Brutal | Rogue Ales

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2,311 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: 2,311 |  Reviews: 1,128
Photo of fitzy84
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The drink settled with a reddish-amber appearance with little head. The smell had a little spice too it, but it was mostly a mixture of malt and citrus. The taste was somewhat bitter, but a little sweet overall. It had a medium body that allowed it to be smooth but slightly crisp. In the end, this was a surprisingly, not so bitter, ale. Very good.

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Photo of cookin420
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a pubglass.

Big head with a moderately non-aggressive pour, receding quickly and leaving splotchy but thick lace. Color is a pale copper(Like Mark Fuhrman) with a touch of yellow. Minimal haze.

Not heavy on aroma but you definitely know there are hops here. Smells like Cascades but the bottle says Crystal hops witch I've never used but must be similar.

Very bitter. Brutality? Probably not quite, but close. Orange fruit; Orange, tangerine, clementine. Only traces of grapefruit and lime. Malt-wise there is just enough to make this drinkable and I mean that in a very good, good way. Very sweet and very bitter. Yes.

Certainly not a low F.G.

I've found this to be expensively drinkable.

Not cheap but not pricey either, IMO worth every tongue swelling, mouth puckering cent. 59 IBU? well used.

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

Pours an attractive, cloudy, cider color with a generous display of fluffy white head that shows determined retention. Nose is muted but pleasantly hoppy, with light, unaggressive pine and citrus. Also smells fresh and somewhat yeasty.

Deep, broad flavor with plenty of hops up front but more tasty than overpowering. Finish is balanced and satisfying. This is a nice thirst quencher and would be great with spicy food. Not overly complex but very nice in itself.

A little stronger and more overtly hops dominated than many in the style and a bit of an APA/ESB cross (no surprise coming from the West Coast) but certainly highly enjoyable and drinkable.

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

nice copper color with a thick fluffy head

the smell was of pine cones, very thick and heavy with hops and a little sweet.

smooth malty taste sweet with a nice hoppy bite not overbearing as the name would have you believe.
it had a real stiff bitterness that was balanced nice with the sweetness.
a nice blend of bitter and sweet, a strong taste but very good

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

Poured into a nonic pint.

A - Hazy orange color, huge head of froth. Both retention and lacing were simply superb.

S - Nice aroma of bready yeasts and something just a tad sour.

T - Tasty bitterness initially, then a full malty body with a touch of yeast. There is even a nice yet subtle hop tinge in the body which gives this one a decent balance. Surprisingly clean finish.

M - Light bodied, mild carbonation, slightly dry feel.

D - Very well put together brew, I could easily enjoy another. Probably one of my favorite Rogue offerings. Reco.

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Photo of jar2574
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice thick frothy foam. Cloudy, copper color.

Very pleasant, sweet smell. Spices, hops, and citrus.

Reminds me of an IPA, but it's got an earthier touch and it's not as bitter as an IPA. Hops are stronger than malts, but there's a nice balance.

There's a touch of chalkiness in the mouthfeel, but it goes down smooth. Aftertaste is hoppy with quite a bit of residue on the tongue. But there's less pine flavor than with IPAs, which I think is a great thing.

Foam clings to the sides on the way down. It looks, smells and tastes like a great beer. I feel like it's a beer that's meant to be savored, but you could enjoy several in one sitting if that suits you.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a hazy golden tangerine color with a fluffy white head.

S: some citrusy hops, caramel sweetness and a light fruitiness.

F: For flavor there was a toasted malt palate with dry citrus peels and a slight grainy maltiness. was expecting a little more hoppines from this style and name wise. bittering was actually well rounded and smooth.

M: The mouthful was medium-full body with good carbonation detected providing a soothing bitterness on the fade.

D: Relatively smooth and subtle bitternss contrary to name making for an easy drinking bitter per style.

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Photo of Garin
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours hazy gold wtih a bright white and creamy head. Aromas of hops, hops, and more hops rise up; grapefruit and pineapple stickiness above all else.

Sweet and bready starts it off, but the resinous hops add an astringency that clears that out right away. There is something of a lack of serious depth and intricacy, but nevermind -- it's excellent all the same. Smooth and easy going, stiff bitterness that isn't overwhelming, and seriously drinkable. I like it a lot.

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Photo of BMan1113VR
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very nice brew. Aroma is a pretty combonation of floral hops and cassis with a touch of raspberry. The appearence of this fine bitter is a barely hazy medium orange with an average sized off-white head with great lacing. The taste rounds out a bit bitter and fruity. Goes down quite well.

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Photo of ajmoody76
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bought this at the local beer store. 6 pack of 12 oz. bottles. poured beer into a tulip glass. copper color with a little haze. thin off white head that disipates to a fine layer all the way down. looks good.

hoppy aroma up front. a little sweet malts in there. no off odors detected.

spicy hop taste. pretty high hop presence for an esb. i dig though. there is a decent malt taste to balance it out pretty well. dry aftertaste.

low carbonation. medium bodied. no lace. those are good things. i like hops so i dig this beer. could do a session with this one. would love to have this beer agan. maybe a little hoppy on style but good to go.

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Photo of chadspivey
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to JDV for letting me try this one.

A: peachy color, with a good head.

S: orange zest up front, but the musty horseblanket almost urine like smell kind of ruins it for me.

T: Hops come out more in the flavor. not my favorite hop variety, but the beer is pretty balanced.

M: excellent carbonation, and a good bitter bite from the hops.

D: This actually gets better as I drink it.

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

Served on tap at the Blind Tiger on Bleecker street in New York City.

A - Thick orange with a deep cloudiness, 1 finger head.

S- Spicy, citrus, and vanilla aromas.

T- Hoppy, bitter as the name would suggest, but it is balanced properly and tastes great.

MF- Leaves a bit of a pepper spice on your taste buds.

D- This may very well be the first beer that I have sampled from Rogues and I am certainly satisfied.

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Photo of SIRIUS2
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from bottle into a pint glass producing a foamy off-white head with about okay retention and good lacing. Color was a ruddy orange with a light haze.

S: A nice clean floral nose with minor secondary hint of citrus.

T: Reasonable and enjoyable hops are prominent over a light tasting yet medium bodied brew. A light caramel maltiness is there if you look for it beyond the hops.

M & D: Good body and perfect carbonation combine with great flavored hops makes this go down smooth. The finish is great with a light lingering of the hop bitterness.

Very nice beverage! A nice bitter has got to be one of my favorites and this one didn't disappoint. Although a bit heavy on the finishing hops, the body of the ale is balanced well with the malts allowing everything to blend nicely. Very nice.

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

12 oz bottle poured into traditional pint glass

A - Pours a nice and cloudy, hazy orange color with yellow tint. Nice white/light tan head that reaches one inch before falling slowly. Nice lacing.

S - Clean floral and citrus hop scent, very Northwest/Pacific scent. A touch soapy with just a bit of toasted malt flavor. Hop dominated scent.

T & M - Mouth puckering citrusy hops with nice carbonation from the beginning. Backed by a medium bodied malt grain flavor. Like the scent, its a bit soapy in the aftertaste with plenty of bitterness and a mild drying flavor.

D - Claims itself as a type of "imperial bitter" and the strong hop component would seem to agree. However, that definitely knocks down the balance that should be evident in the style. Hard to judge, because its a pretty tasty and well crafted beer, it just doesn't meet the style guidelines for an ESB. Should there be an imperial ESB category? Anyway, this beer is very drinkable if you like hops and clean citrus flavor.

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Photo of hustlesworth
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap at winking lizard, i got the last pint of the keg (for free!).

A- golden amber brew with a minimum haze, off white creamy puffy foam leaves a decent amount of lace like streaks of soap suds.

S- sweet caramel bread, dry spicy woodsy & honeysuckle floral hop aroma with notes of citrus pith. toasted malt and a warm nutty quality that is very inviting, along with the light fresh pine aroma near the end.

T- stale whole grain bread, and very hoppy almost like a baby IPA. enough malt to go around as well its bittersweet and caramel and almost a little chocolatey with some white raisins and apple. as for the flowers, it's spicy citrus pine grapefruit, which rogue does very well. taste is very fresh, and there's a long dry bitter finish.

MF- crisp and fresh, yet resinous and slightly oily, medium body and carbonation.

D- let's just say i'll be on the lookout for this one every chance it get.

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Photo of GoreStorm
4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

bomber bottle poored into a liter beer mug.

A - i really like the way this beer looks. generally i favor the look of darker beers with my eyes but this is exceptional. poored with a big rocky head that mostly stayed to the bottom of the glass. the color and look of the beer could easily be mistaken for an unfiltered spun honey. very nice.

S - floral and hoppy, i don't get too much of a malt profile here, or rather, not as much as i'd like.

T - pretty damn solid, a very good hop flavor here with a nice sweet malt background.

M - the carbonation is moderate and pleasant, solid.

D - even with an above average ABV i could put these back all night, this is a super drinkable beer.

additional notes - hooray for rogue, they're one of the first craft brewers i fell in love with back when i first started to get into good beer and they still impress me today, i'll be buying much more of their product.

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

12 oz bottle, paper label, purchased from Jerry's in Bethlehem for $1.75, poured into a pint glass.

Cracked the lid and started pouring and was immediately hit with the smell of floral hops. Mmmm, nice. Its rogue, so it is obviously big on hops, and it delivers in the nose. Color was a slightly cloudy amber with a nice white cap that had fair retention and left a good bit of lacing.

Nose is mostly hops, but not overbearingly so. Taste is bitter but balanced with some roasted and sweet malts. Body and carbonation are medium. A pretty big brew, but is actually somewhat well balanced. I almost guzzled mine and had to slow myself down. A fine beer and one that sits right in line with other rogue brews.

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Photo of timbro81
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I absolutely love this beer. Pours an ever so slightly hazey orange color crowned with a cloud-like head that settles to a fine ring. Smell is very intense yet not over bearing floral hops. This is repeated again in the taste but also backed up by a nice biscuity maltiness. A very well balanced beer that is simple yet complex all at once. A helluva good ESB. If you have never had this beer you should try it now.

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Photo of Scoobydank
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L: Orange cloudy color. Off white frothy head
S: Yummy peach/grapefruit smell. A tad bit of sweet malt as well.
T:Those grapfruit pine needle hops come out right away. Light sweet malt with a touch of peach lingers.
M: It is a bit thin, but in a good way. The thinness alows it to slip down the middle of the tounge.
D:Yet another great brew by rouge. I could drink multiple of these right in a row.

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Photo of AylwinForbes
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Orange amber colour with modest haze, poured carefully into a tall glass and only a small head appeared, some lacing. Nose was quite muted, slightly malty. The taste is the thing here: it bore remarkable resemblance to a fine English bitter ( Brakspears from the old days or Fuller's ESB for example but without as much body as that fine beer), emphasis on the dry bitter with muted citrus fruit.

It lacks the impact of the double IPA heavyweights but is very drinkable and slips down easily.

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Photo of Biscuit033
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Light amber(almost orange) with three finger head that settles nice to a small but frothy layer. There is moderate lacing.

S: Caramel malts and a light piney/earthy nose.

T: Caramel and toffee malts with a touch of citrus and pine notes. There is plenty of malt taste and feel here and those the overwhelming hop flavors aren't present they keep the malts balanced.

M: Nice carbination and body with a crisp, clean finish.

D: This is a great ESB. But in the tradition of sesionasble ESB's this is a bit high on the ABV. This is a beer that I would choose over most other ESB's.

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

22-oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

A = Translucent orange liquid, producing a large head with a mix of medium and large bubbles Leaves lots of lacing as it dissipates and as the beer is drunk.

S = Piney hops are front and center, but sweeter malt scents are there underlying the big hoppy primary aroma. Not a very complex smell and too piney for the style, really just a very nice American beer somewhere between an American Pale Ale and and American IPA. Definitely not an ESB.

T = Bitterness is the first thing to hit the tongue and it continues as it cascades to the back of the mouth. Primarily pine tastes, but citrus tastes are in there, too. At mid-palate and in the finish there are very light traces of sweet nutty malt flavors, but the focus never really shifts from both the hops taste and hops bitterness. Still, as it swirls around the mouth there are a bevy of different flavors making it more complex than the smell alone indicated.

M = Light to medium bodied, good carbonation which gets frothy when swished around in the mouth, good coating of the mouth, too, that really helps get a full taste and a long finish.

D = If you like bitter beers this is a definite one to try. Still, not for non-hopheads, and not an ESB.

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Photo of nickfl
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep orange-copper color with impenetrable haze and a tiny, half inch of off white head.

S - Immediate estery citrus aroma, with floral/ herbal hops coming in behind. Nice, fresh smell.

T - Lots of fruitiness, mostly citrus, up front. Citrus hops flavors and chalky bitterness are up next, followed by biscuity malt notes. All of the citrus character comes back together in the finish for a lingering, harmonious grapefruit note.

M - Medium carbonation with a fairly full body and a very dry, chalky finish.

D - Quite easy to drink. Certainly not hard to put down the 22 of this fresh, fruity beer. It is an interesting take on the ESB style, having a lot of features I might more associate with an IPA. The citrus characteristics are very nice and they nailed the dry, English bitterness that many brewers can't seem to capture in their bitters.

I paired this with a chunk of seared tuna, marinaded in soy sauce and honey. The citrus notes matched the soy/honey glaze very well and the hops did not over power the tuna's flavor the way I feared they might.

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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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Brutal from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 2,311 ratings
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