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Caffrey's Irish Ale - Thomas Caffrey Brewing Co.

Caffrey's Irish AleCaffrey's Irish Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
75
okay

109 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 109
Reviews: 82
rAvg: 3.23
pDev: 21.05%


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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-03-2001)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 109 | Reviews: 82 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

32oz growler, from the very newish Wine and Beyond (read: Liquor Depot meets Costco presentation esthetic) booze superstore in deepest south Edmonton. I used to drink this stuff like water on tap back in the day after university obligations were fulfilled, at least for the day, in those natty nineties.

This beer pours a clear, medium golden amber hue, with two fingers of creamy, foamy off-white head, which leaves some sparse, broad swaths of bubbly lace around the glass as it slowly seeps away.

It smells of sweet, sugary, grainy malt, with a touch of treacle, caramel, a mild orchard fruitiness, and very, very soft leafy hops. The taste is weak grainy, bready malt, a slight toastiness, faint yeast, muddled, plain drupe fruit esters, and muffled noble hops.

The carbonation is very laid back, sleepy, and yet not flat-seeming, the body a less than solid medium weight, and of course, pretty damned smooth, in just that eerie Irish ale manner. It finishes off-dry, the lingering underwhelming bready malt really suffering nothing in the way of challenge.

Not the grandest of rip-snortingly pungent flavours going on here, I suppose, but perhaps this isn't the venue for such a thing - the Irish, and we willing tourists and diaspora, if I recall correctly, use this type of watery sideshow as a respected moderator for their Whiskey habit. I sure could go for some of the latter, as a matter of fact.

Serving type: growler

10-23-2012 03:20:34 | More by biboergosum
Photo of SmashPants
SmashPants

Australia

2.95/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Can: a big green 440mL can, and yet somehow it still comes across as a classy number. Minimalist but well designed.

Appearance: super creamy pour - very white to start but slowly changes to a clear amber colour. Medium thick white head that leaves some lace as it ever so slowly drops. Looks good!

Aroma: what aroma? Not much there at all. I know it's a mid strength, but one would expect a bit more than just a light toffee malt on the nose. Disappointing after the pour.

Taste: follows the nose, I'm afraid. It does have those trademark red ale characteristics of earthy hops, toffee-caramel malts and a touch of some barley, but it is simply far too weak for my liking.

Aftertaste: not much here either - disappears from the palate too quickly for an expensive red ale.

Mouth feel: mouth feel is light to moderate in body with a lower carbonation. Slightly smooth, but not as creamy as the full-strength versions.

Overall: the best way to describe this beer is with but one word: boring. If it was in fact a premium 5%+ beer it would probably be alright. The right flavours are there, they are just way too muted. Add to that a price tag over AU$75 for an equivalent case of 24 x 330mL, and you've gotta be joking.

Serving type: can

06-09-2013 14:37:38 | More by SmashPants
Photo of LampertLand
LampertLand

British Columbia (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Caffrey's Irish Ale @ 3.8% , served from a 440 ml nitro can purchased for $3.25

A-pour is almost milk white from the can into that cascading Guinness beer trick of changing color into a clear amber with a nice medium size head leaving a thick lace film along the pint after each sip

S-mild caramel malt

T-tart barley water tasting brew , smooth on the palate

MF-low/mild carbonation , somewhat weak body at 3.8% , has a dry finish

Ov-I'll drink a Guinness Draught or Kilkenny Irish Cream before this brew again ,
only tried because of St.Patrick's Day ,

prost LampertLand

Serving type: nitro-can

03-17-2013 06:59:29 | More by LampertLand
Photo of doktorhops
doktorhops

Australia

2.23/5  rDev -31%
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.

Serving type: nitro-can

03-15-2013 06:26:53 | More by doktorhops
Photo of wordemupg
wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

2.96/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

440ml can poured into pint glass 27/2/13

A I'll give the nitro some credit as it dose produce a cascading foam that dose look great and has solid retention leaving lots of lace deep down the glass, reddish copper liquid with very tiny bubbles

S caramel and dry cereal with some herbal notes and leafy tea bag, fairly faint all around

T much like the nose but with a little more caramel, again its pretty faint without a whole lot going on

M much like many other nitro cans I've had it feels dead flat, has some body but no carbonation

O another fairly boring beer, not offensive while smelling and drinking but nothing exciting either, mouth feel needs some work

I suppose not many 3.8% beers really get me excited and this is no exception, there's not much going on here shes a pretty average brew

Serving type: nitro-can

02-27-2013 20:55:18 | More by wordemupg
Photo of ElCommodoro
ElCommodoro

Texas

1.7/5  rDev -47.4%
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.

Serving type: nitro-can

08-31-2011 06:58:52 | More by ElCommodoro
Photo of evlu1441
evlu1441

Alberta (Canada)

3.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a medium amber colour. The nitro-can setup leads to a finger of creamy white head sitting on top, with little carbonation rising up after the initial cascade. It's an appealing looking beer.

The aroma is sweet and slightly grainy. It's fairly neutral overall, and very faint. Pleasant nonetheless.

The taste is mild and slightly toasty. There is some nuttiness that comes through in the aftertaste.. The mouthfeel is kind of watery, and there is litte carbonation. There aren't any off-putting flavours or anything though.

Overall, this isn't really the beer for me. It tasted fine, but It's just not something I'm really into

Serving type: nitro-can

08-20-2011 23:08:50 | More by evlu1441
Photo of eduardolinhalis
eduardolinhalis

Switzerland

3.38/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pint served on tap

A: Deep clear amber color with a small creamy beige head. Thin bubbles and few lacings

S: Sweet caramel malts and hops, basically. Some bready yeasts too

T: Follows the nose. A typical Irish red ale. Sweet and caramel malts, yeasts and hops. Nice bitter end. Not bad

M: Light body. Watery as expected. Low carbonation. High drinkability

O: Quite honest Irish red ale. Typic pub ale

Serving type: on-tap

05-27-2011 17:04:43 | More by eduardolinhalis
Photo of spinrsx
spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

440ml Can

Appearance - Orange/amber colour with an above average size creamy beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is a large amount of lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - malts, tea, pears, butterscotch

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a low amount of carbonation and it feels very creamy on the tongue. Most of the taste consists of malts, butterscotch, and a pear/fruit sweetness. There was also a bit of a metallic flavour and it reminded me of an iced tea to some extent. It finishes with a smooth malty/tea aftertaste.

Overall - A nice easy drinking beer that is ideal for a session. It is along the same lines as a Kilkenny Irish cream ale. I could drink a few of these every now and then.

Serving type: nitro-can

03-25-2011 19:41:50 | More by spinrsx
Photo of scott451
scott451

Ontario (Canada)

3.6/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. A one finger plus very fine white head on a clear dark amber. Lots of foamy lace and the head is retained to the end.

Mild malt smells. Taste is sweet creamy mild caramel malts.

Mouthfeel is smooth,creamy. A bit watery as the carbonation dies down. Outstandingly drinkable. A long session could be built around these, if they were drunk fast.

Serving type: nitro-can

02-28-2011 06:57:42 | More by scott451
Photo of kwjd
kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

3.08/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this at an Irish pub in Toronto. Was hoping for a pint of Murphy's Irish Stout, but they were out of it, so decided to go with Caffrey's. Pours a clear amber colour. A finger of nitro-assisted white head is there and doesn't dissipate at all. Some very mild lacing. Some floral hops with a lot of caramel in the smell. Flavour actually has more bitterness than I remember, some sweetness as well. Creamy mouthfeel from the nitro. This is an ok beer, nothing special though.

Serving type: nitro-tap

02-11-2011 16:05:40 | More by kwjd
Photo of CuriousMonk
CuriousMonk

Virginia

3.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from Old Chicago (2001): A beautiful pour from a nitro-keg. It takes forever to separate. When it does, it is a clear red-golden with a creamy nitro-infused head. The aroma is very mild. Much better in terms of flavor. While still a bit mild for my tastes, it has a definite apricot note that I rather enjoy. As would be expected given the means of dispensation, it is very clean and smooth on the palate. It lacks a certain richness but it's not bad overall.

Serving type: nitro-tap

02-09-2011 22:24:13 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of rjimlad
rjimlad

Australia

3.93/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This reminds me of my beloved John Smith's Extra Smooth. Poured a beautiful deep amber with a creamy and persistent head. I didn't get much in the way of aroma but the toffee and malt flavour was really enjoyable. Carbonation is low and very fine. The problem with this is quaffability. I can smash down a whole pint before I can even taste it so drinkability is huge. There's not a whole lot going on in terms of complexity and it is a bit watery but this suits me as long as the flavour is there and though the toffee and caramel is subdued it's still there and balanced. Good but not great.

Serving type: nitro-can

12-28-2010 05:04:01 | More by rjimlad
Photo of andrenaline
andrenaline

Ontario (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this one on tap at our Christmas party.

A - Pours a crystal clear golden amber colour, finger of creamy head with really solid retention and sheets of fine bubbled lacing.

S - Scent is rather metallic, slight caramel bready-ness, with a bit of a fruity apple cider coming through.

T - The caramel malt and bready finish dominate, and the slight apple cider flavours also linger. Touch of roasted almonds also present.

M - A tad watery, though the head was quite creamy. Finishes smooth and leaves the palette nice and wet.

D - A tasty irish ale, and great to have on tap. Nothing mind blowing here, just an all-around tasty beer.

Serving type: nitro-tap

12-18-2010 20:01:40 | More by andrenaline
Photo of case4816
case4816

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Light brown, golden amber in colour. Very creamy head that lingered for the entirety of the drink.

S- Heavy Caramel, toffee scents. Lots of Vanilla as well. No discernible hop smell.

T- Caramel, toffee, and nice light roasted malts come to the front. Sweet after-notes of vanilla come through as well. Very smooth with very little to no carbonation.

D- My favourite beer on tap at one of my favourite pubs. Very smooth and very drinkable.

Serving type: nitro-tap

10-10-2010 06:31:27 | More by case4816
Photo of grac1970
grac1970

Ontario (Canada)

3/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A = medium dark amber colour with no carbonation noticeable. A rich creamy head

S = very light smell

T = sweet but light, a very light, malt taste

M = smooth and creamy, light carbonation, almost seemed like malted water

D = A beer that is very easy to drink. I found it was half gone before I even gave thought to what I was going to say.

I have to say this was way too easy to drink - like flavoured water.

Serving type: nitro-can

10-05-2010 00:27:57 | More by grac1970
Photo of dolzan
dolzan

Slovenia

3.6/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deeply amber coloured and a very clear appearance. The can had a nitrogen ball, so the head was pretty firm and creamy.

The smell is pleasant and the taste is sweet. The beer is smooth and creamy, but it definitely lacks something - the taste is very straight forward and not too complex, which prevents the beer from being a really great one.

Serving type: can

07-17-2010 20:35:42 | More by dolzan
Photo of rarbring
rarbring

Sweden

3.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A clear amber brew with hints of copper, an off-white compact head that leaves some lacing.

The smell is mostly sweet malt, caramel, dark syrup, fresh baked bread.

The taste has initially a brown sugar sweetness, molasses tones, and a slight bitter finish.

Low carbonation, a smooth rather watery feeling, a dry finish.

Rather average, but not at all unpleasant.

Serving type: can

05-12-2010 12:30:41 | More by rarbring
Photo of fullsweep
fullsweep

United Kingdom (England)

2.83/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

Serving type: nitro-can

12-26-2009 21:18:20 | More by fullsweep
Photo of Long813
Long813

Ontario (Canada)

2.6/5  rDev -19.5%
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.

Serving type: nitro-tap

12-23-2009 19:47:19 | More by Long813
Photo of ivanwatling
ivanwatling

United Kingdom (England)

2.2/5  rDev -31.9%
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.

Serving type: nitro-can

12-06-2009 00:20:16 | More by ivanwatling
Photo of donniecuffs
donniecuffs

New Jersey

3.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass; translucent amber, with a thin off-white head, and very little lacing. Was surprised by how light colored this was for the style. The smell was predominantly yeasty, biscuit, toffee, and apple, while the flavor was exceedingly dominated by malt. The mouthfeel however was velvety smooth and medium-bodied, likely the result of the nitro. Felt nice enough to session, but didn't have the requisite flavor. I don't think that I'll buy this one again.

Serving type: nitro-can

10-15-2009 04:09:50 | More by donniecuffs
Photo of PartyBear
PartyBear

United Kingdom (England)

2.75/5  rDev -14.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-13-2009 15:25:52 | More by PartyBear
Photo of Soozy
Soozy

Tennessee

3.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

I really wasn't too impressed with this beer. It has a very malty nose to it, couldn't distinguish too many flavors other than caramel. It is just an overall very malty beer that is accompanied with some bitterness. A good beer to have at an Irish pub if you're tired of Guinness.

Nothing surprising, nothing outstanding, would not go out of my way to try it though.

Serving type: on-tap

07-22-2009 03:13:09 | More by Soozy
Photo of mareth01
mareth01

Germany

3.08/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Poured a nice thick 1 inch head with a clear golden amber color.

S-All I could smell was a light hint of hops

T/M-Tasted a bit of malt with a little hops aftertaste, otherwise it almost tasted like water to me, might be because I've been use to drinking Hefe's and Dunkels. It was also very smooth going down with very little or not carbo.

D-Overall a drinkable beer but nothing to write home about.

Serving type: can

07-13-2009 18:04:30 | More by mareth01
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Caffrey's Irish Ale from Thomas Caffrey Brewing Co.
75 out of 100 based on 109 ratings.