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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
Reviews: 173 | Hads: 804
Photo of jtd1969
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - rather clear dark burgundy in color. Great head retention with excellent lacing

S - Lot of sweet grassy herbal hops Fresh hop smell

T - Slight pine at front end with earthy hop finish. Some caramel. Malt is sweet and smooth at the front that finishes more bready on back end.

M - Medium to high medium bodied. Smooth with a good hop finish. Medium carbonation

O What an excellent beer for any season. I have had it on tap and in bottle. Really good. New Belgium scores with this one! I feel 2012 is much better than 2011.

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

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

Pours a nice dark copper with some garnet hues. Nice off-wjhtie 1 inch head forms with some nice dense bubbles. Slightly soapy with some good retention and sticky lacing left behind.

Starts off with grassy and herbal hop notes. Slightly dank with some nice flowery and herbal character. Fresh and refreshing. Some earthy grain is present along with slight caramel notes.

Flavor follows the nose to the "t". Grassy and herbal hop notes start things off. Earthy and bready as well with fresh grain notes. Tastes like fall. Well crafted and refreshing with tons of flavor. There is some nice slight caramel malt notes on the back end that even out a bit the herbal and earthy notes. Crisp and clean.

Pretty good brew. Reminds me of their classic Hoptober offering but with a darker malt component. Nice.

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

Clear, red-amber color with an attractive two finger head that had good retention before settling to a thick cap. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left down the glass.

Caramel malt aroma with notes of nuts, grass, with mild spice. Not the most interesting aromas.

Not as caramel malt dominated as I was fearing. Definately a solid base, but some more complex components adds interest. The hops are grassy and mildly spiced. Subtle citrus as well. Mildly bitter.

A bit surprised by the ABV of this beer as it does not feel that big. The carbonation is very well matched and provides a pleasant texture.

Definately a solid red ale that is a good change of pace to the typical Oktoberfest and horrible Pumpkin beers.

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

Pours a dark reddish brown color with a filmy off-white head. The aroma is strong with a caramel scent dominating with some piney hops along with a hint of tangerine and sugar. It tastes more hoppy than the smell. There is a nice piney base with some sweet toasty malt and a nice finish with some fruity flavors. The beer is light-medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a slightly dry finish. Very nice beer here.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.86/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a dark amber red with a thick, off-white 2 finger head. Great retention; leaves behind a thick, sticky lace.

Smell - Notes of caramel and nutty malt character, backed by a spicy floral hop undertone.

Taste - Starts with a nutty, caramel malt character that's quickly matched and balanced by some spicy floral and citrus hops. Bisquity malt pops in midtaste. Aftertaste is a mild citrus bitterness; hints of grapefruit pith.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full bodied. Decently carbonated. Somewhat chalky.

Overall - A very good amber. Nicely hopped to compliment a rich, malty backbone. More assertive than your average amber.

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Photo of GRPunk
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle with a best by date of 23DEC12, poured into a nonic pint.

A- 2 -finger tan head with great sustain and awesome stick. Clean, red-brown body is really dark (brownish copper really), sports moderate carbonation. Darker than expected.

S- Quite hoppy right out of the bottle. Earthy, fresh. Caramel and nutty, like candied peanuts or almonds. It gets nuttier and sweeter with warmth.

T- Maltier than initial aroma impression. Really nutty with sweet caramel. Hopping is nice and organic. Nicely balanced.

M- Sips are through a significant head at first. Moderate body and carbonation. Light, hoppy bite.

O- Nice fall seasonal. Maybe even more deserving of a full-on cool fall day. Almost more of an American nut brown sort of beer. Nicely balanced and an easy drinker. Appropriately priced ($3 on sale, $4 regular) per 22 oz.

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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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Photo of rfbenavi80
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Nonic Pint

A- Pours a very deep red with 3 fingers of huge bubble rocky tan head that seems very sticky leaving some wonderful lacing on the glass. Looks great.

S- Lots of piney hops up front with a back bone of sweet, toasty malty goodness. Man were off to a good start.

T- Follows nose very well. Pungent, bitter, piney hops hit the tongue first. Followed by a nice sweet malty base that has flavors of nuts, biscuits, and toast. Really a well made beer.

M- Feels right where it should be. Nice medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation.

O- It almost seems like New Belgium can't go wrong. This new fall seasonal is worth trying if you're looking for a hoppy, malty, red ale. Seems perfect for the changing season.

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Photo of Hopfenpeter
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It poured a clear amber red color with a bubbly tan head, about one and a half inch high. Dissipates fast with good lacing.
The smell is fruity hops and caramel.
The taste is piney hops up front quickly soften by fruity citrus flavors. The middle s caramel balanced by more earthy hops. The finish is very balanced.
Nice medium bodied beer, very drinkable and enjoyable.

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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 streetcommander
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

VMouthfeel, ery nice.

Malt, brown sugar, and darker barleys are the predominant flavors. Cascade hops during the drink, Eldorado on the finish and beltch. Very well balanced hoppieness, clear and present hop flavor without being excessively bitter.

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Photo of John1985
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ale poured a reddish brown with a white head. Malty aroma with citrus hops coming through . Flavor was a balanced rich maltiness (notes of chocolate and nuttiness) with a fairly assertive bitterness that carried through the aftertaste. Overall effect was very pleasant session beer.

I worked my way through a six pack of this during the last month and have gotten into it more as the weather cooled. My biggest problem is that they replaced the golden hoptober with this. I would have rather enjoyed the regular hoptober in late summer early fall and enjoyed this ale in the late autumn early winter but its their brewery. I'll probably enjoy another sixer of this before its gone.

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

A - Fairly clear red ale, tan head, leaves fast. Tons of cling lace.

S - Malty. As I am enjoying the pure malt, the hops set in. Malty and hoppy. Good things.

T - Nice big fat caramel center that is surgically cut with astringent hops. Nicely done.

M - Medium body, good carb, great balance.

D - Very sessionable.

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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 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 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 Shibbykaiyai
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Happily, New Belgium has finally made it's way into Michigan, so I picked up a bomber of this brew, mainly because of the name.

A good brew. Nice clean taste in this with a some kick of hops. Not very thick and goes down easily.

Very happy that I picked up a couple of this seasonal. A nice change from the octoberfests and pumpkins brews that everyone is putting out.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.51/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, pours a deep, deep red, nearly brown, nice tall, frothy off-white head holds good retention and leaves killer lacing on the glass. Aromas are malty, caramel, citric hop (hop pellet-like), bready, biscuity. Tastes are bready, caramely, biscuity, spicy hop, crisp, fresh, and again that pellet hop characteristic, somewhat grassy and fresh. Thinner bodied, god carbonation, finishes clean. Overall, I liked this one, but maybe it could have used another week or 2 in the bottle. I've never had a beer where the hops smell and taste like hop pellets. Not that it's a bad thing, just different. I'll probably pick up another one of these before the season is gone, especially at $3.49 a bomber!

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