Rosebud - Rubicon Brewing Company

Not Rated.
RosebudRosebud

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BA SCORE
84
good

54 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 54
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 11.47%
Wants: 0
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Rubicon Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  7.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: rayjay on 09-20-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 54 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rocketman8911
5/5  rDev +33.3%

Photo of MisterClean
4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the source. Glad it's being served in So Cal and the Rube is getting some good recognition.

A - Deep red, chocolate head, dissipates very slow, and leaves a light lacing.

S - Malts, cinnamon, and grass.

T - Cinnamon, earthy hops, heavy malts, and maybe some all-spice.

M - Good balance, no way do I get alcohol on this one. Slightly dry finish.

D - Good thing they only serve it in 10 oz goblets.

Photo of Floydster
4.38/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2 snifters at Beachwood BBQ for six dollars each, heard this was actually more like 9.5% ABV but this could vary by year and batch, glad to see this made it down here

A-Medium reddish brown, can tell immediately that this stuff is unfiltered, 3/4 inch bubbly darker off white head, actually stays around a lot longer than I thought it would, nice retention, impressive lacing
S-Hoppiness, floral accents, chocolate malt, orange peel, strawberries and raspberries, grains, caramel, herbal aromas, biscuit, cherry, butterscotch, and mild roastiness, smell was complex
T-Starts off with a nice hop profile standing out with floral and pine characteristics, middle is toffee and toasted malts, small amount of a biscuit feel in there, finish is dry with more hops and some fruit left behind in the aftertaste, hops become a bit spicy later on and the malt really comes out when it warms, there seems to be a huge variety there as some of the flavors I cannot even put my finger on, gets really tasty towards the end with an incredible balance of many different tastes
M-Dry, sweet, slightly roasty, and fruity mouthfeel, medium bodied, nice level of carbonation, one of the hoppier old ales I can remember having, which is why the taste lingered so much
D-Could have drank another glass then the strength would have got the best of me, alcohol was hidden for the most part though, pretty light on the stomach considering, went down easy and complemented our fondue

Rubicon makes this once a year and it was cool to sample it, it is named after one of Jerry Garcia's guitars, I had heard a rumor that only two kegs made it into Los Angeles county, the other one being at Verdugo, this is a real good old ale and one of the first I was able to sample on tap, would like to drink again, recommended

Photo of DoubleJ
4.28/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach, CA, on to the beer:

Why don't more American breweries make a beer like this? There's a lot of mixed fruit flavor to be had here. Assorted temperate fruit skins at first, it slowly morphs into dark fruits and figs with a bit of toffee. It has an easy going mouthfeel, not too full or light. It doesn't have the appearant buttery yeast flavor of English beers of this style, but this version has it's own beat with more fruit flavor and less yeast.

Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.28/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 22oz bomber at Olive Tree Market for $3.99 (damn good price for a beer touting 7.5% ABV). Supposedly this is the first bottling of this beer (it's only been available on draft up until this point).

A: Pours a clean slightly brownish, more reddish hue - (hibiscus/rose colored), with a small head that dissipated quickly leaving very little lace.

S: Real nice smell of roasted malts and fresh grains, mossy hops, carmel and yeast. Reminds me a lot of the new Sierra brew - "Tumbler".

T: First off, I think it's worth mentioning that this beer in no way represents an "Old Ale" style - there is no aged wood flavors, no wine characteristics, no flavors of fruit, etc. I'm confused how this got labeled as an "Old Ale".

With this being said, the flavor is real nice and fresh - chocolate roasted malts, mossy earthy hop flavors (subtle but there), the rye also comes through in the flavor, maple syrup/brown sugar, and a fresh grain flavor that adds to this beers overall tastiness and freshness. Quality stuff here!

M: Light to medium bodied, mellow carbonation (but sufficient), smooth and creamy.

D: Super easy drinker - bummed I only bought one.

Photo of MrJolly
4.24/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: From a bomber bottle into a pint glass, the color is almost dark caramel, almost chocolate. Held up to the light, it is beyond cloudy--it is opaque with little light making its way through. The Bandersnatch label on the other side of the glass cannot be read. The head of the beer is thin and the carbonation appears plentiful, bubbling up along the sides of the glass.

Smell: burnt caramel, bread, faint pine. The smell is inviting, but not overwhelming.

Taste: there's something a little acrid in the flavor, but I don't find this unpleasant--again going back to that burnt caramel I was smelling. It is bitter, but the bitter is in a sort of argument with the toasty mellow flavor, and the mellow flavor wins the argument with a sweeter aftertaste that lingers. There is also the taste of a hop backbone with the pine coming in the middle. The taste is my favorite part of this beer.

Mouthfeel: I wished for a sturdier mouthfeel to carry the freight of all that complexity. Instead, the beer feels thin. Initially, I thought there was a bit too much carbonation, but then the little pinpricks of the bubbles were dancing with the bitterness and all was forgiven.

Overall: I really like this one. I'll buy it again on purpose. Thanks, Rubicon!

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.22/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clean deep amber to brown color with a light tan head. In the aroma, caramel, dark fruit, and sugary. In the taste, dry caramel and ends with a dry dark fruit. A smooth and and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry dark fruit in the aftertaste. Nice old ale, line taste and aroma. Nice little heat of alcohol in the tummy.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.18/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Beachwood BBQ, if Orson Welles was still alive, this would be the beer he'd order,

A: Pours a dark red, tough to tell the exact colour due to the lighting, it was 8:00 at night, nice lacing down the glass.

S: Distinct American hops, grapefruit, caramel malt.

T: Interesting taste, I don't know if there is rye in this beer, but it certainly tastes like it; tastes like a mix of Hop Rod Rye and Anchor Old Foghorn, it has a lot of American Barleywine taste to it. The flavour is really good. Strong toasted caramel maltiness, on the verge of being unappetizing, but it works with the strong grapefruit in the hop profile to make a delicious flavour. Definitely an American interpretation of the old ale.

M: Mouthfeel is strong, full carbonation, though the big flavour profile reins it in. Full of hop resin, well done.

D: This is a really nice beer from Rubicon, I didn't know what to expect going in, quality stuff, it would be really good as a winter brew. Definitely recommended.

Photo of t0rin0
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried this on tap last night at Beachwood BBQ on the way to see Dragonforce. I have to believe that this is more than 7.7%. My guess is right around 10% abv.

Poured a hazy brown with a fair amount of red. Whiteish head, good retention and lacing. Nice to look at, a little more red than I would have expected but thats alright.

Aroma was heavy on the citrus hops. Some malt present and only the slightest hint of alcohol. I have hard time believing this is an "old" ale. I would personally classify this is an American Strong Ale.

Flavor is quite malty and young. Very bitter (in absolute terms), only mildly hoppy despite the nose. Really no alcohol in the flavor. This is one of those rare beers that I would say needs some time but there is really no alcohol present in the taste.

Body is heavy, smooth, and drinkable. Good CO2 but it was on tap.

Photo of flexabull
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice label with the nod to Jerry Garcia.

Pours a very dark amber color with a fine off white head, nice lacing too.

Aromas are of caramel, chocolate, nuts, and malts.

Taste is of cola, roasted nuts, caramel, and light cocoa. Beer has some sweetness, but it's restrained, and not over done. Finish has some hints of hoppiness, a bit spicy with some earthiness.

Mouthfeel is soft, smooth, and full bodied.

Overall, this is a nice beer. Didn't know what I was buying when I grabbed it off the shelf, but this is tasty, and well worth trying.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"(Rosebud was) first brewed in 1995 on the day Jerry Garcia died, and is named after one of his guitars."

--Rubicon website

Caramel brown that becomes either dark orange or dark red when backlit, depending on your light source. A scant one finger of golden brown sugar colored cream appeared on the pour. The lid looks good, lasts quite some time, and lays down some pretty good looking lace.

The nose is caramel malt-dominant, which is a definite positive. It also has hints of hops and a background earthiness from rye malt. This may not be a 'blow your socks off' old ale, but things should be just fine on the palate.

Rosebud is flavorful beer that should become even more so when it gains several more degrees. Even though there isn't a flavor hook, per se, everything works well together. Flavor depth and balance are good, as is sweet-bitter balance.

Specifics include toasted brown bread croutons slathered in caramel sauce, musky fruit skins, and bitter black tea leaves. There must have been a fair amount of hoppiness immediately after the release, because this bottle is at least six months old... and probably older. Alcohol is buried very well too.

Even though the mouthfeel could be slightly bigger and the carbonation could be slightly more integrated, neither is enough to result in the next lowest score. Besides, both are improving over time.

This is my first Rubicon beer and is a humdinger of an American old ale. It was probably even better (read: more hoppy) last year, but has aged gracefully and is some kind of delicious right here and now. Cheers to Jerry, to his guitar Rosebud, and to Rosebud Special Ale.

Photo of BrewMonkey
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Rubicon with about half an inch of tan head that sticks to the glass and has decent retention. Dark dark amber color.

Aroma of berries, currants, citrus and dates. The berry aroma seemed pronounced to me, with a tiny hint of sourness in the background. Very interesting and satisfying aroma.

Taste of berries initially gives way to an almost floral hop presense with some bitterness in the finish, but all of that is very balanced against the malt. Drinks suprisingly easy considering the strong aroma and stickiness of the head. Finishes with a slight sourness but nothing off putting. Very easy to get in trouble with this high ABV easy drinking ale. Very tasty and worth a stop.

Photo of bonapartist1
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

If you like rye, you'd best buy.

Rye character really comes to the forefront of this bottle for me, adding that wonderful spicy character you get even more in, say, Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye. I don't necessarily agree with the old ale designation, it just struck me as a rye-forward, hop-shy red or a darker, rye-forward pale ale. Alcohol is well masked but I can't but feel it'd be just as good at 6.0

Pretty pleasant and affordably priced.

From the website, a treat for deadheads:
"First brewed in 1995 on the day Jerry Garcia Died, and is named after one of his guitars. This complex multi grain ale is made with a blend of twelve types of malted barley. The spicy hop character comes from select German and Czec Hops."

Photo of Beerswag
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of brewandbbq
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

Pours dark mahogany with a ruby hue and a half inch of beige foam. A few shreds of lacing and a partial skimcoat throughout the glass.

Aromatics are fairly mellow and balanced. Malt forward with some sweet roasted notes with a mild hoppiness. Crystle malt with brown sugar and pine.

Medium bodied with a slickish mouthfeel and a mild chew.

Sweet malt with a moderate bitterness start the palate. Roasty overtones and a bit of grainyness endure along with traces of piney hops. The alcohol becomes apparent near the end.

Finishes with a lingering bitterness, roasted malt, and a peppery alcohol bite.

Not really tasting like an Old Ale, but a hoppy red. The beer would probably be much more interesting if it were barrel aged or perhaps just ramp up the hops.

Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Still fuming over finding the blog that totally is doing the same thing I am...Pours a beautiful red amber. If'n I didn't know better (and I have no idea if I do or not), I'd say this is specifically a Red Ale. Not much of a head forms, and what does is apparently lost to an immediate angel's share. Lightly carbonated. No real lacing. Mehh thus far other than the nice color. Nose is decidedly faint. I get piney hops and not much else. Maybe some pineapple and grapefruit. 7.5% ABV and only $4.49/bomber...Now on to the flavor...Huzzah!! It's good. Phew, that is a relief. Lots of vibrant hop notes. Good malty backbone, also, makes this a well-balanced red ale. Not too sweet, not too dry. Really flavorful and drinkable. Of note is the long, bitter-in-a-good-way finish displaying the hops very nicely. Nothing super-unique, but very tasty. Worth tracking down at this price point.

What I like most: The delicious, vibrant flavor profile.

What I like least: The lack of unique qualities and weak aromas.

Verdict: Too well-priced to pass up.

Photo of krisandajt
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one comes courtesy of mymrnngjckt. I'm definitely interesting in trying this one, it's not a style that I try all that often. Cheers Kevin!

Appearance: Poured from the bottle into my DFH chalice, this brew is a very deep brown color. The color brown is so dark that it almost looks black, only the light hitting the edge of the brew gives it a brownish hue. Not much head atop this beer, only a thin foamy ring where the beer meets the glass.

Smell: Sweet with some nice dark fruit. Definitely picking up some raisins and some sweet currants, and virtually no hint of booze.

Taste: Sweet and malty, and it has some nice fruitiness to it. Raisins and prunes, sure, but sweeter. It has sort of a sweet wine sort of taste. It gets much better and more pronounced at it warms, hence my multiple edits.

Mouthfeel: Full body and lightly carbonated giving it a smooth, almost creamy feel.

Drinkability: I'll admit, this is not a style I drink very frequently. At first, I felt this brew was simple and unimpressive. However, as I sit here watching Big Love I find myself enjoying this brew more and more. In fact, this is the 3rd time I've edited this review. This beer drinks well, has some nice fruity qualities to it. As it warms, the flavor profile improves and becomes more robust. I'm glad I had a chance to try it.

Photo of rayjay
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery yesterday. An interesting old ale. Transparent brown with a white head. The nose is the most interesting part; it smells exactly like a kitchen full of fresh-baked apple cinnamon muffins. Has that fresh beer flavor that reminds me of the smell of freshly boiled wort. Not aggressively hopped, but a bitter punch is present nevertheless. Malts are there on the mouthfeel, full-bodied and a tiny bit sweet. Not too thick or sticky, but a nice higher-gravity brew with a personality.

Photo of charlzm
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Consumed 01/29/09 at Blue Palms, Hollywood, CA.

Very clear, very dark brown with ruby highlights. Off-white one finger head with very sticky lacing.

Aroma is molasses and dark, sweet malt.

This beer is so smooth and velvety that I suspect the gas mix on the draft line mix may have been bumped up to favor nitrogen over CO2. Still had a bit of bite to it, though.

Chocolate note to the flavor is the first thing I noticed. Molasses. Some coffee style bitterness to the finish. More like a less-roasted stout than a traditional old ale, as I didn't pick up any fruit or wine character. Hops were also not a noticeable component of this near-malt-bomb. I had to dock this beer a little due to wandering so far off-style, flavor-wise.

Whatever you call this, it is strong, tastes fine and is easy to drink.

Photo of womencantsail
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Blue Palms

A: The pour is a clear, dark amber color with a small off-white head, leaving some mild lacing.

S: A lot of sweet caramel malt along with some brown sugar. A mild citrus aroma helps to cut through the sweetness.

T: Despite a very sugary nose, the sweetness was fairly restrained. The caramel and brown sugar come through, but so do some nice citrus and fruit flavors. The hops don't really provide any bitterness here, which I could have used a touch of.

M: The body is medium to full with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: A touch more bitterness and this one would have been a lot better. It was still good as it is, but seemed to be missing something.

Photo of dertyd
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Dogfish Head pint glass. Pours a medium red-orange amber with a two finger light tan head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of caramel and slightly toasted malt, light piney hops, nuts. Flavor is biscuit and mild toasted malt, hops with subdued herbal qualities appropriate for European hops, slightly nutty, some rye-like mild sourness and flavor. Finishes drier with a mildly astringent hop bitterness. Medium bodied. An interesting strong ale that is does not really fit the profile of an old ale and probably should be listed as an American strong ale. The bottle calls this "Rosebud Special Ale" so no indication they were going for the old ale maltiness. The malts are complex, covering mild caramel malt, lots of biscuit malt and a hint of toasted malt. Hops are subdued, but this is an older bottle, so they may be a bit tired. The brewer lists the brewing date on the bottle which is a great idea. The rye flavor and mild tartness are odd because there is no indication of rye being used in this. In a blind taste, I would have identified this as a rye beer and a nice one. Nice; malty and hoppy.

Photo of MattSlem
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of JorSince88
3.75/5  rDev 0%

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Rosebud from Rubicon Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.