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Rosebud - Rubicon Brewing Company

Not Rated.
RosebudRosebud

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
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 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.

t0rin0, Nov 09, 2008
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated 8/29/12.

Pours a murky dark reddish-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy patches and streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, rye, slight brown sugar, and some herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a medium amount of herbal hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but it smells better than it tastes in my opinion.

UCLABrewN84, Sep 19, 2012
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

acurtis, Oct 14, 2013
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.

BuckeyeNation, Apr 15, 2011
Photo of GRG1313
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper red with a light yellowish/tan head.

Nose is full assertive sweet red plums with some sweet orange/cherry marmalade. Sweet but pleasant.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy with nice carbonation, nice body and good balance.

Flavors are burnt orange character roasted grain with a black coffee/roasted grain mid palate and finish. Nice complexities and apears really food friendly. Actually much more complex than an initial tasting would have one conclude.

Nose is pleasantly fruity sweet and one expects a bit more sweet character but is pleasantly surprised with rich malt/roasted grain flavors. A food friendly brew and quite drinkable and the bitter coffee finish works.

Note: I went back and read reviews after reviewing/tasting this one. I agree with Andrew here....there does seem to be something missing. This is a good drink. However, it's missing a "bright" character which would really kick it up a notch.

GRG1313, Oct 09, 2010
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.

womencantsail, Feb 19, 2010
Photo of mactrail
3.3/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Rich and flowery beer, like an IPA crossed with an Old Ale. Attractive reddish amber color in the tulip. Pleasant enough head and a mouthful of suds.

Warm malt flavors with a distinct tang. The hops are very assertive. Quite bitter aftertaste, though it also has that buttery Old Ale flavor. Resiny hop flavors along with some grapefruit peel, even a little of the old orange that's been in the fruit bin too long. Fairly light body with the spritziness lasting well. This even tastes like a really over the top amber, with the dank hops and dark toast barley flavor.

From the 22 oz bottle bought at Bine & Vine in San Diego.

mactrail, Dec 01, 2012
Photo of MarkyMOD
3.75/5  rDev 0%

MarkyMOD, Jul 21, 2012
Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ericandersnavy for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours an amber color with a white head. The aroma is a lot hoppier than I expected it to be. I get a lot of grass, pine and citrus notes. I get a little bit of malt, but the aroma is all about the hops.

The flavor is also very hoppy. I get a lot of grass, pine and floral notes, with a little bit of citrus. There is not too much of a malt backbone and the bitterness is about medium.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Mora2000, Dec 28, 2010
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.

Halcyondays, Oct 10, 2008
Photo of GClarkage
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

GClarkage, Jul 03, 2014
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.

DoubleJ, Oct 18, 2008
Photo of Zorro
3.4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear red colored ale with a small tan colored head.

Smells malty and sweet. Brown sugar and mild northwestern style hops. Toasted bread and mild molasses. Mild pine and cedar aromas.

Starts out malty and mildly bitter. Toffee candy and burnt sugar with some cedar taste to it. Vanilla and butter. Fairly mellow but it isn't real complex.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall an OK beer but not a great one, probably will not buy again.

Zorro, Sep 26, 2012
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.

LiquidAmber, Feb 01, 2014
Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.75/5  rDev 0%

GraduatedCashew, Aug 29, 2013
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.

OWSLEY069, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of scottfrie
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into snifter.

A: Pours a very dark ruddy brown with a couple fingers of very soft and dense looking light cream colored head. Head stuck around for quite some time before slowly collapsing into soft film that maintained itself through the whole glass. A network of thin lace was left down the glass.
S: Sweet smelling with big notes of raisins, caramel, candied dates and toast. Not too complicated.
T: Follows the nose but thankfully not as sweet as I was dreading. I get notes of roasted bread crust malts, roasted grains, sweet caramel, cocoa powder, dark fruits and raisins. The finish has hints of earthy hops, and the aftertaste is malty and sweet. I get a hint of tobacco as well.
M: Medium body, soft and ample carbonation, smooth and very easy going mouthfeel.
O: What flavors are there are good but I wish this beer was a couple percent higher in ABV and had a little bit stronger flavor. Tastes watered down compared to many of the old ales I’ve had. Still, a solid beer and worth a try if you like malt.

scottfrie, Aug 04, 2012
Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Exiled, Nov 25, 2011
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.

flexabull, Jul 31, 2011
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

Floydster, Oct 20, 2008
Photo of Smarty_Pints
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Smarty_Pints, Sep 27, 2013
Photo of Fatehunter
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Beautiful finger and half of off-white head on a dark red colored body.
The aroma is nice but faint. Caramel and dry barley.
The taste heavy on the malt but not too sweet. There's a little hit of lemon bitter in the middle. It finishing long and dry.
The texture is thicker with low carbonation.
Very enjoyable.

Fatehunter, Sep 07, 2013
Photo of Phelps
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle into a tulip. Thanks to flexabull for sending it.

Dark cherry red with good clarity. A finger of creamy tan head descends pretty slowly. Not a bad-looking beer.

The nose is light, but there’s some nice stuff in there: caramel, a bit of toast, grapefruit peel, grass and subtle cherry.

The flavor exhibits a lot of the spicy rye that was used in the malt bill. Grapefruit hops, burnt bread and baked apple are turned down so low you almost can’t hear them.

Body is a velvet-smooth medium, nicely viscous, with a bit of prickly carbonation. Alcohol is hidden very well. Dry finish with a touch of bitterness.

Herm. Rosebud seems as if it’s trying to be a big, hoppy amber, but just falls short. Not worth a second visit.

Phelps, Oct 07, 2011
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.

charlzm, Feb 04, 2009
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.

brewandbbq, Nov 02, 2010
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Rosebud from Rubicon Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.