Brutal Bitter Ale - Rogue Ales
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Ratings: 1,809 | Reviews: 1,062 | Display Reviews Only:
4.03/5 rDev +0.8%
07/22/05- On tap at the Rogue Ale House in San Francisco, CA
Presentation- From the tap into two sets of 4oz samplers.
Appearance- Darker golden in color, 3/4 inch creamy white head. Good overall lacing.
Smell- Large amount of bitter woody hops.
Taste- Very little malt here. Maybe a touch. Pine hops carry this beer. Maybe a touch grainy?
Mouthfeel- A touch creamy with medium carbonation.
Drinkability- Overall a nice bitter ESB. One of the better ones.
07-22-2005 23:39:19 | More by GClarkage
3.18/5 rDev -20.5%
It has been a slow Christmas day here at Chez Wood, reading a Noir fiction anthology and awaiting tomorrow's fest at World Cafe Live with bated breath. The label mentions "a hedonistic experience" and I could use a little of that right about now.
My pour created slightly better than a finger-and-a-half of off- white head with good retention. Color was a slightly hazy deep- amber. Nose smelled faintly of grapefruit/citrusy hops but with a smoky undertone. Mouthfeel was medium and I got a mild hop bite on the tongue, but not much more than that. This seemed a bit underwhelming for an American IPA and it was not the hedonism that I was hoping for, either. Finish was still slightly bitter, but not "Brutal" by any stretch. I was left underwhelmed by the experience. By the way, I found the date stamp on the bottom - it was bottled on 265 day, or late-September. It was fresh enough that it should have been better.
12-25-2010 22:56:04 | More by woodychandler
3.93/5 rDev -1.8%
Good, but too similar to Dry-Hopped St. Rogue Red. It also doesn't resemble an ESB, but the the style's just a suggestion I guess. The aroma was surprisingly strong, the hops and roasted caramel hit me while I was still pouring. Strong malt followed in the flavor with a lingering aftertaste of citrus tang and paler grains.
07-06-2007 01:40:12 | More by tempest
3.98/5 rDev -0.5%
Poured an amber brown with a nice off white head. You can smell the hops, this beer just smells delicious. extremely well balanced. I really like the slight hop bite this beer had. really nice beer and a pretty nice example of the style. A staple ESB and a darn good one by Rogue. Cheers!!
03-30-2008 16:50:19 | More by barleywinefiend
United Kingdom (England)
4.45/5 rDev +11.3%
Ever since my first encounter with this beer served on cask last year at the BSF bar, GBBF05, my mind has been pre-occupied with the explosive flavour that it showed. No cask this time round at the BSF 06, but I did manage to get a bottle for take-away. No freshness info. printed on the bottle, served cool in a straight imperial-pint glass.
A: translucent dark reddish-orange in colour, coming with a thick layer of off-white foam with ve...ry good retention; constantly gentle streams of carbonation full of medium-sized bubbles.
S: Goldings+Challenger like fruity hops with sweetened citric-zests and tangerine juice, plus juicy peaches and longan-fruits, caramely malts, a fatty and slightly piney body of fresh hops, and a flow of warming alc. behind; smelling more like an American IPA to me, maybe due to the big and aromatic hoppyness on the balance.
T: a tannic, fat, oily smooth flow of sweet-citric hops lubricates the tongue so smoothly, followed in no time by plenty of longan-fruits, marmalade, caramely malts, as well as a flowery honeyish edge of late-harvested Muscat wine hidden down the sides of the tongue... slightly piney and tannic hop bitterness gradually builds up--not harsh but rather soothing, leading towards an aromatic, tangy bitter-sweet aftertaste full of malts and soft hoppyness and lingering forever down the throat...
M&D: the softer-than-soft mouthfeel results from consistently creamy carbonation, on top of a solid body and a full flavour profile... perhaps because it's served at the temp. more like a cask-conditioned ale, the mouthfeel overall really is smooth and great... Not as "brutal" nor bitter as my first encounter last year, yet the end result with an utterly harmonious balance b/w malts and hops makes it a great beer to quaff or sip, depending on one's mood. If given less sweetness on the nose, it could've been an impeccable premium bitter. Top quality stuff by Rogue, firmly in my top ten Premium Bitters.
09-08-2006 00:49:14 | More by wl0307
3.85/5 rDev -3.8%
Pours anice copperish amber with a very finely beaded head and decent lacing. The smell is of very balanced hops and malt, and a slight toastiness from roasted grain. Their is a nice clean floral hop flavor with a good degree of delicious bitterness. Not super citrusy at all. The mouthfeel is a little thin, but not grainy or overly malty. Pretty balanced wih a touch more bitterness than usual for the style, and quite drinkable. Had on tap at the Brick Store Pub.
03-29-2007 18:36:49 | More by Georgiabeer
4.35/5 rDev +8.7%
Bomber bottle, w/o freshness indication. Pours cloudy dark apricot/brown in color, very cloudy. Head is light tan, showing good retention and leaving stringy, fine and well developed lacing. Nose is strongly of minty and oily hops. This a wonderful beer, IMHO. Balanced, but still with a nice hoppy presence They call it "an imperial style bitter" on the label and that hits the mark. Its tastes like a well crafted and highly drinkable Brit. bitter, but Americanized/kicked up. Still subtle, still very drinkable, just with some extra Rogue attitude and zip.
As the label also says "Hedonistic!"
Fine everyday, high quality, good drinking suds
07-21-2005 03:59:59 | More by Billolick
3.23/5 rDev -19.3%
I am drinking a 650 mL (22 oz) capped bottle poured into an Ommegang Witte glass. The ale is slightly below room temperature.
Appearance: The ale is a light orange color. The body of the ale is very hazy to the point that one can't see through it. There is minimal head and a smattering of lace around the ale.
Smell: Funny thing is, when I smell it I don't find anything. No malt sweetness, no hop bitterness, nothing.
Taste: The ale has a fruity taste to it, one that conjures up an orange (?!?). Not too shabby, although there is little malt character and the hops clearly dominate.
Mouthfeel: The ale sits smoothly on the tongue, with the hops giving a fruity bitterness that really takes control of the beer.
Drinkability: Pretty drinkable, although I'd like more malt assertiveness to combat the hops.
04-10-2006 00:44:03 | More by akorsak
3.95/5 rDev -1.3%
A: Pours a pretty hazy orange-ish copper in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation streaming from the bottom of the glass and moderate golden yellow + amber highlights. The beer has a two finger tall sudsy foamy light beige head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.
S: Light to moderate aromas of caramel malts with moderate aromas of floral and pine hops.
T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of slightly sweet caramel malts, though not too sweet. That is followed by moderate flavors of slightly bitter floral, herbal, and pine hops which contributes a moderate amount of bitterness which fades slowly.
M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly crisp and smooth.
O: I imagine when this beer first came out, it was probably one of the most bitter IPAs available but that is no longer the case - though the bitterness is higher than I would expect for the body of the beer. Not too difficult to drink but not one that I would want to have more than one of...
08-25-2014 23:26:30 | More by dbrauneis
3.58/5 rDev -10.5%
(Served in an American pint glass)
A- This beer has a hazy orange body with a big bubbly yellowish-white head. There is a gentle carbonation that keeps the head going for a bit.
S- The smell of big piney green hops has a faint floor dried malt note that has good complexity with a slight caramel malt hint.
T- The light pale malt is quickly overpowered by green pine hops with a faint pineapple note and a bitterness that last for days.
M- This beer has a medium-full body and a nice mouthfeel
D- This is a brutal bitter. It is to bad that all that great Maris Otter malt is washed out by the big hops that punish the taste buds.
06-13-2006 23:03:48 | More by rhoadsrage
4.22/5 rDev +5.5%
Pours a cloudy orange colored ale with a tan head that disappears fairly quickly.
Smell is sweet malt and spicy yeast with a faint scent of pine, citrus and tea.
Taste is a bit malty and quite full of herbal hop flavor from the very start. Faint flavor of pineapple and vanilla at first and then the hops take over. Flavors of pine and citrus and tea. Somewhat astringent, this beer is all about hops.
Mouthfeel is good.
Tasty beer that is highly hopped but never goes too far. Still I don't know that I would spend $6 to drink this one again.
09-08-2005 02:57:42 | More by Zorro
4/5 rDev 0%
The bottle looks its been sitting on the shelf of my local liquor sotre, but the beer inside should be fine. On th the beer:
The fresh smell of hops rise from bottle after its opened, eliminating most of my doubt. Anyways, clug, clug, clug goes the beer into a Harp pint glass, where it has a dark orange/copper glow and a compact head on top. The smell, as I hinted earlier, is of clean, crisp hops. More hops and resin in the overall flavor too. Very clean for the style, with just a bit of toffee and diacetyl. Alcohol is hidden well. The bitterness decreases while the diacteyl increases when the beer warms slightly, making for a more authentic (and tastier) ESB. Yum.
03-27-2008 04:18:27 | More by DoubleJ
4.38/5 rDev +9.5%
To me this is an IPA or definitely a different kind of ESB. Pours a cloudy amber, nice carbonation, small head, some nice lacing. Scents of of citrus, hops. Very nice bitter taste with a nice bite at the end. Medium body. This is very drinkable, will buy more and will recommend to others. Way to go Rogue!
10-27-2005 00:01:07 | More by Wasatch
4.6/5 rDev +15%
Part of the Poitras/VA 2004 vacation.
Enjoyed on cask at Capital Ale House - Innsbrook, Glen Allen, VA
Imperial pint glass presentation. Dense tan 1/2" head over a dark copper brew, and laced admirably. Good hoppy aroma, with the flavor exhibiting an intense malt character for an IPA, which works well with the strong hops. Surprisingly well-balanced in my mind for a product named "Brutal Bitter". Mouthfeel and drinkability excellent.
07-09-2004 11:50:25 | More by ppoitras
3.9/5 rDev -2.5%
22 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, no bottle dating. Pours lightly hazy golden amber color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, orange zest, lemon zest, floral, grass, light pine, light honey, bread, herbal, and floral earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of hop notes with moderate malt presence; and good strength. Taste of grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange zest, floral, grass, light pine, herbal, light honey, bread, and floral earthiness. Fair amount of earthy floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus zest, floral, grass, light pine, bread, herbal, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of citrus/floral hop flavors and moderate malt presence; with a crisp malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and fairly sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice IPA. All around good balance and complexity of crisp hop flavors with a fair amount of malt presence; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.
12-02-2013 04:21:08 | More by superspak
3.53/5 rDev -11.8%
A. Hazel in color with little to no head.
S. Floral notes and some hops in there for sure.
T. Hops are in the forefront here, and not as bitter as anticipated. Its reminiscent of an IPA but its not very well balanced.
M. A little slick on the palate but it leaves a definate zing.
D. I could put down a few of these, not half bad at all.
05-24-2008 14:35:32 | More by Stinkypuss
3.9/5 rDev -2.5%
Ripened apricot that gleams as though it's been harboring an entire summer's worth of sunshine. All this bright, glowing luminosity thrives despite a heavily hazed complexion. Although initially both thick and responsive, I'm beginning to question this head's staying power; unyielding splashes of lace imply it should prove tenacious after all.
The aroma is far, far more hoppy than a typical draft of bitter, not only in proportion but in character as well. The acidic, fruity scent of citrus has me expecting to find piths floating around. This reeks of grapefruit in particular, there's no chance of overlooking that feature. The sharp, citric flavour of grapefruit is unmistakable even to an untrained nose.
As it is in flavour, albeit slightly more faded. Now, however, there's a great deal of lemon-water as well. The forward, assertive hopping denotes this as a true American West Coast offering but the taste of chewy, caramel-laden malts also typifies this as the intended style of an English bitter. Beyond the citrus, indeed, lay flavours of nougat and sticky toffee.
Although it bears 'bitter' in its name, the beer also offers up a fair bit of sweetness. The combination of the two makes for a very balanced beer that is well suited to its 22 ounce serving size. If only local bars were to get it on tap this would surely become the 'regular' of every beer lover in Toronto. Make no mistake, there's nothing 'brutal' about this.
Generally, I feel hops can do no wrong. In this case, they've made a typically plain style that much more exciting with the addition of zestful citrus. A pint of English Bitter is suppose to be a sociable, sessionable beverage - this is most certainly still that, the aggressive hopping and extra couple notches of alcohol notwithstanding.
03-10-2009 02:12:17 | More by biegaman
4.01/5 rDev +0.2%
Poured from the bottle into a Dogfish Head Ale glass. Kind of odd this one has eluded me and slipped my mind, so perfect for IPA day!
A real nice glowing tangerine orange body color. Opaque. A light tan and very creamy three finger head is produced off the pour with some nice clumpy retention. Pretty nice looking brew and settles with a thick one finger collar, and soapy lacing while finishing.
Nose has a nice citrus angle, hints of orange and grapefruit, and herbal tea like bitterness for the hop angle. Some nice biscuity quality too which makes this seem like an English American mish mash of style.
Palate fills nicely. Good hop citrus grapefruit but mellow and in control. Slight tea like bitterness on the swallow, and a little juicy feel in the mouth to go with it. Kind of basic, but all the parts fit. Biscuity malts really are noticeable on this and quite chewy to go along with the hop compliment. Lots of tea like aromatics giving a nice orange pekoe like sensation.
Overall, it seems very old school since IPAs have taken off, but still does the job without question.
08-01-2013 23:14:14 | More by smakawhat
4.03/5 rDev +0.8%
Poured a hazy light copper hue with a one and a half finger creamy white head. There was very good retention and sticky lacing.
The smell featured a light resiny hop with hints of sweet orange and mild pepper. A nice doughy malt as well.
The taste consisted of an upfront sweet orange hop with a solid, yet soft, biscuity malt. Peppery hop at the finish.
The mouthfeel was of average fullness.
Overall a tasty and very well balanced ESB. Very drinkable.
05-30-2007 00:42:28 | More by plaid75
Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,809 ratings.