Red Rocket Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Red Rocket AleRed Rocket Ale
Liked This Beer
4.05 w/ 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,606 |  Reviews: 1,178
Photo of depechemode1983
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep mahogany color. Has a thick lasting tan head which rings of lacing. Nice.

S - Citric hops in the nose. Along with citrus fruits like sweet orange and bitter grapefruit. There some sweet caramelized malts to balance it out. It may be just me but the middle smells a lot like mild roasted coffee.

T - Mild citrus with a slight soapy taste, although not bad. Same fruits are there just toned down with the coffee aspect being more of a finish.

M - Medium bodied and a bit rocky. Carbonation is a tad rough but not all that bad.

O - A solid beer. Aromatic and tasteful. Rough around the edges in terms of mouth feel but overall very drinkable.

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Photo of zoso1967
3.44/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Red Rocket pours a deep woody brown color with a head that is somewhere between tan and beige. The beer is slightly cloudy and the head is nice and frothy but fades quickly. It does leave pretty nice lacing though.

The nose strikes a nice balance between malt and hop aroma. Candied grapefruit spiked with pine is the main scent, with hints of caramel and orange.

The flavor is not quite as pleasing, with the malt and hop flavors seeming to clash a bit. There is a definite toffee sort of malt character that butts heads with the piney hops. The caramel and citrusy qualities get a long a bit better, but this brew seems awfully bitter to me with a pretty aggressive hop presence in the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium with subdued carbonation. I found the finish to be quite dry for the style, and as mentioned in the flavor section, it was a bit harsh with the hops on the finish.

Overall this is a decent amber that has more hop character than most. Unfortunately the taste did not quite live up to the nice balanced aroma and made this beer one that I will probably not seek out in the future.

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Photo of zrab11
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a nice amber color with 1 finger head

S- Has a big citrus smell with some malt notes too. Picking up alittle hops

T- Has a big blast of hops at the begging followed by some citrusy flavors and some grassy flavors and then ends with some orange zestyness

M- Medium bodied with ok carbonation

D-Overall this was an ok amber red ale. Felt more like an ipa. But was not too impressed with the flavor. Would like to gve this beer another try

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Photo of syrupjoe
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Pours a dark rusty amber, with a good two finger head that dissipates quickly. Good lacing that forms sheets around the inside of my glass. LOTS of chunky particulates.

Nose is citrusy, floral, caramel-y, and alcohol-y.

Taste is quite malty, but with a great, well-rounded aromatic hop balance. Bitter hops are a tad too pronounced for my liking, the aftertaste isn't as delicious as the taste.

Overall, a great beer. Somewhat turned off by the floaties, but got past them to enjoy this balanced but hop-forward IPA.

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Photo of rudzud
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up on a whim from Julio's. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - A nice crystal clear red pour with a cream coloured two finger head that faded very slowly leaving a thick blanket and average side lacing.

S - Nice sweet carmel malt with a powerful hop (pine/grapfruit) background.

T - Very much like the nose just with the hops more upfront. Nice sugary sweet malts and big, bold hops. That ABV is not noticeable for me at all.

M - Lower carbonation results in somethign nice and creamy yet still dry and bitter. Very nice.

O - Really dig this ale. Has a great appearance and taste. Some might find the hops to be somewhat overpowering, however, I think this only adds to the drinkability of this Bear Republic offering.

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Photo of EricCioe
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours something like a blood orange, filled with particulate, with a one finger khaki head that dies down to something less than a sheet with decent lace. On the nose there is a nice balance, though not an even balance, between a good deal of pine hops with some citrus on the one hand, and an underlying, mellower caramel malt on the other. In the mouth, I was a bit shocked by how far back the hops ride. This is a bitter beer, no doubt, but the bitterness is less pine and more toasted malt. Th caramel malt is there, too, but tastes a little burnt compared to the nose. The body is medium with a nice medium finish, the toasted flavors dying away to a pleasant pine.

Overall, this is a fine beer, though I wish the toasted notes were held just a bit further back to open up some space for the beautiful pine notes that they drown out.

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

Pours out a dark reddish brown body with a thick tan white head that has great retention and some of the best lacing I have seen on a beer in awhile. The smell is a pleasant mix of raisins, caramel, sweet malts and pine. The taste is a nice balance of sweet malts, raisins, caramel and than it balances out with a nice finish of pine, citrus and earthy hops. With a very smooth and soft creamy mouthfeel and a very well balanced taste makes this a great beer to enjoy. An unique beer that is a must try, I'm glad I did.

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

I poured Red Rocket from a 12Oz brown bottle into an Anchor pint glass. The color is this nice shade of ice tea and the suspended yeast makes it cloudy. Head it bisquit colored and recedes slowly never totally going away. Lace is dainty, but there.

Aroma is mainly pine and grapefuit peel although there is a brown sugar and caramel maltiness about it.

Flavors both bold and sweet. The hops take up most of the scene with their grapefuit peel bitters, but the sugary caramel malt doesn't hide for long. The sweetness shows up for the party and becomes more social with a little warmth. Alcohol well hidden.

Feel is medium bodied, fairly creamy, and dry. Enjoyable for sure.

Overall: another beer from Bear Republic worthy of a sixer (or more) purchase.

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Photo of CharlieMurphy
3.91/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Appearance is not what I'd expect. Very dark, like a brown ale. Very minimal head too - dissipates to nothing within a few seconds but....

S: Boy does it smell amazing! Wreaks of citrusy hops like other West Coast IPAs I've had. Some sweet malt slightly overshadowed too.

T: Pretty much like a slightly maltier IPA, or even scratching the surface of a barleywine (but for all practical purposes let's just ignore that). Malt first, then bittering hops, then some sweet, slightly tangy, citrusy hops that linger and remingle with the malt backbone to imprint your tastebuds. Not nearly the same hop character that was in the nose. I'd place this right around the labeled ABV by taste due to the malt backbone but absence of any detectable alcohol.

M: Pretty full, especially for having minimal carbonation.

O: Solid brew. It hits the spot if your in the mood for an bigger IPA. Would buy again.

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Photo of frimairist
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A lovely beer for a lovely spring day. Pour is a dark, dark red through the light, with a <i>lot</i> of sediment in suspension and really long-lived lace. As for the smell - it's sweet! And piney! And sweet! Some serious caramel going on there, and it shows up to the taste party. In good balance with citrus, that is. It's as sticky as it looks on the glass (and that's pretty sticky) in the mouth, and the carbonation doesn't burn too long or fade too fast. On top of all this I just noticed - is the C just backwards or is it "Red Roжet"? That would be neat. Lord knows we need more Soviet-themed red ales. Especially ones as good as this.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.15/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A – Deep maple red amber. Low off-white head. Poor lace.

S – Bright citrus and orange zest hop aroma.

T – Huge hop bitterness, almost pine in character, but really just a raw, green, alpha-hop-oil bitterness. Balanced about a third of the way with malt. Touch of orange zest and agave sweetness.

M – Lavender, agave, pine bitter finish. Medium / light body. Touch watery.

O – It’s not so much that the bitterness is overpowering – it really isn’t – it’s just that I wish there were more hop flavor to complement the alpha oil.

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Photo of trappistlover
3.42/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(12oz bottle). Pours a hazy mahogany color with thick off-white head. Has aroma of cardboard, florals, caramel, and some alcohol. Taste is malty with some hop bitterness. Medium bodied with an oily texture. Bitter finish. Its a little too malty for my liking, but otherwise, its a nice beer

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Photo of Brunite
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A hazy copper red with a tan head.

S: Sweet malt notes...some hop notes...piney.

T: Sweet malt...caramel...balanced with piney hop bitterness. More of a Scottish Ale taste than a red ale.

M: Medium body.

O: A nice beer. Scottish ales are not my favorite style. This has a nice balance and unique flavor...just not for me I guess.

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Photo of VMWhelan
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark red / slightly brown with a little less than a finger of tan head. Good lacing.

Nose is caramel malts and some hops. Very faint but smells pretty balanced between the malt and the hop. A little bit bready.

Taste is bitter but not at all overwhelming. Actually a lot better than what I was expecting from the nose. Hops are piney with some slight citrus flavors. Caramel malt is right there backing it, and it adds a nice sweetness for a really good balance.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Medium bodied with decent carbonation. Dry finish.

Overall this is really good. I wasn't sure what to expect from the nose, with it being so faint, but in the mouth, this is a fine offering from Bear Republic.

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Photo of rawfish
3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a muddy looking molasses that glows a lighter amber up to the light. Noticable yeast suspension. A small one finger head of tight cratered forth that reduces to a thin lace in time leaving spotty lacing on the glass.

Caramelized malt base, sweet and syrupy backed with a good balance of citrus hops, malt forward but the blend of citrus hops gives the aroma of candied apples.

Deep rich malt base, roasted and slightly nutty, warming and slightly sweet but not cloying. Citrus and pine hop character balances out this beer but it remains malt heavy. A bit of citrus zest near the end of the drink and appreciable bitterness.

Smooth across the palate with ample body and adequate carbonation. Though sweet it manages to avoid any unnecessary sticking.

A highly balanced beer with a bit more body that what I'd expect for the style, good hoppiness reels this one in to the red ale range though I'd prefer the balanced of hops and malt to be switched.

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Photo of kzoobrew
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 03/01/11

Slightly burnt caramel colored body, a rather noticeable amount of yeast in suspension. Two finger malted milk colored head is set atop. The head works its way back in rather short order, a slim cap remains. A respectable amount of broken lacing is left coating the glass.

Toasted bready malt accompanied by a pleasant citrus hop aroma. The malt base is balanced with equal parts of toasted bread and caramel. The hops are slightly less assertive though still remain fairly centered.

The flavor is similar to the aroma. The bready caramel malt flavor is dominate on the tongue. Very pleasant warm flavor and underlying sweetness. The hops provide an appropriate amount of balance. Slightly more grass and pine in flavor than the aroma, a bit more bitter than I expected. Citrus come through more with warmth.

Medium bodied and moderate carbonation. Very smooth on the tongue. The finish is moderate, the sweeter flavors do not cling to the tongue as much as I would expect.

Terrific beer. Yet another reason I am glad to see Bear Republic in Michigan. Red Rocket provides a warm maltiness I do not get in many beers I drink regularly though pairs it with a familiar hoppy flavor. Very easy drinking, I see this being a semi-regular purchase.
Medium bodied

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Photo of sentomaster
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Caramel colored dark amber body with orange highlights. Two finger off white head.

S- Pine, lemon juice, passionfruit and a thick caramel candy malt base. Smells oh so rich and inviting.

T/M- Pale, crackery crispness initially. Piney, sweet fruits, citrusy, even a touch floral hops mixing with roasty caramel malt sweetness. Medium-full body with just enough carbonation to carry it. A bit of a grainy texture but still smooth. Finishes with an aggressive smattering of hops that doesn't quite break the strong malt backbone which lingers.

O- This is such a fantastically well balanced beer and so dangerously drinkable. The hops are at times aggressive (finish) and at times nuanced (mid palate), but they are sublimely countered by the heaping helping of crisp, roasty, caramel malted goodness. Hopheads may find this to be underwhelming; but if you're looking for a well hopped yet perfectly balanced amber, look no further.

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Photo of Swedes21
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - gorgeous clear auburn colour, very clear except for the sediment. The head if an off-white, very foamy. there is some good lacing occurring as well.

Smell - good combination of malts and hops, can smell deep caramel along with a little zest.

Taste - very smooth with a lasting aftertaste. Malts come through away that lead to the caramel, the zest adds to the bitterness at the end.

Mouthfeel - full bodied, more smoothness and fullness, great tasting beer in the mouth. Lots of volume added here and a longer aftertaste.

Overall - fantastic beer, I could have a few for sure. love all the taste and smell that are going on at the same time.

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Photo of MonkeymooTJ
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


Dark amber almost burgundy with a thick foamy head that leaves a layer on the side of the glass as it recedes. Quite a bit of sediment was stirred up as well


Pretty equal balance of sweet caramel and grassy/citrusy hops


An all around balance of sweet and bitter. An initial sweetness hits the mouth and then gives way to a bitter follow through


Medium bodied with a slight carbonation tingle left on the roof of the mouth


An outstanding red ale. What really stood out to me was how well balanced this beer is. You really get a good dosage of all the ingredients. I was also pleasantly surprised by the amount of hops present in both the aroma and taste. An excellent choice

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Photo of jbertsch
4.78/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip and got an awesome rocky, billowy head that’s off-white in color. And boy did the head stick around. The brew itself is a beautiful dark mahogany color.

A layered aroma… I noticed spices and herbs at first - cinnamon most noticeably – that sit on top of a sweet toffee malt profile. There is a nice hop profile sitting in the back that’s not to be outdone.

Then the fun happens… the taste is a faintly sweet up front from the malt profile, but it quickly fades into slight bitter notes of earthy nuts. Some nice hops show up at this point with a mix of dry spices making things exciting at the same time. A little caramel malt rears it head at the end. A multi-faceted flavor profile that has something for everyone.

Full body, super creamy and smooth, yet it sports great carbonation. Couldn’t dial it any better.

The layers of flavor that constantly morph and trade center stage with each other make this an exciting brew. You want to keep taking sips, so, the drinkability is great.

I’m too often disappointed with Red Ales. But this one is a game changer for me. A great full-flavored, balanced beer with both malt and hop profiles on display, topped with spices and herbs to make things exciting. Recommended.

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

Appearance - Light creamy brown head with decent to low retention. Dark ruby body.

Smell - Hoppy like an IPA but with a soft malty undertone.

Taste - Balanced hoppiness with some underlying bitter lime peel.

Mouthfeel - Very somoth. Medium-full bodied and creamy.

Overall Drinkability - Good, smooth and drinkable. Balanced yet not boring.

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Photo of Brianjames16
2.75/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a slightly transparent deep mahogany red with little to no head. This may just be the growler I had it from. I have a feeling this should have a huge head.

S- Very malty presence up front. I get a good amount of piny aromas from the hop character in this one. Nice earthy tones come through.

T - Good amount of malty flavors with a decent bitter hop finish. Mostly malt flavors in this one stick out. I'm also getting a hint of citrus fruits somewhere in there. Not crazy about this growler to be perfectly honest.

M- Easy drinker with a light/medium body. Not overbearing at all but lacking and substance.

O- I have to try this out of a bottle or maybe a different keg because this didn't impress me much.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been on my tick list for a while. Found this at 3 Sons Six packs for red sticker price.

A - Poured a dark amber color with an inch of foamy good stuff,

S - More hop dominant than expected. Slight caramel tones and some bread malt.

T - Not too offensive but I really didn't like it. Just seemed too earthy and hop forward for my taste. I do love a good IPA but it just seemed bitter and not really sweet with caramel or bread. Hate to bash it but it was drinkable.

M - Medium bodied

Overall: damn I guess I set my expectations too high expecting a balanced hop to sweetness ratio. I guess I will need to try it again in the future to see if it grows on me.

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Photo of SkipWeathers
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had something else by this brewer I really liked so I decided to try this. Definitely not disappointed - even though I don't like ambers that much. Very crisp, full, bitter mouthfeel. Interesting aroma, like citrus and cotton candy. Nice bubbles, coming up from the bottom...again, very carbonated. Dark red-brown color with caramel color head. Taste - hard to describe, just bitter, herbal, grassy.

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Photo of Fikash
4.44/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A pleasant amber color. This beer is bottle-conditioned, so you will likely get some particles swimming around in your beer. I've always liked that, I think it gives an ale character.

The smell was tame but full of complexity, just like the taste. Perfect balance of bready malt and hops. Neither overwhelms the other.

This beer makes me believe in red ale again.

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Red Rocket Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 85.1% out of 100 with 2,606 ratings
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