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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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2,354 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,354
Reviews: 973
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 14.74%
Wants: 33
Gots: 166 | 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:
Beer added by: WilliamPhilaPa on 08-24-2007

Pale and Caramel malts, and East Kent Goldings hops.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,354 | Reviews: 973 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of leif86
3.91/5  rDev +13%
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
3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
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
3.76/5  rDev +8.7%
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
3.71/5  rDev +7.2%
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
3.71/5  rDev +7.2%
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
3.73/5  rDev +7.8%
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
3.97/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

Photo of JBogan
4.03/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear amber with a good tan head which left above average lacing.

Caramel and malts are both the predominate taste and smell of this beer. Nicely balanced and inviting.

Medium to thick mouthfeel with a fair amount of carbonation, just about right for this type of beer.

This was a beer which was enjoyable and gave good bang for the buck. It was on sale for under $7 a six pack and came with a nice Sam Adams glass to boot.

Photo of cdkrenz
4.18/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Lots of carbonation. So much that it sounds like you're pouring a soda. The head is a medium tan color standing about an inch tall. The body is a deep amber-purple color. This is a very good-looking Red.

S - Robust scent of a Belgian. It has a nice malty aroma and best of all it makes me thirsty.

T - Solid Red flavor with a nice hint of plum. It has a very flavorful hop taste that's not at all overwhelmingly bitter. Very nice!

M - A bit coarse on the top of my mouth but nice and wet which offers a refreshing feel.

~ This is another very impressive brew from the folks at Sam Adams. I'm certainly going to have this beer again, and I look forward to it. Anyone liking a good Irish Red will without a doubt be pleased with this brew.

Photo of GJ40
3.73/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12oz bottle.

A - A deep amber color with good clarity and a small head.

S - Sweet, malty and nutty.

T - Sweet, bready and biscuity with a slightly bitter and hoppy finish. A nice smooth taste. No off flavors at all.

M - Good body and carbonation.

D - This is a very smooth and easy to drink beer. As with most Sam Adams offerings, it isn't particularly creative or over the top but it is solid and reliable. I'd definitely drink it again.

Photo of GoodKnight1220
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle to a glass.

Was a nice deep redish brown with a light head.

Much like the flavor of a brown ale, a tad yeasty, but sweet, earthy, and spicy all come together to a smooth finish that is slightly bitter and asking for more.

Very drinkable with anything and refreshing.

Photo of cracgor
3.45/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out darker brown with a light tan head. Has a pretty good smell of low key hops. The smell and taste all remind me of a brown ale. I'd like it to be a little bit more distinct. It's good and easy to drink with or without food but it just doesn't have any unique characteristic to it.

Photo of DarrellK
3.92/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm not usuually a fan of the style but this brew standsout.

Pours to a thin head and a decent malty aroma. Color is a bit darker than a Sam Adams Lager and with a hint of ruby.

The mouth is quite substantial for the style and way nicer than say a Killians.

The finish is a nice balance of the malt and hops, a sort of sweet tart tending toward the sweetness of the malt.

An intersting version of the style which has aspects of a malty lager with a pinch of ale.

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

Pours a nice deep red color with a thick off-white, almost reddish head that is a little lumpy. The head thins but remains around 1/4" for quite a while. Nice sweet malty aroma with maybe a hint of floral hops. Pleasant caramel malty initial flavor that has a delayed transition to a more earthy malt aftertaste and a lingering mild bitterness. A llittle bit sweet but still nice. Medium bodied and maybe just a little syruppy with active carbonation. Overall, this is a good bet and worth trying.

Photo of armock
4.3/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a nice ruby color with a tan head some lacing

S - Is a lot of sweet caramel malt

T - This stuff is good the sweet malt comes out very well and is balanced with some hops

M - This is a medium bodied beer with medium carbonation to it

D - I could drink this stuff all night long very sessionable great taste worth getting

Photo of demitriustown
2.98/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle: A nice caramel malt up front in the aroma with definite grassy hop characteristics intermingled with a sweetness that is pleasing. Pours a clear amber color with a medium long lasting off white head. Taste is got a definite herbal hop characteristic, malt is on the back end. An interesting brew, i am kind of torn with this one. It's nice and interesting but the aftertaste is watery. Overall, I think it's alright, interesting indeed, and rather strange on my palate right now to give it anything but an average rating.

Photo of Beerislife652854
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sam Adams Irish Red is an outstanding brew.

A - Poured into a standard pint glass produces a crystal clear ruby red color when held up to the light. Nice prominent head lasts through the entire drink and laces the inside of the glass thoroughly.

S - Hints of caramel, malt, strong hops and hints of cherry.

T - A perfect balance of bitter hops and sweet barley.

M - Carbonation level is near perfect. Very balanced, goes down smooth.

D - I could drink this beer all weekend long.

Photo of penguinjive7
4.1/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice mahogany color with a thin tan head.

Smell is of toasted and caramel malt with a buttery hint.

The taste is mostly malt with hints of buttered toast and mild earthy tones. The hops have a very slight presence, but are almost non-existent. The toastyness lingers in the finish and is very pleasant.

As with all of Sam Adams brews, I feel that the carbonation is a bit much for me, but not overwhelming.

Overall this is an extremely drinkable brew. I could easily session this one all night at home or in the pub. A solid brew all around.

Photo of Celt44
4.12/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a cloudy copper - frothy head lasts throughout with decent lacing.

Aroma - Very malty with hints of caramel. Raspberries too...

Taste - Malts jump out here - Stong Golding hops. Caramel and berries...

Mouthfeel - Smooth and creamy - carbonation not overbearing

Overall one of the best "Irish Ales" I've tasted. Boston Beer Co.'s hit this one on the head.

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

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a Samuel Adams shaped glass. Best before: 10/08. The body was golden amber/red. It was clear of sediment and bright. About two inches of light tan head formed and a nice cap of foam remain. Minimal lacing.

Smell was lightly spicy. Earthy. Almost an anise/licorice aroma.

Taste was also spicy. Rye-like flavor. Sweet maltiness. Light balancing bitterness. A solid offering from SA.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied with snappy carbonation.

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

Poured a slightly cloudy reddish brown with a thick fluffy head into my complimentary Samuel Adams Glass(Thanks Mr Koch!), had some good head retention and nice lacing.

Had a light semi sweet grainy smell.

Had a nice toasted malt body with a touch of chocolate, then finishes with a nice minor herbal and pine hop finish. Pretty light and balanced.

Mouthfeel was light with a nice bit of carbonation and a very dry finish.

Very easy to drink and enjoyable, a nice session beer without skimping on the flavor.

Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 2,354 ratings.