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Red Rocket Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Red Rocket AleRed Rocket Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,163 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,163
Hads: 2,540
Avg: 4.06
pDev: 16.01%
Wants: 148
Gots: 229 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Red Rocket Ale Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 1,163 | Hads: 2,540
Photo of StevenMilligan
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L: Deep dark, hazy red/brown. Half an inch head that fades; yet there remained a weird dab of red, almost like like food coloring or a paint splat. Weird! It must be yeast.

S: HOPS! Then sweet caramel notes are left dancing with some cherry. A little bit of plum. Very sweet smelling after the initial smell of citrusy hops.

T: Raisin bran, dark pitted plum. More caramel malt here. The specialty malts really shine. Some hop bitterness in the finish to balance that fruit in the foreground. Very complex, yet balanced. A touch of spicy hops in the finish as well.

F: Pretty thick for a red, but with a taste that like it's ok. It's easy to tell this beer is jam-packed with flavor and a lighter mouthfeel would just not be feasible.

O: I am weird. I am usually put off by unfiltered beers full of swimming dregs. But, you cannot deny the complexity and balance of this brew. You get that everything but the kitchen sink flavor (bastardized), but they all align well together. It's hoppy, it's sweet, it's somewhat refreshing and it works! A nice surprise, I had saved this for last thinking I would not enjoy it.

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Photo of 81tillinfinity
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bastardizied Scottish ale is what it says on bottle and they're right, but it a good way. Citrus on the nose lending more toward an ipa. Taste is a bitter hop punch on initial sip with a sweet malty finish. Missing the sweeter more malt forward mouthfeel of a Scottish ale richness replaced by a dry finish. Typical grapefruit ipa flavor shines through. Something for the hop heads to drink when you need a change.

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Photo of thepenguin
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed 5/21/12

L: The deepest, darkest possible red. Hazy.

S: Very nice tropical, floral, citrusy hops upfront. Some crystal malts behind it. Smells very fresh.

T: Delicious, complex hop blast upfront. It’s citrusy and tropical off the bat and while the specialty malts shine through a bit, it’s a fairly dry beer with a dry bitter finish.

F: Full bodied and luscious. Slightly less than medium carbonation—perfect. Some heat in the post-sip.

Overall: This beer is truly a delight when you can find it fresh, which in my state is tragically seldom.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.86/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i cant believe its taken me so long to review this one. its one of the more common bear republic beers, its been around forever, and i have enjoyed it on numerous occasions. nice to have a bottle again today, this really is a classic. its somewhat of a scotch ale meets an american amber, with a real interesting and deep grain bill, and plenty of hops coming through it too, way ahead of its time when it came out. my bottle today was pretty yeasty, lots of floaties that i dont remember being there in the past, maybe it was old or something, but it didnt hurt my enjoyment of the beer one bit. smells malty in an earthy way rather than sweet, and it has notes of raisin and dried apples to it, kind of cool in the fall. the hops are much less detectable in the nose than in the flavor, where they are pretty darn bold. a good mix of strains, lots of bitterness to balance the grain weight, but also some oily west coast flavors. complex and layered, i know these guys get a lot of love, but this is one more of those beers that just belongs in that spectrum of illustrative american craft beers. this cuts its own path, and i was happy to walk it again today. love this stuff.

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Photo of Wiffler27
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

pours a dark brown amber, red/brown with a thick cream colored head.

smells like roasted malt, almost stout-ly.

the taste of this unique. definitely a red ale and not an amber ale.

it has a light beer taste, in a good way! it's a light and airy beer, not a thick syrupy mess. i think of amber ales, Troegs Hopback is one of my favorites, as more heavy and full bodied. this red ale is lighter and it's nice. has a nice hop bite as well.

a unique kind of beer, a bastardized red ale as they say! good full taste but is still light enough to drink a few of these.

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Photo of Dustin_Sallitt
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark Garnett red, minimal head. Smells of fruity hops, sweet malts. Taste is sweet malts balanced by fruity and herbal hops, pretty yummy. Goes down smooth with a little residual bitterness.

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Photo of puck1225
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beautiful dark brownish red with a creamy head which leaves nice lacing. A great carmel, malty taste. Slightly sweet and dark fruits. Almost reminds you of cherry pop! Maybe not something for everyday, but a great beer that I will certainly drink again.

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Photo of LisaMessy
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

One of the best reds I've ever had. Berry aroma with maltiness up front. Caramel burnt taste. Smooth and complex. Wonderful red. Not too heavy. Can have a few at a sitting. More bitter than some reds for sure.

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Photo of SSS
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Kept it in the bottle so I cannot comment
S-I get a nice hop aroma with a toasted and roasted note as well
M-Medium body of this beer feels rich, and the carbonation cuts right through that
T-Nice roasted notes from the red and a hop balance with sweetness
O-A very nice red ale

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Photo of Phillip13
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A very good red ale from Bear Republic. Has a rich and smooth carmel flavor almost coffee like with a wonderful hoppy and slightly bitter aftertaste. As good as any Scottish style beer on the market right now.

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Photo of MUTINY
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into a mason jar-style glass,

A: pours a clear deep amber with 2/3" tan head that sits down immediately. Retention & lacing are both stellar.

S: Sweetish crackery malt tones dominate the nose. Hints of pitted fruit. Slightly roasty.

T: Subtle but enjoyable off-sweet malt character leads in. Mid palate is pleasantly bitter with undertones of candied fruit & brown sugar. Finish is more purely bitter with almost a clove note. Quite nice.

M: Moderate carb, slightly creamy & surprisingly dry & crisp.

O: Impressive hoppy red.

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Photo of zac16125
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a mug
no bottling dates

A: Pours a very hazy, essentially opaque, dark brownish amber with just under 2 fingers width of tan colored head. Head has very good retention and leaves lots of lacing. 4.25

S: Very malty, lots of sweetness, caramel, some herbaceous notes. Hops are very subtle with only faint floral and pine notes. 3.5

T: Hop characters are strongly in the taste than on the aroma, which gives it more balance, and consists mostly of piney bitterness and some floral notes. Lots of malt to balance, but not as sweet as the aroma implied. Some boozy notes as well which are surprising given the relatively low ABV, but I think add to the overall palate profile nicely. 4

M/D: Medium body, carbonation on the lower end a bit undercharged IMO but acceptable, as I said above a bit boozy for the ABV, but drinkability is good. 3.5

O: Nothing spectacular but a well above average beer. Worth checking out for sure, but likely not something I would do to frequently. 4

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Photo of JOldewurtel
4.54/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Another great offering from Bear Republic. Living in MD, I don't have the opportunity to have Bear Republic on a regular basis. Nugget Nectar is probably the only Amber/Red I've had that is better than this.

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Photo of Sludgeman
3.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint at the La Guardia Biergarten

A – Dark Amber reddish brown, nice off white head, average lacing
S -
T – Malty, caramel, slightly sweet
MF – Med body, medium dry but a little residual sweetness
O – A very nice beer

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Photo of Gajo74
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a red brown color. Toasted malts in the aroma and taste. A bold hops taste and finish balances it out and gives it more of a punch as compared to other Amber ales. A bitter hops finish leaves an aftertaste. A solid brew overall that I enjoyed.

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Photo of SFNC
4.34/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice, deep amber with a 1/2 inch butter cream head. Nice lacing throughout.

Smells of both caramel and spicy hops. Sweet, but not cloying.

The taste is rich malt, sweet caramel, then a jolt of piney hops, A lingering fruity, but not citrusy/caramel taste on the back end.

Thick and chewy with a minimal sense of carbonation.

A winner, this brings forth the good charecteristics of both an IPA and a Scotch Ale. A pleasant drink on a rainy Spring evening. Yet another strong ale from the Bear Republic folks.

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Photo of leaddog
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours a garnet red with three fingers of foamy beige head.

Smell - citrus and leafy hops, bready caramalts, orange, hint of tropical fruits.

Taste - Starts off with a nice punch from the hops and malts followed by the orange and tropical fruits. The flavours are nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes with a pleasant lingering bitterness from the hops.

Overall - A spot on red. Nice balance from the hops and malts. Worth a go if you stumble across this one.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look - cloudy auburn color with a good head and lacing
Smell - sweet malty smell with some piney hops.
Taste - very similar to the smell with a toasted biscuit taste. Good amount of bitterness with slight sweetness.
Feel - sharp smooth with medium light carb
Overall - fantastic mix between a Scotch and a red

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Photo of Lemke10
3.69/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a dark amber color with a foamy beige head. The aroma is sweet and malty. The flavor is complex with lots of bitterness to compliment the malty aroma. Bold, flavorful, and interesting.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.74/5  rDev -7.9%
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

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Photo of cjgiant
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle best by 4/2015 (so about 4 months old?):
Pours a deep amber, with a good deal of foamy head on a vigorous pour. I did seem to get what I thought was some yeast sediment near the end of the pour. The head does last, however, and laces pretty well.

Nose does give me an impression of being just a tad old, but I also am not sure it's not the normal nose. The amber beer is a bit malty, and that may be interfering with the green hop notes as much as age. The amber notes come through, honey and sweet fleshy fruit notes in the sweetness, floral and green (grass, lemongrass) hops meld together decently well.

The beginning tastes are honey, unripe pear on the sweet side, maybe a less flavorful honeydew. I think this dulling of fruitiness is from the grassy hops that are near the forefront of the taste. They grow throughout, some woody notes being the end result of the dulling attack on the tongue and some pine-notes that aren't too resinous.

The body is maybe a bit north of medium, carbonation accents the feel nicely, adding some action on the tongue without attacking it. In the end, the greenness of the hops don't dry the tongue as much as might be expected.

Be really interested to try this a little fresher. Was initially mildly disappointed in the beer, but I appreciated it a bit more as I analyzed it. As usual, this analysis allowed the beer to warm a bit, which brought out the flavors a bit more. Definitely a re-try, could see 1 half a tick to a tick higher.

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Photo of mtvolkens
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into pint glass. Left a half inch creme colored head. Smells very sweet, but still has a bitter aroma to it. It is a very distinct taste to it. Very malty notes upfront, revealing a caramel and burnt sugar flavor that is quickly followed with a dash of hops and a slight alcohol taste and sensation. Absolutely fantastic beer. Real hearty and tasty.

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Photo of bassboneman
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L- poured from 22 oz. into pint glass. - is orangy-red in colo
S- slightly piney, malt notes in back
T- very malty with a strong bitter kick at the end. this beer is also VERY cold right now - will probably taste differently once it warms up a bit... In a 13 degree garage...
F - is very pleasant! Carbonation is pretty lively!
Overall - I love Bear Rebublic because their brews are always an adventure. The flavors are superior - and I look forward to each one.
This one is not a good as the HopRodRye but good nonetheless!
I was correct - in a warmer state there is a distinct sweet quality in this beer that is unmistakable! The hoppiness is also more prevalent!


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Photo of dcmchew
4.29/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A misty dark amber pour with a small messy frothy off-white head.
Smells divine, tons of sweet orange and nectarine, juicy peach, raisin, with lots of caramel sticking on the nose. Sweet, hoppy, gluey, should be interesting.
The sip is so slow and sticky, feels like a junior barleywine. Caramel drenched raisin, juicy peach, overripe blood orange, some mango, persimmon, dried cranberry, sweet apple jam. Rich sweet malts get a spice treatment, faint licorice and some anise, plus a herbal zing, hard to define it. They also get a bit toastier towards the finish, with some nice dark bread and chocolate hints, tho pretty vague. Hops are really bitter, but just that.
Still, nice fruitiness in the aftertaste, some stone fruit and sweet citrus, a fresh hoppy flavor lingering with the bitterness (would've liked it just a tiny bit lower) and some malt sweetness. Faint cocoa, even some walnut peel? Medium body, smooth, a bit sticky, trying to push some alcohol down your gullet, but fortunately not disturbingly.
A really great heavily hopped beer that manages to borrow some great stuff from a few different styles. Pretty sure this should be considered a classic.

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Photo of breadwinner
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was the brew that brought me to hoppy reds. I vividly remember my first go of it, gobsmacked by the unusual but bewitching marriage of piney hops and dark red malt, contributing an almost cocoa-like note to the proceedings. Hard to find these fresh recently, but a fine drink when it's on.

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Red Rocket Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,163 ratings.