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Brutal Bitter Ale - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,943 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,943
Reviews: 1,080
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 78
Gots: 112 | 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
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Ratings: 1,943 | Reviews: 1,080
Photo of browniewithnuts
3/5  rDev -24.8%

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3/5  rDev -24.8%

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3/5  rDev -24.8%

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3/5  rDev -24.8%

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3/5  rDev -24.8%

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3/5  rDev -24.8%

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3/5  rDev -24.8%

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3/5  rDev -24.8%

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3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of DIPAFAN
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of GolamKovach
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of shaunofthedead
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of MattyD13
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of bacasnax
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of CraigTravor
3.01/5  rDev -24.6%
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.

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.03/5  rDev -24.1%
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.

Photo of Jeffo
3.03/5  rDev -24.1%
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.

Photo of Narbage
3.04/5  rDev -23.8%
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.

Photo of Drinkerofales
3.05/5  rDev -23.6%
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.


Photo of drinkininthewood
3.05/5  rDev -23.6%
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.


Photo of FarmHouseJam
3.05/5  rDev -23.6%
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.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.05/5  rDev -23.6%
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.

Photo of Jwaks
3.06/5  rDev -23.3%
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.


Photo of alienlifeforcecube
3.08/5  rDev -22.8%
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.

Photo of KChardstock
3.08/5  rDev -22.8%
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.

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Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
89 out of 100 based on 1,943 ratings.