Portsmouth Bottle Rocket IPA | Portsmouth Brewery

226 Ratings
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: 226
Photo of jneiswender
2.46/5  rDev -39%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Had this beer as part of a sampler tray at the brewpub. Served in a 30z glass.

A-Nice amber color with a fluffy white head.

S-very floral smell. Rosy

T-Medium bitterness. Dry grain flavors


D-Not your typical APA. Not very assertive with malt or hop flavor. Funny fuzzy taste. Hop combination is confusing.

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Photo of ms11781
3.2/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Growler filled on 03/10/2012 poured into an imperial pint glass.

Pours a hazy, golden orange color with a minimal off-white head. What little head does develop disappears almost immediately. There is a tiny bit of wispy foam that is left on the glass but, like the head, it's minimal. The beer doesn't look all that special or greater, probably due to the serving type.

The nose isn't all that strong. Definite floral and herbal notes but nothing that really stands out above the rest. There is a touch of sweet malt that comes across but it's also not very strong.

The taste follows closely with the nose. It's actually almost exactly the same aside from a slight bitterness at the finish. The floral and herbal hops are met almost equally by some sweet caramel malt. As with the nose none of it is that strong aside from a nice, pleasant bitterness that finishes each sip.

Medium body with low carbonation. The beer has a creaminess to it but definitely feels a bit fuller than is normal for the style, most likely due to the lack of carbonation.

This beer was just ok for me and it seems that maybe the growler has had a negative effect on the board despite being filled the day before. It lacks the crispness and bolder hop flavors typical with the style. Perhaps a pint from the tap or bottle is in order.

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Photo of corby112
3.29/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle courtesy of rpstevens. Thanks again man!

Pours a dark golden orange amber color with golden burnt orange and ripe banana hues when held to a light source and a one finger frothy off-white head that has pretty good retention, only slowly settling into a lasting cap and ring that coats the glass with rings of soapy lacing.

Very earthy hop aroma that is kind of vegetal and soil like. Slight citrus notes as well as some earthy pine, alcohol and sweet caramel malt. This beer doesn't have a lot of the dank oily hop aroma that I prefer in the style but rather smells very (literally) earthy.

Slightly chewy resinous mouthfell that is slightly hop forward with vegetal earthy notes and some slight citrus presence. Very dry and piny with a strong malt backbone with hints of caramel and biscuit. Slight alcohol presence towards the end of the palate but there is very little warmth and the ABV is well masked. The piny dry hops linger throughout and the finish is pretty dry but this IPA is a bit too malty for my liking.

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Photo of gameface23
3.36/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Presents itself as a reasonably clear apricot color with a smallish head.

S: Citrus and floral hop smell with a background of candy sweet caramel malts.

T: Similar to the nose, but with light and dark caramel malts intermixing.

M: Good not great.

D: I'd drink a growler of this any time.

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Photo of GatorBeerNerd
3.37/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle bought for me by a co-worker on a recent trip to Portsmouth. Poured into a Sierra Nevada Hop Tulip.

A: I had to do a little bit of an aggressive pour to get any bubbles with this one. What was there did not last long at all. I think the only reason it didn't completely disappear was because of the glass and its laser etched hop. The color is a very very light orange color.

S: Not much in the way of aroma. There is quite a bit of a floral hop with a bit of citrus in the background.

T: There is an initial malt sweetness that is whisked away quickly and violently by an extremely bitter taste profile. The finish continues on with the bitterness as well. Its not a bad tasting IPA but it doesn't seem as well crafted as I would have expected.

M: I have a hard time describing the feel because it seems medium in body, but somehow manages to feel watery at the same time. Maybe that is partly due to the lack of carbonation again.

D: It goes down relatively easily. The very bitter flavor and after taste does make me sloe down a bit though.

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Photo of kelticblood
3.43/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The first thing I noticed about this IPA was the aroma.Extreme floral hop aroma of cherries and fruit salad.Great retaining head with tons of lace.Served a dark gold in appearance.The only thing that I found wrong with this IPA was it's bitterness.It had to be the most bitter IPA I've ever had.It was like drinking lemon juice.It detracted alot from the mouthfeel.The lacing was exceptional and really surprised me.I could barely finish a pint of this before I wanted to switch and gave the drinkability a low mark.This one is sure to make you pucker up.

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Photo of Azurescens
3.46/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle with no bottled on or freshness date, poured into Hair of the Dog tulip, reviewed on 5/8/11

A: Pours a pretty clear orange with off-white head and decent retention.

S: Some herbal and citrus hop notes with crisp pale malts. Lacks the strong hop-forward aroma that I expect from an IPA.

T: Strong hop bitterness up front with sweet and juicy floral hop resins on top of a sweet and crisp malt backbone. Pretty malt forward for an IPA, great beer, good IPA.

M: Smooth and crisp medium body that finishes dry, moderate carbonation.

O: Delicious and drinkable beer has all the bitterness of an IPA but lacks the hop aromas and flavors that I was hoping for.

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Photo of Brez07
3.48/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours hazy amber with a one finger white head that partly stays. Looks like a standard IPA

S: There's a small hop presence with some pine. Also a small amount of malt and yeast. Not a big nose

T: Again, everything here is "small". Has all your standard IPA tastes (hop/pine, citrus) but nothing really stands out

M: Carbonated ok. Sort of smooth with a dry finish

D: Kinda underwhelmed here. I could drink a lot of this, so points for being sessionable. But this would not be my first choice of beer to drink all day. I know it's fresh because they hand bottle everything and go through their product fairly quickly. This beer is just... ok

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Photo of rudzud
3.49/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this ontap at the brewery.

A - Poured into a pint glass at the brewpub a hazy amber hue with basically no head. It was just a tiny, thin wisp of a halo thanks to a poor pour.

S - Typical grapefruit and pine/oil aromas with some light malt sweetness. Very mild.

T - Taste is the same. Very mild grapefruit rind and pine with some subtle malt sweetness. Really just too mild and unassertive.

M - Not a bad mouthfeel. Smooth, clean, slightly crisp. Very drinkable.

O - Overall, this wasn't a bad IPA. Its just there are so many better IPA offerings. I expected more from Portsmouth.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. There is a solid layer of off-white foam atop a light golden body.

The aroma is mild but mostly full of herbal flowery hops.

The taste starts with sweet malt and some herbal bitterness. There is a slight taste of bubblegum to go with a bitter finish.

The body is medium and the carbonation is crisp.

Good stuff but not quite excellent.

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Photo of pwoods
3.52/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to BeerTruth for the bottle.

22oz. brown bottle poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours a somewhat fiery amber with some hazy. Maybe a 1/2 finger forms from a rough pour. Falls to a thin skim and leaves only a bit of lacing.

S: Some good citrus and light pine and resin. There's a bit of earthy, spiciness in the back.. maybe a touch of saaz? Juicy with some sweetness from he malts.

T/M: Decent bitterness level. More of the citrusy hops with light pine in the back. A bit more of the earthy, spicy hops but with a little more grassy flavor to them... so maybe not saaz but a healthy dose of something European. Lightly sweet, yet grainy malts to balance. Body is medium or so with just enough carbonation for the style.

D: Decent ABV and drinks easy enough. Interesting take on the style with the American and European hopping going in tandem. It sticks out a bit from the rest from this kind of hopping, and that's refreshing, but it's quality isn't high enough to make that more than a novelty.

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Photo of gdrydenc
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased today 3/14/11 at the Portsmouth Brewery store.

A - Pours a medium straw with an inch of light tan head.

S - A bit of citrusy hops, nothing screams out at me though. A bit of bitterness, but not a whole lot else.

T - Much like the smell. Not a whole lot of flavor. The forward begins to be fruity, but the finish is a bit too bitter. I was hoping for a more full flavored beer, but frankly this is just lacking.

M - For an IPA, the carbonation is spot on. Not syrupy at all, which is excellent.

D - For the price, this is an excellent drinking IPA. Low alcohol, which is nice. I just wish it had more flavor to it. All I really found in it was a little hop character and a bit of bitterness.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to portia99 for this one.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a nice cloudy golden yellow/orange color, some carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some minimal sticky lacing left behind. The nose is hoppy, with some malts, and some citrus. The taste is hoppy, with some malts thrown in, and citrus. Medium body. Drinkable, glad to have had a chance to try it.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.55/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Portsmouth- Bottlerocket IPA

Appearance- hazy orange witha moderate sized head. Sticky lacing down the first 1/3 of the glass.
Smell- Big strong green pellet floral hops.
Taste- Sweet malt with a nice even balance of floral green hops.
Mouthfeel- Nice solid flavor throughout although slighty toned down. The mildest of dry bitterness in the end followed with a sight malty sweetness.

Overall- Bought a growler, threw it in my cooler, and drove back to NJ. I'm slowly savoring this 1 cause a resupply is 6 hours away. This is good stuff!

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Photo of plaid75
3.56/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nedium copper hue with a one and a half finger pillowy white head. There was good retention and good sticky lacing.

The smell featured a subtle peppery, citrusy and oily hop aroma. Aroma was a bit muted for my taste.

The taste was typical of an AIPA. Spicy citrus flavor dominated the biscuity malt body.

The mouthfeel was full and sharp.

Overall a good drinkable AIPA. Nothing spectacular.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.56/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

After a year of almost going and cockamamie planning, I finally got up to the Portsmouth Brewery. Hooray for life's little successes.

Large white head over a thick, still, dark honey color brew. Great retention, with one particularly thick and aggressive foam ring: the alpha-male foam ring if you will.

Acidic pineapple and thick pancake malt.

Heavy, hop leaden with lemon citrus tinged malt ending in a musty swamp bitter. Lingering peppery hop oil.

A moderate to above average IPA but, perhaps unfairly, I hold Todd Mott to a higher standard.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle bought at the brewpub into a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear golden amber with at least 2 finger widths of off-white foamy head that has beautiful retention and lacing. The aroma is a little subdued but mostly consists of resinous hops and citrus.

The taste is big slap of piney hop bitterness and citrus up front that lasts the whole way through and lingers deep into the finish. A sweet caramel backbone is present but often gets overshadowed by all that harsh hop bitterness. Me thinks that a little more balance could go a long way here. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with some poppy carbonation.

This was a decent IPA that drank pretty well for the most part although I did start to get tired of the hop barshness after a little while, which knocked down the drinkibility of this guy somewhat for me.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours copper with a developed head. Head is off-white and fluffed. Laces quite well. Mild light penetration.

S-Mellow aroma. Citrusy hops and grains along with a full caramel malt bill. Pine perhaps matches the citrus in terms of intensity. Nose is not exceptional. Definitely a bit let down.

T-A slight step up from the nose but not too much. I am getting a semi-concentrated pairing of pine and citrus. The hop profile doesn't stand out with any unique or complex aspects. Balanced and a tad bland.

M-Medium bodied with mellow carbonation. Lightly resinous. Bitterness is not long lasting.

O/D-Disappointed by this one. Does not stand up to its competition. Lacks individuality. An enjoyable IPA but this will not leave a lasting impression with me.

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to Drazzamatazz.

Pours a golden orange color with a small foamy white head.

Scent of sweet caramel malt, subtle bitter hops, tropical fruit, a hint of cinnamon, and sweet sugars. A good scent, but much more sweet and malty than I'm used to.

Taste of caramel malts, sweet, juicy hops, some tropical fruit, and yeast. Finishes dry with a light hoppiness and bready yeast.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly smooth with a low level of carbonation.

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Photo of RedChrome
3.62/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very hazy medium golden color. Very small head faded almost instantly to a white slick on top. To hazed to see any carbonation rising.

A very malty aroma in the nose up front. Hops come through but are a bit subdued, providing a nicely balanced aroma, but a bit of a let down for a beer of the style. Hops that are there are resin and pine.

As with the smell, the taste is nicely balanced between malt and hops, not as hop forward as expected. A bit of a grit and sand taste in the end.

Decent thickness on the tongue. A bit of a lingering carbonation buzz on the sides of the tongue.

Solid offering. A great hamburger and fries beer. If you want balance this is a good bet. Just try not to be surprised when it is a bit more subdued then other IPAs.

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Photo of ncvbc
3.66/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a glowing amber with great sticky lacing down the glass. A looker indeed. Smell is somewhat spicy floral with light citrus hops. Orange and hints of grapefruit are apparent. A sweet malt, reminiscent of honey and touches of caramel. Taste is much of the same. Not too bold with the hops. Very balanced with little bitterness. Mouthfeel is a little light and again doesn't have the bite I'd like in an IPA. While it doesn't hit you with hops it is pretty easy to drink. Light and refreshing, more like a Pale Ale to me. Not bad but not the greatest by any means.

Thanks to joepais for the bottle!

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Photo of tpd975
3.67/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BeerTruth for sending this one.

A: Pours a cloudy orange hue. No head or lace noted.

S: Lots of sweet malt, with hints of caramel, and pine.

T: Similar to aromas, lots of caramel, citrus goodness, with just a hint of pine and floral hops. A bit of honey sweetness in the finish.

M: Medium in body, okay carbonation.

D: Not bad, like my IPA's a bit more kicked up.

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Photo of jamie2dope
3.67/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a bottle of this at Portsmouth while coming home from the Vagabond release at Allagash. Hazy dark orange in color, with a small heading, this IPA looks pretty run of the mill. Good dosage of pine like hops in the nose, and a good amount of spice to top things off. The hops come through nicely in the taste, and are balanced by the malt. Mouthfeel is smack dab in the middle as far as IPAs go. Drinkability is certainly above average as well. I tend to like this style on the very bitter side. This one might not be that, but in terms of what it is supposed to be, it passes with flying colors. If people wanted to get a feel for what American India Pale Ales were aiming for in general, I would recommend this one.

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Photo of lpayette
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber of this at the KTG release a couple weeks ago. I've had a it on a couple of occassions, but this is the first time I've sat down to review it.

Appearance- Amber honey color with a big lacey head. Lots and lots of lace. Hazy.

Smell- reminds me a little of those honey flavored teddy grahams... biscuity and covered with honey. May be my imagination but there seems to be some wildflower stuff going on too in nose.

Taste- Tastes more like a traditional English IPA rather than an American to me. Hop profile is pretty big, but not as big as a lot of IPAs out there... changing American palate perhaps? I suspect this was considered quite hoppy when it first came out- though I am shooting in the dark with this analysis. Citrusy throughout, which turns to more of the citrus rindy sort of flavors at the end. Yeasty, almost nutty. Nicely balanced with bitterness lingering in the finish.

Mouthfeel- Mediumish body, bitter finish, crisp, near lager-like up front.

Drinkability- Very good overall. The only thing that I think needs some improvement is the finish. Maybe because it's a little too unfiltered- it's just a bit raw. It's still a great beer either way, I just remember it being better straight from the tap.

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Photo of HopDerek
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kegatron for sharing a bomber with me.

Poured a slightly hazy golden amber with 1 finger of foamy white head. Good retention and lacing. Smells of citrus, floral hops, honey, and fruit. Tastes big of pine followed by a little bit of biscuit and honey, then some citrus fruits like grapefruit and lemon and then some grass. Medium in body with good carbonation. Sweet and lightly malted with lots of hop character and a nice bitter finish. A bit unbalanced and alittle too much hop presence for the average "drinker", but a definite enjoyment for the hophead.

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Portsmouth Bottle Rocket IPA from Portsmouth Brewery
4.03 out of 5 based on 226 ratings.
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