Red Rocket Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

1,169 Reviews
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Red Rocket AleRed Rocket Ale

Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-05-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,169 | Ratings: 2,562
Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.74/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with a touch of murkiness. The head is two fingers high and pale yellow in shade. Retention is pretty good, and the head's foamy textures leaves behind some lacing on the glass. When I pour the dregs in, it seems to layer perfectly below the head. (3.5)

Smell: It has the typical red ale malts (caramel, toffee, toasted bread), backed by some piny, grassy hops. Letting it open up will reveal some nice fruit esters like cherry and apricot - still, I wish this quality was a little stronger. However, it provides enough of a twist to raise it above the glut of average amber/red ales out there. (3.75)

Taste: There's a powerful hop flavor to start, one that's herbal, grassy, and even tobacco-like at times. After a few sips, the malt backbone appears. There are nice notes of toast, caramel, and toffee in the middle, before it finishes with light estery flavors. Just like on the nose, I want a bit more of an ester flavor - otherwise, this one is quite good. (3.75)

Mouthfeel: A respectably full body is featured here. Not overly sweet-feeling for the style, and thank cripes for that. There is a bit of residual sugar floating around, but nothing that's crazy. Thanks to the low carbonation, it's more of a sipper than a chugger - not a problem, though... (3.75)

Overall: I always see this around, and I always approach with trepidation (because freshness). But when it is fresh, this is really good. And it actually has a best by date on it - granted, it's not as good as a born on date, but I'll take what I can get. I'll definitely have this again, especially on tap. (3.75)

3.74/5: Definitely not some dime-a-dozen, middle-of-the-road red ale; deserves its status as a classic

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Photo of cjgiant
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle best by 4/2015 (so about 4 months old?):
Pours a deep amber, with a good deal of foamy head on a vigorous pour. I did seem to get what I thought was some yeast sediment near the end of the pour. The head does last, however, and laces pretty well.

Nose does give me an impression of being just a tad old, but I also am not sure it's not the normal nose. The amber beer is a bit malty, and that may be interfering with the green hop notes as much as age. The amber notes come through, honey and sweet fleshy fruit notes in the sweetness, floral and green (grass, lemongrass) hops meld together decently well.

The beginning tastes are honey, unripe pear on the sweet side, maybe a less flavorful honeydew. I think this dulling of fruitiness is from the grassy hops that are near the forefront of the taste. They grow throughout, some woody notes being the end result of the dulling attack on the tongue and some pine-notes that aren't too resinous.

The body is maybe a bit north of medium, carbonation accents the feel nicely, adding some action on the tongue without attacking it. In the end, the greenness of the hops don't dry the tongue as much as might be expected.

Be really interested to try this a little fresher. Was initially mildly disappointed in the beer, but I appreciated it a bit more as I analyzed it. As usual, this analysis allowed the beer to warm a bit, which brought out the flavors a bit more. Definitely a re-try, could see 1 half a tick to a tick higher.

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Photo of mtvolkens
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into pint glass. Left a half inch creme colored head. Smells very sweet, but still has a bitter aroma to it. It is a very distinct taste to it. Very malty notes upfront, revealing a caramel and burnt sugar flavor that is quickly followed with a dash of hops and a slight alcohol taste and sensation. Absolutely fantastic beer. Real hearty and tasty.

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Photo of bassboneman
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L- poured from 22 oz. into pint glass. - is orangy-red in colo
S- slightly piney, malt notes in back
T- very malty with a strong bitter kick at the end. this beer is also VERY cold right now - will probably taste differently once it warms up a bit... In a 13 degree garage...
F - is very pleasant! Carbonation is pretty lively!
Overall - I love Bear Rebublic because their brews are always an adventure. The flavors are superior - and I look forward to each one.
This one is not a good as the HopRodRye but good nonetheless!
I was correct - in a warmer state there is a distinct sweet quality in this beer that is unmistakable! The hoppiness is also more prevalent!


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Photo of dcmchew
4.29/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A misty dark amber pour with a small messy frothy off-white head.
Smells divine, tons of sweet orange and nectarine, juicy peach, raisin, with lots of caramel sticking on the nose. Sweet, hoppy, gluey, should be interesting.
The sip is so slow and sticky, feels like a junior barleywine. Caramel drenched raisin, juicy peach, overripe blood orange, some mango, persimmon, dried cranberry, sweet apple jam. Rich sweet malts get a spice treatment, faint licorice and some anise, plus a herbal zing, hard to define it. They also get a bit toastier towards the finish, with some nice dark bread and chocolate hints, tho pretty vague. Hops are really bitter, but just that.
Still, nice fruitiness in the aftertaste, some stone fruit and sweet citrus, a fresh hoppy flavor lingering with the bitterness (would've liked it just a tiny bit lower) and some malt sweetness. Faint cocoa, even some walnut peel? Medium body, smooth, a bit sticky, trying to push some alcohol down your gullet, but fortunately not disturbingly.
A really great heavily hopped beer that manages to borrow some great stuff from a few different styles. Pretty sure this should be considered a classic.

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Photo of breadwinner
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was the brew that brought me to hoppy reds. I vividly remember my first go of it, gobsmacked by the unusual but bewitching marriage of piney hops and dark red malt, contributing an almost cocoa-like note to the proceedings. Hard to find these fresh recently, but a fine drink when it's on.

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Photo of JamieDuncan
4.41/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The malt flavor of this beer is awesome, lip smacking good and tasty. But it gets overwhelmed by the bitter. What would have been an extremely high beer fell down under 4 because the bitter was to much, took away from the tasty. If you are a hop head, this one should be right in your wheel house.

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Photo of buzzarooski
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

LOOK: Dark Amber to Reddish Brown in Color, Thick Beige Head that Maintains and Leaves Abundant Lacing.

SMELL: Plentiful Sweet Carmel and Malty Aromas. Pine and Hoppy Scents are Plentiful

TASTE: Crisp and Full Bodied Red Ale with Mild Bitterness on the Sip which gradually Increases and then Finally Peaks Seconds After the Swallow. The Above Average Alcohol Content (6.8% ABV) is Evident in the Taste but NEVER Overwhelming.

FEEL: Perfect Carbonation Balance, Leaves the Pallet Dry for Several Moments After the Swallow.

OVERALL: What's NOT to LOVE? Great Look, Great Taste...I would HIGHLY Recommend this Delicious and Full-bodied Red Ale!

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Photo of WortHound
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Deep copper
Light sweet malt nose
Medium bodied, soft mouth feel. Well balanced with hops and sweet caramel.
Finishes evenly with slight lingering bitterness.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +17%

Citrusy, grassy, piney, resiny nose over malt notes
Pours brilliant deep amber brown under a lightly tan tinted 1/2" white foam cap.
The palate reveals an excellent balance between the malt and the hops , starting with a burst of malt stirring up fruit, citrus and a hint of anise, suggestions of chocolate and a little alcohol. Inspired by Scotch ales the brewer gives it an American twist with a bigger hop presence.
A big chewy beer supported by medium low carbonation.

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Photo of SensorySupernova
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Appearance: Dark, cloudy amber with plenty of off-white lacing.

Smell: Clear hoppy aroma - piney and floral.

Taste: Strong hop bitterness up front, then slightly sweet malt, finally a more ashen bitterness that lingers for a few moments after finishing.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation and body.

Overall: Good. Like a strong IPA but a bit sweeter. I prefer more malt backbone.

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Photo of lwillitz
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12-oz bottle into New Belgium globe

A - deep ruby/brown body under a finger of khaki head, moderate visible carbonation

S - pleasant bouquet of herbal, pine, and citrus hops, bready malt, hint of alcohol

T - herbs, citrus, pine, and a touch of spice from the hops; caramel sweetness and bready malt put up a fight, but the hops dominate

M - chewy full body, smooth and creamy, moderate carbonation

O - Excellent! Smooth, thick body. Big flavor.

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

This is a great, and slightly-Americanised, red ale. Bear Republic claims it is "a bastardized Scottish red." It's a bit hoppier than what I think of in a red ale, but not disturbingly so - I find the balance to be pretty spot-on, myself.

This unfiltered red pours nicely, leaving a mountain of creamy head that slowly dissipated and left great lacing. Nose was of malty biscuit, bread-yeast, and some spicy hops. The taste was the "punch in the mouth" I expect from a good red ale, fiery and spicy. The mouthfeel is great, as the unfiltered ale makes for a nice thick texture and nicely carbonated.

I really like this and would have no probelm recommending it! 4's across the board!

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Photo of slusk
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep red with a prodigious light tan head. Great retention and lacing.

S: Floral, piney and mild spicy hop aroma with a sweet malt backbone. Abundant raisin and caramel come through nicely with a slight peppery note. Nice breadiness.

T: The first taste is sweet caramel with a slight orange citrus background. The hops quickly come into play with a floral and pine flavor but not overwhelming. Ever-so-slight acidic bite with a nice lingering mild bitterness and bread crust flavor. Caramel and pine linger on the palate in a semi dry finish.

M: Medium body brew with a slight velvety texture. Almost no tannins. Good medium carbonation.

O: Very nice beer. Very complex and very well balanced. Leans a slight bit to the bitter side but barely. Multiple layers of flavor play across the palate as you drink this beer. I like the subtle drying finish. This is a beer I would recommend to someone who likes hop flavor but not the bitter bite of an IPA. It is one of the best examples of the style I've had, without a doubt.

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Photo of RyanK252
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into BarrelHouse Brewing pint glass

A: Pours a gorgeous deep ruby red, slightly hazy, with a moderate amount of fluffy tan head that laces very nicely.

S: Sweet malt mixed with citrus and floral hop notes, and a little spice note of some kind that reminds me of some Scottish ales I've tried before.

T: Wonderful big citrus and floral hop punch off the bat, a nice toasted malt sweetness behind it, and a little bit of a grapefruit and pine bitterness on the finish.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation

O: Given the bottle description and name I was expecting a little milder maltier brew. That being said, I'm not a bit disappointed. This is right in my wheelhouse. Love it!

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Photo of Dsimenson
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Tizley's in Poulsbo, WA. Poured into a pint pilsner. Clear deep red-brown color, nice one-finger head, then moderate lacing. Aroma is deep and inviting--malt, caramel, fruity, with mild floral hops. Flavor starts with malt and caramel, some toffee, nicely balanced, with moderate citrus hops finish. Mouthfeel is medium thin. Overall this is a really outstanding red ale, I really like it!

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Photo of hophugger
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A great beer and one of my top 20 probably. Pours a beautiful brownish-red color with good bubbles and a decent head. Aroma is malty with a touch of citrus. Flavor has some pine, malt and a touch of citrus. I wanted more hop flavor but thats ok. This beer is full flavored

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Photo of Immortale25
4.31/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on-tap at Westville Pub Asheville. Served in a Southern Tier pint glass.

A- Pours a reddish light brown color with a 1/4 inch light tan head that retains decently before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of surface foam. Resilient sheet of lacing clings to the glass.

S- Sweet smelling malt with a grassy hop fume that's so inviting.

T- Big assertive hop flavor with a somewhat sweet red ale malt profile. Hits the spot. Lingering piney bitterness. Alcohol shows itself just enough. Notes of caramel and brown sugar.

M- Dry and sharp with medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- One of my favorite red ales and probably my favorite Bear Republic beer to be completely honest (I have not had Apex).

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Photo of Zilaniz
4.49/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap in a 16 ounce pint glass. Poured a deep rich amber color, almost like liquid mahogany. With about a 1/3 inch head. Earthy hoppy and malty smells up front. Reminded me of nugget nectar in the looks and smell department.

Taste was just like the smell, juicy and piney hops with a powerful malt backbone, was simply delicious and very drinkable. Had another one it was so good and could easily put a few of these back.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Reddish-copper with 1-2 fingers of tight, creamy head. Good clarity and retention with some light yeast sediment floating around. Moderate carbonation.

Caramel, lemon, grapefruit, and touches of smoke.

Caramel maltiness with notes of burnt toast and smoke. Medium hop bitterness comprised of lemon pith, grapefruit zest, dried pine needles, and onion.

Medium bodied, moderately bitter, juicy, and semi-dry.

A moderately hopped up and smoke Red Ale. I'm sure the freshness is hindering my opinion (11-16-13, seven months past bottling) , but it's just okay.

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Photo of curasowa
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Ruby, chill hazed color with one finger of off-white head that fades slowly with nice lacing.

Aroma: Sweet, toasted caramel malt, nice and malty with a hint of spiciness, nutty, and a little yeast cake.

Taste: Toasted malt and a fair amount of bitterness start this one off. Medium body, moderate carbonation, earthy bitterness throughout. Finishes fairly quick with some lingering nuttiness.

The Rest: I echo some of the other reviews, nothing in my review would indicate that this is a special beer, but damn it was good.

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Photo of MikeWard
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%

12oz bottle into a goblet. What I assume is a BD of 11/27/13. Closing in on a year.

Hazy dark red body with some small floaties. (Bottle conditioned beer) Thin off white head, which maintains well. light carbonation.

Aroma of hard candy.

Sweetish taste, with some sour notes here and there. No hop note of course. Kind of feels like a not so strong arrogant bastard. Not unplesant tasting at all. I've had it in the past and enjoyed, but emmory does not serve me well in this beer's case.

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Photo of TempeBeerMan
4.29/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

A - A mostly clear dark copper with ruby highlights, and a one-finger off white head which dissipated quickly. Minimal lacing.

S - Mild aroma of bready malts with just a hint of dextrin, some pome fruit, and a hint of spicy hop. Not a terribly complex aroma.

T - Bready toasted caramel malts forward but quickly blasted out of the way by some aggressive pine and mint from the hops. Some fruity notes (apple, pear) in the finish. The malt and hop bills match each other perfectly. Surprisingly delicious.

M - Good medium body with medium carbonation. Dry finish. While all that certainly doesn't sound like anything special, it doesn't have to be; the mouth feel is pretty much perfect for this beer.

O - Some may say this is more of a red IPA than an amber/red but to me THIS is what I want a red ale to taste like. So much tastier and more interesting than most. My favorite of the style so far.

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Photo of da_beers
3.72/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Gainesville House of Beer - on-tap

A - pours deep dark reddish brown. Thin head that just covers the top. Dissipated quickly. Too dark to see carbonation.

S - has an initial sweet malty nose. Some deeper notes of earthyness come through after that. Not a whole lot here, the regular pint glass isn't helping it.

T - Huge maltiness on this. Malt forward all the way. Some hops come in here at the end, but only slightly.

M - medium to full body. You know you're drinking a beer with this one. Fairly drinkable. Nice carbonation level going down.

O - not blown away but it is solid. Would recommend for amber lovers.

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Photo of ssteakley
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I wanted to expand my experience to red ales so I checked BA and this one had a good rating so I bought it. This is a great full bodied Ale that could easily become a favorite. It has just enough hoppyness and not to much, the finish is very smooth. The enjoyment is increased if you get your nose in it as you drink. What a great beer to share with friends that have never heard of it!

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Red Rocket Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,169 ratings.