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Red Rocket Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Red Rocket AleRed Rocket Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,441 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,441
Reviews: 1,149
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 10.86%
Wants: 124
Gots: 178 | 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: 2,441 | Reviews: 1,149 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wingnutter
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby red with a big head. Beautiful. Moderate lacing. Aromas of citrus, floral hops, and malt.

This beer is rediculously good. And smooth - it goes down effortlessly. Lots of hops, caramel, toffee, a bit of floral notes....Wow. Simply delicious. Bear Republic now has 2 of my top 10 beers - Racer 5, and now Red Rocket Ale. As it warms, it gets even smoother. Its like an IPA with an extra shot of malt. I could drink this every day and not get sick of it. Heaven in a bottle.

Another slam dunk from Bear Republic. God how I wish I could get them in Florida.

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

Pours to a brownish color with an off-white head that leaves spotty lacing. The aroma is of malty sweetness, brown sugars and juicey, citrusy hops.

The flavor is malty, and citrus....fruity citrus and caramel malts...damn well-balanced.

A medium-full bodied brew, that is nice drinking....thanks Wally Paulnuts.

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big ole double duecer pours out with a dark yet clear copper auburn hue topped with a thick packed khaki bubbly cap including a few small carbonation bubbles.

Amazing scents of grassy fresh delicious juicy citrus hops. An aromatic treat to the olfactory!. Some sweeness and caramel in the nose as well.

First swigs: Caramel and lolipop malts meets a big balance of hops. Just a bunch of orange peel meets carrot cake. This is a blend of many flavors that finds its way home. Some cocoa and cherry soda. Wow!

Feel is uber-smooth. Soft carbonation and just a creamy awesome smooth feel.

Last swigs: Qualifies as a MUST TRY! How surprised was I when I noticed that I never reviewed this? I've had a few bottles in my day, knew I really dug it and never reviewed it.

Photo of beveragecaptain
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle. Red Rocket Ale pours out a reddish brown color with a huge head that refuses to die. Big aroma with butterscotch, toasted malt, and spuce hops. The flavor starts off malty with a burnt caramel sweetness. But just when you start to think this is some sort of malty beer, the hops come in. The huge hop flavor isn't overly bitter, but it is very flavorful. Some citrus, but mainly piney flavors from the hops. The mouthfeel is full for the style. Pretty good drinkability. This is a delicious West Coast style hoppy red ale.

Photo of francisweizen
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the bottle, in a hotel in new york city, from notes. Dark red amber with a nice frothy head of off-white. Aromas of piney resiny hops and fruit punch like juicy malts. Taste is a nice blend of the two, hoppy enough to kick your ass but malty enough to call an amber. Balanced as all get out with no hint of abv and a super refreshing mouthfeel. Not a show stopper for BR's line but damn if this isn't one great thirst quenching, refreshing, pizza companion beer. Another great beer.

Photo of bennetj17
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark amber/brown color. Hold it up to the light and it glows red and has high clarity. The creamy head is almost two fingers thick with nice retention and fine lacing. Smell is lightly bready with strong hops. Taste starts out brightly hoppy, quite a mouthfull. The hops dominate the subtle malt flavors of caramel and bread. Quite bitter in the finish. Mouthfeel is great, good carbonation, medium thickness, lightly creamy as it coats well. Alcohol does not dominate and is at a good level. Drinkability is good but a higher balance of flavors would make it even more enjoyable...

Photo of supernaut
3.45/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - The rocket poured out a nice dark brown with a slightly smaller than desirable head that pretty much disappeared despite repeated coaxing and swirling. Nothing mindblowing here

S - Nice overall scent de Red Ale here, but again nothing earthshattering.

T - The actual taste was definitely dominated by hoppiness. I feel like I picked up on a smoky/peaty character somewhere in the mix, but I could have just been fantasizing based on the mention of the Scottish Ale relation on the bottle. Could perhaps be summarized by "earthy." The taste was one of quality, but really not something that inspired me to break out the thesaurus and go wild describing it.

M/D - Definitely more on the easygoing side of drinkability than the dessert beers I've been exploring lately. No real limiting ABV or syruppy feel to it that would stop you from drinking 3,4, or 5 of these guys if you wanted to.

Overall a solid and quality beer, but not a beer that I would write home about.

Photo of Higravity
3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was one of the best smelling things ever. With my new nose, I quit smoking for good, this has a great hop presence. I am betting lots of cenntenial. After the smell the taste is kind of disappointing. It has a thinner body than I wanted and that cuts into the enjoyment of the malt and blands out some of the hop flavor. A good drinker, I will have some more.

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

R.R.A. pours with a majestically massive whipped-chunky mocha colored head with extraordinary retention. Nose of hops and spruce combined with elements of clover honey make for superb aromatics. Color is a beautiful deep rusty red with light active carbonation lazily rising from the bottom center of the glass. The taste is well malted and well hopped; the balance of both are properly combined to elicit a moderately full bodied mouthfeel; a tad sticky and well rounded. The flavors last several minutes in the mouth. The alcohol is well disguised beneath the generous weight and flavors of this fine brew, which remind me of a "mini" Alpha King, with both beers having similar flavors and characteristics. This is my 1st Bear Republic product ever ingested, and unquestionably not my last! Highly recommended!!

Photo of nortmand
4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brilliant red pour, with a wisp of amber foam.

Very resin citrus hoppiness in the smell. Also, a nice caramel touch.

Nice straightforward malty sweetness up front. Very resiny hoppiness, extremely well balanced. Caramel sweet.

Smooth and rich mouthfeel, a very quaffable beverage.

Photo of Matthew
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light brown to a rusty reddish color. Its sort of hazey. Nice big fluffy head and is really impressive. Great retention and nice lacing.
Big spiced hop aromas followed by sweet almost caramel and roasted type maltiness in the nose
NIce big hoppy bite with a faint caramel sweetness. There is a hint of fruitiness behind the nice hop and malt profile. Very smooth and all the flavors really compliment each other nicely.
Another great beer from bear republic. I've never been too big a fan of red ales but this is a very tastey beer.

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

procurred @ DeCicco's Market, Pelham, NY

deep red, big and foamy head with all sorts of bubble sizes poppin up, lacing is ripe with tidal flow, very nice looking

spicy hops kick you in the face right off the bat, excellent. sweet malts are found underneath the bed of floral blast, it is hard getting past those hops but the malt is mouth watering on this one. this one, I would bet, drinks like it smells.. it just has that feel about it so far.. as I got down the glass the alcohol made more of an appearance...

taste etc...
well balanced for a "hopped up" brew. the carbonation elevates the feel here very well, the hops tend to dominate but their is a definite fruitiness here. the aftertaste is almost all hop oils.. yum. This is a big and bold tasting red that is balanced out by the malts.. some reds you can get sick of drinking, this one keeps it off kilter just enough to sustain you through a larger portion...

yes sir, I like it. I will definitely be picking this up again... funny, I look back at my ratings and can't believe it scored that high for me.. but it is just solid in all categories.. not outrageous in any of them, but totally soild (shrugs shoulders and continues with beer)

Photo of Prufrock
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into a pilsner.

pretty reddish amber with an inch of tan head. murkiness from the bottle conditioning and nice rings of lacing.

citrus rindy hops, some pine. a touch of caramelly malt lingers in the background, but the aroma is mostly hops.

more hops in the taste. not overpowering, but piney and bitter enough to dominate the touch of malt. prickly carbonation in the mouthfeel. dangerously drinkable; smooth, balanced, delicious. not as good as their IPA, but another solid beer from a great brewer.

Photo of Oxymoron
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a mostly clear darker amber with strong red hues. Darker then most red's, but then they don't have a rocket backing them up. Great foam and head retention as well as decent lacing.

A good aroma with noticeable hop and malt backing. The malt smells rich with some caramel but mostly basic malt backing. The hops are well hinted and consist mostly of pine and somewhat earthy smells.

The taste follows suits. A great malt baking that is more complex then the nose would indicate. Some grainy tastes that mixes with sweeter flavors and a brown sugar feel. The hops are well represented. Blended well but more prominent. A good bitterness that is rather tame, not a whole lot of bite, but well represented. Feels a little Cascadey. The flavoring hops are less noticeable but balance enough to finish the beer.

The mouthfeel is creamy and rich for texture. A smooth drink that hinds the ABV. Very easy to drink and enjoyable. I would have like to see more balance with the hops and a bit more flavor malt but still a excellent beer.

Photo of Tupperwolf
4.36/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very clear but very dark scarlet, clear enough to se through but dark enough to soak up a lot of the light. Huge, huge! buttery tan head froths up out of control and sits there as if it were a solid object. It leaves frothy, thick lacing behind, and absolutely refuses to diminish to less than a full finger throughout the glass.

Tasty smell, equally malty and hoppy... I wish my palate were more refined, because this smells really good, but it smells so much like so many other beers I've had that I can't describe what makes it good or different at the moment.

Definitely a hopped up red ale, this tastes like a mild IPA, only darker in color and a bit richer from those darker malts. There are some honey and butterscotch sweetness notes, followed by a crisp, delicious finishing wash of hops and a lingering combination of sweet and tart.

I continue to be very impressed by Bear Republic. Every single one of their beers that I've tried stuns me with its presentation, flavor, and drinkability. Love 'em to death.

Photo of Litterbean
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Damn woman, this is tasty. Pours an amber color with a nice fluffy head. Smells of a perfectly blended mixture of malts and hops. I want to drink this beer upon the first sniff. As for how it tastes, well, it's one damn good brew. Smooth as all hell, the balance in this boy is as good as I've ever tasted. Each sip is dominated equally by the sweet, deep malt presence and backed up perfectly by the fruity hoppiness that balances. So smooth, very drinkable, and really, what more could you want?

Photo of SteveO1231
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark red with an amazing thick off white head and some awesome lacing.

Huge hoppy aroma, reminds me more of an IPA than an Amber ale. Very citrusy.

Roasted malty sweet with an awesome hop smack! Citrus and pine. Full bodied and balanced. The taste of bitter grapefruit rind hits me at first with a dry piny finish.

Very nice and balanced but it tasted more like an IPA than an amber.


Photo of DrJay
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rich ruby-copper colour, quite clear, with a fluffy cream-coloured head. Lots of clumpy lace and great retention. Citrusy and leafy hop aroma balanced by significant malt that's just short of caramel in character. Caramel malt sweetness hits the palate first and carries through to the end. This is followed closely by citrus and a hint of pine that's strongest at the mid-point. Toffee kicks in at the end. The hop bitterness comes forward in the finish, which is balanced very nicely. Creamy texture aided by superb carbonation, this is a silky smooth beer with a dry finish. There's also just a bit of alcohol warmth that creeps in after a while, but it's very subdued. Overall, very enjoyable and easy to drink. Lots of flavour and great balance. I'd definitely seek this gem out again.

Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. brown bomber.

Poured a hazed deep red with a straw colored, long lasting froth.

Assertive citric and coniferus hops blend with caramel tinged malts and a touch of alcohol in the nose.

Medium-full bodied with a nice creaminess and a bit of an oily mouth coating. Hops are bold again in the taste, but as the beer warms the sweet malts come out and help balance things out. A bread like taste comes out in the finish.

Way to go! I love big hops, even more so when the malts are there to back it up.

Photo of Mark
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have always loved this beer and others by Bear Republic, I consider them one of the best micro breweries in California. I jumped at the chance to have this baby cask conditioned. The deep amber body was topped by a thick tan head that just coated the glass with lace. Aroma was strong of hops. Slightly smoother than the draft or bottled version, but then that's the signature of real cask ale. Full bodied yet totally drinkable, perfect for the rainy day I had it on. I just knew the cask version of this outstanding "bastardized Scottish ale" would be even better than bottled or draft. If you are ever at their pub and this is on cask, get it.

Photo of spazaru
3.14/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

First, let me say that Hop Rod Rye is one of my favorite beers, so I definitely appreciate Bear Republic. But sometimes, I don't need such a strong brew, so I thought I'd try the Red Rocket.

Hate to say it, but I was disappointed. I love amber/red ales and this one just didn't have much going on in my opinion. As far as California amber/reds go, I find Ballast Point Calico Amber to be FAR superior to this one.

I opened this one and could smell next to nothing. Then the flavor was fine, but nothing special. It was just there. Not a bad beer by any means, but just underwhelming. I thought with as much flavor as Bear Republic's other offerings have, that this one would blow me away, but no such luck.

As I said, not bad, but nothing I would rush to buy again.

Photo of Lnedrive14
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a damn fine beer - probably the best American red that I've had. Pours a deep mahagony with a touch of garnet that's gone through the tumbler a few times. Smell of raw citrus and hops. The two smells blend together nicely - much better than many IPA's I've had recently. The taste mirrors - smooth hops intertwined with a subtle citrus. Coriander, caramel, and roasted barley are the finish. An amazingly drinkable brew. I think the alcohol was the perfect level. Too much more would have been overbearing. A great brew that I would like to drink again and again.

Photo of mitchfor3
4.57/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a bomber.

Looks hazy and dark, but oh so inviting - look at that creamy off-white head - seems like it will stick to anything!

Huge aroma - could smell it the second I cracked the cap and it smells goood!

This beer could not get any fuller for the style - just bursting with flavor, perfectly balanced, complex enough for the style, and just downright delicious. High ABV for an amber is barely noticable amidst all the flavor in this beer - for a moment I thought I'd found a delicious session brew until I realized the near 7%!

This is another top notch brew from Bear Republic. They really do know their stuff!

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

This is a very deep, rich amber beer. It pours a dark red/amber to brownish color with ruby highlights when held up to the light. Thick frothy white to off-white head. Sweet malty and piney hop aromatics. Great bitter/sweet balance leaning a little more towards the piney hop taste. Sharp hoppy bite, hoppy, piney aftertaste. A complex red ale. Quite drinkable.

Photo of Mitchster
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out to a clear deep, ruby red forming a tall and unbelieveably creamy cappuccino-like dark yellow head with amazing retention and lacing, leaving a trail of lace with every sip. Bottle conditioned with minute bits of flittering yeast. One of the best looking brews I've seen in a while. The carbonation is moderate mild. The aroma is fruitful and sharp with aggressive hops...pungent, resinous, pineous....slight toast mixes with the amber malts...just a wonderful nose...reminds me of Arrogant Bastard or Founder's Red Rye to an extent. The mouthfeel is smooth with a long finish on the tongue and a medium-dense body, but not too syrupy or thick. The taste is all about the hops, but is nicely complemented by the crystal, amber and toasted malts and the bitterness is clean and well-balanced. The finish is crisp and clean and semi-astringent. Slight mineral finish to the brewing water used. Excellently balanced, making it a very drinkable treat without being too much of anything.

This is a great brew. I have been astounded by the consistent quality from Bear Republic. This is probably the closest thing to Red's Rye that I've had, which is a huge complement. Highly recommended!

Red Rocket Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,441 ratings.