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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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2,357 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 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.

Photo of stewart124
3.45/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber color with slight oranges hues. Off white head that is big at first but dwindles.

Sweet caramel notes are strong in the nose. Earthy tones with floral and fruity esters present.

Strong esters with a strong sense of sweetness from the caramel malts. Lingering fruity esters on the tongue with a slight noble hop bitterness.

Full body with good carbonation and feel. Lots of residual sweetness in this Irish red. Slight diacetyl but I think that goes with the style.

A nice Irish red in my opinion. But not something I could drink too many of. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Photo of Scottasaurus
3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sam's Irish Red has a nice red-amber color and pours with a strong head that sticks around for about 2 minutes. From the bottle it will nicely fill a pint glass right to the brim. It smells more bitter and tart than it tastes. Its true flavor hits in after a couple seconds. A good Irish red ale. It is medium-light on the carbonation and goes down smooth. Another tasty beer by Sam.

Photo of wspscott
3.71/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in pint glass (spring break)

A: Reddish orange color, light tan head with nice lace.
S: A muted nose, no hint of hops and a little sweetness.
T: Slightly bitter, a hint of bread with a little caramel.
M: Quite a bit of carbonation, very crisp but not watery.
D: Good example of an Irish Red, definitely worth trying especially if you like malty beers.

Photo of dreadnatty08
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, dark orange/amber color that is quite red with lots of off-white head that has great sustain. Aroma is light and bready, a little toasty, and slight buttery toffee notes. On the palate, it starts thin, opens to a tangy, buttery malt feel finishing dry with a risidual bitterness. Overall, its a very easy-drinking ale, with just enough interest to keep me coming back. Irish Reds are a pretty tame malt oriented style that is great for the spring. The mouthfeel has moderate carbonation marked by a creamy, slightly buttery feel, very smooth.

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

Standard amber color with a slight ruby hugh in the bottom portion od the glass-a small head forms. Reasonable amount of lacing on sides of glass.

Smell is woody and cedar-like some malt kicking through and clearly these characteristics are very present in the palate. Quite true to style and drinkable. There is maybe a more liberal usage of hops than in many other craft ambers but I think this is a good thing and applaud SA for making a fairly hoppy one like this. Quite drinkable as well.

Photo of Redwood21
3.98/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: great, sticky head. There is a nice foam cap the whole drink and it leaves great lacing...just purty!

S: there is a nice clean caramel toast aroma, not unlike a mild bock beer no off aromas at all.

T: The taste is very easy and almost light. id say it should be more a 3.7 taste but we cant do that, so i knocked it up. It seems like it should be a bit heavier which is why i decided to knock mouth feel instead. there is no real bitterness. but its pretty good and easy to drink

Photo of johnrobe
3.82/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Light tan head disappears quickly, the brew is a clear reddish amber in the glass. Toasted grain dominates the nose and the hops seem somewhat floral, grassy...not in a bad way. This brew is very well balanced. Sweet but not cloying, toasted bready malts are offset nicely with floral hops. This brew first struck me as a tiny bit thin, but the more I drink it I think it's about perfect for a session brew.

Photo of prototypic
4.12/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It pours a very nice looking reddish-brown color. Head is off-white and about two fingers deep. Retention was good though lacing leaned toward the light side.

Smell: Caramel malts smell sweet and rich. Very light citrus notes are present. Hop character seems to lean toward the floral direction. Slightly yeasty.

Taste: Caramel malts are sweet. Hints of roasted malt and toasted nut blend well. Hops provide a slight bitter kick and really balance it out well. Slight biscuity taste toward the end. Nice, dry finish.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light bodied. Very crisp. Carbonation is excellent. Very smooth and satisfying. Very, very drinkable. This is a very fine offering from Sam Adams. One I'll no doubt enjoy again.

Photo of wheatyweiss
3.84/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Second from the 12 pack sampler. Poured from a bottle into a standard pint/tumbler.

Appearance is a light red, light amber with no cloud or sediment. Off white, meringue like head that quickly recedes to a thin head leaving nice trails of lace.

Smell is fruity and slightly hoppy, not much of a malt nose. Citrus hops with a sweet aroma.

Taste is reasonably malty with a metallic, coppery twinge. Citrusey hops are light, but there.

Mouthfeel is watery and thin carbonation makes the beer bubbly on the tongue.

Drinkability is good, very light and easily sessionable.

Not bad, but I'm noticing the hop profile in the SA varieties are almost all identical, save for the other flavors contributing. Not bad, but A little variety to the hops would be nice.

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

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.

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