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Red Rocket Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Red Rocket AleRed Rocket Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,425 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,425
Reviews: 1,143
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 10.86%
Wants: 122
Gots: 166 | 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: 2,425 | Reviews: 1,143 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DoubleJ
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Let's just get to the beer:

Poured hard into a pint glass, the beer shines a deep copper color in the glass with a marvelous thick head. There's a good amount of hops in the aroma with some caramel tagging along. You like a bitter hoppy red ale? Then this would be a good pick. It's back and forth between the hops and the malt in this one. Hops are piney, malts bring caramel, burnt sugar, and faded biscuit notes. There's even a fruity note. This ale is medium-full bodied with a surprising drinkability.

What a great treat. I drank this at cellar temperature and was rewarded.

Photo of EStreet20
4.51/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

BEAR REPUBLIC!!! Cheers for another great brewery hitting the Garden State.

22 ounce bomber, 20 ounce nonic.

A - This beer pours to a nice inviting look. Deep reddish brown glows red when held to light. Tan head occupies the space above the ridge in the nonic glass, and begins lacing as soon as the head begins to subside. The head only subsides slightly, and sticks around throughout the drink. Tons of lacing in rings around my pint glass.

S - Very nice sugary, caramelly malt smell with some hop aroma.

T - Where to start here. Hops are present initially, but give way to sweet caramel flavors. Tiny hints of roastiness (almost like a roasty brown) before a surge of hop bitterness. The brew finishes with a hop bitterness, and an aftertaste that leaves you wanting more.

M - A nice smooth, medium/full body.

D - A very interesting flavorful red.

Notes: This is a great brew for many reasons. Bottle calls it a bastardized Scottish Style Ale. This brew shows me the diversity of American Ambers, especially those one would call "Imperial Amber", perfectly. Case in point, lately I've been drinking Nugget Nectar. This brew is categorized the same, but showcases entirely different flavors. Still, the idea is the same; it's an aggresively hopped stronger American Amber/Red Ale. Where NN goes more toward the fruity flavors and citrus hops. This beer brings out the dark, caramel malts and hop bitterness. Very nice overall.

Photo of marcpal
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pint poured on tap at bartender suggestion.

A: Crimson/brown with a thin khaki head that stayed short through the beer. Nice lacing.

S: Some malt and fruit but dominated by flavorful hop aroma.

T: Hops right up front, much more than I had expected. Terrific beer in terms of bitter taste, had more of a feel to me of an imperial red. A pleasure to drink.

M: Hop texture with some carbonation. No burn whatsoever.

D: Incredibly drinkable and the abv to match. Ive been nothing but impressed by Bear Republic and this one was right there with the others.

Photo of ojclark
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Subtle hoppy, malty aroma. Poured with a very thick light beige head that lingered a while. Deep reddish brown color that was dark, but translucent.

Roasted, caramel malt flavor offset by a restrained hoppiness. Pleasant aftertase was a good blend of the flavor characteristics.

Fairly rich, well-carbonated mouthfeel bordering on creamy due to the fine carbonation.

Overall, a very nice beer: a balanced and rich amped-up red ale.

Photo of BeerSox
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber into nonic.

Deep slight hazy red hues that border almost on brown. A thick and dense tan head slowly settles to a thin cap, leaving behind a solid wall of lacing. As the head settles, it creates a pillowy pattern, like the top of benign cloud from above. Solid lacing down the glass.

The aroma consists of burnt caramel and a bit of mild raisin. There is a touch of citrusy hop aroma.

Very grainy and slightly burnt flavors, with a little bit of roasty coffee in there. Some sweet caramel offests this, as well as the slightly bitter hops flavor. Full bodied. The finish is a bit of lingering grain and bitter hops.

This one is on the darker side of the style, along with sweeter aromas and a little more complexity in the flavor compared to lighter beers in the style. This is a great beer to enjoy. Recommended.

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

22oz bomber poured into a pint

Crystal clear mahogany with tons of carbonation. A nice easy pour yielded a small off-white head with nice staying power and lacing.

A beautiful balance of hops and malts here. Smells of toasted caramel and clean, ripe grapefruit in perfect symmetry.

This is a really clean red ale. A bit on the hoppy side for the average person, but not for me. A nice rush of caramel followed by a wave of grapefruit bitterness that coats the mouth and lingers a bit.

Medium bodied and a bit on the creamy side, very easy going.

I would have thought this was a little easier to drink, being only 6.8%, but it drinks a lot heavier. It might be the hops catching up to me, I'm not sure.

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

22 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Ours a beautiful red mohagny with about 1 inch white head that recedes fairly quickly, but leaves behind a nice thick lacing.

S: Citrusy, fruity hops, grapefruit sent really comes through, also a bit of piney hops and the sweet caramel malt also comes through.

T: Bitter grapefruit and piney hops up front, but the sweet caramel malt provides a nice balance. Bit of toasty malt and breadyness from the yeast.

M: Medium body and carbonation, creamy and bit of hop oil in the mouthfeel.

D: Extremely tasty with a great balance. One of the best ambers i have. A little extra hops from what is typical, but is pulled off wonderfully.

Photo of goindownsouth
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed von Fass at Barley's Taproom in Greenville, South Carolina on 02.09.08...

Thick and pillowy head with amazingly sticky lace along the side of the glass. Brilliant red-brown hue that looks almost ruby in the light. Aromas of amazing citrusy hops and good malt balance come through quickly. Smooth and well-carbonated, the pleasant bitterness lingered for a good while on the palate while the toasty malt goodness played a good two-step. The alcohol was very well hidden, but still, as this one is so easily quaffable, it can sneak up on you and knock you in the chops.

While red ales are generally not my bag, this one makes me rethink that. Yet another stellar, stellar brew from Bear Republic!

Photo of dsa7783
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 Pint, 6 fl oz bottle copped from Gary's in Madison for $4.99... Pours an attractive dark-brown, mahogany hue with a tan, reddish, frothy head that soon dissipated... Nice aroma full of hops, slight caramel, subtle vanilla... smell is persuasive and pleasing without being too cloying or overwhelming... taste strongly complements the nose, with a bittersweet, vanilla and slight caramel essence... this beer seems very well balanced with a combination of slight malts and nice hops... Very clean, clear, crisp, lucid taste... very pleasing, not overwhelming, and easily drinkable with the 6.8% ABV hardly noticable... My first brew from Bear Republic, and I must say that I was impressed with this sample... Recommended to me by an employee from Gary's, I was glad I took his advice to try this one... a very good depiction of the style... Logo sticker claims that, "Red Rocket Ale is a bastardized Scottish style red ale..."... Recommended...

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

The beer poured a dark red with a thick, smooth, creamy head into a pint glass. The smell was of fresh, piney hops. The initial flavor was of hops, and stayed all the way through the swallow - a wonderfully hoppy ale, with just enough malt sweetness to not be too overpowering in the bitterness department. The carbonation was good, and there was thick Brussel's lace down the glass at the end of the pint. I think I like this more than Racer 5.

Photo of ccrida
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic, Red Rocket is dark, hazy chestnut with a modest, olive tinged ivory head that leaves pretty heavy lace. Served at cellar temp.

Smell is on the softer side, earthy, spicy hops and a touch of brown sugar.

Taste is pretty nice, malty but not sweet, but with a firm noble hop spice, a bastardized scotch ale for sure. A slight touch of citrus on the spicy, lingering finish, the ABV is not to well hidden.

Mouthfeel is on the thinner side, but with medium-heavy body.

Drinkability is average. A bit different but nothing too exciting.

Photo of explosivebeer
3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This slightly creamy red ale has a great head that actually has persistent structure, almost like a head on a root beer float. Unfortunately, it blocks a lot of the aroma, at least until you drink it down. The color is a deep brownish red. This beer has an excellent balance of malts and hops, with lots of flavor and a nice smooth finish. This is the first beer I'd tried from Bear Republic but I'll be keeping my eye out for other offerings.

Photo of dedrinker
4.19/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown with red tints. Aroma of roasted and caramel malts and hops. Flavor is caramel, dry roasted malt, and hop bitter more dominant than aroma or flavor. Juicy malt middle, and a chewy mouth feel lead to a hop-dominated malty finish. Sometimes on tap it is truly divine - perfect balance of west coast hops and chewy caramel malt.

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

There is a pretty sweet rocket design on the label, which also informs me that this is a bastardized and aggressively hopped scottish style red. This brew blasts off with a big, billowing, light oragne-wheat head atop the rasberry-amber colored brew. Patches of sticky lace dust the edges of my glass. The nose is the sweetest citrusy oranges blended with sweet, toasted, caramel malts. These carry straight through to the taste where an INCREDIBLE balance of sweet citrus and caramel, light toasted biscuits, and earthy-pine hop bitterness spark the taste buds. Mouthfeel is medium with just a touch of alcohol heaviness pulling it towards full. Big billowing carbonation keeps Red Rocket creamy and fresh. Dare I say out of this world? Okay, enough already. Corny review of a very good brew. Definitely one of the best of the style.

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

Got a nice think light tan and fluffy head that covered a dark amber unfiltered body filled with very little carbonation; its got some really good lacing too It has a very sweet and mildly citrusy aroma with some roasted malts and a mild hint of alcohol as well. Its pretty smooth with a good kick of hops and some malts, it has a slightly bitter aftertaste that just dwindles in your mouth for a bit, this is a very good beer to drink.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, served in a pint glass.

A - hazy, brown color with a fairly small tan head that quickly fell to a layer, leaving a good amount of lace on the glass.

S - mostly a citrus hop aroma, with a slight roasted malt smell.

T - sharp hop bites at first, malty flavor comes through only to finish dry and bitter. A bit heavy on the hop side, but malty balance is there. Good Beer!

M - medium bodied with light carbonation feel.

D - I could easily drink a few of these over the course of an evening.

Final Note: this is a good beer at a reasonable price, as are most Bear Republic brews.

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

Red Rocket Ale is a beautiful dark brown-red color with abundant head. The aroma is plentiful in maltiness and hops. The flavor is full and rich with abundant caramel malt. Hops are present from beginning to end. Finish and mouthfeel are strong. Red Rocket is beautifully balanced and flavorful. It's hard to imagine a better red ale than this one from Bear Republic.

Photo of number1bum
4.57/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The bomber pours a dark reddisih copper color with a huge, rocky light beige head. Head retention is very good, leaving a thick lace and a good amount of stick.

Smells of very fresh, aromatic, and juicy fruity hops. Grapefruit and tangerine, and some pine for good measure. Yeah sure there's some malt there too...but who cares those hops smell fantastic.

Taste is also super juicy and fruity. It's just dripping of hop goodness...grapefruit flavor is awesome, and overall the hops are all flavor here with only minimal bitterness, which comes on at the end. There's a good level of malt sweetness there, and it provides a nice balance. It has a little toasty flavor to it, too. Mmm.

Good medium body, with an appropriate amount of carbonation. Nice creaminess to it, too.

Man this is a damn fine beer. So tasty I could drink it all night. I hope I see this on tap soon now that it's in PA.

Photo of jtrockchalk
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into Sam Adams glass. Thanks to Intrique Ken for this one.

Deep rich mahogany red with a thick two finger head that recedes rather quickly leaving a nice lacing behind.

Pine is the dominant smell, but after that the malts are predominant over other hop scents. Breadiness and caramel are noted.

This beer rocks. This is what I've always wanted Blvd. Irish Ale to become. Perfect balance of malt and hops doesn't leave you wanting for more of either. Beers like this are why I love Reds and why the "imperial red" category needs to be created.

Medium body and carbonation provide a very good mouth feel that partners well with the taste.

One I could drink often and often. Hope BR gets to MO/KS someday soon, so this can be more easily had.

Photo of Risser09
4.63/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner - 2007 bottling - cellar temp

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with orange highlights. Bubbles stream to the surface. A 2.5" head is created and has a tan color to it. This beer has the best retention I have ever seen. Cakey and craterous, the head coats the side of the glass with lace. When you take a sip of beer, a cavern is cut into the head, so that there are cliffs that protrude out from the lacing at the side of the glass. The same phenomenon occurs when you pour more beer into the glass. It's bulbous! Spectacular.

Smell: Generously hoppy. Sweet floral hop aromamixes well with a sugary maltiness. Aromas of grapefruit, honeysuckle, pine and lemon.

Taste: Hop bitterness is the prevailing taste. There is also a roasted malt profile that adds to the bitterness. Sugary red licorice, cherry and strawberry add to the flavor spectrum.

Mouthfeel: Bitter from both the malt and hops. Medium bodied with medium carbonation. A unique blend of malty sugars and hop bitterness. A bastard for sure.

Drinkability: This one is awesome. It hits on all levels. Also an absolute steal at $4.04 for a 22oz. bottle. This would be a top 100 beer if it carried more hype. Bear Republic continues to impress me with its hoppy renditions of an IPA. Well worth seeking out and trying.

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

Ummm....is this really a red/amber ale? I'm pretty sure it's a red colored IPA, myself.

Pours a more amber than red hue. Couple inch white head. Not particularly carbonated, but nice hop-juicy mouthfeel.

Smells like pine hops. And that's about it. Flavor is much the same. Big pine and grapefruit hoppiness. Maybe a hint, just a hint, of malt/fruit sweetness. It's so scarce, I'm not even sure if I'm tasting a sweeter fruit (maybe orange?) or if it's just caramel malt.

Tough beer to grade. If I had wanted to start my NFL viewing with an IPA, I would have. This beer is deliciously hoppy and bitter, but I expect more balance from a Red Ale. I suppose since the bottle basically says "super hopped" on it, I won't knock it down for that reason, but it still wouldn't be one of my favorite IPAs.

I'm starting to think I'm just not a big Bear Republic fan.

Photo of sawyer776
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A wonderful beer. My personal drink of choice to finish an evening when I don't have the time to head into the city to get a smaller craft beer or the money to shell out for Chimay.

It was the first American beer I ever tried, and I was deeply disappointed to find that all American brews aren't like it. It claims to be a "Scottish Style" ale: it isn't, but that doesn't mean it isn't great.

The color is a bit red, but not so much you'd notice if you weren't looking for it. The head is nice as well, but doesn't stand up to a true great.

It advertises "aggressive hopping" on the bottle. I suppose that's an apt term, but it isn't offensive, and it doesn't feel like they are just trying to show off. It's one of the more bitter American beers I've tried, but there is a richness that goes along with it to take the edge off. Many "x-treme" beers focus exclusively on the hops, leaving a sort of soapy water taste: that problem is not present here. There's malt and toast and a host of other cliches.

The mouthfeel, unfortunately, is not as thick as I feel it should be. Nothing wrong with it, but I'd rather a more viscous feel to compliment the full taste. The carbonation is a perfect level, and an ideal compliment to the bitterness.

It's more than I'd like in a session beer. The alcohol is a little too high (and I notice it every time), for one, and I also find the taste a little strong for casual drinking. I drink it with Indian food; nobody else likes the pairing, so I might be a little strange here, but the flavours work for me. I also generally finish a night with a bottle of the stuff as I enjoy the lingering taste and the alcohol pads you out for the last hour or two of the party.

All in all, a personal favorite that's relatively cheap and relatively easy to find.

Photo of kosmoraios
4.78/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Reviewing this ale for the style as best I can. Third offering I've had from Bear Republic, and by far the best. I've got to give this one high marks.

Bottle has 01/07 imprinted on the glass. I believe this is the best-by date, so I think this one has been "aged" properly.

A - Pours a gorgeous mahogany color with a 1-finger high, off-white, thick, bumpy head that lingers for a good while and leaves thick lines of lacing. Carbonation bubbles are visible, as are very small chunks of yeast.

S - Sweet caramel, cashew-nutty yeast, piney and citrussy hops. Enticing aroma.

T - Amazing. For an American Amber ale, this is the best I've ever tried. There's spicy, piney hops. Perfect citrus (grapefruit, tangelo) flavor on top of a subtly sweet caramel and red apple. A tiny hint of toastiness in the malt flavor. A light macadamia or cashew nutty undertone from the yeast used in bottle-conditioning. Amazingly complex - as it warms, myriad flavors emerge.

M - Good mouthfeel. A wee bit oily and ever-so-slightly undercarbonated, but the aftertaste is pleasant and stays on the tongue.

D - An excellently drinkable beer! Wonderful for sessions. Good in the summer or the winter.

Major kudos to Bear Republic. I'll be sure to try more of their offerings.

Photo of Biscuit033
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Mahogany With dense one finger light cream head with moderate lacing.

S: Heavy nose of citus mainly grapefruit, grass, and some metallic hints. Also some red fruits and maybe a bit of strawberry.

T: Bitter grapefruit and sweet strawberry. You can feel a bit of maltiness but the bitterness quickly wipes it out.

M: Fizzy bubbles that become a bit creamy and a crisp bitter finish.

D: If you are a hop head this is a red ale for you. It is not too hard to drink for something that is this aggressively hopped and at this ABV. I would have like it to have more malts to back up the hops but very good none the less.

Photo of BeerDetective
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I found this to be a nice Amber Ale, the appearance was a nice caramel color, very well balanced aroma of malt and hops. I really liked the taste, it had for me at least, a nice caramel backbone to balance out the other flavors typical of this style. I did find the mouth feel a little heavy for me though. All in all, a nice beer I plan to have again!

Red Rocket Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,425 ratings.