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.
BA SCORE
79
okay

2,292 Ratings
THE BROS
70
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,292
Reviews: 969
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 14.7%
Wants: 30
Gots: 113 | 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: 2,292 | Reviews: 969 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

aubuc1, Sep 08, 2010
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.

MoreThanWine, Sep 06, 2010
Photo of claspada
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.

claspada, Sep 05, 2010
Photo of mjurney
3.6/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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

Taste/Mouthfeel:
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.

Drinkability:
Pretty good.

mjurney, Sep 05, 2010
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.

mfunk9786, Sep 05, 2010
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.

geryeb624, Sep 05, 2010
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.

samie85, Sep 04, 2010
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.

whoneeds8, Aug 31, 2010
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.

brewmudgeon, Aug 30, 2010
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.

alkemy, Aug 30, 2010
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.

jjboesen, Aug 28, 2010
Photo of Augustiner719
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.

Augustiner719, Aug 25, 2010
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.

ZeroSignal, Aug 24, 2010
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.

jazer, Aug 23, 2010
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.

elgiacomo, Aug 23, 2010
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!

sixerofelixir, Aug 23, 2010
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.

PintOHops, Aug 23, 2010
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.

JosiahS, Aug 23, 2010
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.

mooseisloose, Aug 20, 2010
Photo of Tballz420
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

For some reason it came rushing out of the bottle when i uncapped it. Dark copper body, no head. Scent is all sweet malt. Taste is red ale malts, a fair amount of bittering hops. Kind of a brown sugar taste. Medium bodied and fairly wet. Certainly not a bad beer, but just not my style to begin with. Sam Adams never puts out a bad beer though, this is pretty good.

Tballz420, Aug 20, 2010
Photo of klewis
3.18/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a crisp reddish-brown with a healthy, foamy head. Moderate lacing.

S: Aromas of caramel malt and fresh bread.

T: Burnt caramel with a soft toasted malt taste. Light sweetness up front with a bit of astringency in the finish.

M: Light-bodied with crisp carbonation. A lingering bitterness.

D: Nothing wrong with this one, but nothing special. Meh.

klewis, Aug 16, 2010
Photo of mstyne
3.03/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A sixer from Hannaford on NY 43.

Brewmaster's Collection. Best before 10/2010. Poured into a Magic Hat #9 pint glass.

Definitely a red Red. Middling head with little lacing. Very little aroma at all; a slight plastic(?) scent? Really not a lot going on in the flavor department. Malty with maybe a touch of salted pretzels -- I kind of wish I /had/ some pretzels at the moment. A little hop bitterness but not much.

The label says I should expect a caramel flavoring but only from reading the label and thinking long and hard can I detect it.

Can only describe the mouthfeel as slippery.

My apologies, Jim, but I probably won't pick this one up again. Looking forward to SA's Winter seasonals.

mstyne, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.98/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz as part of the Fall Box... Poured into my SN XXX goblet.... no real head... no lacing... the brew though is surprisingly red.

Nose is toasty with some lite caramel.. earthy .. not really hoppy at all.

Caramel malt is lite ... more toasted grain.. pretty clean throughout..

Medium lite body.. medium carbonation...

Ehhhh... Don't know what to say... No real complaints.. Glad I didn't have to buy a 6'er.

3.5/3.5/4/4/4.5

Pretty darn good as far as my understanding of the style goes.

JohnGalt1, Aug 10, 2010
Photo of therica
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From Sam's 2010 Harvest Collection

A= huge tan head, deep birch-beer copper, clean, plentiful small carbonation rising.

S= I like it when I start hyperventilating on the nose. Wild cherry, raspberry, rich malts. But then again it's somewhat of a weaker scent and possibly over-dominated by the fruits.

T= Thick and rich, far more bold than "the usuals." The wild cherry and raspberry seem evident, the creamy malts are very fulfilling. Not much in evident hops, lightly bitter possibly from the hops but also some roasted malts, and actually a bit dry in this style.

M= flavorful, enjoyable, nothing off-putting, slightly dry on the tongue.

D= aside from this beer being a little more filling than "the usual" Irish Reds, it's very drinkable, although you have to buy their Harvest 12-pack just to get 2 bottles.

Probably nice with dark meats or even dark desserts.

The only thing that I would tire on after a while is the cherry-berry and maybe the fullness of the beer. In fact after just one bottle at times the cherry-flavor gets a bit annoying if you're not in the fruity mood.

therica, Aug 06, 2010
Photo of TheSarge
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours exceptionally well for a three finger thick cranium in a light tan color. The body is copper in color and cleanly filtered.

In the aroma it has a leather character, along with a metallic fragrance.

Taste wise it is leathery, and sweet with a hint of chocolate blended with cola.

Overall a smooth and well balanced beer. I think this is better than the real deal, that being Kilkenny or Smithwicks.

TheSarge, Aug 03, 2010
Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 2,292 ratings.