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Brutal Bitter Ale - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,777 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,777
Reviews: 1,060
rAvg: 4
pDev: 10.75%
Wants: 60
Gots: 53 | 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:
**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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-28-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,777 | Reviews: 1,060 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DIPAFAN
DIPAFAN

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -25%

07-04-2013 23:56:26 | More by DIPAFAN
Photo of GolamKovach
GolamKovach

Illinois

3/5  rDev -25%

12-27-2011 02:29:30 | More by GolamKovach
Photo of shaunofthedead
shaunofthedead

Oregon

3/5  rDev -25%

02-01-2014 03:57:31 | More by shaunofthedead
Photo of MattyD13
MattyD13

Illinois

3/5  rDev -25%

04-19-2014 01:11:52 | More by MattyD13
Photo of bacasnax
bacasnax

Florida

3/5  rDev -25%

04-02-2013 00:00:15 | More by bacasnax
Photo of WastingFreetime
WastingFreetime

Wisconsin

3.03/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Pours out a lightly hazed typical orangish amber color with about two fingers of white foam that lasts for two to three minutes, leaving behind medium amounts of lacing. Medium body and carbonation levels.

I don't understand what is so "Brutal" about this beer, and I'm not even sure it passes as an IPA. It smells and tastes of a very green, zesty, and leafy medium-light hopping with orange peel and herbals being the central focus over a lighter toasted / crackery malt that presents the flavor and aroma spectrum of a fairly good PA, but most certainly not an IPA, much less a "Brutal IPA". If the label didn't lie to me, I'd have almost nothing negative to say about this one. It really pushes my buttons when labels misrepresent the bottle contents like this.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2012 23:26:19 | More by WastingFreetime
Photo of Jeffo
Jeffo

Netherlands

3.03/5  rDev -24.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2013 19:22:41 | More by Jeffo
Photo of Narbage
Narbage

New York

3.04/5  rDev -24%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2013 21:55:25 | More by Narbage
Photo of Drinkerofales
Drinkerofales

California

3.05/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This bottle is still labeled as Brutal Bitter, so it may be old?

Pours murky orange amber, with a huge off-white head with nice lacing and unfortunately, a fair amount of sediment.

Smell is of sweet caramel malts, slight bitter floral hops, and soapiness.

Taste is smooth and mild, certainly not brutal. Some fleeting piney bitter hops in the middle and a clean finish.

Feels creamy and easy to drink.

Overall, this barely qualifies as an IPA. Flavors are all on the weaker side. No bite, no punch, low abv. All this may be attributed to a possibly old bottle, except the abv. All the rest is understandable, but the low abv is just criminal.

DOA

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2012 10:15:26 | More by Drinkerofales
Photo of drinkininthewood
drinkininthewood

Ontario (Canada)

3.05/5  rDev -23.8%
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

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2014 00:56:49 | More by drinkininthewood
Photo of FarmHouseJam
FarmHouseJam

Indiana

3.05/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy Orange/ gold color
Bitter but with the the rogue grain selection....nothing is too bitter, everything is very malty, almost to the point of an ice tea taste.

The beer is still balanced which is key in my mind for worth wile drinking....

this is a malt liqour? "Don't let me down" is how I feel about this brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2009 02:50:10 | More by FarmHouseJam
Photo of yemenmocha
yemenmocha

Arizona

3.05/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours slightly hazy straw yellow with generous white head. Extremely clean & fresh scent on aroma with hop citrus. Fairly simple and straightforward.

On the palate the ale is quite tame considering the name. Not much "brutal" about it, other than the price.

Overall hop tang dominates and bit of sourness, finishes with a suggestion of alcohol. Could be a lot better.

Easy to drink though.

Disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2007 04:59:59 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of alienlifeforcecube
alienlifeforcecube

Massachusetts

3.06/5  rDev -23.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2013 03:50:05 | More by alienlifeforcecube
Photo of hotstuff
hotstuff

Indiana

3.08/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

If you like very, very hoppy and bitter beers, this one's for you!! This one was just way too bitter and hoppy, but then again, I'm not a hophead. It poured a small sized ivory head that contained fine-large sized bubbles that was mostly diminishing. The body was cloudy and uncarbonated with a yellow-gold hue. The nose was heavily hopped and the flavor was as well and also heavily bitter with a lingering fore and aftertaste. The mouthfeel was tingly and medium bodied. The lacing was fair.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2003 22:48:35 | More by hotstuff
Photo of Jwaks
Jwaks

Connecticut

3.08/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a chill hazed honey yellow with peach highlights, half a finger of appealing white foam decorate the top of this brew with a touch of very fine, lively carbonation throughout the brew. An admirable ring of lace clings to the glass just above a dense, patchy foam cap. Lacing, head retention are good, carbonation and color are a bit lacking; other esbs boast a more colorful, fuller body with better carbonation.

Aromas of hop bitters, citrus, lemongrass and an odd grainy, funky character come through on the nose along with very subtle hints of wheat, moldy old cheese and hay. Not very complex and moderately appealing, except for the odd aromas, this smells like a moderately strong engish style bitter.

As advertised brutal bitter hops strike the palate upon entry reinfoced by a bit of pine resin and citrus zest. An interesting mid palate offers more bitter citrus with odd grainy corn and moldy cheese flavor that lasts until the moderately dry, bitter and slightly blowsy finish. The aftertaste features bitter leafy greens and hints of mint with a refreshing citrus flavor. Supporting malt is severely lacking, all the tasty bitters would benefit from well tuned pale malt to reduce the impact of off flavors and give the bitters body and depth.

This brew offers a medium body lending a good grip on the finish though it is very unidimensional. "Brutal bitters" are not totally overwhelming and when paired with the dry finish I was able to finish a pint without a problem.

Overall, a good example of an traditional English bitter.

Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2007 01:42:07 | More by Jwaks
Photo of sethmeister
sethmeister

New Hampshire

3.08/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

cloudy amber with 2 fingers of ecru head

scent is fresh bread with strong grapefruit notes

taste starts nicely with sharp grapefruit hops, a salty tang, and a mineral flavor. grainy wheat flavor. doesn't seem to have staying power though. short dry finish.

mouthfeel is a little chalky

easy drinking mild ipa but doesn't really stand out.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2011 00:51:48 | More by sethmeister
Photo of harrymel
harrymel

Washington

3.1/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle date: unk

Pours a diaphanous golden ale with a finger of light yellow foam. this sticks around a time before falling. Some grapefruit, onion, resin and bicuity malts in the nose. Nothing spectacular. Taste is actually sweet up front with a fairly specfically grapefruit character and some hints of bitterness, but nothing brutal about it. Mouth is medium with moderate carb. A decent enough IPA, average on scale I'd say. Although the flavor is more Pale Ale than IPA for me, I would still drink this in a pinch.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2012 12:40:36 | More by harrymel
Photo of KChardstock
KChardstock

Illinois

3.1/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I bought this bottle a few days ago after having their shakespeare, and chocolate stout. good stuff. but this one not so much. brutal bitter pours great into a a nice fluffy foam. foam retention is good and locks in taste. the appearance is an orange haze with dense carbonation. the orange appearance is followed up with a citrus flavor. The taste is infact bitter, but not very brutal. i liked this beer, but it didn't strike much of a fancy.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2009 20:27:43 | More by KChardstock
Photo of mrasskicktastic
mrasskicktastic

New Jersey

3.1/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A - Hazy orange amber with almost no head, yet impressive retention for said "almost no head." I suppose it is fueled by the intense carbonation visible through the head. No lacing.

S - A very strong hop presence somewhere between pine and diesel. Odd, yet not unpleasant.

T - Strong hops, but not as an upfront pine, rather a very potent (dare I say brutal) bitterness that lingers long. It is definitely of the same vein as that smell. There is a fainter pleasant malt profile that is negligible next to the hops. It is an enjoyable bitterness to say the least.

M - Carbonation is way too strong, thin, and a tiny bit drying from the hops.

D - This is the only beer that I have had to date which simply knocks me out. I must have a reaction to this particular style of hops. Three quarters of the way through the beer I passed out. I like it, but I could never session this. It makes me feel like I've been drugged. So, drinkable for most, not for me. If I drank this with turkey it is likely that I would OD on hops and tryptophan. It should be noted though that I do like the beer. I will have it again, maybe the next time I have insomnia.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2006 20:06:42 | More by mrasskicktastic
Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
RBassSFHOPit2ME

California

3.13/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Not a bad beer by any means but with all the other IPA selections out there...this beer is pretty middle of the road.

A bit floral and the citrus is extremely tame, like it wants to come out just doesn't. Tasted more like a bolder Pale Ale, and somewhat bready.

I'd never turn one of these down but will not be spending any of my money on it.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2012 18:56:58 | More by RBassSFHOPit2ME
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.13/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a tumbler at The Tribes.

I figure I should try some more of Rogue's offerings for some reason. Might as well, right? This one pours a clear sunset brass topped by a finger of light off-cream-white foam. The nose comprises greens, buttery caramel, grass, and some very light leek. The taste brings in more of the same, with the caramel coming off a bit darker and the grass increased ever-so-slightly. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a pretty silky feel. Overall, an okay beer, nothing close to outstanding or impressive, but nothing really bad, either. I'd pass if offered this again.

Serving type: on-tap

12-11-2011 18:34:46 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of Floydster
Floydster

California

3.13/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle from BevMo in Torrance

Very dark for an Extra special brew or a bitter with lots of hops when poured into my chilled pint glass

Smell was filled with lemons and strong citrus

Could really taste the malt as it warmed, smoky and roasty as well

Could drink a good amount of these even though alcohol is high, pretty light for an ESB

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2007 21:27:31 | More by Floydster
Photo of sponberg
sponberg

New York

3.15/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled: On tap, pint glass

The aroma is almost purely hop, with a bit of malt behind it. An intensely hoppy beer - starts with malt and bitterness, and ends like you're sucking on a grapefruit rind that's been dipped in pale ale. Personally, I prefer more of a malt-hop balance - this bad boy leans too far to the hop side for repeated drinking. Given that, one of these from an icy cooler poolside on a broiling hot day could be a nearly religious experience.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2002 07:54:16 | More by sponberg
Photo of avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

3.15/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: When poured into a pint glass from a bottle, this had a bright amber hue and a somewhat thick texture. Not much head to speak of.

S: Rich in hops and some fruits, maybe a bit of malts.

T: I wasn't so impressed with this. While the hops were immediately noticable, there wasn't much else to crow about. It didn't seem all that complex.

M: There was a below average amount of carbonation with this beer. Kind slick finish.

D: This one didn't do much for me. It wasn't the worst I've ever had, but not the best either. It simply lacked complexity. Not without its charms, though.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2008 14:25:49 | More by avalon07
Photo of dmamiano
dmamiano

West Virginia

3.15/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium straw color...good head and lacing.
Not much to be noticed in the nose...some sweet malts, a little bready. Maybe biscuit.
Taste is somewhat malty and bitter..imagine that.
No hop flavor profile, but the bitterness hangs an.
Good mouthfeel. Maltyiness is nice.
Pretty good beer, but not worth the price paid.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2008 22:31:55 | More by dmamiano
Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,777 ratings.