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Brutal Bitter Ale - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,765 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,765
Reviews: 1,060
rAvg: 4
pDev: 10.75%
Wants: 60
Gots: 49 | 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:
**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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-28-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,765 | Reviews: 1,060 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of alex021224


3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

12-24-2013 03:57:45 | More by alex021224
Photo of kflorence


3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
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!

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2011 01:51:28 | More by kflorence
Photo of dwtyler


4/5  rDev 0%

08-02-2013 04:31:29 | More by dwtyler
Photo of winomark


3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy medium copper with a light frothy and sticky bone-white head.

Aroma: Hoppy, hoppy, hoppy. Good citrus and bitterness in control. Awesome!

Taste: Slight malt is attacked by massive hop bitterness and dryness. Spicy hop finish. My kind of brew!

Mouthfeel: Flavorful, bit amazingly light. Hoppy dryness throughout. Nice, but needs more body, IMO.

Drinkability: A great beer for a hophead. Good bitterness, but still slightly balanced. Hunt for this one if you love hoppy bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2004 22:30:10 | More by winomark
Photo of PerHops


3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

07-08-2013 01:48:41 | More by PerHops
Photo of Tpsauer

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

02-26-2012 23:35:43 | More by Tpsauer
Photo of Vyronian

Ontario (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

12-23-2013 13:36:41 | More by Vyronian
Photo of Elprico


4/5  rDev 0%

12-01-2013 00:26:19 | More by Elprico
Photo of TimHitchings

New Jersey

4/5  rDev 0%

12-29-2013 02:11:34 | More by TimHitchings
Photo of BigGold


3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

02-26-2014 01:22:22 | More by BigGold
Photo of Mit

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice pour with a very long lasting head. Nice amber cloudiness in the glass.

Smell was hop heavy with the expected citrus notes present in the front with a slight sweet finish.

Taste was not nearly as hoppy as the smell would suggest. Again hoppy in the front with a nice malt finish. Very balanced. A nice lingering bitterness finishes it off in keeping with the name.

Mouthfeel was somewhat light when you realize that this is a somewhat strong brew. I found it thick enough that it didn't seem to get watery as it sat, but it wasn't syrupy either. I think it was perfect.

Drinkability....I could drink these all night.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2009 03:19:31 | More by Mit
Photo of gunnerman


4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pint glass, looks is very reddish brown with a nice foamy head that leaves some lacing on the glass. The smell, this is where this comes alive, it smells very hoppy with citrus smells of oranges that are not ripe just yet. The taste is very bitter, I can taste earthy dirt, maybe some cypress tree bark as well, very strong and rich and leaves a good after taste as well. I enjoy this brew just for its sipping behavior, I love to sip one of these after a good meal. Great job Rogue on this fine brew, nothing else like it.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2006 00:20:09 | More by gunnerman
Photo of RenoZymurgist


3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear copper with a thick white head that subsided slowly. The aroma is a blend of citrusy and almost noble hops with some malt sweetness that is more toasty than caramel like with a fruty ester touch to it as well. The flavor begins with a smooth slighty sweet, toasted malt flavor that gets quickly overtaken by a rush of a citrusy, earthy hop bitterness. The malt and hops flavors intermingle very nicely reminding one of a well crafted English Bitter but the hops are definetly at American levels and the Gravity is higher than a normal ESB as well but this beer is very well crafted. The mouthfeel is crisp lending a refreshing quality to an otherwise overpowering hop bitterness, the carbonation is good as well as the head has nice retention but the beer dosen't have too much carbonic bite. Very drinkable this beer is good but it's high gravity makes it hard to call a bitter but if you drink it in place of an IPA then you will be pleasently surprised.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2005 23:04:46 | More by RenoZymurgist
Photo of techdiver


4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy deep amber with a modest head that dissipates quickly.

Nice hoppy, grapefruit smell.

Taste is fairly well balanced, not as heavy on the hops as you would find in an IPA.

Medium to full bodied in the mouth, a pleasure to drink.

A very tasty and drinkable brew.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2006 22:45:19 | More by techdiver
Photo of Shiredave

New York

4.83/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The more I drink this beer, the more I like it. I just had to come back and raise my scores. Its nice to have it available in 12oz bottles now, tho I never had a problem drinking 22oz of it.

Bright copper with a firm white head draping the inside of the glass. Great retention ; 1/2 in. head kicks up w/ a few swirls. Slow, sparse carbonation.
Intensley flowery and piney aroma, rich vanilla and warm jelly sweetness sucks your nose into the glass.
Flavor is sharp up front - grapefruit and bitter spruce tips take a juicy bite on the tongue and dominates. Crystal is apparently one potent cone! The hop outshines the underlying grainy malt, but doesnt overpower it..
Medium body struggles to balance the FULL Hop flavor. Honey and bread notes come thru faintly but cant gain a foothold against all the hop going on untill the finish where malt sweetness coats the mouth surounding the sharp bittering.
I love this beer. Cask conditioned, it was near perfect having more balance, mellower bittering and fuller, softer mouth feel.
Amazing "One Hop" showcase Ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2003 00:12:54 | More by Shiredave
Photo of TheMistler

District of Columbia

3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a yellow orange, slightly hazy. Good sized frothy white head displays very nice retention and good, spotty as well as drapery lacing.

Citrus filled nose, but pretty sweet, as well. A smell of marmalade, pink grapefruit. Some biscuit malt hovering in the background.

Pink grapefruit to the taste, as well. More bitter in taste than I would've thought from the nose, though the hoppiness is no surprise. Some caramel.

Medium bodied. "Round" feeling from the carbonation, and then it crisps up, with some prickliness. Easy drinking, I could sit with some of this for a while. Though I would not say it was sessionable, what with the speed with which I downed a few and the slightly high ABV for a session brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2009 02:49:16 | More by TheMistler
Photo of Mlawrence


3.25/5  rDev -18.8%

09-22-2012 03:43:58 | More by Mlawrence
Photo of BigGruntyThirst

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev 0%

04-01-2013 02:26:10 | More by BigGruntyThirst
Photo of koolk


4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

US trip Aug-Dec 04

Nice rich amber colour with a strong full head that persists. Good lacing and medium carbonation.

Nose is very hoppy with some pine like notes backed up well by sweet malt and even a touch of roasty grains. The floral notes are very present by the end of the pint.

What an aptly name beer. This is very bitter and it took me a little while to get used to is. At first it is a stinging bitterness but soon evolves a good malty backbone to try and off-set the hops (only slightly though)

A little too bitter for my taste buds (therefore drinkability is not so high), but still a quality brew from Rogue (as always)

Serving type: on-tap

12-07-2004 06:10:08 | More by koolk
Photo of OlRasputin989


3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into pint

A:alot of hazy sediment. fades from old gold to a dark copper color. big fluffy head with good retention leaves strips of lacing.

S: biscuity, caramel honey-grapefruit peel, some nice floral notes, maybe some butterscotch

T: praline, grapefruits, honey. fades with piney grapefruit, peanut butter, orange peel, and some spice

M:very lively carbonation in a medium full body. leaves mouth dry and resinous

Overall, a nicely done ESB, although i thought the malt could have been a little more present. Of course, Rogue was generous with the northwest hops (not a bad thing). Blends the traditional English examples with the aggressively hopped style of American craft brews.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2009 00:32:11 | More by OlRasputin989
Photo of electtodefer

New York

3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

02-28-2012 19:23:38 | More by electtodefer
Photo of Ieatlambfries

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -25%

02-28-2014 19:19:05 | More by Ieatlambfries
Photo of Troyone


4.65/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured with a three inch head that dissipated to half an inch with a good proportion of lacing, has lots of carb action, and a wheat apple juice hazy type of color.
Light cookie toasted caramel malt smell with a resin orange hoppy aroma.
A light sweet and moderate bitter taste; toasted caramel malt and pine orange background with hints of butterscotch, honey, and light cola.
Has a medium body, dry and slightly watery texture, soft and lively carbonation, and although this has a slight metallic feel the finish is chalky smooth.
Maybe the best ESB that I've had in a bottle, definitely a session beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2005 03:25:54 | More by Troyone
Photo of Byeast


3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: orange copper , hazed . creamy off white head

Smell: lots of raw hop smell , some citric/tangerine like hop and piney aromas.

Taste: very hoppy , citrus rind , some sweet maltiness , fairly bitter but not quite overpowering , lots of raw hop flavor

Mouthfeel: a bit creamy , full

Drinkability: a good brew to grab if your in need of a hop injection.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2006 04:31:00 | More by Byeast
Photo of TimH

3/5  rDev -25%

05-19-2012 18:20:40 | More by TimH
Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,765 ratings.