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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.

123 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 123
Reviews: 87
rAvg: 3.26
pDev: 20.25%
Wants: 11
Gots: 3 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 123 | Reviews: 87
Photo of scott451
3.58/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

Photo of kwjd
3.08/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.38/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Photo of rjimlad
3.88/5  rDev +19%
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.

Photo of andrenaline
3.63/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

Photo of case4816
3.71/5  rDev +13.8%
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.

Photo of grac1970
3/5  rDev -8%
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.

Photo of dolzan
3.6/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Photo of rarbring
3.21/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

Photo of fullsweep
2.9/5  rDev -11%
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.

Photo of Long813
2.61/5  rDev -19.9%
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.

Photo of ivanwatling
2.26/5  rDev -30.7%
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.

Photo of donniecuffs
3.44/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of PartyBear
2.77/5  rDev -15%
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.

Photo of Soozy
3.4/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Photo of mareth01
3.08/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Photo of Evil_Pidde
2.9/5  rDev -11%
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.

Photo of BEERchitect
2.69/5  rDev -17.5%
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.

Photo of DoctorStrangiato
4.03/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Daredevil
2.79/5  rDev -14.4%
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 ....

Photo of cyrenaica
2.39/5  rDev -26.7%
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.

Photo of thierrynantes
3.73/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of Antilochus
3.32/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of pirates
2.84/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

Photo of kmacphail
1.97/5  rDev -39.6%
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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Caffrey's Irish Ale from Thomas Caffrey Brewing Co.
75 out of 100 based on 123 ratings.