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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: 803
Avg: 3.82
pDev: 28.53%
Wants: 33
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
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Reviews: 173 | Hads: 803
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 chugalug06
2.09/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Dated: Best by November 12

DARK, dark brew; deep clear brown in color. Head is white with an odd green tint.

Smokey, roasty, caramely. Slight fart aroma.

Thin, watery, nothing special. Carbonation is high too. There's an odd sweetness going on in this one.. Funky flavors that don't blend. Dark chocolate and leather are very thin draped over some spacy dull flavored hops.

This brew is a mess. A total turn off with too many random flavors/aromas. I can't recommend this, it didn't end up in my drain, but it's certainly one you drink fast; not in a good way.

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Photo of InlandTaipan
2.91/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Beer is a deep red almost mahogany like, tan head looks appetizing

S- Malt, subtle breadiness. a little citrus.

T- Malt character is confusing. I feel like the bitterness clashes. Getting some Fusel alcohol too.

M- a little overcarbonated for my personal taste but a good feel overall.

O - I would give it around a 2.8/3

Not a bad beer, just not my preference for this season. I do not find balance in this one.

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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 TMoney2591
2.98/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

The hunt is over... ...ahem...sorry. Anyway, this stuff pours a clear sunset amber topped by a finger of glowing off-white foam. The nose comprises sweet toffee, sharp pine needle, miscellaneous greens, and light leek. There may or may not be some mint in the background, but I can't tell for sure. The taste brings in more of the same, though now the mint does, in fact, come through in the midst of the pine. The hops clash amongst themselves while also clashing with the toffee. Not sure how they pulled that off, but I'm considering giving some reluctant props... The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, I feel the hops and malts just don't cooperate well enough in this beer to allow me to enjoy it. Something like that.

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Photo of brother_kenneth
3/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from into a pint glass.

A- Nice dark red color. Minimal amount of tannish/white foam, doesn't last very long.

S- Toasted malts and hops are the most evident in the nose. There is a good bit of caramel / burnt sugar.

T- The taste is very malty and nutty. The hops blend very well here, Cascades I believe. This is not an ultra-sweet red, but is definitely what I consider to be a "malt bomb." Think big toasty malts and caramel, with hops in the background.

M- About average on the mouth for this type of malty brew. Light to medium body with just the right amount of carbonation.

O- This is what I consider to be a great seasonal beer. It is not extreme, it is not incredible. It is just very drinkable for the fall season. It is a bit different than most of the others out there, in that there are at least initially some noticeable hops. I plan to drink a few more of these before they are gone this year.

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Photo of jpro
3.03/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz single from Total Wine... into a New Belgium globe.

A: Pours a dark copper / ruby, with a nice, 2.5-finger, tapioca head; milky retention leaves a few strands of lace.

S: Sweet caramel / toasty malts; resiny hops; candy shell sugariness; basically, sweet and hoppy.

T: Not as hoppy as aroma; light hop resin and toast are the main flavor components here; finishes sweet and a little weak.

M: Too thin... almost watery on the end; moderate carbonation; very uninspiring mouthfeel and finish to this beer.

O: Looks nice, smells OK, tastes average... Unfortunately this beer has a very boring / nonexistent mouthfeel or finish - I was really hoping for something better than this, considering I usually love hoppy red ales.

PS - what's with all the different seasonals New Belgium puts out? It seems like their Fall/Winter/Spring/Summer beers are different every year or two...

Oh well, I can confidently say that I won't be imbibing in anymore Red Hoptober.

*from notes 8.28.12

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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 doubledteague
3.1/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

poured from a 12oz bottle into a frosty pint glass.

A- Dark red/amber color. (bout like a Coke) with a tan or very light brown lasting head and some nice lacing along the glass.

S- Right up front hit with the hops and the earthy smell, I do get some hints of pine, and ever so slight chocolatey smell.

T- Hoptober is about right for the name, very earthy taste. The only down to this is the aftertaste, not bad immediately however the longer you sit on it, it seems to taste like burned wood and just increasingly gets worse.

M- medium bodied, very dry, medium carbonation, can get a slight hint of the abv here.

O- no complaints other than the aftertaste that just seems to grow. Would definitely drink again, and most likely will end up trying again simply due to the best by date on this bottle was the week before I bought it, and two weeks before I tried it.

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Photo of philbertk
3.11/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Quarter Inch thin lightly lacy short lived off white light tan head. Clear rich ruby red deep bright color. Mildly roasted hop front.Toasted caramel medium light textured minimally sweet toasted malt fruit ester hint body. Dry mildly bitter end. Rich Crisp Odd Red Ale.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.2/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Uinta brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; New Belgium's mainstays have usually hovered right around average (C) for me, but I loved La Folie. 6% ABV confirmed. Paired with Trader Joe's hard pretzels. Acquired at Trader Joe's earlier tonight. Best before January 20th 2013.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger beige colour head of nice thickness, average cream, above average lacing, and good retention. Colour is a clear opaque dark copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Not particularly vibrant, but I wouldn't call it dull. It's generally appealing for what it is, but strange for the style.

Sm: Light oily hops, with some piney character in there as well. Some caramelization and toasted malt character. A hint of raisin. Even pumpkin. A bit of spice. Amber malts. I definitely get the Cascade hops. Some floral quality, a hint of bitterness. No yeast is detectable. A mild strength aroma. Tame.

T: Cascade comes through, especially on the finish. Some untamed hop bitterness, though it's mitigated in part by the oily quality. A bit of floral. Some pine. A strange unwelcome grapefruit note in the early second act. The foundation is mainly clean amber malts, with touches of caramelization and toasted malt. More non-committal than subtle though. I do get a bit of pumpkin - strange. A little spice - maybe a teensy bit of cilantro. It's flavourful. Not complex or particularly well layered. I do think it's nicely balanced and built. Not too hoppy for an amber, but not overdone on the toasted malt front. I like it, but it's not bold or experimental. There's nothing unique or special here. Good hop choices. No yeast comes through.

Mf: Dries on the climax - an enjoyable feature. Smooth throughout. Good thickness. A touch overcarbonated. It's too filling for its lack of flavour. Wet on the open, early second act, and finish. Somewhat oily in the third act though. Not at all chewy. It carries the flavours nicely. Not real creamy. Suits the flavours nicely. A slight warming sensation from the alcohol.

Dr: A drinkable beer for the style, and a solid mainstay seasonal from New Belgium. One of their better mainstays to be sure. I'd try it on draught back home in Colorado. It's well priced for its quality and distribution. I could down this for the better part of a night with little complaint. The alcohol isn't all that well hidden, but it's nicely balanced all around. I like the hop choice. Chinook might have ruined it.

High C+

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Photo of CraftBeerTastic
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ba Review #214
Served On: 08/24/2012
Glassware: Tumbler Pint
Labeled ABV: 6.0%
Date/ Code: 11/12/2012

Found this at Ye Olde Spirits Shop on 7th St. in Frederick, MD.

Look: The pour formed a nice 2 1/2 finger creamy beige head. The color was a super clear dark copper. Carbonation level was big.

Smell: Strong herbal hop aroma - very similar to the regular Hoptober. I also picked up on some juniper and a sweet malt backbone. The expected Belgian funk was also found in the aroma.

Taste: First up was the start of a pungent and spicy hop profile that seemed to dominate most of the palate. A saltwater bitterness set in around the middle followed by the Belgian yeast funk. Aftertaste was more bitterness and some malt sweetness appearing to finally offset the unexpected bitter component of the brew.

From what I gathered, this one was the original Hoptober with a bigger malt bill and some interesting bittering hops added. It definitely had a little more substance than it’s stripped down counterpart; yet another solid seasonal from New Belgium.

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Photo of RussBecker1
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served on tap at King Street Grill in Charleston, SC.

A-Much prettier than anticipated. A deep ruby pour with abundant lacing. A very nice crown sits atop the beer and beckons the drinker in.

S-Very nice balance between hops, spices and malts. Definitely a hit of citrus, closer to grapefruit than orange, with very nice and consistent caramel malts flying underneath.

M- Disappointing in my eyes. The character of the beer was virtually non existent, as it sips much lighter than it both looks and smells. It is smooth, but any sort of bite would have been much appreciated.

T-Again not nearly as exciting as I would have hoped. Tastes very similar to a deeper blend of fat tire. The hops give a subtle jab at first, but those as well as much of the other smells that were uncovered seemed lost on my palate. Leaves what I can best describe as a salt and vinegar aftertaste which, although unique, does not make this the most enjoyable beer to drink.

O-very nice to try, but the taste does not live up to its nose and look predecessors.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.28/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. A finger of reddish head on top of a clear copper colored body.
Powerful hop smell. Dull lemon and bright pine.
Nice bitter taste at the beginning; malt body, not sweet, in the middle; pine tree taste at the end.
Smooth and crisp texture. Moderate carbonation.
I enjoyed it.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.31/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up tonight at the COOP... poured into my slim tulip glass.. nice 1" tannish head.. the brew is clear deeeep amber... very pretty.. nice lacing and retention.

Fairly abundant citrus and floral hoppiness... but smacked with a ton of toasty malts.. I've never thought this combination works well, but apparently New Belgium thinks otherwise.

Light bitterness... good hoppy flavors that mirror the nose... and plenty of malty essence that leaves not too much sweetness... just plenty biscuity and medium toast..

Body is standard so is carbonation.

Meh.... I bought 2x bottles.... I will drink the other, but will not buy another.

The "biscuit/toasty malt" qualities is just sooo prevalent in New Belgium beer.... Too much of a "house flavor".


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Photo of beertunes
3.33/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a clean, clear reddish amber color with 1/2 inch of light tan head that had good retention and moderate lacing.

The aroma featured piney hops upfront, with a a lightly sweet malt scent underneath. I picked up a slight bit of roast on the tongue, and, perhaps, a bit of peat. The pine hops kept nibbling around the edges, but overall, were lower in the profile.

The body was OK, but on the thinnish side for the style. Drinkability was OK, but that will depend on your taste for the peat/roast taste. Overall, an OK beer, one I'm glad I tried, but I'm not sure I'll have another.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.37/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Delirium snifter on 9/16/12

Best before 18 Nov 12

Thanks to PDXHops

The appearance is a cross between dulled brown and light plum. The two finger head doesn't last too long, leaving only a bubbly skim. There's a good amount of lace, though.

Pine hops make a good showing in the nose and there are hints of citrus hops and floral tones. Malts are in abundance, too. Notes of toasted bread, caramel and some cocoa. The taste is similar, if a bit thinner than the aroma let on. Prickly pine hops offer a touch of resin to a fairly thin body. Citrus is faint, working in a bit in the mid section. Toasted bread and some caramel. Carbonation is on the thin side, but fussy. Toasted, malty finish.

Overall impression - A good tasting beer that could stand to have a more ample body.

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Photo of quaybr
3.38/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Transparent amber with a substantial white head. This is a pretty looking beer.

Smells of citrusy hops with faint caramel and toffee.

Nutty and caramel flavor right out of the gate. As the beer warms up the nut takes a slightly stronger hold. For a supposed 60 IBUs, relatively few hops show up on the palate.

Good level of carbonation. Light-medium body carries the nuttiness well.

Overall, this is a decent beer. I won't buy a six-pack of it, but I'd encourage a friend to try a pint.

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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 PorterLambic
3.42/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured somewhat aggressively to start into a standard pint. A 2 1/2" head of tan fluffiness develops before receding, leaving some scattered lacing.
Smell is hops first, a blend of citrus and pine, with some roasted malt peeking out from behind the more olfactorily obvious. Balance is heavily towards the hops.
Taste is somewhat better balanced but with hops still leading the parade. Some lightly roasted malt shows up to try to counter the pine and floral hops. Good flavor but not very complex.
Somewhat watery start transitions to a warming and medium-to-full body. Lightish effervescence is reminiscent of an IPA as is the hop note though both are reduced versions thankfully. A nice brew overall but hoppier than I prefer most of the time.

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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 scratch69
3.43/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Clear reddish-brown color with a half a fingers worth of light tan head. Very light amount of lacing.

Smell- Light aroma of nuttiness and herbal hops.

Taste- Light hop flavor with bread, caramel malt, and nuts. Hop flavor almost disappears after a few swallows.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied, smooth and slightly creamy. Fair amount of bubbly carbonation.

Overall- I received a sixer of this as a gift. Drinkable but I wouldn't but it myself. This beer makes me think of a toned down IPA.

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Photo of Gavage
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a reddish amber color with a 1" head. Some moderate lace develops.

Smell: caramel, some fruity tones, and a bit of earthiness comes through to the nose.

Taste: caramel, some grapefruit, ripe apples, and a moderate earthy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Very crisp throughout. Short lasting aftertaste.

Overall: this cames across as a strange flavor profile to me, but a bit different for a red ale.

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Photo of pmcadamis
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear garnet brew with a nice little tan head. Decent lace. Head reduced to a collar after a few minutes. Really nice color... like the purple and darkest red leaves in autumn.

S - Deep and dusky malt notes with a hint of pine. Fresh brown pumpernickel. Minor tinge of penny-copper metallic aroma.

T - Much more hops than the nose suggest, but still very well balanced leaning toward malty. Well worn penny in the aftertaste. Quite complex for a style that can often be a little boring.

M - Medium bodied and neutral. A bit of citrusy acid at the finish. Would pair well with a burger, brat, or other "bar food."

Pretty good stuff. On the hoppy side for the style.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep amber in color, with good clarity, a small, dense tan head, and thick, sticky lacing, which coats the glass walls. The carbonation is slight and slow-rising.

Aroma: Quite prominent hop aroma, with the Cascade hops quite pronounced. and an abundance of spicy notes. Dark bread and caramel notes are also present, but very much understated, compared to the hops.

Taste: Opens with an abundance of dark malts, which are soon overshadowed by an aggressive wave of hops. AS the taste progresses, the malts are overpowered by the hops. Finishes dry, with a long and lingering, almost harsh metallic and medicinal hop presence

Mouth feel: Smooth and soft, quite pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: This would seem to be much more appealing to hop heads than connoisseurs of malty beers.

Presentation: Packaged in a custom twelve-ounce brown glass bottle with a pry-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

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