Portsmouth Bottle Rocket IPA | Portsmouth Brewery

150 Reviews
Portsmouth Bottle Rocket IPAPortsmouth Bottle Rocket IPA

Brewed by:
Portsmouth Brewery
New Hampshire, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
An explosion of hops dominate this deep golden ale. Brewed with four varieties of hops & dry hopped with three other hops, the flavor is powerful. Not a harsh bitterness, but a full hop flavor.

58 IBU

Added by Bierman9 on 06-07-2003

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Reviews: 150 | Ratings: 225
Photo of SawDog505
4.94/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip glass, best before August. Pours a hazy bright orange, with a wonderful 2 inch white head that leaves behind excellent lacing. Smell is tangerine, pineapple, mango, cut grass, pine, and grapefruit. Taste is all of that, very well balanced, loads of citrus upfront, with a piney grapefruit finish. Body is medium, plenty of life, not dry, and easy sipping. This is one of the finest IPAs going.

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Photo of BlindPig
4.83/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Thick off white head on a cloudy darker orange body. Great head retnetion and leaves a thick lacing covering the top.
S- Big, almost wet, citrus hops up front and maybe a touch of pine, not smelling a lot of caramel.
T- Nice big thick pine hops that stick around the mouth with a touch of citrus. Really nice complex hop aroma that is really strong and sticky. Gotta love it when it sticks and just feels thick like that. Maybe a touch of caramel but way more of a hop bomb.
M- Full chewy body with medium/low carbonation.
D- Wow! What a great IPA. I really want to try this against Blind Pig (my favorite IPA by far) since it seems like it's a close contender.

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Photo of corey0212
4.82/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle purchased from the brewery...

Beer pours a murky, honey/orange color, with a decent sized off-white head, and insanely sticky lacing on the glass. Smell is pine, citrus, and a bit floral (without being too perfumey). Nice, bitter hop attack, with a perfect caramel sweetness to balance things out. Kind of a sticky mouthfeel, but nothing overly chewy. Really nice aftertaste. This is one the best IPAs I've had the pleasure of drinking. I'm really looking forward to visiting Portsmouth again.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.8/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap at Portsmouth Brewery in Portsmouth, NH on 6/23/07, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a very light golden brown color with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is very hoppy and very fruity with a light malt background and is nicely blended.

T: A strong floral hops bitterness hits hard up front and then a citrus sweetness comes in to provide a very good balance. The malt character is thin but quite complimentary. The after-taste is hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Very smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, dry and very clean finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not very filling, good kick, excellent representation of style, this is a great beer that I could definitely stick for an entire evening.

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Photo of ericj551
4.63/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I picked up this bomber at the brewery after having it in the sampler. It pours a clear light orange with a beautiful fluffy white head. The aroma is big bold citrus hops, tons of grapefruit and orange. The flavor is like sucking on a hop cone, more citrus and loads of hop flavor without overpowering bitterness. This is really a solid IPA, I wish I lived a little closer to Portsmouth, I would be there every weekend.

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Photo of BZero007
4.58/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this tasty brew on tap at the Pub in Portsmouth.

Color was a nice citrus amber color with good head and lace retention. Smell was a little quiet but was of floral citrus hops. The taste I have to say was great and would love to be able to get this regularly. Taste was had a great amount of hops to it but was balanced by the other flavors as well. Citrus and floral hops flavor rushed up front while the malt held the back lovely. While drinking the beer I quickly realized how light the beer drank, I was not weighed down buy the heaviness of it and felt I could continue drinking it. I was very impressed by this particular beer and was very surprised to not hear more about it on this site. Took home a Growler and a 22oz of this superbly crafted and balanced beer.

Would definitely recommend to anyone who will be in the area.

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Photo of bcastine
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Cloudy copper, thin head with exceptional lacing

S: strawberry, grapefruit, wonderful floral aroma

T: Fresh biscuity malt and citrus bitterness that gets balanced out by strawberry sweetness. Citrus fruits are all there as well.

M: medium carbonation, medium body

D: very drinkable, impossible to stop

This is probably my all time favorite IPA, in my mind exactly how an American IPA should be. Perfectly balanced for style. Have had it on draft, bottles, casked on draft at the brewery and it never disappoints. The quality of ingredients is ever so present as it is in all Portsmouth Brewery brews.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark golden/orange with a nice head of thick white foam that lasts a long while and leaves excellent lacing. The aromas are hoppy as all hell, with a distinctive blend between west coast and east coast hops. I'm not sure if this wants to be a PNW IPA or an English one, but it is great none-the-less. Styles be damned! The taste is hoppy up front with a lovely biscuity maltiness underneath the mound of fresh hops. On-Tap at the brewpub this brew is just *bursting!* with fresh hop flava. Mouthfeel is creamy.smooth and medium bodied and the drinkaiblity is damn good as well. One of the best IPAs I have had lately. This one may even top Smuttys!

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Photo of Gavage
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap at brewpub. Clear orange in color. Thick white two finger head. The nose enjoys the aroma is of strong citrus and floral hops. The flavor is a well balanced malt with a strong but not overpowering bitterness, and orange citrus. Some light candy caramel comes out as this warms.

Medium in body. Crisp mouthfeel at the start. Finish is crisp and bitterness and citrus cling to your tongue. Superbly drinkable as I can see spending an afternoon at the brewpub drinking these one after another.

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Photo of scootny
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another Kate Day acquisition. A lovely light copper with a good white head. Some cloudiness with a proper amount of lacing. Smell is fragrant and delicious with grapefruits and caramel with healthy malt and yeasty bread core. Taste is just about perfect. Balanced but decidedly hoppy with a full bodied fruitiness. A nuttiness folded into the malt. Finish is clean with a lingering hop oiliness to coat the mouth and deposit a light mint kiss. Feel is medium weight with a light effervescence. Crisp and refreshing. So easy to drink it's criminal. I went through the growler without batting an eye. This stuff went well with Chinese food that varied from curries to sesame tofu and a healthy amount of hot oil. A great food beer as well as a quenching and delicious beverage.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap served in a pint

Pours a golden orange with one finger of creamy white head. Head fades to form a thin collar and leaves loads of spider web lacing all over the glass.

Grapefruit and oranges with some pine sap and a toasted biscuit malt base. Hop forward for sure and very inviting.

Grapefruit and pine needles assault the palate with a pretty assertive hop bite. Bitterness is strong and lingering with just a touch of toasted biscuits in the middle. Some estery alcohol with just a touch of spiciness.

Medium body with an oily hop presence that coats the mouth. The finish is all bitterness.

This is one of the better IPA's I have stumbled across lately. The flavor profile is right on target and there's a strong hop bitterness that is extremely welcomed.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at the brewpub in Portsmouth. What a nice IPA! Poured a hazy orange with little head but very nice lacing. The smell is very piney, but with an undercurrent of citrus running through it. The taste has big citrus and pine flavors well balanced between the two of them, and restrained malt that is just enough to support the big hop flavors. The mouthfeel is clean and medium bodied. No graininess or thickness here. Beautifully drinkable and just a delight fresh at the brewpub in this great little town.

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Photo of IHC
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a great IPA! as others have noted it is medium amber in color.

The smell is good with a just a mild hint of malt and a decent but not strong smell of hop aroma. When it comes to IPA's i've smelled many beers stronger but this one holds it's own.

The taste of hops is immediately present as you take a sip and quickly you can taste a bit of maltyness before a slight bitterness from the hops at the end.

this is an exceptionally drinkable IPA. Unlike other IPA's this one feels like you could drink it all night. Dont get me wrong I love other IPA's but sometimes after one or two your done, not so with this one. I feel like I could drink this one all night!

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Photo of Jason
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 22 oz bomber from the brewery, cool paper label with a good amount of info on the brewery.

Appearance: I noticed that the lace clinged to the glass right away. Slightly hazed golden amber hue shows that a good amount of hops were used.

Smell: Clean hop aroma with a delicate citric and flowery tone.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Medium bodied with a sustaining crispness. Pow! The palate is clean cut with hop bitterness with a long winded graceful citric flavor. Lots of hop flavor … seriously it has taken over my taste buds for the moment. Modest malt back bone nearly crumbles from the heavy hop character, thankfully it holds strong and seems to balance for the most part. Touch of nutty yeast and a mildly estery alcohol show up in the semi-sweet and bitter finish.

Drinkability & Notes: Wow! I would not change a thing about this brew, the hops kicked the crap out of my palate with no complaints. Nice to have a hop fix like this …

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Photo of joepais
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery poured in my Imperial pint glass clear light orange body toped of with a good white head that turns to lace and slides down the glass

Aromas of flowery citris hops and pine fill your nose

Flavors are great a little more hops than and English style but not as hoppy as a west cost hop bomb. It also has enough malt presence to keep the bitterness down and keep it very balanced

Clean and crisp good pallet cleanser for the spicy dishes they serve

Very drinkable but I recommend caution for use as a session beer. The alcohol will sneak up on you

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Photo of Bierman9
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Update 03AUG03 - Rich copper color and clear. Creamy white head, sticks excellently...looks great. Touch o' toasty malt with plenty of citrussy hops. Mmmmm.. Medium-plus body, with a smooth-creamy feel on the tongue. Toasty, bready malt to start, and then plenty (!) of west-coast hops. Oh baby, oh mama!! This version is top-friggin'-shelf!!! Love it!!

overall: 4.4
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5

*** ***

(Original 03AUG02)
This Portsmouth IPA has an attractive light-copper color, with a fine, creamy head (which dissipates quickly to a thin layer). Said head leaves some good lacing. Nose was somewhat mild, to me. A touch of malt, and some hoppiness more-so, but still understated. Body was medium, but fairly smooth as it passed over my tongue. Leads-off with a semi-sweet, biscuity, light pale-malt flavor, but then the hoppy flavors start to come through. They are a bit citrusy (cascades are used), yet not too strong. All-in-all, a good quaffin' bier. (4.0/3.5/4.0/4.5/4.5 = 4.00) Prosit!!


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Photo of sethmeister
4.36/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler poured this evening at Portsmouth Brewery.

Hazy dark gold color with a big fluffy creamy cream colored head. Excellent retention and lace decorates the glass all the way down. Gorgeous.

Scent is hops! Grapefruit, citrus, floral, hoppy bitter perfection. There's also a fresh biscuit scent.

Taste is the same. Grapefruit, citrus hoppy bitterness. Starts hoppy bitter and spicey and becomes sweeter and maltier as it warms. There's a peppery spice note and a smooth malt backbone. The beer is nicely balanced.

Mouth is a creamy medium, possibly on the large side of medium.

Drinkability is excellent.

Only thing better than a growler of this is to enjoy pints of this in the brewery with their mussels appetizer.

Now I want to move to Portsmouth...

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Photo of Boppar
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask (dry-hopped with CTZ) at Portsmouth Brewery.

A: Pours a foamy golden amber with three fingers of frothy white head.

S: Honey, pine, flowers.

T: The taste is bright, floral, and supported by a malty backbone. Bittering hops are in evidence on the finish, but for a dry-hopped American IPA, this about as non-bitter as they come.

M: Smooth, creamy, and medium-bodied.

O: Excellent. For fans of the style, this is a must-try, and even non-hopheads will appreciate this approachable and sessionable IPA.

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Photo of Brad007
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased this at the brewery store yesterday.

Color: Very nice reddish copper color with a one-finger head (I didn't pour it that well). Lively carbonation.

Aroma: Malty with a subdued hop character at first. Another sniff and the hop aroma shows through much better.

Taste: Smooth and malty. Bread/biscuit characters. Hop bitterness shows through. Not overwhelming. Just right. Feels well-balanced and neither hops nor malt overwhelm.

Mouthfeel: Dry and bitter. Smooth.

Drinkability: Very drinkable right from the start. Simple.

Verdict: I imagine that if Tod Mott can nail a proper IPA down, there's no limit to what else he can create. I liked this IPA because it's subtle and not a hop bomb. I should have had it on tap but it's just as good if not better in bottles.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed a couple of pints of Bottle Rocket with lunch yesterday at the Portsmouth Brewery. Always a good beer and I am glad I took the time to have those pints yesterday.

The pints came with a fairly thin finger + of white creamy head. This did dissipate fairly quickly. There was some very nice lacing left behind. The beer was a copper/amber color and rather clear.

I detected more pine hop notes vs. grapefruit in the aroma. You could tell there was some nice malt notes as well. Fairly floral.

Very nice balanced flavor here. This is a great example of an east coast IPA. The initial flavor is of the malt and some light caramel notes, and slightly bread like. Then the hop notes kick in and the bitterness hits and lingers. Not overdone and the balance is what shines through. While the aroma was a little more pine like for me, the flavor was a little more citrus/grapefruit.

Medium body, very smooth and minimal carbonation.

Great drinkability and a wonderful IPA.

You can just tell this is a fresh beer as you drink it. Loved it.

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Photo of chickencoop
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Basically this is a very solid and consistent IPA, nothing over the top, just clean and balanced. It pours a medium amber, not much of a head. Smell was lights malts and some sweet hop bitterness. The taste was just a simple lighter hoppy IPA, with some faint malts on the front. Very drinkable, I could sit down a out many of these away.

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Photo of alleykatking
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz bottle.

A- Poured a semi-hazy golden orange color. Two finger white head that shows very nice retention. Ringy, streaking lacing on the sides of the glass as I drink the beer down.

S- Nice pleasant citrus hops that come out in the front end of the aroma. Some light earthy pine hops in the front end. Light alcohol in the middle wrapped in a honey sweetness. Light caramel malts with some pine backing in the ending of the nose.

T- Big citrus kick in the front of the beer. Light pine in there before it kicks in with a caramel malt. Sugary sweetness wraps around a warming alcohol. Some light citrus kicks back in to this before it is done.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is great for the style. Hops left everywhere on the palate with some light resin on the teeth. Aftertaste has a light malt backing with a nice hop aftertaste. Flavors are mostly clean with a light alcohol flavor. Light drying on the palate.

D- This beer is very good. Portsmouth is a brewery that deserves the praise. I have yet to have anything bad from them and well to be honest this beer is nothing short of fantastic. Perfect balance of both east and west coast styles.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The web site says this IPA is a regular offering, since May 2003.

This IPA poured a hazy, amber color with good white foam that coated the glass. The smell was a very pungent floral hop aroma that really persisted. Very nice! The taste was dominated by floral and bitter hops: piney, green, grapefruit are among the adjectives that came to mind. There was a good malt flavor to balance the hops. The mouthfeel was smooth with a very dry finish. The body was medium with low carbonation feel. There was a "chewy hops" feeling to this beer. This was quite a good IPA, hopping with flavor.

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Photo of SaucyA
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bomber from the brewery during the last Kate release. Thanks Tom :D

Dear Kuhnhenn... Portsmouth Brewery is a perfect example of how to make labels on the cheap, and still have them look AWESOME. Get with it.

A - A wisp of gunsmoke exits the bottle upon cracking. Poured the vast majority of it into my Short's imperial pint. The head is a khaki colored foam that rises above the lip of the glass, and slowly caves into itself. The body, an effervescent, firey bronze looks awfully inviting. Shines a glowing ruby hue on my hand when I pick up the glass. Fat lacing. I'm having an experience right now haha

S - Not insane in the nose, yet well put-together. A nice malt backbone is evident in the nose and appearance, and the herbal hop profile plays around in the foreground. Almost metallic notes?

T - Very balanced... extremely balanced. Holy wow. While not overdone, it's just an IPA and doesn't really have to be. It's a perfect little blend of big malts, and supreme hopping. It leaves a slightly dry backend, but doesn't blow you away. It's a stellar brew to just kick back with. Yeah, this is the epitome of a drinkable IPA.

M - Creamy and nicely carbonated. Yes.

D - Absolutely awesome drinkability. They finessed this one.

Notes: I'm pissed off and jealous of everyone that gets to drink this on a regular basis. Bottle Rocket is awesome...

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Photo of DNICE555
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pint on tap at the brewery night before Kate The Great day.

A - Decent head and lacing, golden amber color.

S - Nice hopy aroma with citrus and floral undertones, smells awesome. Can't wait to try it.

T - Hops, citrus, just enough of a malt backbone to balance out the taste. I'd heard good things about this one and they were all true. Very good IPA.

M - Crisp, refreshing, smooth and bitter finish.

D - Well balanced highly drinkable IPA.

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Portsmouth Bottle Rocket IPA from Portsmouth Brewery
4.03 out of 5 based on 225 ratings.
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