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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 armedgardener
4.63/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is my first ever review.This is my favorite beer! This has been my favorite beer for about three years.I have enjoyed many many great beers over the years and Bear Republic is certainly one of my top five breweries and their Red Rocket ale is my favorite Bear Republic offering.I'm a strong ale fan and this is definitely a strong ale but with more spicy notes than other examples I've tried.The spicy malt is intense as are the the hops and they are in perfect harmony and balance for me in this brew.You MUST try it if you haven't already.No,it's not a session beer at all but for me it is a frequent special treat when I really want to treat myself to the best.

Photo of umustdrink
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bottle - $4

A - Hazy dark mahogany color, mostly opaque. Head is offwhite and rocky, fades to about a quarter inch. Lots of lacing.

S - Lightly spicy malts with a juicy citrus hop, the whole result smells very earthy.

T - Tastes very much like it smells but the malts come through with more caramel character. Finish is an oily, sweet hoppy bitterness.

M - Consistency is oily and actually pretty thick, which is very nice. Carbonation is minimal as well, which I also like.

D - Ah what a refreshing treat, and such a bargain at 4 bucks a bomber. Good taste, excellent mouthfeel and definitely high drinkability.
Bear Republic is an excellent brewery and I've liked (a lot) everything I tasted of theirs, including this one.

Photo of flexabull
4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I think the last bottle I reviewed was bad... so here goes.

This is from the nice convenient sized 12 oz bottle.

Pours a deep dark amber color, with a nice sturdy white head.

Aromas are a nice mixture of hops and malt. There is a definite signature Bear Republic hop nose, but there is also a sweet caramel maltiness noted as well.

Taste is mostly the standard amber ale, but bumped up quite a few notches. There is an underlying sweet and nutty maltiness. The finish hit well with a nice bitter pine like hop flavor. A well balanced beer.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. A decent and rounded feel to this one.

Drinkability? Oh yeah! Yet another excellent Bear Republic beer.

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

the head on this guy is grand. i stored it too warm, but it's still huge

the color is really more of a brown, like a scottish ale

cascade aromas with a dusting of rich malts

the flavor is quite rich at first and ends with a faint chocolate suggestion. i can see the scottish ale in the nascent stages of this brew, but it's diverged from that path. cascade seems to be the hop of choice

this seems to be halfway between an amber and a brown. closer to a brown, even

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

Apperance: It's a gorgeous deep red color. Head is about one a half fingers and it stuck around for a while. Light coat of lace lined the mug.

Smell: This is a great smelling beer. Very complex. It's citrusy sweet (orange, mango, and grapefruit). It has a floral hop aroma, which is mixed very well with caramel malts. It has a bit of a yeasty smell to it and a touch of dark fruit in there as well.

Taste: Wow! The caramel malt taste is very good. It is sweet, but not like I was expecting from the smell. Citrus flavors are certainly there. It's hoppy, but in a floral sense. Very smooth and crisp.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light bodied and goes down so easy. I really think I'd like to session this beer. It's that easy to drink. Carbonation and abv are just right.. Overall, excellent offering from Bear Republic. I'm thoroughly impressed with these beers.

Photo of Duster72
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This may have been an old bottle and I do not believe it was stored properly at the liquor store where it was purchased, but here goes.

Pours a really dark red with a huge pillowy head that takes a few minutes to dissipate. Aroma is sugary malts and floral hops, very pleasing. Taste is hops, carmel malts, some fruits and a little roastiness. Taste is slightly cardboard which makes me think this bottle had been on the shelf a little too long. Slightly off tasting aftertaste hurt drinkability a little. Seems like a very good beer. I will adjust this review as soon as I can find some fresher product.

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

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a tulip glass.

A- Very cloudy deep red-amber, with a creamy reddish-brown head.

S- Very hoppy, flowery, with a sweetness of fresh bread added.

T- Hoppy, yet malty. the hops id more aromatic and flavorful, not bittering. Good balance.

M- Smooth, very well carbonated, not too thick, nor cloying on the tongue.

D- Very good, a beer for all occassions.

Had his with a good Stilton cheese, very nice.

Photo of isaac
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. to chalice.

this beer pours a dark, bloody red with a small, cream-colored, frothy head, sinking quite quickly wiht minimal lace. the nose is unbelievably hoppy - sweet citrus, mint, earthiness, etc. - yet well ballanced with some caramel malts. taste is much like the smell, only way more bitter, more of citrus-rind than sweetness, but it isn't overly off-balance and the nutty and smooth malts make their presence known. finish is a little harsh as a sort of syrup develops in the back of the throat. carbonation is a bit on the high side, but a solid medium body. a nice little beer, but definitely my least favorite offering from bear republic

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

Deep red color. An inch of egg nog colored head that reduces to a sticky quarter inch. Chunky splotches of lace.

Smells of citrusy and earthy hops, and malt - caramel, honey, grape nuts, coffee. Good.

Tastes of hops - grapefruit, orange rind, earth - with singed toast, caramel, honey, coffee. Very well balanced - the rich malt has a discernible but very carefully restrained sweetness, enveloped by the hops, and the mild roastiness manages not to clash with the big hops. Fairly long finish, both hoppy and malty.

Sticky hoppy mouthfeel, with fine carbonation. Can fizz up too much, but several vigorous swirls renders it decadently creamy and not quite fizzy. Reasonably drinkable.

As the label indicates, a Scottish ale unabashedly bastardized by a load of West coast hops. It really works. Great and original beer.

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

22 oz. Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Deep, dark amber in color. Soft off white head pours one finger thick and hangs around for most of the sample. Thin sticky lacing clings to the sides of the glass.

S: Caramel malts. Earthy hops. Fresh baked bread. Medicine.

T: Rich sweet caramel malts are followed by a wet earthy hop presence that leaves a bitter bite on the tongue. Herbal wave is taken over by toasted malts and biscut flavor. Touch of mint leaf and menthol for the finish.

M: Smooth and creamy. Moderate carbonation. Slightly dry.

D: A damn good red ale that packs some punch. This beer was very similar in taste with Three Floyd's Brian Boru red ale. Both of which are two of the better red ales that I have sampled. Recommended.

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

Excellent deep brownish red color, with a colossal pillowy head; cloud-like. Hard for light to shine through, but is probably relatively clear. Major icy lace. Quite enticing.

Appears to have a nice balance of strong hops and strong malt. The malt smells sharp and red, and serves as a bitter match to the hops.

Very nice flavor with a great balance of dueling bitters; both hops and sharp malt. Complex malt with a nutty, roasted second wave. Deep and rich flavor. Two hits o'bitter. (Reminds me if Cascazilla, for comparison.)

Thick and fully body. Feels almost like a porter, believe it or not. Fits the deep flavor. A slight bit bubbly. A very fin, solid beer. Quite bitter; very bitter. And good. And STRONG!

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a weizen-type glass. Poured a dark brownish color but but crystal clear ruby red when held up to light, with an off-white-tan frothy head that has pretty good retention and then dissipates into some frothy clumps. Smell was of sweet sugar combined with hops.

Taste is very malty- caramel and maybe a little toasted, but hops make a very nice appearance in the aftertaste so it's not malt overload. A late transient bitterness as well. One of the better scottish style ales I've had... I guess the amount of hops makes it more of a red ale. The flavor does not get tiring throughout the bottle.

Medium and smooth body. Nothing really wrong here.

I don't think Bear Republic could make a bad beer if they tried.

Photo of BradBLR
4.41/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a slightly hazy brown with hints of red. The head was super thick with a tan color. There was a ton of lacing and there was a nice chunk of foam left after the beer was gone.... AWESOME! The smell was a slightly sweet smell with a nice floral accompaniment.

The taste was a really hoppy flavor with a nice balance of sweet toasted malt. A very balanced beer that is very smooth with lots of hops. The mouthfeel was good with the CO2 being perfect and the thickness being nice and thick.

Another great beer from Bear Republic. A little different than anything else I have had, and definitely worth a try.

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

A - A very deep red/amber w/ a thin tan head. Lace sticks like crazy.
S - Hops, summer fruits, spicy malt.
T - Figs, hops, light ripe fruits, & a slight alcohol presence. As it warms, more flavors come out. Brown sugar & the spicy malt shine through as well.
M - The hops oils cling to the palate & feel fresh while the alcohol keeps you involved.
D - Smooth & not too heavy. None of the flavors are overwhelming, which creates a balance that urges you for another mouthful. I love this style and Bear Republic has again brewed a great example. Their Red Ale seems to go beyond the style and create even more character to a great style. With the Racer 5, Hop Rod, Red Rocket, and Black Bear, Bear Republic is one of my favorite breweries.

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

22 oz. bottle. An unfiltered, bottle-conditioned, "bastardized Scottish red ale" brewed with Hugh Baird, Crystal, and Caravienne malts; Centennial and Cascade hops used for bitterness and aroma. It pours a deep, deep amber/red with low carbonation and a two finger, tan head that leave huge sheets of lace. Smells of tropical hops at first, with Simcoe-esque passionfruit, mango, and grapefruit, along with woody (cedar?), piney, perhaps floral notes and a caramelly, almost smoky malt backing. The taste follows through almost exactly, with smooth carbonation (due to conditioning) on top of a medium body that provides coating, lingering hop oils. Overall a delicious red ale, nicely hopped, with a touch of Scottish malts for ballast.

Photo of bradybeer
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark red brown with good head that lasts-inital aroma is spicy hops.
Aroma is of resin and light malt.
Taste is nice with a slight alchohol and light hop bite. Mouthfeel is meaty and the drinkabiliy is high-this is the third Red Ale I have tried over the past three days and it maybe my favorite

Photo of stephendr
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. glass bottle- color of deep reddish brown , with a good tan head - nose of spruce , hopps , resin , malt , and citrus – taste of hopps , malts , citrus , dirty , and dirty - body thick , sour and dirty – aftertaste of dirty resin , and spearmint

Photo of hellsing3
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This beer poured a cherry wood color with amber hues and about a inch of thick off white colored head minimal lacing. Beatiful looking beer very deep color.

S: It has a grassy spiced smell in the nose, with faint notes of malts, citrus, and towards the end i get a good amount of apricot.

T: Smooth semi-sweet and malty until the balance shifts to bitter hoppyness with a small bit of spice, and ends with a slight apricot flavor.

M: Smooth oily start, smooth hoppy finish. Not to heavy, light to medium body.

D: This beer is very drinkable. I was ready for another 22oz. but i had only one. Bear Republic calls this a" Bastardized Scottish Style Red Ale" if you like Scottish Style or Red Ale and have a open mind you should try this one, Great California Beer.

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

got this one in a recent trade with BigLove. thanks travis!

pours a lovely red colour with a thick, dense tan head. the head drops very slowly and leaves tons of lace.

aroma is great. tons of malt. crackers and biscuits. bit of caramel. bit of alcohol. actually reminds me of a barleywine that's had a couple years to mellow.

taste is great. bit of roasty character. moderate bitterness. lots of malt. cracker and biscuit again. caramel too, and maybe some toffee. bit of bittersweet chocolate. alcohol is fairly noticeable, which i'd expect from the lower hop presence.

mouthfeel is good. nice moderate carbonation level. bigger body than i expected.

drinkability is pretty good. loving the malt in it, but the alcohol comes through fairly strong, especially for 6.8%abv. it's sort of like a slimmed-down old ale. more for the malt-head than the hop-head, and i can appreciate both crowns so it's still very tasty.

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

True to its name, this beer has a dark red body and a pillowy white head. Crisp hoppy smell, slightly citric. Caramel malts followed by earthy/piney hops; nicely balanced, but with fuller hop flavors and a dry finish. Medium-bodied, crisp, and very drinkable. Another great beer from Bear Republic.

Photo of crzyd12
3.46/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer claims to be a "bastardized Scottish style red ale" with "aggressive hop character" and it does not dissappoint. The beer holds a thick head which lasts several minutes after pouring. The smells are slightly sweet with hop covering the aroma. Hops continue upon tasting the beer, stronger than most Scottish ales, but then again aggressive hops were the brewmasters goal. The malts are neither lacking nor overbearing and compliment the overall feel of the beer. The mouthfeel is crisp and clean with only the slightest linger of flavor that makes you crave more. This craving is quenched over and over again but never quite overcome making this a very drinkable brew.

Photo of rousee
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The obligatory American amber ale by Bear Republic. Like most everything this brewery does, its quite good.

Pours a dark amber brown color. You can see through it but it is still alittle murky. Nice rings of lace remain on the sides of the glass.

Smell is a woody cedar like smell. There are some hints of maltiness like caramel or toffey but its very subtle.
Taste is a good dose of malt up front with a nice hop kick to it. Reminds me almost more of a pale ale than an amber because it is hoppier than most versions of amber I have had.

Good mouthfeel and quite smooth and easy to drink. I like it for an amber but there are other Bear Republic offerings that I prefer.

Photo of Viggo
3.71/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy red/brown, thick off white head, nice lacing, great retention, certainly looks good. Smell is toffee, grains, citrus and floral hops, roast, bit of metallic aroma, Bear Republic signature aroma. Taste is caramelized, earthy, lots of citrus/floral hoppiness, metallic again, bit weak in the finish. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, medium carbonation, bit of a gusher. Not bad, I liked their other offerings more, maybe I need to try a fresher bottle.

Photo of velo343
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Poured into a pint glass from a 22oz bomber. A beautiful deep crimson with a large, porous head of a light tan color.

Smell - A fresh citrus, grapefruity hop aroma. A smell of cherry pie is slightly hidden beneath the hops.

Taste - A caramelly malt flavor, somewhat bready. The freshness of the hops gives way to a strong bitterness that at first matches the maltiness but then takes over at the end.

Mouthfeel - This beer is fairly thick and malty and it really coats the mouth. The hops give it some dryness to counteract that, however, leaving a warm, pleasant feeling.

Drinkability - This red ale is definitely stands apart from the rest of the red ales I've had. It's very hoppy, but it's really well balanced by the strong malt character. Each flavor seems to have its counterpart elsewhere in the beer, the result being a very drinkable treat.

Photo of rkuhnel
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle. Poured a nice darkredish brown with very fat and long lasting head. Left beautiful rings of lacing in the glass as it slowly settled. Nice nose of complex malts with subtle hops. Very easy to drink. Great taste with all the malts and hops coming together for a perfectly balanced combination Smooth on the palate with a slighty oily touch, and good to the last drop. A very nice ale. Beer Advocate has this listed as an American Amber/Red Ale. I would classify it as an American Strong Ale, but whatever you choose type it as it is still outstanding.

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