1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
BA SCORE
75
okay

114 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 114
Reviews: 83
rAvg: 3.22
pDev: 20.81%
Wants: 9
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)
View: Beers (2) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Caffrey's Irish Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 114 | Reviews: 83 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mwrseeley
mwrseeley

Ontario (Canada)

2.88/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It is certainly an attractive beer - the head is dense and the lace sticky; the colour dark amber. I don't see how the appearance can be improved upon.

The aroma is a tad weak and I picked up a faint tin-like scent from the can.

The taste is also a bit on the weak side. Initially pleasant, the flavour quickly loses its grip and becomes a battle between a a slight sweetness and a strong bitterness. The latter side wins.

Creamy and pleasant on the palate, Caffrey's Irish Ale is not bad but is , unfortunately, in my mind, rather disappointing.

Serving type: nitro-can

12-22-2005 01:13:19 | More by mwrseeley
Photo of Kulrak
Kulrak

Australia

2.53/5  rDev -21.4%
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.

Serving type: nitro-can

11-10-2005 12:17:48 | More by Kulrak
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

3.78/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear, light amber with an orange hue topped by a dense, white head of fine bubbles (nitro really helps out here). Great head retention and it leaves a thick lace on the glass. The aroma is quite muted, but there's some caramel maltiness, a hint of fruit, and some floral hops. The mild flavour is matched by low bitterness. Caramel malt and light fruit start things off, with hops kicking in towards the finish. Low carbonation (of course) with a light body and a dry texture, especially as it warms. This is a great session beer, especially on nitro-tap... not very complex, but tasty enough to have several.

Serving type: nitro-tap

10-08-2005 00:38:43 | More by DrJay
Photo of joecast
joecast

Australia

3.58/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

settles out with a 1cm egg shell head, with the beer becoming clear light copper in color.

sweet toffee floral aroma. well, more toffee that floral.

flavor is an intense malt sweetness bordering on candy/toffee. hard to pick up any hops in this, though i couldnt say its alll that unbalanced. mouthfeel is as expected from a nitro-can...good.

yeah, one of these is probably enough. its a fairly good beer, nothing that really stands out for or against. probably just not my style (and going by the description, i would say this is fairly close).

Serving type: nitro-can

06-23-2005 09:32:21 | More by joecast
Photo of RedwoodGeorge
RedwoodGeorge

California

3.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a promising amber with a luxurious nitro head... The reverse cascade of bubbles gives away the nitro-charged deliver system. It leaves a thick, dense creamy head that lasts the entire brew.

The smell was all fruit and malt with a mild bready note. No real hops to speak of in the nose.

The taste is full bodied and creamy smooth. There's quite a bit of fruit in this amber ale, lots of peach, plum and raisin sweetness along with a sweet bready note. After weeks of West Coast hops this ale seems almost hop-free but in reality it's got a subtle showing of fuggles or golding to add a small amount of balance.

Despite the thick, long lasting head the mouthfeel was disappointing. The brew itself was essentially flat but covered with a fluffy nitro head. There was no carbonation (nitrogenation?) to provide effervescence to clean the palate and with a pretty weak hopping there just wasn't much of a finish to each sip.

This is a very tasty beer and certainly a nice low ABV session beer. It's got all the good characteristics of an ale from the British Isles with the typical hearty amber ale fruitiness. A bit more hops and it would have been a part of the regular rotation.

Serving type: nitro-can

04-01-2005 22:43:10 | More by RedwoodGeorge
Photo of Reidrover
Reidrover

Oregon

3.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pint at The Stageing Post ,Aberdeen ,Scotland.
Very attractive amber,slighly hazed with a absolutlly gorgeous creamy white head.
Pretty lackluster in the aroma departmant, but not unpleasant.
Very pleasant malty taste with a touch of hops to tingle the tongue.
Exceptionally smooth on the palate..very easy going stuff.
Quite drinkable but could become boring after a while.

Serving type: on-tap

03-04-2005 22:36:01 | More by Reidrover
Photo of canucklehead
canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

2.78/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

Serving type: nitro-can

09-21-2004 03:21:18 | More by canucklehead
Photo of pootz
pootz

Ontario (Canada)

1.85/5  rDev -42.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2004 22:36:44 | More by pootz
Photo of Gusler
Gusler

Arizona

3/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer as its spills from the can a slightly hazy gold color with a prodigious and creamy off white head, and as it evanesces the lace forms a fine velum like sheet to conceal the glass. Nose is musty and sweet, fresh and appetizing, start is sweet and the malt personable, top is light to moderate in feel. Little carbonation and the hops quite mild also very dry aftertaste, a drinkable brew and one that used to be available readily on tap, but alas, I can now only find it in cans, mores the pity, a great change of pace beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2004 21:50:38 | More by Gusler
Photo of LarryKemp
LarryKemp

Texas

3.63/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A very dark golden brown with a thick white head. Carbonation clouded the beer for maybe a minute and then it cleared quite well. A wall of lace stuck to the side of the glass.

The aroma was primarily sweet malt with just a hint of hops. No off notes.

The taste had a very mild hop bitterness but was so balancesd that only a little malt sweetness comes through. Again there were no off flavors.

The mouthfeel was light to medium light with a tingle of carbonation on the tongue.

I found this bitters a delightful way to spend time in the airport.

Serving type: on-tap

07-05-2004 19:33:16 | More by LarryKemp
Photo of JustinBathurst
JustinBathurst

Ontario (Canada)

1.9/5  rDev -41%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-05-2004 00:17:01 | More by JustinBathurst
Photo of cypressbob
cypressbob

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

3.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

440ml can, non nitro

Pours with a golden amber hue, quite light in body considering, head is quite creamy, reasonably thick, but doesnt last for long

Smell is quite inviting, toffee aromas are the first thing to hit you, followed by a maltiness

Taste is refreshing, served very cold, the toffee comes through once again along with hints of caramel and banana

Not a bad ale by any means, very drinkable

Serving type: can

03-26-2004 09:06:05 | More by cypressbob
Photo of Doiv
Doiv

United Kingdom (England)

2.73/5  rDev -15.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-29-2004 17:17:09 | More by Doiv
Photo of koolk
koolk

Australia

2.53/5  rDev -21.4%
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.

Serving type: nitro-can

01-08-2004 02:08:18 | More by koolk
Photo of IronDjinn
IronDjinn

Alberta (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 440 ml can, beautiful creamy pour, especially considering this wasn't a nitro can. Gorgeous clear amber/orange body, thick creamy cap of a head that lasts the whole way down. Massive lacing. Sweet caramel malt on the nose, accompanied by pear and light flowery hops. Flavour contains a cidery apple/pear along with sweet, almost bready malt. A bit of hops come out on the finish, but are slight. All that said and done, the mouthfeel is on the oily side, and the overall experience is actually not very impressive. Far better English ales out there to quaff and save for session brews. This one falls along the wayside.

Serving type: can

09-15-2003 01:44:44 | More by IronDjinn
Photo of TerryW
TerryW

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Bleh.

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

Serving type: on-tap

08-22-2003 03:00:12 | More by TerryW
Photo of beerguy101
beerguy101

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2003 00:49:10 | More by beerguy101
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen

Alaska

4/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An above average Irish Amber/Red Ale. This ale was presented to me at the wonderful Claddagh pub in downtown Montreal, QC. This beer had a very thick head on it and it was a very nice amber/red colour. This ale had some nice sweet aromas of malts with some hop aromas on the nose as well. This tasted very light, creamy, and refreshing. A very well-balanced irish brew with a smooth mouthfeel and an above average drinkability. Why is this no longer available to us in the U.S.?
Cheers!,
F.

Serving type: nitro-tap

03-28-2003 13:36:32 | More by francisweizen
Photo of AtLagerHeads
AtLagerHeads

Ohio

1.95/5  rDev -39.4%
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.

Serving type: nitro-can

03-07-2003 18:34:56 | More by AtLagerHeads
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.3/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have had this on tap a few times,a nice creamy look to it with nice creamy head.Kind of a dark gold almost amber color.Smell was nice and appetizingly sweet,the taste was a little bland for the look and smell of this one.A little smack of hop will hit the farther down the glass u go.A pretty good Irish ale but nothin to spectacular.

Serving type: nitro-tap

03-03-2003 12:39:37 | More by oberon
Photo of canadianbarman
canadianbarman

Alberta (Canada)

4.55/5  rDev +41.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nice amber color and the cascading pour is really nice to watch. It adds to the anticipation of the beer. It leaves a nice thick head which lasts until the end (Which is usually quick!)
The taste is a nice mixture of bitterness and flavour.

When living in England my place was near an O'Niels Pub, which soon became my local watering hole. It was there that I was introduced to Caffrey's Ale, which soon became my beer of choice. I am kind if biased, but this is one of my favorite beers. It was this beer that introduced me to the wonderful world and awseome variety's of beer that is available to us. I owe my eye opening to this beer!

Serving type: on-tap

02-28-2003 11:18:29 | More by canadianbarman
Photo of Fabric8r
Fabric8r

Montana

4.83/5  rDev +50%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I asked for a sweet ale, and this is what I got. Wonderful selection, I enjoyed it very much. Had another. Went back to the same place 2 weeks later simply to have another and was told it is no longer made. What's up?! I loved this beer. Wonderful aroma, exceptional taste, sweet (if you like that thing) with a delightful flavor all it's own. Slightly red or coppery color, would this be considered an Irish red ale? Are there any others similar?

Serving type: on-tap

02-19-2003 11:10:16 | More by Fabric8r
Photo of JISurfer
JISurfer

South Carolina

4.47/5  rDev +38.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a very good Irish ale. I'm not sure if it would be considered a cream ale, but it's very creamy in color and taste. Everytime I go to the local Irish Pub, I start off with this beaut. It's easy on the tastebuds and get's ya ready for the night. The head is always a nice thick cream color and it's real thick too. The seperation it does in the beginning is just like Guinness, which is another great beer in my book. Anyways, the finish is nice a sturdy, but light at the same time. It's not stouty or bitter, which I think is the reason it makes a great "starting out" beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-24-2002 23:02:15 | More by JISurfer
Photo of allboutbierge
allboutbierge

Austria

3.73/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great head creation and retention from the Nitro can. A pinky finger width head stuck with the beer all the way til it was gone. I was very impressed by that. Has a very alluring redish orangish color to it. If this beer were a woman she would be a supermodel. Flavor was good but disappointing. Tasted a little watered down but that may just be the style; I have nothing to compare it to. Kinda hoppy and bitter. Fragrance is a reflection of that.

Serving type: nitro-can

12-05-2002 11:16:00 | More by allboutbierge
Photo of frank4sail
frank4sail

New Jersey

3.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Wow what a different brew in England. I still am not a huge fan but the brew is improved on tap and fresh. It took 3-5 mins. to settle. Slightly sweet nose. Thick white persistant head. Sweet chewy malt taste with the usual hop metalic finish. This is what I dislike the tin-like finish to this brew. It was less watery than the can but still not a stand-out!

Serving type: nitro-tap

12-03-2002 13:22:43 | More by frank4sail
Caffrey's Irish Ale from Thomas Caffrey Brewing Co.
75 out of 100 based on 114 ratings.