Irish Setter Red - Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

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Irish Setter RedIrish Setter Red

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37 Reviews
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Reviews: 37
Hads: 99
Avg: 3.57
pDev: 21.85%
Wants: 5
Gots: 21 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-08-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 37 | Hads: 99
Photo of SaltofOH
4.03/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle, no date. Threshold beer glass. C'mon Thirsty Dog, date your bottles! 16 IBUs and 5.9% ABV, 13.4 deg. P.

Smell: Caramel to the max! Sweet toffee, some fruity esters (or is that just Kent Goldings hops?). Sweet berrylike and melon-like aromas. Cantaloupe, red grapes. Diacetyl butterscotchyness. Mouthwatering.

Appearance: Deep amber, basically burgundy, with one finger khaki head that lingers, and very active, roiling carbonation. Very nice lacing, and retains a solid skim of tan.

Taste: Malty, slightly sweet arrival. Toasty across mid palate, turns slightly sweet right before the end, then to a very light peck of hops on the cheek. Hardly any hop bittering on the back end, but what is there is very earthy, woodsy and pleasant. Standards say esters on the palate are a fault, and there is a little there. Had to knock off a quarter point for that, but this is really delicious.

Mouthfeel: Lighter side of mid-bodied. More moderate carbonation than the appearance would suggest. Not totally clean-finishing, but cleaner than the sweet smell would suggest. I don't understand why they recommend serving this at 37 degrees; I had it much warmer and really enjoyed it.

Overall: Surprisingly drinkable. Not nearly as heavy or sweet as Great Lakes' example. Perhaps not perfectly to style, but I really enjoyed this beer and will definitely seek it out again. Quite close to a lighter brown ale. I am really displeased with the fact that they don't date their bottles, though the fact that they provide the serving temp, ABV, IBU and gravity almost offset that.

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Photo of ordybill
4.05/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. This beer has a roasted malt aroma that matches nicely with the reddish / amber color of the beer. The head is a medium sized tan colored head. The flavor is full of malt and some hops in the background. I found this to be a thoroughly refreshing brew. I am glad I tried it and I will drink it again.

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours brilliant red tinted amber under a 1” off-white foam collar. S: Not a lot of aroma, some spice and earthiness. T: Big malt flavors with spice – some cardamom and a touch of cola. F: Average to above average carbonation, average to below average body. O: A respectable Irish Red.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, no bottle dating. Pours slightly hazy deep orange/copper color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, toast, biscuit, brown sugar, light nuttiness, light pear/apple, herbal, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and light fruity yeast notes; with good strength. Taste of big caramel, toast, biscuit, brown sugar, light nuttiness, light pear/apple, herbal, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Light herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, biscuit, brown sugar, light nuttiness, herbal, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice robustness, complexity, and balance of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and light fruity yeast flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Nicely clean with well restrained yeast ester notes in the aroma and flavors. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and moderately creamy/bready mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Irish red ale style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and light fruity yeast flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.69/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Undated bottle at 40 degrees into shaker
Aroma of toasted malt
Head large (6 cm, aggressive pour), off white, creamy, slowly diminishing to 4mm frothy ring and layer
Lacing average – few medium islands and archipelagos of tiny to small bubbles
Body medium amber, clear
Flavor initially very malty with some caramel; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, watery, lively carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 3.75, Flavor 3.5, Palate 4, Overall 3.75

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.47/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed from the growler in a snifter. This nice red ale pours a beautiful reddish brown with a very nice off white head of foam that turns slowly into a modest ring, a thin pool, and features FANTASTIC sudsy lacing. Nose is minimal....some light grain, some sweet malts, a hint of hops.....about it. Flavors sweet toasted malts to the front and sides. A crisp grain note tot he back blending in nicely with minimal hop use. An excellent red ale that improves vastly with warmth. Smooth crisp mouth feel finishes lightly dry with a moderately sweet finish. Very nice.


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Photo of misternebbie
3.28/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

nice Irish Red, again like most of their beers don't really have much access in my area, to bad because its very nice, good ABV around 6 percent and a rich malty flavor with strong hints of caramel and nuts.

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Photo of Mojo
3.55/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle -> Foothills Brewing globe glass

A - pours up red and clear with a small off white head. There is minimal lacing and minimal retention.

S - sort of weak nose. Bread, nuts, not much else

T - very typical amber ale profile. Caramel malts give way to a dry not all that bitter finish. There is a bit of a yeasty taste involved.

M - not much of an aftertaste, medium thickness.

O - kind of blah. Not bad, certainly not great.

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Photo of tillmac62
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Amber pour with a nice red hue. Very nice head and lasting lacing. Nose is of toast, nut and caramel sweet malt. Light bodied with medium carbonation. The flavor profile is a laid back blend of malt flavors that ends up being nicely complex and balanced. Like the nose, toast, nut and caramel float over a slight sweetness. The finish is smooth and at the end, Goldings are detected. A solid red ale.

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Photo of dar482
4.22/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in this beautiful brownish color with crimson/ruby coming through in the light. Super hazy. Watch out on the pour because it's a fizzy bomb.

The aroma has tons of toasty malt, a nuttiness, a dried apple peel, a sweet breadiness and caramel malt. Deep in there, there's a bit of maple syrup sweetness.

The flavor follows with that punch of dried apple and apple/pear peel on the front. It's almost tart. Then tons of toasty malt along with some caramel. The finish has this beautiful woody noble hop note. Almost a smokiness on the finish as well.

There is tons of carbonation to clean up the beer with its medium to light body. It's extremely drinkable.

This was a huge surprise to me. A great representation of the style. So simple. So drinkable. A really representation for a traditional great beer.

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Photo of screamking
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.

Pours murky caramel brown, with a thin 1 finger khaki head that sits for a minute. I like the look of this Irish red more than others I've had. Very earthy aroma with some citrus notes of orange. Also a lot of sweet wheat bread. The sweetness carries over in the taste. Most of the citrus is gone, replaced with caramel and more of that breadyness. Mouthfeel is quite wonderful, very easy to drink, and very thirst quenching on a hot day. I am always weary of this style, not a fan by any means. This however, I like a lot. It does seem more of a American take on a Irish red, but regardless this is a great beer.

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Photo of DeFaz
3.44/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I have found the Thirsty Dog brewery to be somewhat inconsistent, and this beer is certainly one of their better choices. Hop presence is just about absent, but there's plenty of roasted malt, caramel, butterscotch, and nut in the nose and on the tongue. The smell is sweet, and the taste is too, but not as sweet, and that's a good thing. For a beer with a relatively thin mouthfeel and modest ABV for the style, the flavors are bold and the beer is relatively complex. I liked the malt flavors, but I also recognize that the beer could be better with more hops and a bit less sweetness. It goes down easy and the mouthfeel is smooth and not sticky despite the sweetness in the taste, but it's just a touch too thin.

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Photo of Groomsy
3.35/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Dewey's Pizza in Newport KY. Served in a pint glass.

This Irish Red pours a dark crimson, bordering on brown. There are highlights of dark orange in the light. It is topped by a thin cap of foam and leaves spotty lacing down the side of the pint.

While most Irish Reds are quite mild on the nose and present no real interest to most craft drinkers, Thirsty Dog's take on the style is quite nice. While the trademark caramel and roast is there, there's also a sturdy malt presence of toffee, nuts, and a little bit of malted milk chocolate. There's also some earthy, herbal bitterness to balance out the abundant malt profile. A multi-dimensional Irish Red.

This multi-dimensionality carries over into the flavor. Starting with a robust roasty note of nuts and toffee, the malt presence is very sweet and well-rounded. There is some earthy and tea-like bitterness in the middle of the palate, followed by a chocolate, sweet finish. For a very "standard" style, I'm impressed with how Thirsty Dog has brought some power to this style. Well-balanced and very drinkable.

The mouthfeel is a little flat and slightly watery, but has a well-placed carbonation and sweet finish. Not bad, but not totally fitting for the flavor.

This isn't bad by any means - I commend Thirsty Dog for taking a style like this and giving it a real dimension. For fans of amber ales and brown ales, check this if it's available to you.

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Photo of WesWes
3.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark amber/red color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a rich malty scent that boasts of crystal and biscuit malts. It has a sweet caramel aroma with a mild bread-like character. The taste is good. It has a smooth crystal malt sweetness with a dry roasted malt finish. It goes down incredibly easy with tons of malt character, yet only a hint of residual sweetness in the finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very good red ale. It appears to be overly complex (aroma), yet it stays in check and drinks well.

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Photo of smcolw
3.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Huge head that subsides in a rocky fashion. Any lace slides down the glass. Mild haze on a deep amber with a dose of ruby color.

Biscuit aroma with some caramel, but not sweet. Light alcohol nose. No perceptible hop.

Sweeter flavor than the smell suggests. There's a berry flavor to this brew. Again, there's no notable hop. The body is watery with a high level of fine bubbles (so, it isn't too soda pop-ish).

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Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours as you would expect, a nice reddish amber color with small .5 finger head. Lots of carbonation coming up from the bottom.

S - Not a ton of smell here. Some caramel malt, breadyness, a tinge of sweetness.

T - A lot of caramel malt, with a bit of fruity sweetness, almost like a grape juice, finishes bready.

M - Very smooth, good body present.

Overall - For the style, a pretty solid beer here. I feel like Irish Red Ales can only be "so good" and Thirsty Dog has brewed a good one.

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Photo of hustlesworth
3.81/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Irish sample time. Not my favorite style of beer, but whatever.

A- clear reddish copper with golden highlights. Creamy lasting beige head. Lots of sticky lace, a TD trademark.

S- a little metallic, not a bad thing, sweet toasted caramel and brown sugar malt. Toffee, nutty, and some leafy hops. Meaty and a bit of tomato.

T- sweet and malty. Heavily nutty. Brown sugar, toffee, caramel, a savory quality, about zero bitterness (expected) but not so overly sweet and malty as other Ohio Irish reds. A hint of chocolate. Finishes well balanced.

MF- over medium, gently carbonated and definitely malty feeling.

D- again, not my style, but one of the better ones. Backin the home team, this one is pretty good.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.46/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Was in Cleveland area and the local store had a bunch of Thirsty Dog I made my own six...if you know what I mean. The Irish Setter poured a clear red amber with sligthly off white head that left some lacing. Mostly malt on the nose with touch of sweetness. The taste carried a caramel malt base with some hop balance. The mouthfeel was light to medium body with good carbonation. Overall a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
2.53/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - slightly hazy burnt-orange color with a small off-white head that stayed as a thin layer.

S - buttery, what happened here?

T - something's off in the taste as well as it's kind of sour.

F - the sourness in the taste kind of killed things for me.

O - no date on the bottle - let the buyer beware.
If I try this again and it has improved I'll re-review it.

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Photo of thegodfather1076
3.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was served out of a 12oz. bottle dispensed into a glass....

Presentation - Always love Thirsty Dog Labels. Very eye-catching and appealing using a K-9 theme.

Appearance - Pours out an amber ruby red color with a 1 finger cream colored foam head that dissipates rather quickly into a thin foam ring. Very light carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass.

Smell - Smells of heavy caramel and sweet bready malts. Not much hopiness in the aroma.

Taste - Taste is heavily laced with sweet bready malts at the front end and finishes with a nice sweet caramel taste on the back end.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation for this type of beer.

Drinkability - Very smooth and tasty with an excellent mouthfeel making this highly drinkable.

I thought this red was highly enjoyable and well crafted. Excellent taste and mouthfeel make this an excellent example of this style. Would be an excellent guzzling choice for St. Patty's Day!!!

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Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a hazy consistency. There was a huge, creamy, long-lasting head. Not much lacing.

S: A typically malty aroma with some traces of caramel.

T: Tasted of malt, caramel, and some hops in the finish. Not exactly what I'd call a groundbreaking flavor, but very enjoyable nonetheless.

M: A nice amount of carbonation with a somewhat slick finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Overall, this is a solid, well made, drinkable beer.

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Photo of tdm168
3.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with 1/4" of bubbly head that fades to a thin lacing. Caramel malts dominate the nose. The taste is similar to the smell; caramel malt with a sugary sweetness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, and moderately carbonated.

This one's not bad. One dimensional, but rich and drinkable.

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Photo of ne0m00re
3.06/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Review from sometime the past couple weeks... this one of a SOURED 12 oz bottle.
A: Brownish orange with a decent cream collar.
S: Caramel whipped cream with strawberries and some cherries... kind of murky.
T: Tart funky strawberries, caramel backbone... interesting. Tastes like biting a fresh strawberry.
M: Thinner, creamy.
O: Wish I had a good bottle. This version deserves the low score.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.97/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A dark brown color with a half inch ring of head that offers some lacing.

S - Very sweet. Offers notes of roasted almonds and caramel breads but I could have sworn first pour I picked up a cherry like smell.

T - Wow a not so hoppy red I like. I get sweet cinnamon like bread with a touch of caramel and a nice nut brown goodness. Not very cherry in the taste and finishes sweet as well.

M - Light to medium I found it watery but tasty.

Overall again I find another great beer from this brewery. It almost makes me want to throw the 4 bucks down to try the Cerberus. Almost...

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

hazelnut highlights are riddled throughout with a wonderful mix of colors. A smallish head of light tan then pops up from the bottom of the glass and reaches about a half an inch before settling back down again.

Aroma is of light caramel, roasted nuts, light touches of butterscotch like sugary notes. Warming brings out a very earthy and pronounced flavor to it. Really nice done but a touch light. This is my only complaint as it did not have the pop I was really looking for at the time. Smooth, even flavor really did not deviate much from beginning to end as the overall impact was nicely put together.

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Irish Setter Red from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.