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

2,332 Ratings
THE BROS
70
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,332
Reviews: 969
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 14.74%
Wants: 31
Gots: 132 | 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: 2,332 | Reviews: 969 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of alkemy
3.1/5  rDev -10.4%
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 +15.6%
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 +25.1%
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 +12.7%
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 -17.6%
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 -3.8%
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 +15.6%
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 +5.5%
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 +6.4%
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 +0.6%
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 +0.6%
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 -8.1%
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 -12.4%
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 +15%
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 +9.8%
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 +9.8%
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
Photo of LacquerHead
3.28/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured this into a Sam Adams pint at 54 degrees.

It had a deep burnt sienna translucence with an off white foamy head. The head eventually dissipated to a very thin lace. The foam clung to the sides of the glass.

It had a pale ale quality. Dry finish. No real malt support the hops.

This beer's two main qualities were its appearance and drinkability. The beer had a really nice reddish color and it went down easily enough. In fact the beer was in my glass one minute then gone the next, leaving me thinking, "where the hell did my beer go?"

Overall I thought it was a little forgettable. This was a C+ on taste and smell - my score on appearance probably helped it get a B-. It was not a bad Irish Red, but it certainly has not been my favorite. Worth a try, but I will probably not be revisiting it - time to move on.

LacquerHead, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of Swill5786
3.13/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Six pack bottles along with Black Lager and Coastal Wheat. Saving the Black Lager for last as I anticipate it being the best of the bunch... I feel for this Irish Red as it follows on the heels of last night's Rochefort 10...

A - Brownish red. Head was slight with angled pour, but obtained a thicker head with direct pour... still faded quickly leaving slight lacing on the glass.

S - Caramelly sweet malt. That's about it.

T - Caramel. Imagine that. Only the slightest hoppiness - until it warms a bit. Grainy malt comes trailing along in the aftertaste.

M - Decent carbonation. Light. Dryish.

D - Better than some other Irish Reds. A decent brew suited to those with the preference for it's sweetness

Swill5786, Jul 18, 2010
Photo of AgentMunky
3.45/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a pilsner glass.

A: The reddest Irish red I've ever seen. It's really quite gorgeous. Mostly transparent, with a thin-thin head.

S: Pungent malts with a hint of hops. Beery undersmell.

T: It's good, but different than what I expected. Rather than sweet caramel malt, it's kind of bitter. The hops seem to have the upper hand in this relationship, and only towards the end does the expected malt flavour emerge. Aftertaste is bland.

M: Carbonated and smooth; swell.

D: It's quite drinkable, but not my favourite Irish red or Sam Adams.

AgentMunky, Jul 07, 2010
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beer review from BA Mag Aug 2007.

Two of two for the next new beer that may make it into the Sam Adams lineup as part of their "Beer Lover's Choice" tasting competition, for which consumer voting starts this August. This one and the Dunkelweizen were selected from a group of four beers.

Minimal head, and it's lacking a bit in retention, though there is a ring of lace that does not waver even after a few hearty gulps. Slight haze in the deep amber brew--we thought this beer could have been a shade darker, with a tinge of red to it. Buttery, fruity, malty, faint caramel aroma--so we definitely know the yeast worked on this beer. Smooth with a medium body. Buttery on the palate, tending toward the sweet-malty side, with a quick draw of modest hop bitterness. The buttery character is hard to shake even with its toasty and caramel malt backbone. Finishes a little dry.

Mezza mezza, though with not that many Irish Reds in the market, it stacks up to be pretty good within its style. If it were up to us, we'd pick the Dunkelweizen over this one.

BeerAdvocate, Jul 06, 2010
Photo of Shrews629
3.15/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Deep ruby red that was mostly clear. Off-white/light tan head with a small amount of lacing. Love this color.

Smell - Very earthy malts and a slight sour smell that is somewhat pleasing. Picked up the caramel as it warmed and it quickly became the dominant aroma.

Taste - Slight bit of bitterness, but nothing overpowering; The aftertaste is slightly sour and sticks around on the palate for a minute. Getting the caramel with what I found to be a bit of sour dough.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel that was dry and crisp.

Drinkability - This is definitely a decent brew in my opinion. It is a nice change but wouldn't want to make this the dominant beer of the evening.

Shrews629, Jun 27, 2010
Photo of Arithmeticus
3.58/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: strong head; clear, dark-amber hue
S: little smell, but attractive nonetheless, with a hint of caramel
T: pleasant; not amazing, and not far-reaching, but Sam Adams has done a nice job in broadening the average range of this style of beer.
M: very nice use of the carbonation to bring out the fluted, sweeter flavors.
D: very good as a session beer.

Arithmeticus, Jun 09, 2010
Photo of SAtaMi
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - A very nice 1" head thick with tiny bubbles and little lacing.

Smell - Caramel and malty goodness.

Taste - Malty nutty and caramel with a touch of Hops.

Mouthfeel - Not to much here a little dry.

Drinkability - Its a nice red beer not great and not bad. I would buy again if there was not so many more to taste.

SAtaMi, Jun 01, 2010
Photo of aristeros
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Came packaged with the "Black Lager" schwarzbier and the Coastal Wheat. This is the weakest of the three.

Poured into a pint glass. Pours a medium copper with one finger of head, moderate lacing, moderate carbonation visible. Good clarity. Smells of caramel, smells fairly sweet.

Sweet malt up front, followed by biscuit and caramel. Fairly lively due to carbonation, sharp finish. Molasses and biscuit in the aftertaste. Slightly underwhelming.

aristeros, May 22, 2010
Photo of civilizedpsycho
3.28/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Pours an amber color that is semi-transparent. Had a huge head and it retained pretty well.

Smell: Has a malty aroma that has a slightly roasted hint. Not bad, but a little bland.

Taste: Somewhat roasted malt backbone with a bit of a hop kick. Not the fruity flavor that I usually expect from an amber ale. It seems almost more like a lager to me. But it's pretty good.

Mouthfeel: It's a little thin. Not much to mention here.

Drinkability: It's not bad. It's something I could have again from time to time.

civilizedpsycho, May 19, 2010
Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 2,332 ratings.