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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 216 |  Reviews: 184
Photo of RBorsato
4.72/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tasted on 1/18/06 at Bricks (Beer Bar) in Cedar Rapids, IA.

Ruby red in color as expected with a off-white to light beige head. Hoppy citrus aroma dominates the nose. Even though the citrusy hops are also prominent in flavor, this beer has a nice malt profile and is balanced exceptionally well. Medium bodied and easy drinking.

I believe this beer is a regular production beer now and that's a darn good thing. Very nice balanced beer here -- beats the tires off of Fat Tire. This is a classic American Amber Ale.

Per Label: "Retro Red Specialty Ale"

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Photo of donteatpoop
4.65/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

[found a paper in an old pair of jeans with beer notes on it]

Dark red with a nice cap of white head resting atop it.

Smells so invting, sweet malts and light hops.

Tastes crisp with hops and sweet malts, somewhat salty.

Nice balanced feel in the mouth, somewhat creamy.

Great fucking beer. I'd drink this again and again.

Without a doubt, the best red out there. (that I've tried, at least)

*having drank this again, I am altering the review. I didn't realise how great this really was.*

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Photo of CheckmateBrew
4.5/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was the favorite "red" that the club reviewed.

Nice appearance with a nice 2 finger head.

The smell had the right balance of hops and malt

Taste - Matched up to the smell very nicely.

Mouthfeel - Ok, not as creamy as a Stout, but great for the style.

The drinkability was almost perfect for what I think a red should be. I will (and have) bought more of this beer.

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Photo of WesWes
4.42/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours an amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a nice pale and crystal malt scent along with a mild hop aroma that adds a fine balance. The taste is great as well. It has a sweet and roasted flavor that goes down easy and finishes earthy with a toasted aftertaste. The flavor boasts of pale, crystal, and roasted malts. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a great brew. I love the roasted malt flavor as well as the hops in the aroma. It's well balanced and highly drinkable.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.37/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I just bought this and it has a different label than that pictures, so I'm thinking it might not be retired. Pours out to a slightly hazy dark ruby-red, forming a light tan head with average retention and lacing. Carbonation is moderate. The aroma is quite unique and enjoyable...very dusty, very toasty and with plenty of floral and skunky hops...very nice. The mouthfeel is very smooth and silken with a soft medium body. Taste begins with floral and skunky hops, nicely held in check by an abundance of pumperknickel bread toasty crystal and pale malts with a nice touch of roasted barley. The bitterness is mild, yet has lingering hop notes in the remarkably woodsy aftertaste and belches have a green hop oil smell. No perceptable off-flavors.

The green sawdust component in the finish gets a little tiresome, but otherwise this is a very pleasant brew. I would drink this again.

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Photo of jadpsu
4.33/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Reddish amber in color with a good looking tan head with good retention and lacing.

Smell: earthy, with a chocolate and licorice hints, a little bready. Nice.
Taste: More of the same. I like the hop, malt balance.
Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Low carbination. Enjoyable dry and bitter finish.

I really liked this ale.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.3/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a rubyred-brown color with appropriate tannish head.
Smell is a combination of nuttiness, caramel and a mild hop presence.
Taste is superb. The caramel and nuttiness from the malt blend with a strong hop presence to create a truly enjoyable beer.
Finishes with a pleasant taste in the mouth. Great tatste retention.
Very drinkable. Excellent session beer.

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

A - Really ruby red and clear. Great red-beer color. Crisp, clear appearance and small head . Not a lot of bubbles

S - Sweet and hoppy. Citrus hops. Not overly complex.

T - Citrus hops. Not too bitter. Not overly hoppy. One that didn't scare away my family when I offered it up.

M - light to medium body. not too much carbonated.

D - easy to drink. Didn't scare off my family when I offered it up. I could see this being a good session beer.

Wish I had more to say about this great beer, but i'm too busy drinking it.

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Photo of Fatduck
4.22/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Beautiful red color, with little to no head after a vigorous poor, whats there fades almost instantly.

S - AWWW, sweet malt and a mild hoppy aroma. LOTS of malt.

T - Wonderfully sweet and balanced, I can almost taste the hops, but cant tell what types are used, the perfect bitterness if you ask me.

M - Lite and smooth... Could easily be over carbonated with the lite body, but its not, very good.

D - This is this beers realm. Its a true session beer, I could and kind of want to sit around and drink this all day long.

I picked this bottle up at The Four Firkin, it was part of a 'make your own' 6pack. Honestly I picked it up because I liked the bottle, and didn't have very high expectations for it, but its a great beer, smooth, balanced and drinkable. I will be looking for this beer again.

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

Nice ruby color, very hazy and hard to see through. Retentive, one-finger head.

Very nice dry hop and caramel/coco malt nose. Lots of nuts in there, too, along with some harsh roasted barley.

The mouth is dominated by nutty malt with a bold stab of hops at the back. Very sweet chocolate and coffee all throughout and nicely balanced. This tastes more like a crisp-bodied stout than a red ale.

Unique and tasty. Yet another good brew from the folks at Fort Collins.

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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 beveragecaptain
4.13/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle. Reddish, dark brown color topped with an inch of head. Caramelized malt aroma along with some fresh hops. More caramel malts in the flavor, along with nuts and berries. Maybe a little smoke. This beer is a like a fruity scotch ale. A nice fruity, hoppy finish. The hops are big and flavorful, but not extreme. Medium mouthfeel. Great drinkability. This is a very interesting beer. I like the scotch ale characteristics.

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Photo of Yeastcakes
4.13/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving notes - 45F, imperial pint glass.
A - Earthy hops and malt come in equal parts for me in the aroma.
A - Pours with nice two-and-a-half fingers of head that dissipate to a solid finger of head. Clear, deep ruby red.
M - medium body with low to medium carbonation.
T - Sweet full malt with some caramel. Nice, simple and clean malt flavor. Very clean. Hops support in the background.
D - This is great red ale. I am a fan of malty beers and this has that with enough hops to be interesting.

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Photo of OHLRangers
4.12/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the brewery tap room, and later from a growler 06/20/08.

The first thing that grabbed me about this solid red ale was the aroma- a smoky, roasted malt smell that I've never had in a red ale. Not a whole lot of hops in this, but enough to balance well with the malt. I really liked the roasty flavors, maybe that's the interesting kick that made me want to keep drinking this one. A very tasty brew.

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Photo of LittleDon
4.08/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep red amber with a bit of haze. Poor head retention (quickly fades). Aroma of malt, cherries, and a bit of metal. Nice balance between caramel sweetness and hop bitterness up front. All fade in the middle. Bitterness comes back in the back end. Medium heavy body.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.08/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is yeasty and malty and just a little fruity, mainly apple. It pours a lovely dark mahogany-copper with a thick, fluffy, off-white head. Rich flavor is a nice surprise, malty, fruity and slightly hoppy with hints of caramel and herbs. Smooth texture has a nice hoppy edge and a firm tingle. Definitely worthy.

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Photo of Bartrob6
4.07/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

nice looking beer. reddish amber color with a good head that stayed for the entire glass.

smells good. its just like i think an amber/red should smell. very malty. some biscuity aromas and caramel.

very much like the smell. almost don't taste the bitterness when it first goes down but comes soon after. lingers on the back of the tongue a tiny bit.

very good mouthfeel for this brew. smoothe like a red should be.

great drinkability. a very sessionable beer. great combination of flavor and mouthfeel.

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Photo of NODAK
4.07/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma on this beer is a very biscuity malt. Pretty one dimensional to me, but it's also a good one.

Taste is very much like the aroma of the beer. The body here is of a biscuit malt character with a medium intensity with a note of cocoa in the background to make it interesting. There's a small, but noticeable enough hop crispness at the finish to wrap it up on a nice note. There's a bit of biscuit lingering after the swallow, but not a lot. Fairly clean.

This beer is a simple one, but it's tasty. Reminds me a bit of Fat Tire.

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Photo of garcia2a
4.07/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured a nice clear deep ruby. The bottles that I got we a bit gaseous, so I got a larger head than I was expecting. The smell is roasty and malty. Very pleasing malt on the mouth, with just a hint of chocolate. Mouthfell was a bit on the robusto side, but to be expected based on the malty characteristics.

Overall, I enjoyed this beer quite a bit. Not one to have 3-4 of them, but a tasty sipper.

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Photo of rowew
4.07/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz longneck bottle. No date information visible.

Appearance: Pours much darker than I would expect from the name. Closer to a brown, with a bit of red around the edges. Head is fairly thin and fades quickly.

Smell: Slight roasted malt aroma, and lots of floral hops.

Taste: I certainly wouldn't call this a red, but it is quite tasty. Flavor puts it solidly in the category of browns. Nice roasted malt flavor with a fairly hoppy finish.

Overall impression: This may be a case of mistaken identifty, but it's a mighty fine beer. Nice roasted and hoppy flavors, but still very drinkable.

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Photo of ZAP
4.06/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grand looking...deep burgundy red color....cream tan head on top....aroma is earthy...pretty big cocoa impression....tastes like an English style beer...earthy hops....almost a bit like an ESB....I like the flavors of this....very enjoyable and easy to drink with some character.

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Photo of joezak5
4.05/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Got as part of a "Brewer's Lunchbox" variety pack from Fort Collins; props to them for including 6 varieties and not 4. This was the selling point for me. $14.99 for a 12 pack.

Appearance: Poured into a Duvel sniffter; clear and deep ruby red with very little carbonation. Dirty white head to the top with decent retention and good sippinng lacing.

Smell: Spicy hops and grassy and earthy malt.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp, muted carbonation.

Taste: Fruit and citrusy malt, slight caramel background, well balanced and not a one trick pony like the Z Lager. Very nice.

Drinkability: This is an excellent session beer. I could have a few more of these.

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Photo of BDIMike
4.05/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark red color with a light tan head. The head has fairly nice retention that laces throughout the drink.
Smell is not overbearing, but a good hop smell does come out. There is a slight bit of roasted malt aroma that balances it out.
Taste is of sweet malt balanced incredibly well with hops. For a red, the hop taste is amazing, very well balanced out.
Mouthfeel is very good. It has a medium thickness, but a very nice smooth tongue all the way down.
Drinkability is awesome. I love ambers and this one rates near the top for me. It has a much stronger hop taste than the normal amber, but it smooths out so nicely that I could drink many of these in a sitting.

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