|Brutal Bitter, RIP - Long live Brutal IPA|
I was heartened then, to hear that they were changing the name and I expected to be enjoying Rogue Best Bitter soon after buying it from the aforementioned local market. Alas the replacement name was not the brutal bit but the 'bitter' - replaced by 'IPA.' But it is not really that either, at 59 IBUs and 6% ABV it just barely hits the mark of an IPA and most northwest IPAs are closer to 7% ABV. And it is still not at all 'brutal.'
|New name and quite a new recipe: from 6 to 8 ingredients and a much more citrus hop flavor. IBUs and ABV remain the same but the clolor is quite a bit lighter.|
But there is one possible silver lining: I expect the new recipe to be a real crowd-pleaser and if it is and I can find it in someplace other than super-specialty beer shops I'll consider it a good bargain. But I fear that the 'Brutal' moniker may work against it again. This is not California, we aren't impressed by smack-you-across the face bitterness and names like Bastard and Brutal don't appeal to us. But then again my finger might not be on the pulse of Oregon punters, after all Oregonians are gaga for Total Domination. Still Brutal Bitter did not seem to sell well, and it certainly was not the beer - so what then?
But let me put my plug in here for Brutal IPA. It is quite a nice entry into the NW IPA fantasia we have here in Oregon. A respectable companion to such faves as Total Dom, Watershed, Pelican, Blue Dot, Vortex, X-114 and so on. It maintains its English-inspired restraint and in that reminds me most of X-114. I hope it finds its market and I hope that market is near me.