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Red Rocket Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Red Rocket AleRed Rocket Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,456 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,456
Reviews: 1,152
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 10.86%
Wants: 126
Gots: 183 | 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: 2,456 | Reviews: 1,152
Photo of cvstrickland
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The 12-ounce bottle poured into a large tulip glass yields a sparkling-clear dark ruby body capped with two fingers of pale beige, fine-bubbled foam. The cap slowly deflates into sticky rockiness, leaving sheets of lacing stuck to the glass.

The smell is sweetly fruity with a mild bit of pomegranate juice-laced pale maltiness. A twinkle of spice and a hefty citrusy hop presence makes my mouth water.

The taste is malty-sweet with a dash of fruitiness. I'm noticing that Red Rocket, Hop Rod Rye, and Black Bear Stout all share a similar, distinctive flavor, and I wonder if it's some specialty malt, or their house-brand yeast, or what, but the good news is, whatever the flavor is, it's pretty damned wonderful. A stiff hop bitterness rules the aftertaste and a touch of tart astringent hop oil lightly puckers the cheeks.

The drink is juicy and succulent with a fullish body and fluffy, creamy carbonation. Highly drinkable.

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

Dark red pour with a light tan head which leaves nice lacing on the glass.
Hops dominate the aroma with some
Hops are the most prominent feature in the taste, with an underpinning of sweet malt as a counterpoint to the bitterness. As the beer warms it becomes more balanced between bitter and sweet and the flavors meld so that it becomes difficult to separate them.
Slightly oily syrupy feel in the mouth.
Easy to drink, just a tad strong for a session, but a couple of these would do just fine.
Glad to see these west coast beers making into NC. My first experience with Bear Republic. It won't be the last.

Photo of hoplover82
4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I can't believe I've waited this long to try this. Thanks to my friend Jason for this one. He hooked it up for me when I couldn't get out of the house.

It pours a beautiful cloudy dark ruby red with a tan head of only one finger tall. The head dissapates quikly but leaves strong lacing in it's trails. The first pour is always different than the third, it gets a lot clearer and the head is two fingers now.

The aroma just after swirling the beer is strong with hops that give earthy, citrus, and a lot of floral notes all together. The hop aroma is very complex. As the head fades a little, the caramel and toffee malt notes start to play with the hops to make a scrumptious symphany.

The flavor is much like the aroma, but with a little soft but strong bitterness. No alcohol in the nose or flavor. Very hidden. Caramel and floral, earthy hops go together very well in this bold brew.

The mouthfeel is outstanding! Can't get any better that this. Smooth, full bodied, a little bit chewy, did I say smooth.... creamy, and just a wee little dry... It's great.

And very drinkable. I could have another Big Boy.

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

A: Pours thicker than I expected. Very dark red, topped by a pink tinted beige head. The head itself is creamy looking for the most part, with 3 large bubbles in the central area, surrounded by 3 or 4 medium bubbles, which in turn are surrounded by the meringue like remainder. If I didn't know what was poured, I would think this was a cherry beer.

S: A rich malty aroma. I wish I homebrewed more often, and was all grain, so that I would know what was what. Is this biscuit malt? I have no idea, but it smells good. Substantial hop aroma comes into play as well.

T: This beer is all about balance. A delicious, bitter citrus, and grassy hop flavor, is parried by the sweet, caramel malts. Toasty and warm, fruity and a bit smoky. They weren't kidding when, on the bottle, they say that this is a "bastardized Scottish style red ale packed with distinctive flavors and an aggressive hop character rivaled by none." They were right on the money. No noticeable alcohol.

M: I'm usually at a loss on this category, so I'll do the best I can. Good level of carbonation. Nothing to complain about. Somewhat chewy.

D: Ridiculously high. Almost too high. This is easily one of the more sessionable beers I've had in a very long time. If you're looking for an extreme beer, keep looking. If, however, you're looking for a well crafted, session beer, that you can savor, and linger in it's complexity, look no further.

Photo of Jablonski
3.84/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this bottle for a good deal at the local Calandros. Poured into a pint glass

Appearance: ruby-brown and is a bit hazy; lacing is great on sides of glass

Smell: almost entirely lacking; pine hops are faint

Taste: not repulsive at all, but it seems to be missing something; taste is bland until the piney hops finish

Drinkability: the 650 mL bottle was nice, and about all I wanted

Photo of LordHammer
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass (two doses).

A: Pours a clear, deep ruby with about 3/4 inch of off white head. Head lingers a while and then fades. Leaves some lacing on the glass as it goes down.

S: Mostly piney, citrusy hops with some sweet and roasted malt as well. Not stunning, but certainly pleasant.

T: Seems like a cross between an aggressive pale ale and a Scottish 60 shilling, as the label advertises. Leads with piney hops, stong but not overly bitter, then finishes with a distinct malt backbone, sweet and roasted at the same time. Really a pleasantly complex beer. As it warmed, I detected a bit of hot alcohol, which was not unpleasant.

M: Lightly carbonated, with a moderately heavy mouthfeel. Seemed about right for the size (6.8%) to me.

D: The one bomber is certainly the limit, mostly on the strength of the beer. The flavors are balanced enough that it would be possible to drink several if not for the inevitable stumbling and bumbling.

Photo of yesyouam
4.62/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Red Rocket is a deep rusty red ale that's a bit hazy. The head is gracious-- the color of coffee ice cream. It leaves sheets of foam on the glass. The aroma is loud and proud: Cascade hops, in all their grapefruit'n'pine glory. There is a light roastiness and something like fresh baked bread. Nuts and sour candy are in the nose. The hops pretty much dominate the aroma. It smells fresh. It is soft and foamy in the mouth. It starts with a billowy medium-full body and then turns the mouth dry and crispy at the end. It makes me take another swig. Man. This is loud and proud; bright and bitter. The hops are solid and juicy. It's really a lot like grapefruit juice. The malt lays low and emerges with an alcohol rumble at the end. It the thunder to the lightning hops in this beer. The bitterness is incredibly smooth. Damn fine. It's been so long since I've tasted this-- constant pitchers at Zeitgeist in SF back in the day! and it's been too long. It seems like a Double IPA to me, but I think that term is newer than the beer. Great example of the West Coast IPA-ish pale ale. This is heavy session ale. It will wreck your taste buds and your liver, but it will coddle you while it does so.
(rated Feb 8, 2008)

Photo of Gmann
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark amber brown color with a huge fluffy tan head that left some nice lacing as it settled. The aroma is of a sweet toasted malt with hints of red grapes; a bit vinous. The taste has a nice and smooth toasted malt, honey, and a grassy/earthy hop bitterness. I also pick up a touch of coffee, unexpected. Nice malt body with good carbonation, good balance between the sweet and bitter. This is a very good amber ale. I am not a big fan of the style but between this and Nugget Nectar they do the style some props. Red Rocket doesn't have the splendid hop profile like Nug Nectar but still is quite good.

Photo of magictrokini
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour is a cherry-wood red with a tan/white head. Aroma was a mix of hops, pine, and herbs. The taste is what this beer is all about. Big hoppy bite with an underbelly of malts and some honey/nutty flavors. I can easily say this brewer is becoming one of my favorites.

Photo of itcomesnpints
2.86/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A towering white head over the ruby liquid. Great retention and globby lacing. By far the highlight of this beer.

Smell is more hoppy than expected. And then...? MAYBE a hint of light malt. Smells like a pale ale.

Taste is bitter from the hops but is missing hop flavor...and then? Alcohol? Yeah that's about it.

Mouthfeel is over carbonated and excruciatingly dry.

This was a drain pour. Why all the hype? Bear Republic does amazing IPAs and Stouts, but this is just not enjoyable in the slightest. Maybe I got a bad bomber. Bummer.

Photo of lhaqq
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear ruby body and a good-sized long-lasting tan head.
S: Sweet malts, caramel, a little bit of citrusy hops.
T: Begins with a mix of a light smoky taste and sweet malts. Maybe some dark fruit in the middle. The taste finishes dominated by hoppy bitterness. Also, noticeable alcohol presence.
M: Wish it were a bit more carbonated, but other than that it is smooth, and the alcohol presence doesn't add a sting or anything bad.
D: Good, interesting beer that I think is pretty sessionable.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours a dark brown/dark amber with a thick, creamy light tan head. Aroma of sweet caramel malt, light fruits, and apple skins. Flavor is super malty with a bitter hops finish. Almost like a hoppy barleywine. Nice beer, enjoyable.
Aroma: 7/10
Appearance: 4/5
Flavor: 7/10
Palate: 4/5
Overall: 15/20

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

22oz bottle. Another beer I've had on multiple occasions and will stick with my original notes...

Poured dark copper color with an averaged sized off tan head. Aromas of caramel, with oranges, and some pine and very light grapefruit. Tastes of caramel, maple syrup, with pine and citrus.

Notes from 7/2/06

Photo of zeff80
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a burgundy color with golden highlights. It had a very foamy, tan, two finger head that left some narrow rings of lace.

S - It smelled very floral and grassy with a good roasted malt aroma.

T - It tasted very hoppy and spicy. There was a great roasted malt/burnt toast flavor to compliment the hops.

M - It was very crisp and sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is great; one of the hoppiest amber ales that I've ever had.

Photo of supercolter
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In my humble opinion, the best Amber Ale I've ever had. Appearance is nice copper color with small head and lots of lacing. Smell is great, lots of caramel tones, slightly sweet. Taste is even better, add a bit of hops and dry out the flavor. Mouthfeel is medium in body, lots of carbonation. Drinkability is excellent.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz picked up over the weekend in Portland.... poured into my New Belgium snifter.

2 finger darker tan head.... nice pillowy look... nice lace for the entire glass.. beautiful deep reddish with ruby tones... especially pretty when held to a light.

Aroma is a very nice balance of citric hops and toasted malts brought together by a medium caramel.. nose is damn near perfect.

Flavor is a fantastic mix of hops and malts... good amount of American C hops ... but even more resiny pine with caramel and toffee... some subtle cocoa and a fair amount of toasty malts. A little sweet .. but still well within style guides. the viscosity is also a little big for the style... but this is a very good beer and I am not complaining. Finish is long with the hops but plays well with a lingering toasty element.

Nice... I would certainly pick it up if I had it available.


Photo of donkeyrunner
4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Lets go! Ride to the mountains above. It's low, my big red rocket of love." - Reverend Horton Heat

Red Rocket (which I believe is also slang for dog penis) pours a huge 3 finger head that dissipates into a 1 finger head, hangs around for a while then finally floats on top and all around the glass. Awesome lacing. A dark amber color with ruby highlights.

Smells of hops, peat, roasted malt, and mild alcohol.

This is not a subtle brew. Citrus hops come to the front with malt and peat bitterness in the background. I've found this beer to be inconsistent over many tastings of many bottles and taps and sometimes the malt is way too sweet. When it's good however, it's really good.

Red Rocket is one of my new favs, this beer is almost perfect. Unfortunate about the name though.

Photo of Reagan1984
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I wish there was a different Style designation for beers like this. Some of my favorite beers are Red Ales with high hop character. They are so awesome and seem to me to be a perfect blend of nice Malt and insane Hops. This beer fits that description perfectly.

This poured from my 12 oz bottle with insane head formation. Three fingers high the thick substantial beige head formed and showed nice structure and resiliency. There was a great amount of lacing that remained. The beer itself was a deep dark amber color with ruby highlights. Slightly hazy though you could see a huge amount of suspended floaters in the beer. Perhaps my pour was a bit aggressive?

Aroma was fruity and floral with some dark roasted malt in the background. Right here between the aroma and taste is where I love these beers. The malt character seems to be fighting with the hops for center stage and we are the beneficiaries of their battle. Both aren't dialed up too much, but they still struggle to break through.

Flavor was excellent with a deep toffee/dark caramel flavor...just shy of burnt happening just before the floral/citrus nature of the hops take over. Towards the end the almost burnt nature of the roast malt mingle with the hop lingering effect. The result is fantastic.

Mouth feel is medium bodied with a bit of a dry finish. Is this due to the sediment?

Drinkability? - Damn, should have bought a bomber instead of a 12 oz bottle.

I'll be back!!

Photo of LordofTime25
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured to a deep ruby red with a off-white tan head that lasted most of the drink and left a little lacing!

Smells like wheat with a bitter smell! Also hint of Scotch?

Had a roasty taste with a slight bitterness!

Has a medium body with moderate dryness!

Not bad notmy first choice though!

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

A nice 22 ounce bottle I picked up while in Wisconsin.

This beer pours a dark reddish brown with off white head. The nose is floral and malty.

The taste is very nice with a good hop blend and nice malt with a little roasted flavor in the background. The beer is rather thick feeling and easy to drink. Very well done.

Photo of Hophead101
3.46/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

drank on 9.28.08. poured from bottle into wide mouth glass.

good looking beer, dark copper brown color, nice light tan head, dissipated quickly but left a nice small layer of bubbles on top. super malty smell. not sweet, a dark or caramel malt smell - very slight hop smell in there, almost a burnt carame smell.

taste had a huge chocolate caramel malt taste, slightly roasted, aggressive hops aren't really there, mostly just a hoppy aftertaste. nice well balanced mouthfeel. slightly dissapointed with this beer, maybe i have too high expectations for anything with Bear Republic on the label.

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

22oz bottle marked 020508X

Dark caramel red which looks very dark in the glass and shines ruby when held to the light. Big fluffy tan head and plenty of sticky lace.

Scent is grapefruit and citrus hops on toasted bread.

Taste is grapefruit hops atop a thick bready and toasty malt base. Very smooth with a lightly smoky spicy character that seems to linger on the mid-back of the tongue. Soft bitterness. Caramel and I'd swear there's a hint of molasses though it isn't really sweet. Terrifically satisfying.

Mouth is oily and nicely hefty.

Drinkability is fantastic.

Wow this is a delicious beer!

Photo of jdg204
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been on a good run with Bear Republic brews of late and the famous Red Rocket was next on the ol' list.

A: Pours with a stout-like latte head on top of a dark amber colored liquid. Great retention and lacing

S: Piney hops and caramel malt

T: Opens with a rich caramel malt backbone that is joined by bitter piney hops at mid-palate. After the swallow, the malt returns to more than balance out the hoppy flavors. Honestly, lacks a bit of sweetness to really make it awesome.

M: Medium to full bodied and creamy, with moderate carbonation.

D: A real good, rather easy drinking Amber Ale, very enjoyable. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit disappointed though, Racer 5 and Hop Rod set a pretty high standard. Still, another solid Bear Republic offering, I'll be looking forward to trying the Stout yet!

Photo of riored4v
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 8/4/08

Poured into a pint glass. Deep ruby red w/ off-white tan head that was about 1 finger thick.

Smell is weet with a mild bitterness. Hint of scotch and maybe butter.

Taste was roasty and coffee-like. Moderate amount of bitterness with a slight smokiness.

Mouthfeel was medium body w/moderate dryness.

Drinkability was moderate. Slightly to warm.

Interesting flavors and to me it really wasnt to sessionable. Overall, not my favorite from Bear Republic.

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another very impressive brew from Bear Republic...Is there anything these guys aren't good at? They are quickly climbing my ladder of favorite breweries

A: Pours a deep brown with a distinctly red hue. The beer looks slightly thick as it pours extremely smoothly into my pint glass and leaves a thin film of bubbles that lace all the way down the glass.

S: Smell is pretty light, but floral hops dominate the nose. I can also detect some hints of caramel malt.

T: The caramel develops nicely in the mouth as the brew moves across the palate. Cascade hops sit on the tongue after the swallow.

M/D: Despite the slightly thick look of the beer as it pours, its a medium-bodied ale that is really smooth on the finish. Up front, there is a slight bite of carbonation. The flavor and texture make this a very drinkable beer.

Even though red ales aren't my favorite style, this beer really impressed me.

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Red Rocket Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,456 ratings.