Brutal Bitter Ale | Rogue Ales

Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale
BA SCORE
3.98/5
2,155 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
Ranking:
#3,996
Reviews:
1,110
Ratings:
2,155
pDev:
10.55%
Bros Score:
4
 
 
Wants:
97
Gots:
222
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,155 |  Reviews: 1,110
Photo of OlRasputin989
3.98/5  rDev 0%
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.

 694 characters

Photo of tobyandgina
2.77/5  rDev -30.4%
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 -29.1%
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 -3.3%
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 -0.8%
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 +0.5%
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 -7.5%
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 -2.5%
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 +5%
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 -2.8%
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 +0.5%
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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Photo of popery
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brutal Bitter is a nicely balanced beer that still retains Rogue's signature style. The beer pours a light ochre with a nice bubbly head. The aroma is mildly citrusy with a healthy caramel malt sweetness. The flavor has a touch of alcohol, but it's mostly a fairly hoppy version of an ESB. It's dryer and somewhat more grassy, lemony bitter than most IPAs, but it's also not a very British taste, not that I've had all that many British beers really. At any rate, it drinks easily and the mouthfeel is good, sudsy, light. I also appreciate that the beer is unfiltered, always a nice touch in contrast to all of the filtered IPAs.

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Photo of jbennett1919
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice golden yellow with a nice one finger head.

Smell is of nice floral hops and grapefruit.

Tastes absolutely great. This beer should be called an IPA and not a bitter. Taste is of hops and grapefruit. Solid finish!

Mouthfeel is pleasant from start to finish.

I did not expect a solid IPA to come out of this 'Brutal Bitter' bottle; I was taken off-guard, but for a pleasant surprise. I think this is probably my second favorite Rogue brew behind the Juniper Ale.

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Photo of ADZA
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a light copper hue with beautiful carbonation that leaves a nice frothy two finger head with sporadic lacing,it has a dominant aroma of pine coated grapefruit hops a beautiful smell,and the taste doesnt let it down it has a light mouthfeel and the grapefruit hops are dominant and it finishes a little bitter but not extreme the perfect balance between hops and malts plays out in the finish to make this beer very easy to drink prob one of the best examples of this style for me.

 496 characters

Photo of jsh420
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours a golden yellow with a 1+ finger head that left no lacing

smells of grapefruit hops and not much else - love it

taste says IPA not ESB - grapefruit hops upfront that mesh well with the sweet malts that come in at the finish

mouthfeel was light and perfectly carbonated

drinkability is out of this world and i am glad i bought a sixer over the bomber

 359 characters

Photo of glid02
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cask from Trappeze in Athens, GA.

Pours a hazy copper color with two fingers of off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of floral and grapefruit hop aromas with hints of mildly spicy malts.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Robust malt flavors up front are joined by grapefruit hop flavors in short order, though they're not quite as intense as the smell led me to believe. A small amount of spiciness comes out near the end of the sip before a bitter ending that manages to become more bitter as the beer disappears.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a nice thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could easily have another.

Overall this was a tasty beverage that I think benefitted from the cask conditioning - the hops were able to shine a bit more. Worth a shot.

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Photo of donmonkey1
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy dark orange with a really large white head. Good lacing. Good head retention.

Smell: Mild floral hops.

Taste: Floral hops, very strong but not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy but boring. No carbonation or sting or anything.

Drinkability: Easy to drink, great flavor. After you swallow, there's a mild and clean aftertaste.

This is a great beer. It's perfect for its style.

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Photo of loren01
4.67/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours an orangish color, good frothy white head, good lace all the way down the glass
S: Smell is very pleasant. Smells of citrusy hops, slight bit of yeast smell as well
T: Taste is sligtly malty up front with a nice crisp citrusy hop taste toward the end. I expected a more bitter beer with the name and all but its actually pretty well balanced out which is fine.
M: Medium bodied beer with medium to high amount of carbonation
D: I love this beer!! One of my all time favorite beers from Rogue I would have to say.

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Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a nice turbid orange-peach color with white head that sticks around for a while. Nice lacing.

S- Lots of pleasant citrus hops here. Some light caramel in the background, but hops are the main player.

T- Some citrus hops, nice leafy and resinous hops, balanced with a decent caramel-like backbone. Tastes kind of like an IPA. Refreshing. Somewhat of an earthy finish. I wish there was some more malt character though.

M- A bit over-carbonated for my taste. Light bodied, dry finish.

D- This is supremely enjoyable. Light and refreshing, this one's an easy drink. Not the best quality beer from Rogue, but I definitely enjoy it.

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Photo of MaxBrews
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

355ml bottle poured in a mug. No idea of the best by date.

Appearance. Pours hazy copper orange color. Average head with average retention which dissipates into a thin unimpressive soapy lacing.

Smell: Very hoppy. Hops have a wide range of notes; floral, fruity, citrus. Rustic wooden notes from the malt. A faint alcoholic aroma.

Taste: Hits a lot less harder on hoppy taste then I expected. From the malt I picked up rustic notes, raisins and dark pitted fruit. A tiny bit of floral hops picked up though not as much as its very pronounced hop smell.

Mouthfeel: extremely high carbonation tingles the tongue in the way over-carbonated soda does. Finishes with a very dry bitter note. This beer does live up to its name on that. While its not brutal for me I could see many thinking this was large. A bit too carbonated I think but other then that this has a decent bite, that you really shouldn't be surprised about seeing this is called the "brutal bitter".

Drinkability: A well balanced beer, but too bitter and high and alcohol in my opinion to be a decent session. I would sample again though even though this wasn't an instant hit with me.

 1,152 characters

Photo of pmcadamis
4.79/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - This one is a hazy orange with a nice thick white head. Good lacing and retention, but nothing mind-boggling.

S - Wow. Hops out the ying-yang. This is floral, breezy, and fresh with a contrasting sharp hop note. Fresh bread, yeast, and grassy hops. Nice!

T - Super hoppy and bitter! This is a hop-heads wet dream, but its also very balanced and relatively even keeled.

M - Medium bodied, ridiculously fresh, and tingly with effervescent carbonation. This produces an odd fuzzy sensation on my tongue that I really like.

D - Super-session material for sure. This is one of the best all-arounders I've had in a long time. This (other than the easy going, but far from bland appearance) is a jack of all trades, and pretty much a master of them too. Ridiculously good beer.

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Photo of DiabolikDUB
3.52/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On-Tap @ the Portland Pub poured into Pint glass.

Pours a cloudy orange color with a thin off-white head and leaves a slight ring around the glass. The aroma is hops, orange peel and some other citrus. The flavor is much of the same with the orange peel being in the forefront and a lingering bitterness and some slight yeast. Its medium bodied with a moderate carbonation. Good stuff, one of the beers that really got me into IPA's. That being said I could have used a little more flavor as this felt a bit thin although it could be because it was served frosty cold.

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Photo of ZorPrime
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Tasted on July 1st, 2009. Received during CanBIF5 from Ralphus.

A: Cloudy copper yellow color. Very nice looking. Cloudy head (soap style).
S: Hops, citrus. I little piny behind. Intense aroma.
T: Medium strong taste. I would have thought this one was more bitter based on the smell. Hops with some bitterness.
M: Medium body.
D: So easy to drink, it is dangerous.

I would have thought this one to be more bitter, nevertheless, it is an excellent brew! I want more!! :)

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Photo of nicnut45
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This one pours a hazy orangeish brown color. The head settles into a nice patchy cloud like appearance. A fine aroma. On the bottle it says only one type of hops employed. Well in this case less is more. I detect a fine grape juice aroma followed by some earthy hops. This reminds me of fruity pebbles cereal. I get tastes of grape juice as I take a sip with a bit of lemongrass. The bitterness is perfect and doesnt have a wierd aftertaste. It is very interesting to say the least. A well crafted beer.
I hate describing mouthfeel in beers but this one is different. The perfect level of carbonation and it is a bit chewey as well. Not too light and definetly not too heavy for its style. I wouldnt drink this all night and I dont think that is what the brewer intended for this one. I would definetly buy it again but I wouldnt drink a six pack in a night. But all in all a very good beer.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650ml bomber. My initial encounter with this beer involved my ex-girlfriend, and me puking outside her mom's car after a family (hers) wedding. Lesson learned? Beer ain't the problem - drinking shitty Greek brandy with her brother was.

This beer pours a hazy medium golden amber colour, with three fingers of dense, tightly puffy, and weakly foamy off-white head, which leaves consistent rings of webbed lace around the glass as it slowly recedes.

It smells of gritty, bready caramel malt, citrus and pine hops, and a further slightly perfumed floral essence. The taste is musty, clammy caramel malt, muted, indistinct citrus, wet pine needles, and more outlying floral, grassy hops.

The carbonation is moderate, and generally laissez-faire on my tongue, the body on the light side of medium weight, and underwhelmingly smooth, as the lack of overt hoppiness doesn't mean what one might think. It finishes off-dry, with tangy, slightly sour malt, and floral, citrusy hops.

If I had to peg this outside the myriad BA distractions, I would claim it to be a bit of a ramped-up ESB, or failing that, a beginner's IPA. Too much middling about in the maltiness, and with a hoppiness that seems incapable of duly assaulting my palate, especially given the ultimate proximity of this brewery to the physical west coast.

 1,318 characters

Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 3.98 out of 5 with 2,155 ratings
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