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Caffrey's Irish Ale - Thomas Caffrey Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Caffrey's Irish AleCaffrey's Irish Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

81 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 81
Hads: 126
Avg: 3.22
pDev: 20.5%
Wants: 13
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Thomas Caffrey Brewing Co. visit their website
United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  3.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-03-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (2) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 81 | Hads: 126
Photo of TerryW
1.53/5  rDev -52.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

This stuff was utterly bland.

I can't figure how you can throw together a bunch of interesting things like hops and malt and yeast and etcetera and come up with something that tastes like nothing. No bite. No tickle. No fizz. No flavour. Quite disappointing.

Suspicious looking stuff in the glass. Head looks like ice cream that's spent too much time in the sun. Creamy, slick mouthfeel. Really watery, no aromas or flavours to recommend it.


"Hey Waitress! I thought I ordered a beer?!"

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Photo of ElCommodoro
1.74/5  rDev -46%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance is a red-orange type amber with a distinct creamy one centimeter head.
I smell a hint of grain, but it smells almost like nothing at all.
The taste is so watery. It doesn't taste like an Irish red at all. Of course, it doesn't advertise itself as one either. It self identifies as a "smooth Irish Ale." Mildly hopped water with a hint of grain is how I would describe this. Maybe it tasted better before Molson Coors bought it. Who knows. But this doesn't really taste much like beer. It's lack of carbonation makes its thinness even more noticeable. That mouthfeel of cold flat water makes it refreshing, but lacking in any beer-like quality.

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Photo of pootz
1.89/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bought the draft can...nitrogen in the delivey....poured a creamy amber with a big off white head...virtually no aroma....taste is watery and non distinct with a quick finish where some hop bitters are slightly detectable...a very weak ale with a nitrogen can gimmick.

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Photo of JustinBathurst
1.96/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Okay, so the beer was handed to looking quite normal with a thick head. Then I started to drink it. All my best intentions went out the window. I was assured this was a nice pub brew, but the thing was about as close to smelling and drinking natural gas as I'm sure one can get. I could barely toss this back out of consideration. I hardly ever review something like this. No beer smell, no beer taste, just the appearance of beer.

Someday, I'll likely give this another chance, just to check and be 100% fair.

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Photo of kmacphail
1.97/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

I tried this after years of my father talking about how good it was. WHY WHY WHY???

The beer poured nicely into a pint glass a copper-redish colour with a very thick creamy head, nice widget work guys. However don't judge the book by it's cover was evident here.

I couldn't smell anything from this beer, very bland on the nose. No fruit or even hops or bitter scent.

This theme of blandness continued through to the taste, at least this beer was consistent.

The mouthfeel at first was promising until about a third of the way through the pint. Man this was a meal in itself, way too thick for my taste and I like full bodied ales.

I forced it down, but I wouldn't try another. Not disgusting just very thick water. How is this so readily available???

Whilst in Ireland I tried both Smidicks and Kilkenny and thought that these were both superior.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
1.99/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Made the mistake of following a Guiness on tap with this in a nitro can. The nitrous oxide puts on a good show cascading the head toward the top. The final appearance is nice with a deep amber hue complimenting the thick and creamy head. Unfortunately the taste and smell does not match the appearance; the smell is stale and the taste somewhat hard to define, but definitely leaving a sense of sourness. No hops are noted in the brew at all. The mouthfeel is creamy yet bland in its residual palate sense. Watery liquor taste. Not a pleasing taste to be sure; won't go back.

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Photo of rastaman
2.1/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

creamy and bland, but i suppose its drinkable, but its creaminess doesn't really appeal to my tastes, had it on tap and from the can, they both tasted the same.

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Photo of ivanwatling
2.26/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Appearance - Golden colour, creamy head
Smell - Slight aroma, not unpleasant
Taste - Very watery, lacking any interest
Mouthfeel - Completely flat
Drinkability - Might as well be drinking water

The notes on the can say this should be served cold, so the can came straight from the fridge. Popping the can released a satisfying woosh and pouring revealed a creamy beer with a lovely head. The appearance suggested this would be a wonderfully smooth drink.

The first thing that I noticed upon taking a sip was how flat the beer is. There is absolutley no carbonation, maybe due to the nirto-can approach. The taste was equally flat and dull. In fact, I could barely discern any taste whatsoever.

More sips revealed nothing intereting whatsoever. It's the most unrewarding beer I've ever sampled. I bought a 12 pack for £8, making each can only 66p. So I've no probelms in giving the rest away or pouring it down the sink. A complete waste of drinking time.

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Photo of doktorhops
2.27/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Caffrey's Irish Ale, the "white Guinness" as I used to call it, used to have 4.8% ABV as well, and much like Guinness it is slowly working its way down to mid-strength. It's sad to see brewers do this to their beers and I can only see a drop in flavour is to better serve the masses of people that don't drink beer and never will regardless of the flavour whereas the avid beer drinkers (such as myself) are losing out. Anyway let's see how badly the flavour has suffered since the last time I had it it was 4.8% ABV.

Poured from a 440ml nitro-can into a nonic pint.

A: Nitro beers always look fantastic and the Caffrey's is no exception with it's deep copper body and perfect 1cm creamy white head.

S: Toasted barley malts are foremost on the nose, with a hint of brewers yeast, some light earthy hops [read: very light earthy hops] and the effervescence of spring water.

T: Boring as tap water. I know that this beer used to have a flavour profile but really now it just tastes watered down. Yes it has barley malt, yeast, hops and water, but they can at least make it interesting God-dammit. It does have a slight dry toasted barley after taste, which is just as well because you wouldn't know it was a beer otherwise.

M: Mid to light body, flat carbonation, texture of water with a small amount of beer added.

D: This is a very typical Irish ale, like Kikenny, et al... I have difficulty distinguishing between these beers after years of drinking full flavoured pale ales. Well the verdict is: this used to be a decent Irish pub beer but has suffered at the hands of corporate-greed/marketing-to-teenagers and as a result it is now tap water that contains alcohol: disappointing.

Food match: I would have previously said "Irish pub fare, stews and shepherds pie" but now (at the new flavourless 3.8% ABV version) I say plain crackers with cream cheese for dipping... also make sure that cream cheese doesn't have any added flavourings.

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Photo of cyrenaica
2.39/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

20oz draught
4.20% ABV

I tried this beer on March 15, 2008 at 'McCabe's Irish Pub' in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. The beer was a nice translucent orange/gold colour with a thick, creamy white head that lasted throughout the experience. The aroma was primarily malt with a slight hoppish hint. The mouthfeel was thick, and creamy, with very light carbonation. When taking into account the lack of carbonation, the flavour was nothing more than malted water. One could easily drink 5-6 of these as they go down easy...on this day, one was enough for me.

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Photo of koolk
2.51/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A deep red/amber colour with a thick cream head.

Aromas are lacking in what is a slightly bland smelling beer. Caramel, earth and a sweetish malt smell are all that I can detect.

Long creamy palate that is nice but is just so flat that it defeats the purpose of nitro cans. It needs some oomph thats just not present.

Price was expensive compared to other nitros so will be passing next time.

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Photo of Kulrak
2.52/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours a deep orangey gold color with an amazing tight white head. The head could almost pass for actual cream, and it sticks around for a while. For the life of me, I can't smell a damn thing from this beer. Had to smell some food to make sure my nose was actually working. Not sure what to make of that. The taste doesn't really taste like much, sorta like the guinness nitro cans, except not near as sweet. It's slightly bitter, and a very very faint toffee flavor, but not much else at all. Mouthfeel is great, it's really creamy, again, it could almost pass for real cream. I probably won't be getting this again. Even tho I love the mouthfeel and appearance, the flavor/scent just isn't there.

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Photo of chogm54
2.59/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours from a 500ml can.

A- clear, dark mahogany, pours a creamy off white head. Head thickness starts well, but thins out to 0.5cm very quickly.

S-almost none.veeery faint roasted malts.

T-initially sour with hint of orange, before the sweetness sneaks in, as well as some sweet roasted malt.

M- oily texture, thin body, nil carbonation, short finish.

O- the taste and aroma are pretty bland, but its the mouthfeel that ruins this its like beer flavoured water!

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Photo of Long813
2.61/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

G: Caffrey's Pint Glass

A: Clear copper body with a two fingers of white head. Good retention and lacing. Carries the same appearance as any other nitro beer.

S: Light sweet malts, biscuits and hint of green apple. Nothing else comes though.

T: Again like smell, sweet roasted malts and some biscuity to it. Nothing to strong, very pale and bland.

M: Medium bodied and light carbonation. Smooth and creamy while leaving a dry lightly malty finish.

D: This reminded me of a darker Boddigton's ale. No flavours are strong in this, very bland and pale. I wouldn't buy this again - maybe it's the style it self, but it's a weak beer.

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Photo of beerguy101
2.68/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light brown color. Medium head is a beige and foamy. Aroma is malty and very sweet, touch of fruit. Medium bodied amber. Rich malt flavor, slightly too sweet. Good balance of hops and malts. Rich smooth taste. Finish is smooth. Aftertaste is malty, slightly bitter.

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Photo of BEERchitect
2.69/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Sampled this beer as part of a tasting panel.

The pour brings a bright straw color, though a bit on the light side. The nitro-widget brings an impressive mousse-like head taht laces very will. A nice cask-condition look.

Aromas, ...well there are none. As the beer warms, faint scents of pilsner malt and graininess begin to emmit. Maybe a floral, spicy hop but boy is this streatching it. The beer really has no meaningful aroma.

Flavors are ...well even more obscure than the aroma. The beer has a thin malt-grain flavor mixed with a looot of water. Hop flavor is extremely low and helps just a touch. Maybe a fresh baked bread or dough taste? I've had mineral water with this much taste.

Mouthfeel, you guessed it, very watery with only a very light reminescent of malt. Bitterness is also extremely low. The creamy carbonation bailed ship long ago and hardly contributes to and creaminess or roundness.

It must be tough to make a beer this bland and flavorless. The good news is that there are no bad tastes, but pleasant flavors are also MIA. This is one bland and watery beer.

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Photo of Sammy
2.7/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Was foamy, otherwise a bit amber and nothing special to look at. Little in terms of taste, on the bitter rather than malted side, however there is caramel. Creamy mouthfeel, not too carbonated.Could not finish it. A bit of floral hop smell.Light bodied.

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Photo of Doiv
2.74/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

When landlords set up bars for students, they know damn well that most of their profit will be turned from flogging bland lagers and those luridly coloured sugar solutions that were mixed with fruit flavouring and some cheap vodka and deemed ‘fashionable.’ For the tiny percentage of students who want a real ale, they either provide Tetley’s Smooth-Flow Bitter or Caffrey’s Irish Ale. I feel somewhat insulted by this.

Caffrey’s has a slightly offensive, sugary taste that makes it difficult to drink compared to other ales. It is however quite well-balanced. The aroma is nutty yet not too over-consuming.

Overall this is an average beer, made more sub-standard by becoming too commercialised.

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Photo of PartyBear
2.77/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Awesome beer to watch settle. Chestnutty red in colour with a large creamy white head.

Aroma: Subtle maltiness, with a hint of caramel.

Taste: The overall flavours are weak, however, the most prominent flavours are sweet, malty, and biscuity.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, although slightly watery.

Drinkability: This lacks taste for me, there just seems to be no substance behind it. The smoothness of the feel is impressive but without taste, it is sadly a sub-par beer.

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Photo of Daredevil
2.79/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

bought this can at Somerfield's (british supermarket chain) .... not impressed by the smell: somewhere around not very fresh fish and wet hay ... I almost felt being at Billingates Market (the fishy smell disperses a bit after a while though) .... taste is creamy and malty paired with fresh hops, but not very powerful .... mouthfeel is rather watery ... all in all a rather below average brew ....

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Photo of canucklehead
2.81/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer lots really cool when it pours as the widget effect is one of a clear body emerging from a maelstrom of foam. Well, that is the best part as this beer is underpowered in all aspects. Needs more malt, more hops and more finish. I find Molson Canadian more challenging than this brew.

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Photo of pirates
2.84/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

A - nice dark golden copper hue, with a thick creamy head.

S - almost non-existent, but one can sense a bit of floral notes.

T - this beer is exceptional on the palate, but that's where the fun ends. starts off with caramel malts and finishes a little hoppy with a lingering aftertaste that is very pleasant

M - Carbonation is almost totally absent. the mouthfeel of this beer is not to my liking at all and spoils what could otherwise be an exceptional beer.

D - Due to the flaws I mentioned in the mouthfeel, drinkability is unfortunately flawed.

Whilst this is a great tasting beer, it lacks in other areas and this is evident in my rating.

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Photo of jayc333
2.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured a dark orange (copper) colour wit about half an inch of frothy white head on top.

Smells of sweet malt and bitter hops

Tastes alright, but far too much watered down. This is definatly this brews downfall.

One of the smoothest beers I've ever had, beautiful silky mouthfeel.

Well my hopes were a tad bit too high on this one, but only because I was expecting so much more for taste. Oh well, wont have to buy this one again.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
2.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: I poured it from the nitro-can into the pintglass, and at first it was all head, thick creamy head. After a little while it settled and a perfect amber beer with a nice white head remained.

S: Malty with a hint of yeast. Also some fruit and a bit floral hops.

T: Well, a beer that looks and smells like this sure raises the expectations, but it kind of falls flat. A sweet, buttery, malty beer with a touch of bitterhops looks great on the paper but it doesn't deliver. The tastes are to meek - the aromas should be stronger than this. The aftertaste is to short.

M: Creamy at first, but soon it feels like water.

D: I'm glad I tried this one, but it's not likely I will buy it again. It looked and smelled great, but the taste was a bit to meek for my taste.

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Photo of fullsweep
2.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

440 mL nitro-can (sans widget) poured into a pint glass.

NOTE: my can looks different than the one pictured here, and it is also listed as 4.0% ABV rather than 4.2. As best as I can tell, this is the same beer, as I cannot find any distinction, other than the possibility that changes ensued when Caffrey's was bought by Bass, then sold to InBev and distributed by Coors. Nonetheless . . .

A: beautiful deep amber with perfect clarity and thick, creamy head (typical of nitro-cans).

S: floral and sweet.

T: this would be a great beer except that it lacks flavor. It doesn't taste bad, but there's just not much there in the way of flavor. A mild sweetness and creamy finish--not a lot of complexity.

M: Smooth and creamy--very similar in mouthfeel to Boddington's (both versionsl), John Smith's Extra Smooth, Tetley Smoothflow and Marston's Extra Cold.

D: Even with its faults, it's a highly drinkable beer.

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Caffrey's Irish Ale from Thomas Caffrey Brewing Co.
75 out of 100 based on 81 ratings.