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Brutal Bitter Ale | Rogue Ales

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Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale
Very Good
2,157 Ratings
Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-28-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,157 |  Reviews: 1,110
Photo of mwearl
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rich copper in color, this bitter has a thick head with excellent lacing. Nothing special about the smell, maybe a little citrus scent. As the name states, a great bitter beer. Not a lot of complexity as the bitter is very predominent. Overall, a great beer in its class of bitter beers.

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Photo of bschmidt_37
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of appenzeller
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy dark gold with big, pillowy white head. Aroma is more subdued than expected, hops forward but not overwhelming. Taste is well balanced for an IPA, discernible underlying maltiness with hops dominating through the taste. Highly resinous and oily taste, mouthfeel is the consistency of a hefeweizen, fairly thick yet refreshing all the same. Average to good drinkability for the style.

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Photo of blaje
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pourred from 650ml bottle in a wide tulip glass. It revealed itself as an hazzy orange with a touch of pink liquid with a nice carbonation. Itforms a nice white head that lasted about 2 minutes, unfortunatly leaving just a ring around the glass. An immidiate citrus smell comes up tinted with pine. Mouthfeel is surprisingly dry with a long aftertaste tha is really nice for hops lover.

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Photo of TheSarge
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a .5L glass, and the brew creates about a three finger rocky thick head, which is off white in color. The body is copper in color and mildly hazy.

The aroma is over ripe orange, some lemon, and a little perfumy.

Taste and feel wise, it's like eating a powdery grapefruit with some caramel mixed into the batch. The sweetness keeps the bitterness at bay. Feels medium in body, dries the palate, but refreshing at the same time.

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Photo of williamherbert
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy dark orange color with a formidable head. I've never tried this one and it looks a bit intimidating. Enticing hoppy aroma.

Strong hoppy flavor. Very strong. The hops sit right at the base of the tongue and stick around for a while. Nice but strong hoppy aftertaste. Although it doesn't have an extraordinarily high %ABV, has a bit of that strong alcoholic flavor. This is a strong bitter. [Note: alcoholic flavor mellows out as the beer warms up.]

Has a thick body, but an easy drinkability. This one will fill you up. Unusually heavy for an IPA/bitter. A sipper, not a chugger. Incredibly dry.

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Photo of deeznuts420
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

a decent example of a sessionable ipa, and that's about it. the bottle cost me almost $9, and with a 5.8 abv your not getting your bang for the buck. good flavors of a typical ipa, especially considering they used one type of hop. just not worth the cheese, as with most rogue products

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Photo of Hoptometrist
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap into a nonic glass.

A- Poured an orange color with soapy white head that left minimal lacing.

S- Lots of pungent grapefruit and orange citrus notes with an underlying malt sweetness.

T- Lots of sweet and pungent citrus hop character, orange marmalade, and oatmeal notes. Moderate to high bitterness.

M- Dry, medium body, prickly carbonation, and pretty smooth.

O- Despite the moderate to high level of bitterness of this IPA, it still did not cut through the sweetness of this beer.

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Photo of SykDoc
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. It pours a clear orange color and forms a 1.5 inch off-white head that slowly reduces leaving a very nice lacing.

The aroma is primarily orange/citrus with a touch of breadiness and caramel malt in the background.

The taste has an orange rind component that provides the citrus and bitterness component. Not real stiff in intensity. A nice caramel sweetness lurks in the backgroung.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a somewhat sharp carbonation. It then becomes smooth and finishes with a light dryness.

Overall, this beer is decent. I wish the intensity had been a bit more intense, but the components are reasonable.

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Photo of Brad007
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy amber/blond color with a one-finger head into my pint glass. I'm not sure if cloudiness is what the doctor ordered here.

The aroma is full of strong hints of citrus and grainy malt. Highly reminiscent of a DIPA due to the strong aroma.

Grassy hops with a slight citrus twist greet the tongue from the first sip. Bitter in more ways than one and it lingers in the mouth.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering citrus hops and grassiness. Not much else here.

It's definitely bitter as hell. Still, not quite the best example that I've seen out there.

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Photo of dedrinker
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This came on tap at my local recently. It was a deep golden, and smelled all lemony with some small pine notes. Taste was very similar with a shy malt demurely hovering in the background. This is really good, though not quite "brutal." A pleasant pint that had good hop presence that asserted itself without being pushy, like this guy Jerko I know.

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Photo of rkhaze
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy golden/amber with a big creamy off white head. Left good lace.
Smells of perfumey hops with the accent on citrus and pine. There was a hint of malt and fruit.
Big grassy hop bitterness. Earthy, resinous and citrusy upfront. Malt and a bit of caramel and fruit show up in a futile attempt to give it some balance. The bitterness really lingers.
Medium bodied with good carbonation and a slightly oily mouthfeel.
Seemed one dimensional, it was bitter just for the sake of being bitter, damn everything else. Not much balance at all, but I guess that's why it's called Brutal Bitter. It certainly lives up to its name.

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Into the pint glass, this beer is hazy orange in color with a 1 cm of sticky head. The aroma is flowery and piney and oh so hoppy. More hops on the palate. There is a bit of balance from the from starchy malt, but the flavor is dominated by the hops leaving the palate dry with lots of lingering hops flavors.

A very hoppy, but drinkable beer.

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Photo of dbmernin83
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy golden orange with a big pilloy white head that lasts. You want lacing? You got it!
Smells like musty hops. Those stinky earthy, citrusy, almost BO hops.
Could be a dated bottle, could be my tongue post hot coffee, but I feel this should've hit harder than it did. Maybe it's just the name. Good, just not the hop bomb I was expecting. But it could be my fault for drinking hot coffee before so no points deducted.
Full carbonation and a medium light body make this more of a full APA than an IPA, but who cares.

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Photo of rwdkosak
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap, presented in pint glass at below cellar temp with a light ecru color head that was present for the first third of the session. A cloudy gold color with a pleasing hoppy nose that honestly was the best part of the beer.

Taste was good, nothing to wow about, certainly not brutally bitter as the title would suggest but not to disrespect the taste, it was simply a good full taste without the 'pop' of other ESB's out there. A drinkable brew, good feel, enough on the palate to be a pleasurable drink but certainly one that I personally would place first on a list.

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Photo of jdense
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at EOU Faculty Lounge, The Big, OR, 8.23.2010.

One finger white head in frosted pint glass (ugh), medium dissipation with above average lacing. Deep gold clear body, some trails of carbonation rising from bottom of glass. A bit of tropical fruit in the nose, caramel and bready malts in the middle, some resiny hops on the backend. Taste mirrors nose, though IMO this may have been an old keg given minimal bitterness. Medium full mouthfeel, good effervescence. This is a really drinkable beer, but the lack of hop presence was troublesome.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.69/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours a cloudy golden orange with a smallish fluffy white head that retains well and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is spicy floral hops, a little melon, and some almost malt liquorish malt that was off-putting (but it did dissipate as I drank).

The flavor is bitter grassy and slightly fruity hops with a nice initial malt backbone. It has a long bitter finish. It's medium bodied and smooth.

Overall, a very hoppy ESB. It matches up well with IPAs, but it is a little pricey ($10.50 per 6 pack). I was expecting more fruitiness in the aroma and flavor.

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Photo of shiu-chan
3.69/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Cloudy amber copper tone with hald inch of cream colour head.
Sweet hop, pine and citrus bouquet.
Medium bodied. Sweet malt, caramel, creamy bitter taste.
Overall, an IPA with some creamy and sweetness.

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Photo of clake
3.69/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TCHopCraver
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes scrawled on 3/23/11.

Brutal pours golden-amber and not see-through into a larger snifter. The head is densely fluffy, pure white, and a healthy two fingers. The carbonation looks excitable and plentiful, and lacing left on the glass is fairly globby and intricate.

Leafy and grassy hops are the first smells my nose detects. A light grapefruit smell is present, along with some earthy, metallic hops. A slight caramel and heavy biscuit malt aroma complements the hop smells.

The taste presents a smoother balance of malt and hops than I thought I would find after smelling the beer. I wouldn't say it's a "Brutal IPA," per se. the caramel and biscuit malt really synthesizes with the hops and takes the alpha acid edge off of them. This is not a blah flavor, but it isn't all that potent for an IPA. The flavor is really somewhat sweet with a leafy aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is smooth and rather creamy for an IPA. It's a medium bodied beer with a slight bitter twinge at the end of each sip. Not exactly your typical IPA mouthfeel.

Bitter Ale is certainly a sessionable IPA that is not overly bitter. However, it's not memorable enough for me to seek it out again. If I saw this on tap at a bar for a reasonable price, though, I would go for it.

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Photo of abar22
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First review! My palate is in its infancy so I will do my best.

A - Poured a hazy orangish-brown with a 2 finger head into a Sam Adams Sensory Glass. Nice lacing all around the glass and kept a small head throughout.

S - All hops in the smell with a subtle hint of flower coming through

T - Hops are all over the taste as well. Malts hit at first but were immediately taken over by the hops. The end has a hoppy dry bitterness to it.

M - Medium body that never feels watery. I feel the tang of each drink well after it goes down.

D - At 6.5% it's not a classic session beer but I definitely could throw a few back while relaxing after work.

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Photo of largadeer
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear amber without much head to speak of, but a lingering, foamy lace.

S: Hops, pine, citrus - this beer smells great.

T: Lots of hops, bitter grapefruit, lemon zest. A straightforward brew, but delicious all the same.

M: Medium-bodied, bubbly carbonation, extremely refreshing.

This is one of my favorite Rogue beers. While it's not as complex as some of their others, the flavor is delicious and the aroma very enticing. A great "thirst-quenching" beer.

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Photo of parintele
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TheBrewo
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We pour a pumpkin colored brew holding a two and a half finger head of creamy off white bubbles. This shows great retention, leaving sticky, honeycomb lacing down the glass. Carbonation appears moderate. There is a definite haze throughout, with flecks of yeasty sediment from the last quarter of the bottle. The nose gives clean pale malts, fusel booze, lightly browned red apples, marshmallow sugars, cloudy muskiness, bright lemon, and sticky pine for hops. There is a high sweetness in the form of tart citric candy and bittering hoppy rind, but in the sickly sweet kind of way. Warmth brings light plastics, a chalky grittiness, and more floral hop aromas. Our first impression is that the advertised bitterness delivers, with the feel giving surprising airiness. As we sip, pale and caramel malts, with soured chalkiness, meet with bittering floral and grapefruit hops. Booze comes to the peak, with a pale wash of gritty malts, mineral, bready yeast, and those same bittering hops. The finish takes an interesting turn, with the hops quickly becomes subdued by a mineral water wash, more pale malts, light phenolic plastics, and floral notes of hops without the bitterness. The aftertaste breathes of light lactics, plastics, yeasty muskiness, mineral, and faint spiciness of earthy, soapy, and citric hops. The body is lighter, and the carbonation is medium to high. The bubbles don’t prickle the palate as much as coat and pad it. There is good foam, cream, slurp, and pop on each sip, with the lip left with a brush of froth. The entire sip is airy and light. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks nicely.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the drinkability due to the interesting design of the sip. The bitterness expected came all at the start of the sip, with a bit of flow through the center of the mouth. By the finish, however, most of the bitterness and overt hoppiness was washed through by waters and a sweeter malty mash. In this sense, you get all the bitterness of a “brutal IPA” but not the intense flooring pucker through the aftertaste and feel. This makes the beer very drinkable, and keeps you sipping easily throughout.

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Photo of TheFlern
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smell: Hoppy bitterness that invites you to take a sip.

Taste: Very balanced between hop and malt notes. Nothing really sticks out which makes this beer taste like a beer instead of a hopfest or sugar rush of a malty beer. Its hoppier up front and finishes with malt but is very balanced.

Mouthfeel: This beer just feels good in the mouth. The texture is what you would want from an ESB, not to thin and not to thick.

Drinkabilitly: A six pack of this would get you perhaps a little too drunk. However, this is a good beer that I wouldn't mind having again.

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Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 3.98 out of 5 with 2,157 ratings
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