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Red Hoptober - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Red HoptoberRed Hoptober

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

173 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 173
Hads: 804
Avg: 3.82
pDev: 28.53%
Wants: 34
Gots: 39 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: UCLABrewN84 on 07-20-2012

Centennial, Cascade & Eldorado hops
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Red Hoptober Alström Bros
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Reviews: 173 | Hads: 804
Photo of alysmith4
1.92/5  rDev -49.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Was surprised at how little I enjoyed this beer. I just couldn't get over the musty smell. It was something like furniture polish! The taste was similar. I'm not sure if I just got a bad batch or what, as I think New Belgium usually makes solid beers.

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Photo of Star80
3.76/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours out a dark copper red color with lots of lacing on the glass. Overall looks impressive.

S - the smell is citric, resiney, piney with a touch of raisin bread-like sweetness.

T - the taste is a lot of citric and somewhat earthy tasting hops. However the hops tastes somewhat dull and muted, not as complex as I would have hoped. Well I could taste a cornucopia of hop Varieties the quality of the Hops themselves are not flowery, leafy whole cone hops.

M - mouth feel is fine not too carbonated pretty smooth and drinkable.

I- overall a nice beer but like too many hoppy beers not nice enough to have me prefer over a Victory or even a Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of t2thebro
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz. Bottle

A- dark copper color, thin sudsy head, leaves a good amount of lacing.

S- earthy, fresh with hints of citrus and toasted nuts.

T- nutty, with a nice spicy citrus hop profile. Grains taste of roasted nuts, Caramel and butterscotch.

M- smooth but in my opinion a bit under carbonated which gave it almost a slimy feel kinda strange but not all that bad.

O- very nice. When I cracked the bottle all I smelt was hops. Then I poured it and everything mixed together well. A brew with excellent balance but a strong flavor in each the hop and grain profile. It is a beer that is fit for a beer geek as the different flavors come one after another.

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Photo of Psilo707
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First off I should state that I'm not a big Red Ale fan and never have been. It's probably my least favorite of brews, but sometimes I find one that I really like (like Duchess), and this new release from New Belgium is another exception.

A: Extremely red. Holy crap that's red. Awesome looking thick burgundy color with a medium-sized head that has out-of-this-world lacing.

S: Ruby-red citrus floral scent. Lots of hops present right away but not aggressive in any way. Somewhat tame but an overall sweet scented experience and I'm definitely ready to taste it.

T: Somewhat hoppy, but also malty for sure. Toffee and semi-sweet chocolate aftertones complete the dark red palette in a sensible manner. Actually tastes much more like an amber ale or even a slight pale ale more than a red brew. Very nice all the way down - there isn't one moment when the taste seems lackluster and this is definitely a solid 4.0 category.

M: Smooth, semi thick yet very fluid, and most of all... inviting. Feels like I could drink this next to a warm campfire as well as on the ski slopes. Doesn't quit this quality all the way down, either. Very nice!

Overall: The definition of a 4.0 beer in my opinion. As stated before I don't like red ales that much, but I do LOVE New Belgium and feel like I often may over-rate their releases. This time I feel I'm being subjectively fair and giving it exactly what it deserves. This is a great beer for the price (6.99-8.99 per 6 pack) and I recommend it for anyone who likes Ales of any type. GOOD STUFF!

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Photo of ZAP
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm quite impressed with this and will buy more....hop forward but backloaded with a nice dark toffee/brown sugar malt bone..

Hops begin with sole citrus rind....a brief foray into some pine notes and then settles down spicy and earthy which really complements the malt load perfectly....just a hint of garlic on the late finish but it blends ok...

Body is right on....great drinker....a lot of flavor to this red ale..

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Photo of LXIXME
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big light tan head that leaves a nice lacing above a clear burnt caramel colored beer.

A light rich caramel malt mixes very well with light citrus hops in the aroma.

Roasted caramel malts and citrus fruit hops taste is well blended but lighted than the aroma would have suggested.

A light dryish aftertaste that brings with it some of the light tastes of caramel and citrus on this medium bodied beer.

Not bad but was hoping for more from these guys.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.93/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle. Pours dark reddish amber with a medium fluffy off-white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet toasty caramel/crystal malts and resiny hops.

The flavor is sweet toasted caramel and crystal malts with an earthy bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and a bit watery.

Overall, it's OK and has some decent bitterness. I personally don't care for the biscuity malts or the hop flavors though.

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Photo of depechemode1983
4.01/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - The color of the beer is Dark brown with deep red hues. Beautiful. There is a huge stream of bubbles rising up from the center of the glass. Its got a nice two finger tan head with remarkable retention. The lacing on this beer is amazing. Its sticky and curtain like.

S - The nose is bittersweet with some nice grainy backbone. I'm getting sweet toasted caramel, bitter orange rind, and pine. Very nice.

T - Actually picking up some coffee in the taste. Its mostly toasted malts with a grapefruit bitterness mid way through. Finish is pretty clean.

M - Light to medium bodied mouth feel. The carbonation somewhat lighter than expected. Feels alright for the most part.

O - Not really a fan of Red Ales but this one is alright with me. Pretty much my favorite so far. It for sure the most attractive.

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Photo of therica
4.47/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh My Gawsh I wasn't paying much attention when I finished a Paulaner Munich and cranked open this bottle I got at Halfway Liquors in Hagerstown MD last night. It about tore my head off! "In a good way" (a la Zimmern & Bourdain lol).

Okay-- so this was a bold high-IBU IPA when it hit my lips, but they call it an American Amber? So be it. But for now it's my favorite new "IPA."

A= dark amber-red with a glistening appearance, fair head when poured but dissipated quickly to modest rimming.

S= gorgeous, seriously great. Very nice bold caramelized malts with a joyous blend of hop-head delight, yet a slight grassy nose that has me hyperventilating from sniffing.

T= the taste follows the nose although there's more of an English Bitters in the swallow here. The malts border on me saying "slightly chewy dough." There are complex flavor notes that elude me- slight fruity-ness? And the bold overheated grass effect that one gets in nose and mouth when scraping out the bottom of a lawn mower.

M= bitters and bitters but not acrid; some caramel and malts lingering.

O= a grand new addition!

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.72/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Deep amber mahogany color. Two and a half fingers of frothy tan head. Retention is decent and a moderate amount of lacing is left.

4.0 S: Big toastiness with plenty of caramel underneath and even some toffee. Berry fruitiness. Grassy and earthy hops. A bit resiny. It's a bit different than most ambers and I like it.

3.5 T: Tastes like the nose, but has less punch to it. Toasty with caramel and toffee. Berry and apple fruits. Grassy, earthy, and resiny hops.

3.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Reasonably creamy and smooth.

4.0 D: Tasty beer. I like big toastiness in my ambers, so this hit the spot with regard to that. Solid all around.

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Photo of godlessape
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank this one out of a snifter. The body has a interesting dark burnt plum hue, and the off white head hangs on with just a thin skim and leaves plenty of lacing.
The aroma is spicy and malty up front then right near the end of the nose you pick up the triple grouping of Centennial, Cascade and Eldorado hops.
The flavor is all over the place with burnt toffee, toasted bread, biscuit and molasses notes all balanced in the end with the citrusy American hop combo.
The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a dry finish.
Overall, you won't find a dull moment with this dark, rich, complex brew. Very satisfying. Glad I tried it.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.42/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The burnt umber colored body was clear, and topped by a two finger thick, foamy, beige head. I could smell the bright hops even before bringing the glass up to the nose. Once I did, the nose was dominated by piney, earthy, spicy, and musty hops. As anticipated, the taste was quite bitter and earthy, with a flash of brown sugar mid palette, and a carbonated, drying, finish. The body felt medium thick, oily, and soft. This is better than the typical New Belgium seasonal, and approaches the quality of the Lips of Faith series.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.39/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a deep brown, almost red into a New Belgium globe. Frothy off-white head, nice streaks of lace.

S: Toasty bread and crystal malt. Some roasty and burnt character.

T: Some sweet dark toffee flavours and caramel. Toasted bread as with the nose, but here it's much more understated, the taste has more sugar apparent than in the nose. Some earthy hops add a nice balance.

M: Medium-bodied, frothy and creamy. Moderately hoppy aftertaste.

O: A nice enough red ale, though I would have liked a bit more hop character to come through. It's not bad tasting, it just never gets really interesting. It does seem a bit like a beefed up Fat Tire, a solid drinking beer, but nothing to make you say wow.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe
6.0% ABV, Best before 18NOV12

A - From the label to the beer, Red Hoptopber evokes a deep crimson sunset shimmering with stark clarity. Carbonation keeps the frothy ivory head alive as it slowly descends to a loose layer, leaving clumps of it's former self on the glass.

S - With a host of earthy aromas, Red Hoptober immediately smells like a close relative of Fat Tire's. Toasted malt suggests peanut butter spread thinly over a golden brown piece of whole wheat toast. Faint chocolate notes follow up as the earthy hops jump in the mix; dried leaf pile and crisp, light pine offer notes of fall in the blend. Mild, older citrus rind finds it's way in the background too.

T - While the aroma might suggest a relative of Fat Tire's, the flavor is quite the contrary. Opening with plenty of malty complexity, toast and light nuttiness continue on from the aroma, as does the faint hint at chocolate. Hops are definitely showcased throughout the flavor, but take a back seat, slowly entering along the finish. Earthiness jumps forward again, carefully balancing the toasted malt characteristics with a recently cut and raked lawn under a tall tree shedding it's leaves.

M - Red Hoptober is medium-bodied but here is where the hops have their moment; crisp and earthy, the bigger maltiness of the flavor is held back with restraint, gently bitter on the finish. If ever there was a fall seasonal that evokes the feeling of fall preemptively, this would be it.

O - Seasonal releases seem to be departing their seasons with more haste each year and fall is no stranger to that. But Red Hoptober seems to bridge the gap nicely, offering some toasted malt and enough crisp hop to battle the ongoing heat as the days, with almost painstakingly slow speed, grow cooler. I can certainly get behind this beer for now. What pains me, though, is it's mid-November best by date. After all, if the weather's course is any indication, that's when Red Hoptober and it's ilk will be truly at their prime.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was surprised by this beer from the instant I opened and poured it. One, because of its appearance—I wasn’t expecting something with such a rich, deep amber brown hue, and literally two solid fingers of creamy foam topping it. And two, the aroma—oh, what an aroma! From the instant I cracked this open I could smell it. First impressions are of chocolate malt—just this wonderfully bright bouquet of roast and chocolate malt that comes across. It’s pleasing and another surprise. The flavor cracks with a smooth malt like an amber and a defined, distinct bitterness. There’s a pleasing hoppiness that develops and gives this some kick. Not sure where this beer fits in the grand scheme of things—it’s a hoppy amber, or a malty IPA, or just something altogether delicious.

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Photo of n2185
3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a clear copper with two fingers of khaki head that recedes into a thin ring with little lacing.

S: pineapple and grapefruit hop aromas up front with some sweet and nutty aromas mixed in.

T: the taste is more like a hoppy brown ale with piny and earthy hopnotes mixed with nuts and cocoa flavors.

M: medium body and carbonation, this beer is dry and nicely carbonated.

O: an interesting and solid beer overall. The hop and brown ale notes don't blend very well, but it's still an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.43/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a New Belgium globe.

The beer is a deep amber/ruby color. A thick vanilla ice cream head slowly settles to an even film. Wide rings of lacing cling to the glass.

The aroma is very sharp with hops and citrus rinds dominating, but somewhere in there is a subtle sweet caramel malt note. The sharp hops almost smell like a black IPA ...

Taste is dominated again by hops. I guess that's what you get when you name your beer with the word "Hoptober." But the body does have a sweet malt base. I'd say it's well balanced as the malts and hops intertwine. Grapefruit rinds give way to caramel sweetness then back to a burnt, bitter finish.

The mouthfeel is slightly carbonated with a dry finish.

Overall, I have to admit, I do not like this "amber/red" ale at all. I'm getting tired of New Belgium's beers all tasting the same with the same hop profile. And besides, i like reds/ambers to be malty, toasty, and sweet, not bitter and sour like this thing, despite it's name of "Red Hoptober." Their original Hoptober brew last year was phenomenal, this one ... not so much.

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Photo of Kromes
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark red with ruby hues and a thick tan colored head. Toasted malt and citrus hop in the nose.

The initial taste is of grain husk and toasted malt. Then the citrus hop kicks in all the way through to the finish. I really like the cascade and toasted malt finish. The beer is medium body and has a smooth feel to it. It has good balance between the sweetness and bitterness in the finish. Very drinkable beer. This would be a good Amber or Brown ale on it's own, but the addition of citrus hops kicks it up a notch.

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Photo of Beer4Baltimore
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottles with a best before date of November 4th 2012.
A - aggressive pour yields two fingers of frothy lacy head riding on top of a clear caramel.
S - mildly fragrant hops with a touch of citrus and toasted malts. A solvent like quality to the aroma permeates everything.
T - a little sweet, a little toasted, a little hoppy with a caramel twist. Balance is good, not too syrupy like some other reds. The solvent smell apprears in the taste. I'm not sure what to describe it as but it is not off putting, just different.
M - moderately carbonated with moderate body and a lingering astringent coating.
D - would be better enjoyed with food.

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Photo of Momar42
3.03/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into NB globe glass

A - deep clear amber/brown in color with less than one finger of off-white head that dissipates rapidly.

S - chalky, bready, moldy, wet paint. I'm getting a slight hop nose but it's muddled. Not winning me over with the smell.

T - Malt dominates from the start. Hops are most present on the back end and after taste. Don't really know how describe the taste besides an average amber. Hops don't really add or subtract overall.

M - medium. Finishes medium as well. Somewhat coating on the palate.

O - I am pretty Meh on most of the recent NB offering and on ambers in general. When you combine the two, I guess I shouldn't be surprised at the results. Drinkable, but I wouldn't but it on the "have again" list. Average at best.

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Photo of dbossman
3.89/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep reddish brown with a one-inch light brown head and lacing that isn't great

S: This is dank and spicy: grass, marijuana, citrus, black pepper; some bready and slightly burnt malts but mostly really dank hops

T: Doesn't taste as much like weed as it smells; much maltier with that typical, slightly burnt NB malt profile; some grassy hops with a touch of citrus; not bad but not as good as aromas hinted

F: Medium body and fairly creamy; a touch thin on back end

O: This is a nice beer, but man does it smell awesome--I just wish that translated more

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Photo of stonewild
3.89/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a New Belgium tulip glass. Dark red color; earthy hop smell with a malty background came off of the 1/2 inch off white head. Hop smell replaced by sweet rich malt while drinking. Taste reminds me of a mildly sweet stout with balanced bitter character. There was a slight alcohol burn on the back end. Thin light lacing was left on glass. Overall impression is of a half stout and half IPA to warm a cool July airconditioned evening.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before 11/4/12.

Pours a clear dark amber with a 2 inch foamy tan head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Thin foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, toasted bread, and some earthy and herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with a slight sweetness and a fresh herbal hop flavor. There is a medium amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp yet medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is quite tasty and very easy to drink.

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Red Hoptober from New Belgium Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 173 ratings.