Brutal Bitter Ale - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale

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

1,082 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,082
Hads: 2,022
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 79
Gots: 151 | 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: 1,082 | Hads: 2,022
Photo of goz
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
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? (405 characters)

Photo of Hoves
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The brutal bitter pours like a wheat beer, thick and heady. The head sticks around for a good while and when it dissipates it releases a sweet hoppy smell.

As most rogue beers are, it is hopped perfectly for the hopheads among us. The taste of the brutal bitter is in the back of your mouth and the after taste lingers briefly and not too strongly.

The mouthfeel offers perfect carbonation with a slight hint of caramel and a little bit of a lingering yeast flavor.

All in all, this is another great creation by the men and women in Oregon. (543 characters)

Photo of exlex
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Cloudy amber with little to no head retention

Aroma: Sweet caramel with light floral hops

Taste: Perfectly balanced sweet malt and hop bitterness, with a great lingering finish

A fantastic beer, good sesionability. The high IBU's create a refreshing bitterness while the sweetness of the malts give it the body it needs to keep you coming back for more. Highly recommend this one. (389 characters)

Photo of hustlesworth
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap at winking lizard, i got the last pint of the keg (for free!).

A- golden amber brew with a minimum haze, off white creamy puffy foam leaves a decent amount of lace like streaks of soap suds.

S- sweet caramel bread, dry spicy woodsy & honeysuckle floral hop aroma with notes of citrus pith. toasted malt and a warm nutty quality that is very inviting, along with the light fresh pine aroma near the end.

T- stale whole grain bread, and very hoppy almost like a baby IPA. enough malt to go around as well its bittersweet and caramel and almost a little chocolatey with some white raisins and apple. as for the flowers, it's spicy citrus pine grapefruit, which rogue does very well. taste is very fresh, and there's a long dry bitter finish.

MF- crisp and fresh, yet resinous and slightly oily, medium body and carbonation.

D- let's just say i'll be on the lookout for this one every chance it get. (907 characters)

Photo of scottum
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Better on tap than bottled. This is truely an awesome brew. Finally a bitter than means bitter. The hops are fantastic! Finding this on tap in Boston is a hophead's dream. Very balanced. A bit of sweet malt does the balancing trick quite nicely. The real show however is the hop hop hop hop fest. (296 characters)

Photo of ToddT
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Mildly hazy copper color topped with a fluffy off white heat. Head has some legs and leaves lots of spotty lace on the glass.

S- Hops and more hops, nice grapefruit and pine notes, but not much else can be picked out over the hops.

T- Big notes of citrus, grapefruit and pine hops at first, balanced out in the middle by some nice malt character that keeps the hops in check. Finish is dry and clean with a lingering final note from the hops.

M- Medium in body and carbonation, clean and easy on the palate with minimal build up of oi from all of the hops in this.

O- Another solid beer from Rogue, the 5.8% ABV makes this an easy drinker and the tastes are well balanced. This is not just another hop bomb, and it makes very interesting use of a single hop variety. (773 characters)

Photo of jbennett1919
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice golden yellow with a nice one finger head.

Smell is of nice floral hops and grapefruit.

Tastes absolutely great. This beer should be called an IPA and not a bitter. Taste is of hops and grapefruit. Solid finish!

Mouthfeel is pleasant from start to finish.

I did not expect a solid IPA to come out of this 'Brutal Bitter' bottle; I was taken off-guard, but for a pleasant surprise. I think this is probably my second favorite Rogue brew behind the Juniper Ale. (476 characters)

Photo of dreadnatty08
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light orange amber color. Bottle conditioning gives it a real hazy translucency. Head is minimal, not much to speak of. Aromas are dominated by I believe floral and citrusy American hops. The description of the beer claims its made solely with crystal hops. Hops are dominated in the brew with an intense flavor and bite at the end. Slick in the mouth, carbonation is medium, a great mouthfeel. A bit heavier than a typical IPA which I suppose is all it sets itself apart from that style. A joy to find locally though limited, and with a high price tag at $10 a 6er. Something I would love to try again but most other IPAs would offer the same experience. (663 characters)

Photo of RJLarse
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought a bomber of Brutal Bitter in a neighborhood grocery. Poured in to a pint tumbler.

Pours a pale copper color and is cloudy. Frothy two-finger off-white head is very resilient, dropping rings of lace along the glass all the way down.

The smell is fairly strong, with a citrus grapefruit aroma.

The taste is dominated by sweet caramel, with a mild bitter finish. Not as bitter as the name implies.

Mouthfeel is full-bodied but not cloying. It has a great smooth presence on the tongue, while still exhibiting a little carbonated zip.

A very drinkable brew. It's tasty and sessionable. I could drink a lot of this stuff it it was around. (647 characters)

Photo of TheBear11D
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1pt 6oz bottle

Pours a cloudy yellowish orange color with a long lasting cream colored head with good lacing.

Smells strongly of pine hops--an impressive overpowering aroma of hops. No malt is present in the nose.

No surprise here, but the hops dominate the flavors here. I am picking up grapefruit mostly with orange and pine hops also present.

Medium body with perfect carbonation to compliment the intense hops.

Great brew! Definitely something to have again when I need a punch in the mouth of hops. (508 characters)

Photo of EatsTacos
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear copper colour with a one finger white head that laces nicely.

Aroma is very hoppy, I would have thought that cascade was being used but Rogue has actually used Crystal hops, which are very aromatic. Spicey and floral at once without the citrus character that cascade would give.

For an ESB this is very classic american and differs from an english bitter in a few ways. The taste is very piney and floral and showcases the hops much more than the malt, which is bready and grainy. Not a lot of sweetness at all, the aftertaste is quite bitter.

Medium bodied, with a crisp and clean carbonation. (612 characters)

Photo of Beernoisseur
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hardly what I would call brutally bitter, this is actually an excellent beer. The bitterness is there, but clocking in at only 59 IBUs, there is a lot of bitterness left on that spectrum. Pretty lacing, sudsy head. Yellowy amber, with a TINY bit of haze. This reminds me of a really beefy session lager. there's obviously a lot more bitterness, but some of the same light citrusy elements, with a touch of sweetness, and good 'ole bready, toasty maltiness. The smell was pretty simple. There was nothing that I didn't expect. A touch of citrusy scent, but mostly just toasted malt. There was a tiny bit of mint? I don't know.

All in all, a great beer. I'm glad I had it, and I would never turn it down in the future. (718 characters)

Photo of tcfishler
4.46/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Definitely hazy, dull gold-amber. Smallish, short-lived creamy tan head.

Deep, highly aromatic nose of toasty bread and floral/piney hops.

Hops right from the start in the mouth, suggesting fairly sweet citrus. Also notes of toast and yeast, lemonl-like liveliness, and late arriving roasted malt. Hop character is one note and doesn't evolve, perhaps because of the use of only one variety. Finish is soft, with the sweetness winning over the bitterness.

I love the freshness and balance of this beer, the latter being an aspect that surprised me given the name. This brew definitely could be a go-to for me. (619 characters)

Photo of nicnut45
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This one pours a hazy orangeish brown color. The head settles into a nice patchy cloud like appearance. A fine aroma. On the bottle it says only one type of hops employed. Well in this case less is more. I detect a fine grape juice aroma followed by some earthy hops. This reminds me of fruity pebbles cereal. I get tastes of grape juice as I take a sip with a bit of lemongrass. The bitterness is perfect and doesnt have a wierd aftertaste. It is very interesting to say the least. A well crafted beer.
I hate describing mouthfeel in beers but this one is different. The perfect level of carbonation and it is a bit chewey as well. Not too light and definetly not too heavy for its style. I wouldnt drink this all night and I dont think that is what the brewer intended for this one. I would definetly buy it again but I wouldnt drink a six pack in a night. But all in all a very good beer. (892 characters)

Photo of jsh420
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours a golden yellow with a 1+ finger head that left no lacing

smells of grapefruit hops and not much else - love it

taste says IPA not ESB - grapefruit hops upfront that mesh well with the sweet malts that come in at the finish

mouthfeel was light and perfectly carbonated

drinkability is out of this world and i am glad i bought a sixer over the bomber (359 characters)

Photo of Loki
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
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. (808 characters)

Photo of veech
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one excellent beer and the only thing bitter about the entire experience is me in that I didn't have this available in my area sooner. Pours a slightly hazy deep golden orange with a good 3 fingers of head, resilient carbonation and nice lacing. The floral hoppiness of the nose is very well balance by just the right amount of malted barley. The balance is even more evident in the taste. It starts out a little hoppy, but the substantive body of the malt evens everything out. This results is an excellent drinkability. A 6 pack was $10.69 @ Kroger which is a little spendy for a beer that's not high gravity or high alcohol, but damn is it tasty. Yet more praise for Rogue. (684 characters)

Photo of funkengruven
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A nice find at the Waterdown LCBO, this pours a dark cloudy amber with nice head retention. Some foam but not a lot of lace. Smell is a good balance of malt and hops, I would say hops are a bit more prominent in this one than most of this style I have tried. Flavor is exceptionally nice. I find that the hop bitterness balances the malt perfectly, and unlike some of the British examples I have tried, the sweetness is subdued somewhat making for a delicious and smooth drink. Drinkability is definitely a plus here and if it wasn't for the strength of this brew it'd be a nice session beer.

Yes, at $7 a bomber it's expensive. However it's worth it, very nice stuff. (670 characters)

Photo of sinistersteve
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A great beer by a great brewery. The name on the bottle says it all. If you can't stand the brutal assault of hops and malt in your mouth, this beer probably isn't for you. The deep, amber color accents the glass nicely. Not much lacing to the glass though. Great aroma that tickles the nose with anticipation of a great tating beer. A must have. Althugh, I do find the new bottle stencil to be quite annoying. (410 characters)

Photo of woemad
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at The Elk Public House in Spokane for $4.

Poured a hazy orange with a big, creamy white head. Lots of lace.

Smell was of sharp hoppiness, with a very well balanced maltiness. Smelled good!

This was a really tasty beer. Probably my new favorite ESB. Most American examples seem to be very medicinal in flavor. This is like an IPA that someone put too much malts into - I mean that in the nicest way possible. Definitely the most flavorful beer I've had all week.

No complaints in the mouthfeel department. This was a medium bodied ale with just the right amount of carbonation.

If I hadn't had to go to work in half an hour (and I'd had more money - $4 a pint is a bit much for more than one), I could easily have had several more. This is a great beer. (785 characters)

Photo of 49degrees
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I kicked off my first venture to the Issaquah Brewing Company (AKA Rogue Brewery) this past week with a bit pint of Brutal Bitter Ale. This extremely strong, bitter, and flavorful beer was a joy to behold.

It poured a nice deep copper color and gave off a large white rocky head that quickly flowed over the edges on the draw and lasted for considerable time in the glass while drinking. In addition to the long last head, the lacing on the glass was fairly extensive from the first to last drop.

Just like the Imperial India Pale Ale (I2PA) from Rogue, the Brutal Bitter doesn’t slug you in the face like some of the most exuberant bitter beers recently brought to market by other brewers. It’s that refined stance that this Brutal Bitter takes that helps make this an enjoyable and very drinkable bitter beer. This one also presents a unique characteristic that gives it a very smooth body like that of an English Bitter with an added malt hit, but still manages to rear the fierce bitter hit that makes this a truly enjoyable ale. In addition to the extensive hoppy characteristics, the Brutal Bitter has a nice blend of citrus fruit, which helps keep the palette tingling, and the flavors ever expanding to further the enjoyment.

Rogue’s Brutal Bitter is a very drinkable bitter beer; so much so, I grabbed a case of it on the way out the door. If you’re a bitter beer drinker, this one is sure to please.

[ STATS:>> SERVING: 16 oz. pint / ABV: unlisted / PRICE: $4.00 USD ] (1,500 characters)

Photo of Scoobydank
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L: Orange cloudy color. Off white frothy head
S: Yummy peach/grapefruit smell. A tad bit of sweet malt as well.
T:Those grapfruit pine needle hops come out right away. Light sweet malt with a touch of peach lingers.
M: It is a bit thin, but in a good way. The thinness alows it to slip down the middle of the tounge.
D:Yet another great brew by rouge. I could drink multiple of these right in a row. (399 characters)

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured entire bomber into a 34oz mug. Cloudy light orange with a thick, foamy white head that sticks around everywhere. Smell is hops and flowers, but subdued by malty sweetness. I found this rebranded as Brutal IPA, and it is an IPA, so I was expecting a more hoppy taste. The hops are more of an equal presence in the flavor, instead of the overbearing leader. This beer seems to follow its name more than its style; it's more akin to an ESB than an IPA in my opinion. Still a great beer, fullbodied despite the average %abv. A solid offering from Rogue (would you expect anything else?) (589 characters)

Photo of TBoneJones
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
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. (778 characters)

Photo of pibbxtrasucks
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Beer pours a golden/amber color with a decent head that doesn't last too long. As soon as I opened the bottle I swear I could already smell the hops. After the pour I took a big wiff and it was nothing but hops. in a good way. A bitter, hop taste hits you as you take the first sip, and it closes out with a nice earthy, mlty taste. perfect carbonation and nice mouth feel. his is a very good beer, easy to drink and overall very impressive. (445 characters)

Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,082 ratings.