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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.

118 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 118
Reviews: 84
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: 118 | Reviews: 84 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mandrake
3.58/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

Mandrake, Feb 08, 2006
Photo of vanrassel
3.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

vanrassel, Jan 28, 2006
Photo of nitroterrance
4.33/5  rDev +34.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 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.

nitroterrance, Jan 19, 2006
Photo of jayc333
2.83/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

jayc333, Dec 28, 2005
Photo of mwrseeley
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.

mwrseeley, Dec 22, 2005
Photo of Kulrak
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.

Kulrak, Nov 10, 2005
Photo of DrJay
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.

DrJay, Oct 08, 2005
Photo of joecast
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).

joecast, Jun 23, 2005
Photo of RedwoodGeorge
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.

RedwoodGeorge, Apr 01, 2005
Photo of Reidrover
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.

Reidrover, Mar 04, 2005
Photo of canucklehead
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.

canucklehead, Sep 21, 2004
Photo of pootz
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.

pootz, Aug 19, 2004
Photo of Gusler
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.

Gusler, Aug 01, 2004
Photo of LarryKemp
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.

LarryKemp, Jul 05, 2004
Photo of JustinBathurst
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.

JustinBathurst, May 05, 2004
Photo of cypressbob
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

cypressbob, Mar 26, 2004
Photo of Doiv
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.

Doiv, Feb 29, 2004
Photo of koolk
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.

koolk, Jan 08, 2004
Photo of IronDjinn
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.

IronDjinn, Sep 15, 2003
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?!"

TerryW, Aug 22, 2003
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.

beerguy101, Aug 04, 2003
Photo of francisweizen
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.?

francisweizen, Mar 28, 2003
Photo of AtLagerHeads
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.

AtLagerHeads, Mar 07, 2003
Photo of oberon
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.

oberon, Mar 03, 2003
Photo of canadianbarman
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!

canadianbarman, Feb 28, 2003
Caffrey's Irish Ale from Thomas Caffrey Brewing Co.
75 out of 100 based on 118 ratings.