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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.

2,296 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,296
Reviews: 1,131
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.84%
Wants: 105
Gots: 123 | 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: 2,296 | Reviews: 1,131 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya


3.68/5  rDev -9.4%

Deep chestnut, amber body poured out of a 22oz bomber. A rocky, mammoth beige head topped off this brew with serious vengance. The aroma is just like sticking your head into a sack of freshly dried whole leaf hops. A piney kick in the hops (maybe Simcoe dry-hopping?). This will be a welcome to any hop head. The taste is nicely hopped right at the start and the carmel malt shows midway through. The bittering hops slap you in the face after the sweetness resides. I love a hop bite, but this may have been a little too much for this beer. It seems a bit unbalanced. Those who fear hops and love typical ambers will be easily turned away from this one. Bear Republic has never been afraid of hops (god bless them!), but this may be a bit harsh for some. Overall, nice brew, but again the intense bite seems a bit out of place.

07-07-2005 23:14:49 | More by ALESwhatCURESya
Photo of beersarang


4.15/5  rDev +2.2%

Pours a nice amber with a tan head. Really sticky big head that retains well.

Toasty sweet caramel aroma, followed by grapefruit and citrus rind.

Good firm malt presence meets citrusy hops right in the middle. Incredibly smooth bitterness and a very good hop flavor and aroma. Overall very similar to Sierra Nevada, however, with more caramel and toasted malts.

Medium to heavier bodied with a comfortable amount of carbonation. I enjoyed this one thoroughly.

07-04-2005 00:44:37 | More by beersarang
Photo of TastyTaste


4.7/5  rDev +15.8%

Very dark maroon color, way darker than almost every red I've encountered (this is almost as dark as some "porters"), Head isn't huge, but does have nice lacing. Tons of juicy hops aroma in the nose, just ridiculous. Also slightly caramel sweetness. Taste is as solid as you can get. Huge hops flavor and bitterness. Taste is also balanced, malt-wise, just excellent drinking. Creamy mouthfeel, great. My first bear republic, and definitely not the last. My second favorite Red Ale ever (Sanata's Private Reserve).

06-26-2005 03:51:51 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of WetCoaster


4.45/5  rDev +9.6%

Appearance: A deep, deep copper, almost bordering on red. Furious carbonation produces a dense, off-white head with about the retention you might expect. No lace, but a collar throughout.

Smell: In the words of Uma Thurman in the classic "Pulp Fiction":

Goddamn say GODDAMN!

A lumberyard worth of pine bitch-slaps your nostrils silly, with his good friends Mr. Malt and Peat right there to back him up if you want to go for round two. As hoppy as any IPA, as malty as a wee heavy, fruity like an old ale, with a nice chunk of chocolate waiting for dessert -- whoa.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Please refer to smell. A Scotch IPA, perhaps? Holy crap, is this a mouthful; smoky, chocolate malts meet pine resin West Coast hops in a no-holds-barred cage match. Pour a Skullsplitter into a Ruination, and you'll get the idea; the hops kick your ass while the malt steals your bookbag and laughs at you -- this beer is a bully. Wha? Huh? Oh yeah, mouthfeel. Medium bodied, smooth and creamy; I guess this is this beer's feminine side.

Drinkability: Not. Subtle. It's hard to believe they could get this much out of a beer that's less than 7% ABV. That said, if you want a beer you can TASTE, wrestle with this bad boy. Just know what you're getting into -- forewarned is forearmed.

Wow, I've blown off this beer for years because it's "just another amber ale." Trust me, this is NOT just another amber ale -- this is THE amber ale. Superb.

06-05-2005 06:35:30 | More by WetCoaster
Photo of troutmask96


3.68/5  rDev -9.4%

Very nice red ale here. Pours a deep mahogany with lasting head. Smell is of cloves and alcohol. Very smooth-tasting brew, but a bit of a bitter aftertaste that struck me. Nice, low carbonation, making this a very drinkable beer. Another winner from Bear Republic. Recommended...

05-29-2005 03:04:04 | More by troutmask96
Photo of ommegangpbr

New York

4.3/5  rDev +5.9%

It's tempting to leave it at that but for the sake of other beer drinkers I will elaborate.
From a 22 ounce bottle into a chalice; pours a lovely crimson with an off white head. Laces the glass quite nicely.
Smells kinda smokey. The flavor profile is like that of a porter and an IPA; the label on the bottle says "This unfiltered, bottle-conditioned, amber colored ale, breaks all style molds." It's hard to argue with that... except for the part about the color. Has a solid hops bitterness, smokey textures on the tongue. This guy has lots of character.
Reminds me quite a bit of Arrogant Bastard, except smoother. I certainly prefer this to AB.
Ballsy stuff. Go try it.

05-28-2005 01:20:41 | More by ommegangpbr
Photo of necoadam


4.22/5  rDev +3.9%

Poured out a deep ruby color with a nice white head which left some lacing afterwards. Smell consisted of hops, some citrus aromas, but also some toasted malts showed up and at some point took over the hop aroma. Taste was quite good. Hops along with a citrus and piney undertones start out and gives away to a solid malt base. The citrus flavors hang around in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel was medium with lively carbonation. One of the better amber red's out there. This reminded me a little of Newport Storm's Maelstorm IPA. Hoppy but a big malt backbone. Good stuff.

05-17-2005 18:34:35 | More by necoadam
Photo of drugsbunny


3.93/5  rDev -3.2%

A very dark red ale, borderline brown. Smell had a stronger malt aspect that hid a potent hop flavor that this red ale is full of. A definitive Pacific Northwest taste. A very tasty ale with a citrus hop emphasis but it hits hard with 6.8% ABV. A great beer, even better fresh out of a keg.

05-13-2005 17:46:05 | More by drugsbunny
Photo of weeare138


4.18/5  rDev +3%

Appears a deep red brown with a huge milkshake chunky tan head that refuses to settle. Smells of light caramel cream and roasted malts with vanilla. Tastes of all the scents listed above with a slight cocoa bitterness in the middle of the tongue. Comes up just short of being a great taste because it needs a deeper, more rich taste but this is pretty good as it stands. Mouthfeel is creamy upfront leading to a full bodied taste tantalizing the mouth and tastebuds. Drinkability is pretty decent. It could lean more towards a porter if I had it my way but this is a good solid brew nonetheless.

Finger licking good!

05-10-2005 17:39:37 | More by weeare138
Photo of cubedbee


4.45/5  rDev +9.6%

Pours a deep brownish red with a thick foamy beige head. Nose reminds me of a forest--smelling both of pine and nuts, with a hops scent dominating everything. Taste on this is supremely balanced, with a huge hops presence for a red ale which is perfectly balanced by a rich malty taste. Mouthfeel is very smooth with a nice level of carbonation and a lingering hops bitterness. This is an all around great beer---like an IPA with a stronger malt presense and better balance.

05-10-2005 00:08:39 | More by cubedbee
Photo of fizzyfred


4.55/5  rDev +12.1%

The appearance is a murky golden brown with a nice, and suprisingly lasting, head. The smell was mostly of the citrus/floral hop aroma. Well balanced flavor of floral and spicy hops with a woody/bready malt character. This is a full bodied beer with medium carbonation that coats your mouth. Just a little too much lingering bitternes in the aftertaste. This is a wonderful beer that would pair perfectly with a good meal, but has a balanced complexity to enjoy on its own.

04-30-2005 18:43:15 | More by fizzyfred
Photo of WanderingFool


3.65/5  rDev -10.1%

I bought a bottle of Bear Republic Red Rocket over a year ago and added it to my cellar. I didn't intend to age it that long, but was pleasantly surprised by how smooth this beer turned out after all that time.

Red Rocket poured a slightly hazy dark amber color with a creamy tan head on top. The foam dissolved quickly to a thin ring around the surface of the beer which lasted until the bottom of the glass. A few spots and lines of lace coated the sides.

The aroma is an earthy combination of caramel malt, nuts and oak. A faint citrus hop presence is also detected. Each sip of this smooth medium bodied beer begins with a sweet malty flavor. Some nuts and fig notes move it at the middle and it finishes with a mild hop bitterness. A dry palate with a malt presence is left behind.

I thought this beer was well balanced and very drinkable. I think the aging mellowed out the hop flavor a bit.

04-15-2005 00:01:25 | More by WanderingFool
Photo of cracker


3.95/5  rDev -2.7%

Wow this is one hoppy red ale. Pours an dark amber brown color with decent head and good lace along the glass. Smell is of roasted nuts and citrusy pacific NW hops. Taste is smack in your face full of bittering hops with a strong lingering aftertaste. Has more of a malty backbone than the hop rod rye but very similar hop characteristics. A nice beer for hop-heads but lacks the purported malty presence and could benefit from being a bit more 'balanced'.

04-14-2005 01:30:10 | More by cracker
Photo of canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

4.47/5  rDev +10.1%

Supercharged Amber with more hops and more everything. Red brown colour with a very nice malty nose this beer is a very cutting edge take on the style. Like Hop Rod Rye this is a deep beer with many levels and great drinkability. A sipper in a style that is usually a session beer. I need to get my hands on more of these fellows for further tasting.

04-12-2005 16:00:05 | More by canucklehead
Photo of GClarkage


4/5  rDev -1.5%

04/08/05- Leftover bottle from my beer tasting party last Saturday.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with no dates. Poured into my Dead Guy Ale pint glass.

Appearance- A dark brown, reddish color with a fairly foamy head and adequate lacing.

Smell- Lots of hops and an equal amount of dark malt.

Taste- A tale of two tastes. I first had half a pint and came up with a nice hoppy and malty beer, then I made the mistake of putting a cork in the bottle and forgetting about it until last night. No carbonation in the second half pint, but the flavor was totally different, duh! But in a good way. Much more maltier and maybe even syrupy with a nice sweet and dark taste. Quite yummy both ways.

Mouthfeel- Fair to heavy carbonation.

Drinkability- Either way, this is a pretty good brew that I will be sure to pick up sometime again in the future. Very tasty.

04-09-2005 00:09:06 | More by GClarkage
Photo of RocketWidget


4/5  rDev -1.5%

This disturbingly named beer is still quite good regardless! Pours a brownish-red color, smells hoppy. Head is light, but surprisingly persistent. Taste is quite good, earthen-like flavors initially, but almost as hoppy as an IPA. Somewhat sweet with a spicy finish. Very drinkable, I could drink this one all day. A good starter beer for beer newbies, perhaps? A good show.

04-03-2005 03:43:50 | More by RocketWidget
Photo of Truh

New Hampshire

4.13/5  rDev +1.7%

Yet another giant leap with this one on 12/16/2004. 1 pt. 6 fl. oz. bomber poured twice in a shaker glass.

Film of foam subsides almost immediately to a cat-n-nine tail painting. Crystal clear, ruby red hue and awfully quiet. Boisterous hop on nose with some orange peel, peppermint, and an almost barleywine sweetness. Grog of hop juice, a slight ethereal smokiness, and a sponge of earthy peat on the mouth all add up to build a nice complexity to this. Solid, solid offering.

03-15-2005 12:14:02 | More by Truh
Photo of misterscooter


3.9/5  rDev -3.9%

22 oz. bottle. Bottle Conditioned. Poured into a tall pilsner glass.

This is the first time I've had a Bear Republic brew that wasn't from the tap. Definitely not as good out of the bottle but only slightly.

This is a great looking beer. Deep red with a brown tint. Thick, dense foam in the head that held up for a while. The beer that poured through it formed a hole that held its shape as it slowly went down.

A spicy smell, good melange of odors. Seems like it will be hoppy but not overly so.

The first taste is definitely complex with a lot of spice, mostly pepper, but in a good way since I don't like too much pepper. A thick beer that fills your mouth and gives you a kick so you don't want to savor it too long. It has a nice body going down. Very filling with a smooth maltiness at the end.

It isn't an easy beer to drink. Definitely a slow, almost sipping beer to savor it. But oh so very good. As I neared the end and the temperature of the beer started to warm up, it lost some of its appeal. Definitely mind the serving temperature listed on the bottle and this site for the Red Rocket.

After one, I was ready for something a bit lighter on the palette. But it is one of my favorites. Much like scotch, one is very satisfying for me.

03-10-2005 04:43:40 | More by misterscooter
Photo of twelvsies


4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

I continue to be impressed by Bear Republic. Hadn't had this one yet, but the Hop Rod Rye is one of my all time fav's and I remember liking thier stout too, but I was a little drunk at the time and didn't review it. But this is another exceptional beer. Pours a very rusty brownish red color with a nice foamy head that lasts all the way down to the bottom of my pint glass. Smell and taste are full of flavor and character. Nice piney hops up front but with a really strong backing of nutty malts. Sometimes I think these amber/red ales really are the epitomy of a well balanced beer. Has that Bear Republic signature hoppy kick but it's a little more mellow and subdued than say an IPA. Nice buttery tones to this beer as well. Great smooth mouthfeel and as far as drinkability I'd have this beer breakfast lunch and dinner if it was socially acceptable. Hee hee. Happy beering, folks.

03-08-2005 19:28:22 | More by twelvsies
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Deep copper in color with a large two inch thick and creamy head. Thick lacing developed through the drink like someone took a paintbrush to the inside of the glass. Hops are all over the nose. The flavors are a superbly balanced as strong malt, caramel, bread, citrus, and strong bitterness makes the tastebuds very happy.

Mouthfeel is crisp at the start and finishes smoother. Bitterness and caramel last long on the tongue after swallowing. Superb drinkability. This is a great brew.

02-25-2005 00:14:14 | More by Gavage
Photo of oracle


2.83/5  rDev -30.3%

Large bomber bottle served in a shaker style glass.

Beer was a deep dark red, almost to point of being black. Pancake thick head left very little in the way of lacing.

Smell was too hoppy for a red ale, being very harsh and citrusy, with faint notes of pine and fruit.

Taste.... well, what to say about the taste... hmmm.... tasted like a watered down version of their Hop Rod Rye. Not at all what I would expect from a Red Ale. Far too harsh and unyeilding.

Thick, almost cloying mouth feeling, with lots of little floaties to give it texture.

Not a beer I will be buying again.

02-11-2005 15:24:11 | More by oracle
Photo of rastaman

United Kingdom (England)

3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Tap@Bear republic brewpub. Pretty intense, heavily hopped. Pine, grapey, grapefruity, and quite bitter in the finish, pretty tasty stuff. Nice stuff and good to have it fresh at the brewpub. Beautiful fresh, fragarnt hops in aroma and flavour, extremely drinkable. Tasty stuff.

02-09-2005 14:47:28 | More by rastaman
Photo of Naerhu


4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Served from a 500ml bottle.
Dark, near black red body with light brown head.
Great hop salad dark bread aroma.
Piney, sappy hops. The hops are everywhere, but there is a massive malty dark bread body supporting them. The higher alcohol, raging hops and bold maltiness are perfectly balanced.
Smooth and rich mouthfeel given great texture by the bitterness.
This is an amazing beer.

01-25-2005 17:50:25 | More by Naerhu
Photo of longarm


3.95/5  rDev -2.7%

A rocky mesa of foam appears amidst the middle of an otherwise desolate plain of lightly carbonated malt. My mind drifts, lost in the deep, deep red. A new world emerges for me, made more crystalline from occasional reflections of red light. What an odd beast.

Transfixed in a hallucinogenic dream, I walk in a field towards the red sunrise and smell the forest...intense pine...it draws me closer, yet I find myself begging for something more. It cannot give me what I demand, or can it? I beg for something more.

I take a sip...oh it is as if the forest itself has unleashed its fury upon my tongue, and yet it does not scorch my taste buds. It did not burn. The hoppy pine rests evenly on a base of sweet malt and what's that...raisins? It disappears down the gullet, leaving a mildly sweet and clean aftertaste. It coats exceptionally well, forcing me with a whip and a chain to take another gulp. Damn...this is the most sadistic animal I've ever tasted, but it somehow forces me to take more. Does this mean I'm a weirdo?

12-30-2004 18:26:54 | More by longarm
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4.18/5  rDev +3%

Red Rocket is a truly gorgeous shade of crimson-bronze with shimmering orange highlights and is the gold standard by which all red ales should be judged. The beer is topped by a wheat toast brown head that is thick, rich and creamy with a deeply pitting surface and remarkable persistence. Thick sheets of lace are beginning to be laid down, broken only by miniscule BB-shot holes.

Now this is my kind of balanced. The nose is chock full of Cascade and Centennial hops that are intermixed with a toasted caramel maltiness that causes the whole to exceed the sum of its parts. How does Bear Republic nail style after style after style?

The flavor relies a bit too much on toasty malt for this hophead, but is still a delicious example of this best-of-both-worlds style. The malt backbone is as solid as a rock. Melted caramel candy fills the mouth and lingers on the finish.

Although there's a significant quantity of mega piney hops, their brilliance is buried to some extent in the profusion of brown sugary caramel malt. Bitterness is right up front however. All in all, Red Rocket achieves a grudging balance on the palate. The body/mouthfeel is a few notches more full than medium and oozes quality like most all Bear Republic beer does.

This excellent red ale lives in the upper reaches of the style with regard to flavor, bitterness and ABV. All good things for those of us who love hops and who love big beer. Once you pop the cap, Red Rocket is on its way to the stratosphere. See if you can hang on for one whiz-bang of a ride.

12-26-2004 21:14:24 | More by BuckeyeNation
Red Rocket Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,296 ratings.