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 Slynger
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy apricot color with medium sized fuzzy off-white head. Smells of sweet citrus orange hops and toasted malts. Dry, fresh, and creamy carbonation on the palate. Crystal and toasted malts with an earthy, piney hop bitterness that is brutal in the last. Very refreshing and drinkable. Seems like another solid Rogue offering, but I'm not too familiar with the style at this point.

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Photo of dmamiano
3.12/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium straw color...good head and lacing.
Not much to be noticed in the nose...some sweet malts, a little bready. Maybe biscuit.
Taste is somewhat malty and bitter..imagine that.
No hop flavor profile, but the bitterness hangs an.
Good mouthfeel. Maltyiness is nice.
Pretty good beer, but not worth the price paid.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another strong selection from Rogue... any bitterness present in this sample is masked by an uncanny smoothness as the beer goes down very cleanly without any negative lingering aftertaste... appearance was very good - full bodied amber / copper color with modest head... smell was very bready and slightly hoppy with bread-like aroma coming through... taste was very good... butter flavor and earthiness present... great mouthfeel and good drinkability... no alcohol detected and bitterness masked by an ultra smooth finish... Recommended...

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

A thick white foamy head sits atop a cloudy orange colored beer. the head has a death grip on the side of the glass, which is nice.

Aroma is mostly that of big citrusy hops. The flavor starts out with citrus fruitiness and some caramel sweetness, then quickly turns brutally bitter. Some alcohol warmth mixed in with bitter hops for a long lingering finish that's worth the price of admission.

Big body, with visible viscosity. It's gonna take some work to get this one down. The rest of this sixer will be spaced out pretty far throughout the course of this winter, I can assure you of that.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark gold with a touch of almost brown with a sizeable white head. Nose is Extremely hoppy and super sweet. Flavor is thick with hops and a very slight bite. Just barely bitter as the hops take over the flavor profile, but don’t make it too unbearable with too hoppy a tone. Mouthfeel is good on carbonation and this one is extremely drinkable. This is the 13th beer I have reviewed from Rogue and yet again they deliver. I just want to try more, and more, and more...

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Photo of tonistruth
3.16/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- cloudy, darker shade of straw for color of the beer, 1 finger fluffy, cloud like, white head with fantastic retention

S- hoppy (herbal and grapefruit), bready, musky scent

T- bready malt plays a strong supporting role to hops throughout, slightly citric and herbal hops, mostly earthy

M- medium body with a coarse finish

D- doesn't taste to much like most ESB's I've had, but this is Rogue, so thats expected, wasn't bad by any stretch of the imagination but i wouldn't turn to this when looking for a solid ESB...I'm not exactly sure where i would place beer, feels in between a pale and an IPA

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz from the Boise Coop... shared with a coworker.. mine from a shaker pint.

Big 2" fluffy off white head... sits atop a only slightly hazy golden orange brew.

Awesome grapefruity aroma... some fruity esters... only the slightest smell of pale malts.

Nice low/medium mouthfeel.... relatively low carbonation... larger than average bitterness... with mouthcoating oily citrus hops... enough malts to balance (in a hophead's mind) .. but this brew is a showcase for the hop.

In a blind tasting, I would call this an IPA hands down everytime... A really nice Rogue brew... and another of my goto bottles... very very drinkable and enjoyable even on a cold Idaho night.

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

P: 20 oz. Brown Bomber bottle

A: Poured into a Sam Adams glass a light brown and orange pour with a finger of foam that quickly lowers to a scant cover with the carbonation raising from the etched bottom to form adding to the cover with little lacing.

S: Roasted malt, green grains, sweet florals and a crisp nose of citrus pith.

T: Roasted malts followed by green bitter hops with no discernable alcohol bite. Tongue and palate are treated with the myriad flavors slowly revealing themselves.

M: A real treat for the mouth! Tongue is kicked awake with the bold tastes, the mouth quickly joins in taking in the flavors with the palate left with a dry and crisp feeling where they flavors slowly reveal themselves.

D: Must be coming around to the hops as I find this one really well balanced and not overly bitter, despite it’s name and a complete absence of any overwhelming bitter hop flavors Well balanced and an enjoyable drink. I like it a lot!

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Photo of edbeered
3.91/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at the Happy Gnome, the day after a Rogue beer dinner, this pours a hazy amber color, with a minimal white head that subsides quickly, yet leaves fine white lace on the glass. Even after warming up, the smell is minimal, with a hint of hops. The taste is of floral hops, with a sweet malty backing. There is a hint of piney hop flavor as well. This beer is very smooth, with a nice creamy mouthfeel. This a good session beer and is very drinkable. This is a nice example of a flavorful yet uncomplicated Bitter.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle into pint glass. No date on bottle.

A - Beautiful looking hazy orange, almost caramel colored body with perfect one-finger rocky light beige head. Nice bubbles of carbonation flow through this thick brew. Half-finger head remained until the end, leaving some fair lacing as well.

S - Pleasant floral hop bouquet with some perfume and resiny qualities coming out as well. Malt is sweet caramel, toffee and candy with a bit of grainy cereal way in the back. Slight tinge of alcohol, especially as the liquid warmed up.

T - Starts out a little sweet, but the hops take over rather quickly, resulting in a pretty heavy, long bitter finish.

M - This is a fairly full-bodied, chewy brew with an oily texture and lively carbonation. It finishes up lightly alcoholic and moderately astringent with a mild burnt quality. Resiny hops coat the back of the tongue and hang on for a while.

D - Pucker up, because this is definitely one bitter beer. The complex hop character works well with the caramel and sweet candy qualities. Finishes up nice and bitter, but not too harsh. One of my favorite offerings from Rogue.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.33/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from a 22 oz bottle named after Max's tap house. The liquid is orange with good carbonation. The head is big off white and leaves good lace.

The smell is ok a bunch of bitter earthy hops and some bready malt to add balance.

The taste is not so great, a bit of a soapy flavor over earth and flowal hops and malt/

The mouthfeel is good, ni ce body and good carbonation.

The drinkability in not up to my par, I would not seek this out as the taste just does not seem to work for me. MK

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

A - Dark orange color. White head fades to a thick film. Good lacing, sticking in thick strips.

S - Light fruity hops, green and ripe smelling, very spicy and peppery caramel malts and some overtones of sugary sweetness.

T/M - Starts out with a sharp carbonation bite, hits of green bitterness and some caramely maltiness. Then some warm biscuity malts with a good hoppy background. Finish leaves a light bitterness and some brown sugar.

D - Another excellently well-rounded brew from Rogue, not to be missed.

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

A - Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a pint mug. A very cloudy and hazy amber with a 2 finger white head that fell in a relaxed manner to a skim over the top with some decent lacing

S - Citrus hops mostly

T - A very bold hop statement up front of citrus hops with a nice malty middle and finishing out with a mild bitterness of citrus hops again

M - A nice full feel in the mouth..not quite chewy but has some body to it

D - A nice ESB overall..I have always enjoyed Rogue products and this one doesn't disappoint

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Photo of marcpal
4.19/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Old Bay- New Brunswick, NJ - poured into pint glass.

A: Light yellow color, pretty transparent with pronounced head of clean foam.

S: The bitterness comes through here, very nice. The citrus flavors are present and hit substantially with the hops providing great balance.

T: I thought this was bitter as advertised, led by the citrus taste that seemed to really develop more throughout the beer. Lip smacking good.

M: Bitterness wasnt overdone- it was set up nicely and had very good above average mouthfeel.

D: Had as the last beer of the night but would have been happy with more than just one, drinkable. Probably great with good food as well.

Hell, another quality offering from Rogue. On to the next.

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

Hazy amber with some orange highlights. Just barely off white head with decent retention and good lace. Smell has a very nice bready and biscuity smell followed by some citrus and hop. Well balanced taste with a great hop character that really comes through in the finish. Really like the hops in this one. Above average for what I expect from Rogue these days. Very silky. Good full/medium body and very smooth. I like the fact that esb does not necessarily mean bitter bitter. It just mean extra special. Good job. Quality beer. Not my fav esb of all time, but a pleasant beer that I would gladly and will gladly enjoy again and again I'm sure.

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

22oz bomber, served in a pint glass.

A - cloudy, burnt orange color with a decent sized beige head that settled to a layer, leaving plenty of lacing behind.

S - hoppy citrus aroma.

T - upfront hop bite, some malt taste in the middle with a bitter hop finish. There's a lot going on here.

M - medium bodied with mild carbonation.

D - I could drink this beer all night, a very nice offering from Rogue.

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Photo of jp32
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A cloudy bronze with quickly receding head.

S: Total citrus and bitter hops

T: Palate-smacking hoppiness, citrusy and acidic. Hops so bitter they're almost sour on the sides of the tongue.

M: Maybe medium bodied with good carbonation.

D: A solid hoppy offering from Rogue.

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Photo of AMo
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Rogue Brutal Bitter pours an extremely attractive copper amber hue that can just barely be seen through. It has a medium smell, mostly of hops. The taste isn't nearly what the name suggests, but it does have a smooth well balanced hop taste. This beer to me is a bit mellow, but still very drinkable. Definetly a good call.

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

22oz to pint glass...

Pours a hazy burnt orange with a nice two fingered off white head. Not much in the way of retention or lacing. Smells of sweet malts, floral hops, mellow sweet fruits, followed by slight grassy hops again. The nose is subtle, but with some work I was able to drum up some really nice notes.

What a well balanced beer this is for the style. Extremely clean and single minded hop signature with this brew (all crystal according to the bottle). Sweet malts are present and well accounted for and fight at the middle and the finish for some time in the spot light. They do make a couple of rreally solid appearances.

Carbonation is just perfect and doesn't cut off the lingering and somewhat changing finish. Mouthfeel is right in line. An extremely drinkable beer that hides it's kick quite well. Great beer for burgers and BBQ!

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Photo of baos
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle into glass.

A: Dirty dishwater blonde with a 2 finger head. With good head retention.

S: Hoppy! hints of malts and honey comb, minus the honey.

T: Hops with a nice clover beeswax taste that grows as the beer warms. Some citrus notes. Not as bitter as I had hoped. Finishes very dry.

M: Super creamy and nearly perfect. The best aspect of this beer.

D: Very good. I think I could muster a few bottles of this with a giant meal. It would make a king of me. A bit of yummy sediment at the bottom, drink the sediment its good for you. I like this beer a lot. Try one on, it fits nicely.

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Photo of TheBierBand
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Dewey's Pizza in Clifton (Cincinnati, OH). It arrived with a thin cap from an apparently very soft pour. Lacing left on the glass was medium as I drank. The color was a light-ish amber.

The smell was minimal, but I got hints of a piney hops.

The taste was not brutal or bitter. I was expecting quite the hop bomb given the name... it was a pleasant quaff though. The piney hops came through and were balanced by a roasted malt taste.

Mouthfeel was nice and robust.... carbonation was about right for my taste.... not too fizzy.

Drinkability... This beer went VERY WELL with my Bronx Bomber Pizza. I would recommend this beer.

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Photo of JBogan
3.19/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a cloudy light copper color and had no head to speak of. This Rogue also left no lacing in my glass.

A nice malty aroma with a slight hint of what seemed to be pine.

The alcohol content was well concealed, mainly malt is what I detected.

This had an average mouthfeel. Not much carbonation to speak of, very smooth.

A pretty easy to drink beer, as most Rogues are. Not something I'd drink on a regular basis but it was enjoyable.

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Photo of morimech
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy, hazy orange color with a thick, billowing head that sticks around and leaves heavy lacing. A lot of citrus in the nose. A lemon/lime smell. It has a bit of a hop bite with more citrus flavors. It finishes dry and refreshing. Outstanding. This is an active brew after the pour and is well carbonated. I really enjoyed this beer and will have another.

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Photo of Douglas14
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very hazy golden/ light amber color. Strong floral and pine smell come out immediately. It has minimal head with not much retention. Medium to light body. Tastes better and more complex than the smell...hoppy, malty, fruity even. Overall, awesome twist in a traditional English ale

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Photo of pwoods
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz single from Party Source poured into a pint glass. I just bought this but the etching on the bottle says it's been in the store since jan06.

A: Nice 2 finger, off white head. Poured lighter than expected; light orange similiar to a witbier or weizen.

S: Not getting too strong of a smell here, which is kinda puzzling. Getting just a hind of.... lime zest? more of the white part of the zest(lol).

T/M: Great bitterness, balanced out with a doughiness reminding me of lightly undercooked cheese bread. Getting stronger lime than I smelled. Tastes great with a nice dry finish. Smooth body with an average viscosity. Carbonation feels just right.

D: I could easily make this a session beer if I weren't a blue collar bum. Tried a second(and third) with tri-tip, coleslaw and potato pancakes... went absolutely amazingly together.

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