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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.

2,299 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,299
Reviews: 968
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 14.7%
Wants: 30
Gots: 117 | 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: 2,299 | Reviews: 968 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of unionturf
4.6/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 ounce bottle bought locally with July 2008 date. Very nice ruby color poured into a Sam Adams glass, smells great and taste the same. A very well balanced beer with excellent taste, this beer moves to the top of my favorites list...would and did buy another. :)

unionturf, Feb 26, 2008
Photo of Jbro1
4.1/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was surprised to see this beer at my local distributor and immediately bought a case. At first glance, I compared it to Killian's Red, but after drinking knew this was indeed more of an Ale, as opposed to the lager taste of Killian's. It has a distinct Ale aftertaste (can't place all of the flavors, amateur taster at best) with a bitter tinge, but is very drinkable and I highly reccomend it. I was told by the distributo it is only available via cases, not on tap.

Jbro1, Feb 26, 2008
Photo of sstackho
3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle purchased from Clarendon Wines in Boston - with a thought to Sam Adams' recent hop giveaway. Consumed in Feb 08 with a July 08 best before date. Pours a rich copper with lots of carbonation. Aroma is all malt with a bit of spice. The taste follows similarly, with a bit of rounded fruitiness in the aftertaste.

sstackho, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of BeerTaster
4.43/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance dark red two finger off white head very creamy. Smell sweet malt with hint of roasted malt and some floral hop aroma as well. Taste sweet malt caramel and a nice balencing act with hop bitterness. Mouthfeel was mediem body mediem carbonation and had a creamy sensation. Drinkability was very good I could have this one by the pint.

BeerTaster, Feb 24, 2008
Photo of uwmgdman
4.38/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a incredibly brilliant, deep, true red. There is a nice thick off-white head with good lacing throughout the beer. The aroma is moderately malty, sweet, caramel-like, a hint of roast. There is also a moderate floral hop aroma, good balance in the nose. The flavor is moderately hoppy, moderately bitter, and has a high caramel maltiness. The mouthfeel is creamy, body medium-full with moderate carbonation. The finish is crisp with a nice balance of hop and caramel malt and drinkability is quite high. Overall this is an incredible brew, one of the best balancing acts between hop and malt. This may be the best Sam Adams brew to date.

uwmgdman, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.03/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, ruby-colored body with a tall, frothy, lasting off-white head.

Smell: Simple, pleasing aroma of caramel, toast, spice, and cherries.

Taste: Bready caramel maltiness with a medium sweetness. Pinch of light brown sugar. Cherry fruitiness. Bit of spice. Light, clean English hop bitterness. Toasted malts in the drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Very slight creaminess to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A solid Irish Red.

ChainGangGuy, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of RickSawyer
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cranberry muddy red. A soapy beach nut head builds about 2 fingers thick and dissipates to a nice one finger thick layer atop the beer. The head clings to the side of the glass, leaving sheets of large and small bubble footprints along the side. Smell is earthy, floral, cherry, and green apples. Taste is cranberry, black pepper, celery, whole wheat bread... the cranberry and peppry flavors are a bit overpowering. Mouthfeel is sticky with medium body, and quite carbonated. The let down for me is certainly the taste. I was very excited to drink this after smelling it, but the taste didn't pull through how I would have liked. May be good with herb crusted chicken or... thanksgiving dinner.

RickSawyer, Feb 22, 2008
Photo of tapman
3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Body appears to run the gamut, a nice mahogany red/brown with orange hues near the thinner parts and bottom of the pint glass. A modest pour results in a one finger head the color of a light tan which recedes into a very complete lacing, enveloping the whole top of the brew in a film of creamy bubbles. Crystal clear; see through. Have seen many beers that look like this, however, though one of the better looking Irish Reds I've seen lately (I'm looking at you, Goose Island). I like the larger head on something like a Smithwicks, but this one is still nice.

Buttery diacetyl? Possibly, but also a tinge of alcohol, pale malts, caramel malts, and I think I pick up the Golding hops, though that may be my mind playing tricks on me since I read that that was an ingredient on the box. If I'm correct, the East Kent Golding hops are bready and sweet smelling.

Now the Golding hops come out. In general, Golding hops are so mild and compliment the malts so well that its easy to miss them, at least for this BA, though they do 'bitter-out' towards the end. Caramel is present, though there is a bitter alcohol note that kind of dumbs down the malts. Too bad, perhaps more malt could be added next time, or a longer, more concentrated mash? Oh well, I'm sure they know what they are doing. Pale malts are detectable, though very subtle and delicate Lots of fun, these pale malts. I also sense a little Belgium-like banana in this brew, though very subtle and only as it warms a little. Did they use Irish ale yeast for this one, or something different...? Also I'm sure there is a little diacetyl

Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy, perhaps the highlight of this brew. Could be thanks to the diacetyl if I'm correct about it, since diacetyl is a known agent for a smoother mouthfeel. Carbonation is decent and bites a little at the end. Not dry at the end like others of the style.

The caramel is more like a sweet, buttery toffee, and the Golding hops are so bland, yet bitter, that I find myself longing for some balancing Fuggle hops. Really not so bad, but this sample is similar to the Boston Lager, except much sweeter. Not a session for me, but I'd hardly turn one down when handed to me. A little bland. More like a weak scotch ale.

tapman, Feb 21, 2008
Photo of botham
4.08/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams new beer glass. pours a beautiful fiery reddish amber color with a few fingers of light orange head that leave moderate lacings.

aroma is malty, with caramel malts mainly, but a hint of roasted malts and dark fruit give this one some depth. a nutty base rounds out the profile, giving this brew a wonderful profile.

taste is malty and sweet up front, with caramel and distant toasted malts showing, along with a distant note of dark fruit and caramelized sugar. finishes on a lightly sweet note with lingering caramel.

mouthfeel is medium-bodied, with a slightly dry finish and a creamy texture. great mouthfeel on this one.

drinkability is great. this is a smooth and mellow irish red, that is neither taxing nor overly sweet, as some tend to get. cheers!

botham, Feb 21, 2008
Photo of scoobybrew
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

A - clear deep ruby amber color with a thick foamy collar for a head that is very well retained

S - toasted malt aroma with a subdued hop scent

T - as expected from the aroma, the flavor is dominated by toasted malt, there is a decent hop finish

M - medium-light body with moderate carbonation

D - good Irish Red, definitely a cut above the average; it's a great session beer and defines the style well

scoobybrew, Feb 21, 2008
Photo of blatherbeard
4.58/5  rDev +32%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The look of this beer is fantastic. LIttle head, very red look to it. The smell is of some kind of fruilt, maybe a blend of fruits. I just cant place it, but damn if it doesnt smell great. Mouthfeel is a bit watery but not grossly so. Taste...mmm. I can say that it tastes even better than it smells. I still cant place the citrusy/fruity taste but my taste buds like it a lot. The hops is there but not overpowering thankfully. Absoloutly no bitterness found in any part of the taste either. Usually with most sams, i get some kind of bitterness, either up front or after, but this i have absoloutly none.

I will buy this again, maybe even take the place of my current favorite.

blatherbeard, Feb 21, 2008
Photo of cbleary
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

The beer poured with a beautiful red body and a big off-white head. The beer smelled strongly of sweet malts and it got me excited. Unfortunately, the taste did not completely live up to the promise of the rest of the beer. It was decent, but the malt and hop flavors did not meld together in a convincing and fully satisfying way and that keeps this beer from being truly excellent. Overall though, it was a enjoyable drinking experience. I'd get it again sometime.

cbleary, Feb 20, 2008
Photo of rowew
3.9/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, six pack. Standard Sam Adams label/bottle with best by date notched on the label.

Appearance: Poured into my Sam Adams Boston Lager glass, nice red color with a great head and good retention.

Smell: Caramel malt and a bit of hops.

Taste: Malt dominated - nice caramel with a bit of bready flavors in there too. Hops are subdued, but keep it from being overly sweet.

Overall impression: Nicely drinkable, plenty of flavor. This is a nice addition to the lineup.

rowew, Feb 19, 2008
Photo of Manosbeeroffate
3.98/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another Jess's Market find. Pours a dark red/brown color with a medium head. Smells a bit biscuity, lightly so. Tastes of slightly smoky malt, caramel, slight citrus hint in the background, not expecting that but it's good. Overall it's another satisfying beer from Sam Adams, hopefully it'll be made easier to find than the Double Bock (in these parts)

Manosbeeroffate, Feb 18, 2008
Photo of RedBeerHead
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pounds a red amber with a thick two inch head. Smell is prevalent but not overpowering hops and roasted malt. Very drinkable. not as heavy as some other red.

This is definitely one of the better sam adams beers, just as good if not better than their Oktoberfest.

RedBeerHead, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.03/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I first tried this beer in a mix pack, by far the best of the "collection" at that time. Malts are the most overlooked component to craft beer, this one is all malts, balanced by some pretty decent hop/bitters for the finish. At 5.5, this is a great seesion beer, considering the price of craft 6r's these days, for that matter, 6r's of anything, this is a pretty good deal.

I am pleased to see that Sam Adams is branching off from the Boston Lager mold. I liked this one.

FLAbeergutinMASS, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of chilidog
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I've waited for this brew to arrive in my area, I love a good Irish red.

It pours a good looking red, nice egg shell head that did lace well.

The aroma of toasted grains and malts with hints of earth and pine.

The taste was good caramelized grain malt. The hops crisp things nicely with a pine hint or bark.

The body was alittle thinner than expected. The body seemed light to alittle watered.

Overall very drinkable with any meats or on its own, i'd buy this again.

chilidog, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of meechum
4.43/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Poured a deep ruby with brown highlights. Nice thick white head that fell slowly and had some sticky lacing

S - A nice malty smell along with a little fresh hops that has some earthy/piney hops smell

T - A big malt flavor..cracker..nut..and fresh grains..along with a fresh hop flavor that leaves a nice piney taste at the end

M - Good carbonation...crisp and clean

D - Very drinkable in my opinion...I had several without even thinking about it..a very good example of the Red style...very enjoyable

meechum, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of BEERchitect
3.98/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As I wait until this beer arrives in my area, I wonder if it will take on the classic toasted maltiness with a crisp hop counterpart, or become grainy, artificially caramel and metalic like many other American breweries deliver. Turns out to be the former. The beer opens with a bright ruby color with hints of darkness (brown) with a terrific slight-of-tan head formation / retention and adequate carbonation. Aromas of rich malt, lightly toasted malts, nuts, and an ester that reminds me of timid berries. A fresh (wet-hop) aroma gives a distinct pungent / earthy / herbal, and at times piney character that later transfers directly to flavor. Along with the hops, the malts deliver a steady, medium malty flavor that hinges of fresh bread, yeast, and toast. A well attenuated, crisp cracker-like flavor provides a nice pillow for the piney hops and light esters. Kinda like the ale version of an Oktoberfest, but with increased maltiness. Finishes clean and with a mild, pleasant pine flavor. A very nice beer worthy of the Sam Adams branding.

BEERchitect, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of zeff80
3.35/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a reddish brown hue with a bubbly, soapy, two-finger, tan head. It left some lacing.

S - It smelled of roasted caramel malt and somewhat grassy.

T - It tasted of sweet caramel malt and was lightly hopped.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - Another fine seasonal brew from Sam Adams. It is very sessionable.

zeff80, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of Lenny2884
3.43/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice reddish caramel color with a 1 and 1/2 finger fluffy off white head.

The caramel malts really push through in the smell giving it a complex malt character. A slight hop spicyness is present but not prevalent.

Very balanced. The caramel malts once again come to the forefront of the tongue presenting a very tantalizing malty sweetness, but does not overpower. Hop spicyness comes through in the end nicely balancing the brew. The spicyness helps with the dry finish.

Overall, I am impressed with this offer from Sam Adams. I must admit I came in not expecting much but was pleasantly surprised in the result. I love big hoppy beers so this isn't a beer I would fall in love with but the malt character is very intriguing and keeps me reaching for the remaining beers. Very sessionable which is also a plus.

Lenny2884, Feb 16, 2008
Photo of tgbljb
4.1/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a crystal clear reddish color with massive white puffy head. Great retention with sparse lacing.
Smell is of fruity malt, but somewhat restrained.
Taste also has a nice fruity malt character, with a nice background of hops.
Finishes slightly dry and refreshing.
A nice well-balanced beer with perfect drinkability. Would be nice to session.

tgbljb, Feb 16, 2008
Photo of FuzzyGuy84
4.33/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Red brown color with highly active carbonation. Full copper colored head with excellent lace and retention.

S - Well balanced smell, lots of caramel and malty notes. A small amount of sweet hop character comes through as well.

T - There is a very fine balance to this beer. Roasted malty flavor up front with a light hoppy bitterness in the back.

MF & D - This is a very complex beer with a reasonable alcohol content, pushing it high on my drinkability list. The bitterness from the hops is a bit much, resulting in a bit of acidity on the back of the tongue. That aside, this is a very pleasant drinking experience.

FuzzyGuy84, Feb 16, 2008
Photo of NatetheGreat
3.9/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sounded like an intriguing beer, so I wanted to give it a try.

A: beautiful ruby-mahogony color with ample cream colored head.

S: soft carmel malt in the nose with some woodsy, earthyness.

T: descent, but not special. understated caramel, smooth malts and a nice undergirding of earthy, leafy hops, but no "punch." Tame, balanced. Dry finish.

M: Smooth feel, descent carbonation.

D: Alcohol not assertive, coupled with a pleasant body and taste make for a highly drinkable brew. A bit dry in the finish, and not sure if I expected or wanted it from this beer.

Overall, good, solid beer that does a lot right, but not extra special.

NatetheGreat, Feb 16, 2008
Photo of russpowell
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

BBD May 08

Pours a super bubbly copper with brown tints tinges the upper 3rd of my SA pint glass with 2 fingers of pearl white head. Below average head retention & lacing

S: Toasty, bready & caramel notes & some wet cereal smells

T: Breadyness, biscuitty malt & dryness up front. Some grainyness, a slight nuttyness, diathecthyl (sic) & leafy, herbal & some
metallic hops as it warms. Finishes dry with caramel, biscuitty malt, some more metallic hops; plus a touch of grainyness

MF: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, much dryness & pretty good balance,

Drinks pretty easy, the dryness might wear on me after a while. A pretty good Irish red, but give me the scotch ale in six packs now! Cheers to a brewer out there that makes the American Beer scene better every day

russpowell, Feb 16, 2008
Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 2,299 ratings.