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 mattffrost
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Beer is a browisn read head is a light brown. Head does not dissolve very fast stays around awhile. A lot of lacing nice.

S: Hops, Toasted Malt, Lemon Citrus, very pleasant.

T: Nice and bitter with a carmel flavor with a bit of fruitness.

M: Medium carbonation full body.

D: One or two pints is very nice. Very rich satisfying beer.

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Photo of bkilpatr
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a mug. 09/08/08.

Pours a dark ruby-copper color with about two fingers of soft beige head. The head stuck around for awhile but didn't leave any lacing on its way down. Aroma is dominated by sweet caramel malts, with a bit of piny hop as well.

Taste is more dominated by the piny hops, with a good caramel malt backbone. Some biscuit and bread-like malt sweetness. A bit of grapefruit as well. The finish is pretty bitter from the hops. It's a fair bit hoppier and more bitter than I like for an amber ale.

Feel is pretty good - thick with a medium-full body. Plenty of carbonation but it's still creamy smooth. Drinkability is decent. It's kinda heavy, and the bitterness gets to me after awhile.

Decent, but too much hops for me.

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

12oz bottle, purchased at Bottles in Millwood, WA for $1.79, and consumed after getting off work and trying to assuage the frustrating end-of-the-game losses of EWU and UW to teams that were expected to kill them, and the far-earlier-than-the-end-of-the-game loss by the Seahawks, which could said to have been lost probably when Bobby Engram was injured in the preseason, and certainly when Mo Morris and Nate Burleson went down during the game.

Who, me, venting?

No freshness date billed as such, but visible on the upc symbol is a stamp stating "022608x." Best by? Bottled on? Randon numbers? Who knows.

Poured a dark cola color, that took on a more ruby-ish shade when held up to the light. Half an inch of off-white foam - not terribly impressive, but it clung to life for a surprising length of time. Spotty lace.

Piney in the nose, initially. As time went on a caramel-like malty sweetness also became evident, but the hops are the stars of this show.

Like in the nose, the taste is dominated by the hops, but the malts quickly kick in, and while they remain subordinate, they make a decent junior partner.

Medium-bodied, with a similar level of carbonation. Slightly oily mouthfeel.

A tasty, hoppy version of the venerable red/amber ale. I like this style when it's got a bit of a hop bite, so I'll be coming back to this one.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single during the nfl opener


appearance: poured into a pint glass, pretty dark garnet-mahogany body, noteworthy tan cream cap with strong retention

smell: big time hops covered in a thick-sticky caramel malt shell, pine, a touch woody

taste: thick caramel malts, pine and grapefruit hops, mild levels of booze found even at only 6.8%, toasted rye - similarities could be drawn at a high level to the hop rod rye...nice beer

mouthfeel: fairly smooth, fairly strong bitterness level

drinkability: nice

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Photo of armock
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a dark amber color with an off white head that leaves lacing

S - Is of piney hops and some sweet malt

T - Starts of with the hop then it gets balanced out with the sweet malt

M - This beer has a fuller body to it with medium carbonation to it

D - I love the hoppy reds you get the best of both world hops and sweet malt that come together to make one fine beer worth trying

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Photo of rajendra82
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer was picked up at Green's in Greenville, South Carolina recently, and the pour looked a lovely shade of burgundy, and was capped by a dense but smallish head. The smell was citric hoppy, with undertones of red apples. The taste was tart, bitter, slightly peaty, and very hearty. The flavors were strong, but beautifully complimentary, and it was hard to put it down for typing this review. The mouthfeel was creamy and soft, and the aftertaste showcased the flavors ina slow fade. A beautifully crafted symphony, this was a very enjoyable experience while is lasted.

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Photo of glid02
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Split a bomber of this with my boy YankChef at Mellow Mushroom in downtown Charleston.

Pours a nice dark amber color with a one-finger slightly off-white head. Head dissipates into a thin layer of bubbles on top and a thick ring around the glass. Lacing is pretty good.

Smells mostly of hop aromas - lots of floral scents with a little citrus thrown in there as well. There's also a good bit of bready malt aroma.

Tastes maltier than it smells. A robust bready malt flavor followed by a sweet malt flavor followed by some light hop taste followed by a mild bitterness. Very solid, and consistent throughout the glass.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a great thickness, and the carbonation is just right. Goes down very easily.

Drinkability is good. I could drink this on a regular basis - it's not too heavy even though the bready malt is the strongest taste.

Overall I was pretty impressed with my first Bear Republic tasting. I would certainly drink this again.

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Photo of champ103
3.35/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a very dark red, almost brown color. A good two finger head but leaves very little lace.
S: Toasted caramel malt up front with a good floral hop balance.
T: Follows the nose. Kind of a cooked verggie flavor as well
M/D: Full body that is thick and creamy. The somewhat high ABV for the style shows a bit. This is not really a session red ale for me.

A nice and enjoyable beer. Not my favorite of the style, but it will defiantly work.

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Photo of jordoo
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poored into a pint glass.

Its a very nice dark copper body with lots of red hues. The head is a large dirty tan rocky lace monster that does a great job leaving loads of art work on the glass. Smell is piney and citrus hops in a carmal malt bomb. Also get some light floral and grassy notes. The taste is a good bitter hop hit up front riding a very forward carmal/toasted malt flavor with some nice pine and rind flavors coming through. This one is more full bodied than medium and realy has a luxurious feel to its slightly chuncky body. Its a big beer but drinkable, however 22oz in one sitting is plenty for me at least. Overall another very very good beer from Bear Republic.

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Photo of unionturf
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up on a recent trip to SC...not available in NC. :(

Poured deep amber/red with a excellent and lasting head, actually got distracted and 10 minutes later the head was still there.

Taste and smell was dominated by malt but well balanced with plenty of hops. Overall a good beer with good drinkability, could have another any day.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a very dark reddish brown color with a light tan colored head.

S- The aroma is sweet malt filled with a good dose of caramel and hops.

T- The taste is pretty balanced with a nice malt backbone along with a lot of citrusy hops in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- A pretty solid west coast hopped amber, but I don't think I would want to drink more than a single bottle in a sitting.

Overall, Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale is another solid brew from Bear Republic that is worth a shot.

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Photo of brentk56
4.11/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours with a stout-like latte head on top of a dark amber colored liquid; great retention and lacing

Smell: Piney hops and caramel malt

Taste: Opens with a rich caramel malt backbone that is joined by bitter piney hops at mid-palate; after the swallow, the malt returns to more than balance out the hoppy flavors; nevertheless, there are plenty of hops in this beer

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied and creamy; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I held off tasting this beer as I never get very excited by Ambers; in this case, I was mistaken

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Photo of philipquarles
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, clear, copper red with huge dark beige head that lasts. Smells of biscuity malt and generous amounts of C hops. Light hints of coffee. Plenty of sweet, roasty malt in the taste, juxtaposed by quite a bit of resinous hop bitterness. The sweet/bitter thing works better here than in many other west coast brews, but they still don't really 'balance' each other as intended--it's just quite sweet and quite bitter at the same time. Very slight warming alcohol. Medium body with good carbonation. Not a bad beer, though it's not exactly refined.

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Photo of cswhitehorse
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Red Rocket poured a dark reddish brown with less than a finger foam head with not much lacing. There was much in the way of retention.

The smell was of deep roasted malt with caramel and a nice hoppy aroma. The taste was malty, smooth and brown sugar like. It left a good hop linger in the mouth and was semi chewy. Overall I found it to be a great ale and would buy again.

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Photo of Hornet2003
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a deep ruby red with a lacing white head as I drink it.

Smell: Lots of hops with a scent of burnt caramel. Sweet smell with grassy hops, much like an English ale mixed with a PNW IPA.

Taste: Not as hoppy as I thought it would be based on the aroma. The malt is really front and centre with rich caramel apple flavours and a sharper hop taste. Hoppy bitterness is definitely there, but the citrusy PNW hop flavour is masked by the delicious maltiness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. Bitterness hits at the back and the sweetness pervades up front and in the middle. Pleasant.

Drinkability: The sharp, aggressive flavours are reminiscent of those of an IPA. Alcohol is moderate so I could see this being a nice all night beer for a lot of people.

Overall: I'm a borderline beer ADD case though so I get bored of flavours easily. A bomber is enough, then I'd move on to the Racer 5 to finish off the day.

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

a: pours a huge orange-brown head that shows good retention, the beer is a deep red-brown in color

s: fresh, sugary, dark rye bread underneath a huge aroma of grapefruit and pine, caramelized sugars, hop-dominant but with a big malt body to hold it together

m: smooth medium carbonation, with a body on the full side of medium

t: begins and ends with piny and tropical hop flavors, big red malt backbone with toasted dark sugar, moderate-high bitterness lingers with some toasted rye amber malt husk

d: easy

single bottle from Whole Foods Reston

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Photo of bunnyhustle
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I cant believe I'm love an Amber/Red so much! Consistantly my least favorite style but this is amazing. First of all this may be the best looking beer I've ever seen. The color is a rich, dark hazy amber. Thick, rocky mocha colored head that settles into this amazing creamy head with great retention and awesome lacing. After it settles it practically looks like its been on nitro-tap I swear. Smell is rich of malt, caramel, and hops. Taste is great. A nice strong malty backbone but not to be outdone by the hops. Nice, bitter west coast hops. In a way it almost reminds me of an English IPA (like Drake's IPA) but thats a good thing. Mouthfeel is perfect. It is light and easy drinking yet there is a creamy texture to it that feels so smooth going down. Overall a great beer. Again, I cant believe this is an Amber but it may have reignited my interest in this style.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- MONSTROUS head was the first thing i noticed. maybe the bottle was agitated, but i had to take a break when pouring it so it could all fit into my glass. very dark amber.

S- i noticed alot of citrus hops which i thought was weird for an american red but something i enjoyed. also a bit of roasted malt maybe.

T- just as hoppy as it smells with a drying aftertaste.

M- creamy and smooth. feels heavy in your mouth.

D- an easy to drink enjoyable take on the style. i loved how hoppy this one comes off as. id like to have this again sometime.

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Photo of Biggness
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a beautiful cloudy dark amber with a 2 fingered light tan head. The smell is light but nice a mixture between nuts and malts. This beer's taste has a wonderful mixture of malts and hops, a VERY smooth beer, the malts in the beer are top notch. The mouthfeel as stated is incredibly smooth, almost silky, my only complaint would be a slight dry feeling after I swallow. This is a very drinkable beer, if not for the slight afterfeel it would be a all nighter! Well done

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Photo of Ricochet
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep red/amber, cloudy, not see through, little head with a lasting lace. This seems like a more intense red.

S: Malty, alcohol, raisin, plum. Rich smelling. Good.

M: Thick, with licorice aftertaste. Chewy. Good stuff with a malty reminder of what this is.

T: If this was on tap, I'd get it every time. It's malty, has a nice raisin finish, tastes slightly like olive, but alcohol kicks in. There is a slight hops kick in there too. Different and good.

D: Well well well. Bear Republic two for two and they are a bit different than others, so yes, I'd get again.

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

A: thick, rich amber color...almost mahogany. tan head, with good retention and rather nice lacing.

S: big citrus hop aroma. huge malts. some sweet tones, apples with some dates.

T: very mellow, yet rich amber ale. solid malt backbone, with some spicy characteristics. light citrus hop flavors.

M: very smooth and mellow mouthfeel. mild carbonation level. medium bodied.

D: very nice brew. I could have a couple of bombers but that would probably do me in.

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Photo of toolbrew
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red/brown color with a small tan head. Head fell quickly. Some lacing.

Nice malty smell with some citrusy hops mixed in.

Initially I tasted hops, but the more I consume, the more I taste sweeter, caramel flavored malts.

Some bite at first but now it's smooth and mellow. Still get the hop sensation in the back of the throat.

A great session beer. Could definately have a few of these in one sitting.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber with no date. poured into shaped pint glass.

dark amber brown, gem clear. (hazy with yeast on later pours) nice rocky head with good retention. some lace.

mildly resiny pine, grapefruit (both zest and fruit). hint of apple and caramelized malts.

similar flavors; decent balance of malt and bold zesty hops. moderate bitterness. lasts into finish w mild resiny and citrusy aftertaste.

not too thin. pretty smooth, with slight tannic texture. moderate carbonation.

a nice red ale with bold hop flavor and aroma, while still keeping things malty and complex.

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Photo of jmalex
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Perhaps my favorite from Bear Republic. I'm thrilled that this became available in PA in the past year. I'm also using this to celebrate the (long overdue) repair of my PC (see my review of Storm King for the commiseration of it dying).

APPEARANCE: Pours into my Victory becker a reddish amber that becomes brilliant red when held to light. The head is massive and light tan in color. It takes forever to drop and eventually winds up as a thick surface coating with the sides of the glass caked in lacy foam.

SMELL: Heavy American citrusy hops shine through and are slightly sticky and resinous. They sit atop a barely noticeable malt base that gives a mild roastiness.

TASTE: A mostly balanced beer with a bready, somewhat roasty malt base with accentuations of sharp, citrus hops all over the place. The hops aren't anywhere as sticky as the nose could have indicated. The beer finishes somewhat malty surprisingly, but bitter hops are what you get after the swallow. Definitely on the hoppy side of balance however.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium to medium full might be a little big. The carbonation is at a medium high level and appropriate.

DRINKABILITY: It's certainly a much bigger example of the style so drinkability suffers a bit because of that. The ABV doesn't seem like it comes up to match though. Ah well, a bomber is still easy to take care of and another glass wouldn't be out of the question either.

I'll be buying more. One of the finer ambers that are out there. And what makes it sweeter is that I'm reviewing this as I sit at my resurrected computer.

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Photo of ATPete
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


A- Pours a deep red color with a medium sized, tightly woven tan head, all and all translucent with no noticeable carbonation.

S- Faint nose of sweet roasted malts.

T- Sweet fruity malts followed by a nice hoppy bitterness on the finish, well balanced and an excellent representation/interpretation of the red/amber ale style.

M- medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Very good, the bomber is a perfect serving to share with a friend or hog to yourself.

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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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