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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 bigpatvoodoodad
4.82/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Poured a nice 2 finger white head that lingers a bit and leaves a nice lacing. The beer itself is a nice crimson

S - Hoppy and nice. Got me excited to drink it as soon as I got a whiff.

T - Like no other beer I've ever had. Has a good hop twang, but it is also kind of malty with a caramel undertone

M - Just right. Carbonation is just right. Not a bad aftertaste.

Overall I am impressed with this beer. This beer intrigues me because of it's mixed beer style pedigree which is evident in the taste. It's like someone took red ale and an IPA and forced them to have a love child. There's also something about the taste that is just really distinct and very delicious. The taste is complex. Bitter at the start, but not too much. Then as it hits the back of the tongue, the sweetness and caramel flavor just comes through. Great beer.

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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 eskybassplr
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oZ bottle. Rather dark red color with a full hops flavor. I like the hops flavor in beer but feel many craft brewers are just adding more and more hops to make an impresssion. That is not the case with this brew. Just found this here in Michigan and enjoyed it very much.

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Photo of donmonkey1
4.48/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Med. brown/amber with an awesome foamy thick tan head that hangs around forever and laces like shoes. Great carbonation. I can't think of a way to improve the appearance.

Smell: Fruity hops, a little floral, grapefruit, mangoes, plums.

Taste: Awesome hop flavor, much like the smell but with a touch of pine. It's the perfect hoppiness, full of flavor but not puckering. It's totally inviting.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. I would like to feel more carbonation.

This is a great, world class beer. I love it.

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Photo of dbell23
4.47/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a New Belgium tulip. Freshness date of November. Pours a very dark reddish brown. Seems to be clear. Nice beige head of about two inches. Good retention with great lacing. Nice looking beer.

Smell is similar to the original Hoptober. Sweet hoppiness with a little more malt sweetness. Nice sweet hops.

I changed this review after tasting this beer from a growler. Taste is really nice. Nice hoppiness to start. Malt with maybe a slight chocolate undertone in the middle. Nice sweet hop finish. There is a lingering hop chocolate taste that I like.

The mouthfeel is what I like best. Very smooth and it gets better as the beer warms. Eventhough it's still summer here, this will be a great Fall beer. Good carbonation but oh so smooth. Mouthfeel definitely improves on draft.

Overall a really good beer. I like New Belgium products as a rule but this one is quite good. It's good from a bottle but much better on draft.

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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 YeastWrangler88
4.45/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass:

Apparence: beautiful dark amber color, with red hues, crystal clear, slightly brown head, maybe beige.

Aroma: smells of amber to dark malt with some earthy, grassy hops, very slightly citrusy, but I'd describe it as biscuity with some chocolate and fresh cut grass with ripe pine needles sitting atop.

Flavor: earthy notes hit my tongue first, followed by dark malts, as if I was eating slightly burnt hawaiien bread in the middle of a pine tree forest with fresh cut grass surrounding. Really, really plesent flavor. Flavors balance each other very nicely.

Mouthfeel: I would say medium body, but with a dry finish, carbonation is nice, nothing cloying in the beer, just a plesent taste that dissipates into a mellow burnt sugar flavor/feel.

Overall: this is a good one. Want a dark amber ale, but you also want an IPA? This is perfect. Well balanced, hop and malt flavor are extremely well thought out and executed very well. Drinkability is also really high, 3-5 bottles of this would not be a problem for a Friday or Saturday night session.

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

I am impressed. For some reason, I went into this expecting a marzen style, and was shocked bt the initial sip. After actually reading the bottle, I sipped again, now opening myself up to whatever they want there. This is a delightful beer. Deep aroma that hits you on the nose with spicyness, a deep amber coloring and a full body, Red Hoptober has made me a fan of New Belguim in one beer. Well done.

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Photo of budgood1
4.42/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours out a dark mahogany colour with a thinnish but persisitent light tan head. wispy lace. very complex aroma...herbal earthiness trades jabs with light cocoa and ripe red fruitiness. subtle spice and smoke, anise, hay and leaves give this a layered and seasonal flair, somehting unlike i have not yet smelled before in a beer. the taste profile is equally as interesting...malt bill throws off layers of light candyish flavours such as nougat and chocolate all the while intertwined with earthy, leafy, herbal notes from both the hop profile and the yeast influenced malt show. there is a lot going on flavour wise. really seems to hit the spot, and very appropriate for the season. hop bitterness is just enough to balance things out and compliment the overall enjoyment that this red/amber ale provides. the mouthfeel is smooth yet chalky, with a medium body holding things up in a proud yet understated manner. drinkability is outstanding...i detect some belgian type malts, but i could be wrong. this really is delicious.

overall i am quite impressed with this fall seasonal that seems to successfully capture the essence of autumn in a bottle. what's unique about this offering is that without being an o-fest or pumpkin ale, red hoptober delivers the fall and early winter personality in a bottle like no other concoction sampled before. definitely a winner and deserving of praise.

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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 gmfessen
4.41/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, Red Hoptober is a deep bronze-red color with a dense yet airy head that leaves sticky gobs of lacing on the walls of the glass. Smell is a mix of spicey hops and caramel malt. Flavor is initially dominated by the hops; floral and spicy, transitioning to slighly malty sweet and finishes amazingly neutral and clean for a beer with that kind of hop flavor. Mouthfeel is medium in body with a thick but inactive carbonation. Overall I must say that I am very pleasantly surprised with this, definitely a new favorite from NB.

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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 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 StoutHunter
4.37/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a bottle of New Belgium's Red Hoptober a couple weeks ago for $2.69 at Meijers. It's a nice Fall night in Mid Michigan so a Fall seasonal sounds pretty fitting, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, but I'm sure it's fairly fresh. Poured from a brown 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- I really like the label on this beer, it's pretty nicely done and it has some nice information on it. It poured a nice dark copper color that took on a brighter ruby red hue when held to the light with two and a half fingers worth of chunky off white head that died down to a thick ring that stayed till the end and left some nice sheets of lacing. This was a good looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a good amount of malts that have a medium amount of sweetness and impart some nice toasted, nutty, grainy, caramel, biscuit, with some slight coffee and chocolate aromas. Up next come a slight amount of spice that is followed by some piney and citrus hops with the citrus hops sticking out the most with some nice citrus rind aromas. This beer has a very nice aroma, I really like how the bright hops balance out the toasted malts, it's really nice.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma, it starts off with some piney and earthy hops that impart a medium amount of bitterness followed by a nice amount of malts that have a lower amount of medium sweetness and impart some great toasted, nutty, caramel, biscuit, and some light chocolate like flavors. On the finish I get a good amount of citrus hops that impart some nice grapefruit and citrus rind flavors with a nice toasted malts and citrus hops aftertaste. I really like the taste of this beer, I like how nicely the toasted malts contrast the piney and citrus hops, it shouldn't work, but it does.

M- Pretty smooth, dry, slightly oily, medium bodied, with a higher amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was ok, but the carbonation was just a little too high, still decent though.

Overall I thought this was a very good beer, it's not the best example of a Red Ale, it's got more Brown Ale aspects, but I would say that it's a very good example of a Fall seasonal beer. This beer had good drinkability, it went down pretty smooth and the flavors did a really great job at holding my attention, I think one bomber would be enough for me, but I wouldn't say two would be impossible. What I liked most about this beer was the great taste and aroma, I really like how the hops contrast the toasted malts. What I liked least about this beer was the mouthfeel, the carbonation was a little to high, but that seemed to be the only thing that didn't work that well with this beer. I would buy this beer again, in fact I already went back and got three more bottles before they jacked up the price, I highly recommend this beer to jut about anyone. All in all I was pretty impressed with this beer, it turned out to be the best out of the four bombers released in Michigan by New Belgium and so far it's my favorite Fall seasonal of the year, good job New Belgium, this is one great Fall time beer.

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Photo of sonata2008
4.36/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Red Hoptober was served on tap in a globe-shaped glass. Very nice.
Appearance: About 1" of cream colored foam. Very dark brown beer, almost black. Dense and opaque. Lots and lots of lacing.
Smell: Hops aroma, about midway between grapefruit and pine. Don't detect much else besides a lovely hops aroma.
Taste: A roasted flavor with a big hops presence. The roast flavor is like coffee or toasted pumpernickel bread. Very interesting taste. First there's the roasted malt flavors that linger awhile, and then the hops ending. The finish even suggested some grass.
Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel with a bit of chewiness. Nice bit of tingle.
Overall: Fantastic beer that's nicely complex. I love how the taste evolved. Drinking this beer is a certainly a wonderful experience.

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Photo of JosiahS
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a: Dark woody color with some red throughout. 2-finger, creamy yet frothy with sticky lacing.

s: Sappy, dank, resin-y pine. Orange and lemon rind, rich dark fruit, caramel and faint chocolate.

t: Bitter, pine resin, bark, lemon rind. Malt provides caramel, cocoa nibs and helps round out the taste.

m: medium-full, medium carbonation. Not overbearing, not as syrupy as the flavor/aroma profile would lead one to believe.

o: Full flavor, looks great, not overbearing, great beer.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Extremely thick white fluffy foam and superb lacing. Amber red in color with good carbonation. The foam and lacing really get me with this.

Smell: Sweet, smokey nuttiness with a hint of peppery hops. Very nice, although I'd like it a bit bolder.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Smokey hazelnuts in the head with some earthly maple syrup in the background. Reminds me of Rogue Hazelnut a bit. Nice peppery bitterness in the finish as well. Excellent body, although I'd like it to be a big crisper. I love the flavors, I really like the mouthfeel.

Overall Drinkability: One of best, if not the best, from New Belgium.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I loved the original Hoptober....so it is no surprise that I like the amber version. The beer pours a clear amber with finger and a half froathy slightly off white head that is leaving a lace. The smell is malty with a slight pine hop kick. The taste is a very nicely balanced hoppy red. Starts malty then there is a kick of piney slight citrus hop followed by bittering hops that clean the pallete. The mouthfeel is light to medium in body with decent carbonation. Overall this is a great beer and I could drink the heck out of it.

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Photo of Chaney
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Stone Brewing Co. pint glass.

A: Poured a crystal clear dark red color, with a whopping slightly off-white head... but maybe that's because I got a bit overly zealous in my pouring.

S: Cascade bomz R' Us for sure. Also, I got that grainy red velvet cake batter-esque smell I often get with this style. Rock on!

T: Hoppy, yet not too much. Seriously, this is about as earthy as it gets.The understated quality was appropriate to my mind considering this is a fall, seasonal brew. The cushion off yeast over top of the hops in this setting was quite remarkable.

M: In terms of drinkability, I could drink this all day... and gulp it even. The carbonation was spot on and the lacing was ridiculous.

O: As a fall seasonal brew, this is about as good as it gets outside of Pumpkin Ales and Octoberfests.

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Photo of beerbellydaddy
4.31/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a dark copper color and offers a clean, full white head that is slow to dissipate. The lacing is abundant and lasts until beers finish.

The smell is mild with malt at the forefront and some hints of oak.

The taste is very nice - a malt heavy introduction, followed by a slightly bitter, hopped up anise and oak flavored finish.

A mouthful of this has the perfect fall feel; it is slightly bubbly, with a robust creamy finish that leaves one longing for the next sip.

I took a flyer on this one not knowing anything about it when I picked it up, but I'll definitely get some more. It is a well balanced, delightful pleasure.

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Photo of RJLarse
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought a six-pack of Red Hoptober in a grocery store. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a mahogany brown color, clear, with a bubbly beige head.

Smell is a roasty aroma of coffee and charcoal.

The taste is also decided dark, charcoal, and subtle coffee flavors, with a mildly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, not cloying.

Overall a very drinkable brew. Closer to the porter style than the typical fall seasonal, but a very enjoyable beer for the season just the same.

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Photo of GossageBrewery
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured this Red Ale from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured a clear reddish amber color, produced a thick off white head, featured excellent retention and left ample lacing on the glass. The "hoppiest" smelling Red Ale I have come across, pine and citric notes. Medium in body, this is an excellent example of the Red Ale style....Most red ale's are sort of boring, not much sets them apart, however this ale had such a strong hop flavor. A based of malted grain, citrus and pine throughout the session. Well balanced, great take on an ordinary style.

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Photo of Mavigo
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this on sale from Meijers, was impressed with the Fat Tire ale I had from New Belgium the other week, so let's do it.

A: Pours a ruby-amber color, with a short white head that dissipates relatively quickly with some lacing

S: Smells bitter, woody, very hoppy, earthy

T: very light hops, considering the smell of the beer, reminds me of the taste of leaves, but not in a bad sense. If this made sense, you could say it tastes like fall, it captures the feeling of fall.

M: Very crisp and refreshing, moderate to lower levels of carbonation, surprising for its color, very smooth.

O: Overall this is a great beer, the name justifies it, very good fall blend. Great buy.

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Photo of PrivateEquity
4.23/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very enticing look. Solid lacing. Dark reddish, tawny hue.

S - Malty aroma. Toasted, nutty, bread notes

T - Very solid taste. Great balance to the hops, citrusy grapefruit. Just about the perfect amount of sweetness and caramel malt.

M - Smooth and drinkable. Medium body.

O - Nice hoppines to this amber. Well balanced and very enjoyable. For a late summer / fall summer seasonal, this absolutely stands out.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a New Belgium Globe glass. Best before date of 18-Nov-12.

Appearance: Pours a deep brownish amber red with a moderate amount of bubbles. A solid three fingers of off white head which fade into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell: Big hop aroma up front with grassy, earthy, and herbal hops. Strong scent of pine resin. A little bit of citrus hop with some orange peel, tangerine, and grapefruit hints. Strong malt presence with good hints of toasted caramel, biscuit, grains, toffee, toast,and a subtle hint of roast chocolate and coffee. A pretty piney a solid aroma.

Taste: A nice combination of hops and toasted caramel malts. Fresh earthy hops abound with lots of grass. Some herbal hops and a quite noticeable taste of spicy pine resin. Some citrus esters are also in the mix with some notes of orange, grapefruit, and tangerine. A nice bready sweetness follows from the malts. Notes of toasted caramel, toffee, toasted bread, grains, and biscuit. Also some roasty undertones with some mild notes of chocolate and coffee. Solid balance between bitterness and sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Smooth, spicy, and somewhat chewy. Has a drying finish.

Overall: A pretty nice hopped up red ale. Ripe mix of hops with a good taste of caramel and subtle roast.

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