Brutal Bitter Ale | Rogue Ales

1,109 Reviews
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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,109 | Ratings: 2,144
Photo of shiu-chan
3.69/5  rDev -8%
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.

 203 characters

Photo of ksimons
3.86/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Color is a dark orange brown with a thin layer of white head. Aroma is of caramel, citrus, and some pine. Taste is similar to the smell, though sweeter than the smell. Medium body and light to moderate carbonation. Overall easy to drink and enjoyable.

 255 characters

Photo of SSS
3.32/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Brownish Orange with an off white head that lingers
S-Sweet hops on the nose with lots of malt, crystal and a hint of caramel
M-Medium mouthfeel with medium carbonation
T-Sweet caramel and malt upfront with very little bitterness to balance
O-This is more of an amber than an IPA, very much on the sweeter side of things and malt heavy

 338 characters

Photo of teddibrewski
3.67/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

amber colour with a thick off white head, smell is really subdued for an american IPA, i don't find this to be a very aromatic type of IPA at all. has a nice clean hop bitterness to it that is well balanced, by the malt.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale Amber with an off white head.

Smells of lemon, pine, and bready malt.

Taste is lemon and pine balanced by sweet malt - caramel and pecan - finishes dry with bitter herb.

 185 characters

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

Pour: 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. Appearance: Deep gold/ amber. Hazy with minimal white head. Aroma: Mix of mild and sweet malts with hints of hoppy notes. Taste: Mellow malts with some hop bite. Aftertaste: Quick finish with the flavor following the taste profile. Overall: Was expecting a bite more hop character and the malty forwardness was surprising. Regardless, this was an easy drinker. Good. 3 out of 5.

 416 characters

Photo of buschbeer
3.33/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a tulip glass

This beer pours amber with a slight haze and burnt orange highlights. It it topped with two inches of creamy, beige head that leaves some decent lacing.

I smell some caramel malt and floral hops.

The taste has caramel malt, tea, and some remnants of hops.

Medium mouthfeel

It smells and tastes like an old one. I will revisit.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a small pint glass: color is dense/opaque copper, head is off white, fine bubbles, head dissipates to a ring.

Smell is nice blend of toasted malt, hints of biscuit, then some lightly bitter hops with neutral flavored aromas, maybe some grassiness.

Taste is similar to the aroma with blend of toast and biscuit malts then more earthy/piney hop flavors. Yeast fruitiness reminds me of Dead Guy notes.

Mouthfeel is nicely bitter for these strength IPA with a good balance in malt flavors.

Overall a solid easy drinking ipa with that noted Rogue yeast.

 564 characters

Photo of TequilaTom
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper orange with a 1 finger off-white head. Smells of piney citrusy hops and bready malt.
Tastes of pine, slight citrus hops and biscuit. Nice medium mouthfeel with a bitter finish. This is definitely my favorite Rogue beer so far. Only regret is that I didn't try this sooner!

 292 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a pretty orange color, with 1/4" white head on the top. Aroma is pungent bittering hops, C hops.

Taste drops 100 ibu levels, covers alcohol, a little bit of wood pine hop flavors.

Its definitely better than your average Rogue beer, and probably one of in not their best ipa. Been around for a long time, I remember when this was one of the hoppiest beers out there 20 years ago. Maris Otter and wheat keep its body energized.

 440 characters

Photo of Libeertarian
3.81/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Semi-opaque copper amber with fluffy, chunky tan head of good retention. Resin, biscuits, light peppercorn, light caramel aromas. Pine, spice, citrus seed, vegetal throughout. Brutal indeed. Also bare caramel background, peppercorn retro-olfaction, tea-like finish. Bitter in the balance. Medium-bodied, creamy but still quite syrupy for an IPA, mellow but dense and fine carbonation.

 384 characters

Photo of gandres
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle from the brewery in Issaquah
Appearance: light amber-orange, hazy and cloudy medium head, lacing
Aroma: Hoppy and malty-strong smell of grains
Taste: very good, hoppy bitterness and very good follow through
Palate: Medium-full body, very nice, sticky creamy, fizzy, strong bitter finish follow through
Overall: very good beer, good to repeat
Drank: March 17, 2016
Happy St Patrick's Day

 402 characters

Photo of deebo
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

20 oz On tap at pdx
This is an easy drinking malty citrus forward slightly bitter ipa. Nice balance of bready malt with upfront orange/grapefruit hop type aroma followed up with a moderate bitterness. Moderate to high carbonation. Nice beer.

 241 characters

Photo of microbrewlover
3.34/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This brew pours a cloudy, hazy orange color with a small white foamy head and light to moderate lacing.

The smell is mostly grapefruit along with some floral hops and caramel malts.

The taste is grapefruit malts with an undertone of rich caramel malts and pine malts on the back end. Lots of sticky pine hop goodness from start to finish. The finish is moist and bitter at the same time. Overall a good example of an American IPA.

 433 characters

Photo of constantine_272
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Golden orange with a heavy court haze. A big thick foam rose up and remainder only in a sticky glass clinging mess.

Bright herbal nose which oak leaves and pine twigs.

This beer a nice mix of light malt and creamy wheat intermingled with a citrus grapefruit rind. A mineral graphite note grows through the middle with prickly carbonation and the bitter orange and grapefruit.

Feel is stingly from the high carbonation but both dry and sweet from the malt and the hops. It really does show a spectrum of texture because of the high carb, high malt and high hops.

Overall a nicely crafted, full powered beer. A touch on the thick dry side for my IPA taste, but still great.

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Photo of BSquaredGolf
3.49/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Piney malts and a long finish. Extremely complex. Not a typical IPA. Very solid beer but wouldn't be a go to if I was looking for a standard IPA. That being said helluva good beer.

 180 characters

Photo of irrevjim
3.89/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

from a bottle to a beer tulip
look; cloudy golden orange, 1" head, pretty good retention
smell; pine, cereal malt, hint of passion fruit, a little whiskey
taste; bitter hops, some pine, some fruit, nice malt, honey roll, something fresh about it
feel; bitter and smooth, medium body and medium light carbonation, nice
overall; a heavyweight name and vibe for a nicely balanced medium bodied bitter with moderate hops, enjoyable to drink

 436 characters

Photo of GrumD
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Orange and hazy on appearance, this beer is certainly not brutal but still packs a punch. The aroma hints at the hops inside, covering the usual bases of tropical fruit and piney resins. Taste sings of citrus flavours with a lovely balanced sweet and hop hit. Bitterness lingers but is not overtly strong.

 305 characters

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 wuthrichj15
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite breweries. This beer pours a copper color. Big citrus smell. Taste is pretty hoppy, what you would expect from an IPA. Nice orange notes and a pretty bitter beer. I would definitely get this again.

 219 characters

Photo of psycHOPathy
3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

deep amber with weak ass head
malts, woodsy earthy orange peel pine resin
hops, grass, earth, alcohol, appropriately bitter
meadium heavy body with little carbonation
too ale-y, not much else going on. but as far as ales go at least its relatively complex

 256 characters

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.

 412 characters

Photo of Biggiekrock627
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had poured from bomber into tulip glass. Pours a orange with hazy straw yellow with a thin head. Deep citrus smell with a bitter backend taste that overpowers the Flavor.

 170 characters

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!

 185 characters

Photo of MrBrach
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Orange / Copper color, cloudy.

Smell: Smells how it looks, tangerine, orange peel, mango, masked undertone of lemon.

Taste: Zesty orange, lemon, bitter.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body.

Overall: As with the other members who have reviewed this, I wouldn't call it a Brutal IPA. Balanced flavor, fruity, and bitter. Enjoyable IPA. I would definitely drink more of these.

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Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
4.01 out of 5 based on 2,144 ratings.
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