Brutal Bitter Ale | Rogue Ales

Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale
2,155 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,155 |  Reviews: 1,110
Photo of beerhast
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of wizo
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Tumble
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of BrewMaster
4.63/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Bright, near glowing reddish orange colored beer with a slight haze to it. Big fluffy off white head that thins to lacy islands after a long while. Very nice and sticky lacing on the sides of the glass as it is consumed.

Smell: Sweet malty nose with a big fruity scent to back it up. Pineapple and a bit of citrus.

Taste: Sweet, fruity, and malty up front followed quickly by a quick burst of hop bitterness. The bitterness gives way to a citrusy hop flavor and more sweet maltiness. More fruit flavors show up as the beer warms. Apple and some pear along with some faint candy sweetness and toffee.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and thicker on the palate than it looks. Smooth and syrupy as it coats the palate with a thick layer of goodness.

Drinkability: This beer has everything I want in an ESB. It's crisp and malty all the while being sweet and fruity (and a nice 6.5%). All around an excellent beer with a great flavor and a great feel. Yummy.

 970 characters

Photo of CanuckRover
4.39/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

 896 characters

Photo of Screper
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of wesley14
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of rusty3335
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Cramshawbar
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brutal is a strong name for this lovely IPA. Just enough bitterness, just enough citrus flavour, just enough strength and voila - you have a winner.
Well balanced, well made.

 175 characters

Photo of Canti4341
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of danielharper
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased from Great Spirits, Huntsville, AL.

A: Light orange color, thin bubbly white head. Slightly hazy.

S: Some hops, fruitiness. Slight grapefruit.

T: Well, brutally bitter. Strong bitter hops up front, but with a sweet fruit backbone that makes it go down smooth. Slightly drying.

M: Thin, watery, but highly carbonated. Enjoyable.

D: A quite drinkable beer. Hopefully we'll continue being able to get them around here.

 440 characters

Photo of aflies
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of switzer
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of 4Socialanxiety
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of Stockfan42
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of BigGruntyThirst
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of RobTheKnob
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of cratez
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank God the LCBO has acquired this for their spring line-up! A kick ass bitter with all of the top quality traits that I've come to expect from Rogue Ales. Poured out of a 650ml bottle into a Murphy's pint glass.

Appearance is hazy honey orange with a rocky white head and plenty of webbed lacing on the glass. Smell is citric hops, some yeast, oranges, and grainy malt. Bold and juicy C hops produce an intense, fruity bitterness on the palate, balanced by traces of toffee and biscuit. Piney hop bitterness clings to the very end, but it's kept in check by a malty sweetness. Mouthfeel is pure silk upfront with a medium body and bitter, wet finish. Despite the 'rugged' packaging, this beer is nothing short of luxurious. The silky-smooth mouthfeel, beautiful citrus character, and nicely balanced flavour make this a very quaffable ale. Great stuff.

 857 characters

Photo of Rootscipio
3.54/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of dbauer
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of theopholis
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Body is a clear, deep, rich looking amber. Looks like fine old honey. The head was an impressive3 finger, white loose affair that settled down to a nice, white cap after a few minutes. Nice lacing to.

Aroma- Lots of complex malt sweetness; some buttery caramel. Something else in there to. A hoppy dryness. Smells very inviting.

Taste- Not nearly as bitter as you might expect from a beer called "Brutal Bitter". Has a nice bitterness, along with some Butterscotch, caramelized sugars, and a nice blend of bittering and flavoring hops. Doesn't beat you over the head with anything. A nice balance of everything.

Mouthfeel- Medium body. Decent CO2 level. Nothing to write home about.

Drinkability: An excellent ESB. Try it.

 739 characters

Photo of Casey10
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not bad was quite surpised similar to stone 13th aniversary but a bit more toned down.

A - Small head light brown copper look nice.

S - Malt, almost slight grassy smell.

T - Hint of chocolate (might be the malt) sort of burnt taste.

M - Light crispy taste, leaves a bit of a lingering feel after drinking.

D - Good beer to have if you are looking for this style would definately drink again.

 396 characters

Photo of ThatWineGuy
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Murky, honey apricot hue, off-white head rose and fell leaving scattered bubbles and wispy clouds. Ribbons of lace abound. Big citrus nose carries over in the taste, hops big time. Citrus taste and mouthfeel, lively, sharp, lemon, bitterness is torqued right up. More than that, there is a malt bill that punctuates and leaves a long, dry lasting impression. I've had this on a couple of occasions and have found the first half of the bottle always tastes better, the last half seems to bring out more acidic notes and a bit of astringency. Except for that impression by bottle-end that doesn't seem to sit that well with me, I'm quite fond of this brew and consider it a must-try.

 681 characters

Photo of terence
3/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of saintwarrick
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A little stronger than most ESBs I have had before. This beer pours a golden amber with a great head that's not too sticky. The aroma is pure hops and hop oil, but the English malts also shine through. Taste is a perfect 10, smooth, bitter (but not too), only slightly dry with grapefruit, butterscotch and a little light citrus taste there as well.

A well crafted beer and great balance, the American hops and the English malt really create a uniquely drinkable beer.

 472 characters

Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 3.98 out of 5 with 2,155 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.