Red Rocket Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Red Rocket AleRed Rocket Ale
BA SCORE
4.05/5
Exceptional
2,619 Ratings
Red Rocket AleRed Rocket Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States
bearrepublic.com

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Red Rocket Ale is a bastardized Scottish style red ale that traces it's origins to our homebrew roots. This full bodied and hoppy brew finishes on the palate with sweet, caramel malt flavors.

2009 California State Fair - SILVER
1999 Great American Beer Festival® Other Strong Ales or Lagers - SILVER
1998 Great American Beer Festival® Other Strong Ales - SILVER

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-05-2001

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#3,228
Reviews:
1,179
Ratings:
2,619
pDev:
10.86%
Bros Score:
4.34
 
 
Wants:
183
Gots:
276
Trade:
4
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,619 |  Reviews: 1,179
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is slightly hazy deep red in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige head that has good retention properties and never completely faded away.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of citrus hops in the nose.
T: The taste has a good balance between flavors of citrus hops and caramel malts. It is accompanied by a light to moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and somewhat smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink and goes down smoothly; I would consider it to be sessionable except that its alcohol content is a bit too high.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite styles and one of the highest rated ones in the country at that... had to get it in MA while there for job training.

Pours a a nice deep copper, red color. Thin tannish head to it, nice light, but prevalent, lacing on the glass. Aroma is very hop filled, oh joy. Taste is amazing... a nice chewiness to it and great mouthfeel. Very drinkable, especially for the pretty high ABV. A nice citrus taste to the hops as well, along with some caramel malts. Ranks right up there with Ithaca's Cascazilla and Troegs Hopback Amber Ale... not sure if it's better than those two but it's close.

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Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of biboergosum
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear, dark reddish amber hue, with two fingers of creamy, rocky beige head, which leaves a broken, sloppy covering of lace around the glass in its wake. Its smells of caramel/toffee malt, a bit of nougat, and leafy, citrusy hops. The taste upfront is juicy, citrus, earthy hops, followed by the base toffee malt, and then some strong herbal hops, and mild booziness. The carbonation is moderate, the body full, smooth, and creamy. It finishes off-dry, but drying by the second, the considerable malt still capitulating a fair bit to the substantial herbal citrus hoppiness.

A (fat) bastardized amber ale, with a hop tumour that got a wee bit out of control. For a self-styled hophead such as yours truly, this is not a bad thing. Good, good stuff.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of the few Amber Ales done right. The approach is that of a serious IPA, but with the malt profile found in Irish Reds. It turns out beautiful. A dark mohogany look with a shy, creamy, tan head formation, retention, and lacing. Aromas are a blend of sorgum / barley with a sharp blend of pine, citrus, and herbs. Very clean from the apprearance, through the flavors and aromas, and on into the textures. Bready as if done via decoction mash, but softly sweetened by barley, syrups, and candied fruits. Equally soft in the texture. Though not a Cask Ale, the beer exhibits the constant soft carbonation and creamy mouthfeel better than most from the bottle. A light mint joins the frey in the finish, along with a long, lingering pine / confectionate blend. Very nice Amber Pale, even if a little bite-ey in the end.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.16/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

6.8% ABV. Expectations are extremely high; the more I try from this brewery the more impressed I get with it. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with interesting fun label art and a branded silver pressure/pry-off cap acquired at a local SoCal beer store and served into an Oskar Blues pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Bottled 01/18/13; 6 months of age on this one, but it's been refrigerated constantly and it's a "bastardized Scottish style red ale." Reviewed as such (not as an American amber as currently listed). I trust the brewery over whatever clod added the beer.

*Note: I emailed Bear Republic on the day of this review and received a response on 06.18.13. According to Clay: "Red Rocket has a shelf life of 6 months. If refrigerated you should get up to 9 months, but I have tasted darn good bottles past that." So there you have it.

http://bearrepublic.com/beer/red-rocket-ale/#.UbvW8OcXLK0

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger khaki colour head. Decent cream and nice thickness. Lovely frothiness; quite attractive in that sense. Seems to have no cling on the outer edges; lacing is nonexistent here and the head thins towards the edges. Retention is well above average; about 4 minutes I'd say. Maybe a bit longer. No "legs" on this one.

Body colour is a rather dark amber. Definitely appears unfiltered, but it isn't quite hazy. Certainly nontransparent, though. Some glowing semitranslucence. Floating yeast particles are plainly visible, varying in size. She definitely looks alive. Understated and somewhat rich, but I wouldn't call it vibrant.

No bubble show.

Overall, it's looking pretty good for the style it identifies as. I'm intrigued, but not quite impressed. Certainly has the character of a Scottish ale.

Sm: Lovely toffee notes with accompanying grainy malts. Distinct malty sweetness outs it as a Scottish ale - albeit with a higher hop content than most examples of the style. The label describes it as "aggressive hop character"; I'd agree with that sentiment based on the aroma. Caramelized malt is evident. Mild intensity floral and herbal hops. Malty character is the focus here, quite typical of a Scottish ale. Some bready malts; maybe some biscuit malt. I dig the malt profile here and the hops seem well married to the malts. Not detecting any yeast or alcohol. Solid for the style. Mild in strength. Appealing.

T: Scottish influenced malty sweetness provides the full grainy and bready body, with toffee lending some added character. It does clash somewhat with the perhaps overzealous floral, herbal, and lightly piney hop character. I don't know that the hop choices here were ideal, but then this bottle is a biteen old (though I do want to emphasize that a Scottish ale - at least a traditional one - should last 6 months without issue). But make no mistake, this is not a traditional Scottish ale, though I'm sure it'd make a fine one without the unique hop addition. Caramelized, but not as much so as traditional examples of the style. A biteen of cream comes through.

Not getting any yeast character or alcohol from the taste. I want far more toasted malt than it delivers; I think its emphasis on the hops is misplaced and far from ideal. It's an interesting experiment with the style, but I don't know that it's better for it.

Problematic balance, but interesting complexity. Not much subtlety, unfortunately. Overall I do like it, but I did expect more from Bear Republic. Flavour intensity is average; flavour duration is typical.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Wouldn't call it oily. Good full body. Nice presence on the palate. A bit creamy. Somewhat soft. Perhaps a bit too thick for the lack of flavour depth. Quite filling, a characteristic amplified by the bready notes. Suits the flavour profile generally well, but doesn't feel custom-tailored to it. Facilitates delivery of the flavours pretty well.

Dr: I plan on revisiting this one as fresh as possible; I have a feeling I'm not getting the best experience of it in spite of the core style. Perhaps the aggressive hopping is more naturally integrated and carefully balanced when the beer is a bit newer. It seems like it could be a solid brew from Bear Republic, but based on this experience I can't quite make that claim. Has some interesting elements and it's certainly drinkable. The alcohol does poke through a bit as it warms, especially on the finish. I'll plan to get another and report back if results are different. As it stands, it's a decent effort but ultimately there are far better offerings in the style at around the same price range.

C+

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Photo of oline73
3.84/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy reddish amber with a layer of off white head. The head fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Sweet malt backbone. Mild brown sugar and perhaps some dark fruit. Bready with some citrus peel hops.

Taste: Citrus peel hops with some rye like spice. There is a good amount of malt to balance out the hops. The finish is quite dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a finish that is a bit chalky.

Overall: This is a solid hoppy amber. Good balance and a nice hop profile.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of superspak
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 10/28/2016. Pours slightly hazy dark ruby red color with a 2 finger dense and rocky light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Dense soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, mango, lemon/orange peel, light pine, caramel, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, light nuttiness, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of juicy citrus/tropical hops and dark/bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, mango, lemon/orange peel, pine, caramel, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, light nuttiness, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Moderate pine/citrus peel/grassy bitterness; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, mango, lemon/orange peel, pine, caramel, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of juicy citrus/tropical/pine hops and dark/bready malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and minimal hop astringency after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from bitterness, that increases through the glass. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth moderately sticky/creamy/bready balanced mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an outstanding hoppy red ale. All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of juicy citrus/tropical/pine hops and dark/bready malt flavors; very smooth and easy to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of zeff80
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a burgundy color with golden highlights. It had a very foamy, tan, two finger head that left some narrow rings of lace.

S - It smelled very floral and grassy with a good roasted malt aroma.

T - It tasted very hoppy and spicy. There was a great roasted malt/burnt toast flavor to compliment the hops.

M - It was very crisp and sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is great; one of the hoppiest amber ales that I've ever had.

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Photo of Boone757
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of brentk56
4.11/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours with a stout-like latte head on top of a dark amber colored liquid; great retention and lacing

Smell: Piney hops and caramel malt

Taste: Opens with a rich caramel malt backbone that is joined by bitter piney hops at mid-palate; after the swallow, the malt returns to more than balance out the hoppy flavors; nevertheless, there are plenty of hops in this beer

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied and creamy; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I held off tasting this beer as I never get very excited by Ambers; in this case, I was mistaken

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Hogtownharry: Poured a dark brown color ale with a big dirty brown color head wit good retention. Aroma of big citrusy hops is quite powerful and dominant with some roasted sweet caramel malt also noticeable. Taste is almost entirely dominated by big citrus hops with a good caramel malt backbone. Body is about average and carbonation is slightly above average. If you like big citrus flavour beer from the west coast then this is probably going got be for you.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at JP Looney's Sports Bar & Grill in Kernersville, NC

A: Pours a very slightly hazy deep reddish amber in color with moderate to significant amounts of visible carbonation and some garnet red highlights. The beer has a finger tall foamy beige head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a couple of small slightly thicker patches and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of citrus/grapefruit pith hops over the top of toasted malts.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of toasted malts with some caramel sweetness. That is followed by light to moderate flavors of citrus/grapefruit pith hops. Light to moderate amounts of lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Relatively smooth.

O: Smooth and enjoyable while being easy to drink because of the well hidden alcohol.

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Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of mothman
2.65/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours 1 finger of beige head. Color is a caramel hued amber. Tons of sediment in the glass. Left some decent lace (nice retention).

Aroma: Big and malty with floral hops. Citrus and fruit flavors show. Lots of bready, caramel malts here.

Taste: Big and malty. This beer seems like it is trying to be hoppy but the hops may have faded. So many malts here. Caramel and bready malts all the way. Some floral and citrus notes, but just not for me.

Mouthfeel: Creamy with a touch of bitterness. Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Ends dry with lots of malts in the aftertaste.

Overall, this reminded me of 6 month old winter yulesmith. I was not able to finish 6 oz of this before I dumped it. Way to malty and shows faded hop flavors. Not for me.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Carefully poured it's fairly clear with just a few specks of yeast sediment. I personally prefer it with the yeast - and give it a swirl - but it still remains just hazy (not cloudy). The body is a very deep copper and it's topped by a frothy ivory head that holds exceptionally well and leaves some very nice lace throughout the glass. The aroma offers some sweet, lightly smoky and caramel-tinged malt as well as some grassy and spicy hops (although it doesn't really become apparent until it warms). The full body is accentuated by a natural carbonation from bottle conditioning - restrained (@ 2.2 vol CO2) with very tiny bubbles - and it's quite creamy and smooth across the palate. Very nice! The rich grassy hops are the first thing that's noticed in the flavor, followed by some soft sweet malt and a touch of smokiness as it crosses the palate before finishing with a rousingly dry and bitter finish. Long lingering hop flavors and some residual smokiness keep it interesting and remind you that you have a beer in front of you! Very well done and quite enjoyable. Also very unique as well. Well worth trying!

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of paulish
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of chinchill
3.91/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle served in a large Austrian (Ottakringer) stein.

Pours a dark, hazy, reddish-mahogany with a towering and frothy tan head. The head has great retention and leaves gobs of sticky lacing on the glass.

The aroma is quite earthy and spicy, reflecting hops more than the faint malt. The taste is similar although it starts off with a very sweet, malty tone. The rich medium-roast malt flavor is soon balanced by the bitter hop load. Higher ABV evident in aroma after warming but well hidden in taste.

M: Medium body with medium carbonation. Nicely smooth; more like an aged beer in this respect.

O: Gotta say, even though this is a very good beer, I was a bit disappointed with it. But my expectations were high: it looks great and all 3 other beers from this brewer that I am familiar with are really exceptional. Reminiscent of, but not quite up to par with, Rogue Mogul Madness. Still, reasonably priced, flavorful and easy to recommend.

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Red Rocket Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 2,619 ratings