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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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2,357 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,357
Reviews: 974
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 14.74%
Wants: 33
Gots: 169 | 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: 2,357 | Reviews: 974 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Natural510
4.05/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light-amber from 12oz bottle with very thick head presence. Some dissipates, but enough lasts to add character to the brew.
Malty nose, with hints of toffee & cinnamon.
Sweet malts with caramel & apple qualities come off here, along with cookie spices such as cinnamon. Given all that, it is not syrupy-sweet but instead rather smooth & well-balanced.
Very foamy, but not very carbonated in the mouth sense. That is acceptable, as too much carbonation would affect the flavor palate.
All in all, a very smooth & refreshing Irish red, one of the best I've had. Now if only they could make more of this quality on the Isle itself...

Photo of TAMU99
3.51/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sam has trouble brewing a bad beer (except that cherry lambic...ugh). This one is very good as well. Red-tinted amber with a lacy head. Smells of honey, spring and moss. Hearty hoppy bite well balanced by sweet malt. Smooth mouthfeel with a crisp finish and little aftertaste. Very drinkable. I'm not a red fan, but this one is very good.

Photo of merlin48
3.95/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle pours a clear copper body with a small beige head that strews some respectable lacing on the glass. Aroma is toasted caramel, red apple skins, and spicy hops. Light medium body is moderately carbonated. Taste mirrors the aroma, with toasted caramel malt and a bittering spicy hop profile. Some earthiness is also noted. Very nice example of the style and pleasantly drinkable.

Photo of RobH
3.98/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams glass on May 9th with a "purchase-by" month of August notched on the label.

I had tasted this beer back when they were taking consumer votes between this beer and a dunkel. At the time I voted for the dunkel.

Must say this is a very drinkable beer. Not the most inviting smell to my nose, but it definitely tastes better on that palate than just through the olfactory.

It's a somewhat chilly (60-something degrees), rainly spring day here in Wash. D.C. and this beer seems to go perfectly with this weather and temperature.

I would recommend this beer.

Photo of SMark
3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was poured into an imperial pint glass at 46° with a beige, carbonated head of approximately 3 fingers. There was a nice lacing effect as the head slowly dissipated. The bottle had a brewery-fresh taste purchase before month notched on the label. The beer was reddish amber and slightly hazy.

A little bit of the malt aroma was detected during the pour and seemed to be predominant there after. It was an aroma I enjoyed.

Taste was malty with a bit of bitter. The malt was pretty straight forward, balanced and pleasant.

The mouth feel was dominated by the malt with a bit of hop bitterness hanging on to the cheeks later and malt climbing over the roof of the mouth and into the olfactory senses.

This beer thinned out a little over time but I could still sit down and have two or three in a session without complaint.

Photo of plaid75
3.91/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a medium amber hue with a three finger creamy off white head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured some sweet and toasted malts with a touch of diacytl.

The taste consisted of an upfront soft caramel malt, some burnt sugar and diacytl.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style and creamy.

Overall a flavorful and complex ale.

Photo of Bighuge
4.15/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Scarlet red body. Thin and slightly bubbly beige head leaves some pretty decent lace along the way. Pretty strong aroma of toasted malts and spicy hops. Flavor brings more of the same. Really decent effort at an Irish Red. Sweet caramel with some light toasted bread notes and a sweet lingering flavor. Hops add just a touch of dryness. Easy going feel on the palate and quite drinkable. Solid.

Photo of BamaBeerBuff
3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

July 2008 notched as the freshness date. This is the companion beer from the sampler pack I bought with the guy whose review is below mine.

A: Very, very deep amber red color with a decent-sized light tan/cream colored head that settles quickly. Good rings of lace all the way down the glass.

S: Toasted and caramel malts. Some herbal, citrus hops in the background. Nice, strong aroma.

T&M: It has an initial caramel malt sweetness blended with light toasted malt. Oily mild hops make their entrance mid-way through and bitter it just enough to balance the malt sweetness. Finish is mildly dry with both hints of toasted malt and hop bitterness. It's got a very intriguing flavor--it's balanced, but not so much as to make it boring, there's still a lot going on. It's got a slightly oily mouthfeel with a body that's on the slightly heavy side of medium. Enough carbonation to tickle the tongue. For all its malty flavors, a slightly heavier body would benefit this beer greatly.

D: Definitely sessionable--it's got a medium body and an intriguing flavor that keeps me interested. I wish I could find it in six-packs here, this one was only in a sampler 6 pack with 2 Honey Porters and 2 Black Lagers.

Photo of AmishT
3.96/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured into a pint class; beer settled into a deep amber/red color with about a 2 finger, off-white head. Fresh-taste date present on label.

S - Sweet malts and flowery hops with a hint of caramel.

T - Initial flavor is that of the sweet malts, and then the bitter hops make their presence known in a big way during the after-taste

M - Good carbonation, smooth, and light-bodied

D - Good drinkabilty. Irish red would make for a pretty good session beer if only the ABV was a tad bit lower

The thing that really stood out to me about this beer, besides the red color, was the earthy, hoppy aftertaste. I really enjoyed this brew.

Photo of shroompod
3.98/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours red , small head , a little lacing.

Not getting anything from the nose. could be allergies.

Light hop snap up front , some grainy roasted caramel coming through.

Mouthfeel is light , somewhat drying. Good carbonation.

Overall a nice easy drinking possible session beer I wouldn't turn down.

Photo of Blakaeris
3.66/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep coppery red. Head is off white, but crisp by contrast to the body. Thick and sticky with very nice lacing. Really looks great.

Aroma is of toasted malt, nutty, with slight herbal hops.

Taste is nicely toasted malt, nutty and smokey. Sweet light fruit appears in the middle, but is in turn overwhelmed by a woody, herbal bitterness. Crisp finish is spicy with lingering alcohol notes.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Smooth and slick. I would prefer a heavier feel.

Flavor is smooth and enjoyable. There are certainly more aggressive scotch ales out there. This one has a milder flavor profile that makes a nice easy drinking session brew.

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

A- Dark amber color with very clear, but not transparent, a nice white head that sticks around.

S- Nice roasted malt notes with a slight sweetness to it.

T- Much like the smell roasted malts and a slight sweetness, but a little bitterness on the finish.

M- Medium bodies and it even coats your tongue a little, I like the bitterness on the finish.

D- It goes down very easy and I would have no problem drinking a six pack.

Photo of BMoney575
3.41/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sampled on 4-27-08
Best before 9-08

Pours a hazy red color, with an off-white head that lasts forever as a thin layer. Thick lacing hangs on the sides of the glass.

Smell is subtle malt, with a sweet fruity edge.

Taste is sweet malt at first, followed by a slightly fruity, peaty hop bite. Bitter, but not super flavorful.

Mouthfeel is good, thick, but the carbonation seems a bit fizzy.

Drinkability is good, it's just not my style.

Overall, a solid beer, good for something different.

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

A-Pours a deep amber with about a .75" head that disipated over 5 min without much lacing. It smells slightly sweet and malty. It has a strong malt taste with slight earthen tones that I would associate with a bock. Very faint earthy taste though with some molassas or caramel. The mouth feel is smooth and crisp. I had this out of our refridgerator and not the beer cellar but still has good taste regardless of temp. It was very drinkable and would go with some roast and potatoes very well. I've had it with meat loaf and it was great. That's what I love about Irish Reds is that they go very well with beef. Very drinkable and I would not mind having a few during a session.

Photo of SpecialK088
3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into sams own glass

A-Pours a deep amber slight head on it with pretty good laceing throughout
S-Light not overpowering sweetness and malt scent
T-Malty flavor very full and rich also had a hint of carmel
M-smooth not overly carbonated
D-I liked this beer quite a bit over alot of reds that i have had, its light and very easy to drink.

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

12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams Uber glass.

Pours a clear amber with 2 fingers of foamy light caramel colored head. Retains into a thin layer across the top that yields some fairly large lacing. The aroma is a little light with some notes of roasty malts, sweetness, and a touch of citric fruits.

The taste is a mix of mellow breadiness and sweet caramel malts with some tart citric tones and a moderate amount of earthy hop bitterness running through the middle. The mouthfeel is intially medium but then thins out a little towards the finish.

This was one of the better SA offerings I've had lately, packing a pleasant flavor profile and at only 5%, quite the nice sessionalbility as well.

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

pours a deep clear ruby firery red beer with a tan head that dissipates, leaving a wall of lace.

Smells of caramel sweetness and tons of it! The smell has me wanting to taste.

Taste is dominated by the malt, but in a good way. The hops are there, but they simply hide in the background while the caramel malt stands in the forefront delivering a ton of flavor. The flavor of East Kent Goldings do come in later to provide the earthiness that brings it all together. An almost tea-like bitterness from the hops hits the back of the tongue. The mouthfeel is great. Good coating of the tongue allows the flavors to sit and stay a while. Carbonation seems on the lighter side, but probably helps the beer to shine. I know little about what this style is supposed to be, but this beer shouldn't be anything else than what it is: tasty.

I wish I could get this in sixers rather than the brewmaster's mix pack.

Photo of crayphish
3.49/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This BBC offering pours a clear medium brown liquid with a sudsy large head. Plenty of thick lacing. Pretty good amount of carbonation as well. Smell is muted and faint. What I do get is malty and sweet. Taste is better. A nice creamy malt front. Roasted nuttiness. Sweet but balanced. A hint of a bittering hop finish. A solid come back. Mouthfeel, despite the malt character, is somewhat refreshing. I found this to be an enjoyable brew, and one that I will look forward to during it's next release.

Photo of FleeVT
3.56/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12oz bottle with no date into a nonic.

A: A hazey coppery orange ale with a tan white head that pours about 2 fingers thick and settles down to a half finger.

S: Lots of malts balanced with a caramel sweetness. There is something else in the nose that I can't place, almost like overripe (almost rotting) fruit.

T/M: A well balanced brew that starts off with caramel malts, hints of pear, then a moderate dose of alcohol. The the follow through brings hops and more of the caramel malts along with a tangy sourness that may be part of the earthy tone they are going for. A nice light bodied ale with average carbonation.

D: A good offering and I will definitely return. My only complaint is with a brief funk I picked up in the nose.

Photo of Foxman
3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours a very clear coppery amber with centered flashes of genuine red. A finger of light tan head sustains as expected before it slips to a thin layer of surface froth. Lacing is thin but plentiful.

The aroma is distinctly roasty and notably sweet with a pushy yet vague fruit component. The hops are thin and grassy and the yeast has a slightly off tang to it.

Upon tasting, the malt is at once fruity sweet and earthy with roasted nuts. There's also a distant but present smokiness. The hops douse the burgeoning candy sweetness with a more focused floral hope presentation. The yeast comes through with some residual malt, yielding a doughy, biscuit piece. The finish is quite crisp and clean, with a lingering bitterness that is nicely apt. The flavor profile is perhaps a stretch stylistically, but no matter, it's enjoyable.

Light bodied, it flows thinner than I'd hope, flying across the palate and leaving little behind in the end, but it does impress a bit while it's there.

This is one of the stronger Sam Adams offerings I've come across, Longshot winners notwithstanding. It's crisp and clean with a tinge of sass and earth. It's pretty much the definition of a session beer, and it all comes together to wind up tasty and drinkable. It's become one of my wife's favorites, so I won't mind at all having it around.

Photo of Spidey13
3.17/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Samuel Adams Irish Red pours an amber/red iced tea color with a light tan head that leaves a fair amount of lacing behind while drinking. It puts off a very nice sweet, roasty aroma with a hint of grassy hops in the background. However, the taste really didn't impress me. Not a whole lot going on up front and mainly some astringent bitterness in the back and into the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is good and medium with a high amount of carbonation. Though not horrible, I was a little disappointed in this beer.

Photo of Traquairlover
3.2/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12-oz bottle poured into apint glass.

A = Murkey red amber, with a tan head that dissipates quickly, medium lacing on glass.

S = Light smell of grains, sourness of yeast, pretty subdued. Pretty average for an Irish red.

T = Taste is maybe a little stronger than the smell. Light grinas, sour yeast as iun the smell but also some white pepper and a little butter in the finish.

M = Light to medium-light body, too strong carbonation, only slight mouthcoating.

D = This is not an unpleasant beer, but it really doesn't strike me as any better than average in terms of whether I want to search it out and drink it again.

Photo of dacrza1
2.86/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bright red/brown hue with a thin white cloud of a head--soft appearance overall... malty roastedness with a hint of hops--pleasant but not characteristic... medium-bodied palate, fizzy and back-mouthed...thin straight to the throat... the malt/hops balance is easy on the tastebuds, but leaves little on the way--a bit of toasted sweetness, perhaps... not distinguishable (not necessarily a diss) in its characteristics--a peaceful brew, probably pairing well with pizza or pub fare--an average approximation of the style... hate to evoke the wallet in a review, but too much like McSorlley's to be twice the price....

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.

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.

Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 2,357 ratings.