Brutal IPA from Rogue Ales in Newport, Oregon pours a hazy, rusty caramel colour reminiscent of many double IPAs twice its strength, with an abundant tan head that leaves a fair amount of lace behind before settling as a collar. This ESB-cum-IPA has more of a sweet, fruity aroma than a typical American IPA; like cherries in syrup with a thick, bready maltiness and a tangerine peel citrus note.
Brutal IPA is strongly bitter up front, but with a well-balanced honey-like malted sweetness. There is a faint citrus tang that gives it a bit of pop before going back to bitter. Unassuming, subtle and solid. The beer is fairly thick and heavy on the tongue like yeast at first. A medium carbonation eases it down and somehow it seems to get even more bitter in the aftertaste, but remains tame enough to prevent puckering or dry cheeks.
The packaging of Brutal IPA features the mustachioed “Rogue Guy” in a red shirt, a ball cap and off kilter sunglasses sporting a mug of ale. There is a ton of information on the back including a comprehensive ingredients list, food pairing suggestions, a brief description of the beer and even its gravity and bitterness scale ratings.
Brutal IPA is like a hybrid of a fruity English ESB that has a slight citrus character like a west coast IPA. It's a blend that works quite well and one I'll seek out again despite its rather high cost. It's probably my favourite out of the five Rogue Ales offerings I've tried.
Rogue Ales can be found at select LCBO locations and are distributed throughout most of North America.
Type: American IPA
Region: Oregon, Newport
Brewery: Rogue Ales
Format Purchased: 650 mL
Alcohol Content: 5.8%