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Red Rocket Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

1,169 Reviews
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Red Rocket AleRed Rocket Ale

Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-05-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,169 | Ratings: 2,562
Photo of pheurton
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at the blind tiger: evil looking reddish-brown, capped by a quater inch foamy white head. detected a caramel malt foundation supporting a boatload of hops, of the earthy and pine-sap variety. medium level of carbonation lends a full bodied, creamy smooth mouthfeel. slightly fruity with a crisp snap of aggressive piney hoppiness. some citrus notes in there as well. slightly warming as i got to the bottom of the glass. a well-built ballsy american red ale that i wish was available where i live. good stuff.

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

Appearance: Clear, ruby-amber body, frothy tan head fades to a thin broken cap with some creamy dollups and lacing.
Smell: Crisp and clean. Spicy/citrus hops, sweet caramel and toasty malts.
Taste & Mouthfeel: Full bodied smooth slick semi-sweet malt to start. Fairly strong, course carbonation and bitter/spice hops at the top, acidic dry-hop/citrus pucker with a lingering bitter hop aftertaste. Red IPA?
Drinkability: Hop-heads: there's a red ale for you. Bomber bottle is a nice size, found myself wanting more than a pint.

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

Dark russet color with a majorly thick finger high head of tight cream colored froth that installs itself on top; slowly puffed away form the center outwards where a thin skim and fairly thick collar stay present the whole glass through and lacing in webby sheets that sticks well at first but then disintegrate more as it goes. Aroma is pleasant of a nice leafy hop bringing a smooth woody earthy dryness over the top of some dulled fruityness and toasted, nearly burnt malts. Taste has a very nice balance of toasted malts and grassy/woody dry hops, starts smooth and lightly sweet of malts as it turns toasted with a substantial building over the palate of the toastyness with the wood dryness sneaking in just past midway and making a home through to the finish where it mixes nicely with notes of dulled dried fruit of apricot, peach, and raisin, and finishes with an overall super nice earthy dryness and texture. Feel detains a smoother start then raises to a thick fullness from there and follows into the drying finish, a slim toastyness lingers. This is a very good amber, one of the better ones I've had with a nice dry hop profile that was hardly bitter in any form, just some tiny glimmers of bite that made this very nice with a certain complexity that was favorable to my palate. Good stuff - thanks goes to Drewbage1847 for the bomber.

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Photo of goz
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful deep ruby red, with a mostly lasting creamy tan head that laces lightly. Aroma is toasted malts, caramel and a slew of piney hops. Flavor mostly toasted malts, with a hint of sweet caramel, the middle and end brings in an onslaight of pine & citrus from the hops. Big, full body, goes down easy, flavors linger nicely on the tongue.

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Photo of OatmattStout
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The best head I have seen on a beer in a long time. Big and rocky and fluffy. The nose was awesome with grapefruit rind and floral hop and sweet malt.

First thing you notice before you swallow is the real nice tongue enveloping mouth feel, big and rich. The next thing you should brace yourself for is the huge hop slam. Just like the nose, a tart grapefruit rind and spruce hoppyness from start to finish. It has a real nice durable lingering hop finish that you could sit on for a few minutes between sips and still taste. In the midst of all that hop is a really good wave of thick chewy toasted grain that add a needed bit of sweetness to theis brew.

Man this beer is something. If you are not a lover of big hoppy beers it's not for you. Hop heads get this one. For a red amber ale this one rewrites the rules on hops.

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Photo of ElGuapo
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A deep brown colored brew with amber notes topped in a massive off-white head with great retention. The nose is loaded with a big bouquet of hops. It has an overall grassy aroma with some small notes of citrus.

I was at first told that this was a very mild brew, so I turned it down to try other BR beers. When I saw it on tap again, I could not resist. It was absolutely loaded with flavor. A huge blast of hops starts you off, and it never leaves. It does balance pretty well with subtle maltiness. It is very grassy at the start, but more citrus notes come out as you sip through it. The body was on the heavy side of medium, and it was very smooth with a light, but sufficient level of carbonation. It is a very drinkable brew. I could have a few at a sitting.
After being misled to believe that this was a toned down beer, I am glad that I sampled this one. It is a real nice brew with a hoppy punch that will wake you up at night.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.62/5  rDev +13.8%
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.

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Photo of winomark
3/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a light brown, darkish red with a creamy, sticky, off-white head.

Aroma: Sweet roasted malt with slight alcohol warmth. Mild smokiness.

Taste: Smoky, sweet malt dominates. Hops offer some balance.

Mouthfeel: Coating and flavorful. Dry, somewhat light finish.

Drinkability: Tastes hoppier than a smoked porter, and milder than a true smoked beer. Not a fan of the smokiness in this one. My least favorite offering from this brewery.

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Photo of barleypop
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this one on tap at Bear Republic. A thick creamy head was produced by the nitro tap. The body was a pleasant auburn colour.

The nose was very interesting. I detected prunes and raisons with a little brown sugar. Brown Sugar, just like a young girl should A-huh. Sorry Mick.

A very nice tasting beer. Delightful roasted caramel flavours with a velvety, rich and smooth texture. The hops and malt battle for your tongues attention. In the end I think the malt prevails.

Very drikable. Hook up the Red Rocket IV and let the fun begin. This one is along the lines of Speakeasy Prohibition Ale with a more roasted flavour.

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Photo of Jason
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found a new member of my own private Top Ten!
Its pours a rich ruby tinged dark amber with a solid beige head and loads of sticky lace. A fresh whole hop floral bouquet awakens the senses. Sweet malt, a hint of pears and a touch of warming alcohol add to the overall excellence of the aroma. Toasty malt, light toffee, hint of chocolate and light sweetness is revealed in graduating degrees as it warms. Sharp grapefruit, orange peel, lemon grass and hint of metallic bite make up a wonderful and lively hoppy flavor. The whole creation blends and balances as this fine brew warms, though hops are clearly the shining star here.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at Redbones.

This beer poured a deep, red, chestnut color with creamy, off-white foam that settled but coated the glass. The smell was a good hoppy and malty aroma with notes of oak and caramel. The taste was dominated by the hops which gave an astringency to the beer, but flavors of caramel, floral hops, and even a slight sweetness were also present. The mouthfeel was very dry with medium body and carbonation. The dry astringency was balanced somewhat by a slight sweet and tangy feel on the tongue. This was a very nice and very hoppy brew. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of LiamStLiam
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

OK, after four different Beer Republic 22-ounders, I am now convinced I would not kick this brand out of bed.

No, wait. Wrong metaphor.

Is "Bastardized Scotch Ale" a specific style or a variant> <grin>

Very light nose. Poured almost Coca-Cola Brown. Three-quarter inch darkish head.

A good solid beer. None of the evil metallic taste. Fills the mouth fairly well, but a little bubbly at times.

You feel it when you drink this beer. It's a good, warm feeling, but it fills you up.

I like Scotch Ales, but I would have been pressed to identify this as a variant of the style without knowing.

Not my favorite of their styles, but a good one.

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Photo of far333
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark copper color with a beige frothy head that settles quickly, but leaves a thick bubbly film atop. Smell is sweet and fruity, with some hops and florals punching through, and then a definite alcohol tingle. Flavor is big and round and rich and creamy. Real nice feel rolling over the tongue. It's full of so much - toffee and malt and honey and sweet pear, hits the back of the tongue with butterscotch, and stings the back of the throat with alcohol. Very warm and rich and ever changing flavor. This is very complex and makes you want more to keep looking for more nuances. Pretty drinkable for a big beer.

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

Appearance: Brown, caramel color. Off white heavy head.

Aroma: Very sweet aroma at first with a slight smokiness. Hops present in the nose.

Taste: Malty and fairly smoky on the tongue. A lot of smoke flavor is present in the aftertaste. Smooth up front with a smoky finish.

Notes: Very good beer, very smooth flavor. Good attempt at a bold american scottish style. Smoked beers tend to tire out my taste buds after a while. You wouldn't catch me drinking more than one of these in a row, unless I was at a smoked beer festival or something...

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Photo of Rumrunner
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle
A nice version of Scottish Ale. It breaks a few rules methinks.

It pous a nice deep reddish mahogany color. Nice beige head at first. Dissipates a bit but stays throughout with not much lacing.
Its smell is sweet caramel malts. Also a burnt and peat scent wafts by when the ale is slightly swirlled.

The flavor has a bit more floral hop to it than most scottish ales. The balance is good and there is a syurp flavor as well. It finishes nicely with a bit of toast to add to the flavor.

It drinks very nicely. Not too heavy. A very nice version of the Scottish Ale variety. For my personal taste it is a bit sweet. A nice diversion for me when I do not want an IPA. Well crafted.

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Photo of Bierman9
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Rocket has a very eye-pleasing, rich, deep mahogany color. Head is a mocha hue, and creamy at the start, yet thins down rapidly. Lacing is at a minimum. Nose is malty and peaty, with a suggestion of roastiness thrown in. Somewhat mild at first, it improves as the bier warms, especially if you give it a swirl in the glass. Mouthfeel was mid-range, with medium body and a good feeling on the tongue. Flavor? Starts with semi-sweet malt, with a smoky/peaty character. Has a dryish aspect to it too. Then, when you think you're drinking a typical Scotch Ale, the hops whack you upside the head and say "I'm from the West Coast, dude!" Hops are somewhat citrus-like, and this, with the peaty malt, makes for an interesting marriage of flavors. The finish exhibits more hop than malt, overall. Tasty bier, with my compliments to SamuraiJack!

Zum Wohl!!!

overall: 4
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4


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Photo of johnrobe
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Billed as a Scottish red ale, this brew is definitely a hoppy interpretation of the style...but quite good nonetheless, and I suppose to be expected from the west coast. It pours a dark reddish brown with a light tan head that leaves nice lace rings throughout consumption. The nose is quite complex; fruity, light english toffee (which personally I distinguish from caramel when it seems just slightly buttery) and citrus...all nicely integrated, nothing dominates. The aromas don't quite translate to the tastebuds. PNW hops are evident along with some caramel and just enough bitter roasted barley. I don't get the smokiness that others have mentioned. The mouthfeel seems to be on the thin side for a 6.8% abv beer. All in all, a very tasty brew.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A deep red colored scotch ale with a medium beige head. Aroma is malty, with a hint of smoke and peat. Roasted malts are slighlty sweet, with a nice mellow hop signature. Some sweetness. Finish is clean and soft. Aftertaste is slightly bitter, some sweetness.

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Photo of jcalabre
3.86/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Originally sampled on 13 February 2003. Had this on draught at the Anthill Pub @ UC Irvine. This pours a beautiful dark reddish brown color. It's clear, w/ a tan head. Nice hoppiness, but not to the degree of über-IPA's on the West Coast. Leaves you w/ a warm glow.

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Photo of beernut7
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a very well built flavorful beer. However, it is not for the light of heart or taste for that matter. Pours a deep reddish brown with a heavy cream head. The aroma of heavy peat smoked malt and roasted toffee is very inviting. The flavor follows along the same lines with a hearty smoky smooth malt flavor and thick body paired with a moderate bitterness and a creamy finish.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
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!

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Photo of Brent
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this hybredized beer in a similar incarnation in Middle Ages' Duke of Winship. I herewith register my vote that a new style be created for Scottish/red/porter and all breweries take a shot at it.

Surprisingly dark color, but lighter in flavor. An interesting interplay between the lighter malt and tartnes of a red and the more substantial malt heft of a Scottish ale, with a touch of roasted porter thrown in for good measure. A tasty and satisfying beer.

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Photo of BierReise
4.26/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wasn't anything like I expected but completely satisfied none the less. Was expecting a Red Ale but this is more like a cross between a Red Ale and A Porter. Poured thick with a beautiful fluffy head and thick lacing around the glass as I drank it. In fact, I was really impessed by the thickness of the lacing and the beautiful almost mountain-like head. Tasted real nice with a great balance of hops (just enough to provide some fragrance and bitterness) and malt which was of a toasty smoky Stout like roast. This was my first encounter with Bear Republic and surely a sign of good things to come.

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Red Rocket Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,169 ratings.