Red Banshee Red Alt Ale | The Fort Collins Brewery

106 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: 106 | Ratings: 407
Photo of zoso1967
3.13/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Red Banshee pours an appropriate shade of ruby and is absolutely clear. In fact, this is probably the clearest red/amber ale that I have ever seen. The head is beige in color and while it is very attractive, it fades all too quickly and leaves moderate lace.

The aroma is predominantly that of crystal malts with their bready and caramel aromas taking center stage. I do pick up a slight amount of floral hop character, but they are pretty muted.

The flavor is a bit on the boring side. The crystal malts from the aroma that smelled so alluring do not come through as richly in the flavor. There is certainly more hop flavor with a floral, earthy and slightly spicy character, but it does not seem to meld well with the malt components.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter rend of medium and seems a bit watery. Carbonation is also a tad higher than I would like, though the beer finishes very cleanly.

Probably the least appealing of all the FCB beers I have tried so far. It has a decent aroma, but the flavor is all over the place. It is a drinkable brew, but I really have no desire to ever drink another one.

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Photo of tlazaroff
3.48/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Red Banshee has a wonderfully rich malty nose. I pick up burnt caramel, toffee, freshly baked bread and a light floral scent.

The beer looks great! It's a deep dark red with an off-white foamy head that dissipates, but not fully. Lacing is nice as well.

Upfront, Red Banshee is more bitter than it smells, I then get a hit of caramel which turns into burnt caramel with hints of light chocolate.

Carbonation on this is moderate, and it has a nice medium body with a dry finish.

This beer is supremely drinkable and overall not bad, but there are other Ambers that I would take over this one.

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Photo of Shumj
3.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Reddish brown with a good sized head and fair lacing

Aroma - Strong carmel malts

Taste - Coffe and Chocolate flavors come through the toasted malt. Carbonation is balanced and the flavor is smooth and consistent.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium

Overall: Found this at Binny's make your own six pack rack. It's a good ale, I would have again.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - An impressive dark amber brown with a minimal bit of head forming a decent layer of head only slightly sticky.

S - Smells of caramel malts, slightly earthy hops, and a touch of medicinal Sweetness.

T - Not the worst Red ale but not bad. Balance of hops and malts is noticed tasty.

M - Light to medium bodied I could have a few of these.

Overall not found locally but not a bad beer overall.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
3.83/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer poured from 12oz brown bottle to a pint glass. The rep from Fort Collins Brewery said they bought this recipe from H.C. Berger when it was in exisitence (in the same location) and brewed Red Banshee Ale.

A - The beer pours a translucent deep amber/mahgony color with a nice 2 finger bubbly cream colored head. Decent retention with nice lacing throughout.

S - The beer has a slight caramel malt aroma with a noticeable bread/grain character. A minor fruity note with little hop character.

T - The beer starts and finishes with a crisp and clean malt character that is prevelant througout. It is of toasted malt and is very smooth. The middle of the beer brings out a spicy note of earthy and citrus hops. The malty nature of the beer is quite pleasant.

M - Lightly carbonated with a light to medium body.

D - The beer is very easy to put down. Very drinkable.

Overall, this is a good representation of the American Red Ale. I would personally prefer more hop aroma and character thoughout, but that's not necessarily suitable for the style. I would happily purchase again.

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 02-12-2011 02:56:10

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Photo of StringSmoke
2.57/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Although I like the appearance, this cloudy, some what malty looking red ale has a grainy toasted malt taste along with a grassy, earthy hop AFTER taste that I don't care for. Also it looks potentially big in the glass but it just over 5% and the mouthfeel is fairy thin. This ale looks promising at first pour but I can't recommend it. It may suite those who are looking for something off the beaten path with a different twang.

Happy brewing!

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Photo of Dmart1223
3.62/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty tasty, drinkable brew.

The beer keeps a slight caramel-tinged head and is burnt sienna (look it up). It smells like its head looks, giving off a caramel sweetness of toasted malts.

The taste is very smooth with an immediate toasty aftertaste. Not much going on in the middle, but nothing offensive in the taste. Toasted malt characterizes the beer from start to finish.

It's an easy drinking beer with good flavor, although it doesn't stand out in any category. If someone gave me one, I'd drink it.

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Photo of scruffwhor
2.54/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Good ruby color, makes me think of my Redhead Fiance. ONe finger head after the bottle pour. Nice layer of foam maintains through all twelve ounces. Good bubbling.

Enriched, powdered, toasted caramel and crystal malt aroma. Makes me think of Government issue bread or biscuit mix. Add to that some musty, maybe earthy hops.

Mouthfeel is syrupy from start to finish. The hops combined with the toasty malts give a musty old caramel and biscuit taste to teh whole thing. Not terrible, but I'm not going to buy this beer again and will not recommend it to others.

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Photo of stabzmcgee
3.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma was pleasant. smelt like cherries. Matured into a caramel. Appearance was crimson. Head dissipated into a thin circle around the edges, color of custard. Taste was surprisingly enjoyable. Malt with a spicy toffee, or as a friend would say "Hoppy Toffee." Light to medium body with a thin texture. Very delicate carbonation with a lightly bitter finish.

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Photo of lstokes
3.33/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice red color and malty smell. Taste is very sweet all the way through--caramel malt, apple sweetness, toasted grain, some pine hops sneak in on the back of tongue but this is mostly about the malts. Mouthfeel is on the watery side. An average beer, nothing too exciting but not unpleasant.

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Photo of blakelive784
3.04/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass:

A - Pours a deep, hazy ruby color. 1 finger off-white head with poor retention.

S - Sweet candy, floral and earth notes, even some toffee. The aroma is really complex and inviting.

T - Strong dose of sweet malt, balanced nicely with bitter floral hops. Still get some sweet candy in there. Not quite as complex as the nose had predicted.

M - Relatively light bodied and dry. I think it could be more smooth and wet.

D - There are aspects of this beer that are really good, and some that were disappointing. Definitely not a bad one though.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.38/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up in Totowa recently since I had never tried it before. This poured quite dark and it wasn't until I signed onto here that I saw that this beer was classified as an American Amber/Red Ale. Because this is so dark and malty, it's hard for me to picture this as one of those but as I worked my way through my pint glass, the hoppier aspects of this beer emerged; just enough that I can see how this fit the bill categorically.

This poured a fairly dark brown with a head that faded quickly and not a lot of lacing to be seen. The aroma wasn't anything special and the first notes were very heavy - an earthy undertone with caramel on top of it. In the back, a more metallic note took over with a dry-hopped feel and the crispness of mint subtly in the background. For the most part, this beer was sweet and malty with the effervescent carbonation giving everything a lift.

The alcohol isn't that high in this beer and even though I only bought one, I could have had a few in a sitting. It wasn't memorable and yes, it was one of the darker examples of this style that I've had but this beer was still enjoyable. There's enough going for it that few are bound to be disappointed, though many would probably be underwhelmed after downing one of these.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Clear amber with two-finger, off-white, foamy head that lasted a minute or two. Nice lacing.

S: Dark sweet fruit, and a touch of earthy hops. Caramel malt.

T: Moderate sweetness and bitterness. Malty finish. Some spice. Not too hoppy.

M: Light to medium bodied. Watery. Virtually no carbonation. Pretty disappointing.

O: Nothing really stands out for this one. Not super drinkable and not very interesting either.

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Photo of Ryan011235
2.53/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip on 8/19/11

Nice clarity. Medium brown/plum hue; kind of like watered down grape juice. One finger head thins after a few minutes leaving a patch of bubbles amid a layer of skim. A few trails of lace.

The aroma has a decent amount of caramel with a hint of toasted bread. Notions of other sugars. Hints of raisins. Candied and floral hops. Not bad but I could go for more of a hop presence. Tastes pretty much the same, which is to say underwhelming. Some earthy hops with a modest bitterness. Floral too. Perhaps not quite as juicy as I'd hope. Toasted bread crumbs and caramel. Leans toward a lighter body; seems thin to me. Carbonation is too sharp for the watery feel. Finishes mostly clean with some residual bitterness lingering on.

Overall impression: an unremarkable take on the style that doesn't gel. I have no compelling reason to finish more than half the glass. Back to the sink.

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Photo of flexabull
3.55/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another part of the mixed 12 pack.

Pours a dark amber color with a pretty nice white head.

Aromas are kind of faint, some caramel malts sweetness, some oak, and earthy hops.

Taste is semi sweet, caramel like, very faintly tart, with some tea like maltiness. Finish is crisp, with some earthy bitterness.

Mouthfeel is good, full, and fairly smooth.

Overall, this is a decent amber. Once again, there is some tartness here that is like the IPA I tasted earlier from Fort Collins that detracts a bit, but it's still a pretty good amber ale.

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Photo of ectomorph
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16 oz shaker glass at Urban Stack Burger Lounge. Can anyone explain why pints of this are being sold for $8 on draft??? Anyone? Moving on...

A - Clear amber / red in color, smallish off white head fades fast, little in the way of retention / lacing.

S - Malty, caramel, biscuit, sweet bread backbone. Clean, no esters, no hop presence noted.

T - Sweet caramel and bread notes. Some specialty grain presence that I can't quite place, possibly Special B. Light roasted notes and some pale chocolate. Just a hint of hops bitterness keep this from coming off as cloying.

M - Medium body and carbonation. Clean finish, with little aftertaste.

O - Middle of the road American Amber that leans more to the sweet / malty sie of things.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.51/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Toasty and with a sun-kissed sweetness, Red Banshee demonstrates an even-keel balance from sip 'til finish, and in moderate tone throughout. Designed for low offense, but also slight on challenge and intrigue.

Extreme clarity of deep mohogany redish brown hues elude to intense filtration. But the thick froath that builds from fine carbonation proves very strong and sturdy with lightly tanned foam and intermitten pockets of lace along the glass.

True malt scents set the aromatic tone, along with complementary notes of caramel, toffee, orange peel, and grass. Toasted grain and malts obviously govern the aromas without one commanding the other.

Toffee, grain, caramel, toast, and bread crust begin the flavor profile, with the malty-malt flavors providing an envelope that gounds the taste. A balance from grassy, woody, and citrus hops offer a needed variety of flavor aside from malts, along with the finish of grassy bitterness that offsets the sweetness and dries the beer late. With an emptying taste mid way through, the beer reveals a rather unappealing grainy and metalic taste just before finish.

A firm malty and creamy start waivers quite quickly and becomes thin and somewhat watery soon after, leaving a long lull in the mouthfeel. Somewhat grainy and astringency at that point, the beer recovers slightly for a minty-dry and clean malt finish. A somewhat peculiar procession with a pleasant start and finish with such a void between.

A nice American Amber that foots the bill in early creamy malty flavor, hop balance, and herbal finish. But the lack of soul at the crucial transition point from initial taste to finish really hurts the drinkability.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.47/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Part of the Brewer's Lunchbox mixed pack.

Pours a clear amber red with a 1 inch light beige head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Thin foamy rings of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of brown sugar, grapefruit, and biscuits. Taste is somewhat watery and is of bread, grapefruit pulp, and slight brown sugar. Mild hop bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average amber ale with a smell that is better than the taste.

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Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.83/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Build a sixer section at Cork and Bottle served in an SA glass

A nice dark amber color with minimal foam. The aroma is geared more towards malt with some earthy spice like nutmeg. The taste has hints of caramel, nutmeg, and a bit of an extra twang, like pepper. The body seems a tad thin for a red but not too much. It has a mild tartness that's enjoyable and adds to the brews positive characteristics. I'm liking this one.

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Photo of JayS2629
3.41/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours pretty enough with a rich amber, nice clarity and a thick white head that sticks around and leaves ok lacing.

The aroma is subtle with some caramel and earth tones accompanied by a spicy, herbal note. Some toasty malts and a touch of spice.

The malts get subdued and the earthiness comes out to shine. A little off balance, but overall it follows the nose with caramels, toast, spice, and earthy hops in the finish.

Not watery, but not quite medium body. Refreshing and crisp.

Overall, its a good and easy beer to drink.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
3.18/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: It is very dark amber with a suitable amount of carbonation. The tawny head froths up to a finger or so. It also sticks to the side of the glass pretty well. I like the thickness for an American Ale.

Usually you expect something a little bubblier instead of thick. I like it. Head has receded a little since initial pour, still hanging strong though.

Smell: Bready and sweet malts are the major profile when sniffed. There isn’t really much in the “earthy” department that is advertised on the bottle. However, they definitely nailed the sweet caramel malts. It is very subtle.

Taste: The sweetness of the smell does not carry over to the tasting. The earthiness is finally here, and it is accompanied by the bitterness of the Willamette hops. Not much malt at all in the drink and that is disappointing. Where is my sweet, bready malt that finishes with the hop bitterness?

It’s like my tongue keeps skipping the first part and trucks immediately to the finish. There is just the slightest bit of roasted malt in there, but certainly not a pleasant sweetness.

Mouth feel: Not bad? Not good either. It finishes resolutely dry with the hop character being so steadfast on waiting to show up at the end of the drink. It makes the swallow a little unpleasant on some drinks, warming definitely helps smooth out the beer.

Overall: This siren is certainly not everything her beautiful bottle promises. While her tempting bottle art won’t lead you to the certain doom that is drinking bad beer, she might leave you wondering how she ever made it home with you from the bar.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.73/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Mayor of Old Town, Ft. Collins, CO

Poured a ruby-brown with a moderately sized, off-white head. Good balance of malts and piney hops in the aroma. Biscuity taste, sweet malts, balanced with a moderate amount of piney hoppage, grainy, with notes of apple and maybe a touch of citrus. Medium body, and easily drinkable.

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Photo of whatthehull
3.46/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


A - light blood red, half finger off white head, and no lacing

S - Very sweet, tons of malts, some wood, grains, earth and a slight candied floral hop note

T - Very malty, sweet yeast, slight sour, some floral notes, hops and lots of earth/grain

M - Medium minus body, decent complexity, low acidity, well balanced and medium finish

D - If you like malty beer, you need to give this one a whirl. Has some nice smells and tastes, decent beer

Final thought - Got this sampler from a buddy. Don't know anything about the brews or brewery but they have decent beer

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.26/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Look: Deep red color with 1/4 inch tan head and ok retention

Smell: Very light floral hop smell traces of caramel

Taste: Has a very funky hop flavor to it can really put my finger on it, not like your typical hoppy red. Also has some oak on the back end

Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium carbonation level with a slightly dry finish

Overall: Not to bad of a red but I like more piney hops in my reds and this one just doesn't have that. But overall the beer is not to bad

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Photo of MrDonQuixote
2.45/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served on tap at Fort Collins Brewery:

A- Dark red color with a nice healthy head

S- Malt smell, with a nice hop character to it

T- Nice hoppiness up front, but the beer is extremely grainy, so it loses all of its flavor

M- A bit watery, but the carbonation build makes up for it a bit

O- Not a fan of this beer at all, just seems like no effort was put into it

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Red Banshee Red Alt Ale from The Fort Collins Brewery
3.42 out of 5 based on 407 ratings.
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