Brutal Bitter Ale | Rogue Ales

BA SCORE
90
outstanding
2,144 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:
2,144
Reviews:
1,109
Avg:
4.01
pDev:
10.47%
 
 
Wants:
94
Gots:
217
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,144 |  Reviews: 1,109
Photo of hossua34
4.67/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Murky, hazy caramel color. Looks like cider. A medium-large head that fades pretty fast but leaves a lasting layer of bubbles. Could have a little more lacing, but overall very good.

S - Bitersweet fruity smell; I detect what smells like passion fruit and pineapple. Caramelly, citrusy, malty-hoppy goodness. Amazingly well balanced. I don't see how it could smell any better.

T - Very fruity and hoppy. Hints of passion fruit and grapefruit. The tartness is nicely tempered by a burned sugar, malty-sweet finish. A little on the hoppy side but not unbalanced.

M - Fantastic mouthfeel. Thick but not too thick, smooth, and evenly carbonated.

D - A tiny bit of a sour aftertaste, but it's not a huge concern. Hearty and filling, but it's totally possible to not sip this brew; one of the best from a fantastic brewery.

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

Pours vibrant amber with a towering head.
Nose shows lots of sweet fruity hops, with citrus blossom, apples, confectionery and piney resin, along with loads of caramel malt and hints of toffee.
Flavours are lovely, with a mix of crystal malt and intense fruity hops first, before a full-on hoppy bitterness kicks in. Well balanced, though still very bitter for the style.
Carbonation is a bit high, further drying out the finish.
If you were expecting a ESB*, think again. This would be better classified as an American IPA, considering the American hops, lashings of crystal malt and the powerful bitterness. Ignoring style though, this was great.
*Ah, I see they’ve renamed it.

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Photo of Dawkfan
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - 4 fingers of off white head sit a top of a cloudy-hazy orange colored ale. Chunky webed like lace left behind. Carbonation is noticeable.

S - Smelled this one as soon as I cracked it open. Nice piney resiny smell. There's some citrusy sweetness in the background. This is one inviting smell.

T - I didn't think this was all that bitter when I started drinking this, but as I got near the finish I really started to appreciate this for what it is. Citrus hop flavors give way to the sweet toasted malts & honey. The finish is very dry and piney. The bitterness lingers on for awhile.

M - Extremly smooth, great feel in the mouth. Medium body, medium carbonation.

D - What a great beer from Rogue. definitely one of the best I've had from them. No problem putting a couple of these down.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. A nice golden hazy orange. Nice 2 fingers of head and good retintion.

Smelled of sudel citrus (grapefruit) and something sweet.

Nice and citrusy, some honey and maybe some orange peel. Not as bitter as I was expecting. Very nice.

Dry finish and lively carb medium heavy body. Nice and smooth goes down easy with a lingering aftertaste.

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Photo of feelmefoam
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a nice golden grain color, very hazy but sparkling in the light. With a nice amount of carbonation running up the glass, this beer has the appearance of a bubbly wheat beer. Two fingers of off-white foam came with the pour, leaving a moderate amount of lacing down the glass.

Brutal Bitter presents a nice hop aroma in the nose, specifically putting forth a nice grapefruit scent mixed with some other citrusy/spicy scents.

This is certainly a tasty beer; the hops are up front and clean with a nice citrus and grapefruit flavor. Although this beer is advertised as "brutal" that is not the adjective I would use to describe it, as the hop presence is certainly not overwhelming. Maybe a better adjective is scrumptious. Either way, after the nice hop kiss there is a slight showing of pale malts used to balance out the flavor. Very tasty.

A smooth, crisp, medium body accentuated with a decent amount of carbonation allows the beer to dance around on your tongue a bit before you swallow.

A very drinkable, flavorful, yet not intimidating beer that I could drink several of in one sitting. Its bark is worse than its bite, but I don't mind at all, because the bite hurts so good.

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

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a 22oz wine glass.

A- Very nice. I'm not sure what to call the colour. Deep gold? Basically, it's the same colour as urine after a night of whisky, with a couple drops of bile from that kidney punch you got when your sloppy drunk ass started that fight. That's a good thing. It's a rich colour. Slightly hazy. Nice foamy head forms and recedes at a normal pace leaving a nice lacing and forming a foamy cap. It's not blowing my mind, but it's definitely pretty.

S - I guess that's Crystal? Nice, I like it. Strong citrus aroma hits the nose right away. It's pretty dominant. I get whiffs of other things underneath but frankly, it's so subtle compared to the citrus it's adequate to just say there's some balance. It's a really nice, clear and crisp smell. I'd go so far as to call it "fresh" smelling. But not like laundry detergent "fresh". Not at all.

T - I guess that's Crystal again. The taste follows the smell. Bitter citrus fruit balanced against a little sweetness in the background and the mildest touch of warmth from the alcohol. I like that it's one supremely well expressed hop. The bitterness kicks in nicely at the end drying out the mouth.

M - Medium bodied (I think) and well carbonated. (To me that means there's enough carbonation to make it feel lively without being distracting).

D - This is my new "go to" beer for things like sporting events. It goes down easy.

Notes: I like this single hop idea. It's pretty artful. I'll admit I was skeptical of Rogue after the Nut Brown Nectar, but this was a seriously pleasant surprise. I've gone back and picked up a few more bottles to have on hand. I guess my free form conclusion to this beer is "It's a great session beer, that provides maximum flavour without being too assertive. It doesn't force me to pay attention to it. It just repeatedly makes my mouth happy while doing something else".

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Photo of thecarster1
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- bottle poured into a pint, one finger creamy head that fades slowly to an uneven thin layer of lace, it's got a hazy burnt orangey chestnut brown color with only a few streams of bubbles.

s- grapefruit, sweet caramel malt, smells good and very aromatic, a bit peppery with maybe a hint of vanilla.

t- grapefruit off the bat, thats backed up very nicely by an almost equal measure of sweet caramel malt, there are some pepper notes and some vanilla too that i smelled before, there is a nice amount of bitterness that lingers long.

m- medium body with a creamy texture and a bit of slickness.

d- really nice, i enjoyed this as a welcome change of pace from the ipas that i know and love, yet another solid offering from rogue, i paired this with a creamy, peppery penne pasta with sausage and peas, it went so well. i'd definately drink this again.

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Photo of eljefe21
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Hazy orange with tints of yellow. Single finger head of off white foam sinks to a thin but constant layer. Nice, fine lacing.

S: Crisp, clean hoppy smell emanates from the glass. Full, heady and enticing.

T: Crisp hop taste rolls over the outer edges of the tongue to blend with a sweetish biscuit-y malt flavor in the center of the tongue.

M: Carbonation bite on the outer tongue is followed by a long, dry finish on the center tongue. Medium bodied mouthfeel.

D: I think/hope this is pretty low alcohol. I could definitely find myself putting back a few of these in a night. Heavy and thick enough to hold up to cool weather, while crisp and dry enough to work in warm weather.

Served: in a standard pint glass.

Review from notes taken on: 11/10/09.

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

Served in pint glass.

Pours a deep, translucent copper, with a light khaki head. Head retains nicely. Visible particulate suspended throughout.

Piney, resiny, floral hop aroma is dominant, with a pecan-like sweetness backing it up.

Floral, oily hop flavor dominates the flavor profile here. A toasty malt sweetness is lingering in the background, which balances nicely. Notes of pine, honey and citrus rind also present. A dry, mildly spicy finish.

Mouthfeel is medium in body, smooth and slightly chewy, with a pleasant carbonation. Particulate is undetectable.

Nothing too exciting, but very tasty.

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Photo of scottyshades
3.55/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours transparent gold with a fluffy/airy looking head. Retention is pretty good along with the lacing

S: Honey, resiny hops, and very floral. Pretty good balance between the hops and malts

T: Definitely not as bitter as I was expecting. Again, honey, resiny hops, and very floral. The malts are sweet and do a nice job of keeping the hop profile at bay.

MF/D: Medium body, smooth resinous finish

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Photo of RJay
4.26/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured a hazy orange color with visible particles suspended. The Carbonation stirs these particles which eventually settle on the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Has a sweet/sour smell, citrus and some alcohol.

Taste: Well it is bitter, but not too bitter; it is actually balanced pretty well. I was expecting to be punched in the face with bitterness.

Mouth feel: Very smooth with lots of carbonation dancing on the tongue and cheeks. It is surprisingly not very gritty with all the particles.

Drinkability: Not bad, I could definitely drink a few of these in a night. However, a 6 pack may be death for a weak stomach and light drinker.

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Photo of KChardstock
3.08/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I bought this bottle a few days ago after having their shakespeare, and chocolate stout. good stuff. but this one not so much. brutal bitter pours great into a a nice fluffy foam. foam retention is good and locks in taste. the appearance is an orange haze with dense carbonation. the orange appearance is followed up with a citrus flavor. The taste is infact bitter, but not very brutal. i liked this beer, but it didn't strike much of a fancy.

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Photo of tigg924
3.27/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: orange-brown in color, 1 inch head, cloudy, high carbonation

Smell: hops and lots of floral scents

Taste: a bready start with a super hoppy finish

Mouthfeel: smooth, super bitter, medium body

Drinkability: I expected a bit more balance, but this is really bitter. The hops are featured here. This is a sipper and I would only have one per session max.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
3.48/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle with no freshness date.

A: Looks light until most of it is in the glass, then it is a pumpkin shade of yellow and orange. Not crystal clear and there was a good amount of sediment, about an eighth inch. Small head that receded to a nice little cap. Many small bubbles rising, many. No lacing.

S: Earthy English hops and bread and biscuit malt. Not smacking the drinker around with anything at all and it does tell the whole story.

T: I think that this and the Great Divide Denver Pale Ale I had last night are quite similar to Fat Tire. I think calling Fat Tire an amber ale is incorrect, and that it fits into the English bitter or pale ale category. All your standard bread here, not sweet and not very bitter. Some diacetyl richness.

M: Full and satisfying.

D: It is full of nice hop aroma but the malt is too singular. I would not buy more than one because I do not prefer biscuit malt only. Other than that personal taste, nothing wrong. This bottle is likely very old and most of the hops have gone.

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Photo of OlRasputin989
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into pint

A:alot of hazy sediment. fades from old gold to a dark copper color. big fluffy head with good retention leaves strips of lacing.

S: biscuity, caramel honey-grapefruit peel, some nice floral notes, maybe some butterscotch

T: praline, grapefruits, honey. fades with piney grapefruit, peanut butter, orange peel, and some spice

M:very lively carbonation in a medium full body. leaves mouth dry and resinous

Overall, a nicely done ESB, although i thought the malt could have been a little more present. Of course, Rogue was generous with the northwest hops (not a bad thing). Blends the traditional English examples with the aggressively hopped style of American craft brews.

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Photo of tobyandgina
2.77/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A finger of off-white foamy head, quickly dissipating.
Orange in color, murky, big chunks of sediment.

Citrusy, hop aroma, kind of stinky maltiness.

Thin, mild mouthfeel with bitter, piney hops. Some apple skinand resin aftertaste.

A not-too-exciting offering from Rogue.

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Photo of jrallen34
2.82/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I drank this from the bottle into a tulip.

It pours a medium brown with a white head, poor retention and lacing.

The aroma is mostly hops, pretty disappointing.

The taste is always disappointing, not what I thought it would be. The front end is really sweet and there is not a bitterness to the beer at all.

Mouthfeel is ok, hard to drink down one, let alone many.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this at Market Cross Pub in Shippensburg, poured chilled into a 1/2 pint from the 12oz brown bottle.

A - The appearance is clear pale honey w/ very good clarity and rocky beige head of approximately 2 fingers. The lace clings well and retention is good.

S - A honeyed fruit, citrus rind and mild biscuit aroma w/ light bitter orange accents and grassy tinges in the hop aroma

M - A very bitter fell right off(duh) w/ a mild malt and moderate carbonation. An almost creamy middle but too much lingering bitterness IMO, the style should have more of a malt backbone, finishes on the dry side

T - A crisp spiced hop taste up front w/ citrus acidity from the NW hops and very light malt flavor. The citrus rind taste lingers and a creamy bitter combo is tasted w/ only a mild accent of malt as it finishes

D - The drinkability is better than average but for this I consider it a mediocre example of the style. It is overly hopped and tastes like a hoppy pale to me

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Photo of kegger22
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy amber with a generous head that reduced to a skin. The aroma was hoppy/citrusy right off the bat. The hop taste is there but not in overpowering amounts. I could also taste the malt sweetness hidden behind the citrus, nice balance. Mouth feel was medium bodied with adequate carbonation. Drinkability was good with a reasonable ABV and relatively mild flavors.

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Photo of Casey10
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not bad was quite surpised similar to stone 13th aniversary but a bit more toned down.

A - Small head light brown copper look nice.

S - Malt, almost slight grassy smell.

T - Hint of chocolate (might be the malt) sort of burnt taste.

M - Light crispy taste, leaves a bit of a lingering feel after drinking.

D - Good beer to have if you are looking for this style would definately drink again.

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Photo of TheFlern
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smell: Hoppy bitterness that invites you to take a sip.

Taste: Very balanced between hop and malt notes. Nothing really sticks out which makes this beer taste like a beer instead of a hopfest or sugar rush of a malty beer. Its hoppier up front and finishes with malt but is very balanced.

Mouthfeel: This beer just feels good in the mouth. The texture is what you would want from an ESB, not to thin and not to thick.

Drinkabilitly: A six pack of this would get you perhaps a little too drunk. However, this is a good beer that I wouldn't mind having again.

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Photo of Docer
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just pouring...

- Cloudy orange/yellow almost hefe-like appearance with a little bit of off-white bubbly head quickly down to a lot of lacing.

- Sweet malty backbone with a bitter punch to the nose... and some alcohol as well. Sweet with some citrus. Smells strong.

- Rather mild and sweet with some earthy hop tones, bitter bite, and lemony zest... overall not bad! Creamy in a way...

- Bit sweet and slightly chewy.. certainly dry, but the zing adds saliva.

- Pretty good, and much more drinkable than the nose would provide information for...

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Photo of ImusBeer
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this at my local Mall of Georgia Taco Mac.
They were pouring this out of a draft cask with some extra hoppyness with some simco hops.

It poured a light orange amber, a bit hazy with off white head. The head died quickly which may have had something to do with the extra hop filter.

It smelled hoppy but not overly so, with some citrus.

The taste was mainly citrus, possibly some Peaches and Apples? A hoppy mouthfeel but light along with some bitterness at the finish. A very good a beer all around.

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Photo of witster18
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is half IPA and half a best bitter. There's some really piney hops going on here much like Sam Adam's Hallertau and it has a pretty good kick. Not real bitter though. An interesting cook pear/apple thing goin on in the backdrop there and dry to the bone. I like the taste of this though it has an original sweetness all it's own...kinda like Paulaner Brews do...

Hoppy bitter IPA that is great for one or too but a bit heavy on the palate for much more. Will definately buy again and keep in fridge as a 'jus got home need 2-3 staple'....

everything from rogue is pretty *&$# good.

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

Cloudy orange hue with large white bubbly head. Aroma of citrus, cream, west coast hops, hop resin. Crisp taste of citrus, hops, bitter finish. Medium carbonation zaps the tongue. Refreshing and crisp in taste but thick on belly. An American English style bitter that sits west coast hops on the palate and thick hops and resin on the belly.

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