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

like a more hoppy 90 shilling, this is a big improvement from the hoptober golden ale that was around last year. it pours perfect autumn amber color, deep deep copper, with a tan head an inch or so high. smells like a fresh hopped odell 90 shilling. its got the same malt profile, english and caramely. the hops though take the taste over, bitter and well selected. the red malts arent as prominent as i thought they would be, but they balance the intense hops pretty well. its like a dark ipa that isnt quite a black beer. feel is good, fuller body and smooth to drink. id have a few of these, but they get a little filling. overall a nice upgrade to the new belgium fall offering.

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Photo of zeff80
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, amber color with a one-finger, off-white head of bubbly foam. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of strong pine notes with some toasty caramel malts.

T - It tasted of a sharp piney bitterness with some citrusy hop goodness. Good roasted malt backbone with some caramel sweetness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is great for the style. Almost blurs the line between amber ale and IPA.

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Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint a rich clear amber/bronze with a two finger sticky slightly off white crown atop that never completely settles ,a thick frothy mass is left.Sharp piney hops come out well after the pour along with underlying biscuit malt,the hop aromas did fade quite a bit after the pour but after a good swirl they come out.Pretty dry on the palate except for a small amount of brown sugar flavor,the hops are not nearly as big as in the nose but they meld with the crisp dryer slightly roasted malt base.It's got some good things going on,it's not an overly complex or a "wowing" beer but it's not bad.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle - $1.79 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a crystal clear, deep red body with a one-inch head of off-white foam. Light lacing on the descent.

Smell: Hop forward scent with notes of varied citrus fruits, spice, and pungent, dehydrated grasses. Some pale malts with a background deep toastiness, but, again, it's a hop forward nose.

Taste: Though the sugar-encrusted toasted breadcrusts does come across on the taste. Then, it's off to the spiced, candied citrus rinds, grasses, and peppery qualities. A few other ale esters hinted. Moderate bitterness. Citrusy, grassy still on the back half with a continued bitterness until the drying, toasted finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Actually, it's not a bad little beer at all. Not at all.

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

12 oz bottle into the New Belgium globe glass.

Pours a deep clear ruby, with several fingers of rich, slightly off-white head. This maintains a robust look, slathering the sides of the glass with a sticky latticework of lacing. The aroma smells fresh, floral and piney, with some light leafy spice character and an underpinning of herbal and tropical notes. Some tangier toffee and a touch of toast mix in as well from the back. The tropical flavors and pine are the standouts here.

The taste is pine, green bitter citrus, gentle tropical fruit and herbal textures and a more malty presence of sweet caramel that has a bit of a burnt edge to it. This is a very smooth mix of flavors here, with only that dry finish of resins, spice and bitterness giving this any real aggressiveness on the palate. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and firm on the tongue and roof of the mouth, which is wrapped up in a smooth, oily and creamy feel that flows nicely in the mouth. Just a smidge of alcohol is present in each sip, which doesn’t stand a chance against the flavor and feel here.

This was a pleasant surprise for me from New Belgium, being a well hopped yet balanced and smooth take on an American Amber Ale that had a really solid flavor and drinkability to it. I’ll be investing in a six pack next time.

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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 mactrail
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Handsome coppery amber in the pint shaker. Average head but decent carbonation and usual well-made NB quality. Aromas of resiny hops but not very bitter. Earthy notes on the tongue along with that fragrant flavor.

A brief kiss of malt. Just the sightest sweetness followed by the tanginess. An interesting tasty mouthful but mostly it's of hops. Light bodied and watery in a thirst-quenching way. Pleasant less-bitter beer with a different take on the hop-centered style.

On tap at La Jolla Brew House. First draft beer of 2013 so I made sure it wasn't memorable.

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

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date.

LOOK: Clear, tawny, epic lacing

SMELL: Toasty, bread, hop resin, orange peel, caramel, dank herb

TASTE: Smooth, light creaminess, very bready, mild caramel, treacle, herbal hop, citrus rind, peppery, dried grass, toast, drying finish

A lovely sip, uh ... I mean quaff. No doubt one of the better fall seasonals out there, a must try IMO.

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Photo of russpowell
3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly chill-hazed prange/caramel with 3 fingers of tan head. Great lacing & head retention

S: Some toastyness, woody & herbal hops

T: Follows the nose, orange peel & hints of walnuts up front. More herbal & woody hops, dryness, plus toastyness as this warms. Finishes with a slight astringent bitterness, more toastyness, some dryness & a touch of pine

MF: Medium bodied, creamy with nice balance

A nice effort, I would this again especially at $8 a sixer

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 12/23/2012. Pours crystal clear reddish copper color with a nice 2 finger dense light khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice foamy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of caramel, toast, biscuit, nuttiness, grapefruit, citrus zest, herbal, floral, and pine. Very nice aromas with nice balance and complexity. Taste of caramel, biscuit, toast, grapefruit, pine, orange zest, grass, floral, nuttiness, and herbal spiciness. Good amount of floral bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, pine, grapefruit, toast, floral, and herbal on the finish for a good bit. Great hop/malt balance; with nice flavor complexity and balance. No cloying flavors at all. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy and fairly crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent amber ale. Great hop and malt profile; and very smooth to drink. Really enjoyed this one, and it is a very nice style example.

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Photo of chinchill
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Fall for Greenville Fest.

Pours very clear, a dark red-amber color with a very good head.

Plenty of hop aroma. Both the nose and the flavor are fresh, fruity, and clean. Has a complex hop-based sensory array, with fruity, herbal and floral aspects. A hint of charred weed.

M: Crisp with medium body and carbonation. Clean finish.

Overall: a hoppy, aromatic red ale that is easy to drink.

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Photo of tdm168
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A -translucent amber with a soft, off white head that has decent retention

S - roastiness, burnt aromas, herbal hops

T - nutty, caramel, roasty, herbal, spicy hops

M - medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This isn't a bad beer but it's definitely not the regular Hoptober that I miss so much. This is roasty and nutty but also very hoppy. I'm not disappointed at all. I will probably try this again.

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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 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 Zorro
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear dark ale with a medium sized tan colored head. Very dark it is red if you hold it up to a strong light but you could just as well call it brown.

Smell is sweet and malty with a C type hop aroma. Smells a little spicy with a cedar or spruce wood aroma.

Starts out a little sweet and malty. Toasted grain with some molasses flavor. Woody spice taste, with a mineral water flavor. tastes like spruce. Tasty with a slight bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a tasty beer. Tried it because this was in the slot where Belgo usually is at Vons.

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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 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 Tone
3.61/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, amber color. 1/2 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of strong earthy malt, citrus hops, slight dry hop, and a hint of sweet malt. Fits the style of an American Amber / Red Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong earthy malt, slight sweet malt, and slight hop. Overall, great appearance, good feel, and good blend.

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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 Bitterbill
3.56/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, best by Nov 4, 2012.

A deep dark red pour with an excellent 1 finger head of foam, great lacing.

There's lots of citrus hops in the smell with a small amount of caramel malt peaking through.

The taste is citrusy though the bitterness is on the light side. Some caramel malt in there and does a good job of balancing; Light fruity tones when I swish the beer in my mouth. Some warming after the swallow.

Goodish mouthfeel though the carbonation is on the very light end.

This is good though I don't see myself buying more. Good doesn't always equate to great drinkability.;^(

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

Reddish brown appearance, small head, beige, only 1/4" but the beer's carbonation was just fine, I happened to really like the color. Aroma, pretty mild, there's some malt huskiness to it, but nothing too aromatic, especially for having the name hoptober, the hop aroma was far from being forward.

The taste does yield more evidence of hops, but they are still playing second fiddle, but its done the right way. Immediately makes me think this is just as much winter warmer as it is an amber ale. Robust malt, but a carbonation and hop bitterness that doesn't bog down the palate into malt bomb territory. Sweet caramel leads. Definitely fits the bill as a beer for the fall and/or October.

Its actually probably best described as what you might get if you blended Fat Tire with Jubelale.

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Photo of avalon07
4.07/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Had this beer on-tap at Oak Barrel Tavern, poured into a pint glass. Had an amber color and a slightly cloudy consistency. There was a small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Average lacing.

S: A nice aroma of hops, malt, and a bit of caramel.

T: A much more robust flavor than I expected. A lot of hops (but not too much), a good amount of caramel, and some malt in the finish. A very well-balanced flavor with just enough bite to it.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: One of New Belgium's more solid offerings. Extremely enjoyable and truly drinkable.

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