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 PatYoda
2.29/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Copper to mahogany clear color with a decent cream colored head. Smells a little buttery which is off-putting. Also some bready malts in there, lightly toasted. Pretty weak. Taste is identical to the smell with a little toffee thrown in. No balancing bitterness to speak of. Mouthfeel is watery. Couldn't drink much of this.

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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 ATPete
2.48/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle

Pours a reddish/brown color with a small peachy head. Lots of sweetness in the nose, extract sweetness almost, notes of cherry possibly? No notable hop character in aroma or flavor, unbalanced and boarderline cloying sweet. Low carbonation and a syrupy texture. Possibly an old or bad bottle, wouldnt know because theres no dating code to be found. Not my thing, a weak offering, especially in the style full of heavy hitters.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
2.56/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I got this from HyVee W and S in Cedar Falls and I was very surprised to see it was retired. It makes me wish I would've rated the Sam Adams triplebock.

Appears to be very dark in ruby color with a little head and a lacing that sticks very well.

I smell a nutty coffeeness, but not much of it.

Taste is dark coffee malts with a very slight dark fruit in the nose.

Mouthfeel is pretty nice, like a slightly creamy water.

I was glad to try it, but if it was fresh that would've been nice too.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
2.56/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Something about this beer is not sitting right with me. Very nice looking in appearance. Deep red-brown in color with a frothy, tan head that never quite dissolved. Nose is average because there is nothing distinctive (either good or bad) about it.

Flavor is "eugh." Too much in the way of wet papers flavors abound. Malts come through but are stale. Maybe I get an old bottle? I do not know. Some bitters but nothing to really bring this beer together.

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Photo of Risser09
2.62/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle poured into a wine goblet - 2008 Bottling - Cellar temp

Appearance: A clear brown beer with orange/red highlights. The ivory head reaches 1" and shows good retention time. Plenty of lace remains on the glass.

Smell: Generous malt aroma. Dried fruit mix. Grassy fresh with some hop aroma. Milk chocolate. Dried cherries.

Taste: Rustic mineral flavor. Earthy and somewhat hoppy. Lingering bitterness. The fruit characteristics don't carry over from the aroma to the taste buds. Seems like quite a mes.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a strange blend of flavors. I think this style should rely on hops more instead of making a winter warmer. Some alcohol.

Drinkability: Not a pleasant beer. It's not terrible, but convoluted and all over the place. Won't seek it out again.

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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 ckeegan04
2.76/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Dark mahogany in color. One finger light brown head quickly fades leaving a thin layer on top. Sheets of lace.

S - A roasty malt aroma with a weird alcohol presence. Hints of spicy hops come though as well.

T - Sweet toasted malt taste up front, biscuity. A spicy hoppiness comes through in the middle and lingers through the finish. It never becomes the star though. The malt profile seems a little muddled and gives a somewhat off taste.

M/D - Medium bodied and very smooth/creamy. Great feel to the beer, just not a great taste.

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Photo of gloriousglo2
2.82/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is a pretty bland beer. Average look, color, head, and carbonation. Unfortunately, it doesn't taste quite as good as that. I drank about 3/4 of it, then poured it out, not because it was so bad, but because it was so boring. The label is meant to evoke some kind of nostalgia, but all it got from me was a yawn.

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Photo of morimech
2.89/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear burgundy color with one inch of head on top. The head slowly settles to a thin cap. Moderate amount of lacing is left on the glass.

Smell: This beer uses crystal malt and Tettnang hops. Not a good combination for aroma nor flavor and it is reflected in my scores. I cannot really describe the aroma but it smells a lot like some of my lowest scored beers. About the only thing I can pick out is the crystal malt.

Taste: I do not like the flavor very much. Has an artificial characteristic that I find unappeallng. Bitterness is on the lower side of medium but is noticeable.

Mouthfeel: The body and carbonation are well paired and suited for the style.

Drinkability: If I liked the flavor more this would be a perfectly suited session beer with its relatively low bitterness and ABV. The prices are a little out of whack in my market ($11+ for a six, WTF!).

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Photo of dgallina
2.92/5  rDev -18.9%
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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Photo of cdkrenz
2.94/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Another gift from Heather Bidwell. The Christmas party was a blast!

Appearance - Dark brown body with a light tan head that starts out at an 1/8 of an inch and fades to a wispy cover.

Smell - Sweet, almost a chocolate and cherry aroma.

Taste - The taste is empty at the beginning. The middle and finish is hoppy and bitter.

Mouthfeel - The feel is wet and not very becoming considering the flavor.

~ If I were to venture to Colorado I'd try to find this Retro Red on tap for a sampling. I would recommend a friend give it a try as well.

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Photo of karengarys
2.96/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours deep ruby with a small ring of foam.

Smells - coffee like?

Tastes - a bit stout like with pepper and malts?

Mouthfeel is good and creamy.

Body is medium.

Finish is spicey.

I don't really recommend this brew, it is okay, better than a macro-brew anything, but to me its just fair.

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Photo of tjd112
2.97/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From the brewers lunchbox bought at Spirits Unlimited at Route 9 and 526 in Lakewood, NJ.

A - One inch head, amber color, moderate lacing
S - Nothing really special
T - Burnt, biscuit-like, very thin malts, hoppiness is muted
M - Medium bodied, dry
D - Goes down well, but taste could be a little bit better.

It's a drinkable beer, but probably is not the shining example of the Brewer's Lunchbox

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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.

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Photo of bboven
3.01/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thin but lasting head with light lacing. Deep, cloudy ruby read. Very pretty.

Very biscuity aroma, a little roasty; like Fat Tire's lil' brother.

Tastes a little sweet but there' a bunch of roast and too much bitterness to let the malt shine through.

About what a red should be. Very carbonated and a little thin, but pretty crisp.

Cut the bitterness and a bit of the roast down and this would be a great beer. As it is, though, definitely quality stuff.

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Photo of confer
3.03/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- This is what I liked best about this beer. Very red with a reddish white head.

S- A nutty aroma that was more apparent the further along the glass.

T- Nutty and malty. Not overpowering.

D- Average, I wouldn't turn it down but I wouldn't go looking for another one either.

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Photo of longarm
3.04/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appears as its name suggests...deep red with explosive fluffy head.

Aroma resembles carmelized raisins. Very sweet.

Flavor is cloying and out of balance. Malts are tasty and well done, but its' balance is out of whack. More hops would balance it better. I would love more bitterness as well as hop flavor and aroma and I think the American style asks for it.

Coats well, but has a sticky finish, again probably attributable to the lack of hops.

Decent beer. If you like sweet beers, you'll like this one. If not, stay away.

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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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Photo of MrDanno96
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a dark amber-red color. Only a think ring of head along the edge of the glass. Some sticky lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Pretty sweet. Caramel malts, sweet hops, sweet fruit (cherries), some citrus, and pine. Pretty complex, but just a little too sweet IMO.

T: Some distinct roasted caramel and roasted malts up front, with a strong bitter hop finish. Some sweet dark fruits are in the flavor as well. This fruit component reminds me a bit of a dark Belgian ale. There's a lot of interesting flavor here, but I feel like they don't quite come together well.

M: Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Comes off as just a little watery at times.

D: Not my favorite. Not a great mouthfeel and the flavors are kind of out of balance. I probably won't have this again.

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Photo of TexIndy
3.11/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got from ummagum - many thanks! Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. No dating info. The color was a clear, rich ruby color. Some carb but no lacing. It had an average sized tan head that settled into a thin collar.

The aroma was a bit odd. It had caramel malt and good amount of hops but it also had what seemed like dirt or lots of dust aroma. Sorta off-putting. It carried thru to the taste as well which took away from the good base underneath. Not sure if this is the normal taste or if bad bottle.

Overall, an OK beer. See above about possibly bad bottle. Will need to re-try this one when I can. Hopefully, it improves. If not, one and done.

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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 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 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 Gavage
3.18/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a clear dark amber color with a one finger head. The head breaks apart to some spotty surface bubbles rather quickly.

Smell: a bit too sweet for me as caramel candy and overripe fruit sweetness is easy to detect.

Taste: caramel and strong fruit sweetness dominate the flavor profile. A hint of honey and some decent bitterness tries to balance it out but falls a bit short.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start, smoother at the finish. Very brief caramel-laden aftertaste. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: this is a middle of the road red ale that is a bit on the sweet side. Easy to quaff but grows somewhat tiresome after a while.

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