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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,606 |  Reviews: 1,178
Photo of ManuelHerrera
4.67/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark red with little head to speak of.

S - The hops in this guy tickle the nose. Has a tangy, spicy aroma that opens up the experience....

T & M - ...Until the glorious moment when you taste this beer. A lightly peppered spiciness mixed with a great, bitter hoppiness. Has a little bit of citrus at the finish that smooths out this whole experience. A really strong Red Ale, a definite recommend.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.82/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this as an extra from JWiss22 - What a great guy!

Appearance -- Pours deep ruby red with one finger of bubbly tan head that quickly disappears. Quite a bit of lacing.

Smell -- Pine and grassy hops, some citrus rind, caramel, a little molasses, some deep malt roastiness in the background. Almost a hoppy scotch ale smell.

Taste - Whoa. Massive hop bitterness up front: pine resin, citrus rind. Toward the finish some rich roast malt character barely pushes through the massive wall of hops. Finish is all resin.

Mouthfeel -- Medium body, quite carbonated.

Drinkability -- Quite interesting. Probably wouldn't have sought this out on my own, so I'm definitely glad I got this as an extra. It has great roast malt character, but the hop profile really overwhelms. This is a bitter BEAST. Tasty, refreshing, but a little too unbalanced to come back to any time soon.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours glowing garnet with rings of sticky lace. Big tropical rain forest flower nose. Berry jam malts with juicy blood orange hops. Rhubarb linger. Medium, chewy, no burn.

Holy fruity! Explodes with bright juicy flavors all over the place. Fantastically quaffable. The standard for a tasty hoppy red.

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Photo of hrmhrm
5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best. It tastes Scottish. It tastes Red. Huge bristly hops. Starts strong and lingers, then lingers some more. I'm so glad this is so easy to find in California. East Coasters, Southerners, Midwesterners: it's worth hunting down.

The review cops tell me I've got to have at least 250 characters here, so I'm writing more.

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Photo of gregshead
4.52/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brownish black color

S: carmel and earthy hops aroma along with some malts as well.

T: Tastes like a mixture of a red ale with it's sweetness but some of the same malty tastes of a brown ale. This is the unique twist that this beer brings to a large number of good beers.

M: Nice light carbonation with a full feel in my mouth.

D: A very drinkable beer for almost any occasion. Yum.

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Photo of EnVinoVeritas
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep reddish and copper color colors with a light haze and unfiltered look. Pours with a one finger beige head and great lacing throughout the quaff. Light floral and fruity hops with noticeable caramel malt notes. Notes of biscuit and roasted malt with medium mouthfeel. Great balance with malt up front and a nice hops finish.

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

Red Rocket pours a rich amber with a finger of yellow-tinged off-white head. Good retention and streaks of lace. The aroma immediately screams hops, with freshly squeezed grapefruit and pine resin producing a vibrant and intense bouquet. This is underpinned by light caramel and biscuit malt. Gets fruitier as it warms. Nice balance in the flavour. The hops come first with a great citrus presence, again backed up by the pine, with the fruit, caramel and biscuit in the middle, before the hops reassert themselves in a lingering and pleasantly bitter finish. I really like how this isn't a one-dimensional hop monster or a malty beast... its walks a thin line and achieves something special in the middle ground. Medium body and carbonation.

A pretty special beer. Slightly maltier than your average American IPA (which I'd hope for in an amber), but with a nice fresh hop bite. Balanced from start to finish. Another winner from Bear Republic.

Huge thanks to BigBry for the hookup - an awesome trader!

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Photo of llllDrGONZOllll
3.89/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams aroma glass

Deep red with a very small cap of off white head. The lacing is spotty, and the body is polluted with yeast and hop particles through out. Don't get me wrong, this is still a decent looking brew. The aroma is a home run, sweet grains and caramel are at the forefront, and hops of an earthy nature are chiming in quite loudly. Fruity with spice, and a spritz of citrus are how the hops make them selves known. A strong malt nose is there to sweeten the deal that allows the alcohol to go by with only the smallest evidence. The taste is what makes this a red ale even more than the color. A strong flavor of unfermented malts and caramel are coating the tongue. Make way for the bitterness to help balance the load. The hops play a key role in the balance of the taste. Not to bitter not too sweet. Hops and grain are playing nicely together. The body is also a nice characteristic in this amber. I really dig the way the carbonation feels in the mouth...light. For such a sweet ale I think the body remains thin. I could see my self putting back more than one in a sitting, no matter what the weather is.

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Photo of samie85
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes; originally consumed 4/30/10.

A-Pours a dark amber with a one finger, tan head.

S-Caramel malt, herbal hops, and a subdued smoky, peaty quality.

T-Caramel and bready malt notes. it finishes with a dry , bitter, piney note.

M-Smooth and medium bodied with low carbonation.

D-This was an interesting experience to say the least. It was a pretty solid beer, but there's no way of knowing how fresh it was. Overall, not a beer I'm likely to run out and pick up a lot of anytime soon.

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

A: Clear ruby red color. Poured a 1 finger fluffy tan head that dissipated to a thick skim. Lacing washed down the sides of the glass.

S: Big caramel malts and fruity hops. Bitter tickle.

T: Sweet caramel bready sweetness up front. Citrusy hop flavor ahead of a sharp bitter finish that lingers.

M: Medium body. Medium carbonation. Big and malty, but good and balanced with hop bitter.

D: Very drinkable. Good flavor and nicely balanced.

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Photo of Zekezilla
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tried this after trying Bear Republic's IPA, decided I want to sample other offerings from this brewery. I was not disappointed. Appearance: Beautiful deep red with yeast sediment visible when I hold it to the light. 2 finger head, nice lacing at the beginning but eventually fades. Smell: piny hops. Taste: piny, citrusy hops throughout. Mouthfeel: Very little carbonation. Due to its intense hoppiness, I probably wouldn't have more than one in a sitting but I'm only just now learning to appreciate hoppiness.

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Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- It is a very dark red, almost brownish that makes it look a little muddy. But there is a very nice cream-colored head.

S- A good balance of dark malt and fruity hops.

T- At the front, you get a mild fruity sweetness from the hops mixed the sweet malt flavor. In the back, you get the lovely hop bitterness that lingers on your tongue and at the back of your throat.

M- Medium to heavy body, but not as full as you would expect from Bear Republic.

D- Could definitely have a few bottles due to the lower ABV, medium body, and great balance of hop/malt flavor.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle served in my SA Perfect Pint at 50 degrees. Poured a dark, hazy amber with a loose, one inch off-white head that disperses into a thin, frothy slick. Only some residual specks of lacing adhered to the glass during the session. Huge malty nose - some caramel/toffee notes, as well as chocolate malt and a hint of citrusy hops. Not at all what I expected; aromas are very consistent with an American Barleywine in my opinion. Taste follows nose - the barleywine quality definitely holds up in the mouth - maybe a little more rounded out, but this is supposed to be an American Amber after all. Flavors culminate in a lingering bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a lively carbonation. A very tasty brew, but flavors lack the crispness I've come to associate with the style. A very respectable beer, but just exactly what I would consider style consistent.

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

I am a big fan of this beer, tastes almost like a sticky IPA to me, has that piney taste that is awesome, sweet as well, and then a malty aspect to it as well. Has a bit of hoppy/bitter finish as well. Tastes like a combinations of beers to me, but definitely is a red ale with a few twists. This is a complex beer, and I can taste alot going on with it, and it is good, in the right direction in my opinion, a cross between a red and an IPA.

Great pour, dark reddish brown, definitely something I will be getting again due to the reasonable price. Overall I was very satisfied.

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Photo of livewire78
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to route6pubs for another great one.

Poured a dep ruby reddish brown. Fluffy head with tons of beautiful lacing.

Smells of toffee, molasses, brown sugar, and some hops on the back end.

Initial wave of deep caramel malts soon followed by the toffee, brown sugar, and molasses. Finishes long and clean with a bitter hoppy ending. Alcohol seems invisible.

Nothing spectacular in the mouth. Nice and crisp. Finish is a little drawn out but not bad at all.

If this was in Indiana I'd have this stuff with me at all times. Could make several nights of this. Too bad cause this is friggin addicting.

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Photo of webbcreative
4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful dark red, mahogany, cherry color with sizable white creamy head, that left good lacing. Smell is of sweet malts - very big smelling - I might think this was a barleywine from the aroma, if I didn't know better. Taste again is big malty sweetness, although not thinking barleywine so much now, a it doesn't finish as sweet as expected. Big American hops rounds it all out. Mouthfeel I on the thinner side of medium.

Overall I would never have blindly guesses this to be a amber/ red ale. It is very good none the less, and reasonably priced.

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Photo of klikger
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark red with some sediment on the bottom (and floating above). Impressive head upon the pour reduced to lacing with a structure which reminds me of morel caps.

S - Malt-centered with a slight cherry aroma.

T - The significantly malty backbone is complemented by the subtle presence of spices (cinnamon & ginger?) and a generous amounts of hops. As it warms, it grows slightly sweeter, and it tastes slightly of apricots and white grapes. A very crisp and bitter finish completes this unique tasting experience.

M - Feels substantial in the mouth. It doesn't coat the throat, but it's not light, either. The carbonation is spot on for this type of beer.

D - Although I'm not planning to session this anytime soon, I'll be sure to pick up another bottle in the near future.

There is a decent amount going on here for me - I don't generally drink Red Ales, but I'm quite happy with this beer (and Bear Republic, in general). Definitely worth a try if you like your ales hoppy, yet not one-dimensional.

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Photo of chickencoop
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big malty beer with a ton of hops, can't beat it. These folks for years have been making solid reeb's and seem to be in the RR shadows, pretty sad because BR is one of the better breweries in Sonoma County. This is an over the top red, but it works becase of the smooth malty-hop balance. Big up's....go hounds!

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Photo of hosehead83
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass
Deep, amber/brown in color, with a generous, rocky head of off-white foam
Aroma-Citrussy hops, caramel
Taste-Caramel, malt,citrussy hop backbone-Very well-balanced, tasty, creamy and very drinkable.
Almost a cross between a porter and an IPA, a hoppy porter if you will.
Another winner from the boys at Bear Republic!

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Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into a pint glass a hazy reddish brown with copper highlights. Thick and dense tan head clings tightly to the glass, thinning only after a minute or so.

Intense citrusy hop aromas coupled with a very sweet malt create a wonderful and unique balance of contrasting scents. Very strong fruity esters.

Sweet roasted malts, thick and bready, and very sweet caramel flavors are met with an assertive bitterness and tangy American hops. An almost hard candy taste. Slight taste of alcohol.

Medium body, medium carbonation, slick and smooth texture. Drinkability is pretty good.

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Photo of Spineypanda
3.64/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a good clear red color with a good little head.
Smells of floral hops, not much what I would expect a red to taste, so if you are buying this beer based on what regular reds normally taste you will be surprised.
Tastes like a weak IPA, has the basic undertones of a red but so much hoppiness that it tastes more like an IPA.

Not a bad beer.

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Photo of Anthony1
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a reddish amber with a large tan head that reduces to a fine lacing with a good deal of sticking. Has a very hoppy aroma. but also a strong sweet caramel malt aroma. Taste is a well balanced blend of caramel malt and fruity hop bitterness, delicious and packed with flavor, over a very drinkable medium body. The aftertaste is wonderful, sweet maltiness with the the most pleasant of hops bite.
Another great brew from Bear Republic, well done and balanced.

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

Bomber to pint glass.

Super dark amber. Almost black in the middle with amber hues near the edges. Cream/tan one finger head. Resides to a layer of foam on top. Very nice lacing left behind.

Smells of pine and citrus (lemon) hops mostly. A slight caramel fragrance. Decently pungent.

Taste is of bitter dank, resin, and piney hops. Citrusy lemon and a bit of grapefruit. Some caramel and toffee. Bread and barley yeast.

Mouthfeel is on the high end of medium bodied. Pretty well carbonated which helps smooth out this beer. A nice hop bite at the end with some hop oiliness.

Good drinkability. I could knock back a couple bombers of this easy.

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Photo of CBlack85
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass

Pours a really nice, deep, ruby red color with a big rocky tan head. Good head retention, and leaves lots of lacing. Very appealing

The hops are definately the main attraction in the nose. Lots of grassy, piney hop aromas. I do get some citrusy hop aromas. Once you get past the hops you can get some caramel and sweet malty hints as well.

While the hops are definately present, the caramel malty flavors seem to be more dominant on the tounge than they are in the nose. I am getting a kind of smokiness that seems a bit overdone, but not overwhelmingly so. The hops are spicy and slightly sharp, they seem to balance the maltyness very well. Medium, creamy body and moderately carbonated. The alcohol seems to become more noticable as the beer warms, but never to the point of being boozy...

Really a terrific beer. This is the first offering that I have tried from Bear Republic, and it definately leaves me wanting to try some other offerings. Good stuff

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Photo of abrand
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

The Red Rocket Ale pours an amber color with a nice frothy tan head. Good clarity and the edges seem to shine in the light. Not much retention is seen. Aromas are sweet with lots of brown sugar. Some caramelized malts are present as well. Taste is much hoppier than the nose. Plums and toffee flavors also flare up. A very well balanced and smooth drinking beer. Mouthfeel is well carbonated and thin bodied. Drinkability is quite high in my opinion. Taste is very smooth and enjoyable.

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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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