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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 Sam-VW
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This beer pours a Cloudy Amber with a decent sized White head with good retention. It dissipates leaving rings of lacing around the glass as you drink. Probably one of the best IPA's I've had for a while for looks! On the nose there's some Apricot, Mango, Pine and Citrus fruits. I'd love to get my hands on the Rogue hops. Now for the palate, loads of Mandarin and Marmalade, Citrus fruits, peach, a little pine and floral notes. The malt backbone rides at the back of your mouth throughout with Caramel and slightly bready notes. Well balanced. Full body for this style, finishing surprisingly sweet for something called Brutal IPA. One I'll definitely drink again

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.76/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Darker shade of amber. Hazy. Creamy off-white head retains at a quarter inch. Thin rings of lacing.

S: Mango purée, tangerine, lemon peel, orange marmalade. Rich malt aromas of scones and pound cake, yeasty and brothy.

T: Mango purée, leafy and slightly vegetal hop flavors, herbal spice and peppery hop tastes too. Blonde tobacco. Stiff bitterness. Grapefruit rind creeps in. Brothy. English malts shine through with tastes of bread and scones. Flash of tangerine. Bitter hop finish is earthy, leafy, and spicy.

M: Fat medium body. Round and creamy. Chewy, even. Sits with a whipped airy lightness. Nice body.

O: It's basically an Americanized ESB. I understand the decision to brand it as an ipa, but I don't necessarily agree with it. A solid enough beer at any rate, and nice for a change of pace.

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Photo of MUTINY
4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Quick review. Nicely balanced, slightly darker than expected. Drinks a bit light without too much hops. Everything here works together so well, very drinkable.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Hazy, amber beer with an almoust one finger high head.

Nose: Apricot, dried fruit, mandarine, pine, citrus and floral hops.
Taste: Orange marmelade, citrus, pineapple, peach, grass, caramel malt and honey.
Body: Medium body with crisp carbonation. A light bitterness at the end that stays on the tounge.

This is a great IPA!

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Photo of Cramshawbar
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brutal is a strong name for this lovely IPA. Just enough bitterness, just enough citrus flavour, just enough strength and voila - you have a winner.
Well balanced, well made.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid about $2.29 for the single pretty much for the reason of not having a Rogue beer in a while.

A - Hazy looking amber brown with a great looking head a 1/2 inch that slowly fades to a lace ring. Some stickiness to the sides of the glass.
S - Herbal smelling but not overbearing it smells rather balanced with the malts. I sip.
T - Surprising bit of herbal hops to the taste not way overbearing but enough to quench the hop thirst.
M - Light to medium not watery or overbearing bitter.

Overall it was good I liked it more than their standard "Yellow Snow IPA" worth picking up since it's fairly cheap.

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Photo of mikesnotesonbeer
4.68/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Cloudy, orange-gold.
S: Hoppy and citrusy. Light pine.
T: Citrusy upfront, with a nice hoppy finish.
M: Refreshingly crisp, though a little dry.
O: It’s hoppy, but not enough to be off-putting. This is an IPA that both a novice and a connoisseur can appreciate.

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Photo of Mlkluther
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours an orange copper with a finger of slightly off white head that leaves some lacing.

Nose is very fruity and floral. Mango, pear, peach, slight citrus.

Taste follows nose. Slight bitter finish. Light mouthfeel.

Nice beer.

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Photo of TJBOtt
4.34/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A very good IPA. Citrussy,, not too heavy, but with a very nice flavor. Its my favorite IPA that is regularly available in the liquor stores locally (LCBO) here in Ontario.

I'm not sure about the brewer's description, as a blend between an ESP and an IPA though. Intriguing.

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Photo of Grayson
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a cloudy, medium-brown color with a finger of medium head.
S: Hoppy, lemony. Seems fruity.
T: Pretty hoppy and floral. Moderately bitter, moderately fruity. Pretty great blend of in-between. Tasting a couple fruit notes, but I could be off.
MF: Medium, thin. Very reasonable.

Overall: A quality IPA. One of the most well-balanced I've had.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%

Pours hazy dark orange with a white pillow head that subsides to a nice sticky froth in a minute or so.
Smell of pineapple, tangerine, pink grapefruit, faint peach, really faint earthy hop, honeyed malts, caramel, bit of pine, bit of spicy leafy hop.
Sweet citrus upfront, a bit like orange jam with lots of peel in it. Some pineapple, some juicy peach, lemon zest, faint mango. Caramel, lightly toasted malts. Pine, some earthy grassiness starts to develop, with a clear English hop note attached to it, aside for a faint dankness/spicy leafiness. Nice and bitter.
Aftertaste is hoppy, but just lightly fruity, with an earthy bitterness lingering. Bit of malt sweetness to mellow things down.
A really nice IPA with a pretty cheeky English innuendo. Nice balance, refreshing, tasty and smart.

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Photo of hophugger
3.52/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours your typical IPA orange-gold color. Head is decent and so is the lacing. Aroma is very light with touches of hops and loads of citrus. Taste is very nice, hops are there but the main taste is fresh orange. Very interesting and very citrusy. I would have liked a little more ABV. Calling it a Brutal IPA and having less than 6% alcohol doesn't seem quite right. Also could have had a little more IBU kick. Anyway, this beer is very smooth going down and leaves a very pleasant orange and hop taste when done. One of Rogue's better brews..

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Photo of jercasper
4.25/5  rDev +6%

A great IPA. Didn't find the balance of flavors to be as even as one might taste in other IPAs but not enough to deter me from ordering this IPA gem again.

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Photo of BeerWatcher
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%

Pours a murky burnt orange, with a thick white head that settles down rapidly. Aromas of citrus hops, and caramel malts. Quite well balanced in this regard. Tastes start off citrus and turn to caramel malts in the middle of the process, as it flows over the tongue, finishing with a lemon zest tingle. Overall, in a word, balanced.

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Photo of corywalston
4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A. Slightly aggressive poor 1 inch of white head dissipates to ring around glass within minutes. Color is hazy golden orange. Beautiful.
S. Hops, citrus, light pine.
T. Hops, citrus, sweet maybe honey, pine needles. Good as hell.
M. A little dry crisp, but not a refreshing crisp. Promotes dry mouth.
O. This IPA is the bomb. I like the pine needle taste most. I recommend trying it. Very good buzz for 6% ABV.

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Photo of FLima
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Original version with just crystal hops.
Clear amber color with one finger aired head with short retention, but leaving some laces.
Nice aroma with notes of tea leaves, grapefruits, orange marmalade, molasses and herbs.
Likewise, flavor of caramels, grapefruit, lots of tea leaves, tangerine peel, a drop of lemon and finishing with toasted malts, and pine, floral and herbal notes. Hints of mango. Dry and bitter aftertaste. Not fresh and still quite good.
Light body with appropriate carbonation, a bit fizzy. Alcohol of roughly 6.5% abv is well hidden.
It sure felt like a combination of an English Extra Bitter and an American IPA. Quite assertive and not overly complex. If you like ESB and IPAs, you will sure like this.
I was curious in tasting this given that I just made a beer with a similar recipe.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%

A: Pours a pretty hazy orange-ish copper in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation streaming from the bottom of the glass and moderate golden yellow + amber highlights. The beer has a two finger tall sudsy foamy light beige head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of caramel malts with moderate aromas of floral and pine hops.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of slightly sweet caramel malts, though not too sweet. That is followed by moderate flavors of slightly bitter floral, herbal, and pine hops which contributes a moderate amount of bitterness which fades slowly.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly crisp and smooth.

O: I imagine when this beer first came out, it was probably one of the most bitter IPAs available but that is no longer the case - though the bitterness is higher than I would expect for the body of the beer. Not too difficult to drink but not one that I would want to have more than one of...

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Photo of beerdrifter
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Hazy copper-orange pour with a two finger white head with decent retention and lacing. The nose is rather subdued, malt forward, and somewhat vegetal with hints of pine, caramel, and grapefruit. The taste is unique with the same vegetal notes noticed in the nose. Hints of caramel, pine, grapefruit, tangerine, orange peel, grass, and brown bread. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with slightly fizzy carbonation, decent balance,, and a bitter, dry finish. Overall, I kind of get the IPA/ESB thing the brewer was aiming for, but the vegetal thing was a bit off-putting for me. Still a decent beer...

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Photo of BastardKing24
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into my snifter at fridge temp, with a generous pour, yielding a solid fruity looking orange color and a spiffy 2 finger white head that falls slowly. Perfect look to this one.

Smell is fresh grapefruit, lemon, and orange. Also detecting a peach smell, and maybe some pineapple. Very fruity and inviting. Almost perfect.

Taste is a very mild sweetness and bitterness at first, then the sweetness dies off and you get the bitter IPA notes. It doesn't taste as fruity as it smells, but this is a lower alc. IPA. I get wet hay, pine resin, and citrus notes.

Feel is spot on with plenty of carb and a light mouthfeel.

Overall I like this IPA better than alot of pale ales of the same alc content. Its very drinkable, yet its downside is it's quite expensive at 6.50 bomber.

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Photo of Hoptometrist
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap into a nonic glass.

A- Poured an orange color with soapy white head that left minimal lacing.

S- Lots of pungent grapefruit and orange citrus notes with an underlying malt sweetness.

T- Lots of sweet and pungent citrus hop character, orange marmalade, and oatmeal notes. Moderate to high bitterness.

M- Dry, medium body, prickly carbonation, and pretty smooth.

O- Despite the moderate to high level of bitterness of this IPA, it still did not cut through the sweetness of this beer.

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Photo of drinkininthewood
3.05/5  rDev -23.9%
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

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Photo of patre_tim
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

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Photo of jellikit
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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Photo of GoblueMS
3.76/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

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