Review: Red Hoptober, New Belgium

Red Hoptober
New Belgium Brewing Co. — Fort Collins, CO

  • Style:  Amber Ale
  • Bitterness:  60 IBU
  • ABV:  6.0%  
  • Malts:  Pale, C-80
  • Hops:  Target, Nugget, Cascade, El Dorado, and Centennial
  • Sampled:  12 oz. bottle

Description: "Fall is here and with it our seasonal ale, Red Hoptober. Shining like autumn leaves in a globe glass this beer pours a dark and lovely garnet as it builds a bright, inviting head. The El Dorado hops are bold and present with a distinct, piney flavor while the caramel malt and roasted barley provide a backbone to stand Red Hoptober upright. Centennial and Cascade hops offer hints of citrus, tickling the nose, while the tongue carries a subtle, roasty tone that pairs pleasantly with the warming bite of bitter. Red Hoptober is perfect for shortening days and campfire nights." — New Belgium Brewing Co.

Random thoughts:  Red Hoptober is replacing Hoptober as New Belgium's new fall seasonal. Hoptober was a Golden Ale and one of the first beers I profiled when I started this blog. I liked it (gave it 3 stars), but didn't get the seasonal aspect of the beer. Red Hoptober is part of my series on fall seasonal brews.

The tasting:  Deep reddish amber in color, clear, with an off-white head that dissipates very slowly. Aroma is full of big citrus and pine notes. Caramel and bread are also present in the nose. In flavor, grapefruit is prominent in flavor along with caramel malt. Herbal and grassy hops flavors are mild, but also thrown into the mix. Alcohol isn't noticeable in aroma or flavor. Overall hop bitterness is pronounced, but does not go over the top. Red Hoptober is medium bodied, moderately carbonated, and has a creamy mouth feel. It finishes with toasted caramel malt and a lingering citrus hop bitterness.

Rating:  4 star.  Really Good!  I want this again!  If I tasted this beer blind, I would have called it an IRA (India Red Ale) instead of an amber. The variety and depth of its hop flavors have surpass that of a typical amber ale. In addition, its rich malty flavors make it a great choice for fall. Red Hoptober is a welcome addition to the season. Don't miss it!

Have you tasted Red Hoptober? What's your favorite fall seasonal?

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1 comment:

  1. Glad you liked it. I'm trying this one tonight and also doing a brew review on it. :)


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