1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Murphy's Irish Red - Murphy Brewery Ireland Limited

Not Rated.
Murphy's Irish RedMurphy's Irish Red

Educational use only; do not reuse.

606 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 606
Reviews: 322
rAvg: 3.2
pDev: 16.56%
Wants: 6
Gots: 38 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Murphy Brewery Ireland Limited visit their website

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-08-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (2) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 606 | Reviews: 322 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tavernjef
2.34/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On-tap at The Liffey: Clear reddish brown, thin smooth vanilla hued cap, specks of lacing sticks. Aroma has much ado about nothing, I wiff and wiff and I get hardly anything. Faint of all faint sweet malt. Flavors are just as offering, hello, I'm I drinking something or not. Very mild, very faint, and very quick malty sweetness with a smidge of toastyness. Irrefutably tasteless. No off flavors, just no flavors. Feel isn't watery really, just thin and lacking. I had this in a bottle some time ago and it was so bad I decided not to review it. Saw that it was on-tap so I figured, maybe, it might be a bit better. Um....nope.

Photo of merlin48
2.13/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This one is an enigma. I have the same bottle as pictured, and on the front label it has a blurb that says, " brewed to the original recipe since 1856". On the back label, it says, "Product of the Netherlands". The pour is remarkable. A nice copperish amber body with a dark ivory head that is long lasting, and deposits generous sheet and patch lacing down the glass.

Aroma begins the downhill slide. Skunky, eurohops that evoke medicinal, dirty, dishwater. Smells similar to a Heineken.

Mouthfeel is average, with light to medium body and high carbonation.

Taste resembles the aroma, with a bitter, euroskunk, nasty dishwater flavor. Malt presence is understated with a slight note of caramel. Some Heineken taste here.

An Irish red beer brewed in Holland. OK. The Dutch and Irish are the friendliest people I've met in my limited world travels, and I've had enjoyed superior beers in both countries. This pseudo-Irish red beer, that begins with such an exceptional appearance fails to impress, when it gets past its superior looks. Is this now brewed by Heineken, or what?

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.06/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer sure looks the part before the crown is cracked. Good looking thick-necked bottle with an impressive red, green, cream and gold label. It doesn't look too shabby after the pour either. Pristine orange-copper with a large, light beige head that's more firm and rocky than expected. Scraps of lace are starting to stick and I'm left with a respectable partial coating on the inside of my glass.

The nose is unimpressive. Lightly toasted malt/grain with a faint, indescribable off-aroma. The flavor doesn't impress either. Caramel malt and scorched grain with an unpleasant bitterness and faint metallic notes. The not-all-that-pleasant melange of flavors deflates into a watery muddle in fairly short order, resulting in a brief finish. The body is closer to light than to medium and there's isn't much in the way of carbonation.

On re-reading, the beer isn't quite as bad as my description would suggest, but it definitely didn't live up to my expectations; which weren't all that high to begin with. Average at best.

Murphy's Irish Red reminds me of a redhead who fails to make the finals of a beauty pageant: decent looks but utterly without substance, and a bit too nasty to be in the running for Miss Congeniality. Now, about that tall brunette who's a Phi Beta Kappa...

Photo of kbub6f
3.16/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This reddish, dark amber, clear beer has a very big, cream-colored, bubbly, foamy, thick, active head. It leaves some spots of lacing on the glass. The smell is sourish and almost lagery. A faint caramel front introduces a darker malt middle that sweetens a little with a touch of fruit. The finish sours some and sports a nice bitterness with some nuts. Not great, not bad (and needs to warm up a little to develop much taste).

Photo of BeerBob
3.25/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Murphy’s Red beer pours a dark amber from it’s brown 12oz glass bottle.

The lively carbonation brings the head to over two fingers... but then fades just as quickly as it formed, leaving just a few islands of foam and some what of a broken ring around the glass and a few spots of lace as well.

Nose is of malt and whiffs of alcohol with mossy undertones moving in and out.

Taste is a dry malt with moss and hops playing in the background of the mouth with a nice citrus closing aftertaste.

A refreshing and satisfying brew that I will be look for again.

Photo of Soybomb
2.76/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

appearance: Pours a deep amber and red color with a short head that quickly dropped off to just a ring.

smell: Not really much going on here. Something kinda grainy at most.

taste and mouthfeel: Sweet, malty, little to no hop flavor coming through. Medium carbonation keeps it pleasant to drink. Very light bodied. Somewhat bitter finish.

notes: Nothing special to me here, I think even for $1 I can do better, but you can certainly do worse too.

Photo of Sixpack595
3.18/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With a slightly hoppy aroma I expected a bit more flavor. Unexpected skinky/heinies aroma and a funky aftertaste really hurt this beer, but it was still fairly drinkable. Amber body and tan head, not a bad looking beer. Flavor was sweet and pleasant with a funky aftertaste. Thin mouthfeel. Not a bad beer, but certainly nothing to hunt down.

Photo of edchicma
2.88/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Hmmmm...I saw the name Murphy's and decided to try it. I love their Stout, but this is not that great. Appearance was ok, reddish, but little head and lacing. Taste was way to sweet, with a catch in the mid palate and later the throat....Drinkability suffered ...too oily...too sweet to enjoy. Disappointing.

Photo of Darkale
3.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange-amber in color, with a fast head that lingers for about half of the beer. Slight lacing. Aroma is mostly sweet, but not very strong.

Bitterness is mixed with high candy sweetness, with an overall tang throughout -- other reviewers have called it metallic, and while that's not exactly it, it's closer than any other adjective I can come up with.

Brisk but not harsh in the mouth.

This is not a beer that I would turn down, nor would I feel abused if I found it on tap at a local restaurant. But I followed my last one with a Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, and the comparison was not one that the Murphy's people would have appreciated.

Photo of Stingray5
2.71/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured amber with a short white head. First disappointment was lack of aroma. Just not much happening. Malty maybe? Feels a little generic here. Mouthful on the thinner side, taste was better, with a caramel malt sweetness. Adjuncts detected. No noticible hops.

Funny, on the back of the bottle it read "Product of The Netherlands". Contract? Did Ireland move and I didn't get the memo?

Photo of surfmeister
2.58/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: beautiful copper beer with firm, resilient head, best aspect of brew
Smell: nice malt presence, a bit nutty
Taste: started with a nice malt burst but then my taste buds were assaulted with a "dirt/iron" taste, which they couldn't recover from, I guess some describe this as "metallic", ruined beer for me
Mouthfeel: OK, but hard to evaluate when you don't like the taste
Drinkability: did not want a second one

Photo of BeerResearcher
3.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This Irish-style Red was brewed in the Netherlands by Heineken.
It pours a tannish, red-tinted amber, with a fast fading white head.
The aroma is mostly of cut hay and peat, with a vague scent of cracked malt. The malt body is liquid and smooth. The fairly malty taste is offset by tea-like and a light citrusy bitterness. A light metallic bite is noticed in the back of the throat, as is just a touch of Euro hop taste. It's not bad, but I wouldn't go out of my way to find more, unless maybe on tap.

Photo of Beastdog75
2.87/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

As mentioned, this is not really a true Irish beer, but no matter what its origin may be this is simply a "red" beer that is pretty generic all around. Also, I simply hope that it is a "placebo effect" that took place while drinking this, but I thought I detected some Heinie similarities in this beer.

Murphy's Red pours a nice medium amber color, but it certainly is not red. Nice clarity. A rather eye-pleasing expansive off-white colored foam head forms and thins out within a minute, but leaves decent lacing. I could swear that I was smelling a Heineken. Perhaps not as sulfuric, but the skunky smell was there with a cheap-grain smell backbone to it and a light fruitiness that brought to mind the green-bottled monster (mind you, this beer was bottled in brown glass). The mouthfeel was generically thin and fizzy. The flavor is mostly of some toasted malts, and maybe could be considered to be a little on the sweet side. A light fruitiness is detectable to an extent, but there is very little in terms of hop bitterness. Again, I could swear there is some very light "Heinie" flavor in there. A heavy, toasted grain quality arrives in the aftertaste, bringing with it a distinct nutty type of flavor. This beer is deprived of any alcoholic warmth in the finish.

Not a bad choice for an easy drinking session brew, but there is better (and cheaper) out there. Murphy's is probably better off sticking to stouts, but this is an offering that would probably please your average Joe 6-Pack.

Photo of theozag
3.4/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

You may remember the Murphy Brewery, Cork, Ireland, from such delightful beer reviews as "Murphy's Irish Stout," but look closer... I mean CLOSER. Read the fine print for Red Beer and you'll see that although this brew is crafted under Murphy supervision, it's made by Heineken in the Netherlands. A problem? No, not really, but don't let anyone pick a fight with you claiming this is a true Irish beer.

Pours a gorgeous dark amber-brown with a thick off-white head. Smell is sweet, slight, and simply pleasant. Starts with a creme-like flavor and a tasty malt smoothness. Full-bodied with flavor suggestions of cinnamon, rich creme, and perhaps some semi-sweet chocolate. Just a little hop bitterness throughout. Finish is not remarkable. Aftertaste is *thick* but not terribly heavy.

Photo of diablo14
3.64/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

have to say i love this as a session brew. not complex, but tasty and satifying all the way. i could drink pints of this all night long, and really, its brewed for that exact purpose.

red in the purest sense of the word, with the creamy head you expect from any irish beer. nose lacks a fair bit, with only marginal sweet malt aspects and not much else. fortunately the flavor has a lot more. has a great backbone of malt with an oatmeal presence and some dried fruits and nutty aspects. not too fizzy , it lets the hops come to the fore on the back palate in a firm, but not forceful way. awesomely smooth and creamy, the sweetness of the beer is balanced by the gentle hops and a subdued but lingering bitterness. lovely!

a supremely good drinking beer, murphys red sets the benchmark for any in the style. perhaps others have done better since, but these fellows have brewed something anyone can drink and enjoy. i know i always do.

Photo of bditty187
2.49/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Clear auburn-bronze hue, similar to iced tea in color, the off-white head reached a height of a finger plus, it was rather rocky and impressive, superior retention. Plus it laces well. The nose puts a halt to the good vibes the appearance created. In fact, the bouquet was rather awful and not indicative of a Red... Ale? The smell is analogous of a lager, especially a typical Euro-lager (it is called “beer” on the label), the scent is largely naked with little maltiness, a suggestion of caramel, and a dose of grassy hops that don’t harmonize well with the malt. As for the taste, there is very little going on with the flavor profile; the caramel malt influences are weak and the hops are grassy and inappropriate in my opinion. It is largely clean, somewhat dry and somewhat sweet. There is very little complexity and no development on the palate from start to finish, which is quick. The aftertaste, however, is very metallic, nasty. Forgettable. Medium-body in body, indifferent carbonation produces a mouthfeel that is ordinary and empty. This is a major yawner. Give me a pillow. Skip this one.

An Irish Red brewed by Heineken, yeah! Actually my bottle just says “Murphy’s Red Beer.” I purchased a single 12-ounce bottle in Lincoln for a $1.50.

Photo of Reidrover
3.38/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought in the 14.9 oz can brewed by Heineken in Amsterdam.
Amber in appearance with a large frothy off white head..quite attractive actually.
The smell is pretty weird though..it smells like Heineken Lager just a little more malty.
The taste is mostly malty, a slight buttery tinge,sweet with small hop bite at the end.
A very creamy and smooth beer on the tongue.
Its a drinkable ale..would make a good session beer.

Photo of dpend
2.63/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Label says brewed and canned by the Heineken Brewery.Hissed at me when I opened it.Poured nicely,head was an inch above the rim of the mug and took it's time settling.Aroma was weak with sulfur.Taste was more sulfur.Mouthfeel was watery and finish was dry,bitter and once again sulfur tasting.This may be a bad batch, but I think Killian's tastes better overall.I've only had Killian's on tap and this can could have kicked around a hot warehouse for awhile so my comparison my not be fair.I enjoy the Murphy's stout, so I'll have to try this on tap to be fair.

Photo of feloniousmonk
2.86/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

"Brewed according to Irish tradition to offer you refreshment with an easy to drink speciality beer taste" boasts the label. We'll just see about that, won't we?
Pours a clear, reddish hue with full froth atop.
Aroma: rather sweet and soft, rather akin to the smell I associate with typical lagers, though, and come to think of it, the label doesn't call it an "ale", just "beer."
Fairly mild arrival on the palate, flavorful at first, then fast fading, with an utterly insignificant finish. No hops anywhere, but tasty, caramelly malt sweetness and a hint of fruit. Very light bodied, with little texture, no impact on the palate at all, really.
Although not bad in any way, this is a frightfully forgettable beer, one of those you want when you don't want to know that you're drinking beer. Terribly dull, but a notch above that Killian's stuff you see everywhere you go.

Photo of Globetrotter
3.23/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this at a Moscow beer bar. It came out a deep burgundy red under a creamy off-white head that left nice lace lines as it accompanied the liquid down to the bottom of the glass. The nose is strong with malt and just a touch of fruit. The mouthfeel is a bit prickly, but firm-bodied. The taste is malty strong, with a good hoppy aftertaste. A pleasant enough brew, this serves well as a back-up when there is nothing more interesting to try.

Photo of clvand0
3.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap at the local pub. Pours a dark amber color with a nice head that sticks around for a little while and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma is of sweet malts, but not too strong. The flavor is very strong, but it's nothing to write home about. The taste is only slightly smooth and the aftertaste is pretty dry. It's a little sweet, but this seems to be just an average beer.

Photo of beerguy101
1.88/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Medium gold color. Medium head. Aroma is slightly malty and corny. A light bodied Irish Ale. Light malt flavors that get overwhelmed by the corn adjunct. Not very hoppy. Not much flavor, and not much else to say. Mouthfeel is thin. Finish is crisp. Aftertaste is slightly bitter and very sweet.

Photo of EagleTalon
2.88/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The label states it was brewed by Heineken for Murphy's. Ok. That explains the heinie smell. It pours to a thin white head an an articficially clear caramel color. Aroma is of euro-lager and weak malt. Flavor is powerfully bitter with malt coming up the rear--backwards when you think about it. Finishes dry and bitter...not bad at all. This is a beer I would not personally stock but if it were between this and a Heinie...

Photo of oberon
3.57/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich,deep amber color with a light to medium head,aroma is malty and toasty.Flavor ismalty but not quite sweet enough in my opinion with some decent toasted malt elements.I think a better than average amber ale, when I want a good amber I would definently buy this one.

Photo of putnam
3.74/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nothing about this on the Murphy's website. Probably the same as the "Red," but just in case...
Brewed by Heineken in the Netherlands "under supervision" by the Cork brewery.
The color is transparent brown. While the bottle suggests serving it chilled, I'm warming mine to find supple, cream, roasted nuts and vanilla aromas. In the mouth it gets the balance right between roast, hop and caramel, and it does it with a cleansing, lean texture. Quite aggressively carbonated, this beer. The finish sports an assertive, crisp bitter bite that is pleasantly distracting.
Ultimately this is a pretty predictable, uninspiring beer. Not rotton at all. I'm sure this is how it was designed. I hope Heineken can make a profit from this brand so that the company will thrive into the future and continue to bring us niche-like beers based on recipes from lots of different places. In the meantime drink Wexford or Guinness or something.

Murphy's Irish Red from Murphy Brewery Ireland Limited
74 out of 100 based on 606 ratings.