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 PCaravan
4.51/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've been waiting for a while to try this one and finally found it.

Amber gold in color that pours a thin white head that quickly fades but leaves a ring of foam around the edge of the glass that clings.

Clean smooth and strong floral citrusy aroma but not overpowering.

Taste is primarily of the hops and of the same profile as the aroma. Bitterness is substantial but very soft and smooth and lingers in the finish. Nice balance.

Mouthfeel has a nice carbonation level and has a very creamy feal.

Highly drinkable due to it's soft, smooth, and balanced bitterness.

Reminds me a lot of a American style pale ale but not nearly as pungient or rough as many of those (and I like them too). (708 characters)

Photo of mzwolinski
4.51/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was ready to dislike it with the first sip. Well, with the first sniff, actually. Massive citric hop aroma and little else. The taste, too, struck me as overpoweringly bitter. "Another novelty beer," I thought. To be admired, perhaps, but not enjoyed regularly. But this beer has a lot more going for it than first appearances. Actually, that might be a bad way to put it, because its appearance is quite lovely. Hazy sunset orange/gold with a fluffy three-finger head, and a good lace once you start draining it. And drain it you will. Because once you get past the first sniff, and your first sip, you will discover some real complexity in this beer. The massive grapefruit-liek citric hop aroma doesn't dissapear, mind you, but it makes room for more floral hop scents, and perhaps even a bit of honey-like malt sweetness. The taste, too, develops. Malt becomes more evident mid-palate, and the undeniably bitter finish gives way for a slightly sweet, though acidic, fruity aftertaste. The body is full and slightly chewy, but the drink is almost creamy smooth. The crystal hops are an unusal choice, and really make themselves known throughout this beer, but not to the detriment of balance. Strong enough to pair against any meal, yet refreshing and enjoyable on its own. A very fine beer. (1,296 characters)

Photo of fl0w
4.51/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a pint glass from bottle.

Orange/copper appearance, inch and a half white head which receded rather quickly, with little lacing.

Wonderful smell, strong fresh hops and a bit of citrus. Wish I had a better glass for this smell, I had my nose in this the whole time, the smell was really that good.

The taste was great, more citrus, maybe grapefruit, giving way to hops. While less bitter then I expected, it did have a great hoppy bitterness in the aftertaste. For those put off thinking this is going to be too bitter, it isn't. The bitterness is just right.

Mouthfeel was bready, slightly dry, with the perfect amount of carbonation.

I could definitely drink a few of these, was disappointed I only had 2 (722 characters)

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

Rogue brutal bitter

pours a cloudy amber hue with small bubbles ans a thin white head.

smells of peaches,mandarin oranges and bergamot.

tastes of oranges, grains of paradise,hops. theirs a orange peal essence on the back.

theirs a full mouth feel with small bubbles and medium carbonation

this beer has a exotic taste to it not really expected a real must buy.

cheers! (376 characters)

Photo of CortexBomb
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a lovely off reddish brown and hazy with a massive head. The initial smell is hoppy floral with a hint of citrus in the background.

Taste is not anything that I'd term brutal at all though, this is one smooth drinking heavily hopped ale! The taste starts out with a healthy dollop of hops with a tad of pine, and then switches over to a pungent ruby red grapefruit with smooth malts also present, and then finishes with a tingly, yet not overstated amount of bitterness that hangs around for a bit, but doesn't wear out it's welcome.

Mouthfeel is medium decent, it's definitely 'right' for the beer, but I generally like em thicker. Drinkability is not an issue with this, some bombers are a war to get through, this one ended up polished off in pretty short order, Brutal Bitter is definitely on my 'buy again' list! (833 characters)

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

I'm impressed by this IPA. Very clean and distinctly bitter flavor will have me buying again. IPA's are my ales of choice and I'm always looking for another good one to add to my choices. I tend to like quite hoppy ales and Stone IPA is my standard purchase available everywehre I shop. Lagunitas IPA and Pliny The Elder are topping my list of favorites at this time. Enjoy Hop Stoopid too. (390 characters)

Photo of n0rc41
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured beer into a pint glass from bottle.

A= Great copper penny color with good head, creamy white 1" head or so.

S= Aroma is nice pine, bread smell.
T= Great taste I love it. nice bitterness, but with some low pine and caramel. doesnt linger really at all on the palate.

M=Mouthfeel is great nice smooth, carbonated just right. doesnt linger..

D= great drinkability I could easily down a few more.

I bought this from world market(only place I can find good beer in this town) Its a great overall beer, Great taste color and aroma, Taste is perfect. I Just thought it would taste a little more bitter, for being "brutal bitter" name beer (645 characters)

Photo of beertaster13
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a refreshing beer. Pours a nice orange amber with 2 inch thick head that is an off-white cream beauty. The smell is of a nice english butter with toast and a great floral smell that will linger in your thoughts for a lifetime. The taste is a perfect blend of sweet and sour, it is incredible, some beers have it some don't, this beer goes great with shellfish in my opinion, very good and very consistant, if you want a solid esb this is the one (450 characters)

Photo of SWOhio-aquifer
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer fits my palate so well.

Why: Uh.. It is just good. Kind of like dead guy with a little less malt a touch more hop.

Balanced-yes. Bitter-no.

Used to be my go to. I remember drinking a ton of it one summer building kayaks and other wood working endeavors.

Just something about it. I recently picked up a six pack. It been years since I have had.

Still great. Should be up their with dead guy but the name throw people a lot. Kind of like the saying don't judge a book .; you know the rest. (510 characters)

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

Packaging is the standard 22oz silk-screened bomber from Rogue. I like these bottles. The bitter citrusy hop aroma assaulted my nose as soon as I opened the bottle. I poured this out into a standard tumbler pint glass. The body of the beer is a dark, rugged shade of amber, almost leaning towards a brown shade. The body is somewhat lively with carbonation and the head is sticky and leave fat clumps of lace on the glass on the way down. Nice, piney, citrusy nose, backed up solidly by caramelly malts smells. Taking a sip reveals a nice, brutal even, smack of hops across the tongue. Across my palate the hops register mainly as a flat pulsating bitterness that registers thickly with a resinous pine presence. The malts attempt to make their presence known but are quickly slapped back into place. The malts are definitely there but cannot stand up to the assault of the bombastic hops. Hot damn this is a good beer! I love single hopped beers because now I will definitely know when I taste crystal hops. Chalk another one up for Rogue. (1,040 characters)

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

Pours a hazy copper with a very clean, one-finger head that dissipates, with only faint trace trace, over the first few sips.

Smell is quite nice - caramel-apple with a just-right sweetness.

Taste is quite a departure from the smell, with a firm dose of hops adding some grassy elements and a nice bitterness, fading into a biscuit malt flavor on the back end.

Mouthfeel is nice, creamy. Overall, this is an exceptionally drinkable offering. (445 characters)

Photo of foxbat2500
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle from Bevmo.

A = Orange copperish. Like a new penny as others have said.

Smell = Maybe I am hard of smell today, but there is not much here. Very faint.

Taste = Very nice. Orange and pine & biscuit. Like a nice orange scone. Nice bitterness. Warm alcohol feeling at the end.

M & D = I would be happy to drink this all night. (335 characters)

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

Another near-perfect brew from the masters at Rogue, this beer will teach you that you don't need a variety of hops in a beer to have an amazing character. Brutal Bitter uses only Crystal hops. And brother, that's all you need.

Take a big whiff before drinking. Ahhh, amazing! What a hop aroma. And note the aftertaste. A friend described it perfectly: grapefruit. (367 characters)

Photo of beernbbq
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
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. (357 characters)

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

Very few ESB's are as good as this. That's all you need to know. I think only Fuller's ESB is a better ESB. But this comes close.

The taste is pretty well-balanced between hops and malt. They aren't using Cascade but, according to the bottle, Crystal hops. The beer needs to warm a little to achieve it's balance. It poors with a nice head which goes down to a nice lace which stays. Very drinkable once it warms.

I highly recommend this. (444 characters)

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

Well, I would hardly call this beer "brutal" in any way, shape or form. The name is just flat out misleading axs I've had IPAs far rougher than this one. It is, however, one kickass beer - quite excellent.

Big head settles to a solid cap, lots of lace all the way. Hazy apricot orange in colour. Quite handsome. Great hoppy nose, more orange citrus than anything else, underlaid by malt. Los of orange to taste up front when it's cold, but that gives way to grapefruit as the beer starts to warm and the bitterness of it becomes more pronounced. Fairly soft to drink, nice lingering flavours and bitterness. Just comes across as an all round well-crafted beer.

Excellent job and thank you. (691 characters)

Photo of nomad
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
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. (1,227 characters)

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

Whoa. First off, this is a hoppy beer. If you don't like hops, you won't like this. Fascinating appearance, with a hazy copper color that grows deeper toward the center of the glass. Beautiful foamy head that dissipates to a trace of lingering tiny bubbles. Smell of grapefruit rind and a touch of pine (and toast?). A bitter, grapefruit and pine taste that improves as the beer warms. Carbonation that lingers on the tongue. Whoa. (431 characters)

Photo of MUTINY
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
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. (162 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Copper / orange in color with a nice 1" head and decent lacing developed through the drink. The aroma is floral and slighlty fruity. The flavor is great as malt and bitterness are all over this, and some mild fruit tones are detectable. The bitterness level is brutal as the label says - and it's great !

Very smooth and slightly dry on the finish. Medium bodied. Bitterness lingers forever on the tongue. Absolutely a great beer to sit and have several of. (460 characters)

Photo of John1985
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cloudy amber color with a white head that has nice lacing down the glass. Good piney hop aroma, flavor is nicely balanced with a lively hopped flavor. Very balanced with malt and not overpowering in the hopped flavor. Smooth aftertaste & drinkable! I could drink 3 or 4 without a problem. A very fine ale but not very brutal, I was expecting a little more bracing bitterness. (375 characters)

Photo of phunknerd
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ye Gods, a monster among us! This is, as has been said numerous times above, a big, scary ESB. (Although I don't disagree totally with the comparisons to IPA.)


Appearance: It looks slightly like the o.j. of satan. Cloudy, light-bronze, and I noticed some sediment at the bottom of my glass. (Did I get a bum bottle or is it actually unfiltered?)


Smell: Not the strongest of aromas, but I smoke, so this is probably not my strongest suit. Hints of citrus are about all I can detect.


Taste: Here we go! A massive blast of hops, citrus, pine, and something else I honestly can't put my finger on, are only partially ameliorated by a little hint of malt at the beginning. Sort of like an apology for the delightful ravaging to follow.


Mouthfeel: Slightly astringent, but surprisingly clean and pleasant. A pleasant bite, all double entendres aside.


Drinkability: I rated this somewhat lower simply because it just doesn't seem feasible to drink three or four at a time. It's an absolutely first-rate beer, but one's taste buds need a rest after a bomber. (1,076 characters)

Photo of Brew33
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had never heard of this beer or read any reviews before purchasing. Rogue has a reputation for making good beer but I wasn't expecting this. Wow, this is an exceptional beer. Incredible.

It is tremendously well balanced, smooth, complex, earthy, hoppy, and sweet. This is my beer nirvana. The mouthfeel was nice, it smelled slightly sweet but not too sweet. The taste is wonderful.

I am just discovering some of the beers you longtime BA's have been enjoying for years this could be a staple in my house. I certainly recommend this brew to anyone. (554 characters)

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

A: Hazy Orange Amber color, with a decent amount of white head. Slow sticky lacing coats the sides of my beer mug.

S: Piney, bitter in your face hops!

T: Very bitter hoppy experience. a bit piney, a bit citrusy, very fresh bitter hop taste. the crystal hops are brilliant, but not overwhelming. The malts are soft and slightly caramelly. Bitter all the way through.

M: MMMM.... bitter. smooth and succulent. Little tang in the aftertaste, along with the bitterness.

D: I could drink this one anytime. I grab this one by the bomber every now and again when i can find it. I've also had it by the pint at the rogue brewpub in Portland. It was equally awesome. Love the bitter! (678 characters)

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

This is an exceptional brew. Not as bitter as the label states. This beer has a nice hop aroma to it. it pours a nice hazy amber with an incredible two finger off white head that lasts forever. Also has excellent lacing. Very frothy head. Has a nice taste of hops and citrus but not a strong one. Excellent overall beer. You could sip on these bad boys all day long. (366 characters)

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