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Caffrey's Irish Ale - Thomas Caffrey Brewing Co.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

115 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 115
Reviews: 83
rAvg: 3.22
pDev: 20.81%
Wants: 10
Gots: 1 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-03-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 115 | Reviews: 83 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rarbring


3.2/5  rDev -0.6%

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.

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

United Kingdom (England)

2.83/5  rDev -12.1%

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.

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

Ontario (Canada)

2.6/5  rDev -19.3%

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.

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

United Kingdom (England)

2.2/5  rDev -31.7%

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.

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

New Jersey

3.4/5  rDev +5.6%

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.

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

United Kingdom (England)

2.75/5  rDev -14.6%

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.

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


3.4/5  rDev +5.6%

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.

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


3.08/5  rDev -4.3%

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.

07-13-2009 18:04:30 | More by mareth01
Photo of Evil_Pidde


2.8/5  rDev -13%

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.

06-29-2009 18:56:17 | More by Evil_Pidde
Photo of BEERchitect


2.68/5  rDev -16.8%

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.

04-23-2009 14:05:05 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of DoctorStrangiato

Alberta (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +25.8%

Poured a 440-ml can into a pub ale glass.

Appearance - amber-gold with white, creamy head.

Smell - fresh grass and corn, maybe a trace of vanilla in there.

Taste - sweet, but balanced with a nice freshly baked bread flavour. Clean finish.

Mouthfeel - low carbonation, very, very, very smooth. Extremely smooth.

Drinkability - very good and I would definitely recommend. This is a bit expensive for a 4-pack but definitely a good beer that helps remind that spring is coming.

02-16-2009 21:49:12 | More by DoctorStrangiato
Photo of Daredevil


2.83/5  rDev -12.1%

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 ....

08-08-2008 13:35:37 | More by Daredevil
Photo of cyrenaica

Ontario (Canada)

2.35/5  rDev -27%

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.

05-12-2008 03:05:37 | More by cyrenaica
Photo of thierrynantes


3.75/5  rDev +16.5%

Beer can (50cl), tasted in 2004.
Appearance : amber color, with beautiful foam head
Smell : sweet aroma with notes of roasted malt, yeast, caramel, and fruit.
Taste and mouthfeel : is extremely soft, sweet and malty, notes of caramel
Drinkability : a good beer in the Irish red ale style

03-23-2008 17:44:30 | More by thierrynantes
Photo of Antilochus

Ontario (Canada)

3.3/5  rDev +2.5%

I had to attend a function at the Keg... was anticipating Guinness or something to quaff with my blue rare sirloin but none was to be found. Other 'local favourites' included Canadian, Heineken, Coors Light. Great. Poured in an unbranded pint glass.

Typical nitro creamy off-white head, amber body. No lace. Lost retention by the bottom.

Malty buttery aromas, some floral hops.

Nitro creamy feel. Taste was very malty, some lighter bitterness on the palate. Medium length finish. Loads of caramel and butter, a little sickening actually.

I wouldn't reach for another, but not bad, a sort of lesser evil.

03-19-2008 04:27:01 | More by Antilochus
Photo of pirates

South Africa

2.9/5  rDev -9.9%

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.

02-13-2008 18:22:57 | More by pirates
Photo of kmacphail

United Kingdom (Scotland)

1.95/5  rDev -39.4%

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.

01-25-2008 15:59:27 | More by kmacphail
Photo of soupyman10

District of Columbia

3.05/5  rDev -5.3%

Pours a deep red color with a solid finger of off-white head on top, nice and foamy. A very light touch of lacing. Nose is extremely mild, but mostly caramel malt. Taste is likewise, mild but with a fair bit of caramel malt. A little citrus. A touch of hops show up at the end. Feel is full-bodied and creamy, a meal in itself. This one was alright, although I wouldn't have to many because of the thickness and the general blandness.

09-12-2007 17:10:57 | More by soupyman10
Photo of MSchae1017


3.1/5  rDev -3.7%

This beer was tasted in a pint glass from the nitro can.

The beer pours a clear red with a thick white head that holds beautifully. The smell is sublte malts. The taste is all amber malts. It is very smooth. Overall though, not too drinkable. I really do not enjoy it all that much.

07-23-2006 00:26:41 | More by MSchae1017
Photo of oldirtycaffrey


3.15/5  rDev -2.2%

Considering this beer shares my name, I was kinda underwhelmed with it. It poured a light amber with an inch white head that stayed throughout. Good amount of lacing on the glass. The smell was standard of hops and alcohol, and the taste was pretty basic. This was a smooth beer tho, so the drinkability is high. However, I think I'd reach for a Tetley's before reaching for this.

07-11-2006 01:35:30 | More by oldirtycaffrey
Photo of HimerMan

New Jersey

4.28/5  rDev +32.9%

On nitro-tap at The Mask Bar, in the Strand Plaza Hotel in London.

Nothing in the United States like this beer, Wexford does not even come close.

Pour is awesome, very dark copper/amber, with a thick and ultimate creamy head that lasts.

Incredible flavor, rich and full of sweet malts and cream. One of the smoothest beers out there.

Absolutely try it if you can, not sure if this is available in the US anymore. Perhaps a trip back to London soon.


05-11-2006 17:14:51 | More by HimerMan
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

2.68/5  rDev -16.8%

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.

02-17-2006 01:54:23 | More by Sammy
Photo of Mandrake

Nova Scotia (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev +11.2%

Pours a deep reddish-copper with the nitro bubbles reaching the whole way to the bottom before they precipitate out and leave behind a very tight white head that is about a finger high. The head stays down to the bottom of the glass and leaves good lacing; classic nitro, except for the odd whistling farty noise when I opened the can. Smell is faint, with floral hops and some caramel as well. Taste is caramel and roasted malts, with a slight hop finish. The mouthfeel is pretty thin and watery, and flat as well, but not terribly so. It just lacks the usual creaminess that is the upside of the trade off between appearance/mouthfeel and taste/smell. The drinkability is very good though.

02-08-2006 02:37:44 | More by Mandrake
Photo of vanrassel

Alberta (Canada)

3.18/5  rDev -1.2%

This beer has the requisite colour for this style, though I thought it was a little pale. The head is dense and creamy and left nice, even lacing down the side of my pint glass. It has a faint malty smell and a toastiness comes through in the taste. I thought it hit the palate a little bland but finished stronger. The body was creamy, and I know that's the style, but I can't help but think it was still a little flat.

If this was my local brew, I wouldn't turn it down. It's not, however, and I don't think I'd ever make a point of seeking it out or ordering it.

01-28-2006 06:59:16 | More by vanrassel
Photo of nitroterrance


4.33/5  rDev +34.5%

I have had Caffrey's on draft in my Basement Pub for a year and can't find a better nitro ale to replace it. Although Caffrey's has little or no nose appeal, the head is very creamy and always super smooth going down. On draft there is a slight bitter or fruity finish that is clean and crisp. This irish ale is smooth as silk and enjoyable in quantity or alone. The best nitro irish ale I've had.

01-19-2006 00:49:49 | More by nitroterrance
Caffrey's Irish Ale from Thomas Caffrey Brewing Co.
75 out of 100 based on 115 ratings.