Brutal | Rogue Ales

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2,318 Ratings

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly known as Brutal IPA, Brutal Bitter Ale, and 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.

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: 2,318 |  Reviews: 1,132
Photo of hurleymanvw
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving Type: 12 oz bottle

Pours a nice hazy orange in color with a two finger whitish head. Nice malt flavor with a good bitter bite. Flavor is malty and slightly yeasty. Fruity/citrus hop flavor stays with you. Not too bitter but very drinkable...good finish.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of a bottle this beer was an incredibly cloudy, raw honey color. The head was tan, one-finger large and both retained well and left good lacing. The aroma was very hoppy with a pleasant citrus/pine balance and some caramel malt in the background. The flavors were equally well balanced with just enough of a slant towards the bitter side. It started with an enjoyable caramel malt note that was then tempered by the bitter pine, orange rind and grapefruit flavors. In the background one could detect a biscuity malt presence. The mouthfeel was smooth and slightly oily, the carbonation perfect, the body medium/full. A rich, well rounded and rewarding beer that stands as one of the best examples of a true ESB widely available.

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Photo of BMan1113VR
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very nice brew. Aroma is a pretty combonation of floral hops and cassis with a touch of raspberry. The appearence of this fine bitter is a barely hazy medium orange with an average sized off-white head with great lacing. The taste rounds out a bit bitter and fruity. Goes down quite well.

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Photo of rm0312
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle into my own Rogue pint glass - Loved the hoppiness of this beer as well as the bitter (but not too bitter) finish. Something of a citrus hint in there somewhere too. Great with steak or just about any hearty meal. One of my favorites...

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Photo of DuqTroops
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - hazy copperish color.

Smell - lots of hops and sweetness to the aroma.

Taste - smooth and refreshing. Out of an evening of beer tasting, this was one that I really enjoyed.

Drinkability - loved it, very smooth yet refreshing. definitely drink this again.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%

Pours hazy dark orange with a white pillow head that subsides to a nice sticky froth in a minute or so.
Smell of pineapple, tangerine, pink grapefruit, faint peach, really faint earthy hop, honeyed malts, caramel, bit of pine, bit of spicy leafy hop.
Sweet citrus upfront, a bit like orange jam with lots of peel in it. Some pineapple, some juicy peach, lemon zest, faint mango. Caramel, lightly toasted malts. Pine, some earthy grassiness starts to develop, with a clear English hop note attached to it, aside for a faint dankness/spicy leafiness. Nice and bitter.
Aftertaste is hoppy, but just lightly fruity, with an earthy bitterness lingering. Bit of malt sweetness to mellow things down.
A really nice IPA with a pretty cheeky English innuendo. Nice balance, refreshing, tasty and smart.

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Photo of brewnut11
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy orange color. A thin tight white dreamy head. Nice hop aroma , smells cutriusy, but not over powering aroma. A very strong bitter bite up front and in your face. This is not for the faint hearted, and the beer has a nice body to it. One of the better hoppy beers I have had and I could drink it all night. This beer is deffinately on the outer edge.

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Photo of nicefix
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wicked copperish amber color. Cloudy with a thick chunky off white head. Very attractive.

Big oily piney hop aroma. Quite pleasing.

The taste reminds me of a big American IPA. Very hoppy, floral, piney. With a malty bitter slightly sweet finish. I love the taste.

This is a fantastic beer. Right up the hophead's alley.

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Photo of Luigi
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy copper color with a big pillowy off head head. The aroma is full of piney citrusy hops. The flavor is full of oily hops. A strong bitter hop is matched with a sweet malt. The body is smooth and slighty cheawy. Finishes of bitter and dry. The hops linger on the tongue for a while. This brew is a must for any hop head. One must have a strong palate to handle this one. I loved it!

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Photo of allergictomacros
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a hazy copper/orange with a thick, creamy, taupe head.

S - Fresh citrusy tangerine, caramelly malts.

T - Grapefruity hops come on strong with an assertive bitterness. There's some fruitiness and toastiness but both are muted. Very much a hop-centered taste.

M - Medium bodied, and not overly carbonated. Feels a bit coarse and chewy on the tongue.

D - Very IPA-like. Hops are much more assertive than expected, and very drinkable.

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Photo of LittleCreature
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - 4.0
Pours a thumb's thickness of cream coloured head that gradually reduced to a thin layer over a hazy body of deep amber-copper with lots of suspended particles.

Smell - 4.0
Surprisingly subtle and restrained, sweet and cake-like upfront, juicy citrus fruit and pine needles from the hops taking over towards the end.

Taste - 4.5
Flavours of sweet biscuit and toffee, orange zest, spicy and piney hops, moderately bitter and very well balanced overall. Alcohol warmth comes on late, but never overwhelms.

Mouthfeel - 4.0
Fine and lively carbonation gives creamy mouthfeel to this full bodied ale. Becomes a little syrupy with warming, so better relatively cold.

Drinkability - 4.0
Not as sessionable as the best ESBs, but still quite moreish and definitely a beer I would come back to.

To date this is the best beer from Rogue that I have had the pleasure of drinking. A very tasty ESB that I would rank ever so slightly below the benchmark, Fuller's ESB. Still, a wonderful beer that I would be happy to drink anytime.

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Photo of kevkize
4.21/5  rDev +6%

Photo of drtth
4.21/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Samuel Smith's nonic imperial pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As poured the beer is slightly hazed apricot color with a ¾" ivory white head with lots of large and small bubbles. As the head slowly recedes there are partial sheets and patches of foam clinging to the sides of the glass. Throughout most of the beer sipping leaves lots of speckled lacing and the rings and sheets of foam still cling to the sides of the glass.

Smell: The aroma is fresh, lightly toffied and lightly citric, with hints of grapefruit and a bit of pineapple mixed in.

Taste: The flavor is rich with sweet toffee malt character nicely supporting the hops that dominate and provide grapefruit bitterness tinged with pineapple.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied and soft with gentle persistent carbonation that continues to feed the head in dozens and dozens of small streams of bubbles. The finish begins with the sweet blend of hop flavors and sweet toffee from the malt. Then the malt fades from the scene leaving the grapefruit and pineapple to take over. Next the pineapple fades away leaving the grapefruit. As that fades all that is left is a dry bitterness in the back of the palate.

Drinkability: This is a very drinkable beer. Each sip leads on easily to the next and each glassful invites another. I can certainly see myself having this beer again in the future.

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Photo of Skillet
4.21/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of ASirahSyrah
4.21/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of smibroncos
4.21/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Poured a hazy golden apricot, nice one finger off whie diminishing head great lacing on the glass.

S. Citrus, hay, bread

T. Big bitterness,but still a nice malty sweetness a great IPA allout yummy nice duration, fruity lemon peel, and pine

M. Medium bodied, good carbonation, dry

D. I find it hard to stop drinking this brew. A superb ale.

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Photo of SIRIUS2
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from bottle into a pint glass producing a foamy off-white head with about okay retention and good lacing. Color was a ruddy orange with a light haze.

S: A nice clean floral nose with minor secondary hint of citrus.

T: Reasonable and enjoyable hops are prominent over a light tasting yet medium bodied brew. A light caramel maltiness is there if you look for it beyond the hops.

M & D: Good body and perfect carbonation combine with great flavored hops makes this go down smooth. The finish is great with a light lingering of the hop bitterness.

Very nice beverage! A nice bitter has got to be one of my favorites and this one didn't disappoint. Although a bit heavy on the finishing hops, the body of the ale is balanced well with the malts allowing everything to blend nicely. Very nice.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears: Slightly cloudy amber brown copper tone with a cream off white nice thick and substantial head, great amount of lacing even and full. Aroma: Frivilous hopping here floral, piney, and citrus toned hops explode upon my senses but that doesn't set aside this beer from other Rogues what does is the malty syrupy sweetness that is also represented here in teh aroma very balanced. Taste: Syrupy sweet mixture of hops so good the piney edge to the hops complements the caramel malt so well, true to the style by bringing true balance to the table that can only be compared to the American amber that they brew. Mouthfeel: Fuller bodied smooth best beer yet from Rogue. Drinkability: If I didn't have to drive I may of had a few more pints from this one so drinkable on draft I must be sure to sample it in the bottle to compare.

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Photo of imbuckeye
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of CHickman
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours cloudy orange copper color with sediment floating in it like snowflakes in a globe, a massive 2 finger foamy off white head that faded very slowly and was full of big bubbles of all sizes, leaving decent lacing and a foamy layer on top.

Smells of big hops up front with grapefruit and pine leading the charge, followed by orange peel, lemon zest, guava, citrus hops, flowers, floral hops, biscuit and light grains; smells like fresh wet hops were added and has that hop oil nose – damn inviting nose.

Tastes like it smells, big hops up front including citrus hops, grapefruit, orange peel, lemon zest, guava, piney hops, fruit like pear or apricot, floral hops, herbs, biscuit, light grains, wheat bread, brown sugar, caramel, light spices and fresh cut grass; fresh hops essence is in the flavor profile as well, but this only has mild bitterness which leads me to question the name…it’s not brutally bitter, it’s quite the opposite and very quaffable. There’s a little spice nip, but the malts add great balance to let the hops dance on your taste-buds and let all the complexities come through.

Mouthfeel is creamy and buttery smooth, with light almost watery carbonation, a medium chewy body, and a sweet finish that’s full of citrus notes and only slightly bitter.

Big time IPA, nope; very above average IPA, yep; could it not be an IPA, yes indeed; no matter how bad they labeled this brew did I enjoy it, definitely. This was a different beer from when I first tried it years ago, but it was really good and a session beer for me. This is a cross between an IPA, and ESB and an English Pale Ale, but it just tastes good. Ignore the classification and pick up this Rogue classic, sit back and enjoy a craft beer pioneer. Highly drinkable, I’m not waiting years to have this again, I really enjoyed it.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at WJ Kavanagh's, Dublin.

Hazy honey blonde with lumpy white carpet that webs.
Passionfruit, wax, flowers and orange sherbet - booming fresh nose.
Melon, more passionfruit, Orange Whip, a touch of toffee and a bit of hoppy grassiness at the end.
Resiny finish and slightly woody linger.
Medium, round, some chew, and sticky.

Nothing brutal about this: sweet, sweet, citrus/tropical fruit fiesta that recalls Lagunitas for being compellingly gluggable. Not particularly English, in spite of the malts. Plenty of resiny hops without the IBU hit, which makes me madly curious about Crystal. Well-integrated and sooo easy.

Rogue's best next to Shakespeare.

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Photo of leedorham
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of those I never really want to buy a bottle of but really enjoy on tap. The bar I had it at last night listed as brutal bitter so I'm reviewing it that way. Not sure why Rogue is so wishy-washy on the name.

A - Ever so slightly cloudy orange with not much head mostly due to the bartender filling the glass to the tippy top.

S - Good hop aroma. Not the west-coast pop I expected. A bit more mellow and floral. Some pine, a little tomato plant pungency.

T - Fruity esters with a mild hop profile. Balanced by a good malt backbone. Very well balanced. Uncomplicated.

M - Medium carbonation and the slight sweetness to the palate doesn't make you too eager to get it down the hatch.

D - I will continue to order this one whenever it is available. I like it.

This is one of the best if not Rogue's best beer in my opinion. It should get more credit but I realize there's no skeletons on the label or Japanese writing on a ceramic bottle so not surprised it doesn't.

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Photo of mithrascruor
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Pours a very cloudy/hazy dark copper/amber color. Off-white head with very good retention and a bit of lacing. Nice citrus aroma with some underlying semi-sweet malts. Nice, slightly acidic flavor. Good citrus, but not too bitter; quite tasty. Medium-bodied with light carbonation.

Easy to drink and not brutal at all. Instead, very tasty and nice to drink. A nice surprise discovery.

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Photo of lhaqq
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Off-white head with good lacing, orange-gold cloudy body.
S: Strongly of floral hops. Also reminds me of dark tea--like earl grey or assam.
T: Honey is the predominate flavor I first pick up. Also diacetyl, and some subtle malts and hops.
M: Light, but sharp going down. Short bitter aftertaste.
D: A good session beer--was a bit skeptical because of the name but was definitely surprised. Will try to get again.

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Photo of Wizzle32
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Brutal from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 2,318 ratings