1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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

2,343 Ratings
THE BROS
70
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,343
Reviews: 970
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 14.74%
Wants: 30
Gots: 135 | 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)
View: Beers (117) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Irish Red Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,343 | Reviews: 970 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kzoobrew
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Photo of Gamemako
3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

Photo of TheTrevor
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Photo of jushoppy2beer
3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

Photo of nickynick
3.9/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

Photo of vickersspitfire
4.2/5  rDev +21.4%
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.

Photo of tai4ji2x
3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

best by date of nov 2008

poured into shaped pint glass.

decent dark amber, gem-clear. nice head fades to wispy layer and ring. nice lacing.

nose starts with faintly grassy hop and earthiness, then just a hint of malt. slight esters and phenols in the back.

flavor is similar, with a moderate bitterness throughout. slight resins and grassy hop in the finish, which is where the malt hint peeks in. faint phenols and esters too. almost felt charitable and gave this a 4; it was ok, but pretty unremarkable.

feel is smooth, but ever so slightly thin. moderate carbonation.

drinkable and sessionable, but again, nothing that stands out for me

Photo of burnstar
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours into my Sam Adams glass a dark reddish brown with a large off-white head. Nice lacing on the surface and side. Aroma is dark caramel with some floral hops. Taste is very toasty with lots of caramel. Not much sweetness. Finishes dry. Plenty of herbal hops with a lingering bitterness. Medium bodied and well carbonated. Fairly drinkable but not something I'd be inclined to drink a lot of. I think this is probably a good example of the style, which admittedly I haven't had a lot of.

Photo of theopholis
3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours an clear, orange/red body that continually effervesces. The head starts out light tan, loose wand quickly settles down to a very thin cap.

Aroma- Malty, and very sweet with a touch of hops. Smells vaguely like a lightly fruited tea. Quite pleasant.

Taste-Not half bad. Nice, malty sweetness with just enough hops. Fairly dry finish, with a nice, subdued hop aftertaste. Very easy drinking.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, nicely carbonated. The body is doen very well.

Drinkability- Quite nice.

Photo of berserker256
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark red rich appearance with a thick dense head. I can't pick up very much smell on this beer. I detect a faint carmel apple scent. A little bit of a sweet scent. Maybe something's wrong with my nose. I can definitely taste way more than I can smell. It's a sweet carmel and roasted malt flavor. And the texture is great. It creamy like a milk stout. The best Irish Red style beer I've ever had.

Photo of hooligan
3.38/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Beer pours translucent, cloudy, reddish-honey color with a orange-tinted tan head of thick tight bubbles - they settle quickly to a clingy film on top of the brew and to the sides of the glass.

Smell is clean, whiffs of caramel apple, astringency, some faint rum raisin notes and bready yeast.

Big flavor upfront, strong astringent coppery/grassy hop assault upfront with a heavy earthy baked-apple malt character. The hop bitterness lingers long after you've downed your sip.

Was a bit thin and fizzy, I think I would have liked a bit more body.

Not my favorite style of beer, but even with a style I don't like, it seems quite a bit was accomplished in making a bold, strong beer.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought the Brewmaster's mixed 6 pack, so I had 2 of these.

Drank from a standard pint glass...it's definately red, fo sho. Creamy tan head that really sticks to the glass well.

Nutty nose with hints of honey and bread rolls, maybe some bananas in here too.

I taste brazil nuts and minerals...hops are present but slide in on the backside. Not a bad brew, fairly drinkable, but I dont think I would buy a whole sixer of these.

Photo of gonzo46and2
3.93/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance is a red brown. I've seen prettier red beers before but this one's pretty nice. Big and foamy rootbeer-like head with tons of lacing.

Smell of brown sugar, raisin, walnut, and flowery hops.

Taste is quite sour and bitter in a good way that balances the powerful sweetness in this beer. Flavor dances around a bit.

Mouthfeel is thick and smooth with low carbonation. Finish is bitter and a bit astringent.

Drinkability is decent. This is a pretty big beer for the low price tag.

Photo of GilGarp
4.13/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours from a 12oz bottle into the signature sam adams glass. It's as red as any beer I've ever had - really a beautiful color - with good amounts of head and decent lacing left behind.

Aroma can be detected from several feet away, both sweetness and a fair amount of hoppiness for an irish red ale.

Taste is impressive both in that their is ample sweetness as dictated by the style but more hoppy (as most american versions are) to bring a nice sense of balance to the equation. That sam adams yeast is recognizeable.

Mouthfeel is appropriate for the style, as I know it, being medium bodied and medium-light carbonation.

Very enjoyable as a session beer and one of my favorite sam seasonals.

Photo of leif86
3.93/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The body of the brew is a clear, dark red on the coppery side. The head is off-white and foamy about an inch thick that eventually yields light lacing.

S: Roasted malts, maybe some roasted nuts. Smells sugary.

T: Sweet and malty, a little bit of a raisin taste, finishes well balanced as the hops begin to come through. The taste lingers briefly (10 secs or so).

M: Little tingle from the carbonation, but not over done. Goes down smooth and not at all sticky.

D: Despite the strong malt character the beer isn't heavy. I could drink many of these. I really like this beer. SA gets a lot of flack as of late, and especially for their newer brews but I really dig this particular one. No, it's not great, but it's a really solid brew that is widely available and not overpriced.

Photo of IPAs4lyfe
3.9/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Dark reddish amber color that is slightly hazy, nice sized off white head that dissapates somewhat quickly with some decent lacing.

S: Caramel malt, slight smell of earthy hops, not too much going on here.

T: Lots of malt up front, caramel with some honey, then the earthy hops come in creating a wonderful balance with a crisp, dry and somewhat spicy and tangy finish, very nice.

M: Medium bodied, good carbonation, goes down smooth.

D: Could be sessionable, smooth and pretty good drinkability. I really liked this one, would have been an A if the smell was a little more interesting but I guess that goes with the style. Recommended.

Photo of daythree16
4.05/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark red/brown that looks like really strong iced tea. Has a thin tan/off-white head that doesn't stick around for long.

Smells like caramel and roasted malt with a slight whiff of aromatic hops. The taste is sweet toasted malt with a hint of herbal bitterness and a slightly dry finish. Pretty delicious.

The mouthfeel is medium. Highly sessionable. Overall, this is one of the better Sam Adams offerings.

Photo of happygnome
3.78/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: pours a very nice deep red color with about a half inch of head that dissapears fast leaving no lacing
s: caramel malts, earthy hop bitterness in the background, thenose isnt too strong
t: caramel malts, tea? earthy hop bitterness
m: medium bodied beer with a good amount of carbonation

overall, this was a good irish red buti dont think that i will buy it again

Photo of Chugmonkey
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep reddish brown color with a big foamy off white head that settles but never totally disappears.

Mmmm, spicy, earthy zinginess to the nose that excites me cuz I know they didn't skimp me on the hops.

Taste is a wonderful caramel malt that is followed up by a spicy, earthy hoppy finsh. Excellent balance here!

Oh yeah, I could have several of these no problem.

This is a great balancing act of a beer here. It has a heartiness that really satisfies. Nice creaminess, not watery. This is a solid beer. I loved it.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright bonfire orange with a modest infusion of fire engine red. What an outstanding hue for an Irish red ale. The wonderful looking crown makes the appearance score an easy call. The foam is pale caramel in color and has a rich, mousse-like texture. Loads of lace are like icing on the proverbial cake. One of Sam's best so far.

In my opinion, beer of this style has a difficult time standing out when it comes to aroma. SAIR is no different. It's fairly low on power and features a light caramel maltiness along with a whiff of earthy hops. If it opens up with warming, the score will be increased accordingly. Note: it does, just not enough.

This is pretty good beer that isn't the standout I was hoping for. On a good note, it hits every one of its style marks in the smack dab center. Anyone who wants to know what IRAs taste like would do well to start here... especially since Sam Adams beer should be widely available throughout the land.

On a 'not so good, but not bad either' note, the flavor profile isn't very broad or very deep. Perhaps I'm expecting too much of a humble Irish red, who knows? Semi-sweet caramel malt combines with a pleasant tea leaf-like flavor and bitterness, resulting in a balanced beer that is impressively drinkable. It must be since the bottle is almost gone already.

The mouthfeel is right on the money. It has just enough expansive creaminess to let me know that the boys from Boston are on their game once again. In spite of their recent problem with their bottle vendor, quality control is never a problem with this brewery.

Samuel Adams Irish Red is a prototypical Irish red ale that is very, very close to being good beer. Hell, it is good beer, but I can't quite pull the trigger on the next highest flavor score. I will definitely be coming back to this one in the future.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.95/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium reddish brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, tea, some spice and a little bit of hops.

T: The taste is malty but not too heavy with flavors of caramel, tea, honey and spice. There's a decent hops presence to provide some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a good beer to drink for a long time if you're in the mood for the style.

Photo of atsprings
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Boston Lager glass a nice crisp light copper with a decent frothy off-white head that diminishes to a ring and leaves great lacing. Aroma was slight caramel malts and a very slight hint of hops. The taste was a nice amount of caramel malt with pine hops lingering in the background and coming through in the finish. The beer is light, smooth and crisp with decent carbonation. I must say this is an enjoyable beer, however, if in the mood for the style, I'd more than likely just go with Harpoon or Murphy's.

Photo of TexIndy
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle with a dating notch on the side into a pint glass. It was a nice rich ruby color. There was a lot of suspended yeast in there and a little carb as well. It had a small off-white head that quickly settled into a thin collar. Just a hint of lacing. The smell was heavily sweet malt with caramel overtones. I almost found it to be too sweet - almost distracting - which had me worried about the taste being too sweet. It wasn't. It was a solid Irish Red Ale. It's not my favorite style although I do like to detour here once in awhile to get away from the hop bombs. I'd like to try it on tap but probably won't be buying many sixers of it.

Photo of PatrickJR
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass.

A - Nice bright red, transparent, with 2-3 fingers of off-white head. Decent retention and great lacing.

S - Toasted malts with some caramel sweetness, vanilla even, with a touch of earthy hops.

T - Sweetness takes hold upfront with lots of caramel and vanilla, begins to dry out mid-palate with some toasted malt. Late palate the brew really dries out with some hop character, but it's only vaguely flavorful and mostly contributes bitterness.

M - Smooth and medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

D - A great beer aside from the growing bitterness in the finish. Reminded me of what I always thought Killian's "should be" but the bitterness in the end is a bit much for the style.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.98/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The first words I saw written about this beer compared it to Killian's Red and Killarney's Red Lager. I forget where that was, probably at a liquor store in New Jersey, but it's unimportant. It's obvious that that's what this beer is about. (...oh, they forgot Smithwick's).

That said, it's a bit darker in color than Killian's or Killarney's but probably right on for Smithwick's. It has a creamy yellowed tan head that indicates we're talking about an all-malt beer (some of the previously mentioned brands utilize adjunct). It has average retention and lacing. The nose is malty, expressing clean, medium-level caramel. Delicate, spicy and floral hops balance it. In the mouth it's medium bodied and creamy. The Samuel Adam's yeast character is present in the flavor. Otherwise it's just very basic and clean: straightforward caramel malts and lightly spicy/gently grassy/moderately floral hops backed by a firm bitterness. Very nice. Very drinkable. Superb balance. For the price I couldn't see passing this up for Smithwick's, and it's much better than Killarney's. Very enjoyable! A nice addition to the Samuel Adams line-up.

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