Red Rocket Ale
Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Red Rocket AleRed Rocket Ale
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Red Ale - American Amber / Red
Ranked #6
Ranked #4,201
4.07 | pDev: 10.81%
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States
Red Rocket AleRed Rocket Ale
Notes: 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
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Reviews: 1,182 | Ratings: 2,636 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheSarge:
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TheSarge from Virginia

4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I suppose this beer is named for a male dog's erection.

Poured this one into a 0,4l Pilsner glass and the brew produces a strong two finger thick tan cranium, with a body of caramel and ruby red colors with thick haze.

The aroma is fig, caramel, metallic, and citrus.

Taste wise it's sour, almost like an under-ripened orange; however, there are sweet notes of caramel and toffee easily perceptible.

Moderately carbonated, oily slick, dry in the end.

Feb 16, 2012
More User Reviews:
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ThisWangsChung from Maryland

3.74/5  rDev -8.1%
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

Feb 27, 2015
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sinistersteve from Oregon

4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Another outstanding ale from Bear Republic. Deep, dark amber color. Piny scent. Great head, although there wasn't much lace to decorate the glass. Awsome hop flavor that explodes in your mouth. This one is definately a keeper. Although, I think most of Bear Republics are keepers.

Sep 13, 2002
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Metalmonk from North Carolina

3.64/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Label says this is "a bastardized Scottish style red ale"...well alright! You gotta love American craft brewers and their continued defiance of norms.

My oh my, what a beautiful beer. I poured it aggressively and the cap produced is two-inches high and rocky. It squashes itself down quickly, but the voluminous lace it leaves is great consolation for the shrunken head (har har). Color is a deep rust/ruby hue. Entrancing.

Aroma is imbued with hops and a toasted malt center, but its entirety is sort of mellow. Not so much subtle as veiled. A few quick pulls...a few long inhalations...a few minutes of rest and another try...and I don't get much from it. My sniffer's working fine, as I just had a Troegs Hopback that was aromatically loud & clear. Hmm.

Traces of a Scottish-style red ale exist in the flavor, with a damp musty element and toasted spices threading their way through. Hops are raw, leafy, and aggressive. Roasted grains stay on the tongue long into the finish, as does some hop bitterness. Round malty sweetness? Look for it elsewhere.

This one's a little sharp in flavor and feel, kind of raw and pungent...not insanely drinkable, but very enjoyable nevertheless. Unapologetically hoppy, and why not?

Apr 08, 2008
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jneiswender from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer as part of a flight of samples at the Healdsburg, California restaurant. From tap and in 3oz sample glasses.

A-dark amber body with a thick beige head

S-smoky with a sweet malt smell as well

T-smoke, sweet malt with some medicinal hop flavor at the end


D-I think that the smoky malt throws me off. Otherwise this is a really good beer.

Aug 07, 2009
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ujsplace from Oregon

4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an oversized pub glass..

Chunky white head that leaves great lacing. The brew is a deep amber.

Smells of mild malts and earthy hops...

Tastes of big earthy hops and caramel malt. Dark fruits with bready yeasts and a mild alcohol finish.

Creamy medium mouthfeel

A great beer for any occasion where great beers will be appreciated. This is one
to be savored and not wasted.

Feb 28, 2010
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DoctorB2B from Virginia

4/5  rDev -1.7%

Nov 20, 2011
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ahq514 from Illinois

4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into shaker pint glass.

Pours a dark amber color beer, almost brown. About a one finger tan colored head. Appears to have low/medium carbonation. Nice sticky lacing.

Has a beautiful nose. Hops edge out the malt as far as dominance goes by a little bit. Nice big citrus hops, with a tad bit of floral hops in the background. A nice sweeter malt aroma balances out the hops quite well.

Malt comes through a little bit better in the taste than what I would have guessed from the aroma. Malt actually dominates up until the end when the hops come in and give a nice, but lighter bitter citrus bite, with a little bit of dry pine hops. Malt is on the dry side too, roastier than I would have guessed.

Has a nice medium body, light/medium carbonation. Very drinkable beer.

This is a solid beer. This is my 4th beer from Bear Republic and it solidifies their awesomeness. Like I said before, great balance between malt and hops. I could see this as being a staple in my fridge when I want something both malty and hoppy. Great job Bear Republic.

Oct 17, 2011
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joeroma5 from Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aug 26, 2015
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Dyerseve from Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Dec 30, 2012
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wil19b85 from Vermont

4/5  rDev -1.7%

Mar 31, 2014
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ricecracker420 from California

3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Sep 08, 2014
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Momon from Philippines

3.99/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Aug 06, 2016
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TheLongBeachBum from California

4.09/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ricardo’s Red Rocket Ale, appropriately from a Bear Bomber. It positively leaped out of it's Bottle into my chosen drinking vessel for the night, a straight sided 2 Pinter.
First Surprise - it is not really Red. It’s described on the apparel as “… a bastardized Scottish style red ale…” So perhaps the Red is somewhat of a misnomer, and I am not so sure about the Scottish lineage either. Nevertheless, it has a lovely deep creamy head, in both texture and color. The tan head is a good ½” deep, smooth at the edges, with a pock-marked appearance in the centre, with high sustainability. Held up to the light it first appears a deep amber-brown color, but hold it closer to the light and there is a lovely burgundian aura about this beer. Appearance gets a big “thumbs up”, a real stunner in the straight sided Glass.
Fresh hops are evident in the nose, but aroma as a whole is pretty much light and somewhat lacking for me, as I have found with a few Bear Beers. The RRRA announces itself on the palate with a hoppiness that starts mild with a hint of sweet malt, coupled with a light mouthfeel. The sweetness fades, as the bitterness then develops and becomes quite aggressive towards the middle (which I love), and then lingers somewhat in the aftermath of the swallow. Tantalising.
The more I drank this, the more I realized I was wrong, it reminded me so much of a Real Ale I drank back home in England; Red MacGregor Ale (4%) from Orkney Brewery, erm… somewhere North of Scotland. Ooops!. Wrong again. My earlier cynicism was totally unfounded, and I apologized profusely to the Bottle for the earlier questioning of its parentage - even though it is "..bastardized..".
Overall it did not last long at all, my first of the evening and I found it be a very enjoyable refreshing beer with a “more-ish” finish that makes you wish you had bought more than just the 1 sampler. The aggressive hoppiness may not be to everybody’s taste though - but it is mine. Is this really 6.8%?! I have found all of the Bear Beers to be deceptive when it comes to strength and taste expectations. They are never overpowering, and always highly quaffable for their ABV. This is no exception.
If you get the chance I would suggest that you stick one of these on your Launch Pad and go for a couple laps of the Earth in GeoStationary Orbit. Rock-It!

Nov 05, 2002
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Phatz from Pennsylvania

4.41/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear crimson bronze with a huge mountainous rocky tan head that settles to a rocky one finger for the duration of the beer. The walls of my glass are absolutely plastered with ring after ring of lacing just a beautiful sheet left in place, remembrance, of the beer now gone to a better place, (my belly;-).

Smell: Carmel malts, peaty malts, dark fruits, Pine hops, citrus hops, mmm mm mmm m mmm.

Taste: Toasty and sweet. It is like candy and it is addictive. I want more more. Like a smoker finally getting that cigarette after hours and hours of craving; the beautiful grassy pine hops and smoky malty sweet candy center satiate like no other WOW! That hit the spot.

Mouthfeel: Exceptionally smooth and buttery with just the perfect amount of fluff feel but not overboard. Solid medium body with a strong malt backbone. Well done.

Drinkability: I don't know what to say. This beer is a winner from start to finish. The difference from the Stone Levitation Ale, I had earlier this evening, though I love how easy it is to drink the high ABA does put a limit on the sessionability though a bomber was no problem and I could probably even handle 2 bomber of this beer (and then pass out) but what a nice treat.

Hope this is helpful.

Jan 05, 2007
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ph2001 from Oregon

3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle in pint glass

pors a deep amber color and has two or so fingers of head. it smells of citrus and hops. there is a bitter hop taste and also a strange sweetness to it about halfway through the taste, it sort of reminded me of the sweetness in a pink lemonade. weird. the bite of the hops linger for a good while though. it's a pretty light body and pretty drinkable, a little odd though.

Oct 19, 2008
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JAA from Florida

4.11/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, this is a dark ass red ale. Sediment floats at the bottom and mid-point of SA Boston Lager upside down bowling pin glass. Creamy cream colored head thinly lays on top of the almost brown body. Red highlights are very noticeable. Laces phenomenally.

I couldn't smell much until it warmed and opened up. Smell a little grain like, along with some lemon zest. Robust coffee along with some sweet toffee. Very nice.

Taste is very well balanced. Very bready with the toasted malt character providing a firm backbone to the copious amount of hops used in this wonderful Amber ale. That Bear Republic "house taste" is very noticeable in this brew along with all the other stuff of their's that i received in this great trade with Scot. Okay, i was stalling, waiting for it to warm up a bit. As it warms the caramel comes through along with a boozeyness that warms the throat. Lemon peel in the finish. Aftertaste is a little piney.

Mouthfeel is slightly creamy but very spicy and bitter. A big, impressive, mouth filling, behemoth brew.

This, like all the other Bear Republic beers i've had the pleasure of trying, is due to the generosity of BlueOkie. All of these beers would sell quite well if they were distributed here in Florida. I would love to see them in sixers on Total Wine shelves up and down the sun coast.

A hearty beer i would love on those slightly chilly winter nights in Florida.

Jul 12, 2009
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hplevy from Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Jul 05, 2012
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LacquerHead from Illinois

4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a Sam Adams pint

A: dark brownish red

S: the hops were at the forefront. It had a citrus hop aroma with caramel malt in the background.

T: similar to the aroma. The hops were very lively, similar to citrus or tropical fruits. The hops were kept mostly in check by the malts. This had a toasted malt flavor that was not too sweet. It was like a mild caramel malt flavor. Overall, the malts played a very good supportive role to the hops which sported a nice level bitterness.

M/F: not to carbonated, just right

D: I could drink this all night and not get tired of it.

Conclusion: This is one of my favorite red ales - very solid. It sort of reminds me of Arrogant Bastard, but not has hoped intensive.

Dec 15, 2010
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Zuidman from Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -14%

Feb 08, 2013
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jaybags from Michigan

3/5  rDev -26.3%

Jun 11, 2012
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RangnaR from California

4/5  rDev -1.7%

Jun 04, 2013
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Mtn from Texas

4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Feb 19, 2016
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daigakusei11 from Japan

3.03/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Mar 11, 2016
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doho95fu from California

4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Mar 01, 2012
Red Rocket Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 2636 ratings