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Brutal Bitter Ale | Rogue Ales

1,103 Reviews
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Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-28-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,103 | Ratings: 2,118
Photo of buschbeer
3.33/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a tulip glass

This beer pours amber with a slight haze and burnt orange highlights. It it topped with two inches of creamy, beige head that leaves some decent lacing.

I smell some caramel malt and floral hops.

The taste has caramel malt, tea, and some remnants of hops.

Medium mouthfeel

It smells and tastes like an old one. I will revisit.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a small pint glass: color is dense/opaque copper, head is off white, fine bubbles, head dissipates to a ring.

Smell is nice blend of toasted malt, hints of biscuit, then some lightly bitter hops with neutral flavored aromas, maybe some grassiness.

Taste is similar to the aroma with blend of toast and biscuit malts then more earthy/piney hop flavors. Yeast fruitiness reminds me of Dead Guy notes.

Mouthfeel is nicely bitter for these strength IPA with a good balance in malt flavors.

Overall a solid easy drinking ipa with that noted Rogue yeast.

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Photo of TequilaTom
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper orange with a 1 finger off-white head. Smells of piney citrusy hops and bready malt.
Tastes of pine, slight citrus hops and biscuit. Nice medium mouthfeel with a bitter finish. This is definitely my favorite Rogue beer so far. Only regret is that I didn't try this sooner!

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a pretty orange color, with 1/4" white head on the top. Aroma is pungent bittering hops, C hops.

Taste drops 100 ibu levels, covers alcohol, a little bit of wood pine hop flavors.

Its definitely better than your average Rogue beer, and probably one of in not their best ipa. Been around for a long time, I remember when this was one of the hoppiest beers out there 20 years ago. Maris Otter and wheat keep its body energized.

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.81/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Semi-opaque copper amber with fluffy, chunky tan head of good retention. Resin, biscuits, light peppercorn, light caramel aromas. Pine, spice, citrus seed, vegetal throughout. Brutal indeed. Also bare caramel background, peppercorn retro-olfaction, tea-like finish. Bitter in the balance. Medium-bodied, creamy but still quite syrupy for an IPA, mellow but dense and fine carbonation.

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Photo of gandres
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle from the brewery in Issaquah
Appearance: light amber-orange, hazy and cloudy medium head, lacing
Aroma: Hoppy and malty-strong smell of grains
Taste: very good, hoppy bitterness and very good follow through
Palate: Medium-full body, very nice, sticky creamy, fizzy, strong bitter finish follow through
Overall: very good beer, good to repeat
Drank: March 17, 2016
Happy St Patrick's Day

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Photo of deebo
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

20 oz On tap at pdx
This is an easy drinking malty citrus forward slightly bitter ipa. Nice balance of bready malt with upfront orange/grapefruit hop type aroma followed up with a moderate bitterness. Moderate to high carbonation. Nice beer.

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Photo of microbrewlover
3.34/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This brew pours a cloudy, hazy orange color with a small white foamy head and light to moderate lacing.

The smell is mostly grapefruit along with some floral hops and caramel malts.

The taste is grapefruit malts with an undertone of rich caramel malts and pine malts on the back end. Lots of sticky pine hop goodness from start to finish. The finish is moist and bitter at the same time. Overall a good example of an American IPA.

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Photo of constantine_272
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Golden orange with a heavy court haze. A big thick foam rose up and remainder only in a sticky glass clinging mess.

Bright herbal nose which oak leaves and pine twigs.

This beer a nice mix of light malt and creamy wheat intermingled with a citrus grapefruit rind. A mineral graphite note grows through the middle with prickly carbonation and the bitter orange and grapefruit.

Feel is stingly from the high carbonation but both dry and sweet from the malt and the hops. It really does show a spectrum of texture because of the high carb, high malt and high hops.

Overall a nicely crafted, full powered beer. A touch on the thick dry side for my IPA taste, but still great.

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Photo of BSquaredGolf
3.49/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Piney malts and a long finish. Extremely complex. Not a typical IPA. Very solid beer but wouldn't be a go to if I was looking for a standard IPA. That being said helluva good beer.

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Photo of irrevjim
3.89/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

from a bottle to a beer tulip
look; cloudy golden orange, 1" head, pretty good retention
smell; pine, cereal malt, hint of passion fruit, a little whiskey
taste; bitter hops, some pine, some fruit, nice malt, honey roll, something fresh about it
feel; bitter and smooth, medium body and medium light carbonation, nice
overall; a heavyweight name and vibe for a nicely balanced medium bodied bitter with moderate hops, enjoyable to drink

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Photo of GrumD
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Orange and hazy on appearance, this beer is certainly not brutal but still packs a punch. The aroma hints at the hops inside, covering the usual bases of tropical fruit and piney resins. Taste sings of citrus flavours with a lovely balanced sweet and hop hit. Bitterness lingers but is not overtly strong.

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Photo of Tone
4.01/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, copper color. 2/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of piney hops, sweet malt, hint of pale malt, hint of citrus hops, and slight rye. Fits the style of an American IPA. Mouth feel is sharp and clean, with an average carbonation level and a strong bitterness at first. Tastes of sweet malt, piney hops, citrus hops, slight alcohol, hint of caramel malt, and a hint of rye. Overall, good appearance and blend, decent aroma and body, the bitterness mellows throughout the beer.

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Photo of wuthrichj15
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite breweries. This beer pours a copper color. Big citrus smell. Taste is pretty hoppy, what you would expect from an IPA. Nice orange notes and a pretty bitter beer. I would definitely get this again.

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Photo of psycHOPathy
3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

deep amber with weak ass head
malts, woodsy earthy orange peel pine resin
hops, grass, earth, alcohol, appropriately bitter
meadium heavy body with little carbonation
too ale-y, not much else going on. but as far as ales go at least its relatively complex

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Photo of PorterPro125
4.49/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: 650 mL Bottle

A- Pours a Cloudy Copper-Amber body topped by a 2 finger slightly off-white head. Decent retention.

S- Orange, Lemon zest, and a slight tinge of Tropical fruit.

T- Orange with a citrus hop bitterness. Slight Pine note.

M- Light-Medium body with moderate carbonation.

O- Easy drinking like a Bitter but with the hop notes that you would find in an IPA. Extremely well balanced.

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Photo of Biggiekrock627
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had poured from bomber into tulip glass. Pours a orange with hazy straw yellow with a thin head. Deep citrus smell with a bitter backend taste that overpowers the Flavor.

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Photo of PZBREW
4.49/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Favorite old ipa. It's been a long time. Still very good!
Hoppy, lots and f pine and spices. Looks like ipa should!
Not too bitter still, and easy to drink.
I always have more than one!

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Photo of MrBrach
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Orange / Copper color, cloudy.

Smell: Smells how it looks, tangerine, orange peel, mango, masked undertone of lemon.

Taste: Zesty orange, lemon, bitter.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body.

Overall: As with the other members who have reviewed this, I wouldn't call it a Brutal IPA. Balanced flavor, fruity, and bitter. Enjoyable IPA. I would definitely drink more of these.

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Photo of Troy-Hawaii
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was expecting a really bitter beer, but it actually isn't. It is a pretty smooth and easy drinking beer. Cloudy amber color, fruity smell, slight aftertaste. Overall a great beer.

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Photo of FickleBeast
2.93/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle poured into a Savor snifter. Not able to find a date code on bottle - my bottle has a red label . Pours a cloudy orange color with two fingers of foam that fill the glass and coat the edges as it recedes very slowly. Aroma is fairly subdued. Kind of citrusy, with a hint of melon. Expected more from the nose.

First sip is is mostly bitter. Thin bodied with a lot of astringency. However, there is not much hop flavor, only bitterness. The malt backbone really isn't there, so this tastes mostly unbalanced to me. I'm not sure if this is an off bottle or not, but I really don't understand how this is rated so highly. I will come back and update if the other bottles in the 6 pack are better, but for now I can't recommend this.

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Photo of SWOhio-aquifer
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

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Photo of ChrisMon02
3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A bit confused with this one. Looks good. Nice head and retention. It's not bitter nor is it brutal. Couldn't find a bottle date so not sure how old this is. Smell is like perfume. I get sweet malts and some nice hop flavor but definitely on the sweeter side. One of the better Rogue beers I have had. Would like to try super fresh and compare to this bottle.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rogue Brutal IPA has a thin, white head, narrow lacing, and a murky, orange appearance, with lots of tan, powdery sediment suspended throughout. The aroma is fruity (mango?), with a white bread note. Taste is the same, with mild bitterness and slightly-turned fruit. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and this beer finishes somewhat like a lager in its crispness. A tart ale.


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Photo of Bone53
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an orange copper color with a one finger off white head

Smell: Tangerine, orange, lemon peel, stale malt

Taste: Orange marmalade, floral pine, lemon zest

Mouthfeel: Medium body, just right for the style; Substantial dry, bitter finish

Overall: This bottle is five months old and im surprised how well it has held up. Most IPAs would be a malty mess by now, but i still pick up plenty of citrus and pine in the flavor. I get more of a skunky malt character in the nose. Id love to have a fresh one to compare. I enjoyed this offering quite a bit regardless

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Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,103 ratings.