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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.

2,282 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,282
Reviews: 968
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 14.99%
Wants: 28
Gots: 108 | 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: 2,282 | Reviews: 968 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of meechum
4.43/5  rDev +27.7%

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 thespaceman
4.43/5  rDev +27.7%

First time trying this, let's see how it is:

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

Appearance: Dark amber/red in color, hence the name, minimal head that dissapates quickly, perfect coloring for this style, excellent dark yellow lacing for such a small head.

Smell: Cranberry notes stand out big here, as well as a caramel afterbite. Earthy yet very invigorating. Compared to a Killians, the smell of this is miles ahead of alot of other red's.

Taste: Surprisingly excellent! This doesn't give away a huge portion of the "red bite" you get from alot of other red's like Killians or Mendocino's Red Tail Ale, but that's not a bad thing at all. This beer has nice floral notes that stand out, and the caramel kick in the end is terrific. Fruity, yet balanced perfectly with the caramel hops.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, mild carbonation, and pretty refreshing. Very nice body to this one.

Drinkability: Easily alot more drinkable then alot of other red ales, I can easily sesh a 6 pack of these. Very drinkable without having a boring taste, Boston Beer Company does it again! Good work.

thespaceman, Oct 18, 2008
Photo of CaptJackHarkness
4.43/5  rDev +27.7%

This bottle was from the newly released Harvest Collection dated use by Jan. 2012.

This is a copper colored gem of a beer. Nice crisp and clean finish, pleasant aftertaste. Nicely sweet caramely taste, barest hint of hops.
Very much in the Traditional Irish Red Style .

CaptJackHarkness, Aug 19, 2011
Photo of cdrogers
4.4/5  rDev +26.8%

The Pour: It poured a very golden red. Instead of trying to minimize the head completely I poured about 1/4 down the side and the rest straight into the glass. The head was about a 1/4" and was nice off-white.

Glass Look: The look in the glass was nice and the head held nicely.

Taste: Very smooth. Nice sweet taste with no bite or bad aftertaste. Nothing stayed on the tongue and in my opinion this would go well with any meal.

Would I Drink Again: I could see myself buying this regularly. I didn't give it a perfect 5, but it was very close. I am very picky choosing my beers to begin with and I just grabbed another good one. I would recommend this to anyone wanting a nice and smooth beer.

cdrogers, Dec 25, 2008
Photo of BostonBrewins
4.4/5  rDev +26.8%

A - Poured a deep red with a fairly thick caramel colored head. Some moderate lacing on the glass.

S - Nothing overpowering here, but the smells of caramel and toffee tones are there.

T - This is one of the sweeter irish reds I've had, but the hops do provide some balance to the sweet malty caramel flavor.

M - The smooth, creamy body and mild carbonation provide for a very pleasant mouth feel. This might be this beer's greatest strength.

D - Although this might be too sweet for some, this could be a solid session beer. The malty flavors make this a good cold weather brew, but its so easy going down I could drink this any season of the year. A very solid brew from Sam Adams.

BostonBrewins, Jul 28, 2009
Photo of jpkoch1962
4.38/5  rDev +26.2%

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.

jpkoch1962, Oct 21, 2008
Photo of oelergud
4.38/5  rDev +26.2%

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.


oelergud, Mar 01, 2008
Photo of uwmgdman
4.38/5  rDev +26.2%

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 letsgopens
4.38/5  rDev +26.2%

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.

letsgopens, Jan 22, 2008
Photo of alexhammond
4.35/5  rDev +25.4%

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.

alexhammond, Aug 23, 2009
Photo of Gehrig
4.35/5  rDev +25.4%

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.

Gehrig, Feb 02, 2008
Photo of JDK
4.35/5  rDev +25.4%

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.

JDK, Jan 30, 2008
Photo of rtratzlaff
4.33/5  rDev +24.8%

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.

rtratzlaff, Apr 23, 2008
Photo of roddwolff
4.33/5  rDev +24.8%

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.

roddwolff, Nov 18, 2009
Photo of billybob
4.33/5  rDev +24.8%

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.

billybob, Feb 10, 2008
Photo of assmasterson
4.33/5  rDev +24.8%

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.

assmasterson, Mar 19, 2008
Photo of armock
4.33/5  rDev +24.8%

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

armock, Jun 19, 2008
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.33/5  rDev +24.8%

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.

JoeyBeerBelly, Mar 23, 2008
Photo of RonfromJersey
4.33/5  rDev +24.8%

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.

RonfromJersey, Mar 24, 2008
Photo of FuzzyGuy84
4.33/5  rDev +24.8%

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 Augustiner719
4.33/5  rDev +24.8%

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.

Augustiner719, Aug 25, 2010
Photo of capps24
4.3/5  rDev +23.9%

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.

capps24, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of Liquids
4.28/5  rDev +23.3%

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!

Liquids, Feb 10, 2008
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.28/5  rDev +23.3%

Finally having a Sam Adams beer in one of the new glasses, woo hoo!

Appearance - pours a reddish brown, a moderately good cap of cream-colored foam. It slowly recedes, leaving a mostly solid layer of lace on the glass.

Aroma - light, crackery grain. A very neutral sniff.

Taste - the caramel malts deliver a robust and roasty grain flavor. The sweetness is fully checked by the hops at mid-palate. From there, a smooth bitterness and low level abv warmth are key. Even finish, warm, dry and roasty with a bitter edge. Even more abv warming as it warms up, amazing feat for 5.5%.

Mouthfeel - solid body, nice smoothness. Carbonation is peppy so the beer doesn't come across too heavy. Well done.

Drinkability - already an ideal style for sessioning, this beer is an all-season winner.

brewdlyhooked13, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of EPseja
4.28/5  rDev +23.3%

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.

EPseja, Feb 14, 2008
Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 2,282 ratings.