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Brutal Bitter Ale - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,921 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,921
Reviews: 1,077
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 76
Gots: 107 | 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: 1,921 | Reviews: 1,077 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheKingofWichita
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazed yellowish orange color with a thick off white head and a little lacing. Smells of piney hops and not much else. Hops dominate the flavor as well. Pine and some citrus here but not much else. Mouthfeel is medium with a fairly strong carbonation. Drinkability is medium.

Photo of TheBear11D
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1pt 6oz bottle

Pours a cloudy yellowish orange color with a long lasting cream colored head with good lacing.

Smells strongly of pine hops--an impressive overpowering aroma of hops. No malt is present in the nose.

No surprise here, but the hops dominate the flavors here. I am picking up grapefruit mostly with orange and pine hops also present.

Medium body with perfect carbonation to compliment the intense hops.

Great brew! Definitely something to have again when I need a punch in the mouth of hops.

Photo of woodychandler
3.2/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It has been a slow Christmas day here at Chez Wood, reading a Noir fiction anthology and awaiting tomorrow's fest at World Cafe Live with bated breath. The label mentions "a hedonistic experience" and I could use a little of that right about now.

My pour created slightly better than a finger-and-a-half of off- white head with good retention. Color was a slightly hazy deep- amber. Nose smelled faintly of grapefruit/citrusy hops but with a smoky undertone. Mouthfeel was medium and I got a mild hop bite on the tongue, but not much more than that. This seemed a bit underwhelming for an American IPA and it was not the hedonism that I was hoping for, either. Finish was still slightly bitter, but not "Brutal" by any stretch. I was left underwhelmed by the experience. By the way, I found the date stamp on the bottom - it was bottled on 265 day, or late-September. It was fresh enough that it should have been better.

Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For some reason this is called Brutal IPA in california, or at least where I picked it up.

Generous head requires semi-careful pouring. Cloudy dark golden color. Excellent head, excellent lacing.

Bit of hops on the nose, bit of fruit as well. Sweeter smelling that I thought it would be.

Taste is kind of where this beer fell flat. There is nothing Brutal about it, and it really doesn't taste much like an IPA. At least not to my West Coast taste buds. I've honestly had hoppier APAs. Bit of grassy after taste, but luckily it evolves into a sweeter after-after taste.

Mouthfeel is nice. medium-light with decent carbonation.

Drinkable. It's tasty, but not a great representation of an IPA.

Photo of smibroncos
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Poured a hazy golden apricot, nice one finger off whie diminishing head great lacing on the glass.

S. Citrus, hay, bread

T. Big bitterness,but still a nice malty sweetness a great IPA allout yummy nice duration, fruity lemon peel, and pine

M. Medium bodied, good carbonation, dry

D. I find it hard to stop drinking this brew. A superb ale.

Photo of philbertk
3.66/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rogue Ales--Oregon Brewing Company--Brutal IPA India Pale Ale--2010 22 oz. Bottle. 5.70% ABV? 59 IBU's. (4.0 / 5.0) EX-Brutal Bitter reformulated with Dare and Risk Malts, and homegrown hops. Foamy lacy white head. Pretty cloudy bright orange gold color. Fruity floral mild grapefruit citrus front. Mellow sweet creamy malty grapefruit hint crisp golden wheat hint zesty body. Refreshing mild hop spice citrus fruit ester clean end. Sampled 6/19/2010. 2 @ $6.50 Each. Overpriced.

Earlier Rating: 3/19/2010 Total Score: 4.4
Rogue Ales--Oregon Brewing Company--Brutal Bitter. 1999 Release--22 oz. Bottle. 6.50% ABV. (5.0 / 5.0) ESB--Hazy amber red color. Rich earthy floral hop front. Rich malt body with yeast fruit character, but dominated by spicy hop profile that lasts from start to finish. Used Crystal Hops only. WOW BREW! Sampled 4/26/1999.

1999 Release--22 oz. Bottle. 6.50% ABV. (4.5 / 5.0) ESB--Saved for aging from April 1999. Best ESB I have ever taste on tap. 59 IBU's. Sampled 7/1/1999. 2000 Blue Shades 22 oz. Bottle. 6.25% ABV. (4.25 / 5.0) ESB--Starts a clear amber golden. Hazes to a creamy apple cider orange amber. Floral hop front with fruit yeast aroma. Rich lace. Malty fruit body. Good texture and wild flavor. Clean smooth citrus end. Unique. Sampled 10/12/2000.

2002 Industrial Rogue 22 oz. Bottle Release. 6.50% ABV--76 IBU's. (4.25 / 5.0) Imperial ESB. Hazy bright orange golden color. Huge rich earthy floral hop front. Huge pellicle mellows crisp sweet rich citrus pale malt body. Clean hoppy citrus end. IPA-Weizen. Rich tasty hoppy brew. Sampled 6/2/2002. 2005 12 oz. Bottle Release. 5.75% ABV--59 IBU's. (4.75 / 5.0) ESB--Mild lace head. Hazy flecked bright amber orange color. Rich floral yeast ester malt hop front. Creamy earthy rich doughy caramel ester body. Earthy bitter hop spice clean mild citrus end. Yeast amped ESB. Sampled 9/12/2005.

Rogue Ales--Brutal IPA--India Pale Ale--**DARE**RISK**DREAM**--2010 22 oz. Bottle. 5.78% ABV? Calculated from 15 P 77 AA Spec. 59 IBU's. (4.0 / 5.0) Lacy dense big white head lasts. Unfiltered with big loose fresh Bottle Conditioned sediment. Cloudy bright dark orange color. Mellow floral citrus fruit hop front. Refreshing smooth mild sweet fruit creamy hint Mild hop infused spicy body. Soft balanced clean hop citrus fruit smooth end. Subtly hopped rich tasty refreshing, not BRUTAL, IPA. Yeast ester notes enhance & smooth hops. Sampled 12/16/2010. Purchased for $4.99 each @ Fred Meyer--Ballard, Seattle on 12/16/2010.

Photo of DCon
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1st) Enjoyed at the iTap House (Chesterfield) in an O'Fallon Brewery Pint Glass. This was my 5th beer of the night.
2nd) Bought a 1 Pint 6 Fl Oz bottle of this @ the Old Mill Stream (Upper Bar) in St. Charles, MO for $9 and shared it with loldmopar. Poured from the non-marked (no freshness date) bottle into a 20oz Weizen Glass.

Appearance- Orange Color with Thick Cloud and 2 fingers of Head

Smell- Type of Citrus Fruit (Orange or Lemon?), Hops Galore, and Bitterness blended in

Taste- Discovered an extremely hoppy beer with fruit and wide variety of ingredients that hit me tongue (great amounts of yeast and hop)

Mouthfeel- Medium body, nothing special after hits palate but bitterness. Made my mouth pucker afterwards and this made it an interesting beer for me.

Drinkability- Too bitter and hoppy for the others in my group but I enjoyed thoroughly. Rogue has been a great Brewery in my eyes and will continue to be.

Overall- Lighter hop than I remember... Very good, citrusy and glad I was able to find this one again! (different label and bottle on the 2nd try)

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

A: Pour is hazy reddish golden. The head is medium large and compact. Dissipation is slow and leaves nice lacings.

S: Some caramell malt, kind of sweet. But the hops is what this beer is about, at least when it comes to the smell - lots of citric notes, grapefruits and lemons. Beside the floral hops there's also a nice hoppy bitterness.

T: Dry and very bitter at first, then a bit sweet. Caramell malt, and floral American hops - citric and piney at the same time. Bitter hops.

M: Aftertaste holds the bitterness for a decent time. Body is medium and carbonation mild to medium.

D: This is my first Rogue-beer. I'll keep my eyes open for more; more of this one and more of other Rogue-beers.

Photo of Elimination
3.43/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very nice golden yellow with a slight haze, a pretty good thin looking head.

Smell is very sweet, slight citrus, grapefruit, sugar sweet, and slight strawberry

Taste is a subtle bitterness, pine, citrus, vert clean tasting, I have a love hate relationship with pacman yeast, it does great in stouts, porters, etc but with anything else it its a hit or miss it seems.

Mouthfeel is very light, has a slickness that quickly subsides leaving a dry sticky tongue.

This is a pretty good ipa, but there is much better for much better of a bargain out there

Photo of weller1js
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: pours a cloudy brownish-amber, lighter carbonation, light foam with filmy lacing.

smell: light, slight dry bitterness lingers in the scent.

taste: begins very dry, bitterness becomes apparent late in the start, enhancing the dry-hop taste, with a notable lingering in the finish.

mouthfeel: I don't typically review mouthfeel, but the dry bitterness provides an above average sensation that enhances the taste.

drinkability: very drinkable, while the bitterness is the intended emphasis, the dry hop taste helps it achieve that bitter end, unique and palatable.

Photo of tchenery
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice unfiltered ipa. It looks hazy and very malty. It's a deep, rich brownish orange color. Not much head on this one though especially for being a "live" beer.

Smells super citrussy, bubblegum flavor on the nose. It smells a lot like homebrew which is encouraging.

It is really bitter, but not overly bitter, very well rounded. Pretty malty flavor too and a nice citrussy finish.

I'm very impressed with this beer. It has an awesome hoppy punch from the Northeast but doesn't overdo it like you would think.

Rogue Nation.

Photo of papat444
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing here as my bottle says Brutal Bitter Ale.

Thanks to SlovakSniper (ratebeer) for this one. Shared with my wife over our teriyaki salmon with green beans and cucumber salad.

Poured from a bomber with a best before code of M0910 (Unsure of what the actual date is and when i questioned Rogue, they actually claimed that code is a production date so go figure).

Appearance:A very hazy body the color of slightly congealed honey with a massive white head.

Smell: Floral a little, tangerine, some sweetness and lots of malt.

Taste: Juicy fruit, orange/tangerine, strong on the malt with a biscuity character. Hops are evident and the bitterness is low though flavor is still acceptable.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation and a smooth body that might be slightly thin in some aspects though it doesn't detract from a pleasant feel.

Drinkability: A good drinking ale. I'd have it again, especially more fresh.

Overall: I'm not sure how old this really is (you can fault Rogue for that) and it's certainly not brutal but it remains a decent brew.

Photo of StaveHooks
3.54/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy copper with an off-white head with average retention.

S - Toasted caramel malt, orange and grapefruit citrus.

T - Muted orange, apricots, and melon on top of a semi sweet buttery malt. Earthy yeast resides in the background. Slight bitterness starts in the middle and floral hops come through towards the finish.

M - Full bodied and slightly chewy. Good carbonation.

Not as bitter as I expected. Nice aromas but the flavors seem to be a little too buttery. It lacked crispness that I look for in an IPA. There's not date on the bottle so I hope it's not out of date.

Photo of climax
3.91/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice size head formed above a cloudy caramel body. Retention was excellent. Yep, that foam's goin' nowhere.

The nose is more balanced than I was anticipating/hoping. Seems to be too malt strong, perhaps it was sitting on the shelf too long. No date on the bottle.

The flavor is more of what I was expecting, however still tame. Most of the hop character comes from the finish, dry and floral. Cookies, caramel, and malted milk balls come from the nice bouquet of malt varieties Rogue used.

The body and feel are spot on I think. Smooth with good thickness and carbonation bite. The finish is dry, and the flavor none too potent for an IPA, making this one an easy drinker.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a light copper color with a nice white head. The nose brings hops that are floral, citric, and a bit herbal in character. A tad bit of light bready malt in the background. The flavor has some nice hops and a dry earthy character. Good, light, and bitter mouthfeel. Drinks quite well, although not nearly as well as it could given the fairly hefty price point for a sixer of this.

Photo of PhillyStyle
3.45/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Pizzeria Paradiso, Washington, DC:

The beer appeared a nice, slightly hazy deep orange color with a nice white, thick head. The aroma of the beer was good, a nice strong hoppy aroma, but the taste was much different. I felt that it was weak. I expected a very hoppy, bitter beer, but did not get that at all. I would say that it was on par with an average IPA. Not sure what happened given the rating and usually Pizzeria Paradiso beer quality is very good, so I am not sure if it was the beer or not. The beer had a medium body to it and had decent drinkability, but I am sure that would have improved if the beer lived up to its rating. I will have to give this beer another shot at a later date.

Photo of kjyost
3.52/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

No date on 660 mL bottle purchased in July at the LCBO in Ottawa. Poured into a beer mug

Pours a beautiful sunset orange with a gorgeous white head that caps and laces beautifully. Literally nothing more I could ask for from a beer. The aroma though lacks. Initially I got soap followed by a lightly spicy, though mainly earthy hop aroma. The taste is somewhat sweet with a viscous mouthfeel with a bit of hop flavours, and the bitterness comes into play over time. Enjoyable, though not fantastic. At times reminds me of a weak barleywine. Worth having again, though only if I see it, don't seek it...

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.91/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This ipa pours a hazy amber color with very little head. There isnt much of a smell, very weak put some hops ca be distingushed. The taste is much different. As the name implies, its very bitter strong hoppy taste as well, but its actually drinkable. Overall a reallly nice beer.

Photo of champ103
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a lightly hazy amber/orange color. A two finger white head forms quickly, but recedes in a second. Light lace is left behind.
S: Big grapefruit and citrus hops up front. A substantial, but not over barring bitterness. Really nothing else.
T: Follows the nose. Big grapefruit and citrus hops. A substantial bitterness. I can't help but think that a bread and biscuit malt balance would make this exceptional. As is, this does not reach that level.
M/D: A lighter body than I would have thought. Fairly crisp and dry though. Not hard to drink, but nothing that I am going to come back to often.

Not bad at all. Though it is really one dimensional, to the beers detriment. If there was just some sweetness or bread/biscuit flavor for balance this would be exceptional. As is it, this is still very much worth a try and a worthy year-round IPA.

Photo of Brad007
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy amber/blond color with a one-finger head into my pint glass. I'm not sure if cloudiness is what the doctor ordered here.

The aroma is full of strong hints of citrus and grainy malt. Highly reminiscent of a DIPA due to the strong aroma.

Grassy hops with a slight citrus twist greet the tongue from the first sip. Bitter in more ways than one and it lingers in the mouth.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering citrus hops and grassiness. Not much else here.

It's definitely bitter as hell. Still, not quite the best example that I've seen out there.

Photo of taverncast
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

3 out of 5 stars - some confusion over what happened with the recipe - the beer has changed names in the past year, and seemingly even the recipe, although differing sources have differing information on this. We tried both labels, and found a significant difference in the two bottles.

The original label, Brutal Bitter was a drinkable, malty, but very low IBU bitter with a mild hoppy, sweet nose, malt and sugar flavors and a slightly bitter finish.

The new label, Brutal IPA was distinctly different - having a pronounced hop and fruit smell, and heavy grapefruit flavor with melon overtones - so pronounced in fact that the beer took on a wheat beer character.

Check out our full audio review of both beers: http://www.taverncast.com/shows/taverncast-on-tap-02.mp3

Photo of BeerNinja007
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got a pint at Ramuntos in Lebanon NH with two specialty slices of pizza for $9.99.

A: Thin bleach white head, dense and foamy, clings strongly to the glass to form a thick meniscus. Clear honey-colored brew. Leaves decent lace.

S: Good amount of sweet thin malts supporting a moderately hoppy bite of pine and grass.

T: Sugar syrup sweetness, not quite as hoppy as the smell, but very clean so that the hop stands out strong and distinctive. A bit of vanilla appears in the background that balances the hop well without interfering. The hop is a good wide-spectrum mix of pine, grass, grapefruit.

M/D: Thin but creamy, very smooth. Easy drinker, seriously quaffable, I could drink a ton of this stuff.

Photo of montecristo2
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a golden color with a two and a half fingered rocky head.

A good aroma-smells of citrus/grapefruit.

Tasty-tastes of citrus hops. A low IBU for a "brutal" bitter, but I don't care, cause this beer tastes awesome. I do enjoy IPA's, but this is very tasty and extremely drinkable.


Photo of mudbug
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From the bomber into a pint glass, pours a slightly hazy orange with brown tints with a nice fluffy half inch head that sticks around for the party.
Aroma is grapefruit and astringent hops, bitter is the word with the taste following suit, Is a bit creamy up front with tight carbonation that holds the overall bitterness in check.
Easy to drink because of the fine carbonation balancing the grapefruit rind bitterness, a well done brew amd probably my favorite Rogue beer.

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

750ml bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance - The beer pours a slightly hazy gold colour with a decent size frothy bright white head. I can see an average amount of carbonation. There is also some gorgeous lacing and the head lasted for a few minutes.

Smell - Hops, citrus zest herbal/floral notes, are the most noticeable. Also a biscuit like scent and a sugar sweetness.

Taste & Mouth - Mouth feel is just about perfect on this one, a decent amount of carbonation on the tongue. I'm not sure it lives up to its name; as I've had lots of other IPA's that were way more bitter than this one. It is far from brutal; the hop taste is actually moderate - and enjoyable. The hops give way to a citrus sweetness and biscuit/malt flavour, and then I was left with a bitter aftertaste.

Drink - I really enjoyed this beer, and I will keep my eyes peeled for more so I can stock up. It's a nice drinkable hoppy beer.

Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
89 out of 100 based on 1,921 ratings.