A few weeks ago I was psyched to review my first fall seasonal beer of 2012, and after taking a week off to finish reviewing all the possible 22-ounce Trader Joe’s beers I could find, I’m diving right back into fall seasonal reviews with New Belgium’s Red Hoptober.
It’s rare to find hop-themed fall seasonals, but since I’m a proud hop-head and generally love New Belgium beers, I jumped at the chance to pick up this sixer. Fortunately, this brew impresses from the start.
Red Hoptober has a deep red/dark chestnut color, a product of the red ale heritage, and sports a formidable foam crown. I’ll admit my pour was a little agressive, but I couldn’t wait to taste the brew. The aroma is incredible, super hoppy with a hint of sweetness in the background.
Taste-wise, this is a very interesting beer. The hops I smelled definitely show up throughout the flavor. Hoptober is brewed with three different types of hops, and this mix results in a very diverse hoppy flavor. It’s definitely got bitterness through the middle and end, but I loved the mix of stanky hops and a little bit of amber sweetness up front. There’s not too much of a bitter end note or mouthfeel.
I loved this beer, and could seriously put away multiple bottles in one sitting. The ABV is a decent 6%, so while it’s strong, it’s not so strong that you’ll be hammered after a couple. I definitely recommend picking up a sixer while they’re available!