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Retro Red - The Fort Collins Brewery

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Retro Red
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183 Reviews
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Reviews: 183
Hads: 214
Avg: 3.6
pDev: 11.94%
Wants: 2
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Fort Collins Brewery visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Beaver13 on 11-24-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 183 | Hads: 214
Photo of MrDanno96
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a dark amber-red color. Only a think ring of head along the edge of the glass. Some sticky lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Pretty sweet. Caramel malts, sweet hops, sweet fruit (cherries), some citrus, and pine. Pretty complex, but just a little too sweet IMO.

T: Some distinct roasted caramel and roasted malts up front, with a strong bitter hop finish. Some sweet dark fruits are in the flavor as well. This fruit component reminds me a bit of a dark Belgian ale. There's a lot of interesting flavor here, but I feel like they don't quite come together well.

M: Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Comes off as just a little watery at times.

D: Not my favorite. Not a great mouthfeel and the flavors are kind of out of balance. I probably won't have this again.

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Photo of feelmefoam
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a pint glass.

In the glass, this beer holds a deep amber color with hazy orange highlights. Not too much of a head was presented, barely a finger of creamy white head that leaves a mild amount of lacing.

Smells of roasted caramel malts up front with a minor amount of fruitiness and citrus hops at the end.

Taste follows the nose pretty closely, but is slightly better. A nice roasted maltiness up front followed by a small amount of spicy and citrusy hops in the finish. Much more malty than hoppy though.

The mouthfeel is kind of thin with a small amount of carbonation.

Overall, a decent beer that's pretty drinkable on a fall day.

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Photo of aubuc1
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a rich reddish brown with an off white head.

Smell is a malty hoppy delight.

Taste is a biscuity malty with a slightly dry bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is right on and the drinkability is very good. A solid beer to have in the fridge.

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

darker than expected, this was a deep chestnut with blood red mixed in. almost brown. decent tan head. smells of dark dried fruit and chocolate or cocoa, another surprise. taste is the same, there is definitely some chocolate/cocoa thing happening on the way down on the back end. light/moderate caramel malt sweetness is well balanced by the underlying smooth hop bitterness. light/medium body, manages to finish almost dry and clean. nicely carbonated. an interesting, and very dark malty take on the style.

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Photo of whynot44
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice, very slightly Hazy red amber color with a decent light tan head that sticks around fairly well and manages a bit of decent lacing.

The aroma is toasted caramel malt with hints of citrus and pine.

The taste is also sweet toasted malts, caramel, molasses, nuts and bread - slightly burnt wheat toast - with a definite overtone of west coast hops - pine resin and citrus. The finish is slightly dry, with a lingering pine note.

Medium bodied,well balanced and decently drinkable.

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Photo of tjd112
2.97/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From the brewers lunchbox bought at Spirits Unlimited at Route 9 and 526 in Lakewood, NJ.

A - One inch head, amber color, moderate lacing
S - Nothing really special
T - Burnt, biscuit-like, very thin malts, hoppiness is muted
M - Medium bodied, dry
D - Goes down well, but taste could be a little bit better.

It's a drinkable beer, but probably is not the shining example of the Brewer's Lunchbox

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Photo of morimech
2.89/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear burgundy color with one inch of head on top. The head slowly settles to a thin cap. Moderate amount of lacing is left on the glass.

Smell: This beer uses crystal malt and Tettnang hops. Not a good combination for aroma nor flavor and it is reflected in my scores. I cannot really describe the aroma but it smells a lot like some of my lowest scored beers. About the only thing I can pick out is the crystal malt.

Taste: I do not like the flavor very much. Has an artificial characteristic that I find unappeallng. Bitterness is on the lower side of medium but is noticeable.

Mouthfeel: The body and carbonation are well paired and suited for the style.

Drinkability: If I liked the flavor more this would be a perfectly suited session beer with its relatively low bitterness and ABV. The prices are a little out of whack in my market ($11+ for a six, WTF!).

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Photo of HeroJH
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - nice red gold color, decent head
S - very toasty. toasted grains, some sweet malt. kinda smells like being next to the grain wall at a brew shop.
T - toasty and some hop finish. A bit thin in more flavor.
M - thin, good
D - good. Decent beer to have. Better with some food though.

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Photo of gmfessen
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a deep amber-brown color with a thin, fizzy cream colored head. The smell is primarily malty, with a slightly darker toasty smell than typical of an amber (probably hence the darker color). Bready and lightly burnt. The taste also reflects the more roasted characteristic with a lightly burnt biscuity flavor - maybe just a touch of chocolate, some victory malt, a touch of fruitiness and well balanced with hops but no real hop flavor. Slightly acrid burnt finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with minimal carbonation and a slightly dry finish. All around, not a bad beer but nothing that stands out in the crowd either.

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Photo of glid02
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from a mixed 12-pack purchased at Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a dark amber color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of toasted caramel malt with a hint of darker malt in there as well. Light citrus and pine hop aromas are noticeable but barely so. As it warms slight fruit flavors join the party - mostly green apple.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Loads of malt flavors up front - toasted caramel - with hints of nondescript fruit and lighter hints of citrus hops. The fruit and hop flavors waver in and out but the malt flavors constant and carries through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing the bottle and could have another.

Overall this was a much maltier beer than I was anticipating but I have to say I liked it more than average, run-of-the-mill ambers. Definitely worth a shot.

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Photo of Morey
3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep ruby red color with a nice cream colored head that hangs around for a bit. Pretty good stick too.

Smell is malty, bready, and slightly fruity.

This beer is pretty well balanced as far as hops and malts are concerned. You get a little zing from the hops in the front and then the thick malt presence takes over.

Mouthfeel is medium with moderate carbonation.

I could drink a couple of these bad boys, but the thick malt presence would probably have me turning in another direction after that.

Morey's Bottom Line: A true Red Ale. Alot of Red's tend to be red colored Ipa's these days. Not so with Retro Red.

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Photo of Yeastcakes
4.13/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving notes - 45F, imperial pint glass.
A - Earthy hops and malt come in equal parts for me in the aroma.
A - Pours with nice two-and-a-half fingers of head that dissipate to a solid finger of head. Clear, deep ruby red.
M - medium body with low to medium carbonation.
T - Sweet full malt with some caramel. Nice, simple and clean malt flavor. Very clean. Hops support in the background.
D - This is great red ale. I am a fan of malty beers and this has that with enough hops to be interesting.

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Photo of kimcgolf
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm above the curve on this one, as I really liked it. Pourd to a nice reddish color with a hint of orange, a medium white head that lingered well and left okay lacing. Nose was roasted nuts, brown sugar, molasses and a touch of fruit. Mouthfeel was much thicker and full than I expected, and the taste did a great job of mixing the flavors of the nose with a slight hint of alcohol. Nice long well balanced finish.

Nice touch with the retro red wagon on the label.

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Photo of GarrisWH
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear, rich, dark amber color with one finger of light tan head that settles into a nice cap that sticks around. Spotty lacing.

S - Fairly sweet, roasted malt aromas with a toasty bread, grain quality as well as some caramel and cocoa aromas. There are also some hints of overripe fruit(apples?) and a nice earthy, citrus hop quality in the background.

T - The toasted, roasty, grainy malts are up front in the flavor as well, with less sweetness in the flavor than I expected from the aroma. Slight sweetness comes through with hints of caramel, toffee, cocoa, and a hint of the overripe apples. The finish comes with a solid earthy, citrus hop bitterness that really adds a nice and somewhat unexpected touch.

M - Medium bodied with slightly prickly carbonation. Smooths out as it sits for a bit though.

D - Interesting and definitely drinkable offering. Has a pretty unique flavor profile and goes down smooth. Good stuff.

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Photo of jsh420
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours clear dark amber brown with a 1+ finger head that left some lacing

smell - not very strong - sweet carmel and biscuit malts

taste - much like the smell - carmel and biscuity nutty malts also some bitter hops in the finish

mouthfeel is light and smooth - not much carbonation

drinkability is ok - not a big amber fan - but this one is much better then fat tire

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Photo of cjgator3
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

A- Pours a very dark red with an off-white head. This is one of the darker Reds that I've seen, it's almost brown.

S- The aroma is sweet biscuity malt, caramel and a touch of hops.

T- The taste like the aroma is very malty which starts out very rich and smooth. There is also some caramel before the mild citrusy hops come in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, this is a very solid Red Ale with a big malt backbone and a good amount of flavor. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, dark amber with a two finger that recedes to a ring of foam down to the last sip. Bready and biscuity malts give the aroma a lovely sweetness. The hops add a little citrus zest and peppery note in the nose. Grainy mouthfeel enhances the super caramel and crystal malts in this brew. Nice session beer and glad to see Fort Collins Brewing in Illinos.

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Photo of beachbum1975
3.86/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce brown bottle - no freshness date.

Pours an attractive and bold dark brown with red highlights. A nice, light brown, creamy, malty colored head forms with minimal retention leaving a nice halo on top and interesting swirl in the middle.

Smells of a big malt presence and freshly roasted grains. Very nice.

Just the right amount of carbonation and a touch of crispness on the mouthfeel. It borders on watery in the mouthfeel at times, but makes me want to drink more! The flavor dictates the mouth with a very modest, but enjoyable mix of sweet malts, light graininess and light, spicy hops.


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Photo of KarlHungus
4.02/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear amber color. The head is a half inch in height, and recedes within seconds into minimal lacing. The aroma is malty with a lot of toffee, caramel, and a hint of grapefruit. The aroma is on the malty side even for an amber ale, but it works. The taste has a bit more fruity hops than the aroma, but it is still quite malty. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation, and a velvety texture. I like how this beer avoids the sugary/gritty texture most amber ales seem to have. Overall, this is a good beer. In a style that I usually find to be dull this beer is quite lively. I would certainly drink this again.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.22/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep ruby red hue with a large light beige khaki head forming tight with fine bubbles. Layers of lacing left behind with each sip are evenly strung. Aromatics offer up massive caramel malts with a wheaties cereal like note, mild herbal hopping in the background. Really nice straight forward amber ale full of malty goodness with full malty goodness going on more of that cereal sweetness with herabl earthy hops blended. Caramel malts makes the red ale work, this is a really good example of the style. I used to love Crooked River's version and this brings back memories of that. Mouthfeel is even bodied with moderated carbonation pretty light but not thin in anyway. Drinkability is quality one beer that I could sample with all day long.

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Photo of nickfl
3.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Half a finger of light brown head on an amber-brown body with good clarity. The head dissipates quickly and leaves good lace.

S - Brown malty aroma with some toffee and a hint of sourness. Slight roasted quality in the background and a hint of nondescript hops.

T - Lots of brown, nutty malt up front. Notes of burnt toast and toffee. Some darker flavors towards the finish with charcoal notes and minor hops.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a moderately dry finish.

D - Reasonably drinkable but nothing special. The malt is thick but not particularly complex. A more robust hop character or a richer malt would make this a more compelling beer. Kind of lifeless, this beer is somehow less than the sum of its parts.

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Photo of iceball585
3.62/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Very dark reddish color, semi-transparent, thin white head that faded to a thin cover

S- Scotch malts, toasted grains, earthy, light citrus auroma, hint of hops

T- Plumes, green apples, nutty, toasted malts, herbal, slightly bitter hop finish

M- Medium body, medium carbonation, smooth, creamy, lingering tartness

D- Worth trying

This beer was fairly fruity for being a Red Ale but still worth trying.

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Photo of far333
3.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Darkened ruby grapefruit colored with an orangey head that settles quickly.

Aroma of ripe fruit, slightly metallic, rough-edged hops, and almost a wheat malt note.

Rough-edged flavor as well, reminds me of a fall beer with dry-leaves maltiness, almost a bit smokey, some straw and muted grapefruit hops, and ripe fruits. Notes of caramel and toffee linger.

Mouthfeel is slick and watery upfront, finishes tingly.

Average drinkability, not too complex, and some of the flavor nuances are odd or off.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.97/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a clear, deep garnet red with virtually no head formantion or retention. Visible carbonation was light. A nice coloring, but otherwise not much else to speak of here.

S: really nice with a burst of fresh, flowery hopping. Citrus with a light toasted malting deliver a crisp dryness to the overall experience, while fresh roses linger about softening things out. Rounding things our was fresh apple skins. Aromatic with a nice maltiness makes for a well rounded aroma.

T: The flavor delivered deep floral notes with an equally deep and enriching malt experience. Hoppy, but well rounded in balance and harmony with the malt and never distracts. A floral bitterness of lightly dried grapefruit peels, apple skins and a nice lightly toasted (what reminded me of munich) malting. The finish was clean with light floral and toasted malt lingering about, teasing the taste buds until the next sip. Overall a solid example per style, that was well balanced.

M: a medium fullness, creamy, with a dry toasted munich malting. Lingering about in the finish and swallow was light reminders of grapefruit.

D: Very good drinkability, easily one that delivers per style, well balanced and an all day thirst quencher. Fans of the style may consider buying a case or you will regret it later when you wish you had more.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle - $1.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a ruby-hued body of great clarity and topped with a well-sized, lightly beige head. Sufficient lacing to be had as well.

Smell: Oven-toasted bread crusts and nut husks dusted with a bit of cocoa wrapped in some pleasantly spicy hop notes and topped off with remote hints of fruit.

Taste: Faintly nutty, adequately toasted malts with a touch of dry caramel and the meagerest pinch of Dutch cocoa. Medium-low amount of sweetness present. Slight hint of snappy grain. Spicy, lightly earthy hops with a medium amount of yielded hop bitterness to balance things out. Chintzy, small drop of lemon zest. Very light touch of fruit. Lightly crisp, semi-dry finish with a lingering hint of spicy hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Okay, so you've got particularly hoppy ambers on one side of the spectrum and you've got malty sweet ambers on the other. This one, for me, falls damn near dead center. Retro Red is a nicely balanced, easily drinkable brew. Worth a try if you're in the market for red ale.

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Retro Red from The Fort Collins Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 183 ratings.