Brutal | Rogue Ales

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2,314 Ratings

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly known as Brutal IPA, Brutal Bitter Ale, and 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.

15° Plato / 46 IBU / 81 AA / 13° Lovibond

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-28-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,314 |  Reviews: 1,130
Photo of roadhouse
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a cloudy orange coppery color with a one finger off-white head that dissipates into a thin coating.

Aroma is pretty fruity and floral. I get pear and apple. There is a sweet malty aroma as well, somewhat biscuity.

Flavor is biscuit and sweet malt up front, followed by a dose of piney, spicy hops, and a bit of citric twang.

Medium-light bodied mouthfeel but a bit rough on the tongue. The carbonation is almost harsh.

Overall, it's what I expected it to be. Good and hoppy, but it's quite balanced. I can drink a few, but I wouldn't really seek it out again.

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

Appearance: orange marmalade, a bit hazy, not much head (just a thin crown)

Aroma: fresh-boiled wort, grapefruity hop scent, caramel, grass, nutty

Flavor: full malty base with a concentrated robust flavor and a quick-hitting citrus-peel bitterness and flavor; fresh cut grass, lemon zest; finishes semisweet with a lingering bitterness

Mouthfeel: medium-full body, pert carbonation, slight mineral hardness

Other comments: A really tasty beer, but I wouldn't call it "brutal". A lovely "essence of the NW" version of an English beer style.

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Photo of johannasclimacus
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Not quite as bitter as I'd expected. I am getting most of the bitterness towards the end and in the aftertaste. It's got great carbonation and a smooth moutfeel, and I think this is one of the most drinkable beers I've tried.

A good offering from Rogue, perfect for a warm summer evening.

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Photo of kzoobrew
3.91/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great copper color with huge pillowy white head, good retention. Some lacing sticks quite well but lacing nothing more than moderate. Slightly hazy.

Strong floral piny hop aroma.

Taste has decent toasted malt flavor up front. Not the bitterness up front I expected, slightly less. Bitterness does kick in on the back end.

Mouthfeel is smooth and oily. Carbonation is perfect for the brew, refreshing.

Very drinkable, nice summer hot day brew.

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Photo of kevinglin
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden to amber color, somewhat hazy. Very small off-white head disippated pretty quickly.

Floral hop nose with hints of caramel. Taste followed suit - pronounced hop bitterness, but fairly well-balanced by the malt.

Medium body with low levels of carbonation, slight warming presence in the aftertaste.

Overall, a very drinkable, enjoyable ESB. Hop bitterness where expected, but aroma and flavor are balanced by the malt.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a nonic. Poured a translucent orange-gold with lots of tiny bubbles visible in solution. One-inch dense off-white head finally yielded to a quarter skim of foam within minutes; however, head was refreshed with each vigorous pour. Lots of fluffy, stikcy lacing. Light grassy smell with a hint of citrus and pine; very clean. Taste is somewhat biscuity (more sweet than bready), as well as more citrus astringency. Slight hops bitterness at the finish, but that character does not linger for too long between sips. Flavors are very well balanced. Mouthfeel is very subdued. Very smooth with little carbonation present; surprising considering the volume of the head. Goes down easy and not at as bitter as the name implies. Alcohol is well-hidden, but a 12oz offering would have better suited me.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is kind of faint but contains mostly caramelized malts and pale hops.

T: The taste is nicely balanced, which I wasn't really expecting with a name like "Brutal Bitter", with a pale hops bitterness and a faint but complimentary caramel and citrus sweetness. The malt character is hearty and provides some good substance. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, clean and dry finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, nice representation of style, an ESB isn't usually my first choice of style, but this is a good beer to drink for a while.

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

Slightly hazy orange with a billowy head that leaves lace.

Smells like many other Rogues, toasted flavors, and grapefruit hops with a hint of caramel and honey

Tastes of toasted malts, with a caramel and honey aftertaste. Pink grapefruit in the mix as well.

Smooth mouthfeel and nice drinkability. I dig this.

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Photo of IronCitySteve
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on cask.

A: A cloudy orangish color (napalm?) with an off white foamy head. Heavy lacing.

S: Very fruitful, mostly citrus fruits with a hint of grass or hay.

T: A little more pine hop than I enjoy, but balance a bit with citrus (lemon).

M: Obviously it leaves a bitter taste long after each swig. Also leave the tongue a little dry.

D: A great beer for the hop lover.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A. Hazel in color with little to no head.

S. Floral notes and some hops in there for sure.

T. Hops are in the forefront here, and not as bitter as anticipated. Its reminiscent of an IPA but its not very well balanced.

M. A little slick on the palate but it leaves a definate zing.

D. I could put down a few of these, not half bad at all.

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Photo of AmishT
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep golden honey amber in color. Translucent. A one finger white head develops upon pouring, but recedes quickly and leaves little lacing.

S - Piney, citrus hops are the most prevalent aroma. A faint malt character is also detectable. It's a pleasant nose, but I feel that the aromas should be a little bit stronger than they are.

T - The taste begins with the citrus malts which are balanced a little bit by a malt character a little later on. The finish is pretty clean; some faint, grassy hops linger. It's certainly not brutally bitter, but there is a pleasant bitterness. I still think the hop flavors could be more robust.

M - The bold earthy hops blend extremely well with the carbonation. Light bodied. Gets smoother as it warms up. Wonderful mouthfeel.

D - Good flavor, light bodied. ABV is a bit high to be a great session beer, but still mildly sessionable. Definitely enjoyable; have to pick this one up again.

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Photo of riversider76
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden amber with a one finger plus white head. Excellent retention and lacing. Aroma is of sweet fruit and piney hops. Body is thick and carbonated. Taste is very well balanced. Hints of sweetness through out with a bitter finish. One of the best!

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Photo of TheLocust830
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

a-hazy copper. Looks like some sediment was stirred up on the car ride. 1 finger head dissipated down to a foam that will not leave along with some very sticky lacing.

s-sweet citric hops, maybe some wet grass or dull piney scent over that.

t-far from brutal unless you are not a hophead. at first is a jolt of tart sweetness, then the hops kicks in in great balance. the hops taste seemed almost the opposite the smell, more pine than citrus. bitter aftertaste recedes quickly leaving me craving another sip.

m/d-seems fairly high carbonation and still very fizzy to the end although it didn't last that long. very drinkable, i could drink it like water and i recommend doing just that. delicious.

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Photo of cyrenaica
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle
6.00% ABV

I tried this beer on March 6, 2008 after purchasing from my local LCBO outlet. The beer poured a hazy coppery-red colour with a large generous fluffy off-white head. The aroma was extremely hoppy. A lot of floral perfumey hints such as pine, and grapefruit. The mouthfeel was medium-bodied, fairly carbonated, and bitter. The flavour was divine. Almost like my morning grapefruit in beer form. My first Rogue beer, and it didn't disappoint.

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Photo of aubuc1
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a hazy, golden orange with a nice off white head. Smells of malty hops. Not too sweet, but very hoppy. Taste is smooth with hops present. Much more bitter than traditional esb. Does not register as anything special, despite hefty price tag. Nice feel in mouth, but nothing special.

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Photo of BucBasil
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from the 650mL bottle into an imperial pint glass. The beer is a dark, cloudy orange color. Head is slightly off-white and grew to about two and a half fingers thick.

Smell: Nice citrusy hop aroma at first, nicely balanced. Simple but very nice.

Taste: Less balanced than the smell, there is a big hop profile on this one, including some citrus, but more piney and leafy hops. There is a bit of malt in the middle there, and then the taste finishes with a refreshing lemony taste.

Overall, not brutal as the name implies, but definitely has the ability to satisfy a hop craving.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.41/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is, of course, bitter. Not as bitter as you can get, but sacrifices novelty for drinkability.

A- I love the look of this grimy transluscent, caramel/apricot liquid. Reminds me of apple juice with large bubbles sticking to the edge and swirls of smaller carbonation on the inside.

S- Smell is nice and spicy with hoppy bitterness.

T- Tastes good and not brutally bitter. The first sensation on your tongue is alot of carbonation. After that you get a flavor that is like dark fruits(plums, prunes, grapes) with a bite of citrus.

M- Feels delightful. Excellent carbonation balances the bitterness and completely covers it if the beer is drank quickly.

D- Drinks very well for a bitter beer. I thank the beautiful carbonation job.

Overall- A beautiful beer with a feel that matches.

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Photo of sstackho
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
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 +3.3%
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 +1.5%
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 +9.1%
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 +10.1%
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 +3.3%
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 +9.8%
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 +5.8%
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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Brutal from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 2,314 ratings