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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.
BA SCORE
83
good

224 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 224
Reviews: 69
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 10.96%
Wants: 10
Gots: 12 | 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.
View: Beers (44) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 224 | Reviews: 69
Reviews by sweetbrew82:
Photo of sweetbrew82
3.87/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. into a pint glass

P: Deep cranberry with a light cream-colored head of thick foam with little tightly-packed soapy bubbles on the surface. Showed decent retention before it sank to a thick collar and left some skinny webs of lace behind.

A: Big, juicy, deeply-toasted caramel malts that give it that signature 'red ale' smell. Behind it is some floral notes, citric hops, toffee, toasted nuts, and a very subtle chocolate that comes out more once it warms up a bit.

T: Juicy caramel malts, toffee, and the toasted nuts make up the sweetness that dominates the profile before a more-than-expected citrusy hops presence shows up to keep it from becoming overly-cloying. Make no mistake, though, this is prettys sweet from beginning to end as the bitterness stays pretty mild. Subtle and very well-orchestrated notes of baker's chocolate come through on the back end to further compliment the profile before it finishes pretty clean and leaves a nice aftertaste.

M: McIlhenny's Irish Red is just a notch above medium-bodied, and has a rich, smooth feel with a little creaminess that I think enhanced the flavor nicely.

Notes: This is a solid Irish Red that left a good impression on me. It's got a good nose, flavor, and mouthfeel that comes together to make this beer quite drinkable, but not necessarily sessionable for me because of its sweet nature. You can tell the guys at Alpine know what the hell they're doing! Very solid

More User Reviews:
Photo of OStrungT
4.57/5  rDev +25.2%
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.

Photo of Auraan
4.26/5  rDev +16.7%
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.

Photo of IntriqKen
3.47/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Photo of MrVonzipper
3.41/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

Photo of salcedo
4.74/5  rDev +29.9%
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

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.79/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Photo of nickd717
3.71/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of MiScusi
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.08/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

Photo of MisterGone
3.28/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

Photo of Kegatron
3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of HalfFull
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of CRJMellor
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of smakawhat
4.5/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Great looking beer. Deep crystal ruby colored body in a glass. Faint microscopic carbonation all through with a faint matching tan color. Tan color continues to the head, slightly bigger than 2 fingers tall and leaves a simple thin puck. Great looking beer.

The sticky classic malts are all over this on the nose even as I pour. Mild sweet caramel, hints at cherry fruit strangely and some cinnamon spice. Where is that normally on an Irish Ale? Boy that's unexpected. Some nice dried clove like spices round out.

Probably one of the most unique tasting Irish ales I've had. Surprisingly light malt depth, but with a perfectly silky nearly creamy texture. Flavors hint from the nose, lots of the toasted brown spices of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and so forth. But very light and with a fleeting aftertaste that really hints of toasted brown bread and pumpernickel almost. Caramel comes in with a bit of warmth and brings some vanilla like cream as well.

Overall just a real fine easy drinking Irish ale, it's nearly perfect.

Photo of JTahoe
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Nearly garnet red with orange tones, one finger off-white head reduces fairly quickly but leaves enough lace hanging around to be respectable. Looking really nice for the style.

S - Malty sweet with hints of tropical fruit, perhaps a whiff of piña colada... interesting

T - Caramel malts dominate. Some fruitiness coming through... a hint of pineapple... but this fades about half way in. Some toasted nuts, and cocoa begin to come subtly into play along with just the lightest hint of citric bitterness. Very clean all the way through.

M - Medium body leaning just slightly towards medium-full. a nice velvety smoothness, just a touch of creamy feel. Carbonation is perfect.

D - A really nice beer all around, perhaps my favorite Irish Red. Very very well made.

Photo of Gusler
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer as it sets in my glass a limpid mahogany color, the head average in size, frothy in texture. Light tan in color and the lace a decent covering upon the glass. Malt dominates the nose, fresh and clean, sweet as it the malt-laden start; top is skimpy in feel. Finish is lightly carbonated, the hops present and mild in their bite, dry aftertaste, average beer, drinkable and pleasant enough when your into something on the lighter side.

Photo of jcalabre
3.16/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to xlperro for this brew.
Appearance: McQlhennye's Irish Red pours a crystal clear reddish brown color w/ a two finger dirty white head. The head slowly dissapates.
Aroma. The nose is nice and malty
Flavor: This brew has a slightly malty taste with a touch of hops.
This is a nice session beer.

Photo of aracauna
3.01/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice dark plummy red brown but the head is licaking. The aroma is malty, a bit roasty but little else. The flavor is more roasty than expected with a light sweetness. Not a lot of complexity except for a little melon, and really low hopping. Of course, low hopping makes sense for the style, but the lack of fruitiness doesn't. Boring but not bad.

Photo of t420o
3.77/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Alpine Irish red

A- pour produces a 1 finger tan head that fizzles away pretty quick leaving little lacing. Beer is amber with some brown. Some sediment floating around.  3.5 

S- very nutty, hot chocolate mix,  a floral scent, a light banana/clove type scent. 4

T- nutty, toffee, brown sugar, bready, light chocolate, a floral taste that follows the smell. The rye is there as well in the background. Actually a good Irish red. I still prefer a tangy American red ale though. Very good nontheless. 4   

M- beer is a little too thin for my liking. No real creamyness or anything. 3  

O- I could put down a bunch of these. Would be good at a bar and I'd like to try it on tap or even cask.  Not a hint of alcohol. 3.5

B

Photo of rand
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at O'Brien's San Diego leftover from St Patty's Day

Normally I don't mention other reviews, but just scanning some other entries it's obvious people don't like Irish Reds. They're far from my go-to style either, but it seems the average-ish scores (for an Alpine brew) are largely due to the unpopularity of the style.

That being said, living in the land of hop bounty, sometimes a brew like this hits the spot. Or it at least allows you to enjoy delicious IPAs if by contrast. Either way, this is throwing back pretty easy right now.

A: The brew is a mahogany-red in color, clear, served with a nice 1-inch frothy head.

S: Bready bouquet, sweet, like squaw bread. There's a candied, almost cherry sweetness, along with some husky grain and a touch of alcohol.

T/M: A chewy, bready complexion carries toffee sweetness, with the cherry aspect detected in the nose more pronounced here. Toasted grainy with notes of dry grass and a touch of hop astringency balancing at the back of the palate, keeping in line with the style. Finishes long and sweet.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark amber with a nice double-finger head. Some nice lacing as I work my way through the glass. The smell is of sweet malt, and is fairly complex, as is often the style with a good Irish Red Ale. The taste is all malt, with only the faintest hint of hop bitterness. I can definitely see the insane number of different malts in this, as the taste is fairly complex. Nice and medium-bodied and very drinkable, especially for a style that's not one of my favorites.

Photo of BilbosNuts
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my buddy McD0uche for bringing this up from SoCal for me.

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear garnet color with limited carbonation, making it look very still. It has a white rocky head that reduces to a film that sits on top.

S: It has some lager-like characteristics in the taste. The aroma consists of clean toasted malts, butterscotch, grassy scents, and an earthy caramel aroma.

T: Similar to the aroma in the clean toasted malts and earthy caramel aspects. It has the same lager characteristics described in the aroma.

M: It is pretty smooth to drink and leaves a dry finish. It ends slightly bitter and crisp. It is medium bodied and lightly carbonated.

O: This is a pretty straightforward ale that is quite refreshing and not difficult to enjoy. I've been wanting to try some stuff from Alpine for a while and this will encourage me to continue my pursuit.

Photo of hopdog
3.12/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle acquired in trade with DarkElf (thanks!).

Poured a medium and clear brownish color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of caramel and fruity. Tastes of pretty much the same - fruitiness and caramel. Some graininess too. Thinner body.

Notes from 12/12/05

Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A- Deep ruby in color. A maple syrup like amber almost. Soft offwhite head.

S- Oh so bready. Has the baked bread character of a Doppelbock. Resinous hop notes and a touch of pine.

T- Follows nose really well. Bready start again with a healthy does of caramel coming through. a lingering bitterness in the finish. Rye is apparent throughout. Certainly leans heavy on the malty side of things.

M- Interesting. The nose and taste buds tell you this will be a heavy brew, but it turns out to be quite light in body. Dry finish.

O- one of the best Irish ales i have ever had. Nice complexity in a style that tends to lack it at times. Big malt character that drinks easy.

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McIlhenney's Irish Red from Alpine Beer Company
83 out of 100 based on 224 ratings.