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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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Red Rocket Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,159 | Hads: 2,526
Photo of BeerResearcher
4.57/5  rDev +12.3%
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. (631 characters)

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
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. (580 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
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. (1,396 characters)

Photo of LiamStLiam
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
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. (670 characters)

Photo of far333
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
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. (611 characters)

Photo of beerinator
3.87/5  rDev -4.9%
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... (551 characters)

Photo of Rumrunner
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
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. (703 characters)

Photo of Bierman9
4/5  rDev -1.7%
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

583 (940 characters)

Photo of johnrobe
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
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. (750 characters)

Photo of beerguy101
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
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. (259 characters)

Photo of jcalabre
3.86/5  rDev -5.2%
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. (266 characters)

Photo of beernut7
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (383 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
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! (721 characters)

Photo of Brent
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (469 characters)

Photo of BierReise
4.26/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (600 characters)

Photo of MJR
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first Bear Republic brew...

Appearance: Pours a mahogany/garnet color with a touch of haze. A light tan head starts out one finger thick and shrinks down to a cap around the edge of the glass, leaving craters and islands here and there. Awesome lacing on the glass.

Smell: Close your eyes and imagine sweet malt smothered and covered with Cascade and Centennial hops. Mmmm...lots of pine, raw grapefruit, and citrus aromas. Very inviting and stimulating on the nose!

Taste: The most obvious flavor on the palate is the bitterness, which is deep and firm. There's a nice malt backbone that is more caramel than anything else, but it plays second fiddle to the hops. Like the aroma, there's a big dose of pine, grapefruit, and citrus flavors. A touch of peat malt hides somewhere in there... The alcohol flavor is there, but it's not so noticable as to take attention away from the hops and malt. Very creamy and rich... The hop bitterness and flavor rule this beer from start to finish.

Mouthfeel: Big and thick with a slighty syrupy mouthfeel. The alcohol-tinged finish is dry which has me craving another sip...

Drinkability: Damn good drinkability considering the relatively high alcohol. I'd send myself to dreamland anytime with this one! Also...this brew reminded me of Stone's Arrogant Bastard Ale in several ways. That's a good thing!

This is one hell of a bastardization of a Scotch Ale...those Scots never had access to these kinds and amounts of hops! Regardless, it works! (1,504 characters)

Photo of Darkale
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The head is thick but not deep, the typical Bear Republic foamy, rippled, moon-surface head. Interesting aroma of malt. Interesting taste. How to put this in a category? First, some malt, then a smoky, smoky burn. The malt tries but is overcome by hops and charcoal. Bitter aftertaste. Starts sweet, but just cannot end there. On the bottle, BR says, "this unfiltered, bottle-conditioned, amber-colored ale breaks all style molds." True. I do not know what to call this thing. It is like a scotch ale, but it also has Belgian spiciness, a Marzen snap, and a stout-like sourness. Who cares what category it lands in? They admit that it does not fit, and that is resplendent honesty. This is a fun beer. I will keep one in the back of my fridge. (743 characters)

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

This is a brew conflicted against itself. Tradition is not found around here. A bit unsettling at first, yet most of the allure is in the broken molds.

Gorgeous deep ruby-copper with a lunar surface, cratered tan head.
Coniferous aromas of pine hops nearly entirely shield the earthen, smoky, peaty malt base.
Malt feebly asserts itself initially. Toffee, butterscotch, with underlying dirt and peat. Nearly immediately, the mouth is raided by the grapefruit-tinged, pine hop pirates as they loot and pillage the entire oral and sinus cavities. Exciting, but seemingly masking of many of the brew's complexities.
Suspended carbonation couples with the moderately heavy fluid. This beer is gratuitously over-hopped, yet strangely endearing. Though, I do believe that suppression of the hopping would make this a nicer all around beverage. The scotch aspects are lovely, just difficult to locate. The afterword is all brown sugar and marijuana resin.

An excellent, tweaked IPA, and a very fucked up Scotch Ale. (1,018 characters)

Photo of aracauna
3.56/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cherry stained tea topped by pale tan head that is nicely creamy and lasting. The aroma is sweet and has a slight hop bite. Nicely malty flavor, toffee, smoky peat, really doughy character. Teh hops don't quite seem to match the malt though. Obviously not in the same class as Hop Rod Rye and Racer 5 but still a quality beer. (326 characters)

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

Ruby color, deep and clear. Nice looking pillowy head after pouring from the 22oz. bomber. Malty and bready with notes of caramel and peat/smoke in the aroma. Oily hops are noted as well. Rich and syrupy is the caramel and molasses flavor, anchored by a hefty roasted malty backbone. Uniquely hoppy for a beer of this style…but in this case style is loosely adhered to. Flavors freely shift from sweetish caramel and molasses to hoppy and dry. The label refers to this beer as a “bastardized Scotch ale.” Indeed an accurate assessment. As unique as it is delicious.

Thanks to Valleyboy for the sample through the Christmas beer exchange. (644 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 mzwolinski
4.57/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Citric hop aroma hits you as soon as you open the bottle. Pours medium-brown in color, well-carbonated, with a half-finger head. Aroma remains quite hoppy as the beer sits, though caramel-like malt notes eventually begin to shine through. Big cascade hop flavor up front. So big, in fact, that I begin to wonder about the appropriateness of calling this a Scotch Ale. Good grainy malt body with some real depth -- caramel sweetness and some very light toasted notes. You need to enjoy it quick, though, because the hops don't let themselves be overpowered for long. Finish is very bitter and remains present in the aftertaste which is citric and fruity. Great beer -- reminds me more of a notched-up Sam Adams lager than a Scotch Ale, but if you're looking for a good bitter amber, this is a good way to go. (807 characters)

Photo of Gusler
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer begins a nice limpid deep garnet color the head imposing and frothy in its texture, leaving a thick glutinous sheet of lace to seal off the glass. You are greeted by malt, and some light to middling floral tones from the hops, fresh and quite pleasing to the senses. Begins sweet, the top is middling in feel, the finish bitingly acidic, the hops spiteful in their spicy bite, and the aftertaste dry and what a “Hoot”, another winner from this most excellent brewery. (478 characters)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.09/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ricardo’s Red Rocket Ale, appropriately from a Bear Bomber. It positively leaped out of it's Bottle into my chosen drinking vessel for the night, a straight sided 2 Pinter.
First Surprise - it is not really Red. It’s described on the apparel as “… a bastardized Scottish style red ale…” So perhaps the Red is somewhat of a misnomer, and I am not so sure about the Scottish lineage either. Nevertheless, it has a lovely deep creamy head, in both texture and color. The tan head is a good ½” deep, smooth at the edges, with a pock-marked appearance in the centre, with high sustainability. Held up to the light it first appears a deep amber-brown color, but hold it closer to the light and there is a lovely burgundian aura about this beer. Appearance gets a big “thumbs up”, a real stunner in the straight sided Glass.
Fresh hops are evident in the nose, but aroma as a whole is pretty much light and somewhat lacking for me, as I have found with a few Bear Beers. The RRRA announces itself on the palate with a hoppiness that starts mild with a hint of sweet malt, coupled with a light mouthfeel. The sweetness fades, as the bitterness then develops and becomes quite aggressive towards the middle (which I love), and then lingers somewhat in the aftermath of the swallow. Tantalising.
The more I drank this, the more I realized I was wrong, it reminded me so much of a Real Ale I drank back home in England; Red MacGregor Ale (4%) from Orkney Brewery, erm… somewhere North of Scotland. Ooops!. Wrong again. My earlier cynicism was totally unfounded, and I apologized profusely to the Bottle for the earlier questioning of its parentage - even though it is "..bastardized..".
Overall it did not last long at all, my first of the evening and I found it be a very enjoyable refreshing beer with a “more-ish” finish that makes you wish you had bought more than just the 1 sampler. The aggressive hoppiness may not be to everybody’s taste though - but it is mine. Is this really 6.8%?! I have found all of the Bear Beers to be deceptive when it comes to strength and taste expectations. They are never overpowering, and always highly quaffable for their ABV. This is no exception.
If you get the chance I would suggest that you stick one of these on your Launch Pad and go for a couple laps of the Earth in GeoStationary Orbit. Rock-It! (2,351 characters)

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

Slightly hazy candy apple red color with a huge creamy tan head that leaves a great looking lace all the way down the glass. Huge sticky piney hoppiness with some subtle citrus fruit aromas as well. Light malt aroma that keeps the smell in check. Nice strong and sweet malty taste starts things off in this brew. Nice bittering hop finish that lingers nicely on the tongue. Excellent tangy hoppy characteristics in this brew make it very tasty. Nice and smooth brew that is rather tangy on the tongue but yet a nice sweetness as well. Great brew and this brewery is now two for two in my book. Excellent brews. (618 characters)

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