Brutal | Rogue Ales

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2,313 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: 2,313 |  Reviews: 1,128
Photo of KeefD
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
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 -14.4%
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 +3.8%
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 0%
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 +5.8%
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 -1.5%
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 +13.6%
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 -19.9%
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 +5.8%
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 0%
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 +3.3%
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 +0.8%
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 +4.3%
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 +5.8%
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 +4.8%
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 -10.1%
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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Photo of Antilochus
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yet another 2008 LCBO Spring Release! I've been eagerly anticipating tasting this one. 6.00% abv, 650mL bottle. Best before '31C09', whenever that is. More from the bottle: 59 IBU, 15 Plato. Only crystal hops. Poured into white wine glass.

Slightly hazy orange body, rocky white cap with gobs of lace. Good retention. Nice.

Nose is like hop tea - grapefruit sourness with some subtler orangeyness. Just a fresh floral hint. Big resinous pine notes too, just a bit of malty biscuitness out back to give some substance. A little alcoholic too, but like dry erase markers. Very straightforward nose.

Oily, medium feel with a bit of fizz. Palate is very curious, much less obvious than the nose. Grapefruit and rind, for sure, but some other fruitiness that I can't put my finger on... blueberry pancakes? Juniper? Bit of candy sugar too. Some organic woody smoke too- toasty. Exceptionally long rindy bitter finish.

Good on the LCBO for bringing this up, it is a very distinctive bitter and hopefully we'll see more from Rogue in the future. With the hop shortage this is like drinking liquid gold. Yum.

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Photo of JamesS
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a great dark orange/copper color with a very nice headd and great lacing. Great aroma, a nice bit of bitter hoppiness with a slight sweet scent. Excellent taste, as well, a nice mixture of malts and hops, leaning towards a nice hoppy/bitter flavor and aftertaste. Very smooth beer, a great ESB.

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Photo of ElGrecoVerde
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jackie, I can no longer look at the bottle without thinking of Jeff Goldblum, which reminds me of Jurassic Park, and makes me wonder if "there will be any dinosaurs on this dinosaur tour."

I wasn't expecting to like this beer, considering I usually don't like the style. Maybe it was the ingredients, or maybe my tastes are maturing, but I thought this was great.

The smell was excellent. One of the best smelling beers I've ever had, for what that's worth. Strong smell of apples and citrusy flavors. Also some clean wheat aromas. But the apples... It really smelled like an orchard.

Taste followed up with more crisp, yet tart fruit. There's bitterness throughout this brew, but it really helps balance the flavors. Finishes smooth and somewhat dry, leaving a hint of tart apples as an aftertaste inviting you to drink more.

This was a highly enjoyable beer.

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Photo of CanuckRover
4.39/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy, light amber. Orange-tinged white head, about a finger width thick, small bubbles. Doesn't last. Lacings are spotty.

A really nice aroma. Sweet lemonade with a touch of orange. Faint grain behind that with a caramel tinge.

More hops than we're used to in these parts (or at least, different hops... hop) but this is still well balanced. Quite an organge citrus taste, clementines come right out at me. There is the pine and grapefruit you'd expect but it isn't as, some might say, boring, as you'd expect. There are some other nice flavours going on. The hops take over fairly quickly and after it hits the back of your tongue the bitterness will overshadow the rest of the beer, but with that first intake you get some nice sweet caramel from the malt.

Very drinkable beer, the hops aren't as overdone as I had been expecting. Well balanced, hopefully I can pick up a few more.

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Photo of DontCallMeSurly
4.01/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. I'd say there was about 1.5 inches of very frothy, highly carbonated head on top which dissipated to about a quarter of an inch within minutes of pouring. The beer itself is a golden-ish, peachy, honey color. All I get from scent is a bread-like, doughy aroma. I can't smell any hops. Finally, onto the taste. Again, the hop profile isn't coming through, I taste a lot of malts. The alcohol is somewhat easily detected too.

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Photo of cswhitehorse
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Brutal bitter hits you right away. It pours a light amber color with a finger foam head that leaves the film on the side of the glass with nice webbing.

The aroma is a lovely citrusy hop smell. The taste hits you with a medicine like flavor which was unique(minty dentist flavor as a kid?). Not familiar with the method.

In the mouth it leaves its bitterness and hop aroma around your head. Very enjoyable brew and I will buy it again. I feel like I should go to a pub and drink a sixer or two.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle a warm hazy apricot color with a light foamy beige head.

Aroma of sweet malts, and cirtusy hops.

Taste is sweet and malty along with a touch of grapefruit and orange. Finish is slightly bitter.

Medium bodied, smooth and dry with light carbonation.

Overall, this is a nice bitter from Rogue. Definitely worth a try.

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

Review from notes. Poured into my Rogue pint glass. Dark brown-orange in color, with a fluffy off white head. Not much lacing. Aroma is quite sweet, with a lot of juicy citrus hops and sugary malt. Taste is mainly caramel/toffee, but there's a nice floral hoppiness that complements it well. Finish is bitter but not overly so. Very tasty and very smooth.

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Photo of shamus
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is called brutal bitter and it is. There is no false advertising here. I like bitter so long as the hops come through and they do. A lovely addition to the LCBO, however I fear it is a one time deal for my store. I hate how they bring in new products that turn out to be great and then you never see them again. I don't know what to say except this is a very noble product that I could consume regularly. MMMM the fresh hop fragrance lingers long after the first sip.

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Brutal from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 2,313 ratings