I poured a 22oz bottle into a mason jar. There was no freshness date. I got this at #BBC13.
Appearance: A bright orange hue, almost glowing. Nearly clear body with
carbonation visible. Forms a large, eggshell, foamy head which mostly
dissipates and leaves minor lacing.
Smell: A herbal/earthy aroma akin to cannabis.
Taste: Usually, balance is a good thing in a beer, but with a name like
Rogue Brutal IPA, you go into it with some expectations of it being a
hop bomb. Interestingly enough, this is one of the most well-balanced
and malt-forward beers of the style I can recall.
The taste here reminds me of a Colorado IPA with the overt malt presence
noticeable right away. It’s akin to that of an amber ale with sweet
caramel and toffee flavors. There’s also distinct herbal and earthy
characters, like tea leaves, pine needles and grass. The Crystal hops
continue this trend and impart resiny bitterness at the peak of the swig
and on the finish. I also detect some lemonpeel and lollipop-like
sweetness in the aftertaste. Though far from a "brutal" beer, it’s
certainly an interesting and noteworthy entry for the style.
Drinkability: Another reason Rogue Brutal IPA is misnamed is because
it’s a remarkably drinker-friendly brew. The mouthfeel is calm, yet with
an energetic/non-tepid presence and smooth texture. The hops definitely
linger between swigs, leaving a slightly dank/cloying aftertaste.
There’s a lot of body here for only 6% ABV, though I had absolutely no
trouble drinking and entire bomber myself.