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: 226
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 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 koopa
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Orange body reminiscent of a pumpkin ale with a 1 finger white crown that shows a bit of retention and loads of lacing.

Smell: Strong pale malt sweetness as well as a mild hop medly. Not sure how fresh this bottle is but the hops are fading compared to the growler I had last year.

Taste: Same as nose but a bit more bite (thank goodness)

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and slightly chewy.

Drinkability: Perhaps its the mellowness but its drinking easy.

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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 BeerAndBourbon
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Pours a hazy copper with a two finger white head that leaves bits of residual lacing.

S. Rather mild compared to the tap version. Citrus hops with a light malt sweetness.

T. Caramel malt backbone with citrus and piney hops.

M. Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

D. Good, but not great. I was a bit disappointed after having this brew on tap; the tap version was a lot more assertive. I'd have this on tap again, but I won't be actively seeking out bottles. (I'd still certainly drink them if they made their way to me.)

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Photo of Pabs311
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to smutty33 for bringin this one back with him for me.

A- Pours a slight hazy orange. nice pillowy off-white head tops this beer, settling slowly to leave some minimal lacing around the glass.

S- Good dose of hops on the nose. a little bit of a hop bouquet here. a myriad of hop aromas, with a little bit of citrus, herbal, piny and floral hops making an appearance here. there's also a slight caramel-sweet malt backbone that comes through.

T- Similar to the nose. a good bit of hops comes through with an appearance of all the same hop characteristics as the nose. a little on the bitter side in the finish. the malt characteristic comes through a little more in the flavor.

M/D- Medium bodied with good carbonation. nice IPA, a little on the bitter side for my taste. great to try one of portsmouth breweries beers and will def be back for more!

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

On tap poured into a pint glass.

Pours a pale orangey color with a very think slightly yellow head. Nose is light floral, hoppy and sweet.

Taste is very balanced, it's hoppy and sweet. Lots of caramel and maltiness with a Great finish. Overall a solid American ipa.

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Photo of alpinebryant
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear light caramel with some lacing of white small bubbles.

S: Malt, caramel, citrus and pine. Slight florals

T: A relatively bitter American IPA, not as flowery as some other AIPA's , but very tasty. There is a nice malt backbone with pine and some slightly astringent hop bite. More on the bitter side than the sweet side, and very enjoyable. I would say that the hops have the upper hand in this one.

M: Relatively thick for an american IPA which I like.

D: Nice and smooth going for a hop heavy bitter AIPA. Would drink it more often were it available.

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Photo of papat444
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Portsmouth Brewery yesterday with my lunch, green chile stew.

Appearance: A good 2 finger head with a hazy gold body and excellent lacing.

Smell: Quite fresh citrusy hops.

Taste: A good rush of hops on the front with a grainy feel to it. Citrusy & piney in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: A little light-bodied with a low carbonation though balance is great.

Drinkability: Very drinkable with a restarined bitterness that makes it great to drink.

Overall: A well constructed, straightforward and simple IPA. I liked it though i found it was missing a little something. Still recommended for sure.

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

Thanks to joepais for sending a growler of this one south! My 100th growler review.

A-Hazy, copper kissed deep golden yellow with a thin eggshell white head. Head lingers on fairly well and leaves spotty lace,

S-Nice hop pop with a dose of pine, a dash of floralness and an accenting dose of orange peel and a final zing of spiciness hops. Caramel malt sweetness in the background but it does not overpower the hops.

T-Resinous pine hop flavour up front with nice moderating notes of fresh cut hay, bitter orange zest and spice. Sweet caramel malt comes in to balance things out and does so without overpowering the hops.

M-Medium bodied and well balanced. Good lingering hop bitterness.

D-Solid! Nothing crazy here but a well done, easy drinking and tasty IPA. Not one I would go crazy about seeking out again but certainly not one I would turn down.

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Photo of DMBoSox11
3.91/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review #7 - Fresh Growler in a pint glass.

A: Cloudy, deep golden color with a very, very slight off-white head with tiny bubbles. Great head retention with glass covering lacing.

S: A myriad of different hop flavors, but by no means an overpowering aroma. Piney and grassy hops to start that turn to citrus peel and spicy hops. There is also an alcohol aroma present.

T: The piney and grassy hops are at the forefront, followed by the spicy hops. The citrus is still there, but certainly dulled. There is a touch of alcohol and the overall flavor is just less than a IIPA. The brew finishes with a sweet malt backing. Medium bitterness.

M: Mostly on the palate and cloying (not negative) with medium body & medium carbonation.

D: Solid beer; drink up!

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Photo of albern
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I would very much like to know the four hop varieties used in this beer. It is a truly hopped up affair, but it isn't bitter. The beer pours a slightly hazy golden color with a nice white head, some retention and lacing. The nose is good, not brilliant but good. I'm getting some bready malts and also some citrusy hop notes in the aroma.

The beer is medium bodied, decently carbonated, it has a nice malty mid section and a wonderful hop balance. The hops are not the orange burst or wild piney sap laden type. The hops are also not the bittering or the leafy dry biting type. The combination of hops is quite impressive in how they complement each other. It is obvious that to get this complexity and hybrid qualities, this is no single hop IPA by a long shot. There is a citrusy quality to the hop, a green grassy quality or maybe a bit of raw hop ester, there is a smooth slightly fruity quality in the hop as well. This is very enjoyable, light on the aftertaste, but very palate cleansing and quite pungent in the mid section with those nice hops. I would grab another bottle of this when in Portsmouth. L'Chaim.

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Photo of mgbickel
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to my sister for bringing this one back for me from her NE excursion. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Perfect Pint glass. A single finger of (almost) pure white foam formed on top of the hazy, bronze-golden body. The head slowly receded down to a thin layer, leaving tons of lace behind.

The nose is rather subtle...some fruit characters (apricots, citrus), hops and grains are the predominant aromas. Everything comes through very lightly...

Hmm...that taste is a little subtle also, but not nearly as much as the nose. Starts off with a grainy malt flavor the turns a little sweeter (fruitier) toward the center. The finish finds the hops and bitterness expected from an IPA.

The mouth feel is light to medium, slick and well carbonated

No problem finishing this bottle! Tasty and refreshing, but not as complex as a DIPA (duh!). My first Portsmouth brew and I was not disappointed!

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Photo of muttyd
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy orange/amber body with a thin white head that remains throughout.

S - Citrusy/pine hops with a pleasant earthy backbone.

T - Sweet toffee/caramel malts. Earthy, piney, and very bitter. Very enjoyable.

M - Low to moderate carbonation. Medium body, alcohol well hidden.

D - One of my favorites by Portsmouth. Extremely drinkable (second only to the 5Cs) IPA.

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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 steve8robin
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this at the brewery on 06/19/10 out of the beer fridge.

A: Murky golden copper color with a small 1/2 inch white head that fades quickly leaving a murky white lace atop the brew. Good.

S: Heavy grassy hops upfront blended with some citrus and grapefruit. Hints of sugars in the middle and malts hidden in the back. Decent.

T: Hmm. It's an interesting blend. Hoppy IPA, grassy, grapefruit flavor hits upfront quickly followed by some interesting sugary malts. Very dry and bitter brew. Good for the dry IPA lover.

M: Medium body with some decent carbonation. Good.

D: Goes down decent.

This is an ok brew. Definitely a must try if you're an IPA lover. This brew is very dry with slight hints of malt, but not much. Very interesting here. Decent. Only worth hunting if you like IPA's.

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Photo of Duhast500
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the tap into a Portsmouth brewery pint glass.

The color is a bright, hazy amber with about a finger of foamy white head and some nice lacing.

The smell is a bit citrus and a light pine. The is some really strong earthy hops in the nose and it bites at your nostrils.

The taste is pretty darn bitter. I didn't check the IBUs but I am willing to bet it is high. Some tangy bite that makes you make a face on the first couple of sips. A bit of a earthy pine flavor in the back and a resin flavor up front. Some sweetness does come out and seems to be riding the edge along the bitter heart of this beer.

The feel of this beer is medium bodied. It was easy going down but a pretty bitter beer but not the most bitter I have had but it was up there. It had a bit high ABV then most beers but it was not too strong. A really good IPA.

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Photo of Gtreid
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle curtosey of joepais. Thanks for hookin up the portsmouth goodness. Poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a nice hazy, copper orange color. A full two finger, cream colored head appears then leaves behind tons of sticky lace.

A: Great notes of pineappple, orange, and grapefruit, with added pine needles and sweet honey. Caramel, mango, and tangerine present as well.

T: Great citrus hop bite. Notes of caramel, pine sap, orange, and big grapefruit. I do get a little alcohol, so it is not well hidden, but I don't really care, this one tastes great. Finishes extremely bitter and dry.

M: Let's say medium body, good amount of carbonation. A little sharp, but not bad.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is above average, and that's saying something because of the strong bitterness. Overall, I really liked this brew. The hops definately shine, but there is enough of a malt backbone to give this one some balance. Very good, and recommended. Skal.

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Photo of Pittsburgh
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I made a trip to the brewery this weekend, had the IPA, and it was good, nice and sticky, in the middle between hoppy and malty IPA, was well balanced in my opinion. Overall a solid brew, a bit of fruitiness detected as well. On tap, fresh at the brewery is the way to do it. The only thing that disappointed me was I could not take a bottle home and they were out of growlers. I'd get it again.

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Photo of cbros
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving type- Awesome looking growler poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a deep hazy orange color with a plethora of carbonation bubbles clinging to the pint glass. There is no desernable head but a nice small white lace that is leveled as you drink the beer.

S- I am smelling prominent hints of citrus and some smaller notes of pine out of this one. I would also catergorize this smell as a little tart as well. A nice smelling IPA.

T- This beer starts rather even and mellow but as you near the finish it turns into a tale tail bitter and hoppy IPA. A very nice tasting IPA, I would say that this is more reminiscent of an East Coast IPA versus a West Coast. A very easy drinking IPA. I can see why the sender stated that he drinks a lot of this on tap. A good brew, no doubt.

I recieved this growler as part on the next leg of Growling at the taxman. Joepais was the sender and this is my first offering from Portsmouth. I am very happy to have gotten to taste this IPA and I am looking forward to the other bottle that joe sent. Thanks for the exposure to the IPA joe.

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

Appearance: Pours a murky, peachy but still light amber, extremely cloudy and hazy. Pours with nearly three fingers of head and decent retention. The head has decent retention and is fluffy and soapy and pure snow white. Pretty sheet of sticky lacing. Looks a bit like snow. Small streams of carbonation move slowly to the top of the glass.

Smell: Very sugary and malty in the nose with just the slightest amount of hop spice. Brown sugar and light tropical fruit--pineapple, guava, mango. Some caramel also as well as orange and lemon citrus. Very nice smell, especially as it gets warmer and less faint. Even a bit of apple juice.

Taste: Taste is quite piney and has a bit of grapefruit citrus. On the bitter side of things, and quite a bit earthy. A bit of a minty note keeps this one cool. Sweet caramel and biscuit malt notes come out more as it warms. A bit of lime even comes out.

Mouthfeel: Could use a bit more carbonation. Medium bodied, and for the most part smooth, but the carbonation level does hold it back a bit. This works slightly better as it warms.

Drinkability is decent, goes down smooth and easily a decent session beer. A fairly solid IPA, and easily drinkable.

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Photo of ffejherb
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Portsmouth on the eve of KTG Day - 2/28/10.

A - Hazy orange-colored liquid with a thin off-white head that reduced to a patchy veil and web-like lacing.

S - Piney and oily with fruity accents and some grapefruit character as well. Malt is sweet and caramely. Alcohol notes also emerge as the liquid warmed up a bit.

T - Pine sap character transfers over from the aroma and dominates the flavor profile. Some slight alcohol notes also swim into the picture. Sweet malt provides some balance, but the fairly strong pine character wins out in the end.

M - Medium bodied with a prickly and sticky mouthfeel. Finishes with moderate hop bitterness and alcohol warmth on the palate.

D - Nice piney IPA with a pretty aggressive hop character. This one would be great to enjoy on cask. Maybe next time.

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Photo of MrDanno96
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drank this after finishing off an Imperial Porter the night before KtG Day 2010.

A: Pours a hazy copper orange color with just a thin head and a good amount of sticky lace.

S: A nice mix of earthy pine and grapefruit. Very appealing.

T: Flavors of pine, pineapple and sweet grapefruit sit atop an earthy malt backbone. Bitter hops come through in the finish to provide some nice balance. A great combination of sweet, earthy, and bitter = a great tasting IPA.

M: Medium bodied, perhaps just a touch too sticky and thick for my tastes. The excellent flavor profile cancels out this complaint for the most part.

D: Quite a tasty IPA and yet another great brew from Portsmouth. I had four of their house-made brews during my two days in Portsmouth and was really impressed with all of them.

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