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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.

2,349 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,349
Reviews: 1,138
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 111
Gots: 142 | 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: 2,349 | Reviews: 1,138 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CRJMellor
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a thick off-white head and a slightly burnt red sienna color with lots of suspended yeasties in the glass.
Aroma is caramel with some citrus, bicuit and a hint fo roasted barley.
Flavor is a fruity deep malt hit and just a touch of peat. Hop oil jumps at you on the finish and actually packs a little of a punch.
Slightly roasted with a bit of nuttiness.
Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy, carbonation is moderate but appropraite and beer feels "thick" on the palate. Long bitterness on the finish that stands up to the heavy malt.
Drinkability is very good. Kind of hybrid cross betwen styles always make for interesting beers in my opinion.

CRJMellor, Jun 06, 2004
Photo of maxpower
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep reddish-brown in color with a nice, thick creamy beige head that leaves sticky sheets of lace in my glass. Strong hoppy aromas of grapefruit and pine, citrus, bready and fruity flavors kind of like pineapple cake. Full bodied with a thick and creamy mouthfeel, another good one from this brewery.

maxpower, Jun 04, 2004
Photo of MuddyFeet
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The bartended poured me the first pint of a fresh keg. It was a funndy muddy in color. A very deep red. The beer also had a weak head. The taste was bitter, almost sour. It was similar to unripe citrus fruits. The malt was pretty mild and the hops in this beer standout. I had a second pint thinking that my opinion may improve if it was not the first pour off the keg. It tasted the same.

MuddyFeet, May 29, 2004
Photo of beergeek279
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 22 oz. bomber, into a pint glass. The color is a dark amber, with a foamy head with excellent retention, and some nice lacing in the glass. The smell is a decent hoppiness. The taste is a creamy maltiness that has quite a bit of a citrus/piney hop to it. Mouthfeel is average. As for drinkability, could definitely have quite a few of these.

My first beer from Bear Republic. A solid amber ale, with a strong hop backing and decent maltiness, and one I'd be glad to find again.

beergeek279, May 29, 2004
Photo of Sammy
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hoppy amber. Lots of hops, both bitter and aggressive and dry aftertaste and great with meat dinner. Full bodied. Reminds me of a Samuel Smith. Tan head, sprucy hops, toasted taste, some malt. Even a hint of smoke. Alcohol masked in above taste.
Unusual and required drinking!

Sammy, May 28, 2004
Photo of joecast
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a thick creamy tan head and dark rich amber color. no, darker than that. the head is amazingly stable, one of the best i have seen for sure.
flavor leaning towards being malty sweet, with some bitter chocolate behind and some vanilla extract.
flavor and mouthfeel are exceptionally smooth, but this isnt your everyday amber ale. its got a kick that makes you take notice in both taste and aroma.
that kick, i am assuming, is the infulence from the scottish ale. deffinitely an interesting mix.

joecast, May 27, 2004
Photo of Zorro
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear reddish brown brew.

Smell is fairly strong hop and a hint of smoky chocolate malt.

Taste is malty and smoky with a strong but not overwhelming dose of hops in the finish. A strong tasting brew that manages to find a balance.

Mouthfeel is good.

A drinkable brew despite its strong flavor tastes much like a Scottish ale.

Zorro, May 27, 2004
Photo of oberon
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep deep ruby with a fantastic sticky slightly off white head,really pick up the zest hops there with an underlying caramel malt, very piney and cedary.A big tasting beer nicely balanced with a huge amount of hops for the style but a nice nutty biscuity malt backbone to hold up to the dry,zesty hop.A true west coast ale big and bold tasting and full of hops,a very very nice brew.

oberon, May 27, 2004
Photo of WesWes
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark ruby red color with a thick off-white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a solid pale and crystal malt scent with an intense citrous hop aroma. The taste is great as well. It has a malty core with a wonderful bitter hop flavor. It goes down easy and finishes bitter and dry. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is one of the best red ales I've ever had. It has great flavor and aroma; a real good drinker.

WesWes, May 26, 2004
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured crystal clear deep amber. The head was tan, large, and everlasting to lace the glass.

The aroma was malty. I say it again...malty. I could smell it from across the room. Some caramel was present in the aroma.

The flavor was malty with a nice hop bitterness that balances the sweetness of the caramelization in the beer. The flavor is well done and leaves you wanting more. A slight chocolate flavor was present near the end of the flavor.

The finish was dry and slightly bitter with a chocolate impression into the finish. The body was medium to medium full.

Great beer!

22 ounce bottle. (I think I have had this one quite awhile and it has stood the test of time with flying colors.)

GCBrewingCo, May 22, 2004
Photo of joshlara
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My fourth offering from Bear Republic. I love their use of hops in their ales. Bottle conditioned.

Appearance: This baby pours a garnet ruby color with an off white dolloped sticky lace. For a bottle conditioned beer this is quite clear. Beautiful color.

Smell: The bottle states this is a bastardized scotch ale. Well, the bastardized part comes from the overabundance of west coast hops used. A pungent grapefruit rind aroma dominates. There is a hint of sweet caramel malts underlining the hops.

Taste: Juicy citrus flavors combine with caramel and pale malts making a beer both leaning towards hops and one that has enough malt to call this a balanced beer. Medium bodied and smooth on the palate, I could drink this all the time.

Overall: Again, I love this brewery's use of hops in their beers. Their beers are not available yet in Pennsylvania but I will go to New York to make sure at least a couple of their offerings are always in my fridge.

joshlara, May 18, 2004
Photo of RedDiamond
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Red Rocket starts with a lush, delicate pour that spills in a silken stream along the glass. It then kicks up a tall creamy head that throws off a profuse malty fragrance. The color is garnet sunset, mostly clear, with a smattering of light bubble streams. The nose has banana and allspice and the mouthfeel is full and sensual.

The taste trails the aroma somewhat, never fully realizing that which the aroma suggests. The malt profile is sweet and well contoured. The finish delivers a palate-smacking riff of barbed bitterness that endures considerable sustain.

Given the radiant red glow of the color, the exotic fruity fragrance, the sweet sugarplum maltiness, and the plush rounded mouthfeel, I would have to call this one of the sexiest beers on the market. Serve it with candles and Coltrane.

The only modest disharmony in the brew is a slight excess of bitterness in the finish that some Bear Republic loyalists may appreciate more than myself.

RedDiamond, May 16, 2004
Photo of Afterburner
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Lovely bronze/copper color with a thick, tan, rocky head that lasts forever and leaves lacework out the yin-yang.

Smell: Due to a tactical miscalculation on my part, I'm having to try and determine the bouquet of this beer while a pepperoni and anchovy pizza sits a mere 1.5 feet away. But I shall endeavor to persevere.

The first impression is one of piney hop character. Not insane amounts, like 60 Minute IPA, but definitely noticable. Aside from that, there's a subdued malt presence and some notes of orange.

Taste: Creamy malt sweetness at the beginning, blooming into a spiced tea sort of character mid-palate. Finish brings out both the bittering hops and the finishing hops, along with a strong Heath Bar flavor. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, with peppy carbonation.

Drinkability: A pleasant beer which surprised me. I confess that when I hear "Red Ale," I think of Killian's Irish Red and I'm kinda turned off. But a friend had one of these and we tried it and were both very impressed. If it were just a tad less hoppy, it would be a perfect gateway beer. As it is, it's still a good brew.

Afterburner, May 11, 2004
Photo of Crosling
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Metallic red in color. Very handsome.

Very pleasant and very frangrant aroma. Caramel, peat and toffee malt backbone but the hop fragrance is what shines with an immense amount of floral, spicy and citrus notes. Lovely.

Malt accentuated flavor with tons of caramel and butterscotch. The hops are floral, very pleasant, moderately bitter and barely acidic and display flavors of grapefruit and wood.

Centennial hops. Yum Yum.

Great beer.

Crosling, May 03, 2004
Photo of Loki
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled on draft at Westside Brewery in Manhattan's Upperwest Side

Appearance: Dark azure color with a thick, sticky head.

Smell: Hops, fresh hops and bold malt dominate the nose. This is not your ordinary red ale.

Taste: Rich, caramel malt with a huge does of ziggy hops with citrus and floral undertones. The hops control the palette from start to finish, letting others through, but swarming around and on top of everything like gnats. Wonderfully tasty.

Mouthfeel: Thick, creamy, complete. Starts smoothly and finishes too easy. Very controlled if not light carbonation.

Drinkability: Excellent. I loved this red, I could have this everyday, and twice on Sunday!

Loki, Apr 29, 2004
Photo of charlesw
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I remember drinking this stuff back in the 90s - at the oregon brewers' fest, in particular. I remembered it as being fantastic. So I went out of my way to procure a couple of bombers of the stuff... And that brings us to this review...

Pours red. Crazy. I mean, red red. I make red ales and mine are brown. These are nice and red and clear. Small, dense cream-colored head that stuck around a bit, but not too long. I was a little thrown off, yet again, by the smell of it. I mean, it was light and a bit fruity - maybe citrusy. Where're the earthy, malty tones? But, what the heck, let's taste it... Ah! Nice! Yes! THIS is a red ale! Tons o' malt, nice and bitter clean through, very even, bitter aftertaste that just gently fades out... Wow! If I could only have one beer this, hmm. Well, yeah, it would be one of my choices :)

charlesw, Apr 11, 2004
Photo of RootedFool
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber purchased at the North Coast Co-op in Arcata, California.

Pours deep dark mahogany -- creamy, bubbly tan head.

Smell is sweet (ginger snap cookies, raisins) in a snappy blanket of hops (ah, pine sap, dried grapefruit rinds).

Taste opens with a prick of bitterness on the base of my tongue. Malts follow, brown sugary sweet yet downplayed by the soaring hop profile. Truly sharp, sharp, sharp -- this beer will stab your palate to death, and you'll thank it.

Malts enter in the aftertaste, a steady crust in the background, but those hops zing relentlessly.

Creamy mouthfeel, plenty carbonated.

Digging it.

Bear Republic hasn't let me down yet.

RootedFool, Apr 10, 2004
Photo of BeefyMee
2.85/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bomber

Appearance: Generally nice looking. Transparent red, tanned head, nice lacing.

Smell: When I took a whiff I didn't think I'd be able to finish the beer. The aroma is of a repulsive hop variety. I don't know exactly what raw hops smell like, but if I had to guess I'd say they smell like this. I'm trying to be objective about this, but I can't get over how revolting the smell is.

Taste: I was surprised that I kind of like how it tastes. While not spectacular, the flavor is enjoyable. The hops are almost as aggressive as in the smell, but they don't make the beer very bitter at all. The flavor of the hops still limits my liking of the taste however.

Mouthfeel: Nice feeling on the tongue and also a good consistencty.

Drinkability: One is plenty.

Beef Notes: Maybe I'll do some research to find out what kind of hops are used in this one. That way I can be careful of other beer using the same kind. A good beer, though, that made a good turnaround, but I don't think I'll be coming back for a while.

BeefyMee, Apr 07, 2004
Photo of CBFanWish
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Everything Bear Republic does, they do right. This is in no way an exception.
Red Rocket (I hope it has nothing to do with dogs genitalia) is a fantastic complex Ale. With aromas ranging from toffee to caramel and a wonderful taste that brings you back to the candy store with even more coffee and caramel with a nice hop finish.
A great beer to just relax with.

CBFanWish, Apr 04, 2004
Photo of alexgash
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber with a dense light khaki head. Good lacing. Smells of sharp, cutting pine/spruce hops with a citrusy edge. Light notes of caramelized malt and slight sweetness. Taste starts off with light roasty-sweet, caramel maltiness, but is soon cut down by big piney, bitter, medicinal hops. Finish is bitter, with some warming and lingering maltiness. Mouthfeel is surprisingly big and the balance is great. A great tasting amber ale, and up until now, the best I've had. I can't wait to try the racer 5 and the big bear black I have in the cellar.

alexgash, Apr 02, 2004
Photo of altctrlsdelete
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A great beer from Bear Republic. Poured a deep reddish-brown with a pillowy white head that eventually faded to a thin layer, leaving plenty of lace behind. The smell has a subtle fruitiness to it that complements the just slightly dominant hop aroma. The hop presence takes over in the mouth, sticking to my tongue and trailing off to a very pleasant, subdued finish. Medium bodied and very smooth in the mouth. A pleasure to drink.

I'll definitely have to try some more red ales for comparison, but this is quite a tasty treat.

altctrlsdelete, Mar 31, 2004
Photo of rkhaze
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a slightly hazy reddish/copper with a big, dense creamy tan head. The head got chunky as it dissipated and left lots of lace. Great smell! Fresh zippy hops, sweet malt and caramel.
Nothing complex, more along the lines of simplicity at its finest.
Taste is rich and roasty. Sweet malt, caramel, a bit of fruit and perhaps a smidge of chocolate hiding somewhere in the back. All enhanced by a spicy, slightly resinous citrus hop profile...or maybe its the other way around. Anyway it all adds up to the same thing...a tasty brew! Especially for hopheads.
Medium bodied with a full, rich, mildly oily mouthfeel and a good amount of carbonation. Highly drinkable offering.
I really like the products from this brewery.

rkhaze, Mar 20, 2004
Photo of kmcnair
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep auburn/brown and makes a thick off white head. Laces nicely down the glass. No sediment to be seen, this is a bit odd considering the label says bottle conditioned.

Boquet is pretty weak, there's a bit of malt character to be seen but not much else.

Flavor starts off hoppy strong and finishes very mild. Nice balance here between hop and malt. I taste a bit of a woodlike character here.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, leaves a light coating as it goes down. It is very smooth.

I think drinkability is this beer's strongest point, its not too much of anything and it is so smooth that I wish I had bought more than one bottle.

Overall this one gets a thumbs up.

kmcnair, Mar 12, 2004
Photo of arizcards
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This 22 oz bomber poured a mahogony colored brew that formed a nice lasting head. A cirtrusy hopped aroma is intertwined nicely with a hint of smokiness. The diverseness of this beer's taste is interesting. The hop IBU has to be fairly high as it hit my palate pretty hard. What makes this beer unique is the caramel malts amongst the big hop factor that leads to an interesting smoked finish. A very good beer that a hop head would enjoy!

arizcards, Feb 17, 2004
Photo of longpondbeerman
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

OK, this stuff is unusual, but really good. It pours a deep reddish ebony topped off by a fine hard-working frothy head. The first thing I noticed in the aroma was a sweet smokiness, almost like the peaty smell in a scotch ale (I was later informed that that is deliberate). There was also a touch of citrus, as if the hops were hiding under that smouldering residue, and then all these competing interests came together in the taste, which was remarkably well-balanced. The mouthfeel was thick and creamy, and the aftertaste just a touch bitter. A very interesting brew. I'm not sure I can put my finger on it.

longpondbeerman, Feb 09, 2004
Red Rocket Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,349 ratings.