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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Waxing Poetic for Red Hoptober (New Belgium)

I'm embracing fall again after a week of frigid temperatures. It is 66°, the windows are open, my smoked rye is bubbling in the carboy, and all is right with my slice of the world. I almost didn't see this harvest ale on my hunt for autumn brews. I was constructing a mix pack to try out some new ones, and the keen eyes of Mr. K spotted this new brew.

After trying it, I'd go as far as saying this is my fall brew. This is what Gnomegang was to my springtime. My tastes far exceeded NB's description. It was one of the few times that I read the label while I was drinking it. The flavors were so all over the place that I needed a sanity check...and I didn't get one! Read this with caution, dear readers, because what you get may not be what the experts describe.

General Thoughts
Look and Smell: This amber brew had a white frothy head. I smelled bitter smoke. Like smoked hops? It was not normal in any way. The smell alone marked it as the bonfire brew of 2012.

Taste: It tasted smoked. It had a sweetness. It was bitter. It was dry. It was all over the place, yet not overwhelming. All of these seemingly disparate flavors culminated into a sensory experience that can only be described as tasting fall. Yes friends, I tasted fall that autumn night. A bit dramatic, and despite all that hype, I hope you try it (preferably by a bonfire) and like it!

My hopes were actually not too high for this brew, and the picture reflects that. Once I started smelling it, there was no putting it down for another shot! Maybe, I'll pause for a better shot next time!

This brew did make it into my fall beer class tasting line up.

From the NB site:
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 Eldorado 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.

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