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 Shibbykaiyai
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Happily, New Belgium has finally made it's way into Michigan, so I picked up a bomber of this brew, mainly because of the name.

A good brew. Nice clean taste in this with a some kick of hops. Not very thick and goes down easily.

Very happy that I picked up a couple of this seasonal. A nice change from the octoberfests and pumpkins brews that everyone is putting out.

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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 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 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 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 JosiahS
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a: Dark woody color with some red throughout. 2-finger, creamy yet frothy with sticky lacing.

s: Sappy, dank, resin-y pine. Orange and lemon rind, rich dark fruit, caramel and faint chocolate.

t: Bitter, pine resin, bark, lemon rind. Malt provides caramel, cocoa nibs and helps round out the taste.

m: medium-full, medium carbonation. Not overbearing, not as syrupy as the flavor/aroma profile would lead one to believe.

o: Full flavor, looks great, not overbearing, great beer.

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

Poured into a standard pint a rich clear amber/bronze with a two finger sticky slightly off white crown atop that never completely settles ,a thick frothy mass is left.Sharp piney hops come out well after the pour along with underlying biscuit malt,the hop aromas did fade quite a bit after the pour but after a good swirl they come out.Pretty dry on the palate except for a small amount of brown sugar flavor,the hops are not nearly as big as in the nose but they meld with the crisp dryer slightly roasted malt base.It's got some good things going on,it's not an overly complex or a "wowing" beer but it's not bad.

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Photo of RussBecker1
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served on tap at King Street Grill in Charleston, SC.

A-Much prettier than anticipated. A deep ruby pour with abundant lacing. A very nice crown sits atop the beer and beckons the drinker in.

S-Very nice balance between hops, spices and malts. Definitely a hit of citrus, closer to grapefruit than orange, with very nice and consistent caramel malts flying underneath.

M- Disappointing in my eyes. The character of the beer was virtually non existent, as it sips much lighter than it both looks and smells. It is smooth, but any sort of bite would have been much appreciated.

T-Again not nearly as exciting as I would have hoped. Tastes very similar to a deeper blend of fat tire. The hops give a subtle jab at first, but those as well as much of the other smells that were uncovered seemed lost on my palate. Leaves what I can best describe as a salt and vinegar aftertaste which, although unique, does not make this the most enjoyable beer to drink.

O-very nice to try, but the taste does not live up to its nose and look predecessors.

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Photo of homersimpson67
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have enjoyed New Belgium Hoptober over the past few years and was curious to see what the new Red Hoptober is all about.

Appearance: It is pretty dark, seems more brownish copper than red but a nice two finger of lacing and in the light it has a dark reddish glow.
Smell: Remeniscent of Fat Tire sort of a hazelnut and burnt carmel malt smell. Very inviting.
Taste: I would say similiar to Hoptober with a little more heaviness to it. Hints of caramel and cocoa and then a nice bitter finish. Starts out very bold and has a nice light follow through.
Mouthfeel: Feels really good, very malty and sweet with just the right amount of carbonation and hoppiness, truly a nice beer for these cooler nights on the deck.
Overall: Have shyed away from New Belgium for a bit but am excited to have new
and tasty varieties look forward to. Very drinkable seasonal Hoppy Red Ale. I think I'll have another!

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

Bought from meijers, price: 2.85 for 22oz bottle

Paired with chocolate pretzels

A&S: The beer is on the darker side of amber. Pours about 2.5 fingers of creamy head. The head is off white has some lacying and hangs around forever in a thin creamy layer. The smell is not very potent and consists of citrus hops and breadlike malts.

T&M: Lots of caramel, toasty, slight piney hops. Medium bitterness towards the finish along with some smokeyness. Pretty light as far as body but kinda creamy, carbonation is on the low side of medium.

O: Nothing super special, however again like with the Tripel from New Belgium (and in this case a better example) it is a good example of the style for the price.

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Photo of philbertk
3.11/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Quarter Inch thin lightly lacy short lived off white light tan head. Clear rich ruby red deep bright color. Mildly roasted hop front.Toasted caramel medium light textured minimally sweet toasted malt fruit ester hint body. Dry mildly bitter end. Rich Crisp Odd Red Ale.

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Photo of eskybassplr
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oZ bottle. Rather dark red color with a full hops flavor. I like the hops flavor in beer but feel many craft brewers are just adding more and more hops to make an impresssion. That is not the case with this brew. Just found this here in Michigan and enjoyed it very much.

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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.

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Photo of tdm168
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A -translucent amber with a soft, off white head that has decent retention

S - roastiness, burnt aromas, herbal hops

T - nutty, caramel, roasty, herbal, spicy hops

M - medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This isn't a bad beer but it's definitely not the regular Hoptober that I miss so much. This is roasty and nutty but also very hoppy. I'm not disappointed at all. I will probably try this again.

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

Clear dark ale with a medium sized tan colored head. Very dark it is red if you hold it up to a strong light but you could just as well call it brown.

Smell is sweet and malty with a C type hop aroma. Smells a little spicy with a cedar or spruce wood aroma.

Starts out a little sweet and malty. Toasted grain with some molasses flavor. Woody spice taste, with a mineral water flavor. tastes like spruce. Tasty with a slight bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a tasty beer. Tried it because this was in the slot where Belgo usually is at Vons.

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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.

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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 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 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 BlackBelt5112203
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass at fridge-cellar temperature.

L – Amber-brown color with a 3.5-finger cream-colored frothy head. Really nice retention and lacing. Clear with a decent amount of carbonation bubbles.

S – Toasty and toffee-like malts with pine, grapefruit, pineapple, and mango hops. Nicely balanced but the malt comes through particularly well as the beer warms.

T – Starts off sweet and toasty with toffee, caramel, and toasted malts. The toasty flavor lingers and blends into a bitter pineapple, pine, and grapefruit hop finish.

F – Medium-bodied with average carbonation, a sticky and mouth-coating feel, and a toasty, bitter, and dry finish. Toasty malt and pine hop bitterness linger for a nice amount of time.

O – This is a really nice amber ale. It’s tasty, drinkable, and fits the style. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it being a fall seasonal, but I guess it fits the bill as it has a decent amount of toasty malt. In the heart of autumn, I’d rather reach for a pumpkin ale or an Oktoberfest beer, but this beer certainly works well in the transitional period between summer and fall. Bottom line: this is a solid beer from New Belgium.

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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 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

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

12 oz bottled on 2-JUL into a Hoffman House glass goblet.

A - Deep red, very clear, with large billowing off-white head that falls to a medium film. Carbonation appears mild.

S - Aggressive piney hops with molasses. Subtle floral and citrus in the background. Not nearly as citrusy as the hop bill would imply.

T - Lots of green hop flavor throughout. Initially creamy with a hard-to-define sweetness mingling with hop flavors. Fades into an almost smokey caramelized sugar mid with a firm, but very clean ending bitterness and a very slight roasted note. Finish seems dry due to considerable bitterness.

M - Surprisingly heavy bodied with mild carbonation.

O - An excellent example of a hoppy fall beer. It is easy to get carried away with the German malts at this time of year, so this is a nice change of pace.

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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.

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