Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Red Hoptober | New Belgium Brewing

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
86
very good
175 Reviews
Red HoptoberRed Hoptober
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States
newbelgium.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
175
Ratings:
809
Avg:
3.82
pDev:
28.27%
 
 
Wants:
36
Gots:
42
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 175 | Ratings: 809
Photo of Beaver13
2.93/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle. Pours dark reddish amber with a medium fluffy off-white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet toasty caramel/crystal malts and resiny hops.

The flavor is sweet toasted caramel and crystal malts with an earthy bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and a bit watery.

Overall, it's OK and has some decent bitterness. I personally don't care for the biscuity malts or the hop flavors though.

 448 characters

Photo of elNopalero
4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was surprised by this beer from the instant I opened and poured it. One, because of its appearance—I wasn’t expecting something with such a rich, deep amber brown hue, and literally two solid fingers of creamy foam topping it. And two, the aroma—oh, what an aroma! From the instant I cracked this open I could smell it. First impressions are of chocolate malt—just this wonderfully bright bouquet of roast and chocolate malt that comes across. It’s pleasing and another surprise. The flavor cracks with a smooth malt like an amber and a defined, distinct bitterness. There’s a pleasing hoppiness that develops and gives this some kick. Not sure where this beer fits in the grand scheme of things—it’s a hoppy amber, or a malty IPA, or just something altogether delicious.

 789 characters

Photo of Flounder57
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that has reduced to a thin layer. There is some nice lacing on the glass as the beer was drank. It is an amber copper color with great clarity and signs of bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Citrus and grapefruit, some light fruity and bready notes too.

Taste: Tastes better than it smells. Very citrusy.

Mouthfeel: smooth, low to medium carbonation, medium bodied, some tingly bitterness, and a enjoyable beer.

Overall: Very nice beer and happy my brother brought this back for me to enjoy in Boston.

 605 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
3.42/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured somewhat aggressively to start into a standard pint. A 2 1/2" head of tan fluffiness develops before receding, leaving some scattered lacing.
Smell is hops first, a blend of citrus and pine, with some roasted malt peeking out from behind the more olfactorily obvious. Balance is heavily towards the hops.
Taste is somewhat better balanced but with hops still leading the parade. Some lightly roasted malt shows up to try to counter the pine and floral hops. Good flavor but not very complex.
Somewhat watery start transitions to a warming and medium-to-full body. Lightish effervescence is reminiscent of an IPA as is the hop note though both are reduced versions thankfully. A nice brew overall but hoppier than I prefer most of the time.

 746 characters

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

A - Fairly clear red ale, tan head, leaves fast. Tons of cling lace.

S - Malty. As I am enjoying the pure malt, the hops set in. Malty and hoppy. Good things.

T - Nice big fat caramel center that is surgically cut with astringent hops. Nicely done.

M - Medium body, good carb, great balance.

D - Very sessionable.

 317 characters

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.

 598 characters

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

I had the Redhoptober on draft at the 6th Street Grill in Eugene. Served in a standard pint, the beer is dark bronze with red highlights. It has a sticky tan head.

Nose of caramel, toasted grains and some pine notes.

This one is a bit of a hopped-up red. There are some citrus and pine and lots of caramel malts. A bit of red apple and some crackers round out the taste.

The mouth is decent with a bit of heft off-set by active carbonation. Very easy to drink several and it goes great with food. I liked the $3 price on Thirsty Thursdays. That is a deal for a beer this good!

 579 characters

Photo of flexabull
3.86/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very nice looking beer, pours a bright and clear deep garnet color with a fine white head, nice lacing too.

Aromas are caramel, cereal grains, and earthy hops. Smells good, but nose is kind of subtle.

Taste starts with some cereal grains, biscuit, spicy, with lightly sweet caramel maltiness. Finish has mineral, pine and earthy hop bite. Nicely balanced and flavorful.

Mouthfeel is smooth, maybe a touch light though.

Overall, a very solid amber. Somewhat complex, plenty flavorful, but really easy to drink. Nice offering from New Belgium who seems to constantly be tinkering with/changing their seasonals.

 612 characters

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.

 925 characters

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.

 837 characters

Photo of Chaney
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Stone Brewing Co. pint glass.

A: Poured a crystal clear dark red color, with a whopping slightly off-white head... but maybe that's because I got a bit overly zealous in my pouring.

S: Cascade bomz R' Us for sure. Also, I got that grainy red velvet cake batter-esque smell I often get with this style. Rock on!

T: Hoppy, yet not too much. Seriously, this is about as earthy as it gets.The understated quality was appropriate to my mind considering this is a fall, seasonal brew. The cushion off yeast over top of the hops in this setting was quite remarkable.

M: In terms of drinkability, I could drink this all day... and gulp it even. The carbonation was spot on and the lacing was ridiculous.

O: As a fall seasonal brew, this is about as good as it gets outside of Pumpkin Ales and Octoberfests.

 815 characters

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

12 oz bottle with BB 111812

A-pours a dark crimson brown/amber with a 1 finger khaki head lacing present on the glass

S-pney and spice hops with a toffee and malt smell

T was good nice pine hit of hops with roasted malts right behind a little toffee ,nutmeg and caramel in the finish

M- was assertive and just right carbonation it was easy to drink on a hot day but would also enjoy it in cooler weather

O- a nice brew tasty now and tasty later in the fall this is a winner for NB

 485 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.86/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a dark amber red with a thick, off-white 2 finger head. Great retention; leaves behind a thick, sticky lace.

Smell - Notes of caramel and nutty malt character, backed by a spicy floral hop undertone.

Taste - Starts with a nutty, caramel malt character that's quickly matched and balanced by some spicy floral and citrus hops. Bisquity malt pops in midtaste. Aftertaste is a mild citrus bitterness; hints of grapefruit pith.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full bodied. Decently carbonated. Somewhat chalky.

Overall - A very good amber. Nicely hopped to compliment a rich, malty backbone. More assertive than your average amber.

 641 characters

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

Served chilled into a NB goblet.

Red Hoptober is a dark redish brown color with good clarity. The head is thick at first and leaves some nice lacing as it settes.

The aroma is mildly hoppy but not as dry-hopped "pungant" as their employee at the tap room would have me think.

Flavor is nicely balanced with a nice dark malty base and a good dose of bittering and flavoring hops. It almost straddles the line between hoppy amber and cascadian style pale ale with a solid roasted malt note.

Mouthfeel is balanced and drinkable as most New Belgium beers tend to be.

Overall a nice summer-into-fall type of beer. Worth a try if you like Fat Tire and 1554.

 656 characters

Photo of bsp77
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Mahogany with light tan head that mostly dissipates, leaving light lacing behind.

Smell: Citrus, grapefruit, caramel and light chocolate. The Cascade is pretty evident.

Taste: Malt body of caramel, toffee, chocolate and even some light coffee. Definitely more roasted than expected. Nice hop counterbalance of orange and grapefruit. Finish has some light spice and pine notes, but is just slightly bitter. Slight Fat Tire taste, which is the only issue I have.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, mostly dry finish.

Overall: Nicely balanced ale that straddles the line between a Red Ale and a Black Ale. I like this a lot better than the previous standard Hoptober.

 741 characters

Photo of secondtooth
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rich ruby in appearance, with a huge head of sudsy off-white carbonation. Thick, delicate lace.

Aroma is assertively strong and spicy hops, with a sharp earthiness.

Taste is a melding of roasty malt tones with bitter hops smack at the finish. An unusual collision of styles, and not a bad beer by any means, but Red Hoptober is not my favorite of New Belgium's seasonals.

 374 characters

Photo of hosehead83
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from "bomber" bottle into a standard pint glass.
Clear copper/amber in color, with a thick cap of bone-white foam.
Aroma-Toasted malt, piney hops
Taste-Big piney hopwave followed by spicy, toasted malt backbone. Not sure what "Eldorado" hops are but are in use here according to the label, and they work out very nicely, providing a flavorfull piney aspect that complements the spicy malt very well. Recommended.

 419 characters

Photo of denver10
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A beautifully dark amber with a big khaki head. Better lacing would have give appearance a 5 for sure. A thickly sweet and floral aroma of some caramel, a hint of some coffee, bread, and earthy florals from the dry hops. Taste followed suit; floral and a touch bitter from the hops, the big, thick caramel malt belly offer of a dose of some toffee, coffee, and bread. The more I drink of this the more the sweet syrupy and rather chewy base of this beer does show itself. A full body on this one with enough activity to give it some life but not enough to properly counter the chewiness of it. Right now in the warmth of the closing summer it is a bit too heavy, come fall it might hit the spot. Overall, another nice surprise from New Blegium, though maybe I shouldn't be so surprised at this point as I have enjoyed each of their last 3 seasonals (Dig, Somersault, and now this). This is definitely more of a Fall beer than a late summer beer, as NB claims this to also be. It's heavy and sweet and will go much better with the drop in weather and shortening of the days.

 1,073 characters

Photo of rangerred
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear dark ruby with a thick one finger tan head. Wonderful head retention.

Aroma is a bouquet of piny hops with a touch of caramel and roasted malt. Very tiny bit of chocolate.

The flavor has lots of hops up front but that transitions nicely into some subdued caramel and toffee. There is some toasted malt along with chocolate/coffee but it is very subtle and becomes more apparent as the beer warms. Bitterness is on the moderate side with a slightly sticky mouthfeel.

Overall, a really good fall seasonal in my opinion. It is something unique and is really quite drinkable. Definitely worth picking up.

 649 characters

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.

 1,612 characters

Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.43/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a New Belgium globe.

The beer is a deep amber/ruby color. A thick vanilla ice cream head slowly settles to an even film. Wide rings of lacing cling to the glass.

The aroma is very sharp with hops and citrus rinds dominating, but somewhere in there is a subtle sweet caramel malt note. The sharp hops almost smell like a black IPA ...

Taste is dominated again by hops. I guess that's what you get when you name your beer with the word "Hoptober." But the body does have a sweet malt base. I'd say it's well balanced as the malts and hops intertwine. Grapefruit rinds give way to caramel sweetness then back to a burnt, bitter finish.

The mouthfeel is slightly carbonated with a dry finish.

Overall, I have to admit, I do not like this "amber/red" ale at all. I'm getting tired of New Belgium's beers all tasting the same with the same hop profile. And besides, i like reds/ambers to be malty, toasty, and sweet, not bitter and sour like this thing, despite it's name of "Red Hoptober." Their original Hoptober brew last year was phenomenal, this one ... not so much.

 1,084 characters

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.

 850 characters

Photo of daliandragon
3.86/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up today at the local Harris Teeter not really expecting much. However, an aggressive head reveals a handsome dark copper and an uncharacteristically large foamy head for the style. Plenty of sticky lace once that head recedes. Nose is balanced and matches caramel malt to spicy west coast hops.

Definitely hoppier than I'm used to for the style, and probably more visceral malt as well. Almost like an Indian brown more than a traditional red, but it certainly has its perks. Mellow in body but plenty of flavor. Solid, balanced aftertaste that lasts . Nothing complicated here but it is tasty and goes down smooth.

New Belgium generally produces decent beers but this one is a nice surprise; a bit outside the box but well worth trying.

 753 characters

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

Reviewed from notes.

Pours out a coppery reddish amber color with two fingers of cream colored craggy head that lasts for about two minutes and leaves behind interesting patterns and swirls of lacing. Light crisp texture and assertively carbonated.

Smells of musty and earthy hopping but mostly of herbal tea-like hop spectrum over the top of toasted bread slices. The flavor has these elements but also includes pine and grapefruit pith at a medium-light level, and some light toasted nut flavors join the party as the glass warms up. Its a good interplay between the nuttiness, the toasted bread, and the somewhat higher than usual hopping for an amber (It easily crosses the line into typical PA hopping strength.) Check this one out if you like the notion of mostly herbal hopping on toasted bread malts as the central focus for a sessionable ABV beer.

 858 characters

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.

 795 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe