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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.

2,334 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,334
Reviews: 1,136
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 110
Gots: 135 | 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: 2,334 | Reviews: 1,136 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of sweetbrew82
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle into a pint glass; no freshness date

P: Pours rosy brown from the bottle, and sits ripe plum in the glass. Healthy light tan head is thick and sticky. Disappeared pretty quickly to form a thin sheet of foam on top. Big notches of lace as its consumed.

A: What a pronounced nose! It blasted my nasal passages as soon as I popped the cap. Big piney and citrusy hops with a touch of floral underneath. Also some toasted malt, yeast, caramel, and some earth.

T: Leafy pine-flavored hops, toasted caramel malts, and a little yeast greet the palate with a nice balance. Citrusy hops unearth a lemon bitterness, while flavors reminiscent of spruce trees emerge at the midway point. Finishes dry, but there's also some oily resin left behind as well. A much more pronounced malt and yeast presence leaves an aftertaste that reminds me of Celebration Ale in a way. Very good!

M & D: Medium-full bodied, crisp & smooth. While drinkability is good, and I finished this 22 easily, the flavor kind of wore on me after a while and didn't leave me dying for another.

Notes: Another terrific offering from Bear Republic. The best American Amber that I've had. The nose and the taste is great, but it's just not one that I could drink all night. But, for an every once in a while thing, it's great! Highly recommended

sweetbrew82, Jan 27, 2009
Photo of caddybuyer
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-A thing of beauty....deep mahogany red with a thick fluffy, creamy tan head and decent lacing.

S-Rich deep caramel malts with hops in the background. Delicious.

T-Creamy malts predominate the initial palate followed by toasted caramel with the hops coming in nicely in the finish with a mild hop buzz that lingers on the tongue. This is a big tasting beer, as well as a remarkably well balanced beer and I absolutely love it.

M-A tad heavier than average with moderate carbonation, but darn near perfect.

D-This is a real treat. Drinkable, hell yes, maybe one of the best all around balanced American Ambers I have ever had. I am aghast it took me so long to get to this one as I have always been a fan of Racer 5 for a hops fix. Passing this by on the shelf I just figured this was another hophead beer, but not so. Not to malty, not too hoppy...just right, for when you are in the mood for this kind of balance. Big taste without the big ABV....what more can I say... A great find, and one that I am going back for...alot!

caddybuyer, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of NCSUdo
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle

A: Pours a deep rusty brown under about a half inch worth of slightly tan head. Good retention and lace.

S: Big smell of toasted malt and caramel, good citrus hop character is balanced nicely.

T: Big on caramel and toasted malt, sweet up front with a finish of tangy citrus hop and toasted malt. Mild bitterness. Very good.

M/D: Medium to full bodied, very smooth, almost silky. Nice drinkablity. Relatively low alcohol and really nothing to complain about. Very good beer.

NCSUdo, Jan 23, 2009
Photo of clemtig76
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle picked up at the Charleston Beer Exchange. Cool Buck Rogers style retro rocket on the label. Pours a dark reddish brown with a thin off white head with little lacing. The smell is of deep roasted malt and caramel with a nice hoppy aroma. The taste was smooth and malty with hints of brown sugar and spicy hops in the finish. This one is a keeper.

clemtig76, Jan 22, 2009
Photo of tmoneyba
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured brown color with a small off-white head that diminished slowly and good lacing.

Complex sweet malt and hop aroma.

Medium to full body with a creamy texture and soft carbonation.

Full complex flavor with a moderate bitter finish of moderate to long duration.

One of my top rated active bottled beers for style.

tmoneyba, Jan 14, 2009
Photo of plaid75
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask at Rattle N' Hum, NYC.

Poured a murky deep amber hue with a slight head. There was little retention and lacing.

The smell featured a juicy apricot hop and a solid caramel malt.

The taste consisted of a robust sweet malt and a citric hop.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style.

Overall a solid and hoppy amber.

plaid75, Jan 14, 2009
Photo of JollyToper
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an American pint glass. Bottle conditioned. Purchased at AJs in Scottsdale, AZ for $4.59. Freshness date was a month past.

A - Dark brown to black with little to no visible carbonation. It is totally opaque. Pours a rocky off-white to tan head. Didn't leave much lace but I think it was my fault for not using my usual dishwasher free beer glass.

S - Beautiful blend of sweet chocolatey malt and hops.

TM & D - Very full bodied amber with lots of hops. Drank a Fat Tire right before this one and they are not even the same style. I took a lot more time with this one. It was delicious with really big complex flavors. I'll get this again.

JollyToper, Jan 11, 2009
Photo of deereless
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Upon opening a sitting bottle there was some overflow, thick cottony and rocky head that is still present after 5 minutes, deep amber brown - 4.25, S: Lots of toasty nutty aromas, mild hops - 3.75, T: The hops are more noticeable on the palate than the nose, piney bitter bite, quite a bit of caramel - 3.75, M: 4.00, D: I like the considerable hops and the toasty flavors, a solid beer all around - 3.75

deereless, Jan 10, 2009
Photo of Squelch
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance: Deep dark red. Slight if any head. Surprisingly crystal clear for a bottle conditioned ale. Beautiful color.

Smell: Hops dominate with subtle esters and malts in the background. Appetizing aroma.

Taste: Let this one warm up becase the chalky roasty acrid flavors of the roasted malts really come through then. Well balanced with an appropriate level of hop bitterness and a touch of hop flavor. This beer delivers on taste. Flavors linger around on your buds for a while after sipping.

Mouthfeel: A bit on the light side but I like it. The lightness makes me concentrate on the flavors which really are the showcase of this beer.

Drinkability: Not an everyday beer, this one fits a specifc bill when wanting a surprising british style red with a unique hop backbone.

Squelch, Jan 10, 2009
Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this one is kind of a cross between a big ass wee heavy and a hoppy american amber/red. color is right between the two-somewhere between a deep amber and a chestnut brown. nice light tan head persists w/good lacing. slightly hazy. big aromas of dark malts, molasses, dark dried fruit, and grapefruity and resiny american hops. taste follows suit with surprisingly rich sweet malts and big, smooth hop bitterness. almost full bodied with a long, drying finish from the hops.

MrMcGibblets, Jan 08, 2009
Photo of malcontent
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Deep amber body with more than a little off-white head. Lots o' lacing to be sure.

Spicy citrus-y hops abound coating a rich, rye bread like aroma that leaves a touch of sweetness on the back waft. Yummy.

Wow, this leaves the vast majority of American reds in the dust! Major grapefruit pith and mellow rye prove enough to balance out substantial malt sweetness with peaty undertones.

Generous hopping unfortunately leaves more slickness than I'd like and the hops also cause this to be a bit of a palate-buster. However, if you had to stick with a single beer for an entire evening you could do much, much worse than this.

malcontent, Jan 08, 2009
Photo of JEdmund
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep, dark cranberry red with a tan, creamy head; leaves thick lacing

Hoppy, fruity, and sweet

Lots of sweet malt through and through, tasting somewhat old ale-y; lots of candied fruit from the citric hops and caramel sweet malts; leaves a somewhat unpleasant papery aftertaste that makes me think this bottle has been on the shelf for a while

Full and smooth with a low level of carbonation

Hops seem a bit tame and faded, further convincing me this is not the freshest example. Still, it's full-flavored and very tasty. Will eagerly try another bottle some day.

JEdmund, Jan 07, 2009
Photo of cvfish
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - This beer poured a ruby amber color that produced a fluffy white head that had good retention and left a decent amount of lacing around the glass

S - This beer produced a good caramel malt aroma, along with a lot of pine tree notes

T - The taste of this beer started with a good backbone of caramel malts, the citrus taste was accompanied by a little bit sourness, and the pine-like hoppy finish was more subtle than I would have gathered from the nose

M - A very smooth, medium body combined with a moderate amount of carbonation make this a favorable mouthfeel

D - This beer was more complex than I expected out of an Amber Ale style, but Bear Republic again delivered a great beer

cvfish, Jan 06, 2009
Photo of MOShepp
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep copper brown color with a medium tan frothy head and good retention and some lacing.

Malty aromas of bread, toffee and a slightly burnt sugar. Big waff of piney hops.

The hops are more agressive in the aroma than the taste. It's well balanced with the malts edging out the hops with a long bitter finish.

Thick and rich and goes down smooth.

MOShepp, Jan 01, 2009
Photo of wagenvolks
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very excited to find this during my first beer haul in Austin; 22oz bomber into a Unibroue tulip.

Just about as attractive as red ales get, Red Rocket pours a rich auburn-red hue (second glass collects some sizable chunks of yeast). The creamy, tan head retains well, and easily builds up again with a quick swirl of the tulip; lacing coats the inside of the glass with sticky webs of foam. As for the aroma, imagine if there were such a thing as "caramel cotton candy", then envisions smelling such a concoction. Oh yeah, there's also an intoxicating floral hoppiness that balances the malts to perfection--I'm drooling profusely.

The taste, which gets better as it warms, is a complex blend of caramel-amber malts and piney hop resin. The malt notes unfold slowly, revealing brown sugar and sweetbread, while the hops come on strong at the finish with lots of restrained bitterness and a hint of pepper. Mouthfeel is on the thicker side of medium, with a semi-creamy/spicy consistency and a near-perfect carbonation level. Drinkability is top-notch, too, as I could eagerly go through another bomber of this stuff without batting an eyelash. Bear Republic rarely disappoints, and Red Rocket is no exception.

wagenvolks, Jan 01, 2009
Red Rocket Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,334 ratings.