Brutal Bitter Ale | Rogue Ales

2,144 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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,144 |  Reviews: 1,109
Photo of danielharper
4/5  rDev -0.2%
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 -12.7%

Photo of switzer
3.25/5  rDev -19%

Photo of Stockfan42
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of 4Socialanxiety
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of cratez
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
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 theopholis
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
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 -0.2%
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 -4%
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 saintwarrick
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%
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

Photo of tonistruth
3.16/5  rDev -21.2%
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

 602 characters

Photo of guezarka
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of TimWakimika
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ManekiNeko
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served chilled from a 22 oz bomber.

Appearance: Hazy peach in color with a very minimal white head. Constant bubbling for the few minutes after I poured into my gloss. Nice lacing on the glass.

Smell: Strong citrusy hops with grapefruit quite prominent, followed by orange. Slight piney aromas foreshadow what is to come.

Taste: The taste delivers on what the name promises. It's very bitter and slightly sour. I can taste an entire forest full of conifers! You got a descriptor for the various bitter hop tastes? Just like they said about Prego, it's in there. Not for the faint of heart, let me tell you. Can't taste the alcohol either.

Mouthfeel: Moderately full bodied and very astringent and puckering.

Drinkability: Hrrmmm... I'll equivocate here and say it's drinkable for something with as high an IBU score as this sucker has. I think this beer gave me a headache, but I might have been just a bit too full when I had this. I'd honestly say you really have to be a hophead to lerv this beer. I'm willing to give this one another shot later, but not tonight.

Other: I'd love to try this puppy cask-conditioned. I'm jelly of those that have had the oppurtunity to do so.

 1,195 characters

Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very few ESB's are as good as this. That's all you need to know. I think only Fuller's ESB is a better ESB. But this comes close.

The taste is pretty well-balanced between hops and malt. They aren't using Cascade but, according to the bottle, Crystal hops. The beer needs to warm a little to achieve it's balance. It poors with a nice head which goes down to a nice lace which stays. Very drinkable once it warms.

I highly recommend this.

 444 characters

Photo of Skye1024
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Steve_Trick
3.84/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of JBogan
3.19/5  rDev -20.4%
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.

 440 characters

Photo of terence
3/5  rDev -25.2%

4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy Orange Amber color, with a decent amount of white head. Slow sticky lacing coats the sides of my beer mug.

S: Piney, bitter in your face hops!

T: Very bitter hoppy experience. a bit piney, a bit citrusy, very fresh bitter hop taste. the crystal hops are brilliant, but not overwhelming. The malts are soft and slightly caramelly. Bitter all the way through.

M: MMMM.... bitter. smooth and succulent. Little tang in the aftertaste, along with the bitterness.

D: I could drink this one anytime. I grab this one by the bomber every now and again when i can find it. I've also had it by the pint at the rogue brewpub in Portland. It was equally awesome. Love the bitter!

 678 characters

Photo of jmtpi
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Murph
4.78/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful hazy copper color with a thick creamy head that persists for about 20 minutes. Bitter grapefruit/fruity hops smells are abundant as is the smooth, creamy malt that is the backbone to this beer. Sweet, creamy, slightly toasty malt flavors start off on the tongue while the crystal hops play in the background. The hops come to the forefront towards the end of the beer making for a lingering bitter finish. As the beer warms the malt flavors become more pronounced and really make this one smooth brew. Not sure if I have had any brews made with this hop variety before but I definitely like it, somewhat cascadish but different at the same time. The brews is smooth, creamy, and crisp as it rolls across the tongue. This is one extremely drinkable brew. Possibly my favorite Rogue offering to this point, along with the Shakespeare Stout, this is one seriously awesome brew.

 900 characters

Photo of EStreet20
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber poured into a nonic pint glass.

A - Pours out a fairly cloury golden color with a tiny red tinge. A very thick, bubbly two finger head sits atop and has a lot of staying power. Nice rings of lacing circle the glass.

S - A very nice, strong citrus hop profile on the nose. Very inviting for a confirmed hophead type such as myself.

T - A nice citrusy hop taste, with some sweet malts up front. A very nice but subdued tea like flavor is in there too. The taste finishes with the hops leaving a nice feel on your tongue.

M - Nice and smooth on the tongue with a nice bit of carbonation. The feel is great for a beer with such a distinct hop profile.

D - This taste is nice and unique for such a hoppy beer. It's got a flavor a bit different than other bitters I've tried, basically just more flavor which makes it want more. The hoppiness might scare off some non-hopheads but for a hop fan this is an extremely drinkable beer.

 956 characters

Photo of PhageLab
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 550 characters

Photo of En29356
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
4.01 out of 5 based on 2,144 ratings.
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