Brutal Bitter Ale | Rogue Ales

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
90
outstanding
1,102 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,102
Ratings:
2,112
Avg:
4.01
pDev:
14.71%
 
 
Wants:
91
Gots:
197
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: 1,102 | Ratings: 2,112
Photo of nqdell
4.31/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Photo of CraigTravor
3.01/5  rDev -24.9%
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.

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Photo of safaricook
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of theteleman
4/5  rDev -0.2%
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!

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Photo of rdilauro
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
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

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.76/5  rDev -6.2%
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...

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Photo of JohnParadee
4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
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).

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of T-34-85
3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of hoptualBrew
3.81/5  rDev -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.
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Bread, cereal grain, honey, lemongrass, sweet citrus, touch pine in the aroma.
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On the palate is honey tea, sweet malt, toast, lemongrass, pine, slight bitter pull in the finish.
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Medium-light mouthfeel, well carbonated pushes the flavors and emphasizes the bitterness.
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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.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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Photo of cyclonece09
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of alienlifeforcecube
3.08/5  rDev -23.2%
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.

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Photo of polloenfuego
3.93/5  rDev -2%
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.

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Photo of Chaney
4/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of JAFoley
4/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of Narbage
3.04/5  rDev -24.2%
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.

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Photo of deeznuts420
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
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

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Photo of HoppyBastard
4.81/5  rDev +20%
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.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.03/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this at the LCBO in Waterloo.

From a bomber into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours a 1½ finger, medium looking, fluffy, off-white head with good retention. Clear gamboge orange in color with slightly higher levels of carbonation for the style. Head fades to a thin wisp and sticks to the sides of the glass. Goof, full wisp remains and leaves nice lacing down the glass. Good looking, but a touch too much carbonation for the style perhaps.

SMELL: Pale malts, home honeydew melon, light bread notes, citrus and floral hops on the nose. Bold enough.

TASTE: Caramel notes, pale malts, some light bread notes and some floral bitterness at the swallow. Bolder and lingering finish is bitter with floral flavors, notes of bread and some caramel sweetness. Okay, but not that much hop flavor really.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation. A touch thinner perhaps, and quite light on the palate. Creamy enough, goes down smooth and finishes very dry. Not much residual sweetness at all, which may or may not be your thing.

OVERALL: This is alright, but not really my style of IPA. I'd appreciate a bit more hop flavor, as this one is more bitter for the sake of being bitter, and it's too dry for my palate. I usually appreciate a slightly higher FG and a bit more body. That said, it's a good drink and worth a shot, especially if you like drier beers.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours out smoothly, layering out a inch-plus of head, proper. The liquid is very hazy and the color is a burnt red-orange.

Amber grain malts with an earthy hop vibe of dank citrus and woody pine. Zesty enough, but the hop nose is a tad muted. Gives way for some toasy malts to sneer.

Nice earthy hop profile with a light piney sting. Has floral notes and doses of pithy citrus, to boot. Rather mild, except for the bitterness, which has a nice edginess. Really simple in its packaging. Balanced by a toasty malt presence that hints at light roastiness. Pithier and pithier as you go along. Woody with that pineyness, but not sharp. Dank notes almost absent now. Good flavor.

Feels light and tingly on the tongue. Mouthfeel accepts a bright zip. Bitterness stakes its claim with a dryness.

A great IPA, if not merely because of how approachable it is. A clinic on earthy hops.

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Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is hazy orange-amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a collar of large bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of floral hops are present in the nose along with notes of caramel malts.
T: The taste generally follows the smell, except that that the malts are slightly more prominent and the hops contribute a light to amount of bitterness that lingers through the finish.
M: It feels nearly medium-bodied and somewhat crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer might not be as bitter as other IPAs, but seems to be quite bitter because it is a litter lighter in body compared to other beers in the style and the aromas and flavors also aren't as strong. This beer is extremely drinkable.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Dogfish Head Ale glass. Kind of odd this one has eluded me and slipped my mind, so perfect for IPA day!

A real nice glowing tangerine orange body color. Opaque. A light tan and very creamy three finger head is produced off the pour with some nice clumpy retention. Pretty nice looking brew and settles with a thick one finger collar, and soapy lacing while finishing.

Nose has a nice citrus angle, hints of orange and grapefruit, and herbal tea like bitterness for the hop angle. Some nice biscuity quality too which makes this seem like an English American mish mash of style.

Palate fills nicely. Good hop citrus grapefruit but mellow and in control. Slight tea like bitterness on the swallow, and a little juicy feel in the mouth to go with it. Kind of basic, but all the parts fit. Biscuity malts really are noticeable on this and quite chewy to go along with the hop compliment. Lots of tea like aromatics giving a nice orange pekoe like sensation.

Overall, it seems very old school since IPAs have taken off, but still does the job without question.

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Photo of TBoneJones
4.44/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a muted apricot color, a cloudy, hazy orange. White head, nice looking then settles down. Body looks thick.
Smells citrusy and of pine but with a dank musty note that punches through.
This is different to me. There's the citrus rind hovering above the malty bread, and that dank aspect is there, but nice and smooth, not intrusive. Well balanced indeed. I couldnt help but realize that, especially as this warmed, the taste in my mouth reminded me of the flavor aftermath of those funny cigarettes from college. Just saying.
Mouthfeel is medium-thick, as well as carbonation. Very nice.
Not the assault of hops that I expected (based on this brew's name), but the hops were certainly present, subdued by the sweet malt and bitter throughout until the end. Recommended.

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Photo of Oakenator
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a brownish amber color with a good head at pour and good retention. Some spotted lacing on the glass.

S: Grassy hops. Mild and more like a pale ale.

T: Some hop bitter flavor up front - again somewhat mild, grassy, herbs. Ample malting dominates the finish - sweet, brown sugar.

M: Creamy full head with a nice pop off the tongue.

O: Nicely balanced and really good brew.

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Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,102 ratings.