Red Rocket Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

2,606 Ratings
Red Rocket AleRed Rocket Ale

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

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

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Ratings: 2,606 |  Reviews: 1,178
Photo of July2Nov
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

300th Written onto it.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, deep copper/burnt-ruby color with a thin head that retains a good lacing.

Smell: Hops are prominent with a buttered biscuit hint.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Oh so smooth, like an operator. The balance between the hops and the malts are just perfect. Getting some brown sugar and burnt caramel flavor in the profile that spices things up a little. It's medium in body with an elevated spike in flavor near the middle that holds up till the end. Has a slight dry finish.

Overall: Excellent red ale and one that I would get again. This one absolutely blasted off and left me in awe.

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Photo of LittleCreature
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - 4.5
Pours a finger of creamy foam head the yellowish colour of old clotted cream. Beneath is a clear body of deep reddish brown with some large sediment chunks. Decent head retention, good lacing.

Smell - 4.0
As you would hope for an American amber ale, the aroma is a balance of rich fudgy, caramelly malt and American hops. Herbal, spicy and fruity hops take on a not entirely pleasant grassy/tea-like aroma.

Taste - 4.0
Loads of flavour in this one - a rich malty palate of digestive biscuits, fudge and dark caramel, balanced by a strong hop bitterness with spicy, herbal, piney, oniony and grassy hop flavours. Noticeable alcohol is warming and somewhat peppery.

Mouthfeel - 4.5
Medium to full bodied, light to moderate carbonation with small bead.

Overall - 4.0
The very definition of a west coast red ale, this is a HUGE beer. Personally I would prefer less hops and less alcohol for a more drinkable beer, but then it just wouldn't be Red Rocket.

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Photo of haazer
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a bad innuendo this beer has.

A- The pour yields a thick frothy light caramel colored head. Webs of sticky lacing where the head was. The brew is a very dark amber, almost more of a brown color. Lighter on the bottom of course, and bubbles show evidence of good carbonation.

S- At first whiff the malts and hops appear well balanced. Hops include pine sap, small amount of grapefruit, and some lemon. There is equally strong caramel malt profile. This amber reminds me somewhat of 60 minute, but better.

T- Upfront see's the malt bill, which consists again of caramel. Also included is toffee and some rye. Then in the aftertaste is the slight piny bitterness to attempt and balance this spacecrafts flight path.

M- The mouth is light to medium bodied, clean and crisp. Very easy drinking. Carbonation felt slightly.

O- This is a style I'm not that familiar with, but I spoiled myself with Nugget Nectar. This is your example of a balanced amber ale. My experience with this was more malt forward which may suggest some age, but no indication of bottling date. Because this is so drinkable, and smells and looks great I enjoyed this beer vey much. Cant help but think of a certain Southpark scene that I wanted gone from my memory though...

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Photo of NICKV1117
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really enjoyed this one. Deep red with a 2 finger beige foam head that lasted several minutes. Nice citrus aroma. Lots of different flavors...bitter at first becoming sweet with caramel and citrus flavors. Hoppy feel, then more malty at the finish. Fine craft beer.

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Photo of Samp01
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A rich ruby red on the pour with a nice tan lasting head with good lacing. Sweet caramel malt, fruity spices and a nice sweet floral earthy hops fill the nose. Taste is nice sweet caramel malts with nice fruity tones, some yeast and nice hops flavor. Medium body and moderate carbonation on the palate along with a smooth mouth feel. Finish is sweet toasted caramel malt some yeast and fruit spices ending with a nice hops edge to add balance. A brew with malty character and a persistent dry earthy hops bitterness. Overall an interesting but good and drinkable brew

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Photo of nickd717
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber review dated 12/19/2008.

Red in color with a large off-white head. Piney aroma with lots of hops evident. Flavor is also very hoppy with less malt than I'd expect from a red ale. Would have liked a little more malty sweetness to balance. Crisp mouthfeel.

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Photo of boneboy
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - This pours a beautiful, dark shade that shines deep red when held up to a light. A thick, rocky, tan head clings to the glass, leaving a pleasing amount of lacing.

S - The aroma is sweet caramel malt, piney hops, raisins, and honey.

T - The taste follows the aroma, but the hops seem much more present. A slightly warming alcohol, though well masked, is present. I’m really enjoying this hopped-up red.

M - Medium bodied, appropriately carbonated, and oh so smooth.

O - This is an extremely enjoyable beer that seems to have everything going for it. The malts and hops are both ever-present, and the ABV of 6.8% is well masked. I will probably pick this up again, and would definitely order it on tap, if available.

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Photo of NODAK
3.47/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Immediately, the aroma was quite hoppy with pine resins dominating. However, the sweet malt undercurrent then appears with a pretty good sweetness and a little nuttiness as well. Good balance here.

The immediate taste that hits is a good dose of bitterness, which quickly gives way to a somewhat sweet maltiness that seems a bit bready to me, as well as rather earthy. Finishes resiny, with a prickly bitterness along the sides of the tongue to end the drink out.

For an amber, this is certainly one of the hoppier ones I've had. The bitterness could rival many IPA's. It's certainly not bad for an IPA (if it was one), but for an amber it's pretty aggressive.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.61/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Medium to dark brown with red hues when held up to light. Two-finger frothy off-white head that lasted several minutes and left very nice lacing. Nice bubbles. Lots of particles.

S: Floral and citrus hops. Light malt aroma.

T: Sweet up front, then a pronounced hop bitterness. Malty and floral. Bitter finish. Not as much malt as I would like.

M: Medium bodied with soft carbonation. Smooth and dry.

O: Mostly bitter with not as much flavor as I was hoping for. But, it did have an excellent appearance.

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Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev -1.5%
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 r3dsix
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a glass.

Pours a very nice head which gracefully laces along the glass as it falls. The color is a deep brown when held up to the light you can see a red hue to it. Its a little murkey with particals of flavor floating about.

Its smell is mainly hoppy mixed with the odor of alcohol and an underlying malt scent is the last thing to be detected.

The smell is fairly deceptive because the taste is one balanced and tastey brew. You can taste the bitterness of the hops but mainly cause of the smell, that flavor is quickly equalized by the pleasant molasses/Carmel malt. The flavors stay with your palate reminding you that you just drank a tastey beer. Please drink this beer from a glass so you can get your nose into it cause the smell of the hops while drinking are a big part of the flavor. Drinking straight from the the bottle isn't as enjoyable.

The beer is really well balanced and smooth so you could chug it if you want but trust me you want to sip and enjoy this beer.

I will definitely need to buy and drink more of this. Very happy with the purchase, worth every penny. Truly excellent beer.

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Photo of ToasterChef
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally got to have this beer again, via a bomber I picked up at Julio's recently. I kept it at cellar temperature and poured it into a pint glass.

The beer is a very dark shade or red, nearly brown in color. The head is tan and foamy. As it settles it leaves some patchy lace. Swirling the beer leaves behind a good foamy film.

Before ever putting my nose close to this beer, I can smell its hop aroma. Once I get close, I can tell this is what I want a hoppy red to smell like! Pine and citrus hops are predominant, but there's also some other characteristic red smells, like caramel and sweet plums. It all works very well together.

The hops are the dominant flavor, moreso than in the scent, in that the typical red flavors aren't very strong. Still, it tastes very good. Pine hops are the first thing I taste. Their bitterness lingers on throughout the swallow, but things get slightly sweeter and velvety as I swallow. There is a little bit of toffee here.

The beer is full-bodied and carbonation is average. There is some stickiness and a slight film left behind. It isn't very flavorful and doesn't pack the hop punch that I expected.

Overall, this is a great hoppy red ale. It is definitely worth seeking out. Luckily, it is fairly well-distributed. Too bad I can't get it here in Maine. I'll get more next time I'm in MA.

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Photo of dgilks
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear copper colour with a creamy, off-white head. Good head retention and great lacing.

Mild nutty caramel aroma with a touch of earthy, fruity hops.

Malty caramel with some nice nutty notes. Quite bitter with a touch of fruity hops.

Medium body with moderately-high carbonation. Fine.

A well hopped, bitter amber ale. American to the core.

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Photo of MEsoJD
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very dark with a slight red tint. Decent head.

S: Smells of floral hops and spices.

T: Hit with hops followed by slightly sweet malt. Slightly dry finish with alcohol that warms. The taste of cherries lingers.

M: Slightly creamy and hoppy. Smooth...

O: A great tasting, unique and well balanced ale. It wasn't what I was expecting, but that's good in this case.

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Photo of zimm421
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a shaped pint glass. Appears a dark brown color with amber tints around the edges. You can see through it around the edges, but that's it. Has about one finger of head which is dense and has great staying power and leaves some really nice lacing.

The nose is full of pine, citrus, caramel and nice toasty malts. This is very complex in the aroma, and is great to take in before each sip. The taste is nicely balanced with the nice malts upfront and a finishing flavor full of pine, citrus and spiciness. This is great. So complex it makes you think, yet everything works so well together that it makes you not want to put it down.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with great levels of carbonation. There is a good film left on the inside of your mouth with each sip as well. Overall, this is a great brew! Stands up to the better ambers I've had. Very hoppy, yet balanced, drinkable and complex.

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Photo of cagocubs
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a light brown/dark copper color with a thin foamed tan head. Head keeps well for minimal size and laces the glass.

S: Malts, hops, citrus, some sweetness like brown sugar. Nice scent.

T: Earthy hops, pine, barley. The sweetness is short lived then the dry hops come through with an earthy aftertaste with some alcohol bringing warming. A nice balanced taste.

M: Carbonation is perfect, present and not overpowering. Smooth flow and great warming aftertaste. Refreshing with a light/medium body. Bravo.

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Photo of BMoney575
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on 8-4-11

Pours a very cloudy amber/brown color, with a foamy head that settles to a thin film with lots of bubbles. Lacing is big and sticky.

Smell is lots of citrus hops and a good kick of bitterness. There's a strong malt character, adding smoothness and a nice bit of complexity.

Taste is very bitter and nicely malty. Not overly complex, but well balanced and enjoyable. The finish is bitter and drying, with an earthy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is good, decent carbonation keeps things light and enhances the bitter character.

Drinkability is very good, a pleasant kick of malt and hops.

Overall, nothing special, just a solid red ale.

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Photo of PDXHops
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into a Duvel tulip. Deep reddish amber topped with a creamy light tan head. Good retention with generously scattered patches of lacing.

Very rich, full malty nose. Loads of caramel backed up with lighter toasted and roasted notes. Citric and pine hops in the background. Tastes as good as you'd hope for after taking a few sniffs. Plenty of bitterness and hop flavor to lighten things up a bit, but man, that malt profile's something else. Perhaps a quick touch of espresso along with a final bitter bite in the finish.

Overall impression: robust yet drinkable and extremely flavorul, a winning combination.

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

A - Reddish brown body, clean with slow rising bubbles. A foamy, slow moving one finger head.

S - Wonderful sweet, fresh hop bouquet. Floral and sublimely spicy hops and a dry side.

T - Dry and bitter batch of hop flavor up front. More dry through the sip, with a bitter finish on the tongue. A floral taste, with some green sweetness, much like an evergreen. Mild malt sweetness and a slight touch of alcohol heat in the back of the throat.

M - Crisp and dry throughout. Clean but bittering.

O - A solid red ale with a nice level of dry hoppiness to it. A good pairing of dry hops and spiced spruce.

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Photo of ReelBigwigFish
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Chimay Chalice glass last night and took notes on good ol fashioned pen n paper while the site was down.

A: Very deep red to brown color with slight haze and a frothy tan head. Decent lacing, much darker than I expected.

S: Quite hoppy with sweet malt aromas and roastiness.

T: Bitter fruit and pine hop flavors upfront meshing perfectly with darker malt flavors. Lingering flavors of oak and grapes.

M: Slightly creamy, medium bodied, light-medium carbonation.

O: I set the bar high for this beer considering the brewery, and it has surpassed my expectations. Bear Republic made good efforts to create and extraordinary red ale.

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Photo of Hayward
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours smoothly out a dark, walnut and reddish color. Held up to the light, the opacity of this beer allows for a glow in your glass as opposed to seeing through the other side.

The aroma up front is a slight caramel and fig, with a little bit of the hops to come at the end.

Taste is complex and not easy to break down (and this is a good thing), but I will try. The sweetness of the malt is quickly approachable, followed by an almost barley-wine fruitiness that is quickly replaced by a noble hop that finishes with a nice biscuit flavor left on the palette.

Mouthfeel is smooth, with light carbonation.

A great beer from Bear Republic, I feel they are in a class of their own with this one, self-described as a "bastardized Scottish Ale".

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 22oz bomber. No freshness date.

Appearance: A thick, delectable red/amber color in the glass. Due to bottle conditioning, it contains a murky and dark look. It maintains a strong head, but there is no carbonation visible.

Smell: A very funky, earthy smell resembling berries, caramel. There's also an overpowering malty smell in this beer as well, often resembling bread.

Taste: More bitter than expected, yet amazingly flavorful! It tastes about as fruity and bitter as it smells. Yet, the most prominent fruity flavor throughout consumption is that of black cherries. The malts taste lightly roasted, and the hops provide a tingling, spicy sensation to its flavor.

Mouthfeel: While it's the alcohol that really bites back here, the malts provide a thick, chewy experience on the palate. There's a lot going on here. The hops leave a dry sensation on the palate, and the yeast somehow counteracts that with a sweetened, refreshing sensation.

Overall: Wow! THIS is an amber ale?! According to the Bros, it's hybrid of sorts - although I'm somehow thinking of Flanders reds, and not Scottish reds - and I couldn't agree more. The bottle conditioning really allows this thing to be a flavorful experience like no other. Bear Republic once again shows the beauty and future of American craft brewing in this rather intense beer of their's. Due to its heaviness, it's not something I could sit and have any day, but it's quite recommended!

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Photo of Rschis16
4.65/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark and opaque. A flat brown hue with a healthy off-white 2 finger head that dissapates down to a patchy sea foam cap. Incredible lacing. The first thing I thought of from the aroma was red wine. It has some deep aromas of dark roasted malts that hit the nose hard. Citrus or pine hops are in the background, but still very present. Some booziness is detectable too.

Close to as perfectly balanced as could be I think. Its rich and flavorful from the dark roasted malt character, but the hops come in and accent them so well that the two tastes combine perfectly into one really great taste. Pine hops rule in the back but the caramel character felt in the malt front is so understated that it becomes a work of art. Some booziness in the taste as well, especially detectable once its warmed up a bit. I think if this were ever so slightly more carbonated, the beer would be a bit more crisp, but this starts with a creamier mouthfeel and ends closer to the crisp side. Really, even the carbonation is nicely balanced. Overall, this goes right alongside Hop Rod Rye and Racer 5 as a few in my top 20 favorite beers.

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Photo of tdexterc
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Deep, dark red, with a decent 2 finger head which disappears fairly quick, leaving behind a nice lace around the glass. Though this beer is bottle conditioned, the yeast stayed planted at the bottom, meaning a full pour was perfectly fine.

S- Faint floral hops in front, followed by some brown sugar sweetness poking through the back. A tad bit of a roasted grains comes through also.

T- Toasted malt seems to stay up front, along with a soft earthy, almost peet moss characteristic. A really enjoyable bitterness holds on to the back of the tongue. The alcohol is very well hidden. As it warms, the hops begin to make a bit more of an impression.

M- Creamy smooth with moderate carbonation and a medium mouthfeel. Goes down very easy… almost too easy…

Though I seem to remember it having a bigger hop presence when I sampled it from a bomber, I still thoroughly enjoyed this brew. I always love beers which blend styles and blur the lines of what category a beer falls under. This isn’t quite a Scottish ale, and it’s not quite a red ale, yet it’s both and neither at the same time. Plus a bottle conditioned brew always gains points from me. Keep up the good work bear republic, you have yet to disappoint me.

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Photo of IronLover
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a bottle with no freshness date. Dark mahogany in color with a deep haze and reddish hue on the edges of the glass. Poured with a very brief head that reduced to a sticky ring on the glass. Mostly sweet caramel malt flavors with floral hops and dark fruit. Medium bodied and a bit on the oily side up front that subdues the carbonation a bit. The carbonation slowly intensifies toward the finish as the oily feel transitions to a light resinous feel. Dark caramel malt is the dominant flavor with a hint of chocolate and dark, ripe, fruit through the middle. Hop character starts slowly but builds from beginning to end, starting with floral flavors and ending with pine hop bitterness. Finishes semi-dry with a lingering bitter aftertaste. Lots of subtle complexity in aroma, flavor and feel.

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Red Rocket Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.06 out of 5 based on 2,606 ratings.
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