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 GrandpaGeorg
3.17/5  rDev -12.2%
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 +7.5%
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 +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 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 BeerFMAndy
2.97/5  rDev -17.7%
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 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 mytireisfat
3.06/5  rDev -15.2%
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 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 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 cdizinno
3.42/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is gonna be a quick one because I'm in the middle of cooking.

Presentation: Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: Dark reddish amber in color, slightly hazy, and a nice one finger tan head of foam.

S: Grains, sweet malt, fruity.

T&M: Light roasted malts, grains, and some cocoa notes. Nutty with a mild hop backbone.

Overall, decent. Not a favorite style of mine, but okay.

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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 hosehead83
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a standard pint glass
Deep amber/red in color, with a nice tan head of foam
Aroma-Sweet malt, fruity
Taste-Light roasted malt,cocoa notes,spicy, with a nice hop backbone, nutty.
Overall, pretty malt-forward,spicy with interesting cocoa sweetness, but not overtly so. A nice take on the fairly wide-open style.

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Photo of genek
3.56/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Rusty red hue, with a think yellowed head and very nice lacing.

A - Floraly & hoppy. Expected a lot of caramelly malty sweetness but what little malt is present is hidden. Simple aromas.

T - Nice spice from hops, very smooth & mellow roasted malt flavors. Slight bitterness pulls through at the end. Hefty carbonation cleans the palate well. The caramels linger for a bit, and maybe some lactic aspects.

D - Smooth enough for a session beer, and lively, it doesn't get boring. Bitterness is a bit pronounced but a very good example of an Amber.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle tried 1 May 2010.

Served in a Liquor Mart shaker pint. Smallish copper hued head. Minimally carbonated. Clear bright coppery red color. Aroma is light, brown sugar, caramel, lightly roasted malts. Sweet caramle, toasty, brown sugar. Nutty, sweet almonds and hazelnuts throughout. Warming ethanol in finish and aftertaste. Fairly flat body.

Tastes like red...

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.9/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Orange amber in color with an inch of fluffy head due to aggressive pour. Mild lacing.
S - Orange zest, chocolate and caramel with a bit of floral bitterness.
T - Really good. In fact it was heavier than most red ales I have had with a balanced sweetness quickly followed by a semi-sweet bitterness. Balanced.
M - Medium bodied and flavor delivers for full glass.
D - Well I have 3 more of these boys and would probably seek down another variety pack if the price was this fair again (27 dollar case!)

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

Appearance: Poured a dark brown, slightly hazy color. Almost completely opaque. No visible carbonation. Two finger medium-thickness khaki-colored head, with decent retention. Moderate lacing.

Smell: Sweet toasted malts and dark fruit hops. Malts are caramel and almost chocolate, with a licorice-like dark flavors.

Taste: Caramel and biscuit malts, with a bready sweetness. Some very mild hop flavor in the background, with just a hint of bitterness as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full-bodied. Low to medium carbonation. Smooth.

Drinkability: A very good malty red ale. Enough hops to cut the maltiness, but not enough to impart much flavor. A good beer to try.

Buy Again? Yes.

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Photo of SilentSabre
3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

One of the most beautiful shades of red I've ever seen in a beer, with a nice khaki coloured foamy cap. Smell was sweet, roasted malt with an almost lactic sourness. Smells tempting. Flavour was quite rich with sweet malts and a lovely earthy bitterness. Mouthfeel is heavier than it seems it should be, given the style. This is a very well crafted red ale. It has alot of carbonation though, so I don't think you could have too many at once. I do like it very much, though. Good job Ft. Collins.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.61/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-dark ruby red in color, clear and pretty. The head is a thick two fingers of off white head with some bubbles in the middle. Pretty solid retention lingering for about a full minute leaving a nice lacing on the glass

S-the nose is bready up front, lightly toasted with some caramel coming in right behind it. Stale grains, slightly metalic, comes in at the middle with a decent citrusy hop coming in at the back

T-the taste is similar to the nose. Toasted biscuit and caramel give this a sticky malt component right up front. Stale grains and a good bit of them right in the middle. Citric hop notes, light but present in the back with a fair amount of bitterness to finish it off

M-smooth and a little creamy, a good medium body and a carbonation that holds up very well without overpowering anything. Crisp clean finish

D-this is a tasty beer that doesn't really do anything special. It is enjoyable and light tasting.

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

Poured into a Perfect Pint glass.

A: Red amber with nice clarity and moderate carbonation. A dense cream head has nice retention and leaves a good amount of lace.

S: Caramel and toffee, plus some citrus and a little red grape.

T: Starts out with a bittersweet toffee flavor. Bitterness is well balanced, and has a mostly grapefruit bite that's backed by a touch of lemon. Finishes with lingering toffee and citrus flavors.

M: The medium-light body is semi-dry and has about the right amount of carbonation.

D: This is a nice and light session beer that is nice to kick back with on a warm night.

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Photo of ATPete
2.48/5  rDev -31.3%
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 TMoney2591
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

The red is deep enough to make Lenin proud...but Trotsky, on the other hand, sees the amber-brown involved, as well as the rather weak head, and senses corruption among the revolutionary ranks. The combined scents of syrup, oranges, and pine indicate a shift in policy, a drive toward over-centralization seemingly to the detriment of the workers themselves. This was the smell of blood, of a counterrevolution from within. The syrup, though, is subsumed beneath the jackboots of pine and hoppy bitterness as they march down the tongue. Thankfully for Trotsky, the Party's grip is not very strong, and the bubbles, though only intermittant, offer an opportunity to slip through Stalin's smooth, semi-dry grip. Unfortunately, the Party's allure is strong enough to keep people immigrating to the Union, building an army of willing agents. All it takes is one, surprising Trotsky in his new home...

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Photo of tapman
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A very nice deep mahogany with a not so nice thin head. Carbonation appears on the low side of moderate.

Malty toast, darker raisin caramel, fruity hops, and a hint of cocoa round out the aroma for me. Very what I always hoped a Killians could have smelled like. Lets hope it tastes this good. From the explanation on the bottle I would have liked a little more hop aroma and I feel that the darker malt aromas in this brew could have handled sharing a little with more hop aroma.

Super malty. Let's see... cocoa, burnt toast (a little bit smooth melonoidin and some astringent roastiness), dark caramel and a tart hop bitterness. It's decent going down, but the hop bitterness, though not overdone, does combine with the astringent dark malts to form a chemy-medicinal bite. I could use less overall astringency, though +1 for getting all of the malt flavor and aroma into this brew.

What's wrong with the mouthfeel? Nothing. Heck, I'll give it a '5' since what else could you want? Does it have body? Yup! Too thick? Hell no! Enough carbonation to give it a bite without being too effervescent? Indeed! Seriously, the only thing that could inprove the mouth is if you could feel taste and it tasted better.

This could make a fine session beer, but already the astringency is wearing me down and I'm only 8 oz. done. Perhaps I'm just over sensitive to these flavors, but that is the downside for me. Not the worst red I've had, not by a longshot.

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Photo of gloriousglo2
2.82/5  rDev -21.9%
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 FickleBeast
3.4/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. No freshness date or ABV on the bottle.

Pours clear red with a half finger of foam that clings to the glass. Aroma is a good balance of sweet malts and a nice, crisp, hoppiness.

This beer is nicely balanced and flavorful, but I pick up a metallic twang to it. There is a decent bitter hop kick at the end which complements the malt chewiness nicely.

All in all, a solid, straightforward brew. Nothing mindblowing or particularly memorable, but nothing wrong with it either.

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

A - Poured from the brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. The body of this brew is a clear ruby red color when held to the light, topped with a foamy one finger off-white head. Decent head retention leads to a very nice lacing.

S - Not a huge nose...what I do get is a sweet malty base with just the tiniest bit of hops in the background.

T & M - The hops are a little more prominent than what I expected from the nose, backing up what is the main player in this saga, the caramel malt character. They do play well together, though neither is world class in character. Thin to medium bodied, with a nice dry finish.

D - Drinkability is high. The low ABV and decent balance between malt and hop make this an enjoyable brew that I think could be easily sessioned. I would certainly recommend this to friends.

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