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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.

2,199 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,199
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: 2,199 | Reviews: 966 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of berley31

New Brunswick (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured with a fairly large, creamy, off-white head that diminished to about 1/2-finger size. Body is a beautiful dark red color, and completely clear (unexpected for the style).

S: Smells of average malt, quite sweet with some caramel notes to it.

T: Nice flavor - sweet and malty at the beginning, with a very slight bitter bite to the finish. The sweetness is definitely the dominating flavor.

M: Fairly light-bodied with an oily/creamy texture, it's kind of light for what I would expect from an Irish Red.

D: Not what I expected (compared to other Irish Reds such as Kilkenny and Smithwick's, anyway), but quite good. Definitely easy to drink a few of these... yet another solid entry from Sam Adams.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2009 18:33:36 | More by berley31
Photo of necoadam


3.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a deep amber color with a big head that went away quickly.

Aroma was strong on the caramel with a nice blend of toasted malts and spicy hops. Seemed that it was all in the right amount of dose.

Taste was good. Toasted malts with a hint of toffee which went good together. Some caramel and spicy hops blend in the middle. Some lingering sweetness remain at the finish.

Mouthfeel was medium, which was surprising, but had a nice creamy texture. Carbonation was in check.

A pretty good Irish Red I must admit. At 5.5%, some people might be caught off guard with the medium body of the beer. Worth a try for sure.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2009 17:14:31 | More by necoadam
Photo of Haybeerman


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

A: Bright clear red/amber. Poured a 2 finger tan head that dissipated to a thick skim. Sheets of lacing.

S: Big roasted caramel malt; slightly sweet and bready. Hint of wet grain.

T: Consistent with smell; sweet bready roasted malts. Sharp bitter finish for good balance. Not obtuse and over-bearing.

M: Light-to-medium body. Medium carbonation. Crisp, dry and bitter

D: Smooth and easy to drink; not too filling.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2009 21:15:57 | More by Haybeerman
Photo of MbpBugeye


3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A see through copper red with not much head or retention, just a wispy lace on top.

S- Malty as hell. Caramel and fruit sweetnesses.

T- Similar to the smell. Oaty, grainy, fruity. Nicely balanced though. A little weak on the palate however. I'd like to see the flavors punched up more.

M- Smooth smooth. Pretty modest carbonation with a medium body. This goes down well.

D- Easily sessionable. Not the best but a very nice alternative.

This beer has gotten me interested in the style. For some reason I always thought Irish Reds were hoppier. Now I'm off to try some of the best red's.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2009 00:47:29 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of jeffjeff1


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

Appearance- dark red color, clear

Smell- malt

Taste- sweet, malt, little bit of fruit, pretty good

Mouthfeel- medium bodied, smooth

Drinkability- pretty good, I would drink it again, came in a sam adams variety pack thing, pretty good irish red ale

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2009 23:18:48 | More by jeffjeff1
Photo of sinstaineddemon


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

A - blood red, with scant amounts of carbonation, a thin light tan head sits atop

S - malt-acular, plenty of caramel sweetness, lent by the roasted malts, nice, yet monotypic

T - plenty of roasted malt goodness, a slight hop profile lends some balance, the most enjoyable characteristic is its goldilocks sweetness (not too subtle, not too sweet), a caramel tinged sweetness

M&D - this sweetness also gives it a nice smoothness and quality mouthfeel, one of the better SA beers i have tried

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2009 22:38:33 | More by sinstaineddemon
Photo of vishneda


3.25/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

The beer looks really good in the glass. It has a great color and the head on the pour is pretty nice. The aroma is not very strong but what is there is fruity and maybe a little floral -- average at best.

The initial taste is sweet followed by a mild array of fruit notes. I would say it was a mix of cherry, apple juice, and maybe light plum. Grain flavor comes through in the middle. Something in there reminded me of Cheerios. The finish is maybe a little tart but not very bitter at all. The blend wasn't blowing me away.

It's a very refreshing beer, which I think is probably the key hallmark of the style. The carbonation is strong out of the bottle and the body is light to medium. The way it feels really isn't moving my opinion on this largely average beer.

SA Irish Red is ok, but it's not a world beater in this style or on its own. Recommended to fans of the style. Otherwise, meh.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2009 17:28:07 | More by vishneda
Photo of jacobseyb


3.93/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A=nice deep amber color with tan/khaki two finger head that dissipated rather quickly

S=nice aroma of malts with a slight banana aroma

T=great flavor of malts that reminds of caramel and coffee on the finish

M=light tight carbonation and lingering aftertaste

D=extremely drinkable and enjoyable

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2009 03:27:14 | More by jacobseyb
Photo of Casey10


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

A - Dark reddish hue with a thin head poured from bottle into glass.

S - Light caramel smell with toffe notes come to mind.

T - Can taste the malts and caramel nice flavor not bad at all.

M - Surprizingly good with a bit of a aftertaste/feel to the mouth

D - This is just as rated good I would have another as this is not bad at all.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2009 22:46:30 | More by Casey10
Photo of Rayek


3.93/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Garnet hued amber with exceptional clarity and mild carbonation. A vigorous pour netted a small and fizzy cream cap. Head retention is fair and patches of lace are left behind.

S: Earthy and slightly vinous, plus a bit of toasted malts.

T: Starts with a dry toasted maltiness. Dark fruits in the form of raisin and cherry come and go in a flash. A lemon and tea bitterness is fairly strong. Finishes with a lingering lemon and a burnt malt flavors.

M: The dry body feels overly carbonated.

D: This is a nice Irish Red overall. I appreciated the flavor complexities at work here. A very good take on the style.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2009 03:41:02 | More by Rayek
Photo of LukeD23


3.83/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Heres my take on this beer...If you put this infront of someone and dont tell them its a Sam Adams beer they will rate this ale high.

Color and head are beautiful, rich mahogany color with a tan 1/4 inch holding head. Nice lacing on the side of the glass.

Aroma is filled with toffee and caramel with a slight piney backround. Full and round in aroma

Flavor is full and balanced. caramel is the most pronounced, with notes of sourdough bread and rosemary. Could be a bit more complex. But nice

Mouthfeel is full, obvious dextrose going on, nice accompanyment to the malty flavor of the ale

Overall a wonderful beer from Sam Adams. I have been very impressed with the Brewmasters Collection.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2009 18:22:10 | More by LukeD23
Photo of AgentZero


3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a chalice.

A - Deep, mostly red with some amber color. About a finger and a half of carbon dixiode bubble head on the top that dissipated rather quickly leaving the sides of the glass mostly clean.

S - Some dark fruits and mild hops. Malty, caramely smell.

T - Definatly get the malts and fruits on this one. A little bit of hops balance it out at the end.

M - Medium carbonation, a little empty, could have used more body or more taste, left me wanting for a little more.

D - Easy enough to get down, solid, but not great beer. Would definately drink it if it's around.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2009 16:30:55 | More by AgentZero
Photo of SpdKilz


3.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a deep amber/red color with over a finger and a half of head. This quickly dissipates but leaves decent lacing on the side of my SA Perfect Pint glass.

Smell - On the forefront, caramel followed by malts, molasses, and a hint of fruit.

Taste - Very bready, malty, can quickly taste the caramel. After the initial flavor I can taste some darker fruits come through. I know it sounds odd but this aftertaste reminds me just a bit of the SA double bock (not a bad thing).

Mouthfeel - Around a medium body and moderate carbonation.

Drinkability - Relatively so, however, it is a bit sweet (granted this is coming after drinking an American wild ale) so as for sessionability, I could have a couple but that would be about it. Overall, pleasantly surprised.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2009 01:59:40 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of jeffthecheff


3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very nice reddish color with a very solid and consistent head. One of the reddest red ales I've ever seen.

Aroma is surprisingly malty. Obvious carmel malt in the nose. Very juicy and surprisingly strong malt aroma. Hops are pretty restrained, the label says East Kent Goldings are used but I'm having a hard time detecting any hop presence here.

Taste has a nice, thick malty flavor with a huge carmel malt presence. Lingering sweetness has a huge character. Bitterness is light, but present if you look for it. A very brew from Sam Adams.

I'm not too familiar with Irish red ales, but I think Sam Adams gets it right here. While it is a huge in malt character, it isn't a very thick beer. Body is medium, and sticks with the lingering sweetness. Carbonation is on the low side. A little dryer would have been nice, to combine the sweet malt character some light, refreshing beer qualities.

Drinkability is good enough. I really am not craving another since this isn't my favorite style of beer, but it is enjoyable. I recognize this as a pretty good beer, but not one that I would buy a six pack of. Nice to have in the mix pack. The next one I'm saving for a food pairing as I would see this as pairing well with a pork dish like smoked ham.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2009 22:45:45 | More by jeffthecheff
Photo of bum732


3.98/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper red, little head leaving a ring of foam, not much lacing. Smells of rich toffee and caramel sweetness, some brown sugar, touch of vanilla, some dark fruits, raisins and dried figs mostly. Tastes of semi-sweet dark fruit malt with a nice earthy bitter background. Finishes fairly sweet with just a touch earthy dryness. Finish has a somewhat burnt raisin taste that brings down the taste. Nice medium to full mouthful.

A really nice beer, nice and malty, sweet with just enough hoppiness to provide some balance and dryness. Great Irish red ale.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2009 01:15:22 | More by bum732
Photo of BeerLover99


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

A: Amber, copper brown

S: Very malty nose, then Roasted nut with fig.

T: Malty upfront, then fruity subtleness like a Dubel or Heavy Dark Ale, hoppy finish at the end.

M: light-medium, smooth, slight carbonation.

D: This is fine representative for an Irish Red/Amber Ale.
Many could be enjoyed and still deliver a fine taste without overdoing it.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2009 21:06:44 | More by BeerLover99
Photo of TwinSox33

New Hampshire

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

Poured into a Samuel Adams bulbous pint glass...

A: Rich rusty red-brown. Very nice hue.

S: Roasted toffee and malt.

T: Malty sweetness hits up front, followed by caramel and a hint of fruitedness. The hops punch in and dry the palette.

M: Smooth and even.

D: Highly So.

A great Sam Adams Offering! Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2009 00:38:28 | More by TwinSox33
Photo of bsp77


3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Clear but dark amber-red with white head and slight lacing.

Smell: Sweet caramel, cherry, dark fruit and English hops.

Taste: Malty and somewhat sweet, with a major emphasis on caramel and cherry. Slight English hop counterbalance.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, body seems a little thin and watery.

Drinkability: Nice Irish Red Ale overall. It is not the most exciting style for me, but they did a better job than most.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2009 00:37:10 | More by bsp77
Photo of alexhammond


4.35/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been trying to branch out more in my beer drinking (being mostly an IPA guy), and I think this brew really turned me on to Irish Reds. It's got a great caramel smell, and goes down really smooth. If it weren't for the sweetness, I could see myself drinking a bunch of these, not that it's overpowering or too heavy. Not a beer that will blow you away by any means, but probably my favorite red because of it's simplicity and drinkability. Would recommend it to someone that's never had this style before, it's a good place to start.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2009 18:14:37 | More by alexhammond
Photo of tzieser


3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've had this one a few times before, but never got around to a review. This one was in the Harvest Collection 12 pack.

Pours a deep amber, pale reddish color with a fluffy offwhite head that simmers into a small lacing. Pretty normal looking irish red.

Smells like a typical irish red. Very malty, toasted/slightly roasted malts with subtle tones of hops and earthiness.

Tastes good. Again, very malty....slight caramel/toffee malt flavor balanced with a touch of hops. The malts give a noticeable earthy flavor to be beer. Kind of reminds me of a scotch ale, minus the smokiness and robust alcohol flavor.

Drinkability was good, though I wouldn't overdo it.

Overall- a solid Irish Red Ale. Worth getting when your in the mood for the style, but I wouldn't go out of my way to get it.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2009 14:54:46 | More by tzieser
Photo of gabe23

North Carolina

3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep, ruby red color. Small head that fades quickly and doesn't leave much lacing.

S - Mild aroma of malty, sugary sweetness and not much else. A slight fruitiness is present as well.

T - Bready sweetness and brown sugar. Slightly sour, with a clean and dry finish.

M - Medium body with mild carbonation. I detect a slight oiliness.

D - It's a little too sweet for me to drink many of these, but I could have a couple.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2009 01:31:17 | More by gabe23
Photo of AmberMan22


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

Poured from a 12oz bottle, notched with drink-by date, into a pint glass.

A: This irish red pours a beautiful autumn red orange, with a light tan head.

S: The smell is immediately of very sweet malt.

T: Caramel malt taste, with pleasant hoppy undertones. This is one of the more malty, less hoppy reds, which makes it more preferable in my book.

Overall this tastes like a mix of Leinie's Classic Amber and Leinie's Red. Just add some more malt, but the flavor is almost a dead mix of those two.

M: Nice and creamy, good about of carbonation, malt sweetness really accentuates when rolled over the tongue. Slight hoppy afterbite makes this very enjoyable.

D: I really like this beer. Though at 5.5% it might be a little strong to drink all night, it is certainly enjoyable feels like a solid choice at any time of the year.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2009 14:11:12 | More by AmberMan22
Photo of bgreg3


3.98/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


App.- nice dark amber , but when shown in the light it becomes a reddish amber , wow irish red, I love the way these beers look they have foamy heads too.

Smell- very good , sweet sweet caramel and malts take your nostrils on a roller coaster ride, subtle hop smell in the back , but not as strong smelling as other flavors.

taste- caramel and pale malts come together and are balanced by a small amount of hops , good , I love my irish reds though,

MF and drink- medium mouthfeel with a semi wet finish , making the drinkabilty ok , as well as the mouthfeel.

Did I mention i love irish red.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2009 22:20:12 | More by bgreg3
Photo of ATSJer


3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cold--to cool

Appearance: the ale has a very nice rose red amberish color which appropriately fits the name well. There was a 1 finger boney white medium to heavy density head which faded to a nice consistent layer, unfortunately there was little to no lacing on the glass. The red brew was very clear and showed little signs of carbonation. This brew looks good, and compared to the other Irish Ale that I've sampled (Smithwick's) it actually looked better in that the Smithwick's looked more like a watered down cola than a red, the color combination was very appealing to me.

Smell: There is a definite hop spiciness in this brew that runs over the softer lighter malts, I also frequently caught citrus notes closer to the orange variety, and as I continued to drink I found some caramel sweetness mixed in.

Taste: This is not as hoppy as the smell might have indicated instead there seems to be more malts than I expected at first, this however does not mean that the hops are absent for in fact they are quite prevalent, and they leave the typical lingering bitterness on the back of the tongue. This is a medium bodied brew with a level of complexity that is well balanced. The citrus tastes more like orange zest with the sweet caramel wrapped around it. As the brew warmed I noticed that the hoppiness and the bitterness began to lessen giving a more even balance to the brew that left it quite pleasant.

Mouthfeel: There is some light carbonation which would match what I expected from the appearance although the carbonation that is present helps with the mouth a creaminess that I wasn't necessarily expecting in a lighter ale, although there was no hint of any diacetyl and no buttery film, instead this ale leaves the mouth very dry. The Irish Red is not as smooth at the Smithwick's but it certainly isn't as crisp as a light beer.

Drinkability: As I've come to expect from Samuel Adam's this brew explores the various flavors of beer without going to the extremes that are found in some of the more exotic craft brews, this doesn't mean that Jim Koch is playing it safe but instead what he's presented here is a well balance brew that is approachable and drinkable by those who are looking for a break from the ordinary. For those who like a bit more bite in their brew I could see this being a moderate session brew and it would probably go well with a nice dinner or a Bar-B-Q, and with the light carbonation I wasn't left bloated at all.

I tried this brew about a month ago when I first started drinking beers and the hops were way above what I could handle, however I am really glad that I didn't pour this one out because I was pleasantly surprised by the flavor in this brew. I can only imagine that this new appreciation of the brew has come with drinking some other beers that push the limits a bit more thus training my palate and giving me some more tolerance in my tasting. In the end after finishing this brew I am left saying, "Thanks Jim for yet another well balanced and enjoyable brew."

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2009 05:39:36 | More by ATSJer
Photo of BostonBrewins


4.4/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured a deep red with a fairly thick caramel colored head. Some moderate lacing on the glass.

S - Nothing overpowering here, but the smells of caramel and toffee tones are there.

T - This is one of the sweeter irish reds I've had, but the hops do provide some balance to the sweet malty caramel flavor.

M - The smooth, creamy body and mild carbonation provide for a very pleasant mouth feel. This might be this beer's greatest strength.

D - Although this might be too sweet for some, this could be a solid session beer. The malty flavors make this a good cold weather brew, but its so easy going down I could drink this any season of the year. A very solid brew from Sam Adams.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2009 00:47:31 | More by BostonBrewins
Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 2,199 ratings.