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Red Rocket Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Red Rocket AleRed Rocket Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,253 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,253
Reviews: 1,131
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.84%
Wants: 100
Gots: 109 | 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:
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: 2,253 | Reviews: 1,131 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
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 TequilaSauer


4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750.

Bear Republic has been one of my biggest go-tos recently, maybe even topping Bell's and Stone. Their hoppy brews are so consistent, delicious, and fresh, I find little reason to go elsewhere for a night beer after a long day.

Not much head retention, which is a knock, but the beer itself is beautiful. A deep, DEEP, amber. I would've guessed a stronger ABV by the looks of it alone.

Smells of fresh veggies, citrus, and a hint of raspberry, even some chocolate. GREAT smell. Maybe the best smelling amber I've ever experienced.

The bitterness explodes on the tongue. It's surprising how sweet the beer is though. Lots of malt, grapefruit, and even cough syrup. It's a silky smooth beer with an incredible balance.

I would love to do a blind tasting of Ambers with this beer in the mix. I know Nugget Nectar is the Godbeer in that category, but Red Rocket and Hop Head Red could easily top it, in my book. I'm curious as to which would come out on top.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2009 05:32:34 | More by TequilaSauer
Photo of Psilo707


3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bitterness hits my tongue as I take my first sip, and a wave of malty afterglow quickly washes away the intensity of the initial impact. This extremely hoppy red ale pours a nice dark magenta hue, a bit cloudy; lots of bubbles rising to the top on the interior. Head and lacing are both not too present but are quality where is needed.

Smell is bittersweet to the nose and presents a clear aroma of hops and tender alcohol. The taste is very reminiscent of the scent. Mouthfeel is very creamy and the bitterness doesn't sting as much as you'd think it would when in the mouth. Smooth feelings going down the throat... The drinkability is very high for an ale of this nature as well.

Overall I was very pleasantly surprised with this one and had no idea the marks would be so high for myself as well as for other reviewers.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2009 23:57:19 | More by Psilo707
Photo of noeldundas

British Columbia (Canada)

4.93/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

dark reddish brown, slightly cloudy (bad pour i think) with a rocky tan head with incredible lacing.

fresh piney hop nose.

a soft, velvety, and full bodied ale with moderate carbonation and exceptional drinkability

the piney and citrusy hops just slightly beat out the malt, which still brings powerful coffee, raisan, chocolate and plum flavours. but not malty per se.

the finish is dry, and smooth with malty (not sweet) notes some caramel and a deep bitter, almost orange hoppyness.

looovvveee it.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2009 22:26:05 | More by noeldundas
Photo of gameface23


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

A: Pours a deep reddish brown (much darker than expected), with a 1 finger offwhite head.

S: Sweet caramel malts win the fight for the dominant aspect of the smell, but the hops put up a valiant effort. You can tell that both caramel malts and Cascade/Centennial hops were used in brewing this.

T: Roasted malt, caramel malts, and a nice hop bitterness. There is an underlying sweetness.

M: Medium bodied.

D: Nicely balanced between sweetness and bitterness. I would definitely buy a six pack if I was hanging out with friends.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2009 22:16:55 | More by gameface23
Photo of kimcgolf


4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours from the bottle to a brownish hue with hints of ruby and a medium thick off-white head that lasts awhile and leaves okay lacing. Immediately out of the bottle is a strong nose of malty dark druit infused nicely with hops, and as the beer warms, it is joined by the scent of the alcohol. Mouthfeel is tingly and full and the taste is even a more pronounced malty fruit blended with hops, with hints of nuts, caramel and again, the alcohol. Finish is long, full and somewhat bitter.

A darn good beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2009 19:29:50 | More by kimcgolf
Photo of photomike


3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep reddish brown with an impressive tan head. Head is beautifully soft and light as it dies down. Exceptional lacing, lasting forever at the top of my glass.

Smell is primarily super-sweet malt with a very strong hop presence. A nice smelling brew, but the sweetness is a bit much, even on the nose.

Taste is surprisingly dry. It is definitely still sweet, but nowhere near the sweetness I expected from the nose, to my delight. Again, strong hops; mostly bitter piney hops here. Very malty. Hint of alcohol on the finish, but not as much as expected from a beer of this ABV.

Slightly chewy mouthfeel, and somewhat creamy. A small hit of alcohol burn comes forth as the beer gets warmer.

Drinkability is pretty high for the ABV, but the booze will catch up to you quick.

Overall, not my favorite style, but this is one of the better ones I've had. Still, 7-8 times out of 10, I'm picking up Hop Rod over this. Here's to variety!

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2009 07:15:43 | More by photomike
Photo of Genghis22


3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a nice mahogany color with a slighty brown creamy head. Looks thick and lucious.

S - The first smell hints of alcohol, then roasted malts, and then a touch of hop bitterness.

T - Tastes just like it smells. There is a touch of booze on the tongue and big roasted malt flavors. There is a touch of smoke and the finish is dry with hop bitterness.

M - Thick and chewy with moderate to high carbonation. This is a big ale, more of a red ale than an amber ale if you ask me.

D - This is a big hearty beer. It has tons of flavor and at 6.8 % abv it packs a nice punch as well. This is very drinkable, as the flavors are complex but balanced. The carbonation is just right for a beer this big.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2009 01:10:21 | More by Genghis22
Photo of Spikester


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

Pours a clean dark brown with reddish tint. Minimal head, some lacings. Aroma is piney hops.
First sip is a big hit of grapefruit citrus pine needle hops.
Slight sweet malt taste as the bitterness subsides.
I think this brew is more like an IPA with a bit more malt than typical.
I can't see having this as a session ale but it was an excellent single bomber indulgence. Will most likely enjoy this with a meal next time. Well recommended.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2009 06:12:13 | More by Spikester
Photo of horshack7


4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: From the depths of a bomber comes fourth a very dark amber brown. With a thick and very creamy head that is mocha in color. The head has a marshmellowish texture. Red hues all around the edges. The head retention is very impresive it sticks to the glass all the way down.

Aroma: The malts from this one give off a very sweet aroma a little bit like caramel and molases. The hop nose is nice it's right up there with the malts but a little underlying it's great. The hops put off a light spiciness and fruitiness a little like apples and cinnamon.

Taste: It has an extremely smooth mouthfeel like a silky milk chocolate ganache. The hops seem to be roasted very low and slow along with the malts that combine to give a sweetness to it that is incredible.

Notes: This is such a very drinkable beer massivly smooth. Such a remarkable year round brew. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2009 02:24:50 | More by horshack7
Photo of IMincedTheKing

New Jersey

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

Pours an opaque, dark mahogany with a small tan head.

Smells mostly of bread with a small hop kick.

Sweets malts hit the palate, balanced well by a good amount of hops. Bread and caramel flavors are present with piney hops riding in behind them and the taste of rind bringing the swallow to a close. The carbonation is smooth, the body is a little thing, and the finish is somewhat astringent.

This is a solid amber. Balanced well and easy to take down. The ABV is up there, but it's well hidden.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2009 05:15:03 | More by IMincedTheKing
Photo of Brewnami


4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Red ales are not usually my beer of choice, but I loved the other Bear Republic brews that I tried so I picked one of these up at Bauer's in Boston. As soon as I got home I poured the 12oz bottle into a pint glass. This brew poured a very dark brownish color with a thick tan head. Hold it up to the light and the glass reflects a brilliant dark red color. This beer has a very malty scent with hints of piney hops. The taste is similar to an IPA but much more dark and with a much drier finish. The beer finishes with a dry, grapefruit bitter taste. This is not my favorite Bear Republic brew, but is definitely worthy of a try. I will buy this again, however it not on the top of my list. As far as drinkability, don't bank on having this as a session beer. My session beer preference has to include somewhat of a refreshing aftertaste and this doesn't exactly fit that criteria. This would be great with dinner, especially with red meat; perhaps a fat steak. Since it's 6.8% ABV, a couple with dinner would be perfect.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2009 21:49:49 | More by Brewnami
Photo of cooncat


4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving from a 22 oz. bomber, freshly delivered to my beverage retailer.

On the pour, you get a near brown/garnet colored brew, with 2 fingers of firm, foamy head, which diminishes to a thin cap that hangs around to the bottom of the glass. Huge patterns of lacing cover the sides of the glass. Very impressive appearance in the glass.

The nose is very light, but what you do get is a hint of the huge hop presence. Some malt aromas also present in the range of caramel.

The taste is dominated by hops; piney and red grapefruit rind in nature. They are not overbearing, and supported by a caramel malt backbone that asserts itself more towards the bottom of the glass. Mouthfeel is medium, and the 6.8% ABV never shows itself, making this beer amazingly drinkable.

Bear Republic advertises this beer as a 'bastardized Scotch ale" on the bottle. Supposedly, this started out as an amber Scotch ale, but has metamorphosed into its current form. Darker and more brown than your typical Red Ale or Amber, it's 65 IBUs are definitely indicative of IPA strength bitters. A complex beer, that finishes mostly dry. If you are a fan of IPAs, you'll love this one. Recommended!

Na Zdravje!

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2009 21:10:32 | More by cooncat
Photo of tronester


4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy amber/brown with a super creamy tan head. Superb lacing all the way down. Smell is slightly of roasted malts. Taste is rather hoppy for a red ale, nice solid bitterness, with toasty, roasted malt. A hint of diacytel and coffee in there too. Mouthfeel is super creamy, very nice carbonation. Good Bottle conditioning going on here. Super drinkable, even at nearly 7 percent abv. I will definitely get this again, another great one from Bear Republic.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2009 23:33:36 | More by tronester
Photo of ThaBobfather


4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours basically perfect opaque dark, deep brown with ruby in the edges. Gives off thick and well bodied beige head.
Powerful aroma of sweet malt, some citrus and a bit of caramel.
Our flavor starts with a toffee, sweet malt, with a hint of rind that blends nearly perfectly into an almost clovy spice flavor.
The finish is dry with a malty flavor that sticks around well.
Incredibly drinkable and smooth with how much flavor there is.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2009 20:01:39 | More by ThaBobfather
Photo of TheQuietMan22


3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured a deep ruby red that leaned toward caramel brown. A finger of off-white head formed and slowly dissipated to a nice lacing.

Smell: The hops dominated, but there is a sweet, invigorating citrus aroma. Grapefruit and orange. I also picked up some hints of pine and caramel.

Taste: The first sip was hella hoppy -- strongly bitter -- but subsequent sips were more even. When the hops subsided the caramel malts came through. Compared to the smell, the citrus was very subdued.

Drinkability: Hops blast off. Red Rocket Ale is not for the faint of hop-heart. It's too hoppy for me, but it may be perfect for someone else.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2009 07:07:13 | More by TheQuietMan22
Photo of drinkHoppy

New Jersey

4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoy this beer!

The taste and drinkability make this a re-purchase for me. I think this is a great beer if you want to get drunk, if you enjoy hops that is. Deceivingly strong. While I drink this I don't *feel* that it is an easy to drink beer, but in a blink my glass is half empty. Every sip craves another.

Deep color, opaque in dim light, dark-amber if held up to a light source. Hops are present the whole way through. My tastes are not sophisticated enough to 'elegantly' describe the flavors, I will be honest. I taste hops, and relate it in my mind to Troegs Nugget Nectar, with a bit less 'umph' on the flavor. Easier to drink than the Troegs (Although it's one of my favorite beers).

You need to pour it rather aggressively to achieve a good head, if too slow the head is slim to none. However when it's there, it's thick and bubbly. It disappears pretty quickly and leaves only some lacing, but still enough to enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2009 03:00:13 | More by drinkHoppy
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rusted crimson with an underlying flare of amber-orange. What a gorgeous tone! Its complexion is dark and quite concealing with regards to light although there is still some flicker and illumination when held directly into it. The head is large and creamy with gentle slopes and fluffy peaks; it would make an equally great ski hill as it would a cloud.

Most everything from California smells hoppy - Bear Republic makes it clear Sonoma County is no exception to the rule. The aroma pungently reeks of zesty hops. Centennial and Cascades impart plenty of their trademark spicy, fruity bouquet. The malts also make a memorable impression with notes of chocolate, biscuits, dark caramel and black tea.

The brewery considers the beer a 'bastardized Scottish-style ale'. Of all the years drinking Red Rocket I never thought of it that way (and mustn't have been reading the label too closely). I can see it now, however. The grainy, roasted maltiness suggests lightly smoked peat. There's also faint hints of cocoa, coffee, dark caramel and chewy toffee.

The deviation comes, of course, with the generous inclusion of spicy, tangy American hops. Flavours of candied grapefruit, citrus peel and pine serum abound just as much (on some sips more so) than the roast malts and caramel. The whole plate comes together looking like chewy biscuits topped with butterscotch drizzle and candied fruits. It's delicious!

And it offers as many textures as it does tastes. The hops are bitter, resinous and with a touch of peppery spice. The malts are sugary, caramelized but also grainy and bitterly roasted. There are dark notes of cocoa and coffee as well as light ones of citrus and flowers. Stack it all together and this becomes about all you can look for in a beer.

There are a lot of world-class micro breweries in the state of California so it's easy to see how Bear Republic can get overlooked. That said, there is no reason they ever should be! This brewery offers a lineup as solid as any other within the state, or even the country for that matter. Bear Republic makes only one kind of beer: great ones.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2009 00:50:29 | More by biegaman
Photo of nick76


4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

The aroma has tea, prunes, caramel, citrus, pine, and fruit. The appearance is deep amber with a nice head. The flavor is like the aroma with a bitter sweet finish. The palate is average. Overall this is a very very good beer. I would love to have another one.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2009 04:51:24 | More by nick76
Photo of gabeerfan


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

Pours a clear, dark ruby/brown with a nice light tan head.
Grapefruit and pine hop aromas hit first along with lots of caramel malt to back up the hops. Fresh dark fruits and a hint of dark chocolate help round out the aromas.
Hops come through a little juicier in the flavor, similar to grapefruit segments rather than just the rind. Caramel, dark fruits and dark chocolate appear again, but a little more obvious.
Medium bodied. A little sticky and resiny.
Except for the ABV, this is a good drinker. It's not a sipper, but it may be tough to have more than a couple in a night.
Quite tasty beer. Too bad Terrapin's Big Hoppy Monster is so good otherwise I would get this all the time. But, it's also not available in GA yet.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2009 00:52:24 | More by gabeerfan
Photo of oriolesfan4


4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2009 20:54:31 | More by oriolesfan4
Photo of joshuadlight


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

Excellent, excellent beer.

Gorgeous deep red with a lasting, silky head. Some of the best balance of sweet, delicious malts and bitter hops that I've tasted or smelled. Mouthfeel is smooth as glass. The bitterness at the end keeps you thirsty and reaching for another sip. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2009 15:37:23 | More by joshuadlight
Photo of Kopp

New Jersey

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

This is a combined review from my roommate and I who both split a bottle of this fine brew. Should be chilled but not too cold

A: it was a dark/deep red, opaque with a slight head that dissipated over time, leaving a film on the glass - beautiful

S: it hits strong with a hoppy scent, followed by notes of grass, bitter citrus, and a sweet scent of caramel

T: the hops are present right away, a bit bitter but nowhere near overpowering. Has a bit of a sweet aftertaste

M: smooth like silk, not sticky or heavy, really nice

D: could drink this all night due to the bitter bite in the beginning followed by a sweeter smooth mouthfeel

Overall: It was a great beer that my roommate picked up as a random pick. Definite re-drink and re-purchase. Top 10 if not top 5 beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2009 04:53:46 | More by Kopp
Photo of stephens101


3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark copper with burnt red hues on the fringes. A two-plus finger, extremely bubbly, dark tan head tops the brew, slowly fades, and leaves a thick web of lacing behind. Aroma involves a good mix of earthy hops and caramel malts with some sweet bread in the distant background. On the palate the malts slowly succumb to the oily hops which rise to the forefront toward the end and really reach out and hit on the way down the throat. Mouth-feel is comparatively thick, but viscous, and highly drinkable, with a furtive 6.8% abv. Not my favorite Bear Republic brew so far, but not bad.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2009 22:22:02 | More by stephens101
Photo of RyanC84

South Carolina

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

A: Pours a beautiful deep cooper with a huge two finger head that coats the glass with lace.

S: The Centennial and Cascade hops make their presence known and are soon followed by the caramel malt. I've never smelled another amber that even came close to this one. Almost perfectly balanced.

T: Grassy hops shine and coat the tongue but are soon followed by a smooth and sweet malt base. This a wonderful beer.

M & D: Medium to full bodied. It achieves the hop bitterness I'm looking for but is mellow enough on the finish to make this a session. While the 6.8 % ABV isn't low, this beer feels like it is much higher.

Bear Republic has made the gold standard by which all other Amber Ales should be judged.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2009 02:49:05 | More by RyanC84
Red Rocket Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,253 ratings.