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 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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Photo of jkrich
4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with a very angry and sour redhead on the label; no freshness date. The ale poured a very deep burgundy with brown highlights, much like a dark glass of tea. The foamy beige head slowly receded leaving some decent lacing.

Upon opening the bottle, a strong malty and syrupy aroma came forth. When poured into a glass there was an additional spicy note.

The first sip was decidedly sweet and malty with nice toffee notes and caramel. As the ale warms there is a noticeable sharp and spicy hop bite that gives this ale some balance.

The mouthfeel was rather thick and a little chewy with a medium body and low carbonation.
The malt and domestic hop compete on the palate.

This is a rather complex amber style ale that pushs the amber hue a little too far. The ale is best enjoyed when sipping, though it is quite quaffable. The website for this brewery states this ale replaced the Retro Red ale.

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

Red Banshee? Me like.

Pint glass pour and I am met with a nice dark amber ale with an off-white colored head with sticky lacing. The aroma consists of malt, honey, caramel and slight orange. The taste is big time on the malty side. Not sweet like I expected...which is a good thing for me with amber ales. Slightly nutty on the swallow with a big malt backbone and slight pepper in the mix. Slightly watery mouthfeel which is disappointing. Overall this came from a twelver sampler and I would hard pressed to buy a sixer of it. Too malty and nothing really "stands out" for this drinker.

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Photo of GallowsThief
3.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A – Poured out a reddish brown with about a one finger tannish white head that quickly dissipates to a film.

S – Sweet malts. Caramel. Bit of dark fruits maybe cherry.

T – Malts all throughout this brew with a nice roasty flavor. Brown sugar and molasses. Caramel sweetness. Switches from mildly sweet up front to a faint bitterness at the close.

M – Medium bodied with decent carbonation. Crisp taste. Clean. Tiny bit on the watery side.

O – Im a big fan of this type of brew and I would place this one as average. Its not bad at all but not at the top of the class. That being said I sure would not turn down another one.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.78/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a deep red almost brown, dark maroon really, with a medium off-white head, light lace.

S: Nice crystal malt with a hint of pine, straightforward.

T: Excellent crystal malt flavour with some dark bread, biscuit. Pine heavy with the hop character, though the hops never are the main point of the beer, they're really just for balance.

M: Medium-bodied, thin finish, soft carbonation.

O: Really my style with American reds, more to the malt arena. Kind of a lighter version of My Bloody Valentine, high praise from me.

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Photo of shanblur
3.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at Jungle Jim's International Market in Fairfield, OH. No freshness date on bottle. Poured from 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours a reddish brown color with a small light tan head. Head quickly recedes, leaving light lacing.

S - Sweet caramel malt aromas dominate. Some spice character and faint hops aroma.

T - The hops come through more on the taste. There is a definite malt character to the taste as well as some spiciness

M - Medium bodied with a light carbonation.

This was a decent beer. Not bad, but not one I would have again.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Deep amber in color, with a rather short head of off-white foam.
Aroma-Sweet toasted malt
Taste-rather spicy, sweet toasted malt,subdued hop presence offers a nice balance
A pleasant enough amber ale, although nothing exceedingly special.

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Photo of route66pubs
2.78/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - small white head, with good lace

S - slight malt and caramel, pretty bland and a bit soapy

T - waiting. still waiting. so, this is a beer, I get that. anything else?

M - there's carbonation in there, yes, that's true.

O - I'm really not impressed with my first offering from them. hopefully the rest of the mix pack will get better.

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Photo of Polycarp
2.83/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours with a thin head. Light red in hue, slightly foggy.
S- All I got is a sweet buiscuity malt smell. Nothing special.
T- Nothing too complex here. Tastes like a simple Irish red. Buiscuity malt presence with a slight Willamette hops backbone. Not bad, but nothing to write home about.
M- Very slight carbonation. Doesn't linger, doesn't fill you up. I guess the weight of it matches the flavor: nothing special.
O- Glad I got this in a singles pack and didn't pay for the whole six-pack. It's decent, but there are better beers out there that stick with you longer.

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Photo of denver10
3/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark red with a slight but present off white head.

Not too much of a smell....somewhat malty.

Strong malt taste partnered with some floral hops with the red ale backbone.

medium bodied and not too effervescent.

Overall, a decent take on a red ale.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.85/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice red color, clear with a small tan head. Very good looking beer.

The nose and flavor are strongly leaning to caramel malts and piney hops. Good strength in each category, not much for complexity but that's an amber. Some herbs, menthol, and pine.

Body is light, but the strong syrupy nature of caramel and pine leaves this one a little shy in the overall drinkability. I'm glad I tried it, a good hop head red.

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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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