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Brutal Bitter Ale - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,083 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,083
Hads: 2,042
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 79
Gots: 157 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,083 | Hads: 2,042
Photo of drinkininthewood
3.05/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

* This is a re-review of Brutal Bitter now formerly known as Brutal India Pale Ale.*

650ml bomber from the LCBO priced $6.50 a bottle.

A- Murky, copper colored beer with a fluffy pillow of slightly off-white foam and good lace.

S- Touch of molasses with some grassy hops. Fairly subdued.

T- The beer is well balanced with a nice malty back bone offering a touch of sugar and fresh bread while the hops used add a grassy, lemon/citrus bitterness that works well.

M- Carbonation is good but the mouth-feel i found to have a smooth feeling but just a tad watery to be honest.

D- service-able ale.

Overall i was left fairly confused when i purchased this bottle from the LCBO as i did not know that this beer in fact replaced the old version of Rogue Brutal Bitter. I found the new version to be fairly plain. Not much going on really. I much prefer the old recipe of Rouge Brutal Bitter containing the Maris Otter, Cara Vienna/wheat malts and the crystal hops. I would rate this as a decent English style ale but in terms of an IPA its not such a good rep of the style.

(old review)
Bottle purchased from the LCBO.

Served from a 650ml brown bomber into a pint glass.

A- Foggy orange with nice frothy cap of foam settling leaving behind some mad nice lacing.

S- Full of floral hop aromas. Lots of citrusy hop resins in the nose.

T- Dominated by some really great oily hop flavors of pink grapefruit, oranges, pine. Lemony/bittersweet aftertaste. Im a fan of crystal hops and this magnificent brew just reinforces this. What a great tasting beer. Tried to find some maltiness to it with no luck but im not complaining.

M- Medium bodied with some chewiness. Adequate carbonation.

D- Oh man...All Day!

What an Excellent beer. Very pricey ( in Canada ) and worth every cent.

A-4
S-4
T-4
M-3.5
O-4 (1,805 characters)

Photo of patre_tim
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Copper amber, slight haze but mostly clear, little carbonation, 3 fingers of light beige head.

S: Passion fruit, sweet fruitiness, light pine, snow.

T: Amber medium roasted malts, light sweetness, great balance of hops, but actually slightly malt forward for the style in my opinion. Sweetened passion fruit, light pine. Fruity and floral.

M: Medium body, lightly bready, slightly syrupy, low carbonation. Relatively dry finish.

O: Really loving the entire profile of this beer. Perhaps my favourite American IPA so far, and I’ve had many. I know this one’s been around a while, but I’m glad to have finally got my hands on one. Its really not harsh, but really well crafted, fragrant and balanced. Very smooth beer. (730 characters)

Photo of jellikit
3.71/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: orange. Slightly hazy. Thin head.
S: pretty mellow on the aroma. Not much there.
T: mellow maltiness. A little bready. Evenly hopped. Not overbearing. Pine. Smooth.
M: upper medium carbonation. Medium body.
O: good IPA. Alcohol, malt, and hops are balanced very well. Needs more aroma in my opinion. (302 characters)

Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bomber poured into a shaker pint glass. A coppery orange amber color with a few inches of creamy beige head that left some nice honeycomb-like lacing. Aroma is dry and resinous, with ample white pepper, citrus peel, camphorous herbs, and rich caramel malt forming a well-integrated whole that suggests "American IPA with a old school twist". Palate features a rather aggressive resinous hop flavor, greef lead and gourd, perfumed Earl Grey tea, grapefruit and tangerine peels (little to no juice), melon rind, and some gooseberry preserve. Crystal is an interesting hop, seeming to bridge the gap between European noble flower/herb/spice and American citrus, and this flavor profile is conveyed extremely well here. Noble spice spice and citrus in near-equal measure. Rogue describes this is an imperial bitter. Not really but you certainly can taste the English malts, which add some nutty and toffee flavors that do not diminish the hops in the least but manage to assert themselves just the same. Quite fizzy and of moderate body, with a dry, clean bitter finish (middling pine and just a hint of grapefruit juice). Well done example of a single-hop IPA with more malt emphasis than is typically the case. (1,208 characters)

Photo of GoblueMS
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have recently tried this as it is now available here in MS. Rogue has been around a long time, and I have never had opportunity to try any Rogue IPA offering (not even sure that they offered IPA). Bought 7 bombers last night at a local grocery for 99 cents each--WOW!! And they were not "ruint" as they say around here! Every once in a while we quality ale quaffers win big, and this is one of those times. From a bomber to my 20 oz. mug.

A: Thick creamy head two fingers high diminishing to a thin layer. Love the unfiltered aspect.

S: A bit malt forward, with hops slightly subdued.

T: Smooth with the yeast adding body to the ale (filtered ales tend to taste and mouthfeel thin).

M: As mentioned smooth. Definitely a decent brew. I like this particular style of IPA, though others on my favorites list are more aggressive on the pallet.

O: What a find at 99 cents!! Even though it has a lower alcohol content, sometimes that is just what the doctor ordered. Rogue knows what they are doing, and they have been in the business a long time. This ale is worthy. (1,068 characters)

Photo of cjgiant
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The pour is a standard hazy yellow-orange with decent lacing from the soapy head. The smell is grapefruit and mango, and the taste follows suit. The taste is a bit more earthy than bitter to start, and when the grapefruit takes over, it leaves a gap in the feel that gives it a temporary watery taste. The bite of the grapefruit quells that as it drifts into a resiny dry bite on the back of the tongue.

Overall this is basically a nice, solid, enjoyable straight up get-what you expect IPA. That's gotta be worth something. (525 characters)

Photo of nqdell
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
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. (443 characters)

Photo of CraigTravor
3.01/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

This beer was served in a bomber bottle and poured into a pint glass.

A. It pours with a light head to an opaque orange color

S. The smell is attractive. It brings me to like this more

T. Packs a solid wallop. Brutal is a good adjective.

M. As it fills the mouth it brings a citrusy zest with it.

O. I am not a big IPA fan, but for the type this is a good beer. (368 characters)

Photo of safaricook
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

bought at Sterk delicatessen in Amsterdam, where they got a nice shipment of Rogue
nice fine off white head, slightly murky red-golden body
grapefruit, tropical fruits, pine
caramel balances hoppy bitterness
medium body, little resiny
typical American IPA Cascade hop profile nicely balanced by a good caramel body. And this balance makes it a real good one. (358 characters)

Photo of theteleman
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. This beer looks amazing. Orangey Copperish with a creamy looking head. Smell is citrusy and hoppy…really nice.Hops come through on the taste but this brew is balanced really nicely, getting some citrus notes too on the taste. Not a typical west coast hop bombardment by any means, kind of a creamy mouthfeel to it with good lacing on the glass. Really have enjoyed both brews I've had from the boys in Oregon. I recomended this one as well as the Hazlenut Brown, both are great! (520 characters)

Photo of rdilauro
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I-- rated this one straight down the line.
From the initial pour, which was ok, to the almost absent detectable nose, to the mouthful and aftertaste, there was not a lot I can praise about this beer, but at the same time, I could not find fault with it.

To me, it could be the stepping stone for someone who has been used to the normal 30 /36 packs of canned beer to craft beers

Its a very easy beer, totally drinkable.

I intend on using this beer as a transitional beer for people who dont know what craft beers is all about. A good way to learn (556 characters)

Photo of thehyperduck
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

650 mL bottle from the LCBO; listed at 6.5% and packaged on Sept. 7 2013. It has been a while since my last Rogue experience. Served slightly chilled.

Pours a hazy golden-amber colour, topped with slightly more than one finger of foamy, resilient off-white head. It slowly seeps away over the next few minutes, coating the glass with a doily pattern of lacing before settling into a thin, dense cap. The aroma is fairly inviting - a little citrusy, with notes of orange, lemon zest, pine and caramel malts. Appropriate for the style, but not outstanding in any way.

The same can be said of the flavour, actually - the malt bill is a little more prominent than is usually the case in this style, providing some caramel sweetness and toasted grains. The restrained hop bill is very citrus-focused - tangerine, orange peel and pink grapefruit are all detectable, with the pine notes playing a very minor role up to the aftertaste. At that point, they provide a mild resiny bitterness to complement the citrus. This one is quite well-balanced... or the hops have fallen off; I'm not sure which. Medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation and a somewhat slick mouthfeel from the hops. One thing I will say about this brew is that it's extremely drinkable, and one of the few IPAs I could probably drink all night without destroying my palate. Too bad the price point makes that an unlikelihood.

Final Grade: 3.76, a B+ grade. I've been re-trying a lot of my favourite local IPAs over the last few days, and I'm sorry to say that Rogue's Brutal IPA just doesn't quite compare to them. To be fair, this beer is over four months old and has been shipped across the country - but B.C. is roughly the same distance and I've had plenty of good IPAs shipped from there. This isn't a brutal beer in either a good or bad sense - just a serviceable, shrug-worthy one. When I can pick up two tallboys of a tastier, fresher, domestic IPA for the same price, there's not much point in revisiting this, although perhaps if it were a fresher sample I could be convinced... (2,054 characters)

Photo of JohnParadee
4.6/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thin head, but good lacing on pour from 22oz bottle. Pleasant floral grapefruit nose. Opaque orange color. Very smooth citrusy taste. Ample but not overpowering hops, and alcohol well integrated (almost hidden). Comfortable mouthfeel. Really like this well balanced IPA. Would (will) drink this one over and over again (I hope). (328 characters)

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Has this on-tap with dinner the other night. Served into a 16oz Rogue glass. Served well-chilled.
Advertised as 6.7% ABV on the menu.

Appearance - Clear amber / copper color with a few bubbles and a nice 1 finger of foamy head that dissipates into a smaller cap that will linger for the duration of the beer.

Smell - Some significant hop presence but also some floral undertones and faint tropical fruits before bring it altogether with a slightly earthy pine aroma.

Taste - Moderately bitter, but just enough malt blends with some faint fruits flavors to cut through the hops. Not a complete hop bomb, but still big hop flavors and a bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Cool wet and refreshing, and while smooth it didn't strike me as otherworldly in this category. Pretty solid.

Overall - A fine IPA, one of the better ones I've had and nicely balanced between the hop and malt profiles. Would recommend again and would get on tap again should I make my way out to dinner at the local restaurant. (998 characters)

Photo of T-34-85
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Nice straw/light orange color, and filtered/clear appearance. Minimal head with some residual lacing.

Smell: Not overly hoppy (not overpowering), but solid, with a nice grassy unique note from the crystal hops.

Taste: Well-balanced bitterness and sweetness with a good hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: A thin mouthfeel.

All around, a good well balanced IPA. Would be even better as a summer/warm weather IPA. (415 characters)

Photo of hoptualBrew
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Murky sunrise gold, good amount of thick, white head up top.
-
Bread, cereal grain, honey, lemongrass, sweet citrus, touch pine in the aroma.
-
On the palate is honey tea, sweet malt, toast, lemongrass, pine, slight bitter pull in the finish.
-
Medium-light mouthfeel, well carbonated pushes the flavors and emphasizes the bitterness.
-
Overall, descent brew, would love to try this on tap. I honestly don't know how long this bottle had been sitting in the store fridge. No bottle on date to be found. (503 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, no bottle dating. Pours lightly hazy golden amber color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, orange zest, lemon zest, floral, grass, light pine, light honey, bread, herbal, and floral earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of hop notes with moderate malt presence; and good strength. Taste of grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange zest, floral, grass, light pine, herbal, light honey, bread, and floral earthiness. Fair amount of earthy floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus zest, floral, grass, light pine, bread, herbal, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of citrus/floral hop flavors and moderate malt presence; with a crisp malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and fairly sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice IPA. All around good balance and complexity of crisp hop flavors with a fair amount of malt presence; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering. (1,394 characters)

Photo of cyclonece09
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a tall glass. Pours cloudy reddish orange with a large fluffy head. Smells of nice piney and citrusy hops, very inviting. Tastes of curtsy and earthy hops with a bit of tang. Beer is carbonated well goes down great medium body. Overall a very good beer. (284 characters)

Photo of alienlifeforcecube
3.08/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

What's brutal about this beer? I was expecting a hop bomb with the extreme title but it wasn't so hoppy.
head didn't last and quickly formed large bubbles.
color is hazy amber orange.
taste was balanced, malt is not pronounced, and is not overly hopped.
Overall I enjoyed the beer but had different expectations. (312 characters)

Photo of polloenfuego
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass.

A: orange and hazy with a heavy looking two finger head that slowly dissipated leaving some lacing.

S: Citrus hops and faint pine.

T: Citrus and sweetness followed by bitterness.

M: medium body and mouth feel and fairly light carbonation.

O: Brutal IPA is really quite a nice IPA. It is not overly hoppy, but has a nice hops profile. I think it would make a good session beer. (424 characters)

Photo of Chaney
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a DC Brau tulip.

A: Poured a very cloudy, bright orange color, with about a 2 finger head that was pretty much white with some orange highlights.

S: Hops? Hell yes!!! Very fresh indeed with orange peel and grapefruit. Pretty potent.

T: Nice and bitter, but with more of a malt backbone than I was expecting. The more I drank though, the hops became more pronounced.

M: Creamy and somewhat bitter, with more of an "orange sherbet" quality as opposed to a West Coast hop pow-wow. Mild splotches left on the glass and pretty clean overall.

O: Think East Coast IPA with a little added umph. I dug it. (611 characters)

Photo of JAFoley
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Pale golden yellow, nice dense white head. Great retention and decent lacing.

S - Citrus, grapefruit

T - All citrus hop, no piney'ness or floral flavors. Underneath is a quiet and sweet malt base. I think a boost of alcohol would have been nice.

M - Medium/light with very light amount of carbonation. The light carbonation lends itself to the creaminess of the beer.

O - This is a very tasty and drinkable, definitely a good summer beer. I would not describe this as "brutal" but rather smooth. I would really like to try a an amped up double version of this with higher ABV and maybe stronger carbonation. But regardless I'll definitely be coming back to this. (671 characters)

Photo of Narbage
3.04/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

I was really looking forward to this beer. I really was. As it turned out it was an okay ipa but my expectations were far higher. I was slightly disappointed that it was not as bitter as I was hoping. I wish the beer was hoppier than it was.It was not worth the 9 dollars considering the abv was low for this IPA. Overall it was an okay beer to drink it just doesn't stand out like other IPAs. (393 characters)

Photo of deeznuts420
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
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 (285 characters)

Photo of HoppyBastard
4.81/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber to a shaker pint glass.

APPEARANCE: Cloudy, hazy and has a slightly orange color with about an inch-plus creamy head and a fair amount of lacing.

SMELL: Assertive combination of bread and citrus, floral hops.

TASTE: Citrus and biscuit malt flavor, then you get the hops. This brew has less pronounced hop profile than most IPA's and is very well balanced. It has a delicious aftertaste that really stays with you, in a good way. As the beer warmed it tasted even better.

PALATE: Medium bodied and chewy bread.

OVERALL: This beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy! I think this is the finest IPA ever because it has found the perfect balance between malt and hops. I have some constructive criticism for Rogue Ales; I would appreciate a six pack of 12 ounce bottles option as opposed to the 22 ounce bomber. In addition, this beer is too expensive compared to other similar beers available. You made a great beer but are your own worst enemy. Apparently, "Dare, Risk and Dream" only applies to the Brew Master, not the Sales/Marketing Department. (1,098 characters)

Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,083 ratings.