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Samuel Adams Irish Red - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Irish RedSamuel Adams Irish Red

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,198 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,198
Reviews: 966
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 14.7%
Wants: 24
Gots: 78 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Pale and Caramel malts, and East Kent Goldings hops.

(Beer added by: WilliamPhilaPa on 08-24-2007)
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Ratings: 2,198 | Reviews: 966 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tburus


3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: A ruby orange transparent liquid with slow rising carbonation and a one finger, off-white head.

Smell: Picking up sour malt and yeast as well as some smell that I can't really describe as anything but "off." It's not really bad, it's just different. It's not skunkiness though; I'm pretty sure it's intentional.

Taste: Sour and bitter malt flavors with a medium amount of carbonation. The taste is pretty much right on what I expected from the smell.

Mouthfeel: A little sour malt left over but mostly the yeastiness is what I taste now. Like most Sam Adams, it's a good aftertaste that makes it easy to take that next drink, but not much in the way of exciting feel.

Drinkability: This is an average beer in a not so common style, so it is an acceptable choice. I like it, but I am waiting to get my hands on other offerings in the same style such as Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale and Three Floyd's Brian Boru. Worth a try in the meantime.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2011 12:24:30 | More by tburus
Photo of shand


3.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep red with about a finger and a half worth of head. Lacing and retention are both slightly below average. Aroma focuses mostly on caramel malts, but there's some slight fruit and hop aspects here too. The taste is very good! Although there's a main caramel malt, a masterful blend of slightly bitter fruits and hops really helps temper the malt bomb, making this a perfectly drinkable malty brew. Nothing outstanding, but just a nice balanced, malty brew.

The mouthfeel is just about right, it's highly carbonated and on the lighter side of medium bodied. It's also very drinkable. A solid beer from Sam Adams. It won't offend or amaze, but is an enjoyable drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2011 20:03:13 | More by shand
Photo of huxcrunner

New York

3.1/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer has a white head and ok lacing the color is redish brown with maltt aromas, this beer is overal pretty average and has a good balance f flavors of both malt and hops, I wouldn't say this is sam adams best beer but it sure isn't the worst u will have and is worth trying at least once

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2010 22:27:27 | More by huxcrunner
Photo of bushbeer75


3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle with label notched Jan 2011 for brewery fresh taste - consumed on 12/11/10

Sam Adams Irish Red poured a "dirty" red color with a nice mountainous 2-finger long lasting tan head that left nice thick lacing - a nice looking ale. The nose is of caramel and light fruit. Taste is malty [not heavy though] with flavors of caramel, light hops and tea like. Mouth feel is crisp, medium carbonation and body with a slightly hoppy dry finish.

If you are a fan of Irish Red Ales - try this one as I don't think you will be disappointed, it's an easy drinker too.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2010 20:44:32 | More by bushbeer75
Photo of philbertk


3.93/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Boston Beer Company--Samuel Adams--Irish Red--Brewmaster's Collection--Harvest Collection--2010 12 oz. Bottle. 5.80% ABV. 15 IBU's? (4.0 / 5.0) Thick pour. Lacy off white rocky head. Clear dark enticing amber red color. Sweet malty toasted mild floral hop front. Malty biscuity cloying creamy mellow sweet caramel toffee mild fruit body. Malty tasty smooth mild hop end. Easy to drink. Well made. Not sure how to evaluate fidelity to the style. Sampled 12/26/2010. Harvest Mix Pack purchased @ Fred Meyer--Ballard, Seattle for $13.99 on 8/31/2010.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2010 19:59:41 | More by philbertk
Photo of Mora2000


3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a reddish color with an off-white head. A nice looking beer overall. The aroma is classic red ale with notes of toffee and caramel, as well as some grassy hops. The flavor is dominated by the toffee, caramel and biscuit malt notes. I also get some light cocoa and some grassy hops. The beer has a slight bit of bitterness to it, but it is fairly sweet tasting overall. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. I am not usually a fan of Irish Red Ales, but this one is not bad at all. Definitely one of the best that I have tried.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2010 04:01:33 | More by Mora2000
Photo of Murchmac


3.95/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby red brown some head and lacing.

Caramel and toffee notes nutcracking and leaping on the stage.

Toasty caramel notes leaping onto your taste buds.

This is a hit for me. Sam Adams got this one right, if I see it in a six pack id buy one.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2010 05:34:39 | More by Murchmac
Photo of DannyDan


3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a dark red body with a small tan head that has decent retention and good lacing. The smell is of caramel, some malts, butterscotch, and some hops. The taste is a sweet caramel and ice tea like flavor with a hint of butterscotch and ends with some bitterness at the tip of the tongue. It has a very sticky mouthfeel that sticks to the lips in this light to medium bodied brew that has some carbonation to it. This is a very drinkable beer that I would have given it a 5.0 in drinkability if not for the harsh stickiness of it.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2010 02:22:16 | More by DannyDan
Photo of FickleBeast

New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a ping glass. Best by March 2011.

Pours reddish amber with one finger of sticky foam. Aroma is caramel sweetness, plum, candied fruit. Smells very nice.

Taste doesn't back up the smell. It is sweet, most likely crystal malts, but there is a lingering aftertaste that is not pleasant. Kind of a harsh, astringent bitterness. No real hop flavor. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, which takes away from the drinkability a bit.

All in all, a decent malty beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2010 02:33:43 | More by FickleBeast
Photo of JDFish


3.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled poured into a pint glass. Dark and cloudy, like turbid ice-t in color. Decent almond head and some lacing. Nothing outstanding in the smell category, mostly of malts and light nuts and citrus. Mouthfeel was pretty full, lots of carbonation. Not a real crisp sensation, little chalky. Its a very tastey and drinkable brew. Its worth a shot.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2010 04:24:48 | More by JDFish
Photo of mikeg67

New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours a dark red color with an off white foamy head. Light carbonation and some lacing. Aroma is sweet caramel malt, fruit and touch of hops. Firm, reach, slightly oily body. Flavor is juicy, sweet caramel malt, fruit perfectly balanced by earthy hops. Finish becomes dry and earthy. I like this beer a lot.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2010 21:13:03 | More by mikeg67
Photo of patreely12


3.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - nice ruby red. about a finger or so of cream colored head dissolving more and more each sip. faint, yet sticky lacing.

S - faint malt but nothing else really.

T/M - toasty malts. also some very slight citrus. medium to light bodied. this beer is surprisingly clean and refreshing. better than killian's.

D - goes down very smooth. definitely good choice for a hearty dinner.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2010 19:30:26 | More by patreely12
Photo of ronniebruner


3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew has a very intense and strong aroma. That will be the first thing you notice when you pop the cap n one of these. VEry average Irish red, a bit disappointing for Boston Beer CO. If you must drink a red, you cant go wrong with Killians. Now if youre at a party and someone gives you one of these for free, you'll enhoy it.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2010 06:31:07 | More by ronniebruner
Photo of adam42381


3.93/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Duvel tulip. Best before January 2011 notched on label.

Appearance: Pours a hazy dark caramel brown with orange highlights and a 1-2 finger off-white head. Decent lacing.

Smell: Malt dominates with a nice nutty aroma and a hint of buttered bread.

Taste: Bready malt flavor throughout. In addition to the malt, there are hint of nuts, butter and caramel in the background. I detect just a hint of bitter hops at the finish. Aftertaste is very lightly earthy and doesn't linger long.

Mouthfeel: Light-to-medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Very high drinkability. Not a session beer by definition, but you could knock back several without any trouble.

Overall: Pretty good beer overall. Another decent offering from Sam Adams. It's worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2010 02:46:56 | More by adam42381
Photo of lykonluck


3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

very good beer overall with and enjoyable flavor. has malty floavor with perfect amount of caramel. i would reccomend it to everyone. has more caramel flavor then killians irish red and other irsih reds. goes great with thanksgiving dinner. thank you sam adams

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2010 00:30:49 | More by lykonluck
Photo of JimLetson

New York

2.58/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

12-oz. bottle from the fall sampler poured into my tulip.

Appearance - the beer is a coppery red. The khaki-coloured head is thin and recedes quickly. I like the colour and I really like how clear it is.

Smell - there really isn't much of a smell at all. There is some malt, a very faint caramel aroma, and naught else.

Taste - the very first impression I get is Cherry Coke. After that initial shock wears off, there is caramel malt, and it ends with a small amount of bitterness. It doesn't dry my mouth out, but it leaves a funny taste on the front of my tongue and (though I know it's not where taste actually is) the roof of my mouth. It isn't butterscotch, but it is candy, kind of like the caramel inside a Rolo, but not actually caramel. If anyone can tell me what it is, BM me.

Mouthfeel - I don't particularly care for it. I think it's the strange caramel-ish thing going on in the aftertaste. I feel like I need to brush my teeth.

Drinkability - might rate higher if not for the weird feeling after a few sips. I feel like I need to brush my teeth, and this makes me neither willing nor able to drink more than one.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2010 03:40:01 | More by JimLetson
Photo of Fallonrmq


4.1/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased this beer in a variety pack of Samuel Adams. This particular beer was very smooth with an exceptional head when poured into a nice pint glass. The aroma of this beer made my mouth water and it tasted as good as it smelled. Another great beer by Samuel Adams.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2010 23:17:10 | More by Fallonrmq
Photo of kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My dad purchased this as a part of a mixed 12 pack containing 6 different beers. Pours a clear, fairly bright, amber colour with thin off-white head. Mild lacing down the glass. Smells mostly of caramel, bread and toasted malt. Flavour is quite sweet, not much hop bitterness at all. A fairly nice red ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2010 15:53:48 | More by kwjd
Photo of ryan1788a5


2.42/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

A: Brilliant, clear red-orange with a thick, foamy cream colored head. Tiny quick-moving bubbles of carbonation sustain the head. Retention is very good, and spider-webs of lacing paste themselves onto the walls of the glass.

S: Toasted grain, bready malts, and caramel malts. Grassy and slightly citric hops. Maybe some lemon grass.

T: Sweet, citric, and slightly fruity and juicy for just an instant. Bready malts and caramel introduce themselves, but quickly give up the stage to charming flavors of roasted grain. Grassy and citric hops lend a light bitterness. Slightly vinous raisin esters are noticeable. Buttery throughout. Finishes semi dry with toasted grain, caramel, and a touch of grassy hops.

M: Medium bodied, smooth, and very creamy. A bit slick. Slight alcohol warmth and moderate carbonation.

D: Not as quaffable as an Irish Red should be.

Notes: A little too much diacetyl for my taste. Vinous and raisin-like esters are totally out of place, and the warming alcohol sensation is a bit much for a Red. I suppose the yeast is the culprit here. I'm not digging it.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2010 04:47:27 | More by ryan1788a5
Photo of r0nyn

New York

4.05/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my Otter Creek nonic pint.

Pours a clear, transparent reddish amber hue with a fat white bubbly head that dissipates gradually, leaving some serious sticky lacing. Good amount of carbonation can be seen rising to the top. Smell is sweet and malty, with lots of caramel and vanilla, stuff I didn't really expect from a brew like this, but was pleasantly surprised to find. There's also a substantial yeasty breadiness as well.

A crisp, yet subdued bitter bite to start, quickly giving way to a bready backbone along with the sweet flavors from the nose. Roasted malts and a slight spiciness as well. Not overly complex, but very solid just the same. Mouthfeel is a bit on the lighter side, with the lightness of the beer not backing up the bready flavoring. Still, the carbonation isn't obtrusive and it drinks smoothly, so it's a pretty fair trade-off.

Drinkability is great, with the wonderful and aromatic scent and a taste to back it up. Alcohol is pretty lightweight, meaning you can down quite a few of these if you so had the inclination. I do find myself wishing I had another one, and isn't that one of the bigger compliments that can be made about a beer?

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2010 00:07:52 | More by r0nyn
Photo of scottfrie


3.13/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into red wine glass at a friend's house. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a deep reddish amber with a couple fingers of thick tan head that quickly receded into a thick film that left some streaks of lacing down the glass. The film eventually disappeared leaving a flat looking glass of juice.
S: Notes of spicy malt and fruity esters.
T: Flavors of creamy sweet malt and fruity esters including banana. Hints of doughy bread crust and caramel.
M: Medium body, slick yet fairly crisp mouthfeel, with a drying finish. Even, soft carbonation with a slight alcohol presence.
D: Sam Adams lives up to its reputation, and the Sam Adams brews are no exception. The problem is I don't expect much. I can't see how people think this company is even in the same league as SN. There is nothing special about this beer. A decent brew but not something I would ever buy.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2010 03:03:46 | More by scottfrie
Photo of 9InchNails

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light khaki head that looks very creamy. Bubbles start off really tiny and get a little bigger towards the surface forming that creamy head. The body is a light orangy red.

Smell was very strong coming out of the bottle but was not that strong in the glass. I get a hint of roasted chocolate malts and maybe some cherries. It smells more malty than hoppy.

Oh, wow is that smooth! Not overly carbonated but when swished around a little, it bites the tongue. Doesn't leave the mouth dry at all.

Very malty at first but a slight spice with the hops coming in. It's really tasty. The rich malts are the main attraction here. The hops come in at the very end. Doesn't have a boozy taste at all. It claims to have some caramel malts in it, I do believe that's what makes this beer have its sweetness.

Drink Ability is through the roof! I can probably have about six of these and be upset I only got a six pack of it. Although, it's very robust, it's still light enough to keep wanting to drink more.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2010 06:29:15 | More by 9InchNails
Photo of drabmuh


3.3/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle gifted to me by the other Matt. Thanks. This beer was just OK. Beer poured into a goblet. Beer is red and mostly clear with a thin head of off white bubbles ghat doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. Carbonation low.

Aroma is sweet and a little apple-y with a really subtle roast.

Beer is medium bodied and mildly sweet. I think they forgot to add flavor to this beer. There is a mild bitterness at the end. This is a homebrewing trick. If you add roasted barley during the sparge you get a red color and no roast. Ever once in a while I get a little roastiness from commercial beers that use this trick. I don't funk I'll bother with this beer again.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2010 14:50:18 | More by drabmuh
Photo of herman77


2.83/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Dark, clear amber with a small light tan head, decent retention. A little bit of lacing.

S: Buttery, toasted malt. A little bit of carmel sweetness. A bit lacking.

T: Very dry, grainy malt. A little bit of toasted carmel. Smells sweeter on the nose for sure. Some earthy bitter hops near the finish, but overall its really malty. It does have a dirt like taste at the end.

M: Light to medium body. Moderate carbonation. Pretty run of the mill.

D: Not doing much for me. Glad there is only 2 in the mix 12 pack I got.

Irish Reds are one of my least favorite styles, so I could be a little biased here.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2010 23:39:29 | More by herman77
Photo of diabecktic


3.98/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This slightly translucent, dark copper-colored brew pours with a relatively little amount of white head (< 1 finger). Retention is alright, but lacing is quite good given the quantity of head.

The aroma is fairly basic. A sweet, biscuity malt features subtle notes of yeast, hops, and spices. I also detect a bit of butter, as well.

The buttery, biscuit-like character sticks out quite a bit more in the tasting; the sweeter note of caramel helps keep the malt from becoming too offensive. The hops impart an oh-so-subtle bite near the latter part of the tasting. Alcohol is fairly well-hidden.

There's a decent amount of heft in the body even though its motion in the glass would lead you to believe that it's substantially lighter. Again, the hops impart just enough bite to keep the buttery flavor from becoming too overpowering.

Both the quality and balance of flavors reflect positively on the drinkability. I get just enough variety to keep things interesting without any one aspect becoming offensive. This would make a good session beer.

Though the sight and smell of this beer weren't particularly enthralling, I must remind myself not to judge a book by its cover. The taste and body more than account for what I perceive as shortcomings, and the balance is excellent. I haven't had too many of this style, but I would get this beer again, regardless. Samuel Adams seems to constantly live up to my expectations and this is no exception.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2010 03:39:00 | More by diabecktic
Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 2,198 ratings.