1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  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.

2,288 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,288
Reviews: 968
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 14.7%
Wants: 29
Gots: 110 | 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: 2,288 | Reviews: 968 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of srrn
4.45/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm either feeling generous or this is a really good beer. Pours a deep garnet color with i inch tan head that reduces to a ring and lacing with some islands. Smell is mostly malty and honey like with a hint of of earthy spice. Taste is the same with a bit more hops bitterness to offset the sweetness of the brew. I get some carmel apple in there too. A bit of oil to the mouthfeel.

I put off buying this because the few offerings of the style didn't impress me. This is really nice.

srrn, Sep 01, 2008
Photo of opwog
3.13/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Now Listening to: Massive Attack - Inertia Creeps

A- Very dark red with a huge pouring head
S- Sugary and dark fruit, maybe even prune
T- This was really odd and I am not sure what was intennded and what was an accident. Reminded me a malty iced black tea and I was getting tinges of aluminum.
M- The huge head made me nervouse about the mouthfeel, but it was acceptable, if not better than average. Nice malt body.
D- Despite the rather odd tastes that I was getting out of this, I would still say that it is beter than average drinkability.

opwog, Aug 30, 2008
Photo of beveritt
2.95/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into an Imperial pint glass. Label is typical of Samuel Adams and has a buy by date of October 2008.

Appearance: Pours with 1 1/2 fingers of light tan head. This settles to a few islands, leaving behind some lacing. The beer itself is red/orange with a slight chill haze.

Smell: Slightly sweet caramel malt with hints of herbaceous hops.

Taste: Semi sweet malt upfront with a little bit of caramel. Followed by an unpleasant bitterness. Not like a typical hop bitterness, but an almost off flavor. Finishes with mild hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level. Body is good.

Drinkability: Not a huge fan. I just couldn't get over the alkaloid bitterness.

beveritt, Aug 29, 2008
Photo of Overlord
2.25/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer's score is rather shocking to me.

Pours a dull red. Inch or two of white foam. Smells like ... what is that? Kind of a herbally, hoppy scent, maybe some yeast ... pretty weird.

Taste is just all over the place. A weird astringent minty/herbaliness, maybe some piney/earthy hops (just a bit), and a strange overly sweet caramel malt base. Just bizarre tasting.

Will avoid in the future.

Overlord, Aug 24, 2008
Photo of generallee
3.98/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Its body is dark reddish copper in color and it has nice clarity. The head is average size, light tan in color and fades down to thin covering.

Smell: The aroma is sweet and malty with hints of caramel and toffee.

Taste/Mouth feel: The favor is much the same as the aroma with a malty character and light mild hops in the background. Its finish is smooth and clean with a medium body and a smooth creamy texture.

Notes: This is a very easy drinking beer with simple pleasing flavor.

generallee, Aug 23, 2008
Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very pleasant beer, and a good session beer. A 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Dark cherry color, with a medium tan head and a good amount of lacing. Sweet malty aroma, some caramel too. The taste was more caramel, but the fruitiness was there too. Drying hops finish. Will have it again.

lordofthewiens, Aug 23, 2008
Photo of RodBurg
2.48/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a clear dark red with a small cream head and minimal lacing.

Scents of caramel malt and a small amount of bitter chocolate. Barely audible is a smoky peat smell that reminds me of Scotch.

Heavy caramel malt and chocolate taste up front followed by an unpleasant metallic aftertaste that lingers. Medium body and carbonation.

Pretty typical for the style but the aftertaste kills it.

RodBurg, Aug 23, 2008
Photo of superdedooperboy
3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep ruby-brown with a thick, creamy, one-finger caramel-colored head that fades slowly and leaves a thick layer of lace on the sides of the mug.

Smells mostly of sweet toffee and brown sugar. Not much else going on in the nose; certainly very little, if any, noticeable hop aroma.

Body is fairly full and smooth. Tastes of sweet caramel and toffee, with a bit of hoppy bitterness in the finish. The malty sweetness can seem somewhat cloying at times, but mostly the flavor is very balanced. Finishes with a moderately dry bitterness that fades quickly enough and leaves one begging for more.

This is a very drinkable brew; as a session beer, this would definitely rank high on my list. A very balanced brew, and quite attractive as well.

superdedooperboy, Aug 23, 2008
Photo of pumarocks
3.2/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I first tracked this brew down as a single on the huge wall of beer at jungle Jim's in Fairfield, OH. I'll tell ya I was surprised I could not find this anywhere and it was St. Patrick season. I was impressed then but could not find it in a six pack until just recently at Kroger of all places. This beer is tricky. It is a lot like the infamous mullet hair style from the 80s. This beer is all business in the front and all party in the rear. The hops are heavily front-loaded. It is kinda hard to get used to. After the hops subside you get subtle maltiness and a refreshing finish that is heath-ledger-joker lipsmacking good. Well done Sam Adams.

pumarocks, Aug 21, 2008
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.83/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep caramel color ale with a huge light brown color head with some good retention but minimal lacing. Aroma consists of strong caramel malt with some nice touch of toffee. Taste is a mix between some deep rich and somewhat sweet caramel malt notes with some nice touch of toffee which were not expected but well enjoyed. Fuller body then expected with some good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Body is lot more creamy then expected and overall I enjoyed this beer a lot more then I had expected.

Phyl21ca, Aug 20, 2008
Photo of MOShepp
2.6/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Deep copper with light tan frothy head with very little lacing.

Smells of toffee and berries.

Tastes of bubble gum, tea leaves, and some floral.

There's layered flavors that just don't seem to work well together. Somethings off with this one. I will not buy again.

MOShepp, Aug 19, 2008
Photo of tommy78
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - The appearance is a nice dark red colour with lots of head.

S - The smell was somewhat sweet with some hop in it.

T - I thought the taste could have been better. It was good at first, but the follow through was on the weak side. It was light on the palate generally speaking.

M - A little too carbonated for my tastes. I wanted some more smoothness to the beer.

D - I would have it in a bar if offered, but I wouldn't seek it out. Decent offering in general.

tommy78, Aug 15, 2008
Photo of Brianmerrilyn
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a sixer of this during a resupply while camping over the past weekend in Copake NY. This was the first Samuel Adams brewmasters collection that I had not seen much less tried to date.

A: Poured into highballer glass to display the color of the Syracuse orangeman with brick red undertones. A sturdy two finger dark frothy tan head that makes you proud to gander at from close or afar. An abundance of lacing, thick 3/4 of a glass rings and impressive retention. Looks as if you could rest a penny on it.

A: This is only my second Irish Red beyond Smithwick's (ole Smitthy as my Irish relatives refer to it) so I'm not sure if there the style is supposed to be low key in the aroma category. As advertised on the side of the bottle, caramel and malt are in the mix but does not jump out at you by any stretch of the imagination. With time and temperature rising, you get a wee bit more but nothing noticable.

T: The mild theme follows the nose for the most part. Dont' expect a pugnent flavor or a blast of any ingredient, but rather a subtle amalgam of caramel, bitter spices and perhaps some mint wrapped in hops resting in the background.

M: Succulent creamy nature, easy going and forgettable in the good sense that you are cracking open another before you know it. Reminds me of when in Ireland visiting families, that I'm on to my 3rd Guiness before I realize it due to the smooth character. The chaps at Samuel Adams certainly are spot-on when it comes to replicated the ease with which this creation goes down the throat.

D: I highly recommend and one of the better ones coming out of Boston Beer Company.

Brianmerrilyn, Aug 14, 2008
Photo of Hojaminbag
3.18/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a great looking beer. A nice dark red body with tons of fast moving carbonation bubbles in it. A nice, big tan head with good retention and great lacing.

Smells of some caramel malts.

Taste is very caramel heavy with some breadiness and a touch of hops. Decent beer. Crisp and smooth, very light bodied.

Fairly drinkable, not a bad offering by Sam Adams.

Hojaminbag, Aug 13, 2008
Photo of TheDeuce
2.6/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Sam Adams Irish Red...

Appearance-deep red color, sticky lace around the sides of my pint glass, decent color.

Smell-wafts of sweet malt, some hops and alcohol as well but very malty.

Taste/Mouthfeel-thick and heavy, overly malty, lots of sweetness, hops don't really make it through. Feel is heavy with a lot of sweetness, it doesn't really all come together.

Drinkability-not my favorite beer, but enough like the style to be alright.

Overall-I'm a little let down by this offering from Sam Adams, I thought they would nail this style but it appears they missed the mark. Too malty, thick, and an off sweetness that isn't pleasent.

TheDeuce, Aug 13, 2008
Photo of Shumista
3.3/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.
A- Pours a deep dark red with a 2 finger head.
S- Sweet malts, maybe a little bit of hops in the aroma.
T- Sweet caramel malts, some nuttiness, a little bit of hop bitterness at the back.
M- Nothing too special here.
D- I don't think I would want more than one of these. It's pretty heavy and not in a particularly drinkable way.

Shumista, Aug 12, 2008
Photo of GodOfBeer
3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful dark red colour with a decent sized head.

Smells very nutty, somewhat sweet, very nice.

Sweet upfront then turn nice and hoppy/nutty, a delicious beer, the best red ale iv'e had.

A syrupy mouthfeel, pretty thick like cough syrup but a nice drinkable beer?

GodOfBeer, Aug 12, 2008
Photo of Lexluthor33
3.83/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours reddish orange with a small head and decent lace.
The following breakdown:

Aroma-malts,light hops

Taste- caramel malts,hops that kick just a bit.

Feel -medium carbonation,light body and earth tones as the bottles describes. There is only a tad bit of bitterness in the finish with a simple touch of grains.

Notes: Good for the style and a simple,well balanced beer.

Lexluthor33, Aug 11, 2008
Photo of ndekke39
4.13/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle with an August 2008 best-by date, decanted into one of my Sam Adams pint glasses. Appearance is a nearly clear red/orange/gold with a small white head. Nice bit of froth that sticks around the glass.

Aroma is a soft maltiness, with a touch of hop bitterness. Slight grainy notes. Balanced, but nothing too strong.

Flavor is similar. Nice malty center that's offset with a pleasant hop bitterness. Bit of caramel in the center. Hoppy aftertaste.

Nice mouthfeel - a step up from being watery without being too thick.

High marks for drinkability here! Great example of an Irish Red. Nothing mindblowing about it, but balanced and tasty.

ndekke39, Aug 11, 2008
Photo of kzoobrew
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish brown color. Head is very white, not much retention though. Lacing is slight.

Smell is malty, sweet malt aroma. I am picking up some yeasty dough smells too.

Taste is sweet malt, slight hops but enough to compliment. Earthy kind of flavors.

mouth feel is medium and smooth, moderate carbonation.

Very drinkable, taste is good a very smooth drinker.

Good brew just not big enough for my likings, appreciate the brew none the less.

kzoobrew, Aug 08, 2008
Photo of Gamemako
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 12oz bottle into a mug. This is my second. Sitting right beside me and will be long gone by the time I finish this review.

Pours a very dark red-brown with a medium off-white head with mediocre staying power. Not much for lacing to be found. Pretty, unusual, but not amazing.

Smells of bready malts. And guess what?

Tastes of bready malts. Finishes dryly with a good, light hoppy bitterness. A slight swing of bready sweetness follows the bitter. Not too toasty, not too sweet, not too bitter. Some caramel notes here and there, mostly as a result of the sweet breadiness (like fresh-baked bread melting in your mouth). It's a pretty good balance and a rather tasty beer with very little to dislike.

Doesn't feel insubstantial in the mouth; reasonable carbonation. Quite smooth and drinkable. Worth the price paid and worth drinking again.

Gamemako, Aug 07, 2008
Photo of TheTrevor
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a reddish copper color with a generous three-finger head that lingered for a while. The smell is mostly sweet malt. The taste starts off with a toasty maltiness little bit of hop bite that fades away to some sweet caramel taste. The mouthfeel is reasonably thick without an overbearing amount of carbonation. This is a tasty beer, and although it's a little rich I wouldn't be surprised if I could enjoy more than a couple in a night.

TheTrevor, Aug 01, 2008
Photo of jushoppy2beer
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours from the bottle to immediately form a nice head which dissipates rather quickly, but continues to renew itself around the miniscus as the hefty carbonation continues to work its magic. The deep red color is unusual for an Irish-style ale, having an almost burgundy hue. The rich sweet malty aroma is quite lovely, and leads well into the sweet caramel maltiness on the palate. The texture is thick for an Irish red, and coats the tongue to deliver a nice finish of malt with subtle hop bitterness. Overall, a very nice specialty beer, but not as drinkable as the Boston Lager.

jushoppy2beer, Aug 01, 2008
Photo of nickynick
3.9/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sam Adams Irish Red poured a very nice dark amber with a nice tan head, and pretty good lacing. Smelled of sweat malt but wasn't very strong. Taste was malty sweet, crisp, refreshing, and a slight hop bite. Mouthfeel was good. Drinkability was nice as well. Overall this was a nice beer, good for the style.

nickynick, Jul 28, 2008
Photo of vickersspitfire
4.2/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a nice looking beer, it has a light tan head about a finger thick and is very dense, and it completely covers a slightly hazy, red amber body with some medium carbonation. The head thins out and has some good lacing to it. It has a nice hop scent to it, a little floral sweetness and hint of brown sugar, it has a semi-crisp feel and taste on the tip of your tongue, and has a medium-to-light body, you can feel the carbonation in this beer; it is smooth and mildly sweet throughout, there is also a mild bitterness to it, and it has a faint dry finish to it.

vickersspitfire, Jul 28, 2008
Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 2,288 ratings.