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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.

2,334 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,334
Reviews: 969
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 14.74%
Wants: 31
Gots: 133 | 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
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Ratings: 2,334 | Reviews: 969 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ericj551
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Sam Adams Irish Red pours a deep red/ amber with two fingers of white head that fades. The aroma is dark crystal malt and earthy, almost dirty hops. The crystal dominates the flavor with lots of dark fruit. The beer is very malty without being overly sweet. The malt is balanced by a crisp bitterness and loads of earthy slightly floral hops. The finish is dry and smooth but the beer's heaviness detracts from its drinkability.

ericj551, Apr 13, 2008
Photo of tempest
3.95/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is good. It immediately reminds me of the Thomas Hooker Irish Red Ale. The Sam Adams, however, is drier yet very rich in flavor. There's a dry caramel and toffee flavor similar to the Boston Lager, but it's complimented by spicy and smokey flavors like you'd expect out of a Scotch ale. It may be a little off for the style, btu it's still darned tasty. This is very much an American interpretation of the style. The flavors are big and the yeast doesn't do much, but this is a must-try if you dig red ales.

tempest, Apr 12, 2008
Photo of Zorro
3.2/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Mildly chill hazed red ale with a thick tan head.

Sweet and malty with a slight banana aroma. Little bit of caramel and some fruity English ale yeast aroma. Little bit of bubble gum aroma, wonder if some Hefeweizen yeast got mixed in?

Creamy and a little sweet and fruity at the start with a solid amount of bitterness. Bubblegum flavor and faint Circus peanut candy flavor and a little woody. Malt is fairly strong.

Mouthfeel is OK.

This is OK, but I liked the Hooker Irish Red I had last night a lot better.

Zorro, Apr 12, 2008
Photo of williamherbert
3.63/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shiny and glassy red color. Chunky oatmeal-like head. Clear with lots of carbonation bubbles. Some icy lace.

Heavy bitter German-style malt. Has some bitter sweetness; a certain liqueur pungence. Hints of a winter ale aroma.

Surprising bitter hop flavor which works with the malt. Decent hint of dry yeast. Hops add a taste that improves on the smell. Bitter upon bitter, but with a cherry sweet end. Sweeter as it warms.

Feels thick and a little chewy. Tiny burn on the way down. It's a bit of a choker but nicely balanced. Above average.

williamherbert, Apr 12, 2008
Photo of BigRedN
3.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass the beer is a orangey brown. My pour produced a nice 1 inch white head that slowly faded to a thick cover on the liquid that leaves some good lacing.

Smell: Malty, somewhat sweet. Light caramel and bready aromas.

Taste: In line with the smell. Caramelly malts that come off a bit sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: I had two as part of a mixed 12 pack. An ok beer, but I do not find myself wanting anymore than the two that I have had tonight.

BigRedN, Apr 11, 2008
Photo of ZAP
4.1/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours an orangeish red color...

S-Very inviting..toasted caramel...toasted almonds and pistachio's...some mild dark fruits too....very impressive

T-Toasted notes stand out...caramel...also the pistachio is very evident...some earthy hop notes...and the dark fruits are there too...all blends nicely into a unique and tasty beer.

M-Medium bodied...firm carbonation....

D-Easy drinking but a beer with some depth and character. Quality brew...and fortunately it lacks the "butterscotch" notes I am finding more and more in the SA beers in my neck of the woods.

ZAP, Apr 10, 2008
Photo of Jwale73
3.9/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in my SA Sensory Pint glass. Purchase before August 2008 notched on the label. Poured a murky reddish-amber color. Three-quarter inch off-white head dissipated into a thin inconsistent skim of foam. Some watery lacing present during the tasting, but weak adherence. Scent of malt predominates with perhaps a hint of caramel sweetness. Taste similar to nose. Not too much complexity here. Very mellow mouthfeel and somewhat of a smooth buttery sensation; however, the mild carbonation helps keep it a little lively. Nice sessionable brew. Solid representation of the style and easy to quaff

Jwale73, Apr 09, 2008
Photo of BeerSox
4.1/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into nonic.

Crystal clear red amber hue with a light tan thick and frothy one finger head. The head settles to a thick cap leaving behind a solid wall of lacing.

Sweet brown sugar along with some banana bread like aromas. Almost has a hefe weizen style aroma, with a little more bitterness in the background from the hops.

Creamy hops with some caramel and burnt sugar mixed in. The hoppiness is very mild, giving a leaf-like flavor (tea). Medium bodied with good carbonation. The finish is some lingering grain with a tiny bit of clove.

This is a very complex and extremely drinkable Irish Red Ale. It may not be ultra-authentic, but it's a solid beer from Sam Adams. They did a good job with this one. Recommended.

BeerSox, Apr 06, 2008
Photo of morimech
3.63/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish brown with a nice two-fingered off-white head that settles to a thin cap. A moderate amount of lacing left on the glass.

The malt and not much else is detected in the aroma. It is a pleasant slightly sweet caramel smell.

I would describe the flavor as a mellow malty beer with maybe a hint of smokiness deeply hidden behind the mild malt flavor.

Has a creamy mouthfeel but the body seems to be a bit on the thin side.

This beer is nothing extraordinary but like all SA beers it does a good job of representing the syle.

morimech, Apr 06, 2008
Photo of choyhosoi
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a bottle into a glass

A-pours a nice red/brown color with a creamy white head that slowly lingered into nothing. There is some nice lacing here.

S-A nice fruity smell is prevelant also picking up a cherry like scent.

T/M/D-Hopps are pretty apparent in the first sip but one could get used to that. Not too much carbonation. This is a very drinkable brew. This brand has yet too dissappoint

choyhosoi, Apr 06, 2008
Photo of jadpsu
4.05/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this beer into a beerclean glass and marveled at the appearance. Great translucent amber red with copious head and brussels lacing.

The aroma is one of maltiness. Toasty maults of toffee and caramel are the strongest. A tinge of hops hit late.

The same toffee and sweet caramel malts come through moderately in the taste. The mouthfeel is only a surprisingly moderate to thin. The beer does not have strong flavors but is quite flavorful, smooth and creamy.

jadpsu, Apr 04, 2008
Photo of Greggy
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a large, fluffy 2 finger head that very slowly recedes into some nice clinging lace and a fluffy cap. The color is a nice red/brown and I am pretty impressed to see just a slight amount of bottle sediment.

Smell- Huge malt and hops but with great balance. I pick up a bit of cherries, but not a whole lot else.

Taste- I initially taste some darker caramel malt, some smoke, dry/slightly hoppy finish. It's simple, but the smokiness is unique.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation that is lightly spritzy. Spot of the the style. The finish in the mouth is a little plain, however.

Drinkability- I'm not a huge irish red fan, but this one is unique from the others. I may revisit it again sometime or another.

Greggy, Apr 04, 2008
Photo of WaveRebel51
3.9/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a nice beer. Has a nice, deep red appearance but I though the smell was sort of funky and mossy. Very smooth malt taste with a nice balance of hop bitterness. While no one thing really stands out, this is a solid, easy drinking beer and definitely one of my favorite offerings from Sam Adams.

WaveRebel51, Apr 02, 2008
Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.48/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Caramel/rusty-amber color, good clarity, great head.

Spicy hop and dense malt in the nose. Light fruit.

Pretty beefy malt up front flows with some roast and plenty of toffee/caramel sweetness, fairly viscous. Lots of roasted/sugary malt. Spicy cool hops remind me of a winter spice beer. Backbone of toast and bread flavors. A little bitterness kicks in.

Not bad, not particularly outstanding. It was an enjoyable brew, but I don't have a desire to try it again.

MrHungryMonkey, Apr 02, 2008
Photo of jasonjlewis
3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amazing head and retention, 3 fingers thick head. Ruby brown in color and I can see my fingers through the glass.

Oh so enticing aroma. Toffee and caramel malts with some apple and fruity phenol underneath. Tofee sweetness comes out and tells me, drink this damn beer already.

This beer is sweet and somewhat phenoly, but nicely done. Caramel malts and tofee come out to start and are followed by a little bit of dry tannins and a slight astringency. This is followed by a dry bitterness. It's almost like there was a slight brewing flaw or something. This beer had the makings of a great beer on the nose, but falls a little short on the palate. It seemed like it had so much potential. AS the beer warms it has a sort of raisiny undertone.

Mouthfeel is full, crisp and refreshing.

Overall the tannins are a little out of whac and create a little bit of off flavors. I wonder what happened. I expected a little bit more after getting a whiff.

jasonjlewis, Apr 02, 2008
Photo of Vancer
4.1/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Now this is one tasty ass red. It has a strong, dominating presence of a woody and leathery backbone to really make it interesting. Leave it up to Sammy to show BMC how to brew the good ones.

Part of the summer sample pack with the infamous Scotch ale, I will back for more as each one is a classic - the brown, black and honey porter with the standard lager.

This copper red ale with the sticky white head looked damn fine in the freebie
Sammy glass.

Vancer, Apr 01, 2008
Photo of RunawayJim
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber-red color with a 2 finger white head that dies down to about a half finger and hangs around for a while and leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

Smells malty with a very slight hint of hops.

Tastes quite malty, I get some caramel malts in there. It's on the sweet side, but there's definitely some hops presence to balance it out. It's quite tastey.

It's light-medium bodied with a nice easy drinking mouthfeel. It goes down very well and is a very drinkable beer. This is a good "sit back and watch the game" beer. I'm glad I decided to try it.

RunawayJim, Mar 29, 2008
Photo of Kemmerlin
3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Thumb thick head that disappeared in 3 minutes. The color was bright dark red.

S: Malty all over with some strawberry or peach poking through and some faint hops which indicates to me the fruit smells are the hops.

T: Bland in the front but fruity in the back and the aftertaste is malty and smokey kinda like toast.

M/D: Very drinkable since it is light in the mouth because of smell and after flavor I would buy again.

Kemmerlin, Mar 29, 2008
Photo of donteatpoop
3.6/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A beautiful ruby red with a nice adequate tan head that laced nicely and clung to the sides of the glass throughout.

Had a bready/malty scent to it that was somewhat appealing, but not anything extraordinary.

Nice flavor, the malts are very evident in the taste. It was also a bit bitter, but not so much so that it disrupts the quality of the beer.

Very rich and creamy in the mouth with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

Went down smooth. Upon first swallow I wasn't sure how into the beer I was going to be, but half way through the glass I found it to be very satisfying.

I bought this in a six pack at a Giant Eagle, thankfully not in a variety pack like someone else had mentioned.

donteatpoop, Mar 29, 2008
Photo of garymuchow
4.18/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams glass. Many thanks to Boston Beer Co.
Nice rich malty aroma with a nice toasty character. Also contains a tea like quality, very similar to the one I've noted in Boston Lager - and this one bothers me less.
Big full head of a darker color (tan). Great amber color with distinctive red hue intermixed with orange and gold. Very clear. Lots of bubbles rising. Plenty of lacing and markings after the drinks.
Before the flavor I notice the rich and almost heavy mouth feel. Very satisfying. Then the almost intense malt flavors, with extremely briefly as sweetness, then as the previously noted toast, and then I guess noted in the feel. The middle to end is a mild hop bitterness, but as much hop flavor that mimics the tea aroma. In total is makes for a smooth, flavorful, rather rich drink. It goes down nicely and leaves a tasteful long lasting finish that leaves the desire for another.
Really nicely done. Now one of my Sam Adams favorites (along with the Cream Stout and Double Bock). Nicely done.

garymuchow, Mar 29, 2008
Photo of albern
3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Perhaps I'm just not that fond of Red Ales so therefore my rankings are slightly lower than average. The beer pours a very ruby amber with not much head, some lacing on the glass, but pretty much an uncarbonated, sticky feel on the glass. The smell is bready malts, some crisp hop aromas, and some unsweetened, dryish cherry hints. The smell is pretty typical of a red ale. There are lots of caramel malts, some balance between dry and sweet grain, some bread like flavors, but pretty much the dryish unsweetened cherry fruits are pronounced in the background. The mouthfeel and aftertaste are modest, and there is a dryish hoppiness in the finish. Not bad, but I'm just not a big red ale fan.

albern, Mar 28, 2008
Photo of xare
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured as a ruby red with a white foamy head that laced somewhat well for an irish red ale. Overall, rather pleased with the appearance.

Malty aroma predominated here and the aroma was mixed with the scent of toasted bread. Rather interesting...

Taste was a mix of flavors, from caramel malts and a fruity middle to a hoppy finish. Rather strange to get this combination but it certainly was interesting.

Mouthfeel was creamy, frothy, and had a bitter, hoppy finish to it. Overall, above average, but that finish detracted from the experience in my opinion. Although if you like that, you should definitely disregard my caveat.

Drinkability was above average. I would always finish this beer and would order it / drink it, but it wouldn't be at the forefront of my mind. Overall, it's a solid brew but I wouldn't say it's something to seek out tirelessly. Definitely give it a try though, if you can get ahold of it.

Only bad thing is it's only available in a mixed pack at the moment.

xare, Mar 27, 2008
Photo of Damian
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle
Purchase before AUG 2008

Poured a crystal clear, ruby red with a foamy, off-white, one-and-a-half finger head that faded to a thick ring of clingy froth. Sporadic droplets of lacing stuck to the sides of the glass.

The aroma was dominated by malt. Sweet and fruity. Biscuity, bready and almost cookie-ish at times.

The taste was malty yet balanced. Subtle caramel malt notes up front with a juicy, fruity, breadiness appearing in the center. Semi-sweet. The maltiness was rich and toasty. Overall, the beer seemed somewhat lager-ish, but with more fruity top notes. A touch of hops came through on the snappy and clean finish to balance things off.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied and finely carbonated. Creamy, frothy, light and fluffy on the palate.

I found this beer to be flavorful yet quite sessionable. Furthermore, I could see it pairing well with a variety of dishes.

Damian, Mar 26, 2008
Photo of TYE
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a fairly dark and clear reddish brown that produces a 1.5 finger dense off-white to tan head that dissipates fairly quickly to a covering producing some lace.
S - Malt and wine. Slightly alcoholic with a sweet grape smell like concord wine.
T - Sweet flavor of grapes is the majority backed by malt. The grape flavor overpowers a little, but is ok. A slight hop flavor is also present. Finishes a little grassy.
M - Pretty high carbonation, close to medium body, but feels a little too light. A slight hop bite, and finishes clean. Pretty crisp.
D - Overall pretty good. Not my favorite red, but drinkable. I wouldn't pass up another. Good session beer, if the grapey sweetness doesn't get tiring.

TYE, Mar 26, 2008
Photo of jaxon53
3.73/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served slightly chilled, in a pint glass, from a twelve ounce brown bottle. Anything from Sam Adams is worth a try in my opinion.

Appearance: Poured a deep amber red color, just bordering on ruby. Not a bit hazy. A semi hard pour yielded a good inch of thick, bubbly, off-white head. Decent retention here, some thick gobs of lace were left clinging to the glass.

Smell: Smells quite sweet. Loads of caramel and toffee. A big malt backbone that is balanced by a mild hop presence. A bit fruity, almost mixed dark berry like. Nose is quite rich and earthy.

Taste: A malt monster. Thick and sweet. A tiny touch of hops to balance out the sweetness. Hops are slightly bitter in the finish. A little more caramel in there, with a faint cherry Kool-Aid flavor in the background.

Mouthfeel: Has a crisp, clean, medium bodied mouthfeel. Plenty of fizzy carbonation is felt in the mouth.

Drinkability: Pretty drinkable and refreshing. Overall a pretty good red from Sam Adams.

jaxon53, Mar 26, 2008
Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 2,334 ratings.