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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Irish RedSamuel Adams Irish Red

Educational use only; do not reuse.

976 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 976
Hads: 2,409
Avg: 3.56
pDev: 23.03%
Wants: 40
Gots: 236 | 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.
View: Beers (120) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Irish Red Alström Bros
Reviews: 976 | Hads: 2,409
Photo of jpkoch1962
4.35/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oustanding Irish ale. Deep redish hue is topped off with a long lasting vanilla head with plenty of lacing. The aroma is dominated by caramel, sweet malts and a bit of fragerent hops. The taste is big -mainly caramel, toffey with a smooth finish that dries a bit towards the end. A very nice session brew with a moderate amount of alcohol. One of SA's best seasonal ales.

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Photo of oelergud
4.35/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Classic brown 12oz glass bottle and the usual Sam Adams label.
Transparent maple body with a small bubbled tan head that starts out large and holds reasonable well. Nice lacing.
Warm pleasant and mildly spiced scent. Good, sweet and malty.
Highly malty flavor with abit of spice and a nice warm hop character. Nice balance and a great aftertaste of harsh malt and piney hops.
Medium to full body, good coating and slick.
Great drinkability. Malty, sweet, full and satisfying.


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Photo of letsgopens
4.35/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The latest addition to the Sam Adams lineup, this Irish Red pours a clear, very bright, pure copper amber with some orange highlights and a thick rocky tan head that holds decently well and leaves some spotty lace. Lots of rising carbonation is visible.
Malty and sweet to the nose with lots of caramel malt and some faint spice. Honey and mild fruit are prevalent as well as nice dose of herbal Golding hops. Citrus and a buttery biscuit character are present as well.

Well balanced and very palatable. Sweet initially than becoming more bitter due to some good hops then fading to a bready, buttery note in the finish. Excellent flavor progression. We’re certainly not dealing with a one note brew here. Some citrus and honey sweetness are floating around as well along with a slight toastiness. Just a hint of a metallic quality but mostly a bready, nutty sweet finish. An excellent rendition of the style.

Medium bodied with a smooth, buttery mouthfeel and moderate carbonation. A full, velvety finish with a slightly dry feel. Very well balanced and pleasing. In fact on of the better SA brews I’ve had and I don’t think there are many I haven’t.

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Photo of alexhammond
4.34/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been trying to branch out more in my beer drinking (being mostly an IPA guy), and I think this brew really turned me on to Irish Reds. It's got a great caramel smell, and goes down really smooth. If it weren't for the sweetness, I could see myself drinking a bunch of these, not that it's overpowering or too heavy. Not a beer that will blow you away by any means, but probably my favorite red because of it's simplicity and drinkability. Would recommend it to someone that's never had this style before, it's a good place to start.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.33/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been waiting to try this and, having just picked up the Sam Adams Brewmasters' Six (with Black Lager and Honey Porter), I have my chance. Terrific presentation, with two fingers of dense, durable froth topping a reddish-brown body. The smell is also impressive, loaded with caramel malt and noticeable fruit aromas that translate well into the taste.

The taste is deceptively complex, with some bitterness in the finish complementing sweet berry and milk chocolate malt; really delicious. Although this is moderately sweet, there is a nice touch of bitter that does not fade from Irish Red. The carbonation is well-balanced. All-around good beer, not spectacular but very good, surprisingly so. I can't say that Irish Red Ale is atop my list of preferred styles, but this is highly drinkable, delicious, and enjoyable. Well done.

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Photo of JDK
4.33/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Anderson's in Lima, OH just got 2 cases of this in today, what a nice surprise!
Poured a beautiful red amber with a 2 finger head.
Has a very light sweet caramel with a bit of hops
Medium lacing that really hung to the sides throughout the drink
Light to medium mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation. Does not go flat at the back of the tongue
Tasted the roasted malts that finished with the hops. Very pleasent, nothing over bearing.
This is my first bottle of this and really enjoyed it. Definately worth a try.

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Photo of roddwolff
4.32/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It took more than 6 months since the last time I tried my friend Sam Adams, and then again I meet him, with the Irish style red.

A: At first glance, has a bright reddish color, very good foamy head with two fingers thick;

S: Hops with strawberries and cherries;

T: Caramel, strawberry gelatin, and earth hops;

M: Sweet with a medium bitterness, producing a woody and dry touch;

D: Very well balanced.

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Photo of FuzzyGuy84
4.31/5  rDev +21.1%
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.

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Photo of rtratzlaff
4.3/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a deep clear ruby firery red beer with a tan head that dissipates, leaving a wall of lace.

Smells of caramel sweetness and tons of it! The smell has me wanting to taste.

Taste is dominated by the malt, but in a good way. The hops are there, but they simply hide in the background while the caramel malt stands in the forefront delivering a ton of flavor. The flavor of East Kent Goldings do come in later to provide the earthiness that brings it all together. An almost tea-like bitterness from the hops hits the back of the tongue. The mouthfeel is great. Good coating of the tongue allows the flavors to sit and stay a while. Carbonation seems on the lighter side, but probably helps the beer to shine. I know little about what this style is supposed to be, but this beer shouldn't be anything else than what it is: tasty.

I wish I could get this in sixers rather than the brewmaster's mix pack.

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Photo of billybob
4.3/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a clear reddish amber color with a beige three finger head with a easy pour with some lace, could have been better. fruity aromas with a hint of caramel. taste is sweet, fruity, malty, caramel, with a slight tea finish. mouthfeel light and carbonation ok. very nice beer.

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Photo of assmasterson
4.3/5  rDev +20.8%
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.

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Photo of armock
4.3/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a nice ruby color with a tan head some lacing

S - Is a lot of sweet caramel malt

T - This stuff is good the sweet malt comes out very well and is balanced with some hops

M - This is a medium bodied beer with medium carbonation to it

D - I could drink this stuff all night long very sessionable great taste worth getting

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.3/5  rDev +20.8%
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.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.3/5  rDev +20.8%
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.

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Photo of Augustiner719
4.3/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a perfect pint.

Pours a very dense looking reddish color with some brown highlights and a big off white frothy head that lasts for a while. Nice lacing and really pretty blood orange color. The aroma is sweet sticky malts, similar to an Oktoberfest but more full bodied,. Great flavors of toasted bread, caramel and a nice spiciness that balances out the malts. Touch of acidity too. Mouthfeel and drinkability are fantastic. Really a great red ale from Sam Adams and now one of my favorites.

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Photo of Atlas1
4.27/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hard to fathom that I'm drinking an Irish Red ale on Cinco de Mayo, but there you go. Honestly, it's probably a lot better than most Mexican beers I can get here in San Antonio. Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Poured into a DFH barrel pint, the Sam Adams Irish Red delivers a nice shade of dark mahogany with a smallish one-finger head of foam on top. Held up to the light, the glass reveals hues of cranberry and burnt orange as well. The nose here is bold and assertive. Rich with caramel malty notes and playful fruity esters, the aroma is both sweet and savory at the same time. Very nice indeed. The taste is also rich and more complex than I would have assumed. Malty caramel up front, it shifts gears soon thereafter, providing a tart and fruity taste in the back of the mouth. Imagine if flan came in fruit flavors, and you might have this sensation. The finish is slight metallic, but the overall creamy mouthfeel more than makes up for it.

Another fine outing by the crew at Sam Adams. I would happily return to this beer again. Red ales typically are not my favorite style, but if more were like this it would surely grow on me. Would pair nicely with a chocolate-raspberry tart. Cheers.

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Photo of capps24
4.27/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

At first glance after pouring this one into a glass, it was extremely carbonated. Bubbles flowing freely. The carbonation seemed to subside as I drank the beer though.

The taste is very true to an Irish Red Ale, definately a 4.5 possibly even a 5! A great beer to celebrate St Pats day, even if you are not Irish. And if you are irish, drink it everyday. The only down point of this brew was the over carbonation, but I have had them not as carbonated.

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Photo of silver0rlead
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice amber color with a frothy beige head that leaves impressive lacing and retains well. The aroma is nice and earthy, with big fleur de sel caramel notes upfront, along with some grassy hops, red delicious apples, toasted bread, fruity esters and a faint hint of roast. The flavor is similar, with salty caramel notes initially, as well as red delicious apples, grassy hops, toasted bread, fruity esters, and some slight roasted notes. The mouthfeel is smooth and velvety, and drinkability is outstanding. A really strong effort from SA here, probably the best or second best Irish Red I've had, very sessionable.

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Photo of Liquids
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thick red color, with a foamy rocky head that holds, that has a slight muted amber hue to off white. Aroma is mostly noble hops, with that fresh and unmistakable Sam character to it. Taste is spot on red ale, sweet toasted and tea like up front, with full flavors, and a hop bite that is true to style, a bit typical of Jim/SA's love for some spicy noble hops in the mix, but maintaining the ever-masterful balance without trying to be all about hops, which would not only be easier to brew, but is a common way to go and is the problem I have with the average microbrew reds--they're just boring red hop water. This blows most all of them away. Medium mouthfeel on tougue, as per style, and a tad high on carbonation.

Overall a fantastic brew! I find only one or two of Jim/Sam's brews outright unpleasant, a lot of it as "solid" if not my pick, and then a few select to be absolutely outstanding to my palate. This is one of the outstanding in my book. I can't say it edges out Rock Art Red in flavor, but besides for being nearly as stunning (in it's own way) this is way cheaper, easier to get (at the moment), and it knocked me out by exceeded my expectations when I took a single, so I'm paying my dues and stocking it. Cheers to Sam!

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Photo of EPseja
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12oz bottle in my SABL glass at between fridge and cellar temperature.

Look: Deep, copper color with brickhouse red highlights. Light, sandy colored head rises two full fingers to the rim of the glass and recedes unevenly, forming craters in the resilient foam. Lacing is sporadic and soapy.

Smell: A really nice melding of toasty malts and European hops in which neither really takes the driver's seat. Very similar in character to the nose of a Sam Adams Boston Lager for the very same reason.

Taste: Starts out with a hit of caramel sweetness from the malts, almost leading you to believe that this is going to be a malt bomb. Then in the middle, a transformation begins as the sweetness subsides completely and gives way to medium-bitter hops and a hearty breadiness. The finish is crisply drying, with hints of the sweet malts becoming evident again. Fantastic flavor profile for a style that's too often one-dimensional.

Feel: Tingly and well carbonated -- perhaps a tinge too carbonated -- taking away from the creaminess in the mouth. Puffs up quickly, and consolidates for a fast swallow. Decent, but not this beer's best point. NOTE: Mouthfeel improves as the beer warms... as is the case with many beers. Get this one closer to cellar temperature for maximum enjoyment.

Drink: For a style that has disappointed me so many times in the past, I must say that I am impressed at the depth of character that Samuel Adams has crafted into their version. Not overly malty, and certainly not wimping out on the hops, either. This beer is definitely one that could be sessioned or enjoyed all evening long at a party.

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Photo of nach0king
4.24/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm not normally a massive fan of this style, but Sam Adams might just have won a convert.

A: Not too great. Minimal head, disappeared very quickly. Nice colour but nondescript otherwise.

S: Here's where things get special. Deliciously sweet, tangy malts on the nose. Hint of aniseed and licorice.

T: It gets even better. Honeycomb candy, a little bit of tartness, alcohol... tasty but also easy-drinking.

M: Not bad at all. Not too much to say - carbonation seems high for the style, but I like carbonation.

This is excellent and I'll be sure to pick up a few more bottles of it while in the season.

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Photo of bobhall78
4.24/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Brownish/red color, Little to no foam after a few minutes.

S - Almost odorless, clean, crisp smell.

T - Crisp, almost no bitterness, barley, hops, smooth.

M - Nice clean feel with no aftertaste.

O - Not a bad beer if your looking for something light in taste,
with no bitterness. Overall not a bad beer.

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Photo of PantsOptional
4.23/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this in a variety pack and got two bottles along with two Black Lagers and two Coastal Wheats. Pours a dark reddish amber hue with a fluffy off-white head that leaves plenty 0' lacing behind. Smell is of fruit (cherries, perhaps), caramel malt, and fresh-baked bread. Taste is very full and pulls through with a sweetness up front followed almost immediately by a salty, biscuity flavor. Delightful to say the least. A beer such as this has a lot going for it: alluring appearance, full heady aroma, and a complex taste. Plus the mouthfeel and drinkability are way up there. In conclusion, this is by far the best red ale I've ever had. If you're looking for a good time, pick this one up and enjoy the ride.

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Photo of Hokies
4.23/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Sam glass and got a two-finger head that quickie dissipated. The body was a nice bronze red. The aroma is rich with caramel and malt, also can detect a flowery almost citrus hint. A roasted caramel malt taste with a bitter after taste. It is lightly carbonated with a decent body. This beer is very drinkable worth buying a six pack

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Photo of pixaal
4.23/5  rDev +18.8%
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.

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Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 976 ratings.