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.

2,299 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,299
Reviews: 968
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 14.7%
Wants: 30
Gots: 117 | 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: 2,299 | Reviews: 968 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

BostonBrewins, Jul 28, 2009
Photo of rfgetz
3.08/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Red and amber, thin head

S - Muted scents of bready malts and floral hops

T - Muted tastes of bready malts, carmel sweetness and floral hops

M - A little under carbonated and watery feel - prevents taste from comming through.

D - Ehhh... not the best from Sam Adams. If you poured this for me without me knowing, id have a hard time seperating this out as an "Irish Red"

rfgetz, Jul 15, 2009
Photo of Brenden
3.9/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance is a clear coppery red. Head retention and lacing were admirable.
Caramel malts and clean hops right up front. Aroma is earthy with a sweetness underneath. A little toasty note is there as well.
The flavor follows suit quite well. It's a nicely balanced brew, with varieties of hops and malts that don't vie for domination. There's a caramelized sugar as well, notes of toffee also underlying.
Carbonation is moderate and this brew is pretty crisp. Body is light to medium.
I thought this was a solid brew and a fine example of the style.

Brenden, Jul 07, 2009
Photo of natelocc787
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I reviewed appearance when I poured one to a pint, and the others out of the bottle. I have found with this beer as well as other Samuel Adams offerings-many of them seem to be better when drank in the bottle. It harnesses the flavors and when poured it's almost like they are released and you never see them again.

Has many of the things I look for in a good red beer. Malty, chocolate and mild butterscotch tones with a creamy red cherry creamsicle flavor. A smoky bold finish out of the bottle. Well done.

I can't get over how bad it was in the glass. What a difference. Well worth the time if tasted in the bottle, release the flavors and aromas when you pour and it tastes like a malty red dog...That's not a good thing.

natelocc787, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of endincolorado
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Clear deep red amber with a nice light tan head. nice lace.

Smell - fragrant caramel malt backed by a lightly fruity hops.

Taste - same as smell- lots of sweet caramel malt. Some light hops in background.

Meowthfeel- Medium body. Satisfying and somewhat creamy. Good carbonation.

Drinkability- A surprisingly well-rounded, tasty beer. I'll definitely come back to this one when i'm in the mood for a good session beer.

endincolorado, Jul 01, 2009
Photo of ExtraStout
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pilsner glass. Poured a deep amber with a medium, pale head. I smell the amber malt, maybe some earthy hops? Tastes smooth with a little malt sweetness. 5.5% ABV was well hidden but absolutely felt. The hops are earthy, and clean up the malt nicely. Not cloying, very drinkable thanks to a dry finish. Kinda feel like this is just an American amber but with English hops, but what do I know. Its good, would like to try on tap. I'm liking the direction that Sammy is taking.

ExtraStout, Jun 29, 2009
Photo of robbyc1
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice clear amber red look, good off white head with good lace.

Nose has some malt, and the taste is deep bready malt with good sweetness in the middle, dry at the end. Hops are small, easy drinker with a nice heavy mouthfeel. Not on the top of my list, but I'll take this anytime, good beer to have with lunch or dinner.

robbyc1, Jun 19, 2009
Photo of kindestcut
2.7/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Of all the Irish Reds I have had the Samuel Adams Irish Red appears among the most red. No false advertising there. The head was quite active but quickly dissipated in seconds.

There's not a strong aroma to this beer...slight hops and a faint fruitiness that was quite unexpected.

The flavor is really mediocre...what a disappointment. Slight (and I mean slight) hoppiness lingers in the mouth while a sweetness you'd expect from an Irish Red disappears soon after the first taste.

There's very little body to this beer. The carbonation is strangely weak and the mouthfeel is watery. Quite a disappointing beer.

kindestcut, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of bilyboy65
3.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hi, It's your loveable beer reviewer guy back again. This time I'll be reviewing this beer and I'd love it if you would join me on the adventure.

It's cold, wet and refreshing. Enough said I think.

OK, just kidding...

A: I don't think a beer could look more red, however there is not much head and it dissipates quickly. Low carbonation to be seen and nothing on the glass left behind.

S: Deliciously irish. Is there such a thing? Smells similar to a wet hopped beer. However I don't recommend inhaling any of it. Not good on the nostrils. Malty scent some hops. Sugar seems to be the main scent to this.

T: Pretty much as the nose is. Sugary and Irish. Much better to drink then inhale though.

M: medium bodied beer. Does leave a lingering flavor behind, but it's not really an oily feel. Kinda nice, can enjoy the sip for a lot longer.

D: Well if the mouthfeel review didn't emphasize it enough this is an enjoyable beer that can be had many times over.

bilyboy65, Jun 13, 2009
Photo of kshankar
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper/amber with a small head, goes down quickly. There's a little foam that layers it all the way down

Aroma: Bready, malts, caramel

Taste: Its mostly the sweet caramel malts that come through on this one. Nothing in terms of a hop profile (not that one was really expected)

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, dry

Drinkability: Its fine..tastes good and all. It isn't really my style though, so I wouldn't really go on about it.

For an Irish Red though, it does the job nicely. If you're into these ales, go for it.

kshankar, Jun 12, 2009
Photo of ThaBobfather
2.65/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a brownish, more copper color with a thin whisp of white head.
Smells with hints of malt and some sugar, but not strong.
Taste is incredibly watery. Some sweet malt and grain.
Finish is muddy and reminds me of drinking sugar water with honey.
Goes down easy as a result of its watery nature, but isn't what I would call an above average drinker.

ThaBobfather, Jun 09, 2009
Photo of PhxHorn
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a deep red with a light orange head. Smells of malt. Tastes of rich pungeant malt, a bit of honey with a hint of cranberry, but not enough to throw it off. Carbonation is just right, though the richness of the flavor makes this one to sip rather than drink quickly.

PhxHorn, Jun 02, 2009
Photo of jsh420
3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

best by july 2009

pours amber brown with a 1 finger head that left no lacing

smell is faint but i picked up sweet carmel malts

taste - is good but to me it tastes just like boston lager with a much bigger creamy mouthfeel

mouthfeel is nice smooth and creamy

drinkability is also good light and refreshing

overall i just dont see much difference in this beer then a lot of other sam adams beers - so i doubt i will buy this one again i would rather drink boston lager which has more hops

jsh420, Jun 02, 2009
Photo of Gosox8787
3.15/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My friend and I picked up a six pack of this on the way home from a bar. I have had this before, almost a year ago, and I remembered not being a huge fan of it. i decided to give it a second shot and review it.

Poured into a glass with a one finger head. the beer was dark brown to amber in color. Smell was bready and malty. Notes of fruit and caramel, along with an earthy tone in the backdrop. The taste also had all these. There was also a buttery flavor and the fruit note in the malt came through tooo heavily sour for my taste. THe mouthfeel was medium boided with moderate carbonation. Drinkability was low for me due to the sour flavor of the malt, but that could just be me. Not sessionable in my case.

Overall, a decent beer that was average at best. Not something I plan to seek out again.

Gosox8787, May 28, 2009
Photo of gciccarelli
4.1/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into Samuel Adams sensory pint glass.

A - Pours a deep amber with a fluffy white head. Crisp and clear carbonation visible. Good head retention.

S - Sweet malts, molasses, caramel, fruit.

T - Molasses, bread, caramel. Nearly all malt - virtually no hops detected. Dry finish.

M - Light/medium body, with crisp carbonation.

D - Nice and easy on the palate - could be a session brew.

gciccarelli, May 26, 2009
Photo of Onenote81
2.95/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Beer pours a deep ruby red with a thin off-white head on top. Little retention, little lacing. Smells of pineapple, carmelized apples, and sweet molasses.

Mouthfeel is tame and a little low on the carbonation. Flavor is a huge malt bomb. Big tastes of molasses, caramel, ginger bread, toffee and caramel. Finishes very sryupy with a hint of bittersweet on the end. Not bad, but I won't seek this out most likely. Too dang sweet.

Onenote81, May 24, 2009
Photo of bluejacket74
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a reddish/brown color with an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. It smells like toasted malt, bread and a bit of fruit. It's a mostly sweet smelling aroma. The beer tastes like toasted and bready malt, with a bit of fruit, toffee, butterscotch and caramel. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit coating and has good carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and easy to drink. This isn't a bad beer at all. It's not something I'd make a point to seek out, but I certainly wouldn't turn one down either. Definitely worth a try.

bluejacket74, May 17, 2009
Photo of surfer4life
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle

A - Pours a transparent and dark auburn with a little white head which immediately becomes film around the edge of the glass.

S - Malty, smells like some cherry syrup. No hops detected in the nose. Very bready, with some vanilla and molasses notes.

T - No hop balance. As this is an irish red and expected to be sweeter, I will say that it's pretty good, but still a bit to sweet for my liking. Would have liked a little more hop presence though.

M - Medium bodied with higher carbonation. Excellent drying on the finish.

D - Wouldn't turn it down at a party, but not seeking it out again.

surfer4life, May 17, 2009
Photo of Amalak
3.18/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

To be honest, I was quite disappointed in this Sam Adams offering. Normally I really enjoy these types of beers, and figured Sam would do it well. Maybe that hindered my feel for it.

It had a sour malt taste to it that I just wasn't enjoying. Perhaps it was simply the batch. Mild fruitiness to it. I'll probably give it another shot some other time.

Amalak, May 08, 2009
Photo of Atlas1
4.25/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hard to fathom that I'm drinking an Irish Red ale on Cinco de Mayo, but there you go. Honestly, it's probably a lot better than most Mexican beers I can get here in San Antonio. Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Poured into a DFH barrel pint, the Sam Adams Irish Red delivers a nice shade of dark mahogany with a smallish one-finger head of foam on top. Held up to the light, the glass reveals hues of cranberry and burnt orange as well. The nose here is bold and assertive. Rich with caramel malty notes and playful fruity esters, the aroma is both sweet and savory at the same time. Very nice indeed. The taste is also rich and more complex than I would have assumed. Malty caramel up front, it shifts gears soon thereafter, providing a tart and fruity taste in the back of the mouth. Imagine if flan came in fruit flavors, and you might have this sensation. The finish is slight metallic, but the overall creamy mouthfeel more than makes up for it.

Another fine outing by the crew at Sam Adams. I would happily return to this beer again. Red ales typically are not my favorite style, but if more were like this it would surely grow on me. Would pair nicely with a chocolate-raspberry tart. Cheers.

Atlas1, May 06, 2009
Photo of philipquarles
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle that's a couple of weeks past the "best by" date. Pours a clear red-brown with a medium eggshell head. Decent lacing. Smells of sweet, toastymalt with some metallic notes. Strong caramel malt taste with some earthiness. Sweet overall, with hints of bitterness toward the finish. Medium body. A decent Irish red, just really unremarkable.

philipquarles, May 05, 2009
Photo of disastermouse
3.93/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Attained from a pre-mixed six in a box (you know the one - it came with Blackberry Wit and Black Lager). Best-before date of July 2009 - tasted in early May 2009.

A - Red, dark, short of a porter, deeper than a lager. Head disappears quickly.

S - Beautiful, balanced smell. Oddly, there's a faint smell of sweet bread. No alcohol in the nose at all.

T - Hmmm....bready, sweet, yeasty, and dry at the back end. There's an odd note of banana bread in this beer, it gets overpowered by the carbonation and the alcohol briefly before resurfacing in the aftertaste. What a tasty beer!

MF - Very carbonated. I drank this right after the Old Speckled Hen, so it's lack of hard-water 'coldness' makes it feel positively lush. It fills the mouth, crackles with carbonation, then stings ever so slightly as it's going down.

D - There's nothing that bars this from a session brew. It's banana bread hints are not sticky or cloying, so you don't tire of them quickly. The carbonation and 'warm' mouthfeel may slow you down a little, especially on a hot day.

disastermouse, May 04, 2009
Photo of WakeandBake
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A clear bright amber color with a medium off-white head that lasted a white.leaving spotty lacing. Aroma of sweet caramel malt and herbal hops. Flavor is spicy,earthy hops with a dark toasty caramel malt backbone, very strait forward but good,clean mouthfeel,not sticky or watery, a hint of hops in the finish,very sessionable and a pretty darn good brew.

WakeandBake, May 03, 2009
Photo of Jablonski
2.58/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

It pours into a pint glass with an average sized tan head. This beer is reddish-brown colored. It smells malty, but that's about all I can pick up since it's so overwhelming. No hops here. This beer tastes better than the smell, but not by much. It's malty up front followed by a dry, slightly bitter finish. Definitely drink this beer cold, as it gets worse as ti warms. However, the mouthfeel is decent, as the carbonation nice. The beer is a bit watery though. It's a low ABV, but the beer isn't that drinkable due to the overpowering sweetness. Definitely not the best Sam Adams out there.

Jablonski, May 02, 2009
Photo of DannyS
3.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass, poured from a 12 oz. bottle.

A - Clear dark red amber with a thin head. Small collar of foam remains with good lacing.

S - A bit sour and funky on the nose. Also slightly metallic. There's some hops and malt there, but the aroma overall is a bit off.

T - A bit of toasty malt and floral hops, with a minor malt sweetness and well balanced bitterness. finishes clean with a faint black tea aftertaste

M - A bit watery and fizzy, but overall good feel on the tongue.

D - Excellent drinkability, the only sticking point being the slight bitterness on the finish. Otherwise a good one for sessioning if you can tolerate a 5.5% ABV.

Overall - Definitely not disappointed by this one. I would consider a repeat purchase if I'm looking for am easy drinking red, but unfortunately, I only see this one in the mixed 6-packs.

DannyS, Apr 30, 2009
Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 2,299 ratings.