Brutal Bitter Ale | Rogue Ales

2,147 Ratings
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 Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,147 |  Reviews: 1,109
Photo of sstackho
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz purchased from LCBO in Grimsby. Nice, but slightly restrained hoppy aroma. First taste is rich, with nice fruity hops. Very nicely balanced. Pretty much exactly what I was hoping for. More fruitiness in the hops than most IPAs, but not lacking in overall hop bitterness. Interesting to read that the only hop used is Crystal from Oregon.

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

A: Copper, amber, and orange--the color is a combination of the three. Head is pale beige or tan with amber hints--it lasts for just a bit and recedes to a moderate film over the surface. Minimal lacing.

S: Hops, period. Piney, citrus, and slightly floral hop aromas. Some grapefruit, as well. That's about it--hops dominate the aroma (but in a good way).

T&M: I think I'm getting turned onto hops in a big way... It's got a bitter citrus and piney flavor. I can detect the malt now in the background--but only barely, as it sort of off-sets the full bittering power of the hops. The flavor profile isn't as complex here as some of the darker beers I enjoy, but it's still good. Body is on the light side of medium with a balanced (not oily, not smooth, not astringent) mouthfeel. Lots of carbonation dances across the tongue--further unpacking the bitterness and flavor of the hop profile of the beer.

D: drinkable because of it's balanced bitterness. Some ESBs are too damn bitter to be overly drinkable, but this one hits the spot. Very sessionable, especially on a hot day. Similar in character to Terrapin Rye Pale Ale, but slightly more bitter.

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Photo of cvstrickland
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle requires two pours to fit in an imperial pint seidel. 3+ fingers of creamy white head reduces to a sheet and leaves spotty, fuzzy lacing. Pretty, hazy orange-amber body.

Smells citrusy with a hint of pineapple and an earthy quality lurking amidst some caramel sweetness.

Taste is a balance of toasty malt and fruity hops; dry, with a dose of pine needles, and bitter, but nothing "brutal" about it.

Lightly sticky and coating in the mouth, but nicely carbonated and drying to make it all go down too easy.

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Photo of GJ40
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 12oz bottle in a standard pint glass.

Copper color with a slight haze and signs of life throughout. It's got a nice thick head that stays around for the whole experience. Slightly sweet, toasted smell. Taste is slightly bitter and hoppy with a slight malty sweetness in the background.

This is a really good beer. I could drink them over and over again. It's a little expensive ($12/6 pack in my area) but very enjoyable.

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Photo of irishkyle21
4.37/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Great head retention and lacing. Has a hazy orange color. I have not been disappointed by Rogue yet, and I don't think this beer will be the one.

Smells of floral/citric/resiny hops, fruits and a good dose of caramel malt.

Tastes of bitter/resiny hops, some earth and a sweet maltiness. Great beer.

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

Poured a bottle of this into a glass mug.

A: Pours a dark amber body with a thick, off-white head with good retention and excellent lacing along the sides of the glass.

S: A nice, sweet hopyy taste with some grapefruit undertones. Slight, bitter tones, but nothing too noticeable.

T: A nice, strong, bitter hoppy taste with an earthy, spicy aftertaste. Some bitterness, but well rounded by hints of malts.

M: A very silky smooth beer.

D: Ok drinkability overall. A nice, hoppy bitterness with some smooth malts to ease up the aftertaste. Definitely a nice beer and a good session beer. While the bitterness starts to smooth out later, it is still evident and smooth overall.

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Photo of zeff80
4.36/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pourd out an orange/amber color with a small, white head. No lace.

S - It smelled strongly of citrus and light malt. Maybe some piney notes.

T - It was spicy and sweet. Great citrus and pine flavors. The bitterness was subtle and understated.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a great tasting brew. Although it tastes more like an APA.

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

Pours a cloudy orange colour with a nice creamy head. Citrusy, grassy, bready aroma. Very thirst quenching on a hot day, nice and bitter, grapefruit-citrusy and spicy with notes of hay and vanilla and also somewhat piney. Very drinkable, I would definately buy this beer again.

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Photo of aquaderek
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured the beer into a session glass. The beer is golden orange classic esb color. The nose is toasty, some hops, caramel, and grapefruit. The taste toasty malts followed by hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is viscous and has the hoppy bitterness. This would be a good beer for more than one, but after that the bitterness may get to you.

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Photo of KeefD
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

hazy amber-orange color with a nice head and good lacing. Slight floral and citrus notes on the nose. Nice hop flavor, but not brutally bitter as the name would imply. Slightly sweet but a nice balance and good mouthfeel. Hops are nicely balanced by the malts making this an excellent ESB.


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Photo of praufs01
3.4/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance - Hazy amber with a creamy off white head.

Aroma - Light grass smells over a strong malty/bready backbone.

Palate - Moderate amount of carbonation.

Flavor - Clean well balanced malt and hop flavor.

Final thoughts - Very good and very sessionable.

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Photo of BigJTrucker
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice slightly brown orange color decent head settling to a thin foam. Aroma is somewhat citrusy without being overly aggressive. Taste is a bit of piney hop with a good dose of malt sweetness to keep the hops honest. Mouthfeel is somewhat bready, a bit thick on the finish. An all around good ESB. Will definitely pick up more of this.

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Photo of turbine2475
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BigJTrucker for this brew:
A - Pours a murky orange with an agressive slightly off white head that disipated slowly into a heavy lace.
S - Fruity citrus hops with touches of sweet taffy with an ending of pine and honey. More complex then I thought it would be. Very nice.
T - Pine, juniper, and tart citrus hops with a touch of sweetness that finishes very dry.
M - Bittersweet dryness that coats the mouth with a moderately high carbonation that stays around for a bit.
D - One of my favorites of the style. Solid bitter punch makes this beer great for any hop lover. A little too much bite and alcohol to be completely sessionable.

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

A - Light orangey gold, with some white fluffy head.
S - Lots of nice hops in the nose, with a good sweet malty biscuity smell.
T - A warm sweet biscuity, bready center and nice toffee tastes wrapped in a nice hop cover which dries the mouth and begs for more. Some nice citrusy orange also there in the hops. A slightly American spin on an English smoothness.
M - So very smooth and nicely drinkable.
D - Really quite good.

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Photo of GRPunk
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into an Imperial Pint glass.

A- It poured a clearish amber color with a 2 finger fluffy off-white head. There was heavy carbonation and lots of stikcy rings left on the glass. On an additional pour, it became more cloudy toward the end of the bottle.

S- There was a clean hoppy aroma initially. After sitting for a few moments, the scent became slighty muted.

T- The flavor was much more subdued than the scent would suggest. It started with more of a malty flavor and finished with a dry hoppy taste of citrus and pine.

M- There's a slight bite from both the heavier carbonation and generous hopping. The finish was bone dry.

D- You can put more than one of these back in a sitting. I polished off a 650 ML bottle and thought I could use another.

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Photo of fl0w
4.51/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a pint glass from bottle.

Orange/copper appearance, inch and a half white head which receded rather quickly, with little lacing.

Wonderful smell, strong fresh hops and a bit of citrus. Wish I had a better glass for this smell, I had my nose in this the whole time, the smell was really that good.

The taste was great, more citrus, maybe grapefruit, giving way to hops. While less bitter then I expected, it did have a great hoppy bitterness in the aftertaste. For those put off thinking this is going to be too bitter, it isn't. The bitterness is just right.

Mouthfeel was bready, slightly dry, with the perfect amount of carbonation.

I could definitely drink a few of these, was disappointed I only had 2

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Photo of avalon07
3.18/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: When poured into a pint glass from a bottle, this had a bright amber hue and a somewhat thick texture. Not much head to speak of.

S: Rich in hops and some fruits, maybe a bit of malts.

T: I wasn't so impressed with this. While the hops were immediately noticable, there wasn't much else to crow about. It didn't seem all that complex.

M: There was a below average amount of carbonation with this beer. Kind slick finish.

D: This one didn't do much for me. It wasn't the worst I've ever had, but not the best either. It simply lacked complexity. Not without its charms, though.

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Photo of allergictomacros
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a hazy copper/orange with a thick, creamy, taupe head.

S - Fresh citrusy tangerine, caramelly malts.

T - Grapefruity hops come on strong with an assertive bitterness. There's some fruitiness and toastiness but both are muted. Very much a hop-centered taste.

M - Medium bodied, and not overly carbonated. Feels a bit coarse and chewy on the tongue.

D - Very IPA-like. Hops are much more assertive than expected, and very drinkable.

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

Poured an amber brown with a nice off white head. You can smell the hops, this beer just smells delicious. extremely well balanced. I really like the slight hop bite this beer had. really nice beer and a pretty nice example of the style. A staple ESB and a darn good one by Rogue. Cheers!!

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Photo of Pencible
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

After trying several of Rogue's brews, I've come to notice a common flavor among them that is unique from other beers. I think it's the blend of hops they use for their bitterness, which is very citrussy. This one didn't have much more to it: hazy orange pour with typical texture and standard Rogue flavoring. This is a good daily drinker if you want a change of pace from Sierra Nevada.

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

The bottle looks its been sitting on the shelf of my local liquor sotre, but the beer inside should be fine. On th the beer:

The fresh smell of hops rise from bottle after its opened, eliminating most of my doubt. Anyways, clug, clug, clug goes the beer into a Harp pint glass, where it has a dark orange/copper glow and a compact head on top. The smell, as I hinted earlier, is of clean, crisp hops. More hops and resin in the overall flavor too. Very clean for the style, with just a bit of toffee and diacetyl. Alcohol is hidden well. The bitterness decreases while the diacteyl increases when the beer warms slightly, making for a more authentic (and tastier) ESB. Yum.

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Photo of mattster
4.14/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint glass from tap at Papago Brewing.

Nice head in glass atop a light copper colored brew.

Smell is of hops and very citrus; Taste follows through with smell with some pineness and earthiness. Finishes really nice, very pleasant with the bitters. Will try this one again.

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Photo of jkane101
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a foggy copper..inch and a half head that settled leaving decent lacing.
I was prepared for a seriously bitter bite but it never happened. Nothing brutal about this beers bitterness. Extremely tatsy...went down very easy.
This is an excellent brew by Rogue...highly recom!

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Photo of JDV
4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a glowing orange color and a beige head atop. Very pleasant nose with an apricot fruitiness and sweet juicy hoppiness about it. Taste is mild apricot and fruity, and more hoppy than expected for the style, but very welcomed as it makes this a fantastic ESB. Very drinkable and suprisingly good despite a quick finish. Easily one of Rogues best beers in my opinion.

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Photo of bort11
3.57/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Hobgoblin tall shaker pint. Tall rocky head that stands nearly two inches high. Very slow to recede and leaves a spotty ring around the glass. Color is a very hazy peach, with some very fine sediment floating around.

Smell has a grapefruit citrus aroma mingled with a honey sweet malt. Taste is an almost astringent bitter. It mellows as it warms and moves to a pink grapefruit pucker.

Mouthfeel is a bit gritty and has a husky dryness. this is OK, but seems more like an APA than a bitter.

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Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
4.01 out of 5 based on 2,147 ratings.
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