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George Killian's Irish Red - Coors Brewing Company

Not Rated.
George Killian's Irish RedGeorge Killian's Irish Red

Educational use only; do not reuse.

818 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 818
Hads: 2,855
Avg: 3.04
pDev: 36.18%
Wants: 26
Gots: 498 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Coors Brewing Company
Colorado, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Lager | 4.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-06-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of George Killian's Irish Red Alström Bros
Reviews: 818 | Hads: 2,855
Photo of LightEnthusiast
2.62/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Killan's Irish Red is a fair beer but not something I'd prefer to drink regularly. I've had a 12 pack in my fridge for roughly 6 months, and it gets a rotation ratio of maybe 1 to every 11th beer I have - let's put it that way.

Smell - Toasted amber grains with wild rice and hints of maple syrup. A very robust, sweetly aromatic beer.

Taste - Carbonation hits first with an immediate slap of bitterness. Floral notes follow with a watery toasted malted grain finish. Bitter notes remain on the palette a few seconds after swallowing.

Mouthfeel - Watery with a carbonated underbelly. Finish is watery with floral notes and bitter toasted malt. Not very impressive.

Overall - It's a beer I'd choose over Bud Light, Fat Tire, Goose Island, or Sam Adams Winter Lager but it's not a favorite of mine. Too watery and too many bitter off-notes left behind.

At $9.99/12 pack it's a plausible departure from the normal adjunct lager but its appeal wears off quickly and remains an unfortunate staple in my fridge. There's better beers out there for the price and for the category.

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Photo of BeerNewbs
4.45/5  rDev +46.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It is now second nature to me, when I see Killian's Irish Red in a store I immediately purchase it. A straight forward, easy drinking toasted lager with a hint of caramel and spices. It pours red, like its name, but does lack in head. Regardless, this is my go-to, relaxing brew, for any night of the week.

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Photo of cj5y
2.93/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A: It pours a transparent red or brown color with about a finger head that disappears quickly to decent lacing. It almost looks like sweet tea.

S: Not a lot going on for the nose. Maybe slight scent of malt with an even more faint hint of hops and sweetness.

T: Malt and alcohol is pretty much the only taste out of this, maybe a slight hint of fruits. A bit bland but drinkable enough.

I don't think this a bad beer, but its not my first choice for sure.

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Photo of sommersb
3.28/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Tasted On: 08-27-2013
Freshness: Best by 11-04-2013
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle, twist-cap
Glassware: Tulip pint
Purchased: 6-pack from Kroger

A: Dark copper color and clear, with a nice 3 fingers of head. Not much lacing but head retention is good.

S: Aromas are light, of biscuit and caramel malts.

T: Tastes semi-sweet of malts plus a light earthy bitterness. Balanced nicely

M: Moderately carbed, with a medium body. The finish is balanced between light sweetness and a light bitterness.

O: Overall a simple but pleasant beer. It doesn't blow you away with any outstanding qualities, but it doesn't offend either. I was pleasantly surprised...

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Photo of BeerWithMike
3.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this years ago. Sampled 8/12/13 with a date of "MAY 2013" which I don't know if it was the born or use date as it didn't taste sour or bitter. Pours a pretty copper/bronze color with a very tiny head with just a little lacing when sipped. The aroma was of nothing special, just a light sweet malt smell. The taste was pretty much the same though it wasn't bad at all. Not a real harsh aftertaste either. Overall it was just ok.

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Photo of dacrza1
2.76/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

DATE TASTED: August 3, 2013 ... GLASSWARE: Samuel Adams Boston Lager... OCCASION: watching Money Ball--and loving it!... APPEARANCE: handsome black and tan split-level body; thin white head that staggers on its reddish-brown base--looks inviting... AROMA: fragrant caramel malts breath a bready blast; sugary suggestions as well... PALATE: medium-to-light bodied with a swift, soft aftertaste--a red in the pattern of the many during its mid-90s deluge that we came of drinking age to at college...TASTE: strongly malted base forms the brunt of this old-time Hess Tavern offering; rather flat, rounded ops that profile as an ESB, though not enough hops surface to make an ale; a bit buttery too--but more in the feel than in the taste; the after drag is slightly warm and rough... OVERALL: a lagered, emasculated ESB that fulfills its March Ides duty but cannot demand much more on a cool summer night such as this...recently I toasted the anniversary of my wife and I by romantically recalling this beer set next to mine (a Honey Brown) on a college bar basement table; out of context, Killians looks nice in that oddly-necked bottle, but now under Coors' auspices, one can see what is and is not present in this beer...

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Photo of hiemedall
2.92/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

on-tap and in the bottle.

I hope I can start a rallying cry for days of yore on this beer... I realize the almighty $ and taking it in the shorts from the craft beers on sales required the mega-brewery to try something.. but I miss the good ole' flavor of Killian's Red... I gave it over a year, but I miss the old flavor.. the celery seed flavoring (in my opinion) was truly unique and quite refreshing... Can I start a movement to go back to the flavoring it was before?? Is this old coke V.new coke?? I have tolerated MGD64 going to 64 and I am brand loyal to miller/coors... no Bud. has touched my lips in 30+ years...

But it is time to bring back the previous taste.. PLEASE

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Photo of Smock19nathan
2.11/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

I was looking forward to tasting this beer after seeing it for awhile.
I will just say that i am not a fan of the taste, it to me taste like a high alcohol beverage with little to no body. I couldnt compare it to anything i had tried, but maybe a domestic pale lager? Thats just my 2 cents.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.37/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #64 (May 2012):

LOOK: Clear dark brassy hue, creamy lacing

SMELL: Caramel, bready, slightly grassy, biscuity, clean

TASTE: Smooth, moderate-sized body, caramel, grass, biscuity, bread crust, modest hop bitterness, faint alcohol, faintly herbal, dry grainy finish

This doesn’t pretend to be anything less than a no-frills, easy-drinking lager. The brand has been somewhat reincarnated by recipe and packaging. The labeling is a bit more focused, and the beer seems to have a bit more life to it compared to its former self.

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Photo of robertgurley
2.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Not a favorite of mine, but something that I'll pick up when it goes on sale every month. A decent red ale, not quite as good as Red Oak but better than any of Coors' other offerings. Pours with very little head, decent golden brown appearance, a bit harsh but none of the "metallic" taste that some reviewers complain about.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.43/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear dark red color with a finger width foamy head. Head retention is minimal. Lacing is decent. Has a very sweet, malty aroma. Tropical fruit is definitely strong. I thought I can get some hints of java and/or chocolate. Kind of odd, but I will go with it. Maybe it is more of a licorice aroma. Tropical fruit taste. It is also bready and definitely has a mild red licorice taste at the end. Light bodied with heavy carbonation. Not bad, considering the brewer. Definitely a better offering than any adjuvant lagers from the big brewers. Would do in a pinch.

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Photo of Why-P-A
3.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A: The red color when served on tap matched the name and is very visually appealing.

S: Not a lot going on, very light wisps of grain but minimal.

T: Nice toasted malt base which matches the red color. Almost no hop presence in either flavor or bitterness which may have overpowered this mellow beer anyways.

M: Smooth and clean, traditional of mass produced beers but still has great flavor/drinkability.

O: For a widespread domestic brew Killian's Irish Red has a lot of flavor. Easy to find both on tap and in bottles. It's hard to beat the taste for the price if you're in the mood for a smooth red ale.

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Photo of JackMcAwesome
3.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this into a mug.

Nothing really stands out with this beer one way or the other.

Look: It has an interesting color that I haven't seen elsewhere. The lacing is minimal, and the one finger head disappeared fairly quickly.

Smell: Not much of anything. A bit of a malty smell, and a touch of honey. What little aroma there was, dropped off quickly.

Taste: Again, not too much. A bit of malt, maybe a slight bread tinge, but it's not necessarily bad. It's just not great.

Feel: A weird combo of thick and light. I could drink this on a hot day, and at the same time in the dead of winter. (A real winter, not a Florida winter).

Overall: Decent enough. When I feel like throwing the macros a bone, I could see myself picking this up again. Coors generally makes me want to come back every once in a great while, and this is another on the list where I'll go "Sure, why not."

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Photo of jackmormon
3/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

I used to really like this beer, and I mean like just last year. I recently bought a case of bottles and when I got home I dropped a few bottles on the floor while loading up the 'fridge. Sad day, to spill your beer, but the smell got to me immediately. While cleaning up the mess I got so tired of the smell that I can't really enjoy drinking it any more. I just drank another bottle of the 3 or 4 I have left since a few months ago. Since then I've finished numerous other beers but never bought another Killian's. Oh, well, it's really not that good a beer, anyway, so no great loss.

It's a little watery and unpleasantly bitter sometimes, but good with a pizza if you don't want to spend a lot on a half-decent brew. It's better than Pabst by a long shot, and you can often find it on sale. Don't be a dweeb and bring it to other peoples' parties. Let somebody else be that guy/girl. If you like amber beers, just get Bass Ale or something similar, they're basic but good. Even Blue Moon is better. You want a really nice Amber beer? Palm Speciale is a good pale ale that isn't cheap or pretentious either. It doesn't review well on this site, for some reason, but if you're faced with Killian's or Palm (like we have them one section apart at ABC Liquor here in town), go with Palm. Killian's is also kinda skunky.

End of rant.

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Photo of jjamadorphd
3.43/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

George Killian's Irish Red - a beer I now have only had three times. The first time was in the rathskeller of my college, then about ten years later after I got married and had a few kids, then just recently, another ten years later, with two kids out of high school and one in college. Why I wait so long between tries now surprises me...

The beers pours a dark brown color with a slight tinge of red - nothing overly impressive to the eyes. But the head it pours is amazing, thick and with a touch of red as well, it has good staying power and the best lacing I've seen in awhile. The smell is nothing to terribly to right about - I smell some floral mixture of some sort. Just the right amount of carbonation for the mouthfeel, but a bit watery for such as strong tasting beer. I did notice hints of cinnamon and orange (strangely enough). Overall, a good beer to have around, especially if you've got folks over who are a bit nervous to try unknown craft brews.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
3/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

George Killian's Irish Red

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into an English dimpled pint glass. Served chilled... I tell ya, this was living it up during my college years. This or maybe Newcastle.

A) I have to say this is red. There was about a finger of white foam, which quickly dissipated. No lacing...

S) Toasted grains, faint caramel, and a little grass.

T) Light roasted malt, bready, more bitterness than I recall. Finishes very grassy.

M) Light bodied with good amount of carbonation. Crisp, and somewhat refreshing. Dry finish...

O) I haven't had a Killian's in like 15 years, and clearly I haven't been missing much. I can't say I will be revisiting this anytime soon.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.15/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: Pours a crystal clear medium amber in color with moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some reddish brown highlights. The beer has a half finger tall creamy light tan head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of toasted malts with just a touch of burnt toast. Light hints of earthy bittering hops and a touch of bready malts. Very light notes of light fruits - green apple in particular.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of toasted malts with some light notes of burnt toast and just a hint of breadiness. There are very light hints of caramel sweetness followed by some bitterness which lingers but not for too long.

M: Just heavier than light bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin/watery.

O: Of all the offerings I have tried from Coors, this is one of the better ones that I have tried - there is also a certain nostalgia factor for this beer as I drank quite a bit of this when in college in the early 90s and this was better than the average BMC available (man, craft beer has come a long way). Easy to drink but definitely not one I would go searching out in the future.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.52/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this is another one of those beers that used to be pretty great and has changed in the corporate setting. still though, its the best thing coming out of coors, and still has a soft spot in my heart harkening back to my youth. pours a nice burnt brick red color with a fluffy tan head. it used to smell a little smoky amongst the dry red malts, but now it smells more like an adjunct heavy brew and they smoke is almost gone. its go an oatmeal sort of heavy complexion to it, and the sweetness is sort of familiar too, the finish is long and caramel centered. I don't know why this beer was changed, the original brew was really pretty good, but its become another factory beer casualty. better body than most though, and the carbonation is agreeable. I can still drink a 6er of these and enjoy them all, but its not what it used to be.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.18/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours crystal clear amber with an off-white finger head. Fair retention.

Smell - Bready, with sweet caramel notes.

Taste - Moderate caramel sweetness to start before a strong grainy character hits mid-taste and throughout. Touches on honey that builds toward the finish, becoming near cloying in sweetness, as hops are virtually nowhere to be found.

Mouthfeel - Medium in body, with low to moderate carbonation. Maltiness shows in the body. Goes done easy enough.

Overall - Drinkable, but not necessarily enjoyable. Nothing I'd care to drink again unless my options were severely limited.

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Photo of the3rdtriumph
4.85/5  rDev +59.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

I usually have this in a bottle, but some restaurants in town have this on tap. The bottle is good but the tap is my review:
So damn good tasting. This is a dinner beer. Steak or wings go well with this darker beer. Lots of carmelly roasted smell. Roasted something when tasting, can't quite put my finger on it but damn it's good. This was my first venture into beer that wasn't piss yellow. Very good overall, would recommend starting here before you venture into craft beer. A friend did so for me and I thought it was a nice transition into some new stuff from your boring Bud Light.

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Photo of jbierling
2.39/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is a very average beer.

The best thing going for this beer is the color. It has a red, amber color to it with a decent white head.

Not much smell. A little bit of carmel.

I taste a little carmel and some sweet malts.

It had a medium body and carbonation. Dry finish.

Overall - Tasted with a sampler among other higher quality, stronger beers. Tasted weak in comparison.

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Photo of MikeAAL
3.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a very average beer.

The best thing going for this beer is the appearance. It has a red, amber color to it with a decent white head.

Not much smell. A little bit of carmel.

I taste a little carmel and some sweet malts.

It had a medium body and carbonation. Dry finish.

It's very average. I didn't write a lot about taste, because there was much.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.28/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – As the name implies the brew is served a clear dark red/mahogany color with a one finger off white head. The head fades relatively quickly leaving only a very light level of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is a mix of roasted malt, caramel, as well as a brown sugar sweet smell. Mixed with these smells is a light nut.

Taste – The taste starts out heaviest of a caramel sweetness mixed with a lighter roasted malt flavor. As the taste advances the roasted flavors become slightly more pronounced, but never gain that much flavor, while a corn and brown sugar sweetness take mover the sweeter flavors from the initial caramel taste. A light nuttiness and a odd earthy hop flavor come to the tongue at the very end.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer was average in terms of creaminess as well as carbonation. The body and carbonation were fitting for making a very easy drinking session brew.

Overall – While a little on the sweet side with some transitions that are a bit abrupt, overall there was nothing off putting about the brew and it was quite easy drinking and sessionable.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.08/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- pours clear with bright amber-ruby color and a pretty good size head and decent retention.

S- toasted grain, faint caramel, otherwise pretty clean and simple

T- follows the aromas of toasted grain with just a bit of malt sweetness. Finishes clean and dry with barely any trace of hop and some more toasted grains.

M- light-med body, medium carbonation, finishes smooth

O- I drank this a bit when I was first getting into beer, it's certainly better than the other micro options out there, but its very simple and decent at best. It is however a good value at less than $6/6pack.

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Photo of KYGunner
2.35/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

When I was in college, Killians was a beer that made me feel like I had arrived. In 25 years things have changed. Gone is the burnt red coloring, now its an orangish red. Gone are the burnt aromas, now is the metallic sweetness of a cheap beer. Gone are the dry burnt feelings of a tasteful Irish Red. I understand when a beer is changed to appeal to the masses, certainly cost is a determinant, but I feel violated when a beer is assaulted this way.

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George Killian's Irish Red from Coors Brewing Company
71 out of 100 based on 818 ratings.