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.

2,284 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,284
Reviews: 968
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 14.99%
Wants: 28
Gots: 108 | 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: 2,284 | Reviews: 968 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of torchedpunk
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%

It is close to St. Patrick's day so it's time to try the Irish Red.

Appearance- very carbonated and busy. Thick proteiny head of about an inch, dissipates quickly into a steady ring with a thin layer covering the top. But still holds the high carbonation.

Smell- a light earthy hop hint. Some floral notes. Definite carmel malt aroma. Very similar to an Oktoberfest, but still very carbonated.

Taste- First thing that hits is the steady caramel malt, with just a slight trace of hop character. It has a lovely nutty and floral after taste that sneaks up on you. Although it smells like an Oktoberfest, the taste does not resemble one. It's considerably mild, and is almost misrepresented by its thick head. Still a fine tasting brew from Sam Adams. I'd like to make the claim that the malt is very similar to the Boston Lager.

Overall it's a very nice drink for the pre-spring. A good transition from the dark winter brews now I'm just about ready for some bocks and then an abrupt change to light summer beers. Great for the Irish day, though I'll probably be switching to a tall Guinness. It might be an Irish Red, but it's an American beer and I'd rather drink the only Irish beer I'll drink on the only day that call for it.

torchedpunk, Mar 15, 2008
Photo of ewright
3.93/5  rDev +13.3%

A: A moderate pour into a pint glass yields a finger of head that rapidly dissipates to a ring of foam around the edge of the glass. The beer is a beautiful ruddy amber color. Nice lacing on the glass as the beer disappears.

S: The aroma is very subdued. There are slight hints of malt and caramel, but nothing is readily apparent.

T: What the beer lacks in aroma, it makes up for in taste! Big malt notes up top, enough hop bite to balance the sweetness, but it does not detract from the malt. There's a nice balance in the malt as well. Darker malts are present, but not overpowering.

M: Somewhat creamy... the carbonation keeps this one a light, flavorful drink.

D: One of the best of the SA Brewmaster series. I would love to see this in 6 packs ... the only place I've seen this one is in the mixed 12 packs.

ewright, Mar 15, 2008
Photo of jbsteiny
4.03/5  rDev +16.1%

Pours an attractive red-brown with very nice cream-colored lacing and a head that sticks around. Would be a five for appearance but for some chill haze. Smells of rich malts (caramel, roasted, toasted a little rum?), earthy ale hops, and a little honey? Appetizing. Tastes again of full malt flavors and English ale hops (Kent Goldings according to the label). A hint of spice? Nice example of the style, in my opinion. Medium to full-bodied, but the hops dry it out nicely. Another solid offering from BBC! I might have to change my bad attitude about Sam Adams -- the Brewmaster's Collection this year has been surprisingly good!

jbsteiny, Mar 15, 2008
Photo of budgood1
4.45/5  rDev +28.2%

pours out a nice looking auburn type colour, with a thin rocky head and chunky lace. sweet aroma...along the lines of some of ripe fruit and brown sugar. very inviting. the flavour is richly malty, with thick toffee and caramel notes, with an underlying spiciness that is quite earthen and herbal in nature from the EKG hops. heartily sweet but finishes dry. almost perfect. a thick body and full, luscious mouthfeel really round out and complete this delightful ale. drinkability is great. this just tastes delicious. i really dig this beer.

i am amazingly impressed by this new beer from SA. it's a great take on the style and should be a staple in every beer drinkers diet at this time of year. definitely recommended!

budgood1, Mar 14, 2008
Photo of Tilley4
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

One of my favorite Sam Adams offerings...

Deliciously red with a huge foamy head making this an extremely attractive brew...

Malt dominant aroma.. Strong caramel notes and maybe even some toffee..

Extremely smooth and sweet malts dominate the palate. I detect an almost fruity note in the background.. Very delicious...

I had this side by side with a Great Lakes Conway Irish and this was the clear winner...

Cheers to SA for this wonderful brew!!

Tilley4, Mar 14, 2008
Photo of toolbrew
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%

Had this beer for the first time tonight at an Irish Potluck I attended. It poured a deep mahogany red color with a white head. Had a nice malty smell. You could taste the malt and there was a crisp hoppy finish. You could sense the hops the most on the back of your throat.

I could have a couple of these at a sitting. Not big on the red beers but this was good.

toolbrew, Mar 14, 2008
Photo of trackstar1043
3.78/5  rDev +8.9%

A - Pours deep rich hue of copper, perfectly unclouded, minimal head of off-white almost tan.

S - Smells sweet and roasted malts, little traces of bitter hops or citrus, has a smokey character.

T - Suprisingly a bit light on flavor than what I was exspecting, it has a nive balanced taste, and bit on the sweeter side maybe carmels and roasted malts and nuts, alomost no bitterness.

M - Lighter bodied, light carbonation, clean crisp finish.

D - Extremely drinkable can easily put down one after another.

trackstar1043, Mar 13, 2008
Photo of andrewt960
4.1/5  rDev +18.2%

I thought this beer was delicious. I tend not to love all Sam Adams, but this was an exception. It poured a nice dark gold with a red hue to it. The head was nice, about a finger, but thinned quickly. Lacing was evident as there were some spots around the glass, just no distinctive rings. S: it was rather nice, it was a toasted, malty smell, and fuggle hops with a woody smell. It reminded me of the smell when walking into a brewery... the wart. I actually liked the smell. T:Tasted nice, velvety, carbonated with nice distinct red ale flavor. Very nice, wish I had more.

andrewt960, Mar 10, 2008
Photo of beeragent
4.13/5  rDev +19%

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz. bottle. The beer pours a deep red/copper color, forming a thick creamy 1 inch tan head. Medium spots of lace dot the glass. The aroma is dominated by strong sweet malts, with a hint of hops. Sweet and simple. The taste is smooth sweet malts, creating a creamy nutty light caramel flavor. Medium smooth mouthfeel. Full flavor and medium alcohol make for a highly drinkable ale. Overall, this is a great session ale. Definitely a new favorite from Sam Adams.

beeragent, Mar 10, 2008
Photo of bigdeuce
4.2/5  rDev +21%

Very toasty and sweet smelling, caramel malt on the nose. Pours a nice head and doesn't go away that quickly, leaving nice lacing. Tastes toasty as well, with some nice peppery spices and bready malt. Nice English tasting hops on the back with a bit of soury unpleasantness in the aftertaste. This is one of Sam Adam's best beers, however, IMO. It rivals Conway's Irish Ale, which is my favorite Irish Ale. This may be slightly better. Very nice session beer.

bigdeuce, Mar 09, 2008
Photo of jdubjacket
3.93/5  rDev +13.3%

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Pours a deep red (obviously) with a very large head. Good amount of lacing.

Smells is very sweet. I get some floral and banana aromas.

Taste is also very sweet. Tastes a little like caramel.

Overall, a very drinkable brew. Might be a little too sweet to be a session beer, but solid nonetheless.

jdubjacket, Mar 09, 2008
Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%

Poured a nice reddish brown, with a good sized light tan head.

Aroma of caramel malt, and spicy EKG hops. Pretty fairly balanced. Tastes is again caramel, and hop spice. A bit of a syrupy flavor, maybe from roasted malt. Mildly bitter finish.

This beer has good body, I was a bit filled up after two of them. Syrupy consistency to it, seemingly thick. Can't say I've drained too many of this style before so I don't really know if it's normal.

Drinkable beer though, as one would expect form this brewery.

ZimZamZoom, Mar 09, 2008
Photo of dmamiano
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Poured a beep mahogany. Small tan head and a fair amount of lacing.
Smells of malts, sweet with earthy hops. A bit of roastyness plows through.
Taste is a bit on the "thick" side. a bit muddled with an almost extract like taste. But malty and fairly good.
It was a good fall back beer after a dissapointing evening. (long story)

dmamiano, Mar 09, 2008
Photo of Grimes
4.03/5  rDev +16.1%

Pours dark red velvet into my snifter with a solid off-white head and very nice lacing.
Smell is refreshing caramel and light hops.
Taste is the same; caramel and hops, perfectly carbonated with a bitter finish.
Definitely one of my favorite reds, i will be sure to buy this again.

Grimes, Mar 08, 2008
Photo of AgingWarrior
4.05/5  rDev +16.7%

I opened this bottle with my brand new Sam Adams key chain bottle opener and poured it into my brand new Sam Adams beer glass!

It pours a nice dark red with just a bit of translucence. It pours a nice two finger head that hangs in there for a while and provides plenty of lacing.

The smell is a bit subdued, it's malty and a bit of a citrus smell, but not overpowering.

Taste is great! It's mellow and smooth with a that excellent Sam Adams mouthfeel and a great finish.

I could drink several of these in an evening and not want for anything else. I see many more of these in my immediate future.

AgingWarrior, Mar 07, 2008
Photo of Matty1918
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

Poured a red amber with a nice creamy head and good lacing.

Aroma is of malt and a slightly nutty with a bit of hops.

A slight bitter taste froom the hops but nothing like an IPA. It finishes with a slight nutty, spicey after taste.

A good tasting beer....you could drink this all night

Matty1918, Mar 07, 2008
Photo of sloejams
3.2/5  rDev -7.8%

Part of sampler pack.

Pours a lovely red (duh) almost crimson color. I can smell Fuggles and malt. The flavor is subdued - some crispy hops and also almost Earl Grey.

Irish Reds just don't have a TON of flavor to me. There are drinkable and there's subtleties there but I aside from pilsners - I like bigger flavor in my beer.

sloejams, Mar 07, 2008
Photo of stephens101
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%

Pours a somewhat clear amber with a fluffy tan head into the SA specialty glass. Retention and lacing are great. Smells of roasted malts, nuts, tea leaves and subtle pine. Taste has some sweetness which is quickly offset by hops and a slight spiciness. Light to medium bodied and fairly smoothing going down. Carbonation is adequate.

stephens101, Mar 07, 2008
Photo of whiplash3825
4.05/5  rDev +16.7%

Moderate pour graces the glass with a nice amber brew with a huge four-finger head that sticks around. Lots of lace.

Very nice smell, malty with fruit and caramel but with a solid hops presence in the nose also.

Taste isn't quite as good as the smell initially indicates, but good nonetheless. Nice balance between the malt and the hops... grainy with just a touch of sweetness. Nice medium finish.

Mouthfeel is okay but seems a tad thin. (Jeez... I think I say that for every beer except St. Bernardus' and hefeweizens!)

Excellent drinkability... goes down easy and super-smooth!

My first Irish Red, so I can't compare with other brands, but this is well-balanced and tasty! Me likes!

whiplash3825, Mar 07, 2008
Photo of shadow1961
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Sam Adams Irish Red pours a finger of light tan foam over a very cloudy
amber brew. Carbonation is slow and steady, and the nose is typically
fruity with a bit of an herbal hop aroma. The flavor is mellow, earthy
malts up front and a bit of an herbal hop finish. Mouthfeel is crisp and
a bit dry. All in all a creditable take on a simple, yet flavorful English
style. Go try some.

shadow1961, Mar 07, 2008
Photo of hopman333
4.85/5  rDev +39.8%

Had to pick up a sixer after reading the rave reviews here on the site. And after all, the Boston brewery is considered one of the old standby's along with Anchor, Sierra.

S - Very nice chocolate covered cherries with backing of those earthy Golding's hops, not quite enough hop aroma to give it a five, however that's not really fair to say given the style which is typically more malty than hoppy.

T - WOW !!! A rare and perfect balance between the malt and hops. I wish there were more beer's available like this one. Toasty and ripe caramel malt's followed up by a generous addition of peppery hop's. I also get a somewhat bready and crackery feeling as well, slightly pretzel like too.

Truly a session beer, and an awesome one at that. I wish they brewed this year round, as this would be a staple in my fridge. Glad I listened to my fellow B'A's on this one. As this is definately one great beer. Another hit from the boy's at Boston !!!

hopman333, Mar 07, 2008
Photo of madjr80
4/5  rDev +15.3%

I got this beer in one of the Sam Adams samplers. I had to say that it is one of the better Irish red beers you can find. A very malty taste/smell. It is not overly bitter, and has a subtle sweetness to it.Decent color and head retention. It is a very good session beer.

madjr80, Mar 07, 2008
Photo of ricchezza
4.05/5  rDev +16.7%

Pours a slightly hazey copper, red. Half inch or so of head.

Aroma is rich in malts. Hints of caramel.

The taste is much of the same. The first comparison that comes to mind is that somebody bottle a caramel coated dark crisp red apple. Don't let that give you the impression that this is at all fruity. It isn't. It has a malty sweetness, but the bitterness kicks in before it becomes unpleasently sweet.

I haven't had too much in the Irish Red department. But I absolutley prefer this over Killians and Murphy's.
I recommend this to someone looking for a tasty, easyily drinkable malty brew. I like it.

ricchezza, Mar 05, 2008
Photo of slvrmon82
3.85/5  rDev +11%

I real treat out of the brewers collection. I am a fan of the sam adams but I thought this still tasted a lot at the end like commercial boston lager. Apperance was a deep red with a nice 1 finger head that was there for most of the beer, Smell was nice and malty with lots of spice. The taste was very pleasant with the spice up front and the ale at the end. The mouthfeel was very creamy. The Drink was good but I would savor it more than drink it to drink.

slvrmon82, Mar 05, 2008
Photo of arguemaniac
3.78/5  rDev +8.9%

The malty palate features a rich toasted character with a nice smokey touch. The sweetness is subtle but sufficient, and the roasted caramel grain is quite tasty. The hops are mellow, but provide a decent balance.

This is the kind of brew that grows on you: at first taste, I wasn't overly impressed, but by the last sip, the roasted malt and delicious caramel had really won me over. Good interpretation of the style.


arguemaniac, Mar 02, 2008
Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 2,284 ratings.