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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 Lauthaha


4.1/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer mug. Part of a sampler pack.

Appearance: Pours an orange-brown color...just a tint of red. Slightly tan head of about 1.5-fingers mellows out to a surface-hugging foam. Active carbonation.

Smell: Rich hops, caramel nose. Slight, unidentifiable fruitiness. Actually pretty enticing.

Taste: Warm, malty toastiness underneath a fruity bouquet. The bitterness is well balanced with sweetness and a mild acidity. Very good.

Mouthfeel: Nice amount of carbonation on the tongue, never completely mellows out before consumption. Dry on the palate, leaves you wanting another drink.

Drinkability: Just a touch too heavy for daily consumption, but a good fall beer (in my opinion).

If you can get it, this is a much better example of an Irish Red Ale than the popular macro that everyone knows. A dashing attempt!

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2010 02:35:48 | More by Lauthaha
Photo of RunForYourBeer


3.9/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a rich, dark red color with about a half inch of white head.

S: Smells like strong caramel malt.

T: Very sweet caramel up front. Followed by some citrus hop bitterness.

M: Creamy with a medium body and moderate carbonation.

D: High.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2010 00:11:14 | More by RunForYourBeer
Photo of BeerPhan86

New York

3.28/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a clear ruby red (shocking, I know) with a one finger tan head. Good retention on the head but almost non-existent lacing.

S - Caramel, toasted malt, and copper. A distinct penny aspect is quite off-putting in the aroma.

T - Plenty of caramel malts initially, giving way to slightly bitter hops and breadiness. Fairly sweet finish. Hints of dark fruit are evident in the aftertaste as well. It seems a bit of a mismatch of flavors, which make it unevenly balanced.

M - Thin and creamy but with way too much caronbation.

D - It has hints of the Oktoberfest, but is just not well balanced. There is something funky in the aftertaste that puts me off. A bit too malty for me to session.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2010 02:16:20 | More by BeerPhan86
Photo of chickenflea


3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think ChainGangGuy nailed it with his description, so I have borrowed some words from his review.

Appearance: Pours a clear, ruby-colored body with a medium, frothy, lasting off-white head.

Smell: Simple, pleasing aroma of caramel, toast, spice, and cherries.

Taste: Bready caramel maltiness with a medium sweetness. Pinch of light brown sugar. Cherry fruitiness. Bit of spice. Light, clean English hop bitterness. Toasted malts in the drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Very slight creaminess to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A solid Irish Red.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2010 00:42:18 | More by chickenflea
Photo of perrymarcus


3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

pours a transparent, deep amber/red tone with a small, whispy off-white head; minimal rention and lacing.

aroma is pretty underwhelming, IMO. vague maltiness to accompany some light hops and maybe a touch of spice. maybe. mediocre at best. not sure i can even give it that.

taste, fortunately, is an improvement. caramel malts are more evident, as well as some breadiness and a slight touch of hop bitterness. fairly tasty in its own right; won't knock your socks off but i think it holds its own on the flavor front.

medium-bodied with medium carbonation. pretty style-standard. i wouldn't mind another (that said, nor would i necessarily seek one out).

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2010 04:28:57 | More by perrymarcus
Photo of KTCamm

New Jersey

3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, into a pint glass.

Pours...wait for it...red! Deep dark red with 1/4 finger foam that settles out. Touch of lacing. Smells malty. Prominent caramel taste, controlled sweetness with a modest hop at the close.

Smooth mouthfeel, minor carbonation.

Good drinker, tasty.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2010 00:58:37 | More by KTCamm
Photo of aubuc1


3.43/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle best before December 2010 from a mix pack poured in to an imperial pint glass.

Pours a very reddish brown with a nice light tan head.

Smell is a very sweet, candy appley, and rich malt.

Taste is like it smells. Very sweet, more than I expected.

Mouthfeel is a little thinner than I expected.

Drinkability isn't great due to the sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2010 00:38:06 | More by aubuc1
Photo of MoreThanWine


3.03/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a 1/4 inch head which fades to absolutey nothing. Dark beer which when held up to the light reveals brown and red ochre color. Taste is OK, you get some malt, a litte sweetness, but not complex. A drinkable beer, just a thoroughly average beer to me.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2010 11:14:41 | More by MoreThanWine
Photo of claspada

New Jersey

2.8/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a reddish dark caramel. Head is white that dissipates fairly quickly.

Aromas are dark cherry and roasted malts. Pretty sweet smelling in general; all malt no hops. Eh...

The taste is more fruits than anything else. Extremely top heavy in maltiness with no hop character, does Sam Adams use hops in their beers, seriously...

This beer is pretty heavy in the mouthfeel.

Overall this is a malt bomb for how low the ABV is. Pass is an understatement.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2010 21:05:59 | More by claspada
Photo of mjurney


3.6/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep copper color, clear. Lots of bubbles. Head looks pretty creamy, lacing is nice.

Lots of caramel malts in the nose, mild hop aroma.

Very malty up front, lots of caramel, some toffee, dash of brown sugar. Hop character is very mild, slight herbal-grassy. There's some hint of dark fruity in the mid-palate, black cherries and ripe plum. Smooth finish with slight dry metallic aftertaste. Body is medium, carbonation feels a bit mild.

Pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2010 19:20:51 | More by mjurney
Photo of mfunk9786


2.65/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sampled as part of the Harvest variety pack. Kind of an odd beer to include as part of a fall variety pack in my opinion, but Sam Adams loves to have six beers (two too many for a variety 12-pack in my opinion) in their variety packs, seemingly as a way to keep my precious Sam Adams Dunkelweizen at arms' length from me. (Four bottles per case? Bah, humbug!)

A: This beer looks undeniably beautiful when poured. Orange-copper in the glass, with a copper-tinged off-white head (started out darker and then seemed to lighten, don't know if it was my eyes playing tricks on me or if the lightening of the head was actually taking place). Two perfect fingers of head, great lacing, the whole deal. No one can deny that this beer looks lovely.

S: Smells rather unspectacular, a big whiff of macro grains (I know Sam Adams doesn't use these and I don't want to accuse them of such, but I smell either macro grains or cheap toasted bread big-time on the nose of this one). A little bit of caramelized malt is also notable, but no hops are present on the nose.

T: No hops are present here, either - sadly. The bottle advertises East Kent Goldings, but none of the foresty, earthy flavor of those hops is perceptible. The taste is a caramel malt bomb, with an Oktoberfest butteriness and a nondescript (hop?) bitterness on the finish. Unimpressive to say the least.

M+D: The sweetness of the caramel malts on the finish makes this one less than desirable on the tongue over time. There's obviously quite a bit of carbonation, but the sweetness overwhelms the rest of the experience and makes everything a little bit overwhelming. The beer just doesn't taste good enough to warrant putting up with the cloying mouthfeel, and I'll be using the other bottle from my variety pack as a mid-session one-off. I am a Sam Adams apologist in a big way, but I can't believe that they'd drop the Scotch Ale from the fall variety pack and still have this one in it. Eh, at least it isn't Sam Adams Light.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2010 06:16:22 | More by mfunk9786
Photo of geryeb624


3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brew #3 from the SA Harvest Collection sampler pack. 12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A-Red amber color with maybe a finger of off-white head. Head hangs around for a bit and leaves a film-like lacing around the edges of the glass.

S- Malty and a bit yeasty, with some notes of toffee and candied raisins.

T- Clean malt flavor with some hints of dark fruit, finishes earthy a bit bitter, but fairly clean.

M- Low to medium viscosity with some prickly carbonation. Fine for the style.

D- Pretty good. I could have a few of these pretty easily.

A solid, no-frills brew. Very sessionable, and pretty well-done. A worthy addition to the SA line and Harvest Collection.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2010 02:20:28 | More by geryeb624
Photo of samie85


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

A-Pours a ruby amber color with a one and a half finger white head that leaves behind some nice lacing.

S-Smells of deep caramel notes with some rich stone-fruit and a clean floral hop aroma.

T-Rich caramel malt with a dry, tart, dark fruit flavor and finishes with some floral notes.

M-Pretty thick and smooth mouthfeel with some prickly carbonation.

D-It's been awhile since I've had this beer, and my opinion of it is much higher than it was the last time I tried it. Pretty easy drinking beer with some nice, rich flavors without being too overwhelming.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2010 01:26:45 | More by samie85
Photo of whoneeds8


3.43/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass a nice amber red with a thick froathy slighty off white head. Great lacing. The scent is of light sugary malts. The taste is rather light as well. There's some carmel flavors that mellow nicely to a slightly bitter flavor at the end. Not much to this one. The moughtfeel is ok making this a rather drinkable beer I guess.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2010 01:56:26 | More by whoneeds8
Photo of brewmudgeon


4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

sam adams irish red

rereviewed 10/10

might have to issue an apology to this beer.
did i manage to pour it wrong before? this time the beer is very nice looking, a long lasting cap and rings of lace please the ole eyeballs. and it smells nice too, a nice toasty caramel with an undercurrent of grassy hops. needless to say, the taste seems much improved as well, just the right sweetness with that extra "irish" malt quality, hoppy zing and subtle hints of peat smoke. the two bottles came from the same fall sampler--is the lesson "pour into a pilsner glass, never a giant mug"???

a 3 clear reddish amber. short fizzy biege head drops to nothing. after this beer was done, i had to pour a SA boston lager immediately into the same mug just to be sure it wasn't sabotage via this particular vessel. nope, the bostonian was heady and lacy as usual!

s 3-3.5 metallic, fairly faint toasty caramel, vague vanilla light rum underlying fruitines. some alcohol is noticeable.

t 3 too little flavor, too much ethanol particularly for this abv. needs a lot more malt presence. finish is dry and fairly bitter, a touch astringent. not that it's actually very bitter at all in absolute terms, but there just isn't enough malt in play.

m 3 on the watery side, coarse carbonation--pretty much the same as most SA.

d 3 getting harder and harder for me to distinguish between SA and the Michelob craft oriented offerings. they occupy a middle ground between ultraboring swill and interesting, flavorful beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2010 19:16:55 | More by brewmudgeon
Photo of alkemy


3.1/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I have to preface this by saying that I'm simply not a fan of the style, but this was in my sampler pack so here it is. It does have the requisite amber/red coloring. The head is pretty fleeting. Not a lot in the nose...caramel is probably the dominant scent. Taste is pretty similar. Just not a whole bunch of flavor here. Nuttiness and caramel are most prevalent. There's certainly nothing off-putting, it's just not something that makes me yearn for another drink. Hey, it's much better than Killian's.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2010 23:41:19 | More by alkemy
Photo of jjboesen


4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Irish Reds are hard to define - and I don't mean Maureen O'Hara. Sam's Irish Red opens with a voluminous lather crowning a copper body that is somewhat translucent. There is moderate lacing, which does not hang around too long. Close your eyes, take a whiff: do you smell green apples?

The palate gets wrapped in a light blanket of malt and alcohol that fades is a subtle brown sugar finish. A nice comfortable and non-complex brew going on here. I found the Sam Irish Red a pleasant example of a style that does'nt get around too much. Pssst ... I'm drinking one right now. God Bless the Woman of the House.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2010 21:08:37 | More by jjboesen
Photo of Augustiner719

New York

4.33/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a perfect pint.

Pours a very dense looking reddish color with some brown highlights and a big off white frothy head that lasts for a while. Nice lacing and really pretty blood orange color. The aroma is sweet sticky malts, similar to an Oktoberfest but more full bodied,. Great flavors of toasted bread, caramel and a nice spiciness that balances out the malts. Touch of acidity too. Mouthfeel and drinkability are fantastic. Really a great red ale from Sam Adams and now one of my favorites.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2010 00:17:16 | More by Augustiner719
Photo of ZeroSignal


3.9/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, best by 12/2010

A - An aggressive pour yields chestnut-mahogany colored brew with a good two fingers of toasted marshmallow colored head. Excellent retention and sticky lacing

S - Nose is on the lighter side with bits of caramelized malt and a toasted, bready note

T&M - Flavor leans to the sweeter side of things, with jsut a hint of hop bitterness to lend some balance. Caramelized malts and a doughy yeast flavor, a bit of butteriness. Hints of toffee and a bit of brown sugar. Medium bodied and good carbonation with a dry finish.

D - A very nice Irish Red with lots of flavor for a low ABV brew. think I'll have another.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2010 02:09:07 | More by ZeroSignal
Photo of jazer


2.85/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

What a wonderful head this beer delivers. I really see why it is called Irish Red, what a deep color of amber this beer yields. Has a nice flavor but lacks aroma. Even though this particular brew is lacking in scent and surprise, I believe I could drink quite a few of these.

Wouldn't recommend it, but would still drink it.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2010 20:16:52 | More by jazer
Photo of elgiacomo


3.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle.

Pours semi-hazy reddish-orange-copper-amber color with a nice three finger light tan off-white head that leaves rings of drippy lacing and holds a nice fluffy cap all the way to the bottom of the glass.

Aroma is very doughy, bready, a bit of floral and earthy hops, moderate strength.

Flavor has a lot of caramel sweetness, nutty, bready, with some fruit and hops, pretty sweet overall but there is some bitterness to help balance out the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, somewhat creamy, medium to high carbonation.

I guess this is my first Irish Red and is a pretty good beer from Sam Adams, although a little on the sweet side for my tastes.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2010 00:56:35 | More by elgiacomo
Photo of sixerofelixir


4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid, translucent dark red. A thick tan head sticks to the glass. Smell is also impressive, sweet caramel malts. I like the taste, not too dark, and with enough bitterness to make it nicely complex and refreshing. Finish and feel are good, mildly carbonated. All in all, just a solid beer, and great with a burger!

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2010 00:16:17 | More by sixerofelixir
Photo of PintOHops


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

Glass - Official Sam Adams Glass

A - Somewhat clear with an amber/orange color, moderate-high C02 can be seen. It produced a 2-finger head that held decently and left a thing ring atop the beer but no lacing.

S - Caramel & bready notes with raisin, date and plum fruits. A soft leafy hop aroma with a bit of brown sugar as well.

T - Molasses & brown sugar flavors flood the palate, a bit of plum in there as well. There's a bit of toasted notes middle to end finishing with a soft leafy & herbal hop flavor and a touch of lemon citrus that cuts through the heavy malts. Bitterness is low but helps to round out the flavors a little.

M - Smooth & soft feel with lite-moderate crispness and a lite-medium body.

D - Well it's quaff-able like a Sam Adams brew is supposed to be. I really liked the smooth feel of the beer with it's semi rich malty flavor profile. I could easily toss back a sixer of this one, a decent beer that I'd have again but probably wouldn't buy again. Worth a try though.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2010 23:39:14 | More by PintOHops
Photo of JosiahS


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

glass: SA Signature Glass

a: Cherry-copper color. 2-finger soapy head. Looks great.

s: raisins / grape and caramel. Maybe some plumb. Sugary and candy-like overall.

m: Medium body, very smooth on the pallete, medium carbonation.

t: Dates, raisins, almost like dark fruit juice. Lots of caramel, a little toffee, slightly medicinal. A hint of cherry on the exhale. Finishes more bitter than the start but overall bitterness is low.

d: It's very smooth, therefore, very drinkable. If your looking for a mild and smooth red, Sam Adams Irish Red fits the bill.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2010 23:35:23 | More by JosiahS
Photo of mooseisloose


3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

SAB, Sam Adams Brewery, not to be confused with that other behemoth, always comes to play. Let's give this brew a whirl. Popping the top yields a very malty smell with a bit of red licorice and butterscotch. On the pour the beer is a deep red with a micro bubble foamy two finger head with a pillowy top. The taste starts slightly bitter, then the malt backbone kicks in for a sweeter middle. The finish is a lingering bittersweet flavor that fades into a dry aftertaste. Good mouthfeel that starts strong but fades to the clean finish. Very good balance and very drinkable. Not a standout, but as always, much better than your average brew.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2010 22:44:15 | More by mooseisloose
Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 2,198 ratings.