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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.

2,334 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,334
Reviews: 1,136
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 110
Gots: 135 | 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: 2,334 | Reviews: 1,136 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of Dmann
4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a great brew! It poured a magnificant dark mahogany color with a great frothy head that left tons of lace down the glass. The smell was very good with a nice malt scent mixed with a light citrus. The taste was just awesome and unlike any amber/red that I have ever had before. It started out with a touch of malt sweetness, then once it opened up it had a great smokey flavor to it followed up by a great finishing hop bitterness! Very complex flavor and as it warmed it tasted even better. A new favorite of mine for sure.

Dmann, Feb 07, 2004
Photo of rabidawg
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Glowing ruby with sticky carbonation bubbles lining the insides of the glass. Creamy off-white head with tons of lacing.

Smell: Citric hops dominate. A slight earthiness pervades, with no hint of alcohol in the nose.

Taste: Initial lager-like flavors. Very crisp and refreshing, with biting green hops and a semi-dry finish. Overall, a generously hopped west coast delight.

rabidawg, Feb 05, 2004
Photo of taez555
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer poured a brown body with ruby red highlights. A beautiful dark tan head, that seemed to die rather quickly.

The nose was beautiful. Rich malt, wood, caramel, brown sugar, a slight touch of smoke and a Huge tight citrus hop smell.

The taste was also just as inviting. Big and rich, medium bodied. Extremely hoppy, but perfectly balanced. Wood, earth, a slight smoke touch, peat moss. Very smooth and clear with a great caramel malt taste. It’s a tad bit grainy and I tasted a little bit of a metallic bitterness. But basically just an amazing big citrus hop taste and bitterness mixed perfectly with the malt.

Overall a fantastic beer. I didn’t even realize it was a hybrid red/scotch/IPA type ale until a few sips in when I read the bottle. Really an outstanding mix of styles. Perfect for a hophead looking for something with a little bit more malty depth

taez555, Jan 23, 2004
Photo of GreatPondBrewer
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slight tan head resulted from a slow gentle pour. It rested on top of a crystal clear red body and left plenty of lace clinging to the side of the glass. Smell was of pungent hops, sliding into a peaty smokiness and a slight bready note, probably from bottle conditioning. Taste was a whole lot of grapefruit hops delicately balanced with a slight, sticky sweetness and caramel, which comprised the strong malty backbone. There was more of the smokey flavor that rounded the taste out nicely. Mouthfeel was crisp and full of hops yet generally smooth and easy drinking. It is always nice to find red ales that have a little bit of oomph and a unique flavor.

GreatPondBrewer, Jan 22, 2004
Photo of pheurton
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at the blind tiger: evil looking reddish-brown, capped by a quater inch foamy white head. detected a caramel malt foundation supporting a boatload of hops, of the earthy and pine-sap variety. medium level of carbonation lends a full bodied, creamy smooth mouthfeel. slightly fruity with a crisp snap of aggressive piney hoppiness. some citrus notes in there as well. slightly warming as i got to the bottom of the glass. a well-built ballsy american red ale that i wish was available where i live. good stuff.

pheurton, Jan 04, 2004
Photo of DagFishHead
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear, ruby-amber body, frothy tan head fades to a thin broken cap with some creamy dollups and lacing.
Smell: Crisp and clean. Spicy/citrus hops, sweet caramel and toasty malts.
Taste & Mouthfeel: Full bodied smooth slick semi-sweet malt to start. Fairly strong, course carbonation and bitter/spice hops at the top, acidic dry-hop/citrus pucker with a lingering bitter hop aftertaste. Red IPA?
Drinkability: Hop-heads: there's a red ale for you. Bomber bottle is a nice size, found myself wanting more than a pint.

DagFishHead, Dec 21, 2003
Photo of tavernjef
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Dark russet color with a majorly thick finger high head of tight cream colored froth that installs itself on top; slowly puffed away form the center outwards where a thin skim and fairly thick collar stay present the whole glass through and lacing in webby sheets that sticks well at first but then disintegrate more as it goes. Aroma is pleasant of a nice leafy hop bringing a smooth woody earthy dryness over the top of some dulled fruityness and toasted, nearly burnt malts. Taste has a very nice balance of toasted malts and grassy/woody dry hops, starts smooth and lightly sweet of malts as it turns toasted with a substantial building over the palate of the toastyness with the wood dryness sneaking in just past midway and making a home through to the finish where it mixes nicely with notes of dulled dried fruit of apricot, peach, and raisin, and finishes with an overall super nice earthy dryness and texture. Feel detains a smoother start then raises to a thick fullness from there and follows into the drying finish, a slim toastyness lingers. This is a very good amber, one of the better ones I've had with a nice dry hop profile that was hardly bitter in any form, just some tiny glimmers of bite that made this very nice with a certain complexity that was favorable to my palate. Good stuff - thanks goes to Drewbage1847 for the bomber.

tavernjef, Dec 10, 2003
Photo of goz
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful deep ruby red, with a mostly lasting creamy tan head that laces lightly. Aroma is toasted malts, caramel and a slew of piney hops. Flavor mostly toasted malts, with a hint of sweet caramel, the middle and end brings in an onslaight of pine & citrus from the hops. Big, full body, goes down easy, flavors linger nicely on the tongue.

goz, Dec 08, 2003
Photo of OatmattStout
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The best head I have seen on a beer in a long time. Big and rocky and fluffy. The nose was awesome with grapefruit rind and floral hop and sweet malt.

First thing you notice before you swallow is the real nice tongue enveloping mouth feel, big and rich. The next thing you should brace yourself for is the huge hop slam. Just like the nose, a tart grapefruit rind and spruce hoppyness from start to finish. It has a real nice durable lingering hop finish that you could sit on for a few minutes between sips and still taste. In the midst of all that hop is a really good wave of thick chewy toasted grain that add a needed bit of sweetness to theis brew.

Man this beer is something. If you are not a lover of big hoppy beers it's not for you. Hop heads get this one. For a red amber ale this one rewrites the rules on hops.

OatmattStout, Dec 07, 2003
Photo of ElGuapo
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A deep brown colored brew with amber notes topped in a massive off-white head with great retention. The nose is loaded with a big bouquet of hops. It has an overall grassy aroma with some small notes of citrus.

I was at first told that this was a very mild brew, so I turned it down to try other BR beers. When I saw it on tap again, I could not resist. It was absolutely loaded with flavor. A huge blast of hops starts you off, and it never leaves. It does balance pretty well with subtle maltiness. It is very grassy at the start, but more citrus notes come out as you sip through it. The body was on the heavy side of medium, and it was very smooth with a light, but sufficient level of carbonation. It is a very drinkable brew. I could have a few at a sitting.
After being misled to believe that this was a toned down beer, I am glad that I sampled this one. It is a real nice brew with a hoppy punch that will wake you up at night.

ElGuapo, Nov 30, 2003
Photo of RoyalT
4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance – Extremely thick and brown in color with a nice head that left a little lacing on the inside of my Ruination glass. There is a ton of sediment floating around in this one. Another big hoppy Bear Republic?

Smell – There’s a wonderful piney hop nose followed by a solid malt base to this one. It is very subtle when cold, but opens up a bit after about five minutes in the glass. There are also some citrus hops as well along with some sugary caramel sweets, making this one rather complex.

Taste – Man, is this good. The hops of course lead the way. They are sharp and piney with citrus undertones backed up by a serious malt structure that’s just dripping with sugar syrup. I can almost literally taste a Heath bar in there.

Mouthfeel – More surprises in that this one actually has a bit of carbonation. Otherwise this is just about full-bodied, probably the heaviest Red that I’ve had to date, and extremely dry. This is a real mouthful.

Drinkability – This is my idea of an American Red Ale. I’m no expert, but if you go to the BJCP site it describes this beer exactly. I’d give my right nut for a glass of this on-tap.

Update – I rated this beer so high back in November 2003 when I snagged a bottle in California I thought I’d re-review a 2004 vintage now that they sell it here in Seattle at Bottleworks. This thing is by far the tastiest and biggest Red/Amber Ale that I’ve ever had, and the mouthfeel is just incredible (better than the 5.0 that I scored it). After 1,200+ reviews it is still my favor Red Ale to date.

RoyalT, Nov 19, 2003
Photo of winomark
3/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a light brown, darkish red with a creamy, sticky, off-white head.

Aroma: Sweet roasted malt with slight alcohol warmth. Mild smokiness.

Taste: Smoky, sweet malt dominates. Hops offer some balance.

Mouthfeel: Coating and flavorful. Dry, somewhat light finish.

Drinkability: Tastes hoppier than a smoked porter, and milder than a true smoked beer. Not a fan of the smokiness in this one. My least favorite offering from this brewery.

winomark, Nov 17, 2003
Photo of barleypop
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this one on tap at Bear Republic. A thick creamy head was produced by the nitro tap. The body was a pleasant auburn colour.

The nose was very interesting. I detected prunes and raisons with a little brown sugar. Brown Sugar, just like a young girl should A-huh. Sorry Mick.

A very nice tasting beer. Delightful roasted caramel flavours with a velvety, rich and smooth texture. The hops and malt battle for your tongues attention. In the end I think the malt prevails.

Very drikable. Hook up the Red Rocket IV and let the fun begin. This one is along the lines of Speakeasy Prohibition Ale with a more roasted flavour.

barleypop, Nov 04, 2003
Photo of Jason
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz brown bomber with no freshness date.

Appearance: Thick bubbly sea foam head, has no problem sticking all over the glass. The brazen reddish brown colour glows in the light.

Smell: Leafy hop with a soft underbelly of citrus, toasted malt and vague alcohol as well.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Ultra smooth from the moderate level of carbonation and creamy full body. A thick sheeting of soft bitterness holds strong and lays down more flavour than anything else. Slight aleish fruitiness. The sweet maltiness is there but the hops stay on top, flashes of toasted malt and a lingering caramel grab the palates attention. Lots of sweet hop oil on the tongue with more pronounced toasted malt in the finish.

Notes: I love big-ass red ales, lots of flavour and character and it even packs a punch at 6.8% abv. This one went great with some Chinese Style Spare Ribs and Crab Rangoon.

Jason, Oct 25, 2003
Photo of BeerResearcher
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found a new member of my own private Top Ten!
Its pours a rich ruby tinged dark amber with a solid beige head and loads of sticky lace. A fresh whole hop floral bouquet awakens the senses. Sweet malt, a hint of pears and a touch of warming alcohol add to the overall excellence of the aroma. Toasty malt, light toffee, hint of chocolate and light sweetness is revealed in graduating degrees as it warms. Sharp grapefruit, orange peel, lemon grass and hint of metallic bite make up a wonderful and lively hoppy flavor. The whole creation blends and balances as this fine brew warms, though hops are clearly the shining star here.

BeerResearcher, Oct 20, 2003
Red Rocket Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,334 ratings.