Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Red Hoptober | New Belgium Brewing

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Red HoptoberRed Hoptober
Very Good
810 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 810 |  Reviews: 176
Photo of Perducci
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
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 aleckpa
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Kanine
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Jayschool
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of TicoCali
3/5  rDev -20.4%

Photo of iwakeboard
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of sproston33
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

 1,194 characters

Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
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 Zach136
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Zaphog
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of IlPostino
4.75/5  rDev +26%

Photo of gatornation
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
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 Megahertz
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

 819 characters

Photo of secondtooth
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
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 cafemondegar
3.52/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

 491 characters

Photo of TheBishopco
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Jparker37
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

 1,037 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

 816 characters

Photo of InlandTaipan
2.91/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Beer is a deep red almost mahogany like, tan head looks appetizing

S- Malt, subtle breadiness. a little citrus.

T- Malt character is confusing. I feel like the bitterness clashes. Getting some Fusel alcohol too.

M- a little overcarbonated for my personal taste but a good feel overall.

O - I would give it around a 2.8/3

Not a bad beer, just not my preference for this season. I do not find balance in this one.

 421 characters

Photo of BBrewington
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of jellikit
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark, burnt red. Small-lacey head.

Smell: the malt tones are semi-sweet and slightly burnt. Hops are piney.

Taste: biscuity, malty sweet. Hoppy flavor and great bittering.

Mouthfeel: carbonated just right, borderline effervescent.

Overall: great fall-time red ale. Great color. Aroma and flavor are balanced well between malty and hoppy. Great beer

 364 characters

Photo of rayj212
4.75/5  rDev +26%

Photo of GilGarp
4/5  rDev +6.1%
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

Red Hoptober from New Belgium Brewing
Beer rating: 3.77 out of 5 with 810 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.