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Red Rocket Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Red Rocket AleRed Rocket Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,159 Reviews
THE BROS
96
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,159
Hads: 2,526
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 9.34%
Wants: 141
Gots: 214 | 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
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Reviews: 1,159 | Hads: 2,526
Photo of Sammy
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hoppy amber. Lots of hops, both bitter and aggressive and dry aftertaste and great with meat dinner. Full bodied. Reminds me of a Samuel Smith. Tan head, sprucy hops, toasted taste, some malt. Even a hint of smoke. Alcohol masked in above taste.
Unusual and required drinking! (278 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.59/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy amber with a 1 inch khaki head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Random patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. There is a good amount of sediment seen floating in the beer after the pour. Smell is of malt, caramel, and some herbal hop aromas. Taste is of caramel malt and herbal hops on the finish. There is a pretty assertive and almost medicinal bitterness that sticks around after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but nothing special in my opinion. (583 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Half finger head on a clear amber body with some lacing. Aroma is very hoppy with grapefruit and orange peel. The flavor has a great caramel malt backbone with citrus light pine and earthy hops. Medium body and moderate carbonation. This one is very flavorful and even more drinkable. Excited to see these beers in Florida. (323 characters)

Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is slightly hazy deep red in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige head that has good retention properties and never completely faded away.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of citrus hops in the nose.
T: The taste has a good balance between flavors of citrus hops and caramel malts. It is accompanied by a light to moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and somewhat smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink and goes down smoothly; I would consider it to be sessionable except that its alcohol content is a bit too high. (654 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice brown-red, bordering on mahogany. A nice white head and plenty of lacing. The nose has plenty of citrus and piney hops along with some nice dark amber malt and accompanying sweetness. The taste is similar, with a lovely bitterness as well as nice herbal, citrus, and caramel flavors. Moderate body with excellent drinkability. (339 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.11/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours with a stout-like latte head on top of a dark amber colored liquid; great retention and lacing

Smell: Piney hops and caramel malt

Taste: Opens with a rich caramel malt backbone that is joined by bitter piney hops at mid-palate; after the swallow, the malt returns to more than balance out the hoppy flavors; nevertheless, there are plenty of hops in this beer

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied and creamy; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I held off tasting this beer as I never get very excited by Ambers; in this case, I was mistaken (558 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured out as a nice looking clear red color with a white fizzy head on top. The lacing doesn't stick too much but it holds a decent retention. The smell of the beer is hoppy, there is a sweet malt backbone to the beer also. The taste of the beer is much like the nose, it's hoppy and sweet all at the same time. The mouthfeel gives off some bitterness and a dry feeling after the swallow. Overall this brew is pretty good, I would drink it again if I was in the mood. (478 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of the few Amber Ales done right. The approach is that of a serious IPA, but with the malt profile found in Irish Reds. It turns out beautiful. A dark mohogany look with a shy, creamy, tan head formation, retention, and lacing. Aromas are a blend of sorgum / barley with a sharp blend of pine, citrus, and herbs. Very clean from the apprearance, through the flavors and aromas, and on into the textures. Bready as if done via decoction mash, but softly sweetened by barley, syrups, and candied fruits. Equally soft in the texture. Though not a Cask Ale, the beer exhibits the constant soft carbonation and creamy mouthfeel better than most from the bottle. A light mint joins the frey in the finish, along with a long, lingering pine / confectionate blend. Very nice Amber Pale, even if a little bite-ey in the end. (819 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Hogtownharry: Poured a dark brown color ale with a big dirty brown color head wit good retention. Aroma of big citrusy hops is quite powerful and dominant with some roasted sweet caramel malt also noticeable. Taste is almost entirely dominated by big citrus hops with a good caramel malt backbone. Body is about average and carbonation is slightly above average. If you like big citrus flavour beer from the west coast then this is probably going got be for you. (481 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

True to its name, this beer has a dark red body and a pillowy white head. Crisp hoppy smell, slightly citric. Caramel malts followed by earthy/piney hops; nicely balanced, but with fuller hop flavors and a dry finish. Medium-bodied, crisp, and very drinkable. Another great beer from Bear Republic. (298 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear, dark reddish amber hue, with two fingers of creamy, rocky beige head, which leaves a broken, sloppy covering of lace around the glass in its wake. Its smells of caramel/toffee malt, a bit of nougat, and leafy, citrusy hops. The taste upfront is juicy, citrus, earthy hops, followed by the base toffee malt, and then some strong herbal hops, and mild booziness. The carbonation is moderate, the body full, smooth, and creamy. It finishes off-dry, but drying by the second, the considerable malt still capitulating a fair bit to the substantial herbal citrus hoppiness.

A (fat) bastardized amber ale, with a hop tumour that got a wee bit out of control. For a self-styled hophead such as yours truly, this is not a bad thing. Good, good stuff. (767 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Red Rocket is a truly gorgeous shade of crimson-bronze with shimmering orange highlights and is the gold standard by which all red ales should be judged. The beer is topped by a wheat toast brown head that is thick, rich and creamy with a deeply pitting surface and remarkable persistence. Thick sheets of lace are beginning to be laid down, broken only by miniscule BB-shot holes.

Now this is my kind of balanced. The nose is chock full of Cascade and Centennial hops that are intermixed with a toasted caramel maltiness that causes the whole to exceed the sum of its parts. How does Bear Republic nail style after style after style?

The flavor relies a bit too much on toasty malt for this hophead, but is still a delicious example of this best-of-both-worlds style. The malt backbone is as solid as a rock. Melted caramel candy fills the mouth and lingers on the finish.

Although there's a significant quantity of mega piney hops, their brilliance is buried to some extent in the profusion of brown sugary caramel malt. Bitterness is right up front however. All in all, Red Rocket achieves a grudging balance on the palate. The body/mouthfeel is a few notches more full than medium and oozes quality like most all Bear Republic beer does.

This excellent red ale lives in the upper reaches of the style with regard to flavor, bitterness and ABV. All good things for those of us who love hops and who love big beer. Once you pop the cap, Red Rocket is on its way to the stratosphere. See if you can hang on for one whiz-bang of a ride. (1,551 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a burgundy color with golden highlights. It had a very foamy, tan, two finger head that left some narrow rings of lace.

S - It smelled very floral and grassy with a good roasted malt aroma.

T - It tasted very hoppy and spicy. There was a great roasted malt/burnt toast flavor to compliment the hops.

M - It was very crisp and sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is great; one of the hoppiest amber ales that I've ever had. (444 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So, it is kinda sad that I never got the chance to try this one before this weekend, but then again, I think it is a good thing as I got to try it for the first time on tap, which is what it is all about right. So I ordered this as my last of the evening down at Barleys as I was looking for something a little tame to seal off the night. This comes out to me as a deep dark red, lots of ruby tones mixed in with a thick brown base. Really nice color here. Great clarity that you could see right though to the carbonation that was rippling up toward the service. A very nice head of foam formed on the top of this one, maybe a height of two inches would be about right, and this kinda of sat there for a little while before dropping down to a nice thin pillow that covered the rest of the top of it. Great side glass presentation capped it off nicely and what you have here is a fine looking red ale.

The aroma was as malty as I was expecting. Deep tones of bready malts coming through almost immediately, with a deep underlying earthy and grainy taste to it, kind of musky and very nice and typical of the style. Lots of caramelized sugar here sweeten it up and I started to detect just the slightest bit of hoppiness in the finish. Everything pointing to a very nice experience here. The flavor was spot on for the style. Rich medium bodied ale that was more then well carbonated, and had a good bit of life in it as well. Great malt flavor coming though here, very bready with a good amount of a hop kick in the finish. Lots of sweet caramel and sugar flavors and a nice touch of fresh grass ringing through on the finish. Very nice example here. The finish was great, super smooth and a touch dry, just enough to make you come back and get a bit more from it. This was a classic for me and exactly what I was looking for at the time.

Overall, this was a great session ale. I was not looking for anything over the top, so I was glad it was the way it was. Nothing special, just an all around solid amber here. Could always be a good call and a great one to just kick back and watch the game with. Would definitely recommend this one. (2,138 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
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. (391 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is rather dark for an amber, approaching brown, with a couple of fingers of tan colored head.

S: Smells nice and hoppy with plenty of oily pine and grapefruit, particularly the rind. Quite a lot of caramel sweetness with a solid toffee and bread aroma. There's just a bit of a toasted character, too.

T: The flavor is also quite heavy on the pine. The beer is very bitter but it is also nicely well balanced with a big base of caramel and toffee. Just a bit of citrus to go with the toasted bread/maltiness of the beer.

M: This one is medium in body with a moderate level of carbonation and a bitter finish.

D: This was one of the first "craft beers" that I had back when I turned 21 and while I didn't love it back then, I think it's pretty solid now. (768 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.21/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Mader's 0.5L glass boot.

Thanks to taiyed for this bottle!

The boot action continues. Into it, this brew pours a clear deep ruby-garnet topped by a finger of light ecru foam. The nose comprises menthol, pine, greens, and toffee. The taste holds notes of pine, caramel, and that pesky menthol again. The body is a light medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a dry, kinda sticky finish. Overall, I'm not too big a fan o' this brew. Whatever caused that menthol character really ruined things. Had that not been there, this probably would've been a lot better. (584 characters)

Photo of oline73
3.84/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy reddish amber with a layer of off white head. The head fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Sweet malt backbone. Mild brown sugar and perhaps some dark fruit. Bready with some citrus peel hops.

Taste: Citrus peel hops with some rye like spice. There is a good amount of malt to balance out the hops. The finish is quite dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a finish that is a bit chalky.

Overall: This is a solid hoppy amber. Good balance and a nice hop profile. (573 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Carefully poured it's fairly clear with just a few specks of yeast sediment. I personally prefer it with the yeast - and give it a swirl - but it still remains just hazy (not cloudy). The body is a very deep copper and it's topped by a frothy ivory head that holds exceptionally well and leaves some very nice lace throughout the glass. The aroma offers some sweet, lightly smoky and caramel-tinged malt as well as some grassy and spicy hops (although it doesn't really become apparent until it warms). The full body is accentuated by a natural carbonation from bottle conditioning - restrained (@ 2.2 vol CO2) with very tiny bubbles - and it's quite creamy and smooth across the palate. Very nice! The rich grassy hops are the first thing that's noticed in the flavor, followed by some soft sweet malt and a touch of smokiness as it crosses the palate before finishing with a rousingly dry and bitter finish. Long lingering hop flavors and some residual smokiness keep it interesting and remind you that you have a beer in front of you! Very well done and quite enjoyable. Also very unique as well. Well worth trying! (1,118 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear amber, with 2 fingers of very off-white/light mocha head. This retains with a rich ½ finger and just RINGS the sides of the glass with heavy sticky lacing. Great look to this! The aroma is floral, spicy, and very piney up front, backed up by a thick tangy mix of green citrus, sticky smelling caramel, and toasted bread. Just a smidge of light warmth gives this a touch of heft underneath the flavors.

The taste is strong with grapefruit bitterness and and sharp pine resins that are aggressive across the tongue. This is actually fairly well balanced though by a notes of ripe citric fruitiness, sweet caramel character, and a STRONG toasted graininess which hangs in the finish just as much as that dry spicy bitterness and pine does. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and while initially fairly slick and creamy along the back of the throat, does manage to firm itself up and lays a steady prickle on the tongue the longer this sits in the mouth. Alcohol is well hid here for nearly 7% and thankfully so, as I don’t think that the flavors here really needed to be intensified any more than they already were.

I think that this was one of the first big hoppy American Ambers that I experienced back when I first really got into craft beer and I was pleased to find that it still holds up. By only complaint is that the toasted aspect of this comes on a bit strong at times but there is no doubt that this is quite full flavored and easy drinking for the relative size of it. (1,528 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish amber color with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, fruity citrus and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste is sweet up front with flavors of caramel, vanilla, toffee and citrus. Then a strong hops presence comes in. The malt character is very hearty and there's a touch of smokiness. The after taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, nice representation of style, this is a good beer some flavor complexity and a lot of substance that makes it worth drinking for a long time. (779 characters)

Photo of mactrail
2.98/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Hoppy stew of a beer. Sharp, earthy, and dry. Malt tastes dark and moldy. Decent scent of hops. Flavor, on the whole, is bitter and dank. Harsh and hoppy. Dirty and borders on medicinal.

Quite acidic with a rubbery hint. Unpleasant aftertaste of mold and damp cardboard. I didn't taste any spoiled notes, it just is a weird murk of muddy malt mixed with an overdose of earthy and, to my taste, unpleasant hops.

On tap at Sea Rocket in San Diego. (447 characters)

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite styles and one of the highest rated ones in the country at that... had to get it in MA while there for job training.

Pours a a nice deep copper, red color. Thin tannish head to it, nice light, but prevalent, lacing on the glass. Aroma is very hop filled, oh joy. Taste is amazing... a nice chewiness to it and great mouthfeel. Very drinkable, especially for the pretty high ABV. A nice citrus taste to the hops as well, along with some caramel malts. Ranks right up there with Ithaca's Cascazilla and Troegs Hopback Amber Ale... not sure if it's better than those two but it's close. (603 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
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. (885 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not sure why I waited so long to try this one out.

Pours a nice clear and dark ruby hues brown. Thick creme head. Nose is of piney hops. Flavor is citric, earthy, and has a noticeable zing to it. Calms down as it gets warmer. Smooth feel. Easily drinkable. I expect no less from Bear Republic. A nice one that's much better on the warmer side. (345 characters)

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Red Rocket Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,159 ratings.