1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Red Rocket Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Red Rocket AleRed Rocket Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,386 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,386
Reviews: 1,139
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 113
Gots: 153 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Red Rocket Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,386 | Reviews: 1,139 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wcudwight
3.4/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark burgandy color with some red hues. Thin cream colored head and some light, wet, lacing.
Smells of caramel, piney hops and some peppery spice.
Wierd mixture of caramel sweetness with some smoked chocolate(if such a thing exist). Fine citrus and piney hop flavors and Pepperjack Cheese. A bit of alcohol warming in the finish.
Mouthfeel is fuller than I expected but I don't think it adds or subtracts to the overall quality of the beer.
Overall a drinkable, sessionable red ale that I will probably try again but would not be willing to out of my way for.
Thanks to Enola for sharing the bottle.

wcudwight, Nov 24, 2006
Photo of TheLiterati
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a lovely reddish-amber with a full-bodied, fluffy head. Hops aroma nearly leaps out of the bottle and into the glass, along with citrus, a bit of spice and some grassy undertones.

Mouthfeel is full without being too heavy, with a nice amount of carbonation.

Aroma translates nicely to the bold and spicy flavor, with just the right amount of malty sweetness to balance the aggressiveness of the hops.

Easily on of my favorites, quite drinkable, and one I will enjoy again and again.

TheLiterati, Nov 24, 2006
Photo of Drew966
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Red Rocket Ale pours a copper color with a thick white head from a brown twenty two ounce bottle. The aroma is hoppy. Taste is very hoppy, with a nice amount of malt to balance it out. One of the more tasty red ales I've had, the alcohol is slightly noticeable, and this beer does pack a punch. The mouthfeel is creamy. Recommended.

Drew966, Nov 19, 2006
Photo of Morris729
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark bronze color with thick and creamy tan head that fades into a heavy lace that coats the walls of the glass with a sticky lace as you drink. Nose is apparent as soon as the bottle is opened with aromas of floral hops and citrusy fruit. Taste begins with toasty caramel malts followed by a bit of an earthy charcoal smokiness, however the fruity hops seem to dominate throughout the taste. Not that that’s a bad thing, mind you. In fact, even the label proclaims that this beer is a “bastardized red ale with an aggressive hop character.”

Morris729, Nov 11, 2006
Photo of Doomcifer
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a darker shade of reddish amber with an amazing frothy head that did not go ANYWHERE at all. Some sediment is floating around in there as well. Terrific lacing to boot. What a beauty.

Smells of sweet malts, almost tropical and lots of citrusy hops.

Taste is of more sweet candy malts with copious amounts of citrusy hops. Finishes semi-dry and hoppy/sweet. I taste some rye in it as well, but am unsure if they use rye in this recipe. Some breadiness in there as well. Fantastic.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, oily, and good amount of carbonation.

I could drink this beer all day. It is incredibly tasty and damn smooth. Chalk up another absolute winner for Bear Republic.

Doomcifer, Nov 09, 2006
Photo of hanco005
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle, marked 318D10121, poured into a pint glass…twice

A—pours very cloudy, ruby with hints of brown with a 2 inch thick fluffy white head that stays forever, collapsing like a cloud that floats on top, full thick lacing is produced

S—malts are everywhere, candy sweetness, some milder dark fruits, plums, hints of caramel, too

T—not at all like the smell, bitter from start to finish, with just a little sweetness in the swallow, pine and perfume stick in the mouth, very hoppy and very good, some rye flavor comes out as it warms

M—crisp and sharp, medium/full bodied, excellent carbonation

D—this is great! Not sure I’ve had anything like it, but would love it again.

hanco005, Nov 03, 2006
Photo of joe1510
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz. Bomber

Opened with a hefty pop. Haven't opened a bottle, that didn't have a cork on it, that sounded like that in a long while. Huge carbonation on the pour. Half my glass was head.

Red rocket has an unbelievably big rocky head. The head looked like a mountain with all kinds of peaks. Hazy dark red with tiny particles floating in it. The head reminds me of a root beer float. The lace sticks like huge chunks on the glass. I don't think I have ever seen a head this chunky on a beer before. Looks delicious. After finishing this beer theres still a quarter inch head on the bottom of the glass. Impressive!

This beer really smells interesting. Ripe melons come to mind and some kiwi. I dont know why but this beer smells really fruity and fresh. There's a caramel smell poking through the fruit. Very inviting. I cant wait to drink just to see what tastes will come through.

MMM....A solid caramel maltiness comes through at first and is quickly followed by a nice assertive hop bite with a mild lingering bitterness. There's the smallest amount of alcohol present. There's some other flavors I can't put my finger on.

The mouthfeel is excellent. It's smooth and very creamy. It's like velvet in my mouth.

Drinkability is good. I could very easily drink a lot of these. The more I drink the more filling it gets though. I would drink these till I filled up.

Overall Red Rocket is one of the best red ales I've had up to this point. It will be a hard one to beat. Pick this up and give it a try if you see it. I'm going to stock up. This is my first Bear Republic beer and I bought all four of their beers that were available at the store. I noticed this was the lowest rated one. If the others are better than this I can't hardly wait to drink them.


joe1510, Oct 13, 2006
Photo of froggyfrog
4.93/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bomber bottle. Beer served in a Becher glass.

A partly cloudy red ale with a gelatinous head of long poetic proportions.

Aroma is very unique, like old suede shoes and rye. There is a woody scent like green bamboo and a whiff of soap, straight almond extract and spicy/floral West Coast hops.

Taste is strong citrus hops when sipped through the foam right after the pour. Sixty seconds later, the flavor profile changes dramatically. While the nose remains floral, the tastes morph to showcase some unexpected flavors like heather tips, brewed coffee, English tea and cream.

Mouthfeel is fluffy like whipped cream soda foam yet turns dry and lightly spritzy in the finish, a combination that makes for infinite drinkability.

Lovin' this beer big time. Thanks to Phatz for picking this up for me.

Bear Republic rocks!

froggyfrog, Oct 10, 2006
Photo of WeisGuy
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

a - deep copper color, huge khaki-colored head with great retention, excellent lacing - some of the best I've seen, pretty hazy

s - slightly citrusy hops and sweet maltiness with the hops the dominant aroma, hint of alcohol as well

t - much like the smell, there are hints of sweet maltiness, but the main flavor is hoppy bitterness, the finish is a nice mix of both flavors, the alcohol is evident

m - medium-bodied, moderate carbonation, dry finish

d - very drinkable, I could definitely drink another bomber if this

Great example of the style. I was pleasantly surprised by this beer, especially after trying New Belgium's Fat Tire Amber Ale earlier and being severely disappointed with that. Bear Republic has definitely impressed me once again with Red Rocket. Well worth the effort to obtain.

WeisGuy, Sep 19, 2006
Photo of Gasp100
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep mahogany with ruby red highlights and a thick, foamy, dense, rocky tannish head
S - Big, sweet, robust dark malt with a grainy floral hop scent
T - Rich dark sweetness with a touch coffee and toasted almond. A very slight peat taste which is reminiscent of a true scotch ale. The hops are citrusy, floral and offer a really nice clean bitterness at the end.
M - the mouthfeel is thick and full with a ton going on but it finishes very clean.
D - 6.8% is too big for a true session beer, but I could handle a few pints of this at home.
This is really a spectacular melding of an American Red Ale with a touch of Scotch Ale flavor's. This brew is really complex but goes down pretty smooth as well. Definitely seek this one out.

Gasp100, Sep 16, 2006
Photo of cerveza5150
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appear.: Smoky red color with a firm, chocolate brown/red head. Good retention, too.

Smell: Awesome. Smells like a bold American amber. Citrusy/piny hops with a tinge of sweetness, maybe caramel or chocolate.

Taste: Good strong hop flavor. I can sense the finishing hops first, and then the flavoring hops kick in to put in into overdrive. Pretty dry on the finish - I think a little more sweetness from the malt would have been nice. Overall, pretty damn good, though!

Mouthfeel: This is the category I think this ale falls the shortest in. Not much retention on the palette, and not much viscosity either. A little thin....

Drinkability: Althought the mouthfeel was lacking, I could definately see myself sessioning out this beer at a brewpub.

cerveza5150, Sep 15, 2006
Photo of Toddv29424
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am really impressed by Bear Republic: in a time when so many beer companies are making HUGE beers, they are concentrating on the middle ground and exceeding wildly. The smell is much like rye, with a hint of hops and sweetness. The taste starts out subtle, but as it goes down and as you grow more accustomed to the beer it becomes really complex. It’s almost like a good brown in that way, but the sweetness is often apparent for the whole way down. A great beer, as are most of their offerings, and something to be sought out.

Toddv29424, Sep 10, 2006
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer looks brown with a slight red glow to it, but when held to the light, it glows a dark burgundy. The head is exceptionally tall and it’s a creamy, sandy, dry looking tan. It stuck around for a long time and left some messy lace behind leaving little “sip history” strips.

Smells of an organic and woody hops with some garden greens and a touch of pine and birch bark. There’s also a nice, slightly smoky honey and marshmallow malt along with a fruity hint of strawberry.

The malt comes through in the flavor much more prominently with a little bit of caramel too. The hops then come across as fruity and unobtrusive, but finish with a woody dry pine and grapefruit rind. Nice change up.

The mouthfeel is surprising light with a big swarm of little bubbles. It’s rather fun to drink, but arguably too much.

I liked this one a lot. It’s easy to drink and there are some neat flavors working together here but not to a point where it become overwhelming.

DarkerTheBetter, Sep 08, 2006
Photo of jreitman
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice darkis amber with a creamy had that had lasted for quite a while. Aroma of fresh hops possibly Cascade are quite strong and pleasant. Moutheel was a little light and watery. Initial flavor is of sweet caramel which yields nicely to vibrant hops. The flavor of the caramel and hops have a startling lasting power in the mouth. Carbonation adds some nice tang to the beer. I think if the mouthfeel was a little better it would easily make my session list. As it stands, it's a good interpretation of the red style.

jreitman, Sep 03, 2006
Photo of alexwag
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful red-hued amber; big frothy, creamy head; good retention. Very nice lacing. Excited.

S: Yeasty, toasted malts, twang of starchy hops. Still interested.

T: Great balance. Toasted/roasted malts, tinge of coffee, light hop punch to offset. Bit of sugar. Finishes very smoothly. Hops emerge as it warms.

M: Creamy yet carbonated enough to mix well. Mellows nicely.

D: Very nice offering from BR here -- I prefer it before the hops really kick in, but no doubt a fine beer.

alexwag, Sep 03, 2006
Photo of smcolw
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A very nice looking beer. Dark ruby red in color, cloudy. Short lasting head, but a thin layer of bubbles remain. Excellent lace.

Dark malt with fresh hop aroma. A touch of yeast, too.

Full bodied flavorful ale. The beginning is a dry malt. This gives way to a hop bouquet that lasts through the swallow and remains in the aftertaste. Absolutely delicious.

smcolw, Aug 27, 2006
Photo of Westsidethreat
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A light amberish rootbeer color. Full sized head. Light oatmeal color made up of semi tight bubbles. Scores of tiny bubbles travel up the sides of the glass, escaping to freedom at the top.

S: Fruity maltiness; strawberries, melon and currants. Backdrop of slight caramel with a touch of citrus and a good amount of pine.

T: Tastes just like it smells. Begins with a solid malt base dominated by fruityness. Loads of hop syrup, grapefruity and delicious. Moves towards a more rounded front, sort of reminds me of sweet caramel-carrot juice actually. Finishes with a solid bitter wash.

M: Medium to full bodied, thick and real with a smooth carbonation

D: Love these full flavored reds with a huge bitter backbone. What a great example.

Westsidethreat, Aug 18, 2006
Photo of TheBungyo
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pouris just a half step away from being black. Instead its amber that is nearly brown. White head is almost more than an inch thick. Nose is piney but little else appears.Taste is very fruity and very citrusy with bitterness taking a backseat. Not the best tasting but still pretty good. Mouth is just better than adequate. This is good but does not push you to buy more. Maybe I'm just not a big fan of Red Ales.

TheBungyo, Aug 05, 2006
Photo of dbalsock
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Very dark amber, with a one finger vanilla head on the first glass. The second glass made it to about two fingers. It also looks a little murky/hazy, like it's unfiltered... oh, it is unfiltered, wonderful.

Smell: Sweet and fruity with a very malty presence. Some molasses seem to be present, and a little bit of alcohol on the nose. I find the nose to be very present, without a lot of sniffing needed for an experience.

Taste: Pink grapefruit from the hops combine with what taste like a hint of roasted malts. I find it taste like a very hopped wee heavy. As it warms a buttery yeast quality comes out a little. I'm a pretty big fan of diacetyl, so I think I will let this warm longer next time I have it.

Mouthfeel: This hit the palate dry and light bodied, but with a noticeable feel of alcohol. I found it considerably more bitter than the red ales I'm used to from the east coast.

Drinkability: This was fairly intense and deep for a red ale. I found a bomber enjoyable for a night time tasting, but lost my appetite for more beer once it was done.

dbalsock, Aug 01, 2006
Photo of Mdog
3.05/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Brownish red with a large head.

Smell: Sweet malt and citrusy hops.

Taste: Malty, earthy, a little bitterness at the end, some metallic bite.

Mouthfeel: More metallic as it warms up.

Drinkability: Not my favorite.

Ambers/reds have always been hit or miss with me. I was hoping this would be a hit, but unfortunately not. For some reason I get a lot of metal flavors with many reds and this one is not immune to this weird effect. It's not too bad but not my favorite. Bear Republic's IPA's are tasty though!

Mdog, Jul 23, 2006
Photo of msubulldog25
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a pint glass:

A: A warm, beautiful amber/garnet with a frothy 1 1/2 finger head - it's ivory & creamy & lasts forever. Great lace, too

S: Floral & citrusy hops come bursting from this one initially, then a wonderful sweet maltiness, with some currants & cherries and a hint of alcohol.

T: Like the smell, taste begins with a sharp bitterness from the hops - mostly citrus flavor. Nicely develops into a malty sweetness with some of the semi-tart fruitiness.

M: Quite smooth, medium-bodied. Well-balanced hops & malt leave surprisingly little bitter aftertaste.

D: Pretty special beer - a great example of a strong red ale. It's delicious and enjoyable, nice in the summer. The malty balance makes it creamy yet refreshing; I concur with others who recommend this as an alternative to the more hop-heavy IPA choices.

msubulldog25, Jul 21, 2006
Photo of crwills
4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I took my only bomber of this up to the trailer on the Canada Day weekend... glad I did, it was fantastic!

Poured the bomber (in two pourings) into a wide-mouthed wine goblet. A deep, reddish brown with a fluffy head that stays almost constant throughout the drinking.

The aroma is actually quite malty, with notes of dark fruit and mild citrus.

Taste is amazing. Malty but with a huge hop kick after the first second or two. Mostly orangey citrus flavours. Dark fruits are still there, with some damp earth and faint roasted flavours. Mouthfeel is generally nice, but there's a bit of harshness to it that detracts a bit.

Nevertheless, I loved this, and can't wait to grab more whenever I see it.

crwills, Jul 15, 2006
Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a 22 oz bomber of Red Rocket Ale served in a Chimay goblet. The ale has warmed to near room temperature over the past hour or so.

Appearance: The ale has a deep amber red color with auburn hints. There is a nice ring of head that has laced around the glass.

Smell: The ale has an incredible hop aroma. The hops are US varietals, giving the beer a floral nose.

Taste: The beer's floral smell continues into the taste. The flavors are citrusy and vibrant, providing a strong kick that excites the tastebuds. There is a bit of malt for balancing purposes only, as this beer does not cross into the too-bitter realm.

Mouthfeel: The hops are a real treat, giving a great kick and a firm bold taste.

Drinkability: The ale's abv and intense hop flavor can do you in over time, but a bomber is doable.

akorsak, Jul 14, 2006
Photo of vtfan77
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Lives up to its name with a deep orange-red hue and a big off-white head. Too big (note to self: cut back on the vigorous pours). Decent lacing. Anyway, it's very nice.

S- Lots of malt, with nice notes of caramel and some toastiness in the smell. Hops are almost equally present (almost), adding their citrus flavors with sweet oranges and even some grapelike aromas.

T- Malt flavors take center stage, starting out with a nice caramel flavor. Middle is sweet, sweet malt. Finish is bitter hoppiness accented by a pleasant toastiness.

M- Pleasantly smooth, not a whole lot of carbonation despite the head.

D- Excellent drinkability, a good quaffer. The only thing keeping this from a 5 is the slightly high 6.8% ABV.

Overall a very nice beer, I'm glad I tried it. Red ales like this one are nice for when you're looking for a hoppy beer that's a little more balanced than an IPA, which this one certainly is. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Recommended.

vtfan77, Jul 09, 2006
Photo of orfeu
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bronzed red with undulating, meringued ecru head. Several chunks of hops float before settling to the bottom of the glass. Big c-hop aromas cover over a sweetish caramel malt presence. Smells peachy-fruity, like one of their IPAs. Big caramelly malt flavors up front, beefy and sweet (but certainly not cloying) before bitter grapefruit rind hops rush in near the finish, which is all brown sugar and apricots. Medium body and juicy mouthfeel. Damn drinkable red ale, especially for the price. Great choice when one wants a hoppy beer but isn't quite in the mood for an IPA.

orfeu, Jul 09, 2006
Red Rocket Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,386 ratings.