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Red Hoptober | New Belgium Brewing

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very good
175 Reviews
Red HoptoberRed Hoptober

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Centennial, Cascade & Eldorado hops

Added by UCLABrewN84 on 07-20-2012

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 175 | Ratings: 809
Photo of CMUbrew
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber into a Founders imperial pint
Reviewed from notes

A: Nice looking whitish head on top of a dark copper body. Head retention is pretty decent, and I end up with pretty good lacing all over the glass.

S: Piney hops nestled into a suprisingly substantial toasty malt presence in the nose.

T: Same as the nose. Very tasty piney hop flavor that is neither too aggressive nor lacking in any way. The toasty malts are a great compliment to the hop flavor. Really nice.

M: Smooth and easy drinking. About what a good beer should feel like.

O: I wasn't expecting too much from this beer because of the style, but I was pleasantly surprised. So much flavor for an amber, and I'm glad I got to enjoy a whole 22oz of it. Consider me impressed. I hope this makes a return next fall.

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Photo of gpogo
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Clear reddish brown body with a small tannish white head.

A- Sweet malts slight hints of caramel with a substantial aroma of citrusy hops.

T- How surpising, a very interesting and delicious brown ale sort of taste with a nice roasted malt. Nice balanced bitterness throughout. Very crisp. Bready slightly caramel finish.

M- Medium body, moderate carbonation. Very smooth and crisp.

D- This beer caught me off guard as to what I was expecting and at first I was very hesitant to enjoy it. I think it is a very good beer and definitely very drinkable. I hope to see it next season.

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Photo of danmouer
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Described as an American Amber, this year's version of NB's Hoptoberfest c omes across to me like a Duesseldorf Alt with a distinctive American accent.

The colori is more brown than amber or red, by my eyes, but it isa a pretty, very clear beer with a modest, but persistent head.

Like so many American craft beers, this is about hops...I wish they had waited to make it from this year's crop of wet hops. Nonetheless, the hop aromas and flavors are 1. All-American, 2. Very fresh and refreshing, and 3. prominent yet well balanced by a complex, caramel malt backgound.

Bottom line, I enjoyed the heck out of this beer. Well made. Tasty. Not meant for lawn-mowing, but for back porch sipping on a cool Fall evening. Hops are focused on favor and aroma, not mouth-wrenching bitterness. Just as it should be.

Good job, New Belgium.

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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 PintOHops
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Glass - Nonic

A - A dark, amber/mahogany colored brew with a soapy 2-finger head. Clarity is pretty good although the beer is quite dark, so not a lot of light comes through.

S - Herbal and grapefruit rind like hop notes upfront. Soft dark chocolate and biscuit underneath. I also pick up the faintest bit of smoke. Very inviting.

T - Resinous hop oils roll off the tongue and add lots of grapefruit rind, lemon, and pine throughout. Mid to finish I pick up cocoa, brown sugar and bark like flavors. Bitterness is mild-moderate.

M - Oily, low crispness, and medium bodied.

O - This is a really nice, tasty brew that reminds me more of winter than fall. I really enjoyed it's warming flavors of cocoa, and bark. The appearance couldn't really be much better either. Just a great beer from New Belgium Brewing, and I would definitely buy another six pack. Cheers!

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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 Bitter_Echo
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, heavily steeped tea-like color; dark in the shadows, deep umber in light, and its darkness makes me fear this one might be a malt-bomb too. (And actually now that I think of it, I'm not really sure often what looks good and what LOOKS good; kinda maybe because most beer looks good to me anyway, when you think of it.) Smell is a bit malt and caramel and sweet and hops...synthetic like notes (not bad either) but overall all its scent is muted surely. Tastes great, whew! Good balance on the grains, and not bombed out on the sweetness or the malt and coffee, and nice hops...I get the centennial for sure, and it seems to dominate, the others hidden below. Mouthfeel is great, carbonation is active and fussy and refreshing, and not chewy or boggy or anything. I really like this! And it could be because it's Friday eve too. Either way, I'll buy again.

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Photo of KTCamm
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Pours dark crimson red, bordering on black, with edges of white foam. Bready toffe nose, some pine too. Malty toffee taste, bready hop, blended. Hearty malt taste with a flavorful hop blend.

Really, really good. Solid amber, with the right balance of malt and hop.

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Photo of kevinjosephlee
4.11/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: A clear, deep amber with an off-white head that persists. Good lacing.

S: Malts up front followed by the hoppy-floral scents, and finally a sort-off barn-yard-y off-aroma.

T: Both the malt and the hop flavor are well-defined. Malty sweetness persists. More chocolate-y roasted/burnt malts. Much more roasted than I had expected from the color. Malt flavors are strong. The hops character is more piney than citrus.
Even the scent of alcohol reveals itself as the brew warms. Well-balanced between malt and hops.

M: The carbonation is moderately high. I experience a prickly tingle from the carbonation even to the last sip. The finish is smooth (as this style should be) but some astringency lingers on my cheeks and tongue. A perceptible alcohol warmth presents itself.

Notes: At the end of this enjoyable brew, I am already feeling a smooth head-buzz. That may be why I enjoy a beer more and more as the review goes on.
The BJCP style guidelines refer to this style as "an American pale ale with more body, more caramel richness, and a balance more towards malt than hops." This brew pulls that off nicely.

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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep amber color with a thick, long lasting tan head. Excellent retention and lacing. Aroma is quite strong, definitely some earthy notes, dark fruit, slight alcohol, and a little yeast. Taste is bitter right up front. Earthy, piney, bitterness, wonderful fall hop character. Slightly sweet tasting. Medium carbonation and a medium body. This beer has a lingering bite to the finish, and is slightly resin like in the mouthfeel. An excellent dark pale fall style for sure, I definitely recommend giving this beer a try.

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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 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 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 homebrew311
4.07/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Lucky Monk. Appearance is clear and dark red with a thin layer of tan head. Copious amounts of sticky lacing and decent head retention are present. Aroma is freh and hoppy with a huge dose of cascade hops. Relatively one note on the nose, grapefruit and pine make up the hop profile. The taste is rather hoppy as well with a decent presence of caramel an amber malt. Fairly bitter by the mid palate with an earthy finish. Mouthfeel is medium with appropriate carbonation. Overall, this is nice and fresh and quite tasty. This is a little more drinkable than ranger, well made brew.

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Photo of mjryan
4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hoppy red ale is one of my beer styles. Love their red colour, their rich toffee and slight roast malt character and their abundance of hops. Red Hoptober delivers all of these attributes in spades. Looks red, okay, criteria number one delivered. Smells of pungent pine, pithy citrus and toffee. A strong nose and something New Belgium seems to pull off very well. Sometimes though I feel like NB beer tends to fall short of what the aroma promises flavour wise when it comes to their hop centric beers. Not Red Hoptober. Sweet citrus fruit hits first, followed by toffee and slight roast. Ample hop bitterness finishes the swollow. All in all very pleasing. Like I said, I'm fond of hoppy reds and this one shines.

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

Pours a dark red with ruby hues and a thick tan colored head. Toasted malt and citrus hop in the nose.

The initial taste is of grain husk and toasted malt. Then the citrus hop kicks in all the way through to the finish. I really like the cascade and toasted malt finish. The beer is medium body and has a smooth feel to it. It has good balance between the sweetness and bitterness in the finish. Very drinkable beer. This would be a good Amber or Brown ale on it's own, but the addition of citrus hops kicks it up a notch.

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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 cyclonece09
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a deep red with a nice foamy slightly off white head. Smells of deep caramelized malt with chocolate and slight floral aroma. Tastes of slight chocolate with nice piney/earthy hop bite. The malt dominates at first, then the hops take over. Beer is carbonated fine and for a light/medium body, it goes down very smooth, could definately see throwing a couple of these back in a short time. Overall, a very good beer.

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

In some respects it seems unfair to review this because I love Fat Tire so much. This brew resembles Fat Tire in its distinguishable maltiness but has a nice hint of citrus hops at the very end. Poured with a nice one finger creamy head it had significant lacing. Ruby colored, it had the scent of floral hoppiness but not the typical "biscuit" of Fat Tire. The flavor is of quality malt with a hop ending. Flavorful and full bodied it was a joy to drink.

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

I drank this one out of a snifter. The body has a interesting dark burnt plum hue, and the off white head hangs on with just a thin skim and leaves plenty of lacing.
The aroma is spicy and malty up front then right near the end of the nose you pick up the triple grouping of Centennial, Cascade and Eldorado hops.
The flavor is all over the place with burnt toffee, toasted bread, biscuit and molasses notes all balanced in the end with the citrusy American hop combo.
The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a dry finish.
Overall, you won't find a dull moment with this dark, rich, complex brew. Very satisfying. Glad I tried it.

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Photo of depechemode1983
4.01/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - The color of the beer is Dark brown with deep red hues. Beautiful. There is a huge stream of bubbles rising up from the center of the glass. Its got a nice two finger tan head with remarkable retention. The lacing on this beer is amazing. Its sticky and curtain like.

S - The nose is bittersweet with some nice grainy backbone. I'm getting sweet toasted caramel, bitter orange rind, and pine. Very nice.

T - Actually picking up some coffee in the taste. Its mostly toasted malts with a grapefruit bitterness mid way through. Finish is pretty clean.

M - Light to medium bodied mouth feel. The carbonation somewhat lighter than expected. Feels alright for the most part.

O - Not really a fan of Red Ales but this one is alright with me. Pretty much my favorite so far. It for sure the most attractive.

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Red Hoptober from New Belgium Brewing
3.82 out of 5 based on 809 ratings.
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