A "Brutal Bitter"? It's been a while since your humble reporter here has sipped on an ESB but something put me in the mood for one. While at the beer store none of the others ones to choose from were really striking my fancy. When I saw this Rogue on the shelf declaring something that might make it stand differently than the rest of the pack I made my choice.
Cloudy gold in color with a fair amount of sediment floating around. Head was there and gone but still left a fair amount of lacing around the glass. The description on the side of the bottle talks about a "stupendous hop aroma" but really all that I'm detecting is a lot of malt up front and a slight citrus like hop scent in the distance. The hops seem to jump out much more in the taste though but not until after sweet malt introduction. The odd thing is that this is a bitter (and supposedly a "brutal" one at that) but there's almost a mix orange and mint gumdrop flavorings going on. Not as obnoxiously sweet and gooey as a gumdrop or anything but for some reason there's something about the way of the sweetness of this has me thinking that. As it goes down the throat the hop taste shows up a little more along with some peppery undertones but not really all that bitter and far from brutal. Can't really say that this is the biggest winner I've tried from the Rogue stable but it's not bad. I guess I was just expecting a bit more "brutal" or at least something with a little more "oomph."