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Samuel Adams Irish Red - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams Irish RedSamuel Adams Irish Red

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2,367 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,367
Reviews: 974
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 14.74%
Wants: 34
Gots: 178 | FT: 0
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: 2,367 | Reviews: 974
Photo of Kemmerlin
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

Photo of donteatpoop
3.61/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of jaxon53
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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

A couple days after St. Patrick's Day...

A: Pours out a nice dark ruby red with moderate off-white head. No haze.

S: Very bready and malty, but nothing else that I could pick up.

T: Dry, like rye toast and a mild hop finish that lingers. I liked it.

M: Decently creamy and felt good.

D: Went down really well. I look forward to another bottle of it.

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

Bright translucent red body, topped by four fingers of fine light tan foam, pours level with smooth pour, or a rocky mountain top with a rough pour. Scattered lacing.

Big bready aroma. Candy sweetness too.

Rich malty sweet start to the taste. Earthy noble hops arrive to balance the sweetness before adding a little hop bite at the swallow. Good malt/hop balance through the aftertaste.

Good smooth mouthfeel. A bit bigger than your typical Irish Red ale.

Better than average drinkability for the style. Maybe others you can drink more, this you want to drink more.

A solid addition to the Sam Adams line, it served well for St. Patricks Day.

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

12oz bottle, best before July '08, served in a standard (old school) SA pint glass.

A - deep red/amber color with a good sized beige head that settled to a layer, leaving some spotty lacing.

S - sweet toffee malt aroma.

T - pretty spot on for the style, sweet caramel, toasted malt flavor balanced nicely with a gentle, not overly bitter, bite on the finish.

M - medium bodied brew with crisp carbonation feel.

D - easy drinking, enjoyable brew.

Photo of adowney523
3.48/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a shaker pint glass. Color is a deep amber. Abundant carbonation produces an off-white head that fades slowly.

Smells faintly of bubble gum with a soft touch of caramel-like malt scent and rye bread-like spiciness.

Malt in the front is rather sweet and gives hints sweet bread and bubble gum. Subtle resiny hop bitterness in the finish gives balance.

Abundant carbonation and a dry finish make this beer smooth and easy to drink.

Drinkable, but not something I would go out of my may to seek out.

Photo of CNeilP09
3.73/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Interesting expression by the boston beer comp. first of all, i like the 5.5 abv.

off white frothy head, settles rather quickly. some glassy lacing. copper red brown in color. clean and clear too.

smells of sweet yellow fruits. a bit of coconut and caramel also on the nose.

rich and robust on the palate due to the caramel malts and pale malts. softened and grounded with east kent goldings. nice touch.

mouthfeel? feels like i'm drinking a beer.

good session beer. pick up a sixer and slam it down while watching the ncaa playoffs.

Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a frothy tan head that sticks and laces like a charm

Smell: Buttery caramel with a hint of tobacco

Taste: Starts oout sweet, with plenty of toasty caramel flavors that add a stone fruit jelly dimension by mid-palate; after the swallow, the flavors moderate, but there is an earthy hop element that sticks around to balance the sweet flavors; there is some butter in there too but it is kept in check

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Very nice stab at a style which often disappoints

Photo of osi
4.61/5  rDev +33.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - More brown than red. Mahogany with a red tint. Head was small and faded fast.

S - Great mix of malts and hops with fruit accents. Peaches and Pears?

T - Excellent combination of flavors that blend together with ease. Nothing stands out alone. Fruits and malts with a hop finish leaving a slightly bitter after taste.

M - Slightly carbonated with a medium body. Slick on the tongue and lingers for a second.

D - Great great beer. I would love to try this on tap somewhere. I love the brewmaster's packs from Sam Adams. There are always great beers included in the set and I believe they nailed the Irish Red. 100% Should give this a shot when you find it. I am pretty sure you will love it too.

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

Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this brew.

Best Buy July 2008

Poured into a SA glass a semi-clear golden brown color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger plus creamy tan head, lots of nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, and lots of caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, and some caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, a tasty brew, glad to have had a chance to try it, thanks Joe.

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

Pours a dark red-copper with big dense tan head and tons of creamy lacing. Smell: caramel malts, diacetyl, slight spicy hops. Taste: lots of sweet caramel malts upfront, floral and citric hops, sweet finish with hint of honey. Mouthfeel: very smooth and creamy with a sweet but drying finish. A tasty, extremely drinkable offering from SA.

Photo of ommegoose
3.82/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of the Samuel Adams Brewmaster's Collection this year. Takes the place of the Boston Ale. Best before August 08.

Sam Adams Irish Red pours out a nice cherry wood color. Pretty transparent. Could have been a bit deeper. A half inch head reduces to a thin layer on top after about two minutes. Later on becomes just a ring. No lacing. The weakest part of this beer.

I wish there was a bit more fragrance with this one. Very crisp, with the hops being a bit more prominent over the caramel malts. Smells a bit sweeter than it tastes, with a honey character. Improves a bit with warming.

This tastes a fair bit like the Boston Lager, but it's a heavier, bigger beer. The main difference is a maltier body with a solid amount of caramel flavor. Buttery, nutty notes are a plus. The finish is about the same as the Lager, with a nice spicy hoppiness. This is a strong point here. I like the hop blend. I don't normally get much out of this style, but this is nice.

Mouthfeel and drinkability are solid. It would not be hard to knock back a few of these. Not amazingly creamy, but still pretty smooth. I like that it packs a little punch at 5.5%. If I want to spend an evening or afternoon with these with the intention of feeling good I won't have to drink an entire sixer. I like having this one in the variety pack better than the Boston Ale. A very solid beer.

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

A: Pours a moderately deep amber-red with a thick, rocky head that settles to a thick lacing.

S: Light hops with a heavy dose of malt. A light lemon scent is also present.

T: Initially has a strong spice flavor but subsides to a nice malt flavor with a touch of hops in the background. Not much aftertaste.

M: Not too thick, not too thin. The spices slightly sting the tongue at first, but then it all turns creamy and smooth.

D: This is starting to sound like a broken record, but another damn fine craft beer from Sam Adams. Truly a Springtime classic. Get it while you can, preferably with some extras to store.

Photo of jwc215
4.15/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoy by July notched on label:

Pours reddish/orangish copper with a thick foamy off-white head that thins and lasts, leaving plenty of stickage on the glass.

The smell is of caramel maltiness with fruity/citric and apricot-like fruitiness. A nice spicy hop backing to the maltiness.

The taste is of caramel and grainy sweetness with lemony, cedary, earthy backing. Nice work with the East Kent Golding hops to support the caramel maltiness. Bitterness weaves in and out with a sweetish finish. A touch of alcohol comes through. Pretty complex for the style.

Creamy texture in a near-full body.

A nice, unique interpretation of the style. Good job bringing a hop kick to an otherwise malty drink. Sure beats a run-of-the-mill Irish Red Ale!

Photo of errantnight
3.71/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A tasty, if unspectacular brew.

Pours a nice rich red with reasonably rich head and desireable lacing.

Aroma is caramel malt and a whiff of diacetyl, maybe some spice from the hops around the edges.

Tastes more of the same... smooth, easy to drink. Mouthfeel is well rounded, caramel sweetness doesn't pop. Balance is solid. Distinctly malty, but not quite bready and chewy enough.

I'd drink, and I don't know if I've just lost some interest in this style over time or it's just my mood this past night, but I could take it or leave it. Just strong enough to be not-truly-sessionable, but I could imagine drinking a number of these over the course of an evening and not getting fatigued from the caramel malt, which is an accomplishment in an Irish Red.


Photo of jhammerly
3.46/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

An amber bodied beer with a thick head that had a reddish hue to it. The aroma was faint and had a caramel note to it. The taste of caramel malt is the dominant character with a slightly toasted edge and a bit of honey. A touch of hop bitterness to nicely balance things out. The body is on the lighter side, but not thin. Though this is a style I don't usually rave about, I could go for more of these when in the mood.

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

With a best by date of May 2008 poured into the SA glass.

A - Color resembles the color of cherry wood furniture with a golden hue to it and on the whole the beer has a reflective sheen as well and is mildly opaque as hardly any light comes through. The head poured big and fluffy but after a few seconds it faded to nothing as only a thin layer of whiteness sits on the top level of the beer.

S - Big whiff of caramel malt and honey like sweetness is what first comes off of this one for me. There is also a light bitter hoppyness that seems to come off as well and is slightly noticeable.

T - The taste is initially a lot of sweetness on this one as I really pick up on a flavor that I would call honey. However as this beer sits in the mouth it really starts to have a nice bite to it that prevents it from becoming overpoweringly sweet. It becomes bitter in a good way and even seems to have a light orange peel taste to it as well. Overall, this is a very balanced beer and one that is nice and easy to drink.

Mf - Overall the beer has a nice body to it as you would expect it to have some heft behind it given that it is full of all of the heavier caramel malts. There is also a light carbonated beer that has just enough zip to it to keep it from sitting on the tongue.

D - overall, a tasty brew from Sam Adams that goes down easily and one could easily session. It does not really stand out in any particular way but it is good nevertheless. They need to keep this one around all year and sell it in 6 packs because if they did I would easily buy it to hand out whenever the family comes around.

Photo of wingman14
3.95/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours (into a sam adams perfect pint) a nice dark red with brown hints and a frothy off-white head. The smell is sweet with a strong dose of the caramel malt. The taste starts very malty and sweet finishing with a calmer malt flavor and a hint of hop at the end. The aftertaste is a nice malty flavor that lingers. The mouthfeel is medium/light with heavy carbonation. The flavors are really powerful here, not looking to balance this one but to punch its best qualities. This is a very easy beer to drink, a quality Irish Red, worth checking out.

Photo of hwwty4
2.9/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into my Chimay Chalice. Poured a dark amber red with a large hazy head with just a bit of lacing. Aroma is sweet toffee but the taste is burnt, caramelized sugar. Mouthfeel is medium body and lightly caramelized. Drinkability is low because the taste is overwhelmingly burnt. I know this is pretty fresh. I bought it when the sampler pack came out. I have one more in the sampler pack and if it's of the same taste I don't think I will ever be drinking it again.

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Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 2,367 ratings.