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Red Rocket Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Red Rocket AleRed Rocket Ale
2,611 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,611 |  Reviews: 1,178
Photo of magine
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

This brew pours a dark amber with red highlights, has a off white head with a nice thick chunky head that leaves behind great sticky lacing. The head fades to a chunk island and ring around the glass. I love that it is unfiltered and bottle conditioned - dirty brews are where its at for me.

This brew smells of malts, caramel, piney hops. Somewhat sweet nose.

The brew has a nice smooth mouthfeel/low carbonation with very little aftertaste. The initial tastes are caramel; malty/bready. A hop presence is hinted in the aftertaste and as you drink. A very varied, distinct flavor. This brew is very tasty, and unlike many others of this style I have tried.

This is an absolute must try for any beer lover, my first sample from Bear republic - and a stud one at that. The brew tastes great, looks great and is very drinkable - what more is needed.

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Photo of drcarver
2.97/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - a deep red hue with virtually no head. HUGE chunks float in the bear even though a 1/4 inch was left in the bottle.

S - smells like a red ale but there is a bit of hop lingering

T/M - Sour and sweet with a tangy bit in the sides of the mouth. There is a hint of bitter toward the end as well as some red licorice-ness.

D - meh, could take it or leave it.

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

Pours a cloudy amber in color with a thin white head. The smell: lots and lots of citrusy hops with a little bit of malty sweetness. The taste is mostly hops too, with some roasted malts as well. Good drinkability although one or two of these is enough for me.

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

22 ounce bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. Beer is red, RUBY red. Seriously this is probably the reddest beer I've ever seen outside of a certain beer that adds red food coloring for effect that shall remain nameless. Head is off white and made up of small bubbles. Carbonation is moderate. There is lacing left on the glass as I drink. Beer is dark due to rubiness but overall is clear. Definitely got my attention as an interesting looking beer.

Aroma is interesting as well, lots of caramel and sweetness. I can smell a lot of malt but no hops. There is a slight dark malt aroma. There is a homebrewing trick to throw in some roasted dark malt at mash out before sparge. The extracted color is dark red. I wonder if this is how they made their beer dark ruby.

This is a full bodied thick beer. For sure. It is also surprisingly bitter. There is no aftertaste, sweetness forward and a clean finish. Drinkability high and mouthfeel is good. Bitterness serves as palate connector between the front sweetness and the clean finish. Beer is not dry at all. A good brew all around.

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Photo of northaustin
4.11/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

poured into a pint glass. pours a nice hazy red with about a finger and a half of rich off white head. which has nice retention and leaves slight spotted lacing.

smells mostly malty with an underlying pine hop note.

taste: very crisp and powerful. a nice mixture of the classic red ale taste with a slight hoppy twist. alchohol is masked very well.

mouthfeel: typical red stickyness

drinkability: i love this beer. it is one of the most sessionable i can think of. full fresh flavor, fairly affordable, and a nice mid range abv.

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Photo of biophiliadude
3.87/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pint into tulip.

A: dark cherry red, orange hues. 1/3 inch tan head turned to tan, bubbly skim.

S: Malty biscuit!!

T: flowers, cake, nutty. As it warms up caramel finishes off the tip of the palate!

M: Smooth, bitter aftertaste. Warming gives it more of a sweet characteristic.

D: Medium-bodied beer for sure. The bitterness is more abrasive than hoppy. After it warmed up slightly in my hand it gained a sweeter end. Nothing shocking here, a well made beer. Recommend.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A real good beer, should probably rate it a little higher, since it is relatively unique.

Good brown caramel color comes out, nothing too thick, but the smell comes across with a degree of alcohol present.

Taste is what its about. All kinds of hop flavor on this one. Some citrus, pine, tobacco and something else I can't put my finger on. Beer is good from beginning to end. Not too challenging, but very rewarding.

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Photo of sml505
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Caramel brown with thick, lasting tan head. Unrelenting retention, and nice lacing

S - Caramel, pine, grapefruit, some alcohol.

T - Dark caramel and pine upfront, grapefruit, alcohol, brown sugar, earthy notes

M/ D - Bottle notes it is a hopped up Scottish Ale. Great hybrid brew, with complex balance of pine, grapefruit hops and deep caramel malts. Med, chewy mouthfeel.

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Photo of hckyfn9999
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish brown color with one and a half fingers of cream colored head. A good amont of lacing is left on the glass. Aroma of sweet malt and citrus and piney hops.

The malt is toasted and slightly smokey. There is plenty of hoppy bitterness, mostly piney and slightly citrusy. There is a lingering bitterness on the palate. Mouthfeel is medium and smooth. A nice, easy drinker from Bear Republic.

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

A - Nice clarity if you don't include the last bit of yeast, doesn't matter if you do though, does not affect taste. Perfect level of carbonation with a nice 2 finger light tan head that drops to 1 pretty quickly.

S - Dark caramel malts jump out immediately with some dark fruit aromas accompanied by a mild hop aroma.

T - The smell was right on when it came to the malts, lot of caramel and complex fruit flavors. The smell didn't let on how great the hop presence was going to be. Nice bitterness, with some citrus hop flavor that really offsets the sweetness from the malt nicely.

M - A little extra carbonation really keeps the feel nice, it may be a little heavy without it. Enough alcohol in there to give a nice warming feel without any higher alcohol taste.

D - This is a great beer that manages to be refreshing even with a solid malt presence and sweetness. This is one balanced beer and one to always have on hand.

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

This review is based on notes taken in August 2009 and poured from a 22-ounce bottle. The Red Rocket is launched in a large beige froth that slowly settles into a one-inch layer atop a dark ruby body. There is minimal lacing present.

The nose detects some subtle notes of bubble gum and grapefruit while the palate gets a smooth blanket of maltiness supplemented by a sweet aftertaste of raisins. It is a basic bottle-conditioned quaff with a "bastardized Scottish Ale" biscuit mouth feel minus the heaviness.

Red Rocket is Bear Republic's malty version of their Racer 5 IPA (See My Review), another reliable expression from this admirable brewery.

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

Bomber. Pours nice amber with malty citrus aromas. Great hop flavor and full bodied. They never cease to amaze me as I've had this one many a time. The BR never seases to amaze me with their "everday" brews. I recently had their Mach 10 and thought what a great IIPA it was, but how great their regular bottled line was in comparsion. I wouldn't age this one, but never turn it up when it comes about.

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Photo of TLove
3.49/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Quite good by red ale standards. An odd hybrid of the rye ale style and the IPA, this beer has a full-bodied hop structure that is not for those who don't enjoy IPAs. A pungent, piney hop structure is balanced out by a gamey smoked meat flavor and prunes.

Has a dense, red caramel color with similar scents and a decent carbonation, a 1/2 finger head, and moderate retention. Some caramel, maple cubes and a nice dry rye maltiness comes through, underneath the strong herbal notes of the hop structure.

Finishes moderately well at 6.8% ABV, but, although unique and a solid offering, not as omnipresent as I expected.

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

Bomber bottle a bargain at $3.99 from DeCiccio's in Ardsley, NY. No bottling/freshness dating info. Pours a dense dark shade of ruddy, red infused dark amber. Under a wonderous mocha head, that at once is dense, then puffy, thick film, leaving ungodly amounts of thick and I mean thick sheeting, and every imaginable type of lacing..fine looking beer! Rich nose of pine infused hops backed with hints of whole wheat bread crusts. Flavorful and bold brew, loaded with rich notes of sweat caramel and toasty malts quite nicely balanced by herbal, piney and biting hops. Rich and regal. More high quality beer from California's BRB

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Photo of Thur123
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The color and pour on this guy is deep amber red and hazy and thick. The head never amounted to much and is khaki in color. The smell is a sweet caramel and toffee like malt with a bitter hop edge that balances the flavor well. There's an herbal kind of earthy smell to this brew. As I drink more, the lacing works fairly well in this beer.

Glug glug glug

The first punch is an herbal bitterness followed closely deep pitted fruits, like plums and fig for sure. There is also a kind of edge to the sweetness within the malt that reminds me of blackberry preserves. The malt also contains big toffee and caramel flavors that linger on the backend of the profile. The mouth feel is thick and malty, and very good all around. I was slightly underwhelmed by the lack of hops, but overall this is a really nice and certainly bigger red ale that I wish I could session.

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Photo of cynicgiraffe
3.49/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark red/crimson with a fluffy white head that has quite a bit of retention and lacing. Tons of yeast and other bits floating around. Unfiltered, indeed. Smells sweet, some resinous pine and some prune/plum/cherry action. Watery front, not the kind of malt backbone that I look for in a red ale. Lots of hoppy pine notes though. Lots of carbonation I'd have it again, but I think I prefer Green Flash's Hop Head Red.

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

Poured into a tumbler it forms a thick 1 inch tannish head that stays around leaves a fair amount of lacing. The appearance is dark amber and cloudy. The aroma is mainly of floral and spicy hops with perhaps some citrus. Malt does not come through in the aroma for me. The taste is delicious, strongly hopped up with moderate to strong bitterness and roasted malty sweetness. The feel is full bodied with a clean bitter finish. It's a very pleasant and refreshing ale.

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

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue II:

Originally a Scottish-style Red Ale, the Northwest hopping quickly took over, and now we see this beer as an American Red Ale. Mildly chilled, hazy mahogany color. Dense latte-looking foam does not want to drop out of the picture. Rich, dark caramel malt nose with hints of raisins and a balance of piney herbal hop. The carbonation is imbedded very deep from the bottle conditioning which produces a sublime smoothness. Flavors of caramel, cocoa powder and Portuguese sweet bread from the malt comes to mind. Hop bitterness comes in with a mild tingling sharpness and a long trail of woody earthy flavor. Mildly warming alcohol. A dryness sets in middle to end with toasted biscuit maltiness and rough herbal hop flavors.

Scottish Red gone wild. OK, so it is hybrid style which makes it an American Red by default. Regardless of what the style is it's one hell of a flavor-packed brew. High level of maltiness is curbed by a substantial hoppiness and smoothed out by the bottle conditioning. American Real Ale at its best here.

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

Bear Republic: Red Rocket Amber Ale (No freshness date) (Tasted 12/21/08)
22 oz. bottle, poured into an imperial pint.

Appearance: This beer is an alluring russet colored beauty with a huge rocky off-white head that leaves fat puffy patches of sticky foam on the sides of the glass as it fades down. Retention is off the chain.
Odor: Soft, spicy, slightly citric hop aromas with a layer of perfumy alcohol and toasty malt in the background.
Consistency: Fat, sassy and super smooth. Carbonation is right on the money, the beer sits on my tongue like cream.
Taste: This is an interesting beer, intensely malty but perfectly balanced. Caramel malt flavors are on top, burnt sugar & candy sweetness, with bittersweet toasty chocolate in the background. Hop flavor mirrors the aroma, spicy and floral with a rough, bitter herbal edge.

Love this beer, so very much.

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Photo of JTahoe
4.26/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep glowing slightly hazy red-brown. Head pours one finger head that reduces down to a thin layer; thick sticky and lacy on the glass.

S - Slightly sweet and malty with a pronounced hop presence.

T - A solid ale background peppered with distinct hoppiness lending a bite up front without being overpowering and soft citrus to the finish. Flavor is big and round with toasted malts, caramel, and hints of tropical fruit.

M - Interesting and complex with thick creaminess of an ale but with hop oils lingering up front. Medium carbonation

D - Really nice layered and balanced drinking experience.

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Photo of kingcrowing
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured in an altbier glass.

Pours a deep darrk amber/brown with a creamy thick light brown head, very sticky. Nose is sweet, malty, has a hint of rye too!

Mmm... very tasty, a little bit of rye here as well, some rich maltiness as well. Finish is a bit boozy but it's ok. Not too much hoppiness. Awesome beer, seek this out!

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Photo of BobbyBeerman
4.95/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a cloudy mahogany with a creamy head. A vigorous pour didn't produce much but a good swirl brought it up. It diminished down to a thin wispy layer with a ring that produces some good lacing.

S: First off is the complex hops. I'm not good enough to know which hops are in there but I smell two distinct characteristics - citrus and piney. Next up is sweet roasted malt. This is a complex beer that I could sniff all night but it's time to drink.

T: The oily hops lead the charge here - the pine resin first and then citrus. Sweet caramel malt follows closely behind. Neither taste is over powering the other - they dance well together.

M: The complexity of this ale extends all the way through even to the mouth feel. Oily, chewy, buttery/creamy. Good carbonation levels. Easy to drink, a pleasure to explore.

D: Very drinkable. Don't let the complexity of this beer scare you off. It is well worth it. I love this one!!

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Photo of jrallen34
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I drank this from the bottle into a pint glass.

The beer pours a dark amber with a white head, good head but lacking on the lacing.

The smell is light and bitter of hops.

I'm not a big fan of amber ales, but this one started to sway my mind. It was full and filling with a light bitter taste and complex flavors of spice. Mouthfeel was nice and heavy, drinkability ok.

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

Appearance: Poured from a bomber into a snifter this brew is a thick deep brown sea of foamy goodness that leaves behind sheets of lacing.

Smell: That sweet sensual aroma is none other than hops and malt which in this case are intertwined into perfect harmony. Its a lupilin overload with a heaping of caramalized malt.

Taste: This brew surely isnt as hop forward as I expected but then again it isn't an IPA. It has a big toasty malt backbone that carries the somewhat bittering hops in a copious harmony.

Mouthfeel: Has a nice bit of carbonation without being a soda; Slides down like in a zesty manner and finishes off dry as a bone and bitter as a cone.

Drinkability: I could definitely throw back a few of these because the taste is quite delicious.

Overall: May be one of the best red ales I've ever had, not my ideal brew overall but in that category it gets a gold star.

Serving type: Bottle

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Photo of vdread
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Red Rocket Ale
bottle to glass

pours a deep red in color with a sticky tan colored head that leaves a few sparse sheets of lace behind. smells strongly of grapefruit hops,caramel malt and dark fruits. a strong toasty malt profile balances out the agressive bitter hops. good contrast of piney hops and toasted malt. mouthfeel is good and creamy, dry at the end, pleasantly bitter. easily palatable and not overly agressive in any way. i only picked up one, but will be picking up some more if i get the chance.

another solid beer from Bear Republic. not my favorite style, but all around great brew. this is the best (and hoppiest) red i've tried to date.

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Red Rocket Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 2,611 ratings
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