1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Brutal Bitter Ale - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

1,899 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,899
Reviews: 1,071
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 71
Gots: 97 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Brutal Bitter Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,899 | Reviews: 1,071 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ralree
3.46/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Really cloudy orange, nice head, good retention and lacing. 1.5 fingers.

S: Sweet yet toasty malt, weird fruit smell - almost a little too sweet - it's turning me off from it. Hops come through nicely - very flowery. Some spices in this one as well.

T: A nice hop flavor - really aromatic, but with a big bitter bite. Bitterness lingers on the tongue after swallowing. Malt is nice and toasty, and there's a lot of banana flavor in this. Now, the banana flavor isn't coupled with an overwhelming sugary flavor like in some other beers, so it's tolerable, but i would have preferred some more citrus. The alcohol makes itself known, but it's tolerable. It's a little too much banana and not enough citrus for me in this style to balance out the bitterness and alcohol.

M: Good carbonation, slightly astringent, a little oily. Medium-heavy body.

D: It drinks alright - goes down pretty easy, but the banana flavor gets old pretty quick. I don't find it very refreshing. There's definitely some alcohol in this one, which slows my normal quaffing pace. All in all though, not too bad.

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

Appearance: Pours a great looking pale amber with copper edges. There's a bit of chill haze. It's light tan head starts out rich and full, and slowly shrinks down to a solid cap that leaves a thick ring at every sip mark.

Smell: Like the bottle brags, this one has a stupendous hop aroma! Lots of citrus, most notably grapefruit. Under that is a solid foundation of the distinct, sweet Maris Otter base malt.

Taste: The flavor is firmly bitter, with the Crystal hops being the center of attention from beginning to end. Again, there's lots of citrus, with a huge amount of grapefruit. A bit of pine resin as well. The clean bitterness tends to overshadow the rich Maris Otter malt a bit, but it still manages to break through the seemingly impenetrable wall of hops. Finishes like it began, bitter and hoppy, along with a slighty burnt character and a touch of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body, with a dry finish that borders on astringent.

Drinkability: Yet another solid brew from Rogue. Basically an overhopped ESB, this is a beer I could drink on a regular basis. It's slighty alcoholic finish and strength prevent it from being any kind of session beer though.

Photo of Chrixsus
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of berkshire413
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of sheenisgod
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of benclimbs
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty solid, pours very hazy with not a lot of lacing.
Smells pretty good, though nothing too crazy definitely some apples on the nose.
Taste is definitely where it's at on this one. Nice ripe fruit, like maybe apricots with a really good bitter hop profile.
Pretty drinkable with nothing too noticeable in mouthfeel.

Photo of mempath
4.89/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle poured into my 'mini' hybrid pilsen/ale half-pint glass

pours a cloudy, orange marmalade hue with slighty off-white head...beautiful on top (pancake batter), but sides reveal big, active carbonation...creamy lacing lingers nicely. very pretty

smell is wow, oranges again...citrus sweetness, mandarin...then it shifts to the bitter/sour grapefruit sense, though retaining that sugariness...did i say wow?

like Stone's Ruination, there is nothing really ruining OR brutal here...that is, those are key words for hop heads and warnings to those who don't like the in your face qualities of hoppy brews. the taste is tremendous, unique...perhaps the best Rogue bottling i've had yet. definitely not over hoppy, but this is art, a true craftbrew and the balance is key, making this (along with near perfect mouthfeel of creaminess and crispness) a very drinkable, session brew. i can see this with food, but i wouldn't want to share the palate with anything else. a new favorite for me! should've gotten the bomber...

edit: one more swallow reveals a torrential downpour, a heady constellation of hops all over the mouth, like some sort of supercollider experiment. savor this. or take huge gulps. you can't escape the unique character of this bottling. gotta compare this to Torpedo AND FF Hopfish as potential everyday beer.

another sniff...this is the Earl Grey of brews...;)

Photo of DocJitsu
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

Photo of xav33
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rogue Brutal Bitter
22 oz bomber
Moderate pour in an English pint
Recent brewing, enjoyed 04/07.

Poured a slightly hazy dark amber with a large frothy somewhat diminishing white head with fair lacing.

Smelt of moderate caramel, pineapple and lemon.

Taste was upfront strong bitter spruce and grass and moderate sweet caramel followed by a harsh spruce and dry leaves and light sweet citrus on an average length finish.

Palate was light to medium bodied, creamy, softly carbonated and strongly astringent.

Overall, this is a very satisfying beer in terms of taste. Strong flavors and aromas, brutally bitter as expected. Good stuff.

Photo of wvbrewcrew
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of whoneeds8
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of raulazzer
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of Greels
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Ieatlambfries
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of abcsofbeer
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22ouncer. The color is a hazy orange that hints at copper with a good deal of carbonation. The rising bubbles indicate the opposite of the style. The head is fairly thin, light tan in color, and leaving no lace to speak of.

The aroma is sweet and citrusy, but not overpowering like an IPA. The taste is excellent and very well blended. I enjoyed the well hopped taste that accompanies the mild fruit flavor and citrus oil. Overall, this beer goes along with my favorite style, the IPA. Very good beer from Rogue.

Photo of johunnic
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of twizzbeatz
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of ToddT
4.47/5  rDev +12%
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.

Photo of IPx
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Dmann
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoyed this beer, and if it were not $9.00 a six pack I would get this way more often! I loved the color of this beer, the outer edges were a nice medium gold color, but as you got to the middle it became more of a dark copper color with nice bubbles and a great head as well. The smell was inviting with its light hop oil and sweet fruity scent. The taste was excelent and definantly a imperial bitter. The hops were assertive but not overpowering and blended well with the malt. The aftertaste was lightly sweet and made me grab for another drink very quickly while the nice carbonation tickled my tounge and made this beer very refreshing. A great choice and highly recommended!

Photo of AWS2111
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of poskok
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of hanco005
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz single bottle purchased at Cellar’s at Larp and Lex, poured into a pint glass

A—light copper and cloudy liquid with a tan 1 inch pillow top head, fades down in a few minutes, moderate bubbly lacing is produced

S—citrus and floral hop tones with some sweet sugar malt notes, it’s all balanced well for an inviting aroma

T—moderate bitterness with floral flavors as strongest, some mild sweetness lingers until the bitter dry finish wraps this one up nicely

M—a little rough, but it adds to the experience, medium bodied, lighter carbonation

D—a solid ESB, very refreshing…I would have this again and again.

Photo of RandyBoBandy
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of AleHunter805
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
89 out of 100 based on 1,899 ratings.