1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Brutal Bitter Ale - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

1,898 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,898
Reviews: 1,071
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 72
Gots: 94 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Brutal Bitter Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,898 | Reviews: 1,071 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of schopenhauerale
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of mick303
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Valentno7
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of xav33
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rogue Brutal Bitter
22 oz bomber
Moderate pour in an English pint
Recent brewing, enjoyed 04/07.

Poured a slightly hazy dark amber with a large frothy somewhat diminishing white head with fair lacing.

Smelt of moderate caramel, pineapple and lemon.

Taste was upfront strong bitter spruce and grass and moderate sweet caramel followed by a harsh spruce and dry leaves and light sweet citrus on an average length finish.

Palate was light to medium bodied, creamy, softly carbonated and strongly astringent.

Overall, this is a very satisfying beer in terms of taste. Strong flavors and aromas, brutally bitter as expected. Good stuff.

Photo of szmnnl99
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of magine
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a dirty, cloudy near orange color. Has a white head that settles to a lace head. Has some lacing, not much.

Brew smells of fruits, grains and wheat.

Brew is bitter, has a smooth mouthfeel. Has a grainy, bready fruit base in the flavor. Finishes dry. Very unique taste and feel to it.

This is a very drinkable brew despite its "brutal bitterness". I really dig this flavor and the mouthfeel. This is a nice drinkable brew. Enjoyable.

Photo of berkshire413
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of TimHitchings
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of dgherm
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of wildshire
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of sinistermadman
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy copper in color with the pour emanating a slight head. Aroma consists of citric hops at the forefront, everything else is washed out.

Taste is a nice interplay between hop and malt flavors. Grainy wheat malt provides a solid backdrop for a nice hop bite. Well executed and quite balanced. Good drinkability on account of the slick mouthfeel. Recommended.

Photo of brheuer
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of ocelot2500
4.01/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy pale orange with a thick white head that leaves a solid sheet of lacing on the glass.

Smells of citrus and floral hops.

Tastes of the hops on top of a layer of malts. Malts are mostly biscuity and bready pale malt, but there is a touch of caramel that makes its way through. Hops have a big floral character with some orange peel and grapefruit notes as well. Not overly bitter, but hop flavor is certainly present with what I find to be a good balance between bitter and sweet for an IPA.

Mouthfeel is medium with a fizzy, effervescent amount of carbonation.

Photo of DontCallMeSurly
4.01/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. I'd say there was about 1.5 inches of very frothy, highly carbonated head on top which dissipated to about a quarter of an inch within minutes of pouring. The beer itself is a golden-ish, peachy, honey color. All I get from scent is a bread-like, doughy aroma. I can't smell any hops. Finally, onto the taste. Again, the hop profile isn't coming through, I taste a lot of malts. The alcohol is somewhat easily detected too.

Photo of gonzo000
4.01/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Durge
4.01/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A clear copper color with a solid off-white creamy head and absolute walls of lacing. The aroma offers pleasant pine hop, but very subdued, almost grassy. The flavor brings a beautiful blend of citrus and pine hops with plenty of bite but in a malty bath of bitterness. Very palatable and drinkable. Tasty, in a medium body brew with very even carbonation.

Photo of Ungovernable
4.01/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got a 22 oz. bottle marked Brutal IPA. I didn't know it was the same thing as the Brutal Pale Ale, or I probably wouldn't have bought it. Anyway, I did, and here's what I think:

A: It pours a really orange-y copper. Nice color. Very little head.

S: There's an IPA hoppy smell, but it's far from (pleasantly) pungent. The smell is kind of on the subdued side of what I wanted from an Oregon IPA.

T: The taste starts off on a great note. There are lots of hops. It's pleasantly citrusy. The bitterness is decent. Then, it kind of turns to this soda-water bland fizzyness in the back of my mouth as it goes down. Honestly, I think this kind of kills this beer as an IPA.

M: It's full-on at first. Then, the bitterness stays on the tip of my tongue and there's that soda-fizz around the back of my mouth.

O: I think Rogue should have kept this as a "Brutal Pale Ale." By calling it an IPA, I have expectations that aren't met. I expect a lot from Rogue. If this taste got clearer and that soda-water flavor went away, this would be a decent IPA that would sit with other major west coast brewery's IPAs. I rated it as a 4.0 overall as a beer instead of as an IPA. If I was rating this as an IPA, I would have rated it much lower -- maybe a 2.5.

Photo of RootedFool
4.01/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a 22 ounce bottle at the North Coast Co-op in Arcata, California.

Pours a radiant amber with a soapy orange head that subsided quickly, leaving pizza-crust-bubble-like lacing on the glass.

Smell is faint to my nose. What finds its way through is a gritty, lemony hop bitterness with a thin sheet of malts backing it up.

I expected the mouthfeel to be thicker, but it's got sufficient body -- just not perfect.

Fist sip: blew me away with the flood of hops.

Second sip: I taste the subtle malt notes before the symphony of hops.

Long-lasting aftertaste of dry, toasty hops with a citrus crust.

Not a bad beer for my 20th review. In fact, it's quite good. Will try it again for sure.

Photo of smakawhat
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of NeutroMan
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy orange with an ambue hue. Modest half-finger off-white head faded quickly to a thin cap.

Smell: Piney, floral hops predominate.

Taste: Hops take on a more medicinal quality upon hitting the taste buds. Malt sweetness struggles to break through the hop dominance and balance it out. Rich, chewy mouthfeel cuts through some of the hop blast. About what you'd expect from a well-crafted west coast IPA.

Photo of koolk
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

US trip Aug-Dec 04

Nice rich amber colour with a strong full head that persists. Good lacing and medium carbonation.

Nose is very hoppy with some pine like notes backed up well by sweet malt and even a touch of roasty grains. The floral notes are very present by the end of the pint.

What an aptly name beer. This is very bitter and it took me a little while to get used to is. At first it is a stinging bitterness but soon evolves a good malty backbone to try and off-set the hops (only slightly though)

A little too bitter for my taste buds (therefore drinkability is not so high), but still a quality brew from Rogue (as always)

Photo of stephens101
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours brown with orange hues. A large, bubbly tan head sinks slowly and leaves some chunky, scattered lacing behind. Hops with some subtle citrus behind them rise to the nose. There's also a bit of caramel sweetness present. The taste has a very nice hop bite which doesn't strike the taste buds like a double IPA, but is quite noticeable, and very satisfying. There's also some spice, malts and perhaps some light fruits involved. Mouth-feel is medium bodied, and there's little carbonation. If you're in the mood for some hops, but a APA sounds a little tame, and a DIPA sounds a little wild, then this is the beer for you.

Photo of Viking
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pretty good brew. Nice and hoppy. Wonderful spicy hop aroma, with some citrusy undertones. Very bitter - I'd say 'Brutal' is stretching it, but it's not too far off. The hop bitterness is especially apparent in the finish of this brew. Mouthfeel is nice and oily, but too much lingering carbonation adds an almost acidic feeling on the tongue. That's something I don't want from a bitter. Still, this a damn fine bitter, especially when you consider this is bottled.

Photo of argock
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a clear nonic pint glass at Boylan Heights (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Amber-gold with a thin cap of head which does leave a couple lace trails.

S: Pink grapefruit and floral aromas with a hint of tropical fruit don't leave much room for malt but their is some light roasted maltiness there

T: This is a very nice beer, and probably second favorite from Rogue after Shakespeare Stout. Big hops presence including grapefruit and orange flavors, smidge of evergreen, and a big floral contribution. The Maris Otter malt isn't too different than pale in this brew, but it does add a layer of toastiness to the mix. Very bitter no doubt.

M: Nice medium body on this, still very sessionable while putting down a nice hops coating.

O: I really liked this brew, and I don't say that about many Rogue brews. Very bitter with nice citrus overtones and a medium body make this one a winner.

Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
89 out of 100 based on 1,898 ratings.