Red Hoptober | New Belgium Brewing

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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Reviews: 175 | Ratings: 809
Photo of Pegasus
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep amber in color, with good clarity, a small, dense tan head, and thick, sticky lacing, which coats the glass walls. The carbonation is slight and slow-rising.

Aroma: Quite prominent hop aroma, with the Cascade hops quite pronounced. and an abundance of spicy notes. Dark bread and caramel notes are also present, but very much understated, compared to the hops.

Taste: Opens with an abundance of dark malts, which are soon overshadowed by an aggressive wave of hops. AS the taste progresses, the malts are overpowered by the hops. Finishes dry, with a long and lingering, almost harsh metallic and medicinal hop presence

Mouth feel: Smooth and soft, quite pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: This would seem to be much more appealing to hop heads than connoisseurs of malty beers.

Presentation: Packaged in a custom twelve-ounce brown glass bottle with a pry-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

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Photo of elgiacomo
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz Growler from Beverage World. Best by November 18, 2012. Served at around 45F.

Pours clear red/copper with a two finger beige head that leaves some drippy lacing and recedes to a light cap and ring.

Aroma starts with a bit of piney hops, some citrus, then the caramel and fruity notes of a typical Amber Ale. Good strength.

Flavor starts with some hops, herbal, earthy and citrusy, moving toward the caramel malt and fruit in the middle along with mild sweetness, finishes pretty clean, if a bit light. Minimal alcohol.

Mouthfeel is light/medium bodied, a little sticky, good carbonation.

Above-average Amber Ale with a little extra hop kick. Not as hoppy as other hoppy Ambers such as Hop Head Red or Levitation. Easy drinkin’.

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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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Photo of cafemondegar
3.52/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

With the first few sips, I sensed a balance of nuttiness and hoppines, a bit heavier on the malt than the hops.
After a few sips, the mouthfeel is still somewhat malty but the aftertaste is unmistakebly hoppy bitterness. Not much nose to this one beside a hint of ester - part floral part fruity. Nice bold red color although the relative humidity in Austin this time of year fogs up the glass pretty good and I was sitting indoors so my assessment of its appearance may be a tad inaccurate.

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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 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 thagr81us
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a shaker. Poured deep red-orange with a two finger off-white head that subsided to one finger slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, nutty, caramel, caramel hop, earth, and earth hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, nutty, caramel, bread, caramel hop, earth, and earth hop. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. I really wasn’t overly impressed with this one if I am honest. I had heard a lot of good things from other friends that it was one of the best from the style that they had to date. I dunno if I should listen to these people anymore. There were a lot of nice flavors going on here for the style, however, everything just clashed on your palate all at once and there was no chance to ever really recover from it. Hate that was the case. Worth trying at least once, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to do so again.

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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 n2185
3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a clear copper with two fingers of khaki head that recedes into a thin ring with little lacing.

S: pineapple and grapefruit hop aromas up front with some sweet and nutty aromas mixed in.

T: the taste is more like a hoppy brown ale with piny and earthy hopnotes mixed with nuts and cocoa flavors.

M: medium body and carbonation, this beer is dry and nicely carbonated.

O: an interesting and solid beer overall. The hop and brown ale notes don't blend very well, but it's still an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Interested to see what kind of hop-forward beer New Belgium can crank out; plus, if it’s replacing the original Hoptober, it has to be good.

A: Translucent, red-hued body that’s more dark than luminescent; above is a thin tan head, nothing special. Light, filmy lacing, but minimal retention.

S: Soap. Dish soap, something like Dawn. The mix of citrus and pine from the hops with the huge toasty malt aroma underneath creates something so familiar. It’s not a superb aroma, but it’s definitely interesting. The hops have more of a floral character than something you’d get from a big American IPA, but the thickest tones are nutty caramel malts. Can’t get around that soap character, though.

T: Lots of sweet, dark malts up front, showing thick fig, walnut, wheat toast, biscuit, and toffee tastes to start. There’s more than a handful of nut, anise, and cinnamon flavors, too, tasting a lot like a black ale, too; must be the roasted barley. They’re not unwelcome, just strange. A touch of soap returns with crisp lemon rind from the hops, though it’s easily dispelled by chewy pine and flowery tartness; balanced bitters. Rounding it out is a brown ale darkness of chocolate and coffee, which I really wasn’t expecting – a little out of place. Finishes with that black ale anise and burnt toast flavor, only mildly dry.

M: Chewy, but most definitely New Belgium frothy. Pretty hefty.

O: Reminds me of Fat Tire with more hops and black ale leanings. I don’t think I’d buy it again, but it was interesting while it was still in my glass. Not surprisingly, of course, it went quick.

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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 ArrogantB
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was a little disappointed that they didn't bring back the Hoptober from last year but I was hoping this would be good too. Reddish amber color, good lacing. Smell is malts, maybe a hint of coffee (I sometimes get that from red ales), hints of grassy hops. Flavor is alternating between grassy hops, melon rind, and chewy malt. i think the old Hoptober was better but this was alright.

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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 uld2541
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful looking beer and the hoppy aroma is downright sublime, but I didn't think this beer finished well. I would mirror a lot of other's observations that it has a bit of an earthy aroma and flavor, but just a bit too strong of an aftertaste for my liking. Overall, solid beer though. New Belgium and I have a love-hate relationship; I can't stand Fat Tire, but the winter ale they put out this winter was/is one of my favorite beers, so I figured this was worth a try.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Reviewed live.

A- Finger and a half off-white color head. Medium retention, soapy lacing. Nut brown color with some cherry hues. Semi-clarity. Nice looking beer.

S- Musky, piney hops and some medium fruits. Quite inviting smell. Somewhat complex and not overpowering with hops.

T- Piney hops and earthy tones. Acidic.

M- Smooth and drinkable. Dry finish.

O- Above average. Does a good job not being too overpowering with hops.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my bro in law mike for offering this up as soon as we got to town to visit. Enjoyed from a pint glass.

a - deep chestnut brown with an amber tint to the light. Nice foamy off white head. Lacing coats the glass.

s - nice crystallized malt. Somewhat marzen. Some nice hop presence. Nutmeg and brown sugar.

t - nice hop burst crossed with oktoberfest crossed with brown ale. Nice. Good amount of earthiness, similar taste and flavor profile to other new Belgium brews I have had.

m - medium to light bodied with a pinch of a bitter hop bite.

o - overall nice twist on an amber and makes it a better beer. Quite enjoyable.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12-oz. bottle into a pint glass at my house on Aug. 30, 2012 (for $9.99 per six-pack at KnB Wine Cellar’s in San Diego, Calif.). Poured a mahogany with khaki lacing. Very good retention on the top and sides (wet, foamy).

Good on the nose. Got a sharp whiff of hops, but couldn’t put my finger on what kind (bottle says centennial, cascade and eldorado. I didn’t taste cascade and don’t know the other two at all). Lots of malts, maybe caramel and toffee. Reminded me of a black IPA.

Smelled butter, light citrus hops (orange, tangerine), caramel, toffee and butterscotch.

Tasted more like a black IPA than an amber. Got bitter malts, caramel/toffee/coffee-like. Just malty.

Medium body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Long, bitter finish.

Good beer overall, but still not quite what I would picture an amber/red ale.

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.66/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz to my Alpine pint
BB Nov-2012

A: Pour is Auburn in color. A good mix of a deep chestnut brown and burgundy. Great clarity and a big thick taupe colored head full of fatty bubbles. Cakey and persistent. Leaving messy cling all the way down the drink.

S: Smells open with big hoppy florals, boughs of pine, orange peel and a bit of spice. There is an influence of chocolate, toffee, and some enduring notes of yeasty bread. Nice nose. Hoppier than I was expecting.

T: Hops initiate the flavors with loads of pine and some understated citrus spice. There is a good amount of bitterness that hits the roof of the mouth and gives way to some caramel coated raisin. Milk chocolate meets toasted biscuit and a bit of warm yeasty bread. Alcohol does not really make an impact. This is a nice amber with a good charge of hops and a pronounced chocolate note.

M: Moderate body with a nice creamy texture. Has a real dry crisp hoppy snap to it with a touch wetter finish.

D: Another nice new offering from NB. Above average and enjoyable. Slightly unique from the standard American Amber style with some light nutty chocolate roast notes and a good dose of hops.

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Photo of Jparker37
3.67/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Best before November 11, 2012.

A - Big pillowy vanilla head sits atop a dark/brilliant amber beer, nearly brown. Left a little bit of lacing.

S - Really nice balance of citrus and pine dry hop smells. I am also getting a bit of rich caramel and distinct chocolate malts.

T - The malts have that characteristically toasty flavor but the hops play a large role in taste composition. The hops come across as piney on my tongue and the carbonation plays a refreshing role. Plenty of bitterness to finish but not unpleasant.

M - The body seems to be between light and medium. The carbonation is medium to high. Finishes nice and dry.

O - I fully enjoyed this brew. My first instinct when I hear of red ales are more malt forward beers but it seems I am fooled many a time. This beer seems to have a emphasis on hops but in that I did expect a little more body to stay balanced. This beer was great, but it could have used more malt depth. The hops did come through very bright and distinguishable.

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Photo of maki88
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5


12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Enjoyed at home.

A: Deep, rich clear, red color, bordering on a burnt color/brown. Thick, long-lasting, tan head with beautiful lacing. A beautiful-looking beer.

S: Sharp, hoppy aroma, balanced with some sweeter notes of citrus (grapefruit?) and sweet malts. Definite note of bready, toasty malts.

T: Far more pleasant and balanced than the nose suggested. Sharp and toasty up front, with the sweeter malt and citrus flavors blending in for a pleasant finish.

M: A bit thin, but generally unremarkable. Carbonation seems a bit high.

O: Solid brew - definitely lives up to the "hoptober" name. I wouldn't be knocking down doors to get this again, but I'd definitely drink it again.

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Photo of ezterry
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: nice red brown wia decent head that became a thick lace

S: nice combo of malt and a sweat aromic hops

T: starts light on tast followed by a very full hop flavor that lingers a bit, but not an overpoweing lingering flavor

M: very nice body feel

O: I'm always scared of hop full beers as some hops when used fpr flavoring have a long lingering taste, this however while has a very noticable hop taste the taste fades rather than staying strong for many mins after your last sip. Bitternes levels ballance the malt and body well.. So oberall this is a good fall beer that seems to fit the season perfectly.

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Photo of Beer4Baltimore
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottles with a best before date of November 4th 2012.
A - aggressive pour yields two fingers of frothy lacy head riding on top of a clear caramel.
S - mildly fragrant hops with a touch of citrus and toasted malts. A solvent like quality to the aroma permeates everything.
T - a little sweet, a little toasted, a little hoppy with a caramel twist. Balance is good, not too syrupy like some other reds. The solvent smell apprears in the taste. I'm not sure what to describe it as but it is not off putting, just different.
M - moderately carbonated with moderate body and a lingering astringent coating.
D - would be better enjoyed with food.

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

A-brown amber color with a nice off-white head and good lacing

S-fruity, herbal, toasted bread, slight floral notes

T-light roasted malt, fruit, herbal and earthy

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp

O-a decent amber ale, but depth of flavor not as prevalent as others

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Photo of DragonzBreath
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A beautiful day in mid autumn called for this diverse tasting. We started with this Red Hoptober Ale. Very flavorfull. a beautiful pour. This beer from New Belgium Brewery was a perfect beer to start the evening. Nice red coloring with a bright head. smooth with a slight citrus ending. 6.0 abv

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