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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.

2,349 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,349
Reviews: 1,138
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 111
Gots: 141 | 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: 2,349 | Reviews: 1,138 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rwrk42
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black/amber reddish color with some nice head
Smell: Nice smell a caramel malt and the right amount of hops
Taste: Nice malt taste with a good caramel malt flavor. Finishes nice with a good balance and just the right amount of hop bitterness
A very good ale which I recommend

rwrk42, Mar 21, 2009
Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark black/brown reddish tint in color. Some nice half-inch head that stuck around a bit and beautiful lacing that remind me of aging lines on a big tree.

S: The malt senses are notable followed by some earthy tones.

T: Sweet malt up front then a blast of hops. Its hard to say who wins, but if I had to pick it would be the hops on the followthrough.

M: Medium bodied, slight carbonation, little sticky.

D: Very drinkable. I like the presence of the sweet roasted malts in the beginning and then the nice hit of the WC hop action. A great presentation of the style.

Recommended to both the malt heads as well as there arch rival those pesty hop heads, who are always wanting more...

BuffaloTapHugger, Mar 18, 2009
Photo of Tone
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark amber color and appears a lighter amber along the edges. 1/2 inch head of a pale tan color. Decent retention and decent lacing. Smells of hops first, then some slight spice (all spice), and then some sweet malt. Fits the style of an American Amber/Red Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp. High carbonation level and a noticeable dryness. Tastes strongly of hops up front, then some spice (all spice?) come through, and finally some slight sweet malt in the finish. Overall, a very well blended brew.

Tone, Mar 16, 2009
Photo of skrib09
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured out a really dark brown with a great forming dark eggshell head.

excellent blend of malt and hops in the smell. i would say the hops overwhelm the malt structure just a little bit.

taste is of dark malts with some sweetness played against by the citrus and pine of the addition of hops.

i get some astringency in the mouth, maybe from the hops, and a slight dryness towards the back of the palate.

drinkability is good because this beer is great.

skrib09, Mar 13, 2009
Photo of GatorBeerNerd
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber purchased from Green's in Greenville, SC. Poured into a Sierra Nevada Hop Tulip glass.

A: Pours a nice mahogany color with a frothy tan colored head. It isn't a large head, but it has very good retention and a decent amount of lacing. Looks good.

S: A nice mix of caramel malts with some hop aromas coming along for the ride.

T: The malt is up front as you would expect for the style. A nice caramel malt flavor. The finish balances out the sweetness with a nice hop bitterness. I am not a big fan of the style, but this one is very tasty.

M: Nice and creamy due to an excellent in mouth carbonation level. The beer has a medium thickness.

D: It is not quite as drinkable as others in the style. The hops which give it a much better overall taste for the style, also cause the drinkability to be reduced.

GatorBeerNerd, Mar 10, 2009
Photo of farrago
3.13/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thick, creamy head, more like suds than bubbles, light red-brown color to it, good deal of lacing. In the glass the liquid manages to appear more red than brown, about as dark as red gets, that said, remains mostly transparent. In the nose the malt scents of cocoa and brown sugar have trouble finding their footing, just about the same for the raisin, cherry, apricot fruit, the big blast of bitter hops, white pepper, straw, cut grass and tea leaves, doesn't integrate into a whole. Medium-bodied, similar experience in the mouth with kind of flat-footed carbonation not helping organize the gang in one direction. The hoppy bite creates rye, raw grains, pine cone, grapefruit and orange citrus flavors while likely at the same time contributing to its arch dryness and diminishing the enjoyment of the former. Caramel, cocoa and brown sugar can't sweeten things up much. At times it seems ego-driven, showing off for no real reason. Has the elements to be a superior quaff but without a real game plan it's just a workout to finish the glass.

farrago, Mar 09, 2009
Photo of WalterSobchak
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber/mahogany with a one finger head, no lacing.
Toasted malts and brown sugar are all I can get out of this.
Surprisingly bright malt flavors move quickly into a hops punch. Not much balance but very interesting flavors. I like this one for its spin on an red ale.
A bit oily on the palate and a linger hops in the back of the throat.
Good for a couple of glasses but it's a bit too rich in malts for my likes.

WalterSobchak, Mar 06, 2009
Photo of MrDerp
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark rich amber coloring
S - Slightly hoppy, but no real strong smell one way or the other
T - Taste is citrus/fruit ish, with a distinguished hop flavor in the background. The hop flavor is present, especially in the aftertaste but it isn't particularly aggressive. It's definitely not the first thing you taste.
M - Strong with a medium body

Overall, a fantastic American amber beer. The flavors aren't particularly strong or overpowering, but everything fits together into a very smooth light beer that is great anytime of the year from summer through winter. Highly recommended.

MrDerp, Mar 06, 2009
Photo of dfillius
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass
A: Moderate pour yields 2/3 finger of light tan head. Dark ruby red. Pretty with great head retention. I can't imagine improvement on looks.
S: Apple cider, apricot, bread, and something I can't place. Not strong in hops.
T: Bitter core with thin malt covering. Interesting, but not cohesive. A lot of hops make this better than an average red. Good but disparate flavors of malt and hop don't blend.
M: Thin for all the beauty and great smell. Fills out with warmth into a smooth malt specimen with a bitter bite.
D: This is an exercise in proper serving temperature. Drinkability and smell increased significantly with warming. This is a solid beer and a session ale all the way.

dfillius, Mar 04, 2009
Photo of theghost3
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this into a mug. Color was cloudy rust with ruby notes. There was a 2-finger tan head that dissapated quickly leaving a ring & some lacing.

Scent was mainly toasted malts, dark fruits, yeast, & a hint of floral hops. The taste was strong of the toasted malt & sweet dark-skinned fruit, but then gave way to bitter hops. Mouthfeel was really smooth.

This is a very easy-drinking Red Ale. Interesting balance of burnt toasty malts, dark fruits & bitter hops.

theghost3, Feb 28, 2009
Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured out into the New Belgium tulip.

A: Deep mahogany brown, rich with rusted copper tones, though topped with a less than impressive quarter inch of sandy, toffee-colored head. Mild retention.

S: Rich and roasty malts couple quite well with a nicely underscored hop earthyness.

T/MF: Quite roasty, caramel and deep (almost woody) earthy hopiness, almost a chocolty kind of sweeness here. Thick and chewy mouthfeel makes this beer seem much larger than it is and at 6.8 that is saying something.

D: A overall and all around good beer, if just a little ugly. Would like to get my hands on this beer straight from the tap at the brewery, as I'm sure it would be out of this world, this one seems to have lost a touch in the ways of hopiness for this bottle at least.

bluemoonswoon, Feb 27, 2009
Photo of brewintheLou
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark, but the amber color can seen on the sides of the glass. Thick foamy head sticks to the glass all the way down.

Smell is subtle fruitiness with slight hop.

Taste has a very nice blend of hop which is not overpowering and a silky smooth malt. Mouthfeel is full and slighly chewy. Just like the other Bear Republic beers this is a very drinkable and deliciuos brew.

brewintheLou, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of animal69
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a deep, slightly cloudy, ruby-red copperish color w/ a very thick, frothy white tinged with yellow head that stands a full 1+" or so above my goblet and never really settles before completly coating it with a thick lace : a strong piney hop aroma with some faint notes of dark fruits and phenols ; taste is also predominated by citrusy hop flavor, a strong initial hop bite that is balanced by only slightly by a rich bready, toasty malt base w/ a faint buttery/caramel undertone ; a med-full body made creamier by the abundant co2 levels ; a damn fine red ale, very drinkable once you get past the gargantuan everlasting head...

animal69, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of ritzkiss
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber pours a dark amber, more reddish on the sides in the light. A finger of coppery head that sticks around and leaves good sticky lacing down the side. Pretty much how you want an amber to look.

Smell is strong hops off the top, hints of citrus and overall freshness/sweet summer air!

On the taste, again the hops comes right to the front, wasn't expecting it to be quite so hoppy! Again, some lemon, grapefruit, caramel to balance it out in the back. Refreshing! Great mouthfeel, good carbonation.

This could easily be my summer go-to beer, I am impressed. The hops is in-your-face but as you drink it's nicely, albeit subtly, matched with the malts. At 6.8% you drink a couple of these and be rockin' for the night!

ritzkiss, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of waldoiverson
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz into US Pint

A: Slightly clouded dark caramel with redish tint, good head slightly offwhite head with moderately small bubbles

S: very mellow lemongrassy sort of hop with sweet middle, not overly potent but smooth

T: Hops that carry over that lemongrass flavor, with burst of dark caramel malt, and then well contained alcohol. Big bitterness throughout the experience

M: Smooth and creamy but the bitterness keeps dryness in the picture

D: I love this. It is simply delicious and i'll drink it any time of year.

waldoiverson, Feb 20, 2009
Photo of jujubeast6000
3.1/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 9/24/2007 (bottle):

Pours a dark brown reddish color, dark white head, average, diminishing. Very pine hoppy aroma, some alcohol. Sweet, slight grapefruity smell. Sweet taste, slightly syrupy. Taste of pine. Slightly heavy body, bubbly, good mouthfeel. Okay.

jujubeast6000, Feb 18, 2009
Photo of steadydose
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured half of the 22 oz in a goblet. Thick 1/2 inch of khaki head, w/ lively carbonation. Dark amber beer with lighter brown/red tinges when viewed from different angles. Sticky lace is left on the sides of the glass, as the beer slowly disappears.

The initial smell is piney, floral hops followed by a little sweetness that reminds me of toffee. I have never tried this beer and was suprised at how hoppy the smell was.

First sip and the taste was full of hoppiness. Piney, citrus like hops wich finished w/ a good amount of bitterness that sticks around for a couple of seconds. I drank the 22 oz in about a 90 min span, and the beer slowly gained a little more balance between the bitter and sweet of the hops and malt.

The mouthfeel was light to medium bodied with soft carbonation, which left a light coating of slickness in my mouth.

Overall a good beer. I will definetly drink again at some point.

steadydose, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of SShelly
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in a "fizzy yellow beer is for wussies." glass.

nice citrus aroma with a little bit of malt behind. crystal clear with a nice dark ruby color, 1/2" of thick head that sticks around for a minute.

Nice bitter burst at the beggining with some great citrus, nice caramel malt to back it up, leaves great citrus in the mouth, nice mouthfeel.

very drinkable, probably just behind evil dead red on my best west coast red list.

SShelly, Feb 15, 2009
Photo of Minkybut
3.1/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. I thought the beer looked really great at first with a nice black color and fine bubbles in the head. The taste was hoppy with a taste of caramel involved. The smelll was hoppy just like the taste. I would most likely try this one again though a little hoppy for me.

Minkybut, Feb 12, 2009
Photo of BeardedBoffin
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark amber brown almost reddish color with a big bubbly head over it which left lacing on the glass only toward the end. A mixture of sweet malt, fresh grass, and citrus hops compose the aroma. Bitter through and through on the palate. Initially a sweet maltiness provides some balances but it never breaks through completely. By the time the beer smoothly glides toward the back the bitterness has grown and finishes with a tad of resinous pine. Overall this beer is quite drinkable and enjoyable. One of the better Amber Ales I have had the pleasure of quaffing.

BeardedBoffin, Feb 10, 2009
Photo of tempest
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single at the Party Source in Syracuse for a couple bucks. Whoa, big head here. After it settles down, the caramel aroma was a bit rubbery, possibly old. The flavor has a dry caramel sticky bun malt profile with a big punch of grapefruit and orange rind hops. The dry malts and big American hops make a satisfying, yet drinkable beer. I want more.

tempest, Feb 10, 2009
Photo of Windigstadt
2.78/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a very dark chestnut with ruby highlights. A thin, creamy head tops the pour. Little bits of yeast trub can be seen floating in the glass... it is bottle-conditioned, after all.

S: Aroma is a delicious blend of piney, resiny hops and sweet, brown-sugar like caramel malts. If I didn't know better, I'd suspect this was a barleywine or old ale based on the smell.

T: Sticky North American hops hit you right in the mouth as you take your first sip. Just like the smell suggested, they're piney and resiny--with hints of grapefruit pith--but the hops aren't overly citrusy like many West Coast hop bombs. Unfortunately, once you get past the hops there's very little malt flavor. There's a malt profile somewhere behind the hops, trying to break through, but it never makes it. I think I pick up a little honey-like sweetness, and maybe a little burnt note of roast barley, but they just don't stand a chance against the hops. The bitterness lingers on the back of your tongue long after you've swallowed.

M: Typical of an American version of a British ale: slightly undercarbonated, but not inappropriately so.

D: While it drinks rather smoothly for 6.8%, the high ABV plus the bitterness definitely rules this out as a session beer.

Overall: I honestly don't understand what people see in this beer. I know it's supposedly the first of its kind, but to me it's far too one-dimensional. My favorite beer style is Altbier, so it's not that I can't appreciate a good, bracingly bitter beer. It's just that a good, bracingly bitter beer needs something else to balance it out, and I'm not finding it here. I have a feeling I'd love Double Red Rocket, but as it is this beer simply seems unfinished.

Windigstadt, Jan 31, 2009
Photo of kingalthe1st
4.9/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

First, you need to understand the history of this beer. It is THE American Red ale. When it was developed back in the early 90s, beer competitions didn't know what to do with it because there was no category for it. It has inspired a legion of copycats, yet it is still the best you can get. It's that friggin good.

Second. It is bottle conditioned with a heavy yeast concentrate, and given the methods of shipping companies today, unless you get this beast on tap, at the Bear Republic Brewery (or purchase a bottle from somewhere in their direct-distribution range), you are probably not tasting the 100% divine goodness of this. Still, even if you get a lower performing bottle, if you rate this beer less than an A, you have no business drinking Red Ales.

Now, a little about myself: I grew up in Healdsburg and have been drinking this stuff since I was 16 years old. Yeah, I'm a little biased. :).

kingalthe1st, Jan 30, 2009
Photo of madtowndmb1
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep red, with a tan head

S: Smells like hop oils, mainly bitterness.

T: Oh man this is a bitter red. I like it! The biter isn't overwhelming though! Very tasty

I'd drink these for sure, It's a drinkable red, although it's more of a bitter IPA. I do like and will but it again. It will be a spot buy though.

madtowndmb1, Jan 30, 2009
Photo of FreightTrain
2.9/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a very dark amber with minimal head retention and some lacing

S- Smells of citrus hops with just a hint of biscuit malt; pleasant, but one dimensional.

T- Starts off with a brief suggestion of malt before being overwhelmed by bitter hops. Finish is all astringency. Lots of bitterness, not a lot of hop flavor.

M- Creamy, nicely carbonated

D- Drinkability is hampered by the bracing bitterness, which hides almost all of the other flavors that might be lurking beneath it.

FreightTrain, Jan 28, 2009
Red Rocket Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,349 ratings.