Brutal Bitter Ale | Rogue Ales

BA SCORE
90
outstanding
2,149 Ratings
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
Ratings:
2,149
Reviews:
1,110
Avg:
4.01
pDev:
10.47%
 
 
Wants:
95
Gots:
218
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,149 |  Reviews: 1,110
Photo of woodychandler
3.2/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

 921 characters

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.11/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of paulish
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TMoney2591
3.13/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a tumbler at The Tribes.

I figure I should try some more of Rogue's offerings for some reason. Might as well, right? This one pours a clear sunset brass topped by a finger of light off-cream-white foam. The nose comprises greens, buttery caramel, grass, and some very light leek. The taste brings in more of the same, with the caramel coming off a bit darker and the grass increased ever-so-slightly. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a pretty silky feel. Overall, an okay beer, nothing close to outstanding or impressive, but nothing really bad, either. I'd pass if offered this again.

 636 characters

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3/5  rDev -25.2%

Photo of Zaphog
2.75/5  rDev -31.4%

Photo of thatoneguymike
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of WoodBrew
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of BMart
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.79/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

 832 characters

Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of JAHMUR
3.25/5  rDev -19%

Photo of tdm168
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - orange with a huge, towering, white head that has good retention

S - faint bread, some citrusy hop aromas

T - faint bready malt, citrusy, pineapple, grapefruit, mildly bitter finish

M - medium bodied, well carbonated

This is an easy drinking IPA, but there isn't much here. The flavor is good, but simple. Despite the "brutal" promise it just doesn't deliver. I get more citrus than bitter. Overall, not a bad beer and it may be worth a tick, but it's not one that I'll purchase again.

 493 characters

Photo of rolltide8425
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of smakawhat
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

 1,089 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

 653 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark gold with a touch of almost brown with a sizeable white head. Nose is Extremely hoppy and super sweet. Flavor is thick with hops and a very slight bite. Just barely bitter as the hops take over the flavor profile, but don’t make it too unbearable with too hoppy a tone. Mouthfeel is good on carbonation and this one is extremely drinkable. This is the 13th beer I have reviewed from Rogue and yet again they deliver. I just want to try more, and more, and more...

 477 characters

Photo of mklisz
3/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Domination of bitterness, not enjoyable

39 characters

Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours slightly hazed light copper with a off-white head that leaves some lacing.

The smell is of light citrus with sweet grainy malt in the back.

The taste is citric with sweet malt backing. Can't say it's complex, but it is tasty. A good dose of hops with plenty of malt backing makes it bittersweet. A certain wheat-like crispness in the finish.


Smooth in a fuller side of medium body. Some chewiness to it.

Drinkable and enjoyable, despite a bit of rawness about it. This one fits the bill of a boosted-up bitter. A uniquely intense ESB.

 554 characters

Photo of 22Blue
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of Tone
4.01/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, copper color. 2/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of piney hops, sweet malt, hint of pale malt, hint of citrus hops, and slight rye. Fits the style of an American IPA. Mouth feel is sharp and clean, with an average carbonation level and a strong bitterness at first. Tastes of sweet malt, piney hops, citrus hops, slight alcohol, hint of caramel malt, and a hint of rye. Overall, good appearance and blend, decent aroma and body, the bitterness mellows throughout the beer.

 537 characters

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4/5  rDev -0.2%

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

Appearance: a bright, but hazy, apricottish hue, with a thick, bubbling, off-white lace-leaving head. Aroma: absolutely bristling with pine, pineapple, grapefruit, all sorts of citrus, very spikey, alert and lively, seriously delirious!
On the palate, a monsoon ensues, a blast of brilliant bitterness, that fades a bit, yes, but returns with every sip. Texture is a treat, tangy, delicious, smooth, but tasty. Long, even eternal, finish. Ultimately, very dry, mouth watering, thirst quenching...yeah! It got me to thinking...this is the hophead's "lawnmower beer"! And me, I've got to live in an apartment! It's an "anytime" ale, I say!
The name protests too much. It's not too brutal, but then I'm used to, and I welcome, a barrage of hops on my tongue at anytime I wish.
The label reads "an Imperial style bitter" (aren't "bitters" UNbitter, such as ESBs?) using exotic traditional floor malts (huh?) Free Range Coastal Waters (okay, I'm lost, free range chicken I get, but free range water?) etc., etc.
No matter my confusion, it's a damned great ale, not shy at all with the hops, and loaded down with flavor. Happily consumed from a generous 22oz. bomber.

 1,166 characters

Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
4.01 out of 5 based on 2,149 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.