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Samuel Adams Irish Red - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Irish RedSamuel Adams Irish Red

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2,343 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,343
Reviews: 970
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 14.74%
Wants: 30
Gots: 136 | 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: 2,343 | Reviews: 970 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of garuda
3.3/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Crimson red, one finger thick head with good retention and decent, spotty lacing down the glass.

S - Big sweet, caramel malts. Balances out a bit as it warms with some tea like notes.

T - Follows the nose with caramel malts, some sugar, and a bit of earthy grassy hops in the finish.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation, nice and smooth across the palate with a clean dry finish.

D - Tasty malts, clean hop finish, but lingering sweetness in the aftertaste makes it become a bit unbalanced. I would have another, but probably wouldn't buy it again.

Photo of mntlover
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice red color with a decent tan head falls slow and leaves some lace behind, nice Irish red color.

Aroma is nice toasted malts light buttery notes mingle with hints of fruits. Some dry earthy notes mingled through out, no real hop notes that stand out.

Taste is toasted malt hints of butter with earthy notes and minty hops. Pretty straight forward Irish ale flavor. Pretty decent little brew.

Mouthfeel is is medium with smooth level of carbonation.

Drinkability is good an enjoyable ale, not spectacular but then this style usually isn't. Nice drinkable ale.

Photo of schoolboy
3.08/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I've never liked this style nor this beer. It certainly looks good in a glass, but it is just the wrong combination of bitter, malt and aroma. There is one American made brew of this style that I like, but just barely, so it is the style that doesn't do it for me. This particular one might be an outstanding Irish Red, it is just lost on me.

That said, since I know of better examples, I will continue to avoid this in samplers and such. I'll buy a Great Lake Conway 6 pack once in a while, but maybe I can save these for guests I don't like.

Photo of PantsOptional
4.25/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this in a variety pack and got two bottles along with two Black Lagers and two Coastal Wheats. Pours a dark reddish amber hue with a fluffy off-white head that leaves plenty 0' lacing behind. Smell is of fruit (cherries, perhaps), caramel malt, and fresh-baked bread. Taste is very full and pulls through with a sweetness up front followed almost immediately by a salty, biscuity flavor. Delightful to say the least. A beer such as this has a lot going for it: alluring appearance, full heady aroma, and a complex taste. Plus the mouthfeel and drinkability are way up there. In conclusion, this is by far the best red ale I've ever had. If you're looking for a good time, pick this one up and enjoy the ride.

Photo of tjsdomer2
3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Thick, cloudy, amber-red. Lots of foam that holds (and tastes) like caramel. Some good carbonation thats hard to see with this type of consistency.

Smell: Nothing terribly wonderful here. It's pretty caramel-like in its sweetness, and even a bit smoky and malty. It's not strong though and hard to discern.

Taste/Mouthfeel: No problems here. Nice and creamy, although slightly oily in the same way Guinness Draught can be. Tastes mostly like caramel and smoky malt.

Drinkability: Sweet taste and smooth feel make this drinkable. A good pub brew.

Overall: Sam Adams Irish Red works well as a beer companion to pub grub or even a stew. It's a pleasant and never off-putting red ale.

Photo of bob3701
4.08/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pourd into a Bass pint. Pours a clear red/amber color with a big creamy head that lasts a long time and has great lacing. Malt and caramel aromas. Starts with a sweet caramel taste and finishes with a pleasant slightly sour note. Very mellow and easy drinking. Smooth. I actually said 'wow' after the first sip.

Photo of soju6
3.78/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer has a nice clean amber color with a beige head and light carbonation. It has a good beer aroma with traces of caramel. The taste almost has a touch of sweetness offset by a slight bitterness. It has a nice texture and goes down very smooth and easy. A good beer to have when relaxing or to share with fiends.

Photo of ujsplace
3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an over sized wine glass.

Two finger thick off white head that sits atop a reddish caramel colored brew.

Smells of toasty caramel malts and mild earthy hops.

Tastes of toasted caramel malt and maybe some nuttiness with a nice hopped finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth and crisp.

This is a very drinkable brew. Easy drinking, easy pleasing. Would have a very broad appeal.

Photo of Boto
3.63/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle: This one pours a crystal clear, reddish-amber color. There was almost no head at all on mine. No lacing. Milder but nice aroma. A touch of sweet malts along with some earthiness. A good malt body, but no sweetness to it. In fact it finished a bit dry. A bit of earthiness, spiciness and woodiness to the taste. An easy drinker.

Photo of steanu
4.78/5  rDev +38.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's got a nice reddish brown appearance, has a nice sweet smell and a great taste. It goes down really smooth. It's Samuel Adams and it's a given that's its going to be amazing, that's my biased for Samuel Adams is my favorite beer company. Them and Weihenstapfener.

Photo of Akerris
3.4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Nice mahogany hue. Thick foamy head.

S- Almost like oatmeal bread. A bit of spicy hops.

T- Roasty caramel malt upfront and center. Lingering English hop flavor.

M- Thick, almost like drinking a porter. Lots of carbonation.

D- This beer is very flavorful for the style. This is definitely a cold-weather beer, and while not my favorite I can see some broad market appeal for those who wish to upgrade their midmarch brew. Not bad overall.

Photo of SimplySinister
3.28/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Reddish-Copper color, 1 inch off white parchment colored head, low to moderate carbonation, with good lacing. Moderate head retention.

S - Hops, Toasted Malts.

T - Toasted Malts, Grain, and Caramel. Not overly sweet, but sweet nonetheless. No bitterness to speak of. All in all, a good tasting brew.

M - Cool and dry, though not very refreshing.

D - Good. I could see drinking several of these in a sitting. I wouldn't consider this brew to be a session beer, although the ABV implies it, but not poor on any accounts.

Photo of Mancer
3.35/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a deep red amber with a 1 finger head. The itself was off white and dissipated fairly quickly to practically nothing. There was minimal lacing left on the glass. The smell of the beer is a bit hoppy and fruity. The initial taste of the beer is that of hops malt and fruits. It finished with a wheat taste that lingered. This is a light bodied watery beer. There was some light carbonation visible, as well as a light carbonation in the mouth feel. Can't say that I'm that impressed with this beer, nor can I say that I will buy this brew. Worth a try but nothing special here.

Photo of emsroth
4.15/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

App: True red with a frothy beige head

Smell: Sweet, fruity malt and hop profile. A touch of biscuit. Slight herbal hop aroma.

Taste: Strong malt backbone! Whoo. Talk about malty! Sweet and bready, with a hint of husky dryness. Finished by dry, erathy, herbal hops with a hint of bitterness. Not at all well rounded, and that's the way should be.

Full body with slightly too high carbonation.

Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 2,343 ratings.