Brutal Bitter Ale | Rogue Ales

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding
1,108 Reviews
Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,108
Ratings:
2,137
Avg:
4.01
pDev:
10.47%
 
 
Wants:
93
Gots:
213
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,108 | Ratings: 2,137
Photo of scottum
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Better on tap than bottled. This is truely an awesome brew. Finally a bitter than means bitter. The hops are fantastic! Finding this on tap in Boston is a hophead's dream. Very balanced. A bit of sweet malt does the balancing trick quite nicely. The real show however is the hop hop hop hop fest.

 296 characters

Photo of ToddT
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Mildly hazy copper color topped with a fluffy off white heat. Head has some legs and leaves lots of spotty lace on the glass.

S- Hops and more hops, nice grapefruit and pine notes, but not much else can be picked out over the hops.

T- Big notes of citrus, grapefruit and pine hops at first, balanced out in the middle by some nice malt character that keeps the hops in check. Finish is dry and clean with a lingering final note from the hops.

M- Medium in body and carbonation, clean and easy on the palate with minimal build up of oi from all of the hops in this.

O- Another solid beer from Rogue, the 5.8% ABV makes this an easy drinker and the tastes are well balanced. This is not just another hop bomb, and it makes very interesting use of a single hop variety.

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Photo of jbennett1919
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice golden yellow with a nice one finger head.

Smell is of nice floral hops and grapefruit.

Tastes absolutely great. This beer should be called an IPA and not a bitter. Taste is of hops and grapefruit. Solid finish!

Mouthfeel is pleasant from start to finish.

I did not expect a solid IPA to come out of this 'Brutal Bitter' bottle; I was taken off-guard, but for a pleasant surprise. I think this is probably my second favorite Rogue brew behind the Juniper Ale.

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Photo of dreadnatty08
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light orange amber color. Bottle conditioning gives it a real hazy translucency. Head is minimal, not much to speak of. Aromas are dominated by I believe floral and citrusy American hops. The description of the beer claims its made solely with crystal hops. Hops are dominated in the brew with an intense flavor and bite at the end. Slick in the mouth, carbonation is medium, a great mouthfeel. A bit heavier than a typical IPA which I suppose is all it sets itself apart from that style. A joy to find locally though limited, and with a high price tag at $10 a 6er. Something I would love to try again but most other IPAs would offer the same experience.

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Photo of RJLarse
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought a bomber of Brutal Bitter in a neighborhood grocery. Poured in to a pint tumbler.

Pours a pale copper color and is cloudy. Frothy two-finger off-white head is very resilient, dropping rings of lace along the glass all the way down.

The smell is fairly strong, with a citrus grapefruit aroma.

The taste is dominated by sweet caramel, with a mild bitter finish. Not as bitter as the name implies.

Mouthfeel is full-bodied but not cloying. It has a great smooth presence on the tongue, while still exhibiting a little carbonated zip.

A very drinkable brew. It's tasty and sessionable. I could drink a lot of this stuff it it was around.

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Photo of TheBear11D
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1pt 6oz bottle

Pours a cloudy yellowish orange color with a long lasting cream colored head with good lacing.

Smells strongly of pine hops--an impressive overpowering aroma of hops. No malt is present in the nose.

No surprise here, but the hops dominate the flavors here. I am picking up grapefruit mostly with orange and pine hops also present.

Medium body with perfect carbonation to compliment the intense hops.

Great brew! Definitely something to have again when I need a punch in the mouth of hops.

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Photo of EatsTacos
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear copper colour with a one finger white head that laces nicely.

Aroma is very hoppy, I would have thought that cascade was being used but Rogue has actually used Crystal hops, which are very aromatic. Spicey and floral at once without the citrus character that cascade would give.

For an ESB this is very classic american and differs from an english bitter in a few ways. The taste is very piney and floral and showcases the hops much more than the malt, which is bready and grainy. Not a lot of sweetness at all, the aftertaste is quite bitter.

Medium bodied, with a crisp and clean carbonation.

 612 characters

Photo of Beernoisseur
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hardly what I would call brutally bitter, this is actually an excellent beer. The bitterness is there, but clocking in at only 59 IBUs, there is a lot of bitterness left on that spectrum. Pretty lacing, sudsy head. Yellowy amber, with a TINY bit of haze. This reminds me of a really beefy session lager. there's obviously a lot more bitterness, but some of the same light citrusy elements, with a touch of sweetness, and good 'ole bready, toasty maltiness. The smell was pretty simple. There was nothing that I didn't expect. A touch of citrusy scent, but mostly just toasted malt. There was a tiny bit of mint? I don't know.

All in all, a great beer. I'm glad I had it, and I would never turn it down in the future.

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Photo of MUTINY
4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Quick review. Nicely balanced, slightly darker than expected. Drinks a bit light without too much hops. Everything here works together so well, very drinkable.

 162 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Copper / orange in color with a nice 1" head and decent lacing developed through the drink. The aroma is floral and slighlty fruity. The flavor is great as malt and bitterness are all over this, and some mild fruit tones are detectable. The bitterness level is brutal as the label says - and it's great !

Very smooth and slightly dry on the finish. Medium bodied. Bitterness lingers forever on the tongue. Absolutely a great beer to sit and have several of.

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Photo of John1985
4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cloudy amber color with a white head that has nice lacing down the glass. Good piney hop aroma, flavor is nicely balanced with a lively hopped flavor. Very balanced with malt and not overpowering in the hopped flavor. Smooth aftertaste & drinkable! I could drink 3 or 4 without a problem. A very fine ale but not very brutal, I was expecting a little more bracing bitterness.

 375 characters

Photo of phunknerd
4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ye Gods, a monster among us! This is, as has been said numerous times above, a big, scary ESB. (Although I don't disagree totally with the comparisons to IPA.)


Appearance: It looks slightly like the o.j. of satan. Cloudy, light-bronze, and I noticed some sediment at the bottom of my glass. (Did I get a bum bottle or is it actually unfiltered?)


Smell: Not the strongest of aromas, but I smoke, so this is probably not my strongest suit. Hints of citrus are about all I can detect.


Taste: Here we go! A massive blast of hops, citrus, pine, and something else I honestly can't put my finger on, are only partially ameliorated by a little hint of malt at the beginning. Sort of like an apology for the delightful ravaging to follow.


Mouthfeel: Slightly astringent, but surprisingly clean and pleasant. A pleasant bite, all double entendres aside.


Drinkability: I rated this somewhat lower simply because it just doesn't seem feasible to drink three or four at a time. It's an absolutely first-rate beer, but one's taste buds need a rest after a bomber.

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Photo of Brew33
4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had never heard of this beer or read any reviews before purchasing. Rogue has a reputation for making good beer but I wasn't expecting this. Wow, this is an exceptional beer. Incredible.

It is tremendously well balanced, smooth, complex, earthy, hoppy, and sweet. This is my beer nirvana. The mouthfeel was nice, it smelled slightly sweet but not too sweet. The taste is wonderful.

I am just discovering some of the beers you longtime BA's have been enjoying for years this could be a staple in my house. I certainly recommend this brew to anyone.

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Photo of PorterPro125
4.49/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: 650 mL Bottle

A- Pours a Cloudy Copper-Amber body topped by a 2 finger slightly off-white head. Decent retention.

S- Orange, Lemon zest, and a slight tinge of Tropical fruit.

T- Orange with a citrus hop bitterness. Slight Pine note.

M- Light-Medium body with moderate carbonation.

O- Easy drinking like a Bitter but with the hop notes that you would find in an IPA. Extremely well balanced.

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Photo of PZBREW
4.49/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Favorite old ipa. It's been a long time. Still very good!
Hoppy, lots and f pine and spices. Looks like ipa should!
Not too bitter still, and easy to drink.
I always have more than one!

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Photo of mrcarterxxl
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rogue brutal bitter

pours a cloudy amber hue with small bubbles ans a thin white head.

smells of peaches,mandarin oranges and bergamot.

tastes of oranges, grains of paradise,hops. theirs a orange peal essence on the back.

theirs a full mouth feel with small bubbles and medium carbonation

this beer has a exotic taste to it not really expected a real must buy.

cheers!

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Photo of CortexBomb
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a lovely off reddish brown and hazy with a massive head. The initial smell is hoppy floral with a hint of citrus in the background.

Taste is not anything that I'd term brutal at all though, this is one smooth drinking heavily hopped ale! The taste starts out with a healthy dollop of hops with a tad of pine, and then switches over to a pungent ruby red grapefruit with smooth malts also present, and then finishes with a tingly, yet not overstated amount of bitterness that hangs around for a bit, but doesn't wear out it's welcome.

Mouthfeel is medium decent, it's definitely 'right' for the beer, but I generally like em thicker. Drinkability is not an issue with this, some bombers are a war to get through, this one ended up polished off in pretty short order, Brutal Bitter is definitely on my 'buy again' list!

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Photo of AleBop
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm impressed by this IPA. Very clean and distinctly bitter flavor will have me buying again. IPA's are my ales of choice and I'm always looking for another good one to add to my choices. I tend to like quite hoppy ales and Stone IPA is my standard purchase available everywehre I shop. Lagunitas IPA and Pliny The Elder are topping my list of favorites at this time. Enjoy Hop Stoopid too.

 390 characters

Photo of n0rc41
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured beer into a pint glass from bottle.

A= Great copper penny color with good head, creamy white 1" head or so.

S= Aroma is nice pine, bread smell.
T= Great taste I love it. nice bitterness, but with some low pine and caramel. doesnt linger really at all on the palate.

M=Mouthfeel is great nice smooth, carbonated just right. doesnt linger..

D= great drinkability I could easily down a few more.

I bought this from world market(only place I can find good beer in this town) Its a great overall beer, Great taste color and aroma, Taste is perfect. I Just thought it would taste a little more bitter, for being "brutal bitter" name beer

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Photo of beertaster13
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a refreshing beer. Pours a nice orange amber with 2 inch thick head that is an off-white cream beauty. The smell is of a nice english butter with toast and a great floral smell that will linger in your thoughts for a lifetime. The taste is a perfect blend of sweet and sour, it is incredible, some beers have it some don't, this beer goes great with shellfish in my opinion, very good and very consistant, if you want a solid esb this is the one

 450 characters

Photo of SWOhio-aquifer
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer fits my palate so well.

Why: Uh.. It is just good. Kind of like dead guy with a little less malt a touch more hop.

Balanced-yes. Bitter-no.

Used to be my go to. I remember drinking a ton of it one summer building kayaks and other wood working endeavors.

Just something about it. I recently picked up a six pack. It been years since I have had.

Still great. Should be up their with dead guy but the name throw people a lot. Kind of like the saying don't judge a book .; you know the rest.

 510 characters

Photo of FormatKid
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Packaging is the standard 22oz silk-screened bomber from Rogue. I like these bottles. The bitter citrusy hop aroma assaulted my nose as soon as I opened the bottle. I poured this out into a standard tumbler pint glass. The body of the beer is a dark, rugged shade of amber, almost leaning towards a brown shade. The body is somewhat lively with carbonation and the head is sticky and leave fat clumps of lace on the glass on the way down. Nice, piney, citrusy nose, backed up solidly by caramelly malts smells. Taking a sip reveals a nice, brutal even, smack of hops across the tongue. Across my palate the hops register mainly as a flat pulsating bitterness that registers thickly with a resinous pine presence. The malts attempt to make their presence known but are quickly slapped back into place. The malts are definitely there but cannot stand up to the assault of the bombastic hops. Hot damn this is a good beer! I love single hopped beers because now I will definitely know when I taste crystal hops. Chalk another one up for Rogue.

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Photo of WAP
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy copper with a very clean, one-finger head that dissipates, with only faint trace trace, over the first few sips.

Smell is quite nice - caramel-apple with a just-right sweetness.

Taste is quite a departure from the smell, with a firm dose of hops adding some grassy elements and a nice bitterness, fading into a biscuit malt flavor on the back end.

Mouthfeel is nice, creamy. Overall, this is an exceptionally drinkable offering.

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Photo of foxbat2500
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle from Bevmo.

A = Orange copperish. Like a new penny as others have said.

Smell = Maybe I am hard of smell today, but there is not much here. Very faint.

Taste = Very nice. Orange and pine & biscuit. Like a nice orange scone. Nice bitterness. Warm alcohol feeling at the end.

M & D = I would be happy to drink this all night.

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Photo of Shaw
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another near-perfect brew from the masters at Rogue, this beer will teach you that you don't need a variety of hops in a beer to have an amazing character. Brutal Bitter uses only Crystal hops. And brother, that's all you need.

Take a big whiff before drinking. Ahhh, amazing! What a hop aroma. And note the aftertaste. A friend described it perfectly: grapefruit.

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Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
4.01 out of 5 based on 2,137 ratings.
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