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Brutal Bitter Ale - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,089 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,089
Hads: 2,068
Avg: 4.01
pDev: 14.71%
Wants: 83
Gots: 170 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Brutal Bitter Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,089 | Hads: 2,068
Photo of MDDMD
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-light amber color with a medium white head and some lacing

S-light citrus and pine, light bread dough

T-citrus and pine with sweet malt and a solid bitter hop finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp and acidic feel

O-a good IPA with decent flavor, but lacks the depth of the more notable in this style

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Photo of NeutroMan
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy orange with an ambue hue. Modest half-finger off-white head faded quickly to a thin cap.

Smell: Piney, floral hops predominate.

Taste: Hops take on a more medicinal quality upon hitting the taste buds. Malt sweetness struggles to break through the hop dominance and balance it out. Rich, chewy mouthfeel cuts through some of the hop blast. About what you'd expect from a well-crafted west coast IPA.

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Photo of KajII
3.46/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

[BThe pour was a light hazy orange with a huge (3-4 finger) white frothy head that was mostly diminishing and had some fair spotty lacing.

The aroma was kind of mild of a light biscuit malt, citrus hops and a cobweb scented yeast with notes caramel and citrus (grapefruit).

The taste was bitter and lightly sweet with a caramel presence early on, and progressed into a nice bitter hoppy taste that was a tad acidic with a note or citrus towards the end. The flavor hung on for a long while with a tasty hoppy citrus finish.

Mouthfeel was light in body and dry in texture with a medium carbonation.

Overall a nice basic IPA that was hoppy, citrusy and quite tasty with an awesome drinkability...
est served in a Shaker glass]

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Photo of Mounty4Life
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap blue dust slightly hazy and orangish
Little lacing and minimum head. Nice hoppyness early in nose but subtle not brutal! Smooth Med bodied easy to drink good aftertaste nice and bitter. Overall more a bitter than ipa but has hops in aftertaste that assures you you have quality beer.

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Photo of DocJitsu
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a moderately hazy orange copper with an off white head. Head retention is average with inticing lacing around the glass. Guiness-like rings, in fact. Grapefruit, lemon, and biscuit malt bouquet. The mouthfeel is perfect for this style: smooth and wet with just the right amount of bite on the back of the tongue and throat. Nice mixture of pine and citrus that has been perfectly and unobtrusively balanced with grain. I really like this one. Very good example of this style. Nice beer. Rogue redeems itself after my disappointing encounter with their Chipotle last night.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Cloudy deep orange. Minimal head. Slight lacing as well.

S-Not very intense. Piney hops. Citrusy too. Hoppy but not eccentrically hopped. Overall, not highly aromatic.

T-Hop forward but not a strong flavor. Lighter bread malt. Fairly clean. Pretty nice flavor. I would't call it 'Brutally Bitter'. Its simply not bitter enough to garner such a title. Still, a yummy drink.

M-Lighter. Good sessionable feel with plenty of carbonation. Crisp too.

O/D-More mild than the name would lead you to believe. Not very brutal. A nice IPA from Rogue; plain and simple.

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Photo of ToddT
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Mildly hazy copper color topped with a fluffy off white heat. Head has some legs and leaves lots of spotty lace on the glass.

S- Hops and more hops, nice grapefruit and pine notes, but not much else can be picked out over the hops.

T- Big notes of citrus, grapefruit and pine hops at first, balanced out in the middle by some nice malt character that keeps the hops in check. Finish is dry and clean with a lingering final note from the hops.

M- Medium in body and carbonation, clean and easy on the palate with minimal build up of oi from all of the hops in this.

O- Another solid beer from Rogue, the 5.8% ABV makes this an easy drinker and the tastes are well balanced. This is not just another hop bomb, and it makes very interesting use of a single hop variety.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.87/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

650ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Acquired at a local Ralph's market.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Not paired with food.

A: Pours a two and a half finger head of fair cream, decent thickness, some lacing, and above average retention. Colour is a predictable transparent copper. No visible yeast particles.

Sm: Hops - both floral and bittering in a seeming equal balance. Clean malts. Pine. Crystal malt. Grapefruit. Citrusy hops. A mild to moderate strength aroma. Somewhat fresh.

T: Piney with rounded fruit citrus ester hops. Some grapefruit, but restrained and only noticeable about the climax and on the finish. Weak cream on the open. Clean malts - some crystal - form the weak foundation. Hops are mainly floral and fruity, with obscured bitterness in the third act. The bitterness is awkardly concealed, lending the third act an empty dull feel. In this regard, it's structurally imbalanced but flavorfully decently balanced. No yeast or alcohol comes through. Built in a pretty standard manner for an IPA. There's nothing unique or special here. Feels somewhat fresh, but I'd stop short of calling it refreshing. Pleasant and enjoyable to drink.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some weak cream. A touch overcarbonated, giving it a sharpness that prevents one from gulping it and inhibits its drinkability. Too thick, likely from poor planning of the malts - which are too present in the flavour profile anyway. Complements the flavours generally at best.

Dr: Drinkable but unremarkable. Rather average for an IPA, but I find it fairly pleasant. If I got it again, it'd have to be on draught. Subdued for the style - which isn't a bad thing. The piney character is a nice touch. There's really nothing brutal about it, but I'm glad they didn't get sucked into the IBU/Hop content war.

Drank okay out of my Guinness pint glass. I couldn't recommend a better vessel. Maybe a tulip?

Would pair decently with spicey food.

A poor candidate for aging.

Low C

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Photo of Dave1999
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark cloudy reddish orange with a foamy white head.

The smell was mostly citrus hops, grapefruits and some pine as well.

The taste is pretty well balanced a good amount of malts to off set the huge hop flavour.

Medium bodied and medium carbonated, very drinkable.

Overall a very good AIPA not the best I've had but still very good.

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Photo of fdig23
3.57/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle.

Appearance: Cloudy orange with a medium sized white head.

Nose: Grassy, slightly sweet, floral, a bit of pineapple and biscuit.

Taste: Organic. Very grassy, with some onion and peppery spice. There's a bit of caramel malt as well. Not brutal at all, more vegetal.

Mouthfeel: a real let-down here. Very weak and watery.

Overall: a really interesting brew in the flavor and aroma categories, I just wish the mouthfeel could back it up. Became really hard to drink towards the bottom of the bottle.

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Photo of jtierney89
2.5/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Coors Light pale in color with a big bright white head. Very very biscuity on the nose. Head dissipates rather quickly leaving behind lots of sticky lacing. Some herbal hop presence is starting to make itself known on the nose along with touches of earthy and nutty scents. This bottles only about 3 months old so I can't imagine the hops being that faded. Pretty muted nose though.

Flavors, like other rogue beers I've had are pretty subdued. Biggest flavor present is the sweet biscuit flavor up front followed by touches of fruit and a moderate hop presence. Medium in body but kind of watery on the finish. Could use a bit more carbonation maybe. Balance is pretty good.

One of the better rogue beers I've had and unfortunately it's still not great. I respect what rogue does but haven't found a beer by them I can really get behind yet, they're all kind of, well like this. With some missing the balance or some just missing flavor marks all together. Drinkable but my money could be better on a different product.

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

22oz bottle poured into a crystal mug.

A: Hazed gold, relatively turbid and effervescent, with a huge soapy and foamy white head that leaves some decent lace.

S: Hops are dominant, good fresh hop and citrus notes, I get some blood orange and grapefruit, a touch of pine and some floral aromatics. Definitely some malt in this one too.

T: Follows the nose, more juicy than bitter with a very balanced malt backbone. Orange, citrus, grapefruit, bready caramel and some tangy wheat, flowers, just a hint really of herbs & pine needles.

MF: Creamy, watery, on the lighter side of medium, decent carbonation with a bit of lingering bitterness and dryness.

O: There are a lot of hops here but its still a pretty balanced IPA. Very drinkable and enjoyable. Try it, even though its a Rogue.

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Photo of BillH200174
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy orange-amber. Very inviting hoppy nose. More aromatically hopped than bitterly hopped. Hops are juicy, citric and fruity; non-traditional in that way, but nevertheless tasty. Malts are not too heavy, but definitely pronounced; some light bread flavors.

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Photo of pburland23
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one as part of a beer themed Christmas gift and I'm finally getting around to drinking and reviewing.

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into my CBS snifter.

Appearance: Beer pours a hazy mild orange with a touch of sediment suspended within. Created about two fingers of fluffy white head. Head lingers lazily before fading into some great lacing.

Smell: Earthy, funky hops. Some piney notes backed up by some biscuity malt. Nothing extraordinary here. Run of the mill IPA aroma.

Taste: Starts off with a lot of hops bitterness up front. Fruity and floral. The bitterness is counteracted by some caramel malts. It's not a palette ruiner by any stretch however it's a good straightforward American IPA.

Mouthfeel: Very drinkable (at 5.8%) IPA with a medium bodied and a pretty standard level of carbonation.

Overall: Rogue has a pretty bad rap here on BA, but I don't really mind Rogue. Brutal IPA is a better than average American IPA. Loads of hops but very well balanced.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.49/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Overall a disappointing bitter brew, but not a bad beer by any stretch. Not much flavor and not much complexity here. Pours light golden with fluffy white head. Aroma of grassy hops, more on the german pilsner side than the west coast aromatics. Flavor follows with light bitter, subdued sweetness from the malts, sligthly dry. Easy drinking, but pretty standard. Perhaps a good start for those slowly trying to get into enjoying bitter/hoppy beers. Not likely to go for it again, but I wouldn’t turn it down if handed to me.

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Photo of greencovesteve
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: firey orange in color, resembles high test gasoline.

S: citrus, oranges, cinnamon, pine, a quite pleasant smell.

T: a flat sweet malt ending with a bitter hop.

M: balanced carbonation makes the intro dance slowy on your tongue, this is followed by a slow dry curling of your tongue to finish. Leaves a nice dry hoppy taste and makes you thirsty for more.

O: great front poarch sipper anytime of the year. The mild sweetness and bitter end makes me want more. A great Rogue beer.

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Photo of UDbeernut
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap at the Dutch with a Brutal IPA handle, pours a burnt orange/amber into the cheater pint capped by an impressive foam white head with fair retention. Head reduces to a lacing cap, and rings the glass. Scent is a blast of floral hop. Taste with well balanced pale malt with enough floral hop presence to make it interesting. Mouth is light and almost a bit watery.

I wish Rogue would not market this as an IPA becaue an IPA it surely is not. Just tell me the truth.... its an ESB.

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Photo of warnerry
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

No bottle date

A - Pours hazy deep straw/orange with three fingers of head and lots of rising carbonation. Head has good retention and leaves some lacing behind.

S - Smell seems to be mostly bready malts. Nothing too intriguing, but not bad.

T - Bitterness up front followed quickly by bread malts and a bit of an iced tea flavor. Doesn't really seem like an IPA. Subtle, but tastes good. Seems undeserving of the name Brutal, but maybe the bottle is a bit old.

M - Medium full mouthfeel that leaves a slight lingering bitterness.

O - A good, drinkable beer, if not particularly interesting. A stronger hop presence would make me more likely to get this again.

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Photo of Mantooth
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at Whole Foods (Chapel Hill, NC) and poured into a Terrapin Brewery pint glass.

A: Pours an impressive dark hazy shade of orange with a dense off-white head and abundant sea-foam lacing.

S: The nose is more subtle than the appearance: some faint floral bitterness & a bit of caramel malt aroma.

T: The taste follows the nose and if anything, is more timid: some orange zest and a little grapefruit bitterness in the end.

M: Slightly creamy beer up front and thin in the finish.

O: A better than average IPA, certainly not anything I'd go out of my way for. I've been underwhelmed by three of the last four Rogue brews I've reviewed.

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Photo of h20mbh
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

standard ipa color (golden orange) with medium carbonation

smells of grapefruit hops, extremely nice smelling, wow

tastes like it smells, not "brutal" by any means, it is just right, extremly nice taste, grapefriut hops (or whatever techincal term it is) comes through so nice, SO NICE!

nice balanace, a little light in density, but not bad

best beeer I've tasted yet, not a beer snob by any means (yet :) ) but this beer is so good, highly recommend, HIGHLY!

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

Poured a 22oz bottle into a pint.

Appearance: a hazy golden color with a big white head that lasts as I drink it leaving lots of lacing.

Smells: a slightly toasted malt balanced with a citrus lemon zest.

Tastes: like the nose insisted. Not a huge hop bitterness, but more than the usual IPA. There is a floral hint behind the citrus hops that is more noticeable as it warms in my mouth.

Mouthfeel: this is a a very well carbonated ale with a nice bitter aftertaste and little to no burn from the 5.8%

Overall: I enjoyed this brew quite a bit. I marinaded skirt steak with some and it was delicious. I will pick some more up again with out a doubt.

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Photo of dbmernin83
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy golden orange with a big pilloy white head that lasts. You want lacing? You got it!
Smells like musty hops. Those stinky earthy, citrusy, almost BO hops.
Could be a dated bottle, could be my tongue post hot coffee, but I feel this should've hit harder than it did. Maybe it's just the name. Good, just not the hop bomb I was expecting. But it could be my fault for drinking hot coffee before so no points deducted.
Full carbonation and a medium light body make this more of a full APA than an IPA, but who cares.

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Photo of TCHopCraver
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes scrawled on 3/23/11.

Brutal pours golden-amber and not see-through into a larger snifter. The head is densely fluffy, pure white, and a healthy two fingers. The carbonation looks excitable and plentiful, and lacing left on the glass is fairly globby and intricate.

Leafy and grassy hops are the first smells my nose detects. A light grapefruit smell is present, along with some earthy, metallic hops. A slight caramel and heavy biscuit malt aroma complements the hop smells.

The taste presents a smoother balance of malt and hops than I thought I would find after smelling the beer. I wouldn't say it's a "Brutal IPA," per se. the caramel and biscuit malt really synthesizes with the hops and takes the alpha acid edge off of them. This is not a blah flavor, but it isn't all that potent for an IPA. The flavor is really somewhat sweet with a leafy aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is smooth and rather creamy for an IPA. It's a medium bodied beer with a slight bitter twinge at the end of each sip. Not exactly your typical IPA mouthfeel.

Bitter Ale is certainly a sessionable IPA that is not overly bitter. However, it's not memorable enough for me to seek it out again. If I saw this on tap at a bar for a reasonable price, though, I would go for it.

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Photo of hosehead83
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. "bomber" bottle into a standard pint glass.
Cloudy apricot in color, with a nice, two-inch head of off-white foam.
Aroma-Sweet toasted malt, fruit
Taste-Biscuit malt,orange, fruity hops, orange rind, pink grapefruit.
To my hophead tastes not "brutal" at all, but nicely balanced and flavorfull. Still, with a name like Brutal Bitter and styled as an American IPA I was expecting a little more "hopsmack" from this brew.

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Photo of CowsCanBark
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz. bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful murky orange hue with an off-white two-finger head. A very nice amount of lacing is left as I drink.

Smell: Citrus, mainly oranges, and flowery hops are the dominant smell, followed by a moderate smell of malts and biscuits.

Taste: A fairly balanced mixture of citrusy hops, flowery hops, and a very noticeable malt character, more so than in your usual IPA. Mild bitterness throughout, as well as a watery finish.

Mouthfeel: Great. It's a moderate body with fairly high carbonation, but it goes down easy and is very refreshing. There is a certain likeable smoothness to it as well.

Overall: An interesting IPA that I'll surely be sampling again. More malty than your average IPA, this one is certainly recommended.

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Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,089 ratings.