There are definite notes of citrus but a grassy sharp flower nectar note asserts itself as well. I love beers that are of a single hop varietal, it gives me the chance to try and pick out what a specific hop contributes to a beer.

Gueuzedude, Sep 10, 2003
Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
89 out of 100 based on 1,847 ratings.