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Red Rocket Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Red Rocket AleRed Rocket Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,457 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,457
Reviews: 1,152
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 10.86%
Wants: 126
Gots: 185 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,457 | Reviews: 1,152
Photo of scottyshades
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, this beer is incredible. I am now 3/3 on great Bear Republic beers being excellent.

Described on the bottle as a "bastardized Scottish style red ale..."

A: Pours a deep, rich mahogany color, slightly darker than the typical amber. Beautiful. The head is pretty damn nice, being off-white, rocky, and holds very well. Lacing along the glass is beautiful as well. As other BR brews, you can see chunks of yeast floating all over the glass.

S: Floral hops, bittering hops, a bready note, a faint yeasty note thats comes out when the beer warms, some citrus peel, all atop a firm malt base. Very grassy and spicy. Nicely balanced nose, atypical of an amber ale, but still great. As I reach the end of the beer when its beginning to warm, smokey notes become present.

T: Similar to the nose, except the hops are much more bitter than I had hoped for/anticipated. Aromatic hops appear to have vanished, being replaced by the bittering. The malts balance nicely, as citrus peel and dried tart fruit linger in the background. I must say, the bitterness of the hops is a little much for me personally, because it masks the true complexity of this beer.

MF/D: Nice carbonation, thick body, loooong dry bitter finish that kind of throws me off, but I'll take it.

Photo of TheDeuce
4.88/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Red Rocket Ale....

Appearance-Stone deep red, beautiful hazy color, solid balanced head which rises and sticks around, looks really great.

Smell-malt and spice, hazy alcohol, chocolate, sour fumes all mixed together, very aromatic, really hits you.

Taste/Mouthfeel-layered taste, good flavors, they call it a sort of bastardized scottish ale and I can definitely taste some of those flavors, inherent spiciness as well from hops and overall a strong flavor not normally seen from an amber ale. Very smooth and maintains flavor the whole way through, takes a while to run through them.

Drinkability-simply great to have, satisfying, flavorful, not overwhelming.

Overall-wow...all I can say, lives up to the hype and then some. Fantastic and worth a try.

Photo of Jayli
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had 8/17
This beer pours a pours a slightly hazy mahogany color with a an and off white one finger head to it. Head retains rather well coming to a film that stays the whole beer and leaves nice thick lacing on the glass. Nose is of sweet malts and a major array of hops - citrus, floral, piney. Taste is mostly bitter - citrus, pine, floral, a touch of grassiness in there, all complimented by a fantastic malt backbone. Alcohol is somewhat present, but certainly does not detract form the beer. Medium to full body, higher side of medium carbonation, thick, creamy, and just hit the freaking spot! This is a fantastic beer that is full of surprises. It's definitely one to sit with for a while.

Photo of yemenmocha
4.26/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep red with big rocky, meringue-like head that is oh so gorgeous and just won't go away. Nose is sometime tame with faint citrus and caramelly aromas. That caramel is certainly present on the palate along with an unexpected complexity of hops that actually reminds me of some of Bear Republic's other beers. This one is easy drinking and full of flavor for a "mere" red ale.

Photo of everetends
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle that was a suprise find at a bottle shop I frequent. I think it was 6 bucks or so for a bomber, so I figured why not. Served up in my shaped Dogfish Head pint glass.

A: Pours a very nice dark brown, almost Scottish ale type color. Very dark and warming just from the look. Held to the light, more reds (ruby) pushes through all that brown, creating a very nice color presentation. Pretty dark, so I can't really find any carbonation activity in the look. Got a good finger, maybe a touch more, of off white to cream colored head. Head has some really nice lasting power and throws up some chunky lace in select spots. Very nice look, and absolutely inviting.

S: Smell is what really got me. Sure its nothing too crazy but it is very aromatic. Very nice as soon as you pop the cap. At the first escape of gas, you get some really nice pine and floral hops straight out the bottle. These hops aren't overpowering or too in your face, but they have a power that fills the air. Light malts bringing out a touch of caramel mixed with a touch of spice. All in all, its the hops that combine very well to make a very appetizing aroma.

T: Well I wish I could say this was as big and impressive as the nose, but it is close. The pine and floral hops flavors are there, mixing wonderfully and making a great flavor for sure. Sadly, they aren't very bitter or powerful though. They are very easily balanced by a light roasted caramel malt presence, leaving me with an almost creamy flavor in the aftertaste. Its very interesting and simple. Good but not mind blowing. Kudos for getting the balance almost right on though.

M: Medium in body with a pretty heavy creamy presence and feel. Almost pillowy at times. Not at all expected. Carbonation is low for what I was expecting, more of a Scotch Ale than an American Red. They do cover this on the bottle but it only really comes across in the feel, which is slight confusing considering the flavor and aroma profile. Aftertaste is a bit of caramel and cream.

D: Its very easy drinking and I am glad I got the chance to give it a go. The bad part is that it just didn't live up to what I expect from what is supposed to be a hoppy red. The aroma is spot on for me but the flavor is just too balanced for me at times. Still very good and an interesting take on the style that shakes it up a bit. Very enjoyable.

Photo of BigMike
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark red with orange highlights. Thick and creamy two finger head with a good deal of lacing.
Smell is of roasted malts and caramel. A little dried fruit and some pineapple.
Lots of roasted malty goodness on this one. As a hophead this one could use a bit more hop bitterness. Overall it's a tAsty red ale.
Mouthfeel is thick and rich and smooth and creamy at the same time.
I like this ale alot. Bear republic is becoming one of my favorite brewers.

Photo of jneiswender
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer as part of a flight of samples at the Healdsburg, California restaurant. From tap and in 3oz sample glasses.

A-dark amber body with a thick beige head

S-smoky with a sweet malt smell as well

T-smoke, sweet malt with some medicinal hop flavor at the end


D-I think that the smoky malt throws me off. Otherwise this is a really good beer.

Photo of velosuds
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Single purchased at local health food store for $1.69.

A-Pours a gorgeous deep amber. Reminiscent of a shiny chestnut. One finger, off-white head with average retention and modest lacing. A beautiful appearing beer.

S-Aggressive hops and toasted caramel malts.

T-Hops are aggressive without being overpowering. Nice malt backbone in finish.

M-Very smooth and extremely well balanced, yet complex.

D-Very nice for an amber ale. So smooth. 6.8% ABV is nicely masked.

Not sure what they mean by bastardized Scottish red ale (I suspect it's the hops), but it works for me. Not my favorite style, but a very nice offering, yet again, from Bear Republic. They make great beers, available, at least in Oregon, for a very fair price.

Photo of wheatyweiss
4.71/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into an imperial.

Pours an impressive ruby to deep copper. Immense head laces the glass with sticky webs and recedes very slowly. Nice looking brew.

Aroma is of hops, sweetness and bready malt. Floral hops dominate the nose.

Flavor is sweet malt on the front Malt is earthy and slightly smokey. Intensly sweet, this is a malt monster. Hops are in the middle and lend to bittering quite well. Finishes sweet and earthy again with a touch of peat smoke? This is like a good scotch ale and a good hoppy red mixed together.

Mouthfeel is heavy bodied and full, chewy and substantial from the malt. Carbonation is soft and adequate.

Wow, I love scotch ales and I love hops and this beer in the twain does meet, and meet well. This is a creative beer that is delicious and highly reccomended.

Bear Republic is impressing the hell out of me every time I get one of their beers.

Get some now

Photo of cullen0013
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz. bottle into Nonic.

Pours a deep red color with brownish hue. Hints of hops and rye on the nose. Taste isn't too big, it's just potent enough and is absolutely delicious. Has just the right amount of carbonation which effervesces on your tongue and throat as it goes down. Higher than average ABV, but still very sessionable in my humble opinion.

Photo of cvaypai
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle to tumbler.

Appearance - Deep dark crimson, beautiful looking beer, Can see right through it. Poured with only a thin layer of head covering the top that went away fast, no lacing.

Smell - Totally bready and caramel, smells almost like a quad to me. I pick up traces of the hops and alcohol but its not bad.

Taste - Tastes like it smells, very bready, and lots of chocolate and caramel flavors. I did not pick up the chocolate in the nose but its here in the mouth. Nice bitter afterwards with a chase of citric hops. This beer tastes great.

Mouthfeel - A bit overcarbonated but makes it up with a smooth front and bitter bited end. Pretty good.

Drinkability - Only 1 or 2 of these for me, this is a great beer though.

Photo of Bigfatbino
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A = Nice and dark opaqueness. good thick head, long lasting, and left plentiful and intricate lacing in the glass

S = flowery and grainy, with some alcohol smell. smells "dirty" but in a good way

T = Roasted flavors, nice hefty bite of hoppiness and bitter, but not overpowering. Hits the tongue receptors in several spots.

M= perfect. Thick and resiny on the tongue, but with plenty of tingle from persistent tiny bubbles. Still bubbles on the way down.

D = This one is versatile, even though it has a strong flavor, its still a good beer for many occasions. I will probably add this to my favorites list.

Photo of Vengeance526
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark mahogany color with ruby highlights with a 1 finger tan head that has decent retention and leaves a lot of nice lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malt along with a refreshing floral and lightly piney hop aroma.

Taste starts off a little bready with some distinct caramel notes. The hops begin to make their appearance, floral and citrusy upfront but with a lingering taste of pine in the finish.

Medium bodied with just the right amount of carbonation. This was very well balanced between the malt and hops and amde for an enjoyable and refreshing treat. Another impressive offering from BR.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz fresh bottle poured into a regular kitchen glass, have not had this in a while.

A- Red Rocket is a dirty ruby red color with some sediment seen floating. A kind of muddled appearence making it hard to see through. A nicely built tan head reached 1 1/2 inches above the liquid & stuck around a bit before leaving a nice skim, low amounts of lace.

S- Malts are up front with the hops trailing which I thought would be vice versa. Caramel and fresh bread from the malts, citrus and some earthy scents from the hops. Some grain hiding in the background, no alcohol.

T- And the malts win here again with a big caramel sweetness and some hops adding to the overall taste. The hops give off slight citrus and pine but not bitter. The malts give off big bread and bisquit flavors, yeasty. Really not much else going on as this is a simple style but it's a great representation of a red ale.

M&D- The mouth on this is nice with a medium feel and a bit of carb which I think works perfectly. The ABV is 6.8% which is a bit higher than most reds but the alcohol is completely hidden. I would knock back 1/2 a sixer easily. This is good stuff, get some.

Photo of andrewm190
4.88/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Perhaps the best ale I have ever had, fully rejuvenating my faith in ales. Compliments a pizza perfectly on a warm summer day. Aside from the clever name, this beer delivers everything. Crisp taste that sits beautifully on the palette; I really don't think I have had a better ale. This is the first Bear Republic beer I have had, and I have to say, I'm fully prepared to taste everything else they make. Based on the Red Rocket, they might rival some of the other powerhouses, like Stone et al.

Photo of Florida9
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear red-brown in color with about a finger's worth of light tan head. Minimal lacing.

S: Some malt and some hops. Aroma is muted.

T: Very nice. Roasted malts with a decent bitter hop finish.

M: Medium body with appropriate carbonation.

D: Unfortunately, my notes on this one weren't that great, but I can say this is a good beer. Malts are certainly on center stage, but that is appropriate for the style and I am not suggesting this is an overly malty beer, as it is not.

Photo of Buggies
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep dark reddish brown. Think fluffy tan head with thick blotchy lacing. Many chunks and floaters.

S: Sweet malty goodness. Nice amount of floral hop aroma. Caramel and chocolate there too.

T: Dam this is good. Nice sweetness with roasted malt. Caramel and chocolate. Nice little bitter bite on the finish. Dam just good.

This has to be one of the best tasting beers I've tried in awhile.

Photo of bmwats
4.01/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22 oz bottle into an imperial nonic.

A: Dark brown to black. Pours into a 3 finger, frothy, off-white head. Little craters form as it slowly settles, leaving sticky lacing behind as it does. Substantial lacing remains. Head never fully deteriorates, and renews on the re-pour.

S: Syrupy sweet malt, nuts, raisin, and molasses. Has kind of a woody tone.

T: Bitter, roasted malt, pecan shells.

M: Thick, rich, and syrupy. Bitter aftertaste.

D: Pretty solid beer. But you gotta' sip it.

Good atmosphere. Great appearance, and some subtle complexities in the nose. Flavor, not so complex, but full. Really hearty, full bodied brew. Overall, this is a pretty solid quaff.

(Reviewed 7.12.09)

Photo of jkrich
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with no freshness date.

Poured an opaque, reddish, brown color with ruby highlights when held up to the light. There was a off-white small head that receded quickly leaving minimal lacing.

Upon opening the bottle, I got an initial sweet, caramel malty aroma which was complimented by spicy hop aromas. The label states this is a "bastardized Scottish style red ale" and the odor certainly proves that.

The first sip brought forward the hop bitterness which also lingers on the tongue, while hints of faint caramel malts are also evident. As the ale warms, it becomes more balanced. The flavor is also somewhat roasty.

Not overly carbonated and medium bodied with a slight abrasive hoppiness on the tongue; creamy mouthfeel.

This is certainly the most aggresively hopped amber ale or "bastardized Scottish" style I have tried. This is typical of this brewery. It is well worth trying. At 6.8 ABV and the very strong flavors, this may not be the ideal session ale. It is very flavorful, none the less.

Photo of projectflam86
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep ruby amber color with a thick off white head. Some lacing.

S- A fair amount of floral and citrus hops with a strong malt sweetness.

T- Nice initial bitterness of citrus (orange, grapefruit) and floral hops. A nice amount of sweet malt flavors and grain finish smooth.

M- Medium/light bodied with nice carbonation. Balanced and smooth.

D- Overall a very solid sessionable Amber Ale.

Photo of JAA
4.11/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, this is a dark ass red ale. Sediment floats at the bottom and mid-point of SA Boston Lager upside down bowling pin glass. Creamy cream colored head thinly lays on top of the almost brown body. Red highlights are very noticeable. Laces phenomenally.

I couldn't smell much until it warmed and opened up. Smell a little grain like, along with some lemon zest. Robust coffee along with some sweet toffee. Very nice.

Taste is very well balanced. Very bready with the toasted malt character providing a firm backbone to the copious amount of hops used in this wonderful Amber ale. That Bear Republic "house taste" is very noticeable in this brew along with all the other stuff of their's that i received in this great trade with Scot. Okay, i was stalling, waiting for it to warm up a bit. As it warms the caramel comes through along with a boozeyness that warms the throat. Lemon peel in the finish. Aftertaste is a little piney.

Mouthfeel is slightly creamy but very spicy and bitter. A big, impressive, mouth filling, behemoth brew.

This, like all the other Bear Republic beers i've had the pleasure of trying, is due to the generosity of BlueOkie. All of these beers would sell quite well if they were distributed here in Florida. I would love to see them in sixers on Total Wine shelves up and down the sun coast.

A hearty beer i would love on those slightly chilly winter nights in Florida.

Photo of IronCitySteve
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on cask at Sharp's Edge in Swissvale.

A: A nice dark redish brown color, with a really thick creamy off-white foam head. Great retention.

S: Lots of caramel and bready malts with a great balance of citrus hops.

T: This one really hit the taste buds right away. The balance is great between malt and hops. Big flavors of biscuit, bread and caramel blend well with the citrus hops.

M: A well balanced beer. Left a nice creamy taste with just a twinge of bitterness on the palate.

D: While not a sessionable beer, still one of the best Amber Ale's I have tried. Another great offering from Bear Republic.

Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.8/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Translucent body with a dark red color and a haze of yeast from bottle conditioning. The head is a tan color, very tight, big, and leaves alot of sticky lace. Visually stunning beer.

S- The smell has a crisp, herbal bite of hops in front along with some smells of cinnamon, apple, and gingerbread.

T- Bitter to begin and slowly becomes more mellow and sweet. Very complex all the way throughout with an intense hop character of herbs and spice.

M- Smooth body with foamy carbonation

D- Truly a special beer, there is no replacement.

Photo of nomomentwasted
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was my style prep for the Stone 13th Anniversary, which I am having in 24 hours. I had Killian's yesterday and this today, so Stone's Red is next up. Had a bomber poured into a pint glass fresh from the local BevMo.

Appearance: Deep brown hue in standard light with just a hint of red, but when held to the light the red coloration really shines through. The head was fairly large with a beautiful unfiltered look to some of it, and laced nicely as it clung to all sides of the glass.

Smell: A little softer than I was hoping, but still had nice notes of malt and rye, with a little floral hop on the end. Nothing fantastic, but a pleasant enough nose.

Taste: First thing I though when I sipped was a nutty kind of flavor, with some bitterness up front smoothly riding away to finish malty and with rye notes. Not the most complex beer I've ever had, but considering my lack of depth and experience with Reds, chalk that up to what you will.

Mouthfeel: Tasty and creamy, with nice amounts of carbonation and feels like it laces the mouth the same way it did the glass. Equal parts rough with the bitter bite and smooth with the finish.

Drinkability: Finished the bomber faster than I would normally, and wanted another after it was tapped out. It is a little filling I'd imagine with much more (I did have it with dinner so tough to say) but went really well with some barbecue. Overall, solid and enjoyable red with not too much bitterness or complexity, but tasty and with a clean finish.

Photo of BitterPachyderm
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to nyrangerfan...22 oz. bomber(4/1/09) poured into my SN pint glass.

Thick and creamy four fingers of tan-creme head. Very sticky and rocky, with awesome lacing. Deep ruby body with some amber highlights. Very dark and awe-inspiring!

Spicy hops up front with a strong malt backbone. Some citrus sneaking in, which gives way to some sweet and piney notes. Quite peppery for the style...a definite nostril burner.

Toned down piney notes, followed by the strong malt profile. Muted notes of spicy hops with some grapefruit in the background. There's some smoke and wood in here, you just have to search for it. Bitter finish...complex, but a bit too much for the style...lots of citrus noticed in the finish.

Perfection with the carbonation...smooth and creamy all the way down.

No alcohol presented and pretty smooth throughout...no real offensive flavors. Quite quaffable...

Pretty damn complex for the style, and an all around great beer. It's like a citrusy, yet subdued, barleywine. Definitely drink this Bear as fresh as possible.

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Red Rocket Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,457 ratings.