Retro Red | The Fort Collins Brewery

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216 Ratings

Brewed by:
The Fort Collins Brewery
Colorado, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Beaver13 on 11-24-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 216 |  Reviews: 184
Reviews by pmcadamis:
Photo of pmcadamis
3.82/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Turbid purple/red thick looking brew with a thin cap of a head and minimal lacing. Other than the chunky cloudiness, this doesn't really look all that great.

S - Big time fruity hops. Grapefruit and mango with some hints of caramel.

T - Nice and malty with a big time hop presence. Juicy, fruity, and tropical. This is very malty and caramel laced, but the hops are huge. Tastes a lot like the ubiquitous Fat Tire, but better IMO.

M - Medium bodied, moderately carbonated, and slightly dry. The finish is sweet, but dry and hoppy too. Well built.

D - This beer is drinkability defined. Interesting, fairly complex, and flavorful without being to demanding or super-assertive/aggressive. This is not the greatest beer out there by any means, but as far as drinking a six pack at backyard BBQ goes, this is perfect.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This truly is an old school retro red in my book,poured into a standard pint glass a dark chocolate amber with a nice fromed 1/2 finger off white head that held together for quite awhile.A complex malt profile of chocolate,brown sugar,and caramel mixed with citrus peel like orange mainly and a touch of pine.Flavors start out chocolatey and caramelly sweet with a touch of earth and a lingering citric hop presence.Very well balanced just solid and old school,I enjoyed it.

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Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.17/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Fort Collins Retro Red 5.2% alcohol. Got this beer because I was in the mood for something amber and malty. No freshness date.

A- Pours a deep amber fluid with off white almost tan half inch head that sticks around for the duration of the beer.

S- Has a light carmel malt scent and mild hoppy citrus fumes.

T-M- Sweet carmel malts and slightly bitter hops are the dominate flavors. Mouthfeel is watery and light.

D- Decent but nothing i'll buy again.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.45/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The guy at Wilbur's said this was HC Berger's old Red Banshee recipe.

Pours a deep ruby red with a tan head that goes pretty quickly to a thin film that laces the glass.

Its aroma is strong nutty malts and some chocolate, hops and figs.

The flavor is more of the same - sweet nutty malts and figs with some chocolate notes and a decent bitter hop finish. As it warmed, the flavors got a little unbalanced and seemed a little out of whack. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good level of carbonation.

Overall, a pretty unique amber ale. I wanted to like it, but the more I drank, the more it seemed a little off. A few tweaks and this is a very good beer.

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Photo of TimoP
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of merlin48
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear ruby mahogany that is very dark for style. Small beige head deposits some sticky lacing. Aroma is caramel, burnt toffee, grassy hops and a hint of citrus. Medium body and carbonation. Taste is sweetish malts with scorched toffee and caramel leading the way. Citrusy orange pulp, bitter grassy hops, and a note of soy sauce add to what becomes a jumbled complexity. A very unusual red ale that is a bit oversweet.

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Photo of bsp77
3.92/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving Glass: Poured from bottle into pint-like glass.

Appearance: Pretty dark for a Red, like a burnt sienna. Very thin off-white head.

Smell: Chocolate, caramel, cherry and spicy hops.

Taste: Very malty, with chocolate, caramel and cherry. The chocolate certainly explains the darker color. Some mild English hops at the finish.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, nice dry finish. A titch thin.

Overall: Not really an American Red Ale, as it is too English and has too much chocolate. Not complaing, mind you; this is a nicely balanced, enjoyable, everyday ale.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
3.29/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

served from a 12oz long neck brown bottle crimped cap into a pint glass.
Clear,slight haze,ruby red color with a 1/2 light tan head that fizzled out quicky to a vert slight coating. Slight spot lacing with minimal carbination.

Predomantly malty aromas,strong carmell with a burnt/nuttytoasty edge.Woody/earthy qualitys also.

Very malty taste as the aroma would suggest,good balance with tea like bitterness. Nutty and earthy, finishes crisp with a slight citrus rind bite.

Medium bodied with a bit a cloying/syrupyness and a grainy texture. East to drink,just not a beer i would want to drink a lot of.

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Photo of far333
3.4/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Darkened ruby grapefruit colored with an orangey head that settles quickly.

Aroma of ripe fruit, slightly metallic, rough-edged hops, and almost a wheat malt note.

Rough-edged flavor as well, reminds me of a fall beer with dry-leaves maltiness, almost a bit smokey, some straw and muted grapefruit hops, and ripe fruits. Notes of caramel and toffee linger.

Mouthfeel is slick and watery upfront, finishes tingly.

Average drinkability, not too complex, and some of the flavor nuances are odd or off.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.22/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep ruby red hue with a large light beige khaki head forming tight with fine bubbles. Layers of lacing left behind with each sip are evenly strung. Aromatics offer up massive caramel malts with a wheaties cereal like note, mild herbal hopping in the background. Really nice straight forward amber ale full of malty goodness with full malty goodness going on more of that cereal sweetness with herabl earthy hops blended. Caramel malts makes the red ale work, this is a really good example of the style. I used to love Crooked River's version and this brings back memories of that. Mouthfeel is even bodied with moderated carbonation pretty light but not thin in anyway. Drinkability is quality one beer that I could sample with all day long.

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Photo of glid02
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from a mixed 12-pack purchased at Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a dark amber color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of toasted caramel malt with a hint of darker malt in there as well. Light citrus and pine hop aromas are noticeable but barely so. As it warms slight fruit flavors join the party - mostly green apple.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Loads of malt flavors up front - toasted caramel - with hints of nondescript fruit and lighter hints of citrus hops. The fruit and hop flavors waver in and out but the malt flavors constant and carries through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing the bottle and could have another.

Overall this was a much maltier beer than I was anticipating but I have to say I liked it more than average, run-of-the-mill ambers. Definitely worth a shot.

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Photo of LXIXME
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -10%

Photo of mdaschaf
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours almost a ruby/brown color, much darker then I expected for the style. Slightly off white head forms up, probably 1/2 finger, and dissipates before I even take a sip to a few foamy bubbles on top.

S: Lots of caramelized sugar, giving off a very sweet aroma. There is a little bit of cocoa and a fruity quality.

T: Nice caramel and cocoa on the flavor profile. The fruit comes through as some apple. There is a little citric hop kick in there, but very faint.

M: Medium to full bodied, a little thicker than expected, but I like it.

O: Very nice beer here, extremely drinkable, nice low abv. I liked the malt bill on this one. This style can go both ways of the hop spectrum (see nugget nectar in comparison), and its nice to have one on the maltier side for a change.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fifth in the Fort Collins sampler... pours into a shaker with a half-inch fluffy white head and settles on a bold dark reddish brown body...almost a black and tan graduated effect to its head-to-toe dark-to-late coloring.... flowery and hoppy, bright and lively--pleasant and balanced with a hint of malts... creamy body; mildly fizzy--easy on the tongue and tastebuds... smooth, malty and a bit nutty...hints of a woody nature leak in late...a handsomely straightforward, barfood-friendly vibrancy--my mouth watered a bit...leaves little aftertaste,,, tough to find fault here... mellow and surprisingly solid!

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

Fort Collins- Retro Red

A- Deep red with a solid tight foamy head. Light lacing.
S- Good thick grainy/ caramel malt with a touch of cherry.
T- Sweet cherry licorice malt with touches of caramel and yeast.
M- Thick and malty with a big dry finish.

Overall- My first pint of the night and a good 1 to start off with! Big malty bomb here. Sessionable and enjoyable!

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Photo of anirishunion
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of GilGarp
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. brown bottle, part of the "lunch box" variety pack that contains a record breaking (unverified) 7 different varieties!

Served cold and poured into a pint glass, Retro Red is a perfect red color with great clarity and creamy head. The head settles pretty quickly but leaves a little lace behind.

Aroma is both sweet and hoppy with a nice honey/citrus quality.

Flavor is pretty solid - a strong malt base with ample hopping and bitterness. It has a little caramel apple, some grass, and some grainy flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium-light with appropriate carbonation. The balance is just about right for the style.

Overall it's a decent beer but not exceptional. Although this is my first from the lunch box, it's not my first from FCB. This is what I've come to expect, though: quality small-batch beers from the most under-appreciated brewery in Fort Collins.

Still not sure what makes this "retro" though...

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Photo of cokes
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep mahogany with a scattered rim of khaki.
Pumpernickel loaf, raisins, anise, molasses, and ferns up through the nostrils.
The maltiness here is stauch, suprisingly so. Full of caramel, molasses, carob, dried dates, raisins, and figs. Whispers of smoke. Sweetness leaks out as this fades towards bread and dryer things. The middle contains traces of buttermilk, as FC distinct yeast shines through. The finish sees remnants of dark fruits and a minorly offsetting green leaf bitterness.
For a malty red ale, this succeeds on all accounts. The malt load seems to beg for a sturdier body, but this is quite serviceable regardless. It's a step up from the old HC Berger recipe, if in only execution.

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Photo of tdm168
3.28/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber with a red hue. There's 1/4" of dense, foamy, off white head with decent retention. This beer smells of faint bready malts, apples, and dark fruits. The taste is bready malt, sweet, dark fruit, very faint phenols, and some tame hops for balance. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, but thin.

It's very drinkable, but with a very mild flavor profile. It's not bad, but I'm looking for something a little bolder.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.29/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Standard pour yields a 1 finger coarse, dark cream head that dissipates into a mass of big clumpy bubbles. Beer is a semi-clear mahogany. Lacing is patchy and stringy with decent cling.

S: Rich, dark, resiny hops assault my nose at first sniff. There's also a brown sugar presence along with some citrus hops. Fragrant and very sweet overall.

T: Red tea leaves upfront with strong, astringent and citrus sour notes popping up here and there. Pine, grass, and bark are all present in the bitterness of this brew. Finish is slightly dry and powdery with an aftertaste of chalk, dried leaves, and twigs.

M: Light bodied, highly carbonated, and watery and slightly slick in the mouth. Finish is dry with a powdery aftertaste.

D: A rather run of the mill amber. There's not egregiously bad about this beer nor is there anything outstandingly good. I'd reach for it if it was the only thing around but there's just so many other offerings in this style that I've yet to experience!

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Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: dark amber - ruby, very clear, a foamy tan head leaves the glass loaded with lacing...appearance is a tad darker than most ambers but its pretty solid nonetheless

smell: nicely toasted caramel malts are the highlight, some grassy hops to balance it out, dates, apple, some mild cocoa definitely present

taste: i get some cocoa hints right up front, caramel toasted malt, pretty, date. a little nutty, grassy and herbal hop presence with some mild citrus

mouthfeel: medium body, good feel

drinkability: very drinkable, quite good

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Photo of cjgator3
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

A- Pours a very dark red with an off-white head. This is one of the darker Reds that I've seen, it's almost brown.

S- The aroma is sweet biscuity malt, caramel and a touch of hops.

T- The taste like the aroma is very malty which starts out very rich and smooth. There is also some caramel before the mild citrusy hops come in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, this is a very solid Red Ale with a big malt backbone and a good amount of flavor. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of russpowell
4.2/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Not sure why this retired, maybe not eclectic enough for the brewery?

Pours with a large bubbly head and ruby red color. Good head retention and lacing

Smell: Massive toasted malt nose, nutiness and alcohol

Taste: Toasted malt followed by some bitterness & then frutiness and alcohol in the finish

MF: Slighltly prickly, but other wise balanced out

Shame they are retiring this, probably among the top 2 of beers I've sampled from this brewery

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Photo of dgallina
2.92/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce brown bottle with "old-timey" label and no freshness dating.

Pours transparent brown with red highlights. A conservative brown head recedes quickly, leaving faint lace behind. Smells pleasingly nutty, with a vinous and slightly metallic edge. The flavor blends restrained pine and citrus hops with coarse earthy grains. The finish is vaguely dry, with more dirt and nut notes. The body is thin and watery; one hardly notices the beer until it is gone.

An indistinct, dirty-tasting mess.

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Retro Red from The Fort Collins Brewery
Beer rating: 3.61 out of 5 with 216 ratings