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Irish Ale - Boulevard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Irish AleIrish Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

236 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 236
Hads: 563
Avg: 3.72
pDev: 11.83%
Wants: 22
Gots: 54 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing Co. visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-02-2002

Irish Ale, Boulevard’s early spring seasonal beer, is our Midwestern tribute to the legendary red ales of old Ireland. Our recipe combines six kinds of pale and roasted barley malts to provide a rich, toasty flavor and tawny reddish hue.

30 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 236 | Hads: 563
Photo of wmtxbb
2.3/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Dark red with lacing.

Smell: Tea and cotton candy. Smells a lot like some of the scottish herb ales I've had.

Taste: Way too much alcohol up front, really over powers the other flavors. Not balanced at all. Alcohol followed by malt and ends tart. Horrible mix that ends far too bitter.

Drinkability: One is too much. I've really wanted to like Boulevard's brews, but I haven't been able to find any (thus far) that I like. This Irish ale should be revamped or just retired.

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Photo of harrymel
2.33/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Best by 01MAY12

pours a rusty brown with a quilt of light latte foam and excellent clarity. Spotty lace. Nose is of floral malts and a little bit of caramel. Some tea like, earthy hops. Metallic flavor over a decent amount of sweet malts. There is a certain dry, tart character I'm not really digging. Medium bodied with moderately hi carb and a good dry finish. This is okay, nothing more.

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Photo of Sammy
2.84/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks bort11 for your generousity. Pours a tan yellow with a foaming white head. Beery cheese aroma. Toast in there and on bitter side, not getting too much malt and no hint of recognition of a 5-malt complexity, metal in the finish. Aggressive carbonation,not bad but oh so dry Irish.Thanks again Tim!

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Photo of Foyle
2.92/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass.
Appearance: a thick fluffy off white head recedes at a glacial pace with some fine lacing. Color is a somewhat cloudy reddish amber with plenty of yeast in suspension. Very little streaming carbonation.
Aroma: bready malts dominate the aroma, with some caramel sweetness, a bit of fruit, and some pungent hops.
Mouthfeel: medium bodied, fluffy, and sticky with a somewhat wet finish.
Flavor: toasted bread crust, raisins, caramel, a bit of grassiness, and a strong, lingering hop bitterness in the middle and finish.
Overall: this is an above average, but not outstanding, offering.

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Photo of bennettwj
3/5  rDev -19.4%

This is the one beer from Boulevard that I won't buy. If you hand me one I will drink it though. I am at odds with many of my friends who love this beer though.....guys who wish they could get it year round. The yeast aroma is too strong. I'm not sure why it is more pronounced in this beer when compared to other Irish style red ales though. Overall not bad, but not the best showing from Boulevard.

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Photo of kojevergas
3/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2011 1107 E. Best by: 05/15/2012. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into an Odell Easy Street Wheat pilsner glass in me gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average given the brewery.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a three finger head of nice cream, pretty good thickness, and good retention for the somewhat above average retention. Colour is semitransparent vibrant copper-amber. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Toasted malt, some cream, amber hops, other clean vibrant malts, and a hint of biscuity yeast. A mild strength aroma.

T: Toasted malts form the backbone accompanied by cream, amber hops, and clean malts with hints of biscuity yeast. In other words, it tastes much like it smells. Nicely layered and enjoyable, if somewhat simple. Not particularly subtle or complex, and a bit overdone in terms of the hops and toasted malts, but it's pleasant to drink.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some pleasant crispness. A touch too thick. Too smooth and wet; needs coarseness and dryness to really bring the flavours out. Adequately carbonated. Suits the flavours decently, but is far from ideal.

Dr: Drinkable and pleasant, but far from impressive. I might get this again on-draught, but for the style it's rather mediocre. Nothing new is offered here. Fans of the style should try it, but don't expect anything amazing.


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Photo of maxpower
3/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep clear- amber in color, has a nice white head that doesn't last very long, light malty bready aroma. Sweet caremel malty flavor, mild hop profile it does have a nice clean dry finish, medium body, seems kind of bland, overall not all that bad but average.

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Photo of cookin420
3.01/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bort11 for the bonus bottle.

Bottle poured into a pubglass.

A beautiful red beer, deep reds and orange colors remind me of hot coals. Impressive head leaves a stiff, thick lace.

Smell is mostly hops with a faint caramel malt aroma.

Well hopped for an Irish red but no complaints here as it's balenced nicely with malt. The malt plays second fiddle to the bittering and flavor hop additions.

A descent body to this beer, heavily carbonated at first but it simmers down right quick.

Very drinkable I think. I could see this being a session choice with some frequency if it were sold here.

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Photo of PEBKAC
3.03/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Right after the Boulevard Stout, this Irish red...

Ommegang anniversary glass this time. A blank space on the shoulder of the glass where the BB date usually is.

Two inches of yellowed & dense milkshake head. Slow to settle. Heavy activity inside its tawny amber body.

Smell is a little soapy(I only rinsed), faintly grainy, & again metallic.

First off, I notice the feel is quite frothy & creamy. A sure amount of caramel upfront, plus a good wad of dough. Flavors of ginger &/or bubble gum are noticeable. Breakfast cereal-like grain sweetness. Barky, chewing on a toothpick-like bitterness & feel on the finish.

Body is a little heavier then I was expecting. Carbonation is low.

It needed a little more bite, but otherwise decently inconspicuous for the style. Goes well with grey meat & olive-colored drapes. :P

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Photo of rowew
3.06/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz short bottle, comes in a fully enclosed six pack. First Boulevard beer I've seen on the shelves in Colorado. Best by date printed on the neck, ABV listed along with ingredients.

Appearance: Hazy red, thin head with a bit of lacing.

Smell: Not great - a bit metallic and some cooked vegetable, reminds me of extract home brew.

Taste: Tastes better than it smells - a solid malty body with just a bit of hops in there to balance it.

Overall impression: I hate to say it, but this one is better enjoyed straight from the bottle - it makes a decent session beer. When it opens up, the aroma is less than pleasant.

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Photo of bowz32
3.08/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

medium lasting head.
color of red amber good clarity.
smell of lightly roasted malt.
taste very light not much flavor at all.
body had a very average feel with good carbonation.
had a lasting after taste.
I got this beer in a Boulevard Sampler pack and it was the seasonal selection bought in Clinton Ia. Very reasonable priced. a very average beer

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Photo of goochpunch
3.11/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours out a rusty orange-red with middling carbonation and a pretty, thick head atop. Leaves some thick lacing. Smells of sweet malts and a good deal of toasty crystal. Lot's of fruity esters going on that I tend to associate with Boulevard. There's kind of a tinge of piny hops. Taste is sufficiently malty with a good bit of toastiness. There's the fruitiness here which reminds me of fruity bubblegums. There's a bit of that "beyond-toasted" malt character that I get from Fat Tire and much of the New Belgium line here which almost gives off the effect of cocoa powder. Slight medicinal flavors. Bit of pine hop in the finish. Mouthfeel is moderate to light in weight and extremely creamy. Drinkability is OK. I really didn't like this beer right off, but as I work my way through the 6 pack over the course of a couple weeks, I find myself liking it more.

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Photo of argock
3.11/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. Best by 5/01/12 in white on bottle neck. Received from my parents with love (I'm sure).

A: Burnished reddish-amber with 1-2 finger of off-white head with decent retention and a nice stripe of craggy lace.

S: A light caramel grainy malt sweetness with tea-like hopping. It's pretty light all around but is a bit bigger with warming.

T: The grainy sweetness is pretty similar to the nose, maybe even a little sweeter. The hops are very light with just some herbal character lingering. I'm missing the toasted malt character I like in this style.

M: The feel is pretty dry with light-medium body.

O: This is a decent beer at best but not one of Boulevard's best.

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Photo of pmcadamis
3.16/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Hazy russet colored brew with reddish highlights, and a nice thick tan head that sticks around for a long time. Some nice creamy lace is left on the glass. All in all, this is a really good lookin' brew.

S - Nice mildly floral hop aroma backed up by some sugary and syrupy smelling malt. Not a whole lot going on here.

T - Nice smooth and mild but hop-forward taste. Some lightly sweet malt notes remind me of carrot cake and spiced coffee cakes. It's gentle and easy going; quite likable really.

M - Moderately-carbonated and medium in body. Creamy and lush with a neutral but very slightly hoppy finish.

D - Good stuff. Nothing memorable or outstanding, but it's a fine lower-abv session beer. A good session choice for St. Patty's day if you are bored with Guinness, Killians, and Bud Light in green aluminum bottles.

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Photo of Zadok
3.16/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Jack Stack, the plaza location.

Arrived at my table with a deep amber appearance and about a finger head, lacing was actually pretty good as the beer receded.

Very mild if not weak smell, mild malts and not much else. Maybe a bit of a roasted aroma.

Taste similar to the smell, sad to say not a whole lot going on. Mild roasted malts and maybe a dash of hops not much else.

Pretty good mouth feel as the style would dictate and carbonation was on par.

Overall a pretty average brew. Probably not something I would try again to be honest, not bad per se just underwhelming.

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Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.2/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a bottle.

The name describes the color, which is a crimson tinged deep orange under an excellent soft three fingers of clingy foam that never falls all the way to the surface.

The aroma is mild and pleasing with primary notes of light fruit and a touch of black tea. The hops come through in a light fruity way and this doesn't smell bitter.

There is less overall flavor than I expected, with muted grains and a little toast paired with some hop bitterness and a tiny bit of their leafy flavor. There is a little alcohol and a little wet grain in the aftertaste. As it warms, a little nicer touch of toasty grain and some caramel come forward.

The mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with full but not prickly carbonation and compact bubbles.

Conclusion: Looks good, smells good, feels good, but this bottle falls a little short in the taste department. I imagine this is a hard style to get just right because it includes subtlety, but this is a good beer all the same, it just doesn't shine out as world class.

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Photo of jar2574
3.2/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brown/red color, with a thin off-white head, average carbonation and clarity. Smells sweet and malty. But no sweatness in the taste. The toasted malt taste is accompanied by a surprising taste of alcohol. Other than that, I'm not tasting much of anything. The beer isn't very full, it's a little watery. The combination of the toasted malt and the alcohol leaves this beer quite dry. As with most Boulevard offerings, it's not bad but not great.

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Photo of wmthorne
3.21/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoying this on a sunny 65 degree day in West TN on the patio of my favorite brick oven pizza place.

Poured into a footed pilsner glass. Nice spongy head. Good caramel-red color with lots of bubbles.

Caramel in the nose and a fair amount of carbonation in the first swig. Just a touch of hoppiness to give it a little edge.

The beer laces the glass beautifully.

It is a pretty tasty overall Irish red. I could have several especially at the $2 happy hour draft price.

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Photo of ElCommodoro
3.22/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer poured a very dark brown copperish colour, but was still transparent. It had a large foamy light tan head that left the most incredible lacing I've ever seen. It looks incredibly delicious.

It smells a bit metallic and of cheap malts. Surprisingly unremarkable for such an amazing appearance.

The taste is far more astringent than I'd expect from an Irish red. It's a little too obviously hopped. It tastes sweet enough and there are SOME toasty characteristics, but I'm displeased with how much they are masked by the excessive hops. The toasty and sweet malt profile should be allowed to shine. I really think that Sam Adams does a better job of the Irish Red. I'm going to have to say this is average.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.23/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I picked this one up a while back as part of a mixed six pack. Poured a dark reddish-brown color with a good beige head. Aromas of grassy hops, toasted malts and caramel. On the palate, this one is light to medium bodied with flavors of caramel, grassy hops and toasted malts.

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.24/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a root beer lollipop brown with two fingers of slowly dissipating tan head. Smells of molasses and malts. Tastes of a dry roasted malts and, some cherry and walnut hints, a slight after taste of semi bitter hops. Medium thick mouthfeel, a little light on the carbonation. I'd recommend a pint to a friend its quite drinkable.

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Photo of jhammerly
3.24/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice pour from the bottle produced a frothy, cream-colored head settled on a dark amber body. Not much aroma from this, just some malt. Taste is of semi-sweet malt with some light hoppiness in the finish and a bit of a toasted flavor. A medium-bodied beer that is simple in style and very drinkable.

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Photo of katan
3.24/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12 oz into a pint

A - Certainly is red - very clear. Runs against the grain of their bottle conditioning. Head formation is darker in color, probably a symptom of the density of the beer. Leaves behind only a light film.

S - A roasted sweet malt dominates. A small amount of yeast in the backdrop.

T - Starts off with lots of those specialized malts. Bitterness only barely rears its head. No hop finish anywhere in this beer. Finishes with a sweet roasted malt flavor. After taste has some of the cloying sweetness.

M - Moderate to light body. Carbonation does balance that out a little, adding some bite. Only thing on the aftertaste is the cloying sweetness.

D - Very drinkable beer - abv is in line with easily imbibed macros. Flavors are muted - no challenge there. Lastly, the beer is not at all filling.

This beer is okay - it just seems to get an "eh" overall.

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Photo of JasonA
3.28/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Received this in a trade as an extra. Bottle says best buy 05/01/09. Very nice semi-transparent carmel. Macro looking carbonation with little to no lacing, not in a bad way to the style.

Malt and iced tea. Some metal alcohol feeling.

Right as I read the label "produce a secondary fermentation in the bottle" I taste a hint of unfiltered hefe. Just a tad yeasty, nice. Litle tea, light malt. Clean and fresh. No hops to speak of.

Some ABV, nice pub beer.

Not one I would look after, might try on tap local. I could put down a pitcher of this and not be sad.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.28/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a caramel/amber with a creamy head that's big and retains well. Thick sticky foam clings to the glass.

Aroma is caramel, something sweet like candy sugar, and a lager-y lightness in the background.

Nuttiness and caramel prevail in the flavor. Mineral in the finish, which is also bitter and gives off a light hint of roasted malt.

Mouthfeel is too fizzy; less aggressiveness would help this beer out.

An easy drinker, but it's pretty average stuff, close in vibe to your everyday average brown or amber ale.

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Irish Ale from Boulevard Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 236 ratings.