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 aforbes10
3.66/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm not sure why this beer is listed as retired. it's been showing up in our local stores here in Indiana all the time. Anyway, i thought i'd try it since a friend bought a six pack. Pours a reddish amber color, like dark caramel. no head, some lacing. Malty odor, nothing special. Taste is roasty and malty. some hops in the finish. pretty good flavor, although it tastes more like a porter than a red to me. Mouthfeel is smooth with a small bite. Overall not bad. the porter-like roastiness kind of contravenes the consistency of the red. I'd have it again but it's overall a bit forgettable.

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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 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 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 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 PatYoda
2.29/5  rDev -36.6%
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 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 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 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 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 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 neonbrown82
3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This was a decent beer, and the first ale I've had from what I thought was a lager-only brewer. Pours much darker than what I was expecting to see. Looks to be a dark nutty brown with an amber red hue. A bit hazy, decent carbonation, and a frothy tan head that sticks around for most of the drink.

Smells very rich and earthy, with lots of bready and biscuity malts, plenty nutty. Even a hint of dark berries and fruits. The taste carries on where the nose left off, further pronouncing the rich malty flavors. Seems almost too bready and yeasty for my tastes, however.

The mouthfeel is nice and creamy with a full body. No hops bitterness or flavor detected. Only a tiny carbonation sting at the beginning. Drinkability would be much better if this weren't so overwhelmingly bready.

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Photo of hero27
3.23/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Cool website, neat packaging & label. A new distributor to the area is stocking all of the Fort Collins beers at my local beer store, so I suppose I'll try them all in due time.

I'm not sure what makes this a "Specialty Ale", as it says on the it really a one-time release? Because it appears to be a pretty standard Red Ale. Dominating roasted caramel flavor..gets a little more flavorful as it warms, but never gets real robust. The hop flavor is really lacking..and they must use the exact same hops Great Divide uses in their Denver Pale Ale, because the hop character is identical.

A decent red ale, but nothing too spectacular. Would be an alright session red if you happen to like the character of this brew. As it is, it's an ok offering from Ft. Collins.

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Photo of longarm
3.04/5  rDev -15.8%
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 palliko
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I really enjoyed this brewery’s Chocolate Stout, so, thought I'd try their latest offering in the interesting bottle with the red wagon. It pours a creamy, solid foam head that lasts a long time. The beer is a red-brown, about the color of weak coffee, and the aroma contains Columbian coffee. The initial taste is a strong mixture of molasses, malts, some fruit, hops and chocolate. It is very similar to their Choc. Stout, - with more than a hint of bitterness. The taste is more of a nut brown ale experience, but needs some adjustment in the balance. Not a session beer, but good. Probably won't try it again, just no comparison to Stone.

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