1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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.
BA SCORE
79
okay

2,257 Ratings
THE BROS
70
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,257
Reviews: 968
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 14.99%
Wants: 26
Gots: 103 | 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: 2,257 | Reviews: 968 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Fallonrmq
Fallonrmq

Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev +18.2%

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.

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

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

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.

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

Massachusetts

2.42/5  rDev -30.3%

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.

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

New York

4.05/5  rDev +16.7%

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?

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

California

3.13/5  rDev -9.8%

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.

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

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +21.6%

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.

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

Maryland

3.3/5  rDev -4.9%

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.

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

Minnesota

2.83/5  rDev -18.4%

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.

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

Illinois

3.98/5  rDev +14.7%

Appearance:
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.

Smell:
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.

Taste:
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.

Mouthfeel:
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.

Drinkability:
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.

Summary:
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.

11-03-2010 03:39:00 | More by diabecktic
Photo of danielplainview
danielplainview

Kentucky

4.18/5  rDev +20.5%

Was not expecting much from Sam. This beer delivers and then some. Great style with brilliant coloring to this beer. Head leaves a little to be desired though.
smell rich and malty.
Taste like a nectar from the gods. sweet grain flavor

mouthfeel: Feels like another.

I drink a few of these every chance I get.

11-02-2010 03:06:04 | More by danielplainview
Photo of beerprovedwright
beerprovedwright

Georgia

3.85/5  rDev +11%

Got a real surprise with this one. I removed the cap from the dark brown bottle and it erupted with a slow gush of head onto my kitchen counter. I about cried over gushed beer. Big light brown, billowy head of tight bubbles. As the head of three fingers calmed down it left some amazing lace on the side of my mug. Color is a 24 on the SRM chart. Rich smell of caramel, yeast, sweet barley, and roasted wheat. Enchanting taste that starts with a wave of roasted wheat and citrus, a good tart flavor of hops in the middle and a finish of caramel that lingers in the back of my throat. The flavor is well balanced and refreshing. Feels like whip cream in my mouth. I could get hooked on this beer, but I have not found an Irish Red I didn't like, so far.

11-01-2010 21:31:02 | More by beerprovedwright
Photo of bamadog
bamadog

Kentucky

3.63/5  rDev +4.6%

I really wasn't too excited about getting this one in the recent purchase of a SA variety pack, but I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised. I was a little disappointed to see that it has some lower overall scores from the community, so my numbers will likely be a tad skewed from the averages. Review is from notes taken on 10/26/2010 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a deep caramel brown with nice ruby highlights; starts with a 1/2 finger off-white head that fades quickly to a thin and uneven skim; body has decent clarity and shows a lot of carbonation; only a couple of spots and some oily residue hanging out on the sides of glass.

Smell: A lot of sweet caramel malts and a dark toasty/burnt graininess; much maltier and sweeter than I would typically expect in an Irish Red.

Taste: Interesting -- it almost seems closer to a mild Scotch Ale with the robust and caramel malts; has some nice toasty graininess and a very minimal bitter hop presence; flavors are just a little thin, but this beer is actually surprisingly good and I would have no problem drinking it again.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is strong, more sharp actually than I would prefer and I wouldn't mind it being just a bit more mellow; a thin, semi-dry coating is left behind all over the mouth; body is just a little heavier than light and nothing that would be too heavy to prevent a couple from being tossed back.

Drinkability: Better than I thought it would be, and definitely an enjoyable beer on a cool fall night with those warm caramel malts; body isn't too heavy and the ABV is pretty moderate and it wouldn't too intoxicating to sit back and have a couple of these.

10-28-2010 03:08:34 | More by bamadog
Photo of BeefyMee
BeefyMee

Connecticut

3.95/5  rDev +13.8%

A: Bright, coppery red. They pretty much nailed the color. Good head but no lacing.

S: Huge sweet malt aroma. Slightly metallic. Husky like wet grain.

T: A malt bomb all the way with just a little hop balance in the aftertaste. I can dig it though. The only negative aspects are a soapy finish, and a vague crappy macro quality that pops up in the aftertaste.

M: Silky with the right level of carbonation.

D: Nearly perfect it wasn't for that annoying soapiness.

10-28-2010 00:24:50 | More by BeefyMee
Photo of SaCkErZ9
SaCkErZ9

Florida

3.3/5  rDev -4.9%

Dispensed from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams Imperial pint glass. Beer is dark amber in color with chocolate rose colored highlights. A large and voluminous head forms and the retention is really quite nice. Nice rings form around the beer on the glass as the beverage is consumed.

Aroma is quite lacking. Not much to say here except that it smells like beer. Bready and caramelly. Metallic.

Pretty good flavors. Bready and toasty and a touch fruity. Large biscuit flavor and even some Munich malt. Havent had too many of the style but this one seems passable and quaffable.

OVercarbonated and thin, tinny mouthfeel. Needs more body and less carbonation. A suitable offering and certainly a change of pace from macros.

10-27-2010 19:26:07 | More by SaCkErZ9
Photo of Reaper16
Reaper16

Alabama

3.08/5  rDev -11.2%

12oz. bottle served into a tulip glass

Pours a breadcrust color mixes with warm, golden, honey tones. The creme colored head gets to be about one finger. OK lacing.

Smells of caramel malts, a touch of diacetyl, sourdough bread, and doughnuts for some reason. Lots of malt, not much nuance. Average for the style.

Same for the taste. Average for the style. Caramel malts, brown sugar, English muffins, some earthy hops, and something chalky on the swallow. Nothing bad about this at all. This is a basic take on the style.

Carbonation level seems off. It is harsh at first but by the finish the beer thins out too much and feels watery. This is easy drinking though. If you want lots of malt flavors in a package under 6% ABV then this is a good option.

10-27-2010 00:23:50 | More by Reaper16
Photo of devinoconnor
devinoconnor

New Jersey

3.43/5  rDev -1.2%

This Sam Adams is rich and somewhat malty with a deep red coloring (as you'd expect).

The taste is almost creamy, rich and caramel flavored.

Overall, an average ale yet different from your run of the mill mass produced ale. A nice change once in awhile.

10-26-2010 22:28:19 | More by devinoconnor
Photo of Dadoftwogirls
Dadoftwogirls

Florida

3/5  rDev -13.5%

This about as middle of the road a red as I've had. Absolutely nothing about it grabs you and makes you want to have more. Lots of carbonation. Good appearance. However, I tried two at one sitting (my preferred method) and they both made me go.. "Umph... I had better.... I have had worse." I might drink more than a couple if they were free but I definitely wouldn't seek this out in a store.

10-26-2010 20:55:09 | More by Dadoftwogirls
Photo of BennyL1
BennyL1

Massachusetts

3.48/5  rDev +0.3%

Poured from bottle into SA Pint Glass

A - The beer pours a nice amber color. Not much head to speak of with a bit of lacing down the glass.

S - Aroma is dominated by the caramel and sweet malts.

T - Sweet at the beginning. The malts are really present throughout the beer as well as a bit of caramel. I think it could have used a bit more hop presence then what was in the brew.

M - Smooth and creamy with a medium to light body.

D - Overall a drinkable beer. Nothing to exciting here but solid all around.

Probably my least favorite out the harvest pack but thats not saying its a bad beer by any stretch. I wouldn't say no to one if offered for sure

10-25-2010 04:40:51 | More by BennyL1
Photo of OWSLEY069
OWSLEY069

Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev +10.4%

Pours a clean orange-ish to copper color with a light tan head. In the aroma, earthy and a caramel malt. In the taste, earthy, caramel sweet, and a malty end. A small hop presence all the way through. A small bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry hop, and slight caramel sweetness in the aftertaste. Easy to drink and nice hop presence.

10-23-2010 15:24:05 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of taigor
taigor

New York

3.15/5  rDev -9.2%

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A - Poured clear amber color with medium head that quickly dissipated leaving light amount of lacing around the glass.

S - Mostly sweet malts and caramel. Can not detect any other smell.

T - Just like smell it is sweet upfront with some spices towards the end and a dry finish.

M - Medium bodied with high carbonation.

D - Very drinkable red ale. Would probably prefer something else in the future.

Overall a pretty average red ale by SA but nothing impressive.

10-22-2010 20:17:09 | More by taigor
Photo of chefhatt
chefhatt

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +15.3%

I poured the beer into a pint glass, it has a light red color body with a little bit of head to it. The aroma is of sweat malts and a little bread. The taste is sweet and balanced of malt and hops but more malt than anything and sweet lingers after you swallow. Great mouth feel and is very drinkable.

10-21-2010 20:19:12 | More by chefhatt
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.43/5  rDev -1.2%

Purchased as part of the Samuel Adams Harvest 12 pack. This box contains a nice selection of six different beers.

A: Nearly transparent amber hue with a fairly small head that quickly recedes to just a thin coating atop the beer. Random traces of lacing are evident.

S: Slightly sweet malt, sweet bread

T: Initially, a decent balance between hops and malt. The beer finishes with a caramel sweetness that could be toned down a notch or two. The beer is a bit on the sweet side. I would prefer more hop bitterness in lieu of the sweeter flavors.

M: Thin to medium bodied with plenty of carbonation. Lingering sweet malt taste on the palate (75% sweet malt to 25% hop bitterness).

D: An OK beer. Nothing too bold or exciting going on.

10-20-2010 23:43:34 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev +6.1%

Got this in the "harvest" fall case.

A - Pours a semi reddish brown, but really could have been a bit darker. The head was pretty decent.

S - Well you get bready yeasty smell with slight caramel and mild hoppy like grain.

T - Pretty standard but could have really used more hops. Mostly came off sweet and caramel with a semi dry finish but the sweetness lingers.

M - Medium bodied and kind of boring.

D - This beer (compared to the Lucky 13) fell kind of short than what I would expect of the beer but it did have a nice level of sweetness that would keep me drinking the last three in the case. Pretty nice.

10-19-2010 04:39:14 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of morebeergood
morebeergood

Massachusetts

3.43/5  rDev -1.2%

Part of the Harvest Collection twelve pack. Poured into a stemmed beer glass. Very dark red color, with a surprisingly good sized head. An impressive looking Irish Red ale. Smell was petty mediocre, nothing too outstanding. Taste was reasonably good for the style. Liked the malt flavor, and it also had a bit of earthiness to it. Just a slight spice profile also. Mouthfeel was good, as I found this beer to be hearty enough for my liking, plus it was smooth enough to drink easily. A fairly decent Irish Ale. Since I don't buy much of this style, it wasn't bad, and I'd consider picking some up again. But like I said, I don't buy this style very often, so I guess I'll only see it in variety packs etc.

10-18-2010 14:48:56 | More by morebeergood
Photo of Vdubb86
Vdubb86

Illinois

3.63/5  rDev +4.6%

Served in a Sam Adams sensory pint glass

Another beer my buddy gave me on my visit over to his place.

This beer pours a nice garnet red color with a decent off white foam head. The aromas consist mainly of some caramel malts and the faintest of hops in the background. The flavors are intensely malty with little to no hop flavor to be located. The flavors consist mainly of caramel, both burnt and unburnt, as well as some lightly toasted malts, but very little citrus from the hops as I would have expected. The mouthfeel is a bit syrupy for my liking, but overall it's not too bad. It's a nice drinkable beer that I could easily have some other times, it's not outstanding, but it's pretty good.

10-18-2010 01:15:41 | More by Vdubb86
Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 2,257 ratings.