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Red Banshee Red Alt Ale | The Fort Collins Brewery

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103 Reviews
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Red Banshee Red Alt AleRed Banshee Red Alt Ale

Brewed by:
The Fort Collins Brewery
Colorado, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly called Retro Red.

Added by jmkratt on 02-12-2011

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Reviews: 103 | Ratings: 399
Photo of woodychandler
3.99/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I am plowing through some of my backlog of CANs, especially in the furtherance of The CANQuest (tm). These series of FCB CANs were procured at The Friendly Greek Bottle Shop.

From the CAN: "A session-able ruby red alt ale true to its German roots with an approachable hop bitterness from German noble hops, subtle caramel malt sweetness with notes of biscuit and toffee. Release your inner Banshee."; "Family owned & operated since 2003"; "Pairs well with: Cheddar Mac 'n' Cheese, Crème Brulee".

As we know by now, nothing happens without a Crack! & once that was CANpleted, I CANducted an inverted Glug. The foaming was not too severe & I managed to get 3/4 or more of the CANtents into my glass before I was forced to back off. It settled into two fingers of puffy, rocky, tawny head that fell quickly in the face of this evening's humidity. Color was a gorgeous Coppery-Brown (SRM = > 17, < 22) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a syrupy sweetness along with a slight nuttiness and a definite breadiness. When they speak of beer as liquid bread, this could be an example. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full. The taste was (thankfully) not as sweet as the nose had led me to expect. Instead, the nutty breadiness was prevalent and quite tasty. Imagine banana nut bread, sans the banana. There was a richness to its flavor that I could probably do without, but it is more than just a simple AmeriCAN Amber/Red Ale. The CAN now identifies it as a "red alt ale". Finish was semi-sweet, almost semi-dry, with a breadiness that simply lingered.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.54/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours red with a short lasting head of foam. Best by November 2016.

Some caramel malt and light hops in the smell. Reminds me of Alaskan Amber, another Alt style ale.

Light sweetness, mild bitterness, more earthy than anything else. Doesn't stand out but is quite drinkable and enjoyable. I wish that I remembered how this stacks up to the old original from H.C. Berger.

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Photo of dcscientist
3.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Yep, it's a red. Pretty much tastes like most other reds. Not too inventive, just a good representation of the style. Didn't really stand out in any way though. I know this brewery is in the process of changing some of their recipes so I'll be curious to see what, if anything, they do with this one.

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Photo of tone77
3.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A thanks to the captain of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a bronze color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some malts. Taste is malts, subtle hops, sugar, some caramel. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a highly refreshing beer.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.13/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz can. Pours light reddish amber with a small creamy off white head that goes to a thin film and leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is nutty malts and vegetables.

The flavor is sweet cola malts with some bitter roast and a little stewed vegetable. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall, I remember liking the original and the Retro Red a lot better.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.45/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I didn't get a real chance to review this properly as it was out of the can, and 2/3 of the way through it was taken from me by a Nazi bartender who said they didn't serve that there (which was true, I just wanted to have one before I ordered taps).

Overall though, it was neither too bitter nor too malty, a touch metallic but not overly so, had a medium body that followed through to the finish; it was not bad but not particularly memorable. A typical boring alt ale with not much redemption going for it. Maybe someday I'll review it again in detail, but I think for now this is a solid pass in the future.

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Photo of BWED
3.04/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into wilibecher.

A- Dark amber. Tan head is foamy and retains at about one finger. Good lacing.

S- Caramel malt, with subtle spicy hop. Very, very light dark fruit notes.

T- Mild sweet malt. Hop flavor a bit earthy.

M- Mainly sweet, strong medium body. Mild dryness in the finish.

O- Very mild all around. Wish there was more of a hop presence.

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Photo of FickleBeast
3.66/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. Best by 9/2016 on bottom of can.

Pours a clear ruby red color with a finger of off white foam that fades quickly. Aroma is a touch minerally, without too much sweetness or hop presence.

First sip as a nice sweet munich malt flavor, with a very clean finish. Not a whole long going on here, but a nice solid and enjoyable brew.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours clear and brown with ruby highlights and a light khaki, finger width head. Fair retention, then fades down to a thin, broken layer across the surface. Lacing consists of broken sheets and a few spots here and there.

Smell - Caramel malt sticks out like a sore thumb, along with a lightly floral and spicy hop aroma.

Taste - Follows the nose. Mostly a basic caramel malt flavor with a touch of hop spice. A bit of grain comes through in the finish. Simple.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth, then a slightly dry finish.

Overall - Fair drinker, but kind of boring. It's well made, but there's nothing here that excites the taste buds and begs for another sip.

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Photo of chinchill
3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can with more appealing graphics than seen earlier on bottles. Served at about 50F in a lager glass.

Brown-ruby body with excellent clarity and an above average dark beige head. Sticky patches of lacing are left behind after a full sheet slides back into the body.

Aroma: markedly hoppy for style.
Flavor: malt dominated but by a thin margin with more spicy hops than usual for style. Excellent balance.

Overall: a very nice sessionable red ale with added interest from spicy hops and an excellent appearance and mouthfeel. Approaches 4.

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Photo of maddogruss
3.42/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: pours a dark red body with small white head with some lacing, no real retention.
S: sweet, dark toffee smell
T: sweet toffee taste with a earthy, burnt toffee aftertaste
M: smooth and medium bodied
D: nice mouthfeel and taste combo; pretty good red ale

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Red Banshee is a solid if not spectacular beer. It poured a clear rich amber with thin white head and no lace. The scent was faint with some bread. The taste is nicely balanced and easy to drink. The Mouthfeel is lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall it's a decent beer.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.03/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Love the artwork on these six packs. Pours red, good clarity, pretty color, thin head. Aroma was void.

Taste, you get some of those peaty red malts, a little bit of probably chinook and cascade hopping. Mouthfeel more of the same. Solidly average says I.

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Photo of Parmesan
3.18/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Look: Red color, a little cloudy but mostly opaque. Pours with very little head.

Smell: Bready malt and caramel, little bit of hop and some alcohol flavor.

Taste: Bready malt, some caramel and some what herbal bitterness that doesn't mesh with the rest of the beer.

Feel: Medium carbonation, pretty easy drinking beer, fairly light mouthfeel.

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Photo of stakem
3.04/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Standard 12oz bottle pours s clear burnt amber color with a dark khaki head. Some patchy lace sticks to the glass.

This smells fruity almost perfume-like with alcohol and raisons. A slight herbal touch is also present.

The taste is herbal with mild fruity aspect and cardboard-like dusty grain flavor that lingers with some caramel/toffee.

This is medium in body and modestly carbonated. I appreciate my friend gifting me with a bottle of this - its ok but it tastes dated and I likely would not purchase it.

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Photo of Ksmoove27
3.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Look - dark amber - little head that dissipates quickly; mild to no lacing

Smell - I get a slight caramel, malt, but not a strong aroma out of the bottle.

Taste - follows the nose with a little more punch...but not much more...doesn't even have the character of a mass brew like Yuengling

Feel - very drinkable, with mild carbonation and medium body

Overall - Very average beer. I'd drink it if it was there, but wouldn't go looking for it again.

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Photo of akolb
4.13/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured out of a bottle into a pint, right here in Fort Collins
L: Light brown with a persistent ruddy head. Darker than expected.
A: Hops, bread, and a touch of yeast. A bright, inviting aroma.
T: Malty and slightly sweet at first with a strong bitter aftertaste.
F: Very smooth with low carbonation. The light body makes for easy drinking.
O: Far better than most Fort Collins brewery beers. The quintessential American amber/red ale: malty and smooth with a good amount of bitterness. A beer that reminds me of crisp fall days, and something I definately will seek out again.

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Photo of Merticois
3.93/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - A nice white 1.5 inch head which stayed there for a minute or two. The color is a pretty dark coppery amber.

Scent - Floral notes, a nice sweet caramel scent. A faint hint of herbs.

Taste - Up front a strong amount of caramel sweetness and floral note. This gives way to a finish of medium hops and a nice crisp citrus flavor.

Mouthfeel - Medium thick body, with a confusing finish, simultaneously dry and yet there is a sticky residue left over in the mouth. Nice carbonation and a crisp bite from the hops.

Overall - This is a pretty interesting beer. It's got a sweet caramel malt and herbal floral flavors and the finish is very hoppy and reminds me of an IPA. It's pretty tasty and if it wasn't for the mouth-feel, I'd probably rate it a bit higher. Overall, not a bad brew, I would drink this again.

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Photo of Tone
3.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, dark copper color. 2/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and decent lacing. Smells of sweet malt, slight citrus hops, slight piney hops, hint of pale malt, caramel malt, hint of alcohol, hint of toffee, and a hint of cherry. Fits the style of an American Amber / Red Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and clean, with an average carbonation level. There is also an unusual dryness. Tastes of sweet malt, cherry, caramel malt, hint of hops, and a hint of alcohol. Overall, decent appearance, good aroma, body is oddly cherry flavored, and the dry feel is unwelcome.

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Photo of Todd
3.04/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Bright, dark amber with a big, off-white, creamy, foam head. Woody, toasty, and grainy in the nose. Medium-bodied and smooth, but a bit on the flat side. Flavor is malty upfront and moderately sweet with a dry, graininess, breadcrusts, muted toasty and toffee notes, grape, and suggestions of leather and spice. Low bitterness, but just enough to push back on the malt. The linger is hard to shake. It's very dry and grainy/dirty.

The best part about this beer is its appearance, but the rest is lacking. It could use a bit more carbonation, and a maltier and sweeter profile.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
3.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, deep, dark, mahogany color with a quarter of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Not much in the aroma department at all. I get faint aromas of bready, toasted malt, and a touch of caramel and black pepper, but not much else, and very faint notes at that.

Taste: What the beer lacks in aroma, it more than makes up for in flavor. There are strong notes of bready, toasted malt up front, followed by some caramel and brown sugar-like sweetness, black pepper, heather, a touch of rye, clover and finished with some floral, piney, slightly bitter hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and very smooth, as there is very little carbonation. With an ABV of 5.3%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is another good beer from Colorado, and one of the few I’ve liked from the Fort Collins Brewery. There’s lots of bready, toasted malt which is balanced nicely with some hops and sweetness.

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Photo of matjack85
3.95/5  rDev +15.8%

Got this as part of a build-your-own six pack for $9.99 at the Binny's store in Bloomingdale, IL, making this single 12oz bottle $1.67. No freshness date.

The beer poured a crystal clear pale red color with 2-fingers of tan head on top that lasted several minutes. There was lots of good lacing as well. A very nice looking beer.

The beer smelled malty and nutty with a hint of hops.

The beer was not overly sweet although the caramel malt was the dominating flavor. The beer was also very nutty flavored, like crushed cashews, which you find more in brown ales than reds. If you swish it around in your mouth you can also taste a bit of honey as well. Not much hop flavor or bitterness while in the mouth, but there is a surprisingly huge bitter and herbal hop aftertaste after you swallow.

This is a smooth. creamy, medium bodied beer that is in severe need of more carbonation. The low carbonation is the beer's biggest weakness.

This is a decent, easy to drink red/amber with a nutty twist to it. Just wish it wasn't so flat.

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Photo of chickenflea
3.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle. A truly beautiful beer with small tan head over a clear deep red body. Head leaves the building rapidly. Excellent noble hop aroma for an amber. Love Willamette. Malt aroma is not neglected. Smells almost like a Maris Otter malt. Lots of good caramelly sweetness. Excellent balance in the beer with the sweetness gradually overtaken by the hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium and lively. The bitterness lingers into the aftertaste. I want to take another sip to start the whole trip over again. A very nice American amber.

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Photo of bubseymour
4.27/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a very nice looking beer. Dark red / purple clear with 1 finger head and great retention
Smells nice too. Malty, sweet mostly but very nice. I really like the flavor profile on this one. Very nice malty sweet and bready upfront with a slight hop crisp finish. Very well balanced beer. Perhaps could be a tad thicker and sweeter in flavor but overall its pleasant overall. A very nice sessionable beer with flavor and highly recommend. Nothing mind blowing but if its at a pub, I'd be happy to order one.

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Photo of EagleTalon
3.72/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours out to a nice thick head that falls down to a permanent layer. Bits of foam are left down side of glass. Color is a nice reddish amber. Aroma is malty, caramel, and hints of nuts and toffee. Flavor is malt-forward but strongly balanced by a hop backbone of earthy Willamette hops (basically American Fuggles) Mouthfeel is a bit crusty and astringent. A good quaff.

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Red Banshee Red Alt Ale from The Fort Collins Brewery
3.41 out of 5 based on 399 ratings.
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