Monday, August 1, 2011

Red Rocket Ale (Bear Republic Brewery)

I've just tried Red Rocket Ale from our friends at Bear Republic Brewery in northern California. This blog's many devoted readers will recall that Bear Republic's Racer 5 IPA has become one of my current favorite quaffs. I really like this beer as well, so two things about it strike me as a shame: the terrible label design, and the fact that its name calls to mind certain very unappetizing visuals from South Park.

But on to more positive things. The color of the beer is darker than I expected -- not so much red as purplish brown. As I look through the glass I see lots of yeast clumps in suspension, indicative of bottle conditioning and leading me to anticipate some spicy yeast effects in the flavor. This expectation is reinforced by a bright, lemony, peppery, and yeasty aroma.

The taste is extraordinary. This flavor has moves! Supported within the medium heavy mouthfeel is a body of surprising complexity. I can chase out fruity, floral, and spicy threads and be right well entertained while doing so. The flavor starts bitter, dips down into earthy, grainy territory, then up into a lemony finish. As it warms, the underlying musty Scottish ale characteristic emerges a bit more.

This is one of the most distinctive beers I have tried in a while. I would probably limit my recommendation to friends known to be of intrepid palate, but I would drink it again myself without hesitation.

From the bottle's label:

Red Rocket Ale is a bastardized Scottish style red ale packed with distinctive flavors and an aggressive hope character rivaled by none. This unfiltered, bottle-conditioned amber colored ale, breaks all style molds.

Featured beer:
Red Rocket Ale

Honorable mention:
Racer 5 IPA

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