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Brutal Bitter Ale - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,949 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,949
Reviews: 1,082
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 78
Gots: 114 | 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: 1,949 | Reviews: 1,082
Photo of Stoneman78
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at the Rogue Public House in San Francisco:

a- pours a cloudy dark red/amber, with small, white, creamy head and fair lacing throughout
s- Wow, what a great blend of hops and pine scents, really impressive aroma that is not too overwhelming
t- Taste too is dominated by pine and citrus flavored hops, some sweet malts in the background as well, slight warming alcohol presence
m- full-bodied with light carbonation, smooth dry finish
d- Strong red ale that is not too high on the abv, i could definitely spend a night drinking this beer, the red ales have really been the only Rogue types that I have been overly impressed with (including the St. Rogue Red), I would buy this beer again if I found it in San Diego.

Photo of Drinkerofales
3.05/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This bottle is still labeled as Brutal Bitter, so it may be old?

Pours murky orange amber, with a huge off-white head with nice lacing and unfortunately, a fair amount of sediment.

Smell is of sweet caramel malts, slight bitter floral hops, and soapiness.

Taste is smooth and mild, certainly not brutal. Some fleeting piney bitter hops in the middle and a clean finish.

Feels creamy and easy to drink.

Overall, this barely qualifies as an IPA. Flavors are all on the weaker side. No bite, no punch, low abv. All this may be attributed to a possibly old bottle, except the abv. All the rest is understandable, but the low abv is just criminal.


Photo of CMOrak
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of gkunkle
3.46/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light amber color, definitely on the darker side of IPAs. Head is about 1" in my imperial pint glass. Retention is okay, leaves a little lacing. Smells of citrus and pine hops, pretty standard for this area, not really catching any malts. Taste is dominated by grapefruit/citrus hops, pine hops play second fiddle, and a bit of malt is in the background. Mouthfeel is medium, good amount of carbonation. Overall, a decent beer, glad I tried it, but it's a bit spendy and there are other northwest IPAs I enjoy more.

Photo of FirstBrewsoon
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Rootdog316
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Cloudy cider orange. The aggressive pour yielded almost no head. Yeast sediment was floating throughout.

Aroma: Sweet flowery hops.

Taste: Citrusy hops and sweet malts, but not an over abundance of either.

Mouthfeel: Thin, yet silky.

Overall: Highly drinkable, and I would love to find this on tap. It's flavor profile reminds me of a sessionable double IPA. Definitely worth a try.

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

I-- rated this one straight down the line.
From the initial pour, which was ok, to the almost absent detectable nose, to the mouthful and aftertaste, there was not a lot I can praise about this beer, but at the same time, I could not find fault with it.

To me, it could be the stepping stone for someone who has been used to the normal 30 /36 packs of canned beer to craft beers

Its a very easy beer, totally drinkable.

I intend on using this beer as a transitional beer for people who dont know what craft beers is all about. A good way to learn

Photo of HoneyLamb
3.75/5  rDev -6%

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

Appeared a slightly murky, heavily carbonated, soft-orange and yellow color with a thin head that dissipated quickly. Aromas of alcohol, malt, and hops. The flavor was as expected for this style with a nice balance between malt and hops, though hops grow in strength as the session continues. Crisp and flavorful with a hoppy finish. A hint of fruit comes out in the finish as well. Interesting and enjoyable, but too thin and hoppy for the style. I would definitely enjoy another, but not if I was in the mood for a bitter or ESB.

Photo of zapahoppa
4/5  rDev +0.3%

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

Twentytwo ounce brown silk screened bottle. No dates.

Deep burnished orange colour. Hazy, with fast moving carbonation. Topped by an impressive off white head. Foam is dense & retains very well, leaving plenty of sticky lace on the glass.

Some biscuity malt aromas lie beneath pithy citrus aromatics.

Plenty hoppy - loads of citrusy flavours. Malt is muted, and overall the flavour is just "plain jane." Medium bodied, rugged carbonation.

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

My experiences with Rogue beers have left me a little disappointed. However, this one is right on.

Hazy, unfiltered, unpasturized. Looks like apple cider. Not much in the way of head retention or lacing. Tasting this beer has provided me with one new sensation. Bitter, bitter, bitter. A little overpowering, but that's the point. I really cannot smell many of the floral tones that were there on the first sip. Taste damn good.

First experience with this type, I like it.

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

A: Copper, amber, and orange--the color is a combination of the three. Head is pale beige or tan with amber hints--it lasts for just a bit and recedes to a moderate film over the surface. Minimal lacing.

S: Hops, period. Piney, citrus, and slightly floral hop aromas. Some grapefruit, as well. That's about it--hops dominate the aroma (but in a good way).

T&M: I think I'm getting turned onto hops in a big way... It's got a bitter citrus and piney flavor. I can detect the malt now in the background--but only barely, as it sort of off-sets the full bittering power of the hops. The flavor profile isn't as complex here as some of the darker beers I enjoy, but it's still good. Body is on the light side of medium with a balanced (not oily, not smooth, not astringent) mouthfeel. Lots of carbonation dances across the tongue--further unpacking the bitterness and flavor of the hop profile of the beer.

D: drinkable because of it's balanced bitterness. Some ESBs are too damn bitter to be overly drinkable, but this one hits the spot. Very sessionable, especially on a hot day. Similar in character to Terrapin Rye Pale Ale, but slightly more bitter.

Photo of mrjez
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of chugamugofsud
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of TimHitchings
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of mtnwesdew
4/5  rDev +0.3%

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 dragomni
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

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

A color as if you've burned amber with a thin but dense tan head that laced. Hops and grapefruit on the nose, quote powerful and fills the senses well. When it first hits your tongue you thing it's going to be more sweet and acidic but then the bitter clobbers your senses into submission. Almost exclusively when I've offered this to people they've noted it has more kick and that they like it. Some metallic tones as you work your way through the glass. Hops kick on the finish too. It was reasonably carbonated and you won't notice the warming on a cool night.

Photo of dwtyler
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of CUbeerfan
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of hyuga
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Ieatlambfries
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of raulazzer
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

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Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
89 out of 100 based on 1,949 ratings.