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 Sammy
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single hop IPA's to be showcased. Enjoyed this on cask at the brewpub. Sterling hop and then also dryhopped with Sterling. Served at room temperature, nice hop aroma that's not C-hop again. Very light colour with white bubbly head. Good bitterness and hop flavour. Creamy mouthfeel, lots of lace, a very good cask.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate amber color with a white head. The nose is a bit of a citrus and a mild amount of malt. The taste is the same way with a bit of citrus and some hints of pine. Mild malt character there as well. The feel is a bit bitter with some good carbonation and a nice body. Drinks well and is pretty good.

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Photo of oberon
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a imperial pint glass a clear rich copper with some real deep orange tint a tight fluffy one finger head atop leaving broken sheets of lace behind as it settled.Not as big in the American hop profile as maybe I had hoped in the nose I picked up some apricot and a hefty leafy presence along with a big caramel malt presence not the big citric and pine I was expecting.I get some of that citric/grapefruit presence on the palate but it doesnt hit real hard a lingering leafy note sticks around for awhile as well a caramelly biscuit malt base stays firm till the finish wich lingers nicely.Its a fine IPA it has a real hop presence but maybe just not as big as I had expected,again its still a real solid American style IPA with a bit of UK flare.

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Photo of jlindros
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice frothy 1+ finger head that fades semi quickly with big bubbles, over hazy peach orange color. A bit of lacing.

Nose brings some light fresh hops, a bit of citrus, some citric fruits, a light malty base underneath, a slight bit of pine and grassy hop. The hops are there and fresh, but not very heavy.

Taste comes with a creamy malt base to start, some hoppy flavors under that, bringing some light citrus hops, some pine, bit of herbal flavors, semi sweet, and fairly bitter. From what I remember this is severely subdued from what I remember on draft and I picked it up a couple weeks ago at the brewery. Finish gets a little more bitter, as the hops seem to come out more on the finish, bring a bit of spicy hops as well. A bit of dryness and hint of sticky feel.

Mouth is medium to lighter bodied with decent carbonation.

Drink is pretty good, pretty light, it gets somewhat bitter, especially at the finish, but not overly, dries nicely too. A bit of malts help balance it as well. A nice drinking IPA.

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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 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 mdaschaf
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tape at the Portsmouth Brewery. From notes

A: Amber/orange in color with a thick 1-2 finger head.

S: A nice pine aroma and some citrus fruit, mostly grapefruit. Also some malt on the back end.

T: A pine flavor dominates here, with a slight malt backbone, but overall the hops dominate here.

M/D: Medium bodied with a slightly sticky finish. A solid IPA, not earth shattering, but very good.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to the kind trader that sent this one my way. Been sitting in the fridge for a couple weeks, and decided to open this one up with dinner tonight. Twenty two ounce bottle served in a pint glass. Consumed 08/19/2008.

The pour was nice, your typical good IPA look. Lightly azed deep orange amber. Lots of carbonation streaking up towards the surface. Nice two inch puff of white head across the top. Nice retention as well with a slow fade and a good amount of side glass lace.

The aroma was highly hopped as one would expect. Nice floral, citric display here, hints of orange and grapefruit with a touch of light pineapple. Some bisuit like malts trying to balance but to no avail. Smae with the flavor. Not harsh or biting, rather this was more of a subtle, resin like hops. Lots of balance as it warms with bready malts pushing their way through, but only temporaily as the the bitter hop show took over in the finish leaving behind a long drawn out bitter finish. Nice carbonation in a chewy body left for a pleasnt expeirence, and the beer itself was very drinkable, easily polishing off the bottle in a sitting.

Overall not a bad IPA at all. I like the IIPA better from them, however this one was very sessionable and a quality ale. Go get this one./

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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 stakem
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Portsmouth brewpub on 3/12/11. Served in a pint glass, this brew appears a hazed copper orange color with a creamy off-white frothy finger of head. Decent powers I'd retention with a ring of lace that is left in the glass with every sip.

The aroma displays hop characteristics that are citrusy and orange rind-like. The nose is sweet and fruity with floral notes. However, the bouquet is a bit muted. A very enjoyable scent just mild. As it warms more of a grapefruit scent comes forward with some caramel malt indications.

The taste is bitter and hoppy with rindy flavors contrasted by a floral and sweet taste. The bitterness seems herbal an reminiscent of grapefruit. There is a bit of a catty element to the taste that deepens the layers of hop characteristics. There is a lasting bitterness inside the mouth that tastes like pulp/rinds of grapefruit and orange. Faint caramel malt flavor in present but hardly holds up to the characteristics of the hops that are clingy with a resinous feel.

This is a medium bodied brew with modest carbonation. It is easy drinking and very well balanced. A very pleasant take on the style. The alcohol creeps up on you a bit with a spicy tingle and warmth in the back of the throat. I will say that the lack of a bold aroma initially had me dissapointed. However, as the experience continued this brew really opened up to have a real depth and layering of both flavor and aroma. I'll take that treat/surprise any day.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap and served in a tumbler, the beer is a hazy, honey-copper coloring with a thin, filmy coating. Aromas of rich caramel, slight roasting, and wet, resiny, fresh hops. Smooth nose. Flavors are rich and slightly sharp on a smooth, rich, creamy body. Light caramel backbone, with a mild, fresh, wet hoping with unique floral and light citrus characteristics. Very mild hops aftertaste with some peppery notes cleaning up the finish, making it clean and crisp. Really good, easy to drink beer.

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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 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 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 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 HopHead84
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jleblanc for great extra.

Pint glass. The beer is orange with a white head, decent retention, and little lacing.

The aroma is grapefruit, orange pith, and slightly medicinal, with a semi sweet malt backbone. No alcohol is detectable.

The taste is citrus hops (grapefruit and orange) with a solid caramel malt backbone. The finish is clean and citrusy.

Light-medium bodied with good carbonation. At times, more reminiscent of a pale ale than an IPA, but overall it's an enjoyable and easy drinking IPA. On a different note, I wish Portsmouth was a bit more descriptive on their labels.

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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 weeare138
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears an amber tone with a two finger chunky white head and lots of lacing.
Smell is roasty caramel malts and varieties of citrusy hops.
Taste is of sweet malts with a mix of citrus hops that doesn't go too crazy.
Mouthfeel is slightly sour and bitter but still remains ok. Medium bodied all the way.
Drinkability isn't bad.

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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 akorsak
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 650 mL bottle courtesy of jmu500.

A: The IPA is a lighter amber color, like the photos of an ancient insect preserved in a hardened, well, amber. The ale remains translucent, even when fresh out of the fridge. A finger of white head is attempting, albeit futilely, to lace around my tumbler.

S: The nose has a mild citrus hop presence, just enough to remind you that it is there. Nothing to get too excited about.

T: Flavor-wise, the caramel malt base registers first, laying down a solid bready base for the IPA. The malts set the table for a hop presence that starts off slow before getting into gear. Citrusy with just a bit of oiliness, the hops add a sunny disposition to the ale. They also contribute to a decent finish that showcases the hops witha strong lingering taste. A good IPA.

M: The mouthfeel has a pleasant zing, enough hops to drive home an enjoyable body. Plenty of caramel malts are just hangin' out too.

D: A good IPA, nice hop presence with a strong finish. It exceeded my expectations, except for the lack of nose.

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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 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 DrJay
3.87/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received as part of BC2. Thanks purplehops!
The beer itself was a hazy, ruddy orange and was topped by a thin, yellow/beige head. Good retention with lots of streaky lace. Nice hoppy aroma - pine resin, herbal, minty, and woody - with just a bit of caramel. The flavour strikes a nice balance between moderate bitterness and restrained malt sweetness. Hops were mostly floral with some earthy, herbal, and fruity notes. Bitterness grew into the finish. Medium/light bodied with moderate carbonation. Lightly drying bitterness. Overall, a very good drinking IPA. Fairly mild, kind of reminded me a bit of an English rather than American version.

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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 Viggo
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to purplehops for sending this extra my way! 22 oz bomber.

Pours a hazy amber, thick off white head rises up, settles down to a thick layer, drops a lot of lace. Smell is nice, super floral, honey and caramel, grapefruit, almost smells like mead, oranges, perfumy, quite nice. Taste is caramel, grapefruits, honey, floral, perfume, oats, oranges, more floral, nice and balanced. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, very smooth. Something about the floral and perfume in this I really like, enjoyable IPA. Thanks a lot Stan!

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