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Brutal Bitter Ale - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,811 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,811
Reviews: 1,062
rAvg: 4
pDev: 10.75%
Wants: 63
Gots: 58 | 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: 1,811 | Reviews: 1,062 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of 99bottles


4.33/5  rDev +8.3%

Very nice indeed. I tried a pint of this at KClinger's instead of the 15th Anniversary (I think it was 4X4 Pale Ale at the time). I think I made the right choice.
Appearance: Brutal bitter pours a deep orange-brown color, with a thin lace that faded. Looks like I'm in for a treat.
Smell: There is a good smell of hops in the nose. Some sweet malts play second fiddle to the resinous hop smell.
Taste: Mmmm. Smooth. This is one craft brew! The flavors are balanced so nicely in this beer. A sweet flavor of malt covers everything, with the hops dancing around in the mouth. You swallow, and you're left with a satisfying but not puckering bitter. Next sip, yor swimming in sweet malt again, but you notice something more. Absolutely wonderful.
Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Good weight in the mouth, thick enough to satisfy but not so much that it would hurt the drinkability. I'd easily get more if I could. Really well put together. Rogue does it again!

04-01-2004 13:06:38 | More by 99bottles
Photo of Morockm

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

06-15-2013 01:51:43 | More by Morockm
Photo of gmcfarre


4.03/5  rDev +0.8%

12 oz bottle poured into traditional pint glass

A - Pours a nice and cloudy, hazy orange color with yellow tint. Nice white/light tan head that reaches one inch before falling slowly. Nice lacing.

S - Clean floral and citrus hop scent, very Northwest/Pacific scent. A touch soapy with just a bit of toasted malt flavor. Hop dominated scent.

T & M - Mouth puckering citrusy hops with nice carbonation from the beginning. Backed by a medium bodied malt grain flavor. Like the scent, its a bit soapy in the aftertaste with plenty of bitterness and a mild drying flavor.

D - Claims itself as a type of "imperial bitter" and the strong hop component would seem to agree. However, that definitely knocks down the balance that should be evident in the style. Hard to judge, because its a pretty tasty and well crafted beer, it just doesn't meet the style guidelines for an ESB. Should there be an imperial ESB category? Anyway, this beer is very drinkable if you like hops and clean citrus flavor.

01-29-2008 04:02:38 | More by gmcfarre
Photo of swizzlenuts


4.1/5  rDev +2.5%

There is a nice aroma to the beer, its very American hop smelling. There is a nice sweet smell to it as well. The head on the beer is off white with a good retention. The beer is caramel coloured and cloudy. There is a great balance with the beer; there is a sweet malt flavour with a bitterness that comes with it. It is perfect for an ESB. The malts are very tasty! The mouthfeel is creamy and it's really drinkable. ESBs are so perfect for sessions beers!

09-12-2008 03:02:35 | More by swizzlenuts
Photo of Telestic


3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

12-23-2011 06:20:32 | More by Telestic
Photo of Liquoric3


3.6/5  rDev -10%

Nice orange golden colour with a two finger white head. Label on the bottle is simple but I like it. Smell is not as intense as in many other IPAs ( think it is an old bottle) I had but still very pleasant, I get light citrus and pine.
Taste is also citrus, but mostly pine and all tastes come in very mild. Pleasant hop bitterness on the palate not very intense but really enjoyable. Body is medium. I think it is a good IPA for beginners who are new to the style but nothing outstanding.

02-16-2013 14:32:22 | More by Liquoric3
Photo of johunnic


4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

02-28-2012 04:52:15 | More by johunnic
Photo of palma

New York

4.53/5  rDev +13.3%

Wow this beer kicks ass...

Appearance: Hazy light amber with an orange hue. Lots of fiery bubbles shooting up from the bottom of the pint glass. Smaller than expected initial head, though a good lasting lace sticks around forever.

Nose: Big malt and big yeast. Some clove spice. Very nice. Couldn't wait to take the first sip.

Taste: There is so much flavor in this brew. I just love it. Big sweet malts upfront followed by a very significant hop flavor. There are a lot of hops in here! Get some MF!

Mouthfeel: Very creamy on the palate, yet a very noticeable lively carbonation. Pretty cool. Would you believe me if I say this beer has a complex MOUTHFEEL? Well, it does.

Drinkablilty: Awesome. I could drink this all day long. Only problem is that the ABV is up there so watch your back, kids. This aint no session brew.

09-24-2005 08:16:57 | More by palma
Photo of TimHitchings

New Jersey

4/5  rDev 0%

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


3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

12-07-2013 09:12:20 | More by StevenLaValley
Photo of 3Vandoo

Quebec (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +2.5%

A nice orangish beer with a shy foamy and thick head. Limpid clear body with a vivid carbonation.

smell is great, aromas of fruits, citrus, hops, bitter and grapefruit.

Taste is quite similar to the sense as the smell, grapefruit flavours hit you right away followed by hops and then a shy malty presence. The malty caramel flavours actually hit your tongue when drinking, mixing a bit of bitter and sweet at the same time that end with a medium bitterness.

05-08-2009 05:05:03 | More by 3Vandoo
Photo of sevenshubby


4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

07-30-2012 16:23:21 | More by sevenshubby
Photo of sethmeister

New Hampshire

3.08/5  rDev -23%

cloudy amber with 2 fingers of ecru head

scent is fresh bread with strong grapefruit notes

taste starts nicely with sharp grapefruit hops, a salty tang, and a mineral flavor. grainy wheat flavor. doesn't seem to have staying power though. short dry finish.

mouthfeel is a little chalky

easy drinking mild ipa but doesn't really stand out.

07-30-2011 00:51:48 | More by sethmeister
Photo of Sunn


3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

11-20-2012 23:29:53 | More by Sunn
Photo of darklordlager


3.78/5  rDev -5.5%

Pours an excellent shade of orange, with a creamy, light butter colored head that recedes a bit, then sits there.

Smell is of grassy citrus, some sweet fruit-tangerines and oranges. You can detect a bit of malt underlying the great flowery scent. Smells fantastic.

Taste is hops, hops hops. Sweet, citrusy, grassy. Not as much complexity to the hop flavour as I was expecting from the smell...

Mouthfeel is creamy but light.

Drinkability is good. I could drink a few of these. The hop blast makes it refreshing.

I tend to like my bitters a bit more balanced, or, if it's going to be a hop bomb-to have a depth of flavours. This one, while coming off with intense flavour, lacks the complexity I seek. Personal preference perhaps.

12-27-2008 20:41:36 | More by darklordlager
Photo of HoneyLamb


3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

10-25-2013 21:46:03 | More by HoneyLamb
Photo of shagal

Alberta (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

03-07-2012 22:48:17 | More by shagal
Photo of Mlawrence


3.25/5  rDev -18.8%

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


5/5  rDev +25%

12-01-2011 00:25:22 | More by modernartblues
Photo of AdamElb

New York

4/5  rDev 0%

09-05-2013 23:20:00 | More by AdamElb
Photo of rjvanston


5/5  rDev +25%

11-16-2011 03:15:53 | More by rjvanston
Photo of WeissBoy

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

03-25-2013 03:59:16 | More by WeissBoy
Photo of SetarconeX


4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

I was sorta avoiding this one until I'd tried all of Rogue's other brews. Just didn't seem appealing to me. Boy, was I ever wrong. This is, in fact, one of the tastiest brews I've had in a while.

Solid cloudy orange appearance. Almost resembles a mug full of fruit juice. A wonderfully sweet citrusy smell. The smell immediately reassured me that there was something to this particular beer.

And the taste, oh how to describe it. Sweet and citrusy, like the smell would indicate, but Rogue's tendancy to use hops like crazy comes into play in full force here. Bitter? Well, yes, but in a wonderfully good way. A real treat.

Rogue fans owe it to themselves to try this one.

10-16-2003 04:18:10 | More by SetarconeX
Photo of foureyedgeek


4/5  rDev 0%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. According to the Rogue website this is a cross between a Very Extra Special Bitter and an Indian Pale Ale. Pretty unique.

Nice looking beer, a hazy golden amber body capped with a frothy looking head, two fingers easy, that falls to a tight foam, not a ton of lacing, but a decent amount. The head on this one sort of sits like an island, just inside the walls of the glass.

Smells of hops, citrusy, almost like pineapple. A little bit of caramel from the malts make the nose sweet as well.

Quite malty to the taste buds, with the hops coming on nicely as it moves back. A little bready, a little citrus. It has a nice hop presence which is prominent, though not exactly brutal. Not really a bad thing, other than a slight misnomer, I wouldn't call it balanced but its still has a a good malt backbone. The hops linger nicely after you swallow.

Mouthfeel is drying with a slight boost of creaminess from the everlasting head.

Rogue calls this an imperial bitter, which makes it sound like it wouldn't qualify for 'session' status, but I find it to be very drinkable. I guess its just a matter of names. Either way, it's another Rogue beer I'll come back to.

12-10-2006 20:17:12 | More by foureyedgeek
Photo of Brianmerrilyn

New York

4/5  rDev 0%

Enjoyed a sampler of this at the Gingerman without asking after the barkeep saw me using my blackberry to check out the new editions on this site.

A: Color was cloudy off-orange, khaki head with sediments rolling around. Soapy scrappy lace on even a small sampler glass was impressive indeed.

S: The nose was slighly sweet and a good portion hoppy coming afterward and remaining. I betch the boys at Rouge have about 3-4 hops mixed in with this one from first snifin.

T: I should have remembered this was a west coast beer when having a bitter, always thinking English. Bitter at first, followed by citrus, and small malts in the rear.

11-29-2008 03:34:08 | More by Brianmerrilyn
Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,811 ratings.