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McIlhenney's Irish Red - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
McIlhenney's Irish RedMcIlhenney's Irish Red

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

160 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 160
Reviews: 60
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 11.02%
Wants: 10
Gots: 9 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Dark red, malty ale. Eleven different malts, all used to contribute to a complex, malty sweet flavor and aroma. Hops are kept low (10 ibu's) for this multiple medal winner (GABF, World Beer Cup, etc)
Draft & 22oz bottles.

(Beer added by: Gusler on 12-19-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 160 | Reviews: 60 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by beagle75:
Photo of beagle75


4/5  rDev +10.2%

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint glass.

A: Clear, light reddish-amber color with over one finger of diminishing off-white foam head. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Toasted bread and grain, not as much caramel as the appearance might suggest, with some faint tangerine citrus occasionally emerging.

T: Begins barely off-dry, malty with bread and caramel. A fruity quality that reminds of maraschino cherries is also present early, likely formed by a combination of yeast esters, crystal malt, and careful hopping. Acidity is well-balanced here, perhaps even remarkably so. Vanilla ice cream is detected in the middle, where some of the other previously-noted flavors fade considerably. The finish is dry, slightly bitter, and even leathery at times.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, fluid on the palate--even occasionally creamy--with moderate carbonation.

D: Alpine brews a few different amber ales--this one, as well as Alpine ale--that are remarkably similar. This Irish red ale is malt-forward, never extreme, and just what one might expect from one of Alpine's less abundantly-hopped beers. It pairs well with a variety of food flavors, reminding at times of New Belgium's ubiquitous Fat Tire--but with less overbearing biscuit flavor than that other beer.

12-31-2010 02:43:04 | More by beagle75
More User Reviews:
Photo of warnerry


4/5  rDev +10.2%

05-30-2014 03:22:07 | More by warnerry
Photo of aquazr1


4/5  rDev +10.2%

11-01-2013 02:01:37 | More by aquazr1
Photo of Cynic-ale


3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

07-29-2013 15:51:20 | More by Cynic-ale
Photo of OStrungT


4.58/5  rDev +26.2%

This beer pours a mohogany color, with a thin white head. The head fades too quickly, leaving minimal laces.

This beer has a malty sweet aroma. I detect some toffee. It boasts a slight nutty aroma also. Almost no hop aroma is present.

This beer has a rich nutty flavor. A strong caramel sweet malt flavor is also present. As with the aroma, the hops are almost non existant.

This beer goes down very smooth, leaving a nutty sweet aftertaste. It is a little undercarbonated in my opinion.

This beer would probably make an excelent session beer. It is not too high in alcohol, and the flavor is good and not too aggressive.

Overall: I am happy to have had this as my 300th review. I am surprised that I have never had this beer before. It is good, and I definately plan to make it a regular in my beer fridge.

11-04-2006 03:48:58 | More by OStrungT
Photo of SPRichard

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

05-27-2012 15:50:27 | More by SPRichard
Photo of stereosforgeeks


3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

03-28-2013 02:40:33 | More by stereosforgeeks
Photo of Johnny58


3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

09-23-2013 20:32:47 | More by Johnny58
Photo of IntriqKen


3.48/5  rDev -4.1%

Nice clear coppery color in the glass with a small head that melts to merely a ring of white.
The nose is fruity and sweetly amber malts.
Sweet malts on the tongue immediately are overcome with a fruity, grainy taste and a bit of citrus hops. Decivingly dry and slightly bitter makes you think it is hoppy until you notice the spice and graininess of rye malt used in this brew.
Not really a big red as first percieved. More a reddish-rye if that makes any sense.

03-04-2007 19:50:23 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of MrVonzipper


3.43/5  rDev -5.5%

Fairly mirky red with a dark amber tone. Nice 1-2 cm tan head with decent retention and no lacing.

Smell is kinda like a bowl of mixed sweet and sour dark fruit consisting of cherry, plum, raspberry and blackberry.

The flavor overall is pretty good. It is lacking character though. Tough to determine distinct flavor characteristics. It's interesting and different for a red in my opinion. Definitely doesn't really have the roasted chocolatey finish that the bottle states. Caramel malt and Slight roasted malt on the back end.

Mouthfeel Is medium bodied overall. Starts light and finished a tad heavier. Medium carbonation.

Overall the beer is pretty good. I really think the 10 IBUs is really what is keeping this beer from being a pretty great beer. I think it's seriously lacking character and maybe dry hopping would just set this beer above and beyond.

07-14-2011 02:32:50 | More by MrVonzipper
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

01-19-2014 02:54:47 | More by Sammy
Photo of emilylee


3/5  rDev -17.4%

07-25-2013 05:56:49 | More by emilylee
Photo of PeprSprYoFace


3.83/5  rDev +5.5%

Pours a very nice looking red color into my pint glass. Very thin bubbles and a small but consistant head formed on the top. Good lookin beer.

Smell is not much. The malt smells wonderful but no hop aroma. Smells almost like a Maibock.

Taste is pretty good. Although I like my reds hoppier this one focuses on the malt. Almost no hop flavor and only slight bitterness. The malts do taste good though.

Mouthfeel is good. The head offers a certain frothiness. A little more carbonation would be nice.

Overall it is a tasty beer. Better than alot of reds I have had but for sure not the best. I wouldn't seek it out unless Reds are your style but it is a good beer to grab if you see it.

01-20-2010 02:38:43 | More by PeprSprYoFace
Photo of nickd717


3.7/5  rDev +1.9%

Bottle from City Beer in SF for $6.99, which is a little high for an Irish Red, but oh well. I was surprised to see Alpine there.

Pours a clear firetruck red color with a creamy two-finger light beige head and good lacing.

Aroma is typical for the style: bready caramel malt, slight roast, earth, and even a little rye.

Flavor is caramel and toffee, rye, wood/earth, and mild fruity notes.

Medium body with a nice smooth mouthfeel.

Not terribly exciting, but drinkable and good for the style.

03-18-2010 17:45:20 | More by nickd717
Photo of MiScusi


3.85/5  rDev +6.1%

On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad. Pours a pretty dark but clear red, with lots of streams of carbonation present. The overall impression here is it's more of a toasty brew, less smooth but more flavorful than other macro irish red's I've had. There is a distinct hop bitterness in the finish making it feel somewhat harsh. It was ok though, a good compliment to a pepperoni pizza.

07-21-2008 20:55:27 | More by MiScusi
Photo of Alieniloquium


3.08/5  rDev -15.2%

650 mL bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance - Reddish brown body. Small khaki head. A thin collar and some lacing.

Smell - Nutty malts. Caramel. Hint of roasted malt, like chocolate. Some English hops.

Taste - Brighter. More of a hop presence. English hops. Nutty malts. Sweetness builds into the finish.

Mouthfeel - It gets a little sweet. The low bitterness doesn't cut any of it, either. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Not many Irish Reds are very exciting and this is no exception. It is well made, though. No trouble sharing this bomber.

04-10-2014 01:30:02 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of Kegatron


4/5  rDev +10.2%

On tap at Downtown Johnny Brown's (San Diego, CA) on 3/18/09. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a clear deep amber with a finger of foamy off-white (nearly tan) head. Retains with a thin creamy look, that flares up nicely, drenching the sides of the glass with lace. The aroma has a good bit of substance to for an Irish Red. Lots of toasted malts and caramel sweetness in the nose, along with a nice and fresh floral feel.

The taste packs the same robust mix, with toasted bready malts, caramel, with a touch of zesty citrus character thrown in for good measure. There is a more moderate hop profile present. It's enough to balance the profile but pulls back just enough to also allow the malts to really shine. Sweetness and citrus linger past the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied wiht a nice easy carbonation and overall smooth feel. Very drinkable for a 6% beer.

This one took me by surprise a bit. Nicely flavored for an Irish Red and the drinkibility was right on! I didn't get to drink any "Irish" beers the day before on St. Patties Day, so this was a nice belated pint to celebrate with.

03-30-2009 16:59:27 | More by Kegatron
Photo of terpinsd


3.25/5  rDev -10.5%

04-27-2014 05:53:51 | More by terpinsd
Photo of HalfFull


3.98/5  rDev +9.6%

From a growler into a pint glass, this brew pours a clear reddish amber with a half inch of porous off white head. Retention is short as it settles quickly into a surface cap yielding random strings of lacing.

Smell is of roasted caramel malts, a bit smoky in fact. Yet clean and uncluttered as I sense this brew isn't overly sweet for the style. A notable hop presence blends well with the roastiness of the brew.

Taste confirms my suspicions and offers a welcome light yet complex malt flavor. Roasty up front, segueing to a clean finish and a dry aftertaste. Hop bitterness is less than anticipated given the nose. Offers a good carbonation level which fits the beer well. Drinkability is above average for the style due to the relative lightness of the malts. A nice Irish Red that doesn't smother things with excessive malt notes.

01-13-2009 05:55:24 | More by HalfFull
Photo of GRG1313


3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

05-20-2013 04:59:50 | More by GRG1313
Photo of TrojanRB


3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

07-27-2014 20:52:38 | More by TrojanRB
Photo of LakerLeith


3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

06-29-2014 03:36:29 | More by LakerLeith
Photo of CRJMellor


4.1/5  rDev +12.9%

Thanks to xlperro for grabbing me a bomber.
Pours a copper color with some red tints. Small light tan head dies very quickly.
Aroma of caramel with rich bread notes and some roasted nuttiness.
Flavor has a big caramel front, wheat bread tones and some resined hops on the finish.
Mouthfeel is medium-boided and mildly sweet with a mellow roasted feel.
Drinkability is very good. Great transitions between flavors and progression of sweet, roast and bitter.

03-12-2005 21:47:40 | More by CRJMellor
Photo of JRO


3.25/5  rDev -10.5%

06-11-2013 18:11:54 | More by JRO
Photo of mrcraft


3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

06-22-2014 03:06:21 | More by mrcraft
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McIlhenney's Irish Red from Alpine Beer Company
82 out of 100 based on 160 ratings.