Brutal Bitter Ale | Rogue Ales

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding
1,108 Reviews
Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States
rogue.com

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:
94
Gots:
213
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,108 | Ratings: 2,137
Photo of custardcb
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big old 22oz bottle poured ever so smoothely. Built a nice two finger head with some large bubles that was rather frothey. Nice golden peach color and is a bit hazey. The nose is a little hoppy with some citrus and other fruitey aromas.

The taste doesn't live up to the name of being brutal but is beautifully bontiful of hops and only the slightless twinge at the end while being a little dry. The higher ABV is detectable but isnt too harsh. Pretty drinkable overall and this is just a very good beer.

 506 characters

Photo of schuim
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the amber coloured beer has a slight haze. The foam has big bubbles.
the aroma is citrus and hoppy. Inthe taste there is a lot of bitterness to. A light caramel taste in the following taste, afterwards the caramel goes to a little carton flavour, maybe not a very fresh bottle? Best before date is still four months to go.
In total a pleasant beer, but next time I will try to find a fresher bottle.

 400 characters

Photo of dmatsui
3.35/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a Chimay Goblet. Tulip was dirty, so sue me.

Two-finger off white head, good retention. Looks like a typical, unfiltered IPA.

Mostly malt characteristics in the nose but with some grassy hops, There's a sweet, raw honey-esque sweetness.

Good spicy hops, clean malts and good mouthfeel. The hops are not particularly strong or robust, but very clean. The mouthfeel is perfect.

Overall Brutal is a fairly standard IPA in my opinion but very well balanced and is definitely a quality brew.

 516 characters

Photo of irishtjb11
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I love Rogue, and this beer is no different. The apperance is great, beautiful white, fluffy head that leaves a nice lacing on the glass. Beautiful dark amber/reddish brown appearance, unfiltered which I always love in a beer.

Smells of hops, real nice aroma. Yet, there is a nice malty backbone to this brew. The hops do take the stage in this way, but in a tasteful way(no pun). I really, really enjoy this beer. What a balance and wonderful use of hops. I have been a bit sick of the hop explosive beers these days, just throw as much hops in and you're sure to have a great beer. This beer goes against that philosphy. It's well crafted, well thought out, unique.

The taste lives up to the name of a bitter. This is a stand out ESB, IMO. Taste has a lot of hop bitterness at first followed by a hint of matly sweetness, ending on the palate with a lot of hoppy flavors.

The mouthfeel is above average as well. Smooth, but with a lot of consistency to it, not overly thick or chewy. Just enough to provide the mouth with some volume.

Overall, great beer imo. I'm not sure if it's because I love Rogue, I love well done IPAs, I like Bitters and this tastes like a great hybrid of bitter and ipa; none the less its great. Hop heads might not go crazy, neither will maltiacs. Yet, the flavors, hint of balance, mouthfeel, all create a wondeful beer. I've written this review for quite some time now, and my beer still has a better head retaining than most do after a minute. Nice job, Rogue.

 1,498 characters

Photo of jsled
3.3/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

P: 3/5. Very hazy straw/gold. minimal head, receeding as well. some carbonation.

A: 3/5. fruity citrus hops. herbal. some bubblegum. some malty notes, but minor.

F: 7/10. bitter. slightly sweet. relatively well balanced. some astringency.

M: 3/5. good. some lingering aftertaste, but nothing dramatic or unpleasant.

O: 7/10. a good ipa, though not great.

 359 characters

Photo of mwearl
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

 287 characters

Photo of hurleymanvw
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

 262 characters

Photo of huhl23
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First off this IPA is not Brutal. Tasty yes but I expected more of a hop ass kicking than I got. It actually is a very easy drinker. Pours a light amber orange with two finger head, and decent lacing. Good nose, with some fruit and floral. Taste is a little more malty than hoppy so I'd prefer it to be a bit more balanced but overall a good brew. Might want to change the name to Not Quite So Brutal though.

 408 characters

Photo of superdavex
3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is like you typical dark gold ESB hue with a decent level of carbonation. It leaves a nice sticky lacing.It smells like an IPA with a hoppyness that exceeds that of your everyday ESB.It tastes like a malty IPA also. Very hoppy and very bitter backed by a decent amount of malt to push it back into the ESB category and out of the IPA. A thin mouthfeel feeds into the drinkability category which is excellent. A very unique beer.

 439 characters

Photo of kevinl6
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Whoa!!! I'd say this one is appropriately named! It is a cloudy, apricot color with a silky, one finger deep head. It has a very strong, very nice aroma. Fruity, albeit not too specific, is what comes to my mind. Very fruity. The taste has a citris 'bite' in it, and man is it bitter! Mouthfeel was perfect for me....slightly tingly, but at the same time silky smooth and gentle on the palate. I liked the bitterness and the taste of this one, but to be honest, I split it with my drinkin bud, and neither of us wanted another. I'll be drinking this again though! Another fine/different offering from Rogue.

 607 characters

Photo of jjazz
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A head never even formed on this one in clean glassware.

A good beer. Very...un bitter; Somewhere between a mild IPA and a Pale Ale. I've never had an ESB, but I like this one. Nicely balanced and easy to drink.

Some nice citrusy hops with mild malty notes. A nice change of pace from all of the IPAs I've been having lately.

 327 characters

Photo of Sdesenberg
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought 22 oz Joe Lewis at a local liquor chain for about three bills. Pours an opaque Carmel color with a good amount of head which leaves substantial lacing. A really good looking beer with a very complex smell. Hops are obviously prevalent, but so is biscuit, chocolate, lots going on.

The taste is also very interesting. At first the hops are quite strong, but soon the balance takes over and the malt comes into play. Mouthfeel is very full and chewy. Overall, a very good, complex flavorful beer.

 503 characters

Photo of badbassrandy
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a much more golden color than I was expecting, which made me happy because I was looking for the extreme hoppiness in a U.S. West Coast style of ESB.

S - This smelled downright scary bitter and hoppy. Not for the faint of heart! A great blend of all kinds of earthy, spicy and hop-infused notes.

T- Hachi Machi! This one blows other bitters away that I've had, in terms of intense hop destruction of the palate. It would make mere mortals' faces implode, it's that bitter and hoppy -- delicious.

M - A nice rollable character in the mouth, not too thin at all but not killer heavy. Coats the mouth, leaving stinging spice from the hops all over.

D - Granted this brew is delicious, however I think it's extreme character means you can't drink them too fast. That being said, it's deliciously drinkable, just not something I would want to session.

 861 characters

Photo of deeznuts420
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
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

 285 characters

Photo of WalterHeisenberg
4.9/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Aggressive pour into goblet
A: cloudy orange fat off white head. Dies slowly good lacing. Looks mighty tasty
S: Biscuity big lemon orange citrus malty floral hops.smells bitter. Smells as good as it looks
T:Biscuty malty hoppy Bitter orange rind Bitter malty orange dry finish. Malt orange bitter hops linger BUT all balanced very well. Hoppy over the toppy. It ain't called brutal bitter for nothing
M: a tad bit thin at first. Then smooth chewey sticky.
O: It is bitter all around but not brutally. But it's a balanced bitter. Very smooth. Overall a top notch IPA looks smell taste are all quality.You can definetly do way worse I can see this being a bitter pale ale.And this particular bottle was old. I found it in the back of my pantry. Been there 10-12 months. Still pretty nice.

 789 characters

Photo of BigPapaLager
4.19/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This bitter poured a nice slow head. As per the style it was easy drinking with very little lacing. I could drink this beer all day. Anyone looking for a session beer should look here, as the drinkability is high on this one, though tastes are not notably
mentionable.

 269 characters

Photo of pibbxtrasucks
4.44/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Beer pours a golden/amber color with a decent head that doesn't last too long. As soon as I opened the bottle I swear I could already smell the hops. After the pour I took a big wiff and it was nothing but hops. in a good way. A bitter, hop taste hits you as you take the first sip, and it closes out with a nice earthy, mlty taste. perfect carbonation and nice mouth feel. his is a very good beer, easy to drink and overall very impressive.

 445 characters

Photo of ChrisSimpson1968
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an unclear amber orange with a billowing off white head that hangs around a long time. Good lacing throughout. The aroma is of ctirusy hops, mostly tangerine and grapefruit. The taste is very well balanced with the citrus hops and biscuity malt with a medium bitter finish. Very nice IPA that I will certainly be picking up again for the price.

 350 characters

Photo of jorjoria
4.31/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just picked up a growler at Finger Lakes Beverage Center.

http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/5465/

A: Has a nice caramel color but very little carbonation and practically no head. (This could be because the keg was a little flat)

S: Great raw hoppy smell.

T/M: The hops cut through in a big way. The beer is very crisp and lingers on the back of tongue. Despite the hoppiness the beer is very well balanced and pleasure to drink. I'm really going to enjoy this growler.

 483 characters

Photo of BJA
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into perfect pint glass

A: This beer is burnt orange in color, clear and crisp and has plenty of tiny bubbles making their way to the top. The head was about two fingers on a hard pour. It is creamy and white. It is leaving a generous amount of lacing as it dissipates. (note: there was a lot of sediment in the bottle, so on the second pour, the beer was cloudy with tiny floaters visible. The head was also more pronounced. It still looked good).

S: I get a scent of slightly toasty, biscuity malt with fresh, citrusy, slighty dank hops.

T: This beer has a solid fresh, flowery hop taste backed up by a good amount of biscuit tasting malt. I also taste an ever-so-slight grapefruit taste. I seem to get that grapefruit taste up front and then with the immediate aftertaste: the first few breaths out. The hop bitterness is present but not overwhelming to me.

M: I find this beer to be medium bodied with a taste that fills the palate. It finishes medium-long and does not leave a bitter hop aftertaste on the tongue or roof of the mouth as some IPAs do.

O: I have really enjoyed this beer. Despite its name, it does not seem brutally bitter to me. This is likely because I drink a bunch of super hoppy 100+ IBU IPAs on a regular basis. This past month I have added several IPA to my at-home rotation that I have really enjoyed. They all seem to be around the 60 IBU mark. I am finding that I really like this area for IPAs when I don’t want to challenge my palate too much.

Overall I found this IPA very drinkable. It is balanced extremely well. You can tell these brewers are exceptional with the kiss of grapefruit that shines through at certain moments in the most appropriate way. This is my first time having it (surprisingly), and I do have a soft spot for Rogue. This was the first American brewery to introduce me to awesomely adventurously phenomenal beer with Dead Guy Ale well over 10 years ago. I have always found their beers to be really solid.

 1,990 characters

Photo of TheBeerWolf
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a orangish amber color. The head poured white and left pretty quick with mine but left some lacing.

S: The first thing that hits you is the piney hops and then citrus aromas.

T: Wow! Lots of hops man. The bitter hops were the first thing that hit my tongue. Toasty malt notes are there too with a sweet cirtus aftertaste. The bitterness pretty much dominates as the name implies. If you like the more bitter beers you will enjoy this one otherwise might want to pass on this.

M: The moutfeel is kind of oily from the hops. Quite a bit of carbonation but as others have said not too dry.

D: Not too bad but the bitterness might be too much for some. But then again you would not be buying this style if you did not like bitter right? Me personally after having one of these I would move to something a little less bitter.

Overall a good quality beer and if your in the mood for a bitter can't go wrong with this one.

 943 characters

Photo of slagle9480
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Copper tones with an off-white head that looked too enticing to just sit and admire.

S: Bring on the hops! This ESB smells great. The hops are definitely present. There's also some citrus here.

T: Hell yes. Rogue brews kick ass. The malt and hops blend beautifully. What a sick beer. Love this ESB.

M: Smooth as hell. Medium-bodied, kinda creamy. Nice mouthfeel.

D: I could drink this brew all day. The 6.5% alcohol isn't overpowering and the hops are just too good to stop at one. If you can get this at your local grocery market I envy you.

Great beer from Rogue. Props on the Crystal hops. I'm a fan.

 622 characters

Photo of buck1futter
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a-pumpkin in color haziy with very small yeast particles. decent creamy colored head.

t-malt sweetness with a little tart. not much else

t-bitterness hits quick then settles to a mild sweetness, with some breadyness'.This taste more so of an esb than an ipa for sure. as for an ipa its ok but it should be labled and esb imo. a very good esb though.

m- very soft and creamy, goes down really really easy. slightly watery at the end.

ITS A ESB NOT IPA, now labled brutal ipa.

 478 characters

Photo of nqdell
4.31/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a glass from the bottle

A- A good finger head quickly dissipates but leaves a solid lining over the top of the beer and laces the glass the entire way

S- Nothing, light hop smell, carmel notes.

T- Bold and bitter with a hint of sweetness. The after taste tingles the sides of my mouth

M- The creamy smooth swallow leaves a slime in my mouth

O- A great IPA or Bitter that lives up to the Brutal name. A little heavy on the gut.

 443 characters

Photo of JordanPhraczek
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Baxter Brewery Can-shaped glass out of a 22oz Bottle bought at Depot Liquors in Beverly, MA.

A - Clear dulled orange body with a quickly rising beige head. Bubbles in this burst apart like molten lava and eventually dissipate into a one finger head. Filtered.

S - Smooth citrus hop smell. No alcohol detected. I dipped my nose into the head because the smell was luring me in, I wish it was even stronger. Pine notes upon exhalation.

T - Crystal hops with a nice earthy malt taste, lighter but this beer delivers. The namesake of this beer would not lead you to believe it is 5.8% alcohol, but given all the IPAs that raise the alcohol % way up to achieve this kind of flavor, I'd say this beer flawlessly delivered a drinkable ale with great hop taste. As with lots of Rogue beers and some of the other Northern Cali/Oregon beers the cleanliness of the brew is noticeable.

M - The malt sticks to your tongue and forms an even film on your tongue that the hop taste builds off, so the mouthfeel in this beer is pretty outstanding. The head on the beer lasted until the end and formed a pillow of foam to drink once the beer was finished.

O - I thought because of the name that I was getting a DIPA, and I am pleasantly surprised that this beer was lighter than most northwest IPAs with this kind of flavor. A clean, crisp, earthy offering from Rogue that reminds you of great home brew.

 1,407 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!