Red Rocket Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

2,605 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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Ratings: 2,605 |  Reviews: 1,178
Photo of Dspohn
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
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 -3.2%
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 +0.5%
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 +1.7%
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 -1.5%
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 -20%
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 -0.2%
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 +3.9%
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 -0.2%
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%
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 -1.5%
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 -4.4%
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 +12.1%
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 +4.2%
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 +11.6%
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 -1%
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 +9.6%
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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Photo of ruckus232
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 Ounce brown bottle poured into a mug

Appearance: Dark brown pretty much opaque with a really creamy looking off-white head

Smell: Nice hop smell with a slight hint of a little citrus. In the back there is a very light smell of alcohol.

Taste: Nice hop bitterness that stays throughout but while there is the hops there is also a nice toasted malt taste that is only present for a moment. I don't taste any of the citrus that I smelled initially but still very good.

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Photo of jera1350
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep mahogany color with tight tan head of froth. Nice bit of lacing.

Absolutely sweet citrusy and piney hops with caramel malt and brown sugar. Rich smelling.

Definitely has the sweet malt character of a scottish ale, but has a nice addition of some piney hops to it. Really big malt presence. Lacks in the whiskey and smokey peat that most scottish ales have. So really this is a style all its own.

Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Medium bodied or more.

This is a rich beer. Good drinkability, but a bomber is about enough for me. Really nice unique ale. Wouldn't mind this one again.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought this beer on a whim after seeing that it is the 2nd highest rated beer of its style and quite affordable. Pours a clear and bright copper mahogany into a pint glass. A thin light tan head drops to a surface cap swiftly. Hmmm!

Nose was initially a bit offputting, improving with a bit of air. Quite hoppy with cascade goo coupled with some caramel malts. Rather nondescript to say the least and far from a preferred hop nose, yet decent given the malt balance for the style. A bit smoky later on.

Taste follows and expands with a complex yet highly rich caramel malt notes, a nice chewy texture, bit of spice and bitterness on the finish. A well balanced carbonation fits the moderate body well. Some hop bitterness on the finish and a lingering and complex malt texture ensue.

Pretty solid overall but limited given the ever present overture of Cascade on the nose and finish for me. This isn't far from many a 'Red' IPA seen here on the Left Coast. Given the self described 'bastardized Scottish style red ale' moniker on the label, I do give this brew a lot of credit.

Honestly I viewed this brew as said Red IPA, for as an Amber/Red it is a bit over the top in the hops department.

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Photo of adamette
2.44/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Ricardo's Red Rocket Ale

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into my Cooperstown Beverage Trail pint glass. Purchased a few months ago at Giant Eagle in Painesville, Ohio. No observed "best by" or "freshness" date. The third of 4 Bear Republic beers that I bought a bomber of and will be drinking and rating this week.

A Nice classic amber body with a fluffy light brown head that leaves nice lacing. All 3 Bear Republic beers have had a really nice look. 4.5

S Medium malt and, thankfully, not a high hop smell. Appropriate to the style. 3.0

T Nice medium malt with hops mainly at the end but they take their proper secondary place. Later in the taste the hops become more to the front, an effect that I do not really like. 2.0

M Smooth is adequate but I do not appreciate the bitterness in the aftertaste that lingers for something like 2 minutes after your last sip. 2.5

D Fine but not as good as that local microbrew amber that I had recently (It was called Rocketman Red from Fat Head's Brewery and Saloon in North Olmsted, Ohio). I did not finish this bomber and I really do not like doing that. It is maybe the 4th or 5th bomber that I did not finish. 2.0

Notes: I had a microbrew within the past week that did more justice to the style, was smoother and more drinkable. It seems to me that the left coast breweries like to hop everything in sight. Of course I know that hops are part of an amber but, to me, they are supposed to be secondary to other tastes. Next up is the XP Pale Ale. I sure hope that it is not overhopped like this one.

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Photo of rapidsequence
4.46/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was from a 12 oz single I got at Total Wine in Raleigh.

Appearance: Well, I thought I was really careful with my pour and dumped an ounce or so from the bottom, but ended up with lots-- LOTS of suspended yeast in my glass. It doesnt really alter my enjoyment that much, but it looks kinda gross. Otherwise I think it would be clear ruby-orange with a nice head that leaves sheets and sheets of lacing.

Smell: Floral, piney hops, sweet malt. Lots of both. Smells great.

Taste: Its got some nice hops bitterness up front, but there's lots of nice sweet kind of toasty maltiness that balances things nicely. This is good. It finishes with the hops again, and lingers for a minute or so.

Mouthfeel: It is surprisingly full, smooth, almost creamy. Very unexpected.

Drinkability: Not your average amber. This is a great beer. I love finding an exceptional example of a style that is usually pretty boring.

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Photo of tastybeer
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a warm auburn color with a 1/2 inch of frothy cream head. Lace is already forming as sheety piles. Aroma seems more complex than the flavor, and both are good. Smells include caramel glazed dough, cocoa, decomposing leaves, black pepper, apples, orange rind, and hop resiny goodness. Flavor has some yummy things going on. Peppery lemon, caramel apples, lightly toasted bread... Texture is fluid, smooth, slightly coating, and resinous. Body is medium, on the light side. Tingly hoppy bitterness remains throughout the finish and is hesitant to disappear. This is certainly easy to drink.

A nice, balanced beverage.

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Photo of scottyshades
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, this beer is incredible. I am now 3/3 on great Bear Republic beers being excellent.

Described on the bottle as a "bastardized Scottish style red ale..."

A: Pours a deep, rich mahogany color, slightly darker than the typical amber. Beautiful. The head is pretty damn nice, being off-white, rocky, and holds very well. Lacing along the glass is beautiful as well. As other BR brews, you can see chunks of yeast floating all over the glass.

S: Floral hops, bittering hops, a bready note, a faint yeasty note thats comes out when the beer warms, some citrus peel, all atop a firm malt base. Very grassy and spicy. Nicely balanced nose, atypical of an amber ale, but still great. As I reach the end of the beer when its beginning to warm, smokey notes become present.

T: Similar to the nose, except the hops are much more bitter than I had hoped for/anticipated. Aromatic hops appear to have vanished, being replaced by the bittering. The malts balance nicely, as citrus peel and dried tart fruit linger in the background. I must say, the bitterness of the hops is a little much for me personally, because it masks the true complexity of this beer.

MF/D: Nice carbonation, thick body, loooong dry bitter finish that kind of throws me off, but I'll take it.

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Photo of TheDeuce
4.88/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Red Rocket Ale....

Appearance-Stone deep red, beautiful hazy color, solid balanced head which rises and sticks around, looks really great.

Smell-malt and spice, hazy alcohol, chocolate, sour fumes all mixed together, very aromatic, really hits you.

Taste/Mouthfeel-layered taste, good flavors, they call it a sort of bastardized scottish ale and I can definitely taste some of those flavors, inherent spiciness as well from hops and overall a strong flavor not normally seen from an amber ale. Very smooth and maintains flavor the whole way through, takes a while to run through them.

Drinkability-simply great to have, satisfying, flavorful, not overwhelming.

Overall-wow...all I can say, lives up to the hype and then some. Fantastic and worth a try.

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Red Rocket Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.06 out of 5 based on 2,605 ratings.
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