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 Jayli
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked this growler up at the Brewery on 3/1 and finally consumed on 3/3

A: This beer pours a somewhat hazy golden/orange hue with a 1/4 inch of white head. Head recedes immediately and leaves spotty lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is of rich caramel malts, some floral notes and a hint of citrus orange hops.

T: Taste starts with bit of piney hops and a hint of grassy notes. Caramel malts and a bit of roasted malt flavoring comes through in the middle. Finish is where the floral notes come though.

M: Medium body, low carbonation, oily feel but too little carbonation.

D: Nicely balanced, quite tasty, goes down easily. There was too little carbonation to this beer which I'm not 100% sure of the growler seal or the beer itself, so I won't knock it too much. I would definitely enjoy this beer much more with a touch more carbonation to it.

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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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Photo of Jwale73
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a standard pint. Pours a hazy, coppery-orange with a quarter inch bright white head that settles into a solid skim. Nose is somewhat subdued - some citrus notes, but that's all I get. Taste is nicely balanced between hops bitterness and citrus sweetness. Mouthfeel is light-medium, with an even, yet assertive background carbonation. This is a great "session" ipa. Drinks easy and has a great balance. So far, one of my favorites from Portsmouth.

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

Reviewed from my notes, based on a very generous half pour in a pint glass at Sebago Brewing Company's Full Moon cask event. The beer is a hazy golden orange color with large white soap bubbles forming the head. There is no carbonation visible rising in the glass. It has a very good floral hop aroma. It has a bitter and floral hop flavor. The aftertaste is almost flowery. It's a great IPA. It has a good, heavy mouthfeel with an appropriate level of mouthcoating. A slight amount of carbonation is detectable. I don't think I'd want to drink too many of these in a row, but this glass goes down very easily.

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

Portsmouth: Bottle Rocket IPA
22 oz. bottle, poured into an imperial pint.

Appearance: Beer is somewhere in between amber and orange, surprisingly clear. Seafoam head forms up and leaves a nice four millimeter cap and some gnarly lace on the side of the glass.
Odor: Grapefruit juice and pine needles over a full toasted malt aroma.
Consistency: High end of light bodied, carbonation is perfect, somewhere in the middle range, keeping things crisp.
Flavor: Aroma is very telling. Citrus hop flavor, grapefruit and orange, clean bitterness roughs up the palate a bit. Balance comes in short measure, which is fine! Some toasty, crackery malt flavor mingles with the earthy, nutty yeast tones, dry, long finish, hops stick around forever.

This beer is everything an east coast IPA should be. PNW hops in moderate force, check. Dry, with a relatively assertive bready malt character, check. Drinkable as hell, check.

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Photo of Casey10
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Stopped Portsmouth Brewery today brought home a bottle of this one from the gift store there.

A - Pours a bright orange with minimal head.

S - faint pleasant orange with light spices.

T - not bad I said a bit above average as it did not overwhelm.

M - light on the mouth some tingling.

D - I didn't try this on tap today, I have in the past it is good I think a bit better on tap however but can't go wrong here.

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

Thanks to joepais for this bottle.

Poured from the bottle a very lightly hazed golden brown with a thin off-white cap.

Aroma is more earthy and malty than it is hoppy with sweet caramel malts, berries, and grassy and light pine hops.

Tastes of caramel malts and bread along with a moderately bitter combination of grass and pine hops.

Medium bodied, dry, and moderately carbonated.

Not a favorite but a nice IPA from the folks at Portsmouth.

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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 bmanning
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks portia99 for this extra!
Pours light orange with thin white head.
Aroma is mostly floral hops with a bit of citrus and pine in there too.
Taste is good for an East Coast IPA but the bitterness is very light. There is a bit of peach in the flavor with subtle citrus and pine. The malt is a bit greater than the hops in this beer.
The carbonation is on the low side for an IPA and thus it feels thin in the mouth.
Very drinkable beer however - perfect for the summer since it's so light and crisp.
Overall it's a different type of East Coast IPA - not better than most, but different.

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

22oz bottle poured into pint glasses:

A: A golden orange haze, with a very thin white head that leaves lots of lacing behind on the sides of the glass.

S: Strong grapefruit with floral overtones, then a sweet malty presence that balances it out.

T: Not as much grapefruit as expected, but still nice and citrus y with a perfect amount of bitterness on the back of the palate. Then it smooths out with a sweet caramel finish. This really is an excellent tasting IPA.

M: Light body, steady carbonation, with a prickly feeling all over the tongue.

D: Goes down smooth and easy. If you happen to make a trip to Portsmouth Brewery this is a definite bomber you should take home. Borderline session beer.

The Kings Of Hop

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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 younger35
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Just received this brew from Gibby as a very nice extra. Have really enjoyed everyone I've tried from Portsmouth so far and this will be my first IPA from them. Drank out of my Stone India Pale Ale flute while watching the Bronco's vs. Cowboys.

Appearance- Pours a chill hazed orange with hints of yellow and a decent half finger super creamy white head. Once the head recedes slightly a spotty cap and thin collar remain along with a fair amount of spotty lacing.
Smell- Very resiny and hoppy with a slightly fruity side and big piney aspect. Tons of herbally pine just oozes out of the glass along with some bitter lemongrass and dandelion. Some grapefruit and orange peel peak in adding the fruitiness as well. Some maltiness is present as a slight toast and a bit of bubblegum is present.
Taste- Starts very light with a subtle hoppyness that isn't really bitter but the beer definitely isn't sweet. A light resiny pine hangs on my tongue as does some very light grapefruit fruitiness/bitterness. A very subtle bit of caramel adds just a touch of sweetness to the backdrop of the beer. It's all very soft though and honestly sort of weak.
Mouthfeel- Very light and almost watery. The most disappointing part about the beer BUT the carbonation is very light so it makes it feel almost likes its on cask.
Drinkability- Fairly tasty IPA but it's very subtle and light, a different sort of IPA than I'm used to. It's super easy drinking though and goes down easy and smooth. It could use just a hair more body but overall I can't complain. Thanks much Jeff!

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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 dasenebler
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first growler! I think I picked a pretty good brewpub...

Poured a couple hours after being dispensed at the bar. Light amber, ever so slightly hazy. Head is small, but nice and creamy. Since it's a growler, the carbonation is steadily decreasing, so there's less of a head with each pint poured. Nose is grassy, hoppy-- more herbal and medicinal.

Very full, well-rounded IPA. Bitterness is medium, but hop flavor is high. I'd like to know what the hop varieties and hopping rate/schedule were for the Bottle Rocket. Hop flavor is somewhat medicinal, almost minty. Malt backbone is substantial, and there is a delightful buttery and yeasty aftertaste-- diacetyl? Carbonation was low and fleeting (growler...). Mouthfeel was creamy, but not too weighty despite all of this flavor.

Would like to sample this IPA on-tap and also from the bottle. Excellent stuff.

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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 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 william5586
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a bomber.

A- Deep murky burnt orange. There were a few big bubbles, but very minimal head. There was lacing but it didn't really stick to the glass.

S- Hoppy, sweet citrus fruit, grapefruit. Even when the beer was gone my glass still smelt good.

T- Sweet citrus fruits and a nice grapefruit hop backbone. The bitterness seemed to grow throughout the finish and lingered in the aftertaste.

M- Lots of flavor packed in to a smooth lighter body.

D- Very easy to drink due to the light body and good flavor.

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

A 22 oz. bomber courtesy of jleblanc, poured into a 22 oz. brandy snifter. Perfect fit, and thanks a bunch for the opportunity, Jeff!

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazed, very dark - for an IPA - brew, sort of a dull copper, but with something of a deep, internal light. The one-finger of surprisingly pure, white head fades relatively quickly but leaves a random, patchy dusting atop the hazed, unsettled surface. The lacing is reasonably attractive, runny on the sip side, but sticky, clingy on the other, lava lamp-like in places, sheet-like in others.

Aroma: Very minty up front, with a slew of other hop aromatics - strawberry, orange, grapefruit - and a lot of light, slightly roasted backing notes, reminiscent of bubble gum or cotton candy. Very light, spicy, herbal, and "cleansing," in that minty sort of way.

Taste: A very robust, well-rounded hop profile. Moderate bitterness surrounds about half a dozen of the most commonly-recognized hop notes that you can squeeze out of American hops: grapefruit zest, in equal proportion with orange zest, in equal proportion with sprucey pine, in equal proportion with an earthy herbal tobacco note, in equal proportion with spicy mint, in ... well, you get the idea. This is one varied IPA. The word that's coming to mind is "kitchen sink," though I know that to actually achieve this sort of balance between all of the competing hop flavors, you have to very carefully control a great many factors, so I wouldn't denigrate the artistry here by applying such a modifier.

The malt backbone is soft and supple, moderately caramelized, with a lot of dextrins, faint gummy bear and marshmallow notes, and a lot of stray, "heavy" sugars. It provides a consistently dark but still sweet foundation for the aforementioned hop-xtravaganza. The combination of "not too sweet" and "moderately fruity" and "a little bitter" actually lends an air of Flinstones vitamins, which is unfortunate, and due to childhood memories good enough for a -0.5.

Mouthfeel: A moderately thick body, with subtle carbonation, a moderate alcohol prickle that melds with a moderate hop prickle. Just a pleasant feeling brew.

Drinkability: This is just a plain, good ol', sold drinkin' American IPA. To be fair, it's nothing mind-blowing, earth-shattering, or mild-altering, but it's solid, enjoyable, drinkable. On the plus side, at 6.5%, it's none too intimidating either, if not quite sessionable. On the other side of the ledger, there's almost too much going on here - and none of it in a way that really jumps out at you - for anything to really shine through. That being said, if I were a Portsmouth resident, I could see this being a go to. Easy drinking, inoffensive, and enjoyable.

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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 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 u2carew
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A) Orange - amber in color. Pours with a thin, quick settling head. Thin lacing. Some haze.
S) Cascade hops - orange, grapefruit & peach. Malty caramel pushes through.
T) Citrus - grapefruit. Earthy. Robust hop bitterness mixed with malt sweetness in the finish.
M) Smooth. Some fizziness. Medium bodied. Gritty. Some tannin feel.
D) A decent IPA. I'd have another.

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