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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.

2,297 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,297
Reviews: 968
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 14.7%
Wants: 30
Gots: 116 | 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: 2,297 | Reviews: 968 | Display Reviews Only:
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 Gavage
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a reddish amber color with a one finger head that falls apart quickly.

Smell: caramel, ripe fruits, and a bit of earthiness is pleasant on the nose.

Taste: slightly grainy and bready malt base with caramel, plums, and a mild bitterness. There is a bit of an earthy tone late.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp to start, a bit smoother towards the finish. Short aftertaste.

Overall: an easy drinking Irish ale. Definite sessionable beer.

Gavage, Mar 04, 2012
Photo of Duhast500
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

The color is a dark amber/red with a finger of off-white head and some slight lacing left of the glass.

The smell is of hops with a reasonable amount of yeast. A bready flavor is present with slight sugary flavor..

The taste is a bit caramel, and has a true barely flavor. The malt is there but not too sweet as a tangy bitterness hits the tongue just after it's washed down.

This is a beer that has a very simple taste. The bitterness is balanced with a nice malt flavor. It goes down well and has the night amount of body for an Irish Red ale.

Duhast500, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of albern
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Perhaps I'm just not that fond of Red Ales so therefore my rankings are slightly lower than average. The beer pours a very ruby amber with not much head, some lacing on the glass, but pretty much an uncarbonated, sticky feel on the glass. The smell is bready malts, some crisp hop aromas, and some unsweetened, dryish cherry hints. The smell is pretty typical of a red ale. There are lots of caramel malts, some balance between dry and sweet grain, some bread like flavors, but pretty much the dryish unsweetened cherry fruits are pronounced in the background. The mouthfeel and aftertaste are modest, and there is a dryish hoppiness in the finish. Not bad, but I'm just not a big red ale fan.

albern, Mar 28, 2008
Photo of jeffthecheff
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very nice reddish color with a very solid and consistent head. One of the reddest red ales I've ever seen.

Aroma is surprisingly malty. Obvious carmel malt in the nose. Very juicy and surprisingly strong malt aroma. Hops are pretty restrained, the label says East Kent Goldings are used but I'm having a hard time detecting any hop presence here.

Taste has a nice, thick malty flavor with a huge carmel malt presence. Lingering sweetness has a huge character. Bitterness is light, but present if you look for it. A very brew from Sam Adams.

I'm not too familiar with Irish red ales, but I think Sam Adams gets it right here. While it is a huge in malt character, it isn't a very thick beer. Body is medium, and sticks with the lingering sweetness. Carbonation is on the low side. A little dryer would have been nice, to combine the sweet malt character some light, refreshing beer qualities.

Drinkability is good enough. I really am not craving another since this isn't my favorite style of beer, but it is enjoyable. I recognize this as a pretty good beer, but not one that I would buy a six pack of. Nice to have in the mix pack. The next one I'm saving for a food pairing as I would see this as pairing well with a pork dish like smoked ham.

jeffthecheff, Sep 02, 2009
Photo of ghostmech007
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a beautiful deep maroon. Thick foamy beige head that lasts for the whole drink. Lots o' stick on the glass.

Tons of caramel in the nose. A spice hop backed up with a sweet maltiness that I can even smell.

Big taste of caramel! Grain sweetness with a citrus backing. Not very bitter because the sweetness is very overpowering. A slight bit of alcohol comes through as well. Very complex taste for an Irish Red. Very creamy and a full body goes well with the style.

Very interesting take. It's more hoppy than most red's but I prefer that! One thing though is that it isn't a session beer. It's taken me an hour just to get through two. So it isn't something you want to get for a St. Patties party or something like that.

ghostmech007, May 24, 2008
Photo of stephens101
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a somewhat clear amber with a fluffy tan head into the SA specialty glass. Retention and lacing are great. Smells of roasted malts, nuts, tea leaves and subtle pine. Taste has some sweetness which is quickly offset by hops and a slight spiciness. Light to medium bodied and fairly smoothing going down. Carbonation is adequate.

stephens101, Mar 07, 2008
Photo of BretSikkink
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear, with reddish highlights. Almost no head with an even pour. A ring of lace remains.

Dextrin, starch-like aroma that seems a little dry. Light sweetness on the nose as well.

An even caramel malt flavor, most of the nose re-emerges as the body is lightly sweet in the mouth, with a small bite of hops at the very end.

Verdict: ok. Not too exciting, the signature yeast flavor is present but doesn't have enough supporting character to bring me back.

BretSikkink, Feb 04, 2008
Photo of TechTriumph
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best by: April 2012; Poured in a pint glass.

A - One inch off-white fluffy head; Clear, red amber color with visible carbonation; Not too much lacing left around the glass

S - Faint smell overall that is dominated by lots of caramel and some sugary malts; Hints of earthy hops and sweet fruits come through as well

T - Very similar to the nose with plenty of caramel and a presence of sweet fruits; Decent sweetness here as well; Grassy and earthy hops are definitely more in the background

M - Medium bodied; Good amount of carbonation

O - This is a solid offering from Sam Adams. It's very easy to drink and has a pleasant, sweet caramel-forward flavor, though it was probably a bit too much for me. As a result, the grassy/earthy hops weren't very easy to discern. That said, I would have this beer again and am looking forward to trying the other offerings in the Brewers Choice variety pack.

TechTriumph, Jan 25, 2012
Photo of dedrinker
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep reddish hue with a yellow-ish head.

Aroma of off-dry, slightly nutty and caramel malts.

A fairly one dimensional flavor of caramel malt, but fairly dry and without any fruit notes or other distractions but for a tip of the hops on the finish. It kind of reminded me of drinking Smithwicks, which can be considered a good thing for style points, but a bad thing for genuine enjoyment.

Medium-full body with a dry malty finish showing a dash of hops.

dedrinker, Mar 18, 2011
Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a small head of off white bubbles that was made of small bubbles. There wasn't much of a head even after a pretty aggressive pour. There is a little bit of lacing left on the glass after drinking.

Aroma: The aroma was pretty malt balanced with some sweet caramel, some mild british smelling hops in here that is very green. A mild acidity that seems appropriate for the style. The aroma gets a little more toffee like as the beer warms a bit, but it stays pretty consistent overall.

Taste: The flavor is much more dry than the aroma alluded to. The beer is pretty attenuated and the hops are a bigger influence in the flavor than they seemed like they would be from the aroma. The acidity is there,and it seems like it is coming from water...which doesn't seem inappropriate either. The carbonation is low, but this is OK because the beer is pretty thin on the palate anyway.

Opinion: This is an OK beer and it DOES makeme think of an Irish Red, so I guess they hit their mark. That said, this isn't all that great of a beer to make it stand out. I think that it is a little too attenuated, but that seems to be what I think about a great majority of BBC's beers. If you really dig this style, give this one a shot.

SkeeterHawk, Feb 03, 2012
Photo of rlshep
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Light malt in the aroma.

Orangish red in color. Small white head dissipates quickly. No lacing. Very clear.

Malty, Light caramel. A bit of toast. Low hop bitterness. No hop flavor. A hint of dark fruits, maybe a dark cherry.

Medium low mouthfeel. Medium high carbonation. Alcohol not noticeable.

A decent beer. Nothing off putting, just a little too boring. I would like to see stronger malt flavors and a bigger mouthfeel. Easy drinking.

rlshep, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of crayphish
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This BBC offering pours a clear medium brown liquid with a sudsy large head. Plenty of thick lacing. Pretty good amount of carbonation as well. Smell is muted and faint. What I do get is malty and sweet. Taste is better. A nice creamy malt front. Roasted nuttiness. Sweet but balanced. A hint of a bittering hop finish. A solid come back. Mouthfeel, despite the malt character, is somewhat refreshing. I found this to be an enjoyable brew, and one that I will look forward to during it's next release.

crayphish, Apr 23, 2008
Photo of tai4ji2x
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

best by date of nov 2008

poured into shaped pint glass.

decent dark amber, gem-clear. nice head fades to wispy layer and ring. nice lacing.

nose starts with faintly grassy hop and earthiness, then just a hint of malt. slight esters and phenols in the back.

flavor is similar, with a moderate bitterness throughout. slight resins and grassy hop in the finish, which is where the malt hint peeks in. faint phenols and esters too. almost felt charitable and gave this a 4; it was ok, but pretty unremarkable.

feel is smooth, but ever so slightly thin. moderate carbonation.

drinkable and sessionable, but again, nothing that stands out for me

tai4ji2x, Jul 27, 2008
Photo of Billolick
3.54/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, best before dating notched onto the side of the label (May 2014)

Pours ruby hued amber, supports a typical tan head, that lasts nicely, and leaves low ringed sheeting.

Sweet malts on the nose and then on the palate....some roasted notes and plenty of sweet caramel. British/mellow hops dry out the finish and provide the balance. Ehh, nothing special, but not terrible. Drinkable and serviceable every day/middle of the road kinda ale

Billolick, Feb 25, 2014
Photo of Slatetank
3.54/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I picked this up as part of the spring thaw mix at Giant in Linglestown, enjoyed this chilled in a 1/2 pint.

The color is deep ruby with good clarity and thick beige head with average sized bead and retention. The smell is bready and slighty yeast influenced with light fruit ester and subtle caramel sweetness from the malt in the aroma. The feel is okay, but a bit too creamy with subtle mineral and tanginess of yeast with a slight diacetyl smoothess and mild sweetness in the finish.

The flavor is okay, not bad mild maltiness with slight fruitiness in the yeast with just enough hops to give it some balance. The flavor is slightly creamy with bready toasted taste yet the diacteyl comes forward as it warms with a light tanginess in the yeast I am not ecstatic about. The flavor is okay, but after one of these I was ready to move on, the style is fine, but this particular interpetion is not that impressive.

Slatetank, Mar 29, 2013
Photo of alexkeil
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this one from the Harvest mix pack

Appearance is deep red color with a tan fizzy head that dissipated quickly

The aroma is sweet malts, mostly caramel

Flavor is sweet with a dry finish. Mostly caramel comes through with spicy noble hop backing. The bitterness is pretty high and lends to the dry finish. Maybe hints of butter

The mouthfeel is dry and medium, with a higher carbonation

Overall a nice effort, no major flaws but not anything that will knock your socks off. Somewhat sessionable: maybe three or four pints

alexkeil, Sep 24, 2011
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a pint glass) best before Oct 2010
A- This beer pours a hazy orangish-brown with a thin bubble head that last a good while as a film. There is a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles.
S- The aroma of bready malt with a light caramel quality has a nougat melanoidin aroma that grows a s the beer opens up. There is a slight earthy note to it with a faint peat quality. As the beer opens up a flinty note comes through.
T- The dry toasted caramel malt has a light biscuit note to it. There is a light watery taste to follow. The finish is a soft green herbal hops with a bittern bite that lingers a bit. There is a very light sulfur note to the hops.
M- The medium mouthfeel has a slight creamy texture with a scrubbing fizz finish.
D- The malt flavors are a bit light and muted which is fine but the the sulfury bitterness of the hops is pretty strong. The nougat quality also grows a bit and covers some of the malt flavors.

rhoadsrage, Sep 16, 2010
Photo of TheSixthRing
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a deep, golden red.

smell - Caramel sweetness. Mild earthiness. A hint of apple.

Taste - A light caramel upfront gives way to a pleasant, drinkable soft hop aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - light-to-medium body, and a fitting amount of carbonation. Silky going down, but still has a decent enough bite. The best part of the beer.

Overall - Not a superb beer, but certainly something I could see myself drinking for an evening every now and again if it were on sale.

TheSixthRing, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of scootny
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
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

scootny, May 05, 2012
Photo of TAMU99
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sam has trouble brewing a bad beer (except that cherry lambic...ugh). This one is very good as well. Red-tinted amber with a lacy head. Smells of honey, spring and moss. Hearty hoppy bite well balanced by sweet malt. Smooth mouthfeel with a crisp finish and little aftertaste. Very drinkable. I'm not a red fan, but this one is very good.

TAMU99, May 12, 2008
Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has an amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is sweet and malty, some hints of caramel. Taste is good, caramel and malts, fairly sweet. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a good quality beer.

tone77, Nov 14, 2009
Photo of TexIndy
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle with a dating notch on the side into a pint glass. It was a nice rich ruby color. There was a lot of suspended yeast in there and a little carb as well. It had a small off-white head that quickly settled into a thin collar. Just a hint of lacing. The smell was heavily sweet malt with caramel overtones. I almost found it to be too sweet - almost distracting - which had me worried about the taste being too sweet. It wasn't. It was a solid Irish Red Ale. It's not my favorite style although I do like to detour here once in awhile to get away from the hop bombs. I'd like to try it on tap but probably won't be buying many sixers of it.

TexIndy, Jul 04, 2008
Photo of buschbeer
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle
Served in a pint glass

A - It pours burnt orange leaning towards copper in color. It is topped with one finger of tan head.

S - The aroma is caramel and toffee malt with some toasted bread notes.

T - The taste pretty much mirrors the aroma. I get toffee and caramel malt. I can perceive some hops that escaped me on the nose.

M - Medium

O - It's a decent beer. I love Conways Irish Ale, and this just doesn't stack up.

buschbeer, Jan 25, 2012
Photo of metter98
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is crystal clear amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high creamy beige head that gradually faded away, leaving only a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass and lacing down the sides.
S: There are moderate aromas of caramel malts in the nose.
T: The taste is slightly sweet and has moderately strong flavors of caramel malts with some notes of bitterness towards the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied, creamy and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a bit of dryness in the finish.
O: The beer is very easy to drink and can be considered sessionable, however if I was looking for something with a bit more of an interesting flavor I would try something else.

metter98, May 14, 2011
Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 2,297 ratings.