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

979 Reviews
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Samuel Adams Irish RedSamuel Adams Irish Red

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Pale and Caramel malts, and East Kent Goldings hops.

Added by WilliamPhilaPa on 08-24-2007

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Reviews: 979 | Ratings: 2,428
Photo of barnzy78
3.41/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from a sampler 12pack, pours reddish-amber in color and is topped with a frothy, off-white head that holds good retention and leaves some lacing as it fades. Malty nose with caramel, toasted grain, and herbal, earthy hop. Tastes are sweet with caramel, herbal and earthy hop again, kind of sour, with some toasty grain notes as well. Thin-to-medium body, creamy with ample carbonation. Overall, it's what I'd expect for a traditional Irish Red Ale.

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Photo of ggourde
3.17/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Little head out of the bottle, but a pretty,clear amber with a fair amount of red. Strong sweet malt comes upon opening the bottle. Fair amount of dryness, but more is needed for this style. A bit of fizz on the tongue from the carbonation. Overall it is a tasty variation that is welcome, but as an Irish red goes- a bit too sweet and needs to be a tad drier.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a pretty good irish red, not as dry as the traditional ones, but a good spring mix brew no doubt. it pours a nice amber honey color with a solid white head with fine retention. the nose is a little sweeter than the style usually allows for, with a woody sort of malt vibe and a balancing hop component towards the end. the flavor follows suit, with a surprisingly delicate malt profile that makes this a real easy drinking beer. the caramel toffee English sort of sweetness comes out in the middle before the hops checks it in the finish. the hops are sort of pine like, foresty and more winter than spring in this beer. medium body and average carbonation, slightly sticky finish and a tad filling. a better than average irish red and a fine addition to the spring mix.

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Photo of raznug
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A crystal clear red color dominates the look of this beer and it is topped with ½: of off white colored head that dissipates quickly.
Smell: This is a rather clean smelling brew that has good malt aroma that is balanced by the hops in the beer.
Taste: The flavor of this red ale is very typical of the style a good caramel malt base with hops to balance it out and a dry finish.
Mouthfeel: This is a bit of the light bodied side that makes it rather easy to drink compared to some red ales, and with its dry finish makes it a good Irish red.

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Photo of Ivanhoes_Backpack
2.67/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

341ml bottle out of spring thaw pack (beer #2)

A - chestnut, amber colour, two full fingers head! (pretty aggressive pour)
S - really sweet hops on the nose, caramel, earthiness.
T - hint of roasted sweetness for a split-second, quickly gives way to earthy bitterness, blades of grass almost, something seems a bit off.
M - medium bodied, somewhat watery-smooth.
O - Not really balanced between the smell and taste, the beer is kind of all over the place. Not as much taste as one might hope, and even then the initial flavours fade very quickly. Not terribly impressed, this will be my already-drunk beer if I have to pick one from the pack.

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Photo of mactrail
3.24/5  rDev -9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A pleasant warmth of malt and a hint of sweetness makes a welcome appearance. There is an interesting herbal note, even a hint of wood. A touch of cardboard in the nose. A touch of resins and enough hops to be pleasantly beery.

Surprisingly coarse and sparse bubbles in the appearance. This was from a Spring 2013 12 pack out of the cooler at Albertson's, so this is about as fresh as it's likely to get. Carbonation is usually an unheard-of defect in Sam Adams beers, so I'm surprised.

I don't know how they get this perfect copper color, but it's a little suspicious. Lovely, though, and there is a float of foam, finally, on the last pour of the 12 oz bottle. Not a bad contender in one of my least favorite beer categories.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.38/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured a nice dark amber color with some copper hues on the edges. Pretty translucent. There is a nice off-white head that is pretty dense but recedes quick.

The aroma starts off with some nice sweet caramel malts. Some mild sweetness is present. Very mild almost nonexistent grassy notes from the hops.

Flavor starts off with the sweet malt notes. But then fortunately, different form the nose, there is some grassy herbal notes to it. Then the grassy refreshing notes get subedud again by some nice sweet bready malt notes. There is some slight roast but the sweetness carries through. Pretty straight forward brew. Easy to drink.

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Photo of acevenom
3.76/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Samuel Adams perfect pint glass. The beer pours amber with a light tan head that dissipates slowly. There are some visible bubbles rising in the glass. Some lacing is left behind on the glass during consumption. The beer smells of caramel and lightly toasted bread. There's also a mildy earthy smell. The taste follows the nose. There's bread crust and mild caramel sweetness balanced by the earthy hops. There's some back end hop bitterness that is fairly mild, but does provide some balance. There's almost a touch of smokiness in the flavor. The body is light to medium with moderate carbonation. The finish is fairly clean and the beer drinks smoothly. This is a good beer.

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Photo of Utica_Brew_Review
2.32/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Light amber appearance with little head. Very little aroma, slightly fruity. Very bitter. Starts out yeasty with a hit of fruit. Then it hits you with ash and bitterness. Sweet alcoholic backdrop. Not too much flavor unfortunately but you can definitely sense the toasted caramel note becoming more noticeable especially in the aftertaste. Moderately carbonated. Finishes with less ash but with more of a sweet alcohol taste.

Compared to other Sam Adams and Irish Red beers this is a let down for us.

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Photo of alexgash
3.79/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle. Best by June 2013.

Clear, clean coppery amber body. Thick finger of dense, cushiony, light khaki head. Lacing crawls up the glass nicely. Malty nose with notes of molasses, caramel, raisins, and cooked carrots. Faint spicy hops.

Toasted marshmallow up front. Sweetish, and a little nutty. Caramel, molasses, and cookie dough flavor build by mid-palate. Vegetal hops sneak in by the finish creating some mildly spicy bitterness. Medium-bodied, creamy mouthfeel. Not bad. Reminds me of some Scottish ales I have had.

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Photo of teromous
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The body is a very clear red-brown color. It looks a lot like stained rosewood. The head is an eggshell-white with a hint of tan. Leaves spots of lacing on the glass.

S: Very faint musky scents like an old wooden box. There's some nutty scents as well.

T: Loads of toasted caramel flavors. These are followed by a slightly woody aftertaste. Extremely mild bitterness, but it is present. A bit of butter, but not much.

M: Medium body, with a smooth but fairly dry mouthfeel. Not slick, but full presence in the mouth.

O: Overall I did enjoy this beer. It has a fair amount of toasty flavor and caramel sweetness without upsetting the balance of it being a drinkable beer. I would say that of all the Sam Adams offerings I've had, this one would probably be the closest to what an appreciator of their Boston Lager would enjoy. For these people, I would recommend it highly.

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Photo of Murrhey
2.74/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a weizen glass in high elevation Libby, Mont. Reviewed live. Best-by July 2013.

A- Two and a half finger cream colored head. Leaves thin translucent lacing down the side. Retention is relatively weak, about 45 seconds in and it is down to about a quarter-inch. Gorgeous red with very high clarity. Not looking too bad.

S- Warm malts, some straw and English, muted hops. All in all a quiet aroma, but not a tremendously appealing one.

T- Slightly toasted caramel malts, sour English hops and a stoic earthy yeast character. Interesting. Not great though.

M- Acidic and medium bodied. Wet finish.

O- Not Sam's best, but not a beer I would be above choosing again.

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Photo of Goosehunter75
3.31/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a deep amber with and reddish hue. Medium light tannish head and lots of bubbles

S - Big caramel smell. I really didn't detect much else.

T - Just a little spicy with lots of caramel flavor and maltiness. I detected little to no hops flavors

M - Very silky and smooth feeling.

O - Nice beer but nothing special. I'd drink it again but probably wont make an effort to look for it. It did go down easy.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.18/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Samuel Adams Irish Red has a medium, off-white head, a clear, bubbly, rust-red appearance, and medium lacing left behind on the glass. The aroma is of medium-roasted barley malt and brown bread crust. Taste is of sweet, roasted barley malt, bread crust, and some mild hop bitterness at the middle through the end of the sip. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and slick, and Samuel Adams Irish Red finishes semi-dry, refreshing, and highly drinkable. Overall, this is an excellent beer.


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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.79/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A: Pours a clear reddish copper color. The head is a one finger light cream shade with an excellent creamy texture. Retention isn't great, but the lacing left on the glass is good.

S: The only thing I really notice aroma-wise are sweet caramel malts and earthy hops. Maybe a touch of diacetyl comes through, I'm not really sure. Whatever it is, it's not very impressive.

T: Just like I said in the aroma, it's caramel malts and some earthy hops to finish it. There's a faint touch of fruity esters and some hazelnut in the midtaste, but this is very simple otherwise. This does a good job of dictating exactly what the aroma suggested - by being quite mediocre.

M: This comes off rather sweet and syrupy; given its clean texture, it feels rather strange on the palate. If any beer needs a drier finish, this is it. Not particularly drinkable for that reason.

O: Can't say I'm a huge fan of this one. It's hard to really place what I don't like about this, but it ultimately doesn't come together nearly as much as it should.

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Photo of TempeBeerMan
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

A - Well, it certainly is a beautiful shade of red. Crystal clear. Two-finger spun cotton like head. Good retention. Minimal lacing.

S - Mild aroma of caramel malt. Not getting much else.

T - Big toasted malts forward, but (plesantly) nowhere near as sweet as expected. Some toffee and nuttiness in the mid-palate. Ale yeasts bring the slightest hint of fruit in the form of watered-down cherry. Some English style hops bring a nice bitterness to the finish without really imparting much distinct character of their own. Very suprising at all I am getting here.

M - Medium bodied. Standard SA prickly carbonation. Why do almost all SA "production" beers seem to have the same carbonation level?

O - Not my favorite style, yet I really like this beer. More complex tasting than expected. A little "all over the place" (great look, boring smell, great taste, etc) and if they fixed a couple flaws, this could really be a champ. I'm sure there are better Irish Red's out there, but it's the best I have had so far, and blows Smithwick's out of the water.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Clear red-brown with three-finger, off-white, fizzy head that lasted several minutes. Pretty good lacing.

S: Sweet malt, spice, cherries.

T: Light to moderate sweetness and light bitterness. Toasted malt and a hint of cranberry juice. Tart.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Smooth.

O: Pretty good beer, but the taste is just above average.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a perfect pint

A- pours a nice clear shade of amber with a frothy three finger offwhite head. The head fades after a little bit, but leaves some nice lacing. Looks great

S- slight aroma of grassy hops along with a little bit of wheat and almost a metallic smell as well.

T- some lingering sweetness in the beginning, which gives way to some breadiness and some very, very slight bitterness. No specific flavors really pop out, but it's pleasant tasting

M- medium bodied. Par for the course

O- not a bad beer, but almost seems like a starter version of craft beer...not as if an Irish red is a very complex style, but there isn't a lot going on

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Photo of brewdude1982
3.45/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This was a 12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

It pours a lovely brownish amber with a thick creamy head and medium retention and good lacing. The appearance is the best part of this beer. It has a wheaty boozy smell. The taste of this beer is kind of bland to me. It taste a little metallic in the after taste. It has a weak body but ok for the style of beer and decent carbonation. This beer is ok at best and I would not order it at a bar unless all they had was light American beers.

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Photo of kneeland
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Overall a toasted caramel malt flavor take on an Irish red. There's a freshness to it, like natural spring water. It's different that a lot of Irish reds, but doesn't rewrite the book.

The appearance is really nice. A deep copper amber, with a light head that laces the glass.

This came in the Sam Adams spring pack. I don't know if I would buy it by itself. There's better Irish reds out there, but they did a nice job on this one.

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Photo of jacksback
3.44/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark amber, little bit of persistent light tan head. Decent looking beer.

Aroma is pretty disappointing. Bland caramel sweetness dominates. Bit of an off putting thin sharpness on the smell as well.

Flavor improves a good bit. Nutty sweetness. Solid, warming malt body with only hints of caramel sweetness. Little bit of wispy smoke in the background. Good flavor... Albiet a good bit lighter and a bit less depth than one might hope for.

Smooth and even in the palate, a bit on the thin side. Good clean finish.

Overall a solid, worthwhile beer. Nothing stunning, but hits enough style points and is thoroughly enjoyable to drink.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
2.49/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle, the label on the side of the bottle is notched at best by July 2013. Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - Pours probably one of the most red colored beers I've ever seen with very little head that dies down quickly.

S - Toasted malt / grain, and some fruity cherry notes coming through, though little else action happening.

T - Toasted malty goodness. Slight hint of cherry, maybe some cranberry? I don't know. Slight carbonation. Not my ideal Red Ale, I prefer it to be hopped to the brim. Smooth, crisp, and refreshing, nonetheless, just not very interesting. Artificially sweet tasting in the end.

M - Smooth, watery, nice level of carbonation. Not a terrible mouthfeel just not a very ideal aftertaste.

Overall, probably one of my least favorite beers I've had by Samuel Adams, bland, and pretty boring, but with a modest 5.80% abv, it remains drinkable and I have definitely had worse, but it is not a beer I would seek out again.

Samuel Adams Irish Red ---2.5/5

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Photo of Scotchboy
3.1/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle from the Spring Thaw variety 12-pack poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A: Clear golden amber, moderate head and just a little lace.

S: Maltiness, smooth but with a hint of harsh graininess; bread and toasted grains as well. Some. Some earthy qualities underlie...maybe a hint of spice? Malty sweetness bordering on toffee.

T: Same on the palate, relatively creamy and smooth malt profile. Yeast works through the flavor profile, bready malt sweetness along with a ghostly fruitiness that I can't quite place. Some toasted grains here, again.

MF: Moderate feel and body - relatively creamy and smooth as advertised, with a medium-to-light carbonation component.

O: This doesn't strike me as special at all, but I haven't had many Irish Reds. Not worth the time IMO.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This beer has that great brick red color for the style. Nice clarity. Tons of rising bubbles. Unfortunately, the head fell with some speed. Looks pretty drab right now.

Toasted malts and lightly roasted malts. Crisp toffee, but dry. Some caramel. Some metal. But, a decent amount of aromatic breadiness.

Nice heaps of dextrins. Toffee and dry toast. Mild chocolate note, which is almost unheard of. Dark breads and earthy hops out the wazoo. I'm not saying it's hoppy, just that the hops aren't silenced. This is pretty tasty for being one of my least favorite styles.

Drinks with a soft-medium body and a hard-medium carbonation at work. Or, should I say 'at play'? I haven't thought twice about it and I look to see that I'm already over halfway through my glass.

I'm happy about what I have here. Not a labor to drink through. I, first, scoffed when I saw it included in the Spring Thaw case. And now, I'm out. That was easy.

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Photo of FlatRabbitRed
4.88/5  rDev +37.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Awesome beer, I can't believe some of the reviews on this one.

Caramel! ....thats it! ....and dam good caramel flavor.

My neighbor brewed some and did a taste test with three others ... this beer was the best by far...and over a signature "Irish Red". They got this one down.

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Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 979 ratings.