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

Samuel Adams Irish RedSamuel Adams Irish Red

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2,115 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2115
Reviews: 961
rAvg: 3.48
pDev: 14.94%

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)
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Photo of kneeland

North Carolina

3.6/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2013 02:54:17 | More by kneeland
Photo of jacksback


3.48/5  rDev 0%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2013 22:34:28 | More by jacksback
Photo of mfnmbvp


2.5/5  rDev -28.2%
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

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2013 02:01:05 | More by mfnmbvp
Photo of Scotchboy


3.1/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2013 15:45:30 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of thecheapies


3.6/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2013 04:30:44 | More by thecheapies
Photo of FlatRabbitRed


4.89/5  rDev +40.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2013 14:40:45 | More by FlatRabbitRed
Photo of Braz


3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Came in the Spring Thaw variety pack.
Red amber and clear in color. Cream color head that doesn't stop. Great sustainability.
Aroma are sweet bready malt. Nice looking beer overall.
First thing I noticed was how dry it is. Lightly sweet, very lightly hopped. Subtle tea flavor to it as well. Noticed some bready qualities. Definately a malty brew.
Mouthfeel is very light. Body much thinner than I had hoped. Pretty light carbonation. Finish is dry and abrupt. I wonder if they used more malt if the body would improve.
Overall this beer has the looks but to me is average beyond that. More body and a little more carbonation and I think this could be a good one. Drinkable but certainly wouldn't go out of my way to get again.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2013 03:34:39 | More by Braz
Photo of Tuey13


3.39/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Samuel Adams perfect pint glass... has a deep amber/red color and a 2/4 finger tan head that leaves quite a bit of sticky lacing on the glass.
The smell is sweet and malty... i detect some spices as well on the nose with maybe a bit of roasted malts on the back end.
The taste follows the nose... sweet and caramel, very malty but with a hop bitterness on the tongue.... kind of a dry finish.
This is a very well balanced red... one that you could easily session but that has enough flavor to be satisfying.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2013 02:17:08 | More by Tuey13
Photo of silverking


4.09/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

It pours a deep clear red with a tan head. The head retention is good and the lacing kicks in when there is just a thin layer of foam left on the beer. It smells toasty, with notes of caramel, bread and some very light hop aromas. The mouthfeel is heavier than exected. There is a bit too much carbonation and it is prickly. The taste is mildly bitter and astringent up front and then fades into malt and caramel. The finish is very bready. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2013 19:23:07 | More by silverking
Photo of RichD

Rhode Island

3.73/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into my Samuel Adams perfect pint glass. How fitting.

A: Irish Red pours a deep with about a finger of light tan for the head. This looks pretty nice.

S: This beer smells of caramel and maybe some cinnamon. I'm not sure if I just automatically smell cinnamon with every Sam Adams brew or if they use cinnamon in most of their brews. Yay for the caramel, but nay for the cinnamon.

T: Caramel malts dominate this beer. With a light cinnamony/roasted malt coming in for the finish. Quite a sweet taste, which is a good thing. The taste is solid. Nothing that blew my mind, but it is good.

M: A creamy but kind of light to medium mouthfeel. Dries my mouth out which is acceptable but not preferred.

Overall: This is a pretty solid Irish Red. I'm sure I'll have better Irish reds in my life and I'm sure I'll have worse. Samuel Adams does a great job of making consistent beers. They have a few that are at the top of each style and a lot that kind of fall in the middle of the pack. Not a bad brew by any means and I'll definitely enjoy the last bottle of Irish Red that I have in the fridge. I wouldn't mind buying another, but maybe not a 6 pack. Solid brew for a good, low price.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2013 01:35:42 | More by RichD
Photo of Ford


3.85/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

This came in the SPring Thaw variety pack.

I'm a fan of this style of beer and this Sam Adams version didn't let me down. So easy to drink. Very little bitterness. I'd be very happy with this as a session beer.

Caramely and creamy with just a slight touch of bitterness. Really like this one. I'd certainly have it again.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2012 21:02:38 | More by Ford
Photo of Lemke10


3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a reddish/copper color with a slight off-white head. The scent is fairly weak, but there are some tones of malts. The taste is well blended with a decent mix of malts, hops, and spices. It’s perhaps a little thinner in texture than I like in a beer, but not bad. Drinks smooth, tastes good, and has that classic Irish red character.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2012 03:47:22 | More by Lemke10
Photo of Cavanaghty


4.13/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a Sam Adams Glass.

Appearance: Reddish amber in color. Off White head that last only about a minute.

Smell: Hops with some citrus notes, maybe some roasted malts.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Lighter bodied and smooth, well balanced. Bitter hops and some sugars, not overwhelming.

Overall: Not a big fan of "Irish Reds", but this one was enjoyable, it was better than I expected.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2012 15:48:25 | More by Cavanaghty
Photo of JoLight


4.65/5  rDev +33.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - A ruby body with a white head that leaves some nice lacing.

Aroma - Earthy, grassy hops, with some pale malt in the background.

Taste - Earthy hops, and some lingering malt.

Finish - dry, crisp, refreshing, delicious.

This is a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2012 03:00:04 | More by JoLight
Photo of rickyleepotts


3.2/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

There are several “boring” and “generic” beers in our fridge right now. This is one of them. It’s the Samuel Adams Irish Red. Sam Adams, produced and brewed by the Boston Beer Company, is a good starting point for folks wanting to get into craft beer. But it’s nothing to write home about. That doesn’t mean they don’t have some beers worth writing home about… they do. But this isn’t one of them.

In the Glass: The beer produces an impressive white head. For a beer that is not only affordable, but to be considered a typical “Sam Adams beer”, I am impressed by this. I also got a whiff from the bottle while I was pouring. The beer did overflow when I opened it, but that might just be because of the transport from Indiana to the Valley of the Sun.

Nose: Like I said, I could smell this as soon as I opened the bottle. If the nose is doing anything, it is giving me some subtle sweet notes. That’s about it. We are drinking this right out of the fridge, and I worry that it would only get worse as it warms up. This isn’t a typical craft beer that you need to take time to appreciate. (I really hope this doesn’t sound like I am destroying Sam Adams here.)

Flavor: You know, for the price… this beer is actually pretty great. It has a VERY sweet start and finishes strong. The sweetness is quick to disappear, but I am stoked to experience the sweetness that I didn’t expect. This is just a lot sweeter than I expected. I wonder what other Irish reds out there compete with this one…

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is nice. There aren’t a lot of bubbles, and it quickly floats across the top of the tongue. When I swish it around a little bit, the carbonation explodes on the palate. But even then it’s not unbearable.

Aftertaste: The aftertaste is nice. It’s also sweet, but it doesn’t last very long. For a beer that is only $6.99 for 6, I would happily introduce this to someone that says, “What does a barleywine taste like?” It has that smoothness you get from a barleywine, but doesn’t provide the same levels of complexity a good barleywine would deliver.

I have to admit, I was’t very excited when we picked this bottle tonight. But I am glad we did. I have never been let down by Sam Adams, and this one (from their traditional portfolio of beers that includes the Sam Adams Boston Lager) I am quite happy with the end result. Granted, this isn’t a beer I would typically order. It’s the style, more than anything. But I will keep this in mind the next time I tailgate for insert sporting event here. Bottoms up, people!

Samuel Adams Irish Red – The bottle says: “This rich and malty ale originated in Ireland in 1710. I has a deep red color and distinctive caramel flavor from its pale and caramel malts. The malt sweetness is balanced by the earthy notes of the East Kent Golding hops. Cheers!”

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2012 03:40:23 | More by rickyleepotts
Photo of Alextricity


3.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Samuel Adams pint glass.

Appearance: Upon the pour, you get a nice, fluffy, tan-colored head that soon slims down. The color is -- well -- red, and there's no haze, as this is filtered (to be expected, I suppose).

Smell: Roasted malt. Smokiness. That's all that I get. Maybe some of the earthiness that's described on the label, as well. There's nothing else there for me.

Taste: Much like the smell, but with virtually no aftertaste... very slight roast malt lingers, but the majority is just bitterness.

Mouthfeel: I like it. Pretty low carbonation, and it's like the head... feels fluffy, creamy, smooth.

Overall, this is a decent beer. Not my favorite style, but I'd drink it if I had to. The ABV is also a decent 5.80%, so there's even more reason to take a bottle.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2012 02:46:22 | More by Alextricity
Photo of pixaal

4.28/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a good beer, I normally stick with IPAs, but I wasn't the one buying. I was really surprised with the flavor. I don't have many Irish Reds to compare it to. So to anyone that is going from high end IPAs and wants to try something else this is a good choice in my opinion.

Sam Adam's has always made a good beer in any style. I don't think I'd place them in the best for any beer that I have had the pleasure of having several brands of that style, but they are always fairly high on my list. They may very well top the pleasure per dollar spent ratio of many styles I enjoy.

I am looking forward to trying other Irish Reds after this one.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2012 03:26:13 | More by pixaal
Photo of Hopswagger

South Carolina

3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P:  A clear dark ruby red brewed tea appearance with a frothy crown of taupe colored  head that stays around for a bit. 

S:  Toasted sweet caramel malt, grains, timid pine oil, earthy notes maybe slight aged wood.  

T/M:  Earthy hops with an almost dirty flavor, hints of metal, and rich toasted caramel. Soft carbonation and medium body that finishes dry. The finish lingers with toasted hazelnuts and dried hay. 

O:  Not bad but pretty average. I was really excited to try this but it fell a little short. Nothing really wrong but nothing over the top either. It's a great beer to have around if you just want to toss back a few. 

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2012 19:26:27 | More by Hopswagger
Photo of karait95


3.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Looks good, a big light brown head and an amber body, medium carbonation but well enough, color is good and also head is good formed by mixed bubbles.

S: Malty smell that shows combination of barley some regular some toasted.

T: Flavor is average, nothing extraordinary to remember even maybe there is some caramel malts missing, and for the style should be present. Some extra hops.

M: Not so good, not as expected, sweetness is not very clear and bitterness overcomes that little sweetness.

Truly I expected more from Sam Adams on this one.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2012 03:10:59 | More by karait95
Photo of kylehay2004


3.65/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: 1.5 finger off white head on a clear deep amber body, lots of bubbles.

S: lots of sweet caramel malts, some grains and minimal earthy hops.

T: toasted and caramel malts. simple and a little watery. no real hop character. some wood and nut notes.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: simple and standard irish red. not much to the body and not very memorable. still fairly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2012 00:43:04 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of tjsmith910


2.23/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Very dark redish brown color.with nearly to virtually no lacing

the taste wasnt to bad actually, not as flavorful as killians but descent in taste.

the feel was rich and sharp. not a beer to constantly drink but alright to try a few times.

overall not to much of a fan but there are far worse of this style out there

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2012 23:57:27 | More by tjsmith910
Photo of lwillitz


3.8/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle into mug

A - red-tinted amber under a massive frothy cream-colored head; lots of carbonation initially, then it calms down

S - weak caramel malt

T - sweet fruity malt, caramel, spicy hops move in and stick around for a balanced finish

M - smoothy and creamy, almost a buttery feel, medium/full body, medium carbonation

O - not bad

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2012 16:57:22 | More by lwillitz
Photo of BostonHops


3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

pours a transparent, deep amber/red tone while yielding a small, whispy off-white head; minimal rention and lacing.

aroma is pretty underwhelming. vague maltiness to accompany some light hops and maybe a touch of spice in the background. maybe. mediocre at best. not sure i can even give it that. taste, fortunately, is an improvement. caramel malts are more evident, as well as some breadiness and a slight touch of hop bitterness. fairly tasty in its own right; won't knock your socks off but i think it holds its own on the flavor front.

medium-bodied with medium carbonation. pretty style-standard. i wouldn't mind another (that said, nor would i necessarily seek one out). falls into the vast 'moderately enjoyable' abyss.

original review on: 09-09-2010

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2012 03:03:15 | More by BostonHops
Photo of scootny

New York

3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice malt fest in my glass. Nice red hued amber ale with a faint red tint in the terracotta head. Smell is sweet and malty with the traditional Irish fruit esters. Notes of banana and pear with a touch of grape and sweet alcohol. Taste is malty with the aforementioned flavors from the nose. Yeast is a signature here and this one leaves a nice mark on the ale. good fruitiness with a clean character. Finish is dry and also clean with a touch of malted grains. Feel is well carbonated with a crisp edge. Weight is medium. A nice Irish red overall

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2012 07:29:34 | More by scootny
Photo of AtrumAnimus


3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

So far this is now officially my least favorite Samuel Adams brew. I typically like the work they do but this one is lacking when compared to their other brews.

The beer pours a perfect amber color for an Irish Red with a nice tan head this is creamy and settles slowly with a nice bit of lacing down the glass.

The nose is rather subtle and dominated by the malt with a sweet floral mix that has hops undertones of pine.

The taste is a tad bit off balance with a slightly bitter aftertaste that falls in the acceptable range. The majority of the flavor is dominated by malt sweetness that is decently balanced with the hops and notes of vanilla and butter giving way to the previously mentioned bitter aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is a tad bit watery for my tastes and the carbonation is surprisingly lacking for something from Samuel Adams.

While I would rate this one as “drinkable” I would not recommend buying it as there are hundreds of others that are far more enjoyable. Also you can buy every other single brew Samuel Adams makes and it will be better than this one. I just don’t see myself buying this one again.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2012 00:39:02 | More by AtrumAnimus
Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 2,115 ratings.