Red Rocket Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Red Rocket AleRed Rocket Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,499 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,499
Reviews: 1,157
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 10.86%
Wants: 137
Gots: 200 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-05-2001

Red Rocket Ale is a bastardized Scottish style red ale that traces it's origins to our homebrew roots. This full bodied and hoppy brew finishes on the palate with sweet, caramel malt flavors.

2009 California State Fair - SILVER
1999 Great American Beer Festival® Other Strong Ales or Lagers - SILVER
1998 Great American Beer Festival® Other Strong Ales - SILVER
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,499 | Reviews: 1,157
Reviews by travolta:
Photo of travolta
3.3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The color of this brew has a strawberry applecider hue in the light, but is burgundy away from light. The head on this breer looks like whipped caramel cream. Thousands of tiny, tiny bubbles surround a few larger bubbles. Lacing is impressive so far. I will talk more about lacing after the first glass.

I get an immediate nose of dried fruits and fig. All of the scents seem to branch off of, or come back to that same idea. I get some caramel and a little buttered bread, but the dominant smell is fig and older fruit. A comforting and inviting nose.

Very interesting. I find it fascinating when a beer tastes different from it's nose. This beer does just that. What I taste at first is toasted wheat of browned crackers. The aftertaste is a little bitter. It is dry and hoppy in it's aftertaste. A little syrupy in the mouth.

Notes: While the taste is dry and nutty, the nose is fruity. this juxteposition makes for an interesting beer, but not one which I could drink two of. Oh yes, retention and lacing were both excellent.

More User Reviews:
Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.74/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with a touch of murkiness. The head is two fingers high and pale yellow in shade. Retention is pretty good, and the head's foamy textures leaves behind some lacing on the glass. When I pour the dregs in, it seems to layer perfectly below the head. (3.5)

Smell: It has the typical red ale malts (caramel, toffee, toasted bread), backed by some piny, grassy hops. Letting it open up will reveal some nice fruit esters like cherry and apricot - still, I wish this quality was a little stronger. However, it provides enough of a twist to raise it above the glut of average amber/red ales out there. (3.75)

Taste: There's a powerful hop flavor to start, one that's herbal, grassy, and even tobacco-like at times. After a few sips, the malt backbone appears. There are nice notes of toast, caramel, and toffee in the middle, before it finishes with light estery flavors. Just like on the nose, I want a bit more of an ester flavor - otherwise, this one is quite good. (3.75)

Mouthfeel: A respectably full body is featured here. Not overly sweet-feeling for the style, and thank cripes for that. There is a bit of residual sugar floating around, but nothing that's crazy. Thanks to the low carbonation, it's more of a sipper than a chugger - not a problem, though... (3.75)

Overall: I always see this around, and I always approach with trepidation (because freshness). But when it is fresh, this is really good. And it actually has a best by date on it - granted, it's not as good as a born on date, but I'll take what I can get. I'll definitely have this again, especially on tap. (3.75)

3.74/5: Definitely not some dime-a-dozen, middle-of-the-road red ale; deserves its status as a classic

Photo of oberon
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep deep ruby with a fantastic sticky slightly off white head,really pick up the zest hops there with an underlying caramel malt, very piney and cedary.A big tasting beer nicely balanced with a huge amount of hops for the style but a nice nutty biscuity malt backbone to hold up to the dry,zesty hop.A true west coast ale big and bold tasting and full of hops,a very very nice brew.

Photo of RoyalT
4.62/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance – Extremely thick and brown in color with a nice head that left a little lacing on the inside of my Ruination glass. There is a ton of sediment floating around in this one. Another big hoppy Bear Republic?

Smell – There’s a wonderful piney hop nose followed by a solid malt base to this one. It is very subtle when cold, but opens up a bit after about five minutes in the glass. There are also some citrus hops as well along with some sugary caramel sweets, making this one rather complex.

Taste – Man, is this good. The hops of course lead the way. They are sharp and piney with citrus undertones backed up by a serious malt structure that’s just dripping with sugar syrup. I can almost literally taste a Heath bar in there.

Mouthfeel – More surprises in that this one actually has a bit of carbonation. Otherwise this is just about full-bodied, probably the heaviest Red that I’ve had to date, and extremely dry. This is a real mouthful.

Drinkability – This is my idea of an American Red Ale. I’m no expert, but if you go to the BJCP site it describes this beer exactly. I’d give my right nut for a glass of this on-tap.

Update – I rated this beer so high back in November 2003 when I snagged a bottle in California I thought I’d re-review a 2004 vintage now that they sell it here in Seattle at Bottleworks. This thing is by far the tastiest and biggest Red/Amber Ale that I’ve ever had, and the mouthfeel is just incredible (better than the 5.0 that I scored it). After 1,200+ reviews it is still my favor Red Ale to date.

Photo of cynicgiraffe
3.49/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark red/crimson with a fluffy white head that has quite a bit of retention and lacing. Tons of yeast and other bits floating around. Unfiltered, indeed. Smells sweet, some resinous pine and some prune/plum/cherry action. Watery front, not the kind of malt backbone that I look for in a red ale. Lots of hoppy pine notes though. Lots of carbonation I'd have it again, but I think I prefer Green Flash's Hop Head Red.

Photo of SteadySippin
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into chilled glass from a bottle.

A - Dark amber/ reddish brown color with a half inch off white head. Considerable lacing on the glasss.

S - I mainly pick up roasted malt with a slight hop presence as well. It smells somewhat sweet.

T - At first I taste malt, then bitterness from the hops lightly comes in enough to be noticeable but not overpowering. The hops give off a piney/grapefruit taste which is pleasant. The malt side of things tastes like brown sugar or caramel.

M - Bitterness covers the pallet immediately. Carbonation is on point and the beer feels slightly heavy but it is smooth and easy to drink.

O - I will be buying more of this for sure. Its a really good ale! It was recommended to me and I am quite happy with it. The balance between the malt and hop is almost perfect in my opinion. The beers appearance is great too.

Photo of explosivebeer
3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This slightly creamy red ale has a great head that actually has persistent structure, almost like a head on a root beer float. Unfortunately, it blocks a lot of the aroma, at least until you drink it down. The color is a deep brownish red. This beer has an excellent balance of malts and hops, with lots of flavor and a nice smooth finish. This is the first beer I'd tried from Bear Republic but I'll be keeping my eye out for other offerings.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue II:

Originally a Scottish-style Red Ale, the Northwest hopping quickly took over, and now we see this beer as an American Red Ale. Mildly chilled, hazy mahogany color. Dense latte-looking foam does not want to drop out of the picture. Rich, dark caramel malt nose with hints of raisins and a balance of piney herbal hop. The carbonation is imbedded very deep from the bottle conditioning which produces a sublime smoothness. Flavors of caramel, cocoa powder and Portuguese sweet bread from the malt comes to mind. Hop bitterness comes in with a mild tingling sharpness and a long trail of woody earthy flavor. Mildly warming alcohol. A dryness sets in middle to end with toasted biscuit maltiness and rough herbal hop flavors.

Scottish Red gone wild. OK, so it is hybrid style which makes it an American Red by default. Regardless of what the style is it's one hell of a flavor-packed brew. High level of maltiness is curbed by a substantial hoppiness and smoothed out by the bottle conditioning. American Real Ale at its best here.

Photo of steelerguy
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice clarity if you don't include the last bit of yeast, doesn't matter if you do though, does not affect taste. Perfect level of carbonation with a nice 2 finger light tan head that drops to 1 pretty quickly.

S - Dark caramel malts jump out immediately with some dark fruit aromas accompanied by a mild hop aroma.

T - The smell was right on when it came to the malts, lot of caramel and complex fruit flavors. The smell didn't let on how great the hop presence was going to be. Nice bitterness, with some citrus hop flavor that really offsets the sweetness from the malt nicely.

M - A little extra carbonation really keeps the feel nice, it may be a little heavy without it. Enough alcohol in there to give a nice warming feel without any higher alcohol taste.

D - This is a great beer that manages to be refreshing even with a solid malt presence and sweetness. This is one balanced beer and one to always have on hand.

Photo of Dmann
4.73/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a great brew! It poured a magnificant dark mahogany color with a great frothy head that left tons of lace down the glass. The smell was very good with a nice malt scent mixed with a light citrus. The taste was just awesome and unlike any amber/red that I have ever had before. It started out with a touch of malt sweetness, then once it opened up it had a great smokey flavor to it followed up by a great finishing hop bitterness! Very complex flavor and as it warmed it tasted even better. A new favorite of mine for sure.

Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- It is a very dark red, almost brownish that makes it look a little muddy. But there is a very nice cream-colored head.

S- A good balance of dark malt and fruity hops.

T- At the front, you get a mild fruity sweetness from the hops mixed the sweet malt flavor. In the back, you get the lovely hop bitterness that lingers on your tongue and at the back of your throat.

M- Medium to heavy body, but not as full as you would expect from Bear Republic.

D- Could definitely have a few bottles due to the lower ABV, medium body, and great balance of hop/malt flavor.

Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a mostly clear deep red with one finger of off-white head. Head fades pretty quickly, but does leaves some lacing.

S - Pretty big aroma, with nice caramel malt and pine hops being represented equally.

T - Starts off with nice pine hops, with the sweet caramel malt becoming more apparent halfway through. Finishes with a subtle lingering bitterness. Very nice.

M - Medium mouthfeel with some resiny hops and a bit of creaminess as well.

O - I do tend to like hoppy ambers much more than traditional versions of the style, and this is no exception. Another quality beer from Bear Republic.

Photo of Doomcifer
4.36/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a darker shade of reddish amber with an amazing frothy head that did not go ANYWHERE at all. Some sediment is floating around in there as well. Terrific lacing to boot. What a beauty.

Smells of sweet malts, almost tropical and lots of citrusy hops.

Taste is of more sweet candy malts with copious amounts of citrusy hops. Finishes semi-dry and hoppy/sweet. I taste some rye in it as well, but am unsure if they use rye in this recipe. Some breadiness in there as well. Fantastic.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, oily, and good amount of carbonation.

I could drink this beer all day. It is incredibly tasty and damn smooth. Chalk up another absolute winner for Bear Republic.

Photo of Duster72
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This may have been an old bottle and I do not believe it was stored properly at the liquor store where it was purchased, but here goes.

Pours a really dark red with a huge pillowy head that takes a few minutes to dissipate. Aroma is sugary malts and floral hops, very pleasing. Taste is hops, carmel malts, some fruits and a little roastiness. Taste is slightly cardboard which makes me think this bottle had been on the shelf a little too long. Slightly off tasting aftertaste hurt drinkability a little. Seems like a very good beer. I will adjust this review as soon as I can find some fresher product.

Photo of Jason
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz brown bomber with no freshness date.

Appearance: Thick bubbly sea foam head, has no problem sticking all over the glass. The brazen reddish brown colour glows in the light.

Smell: Leafy hop with a soft underbelly of citrus, toasted malt and vague alcohol as well.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Ultra smooth from the moderate level of carbonation and creamy full body. A thick sheeting of soft bitterness holds strong and lays down more flavour than anything else. Slight aleish fruitiness. The sweet maltiness is there but the hops stay on top, flashes of toasted malt and a lingering caramel grab the palates attention. Lots of sweet hop oil on the tongue with more pronounced toasted malt in the finish.

Notes: I love big-ass red ales, lots of flavour and character and it even packs a punch at 6.8% abv. This one went great with some Chinese Style Spare Ribs and Crab Rangoon.

Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, brown body that looks like the awful, rusty liquid that you would drain out of an old car's rusty radiator. After several minutes, the body evolves into a mostly clear, red mahogany. Minimal beige head has garnet on the fringe, and patchy lace generously adorns the glass. A weird start here.

Aroma has a chocolate malt backbone with a nutty, walnut edge. Hop aromas are all across the board, but I'm getting a lot of apple, cherry, and grape aromas here. Things are getting really strange.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and coating, with a bitter and nutty hops sting on the tongue.

The taste is chocolate and walnut, like a good stout minus the coffee. This is really weird. Smoked almonds, grapes, and apples fill out the flavor profile, and a pleasant hops bitterness adds welcome relief. This is extremely likeable, but very puzzling. The label proclaims that this "breaks all style molds..", and I can certainly agree with that.

Very tasty and, in fact, I really like this. The stout like chocolate and nutty character has thrown me for a loop here. This is a very strange brew, but I wouldn't hesitate to pick up another bottle.

Photo of Billolick
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle a bargain at $3.99 from DeCiccio's in Ardsley, NY. No bottling/freshness dating info. Pours a dense dark shade of ruddy, red infused dark amber. Under a wonderous mocha head, that at once is dense, then puffy, thick film, leaving ungodly amounts of thick and I mean thick sheeting, and every imaginable type of lacing..fine looking beer! Rich nose of pine infused hops backed with hints of whole wheat bread crusts. Flavorful and bold brew, loaded with rich notes of sweat caramel and toasty malts quite nicely balanced by herbal, piney and biting hops. Rich and regal. More high quality beer from California's BRB

Photo of ElSid
4.21/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Beers of California


Freshness Date: None

A: Copper brown in the glass with deep strawberry accents with penetrating light. Half a finger of off white to tan head which dissipates quickly to a faint bed of foam.

S: Pine and flowers with a bready malt sweetness. Overall a simple, but penetrating nose.

T: This is where this brew succeeds. The malt foundation is of brown sugar and caramel breadiness, best noted in the middle of the tongue. Then comes the fresh, bitter hop attack which takes over the palate. The hops have characteristics of earth, flowers, herbs, and pine along with citrus notes cascading to pleasing peppery spice finish.

M: The mouthfeel is slightly thin with a faint chewiness. Classic oily hop linger with moderate carbonation. Minimal coating on the glass.

O: Touted as an aggressively hoped bastardized Scottish style red ale, this brew is highly original, flavorful, and a joy to experience.

Photo of tigg924
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 1/3 inch head, clear, red/brown in color, moderate carbonation

Smell: citrus and pine hops, and some caramel malt

Taste: big citrus hops, a dose of pine hops, chocolate and caramel malt

Mouthfeel: light bodied, medium carbonation, sweet start with a big bitter middle that lasts to the end

Drinkability: Very bitter for an imperial red, however I doi like the touch of chocolate I can detect. I would get a 12 ouncer as a change of pace beer, but probably would not look for regularly.

Photo of LyonsHead
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark red and cloudy with a creamy head and good lacing

S: Great complex hop character with woody, earthy, piney notes. there is some citrus and floral here as well. There is a subtly malty sweetness here as well

T: There is an initial hop bitterness followed by very piney hop flavors. The flavors then move to a malty sweetness that is filled with real strong, dark fruits (raison, plum, fig, touch of roast)

M: medium body with a very smooth texture. The beer finishes pretty sweet

D: Good beer a pint at a time, it finishes pretty sweet and then the hops kinda show back up on the palate. Not the easiest drinker in terms of "session" beers but definately a good beer. If you were going in terms of style this beer would suck, but you need to understand what "west coast" amber ales are all about and this is a pretty good example (says the guy from ohio)

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A random treat at an Ontario beer tasting night - a damned fine Californian red ale. Fortunately two of the guests are from San Diego and brought us some wonderful brews, this one being among my favorites of the night.

Poured into a wine glass. Ruby red-copper, brilliant hue. Good patchy head left behind a thick ring and lots of lacing flecks.

Nose was a lovely blend of caramel, bread, sherry, red wine, citrus hops.

A very flavorful ale, rich in west coast hops, but well-balanced with malty, caramel and sherry notes. Medium bodied, great carbonation, a pleasure to sip. A red ale with some chest hair!

A perfect melding of Scottish red ale and West Coast pale ale styles. My first brew from Bear Republic, sure won't be my last. Would that I could get this stuff in Ontario more often...

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Innsbrook Ale House.

Clear copper in color with a hefty and long-lasting off-white head. Aromas a mix of caramel-toffee sweetness mixed with a leafy hop spicy zest, albeit a bit subdued. Flavor is up-front bitterness that is shortly overtaken by a caramel sweetness that is then trampled by an aftertaste of chewy pine cones. At 6.8%, you wouldn't know it, as the ABV is shrouded in flavor. Medium bodied and extremely drinkable. A top-notch beer that will find its way into my fridge.

Photo of magictrokini
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour is a cherry-wood red with a tan/white head. Aroma was a mix of hops, pine, and herbs. The taste is what this beer is all about. Big hoppy bite with an underbelly of malts and some honey/nutty flavors. I can easily say this brewer is becoming one of my favorites.

Photo of Swedes21
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - gorgeous clear auburn colour, very clear except for the sediment. The head if an off-white, very foamy. there is some good lacing occurring as well.

Smell - good combination of malts and hops, can smell deep caramel along with a little zest.

Taste - very smooth with a lasting aftertaste. Malts come through away that lead to the caramel, the zest adds to the bitterness at the end.

Mouthfeel - full bodied, more smoothness and fullness, great tasting beer in the mouth. Lots of volume added here and a longer aftertaste.

Overall - fantastic beer, I could have a few for sure. love all the taste and smell that are going on at the same time.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured in an altbier glass.

Pours a deep darrk amber/brown with a creamy thick light brown head, very sticky. Nose is sweet, malty, has a hint of rye too!

Mmm... very tasty, a little bit of rye here as well, some rich maltiness as well. Finish is a bit boozy but it's ok. Not too much hoppiness. Awesome beer, seek this out!

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Red Rocket Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,499 ratings.