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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.

2,322 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,322
Reviews: 1,136
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 109
Gots: 131 | 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: 2,322 | Reviews: 1,136 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mark
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have always loved this beer and others by Bear Republic, I consider them one of the best micro breweries in California. I jumped at the chance to have this baby cask conditioned. The deep amber body was topped by a thick tan head that just coated the glass with lace. Aroma was strong of hops. Slightly smoother than the draft or bottled version, but then that's the signature of real cask ale. Full bodied yet totally drinkable, perfect for the rainy day I had it on. I just knew the cask version of this outstanding "bastardized Scottish ale" would be even better than bottled or draft. If you are ever at their pub and this is on cask, get it.

Mark, Dec 24, 2005
Photo of spazaru
3.13/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

First, let me say that Hop Rod Rye is one of my favorite beers, so I definitely appreciate Bear Republic. But sometimes, I don't need such a strong brew, so I thought I'd try the Red Rocket.

Hate to say it, but I was disappointed. I love amber/red ales and this one just didn't have much going on in my opinion. As far as California amber/reds go, I find Ballast Point Calico Amber to be FAR superior to this one.

I opened this one and could smell next to nothing. Then the flavor was fine, but nothing special. It was just there. Not a bad beer by any means, but just underwhelming. I thought with as much flavor as Bear Republic's other offerings have, that this one would blow me away, but no such luck.

As I said, not bad, but nothing I would rush to buy again.

spazaru, Dec 18, 2005
Photo of Lnedrive14
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a damn fine beer - probably the best American red that I've had. Pours a deep mahagony with a touch of garnet that's gone through the tumbler a few times. Smell of raw citrus and hops. The two smells blend together nicely - much better than many IPA's I've had recently. The taste mirrors - smooth hops intertwined with a subtle citrus. Coriander, caramel, and roasted barley are the finish. An amazingly drinkable brew. I think the alcohol was the perfect level. Too much more would have been overbearing. A great brew that I would like to drink again and again.

Lnedrive14, Dec 13, 2005
Photo of mitchfor3
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a bomber.

Looks hazy and dark, but oh so inviting - look at that creamy off-white head - seems like it will stick to anything!

Huge aroma - could smell it the second I cracked the cap and it smells goood!

This beer could not get any fuller for the style - just bursting with flavor, perfectly balanced, complex enough for the style, and just downright delicious. High ABV for an amber is barely noticable amidst all the flavor in this beer - for a moment I thought I'd found a delicious session brew until I realized the near 7%!

This is another top notch brew from Bear Republic. They really do know their stuff!

mitchfor3, Dec 13, 2005
Photo of BillyB
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very deep, rich amber beer. It pours a dark red/amber to brownish color with ruby highlights when held up to the light. Thick frothy white to off-white head. Sweet malty and piney hop aromatics. Great bitter/sweet balance leaning a little more towards the piney hop taste. Sharp hoppy bite, hoppy, piney aftertaste. A complex red ale. Quite drinkable.

BillyB, Dec 10, 2005
Photo of Mitchster
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out to a clear deep, ruby red forming a tall and unbelieveably creamy cappuccino-like dark yellow head with amazing retention and lacing, leaving a trail of lace with every sip. Bottle conditioned with minute bits of flittering yeast. One of the best looking brews I've seen in a while. The carbonation is moderate mild. The aroma is fruitful and sharp with aggressive hops...pungent, resinous, pineous....slight toast mixes with the amber malts...just a wonderful nose...reminds me of Arrogant Bastard or Founder's Red Rye to an extent. The mouthfeel is smooth with a long finish on the tongue and a medium-dense body, but not too syrupy or thick. The taste is all about the hops, but is nicely complemented by the crystal, amber and toasted malts and the bitterness is clean and well-balanced. The finish is crisp and clean and semi-astringent. Slight mineral finish to the brewing water used. Excellently balanced, making it a very drinkable treat without being too much of anything.

This is a great brew. I have been astounded by the consistent quality from Bear Republic. This is probably the closest thing to Red's Rye that I've had, which is a huge complement. Highly recommended!

Mitchster, Nov 26, 2005
Photo of jaluria
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An amber colored beer with an off-white colored head that remains thick for several minutes. The viscosity of the beer seems slightly higher than is typical for this style, making it engaging. Aromas of hard candy and grass dominate. There are other scents, but they are difficult to place. The combination of aromas is not very appealing, hence the lower score. The taste is as would be expected for this style; a well balanced hop profile with a malt backbone that seems to linger. The alcohol is well masked and does not hinder the texture or the blending of flavors in this beer. The aftertaste is that of sweet dates, but over time it transforms into a more bitter & crisp flavor. An enjoyable brew that can be had a number of times.

jaluria, Nov 09, 2005
Photo of soulgrowl
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep, dark ruby-brown, kind of similar to oolong tea. Head is tall and resilient, and similar in color to apple butter.

Smell: Malts smell like candied nuts (namely, almonds and cashews) with a tart, fruity overtone... orange marmalade comes to mind. There's also the faintest hint of brown sugar. Hops impart a crisp, leafy, piney, slightly grassy aroma. I think I also detect a slight vegetable odor, similar to celery. Overall, this reminds me very much of autumn.

Taste: Delicious. So well-balanced. Big hop flavor, but the toasty malt makes a strong statement as well. There's also a subtle, fruity vinous current running through this beer, and the alcohol is also quite pronounced, but not overwhelmingly so. Extremely dry, lingering finish with a bite of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: So creamy! I think the mouthfeel is the best thing about this beer. It's hard to describe, but it's wonderful... big, thick, and chewy, but still airy and refreshing.

Drinkability: This beer is great fun to drink. Bold and flavorful, but goes down smooth.

soulgrowl, Nov 09, 2005
Photo of evanackerman
4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

this is my favorite beer,

pours a deep deep amber with a billowing head that stands far above the rim of the glass and is not in a hurry to go away,

aroma is mostly american hops

taste is a superb balance of toffee, almost chocolately toasty malt and delicious hops. a masterpiece of balance and rich flavor.

mouthfeel is exceedingly smooth, perfect carbonation, just excellent.

drinkability is pretty high although one bomber is enough for one night in my case.

awesome beer, please try this if you have the chance.

evanackerman, Nov 06, 2005
Photo of poluti
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was very impressed by this one. I wanted to brew something similar to this when a friend pointed this one out. I must say even though I knew it was going to be hoppy, the hop scent still blew me away after the deep red pour. It is a very deep amber-orange unless held against direct yellow light where it turns a marvolous red. It had a thick tan head which complemented the carbonation bubbles slowly running up the side. The red color is enduced by a vienne malt. It produces a pleasurable but fleeting sweet as the hops are the primary flavor in this brew. Heavily hopped. I could taste the typical cascades of the west coast, however I wasn't expecting the heavy kick it gave. It was a welcome suprise given that I am a huge hop fan. I did not sense any sour notes on the side of the tongue which is a huge plus. The bitterness tones out the sweetness a little too much. I normally would like that, but it is a kick in the face seeing that the color is more reminiscent of an irish red with little hop character. I found the mouthfeel very pleasant and give it a thumbs up because it does work the majority of the tongue, except the sour outside of course. This beer is a true joy for hop-lovers. If you are expecting a Scotch Ale (as they were originally aiming for- but then made it a hybrid later) steer clear, this one has way too much hops to even be associated with that style. A true joy for hops lovers.

poluti, Oct 28, 2005
Photo of Hibernator
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bear Republic
Red Rocket Ale
22 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours an amber brown color with red highlights on the bottom of the glass. Thick off-white colored head. Trails of sticky, webbed lacings

Hoppy aroma with an obvious malt presence.

Malty, juicy sweet malts with a spicy hop finish. Green tea bitterness. Very creamy and smooth mouthfeel. I love how soft this beer is on the palate.

What an enjoyable beer. A very good craft brewed red ale. This could be a dangerous session brew at 6.8% ABV, but may be worth it. Nice drinkability level. Another Bear Republic offering that impresses me.

Hibernator, Oct 23, 2005
Photo of grindcore666
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black cherry with a creamy, cloudy, light tan fluff. The shades in this one are sexy. Head retains itself well and laces even better.

The aroma is piney yes, but also a little oaky. The typical forest notes come off nicely.

Opens somewhat woody, accompanied by a sweet hop which unleashes into some dark cherry. Sweet and moderately carbonated, which me likes. The aftertaste is red oak and is actually kind of creamy.

I found this one of the more pleasing Red's: doesn't take your tastebuds off and doesn't give you diabetes. A great offering from Bear Republic if you ask me.

grindcore666, Oct 21, 2005
Photo of kbnooshay
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wowww what a smell. This almost smells liek a brown ale. Insanely malty/alcoholy. This poured a really nice red brown color with a good amount of carbonation and other little crap floating around. Good bubbly tan head with sticky lace. Wow this is smooooth. I have not tasted anything like this before. Little tea flavor in there. this tastes hoppier than it smells. Some toasted flavors in there. The mouthfeel is creamy. I might need to have this again before i say anything intelligent but this is special.

kbnooshay, Oct 09, 2005
Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bomber

Pours a rich amber with a nice red hue. Creamy eggshell head that stays put. A very nice beer to observe.

Smells slightly sweet with a definite aroma of Willamette hops. Fairly mild aroma.

Good solid American amber. Good bitterness with a nice flavor from the Willamette. Some nice malty sweetness as well balances it out.

Body is maybe a bit too heavy. Looking at the ABV, this is definitely meatier than the average amber.

This is a nice rich amber. I had no problems drinking the bomber in one sitting. Enjoyable.

MaltyGoodness, Oct 08, 2005
Photo of zjungleist
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice amber color. Sturdy off-white head. The smell is pretty rich, some malts and decent hop or two. The taste is pretty similar, with a reasonable bitter hop and some brown sugar flavors. Mouthfeel was a bit harsh; it was slightly over carbonated and had some un-necessary alcohol tones. I think this lowered drinkability, but overall the flavors were solid.

zjungleist, Sep 26, 2005
Photo of BarrelBrother
3.23/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

After reading some reviews on this brew I had hoped for more, but perhaps this was just a bad batch. I will give this one another try in the near future to make sure my review is accurate. However...

When I poured this brew alot of sediment (chunky hunks) were floating in the glass. I love bottle conditioned ales and I'm used to unfiltered beers, but this was unusually "thick". The aroma was hoppy and had a underlying carmel overtone, but the mouthfeel was quite grainy.
The taste was somewhat interesting, but after the weak presentation and sub-par mouthfeel I was just disappointed overall at this point. Again this bottle may have been sitting around awhile and be a bad example of this beer, so I hope another try will vindicate Red Rocket in the future. However, first impressions are lasting ones, and I was taken back by the beer I poured into my glass.

BarrelBrother, Sep 26, 2005
Photo of Xadoor
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was brought back from Bauer Wine & Spirits in Boston by a friend on a business trip.

Wasn't sure what to expect when the label said it was a "bastardized Scottish style red ale". Poured a clear dark amber with a thick creamy head that lasted for quite a while. Lots of nice lacing in the glass. Aroma is a little fruity with the higher alcohol slightly detectable. Taste is creamy with some sweet caramel flavours and a bit a warming after-affect. A really good beer with a unique flavour. Would love to have more of this.

Xadoor, Aug 30, 2005
Photo of Gaisgeil
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a fine brew, very well balanced and highly drinkable.

Pours a gorgeous red in color, probably one of the prettiest beers I've laid eyes on. Had a nice thick and frothy light tan head that stuck around for the whole pint, tons of lacing as well. Tons of floaties in this one, are those hopleaf remnants? Smell is delectable, very citrusy and a bit piney, like overripe grapefruit. This is a nice hoppy but flavorful beer, a decent malt backbone to even out the affair nicely. Someone compared this to arrogant bastard, I don't think there is much of a comparison, this is a much better beer, balanced and flavorful.

Definatly worth a try. If I'm in the mood for hops, I'll be looking for this one.


Gaisgeil, Aug 25, 2005
Photo of scooter231
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Mmmm. Good beer. Dark amber color with lots of gorgeous, thick, foamy, tan head and tons of lacing- just a gorgeous pour. Smells of coffee and roasted scents, some caramel- deep but a bit lacking for me.

Taste is amazing- same as the smells, with an added bitterness, some floral and sour balance, and some sweet malts. Attacking and bold. Good. Mouthfeel is full and bubbly, just a tad not chewy enough for me.

Overall, I'd say this is a milder Arrogant Bastard- which I like better- but this is certainly a tasty brew. It's good bang for your buck.

scooter231, Aug 23, 2005
Photo of whartontallboy
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a deep caramel/amber color with a brownish-white head that leaves a huge amount of lacing and lingers very well. Even at the end of the bottle, there was still a healthy little head on top. All of the Bear Republic beers seem to have these wonderful head-retention abilities.

Smell is big caramel malts with a light West Coast hoppiness that manifests itself mainly as pine scents. Quite a huge smell that you can pick up at arm's length.

Taste is big caramel malts, almost malty enoughh to be out of control, but the aforementioned hops balance things out nicely and put a nice piney, bitter bite in the finish. Thick, chewy mouthfeel.

Overall: Another winner from BR, and a great value at around $3.50 a bomber. One that I'll definitely start keeping around.

whartontallboy, Aug 21, 2005
Photo of tgbljb
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured a deep red- brown color with tannish head that started off chunky but fell to a light coating on top of beer and on sides of glass. Smell is mainly of hops with some toasted malt present. Taste is extremely smooth with initial sweet maltiness giving way to a great hop bitterness. Finishes with nice hop dryness and bitterness. A superb brew.

tgbljb, Aug 19, 2005
Photo of gimmehead
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: ruby infused walnut brown with a 2 finger creamy beige head that lingers forever

Smell: mostly sweet caramel malts, somewhat buttery, with a little citric bitterness to help balance; very malty and sweet

Taste: lots of bitter roasted caramel malt flavor, not nearly as sweet as the nose; also much more hop presence in the flavor as is evident in the aroma, citric and piney, a little spicy; the flavor is almost totally different than the nose

Mouthfeel: feels pretty thin and not very lively

Drinkability: made for a nice pint, but it's not as exciting as the name would lead you to believe

gimmehead, Aug 06, 2005
Photo of mntlover
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful clear deep red with some brownish hints a nice big tan head that falls slowly to a cap that leaves lots of sticky lace.

Aroma is nice malty combination toasted malt and caramel that mingle with fruity esters lightly sweet. Almost smells like iced raisin bread with floral/citrus hop hints.

Taste is wow lots of toasted malt hints of caramel also. The lingering toasted flavors last thru the finish. Hops kick up there heels soon floral flowers blend into bitter grapefruit rind sprinkled with pine sap. Over all a rich deep earthy hoppy amber ale. More hops show up more in flavor then were evident in the nose.

Mouthfeel is a solid medium good feel nice carbonation lots of lingering toasted malts in this one.

Drinkability is nice big and malty but also loads of hops. Like a amber ale on steriods. Definitely on the short list of great amber ales.

mntlover, Jul 17, 2005
Photo of mentor
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber obtained from Liquor Mart (Boulder, CO) and consumed later that same evening. Pours a three-finger tan or light-caramel colored head with some bubbles cascading briefly after the pour. The beer is crystal clear with a nice dark copper color possessing strong redish qualities. The head is clingy and appears to be compacting, rather than settling. Smells potently citrus hoppy. Oranges at first, but grapefruit pith dominates. Searching for malt or caramel revealed, instead, more grapefruit and some dried grass. Tastes potently hoppy with a barely noticable supporting sweet. From the start, hop bitter and hop flavor dominates. Flavor is; smooth pine, oranges, tangerines, and pineapple. Caramel is present (barely) beneath the hops, actually more like caramelized table sugar than caramel candy. There is no let-up in the hops, all the way to the aftertaste. During the swallow there is a gentle sting that's remniscent of fusel alcohols, but I think it's actually hop bitter combined with a fine carbonation sting. The aftertaste has a sour hop character and a strong hop aromatic presence penetrating my entire mouth. Himmmm...despite all the hops, this beer leaves my mouth wet sweet. WTF? It may be the thick and creamy liquid seeping between my tastebuds, solidifying, and refusing to let go.Carbonation is mild, but sharp. It leaves a gentle sting on my tongue that could be mistaken as alcohol. Really amazing lacing on the inside of the glass, BTW.

It's killing me to give this beer such low smell and tastes scores. This is quite an amazing beer, but it just doesn't fit the style of American Amber. Imperial American Amber...that, I would believe...spot on.

Edit: Okay, I just poured the last of it into my glass and that cascading is really cool. HTF they did it, I would really like to know. Perhaps it has something to do with multi-branched sugars in the thick liquid. Appearance changed from 4.5 to 5.0

mentor, Jul 13, 2005
Photo of DogFood11
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a great purchase. Big Red Beer that comes across smooth.

Color is dark Brown/Red. Frothy tan Head that coats the glass nicely. The taste was malty up front and hoppy at the end a gloriously crafted red beer that is so frickin smooth that the drinkability is mind boggling for a strong beer. Could hardly taste the alcohol but just enough to warm it up a bit. I'm really starting to see what a fine brewery Bear Republic is.

DogFood11, Jul 13, 2005
Red Rocket Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,322 ratings.