Red Rocket Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Red Rocket AleRed Rocket Ale
2,613 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:
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Ratings: 2,613 |  Reviews: 1,178
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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Photo of jdskinns
3.28/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Poured cloudy, reddish brown in color. Thing white head, good carbonation. Smelled heavily of malts, sweet. Taste was pretty average. Bitter, maltiness, and dark fruits. This was a beer I've been wanting to try for a while and it was a bit disappointing for me. With the appearance and smell I was looking for more taste than I got. Pretty light on the mouthfeel as well, another thing I was wanting more out of.

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Photo of aaronh
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice deep orange body with a solid-long lasting head. Aroma is dominated by both sweet malt notes with hints of raw sugar and great floral hops that almost throw a bubble-gum note in just for good measure. Flavor is very strong on the malt up front and then is balanced by a strong citrus hop bite. Mouthfeel is good and complements the beer well. Drinkability is also good - this is always a temptation to by when I visit the store.

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Photo of beer4colin
3.1/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: pours good from Bomber. One+finger of head.
Clingy lace, long lasting. Nice color. Darker than red.
S: nothing objectionable.
T: Good depth! nice roasted grains. Hops
but not extreme.
M/F: Heavy. Coats the entire mouth,
D: Good but not great . But I could savor a few
define session for me! This is Sunday NFL session.

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Photo of thain709
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - A very deep copper body with a lot of clarity...a fizzy tan head that stands about one finger...the head retains very nicely and leaves lots of lacing

S - The hops are the star...bright citrus and floral hops...I can't tell if the sweetness is from malts or the abundance of hops...there is a bit of alcohol mixed in too

T - Here is where the beer stumbled a little for me...I was very excited after smelling this beer...the hops hit your tongue first and are bright and get a blast of floral and lots of orange and starts going down hill after that...the scotch ale part really kicks in...scotch malts are present and don't provide enough caramel sweetness to match with the hops...and the alcohol shines through on the finish

M - Medium bodied...nice the alcohol

D - I bought this beer expecting it to be a hopped up amber ale...which it didn't lack in the amount of hops...but it follows the label of "bastardized Scottish ale" as the bottle states

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Photo of BDLbrewster
3.94/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a menacing deep reddish-brown, I mean opaque. This brew could pass for campbells chunky soup considering the massive amount of sediment. Nice tan head that leaves unreal lacing. Wow.

The nose is heavy with toasty malt, smells almost like a toasted marshmallow. There is also a strong spicy and almost floral hop presence as well. This one smells like it may be a little rich and smells like no other red I have had.

Tastes like a hopped up scotch ale to me. Mega malt caramelization going on here, lots of sweetness and toasty goodness on the front. Almost to the point of burnt malt, but no hint of that overbearing burnt bitterness. The hops work from floral, to piney and bitter in the finish. There is a hop vs. malt war being waged here with no end in sight. Balanced and completely unbalanced at the same time.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly heavier than I expected, all that residual sugar working its magic. Somewhat creamy with enough carbonation to almost make you think your sipping a porter.

There is no hint of the almost 7% in sight, and the complexity is great. Aside from being a bit heavy in the stomach, this is a killer brew.

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Photo of cbutova
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Heard this one was a good amber, been meaning to try it for a long time. Poured a very dark red, darker than I would have imagined with a one and a half finger head that leaves heavy lacing down the side of my glass. Smells of a lot of hops balanced with some good malt sweetness, it definitely has the aggressive Scotch (malty) character they talk about on the bottle with some alcohol in the nose. Taste is very well characterized by the strong nose. Hops and malts are balanced up front and lead you to that strong scotch taste that is hard to describe. Some alcohol kicks in later in the beer, but is not overwhelming. Hop character is pretty big in the initial and after tastes. I kind of like the scotch (malty) taste in this beer also, its not too strong but gets the job done, adds an interesting element. The taste seems to stay true for the whole bottle. Mouthfeel is a bit more light/watery than I would like it, good carbonation and a decent amount of warmth from the alcohol. Leaves a hop coating on the tongue that compliments the alcohol and malts well. Would like it a bit less watery and thicker. Drinkability is good, tastes good, not a bad price from BR, alcohol and hops seem like they would take this one over after a few, probably will buy this one again if I wanna try and session it.

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

12 oz bottle into an oversized wine glass.

A. A beautiful red color with a tan head that contains a couple specks of red/brown. Medium haze with a rocky head that leaves nice rings of lace.

S. An almost equal blend of sweet roasty breadcrust malts and sweet juicy floral hops. Hops smell kind of tropical, not too bitter.

T. God I love high ABV reds. A wonderful combo of bitter hops and sweet burnt bready malt. Aftertaste is nice and dry. I've never had a beer by Bear Republic that doesn't wow me.

M. Wonderful medium body with a creamy mouthfeel.

D & Comments. This beer is insanely drinkable, the balance is uncanny. Probably my favorite red ale.

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

A nice big hoppy red ale but if I wanted something this robust, this high in alcohol and this hoppy...why wouldn't I grab an IPA?

Lots of hops! Though slightly malty sweet and some mild citrus mixed in.

Big frothy faintly tan head, creamy bubbles with craters. The color features dark copper edges with a mysterious maroon center. Extremely cloudy with lots of floaters, maybe I'll pour this bottle conditioned ale more carefully next time. Head dissipates slowly leaving good clingy lacing.

Aggressive hoppiness combines with juicy malt flavors, roasted malts and alcohol notes for a satisfying flavor profile for this medium bodied (though tending toward heavy) massive red ale. One drawback is a muddled aftertaste that doesn't invite you back for more. (But I had more anyway).

Lingering bitter finish.

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Photo of kegger22
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep, reddish brown with a moderate head that faded to a nice skin. The aroma was hoppy with a little malt as a backdrop. The taste was in line with aroma; hop citrus, not too bitter with just slight sweetness. Bitter showed itself as an aftertaste. The feel was medium bodied with a good carbonation. Drinkability was good. Good, satisfying effort from Ursine Nation.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours a chestnut brown color with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both pretty good. Aroma is citrusy (grapefruit) hops, caramel malt, and a bit of brown sugar. Taste is similar to the aroma, I can taste citrusy (grapefruit) hops and caramel malt, along with some nuts and bready malt. There's also a slight bitter hoppy finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and has moderate carbonation. Drinkability is very good, it's smooth and goes down easy. It wouldn't be hard to drink a couple of bombers of this in a session. I'd buy this again in the future, I thought it was a good brew. Recommended.

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Photo of natelocc787
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with only a little, one finger head. But the color of this beer! The lacing on this beer! The lace hangs around in thick, coating, broad sheets. Not like the thick, foamy, sticky rings of an IPA. Very nice lacing. The smell was good, hops are there and so is the malt but nothing that made me say, "can't wait to try this beer." That thought entered my head after upon gazing at the finished pour. Pale malt and red cream soda in the smell and taste. A little honey to back it up. Not getting any caramel as other reviewers noted. Very malty like sweet red candy, half cinnamon, half cherry. Mouthfeel is thick, carbonation perfect, silky and creamy. Great Red Ale!

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Photo of alkemy
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a dark red/amber out of the bomber. The tan head was quite creamy looking. Lots of caramel/brown sugar malt scents. The hops scent was also fairly present, but not as strong as previous reviews I've read indicate. The taste also lacked the strong hops I was hoping for. I saw no freshness date on the bottle, so it may be that my bottle was not exactly fresh. The store I purchased from has some good beers, but is more tuned for macros and cheap wine. Taste was pretty balanced, but tilted more toward the malts. Has a somewhat creamy smoothness to it. This was decent, but I was hoping for more. I'll have to revisit with a bottle in which I'm sure of the freshness to see if that is an issue, or if my palate just doesn't appreciate this beer.

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Photo of Docer
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally found a bottle of this in the Portland/Vancouver area.

- Pours a dark red/amber semi-cloudy orange with a frothy off-white head and tons of lacing all about.

- Nice up front bitter hop... zesty pine and lemon grass... rides nicely with a caramel malt that isn't over the top.. so far so good..

- Great fruit and pineapple flavor blended well with caramel, brown sugar, and bitter pine hop... but a very interesting tropical flare to it.... very good indeed. Well balanced.

- Slight dryness but overall very good... dry teeth...

- Very drinkable, just the right balance and carbonation with very unique and good flavors. Certainly a great Red.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this on tap at The Counter in Walnut Creek where you build your own burgers.

Appearance- brownish color, little bit of head, good lacing

Smell- hops, malt

Taste- Hops, loved the amount of hops it had

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- Awesome, It was delicious and I will drink it again.

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Photo of Backer2004
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Found this as Folly Beach Brewery, which is not a brewery at all. Bear Republic does not fail me yet again. What makes this amber ale so nice if the abundance of hops. Excellent mouthfeel, great hop finish. Smooth and easy to consume. Grab a bomber of this if you get the chance.

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

pours a deep chestnut color with a decent head and a beige ring thru-out its dark and looks delicious ... the smell is carmel malts and lots of hops maybe a little rye again it looks and smells delicious the taste is the same its a palette pleaser with hops and lots of them and some real nice Carmel malt its very well balanced very smooth... the mouth feel is full and robust.... the bomber i have is disappearing quickly as i write this ...overall its recommended if you like hoppy malty brews this is a red but it has hints of pale ,ipa scottish and brown ales in it ..its good

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

Poured from the 22oz'r into a pilsner glass. Reddish color and a tan creamy head looked fantastic. This beverage reminds me of what would happen if Killians were to grow up. Hoppy nose and smooth taste combined with a medium mouthfeel made for a delicious brew. Drinkability was also good. A keeper.

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Photo of Daniellobo
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reliable ale with tasty malt backbone and shy hoppy touches.

Presentation: 12 oz bottle. Straight and simple design mixed with minimal Bear Republic branding around name and a rocket icon. Brief and assertive narrative with some nice brew master notes. Lacks date of bottling or freshness although it has some barely legible numbers on the glass. It neither shows IBUs or °Plato, only Alc. by Vol. (6.8.0%) Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Deep scarlet color topped by an off-white head that shows little retention and minimal lacing. Plenty of floating residue visible in the liquid.

S - Caramel malt and the faintest of hop notes in the backdrop.

T - Pivoting around the malt it offers a touch of final hoppiness, but in a pretty subdued way. It grows in depth as it settles.

M - Light medium body with subtle carbonation and pleasant smoothness.

D - It's a pleasant brew that goes down well.

Notes: Red Ale... With memories of some brown ales and there is a sense of that bastardized Scottish style red ale that label proudly explains. It began on a weak note for me, and while I did not quite find the complex range of flavors or excitement described by others, it is sure a nice brew, and it grew in enjoyment as I was having it.

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Photo of donniecuffs
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an American pint ale. I have also had this on tap, several times, and every iteration regardless of source is consistent and fantastic.

A: Deep rich amber, thick off-white head that laced decently.

S: Maltiness, brown sugar, and biscuit, as you would expect from a Red Ale, but also a grapefruit/citrus/bitter hop content that mixed fairly well.

T: If the aroma mix was measured on a volume knob, it probably would've been an 8. For the taste, picture the above mix at 11 (long live Spinal Tap). Surprisingly hoppy for a Red Ale, but it still never loses its earthy/malty/bready character. Nice balance from start to finish.

M: Creamy yet light. Very little carbonation, but it was very smooth on the palate.

D: All of the above combines into one helluva session Red Ale. Very, very well done, BR.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass:

Appearance: Pours a deep amber in color with loads of red highlights here, tons and tons of yeast and sediments suspended throughout my glass, very cool to say the least. Head size was perfect and lacing all around was good.

Smell: Lots of hop aromas here, strong presence of citrus fruit paired with a biscuit like maltiness. Definetley one of the more hoppier smelling Red Ale's I've tried, but very nice to say the least.

Taste: Wow, loads of hops in this one, almost a punch in the face of grapefruit, plum, and sour fruit florals. A dry, toasty like maltiness is balanced almost perfectly among such a huge hop profile. Very different in a red to say the least but I love the balance here.

Mouthfeel: Decently carbonated, bitterness is higher up there for your usual red with the amount of hop flavors lurking around. Medium bodied and holds a firm feel on the tongue.

Drinkability: This could very well be the best red ale I've ever had, not only was the appearance cool with all the yeast floating around the bottle, but the hop profile packs a huge amount of juicy grapefruit qualities that is balanced perfectly with a modest malt kick to make this a sure fire go-to red ale. Highly recommended for hop lovers and even those who love their red ales!

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Photo of william5586
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I popped open the bomber while watching tv and proceeded to pour it into my pint class. I looked down just in time to stop pouring before the frothy tan head overload from my glass. Under all that head was a dark brick red liquid with burnt orange edges.This beer looks amazing and when poured slowly still produced MASSIVE amounts of amazing looking fluffy tan head similar to that of a root beer float. The retention is great and leaves rings of lace all around the glass.

The smell is a balanced mix of sweet toasted caramel malt and lots of hoppy goodness. The look and the smell of this beer literally have my mouth watering.

The taste starts off with sweet lightly toasted caramel malts before giving way to some bitter hop flavors and a dry finish. I was actually pleasantly surprised by the taste as I felt that it leaned more toward the sweet caramel malty side of things. I love malts and enjoyed the balance of the beer immensely. The hops were definitely present, but not the main attraction in my opinion.

The full bodied feel somehow manages to be creamy and smooth before the carbonation kicks in and prickles the back of you tongue.

My new mission is to find this beer on tap.

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Photo of DawnL
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Written on the bottle:
Red Rocket Ale is a bastardized Scottish Style Red Ale packed with distinctive flavors and an aggressive hop character rivaled by none. This unfiltered, bottle-conditioned, amber colored ale breaks all style modes. Brew Master Notes: Keep refrigerated, beer is perishable, real ale is alive, yeast is good, ferve a 45-50 degrees F.

Poured into Duvel Goblet

Appearance: Deep, hazy brown with light tan head the dissipates into sticky lace.
Smell: Hops with coffee aroma - roasted malt character.
Taste: Nutty, the bitter with some lingering sweetness in the back of the throat. The finish is bitter.

This brew is fun to drink - there's quite a bit going on here. Rich burnt aroma now. Flavor is getting a little muted as it rests - its beginning to warm and evolve. The nose is fantastic - so complex. Still roasted nuts on the palate.

I would definitely serve this beer with cheese. Mozarella di Bufala and Roomano (the Dutch cheese)

It's heavy and rich and hard to get through the large bottle. At second glance, there's about two inches of yeast in my glass - hard to drink that! Definitely bottle conditioned!

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

Pours a dark red/brown with a medium sized very persistent off-white head. Aroma is big citrusy hops - grapefruit. Some sweet caramel malt is also present. Taste also has plenty of citrusy hops. Significant rich malty sweetness rounds out the flavor. A little pleasant bitterness in the finish. Balanced and very tasty. Great full bodied mouthfeel. Overall a fantastic strong hoppy amber ale.

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Red Rocket Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 2,613 ratings
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