Retro Red | The Fort Collins Brewery

184 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 184 | Ratings: 216
Photo of dcscientist
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I like reds, and this one was pretty good. Haven't seen it around much any more, maybe they changed the name or stopped making it. The brewery has undertaken a complete makeover, so we'll see what comes of that.

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Photo of phiberoptik
3.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber with ruby hues and an off white, creamy head that lasts for minutes.

Smells spicy, peppery, sourdough bread, mashed cherries, and sweet caramel malt notes.

The taste is a let down from the aromas. Rather flat, caramel malt, hint of pepper spice, with a slightly watered down finish.

Light, slightly thin body with mild carbonation.

This beer is definitely drinkable and enjoyable. It doesnt wow me, but its not off putting. It smells much more complex than it tastes.

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Photo of tdm168
3.28/5  rDev -8.9%
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 kenatbeerswap
3.32/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured from a 12oz bottle to a pint glass.

A: Dark reddish brown, head quickly disappeared to a thin layer.

S: Had a moderate caramel smell.

T: Had a caramel taste with slight bitterness coming through.

M: Had a medium body with low carbonation.

O: Was hoping for a little more balanced beer, it was a little too much on the sweet side.

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Photo of cbo2122
2.73/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Wasn't impressed with this beer. It looked alright. The color was nice but it lacked any noteworthy head. The smell was a high note, but I wasn't feeling the taste. It started out very minerally then left a poor aftertaste with a watery mouthfeel. The small amount of carbonation compared to other reds held it together enough. But, all in all this wasn't a beer I'd drink again.

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Photo of bsp77
3.92/5  rDev +8.9%
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 mdaschaf
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
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 aepb1
3.22/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Tipple's, notes from phone

A- Light brown body and a small white head

S- Caramel malts mostly, some piney/citrusy hops

T- Following the nose, Caramel malts and citrusy hops... not much else

M- Medium body and a little water in the finish. Moderate level or carbonation

D- Easy to drink but doesn't offer the crispness of other reds and will most likely not return to this one

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Photo of Bung
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. Amber/brown pour with a thin layer of white head. Looks fine.

Aroma, herbal and some piney hops mostly dominate.

Taste, a malty, herbal hop red ale, about standard. Slight bitter pine finish.

It's a little watery, but still manages to stick ok. It is pretty dry. Drinkability is no problem. Although it is yet another red ale that I probably wouldn't exactly reach for.

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Photo of rawfish
3.18/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Not an obvious red. Pours a deep mahogany hue, dark amber with a two finger sand colored head with average retention time and little to no lacing in the glass. Doesn't look too red but put it up to the light and it flashes a nice crimson hue.

S: Bready with caramel malts make up the dominant character and maybe some fruity esters like that of a sharp citrus.

T: At first I thought I was simple caramel malt character, some cocoa from the dark malts that make this red so dark with a smooth transition to hoppiness. However as you get through this beer there is some fruit and walnut character and the hop bitterness begins to get you even before you finish getting it down. Finishes dry.

M: A medium bodied ale, with low carbonation.

D: This one doesn't offer the real crisp kick some hoppy red ales do but it does offer a different take on the malt character. Not sure if I liked the bitterness creeping in so quickly while I was still enjoying the depth and sweetness of the malts.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A crystal clear red/brown ale. It has a nice 2 finger white foamy head.
I noticed sediment in bottle. Bottle conditioned? I don't know, nothing is stated on the bottle or on the website.
The aroma was mostly of caramel malts hints of roasted.
Taste is malty, caramel maybe some vienna.
Some low levels of diacetyl.
Medium to thin mouthfeel being slightly watery
A dry finish.
A good non threatening beer with good flavor and good lacing.

 438 characters

Photo of 3rdRowTailgater
3.54/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass. It pours a really nice red color with a small amount of head with little lacing.

It has a really nice aroma. A great mix of malt and citrus hop smells.

The taste is a little more malty, to be expected from a red ale. It finishes nicely though with a spicy citrus taste. Nice balance.

The mouthfeel is a little thin, disappears too quickly, but overall it's a pretty solid red ale and I would drink it again.

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Photo of theboozecruise
3.15/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

It's a clear amber color, small head, no lacing.

The smell is malty, amber malts and caramel flavors.

The taste is more hoppy, with a secondary malt flavor. Not bad.

Easy to drink, a little thin. Decent amber ale.

 268 characters

Photo of BeerDawgs
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - A dark amber. Medium head retention, light lace on the glass.

S - Smells sweet. Sweet sweet sweet.

T - Brown sugar. Sweet potatoes. Very tasty. Malts at first, and hops kick in toward the end. But smooth transition.

M - Light carbonation. Smooth.

D - Low. Its a little too sweet to drink more than 1.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish orange in color with a brown head of two or three fingers. Lacing is decent, although not terribly long term. Unique appearance anyhow, which is only exacerbated by the aroma, which is wildly darker and fuller than expected. Dark fruits and heavily roasted malts imparts aromas of cocoa, chocolate, cherry, and date. Smells like a black ale or porter. Totally cool with me...

While this style seems to dictate an allegiance to a toasted malt heavy lifestyle, Retro Red is not afraid to pump up some serious roasts into the mix. Fruitiness comes from the hops in the form of figs, raisins, and light citrus. Beyond complexity, it adds to the cornucopia of flavor offered.

Bizarrely, I would call this a balanced ale, much more balanced in its forwardness than many are in their restraint. The malts definitely put their best foot forward, and lend a depth to the mouthfeel otherwise lacking in the amber ale category. Far too bold and aggressive for the style - perhaps that's why I like it so much.

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Photo of BDIMike
4.05/5  rDev +12.5%
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 TheBigE5
2.42/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance has a deep red coloring, with a quickly fading head. Smell is sweet and malty. The taste is sweet at first but the middle and finish is quite bitter. Mouthfeel is good and the drinkability is below average just because of my personal opinion of the taste. Not very impressed overall with this beer.

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Photo of LittleDon
4.08/5  rDev +13.3%
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 tugdriver7
3.17/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The next in my Brewer's Lunchbox sample pack. Poured a slightly cloudy, dark brown to orange in the glass... not really red, per-se, but not quite brown either. Frothy 1/4 inch of foam on top that disappeared quickly. Esters and malt sweetness in the nose. Initial taste was the same, though a touch less sweet and a hint of hops bitterness for balance. Then it hits you... an almost candy-like caramel flavor (tasted like a Wurther's in your mouth) and a slick diacetyl sense that permeated the whole glass all the way to the end. May be expected for this style, but for me a bit overpowering. It needed a lighter body, slightly less sweet and a decent hops bitterness in the aftertaste to make it work.

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Photo of krausenman
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-The beer pours a clear deep garnet color that is capped with a light tan head. As the beer in the glass is drunk, an off white lacing clings to the side of my pint glass.

S-My only criticism is that there was little aroma. A faint waft of spicy noble style hops. As the beer warmed there was a slight chocolate/roasted aroma.

T-The beer initially has a malt sweetness that carries over to end with a slight bitternes/roasted flavor that finishes in the back of the tounge.

M-The beer has a medium body/mouthfeel that is not affected by a lighter carbonation.

D-Overall I would buy this beer more often if there was more hop flavor and aroma in the finish. That point said I think the beer is very drinkable as is though.

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Photo of NODAK
4.07/5  rDev +13.1%
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 CheckmateBrew
4.5/5  rDev +25%
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 BeerFMAndy
2.97/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint. No date or info.

A - Cherry-like mahogany in color with good clarity and carbonation. Too bad an extremely low cream-colored head is shameful. No volume, no retention, specks of lace left over.

S - The potent hops right off the bat are more reminiscent of an IPA, full of citrus and floral notes. The difference being the bold amber malt backbone that provides support and a hefty helping of caramel and low dark fruit notes. Good complexity for an amber.

T - Lots of toasted amber malts seem too jumbled with the hops in the flavor. A lot going on that doesn't have direction it seems. Grassy notes with caramel don't blend too well.

M - Ultra dry, this beer is too over-the-top in that regard. Medium-bodied and crisp with a hard, carbonated finish. Far too dry for my liking.

D - Started out great in aroma and fell apart from there, this brew is too dry, lacks direction and flavor, and just doesn't satisfy very well. That and I'd say it's in Fat Tire's shadow for sure.

 1,036 characters

Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.17/5  rDev -11.9%
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 mytireisfat
3.06/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

P: 12 oz tall brown bottle. No best by date. some info on the bottle. But not much on the beer its self.

A: One finger white/brownish head that retains well. ruby red color. some lacing.

S: Caramel malts. hops.

T: Caramel malts, Biscuit malts, a bit sour, and bitter hops.

M: Light body, medium carbonation.

D: Easy to drink. not a favorite of mine by far. wont buy again.

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Retro Red from The Fort Collins Brewery
3.6 out of 5 based on 216 ratings.
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