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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.
BA SCORE
83
good

178 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 178
Reviews: 60
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 10
Gots: 9 | 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:
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: 178 | Reviews: 60 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gordonbeersch
5/5  rDev +37.7%

gordonbeersch, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Amyliz4
5/5  rDev +37.7%

Amyliz4, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of OStrungT
4.58/5  rDev +26.2%
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.

OStrungT, Nov 04, 2006
Photo of ETF5000
4.58/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought at Pizza Port Bottle Shop in Carlsbad, CA

A- Pours a nice dark amber color with about 2 fingers of light nougat colored head. Perfect for an Irish Red as far as I'm concerned.

S- Malty sweetness is the first thing that comes to mind here. Very caramely, with a touch of roastiness and a very mild hop charactaristic on the end.

T- Wonderful! I'm not a huge Irish Red drinker, but I have to say I really enjoyed this one. Great malty sweetness, with a tinge of hop to cleanse the palate and balance the sweetness. Some people find the beer to be a tad cloying, but I thought it was a perfect balance.

M- Great carbonation. Nothing really to point out here!

D- Although not a session beer in my opinion, I could drink a couple of these babies over a couple of hours. Truly, this is a new favorite of mine from Alpine. Good work guys!

ETF5000, Oct 12, 2009
Photo of smakawhat
4.5/5  rDev +24%
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.

smakawhat, May 14, 2014
Photo of tavernjef
4.45/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From a far this sits a shadowy dark blood red, up to the light it has a wonderfully clear ruby brown tinted body. The cap is small and faintly thick with a light stained ivory color. Minimal lacing sticks in small globuals.

Nice aroma of candy bar chocolate and caramel with a wiff of subdued cherry-like fruityness and vanilla.

Taste is outstanding for an Irish Red. Complexingly delicate and well rounded flavors of malty fruityness bringing a partial red apple and date filling, feathered in vanilla cherry coke without the overly sweetness or active carbonation. Mild but fulfilling with a calming smooth character. Great finish of lightly dry candy bar chocolate and caramel swirling off into a return of some malty fruits and vanilla.
Tthe mouthfeel of this beer is awesome. Big full smooth body. Succulantly easy to quaff. Its smoothness is like no other Irish Red I've ever encountered. Its milding charm is very enthralling and the finish is spectacular.

My kind of beer. Tasty, well rounded, smooth, full, candyish with chocolate and caramel with a sweet fruity center that helps keep a terrific balance. Damn good stuff!

tavernjef, Aug 27, 2005
Photo of FunkyMacGroovin
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%

FunkyMacGroovin, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of sisterthelonious
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%

sisterthelonious, Nov 02, 2013
Photo of david131
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%

david131, Jun 26, 2014
Photo of m1ked
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fresh pour at SD Toronado while waiting for a sausage.

A- This pours a clear rusty caramel red. Without being fire engine red, this is as red as I have seen a red. Brief white foamy head that transforms to a thin white rim.

S- Sweet carmel-ish malts. A slight and barely detectable bitter note.

T- Mmmmm. This where this guy shines. Sweet carmel malts with some creamy nutty honey flavor. Touch of vanilla notes.

M- Smooth. Lightly coats the tongue. Late hit on the carbonation that does not distract.

D- I have recently realized that I like reds. For me this is the measuring stick.

m1ked, Aug 12, 2008
Photo of zenithberwyn
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%

zenithberwyn, Nov 10, 2014
Photo of JTahoe
4.22/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

JTahoe, Mar 18, 2010
Photo of CRJMellor
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

CRJMellor, Mar 12, 2005
Photo of
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle.

Poured a beautiful, clear copper color. Topped by a large, creamy, light tan head.

Aroma was malt and yeast. Spicy, pepper, maybe rye?. Earthy. Minimal hops.

Fairly sweet -- molasses and a touch of chocolate. Hops are there, herbal, mainly at the finish. Biscuity.

Medium in body, medium carbonation. Very refreshing, not drying at all.

Very drinkable. I am surprised by the restraint shown with respect to the hops. This beer drank almost like an English Brown Ale. Hope to have this again someday.

, Jun 20, 2007
Photo of rand
4.03/5  rDev +11%
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.

rand, Apr 10, 2014
Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev +10.2%

warnerry, May 30, 2014
Photo of aquazr1
4/5  rDev +10.2%

aquazr1, Nov 01, 2013
Photo of SamuelR
4/5  rDev +10.2%

SamuelR, Sep 06, 2014
Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

Kegatron, Mar 30, 2009
Photo of javiernano
4/5  rDev +10.2%

javiernano, Mar 06, 2012
Photo of BrianTheBrewer30
4/5  rDev +10.2%

BrianTheBrewer30, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of IrishColonial
4/5  rDev +10.2%

IrishColonial, May 03, 2012
Photo of spamages
4/5  rDev +10.2%

spamages, Aug 15, 2012
Photo of beagle75
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

beagle75, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of Nightrain87
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Nightrain87, Sep 20, 2014
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McIlhenney's Irish Red from Alpine Beer Company
83 out of 100 based on 178 ratings.