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McIlhenney's Irish Red - Alpine Beer Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

74 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 74
Hads: 248
Avg: 3.74
pDev: 19.79%
Wants: 10
Gots: 22 | FT: 2
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:
Beer added by: Gusler on 12-19-2002

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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 74 | Hads: 248
Reviews by kevanb:
Photo of kevanb
3.81/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

650ml bottle poured into an Alpine Pint Glass.

The beer pours a nice red brown color, slight haze but generally clear. A thin, fizzy off white head appears, about a finger high that dissipates immediately, no lacing or retention. The aroma is very malt forward, very sweet and rich, some mixed berry aromas pop out and lend themselves to the sweet and almost fruit forward maltiness. Hops are pretty much out of the picture here, not what I really want to see from Alpine, but true to the style. The flavors match the nose nicely, lots of rich malt, slightly sweet and mildly fruit forward, a bit of brown sugar pops out as well that plays nicely with the fruitiness. Touches of berry at the finish that is creamy and sweet. The body is nice, rich, light zestiness from the carbonation with a great creamy finish.

Verdict: A nice Irish Red from Alpine, but obviously this isn't going to turn any heads when compared to their hoppy line up. Still a nice beer for someone who likes a sessionable, malty beer.

 1,009 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of aquazr1
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of OStrungT
4.57/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

 823 characters

Photo of SPRichard
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of Auraan
4.26/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured a clear red body with a thin tan head. Overall impression of appearance is of a perfect Irish red ale. Scents of toasted malt, caramel and notes of toffee at moderate levels. Overall impression of aroma is of a malt forward pint, very true to style for an Irish Red. Flavor begins malty and sweet with a caramel quality and medium-light notes of toasted malt, along with light English hop flavors. Middle gains a dry quality, deriving from roasted malt, with flavors of lightly roasted malt and toasted malt. Finish is dry with light flavors of roasted malt and slightly burnt toast and a hint of caramel. Aftertaste is dry with notes of toasted malt, light roasted malt and a hint of hop bitterness. Overall impression of flavor is of a simple, malt-forward, well-crafted Irish red, true to style and pleasant. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation and a smooth, creamy feel, ending slick. Overall impression of mouthfeel is of a perfectly to style Irish red. Overall this is a fantastic pint. It hits all aspects of the style perfectly, and while it is not the most complex, rich or "deep" beer, it is a fantastic example of an easy drinking, oft overlooked pub ale. Highly recommend.

 1,206 characters

Photo of LXIXME
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Johnny58
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of IntriqKen
3.47/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

 466 characters

Photo of MrVonzipper
3.41/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

 867 characters

Photo of brother_rebus
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Dark color: more brown than red. Somewhat of a malty nose. Eversoslight hop scent. Very tasty. Malty and toasty. Not really sweet though. Hops are detectable, but I wouldnt say the beer is hoppy. Somewhat latent carbonation. Smooth drinking. Finishes dry, but lingers a hint of flavor. Not super traditional. But very well done. Would buy again.

 346 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of salcedo
4.74/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

22oz bomber poured into a glass.
L: Deep amber-red color, almost like maple syrup.
Creamy caramel colored head that dissipates quickly.
S: Toasted grain with nice caramel
T: Malty. Sweet with some caramel flavor. The bitterness of the toasted grain balances out the sweetness.
F: Very light body, goes down easily. Lightly carbonated.
O: Nice toasted malt flavor. Would go well with a nice burger or steak

 408 characters

Photo of blabaer
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of emilylee
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of SamuelR
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.79/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

 688 characters

Photo of nickd717
3.71/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

 497 characters

Photo of SaulFox
3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of MiScusi
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

 377 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.08/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

 550 characters

Photo of gldnns
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of MisterGone
3.28/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This was a pint from West Coast BBQ (which rumor has it is now the same people as O'Brien's... so I ahd high hopes).

A deep, ruby-copper red, well fitting the style. But then, things fell apart. There was no nose whatsoever at first, which I attributed to a cold brew. After sitting, there was just the slight hint of maltiness. The flavor was also very subdued. I expected some serious malt-forward flavors, but got a little caramel and a little roasty malt backing. There was a nice little bitter blast in the finish.

My hope is that this was the result of the pour or equipment because everything else I have had from Alpine has been top notch. I will try again in a different setting.

 690 characters

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McIlhenney's Irish Red from Alpine Beer Company
84 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.