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 4000qtrap
3.67/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Source/Serving: Draft

Smell: Grass, salted caramel, molasses, and little tart grapefruit tang.

Taste: More bitter than I expected from the nose which comes off as quite sweet. Slightly bitter up front but balanced with a nice caramel sweetness. There are even some chocolate notes that combine with a grapefruit oil character that gives it a real big roundness. Very balanced. Creamy chocolate caramel finish with a little grassy bitterness which is nice.

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Photo of ballz50401
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint. Pours a clear dark copper with a red hue. Carbonation is about average and produces an off white head that starts out big, then fades to a conservative thin layar. I get a big hop/malt combination in the nose, some citrus, caramel, toffee, toast. As for the taste, I get loads of dark caramel malt. Mouthfeel is full and creamy with a good balance of hop bitterness. A very good Red ale/Scottish ale/IPA, three of my favorite style's.

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Photo of Spider889
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was disappointed to see no freshness date on this one, but as a single it seemed worth a shot.

Poured a deep red, almost brown color - think real maple syrup (not the fake Aunt Jemimah's). The head was large and very dark mocha cream almost like that of a dark stout. Left wonderful thin whips of lacing all the way down the glass.

Smelled primarily of hops - you can tell it's a Bear Republic, and this smelled like they had done a black IPA with Racer 5. Subtle malts are there, but it's almost all hops - sweet citrus like grapefruit and tangerine.

The taste is much of the same, it's very hop bitter with sweet roasted malt notes with some wood and smooth whiskey. The hops dominate and almost smother the more delicate malts and spicing.

Mouthfeel is light bodied. This brew is very thin with almost no carbonation. Very dry and sticky.

Drinkability isn't bad, but this ultimately wasn't as special as I hoped. At several dollars more than a sixer of Racer 5 I find myself thankful I didn't buy a six pack of this beer. If I had to choose, next time I'd just reach for the Racer 5. They taste very similar anyways.

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Photo of pants678
3.16/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Body is a deep ruby that has an off-white head.

Copper and apples, hoppier than I expected. Opens up about halfway through.

Definitely getting the pine, that forms a creamy base. Compliment of hops, caramel and a lime touch, tastes very floral with a staining, bitter end.

Frothy and creamy texture, surprising for a red but Bear Repub makes it fit. It's a dry, medium body brew that does seem filling.

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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 boomer31
3.84/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep red with a little white head that is gone before the first sip. Very pretty deep red though

S - Fruity hops with touches of citrus and malt.

T - Huge hops up front for an amber ale. The grassy and piney hops come through. Again a touch of citrus hops but not much. The malt come forward after the hops disappear but more hops than malt here.

M - light carbonation and dry from the hops

D - A nice amber ale. I love hops so this is right up my alley for a red ale. I could put a few down in a sitting

Nice work but BR. They seem to love hops as much as I do.

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

Poured in to Duvel Tulip

A - Poured a very dark deep amber colour that looked more like a deep brown until put up to the light. One finger of thick, bubbly espresso coloured head formed on top and stuck around for quite a while.

S - Juicy citrus hops up front - orange, grapefruit and apricot. There is also some piney hops mixed in. A sweet, rich caramel malt nose balances it out.

T - A great balance of hops and malts here. The malts are sweet caramel flavoured and the hops have notes of citrus and pine. The hops are less prevalent than in the nose and the malts are more so evident than the nose indicated. Still a great balance.

M - Medium body, slight chew.

D - An excellent example of the style and beer that I will buy over and over again.

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Photo of FickleBeast
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Reviewed on my droid.

Pours a deep auburn amber color with a full finger of foam that recedes slowly and coats the glass. There are huge chunks of yeast floating around. Aroma is potent, hoppy, floral, grassy.

Wow.. this is a complex beer. Hops assert themselves at the top, with a deep malt backbone for support. Almost barleywine-esque but without as much sweetness. Bitterness is substantial and lingering, but not overly harsh.

This is one slammin beer. It has a bit of everything and it blends well. Would get again for sure.

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Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 7-24-10
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A - Dark brown, carbonation present, 2 fingers of foam with a nice thick lacing ring with a good layer of froth on the glass

S - Dark roasted malts, orange peel and caramel, slight hop aroma

T/M - Medium bodied, malty grit feel due to the bottle conditioning. Taste the orange peel and some caramel

D - Overall a very drinkable brew. A tasty medium bodied brew and if you can get over the sediment at the bottle once the brew sits it is a really good brew. I recommend it and would have this brew again!

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: poured dark brown with ruby and yellow highlights that had a hlaf finger of head which died dissapated quickly and left a little sticky lacing on the glass.

S: I did get traditional aromas of an amber which consisted of swett malts, some nuttiness, caramel, and mild hop notes. I did also get very faint booze notes.

T: it actually does have a better hop punch on the taste with a good malt backbone that had slight citrus, nutty and caramel accents but the booze was more hidden on the flavor as well.

M: medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation that had a slight sweet and nutty but mild hop bitter finish.

D: overall this amber was above average and drank quite well that had a decent hop kick. This brew makes a good session beer.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap this past weekend at the Yard House Dedham. Served in a slightly chilled pint glass. Dark brown to auburn colored body. Thin white head. Some lacing. Smell was piney and a bit like butterscotch. Taste was good, lots of malt like a well built amber ale, but it was also much more hopped than I expected. Like other Bear Republic beers, this one is definitely hop forward. It was good, but be warned if you are looking for a red session ale. Also, at 6.8%, it packs a bit more of a wallop than other amber ales. A good beer if you are looking for a hoppy red ale.

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Photo of cbak999
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-deep orange to brown. There is not a lot of head...poured from a 22 oz bomber. Not much lacing on the glass. Lots of yeast in this bottle conditioned ale.

S: Lots of chocolate, some vanilla, and some hops.

T: at first, lots of chocolate, but finishes with bitter hops. For being this sweet, it finished surprisingly dry.

D: perfect carbonation. Very heavy for a red. Not a session beer by any means, but a great sipper!

Another good production from Bear Republic. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
4.59/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a ruddy amber, with 1/2" of pocked tan foam that slowly condenses.

Has a vibrant citrus smell, with slight pine undertones. As it sits a few minutes, the white pine begins to take over the citrus. In short, this beer smells crisp and tasty.

Wow, the taste is almost like a gin and tonic with extra lime; the pleasant mixture of evergreen and citrus carries over to its taste. Much smoother than its crisp smell would lead you to believe, this beer has a fair amount of resin than levels out the bitterness that wants to come through. A great sipper, one you want to squeeze every bit of taste out of.

As mentioned above, this is smooth in the mouth, with a bitter gripping of the top of the back of the tongue, leaving the back of the tongue dry.

Bought as a singleton so I could give it a try, I'm now sorry I didn't buy the whole six pack. very drinkable, I highly recommend yet another excellent, hoppy brew from Bear Republic.

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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 david18
3.47/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had a sixteen ounce draft of this last night at the Amsterdam Ale House on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Either I really like the bottle version better or the keg of this wasn't very good but in general this was a disappointment. Very cloudy in color, so much so that I almost sent it back. Very malty, a little lower on hops than the bottle version. Tastes stronger than it actually is. I'll try it again but I was surprised by this one.

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Photo of JamisonM
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: off white head with great lace reddish amber color with a bunch of sediment

S: some citrus hops with pine a slight amount of chocolate must be from the malts

T: very hoppy beer pine and citrus dry finish

M: med mouth med to high carbonation

D: very drinkable

overall: really good beer red IPA is what you could call this it does remind me of arrogant bastard ale but these 2 do have plenty of differences. very good Bear republic always makes damn good beer.

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Photo of FeloniousDrunk
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer mug. Immediately noticed the deep russet color, almost mahogany, and nice ecru 1/2 finger head. The head stayed on the beer with minimal lacing.

The smell is quite hoppy and dry, which betrays the initial taste on your tongue. Burnt caramel malts and robust woodsmoke abound at first, with a nutty, hoppy, floral finish.

This beer is quite bold in the mouthfeel, but swallows smooth. Your mouth is left with a dry tannin echoing around inside.

Overall, the initial sweetness is cut expertly by a finishing dry balance. Like a dewy deep-woods summer morning that turns to crisp sunshine in the afternoon.

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

This is an excellent Red, a great example of the style just like many others that Bear Rep make

Pours deep dark red with a small head and some good lacing down the glass.

Smell is grapefruit cascades with a bit of other ripe fruits and some nice slightly sweetish malts along with a slight hint of woody pine...great nose.

taste is just so smooth but hoppy - starts out smooth and caramely but not sweet, then moves to a bitter fruity hop kick and a pleasantly warm finish with just a hint of alcohol

very drinkable, Low A score overall wonderful american red! the way they're supposed to taste!

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Photo of sholland119
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at TJs Everyday, 7/7/10. Hard to believe I have never reviewed this one before.

A-Pours a hazy deep reddish brown with a frothy off white head and a nice sheet of lacing.

S-Lots of rich caramel malt, backed up by some nice grapefruit hoppiness.

T-Lots of flavor. Heavy on the malt, especially for the style, but I view this as a good thing. Some nice citric bitterness in the finish make this is a big amber ale flavor wise. I like it.

M-Maybe a bit heavy for the style. No surprise given the flavor profile.

D-Deliciously flavorful and drinkable.


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Photo of BeerAmbassador
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bills itself as an over-the-top Americanized Scottish ale. Pours a rich mahogany with a two finger head into a Corsendonk glass. Deep canidied fruits, brown sugar and grain on the nose. Taste is just a bit of sweet maltiness up front with loads of hops in the middle and on the back end. Definitely much drier and hoppier than an actual Scottish ale. Nice long finish. I remember having this beer for the first time years ago being new to craft beer and it kind of scared me away a little at the time. Just a little too much going on for me then. Now it tastes like something I want on a nice fall night when the weather is just starting to turn cold.

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Photo of Philabeerphia
3.64/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

For several years I've held this beer in high regard, having come across it on tap from time to time, and I consider it a real treat of brewers talent. This time I'm sampling from the bottle, 12oz poured into a shaped pint glass.

Pours with almost two fingers of khaki (tints of orange) foam. Nice and dense up top, the kind of header that will support weight. Slowly popping down to a more manageable 1/8" cap. Beer below is semi-hazed, chestnut in color. Almost the same color as the bottle this beer was resting in. A bit intimidating for sure (in a good way, right). I take a whiff and I get some citric zing laced with a grassy bitterness. Plenty of sweet bread backing things up and frankly muddling the show. ehh, this nose is not living up to the visage in the glass.

Some tropical notes show up in my mouth, in all their bright sugary delight at the front of my tongue. I pick up some white grapes and mango. Good first impression. This subtle, delightful start is quickly stormed by the deeper sweetness of vanilla frosting & dryer wholegrain muffins. A wide middle here, safe to say that this is a full flavored beer. Hops come rolling back to the battle in the throat. Although there's some age on this bottle (too much age, actually), I am hit by some rolling fresh grassy hopiness. this big earthy berth is all kept moving by a gorgeous helping of the large carbonation bubbling that prevents any filming or cloying. It all comes rolling to an end with a nice harmony of vanilla pudding and earthen hop that lingers on the back of the tongue. Well done from the crew in Healdsburg. Although it's a pretty burly beer, it still reads as clean and suitable even for the hottest of humid days here in Philly. Maybe I've docked a few points unfairly due to this bottle's age (very difficult to discern, plus it's been some time since my last tasting), but overall I am still a big fan. I'll definitely come back to sip on the Red Rocket again soon.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A- pours a very dark amber...almost brown, with a puffy 3 finger white head. Head leaves nice lacing...color is a little offputting, I expected something a lot lighter. Looks almost like a porter.

S- nice hoppiness...getting a little bit of citric sweetness there, as well as some nuttiness and maybe some overtones of honey. Interesting smell for an amber.

T- citric bitterness. I'm getting a nice hit of grapefruit, with a bite near the end...not really pine though, something different...almost like even more bitter grapefruit. I like it...maybe not as sweet as it could be, but its not bad.

M- feel is good. Beer is nice and filling...carbonated well. Not too thin.

D- I'd say its got some good drinkability...its different from other ambers I've had...maybe a little more bitter and less sweet. Good beer.

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Photo of ocelot2500
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy deep red brown with a thick, rocky tan head that leaves little chunks of lacing.

Smells of big piny and woody hops.

Tastes of a good dose of caramel malt followed by a big wave of hops. Caramel malt is syrupy sweet and toasty. Big hops come through and erase the sweetness with notes of pine and spice that offer a good amount of bitter.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a creamy amount of carbonation.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2010-06-13 in Lynchburg, VA

A - Mahohany with a 1/2" tan head

S - Reminds me of a Green Flash Hop Head Red Ale with pine, citrus and caramel.

T - Lots of caramel malt with a hint of licorice plus some grapfruit bitterness. The balance is more towards the malt than the hop bitterness, whereas the Green Flash weights the finish a little more towards the hops. This malt is deep and luscious. It finishes on the dry side but there is a lingering sweetness too.

M - Medium body and carbonation with a bit of creaminess to boot.

D - With the residual sweetness and a really well-balanced, strong hop bitterness, good body and great taste, this is highly sessionable. An excellent brew.

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Photo of smanders
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bear Republic is showing up more and more out here so when I came across the Red Rocket ($5.99/bomber), I had to try it.

This bear is the darkest red I've ever seen. Looks like a Merlot with tons of sediment, and one of the thickest heads I've seen. Chunky lacing. I smelled grape/strawberry jelly, pepper, and pine. Deep malt aromas dominate. The taste is just as complex; big malts (of the Scottish style) quickly trampled by hoppy bite. This is powerful stuff. The viscosity is about like used motor oil. Dy-no-mite!

If you have a buddy who likes Scotch Ales, give him a bottle of Red Rocket and enjoy the expressions.

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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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