Red Hoptober | New Belgium Brewing

very good
176 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: 176 | Ratings: 810
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 Mosstrooper
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Clear, deep amber color with a large brownish head that dissipates slowly and leaves behind large spots of foam.

Smell: Earthy aromas with pine and some citrus and a bready backing.

Taste: Begins nutty and bready, rounding out to some sweet caramel and finishing with a balanced bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with balanced carbonation and a watery but slightly dry finish.

Overall: Not quite outstanding, but solid overall with almost perfect balance. Definitely tastes like fall.

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Photo of Siriusfisherman
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Gorgeous dark, clear red with a two-finger white head and some great lacing.

Smell: Some slightly rindy, grassy hops, definantly pulling out the centennial and some nice grapefruity and citrusy notes. The malt is detectable in the nose, bread and toasted cracker. Very clean in the yeast department.

Taste: A nice hop bitterness up front, that fades out into some citrusy and grassy hops and a nice toasty edge to the malt. The malt is very well sculpted, not ever going into a robust sweet aftertaste, but instead acting purpose built to give some crisper crust and biscuit notes to enhance the dryness. With that said there is some sweetness to the aftertaste from the roasted or dark caramel malts used, as well as plenty of lingering hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: This beer has a nice silky mouthfeel and a moderate amount of carbonation, which gives it a mouthfeel that is rare with any beer around 6% alcohol. Instead of pushing the carbonation to give it that refreshing bite, they seem to have steered for a beer where a slower more savory sip is the method of preference. But still, maybe a little thin if I am being picky.

Overall: This is a light IPA that has been carefully balanced with some darker malts achieving a killer session brew. This is a highly recommended seasonal by me, and it is my favorite New Belgium beer to date.

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Photo of donmonkey1
4.48/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Med. brown/amber with an awesome foamy thick tan head that hangs around forever and laces like shoes. Great carbonation. I can't think of a way to improve the appearance.

Smell: Fruity hops, a little floral, grapefruit, mangoes, plums.

Taste: Awesome hop flavor, much like the smell but with a touch of pine. It's the perfect hoppiness, full of flavor but not puckering. It's totally inviting.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. I would like to feel more carbonation.

This is a great, world class beer. I love it.

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Photo of jkrich
3.91/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a dated 12 oz. bottle: deep, garnet red with hints of brown. The beige head slowly dissipates leaving very nice, intricate lacing.

There is quite a hop profile in the aroma: very resinous and piney with some earthy malt wafting through.

The hop flavor is quite prominent initially with a quick dash of piney bitterness on the tongue a solidly malty palate taking control. There are hints of roastiness, caramel and even a faint flavor of licorice, before the pleasant hop bitters return.

There is a soft and supple mouthfeel with a medium body. The carbonation is mild and complementary.

This is a nice alternative to the Octoberfest lagers abundant this time of year. This one is definitely hop driven but the malt and roast flavor keep this one balanced and somewhat quaffable.

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Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into the New Belgium globe glass.

Pours a deep clear ruby, with several fingers of rich, slightly off-white head. This maintains a robust look, slathering the sides of the glass with a sticky latticework of lacing. The aroma smells fresh, floral and piney, with some light leafy spice character and an underpinning of herbal and tropical notes. Some tangier toffee and a touch of toast mix in as well from the back. The tropical flavors and pine are the standouts here.

The taste is pine, green bitter citrus, gentle tropical fruit and herbal textures and a more malty presence of sweet caramel that has a bit of a burnt edge to it. This is a very smooth mix of flavors here, with only that dry finish of resins, spice and bitterness giving this any real aggressiveness on the palate. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and firm on the tongue and roof of the mouth, which is wrapped up in a smooth, oily and creamy feel that flows nicely in the mouth. Just a smidge of alcohol is present in each sip, which doesn’t stand a chance against the flavor and feel here.

This was a pleasant surprise for me from New Belgium, being a well hopped yet balanced and smooth take on an American Amber Ale that had a really solid flavor and drinkability to it. I’ll be investing in a six pack next time.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.2/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Uinta brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; New Belgium's mainstays have usually hovered right around average (C) for me, but I loved La Folie. 6% ABV confirmed. Paired with Trader Joe's hard pretzels. Acquired at Trader Joe's earlier tonight. Best before January 20th 2013.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger beige colour head of nice thickness, average cream, above average lacing, and good retention. Colour is a clear opaque dark copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Not particularly vibrant, but I wouldn't call it dull. It's generally appealing for what it is, but strange for the style.

Sm: Light oily hops, with some piney character in there as well. Some caramelization and toasted malt character. A hint of raisin. Even pumpkin. A bit of spice. Amber malts. I definitely get the Cascade hops. Some floral quality, a hint of bitterness. No yeast is detectable. A mild strength aroma. Tame.

T: Cascade comes through, especially on the finish. Some untamed hop bitterness, though it's mitigated in part by the oily quality. A bit of floral. Some pine. A strange unwelcome grapefruit note in the early second act. The foundation is mainly clean amber malts, with touches of caramelization and toasted malt. More non-committal than subtle though. I do get a bit of pumpkin - strange. A little spice - maybe a teensy bit of cilantro. It's flavourful. Not complex or particularly well layered. I do think it's nicely balanced and built. Not too hoppy for an amber, but not overdone on the toasted malt front. I like it, but it's not bold or experimental. There's nothing unique or special here. Good hop choices. No yeast comes through.

Mf: Dries on the climax - an enjoyable feature. Smooth throughout. Good thickness. A touch overcarbonated. It's too filling for its lack of flavour. Wet on the open, early second act, and finish. Somewhat oily in the third act though. Not at all chewy. It carries the flavours nicely. Not real creamy. Suits the flavours nicely. A slight warming sensation from the alcohol.

Dr: A drinkable beer for the style, and a solid mainstay seasonal from New Belgium. One of their better mainstays to be sure. I'd try it on draught back home in Colorado. It's well priced for its quality and distribution. I could down this for the better part of a night with little complaint. The alcohol isn't all that well hidden, but it's nicely balanced all around. I like the hop choice. Chinook might have ruined it.

High C+

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Photo of FosterJM
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1544th Review on BA
Draft to Abita Pint

@Mission Pizza, Fremont, CA

App- A darker medium bronze with a bit of reds, browns in the glass. A small capped 1/2 finger of head that was almost a bit creamy of white. A very good looking cling and lace pattern down the glass.

Smell- A bit hoppy, a bit malty. Really takes the normal red ale and turns it on its head with the 3x hop addition. More of a small IPA without the bitter and replaced by a fuller malt aroma to it.

Taste- I would venture to step out and call this a blend of a red/IPA with some flaky rye. The hops are what make it a bit creamy and peppery with a good amount of deep citrus and a bit of grass on the finish.

Mouth- A bit too thick for me. Needs to be brought down just a little bit. A very nice medium body with a thicker medium carbonation. Residual malts and peppery hops.

Drink- I dont normally like Ambers/Reds and this kicks the shit out of Fat Tire. i could drink a few of these and be pretty happy actually.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep copper color with a nice one finger cream colored head.

S: A big malty presence with a good dose of earthy and piney hops. A touch of campfire smell as well.

T: A good blend of caramel malts, earthy hops, pepper, campfire and some faint citrus. A really nice beer that grows on you the more you drink.

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

[Poured into a mason jar]

I: I was in the store and saw Red Hoptober and thought that I could go for a red ale. New Belgium was the brewery that I started early out with when I started expanding my horizons for good beer. For a more kind of main stream beer, they aren't bad at all. From the looks of it, hopefully it'll have some decent hop presence.

B: [6.00 % ABV 12FL. OZ. Bottled July 2012] I really like the presentation of this bottle. It doesn't draw to much attention to itself and has all the information you can ask for. The label itself has some nice simplistic art bordered with hops, insisting that this brew has big emphasis on hops. That said, the label texture is decent. The bottle has a nice ridge for flow/carbonation ingrained with the words New Belgium. As for information, back story/summary, temp advise, abv, bottle date, brew location, and etc.. are there and much appreciated. Overall the bottles good, but not one for shelving.

A: A dark red/brownish body with low transparency, bubbly head (fast dissipation), and good lacing.

S: Upfront are the centennial/cascade/Eldorado hops, sweet piney/bready malt, and a roasty/woody back ground presence.

T: The hops are upfront and throughout to the back of the tongue, caramel/light chocolate sense, creamy sweet bread/piney malt followed by citrus, and roasty/slight warming alcohol. Unexpected and frankly one could go on and on about what flavors they feel are in this beer.

M: creamy/smooth/slight crisp finish, medium bodied, moderate carbonation, and apparent alcohol(warming but gentle).

O: Wow, I didn't expect to be this pleased. Very tasty, perhaps complex brew from New Belgium. Favorite part is that there are many flavors to choose from, yet nothing seems out of control. I would say that this is a great beer for the summer with friends, but I like it on the warmer end. I would recommend and buy again. A great season/regular beer. Savor Good Beer!

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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 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 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 russpowell
3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly chill-hazed prange/caramel with 3 fingers of tan head. Great lacing & head retention

S: Some toastyness, woody & herbal hops

T: Follows the nose, orange peel & hints of walnuts up front. More herbal & woody hops, dryness, plus toastyness as this warms. Finishes with a slight astringent bitterness, more toastyness, some dryness & a touch of pine

MF: Medium bodied, creamy with nice balance

A nice effort, I would this again especially at $8 a sixer

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.37/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Delirium snifter on 9/16/12

Best before 18 Nov 12

Thanks to PDXHops

The appearance is a cross between dulled brown and light plum. The two finger head doesn't last too long, leaving only a bubbly skim. There's a good amount of lace, though.

Pine hops make a good showing in the nose and there are hints of citrus hops and floral tones. Malts are in abundance, too. Notes of toasted bread, caramel and some cocoa. The taste is similar, if a bit thinner than the aroma let on. Prickly pine hops offer a touch of resin to a fairly thin body. Citrus is faint, working in a bit in the mid section. Toasted bread and some caramel. Carbonation is on the thin side, but fussy. Toasted, malty finish.

Overall impression - A good tasting beer that could stand to have a more ample body.

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Photo of RJLarse
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought a six-pack of Red Hoptober in a grocery store. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a mahogany brown color, clear, with a bubbly beige head.

Smell is a roasty aroma of coffee and charcoal.

The taste is also decided dark, charcoal, and subtle coffee flavors, with a mildly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, not cloying.

Overall a very drinkable brew. Closer to the porter style than the typical fall seasonal, but a very enjoyable beer for the season just the same.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a New Belgium Globe glass. Best before date of 18-Nov-12.

Appearance: Pours a deep brownish amber red with a moderate amount of bubbles. A solid three fingers of off white head which fade into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell: Big hop aroma up front with grassy, earthy, and herbal hops. Strong scent of pine resin. A little bit of citrus hop with some orange peel, tangerine, and grapefruit hints. Strong malt presence with good hints of toasted caramel, biscuit, grains, toffee, toast,and a subtle hint of roast chocolate and coffee. A pretty piney a solid aroma.

Taste: A nice combination of hops and toasted caramel malts. Fresh earthy hops abound with lots of grass. Some herbal hops and a quite noticeable taste of spicy pine resin. Some citrus esters are also in the mix with some notes of orange, grapefruit, and tangerine. A nice bready sweetness follows from the malts. Notes of toasted caramel, toffee, toasted bread, grains, and biscuit. Also some roasty undertones with some mild notes of chocolate and coffee. Solid balance between bitterness and sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Smooth, spicy, and somewhat chewy. Has a drying finish.

Overall: A pretty nice hopped up red ale. Ripe mix of hops with a good taste of caramel and subtle roast.

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Photo of FanofHefe
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a pint glass at Global Brew in O'Fallon, IL. Clear amber body with red tint. About a one-finger tan head that leaves a bit of lacing.

Nice hoppy aroma of mostly pine resin with grassy notes. Solid caramel malt in the background.

The flavor is very similar to the aroma with a strong up-front pine resin flavor with a solid malt finish. Not a very complex flavor, but a solid mix overall.

Medium texture in the mouthfeel and very drinkable. Nothing to write home about but a solid fall offering with some hops to boot.

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Photo of HerculesRM
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

S: bottle, poured into a tulip glass
A: reddish brown, clear. off white head, enduring lacing
S: fresh hops, slightly piney
T: well balanced bitters, complex. bitters on the back end leave a pleasing aftertaste.
M: clean, not too thick
O: very pleasing sipper, good for a game day with snacks

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Photo of BrownAleMale
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz poured into a Kasteel goblet glass.

Appearance- Dark blood red with a thin layer of off white bubbly head that lasts through out and leaves good lacing.

Smell- Just like if you took hops and roasted them over an open fire. Also, some nuttiness.

Taste- Very similar to the nose. You get a roasted hop flavor with the tinyest but of pine and citrus hop.

Mouthfeel- Medium that fits well with the flavor profile.

Overall- Very interesting beer with a great take on the season it is released.

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Photo of Gavage
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a reddish amber color with a 1" head. Some moderate lace develops.

Smell: caramel, some fruity tones, and a bit of earthiness comes through to the nose.

Taste: caramel, some grapefruit, ripe apples, and a moderate earthy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Very crisp throughout. Short lasting aftertaste.

Overall: this cames across as a strange flavor profile to me, but a bit different for a red ale.

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Photo of beerbellydaddy
4.31/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a dark copper color and offers a clean, full white head that is slow to dissipate. The lacing is abundant and lasts until beers finish.

The smell is mild with malt at the forefront and some hints of oak.

The taste is very nice - a malt heavy introduction, followed by a slightly bitter, hopped up anise and oak flavored finish.

A mouthful of this has the perfect fall feel; it is slightly bubbly, with a robust creamy finish that leaves one longing for the next sip.

I took a flyer on this one not knowing anything about it when I picked it up, but I'll definitely get some more. It is a well balanced, delightful pleasure.

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Photo of gtermi
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: This beer pours a dark brownish red body with a thick white head that slowly fades and leaves a lot of lace on the glass.

S: There really isn't too much here IMO. There is a little bit of sweetness and a little bit of grain.. really not too much there.

T: The beer tastes very nice. There is a nice amount of sweet grain and a weird faint chocolate flavor that quickly fades. Some other things that I pick up is some bitterness and sweet bread flavor.

M: This beer is ridiculously smooth. It goes down with ease and has a tiny bit of crispness on the back of the throat and at the tip of the tongue.

O: Just a nice beer that goes well with the season. Its easy to drink and goes down with ease. I much prefer this over the last years Hoptober.

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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 BMMillsy
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

My first New Belgium, and I am impressed. Had on tap at Brasserie Brightwell in Easton, MD. Pours a very dark reddish brown, with slight off white head. Nice aroma that prepares for an exceptionally smooth sip, with caramel malts, hints of roast, spice, and some earthy bite. The flavor follows with sweet malts and balancing spice, biscuts, toffee, nicely light bitter finish. Finishes very clean for the style, and keeps you wanting more.

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Red Hoptober from New Belgium Brewing
3.82 out of 5 based on 810 ratings.
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