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Red Rocket Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Red Rocket AleRed Rocket Ale
2,610 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: 2,610 |  Reviews: 1,178
Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.8/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Translucent body with a dark red color and a haze of yeast from bottle conditioning. The head is a tan color, very tight, big, and leaves alot of sticky lace. Visually stunning beer.

S- The smell has a crisp, herbal bite of hops in front along with some smells of cinnamon, apple, and gingerbread.

T- Bitter to begin and slowly becomes more mellow and sweet. Very complex all the way throughout with an intense hop character of herbs and spice.

M- Smooth body with foamy carbonation

D- Truly a special beer, there is no replacement.

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

This was my style prep for the Stone 13th Anniversary, which I am having in 24 hours. I had Killian's yesterday and this today, so Stone's Red is next up. Had a bomber poured into a pint glass fresh from the local BevMo.

Appearance: Deep brown hue in standard light with just a hint of red, but when held to the light the red coloration really shines through. The head was fairly large with a beautiful unfiltered look to some of it, and laced nicely as it clung to all sides of the glass.

Smell: A little softer than I was hoping, but still had nice notes of malt and rye, with a little floral hop on the end. Nothing fantastic, but a pleasant enough nose.

Taste: First thing I though when I sipped was a nutty kind of flavor, with some bitterness up front smoothly riding away to finish malty and with rye notes. Not the most complex beer I've ever had, but considering my lack of depth and experience with Reds, chalk that up to what you will.

Mouthfeel: Tasty and creamy, with nice amounts of carbonation and feels like it laces the mouth the same way it did the glass. Equal parts rough with the bitter bite and smooth with the finish.

Drinkability: Finished the bomber faster than I would normally, and wanted another after it was tapped out. It is a little filling I'd imagine with much more (I did have it with dinner so tough to say) but went really well with some barbecue. Overall, solid and enjoyable red with not too much bitterness or complexity, but tasty and with a clean finish.

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Photo of BitterPachyderm
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to nyrangerfan...22 oz. bomber(4/1/09) poured into my SN pint glass.

Thick and creamy four fingers of tan-creme head. Very sticky and rocky, with awesome lacing. Deep ruby body with some amber highlights. Very dark and awe-inspiring!

Spicy hops up front with a strong malt backbone. Some citrus sneaking in, which gives way to some sweet and piney notes. Quite peppery for the style...a definite nostril burner.

Toned down piney notes, followed by the strong malt profile. Muted notes of spicy hops with some grapefruit in the background. There's some smoke and wood in here, you just have to search for it. Bitter finish...complex, but a bit too much for the style...lots of citrus noticed in the finish.

Perfection with the carbonation...smooth and creamy all the way down.

No alcohol presented and pretty smooth throughout...no real offensive flavors. Quite quaffable...

Pretty damn complex for the style, and an all around great beer. It's like a citrusy, yet subdued, barleywine. Definitely drink this Bear as fresh as possible.

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Photo of Fish113d
3.94/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle served into a pint at 50 degrees (F)

Pours a ruby-almond skin color with 2 fingers-thick spongy, foamy head taht leaves nice lacing on the glass as it slowly recedes. Very caramel-malt nose, which is nice with a bit of nice, floral hops aroma that comes through a bit. Nothing flashy, but solid nose.

Sipping is very enjoyable. A nice english goldings hops flavor comes through right away with a nice robust caramel flavoring. Swallowing, it changes a bit to a nice bitter coffee flavor. Fairly complex red ale. Luckily this balances out very nicely.

Mouthfeel is solid. Carbonation is perfect along with a nice balance in the flavors between the sweet and the bitter. Drying finish actually, which is really nice.

Very drinkable brew. I picked this up in a convenience store outside OCMD on route 50 on a complete WHIM, and boy, I'm not disappointed. Paid $5.50 for a 22 oz bottle, and it was an absolute steal in my book! Cheers!

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

Poured into my Sam Adams glass.

From a 22oz. bomber.

A - Pours a nice hazy and dark amber with hints of RED. The head is off white and about 1 in. tall. Very dense and retention looks to be great. I must say, the 2 BR beers I've had have great head retention and very sticky lacing. This head stays forever.

S - Very earthy and floral hop aroma with some nice pine in there as well. The smell is very appealing. Some caramel malts on the back en of the nose almost crying to be noticed.

T - Some malty sweetness upfront that quickly is balanced with very nice hop character and taste and some rye spice as well. Piney and hoppy but well balanced with the sweetness. The dryness and bitterness (resin) of a Hop Rod Rye is not immediately there, but this is expected as with the style. BR beers to me do a good job connecting the different tastes and feels of their beers. Some spiciness is present at the back end as well as a slight dryness as it warms.

M - Nice and smooth with perfect carbonation. Medium bodied.

D - Refreshing and clean. I could easily have 2 bombers. Very good stuff.

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

Picked up a bomber of this in a recent trip to California. Pouring into a mug results in a hazy dark red (bordering on brown) with a crazy amount of sticky off-white head that stuck around for a while and left lots of lacing down the glass. Not a very powerful smell, maybe some muted malt scents. A very deep earthy flavor presents itself when tasted, with some malts and hoppy flavor at the end. Never really had a red ale quite like this.

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Photo of seanbhudson
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy dark copper with a big tan head. Lots of sticky lacing.
Caramel, malt, rye, roasted malt.
Similar to aroma with caramel, malt and rye. Earthy hop finish that lingers in your mouth for a long time. There is also a bit a musty taste.
Rich full bodied beer with slightly syrupy/creamy texture. Light fizzy carbonation.
The beggining and middle of the beer is relatively smooth and flavorful. The back of the tongue bitter finish means I won't drink to many of these. I also don't like the slight musty taste.

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

A: Pours a deep, somewhat hazy, particle-strewn copper color. The tan head is tall, frothy, and fairly rocky. Retention is very nice, with lots of chunky lacing left along the sides of the glass.

S: A sweet, substantial toasted caramel malt aroma is apparent. Gooey, resiny, fragrant cascade hops bring a very tangy citric and piney character. Simple, but very appealing.

T: A sticky, robust caramel malt profile makes its presence known early. Brown sugar and even some smoky hints - delicious. The hops are the aggressive West Coast cascade variety I've come to expect from Bear Republic, adding a firm bitterness with piney and citric flavor. The smokiness contributes a mild bourbon-esque note to this beer.

M: Slightly fuller than medium-bodied. Sticky, resiny, and fairly well-carbonated. A bit of dryness into the finish from the substantial hop profile.

D: This is a delicious, balanced big beer from Bear Republic. I've been a huge fan of their beers thus far, and this is cut from the same cloth. It's hard to pin down the actual style - it has elements of an amber ale, an IPA, and even a barleywine. An excellent beer.

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Photo of soupyman10
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Big Hunt in DC. Grabbed this one and then the Double Rocket right after. Both were delicious. This one's your standard big amber ale - huge spicy caramel malt deliciousness. Nice looking amber color, big nice fluffy head. Well-balanced, spicy pepper along with citrus fruitiness in the hops. A really tasty beer with a solid body and good carbonation. Almost sessionable (but for the slightly high ABV), but either way, one I could drink all night.

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Photo of Magpie14
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: this is one of the nicer looking beers. Shades of fire engine reds with crimson and orange. The head erupted a nice dirty cream color with foamy blobs adhering in the upper rim of the glass. Slowly the head melted away to leave bubbles and small pockets of fuzz scattered around

S: nice, things smell sweet and spicy. Strong smells of toasted caramelized malts with a hearty helping of juicy hops. A nice meshing of smells going on

T: hops are in the back more than I hoped for. The toasted malt foundation is rather strong and drenched in gooey caramel. What can be gathered on the hops part is a soft piney spiciness with a squeeze or two of citrus (lemons and orange). The flavors still mix wonderfully and it gets even more tempting as it warms. So far so good, one of the better Amber/Red Ale's I have had

M: has a good quality within and projects a medium plus-a-few feel. Carbonation is well placed and allows for an easy down the hatch drink. Whether sip or gulp this has a good vibe

D: this is another buy. As stated earlier, one of the better Amber/Red Ale's I have had to date. Bear Republic is growing in my book of favorites. Get a hold of this a try it. I would like a little more hop presence but for what this beer offers it is a nice union of hops and sweets

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Photo of smittyjr
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thx to RichBeer for this one, an extra in a recent trade!

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- Body has a reddish-brown color that just glows in the light. The head was thick, frothy, light toasted tan color, great retention and awesome lacing!

S- Toasted malts, light citrus smell, light hoppy-ness as well! as it warmed, i noticed a tiny-bit of chocolate to the smell as well.

T- Goodness describes the flavor! sweet hops mixed with toasted malts; nummy goodness! there is a sweet-toasted bread maltiness, that mixes with the hop flavor which is slightly-dominant. as it warmed a caramely-chocolate taste showed up as well. overall a great mix of flavors!

M- Wonderfully smooth and creamy, easy on the palette. there is a wonderful, light bitterness from beginning to end.

D- This Red was a damn-tasty treat! i wish i lived in Cali, would drink it all the time! The creamy goodness was irresistible as i finished the glass way too quickly, yet enjoying every drink!

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

Hey this isn't red...though it was one my first favorite "craft" beers!

Glass shows a nice caramel color with a great foamy head which quickly dissolves.

Floral aroma with some spicy hints as well.

A nice hoppy taste with some peppery hints on the tongue. A malty presence rounds the mouthfeel out nicely.

This is much too easy to drink and though I am not a huge Amber fan, this is worthy of being in my garage man-fridge anytime!

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

Pours one of the most beautiful dark ruby's I've seen in a beer. Two fingered, creamy, off-white head and thin lacing all the way down.

Smells of roasted, caramelly malts and alcohol. Smells sweet and warm (even though it's cold). Not picking up much a hops presence in the nose.

The sweet, creamy malts hit you up front, and the bitter, earthy hops take it to the finish. The alcohol hits the back of the throat and cruises down into the belly. The hop oil stays on the tongue and gives it a nice dry finish. I think it's pretty well balanced, too. The creamy malts don't go down without a fight to the hop kick.

It's full bodied, but it's so easy to down one of these. Very quaffable. At nearly 7% ABV, you probably shouldn't session this, but damn it if I don't want more.

Notes: This is an excellent red. Creamy, toasty, caramelly, earthy, hoppy. All the flavors work in perfect harmony with each other. They say it's a "bastardized Scottish ale," but I think you'd be hard pressed to find a Scot that turns this one down.

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

Pours a deep brown color with a nice fluffy tan head with impressive lacing. It's only when you hold this beer up to a bright light that you can see it's dark cherry red color.

Smell is fruity, yet contains similar aromas of a good porter.

Taste is deep, dark, fruity, and earthy all at the same time. Reminds me of a cross between an Amber and a Porter. Hops are there throughout, but the forementioned flavors dominate this complex beer.

Mouthfeel is medium on this one...not too thick..not too thin.

I personally would only want to drink this bomber as far as drinkability is concerned, but bigger fans of the style may beg to differ.

Morey's Bottom Line: An impressive offering from an unfamiliar brewery. Not my favorite style, but quite obviously a well made brewski.

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Photo of DiabolikDUB
3.79/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from Bottle into Pint glass.

Pours a brilliant deep ruby color that is crystal clear with a thin tan head that remains atop the glass and leaves nice lacing as you sip. The Aroma has a resinous piney hop aroma with some bready, toasted malts to follow it up. The flavor has more hop flavor upfront with some dried fruits and ends up sweet and with a lingering citrus bitterness. Its a medium bodied beer that is slightly sticky. I'm really glad the flavor came through for this one because the aroma was just a little boring. Tasty Malt Beverage.

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

This beer isn't subtle that is for sure, it has a full palate of malty flavors, plenty of boozy ABV despite its modest 6.8%, lots of throatiness and thick chicory like red malts throughout. There is a touch of the heavy scotch ale with this beer too. It pours a dark roasted amber read with a foamy tannish head, good retention, and lacing all over the place. This is a thick beer, modestly carbonated. The nose is quite hoppy with lots of caramel sweet malts and maybe a touch of smoky chicory.

The taste follows the nose, although there is less oily hop than one might have expected, but plenty of thick bittering leafy hop, a slightly syrupy chicory red malty ale, some ABV throaty burn, lots of residual hop oil on the tongue, and an aftertaste of a slightly charred and smoky malt. This is a good beer, but not entirely suited to my tastes. It does make a statement and the palate of flavors is quite full.

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Photo of bonsreeb85
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - deep brown/cola colored body w/ an impressive beige crown that lasted the whole way down, very impressive looking brew!

S - roasted malts w/ some sweetness. caramel malts, blend w/ citrus hops and an overall earthy aroma.

T - starts bitter, but then rounds out and balances w/ a rolling sweetness in the middle, with more bitterness in the close.

MF - a big, full bodied red w/ a creamy mouthfeel, moderate carbonation makes this beer heavy and satisfying

D - VEry good, easy to quaff dispite the size.

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

Pours from a 12oz. brown bottle into the curvy sam adams glass. It has a very dark redish brown color with thick creamy head. The head sticks around quite well.

Aroma is pleasantly sweet and hoppy.

Flavor is really nice for an amber beer if you like hops. It definately had a bunch of the green stuff thrown at it and we can all be thankful for that. There's a nice malty backbone that supports the hop additions very well. It has the characterisic caramel and toffee with the usual lightly toasted malts. The hops bring it from American red ale to red IPA which really should be a new category when you consider beers like Nugget Nectar and Red Rocket.

Mouthfeel is medium-plus bodied and a little over carbonated for my liking but it's still okay. Drinkability is fine as well.

Another impressive beer from Bear Republic. I look forward to seeing more of their brews in Colorado soon.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.16/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an excellent deep red hue with an insanely creamy head of beige foam. Lacing sticks to the glass like honeycomb; thick and heavy and chunky. The retention on the head is amazing too, staying solid and sticky all the way down. An amazing looking beer.

Very nice balance of hops and malt on the nose. Some nice citrus pine notes with a sweet treacle toffee character underneath. The hops are certainly the more dominant part, but the richness and body of the malt adds some gravitas to the brew.

Great dark sweet notes on the front palate, which are leavened by sublimating hop vapours, and a residual bitter character on the back. Nice roasted caramel notes, with a prickly resin backbone. The body is surprisingly light, given the big flavour profile and the rich malt notes. But it works well, again adding a leavening note on the palate.

They say this is a barstardised style of beer. They're probably right. But it works very well, with big characters from a surprisingly low ABV. It's exciting and rewarding, but still smooth and drinkable.

Keep barstardising, Bear Republic!

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

On-tap at Flying Saucer served in a standard pint glass a crisp light brown with a nice thin diminishing head. Aroma is nice blend of citrus hops and sweet malts with slight caramel. The taste is a nice amount of pine hops and caramel malts that both linger nicely on the tongue. The beer is medium bodied with nice carbonation. This one is certainly enjoyable, but not as good as its hoppy brothers Racer 5 and Hop Rod.

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Photo of rtratzlaff
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Red Rocket draft comes poured a deep dark reddish brown with an off white head that leaves good lacing upon the first couple of sips.

The aromas are pleny of caramel malt and enough hops to make a show as well.

The taste is a good mix of the two with not quite enough hops to make me think this is a really good red ale, rather than a really malty darker IPA. The hops leave plenty of resins on the tongue keeping the hop bitterness strong amonst the caramel malt sweetness. There are no buttery diacytle notes yet, perhaps when she warms they will show.
Coffee notes come in after several sips. The hops are sitting back and the malt character comes out a bit--who would have thought?

The mouthfeel is solid. Not thick or heavy to me, but substantial. This is not really a "to style" beer for any style, bt a great beer nonetheless. This is the type of beer I don[t wan't to pair with food, but just enjoy it by itself.

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Photo of aubuc1
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber poured in to a shaker pint glass.

Pours a dark red/amber with a light tan clingy steady head.

Big smell of biscuit soaked in hops. Very nice balance for such a big smell.

Taste is crisp biscuit malt with a citrus tang. Very nice.

Full mouthfeel and the good flavor lingers making the drinkability beautiful.

Very impressed for my first beer from bear republic.

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Photo of ibbjamin
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a six pack of this when I was in Ashland, OR. I believe it was around $7-8. I pour one of them into a pint glass to review.

Leaves a large two inch light tan head. Medium sized bubbles mainly, but the top has a smooth frothy layer. Opaque dark reddish brown in color. Good retention and lacing.

Sweet malts of caramel dominate the nose. Has a bit of a grainy barley smell. Indistinguishable hops to balance.

Well balanced clean taste similar in characteristic to the nose.

The mouth is quite nice. Well carbonated, medium bodied, clean medium finish. Not watery, not thick and creamy, yet riding right in the middle. Points for drinkability.

This one ranks number two in its class I believe. I would agree with that, but this just is not my favorite style of beer I guess.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle $4.49. Deep red color, chestnut almost, creamy yet short off-white head. The smell is "sticky" and a little sweet to my nose, maybe its malts? Flavor is pretty good, I think there are hops but they seem to be layered under a chewy maltiness. Overall, this was a good buy and a good value.

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Photo of MetalHopHead6
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a shaped pint glass.

During the pour, Red Rocket Ale looks amber; however in the glass it is near-black. It's a foreboding looking ale. The tan head is moderate (one finger) but sticky lace attaches to the glass.

The smell is non-descript but pleasant--perhaps a hint of rustic earthiness. The flavor is strong earthiness, with grass and a hint of citrus, very deep down. The feel is thick, chewy, and bitter--it lets you know it's there.

Red Rocket is a rustic ale. It begs to be enjoyed in a dark quiet bar in the middle of the day. There's nothing cheery or sweet about it. There is no doubt that this is a beer.

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Red Rocket Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 2,610 ratings
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