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Brutal Bitter Ale - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,942 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,942
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: 1,942 | Reviews: 1,080
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The pour is a bronze-amber hue and is capped by a thick off-white froth. The brew offers a tremendously vibrant fruity dank cannabis sensibility tinged with a hint of evergreen, and it is resting atop a mild sugar cookie malt with just a smidge of caramel. Very well balanced, easy drinking, and lighter in body than the average IPA. Overall, this is a very enjoyable IPA and is one of the top-tier Rogue offerings in my mind.

Photo of chodinheaven
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy orange color with a healthy sea foam head on top. Excellent stickage with a little retention. Pine and citrus hop nose, nice grapefruit notes that smell appetizing.

Nice grapefruit notes in the taste as well, excellent fruity and citrus tastes to the hops. Barley adds a balancing malt that works well with this brew. Its not so bitter as to take away from the excellently understated fruitiness of the hops, making this one go down incredibly easy. The creamy texture of the mouthfeel lends a hand in balancing out the perfect amount of hops, and finally leaving a nice bitter aftertaste that isn't overwhelming. Overall this is a really solid IPA, even if there isn't anything incredibly unique about it.

Photo of darjoh
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle into pint glass.
An old local favorite to Newport Oregon, as well as mine. Anytime I find this in the store I grab at least one, and save for a semi-special occasion. Only found in the 1pt.6oz bottle in the stores, and known as Brutal Bitter in the brewpub. I appreciate this Ale more for the fact it is not widely available, even just 50 miles from Newport.

Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a plain tumbler pint glass at Eli Cannon's in Middletown, Conn.

A: Bright, copper amber color with an orange hue and slightly chilled haze. A two-finger head of white, creamy foams leaves loads of lacing on the glass.

S: Citrusy, herbal aroma of hops meets a citrusy, lemongrass and orange peel scent that's inviting.

T: Sweet-roasted malts throw a bit of chewy wheat at the palate before blasting through with juicy, acidic Crystal hops. Assertive hops last through the finish where a bittersweet rush of fruity malts balances things out, leaving a spicy and resinous aftertaste.

M: Medium-full bodied IPA with great drinkability and slightly, bitter pull behind those 58 IBUs.

O: A really potent IPA at under 6% ABV, Brutal Bitter impressed me. Really versatile drinkability and enough of a hop fiz without tanking the palate. Wheat and pale malts keep things light and moving while letting you appreciate the hop bill thrown into the kettle. I'd certainly get it again.

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

650 ml bomber poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a cloudy dark orange with a finger and a half of off-white head; dies down quickly to a thin layer of foam but leaves some sticky lacing.

S: Has a strong citrus hop/grapefruit aroma.

T: Seems fairly malty for a west coast IPA (which may be why it was not originally called an IPA) but is well hopped with a nice bitter grapefruit finish.

M: The thin side of medium with a nice lively carbonation.

D: Drinkability is fairly high.

Photo of kflorence
3.91/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy, golden amber in color with a perfect, thick, frothy head atop. Carbonation levels look good. Lacing around the glass as you drink. I'm loving the haziness, and the foam isn't overly carbonated; more on the sticky/filmy side. This one is a looker!

S: Not an overly prominent aroma, but a pleasant one. Hops are dominant, seemingly of the citrus variety. There is a little bit of a flower and honey thing going on and something more bready in the background.

T: Lovely, smooth and balanced on the palate. An amalgamation of grapefruit and apricot citrus with a bit of yeast, bread, caramelized sugar and a twist of lemon. The hops are definitely the backbone of this brew, but they are complimented nicely by the subtle, light malts. I can definitely see how others would liken this to an ESB, since it has many similar attributes, but with a bit more of a hop edge. Definitely not "brutally" hoppy nor bitter, but in my case this is a pleasant surprise!

M: Medium-bodied with a bit of chewiness and a good amount of carbonation. Rolls down the tongue with ease with a dry, bitter finish.

O: I wasn't sure what to expect from this brew judging by the name ("brutal" is quite an ambitious word), but it turned out to be a nicely balanced, tasty and quite drinkable hybrid English ESB/West Coast IPA. Of course, Rogue never disappoints and this one is no exception. Cheers!

Photo of AleBop
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

Photo of nickthegun12
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is a good sturdy ipa!!!

red to brown in color with a foamy white head and nice thick lacing

there a smells from the aromatic hops...and nice base malts....slightly fruity

taste is very well balanced the hops don't overpower the beer....the malt comes out well too...ever so slightly fruity on the finish

the feel is dry but not overly dry....carbonation is decent

overall this is a high class session beer....obviously perfected by the rogue brewery

Photo of WillCarrera
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber with redesigned "Brutal IPA" label poured into a pint glass

A- Pours a very hazy golden amber color. The head is really great on this beer, huge and fluffy off-white, leaves lots of nice lacing.

S- You can pick up on a bit of floral, resiny hops and maybe some honey, but the protagonist of the nose is definitely the fruit, lots of grapefruit and other citrus (It reminds me of a toned-down version of the nose you'd get from some of the better DIPAs like Pliny, it's not as good but the comparison is still valid and definitely complimentary to this beer).

T- Not the hop onslaught I was expecting. They're definitely there, with lots of nice floral, pine, and hop oil flavors, but they're balanced by some strong malts, which are bready and light and just a bit sweet.

M- Has a relatively smooth and chewy feel while not being viscous, medium carbonation.

O- I don't know if the term "Brutal" is really appropriate, the bitterness is strong but doesn't slap you in the face like Hop Wallop or Hop Devil do, but this is a delicious brew that is very drinkable because it's so well-balanced. Definitely give this one a try, one of the better IPAs I've had recently.

Photo of hopsolutely
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An excellent beer!

My LCBO imported bottle claims 6.5%ABV - but a remarkably easy-drinking beer. Awesome tropical aroma, followed by an even more enjoyable taste. West-coast citrus and pineapple, with caramelized malt sweetness and a well balanced finishing hop bitterness.

Brilliant bomber that I will track down again, whenever possible...

Photo of bryehn
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, rusty caramel colour with an abundant tan head that leaves a fair amount of lace behind. Settled as a thick collared film. Its look reminds me of many DIPAs

More of a sweet, fruity aroma than a typical AIPA; like cherries in syrup with a thick, bready maltiness. Clementine or tangerine peel citrus.

Strongly bitter up front, with a well-balanced malty sweetness. There is a faint citrus tang too that gives it a bit of pop before going back to bitter. Unassuming, but solid, not sure why they stopped calling it Brutal Bitter.

Fairly thick and heavy on the tongue like yeast at first. A medium carbonation eases it down and somehow it seems to get even more bitter in the finish, but remains tame enough to prevent puckering or dry cheeks.

Well this is like a hybrid of a fruity English ESB that has a slight citrus character like a west coast IPA. It's a blend that works quite well and one I'll seek out again. Probably my favourite out of the 5 Rogue offerings I've tried.

Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip

A: Pours a burnt orange color with a TON of sediment on the bottom. I didn’t realize there was so much in there or I would have prepared my pour better. The head is a spongy white and the lacing lingers forever, very nice.

S: Smells pungent with apricots and tangerines, a bit of fig and sweet, biscuit maltiness. Surprisingly, not a lot of hops in the aroma, but...

T/M: ...they’re in the flavor. They’re the primary characteristic but not “brutally” so, as the name imparts. It has medium carbonation with a fruity citrus finish.

This is one very well balanced IPA, not an overly strong IPA. Well done once again Rogue, well done. *Golf clap*

Photo of peensteen
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy orange/copper colour, one finger off white sticky dense head, good lace left behind. Smell is hoppy, citrus, grapefruit, balanced by a bready malt. Taste is hoppy, light pine notes, biscuit, firm malty presence, slight citrus in finish and aftertaste, dry up front, firm bitterness throughout. Medium weight, medium carbonation, dry and lightly creamy, at times oily and quite slick. Pretty solid, nothing that will blow you away, but drinkable and would have again.

Photo of heebes
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 ml.
Part of the brewery feature from LCBO.

Pours a hazy orange with a thin off white head. Nose is noticeably sweet, notes of caramel malt and citrus. Taste is balanced and not overly malty or bitter. Name is a bit of a throw off since this isn't particularly brutal at all but rather a pretty middle of the road IPA. Some decent bitterness in the finish is enjoyable. Mouthfeel is dry and medium bodied. Overall a decent drinkable beer that isnt overly available in Ontario as of now so very much appreciated to be able to get some for the time being.

Photo of ummswimmin
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this beer in pint glass with a nice T-bone. The beer paired decently with the steak and the warm evening.

On the initial pour I had pretty good amount of foam. It was nice and fluffy foam. I enjoyed sampling this tasty head.

I smelled the grapefruity hops from the pour. Also coming through was a little bit of floral.

It was a nice tan, yellow color with floating sediment typical to the lack of filtering.

The flavor was good, but it didn't taste "brutal" to me. I expected an over the top IPA, but it seemed pretty subtle. There was some bitterness as the beer warmed. As another reviewer noted, this is more like an ESB.

The beer is good, but the expectations of brutal bitterness is over stated.

Photo of MaryMoTu
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this bottled as 'Brutal IPA' so I was expecting my eyes to water from the hops, but it turned out to be really well-balanced, quaffable, and almost more like an ESB than an IPA. Poured out caramel gold with great head retention and some lacing. Subtle sweet notes on the nose. Very smooth flavor with crisp citrusy tastes well balanced to hints of sweet malty flavors. Not overly bitter at all. Light to medium and smooth mouthfeel. Overall a delicious, drinkable beer. I would definitely place it more firmly as an ESB than an IPA.

Photo of liamt07
3.81/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from the LCBO, 650ml into a pint glass.

Pours a hazy rusty orange, with a big offwhite head of decent height. Webbed sticky lace and medium retention. Nose is orange, citrusy with some pine. Substantial malt backing, sugary/sweet biscuit malt, light caramel also. Taste has some grapefruit, pine and orange again from the hops, lesser malt than the nose yet still sufficient to provide some good backing on this. Adequate carbonation, and a good feel to it. Bitterness is about right, and not overdone. A servicable and qutie drinkable IPA.

Photo of paxkey
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rogue Brutal IPA

pours an orange/honey color. very cloudy. large fluffy white head.

typical west coast aroma. grapefruit citrus hops, something sweet under that maybe honey.

drinks silky. the mouthfeel is very pleasing. no harsh carbonation. this beer drinks great.

bitter with a little sweet going down and lots more bitter on the follow up. cannot taste the alcohol at all.

very well made drinkable delicious beverage.

Photo of jrenihan
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark caramel, with a thick and full slightly off-white head.

The hops are quite noticeable in the nose, a little bit soapy and a lot of grapefruit. Very aromatic.

Taste is fairly bitter, particularly at the finish. Citrus is present at the beginning, but is not as present as in the nose. Sweet malts are noticeable at the finish. but are overpowered by the bitterness from the hops. A fairly good beer, but not great, and not as nice as the smell.

As for mouthfeel, beer is surprisingly light bodied, and feels a bit "dead"- not sure how to describe that any more (it is not a carbonation problem, which is moderate and fine), but it is not the sort of beer that I enjoy just swishing around in my mouth.

Overall, decent but not on of my favourite IPAs. Not very well balanced, and not particularly complex.

Photo of mithrascruor
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Pours a very cloudy/hazy dark copper/amber color. Off-white head with very good retention and a bit of lacing. Nice citrus aroma with some underlying semi-sweet malts. Nice, slightly acidic flavor. Good citrus, but not too bitter; quite tasty. Medium-bodied with light carbonation.

Easy to drink and not brutal at all. Instead, very tasty and nice to drink. A nice surprise discovery.

Photo of PicoPapa
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap. Pours a burnt amber color with an inch of frothy head. Tons of lacing. Smells floral with some aromas of tea. A bit of citrus, maybe a bit of apricot. Interesting aroma all around. Flavor is alot more citrusy than it smelled. Sweet tangerine as well as floral. Its called" Brutal Bitter" but it isn't all that bitter. Very drinkable. This is a very interesting IPA. Its aroma and taste are hard to pinpoint. Mouthfeel is a bit thin for an IPA but its still very good. Overall, I enjoyed it and it is a different IPA than I usually get. Worth grabbing again.

Photo of edonovan0
4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy dark orange, amber. Nice thick 1.5 finger head. Not much visible carbonation, mostly due to the deep hazy colour. Head holds nicely and leaves a nice lacing.

S - Subtle summer fruits. Peach, Apricot styles, which is different to the usual tart citrus esters, like the Grapefruit and Pineapple, that are common. Balanced well with the malts.

T - Really well balanced. Not in your face as the name suggests, but very nice. There is a hop bitterness there, but is quite smooth.

M - Quite full, but not too heavy. Carbonation is there. Smooth

O - Very nice. As some have stated, not a traditional IPA. I think of it more as a hoppy ESB. Would drink many of these.

Photo of DNICE555
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle of IPA on Cinco De Mayo - couldn't do corona, dos equis, or negro modelo. We did listen t mariachi music and eat tacos though.

Hazy orange/yellow body. Creamy white head.

Orange, grapefruit, citrus, bread, sweetness.

Citrus hops, orangey sweetness, grapefruit bitterness, malts.

Clean mouthfeel. Low carbonation. Thick feel for an ipa.

Still haven't had a Rogue beer that I haven't liked.

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

Bottle of Brutal IPA, no dating. Slighty hazy body that is light orange/yellow in color. Good two finger creamy white head that dissipates and leaves a little lacing on the glass.

The aroma features mostly orange and a little grapefruit citrus notes. A little sweet, bready malt in the background.

Solid IPA flavor of citrusy hops leaning toward the sweet side of the citrus family, like orange and tangerine. A little grapefruit and floral hop flavor in the background. Malty finish that blends it all together very well.

Light to medium mouthfeel that finishes cleanly and is easy to drink. My first Rogue beer, odd since so many are available in my area. Now I'm sure to try more because this is a solid IPA.

Photo of DIM
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: This was a hazy, blood orange tinted amber color. It poured with a smallish, short lived fizzy head. I left some significant chunks in the bottle.

s: Citrusy tea comes to mind. Oranges and maybe some grapefruit rind backed some sweet pale and caramel malt with some distinctly tea like spiciness.

t: Mirrors the smell for the most part. Lightly sweet up front with flavors of tea and caramel before the more flavorful than bitter citrusy hop finish. There was a long, lingering spicy tea flavor.

m: On the smaller side with gently fizzy carbonation.

o: This does kind of straddle the ESB/IPA line and it makes for an interesting beer. Good stuff.

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Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
89 out of 100 based on 1,942 ratings.