Red Hoptober Surfaces From New Belgium
Soon the hot days of summer will be starting to wind down and luckily for us, New Belgium’s all set to help our palates through the seasonal transition with the release of their newest fall entry, the Red Hoptober. According to New Belgium’s Brewer Grady Hull, “Fall seasonals are a terrific transition from hot weather’s lighter beers into the warm embrace of winter beers and the Red Hoptober is perfect for a cool day fishing or a relaxing night around the campfire.”
Out of the bottle and into the glass, New Belgium’s Red Hoptober has a dark rose and amber hue that’s deceivingly stout looking. As I pulled a “Crazy Ivan” towards the glass, I was greeted by a rich and powerfully hoppy nose with a piney aroma. Utilizing several varieties of hops comprised of Centennial, Cascade, and El Dorado, the profile of the Red Hoptober is clean, citrusy and surprisingly well balanced. Differentiating the Red Hoptober from other hop heavy brews is its employment of the lesser known El Dorado hop, “a new hop varietal first released in fall 2010; imparting fruity characteristics such as tropical fruit, pear and watermelon.”
At first sip, the front of the profile has a slightly sweet grapefruit note that is quickly enveloped by the beer’s bolder hop laden profile. Now, if the Red Hoptober is starting to sound just a bit too fruity for you, don’t stop reading just yet. This beer is all about the hops. If anything, the bright citrus notes add a unique dichotomy to the profile resulting in a predominantly hoppy profile that finishes remarkably quickly and cleanly. Surprisingly, the brew is less viscous than its color or profile would let on, resulting in what is quite arguably the most refreshing and clean finishing hop intensive beer I’ve ever sampled. The finish is of course hop heavy, but it rests cleanly and never sways to the bitter side of the spectrum.
The final verdict, is it’s a unique, full bodied red ale brimming with a crisp citrusy and hoppy freshness that finishes with a creamy and clean mouth feel; an unusual combination of strength and reserve. So get prepared hopheads your hunt for the Red Hoptober can can commence in just a few short weeks. If you’re having a tough time locating either the Red Hoptober or any other of New Belgium’s expertly crafted brews, then check out their Libation Locator to help dial in a solution.