Brutal Bitter Ale | Rogue Ales

Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale
BA SCORE
80.3%
Liked This Beer
3.98 w/ 2,154 ratings
Brutal Bitter AleBrutal Bitter Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States
rogue.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#3,961
Reviews:
1,110
Ratings:
2,154
Liked:
1,729
Avg:
3.98/5
pDev:
10.55%
Alströms:
4
 
 
Wants:
96
Gots:
222
Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,154 |  Reviews: 1,110
Photo of largadeer
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear amber without much head to speak of, but a lingering, foamy lace.

S: Hops, pine, citrus - this beer smells great.

T: Lots of hops, bitter grapefruit, lemon zest. A straightforward brew, but delicious all the same.

M: Medium-bodied, bubbly carbonation, extremely refreshing.

This is one of my favorite Rogue beers. While it's not as complex as some of their others, the flavor is delicious and the aroma very enticing. A great "thirst-quenching" beer.

 463 characters

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, no bottle dating. Pours lightly hazy golden amber color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, orange zest, lemon zest, floral, grass, light pine, light honey, bread, herbal, and floral earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of hop notes with moderate malt presence; and good strength. Taste of grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange zest, floral, grass, light pine, herbal, light honey, bread, and floral earthiness. Fair amount of earthy floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus zest, floral, grass, light pine, bread, herbal, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of citrus/floral hop flavors and moderate malt presence; with a crisp malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and fairly sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice IPA. All around good balance and complexity of crisp hop flavors with a fair amount of malt presence; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,394 characters

Photo of Boone757
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazy, deep amber in color. The ivory colored head is thin with limited retention. The aroma is a very nice combination of sweetish toasty maltiness and cascade hops that appear more piney than citrusy. The body is medium/light with a very fine and gentle carbonation which gives it a very smooth and lightly creamy mouthfeel. If they were going for an "English" look & feel, they've certainly achieved it. Very nice. The hops flavors really come through in the flavor, giving it complexity with notes of citrus fruits, pine resin, light earthiness, and at times, even mint. The malt is very lightly caramel-like, bready and softly toasty - the Vienna malt shows and adds a nice richness. Bitterness is, of course, well represented in any Rogue beer, but this is clearly balanced more to show off malt & hops in a drinkable session ale. A unique beer that puts an American-hop spin on an English bitter.

 912 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.72/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap (& from a bottle in August 2015).

A favorite some years back after a visit to Oregon, I found that it was not as exceptional as I remembered. Still, a solid, spicy/herbal IPA. Only moderately strong and medium bitter; certainly not 'brutal'. The flavor seemed stronger than the aroma. Appropriately hoppy with some good balancing from malts.

Feel: medium body and carbonaton; smooth.

 394 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
2.5/5  rDev -37.2%

Photo of dbrauneis
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%

A: Pours a pretty hazy orange-ish copper in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation streaming from the bottom of the glass and moderate golden yellow + amber highlights. The beer has a two finger tall sudsy foamy light beige head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of caramel malts with moderate aromas of floral and pine hops.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of slightly sweet caramel malts, though not too sweet. That is followed by moderate flavors of slightly bitter floral, herbal, and pine hops which contributes a moderate amount of bitterness which fades slowly.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly crisp and smooth.

O: I imagine when this beer first came out, it was probably one of the most bitter IPAs available but that is no longer the case - though the bitterness is higher than I would expect for the body of the beer. Not too difficult to drink but not one that I would want to have more than one of...

 1,142 characters

Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep hazy orange with a real nice fluffy head that leaves some great lacing,aroma hops hops and more hops,very citric and resiny.Taste is definently hop tilted very zesty,oily and dry I get a slight dry maltiness but not much.Iam not a hophead but gotta give this brew props,by far the most hoppy ESB I have ever had.

 325 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a light copper color with a nice white head. The nose brings hops that are floral, citric, and a bit herbal in character. A tad bit of light bready malt in the background. The flavor has some nice hops and a dry earthy character. Good, light, and bitter mouthfeel. Drinks quite well, although not nearly as well as it could given the fairly hefty price point for a sixer of this.

 407 characters

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is kind of faint but contains mostly caramelized malts and pale hops.

T: The taste is nicely balanced, which I wasn't really expecting with a name like "Brutal Bitter", with a pale hops bitterness and a faint but complimentary caramel and citrus sweetness. The malt character is hearty and provides some good substance. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, clean and dry finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, nice representation of style, an ESB isn't usually my first choice of style, but this is a good beer to drink for a while.

 797 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

 1,066 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of dcmchew
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%

Pours hazy dark orange with a white pillow head that subsides to a nice sticky froth in a minute or so.
Smell of pineapple, tangerine, pink grapefruit, faint peach, really faint earthy hop, honeyed malts, caramel, bit of pine, bit of spicy leafy hop.
Sweet citrus upfront, a bit like orange jam with lots of peel in it. Some pineapple, some juicy peach, lemon zest, faint mango. Caramel, lightly toasted malts. Pine, some earthy grassiness starts to develop, with a clear English hop note attached to it, aside for a faint dankness/spicy leafiness. Nice and bitter.
Aftertaste is hoppy, but just lightly fruity, with an earthy bitterness lingering. Bit of malt sweetness to mellow things down.
A really nice IPA with a pretty cheeky English innuendo. Nice balance, refreshing, tasty and smart.

 793 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of nathanmiller
3.21/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of vfgccp
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Opalescent orange amber. Frist glass poured clear while everything else poured with a murky haze.

S - Surprisingly mild. Orange, touch of pine and grass. Underwhelming considering the "brutal" label.

T - Soft malt into bright hops with a blend of citrus rind and pine. Sharp bitter bite right as the hops drop off in the aftertaste.

M - Dusty finish with a soft lingering sweetness.

D - The hops really pop mid profile, but the bitterness doesn't really cling to your palate in the way a lot of other IPAs do.

 517 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours deep honey with an off the charts beaded san colored head. good lacing and head retention

Smell: earthy hop notes &honey malt notes

Taste: Piney & citrussy hops (grapefruit) with a sweet malt up front. Great hop finish, perhaps a little too much for the style, but it works for me

MF: Rich & ballanced, good carbonation

Very drinkable, think this is more like a DIPA, would love to ty this side by side with SNCA, yummy

 437 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, neutral amber color. The milky head dissipates quickly but starts at two fingers. Spotty lace.

Beautiful hop bouquet, obviously fresh whole aroma hops. A touch of malt for balance. Reminds me of fresh cut flowers.

Starts with a strong bitter hop bite (although I wouldn't term it "brutal"). In fact, the malty liquid appears simply to be the medium to deliver the hop jolt. Balanced beer, this is not. Still it is extremely flavorful...but it's hop giving way to hop and the aftertaste is exclusively hoppy...and that aftertaste is very long lasting. Good body and moderate carbonation.

I like this beer because I'm a hophead. If you share my passion, you'll love it too. If your preferences are closer to bocks or scotch ales, then this will likely be too much for you.

 787 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.51/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Fine-looking murky copper body with a creamy, off-white head. Plenty of lacing throughout.

Smell: Hmm. An acutely cakey aroma paired with a fresh floral-citrus scent.

Taste: Zestful citrus flavors, perhaps a little bit of earthy pine, too, with a small amount of malts bouncing in amongst the hops. Crisp, lasting (though in no way overwhelming) bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. The carbonation is fine, and somewhat prickly at times.

Drinkability: Well, its anything but brutal. But whatever, it still makes for easy drinking.

 571 characters

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.11/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of paulish
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mdaschaf
3.61/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy orange color with a very foamy one finger head on top - slightly off white in color. Great head retention, just sitting on top and going nowhere. Rings of lace around the glass.

S: Not a ton going on here, some light orange and some caramelized malt.

T: Not really what I was expecting at all. With a name like Brutal IPA, I expected it to be over the top with the hop flavors and a bitter finish, however, its a bit subdued. There is a lot of orange on the flavor profile with a bit of grainy malt. Relatively simple.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes slightly dry, but not bitter.

O: Easy drinking, but not very hoppy at all. Drinking it blindly, I would have guessed it a pale ale probably. Not bad, just not what I was hoping for.

 775 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gauzy peachy orange with what looks like dust motes swirling within the liquid. The light beige head persists for a bit as a thick, sponge-like disk atop the beer and leaves chunky scraps of lace on the glass.

The nose is impressively hoppy. If I didn't know better, I'd have said that Cascade, Centennial or a combination of the two make up the hop bill. So this is what Crystal hops smell like. They smell more like pink grapefruit than white and I think that I can pick out some pineapple esters as well. Malt, schmalt. This one is all about the hops.

Upon tasting... it appears as though I can add another hop to my growing list of favorites. I don't absolutely love Crystal as I do some others, but it is very, very good. Pithily bitter citrus fruit is front and center with pink grapefruit leading the way.

In terms of flavor contribution, malt is in the background. I'm only aware of its presence because the bittering is so well-supported and because there's a hint of underlying pale malty sweetness. The body is full enough to be pleasurable in the mouth while being light enough to allow the beer to be downed scarily quickly. I'm finding out firsthand that a bomber of 6.5% ESB is fully capable of mounting a sneak attack if gulped.

Brutal Bitter is yet another first-rate beer from Rogue. I'm glad to have made the acquaintance of another fine hop of the citric persuasion and I'm even more glad that this beer is available in my local grocery. Brutal Bitter isn't brutally bitter, but it is significantly hoppy and it is mighty good.

 1,561 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.2/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It has been a slow Christmas day here at Chez Wood, reading a Noir fiction anthology and awaiting tomorrow's fest at World Cafe Live with bated breath. The label mentions "a hedonistic experience" and I could use a little of that right about now.

My pour created slightly better than a finger-and-a-half of off- white head with good retention. Color was a slightly hazy deep- amber. Nose smelled faintly of grapefruit/citrusy hops but with a smoky undertone. Mouthfeel was medium and I got a mild hop bite on the tongue, but not much more than that. This seemed a bit underwhelming for an American IPA and it was not the hedonism that I was hoping for, either. Finish was still slightly bitter, but not "Brutal" by any stretch. I was left underwhelmed by the experience. By the way, I found the date stamp on the bottom - it was bottled on 265 day, or late-September. It was fresh enough that it should have been better.

 921 characters

Brutal Bitter Ale from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 80.3% out of 100 with 2,154 ratings
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