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Red Banshee | The Fort Collins Brewery

99 Reviews
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Red BansheeRed Banshee

Brewed by:
The Fort Collins Brewery
Colorado, United States | website

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly called Retro Red.

Added by jmkratt on 02-12-2011

User Reviews
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Reviews: 99 | Ratings: 381
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Part of the Brewer's Lunchbox mixed pack.

Pours a clear amber red with a 1 inch light beige head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Thin foamy rings of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of brown sugar, grapefruit, and biscuits. Taste is somewhat watery and is of bread, grapefruit pulp, and slight brown sugar. Mild hop bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average amber ale with a smell that is better than the taste.

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Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.83/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Build a sixer section at Cork and Bottle served in an SA glass

A nice dark amber color with minimal foam. The aroma is geared more towards malt with some earthy spice like nutmeg. The taste has hints of caramel, nutmeg, and a bit of an extra twang, like pepper. The body seems a tad thin for a red but not too much. It has a mild tartness that's enjoyable and adds to the brews positive characteristics. I'm liking this one.

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Photo of JayS2629
3.41/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours pretty enough with a rich amber, nice clarity and a thick white head that sticks around and leaves ok lacing.

The aroma is subtle with some caramel and earth tones accompanied by a spicy, herbal note. Some toasty malts and a touch of spice.

The malts get subdued and the earthiness comes out to shine. A little off balance, but overall it follows the nose with caramels, toast, spice, and earthy hops in the finish.

Not watery, but not quite medium body. Refreshing and crisp.

Overall, its a good and easy beer to drink.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
3.18/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: It is very dark amber with a suitable amount of carbonation. The tawny head froths up to a finger or so. It also sticks to the side of the glass pretty well. I like the thickness for an American Ale.

Usually you expect something a little bubblier instead of thick. I like it. Head has receded a little since initial pour, still hanging strong though.

Smell: Bready and sweet malts are the major profile when sniffed. There isn’t really much in the “earthy” department that is advertised on the bottle. However, they definitely nailed the sweet caramel malts. It is very subtle.

Taste: The sweetness of the smell does not carry over to the tasting. The earthiness is finally here, and it is accompanied by the bitterness of the Willamette hops. Not much malt at all in the drink and that is disappointing. Where is my sweet, bready malt that finishes with the hop bitterness?

It’s like my tongue keeps skipping the first part and trucks immediately to the finish. There is just the slightest bit of roasted malt in there, but certainly not a pleasant sweetness.

Mouth feel: Not bad? Not good either. It finishes resolutely dry with the hop character being so steadfast on waiting to show up at the end of the drink. It makes the swallow a little unpleasant on some drinks, warming definitely helps smooth out the beer.

Overall: This siren is certainly not everything her beautiful bottle promises. While her tempting bottle art won’t lead you to the certain doom that is drinking bad beer, she might leave you wondering how she ever made it home with you from the bar.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.73/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Mayor of Old Town, Ft. Collins, CO

Poured a ruby-brown with a moderately sized, off-white head. Good balance of malts and piney hops in the aroma. Biscuity taste, sweet malts, balanced with a moderate amount of piney hoppage, grainy, with notes of apple and maybe a touch of citrus. Medium body, and easily drinkable.

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Photo of whatthehull
3.46/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


A - light blood red, half finger off white head, and no lacing

S - Very sweet, tons of malts, some wood, grains, earth and a slight candied floral hop note

T - Very malty, sweet yeast, slight sour, some floral notes, hops and lots of earth/grain

M - Medium minus body, decent complexity, low acidity, well balanced and medium finish

D - If you like malty beer, you need to give this one a whirl. Has some nice smells and tastes, decent beer

Final thought - Got this sampler from a buddy. Don't know anything about the brews or brewery but they have decent beer

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.26/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Look: Deep red color with 1/4 inch tan head and ok retention

Smell: Very light floral hop smell traces of caramel

Taste: Has a very funky hop flavor to it can really put my finger on it, not like your typical hoppy red. Also has some oak on the back end

Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium carbonation level with a slightly dry finish

Overall: Not to bad of a red but I like more piney hops in my reds and this one just doesn't have that. But overall the beer is not to bad

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Photo of MrDonQuixote
2.45/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served on tap at Fort Collins Brewery:

A- Dark red color with a nice healthy head

S- Malt smell, with a nice hop character to it

T- Nice hoppiness up front, but the beer is extremely grainy, so it loses all of its flavor

M- A bit watery, but the carbonation build makes up for it a bit

O- Not a fan of this beer at all, just seems like no effort was put into it

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Photo of jkrich
4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with a very angry and sour redhead on the label; no freshness date. The ale poured a very deep burgundy with brown highlights, much like a dark glass of tea. The foamy beige head slowly receded leaving some decent lacing.

Upon opening the bottle, a strong malty and syrupy aroma came forth. When poured into a glass there was an additional spicy note.

The first sip was decidedly sweet and malty with nice toffee notes and caramel. As the ale warms there is a noticeable sharp and spicy hop bite that gives this ale some balance.

The mouthfeel was rather thick and a little chewy with a medium body and low carbonation.
The malt and domestic hop compete on the palate.

This is a rather complex amber style ale that pushs the amber hue a little too far. The ale is best enjoyed when sipping, though it is quite quaffable. The website for this brewery states this ale replaced the Retro Red ale.

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Photo of kaseydad
3.48/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Red Banshee? Me like.

Pint glass pour and I am met with a nice dark amber ale with an off-white colored head with sticky lacing. The aroma consists of malt, honey, caramel and slight orange. The taste is big time on the malty side. Not sweet like I expected...which is a good thing for me with amber ales. Slightly nutty on the swallow with a big malt backbone and slight pepper in the mix. Slightly watery mouthfeel which is disappointing. Overall this came from a twelver sampler and I would hard pressed to buy a sixer of it. Too malty and nothing really "stands out" for this drinker.

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Photo of GallowsThief
3.45/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A – Poured out a reddish brown with about a one finger tannish white head that quickly dissipates to a film.

S – Sweet malts. Caramel. Bit of dark fruits maybe cherry.

T – Malts all throughout this brew with a nice roasty flavor. Brown sugar and molasses. Caramel sweetness. Switches from mildly sweet up front to a faint bitterness at the close.

M – Medium bodied with decent carbonation. Crisp taste. Clean. Tiny bit on the watery side.

O – Im a big fan of this type of brew and I would place this one as average. Its not bad at all but not at the top of the class. That being said I sure would not turn down another one.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a deep red almost brown, dark maroon really, with a medium off-white head, light lace.

S: Nice crystal malt with a hint of pine, straightforward.

T: Excellent crystal malt flavour with some dark bread, biscuit. Pine heavy with the hop character, though the hops never are the main point of the beer, they're really just for balance.

M: Medium-bodied, thin finish, soft carbonation.

O: Really my style with American reds, more to the malt arena. Kind of a lighter version of My Bloody Valentine, high praise from me.

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Photo of shanblur
3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at Jungle Jim's International Market in Fairfield, OH. No freshness date on bottle. Poured from 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours a reddish brown color with a small light tan head. Head quickly recedes, leaving light lacing.

S - Sweet caramel malt aromas dominate. Some spice character and faint hops aroma.

T - The hops come through more on the taste. There is a definite malt character to the taste as well as some spiciness

M - Medium bodied with a light carbonation.

This was a decent beer. Not bad, but not one I would have again.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.42/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Deep amber in color, with a rather short head of off-white foam.
Aroma-Sweet toasted malt
Taste-rather spicy, sweet toasted malt,subdued hop presence offers a nice balance
A pleasant enough amber ale, although nothing exceedingly special.

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Photo of route66pubs
2.78/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - small white head, with good lace

S - slight malt and caramel, pretty bland and a bit soapy

T - waiting. still waiting. so, this is a beer, I get that. anything else?

M - there's carbonation in there, yes, that's true.

O - I'm really not impressed with my first offering from them. hopefully the rest of the mix pack will get better.

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Photo of Polycarp
2.83/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours with a thin head. Light red in hue, slightly foggy.
S- All I got is a sweet buiscuity malt smell. Nothing special.
T- Nothing too complex here. Tastes like a simple Irish red. Buiscuity malt presence with a slight Willamette hops backbone. Not bad, but nothing to write home about.
M- Very slight carbonation. Doesn't linger, doesn't fill you up. I guess the weight of it matches the flavor: nothing special.
O- Glad I got this in a singles pack and didn't pay for the whole six-pack. It's decent, but there are better beers out there that stick with you longer.

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Photo of denver10
3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark red with a slight but present off white head.

Not too much of a smell....somewhat malty.

Strong malt taste partnered with some floral hops with the red ale backbone.

medium bodied and not too effervescent.

Overall, a decent take on a red ale.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.85/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice red color, clear with a small tan head. Very good looking beer.

The nose and flavor are strongly leaning to caramel malts and piney hops. Good strength in each category, not much for complexity but that's an amber. Some herbs, menthol, and pine.

Body is light, but the strong syrupy nature of caramel and pine leaves this one a little shy in the overall drinkability. I'm glad I tried it, a good hop head red.

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Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
3.94/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip

A: Pours a translucent amber color with an eggshell hued, fizzy thin head.

S: Aroma is of dark, sweet fruits; plums, blackberries and apricots. It's lightly spicy with sage and akin to a dark Belgian.

T/M: The taste adds another dimension. It's instantly rich like a deep porter. There are strong coffee notes along with some nuttiness and some raisin mixed in between. It's a little tinny at the end but still really good.

This is a strange brew that's surprisingly fantastic. The fact that it's considered an American amber is truly an insult. It has the appearance of an amber, but the aroma of a Belgian and the flavor of a porter. This is the fun beer that makes trying new beers worthwhile.

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Photo of theycallmedoc
3.31/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Amber to red in color. Despite not being all that dark in color somewhat difficult to see through unless held up to a light. Interesting. Full head nice and frothy, settles nicely.

S- Not a whole lot on the nose out of the glass, but super malty out of the bottle. Tad spicy.

T- Malty at first that hits you pretty nicely and then settles pretty quickly. Hops add a tad of bitterness to the end that balances out nicely. Perhaps looking a little too hard for spices.

M- Nice body to it, a little heavier than I might have liked but nice for the color.

O- Good beer, nothing to really right home to about. Probably wouldn't buy again but wouldn't turn down if someone offered it to me.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.83/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Admittedly, this is not my favorite style, but one that I can tolerate and enjoy if well done. FCB makes this a very interesting brew. The taste is a bit dark (as it should be), malty and hoppy is good balance.

The brew is well made, clean and crisp. Head is a bit light. I would recommend for fans of the style, but I probably will not buy this again.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.48/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is malty and yeasty with just a hint of caramel. It pours a nice dark brown, almost mahogany, almost like cola, with a fairly thick fluffy buff head. Flavor is mainly malty and has hoppy and caramel hints - not complex, but still pleasing. Texture is smooth and soft with just a little fizz, and finish is surprisingly hoppy. This is a good party beer.

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Photo of Brenden
3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The color is a ruddy bronze with a coppery hue. The off-white head is about one finger high and lasts for a good while before eventually fading to foam and leaves good lacing behind.
The aroma is a little light, but I get a distinctive tang of fruits with some citrus and lightly herbal hops along with very light toast and caramel and a grains presence all the way through.
The taste is what I'd expect from the aroma, though I'd hope for a little more balance from malts, particularly for the style, as hops tend to crowd them out here in the flavor. it's good, with the tangy fruits coming through and adding to a light caramel sweetness underneath the floral, citrus and somewhat more resinous hops. There is, however, just a flash at the end of every sip of something very much like seaweed or oyster. It's weird, and I hardly caught it at first, but I swear it's there. Odd, but not bad enough or quite detectable enough to detract much from the overall flavor profile.
The body is medium and carbonation is light. It's mostly smooth, though not exceptionally so, with a touch of crispness to it.
I suppose this is a standard red, though for the whole "Banshee" thing I'd like for it to have distinguished itself more particularly as an Irish version. Either way, not bad.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.2/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This stuff goes through name and label changes like Ocho Cinco. Red beer, good clarity, average head. Aroma was grainy, faint malt sweetness. Par for the course.

Taste, a little more flavor along the lines of sweet, bitter and mild hopping in this. A little thicker viscosity than your average red, lending to the beer not having a crisp, dry or zesty edge at all. Malty is the dominant profile. Seems like one of those basic styles and efforts, something a homebrewer would rave about if it were his.

Cool label, average beer.

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Photo of Kromes
3.73/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A really nice clear reddish brown color with a thick tan colored head that leaves lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Wow, super sweet and malty. Lots of grain, fruit and crystal malts.

T: Yeah, that's a lot of malt. Sweet grain and a little bit of crystal malt. All malt through the sweet finish with some of the earthy hop providing the slightest bit of bitterness.

M: It's a mediuum-heavy body that is smooth.

O: If you like malt bombs then this beer is for you. Even though it has a slight hop in the finish, it is over the top with malt flavor.

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Red Banshee from The Fort Collins Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 99 ratings.