Just like you, but different
Brutal combines Oregon hops with English Malts. The Oregon grown Crystal hop is a triploid variety developed from the German Hallertau aroma hop variety with contributions from Cascade, Brewers Gold, and Early Green. Crystal is the only hop used in brewing Brutal and it provides a massive amount of aroma without dry-hopping. The English malts used are floor malted Pipkin (a mellow cross of Maris Otter and Warboys, from an English company called Beeston), Cara Vienna and Cara Wheat.
A 650ml bottle of a 6%ABV beer (3.2 standard drinks), and at 59 IBU it can be expected to be “bitter”
It definitely has a bitter aroma on opening, pours a lovely ambers and has a decent fluffy and light head. Still has a grassy hop aroma and it appears to be on a solid malt base, I get lemon/grapefruit.
Gosh that’s easy drinking with a lovely front of some soft sweetness and after a long note ends nicely and softly bitter. It has a really nice mouthfeel it’s sort of fluffy as best I can describe. I’m not so sure that such a punch of malts makes this a beer that is comfortable to drink. And “Brutal” isn’t quite what I got delivered.
However this isn’t dry hopped and therefore has to carry what it has as it is. I was expecting more bitterness, and less maltiness. I’m really enjoying this though, despite my misgivings I stand by ‘easy drinking’ but I also think that you’d struggle to drink this in a session.
The pdubyah-o-meter though, always controversial, an unpredictable says 8 – making it very good on the arbitrary nature of the scale. I’d buy this for you in a pub, but only if I knew you and we’d had been out drinking before. I’m not sure that it’s a beer that I’d stand up and say to someone who was used to more commercial beer flavours that this was a shining example of why they needed to change. They might find it too sugary and a bit flat on completeness.
For me though, this isn’t bad, and I’ve yet to have a Rogue beer that’s really let me down. If I had a bucket list it would for sure contain a visit to the brewer to shake the hand of a master, and then 6 months later to leave and do the next thing on the list 🙂
If I had a mind (or wallet) that had a stocked beer fridge, and I had the sort of friends that popped around for a beer or two, I’d be ok with serving this to them without fear that they wouldn’t like it.