1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

2,329 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,329
Reviews: 969
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 14.74%
Wants: 31
Gots: 129 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Irish Red Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,329 | Reviews: 969 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of northaustin
3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a dark amber with a nice finger of lightly tan head. short retention and minimal stringy lacing.

smell: thick syrupy, lightly roasted malts, with minimal peat.

taste: the peat is more present here. the grain bill is reminiscient of molasses and sugar bread.

mouthfeel: smooth as a babys bottom. also leaves a cool syrupy type feel on the back of the tongue, and a dry throat.

drinkability: a little too hefty to be a session beer, but is highly recommended for a night of steady sippin.

northaustin, May 26, 2011
Photo of SuperSpy
3.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear brown with an orange hue. Very little head but a foam cap does persist for a while.

The aroma is malty, buttery toffee and a little bit yeasty.

Smooth, medium bodied and almost creamy. The flavor profile leans more toward light roasted malt with a slightly sweet toast, buttery caramel and a bit of bitter hop flavor toward the end. A very drinkable beer but it doesn't really stand out in a crowd.

SuperSpy, May 23, 2011
Photo of tjacobs610
3.03/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: This beer has an orangeish amber color that makes this beer fit perfectly into its Red Ale category. It has a small one finger brownish white head that lasts for quite a while before fading. It also has a moderate retention and great thick lacing.

S: Has an aroma that is a very faint caramel and wheat hoppy smell. The sweet malts are the most present as soon as you open the bottle.

T: This beer has a slightly sweet taste, with a fairly strong caramel malt flavor as well. The finish is slightly bitter but it’s still an overall good taste.

M: This is a very easy to drink beer, the sweetness mixed with the caramel flavor makes this a great sessionable beer. It is very light bodied with the only flaw being a dry aftertaste.

O: A great beer with a very sweet caramel taste that makes it very enjoyable. This beer doesn’t have a lot of “flavor” but if you looking for something good and simple this is your beer.

tjacobs610, May 21, 2011
Photo of VelvetExtract
2.83/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours a lively orange/brown color. The beer boasts a big fluffy head that refuses to die down. Great lacing as well. Like most other Sam Adams beers, this one looks the part.

S-Nothing very special here. The beer's aroma is overall, quite light. Maltiness and some herby qualities. Very light hops.

T-The taste is not for me. I think it is more due to the fact that I may not love the style. The beer is decently sweet and has a bread component. There is a light fruitiness that I can somewhat detect. Light hops as well.

M-Leaning closer to medium for the body. Medium carbonation as well.

O/D-Overall, I am not a big fan of this one. The style is not my favorite. I just do no love the flavor combination here.

VelvetExtract, May 15, 2011
Photo of metter98
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is crystal clear amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high creamy beige head that gradually faded away, leaving only a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass and lacing down the sides.
S: There are moderate aromas of caramel malts in the nose.
T: The taste is slightly sweet and has moderately strong flavors of caramel malts with some notes of bitterness towards the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied, creamy and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a bit of dryness in the finish.
O: The beer is very easy to drink and can be considered sessionable, however if I was looking for something with a bit more of an interesting flavor I would try something else.

metter98, May 14, 2011
Photo of PDXHops
3.38/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint. Deep amber body with an initially creamy head that fails to remain creamy and leaves lacing that mostly drips back in.

A touch of apple flavor seems to clarify the vague nature of the fruitiness that joins the caramel and earthy aromas. Good balance of caramel sweetness and tealike hop character with a dash of earthiness thrown in. Kinda light and creamy with a generous dose of bitterness. Well-constructed and quaffable brew here.

PDXHops, May 13, 2011
Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.23/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a small one finger head that is already disappearing, maybe some decent laving. The head is slightly off white, a little unique of a off white really. The body is a dark red, white a big hint of brown, and maybe some hints of orange as well. I'm surprised at how cloudy this beer is, it's not dark enough to not be able to see through it, but it's cloudy enough so that I can't see through it at all. Very small amounts of carbonation from what I can tell. Overall it looks pretty good, but not great. Malt malt and more malt on the nose. Unfortunately it smells like some cheap malt, maybe Munich malt, the kind I'm not a fan of, or maybe just cheap malt, also it just smells way too sweet. Either way it doesn't smell that great, and not very complex at all. No hops on the smell whatsoever, and I would hope for at least a small hop bite in an irish red. This smells just a hair above average. Yeah the taste is just so boring, boring, BORING. I mean this might be the most un-complex beer I've ever had, is that the worst thing you can say about a beer? No, not at all, but it just means it's not going to stand out from the rest at all, and this one doesn't. Is it a bad beer? I don't think so, you can tell they used good ingredients, and they didn't skimp out too much on the beer, it's not very watery or anything, it's just super boring. There just isn't anything good to say about it, there isn't much bad to say about it, but still....it's just like I would feel completely indifferent drinking it, or not drinking it. It's not very refreshing at all, there is basically no hop bite, and the carbonation isn't very high. I guess in terms of mouthfeel it's ok, carbonation is decent and the body feels right in your mouth, it's just the boring taste. I'm trying to decide if I want to give this a 3 for taste or a 3.5 for taste, because I can tell it's made with good ingredients, and I usually give a 3 to a terrible micro brew or a really good adjunct lager, and this isn't a terrible micro brew, just really really boring. I guess what it comes down to is that I think it deserves a C+, not a B-, and I can only get that if I give it a 3, so even though I don't think it deserves a 3, since it's right on the cusp anyways, I'll bump it down for the sake of the overall grade. Drinkability is pretty bad, just because I have no real reason to drink it, I don't have a problem drinking it, but I have no reason to drink it, other than the fact that it's beer, I mean it's not even crisp. Overall, what else can I say, boring, boring, and more boring, pretty average beer.

MaltsOfGlory, May 12, 2011
Photo of bristol2120
3.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle. Not much of a head at all on the initial pour; after settling, there was just a thin layer of foam. Beer shows a very deep copper-red color appropriate to the style. Aroma is pleasing, showing nice hoppiness, but it is lacking the malty/caramel presence I would expect of the style. Malt is more in evidence upon tasting, along with some unexpected but welcome very subtle background notes of tart cherry. Despite this, I still feel the malt taste is still too restrained. Mouthfeel is thinner than I would have preferred, but the carbonation is nice, tight, and refreshing. Overall, this beer as a whole is a bit greater than the sum of its parts. While it is lacking in a solid malt presence in the nose and on the palate, it is still tasty and refreshing.

bristol2120, May 11, 2011
Photo of EricCioe
3.58/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours halfway between amber and Kool-Aid red, with a two finger head dying quickly leaving a hint of lace as it settles into a ring. On the nose there is a light caramel mixing with more generally bready malts. There is a slight hop presence here, very muted fallen pine needles, but definitely underneath the malts. In the mouth there is a repeat of the taste, caramel and bready malts forward with some earthy hops in the background, but riding atop it all is a pleasant, light fruity note. Is this the Sam Adams house note finally working for one of their beers rather than against it? The body is medium and creamy, with the fruitiness hanging on longer than the sweet caramel. The drinkability is very good, and I rated the overall a half point higher than I would have otherwise to indicate that.

Overall, this is decent beer. I'm not familiar with the style, but this beer is pretty good as far as styles similar to this one goes. For once, the Sam Adams house flavor didn't put me off of a beer, and I think it actually enhanced it and added interest to a good but pretty plain beer.

EricCioe, May 11, 2011
Photo of shaunb81
3.2/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into my SWEET Turbulator glass.

Appearance - Pours a nice copper/red with about a 1 finger width head. Minimal lacing and lots of bubbles. Head disappears after about 1 minute.

Smell - Sweet malts and some fruity hops up front. Faint caramel and a little spiciness on the end.

Taste - A little sweet off the bat, but then the bitters take over and hang out for the rest of the ride. Not very impressive, to be quite honest. I can't really taste the fruit that I smelled before, so I'm not really sure what happened there. It's like there was a TON lost between the nose and the mouth...

Mouthfeel - Carbonation isn't too bad. I wish it was a little thicker and less watery. It's alright, though.

Overall - Not my favorite Irish Red. At all. A decent try by those guys at Boston Beer Company though.

shaunb81, May 07, 2011
Photo of yesyouam
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Samuel Adams Irish Ale is a highly sparkling, crystal clear red beer with a thin, yellowish foam that fades to a film and leaves decent lacing on the glass. The very malty, slightly sweet aroma has a hint of medicinal hops. It's medium-light bodied and quite lively. It's pretty foamy and it leaves the mouth dry and a little chalky. It's quite malty but it doesn't seem sweet. It's pretty resiny and there's a light herbal bitterness at the finish. It seems like a pretty solid session ale. It's not a main attraction, but it's unoffensive.

yesyouam, May 06, 2011
Photo of Floyd12
3.48/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- Pours a beautiful copper red color with a decent two finger off white head. While the head did disipate at a moderate pace, it left a sticky rim that created nice lacing down the side of the glass

S- A sweet smelling malty beer with a small amount of bitter hops to keep the sweetness in check.

T- A sweet caramel flavored beer. A little sweeter than I expected but overall a nice balance between hops and malt. Slightly toasted bready hops present.

M- Medium bodied beer with decent carbonation. A little watery, but the lack of dryness doesn't detract too much

D- Pretty high, I really enjoyed this one. With some minor flaws its an overall good offering from Sam Adams

Floyd12, May 05, 2011
Photo of Brunite
3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A nice clear copper color. Ecru head than leaves amazing lace.

S: Sweet caramel malts. Faint hops.

T: Sweet malt, bitter hops, caramel, toffee...nice balance.

M: Medium body. Bitter finish...dry.

O: I like this one. One of the better I have had from SA. Will try again.

Brunite, Apr 30, 2011
Photo of mdvatab
3.08/5  rDev -11%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle into imperial pint glass.
Best before 8/2011

Aroma: Rich, dark caramel malt. Butterscotch schnapps. Slight metallic note.
Appearance: Off-white 1.5 finger head quickly disappears to a thin layer of foam. Would have liked better head retention. Iced tea-colored body with a slight chill haze.
Flavor: Rich toffee, caramelized sugar, and Cracker Jack. Bittersweet finish with slight metallic twang.
Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation/body. Caramel malty sweetness coats tongue.
Overall: I enjoyed the flavor of this one better than many other Irish reds that I've had, but was a bit let down by the metallic twang that I picked up. I rate it average, and would definitely try it again to see if I'm still picking up the metallic note

mdvatab, Apr 28, 2011
Photo of bayougutter
3.13/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a translucent ruby red with a nice off-white head. Head lasted about thirty secs and was gone, just a little webbing left. aromas of bready malts, sweet caramel, maybe some dark fruits. Smells were somewhat muted and faint. Taste simular to smell and muted as well. Mouthfell was nice and average with good carbination.

I got this in sampler 12 pack. Not one of my favorites but a decent offering from SA. I can see me having this again maybe during a round of golf.

bayougutter, Apr 27, 2011
Photo of alpinebryant
2.5/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a nice copper red with a slightly reddish tan head

Aroma of light malt, Irish yeast, slightly dry and a bit of caramel.

Taste is pretty weak, slightly stale flavored and not a lot of character. This is not something I would ever seek out. A light malt character with chalkiness is the base of the flavors coming out along with a slight bit of yeast that is noticeable but not strong. light mouthfeel and a light carbonation with a slight twang at the end.

Overall I cannot think of many beers that I would turn down over this one that I have had recently. Just calling it how I see it, not my favorite style perhaps

alpinebryant, Apr 25, 2011
Photo of cbutova
3.05/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Dark red body with a small light tan head. It makes it to about one finger before fizzing out. A small ring doesn't give me any lace.

S- Caramel malt and buttery notes come out the most for me. Toasted nutty hints as well as just a bit of grassy/earthy hops.

T- The malt gives me caramel, toasted nuts and toffee, semi-sweet overall. Also contains notes of raisins, earthy hops and bread.

MF- Light-end body with high carbonation. Some bitterness in the finish.

A decent beer but nothing really sticks out to me. Not as solid as many other Sam Adams offerings.

cbutova, Apr 25, 2011
Photo of OStrungT
3.4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a reddish brown color with a thin fluffy tan head. The head fades slowly, leaving a great lacing.

This beer has a biscuity malty aroma. I detect some toasted malt, amd maybe some earthy hops.

This beer tastes much like it smells. Biscuit and toffee. That is pretty much it.

This beer is carbonated well. It is crisp and refreshing, leaving a biscuit aftertaste.

This beer would probably make a good session beer., It is mild and low enough in alcohol to make is an easy drinker.

Overall: This beer is kind of boring, but it is a good beer to drink when you are not looking to get messed up. It is solid.

OStrungT, Apr 23, 2011
Photo of Nethol
2.25/5  rDev -35%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - nothing great nothing special

S - wasn't bad... but wasn't good.

T - Was sadly disappointed, especially after so many great beers by ol' Sam.

M - Honestly, seemed a little bit bubbly.

O - Probably my least favorite brew by BBC. However, I am also not the biggest fan of an Irish Red. Just didn't have the taste of general pleasantry that I normally find from this company.

If anyone knows a great one that's easily accessible let me know. I hate writing off a style.

Nethol, Apr 21, 2011
Photo of jwinship83
3.4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle picked up as part of the american originals mixed twelve pack. drank from a snifter. not many choices for glassware where i was at.

A- this one pours out a translucent rich looking ruby red colored body under a thin layer of eggshell colored head. the head is quick to fall and leaves behind small spots of lacing.

S- the nose seems pretty quick and to the point here. nothing fancy. toasted bread-like malts and some caramel which adds sweetness. earthy hops finish this off.

T- the taste starts out with more of the bready and caramel malts that i could smell, giving it a moderately sweet backbone. after that i pick up some slight fruitiness. a little bit of cherries and maybe a touch of plum. earthy and spicy hops finish come in towards the end.

M- the body is a solid medium with average carbonation.

D- not my favorite beer from samuel adams. not a really exciting beer at all. id drink it in a pinch, but its not something ill actively be seeking out.

jwinship83, Apr 21, 2011
Photo of GossageBrewery
3/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this Irish Red ale from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. This beer poured a dark amber color and it produced a small amount of head. Head retention was poor but the lacing is very nice. The Aroma was a nice; caramel and malt came through. The beer itself is medium in body and it is malty sweet. There are some hints of toasted malt but not enough in my opinion for the style. This beer is barely average.

GossageBrewery, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of Chaney
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a crystal clear, well... red crystal color. The head was about a finger + reddish-brown head with a pretty tight bubble formation.

S: A bit of cake icing, with a VERY malty presence. Nothing too potent, just enjoyable candy goodness.

T: Almost like a mild Scottish Ale actually, but a bit more watered down than that. The malt appearance backbone was astounding in that there really wasn't a trace of hops to be found... just Sam Adams taste profile, diluted candy sugar, and a bit of cherry Kool-Aide on the aftertaste.

M: It seems like most of SA's beers in their variety packs have the same carbonation level, so I'll go with that. The sweetness was tempered, if somewhat watered-down, and the lacing was substantial.

O: Some of my craft beer friends go nuts over this, but personally, I've had better. I would basically place this a half notch above most of the reviews on BA.

Chaney, Apr 15, 2011
Photo of
2.8/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a small head, which quickly fades. Clear dark red in color. Strong hop smell, also is kind of buttery with misc. yeast funk. Fruity tasting, earthy and has kind of a sharp aftertaste (yeast?). Hop flavor is a little bit masked by this. Has a slightly creamy mouthfeel.
Not my favorite from the sample pack I bought, it had a little too much yeast flavor for my taste.

, Apr 14, 2011
Photo of kflack
2.7/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle, drink before 7/2011.

A: Pours with a one finger head that disappears quickly, light lacing. Golden red color (duh). Looks to loose it carb quickly.

S: Not a lot going on here, light caramel, Stuck the bottle to my nose and still not much else.

T: A little hoppy in the finish, light biscuts but oddly bitter.

M: Smooth with little carb. A little sticky, a little chewy. Could really use some more body to it.

O: Not bad, but not one I will purchase again. Overall very bland.

kflack, Apr 09, 2011
Photo of NickRivers
2.95/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A&S - Nice whiskey red, creamy tan one finger head, some malts, little yeast, and spices on the nose.

T&M - Sweet alcoholy malts on the front which fades to a spicey end with a slight hop bite. Medium heavy body with a syrup mouthfeel.

O - I welcome this beer in my Variety Packs.

Pretty good SA. As I said I don't mind this coming in my Variety Packs but I probably wouldn't go out of my way to buy a six pack of it as I would Oktoberfest. Nice starter red, but I prefer the Dunk that comes in the Fall Pack. Stay thirsty my friends.

NickRivers, Apr 09, 2011
Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 2,329 ratings.