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Red Rocket Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Red Rocket AleRed Rocket Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,109 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2109
Reviews: 1119
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.81%

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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-05-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,109 | Reviews: 1,119 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
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!

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2004 05:12:15 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.58/5  rDev -12%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2012 09:44:32 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2004 21:14:24 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-25-2008 11:25:29 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail


4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2011 07:27:52 | More by womencantsail
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
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

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2008 01:26:26 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2006 19:01:26 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect


4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2008 15:14:17 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429


4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-16-2010 19:15:44 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98

New York

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2011 01:27:14 | More by metter98
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

4.3/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2004 01:43:20 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591


3.2/5  rDev -21.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2010 00:01:35 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
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!

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2003 15:03:24 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2010 23:54:53 | More by biboergosum
Photo of feloniousmonk


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

Appearance: a dark, plummy red color, with a good 1/2" head, bubbly, frothy, tan colored. Aroma: sharp, awake & alive, vibrant and terribly hoppy. Wow! Fills the entire head and buzzes the senses: dark fruits, darkly roasted, and feeling much like a barleywine.
Hops are predominant in the palate, and on the tongue, mouth, cheeks, and back of the throat! Malt is full, strong, powerful.
The ABV seems a tease for this, at 6.%, it feels stronger! It claims to be a "bastard" Scottish ale, but feels like a barleywine.
At any rate, all through this brew I could only report "delicious, delicious, delicious" and an occasional outbreak of "tasty, tasty, tasty"!
Mucho gracias to Gusler for making this meeting possible!

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2003 02:50:37 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2009 02:54:47 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of russpowell


4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours caramel/brown with 1 finger of sand colored head. Insane head retention & great lacing

S: Caramel, piney hops & a bit of leafy hops as this warms

T: Caramel & piney notes up front. A bit of brown sugar as this warms, along with grapefruit hops, rich caramel & some boozey warmth. Finishes dry with boozey warmth, piney & herbal hops & a bit of cakeyness

MF: Chewy with low carbonation & near perfect balance

Drinks a little slow, due the heft of this beer. A solid red/amber, was looking for a little more hop profile. Having said that, I'd put this in my rotation if it were available here. Bear Republic, please come back to CO!

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2007 14:28:41 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes

New York

4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark ruby red color with a thick off-white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a solid pale and crystal malt scent with an intense citrous hop aroma. The taste is great as well. It has a malty core with a wonderful bitter hop flavor. It goes down easy and finishes bitter and dry. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is one of the best red ales I've ever had. It has great flavor and aroma; a real good drinker.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2004 21:24:39 | More by WesWes
Photo of drabmuh


4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. Beer is red, RUBY red. Seriously this is probably the reddest beer I've ever seen outside of a certain beer that adds red food coloring for effect that shall remain nameless. Head is off white and made up of small bubbles. Carbonation is moderate. There is lacing left on the glass as I drink. Beer is dark due to rubiness but overall is clear. Definitely got my attention as an interesting looking beer.

Aroma is interesting as well, lots of caramel and sweetness. I can smell a lot of malt but no hops. There is a slight dark malt aroma. There is a homebrewing trick to throw in some roasted dark malt at mash out before sparge. The extracted color is dark red. I wonder if this is how they made their beer dark ruby.

This is a full bodied thick beer. For sure. It is also surprisingly bitter. There is no aftertaste, sweetness forward and a clean finish. Drinkability high and mouthfeel is good. Bitterness serves as palate connector between the front sweetness and the clean finish. Beer is not dry at all. A good brew all around.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2009 19:12:56 | More by drabmuh
Photo of zeff80


4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2008 03:21:32 | More by zeff80
Photo of Gueuzedude


3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a frothy, three finger thick, lightly browned, tan colored head. The beer is a dark, concentrated plum, amber hued color that shows a brilliantly clear, cranberry hued color when held up to the light. This beer is quite hop focused, I don't get any malt at all upon first inspection of the aroma. Aromas of grapefruit, freshly zested lemon peel, bergamot, tangelo, orange zest and some light pine / herbal notes. The malt is here, it does in fact play an integral role here with aromas of richly caramelized malt and toasty browned biscuit notes.

This beer has a chewy body, that has a medium heft to it, yet it is not very sweet. The ample hop character and darker malt notes seem to inhibit the malt sweetness. Bracingly bitter from the get go, the biting hop character lingers on through to a long finish. The hop flavors here are influenced heavily by the lack of sweetness; the vibrant fruit notes of the aroma are fairly subtle here, instead flavors of pine, menthol, and a deep herbal note are what is most noticeable. There is some light notes of grapefruit, and perhaps a touch of orange towards the end where a touch of malt sweetness is able to come through. The finish has the hop bitterness as well as a sharp, herbal hop astringency and even a touch of toasted, darker grain note. The malt character, while clearly a supporting role, adds a nice dimension to this brew; toasty malt and bread-like flavors as well as a richly caramelized, yet not sweet malt character.

A pretty tasty brew, I wish that there was a bit more residual malt sweetness to this brew; a solid citrus hop character would have been really nice. This is actually slightly tart as a result of the lack of sweetness; this is not bone dry though, there is just not enough malt sweetness to stand up to the hops.

Serving type: bottle

02-29-2008 04:02:45 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Knapp85


3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2011 00:58:17 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jwc215


4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber:

Pours deep ruby amber with an off-white head that leaves some rings of lacing.

The smell is of citrus, pine and toffee. Robust.

The taste is as the nose indicates - hoppy - piney, citric - with a solid toffeeish/malty balance. Just a touch of alcohol is noticeable in the finish.

Medium-to-full-bodied and smooth, this is very drinkable. Very tasty, too - nice blend of hops and malt. Pretty intense while maintaining smoothness and drinkability. This is a good one, to say the least!

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2008 13:47:18 | More by jwc215
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2008 03:23:37 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of WVbeergeek


4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: First off massive tan moutnainous thickets of fluffiness within the head complemented by the color of the deep ruby amber brown tone this one's great already just in appearance, when it comes to lacing this one layers each ring on thick and even beautiful beer. Aroma: Beautifully balanced with spurts of hops exploding in the air piney and floral just oh so good, hints of some peated malt a very mild smokiness toasted nuts are just some of the tones I am picking up from malt profile. Taste: Not nearly as hoppy as the aroma wonderful balance but distinct in your face flavors making a wonderfully melded brew from Healdsburg, CA. Piney hops with a perfect balance of mildly sweet toasted and slightly musty yeast tones awesome flavor here so good and balanced making this another 22oz that goes down way to effortlessly. Mouthfeel: Fuller medium bodied beer with a perfect carbonation level for imbibing and enjoying, this beer is succulent and I could just picture pairing it with a medium cooked filet mignon. The flavors seem to be able to coexist in perfect harmony. Drinkability: As I said earlier in the review effortless, but it's much more than that when you edge with each sip toward an empty glass you start to lessen the size of your sips and yearn for another bottle to appear that's what should happen with every great drinkable beer this one hold's true all so well.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2003 19:00:38 | More by WVbeergeek
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Red Rocket Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,109 ratings.