bitbucket (2165) - Kirkland, Washington, USA - APR 18, 2008
On tap at Uber. Let’s just start off by saying that this is not a Schwarzbier. It may share some common characteristics with the style, but that’s as far as it goes. Pours clear blackish brown with a lightly lacy tan head. Aroma of oranges, chocolate and pine. Medium body and carbonation. Lightly astringent grapefruit and coffee finish. The flavors in this beer seem to fight with each other rather than being complimentary, and the result is a lack of balance. Not ’bad’, but just barely edging into ’good’ territory. ross (2146) - weddington, North Carolina, USA - MAR 14, 2007
Sampled at the Knoxville tasting courtesy of Sean. Sean went to the bar and came back with some of this which was the locker stock series number whatever. This stuff is really dark, and has a big creamy head on it. The appearance is about the best thing this beer has to offer. After discussing at the table what the aroma was, the best we could come up with was cat urine and grass. The taste was off. Very bitter and unpleasant notes of grass and just funk. Not a good beer at all. Enniskillen (2060) - Bakersfield, California, USA - OCT 19, 2008
Black with a mocha head. Aroma is roasty with chocolate, and caramel. Taste is roasty, chocolate, caramel, and very roasty if I haven’t said that already. closey22 (2032) - Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, USA - OCT 26, 2007
On dreaft at Monk’s in Phily. Called Rogue Anniversary Black Brutal "Bitter". Reddish brown w/very think foamy head; aroma is hoppy w/ hint of sweetness; hops dominate the flavor but there are some roasty and sweet notes; the palate is think and creamy; finish is dry/hoppy. BeerHawk (1810) - Huntsville, Alabama, USA - MAR 14, 2007
Draft at Barley’s in Knoxville, bought by illinismitty to share with us at the Tennessee Spring(ish) Tasting. Dark brown in the glass with a creamy off-white head that left light lacing. Awful aroma of ammonia (cat piss) and hops with a light chocolate background. The flavor was about the same. Medium body and mild bitterness throughout. This has got to be a bad batch.
elihapa (1554) - Honolulu, Hawaii, USA - JUN 11, 2008
5/08 notes: on tap, Eli Cannon’s. Must note my confusion in thinking this was Rogue’s Brutal Bitter. This beer poured deep black and smelled of heavily toasted – maybe burnt is a better word – bitter chocolate. Tastes of black coffee, toasted notes, bitter chocolate, and maybe a hint of plum. Finish is notably dry and bitter, I commend Rogue for resisting the urge to throw some sweetness in the finish! Overall I enjoyed this beer, but felt that the toasted-bitter flavors were a bit one-sided: I think if they were toned down then more complexity would emerge. Magjayran (1378) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - JUL 28, 2008
On tap at Tyler’s in Durham. Very dark brown, almost black. Tan head. Citrusy hops and roasted malt in the aroma. Tastes like a coffee IPA. Weird. The hops are citrusy, tangerine like. The malt background brings up fresh brewed coffee and molasses. Bitter in every way. A fun beer. golubj (1377) - San Mateo, California, USA - MAY 7, 2008
Draft at the Blind Tiger. Black pour with almost no head. There are a lot of citrus hops in the aroma, some burnt malt, and chocolate. Flavor is similar, aggressively hopped, roasted / burnt presence. Not so much like a schwarzbier, but a hopped up porter. Decent overall. biz82 (1327) - austin, Texas, USA - MAR 18, 2007
Draught. Clear dark brown wtih a frothy stable head. Super hoppy aroma, resinous and citric. Big citrus hop flavor with a bitter finish. Small malt character. Nice beer, though simpler than you would imagine it to be. Personally I didn’t get any cat urine, though certain hops, particularly when dry hopping, will lend such an aroma. Described as "catty" by hop purveyers I’ve spoken to. nbutler11 (1267) - Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, ENGLAND - JUL 3, 2008
As a dark beer drinker, I found this offering from Rogue awfully dissappointing. I mean, if you’re going to call your beer "Brutal Black," then at least bring it strong and stop trying to create an IPA that looks like a stout.