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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Irish RedSamuel Adams Irish Red

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2,355 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,355
Reviews: 974
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 14.74%
Wants: 33
Gots: 167 | 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:
Beer added by: WilliamPhilaPa on 08-24-2007

Pale and Caramel malts, and East Kent Goldings hops.
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Ratings: 2,355 | Reviews: 974 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CraftBeerTastic
3.11/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ba Review #59
Served On: 9/8/2011
Glassware: Pint Glass

This was from the Sam Adams Fall mixed 12 pack.

Look: Very clear deep reddish brown with carbonation bubbles everywhere. Head was a small 1 finger of light tan foam.

Smell: Nose was sweet caramel malts, Sam Adams twang, some butterscotch.

Taste: Biscuity caramel. Rather watery on the palate. Nothing too outrageous here. There is a nice little spice kick in the finish. Similar to the Boston Ale minus the hops. Infact I still say they use a Boston Ale wort as a base for many of their beers.

What can I say - It’s another average mediocre offering from Boston Beer. I think the ABV was actually bumped up a little on this years release.

Photo of SDtastentune
3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep ruby red/copper, pours with a slight bubble head but dissipated fast. No lacing.

S - Caramel sweetness mixed in with some malty notes.

T - Caramel/toffee and rich bread/maltyness. Some sweet brown sugar like thing, but mostly malty and caramel. Aftertaste is slim but kinda there.

M - Fizzy small bubble carbonation, kinda watery and thin though, aftertaste is slim.

O - Overall a nice drinker for the red lovers out there, but on the thin side of things.... But... most reds are thin. Has good taste and smell, but not enough after taste or pungent smell. Good drinker red! Came with the seasonal "Harvest Collection"!

Photo of vfgccp
3.13/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Deep amber color with nice red highlights light chestnut. Perfectly clear. light head with very little lacing.

S- Sweet smell with notes of nutty warmth in the middle. Malty middle and back end.

T- Warm malty front end, with a middle roasted nut middle. Finish is very roasty and dry.

M- Smooth with low carbonation, it has the bite and acidity of carbonation but very low bubble and brightness. Flavor has some bold / warm characteristics.

O- A nice smooth and roasty beer, medium drinkability but not very impressive for a red. Very average.

Photo of SkitzIrish3
3.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber and ends with minimal head. Smells buttery, caramel. The palate says: malty sweetness well balanced with a light dose of hops. This is closer to Smithwick's in Ireland than Smithwick's own imported version. Nothing amazing about this beer, but it does the trick.

Photo of afdempse
3.21/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, "Enjoy By" date of Jan 2012.

Pours a medium copper color. Could use a bit more "red" from crystal malts. White foam dissipates quickly, leaving decent lacing on the sides of the glass.

Aroma? Absent. Perhaps some faint spicy hop and malt notes but you have to work to detect them.

Caramelized sugary crystal malt flavors and hop oil. Decent maltiness that strengthens the body of the beer. Slight diacetyl that's not entirely out of place. Astringency from the hops and an odd twangy side note that seems to be somewhat of a calling card for Sam Adams' specialty beers.

Mouthfeel is average - enhanced by the malt, but sabotaged by astringency. The finish is marred by some residual sweetness that sticks around longer than I'd like.

Overall, this beer has promise, but needs to be cleaned up. The odd characters put forth by the hops and/or yeast detract from the drinkability and crispness of an otherwise good example of the style.

Photo of chicagobill13
4.08/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Looks: Dont' like the color or smell of this beer. You don't judge until you start drinking this beer.

Taste: Smooth and tastey beer. I love the malty beer. I really love this beer. I am not a red ale type of drinker. This one as few Sam Adams beer have impressive and stun me. I don't think and believe that Boston Beer Company is a very good brewery. They are alive because they were one of the first and now they have so much money they can put ads everywhere.

I would love to try this beer on draft. Maybe one day in Boston. I heard they are not that big in Boston. That's just crazy.

Photo of scratch69
3.76/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured a bottle into a Samuel Adams Glass.

Appearance - A clear coppery-red with about a fingers worth of head and a small amount of lace.

Smell- Not much of an aroma but I detect a small amount of hops.

Taste - Caramel malts at the start with a slight hop bitterness at the end. Nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with alot of carbonation.

Overall - Not bad. Not one of the best from Samuel Adams but definitely not one of the worst. I would drink this beer again.

Photo of doopydoogle
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Clean and clear reddish amber with a creamy head consistent of large bubbles that dissipates at a medium pace with some lingering lace.

S - Metallic malts and hints of herbal and earthy hops. Lingering alcohol esters and a slight fruitiness round out the nose.

T - Big caramel and toffee up front followed by chewy bread and biscuits with a very subtle hop that emerges and lingers through the finish. The brew is slightly sweet and can't quite figure out where it wants to go. The malts stand out but aren't too distinct, while the hops don't really do much. The characteristic Sam Adam tangy malt finish is somewhat there, but muddled by the stickiness of the mouth.

M - Good carbonation, sticky, with a good syrupy coating over the mouth.

O - Not bad, but not too distinct. For a red ale its character is somewhat lacking. It seems that they couldn't quite get where they wanted to go with this one as the malts don't make much of a statement nor do the hops.

Photo of tvv375ia
3.16/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A-nice copper color topped by a 2 finger head that faded to 1/8 cap

S,T- smell and taste are about the same light maltiness without much else

M- decent carbonation not too watery

O-it looked really good when I first poured it so maybe I was expecting a littl more flavor, it's a good beer not to complex

Photo of woosterbill
3.6/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from the new fall mixed pack into a Duvel tulip. Thanks to my buddy JM for saving me this one for a style tick - number 96; still not sure how I haven't reviewed an Irish Red yet, but here goes.

A: Clear copper body with a finger of coarse tan foam. Decent retention and lacing. Quite nice.

S: Rich, nutty caramel malt along with some spicy hops. Simple and pretty good.

T: Sweet malts up front, followed by some drier bready notes and finished with a clean hop bitterness. Nothing fancy, but solid.

M: Medium body, somewhat prickly carbonation. Meh.

O: Drinkable, fairly balanced, and entirely forgettable. About what I expect from this style, and certainly a few steps up from Killian's when it comes to widely available reds.


Photo of clint1019
2.58/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Amber brown in color with a cream colored head.

S - Not much, light malty aroma if anything.

T - Light malty flavor with a light hop bitterness.

M - light bodied.

O - Not that great of a beer. Not much in the way of flavor or aroma. Probably one of my least favorite beers I've tried from Sam Adams.

Photo of DirtyPenny
3.47/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank it right from the bottle during hurricane Irene and a power outage. Let it be known that the lacing told me to kill. Second bottle had no such murderous intent

A: Rusty ruddy red, with a thin beige head. Seriously though, the lacing spelled out "kill." So, yeah. This is apparently Son of Sam's Irish Red(rum).

S: What's that bottle? You want me to smell you? You smell of yeasty bread. Really that's about it. Why did you want me to smell you? You're crazy, man.

T: Draining the red liquid from this bottle results in the sensation of bready, faintly sweet caramel and pale malts on the tongue, giving way to a minimally sour sting on the downswing. Slight hop spiciness is like needles being ever so faintly dragged across your mouth, just enough to let you know it's there, but not enough to cause any harm.

M: Medium-bodied with aggressive carbonation that keeps stabbing and stabbing and stabbing...

O: Who am I am why am I here? What's this red stuff everywhere? Oh god, the bottle broke! (not really)

In short, another above average Sam Adams offering, though nothing that will drive you mad.

Photo of tdm168
3.4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber with a red hue; there's a 1/4" of head that quickly fades to nothing. Smells of rich caramel malt and mild hops. The taste is similar to the smell; rich caramel malts and mild hops for balance. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth; very drinkable.

Not a bad beer, but the flavor here is neither bold nor impressive. Overall, rather forgettable.

Photo of smakawhat
3.92/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A good solid light caramel colored head with very uniform bubbles and soapy is created off the pour. Body is a very dark and clear Indian red color. No lacing comes from the drink at all.

Nose is a nice simple grassy malt and toasty dry sense. Solid and simple and noticeable and good.

Taste is malty, just a little fizzy, but not overbearing. Slow rolling malts in the mid palate compete with some carbonation, after finish and swallow doesn't bring much else but some rooftop mouth dry-ness.

Overall, fairly solid and straightforward for the style, don't mind this it will do in a pinch.

Photo of CaptJackHarkness
4.4/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle was from the newly released Harvest Collection dated use by Jan. 2012.

This is a copper colored gem of a beer. Nice crisp and clean finish, pleasant aftertaste. Nicely sweet caramely taste, barest hint of hops.
Very much in the Traditional Irish Red Style .

Photo of fsvan
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into pint glass. Best by date of December.

A- Bright amber. Translucent. Minimal off white head.

S- Big malty nose. Sweet, caramel malts. A little toastiness. Not much in the way of hop notes. Nice.

T- Again some caramel malts up front, a sweetness in the middle, and a good dose of hop bitterness that isn't present at all in the smell in the end.

M- Medium bodied. Carbonated well. Pretty easy drinking.

O- Another pretty good, but nor spectacular offering from Sam Adams. Got this as part of a mixed 12, and this is one that neither turns me off of one of their mixed packs, nor turns me onto it.

Photo of Jerone
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance is a nice reddish brown with a slightly creamy off white head and some very good lacing.

The smell is of malts, caramel and a grainy bread.

Sweet malts and good caramel, with some grain or biscuity flavor. The mouthfeel is medium and a bit creamy, low carbonation, but quite drinkable.

Tasty beer that is great in the fall, winter or spring. It could use a bit more complexity and flavor, but is still a good brew.

Photo of ZenAgnostic
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle; label notched best by Oct 2011. Poured into a Duvel tulip. (eh, why the hell not?)

Appearance - Dark hazy amber body. Big creamy offwhite head with good retention.

Smell - Malty. Mild character profile. Nut. Chocolate. Overripe banana.

Taste - Alcoholic throughout. Surprising considering the relatively low percentage. Almost seems boastful of what it has. Bone dry. Toasted black coffee bean.

Mouthfeel - Dry. Somewhat astringent. Medium-light bodied.

Overall Drinkability - Basically watered down black coffee. No, not watered down. Seltzered down. Kinda weird. Not really digging it.

Photo of Snamnoum
3.23/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - dull redish brown in color with little head.

Smell - Pronounced toasty malt aroma like sweetened cocoa powder. Not much in the way of hop aroma or yeast.

Taste - tastes much like it smells. Big toasted grains, lots of butter and sweetened cocoa almost like ovaltine or nesquik also some vanilla. Finish has a touch of bitterness which help balance out the sweetness. But all told the flavors are pretty mellow and flat. Not much in the way of complexity and flavors don't persist on your palette.

Mouthfeel - not much going on here either. Feel is watery and over-carbonated. For a medium bodied beer I would have expected a little more creaminess.

Overall - a lackluster irish red. Not bad but not particularly interesting either though perhaps it would be a good beer to introduce to someone trying to branch out of the normal BMC offerings.

Photo of mattkoon
3.36/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I don't have much expierience with "irish reds" I have had kilion's which I didn't care for too much. I do have to say that I like this beer a good bit. It has a very full flavor but it's not over powering. The color of this beer is a very nice rich crimson. The flavor are of sweet malts an rich carmel with a slight vanilla wash. I have only seen this beer in sam adams variety packs, which is smelly cause would def. buy it on it's own. Thank ya now.

Photo of obrike
3.62/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a bottle from my mix pack of SA. Dark caramel/orange color...head falls immediately...no lacing, but a nice off-white ring for the duration of the drink.

Smelled a bit of dark fruit, some caramel malt...almost doppelbock-esque? I liked it.

Taste followed, but rather thin. Earthy sweet malt, dark grapes, a hint of hops, but certainly malt forward. Pretty easy drinking, but holding back a bit too much in flavor. Certainly on the right track with this one SA, but needs to be a bit more bold.

Photo of tito42
3.26/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle to an imperial pint. Best by SEP 2011 notched on label.

A: Brown with a slight red tint. Thin tan head, but lacing is great.

S: Faint aroma of roasted malt and a faint whiff of earthy hops.

T: Tea, peat, and caramel with roasted malt and a moderately hopped finish. Taste is better than the nose.

M: Medium-bodied and malty up front, slightly watery in the middle, and a moderately dry finish.

O: Nothing special but hits most of the requisites of the style. Could stand more umph in the nose. An easy drinking Irish Red.

Photo of cadizkyguy
3.73/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Surprisingly, it took me more than two years into my craft beer orientation to try my first Sam Adams beer and now I enjoy several of SA's offerings, none better than the Boston Lager flagship. But this one has merit, too. Cracked open after a hot night at work, with a tombstone pizza in the oven, poured aggressively into my Samuel Smith pint glass and I must say, it's love at first sight. If I didn't know better, this one looks very much like the Boston Lager. But that's where the similarities end. Smell, I detect some caramel overtones and get flashbacks to a couple of my favorite Irish Reds in Short's Magician and Guinness's Smithwick's. Taste is superb, very refreshing, as well as the mouthfeel. Overall this is a new Sam Adams favorite. Well done Boston Beer Company !!!

Photo of Bfarr
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear very red amber, thin tan frothy head, good retention and nice lacing. Lightly floral tea and lager aroma. Big bite upfront with tea/floral, caramel, and earthiness. Moderately sweet and balanced. Sharp, smooth and lightly dry feel.

Like most SA beers, it’s easy drinking because it’s not too bold and smooth and evenly balanced. It’s certainly better warmer and this really does have an above average taste. Overall, I enjoyed this better than most out of the mixed case.

Photo of spitInTheOcean
3.48/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a nice deep rosy color, and its crystal clear.

aroma has a slight malt and corn aroma.

cannot really notice a caramel flavor, more just malty with a slight hop flavor. a little roasted grain and corn.

its a pretty thin beer, but the carbonation is nice and crisp.

not bad, though i think the flavor is lacking with the maltiness, its kind of effeminate in that way.

Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 2,355 ratings.