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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.

2,265 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,265
Reviews: 968
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 14.99%
Wants: 27
Gots: 105 | 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
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Ratings: 2,265 | Reviews: 968 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of froghop


3.38/5  rDev -2.6%

pours a clear dark copper with a very small beige head, and good lacing.

smell is faint, malt, a touch of caramel, and some spice.

taste is of caramel, malt, spice, pepper, a touch of cocoa, and hops in the back, end is a little dry.

overall a nice irsh ale.

10-14-2009 01:17:25 | More by froghop
Photo of dpodratsky3

North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev +11%

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Clear, dark amber, with a big creamy head that finally settles at around 1 finger, light tan in color, a little bit of chunky looking lace

S: Some sweet caramel malts and some slight hops to balance this, nothing over powering, just nice

T: Caramel malt starts it off with a nice hop balance coming in slow, takes a minute to really feel the hops, but the more you drink the better they get, kind of floral but also spicy hop flavor, some breadiness in the finish, also has a small alcohol presence as other irish ales do

M: Medium body, feels a little thin at first, but the flavor that builds helps to improve it, pretty smooth

D: Pretty good drinkability, nicely balanced, not too out there with its flavors but good all around, this has a little something for everyone to enjoy

Notes: As I said, not a real adventurous beer, but a nicely crafted variety of flavors that could appeal to craft and non-craft drinkers, hop heads and malt lovers. No one will be wowed, but its a nice fall baseball evening beer.

10-10-2009 03:23:36 | More by dpodratsky3
Photo of Thur123


3.85/5  rDev +11%

This beer pours a deep red color, duh. The head is light tan and frothy, but small, less than one finger. The smell is a medium malt character that's on the toasty side. A bit of bitterness as well.

Glug glug glug

It tastes good. The malt goes from toasty to bitter on the end, and after that it's kind of grassy and sweet. Tasty and full bodied and balanced, a great Irish Red.

10-09-2009 00:22:17 | More by Thur123
Photo of cvfish


4.03/5  rDev +16.1%

A - This beer poured a deep reddish orange color that produced a nice, fluffy white head that good retention and laced the side of the glass very nicely

S - The aromas produced by this beer were some caramelized malts and earthy hops

T - The flavor of this beer was bolder than I was led to believe, sweet, bready malts, caramel, a slight black tea flavor, and some earthy hops

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium body with a light to moderate amount of carbonation

D - This beer was great, I was really not expecting this to be good after listening to the post after this beer won the Longshot competition, but I really liked this one

10-07-2009 02:57:29 | More by cvfish
Photo of nickspagnolo

New York

4.5/5  rDev +29.7%

A: It is a copper/red colored beer whose foam is tan. The foam is tall and short lived; in some cases it completely disappeared.

S: Sweet deliciousness.

T: The taste of this beer is amazing! I believe the caramel malt flavor is what makes this beer so delicious. It is a sweet beer however the sweetness is not overbearing; you will still think you're drinkin' a beer.

M: Smooth and Refreshing.

D: These don't last too long in my house and therefore received a perfect score in the drinkability category.

10-05-2009 22:32:32 | More by nickspagnolo
Photo of Riccymon


3.45/5  rDev -0.6%

Pours from the bottle a deep reddish-brown color with a quarter-inch of short-lived head. Beer looks like maple syrup lying in the glass. Smell is inviting-- lots of caramel malt and a little cherry fruit note. Taste is a bit less interesting, though. Sweet syrupy flavor, almost makes me think of sweet potatoes, with a touch of earthy, leafy bitterness toward the end.

Beer is pretty thick on the tongue, which is a plus, but that leafy flavor leaves the mouth a little puckered, which isn't appealing to me. A pretty tasty beer, just what I'd expect from Sam Adams.

10-04-2009 18:06:29 | More by Riccymon
Photo of soulgrowl

United Kingdom (England)

4.03/5  rDev +16.1%

This is a very picturesque beer; while it doesn't have an exceptionally large or long-lasting head, it is a striking cranberry red with tints of plum and shades of walnut, contrasted by an airy, marzipan-colored head. The aroma is not so special, but not bad, mostly caramel and honey with some pumpkin pie spice notes and a hop profile of wet leaves. The flavor is round and balanced, mostly toffee malt sweetness with a hint of pound cake, cola, and an unexpected berry fruitiness. Hops provide a firm, leafy spice that bitters the beer nicely. A lingering bittersweet, vaguely herbal finish calls to mind a dry Manhattan. Medium bodied but still dry, this is actually a very good beer that makes for some seriously easy drinkin'.

10-03-2009 00:17:22 | More by soulgrowl
Photo of Kromes


4.05/5  rDev +16.7%

A: A deep reddish brown color with a tan head. Looks pretty good to me.

S: This is a very malty smelling beer. A big bready and caramel malt aroma. Very nice.

T: The malt flavor is really good, very smooth and creamy caramel. There is a little bitterness in the finish that lingers. The finish does have a somewhat citric acid feel and taste, not in a bad way though.

M: Very good mouthfeel. The beer is velvety.

D: A nice Irish Red that is very drinkable. Better than most that I have tried, a good change-up beer from the hop-bombs that are out there right now.

10-02-2009 16:40:53 | More by Kromes
Photo of vacax


3.23/5  rDev -6.9%

Dark reddish amber beer with less than a finger of head. Slightly lighter in color than the Sam Adams Brown Ale. Fair retention and some decent lace on there. Nose has candi sugar, red licorice, some raisin. Smells decent rich. Tastes like toasted malts, waxy red licorice, brown sugar, some tart fruit quality. Some alcohol presence and waxiness are off-flavors. Decent feel, medium body and soft smooth carbonation. This is okay.

10-01-2009 06:40:58 | More by vacax
Photo of TheMadJack


4.03/5  rDev +16.1%

Poured from 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Beer pours beautifully. Reddish brown, turning a deep, bright garnet shade when the light passes through. Fruit smells are apparent from the time the bottle is opened, practically leaping out from under the bottlecap and into your nose. The head is full and settles to a millimeter or two, with delicate, full lacing that moves at a moderate pace.

The aforementioned smell has strawberry and a hint of vanilla over cereal and the suggestion of hops - it is obvious the hops are present, but also obvious is that they are not the stars of this show.

First taste brings a mildly hoppy cereal base of rye flavor with a solid, but not overpowering, strawberry and vanilla overlay. The flavors dissipate crisply leaving a light toastiness on the back of the tongue and roof of the mouth. As the beer warms and the palate adjusts, the sweetness becomes more pronounced and overcomes the initial dryness of the rye. I actually taste sugar at times. The sweetness is still subdued enough to let the complexities of the beer remain. The grain in the finish takes on a cereal character familiar to anyone who has had Irish steel-cut oats.

The beer has a medium-light weight to it and the carbonation is a firm fizz that adds a certain levity and amplifies the minimal hops, aiding the finish. While I drank it cool, the beer has a distinct warmth to the finish. Not the sort of warmth that shakes off a chill, but a pleasantness that is subtle and very enjoyable.

The beer is fairly light on the stomach, but I find sweet beers to be less than ideal as a session brew. Mixed up with a couple other beers, maybe a porter and a pub ale to change things up, and you've got a good night/day/morning/whatever. Alone, this is probably limited in it's enjoyablility to around 3 at a time. Still, it's extremely enjoyable and I could easily put away a few of these without complaint.

10-01-2009 00:10:44 | More by TheMadJack
Photo of pzrhsau

District of Columbia

3.9/5  rDev +12.4%

Appearance: Nice rich, ruby red color with a good head.
Smell: Good caramel aroma.
Taste: I enjoyed the intense caramel malt flavor accented with the pale malts in the brew.
Mouthfeel: Clean feel with a good light carbonation.
Drinkability: It goes down smooth and it's not hard to enjoy this beer.

09-30-2009 21:46:40 | More by pzrhsau
Photo of greengorilla


3.9/5  rDev +12.4%

I poured this from a 12 ounce bottle into a mug. It is amber in color with a caramel colored head.

The smell is somewhat lacking.

The taste is good with a bit of caramel. There is very little hops presence.

The mouthfeel is quite good and it is very drinkable. Overall this is a pretty good beer. I prefer several other Sam Adams offerings to this one though.

09-27-2009 18:06:35 | More by greengorilla
Photo of KenOnBass

New York

3.28/5  rDev -5.5%

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Nice red color. Foamy head with decent lacing.

S: Malty with a little sweet caramel. Nutty and some spice.

T: Sweet malty flavoring. Full bodied, spicy Irish red. Nice and bitter too. Very crisp and tasty. Malty aftertaste is not a strong selling point.

M: Crisp, nice and fizzy.

D: Nice, crisp, hoppy and malty Irish red beer. Pretty interesting taste. A little too malty overall unfortunately.

09-27-2009 01:10:02 | More by KenOnBass
Photo of kevinjosephlee


2.73/5  rDev -21.3%

Bottle poured into a glass

A: This was a deep ruby red/copper color, with a rich and full whitish (maybe even tanish) head, not much lacing.

S: An above-average caramel (maybe some toffee) maltiness (perhaps too much). Some diacetyl adds buttery notes. No hops aroma present. Scent of alcohol comes through.

T: A caramel maltiness and overly sweet. The diacetyl that produces the buttery smell is more sour than buttery on the tongue, an effect that is exacerbated as more is consumed. No hoppy bitternes. Overly sweet in the finish.

M: Medium-full body, with heavy-moderate carbonation. No slick mouthfeel as would be expected with the diacetyl. Rich and full. Not so crisp taste.

D: I have had this beer on a few occasions, and every time, I have the same experience: it seems like a very drinkable and enjoyable beer; however, the flavor falls apart as the beer is consumed. Not the most easily-drinkable beer.

Overall: A bit off of what would be expected from this style; just average. Too much carbonation which takes away from the refreshing nature of the style. Also, overly sweet.

09-26-2009 21:10:22 | More by kevinjosephlee
Photo of ruckus232


3.73/5  rDev +7.5%

12 Ounce brown bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Reddish in color with a slightly tan thin head

Smell: Sweet nutty with a slight earthy smell as well

Taste: Balanced nicely between the sweetness and the slight bitterness. It might have a better taste if it had a little more bitterness to compliment the sweet taste but overall it has a really nice flavor.

09-26-2009 20:19:28 | More by ruckus232
Photo of imanidiot777


3.63/5  rDev +4.6%

A: Pours a nice looking dark red color with a cream colored head that stays for a pretty long time. Also leaves excellent lacing on the glass.

S: Malty, but I'm not to good with my nose so I can always be wrong here.

T: Malty and pretty sweet, not ever really bitter just a little bit but very malty.

M: Feels fine, could use a little more carbonation.

D: Goes down smooth but couldn't drink a lot because it is a little heavy.

09-25-2009 19:29:12 | More by imanidiot777
Photo of berley31

New Brunswick (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev +11%

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.

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


3.85/5  rDev +11%

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.

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


3.88/5  rDev +11.8%

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.

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


3.63/5  rDev +4.6%

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.

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


3.48/5  rDev +0.3%

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

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


3.88/5  rDev +11.8%

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

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


3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

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.

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


3.93/5  rDev +13.3%

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

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


3.9/5  rDev +12.4%

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.

09-13-2009 22:46:30 | More by Casey10
Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 2,265 ratings.