Brutal | Rogue Ales

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Very Good
2,318 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: 2,318 |  Reviews: 1,132
Photo of Mark
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this with lunch at a nearby alehouse. I remembered this is a favorite of Johnny P. so it was a no brainer. Dark amber with a thin head that left decent lacing. Subtle hoppy nose screamed refreshing. While it had a hop bite it was not as hoppy as I expected. I still enjoyed this beer and it had a very full bodied smooth character to it. Had a bit of a kick to it. Rogue is allright.

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Photo of acrawf6
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Love getting a pint of this at Lager's (Metairie, LA)... only place i know where to get a pint of this, or even a bottle at that matter.

Served a nice orange amber with a just slightly tan head with a little good lacing.

Smell. Nice good smells of hops, good esb aromas that are caramel smelling just slightly piney. Very nice.

Taste. Very good. I almost look at this beer differently of other esb's because it just seems more potent than others of it's style. Good tastes of a caramel sweetness and some citrus notes. It really is quite nice.

Mouthfeel is good. Mouthfeel is good, fuller than others in it's style. Good amount of carbonation, great balance.

Overall, i think this is a great beer, better than the style it claims to be. Has a very solid flavor others do not have, i need to check, buy i would guess they have pacman yeast in this beer too. Very good!

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

Photo of HiWire
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of Skidz
4.57/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out bright gold and sits golden amber in the glass with a large off-white head. Nice and bright in the glass. Fades to a light skim on the surface.

Smells nice a malty up front, filled with aromas of golden raisins caramel and apples. Hop aroms is mildly citric with hints of orange rind and lime. Both combine to create a tangy, taffy like aroma.

Tastes lightly malty up front, smoothed out flavors of caramel, pears and grape skins all placed into a nice toasty package of crisp, crackery flavors. Hop bitterness finds it's place and provides a few faint hints of oranges and some scant grassy and herbal flavors. Finish is well bittered with lingering flavors of citrus and some nuttiness.

Smooth all the way through with a pleasant and well-balanced carbonation all bundled in a medium body. Hard to swallow, 'cause it feels so good in the mouth.

Addictingly drinkable, glass touched the table only so I could type. Bottle gone moments later. I have no problems drinking this absolutely tasty brew.

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

Sampled on cask at the real ale festival in Baltimore (review from long thought dead notes)
Slightly hazy amber, ripe peach looking brew. Fluffy, long lasting off-white head with excellent lacing.
Grapefruity hop aromas
Biscuity malt undertone balances well with some citrus inspired, though simple bitter flavor. Dry hopping allows for a long bitter mouthfeel that stays with you.
Overall, expected more of a hop punch from a west coast "brutal bitter" though it may have lost some umph in the cask variety. Great session brew nonetheless. Worth having several.

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Photo of cantal
3.84/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of monkist
4.88/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I love Rogue for being outstanding, creative and brave in their way of artistic brewing and this Brutal IPA is simply fantastic! They managed to create a combination in the taste of hops that is like no other, and reminds me of nothing alike so far!
Putting it simply, it tastes as if it had been aroma hopped with bittering hops... makes no sense? But it does! Bitterness is the aroma, and its not bitter at all... has it been dry hopped with bittering hops? Anything is possible at Rogue...
A very well done and balanced IPA, though it might not be in the all-time Top 10, it sure is a classic. Though not Brutal... or rather brutally good? Definitely.

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Photo of NCSUdo
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Once again served up from a 22 oz bottle. I'm not quite sold on the purple/creamy tan color scheme of this one however, but it does stand out on the shelf.

A: Great looking beer. Got about 2 inches worth of head on the pour. Eventually settled down on top with out much lacing. Beer itself has a great amber color in the middle with some lighter closer to the edge of the glass. This is how a beer should look.

S: Huge hop aroma. Hard to get much more out of the smell then hops. Nice and citrusy with maybe some malt sweetness here or there but for the most part just hops.

T: From the smell and name, the taste is pretty much what you would expect, bitter. Almost overpowering at first, but as I continued to drink the bitterness became more blanaced. I get a hint of peach out of some of the hoppiness. Starts bitter and finishes bitter, but in between gulps the bitterness doesn't really linger around.

M&D: Good mouthfeel. Not much more to say about the mouthfeel other then it feels good. Drinkability, well I don't know how much of these I could drink. I want to drink more but I just don't know how much more I could take past the 22 oz. I have.

Another good offering from Rogue. Only downside to the brew is that it is definately not a session beer for me, but that shouldn't take anything away a really well done beer.

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

Pours a hazy blood orange hue with 1.5 fingers of off-white bubbly head. Decent retention and nice patchy lacing. Carbonation is fairly strong and visible.

Bready malts, fresh orange peel, light pine, biscuit, and caramel. Smells like an EIPA with a hoppier kick.

Herbal and floral hops, orange and lemon peels, and a good dose of pine are all followed by a nice bready finish.

Mouthfeel is crisp, clean, and finishes dry. Excellent balance, refreshing, and very easy to put down.

Another great beer from Rogue. Compared to the other ESB's I've had, this one is much more hoppier and more refreshing. The balance is great and I would place this right next to Fuller's ESB in terms of taste, and overall quality.

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Photo of buzzed
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of beermanbrian
3.59/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy gold colored beer. Looks almost like iced tea. No head and just a thin halo of foam arount the outside. First whiff hinted of citrus and then changed to piney hops. Not overpowering but definately there. Once you get past the hops taste it has a very bready malt flavor. Oily mouthfeel and the carbonation level is a little high. I'm just not sure about this one. It's a good beer, but i can't quite get on board and call it anything special.

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

Pours orange / bronge, slightly hazy, and topped with a single finger of comfortable foam.

Despite the name, the taste is anything but Brutal...but it is a nice ESB. This brew finishes with a mild hop fade nicely supporting its quality malt.

Mouthfeel is thick without being chewy and drinkability is well above average.

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Photo of Jeromedepot
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of willjschmidt
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of jburd19
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single at Riley's here in Madison.

Pours a bright hazy golden orange with a few fingers of white foam. Nose is juicy with citrusy hop oils and apricot. Taste starts off with that oily hop bitterness then releases into sweet, bready caramel malts. Mouthfeel is smooth and velvety. This is my first ESB so I didn't know what to expect. Frankly, if I was told this was an IPA I wouldn't have known any better. Regardless of the style, this is a tasty, refreshing, hoppy ale that I would recommend to any hophead.

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Photo of EricCioe
3.84/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This pours opaque orange with a small off-white head that leaves bits of lace and dies out quickly. On the nose there is a giant, pungent citrus note, mostly grapefruit, with little or nothing in the way of malt backbone. In the mouth, the hops almost fly solo over a bed of caramel malt, which is like a flash in the pan with the hops sizzling on afterwards. The body is pretty light, with the buzzsaw hops dominating over almost nothing. It seems strangely unsupported.

Overall, this is a nice brew, something of a session IPA, with intense bitterness without the intense alcohol sometimes associated with it.

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Photo of InfragilisBrew
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of jmartinger
4.56/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of TheDeuce
3.35/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Rouge Brutal Bitter Ale...on tap at Mugs Ale House

Appearance-Amber with gold notes in the color on the pour into a pint glass, medium to large head sizes up, disappears after a few seconds.

Smell-piney with hops but also very noticeable malt, still a dry pungent smell befitting a powerful beer.

Taste/Mouthfeel-bitter is right, hop flourish mixed with alcohol makes for a dry tart hop smash, full mouthfeel, rash finish of burnt malt and fruity pine.

Drinkability-rash but no big flaws

Overall-decent, a little much on the rashness but it balances out ok, certainly worth a try but not overwhelmingly great.

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Photo of changeup45
3.54/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very murky orange color topped with a somewhat thin head. Kind of looks like this could be pond water. Nice hoppy, citrus (grapefruit?) aroma. Pretty good beer but not nearly as hoppy or as bitter as I was expecting, based on it's name, some other reviews and I guess my anticipation. It's actually a pretty easy drinking brew; a bit hoppy, a malty note followed by a bitter dry finish. Aftertaste is only slightly bitter. Overall pretty solid although a tad expensive, but I'm not sure I'd call it "Brutal Bitter".

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Photo of mzwolinski
4.51/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was ready to dislike it with the first sip. Well, with the first sniff, actually. Massive citric hop aroma and little else. The taste, too, struck me as overpoweringly bitter. "Another novelty beer," I thought. To be admired, perhaps, but not enjoyed regularly. But this beer has a lot more going for it than first appearances. Actually, that might be a bad way to put it, because its appearance is quite lovely. Hazy sunset orange/gold with a fluffy three-finger head, and a good lace once you start draining it. And drain it you will. Because once you get past the first sniff, and your first sip, you will discover some real complexity in this beer. The massive grapefruit-liek citric hop aroma doesn't dissapear, mind you, but it makes room for more floral hop scents, and perhaps even a bit of honey-like malt sweetness. The taste, too, develops. Malt becomes more evident mid-palate, and the undeniably bitter finish gives way for a slightly sweet, though acidic, fruity aftertaste. The body is full and slightly chewy, but the drink is almost creamy smooth. The crystal hops are an unusal choice, and really make themselves known throughout this beer, but not to the detriment of balance. Strong enough to pair against any meal, yet refreshing and enjoyable on its own. A very fine beer.

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

served into pilsner glass from 12oz. brown bottle long neck crimped-on cap with painted label.

Hazy,clouded medium copper color. Thick,rocky head very chunky looking,good retention leaving thick curtians of lace down the glass.

Good clean aroma very citrusy,sweet and carmelly nice balance to aroma,very inviting.

Intense citrus taste,some pine and grapefruity,good clean mid taste. Crisp,sharp hop bitterness. Leaves a pleasing bittersweet taste on the palate.

A suprizingly light mouthfeel,airy feel to it. Mouthwatering,really makes the tounge swell. Good drinkability,refreshing wish I has another. Reminds me of an IPA. Very good beer would drink this one again.

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Photo of dlin0sbb
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Brutal from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 2,318 ratings