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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 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 StonedTrippin
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

not a huge irish red fan, but this one is really nice, and a bit different from the conventional. pours a nice ruby hue with a massive fluffy tan head. smell is red malts and dried fruit, maybe cherries or plums or something, just barely some residual sugar. taste too has some fruit in it, even more than the nose. mostly featuring the malt here, but some sappy hops come in near the middle. nice malty finish and a decent mouthfeel. leaves a bit of a yeasty/tart aftertaste, maybe from the bottle conditioning that i think isnt perfectly congruent with the rest of the beer, but a very drinkable red ale, with just enough abv for the spring days that still have some chill in the air. another worthy boulevard brew

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy caramel color with a frothy head; nice retention and a bit of lace

Smell: Toast and caramel, with an earthy hop aspect

Taste: Starts out toasty, with a building caramel flavor; just when you thought this beer was all about the malt, a nice earthy, almost tea-like hop bitterness kicks in to balance things out; after the swallow, the finish is fairly low key, with a subtle remembrance of the flavor profile

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A fine session ale, that has enough flavor to make things interesting

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.66/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's refreshing to have a simple, well-crafted, and (almost) sessionable beer for once. We need more beers that quietly give such pleasure without yelling at me.

Boulevard's Irish Ale begins with a deep ruby color with a stubby foamstance of stark-white foam, very creamy appearance, and very good lacing. Very clear.

Aromas of bready malted barley and estery red apples rise to the forefront of the glass. Subtle hints of bread crusts and toffee give an understated backdrop to the aromas.

Flavors do much the same but the light toast and sweeter, sun-kissed grains take precedence over the toffee sweetness and fruitiness. Still, the malt flavor is the driving force for the beer, allowing a light grainy taste to come into play early and late, somehow avoiding the main body of the beer.

The grain taste lingers into the impressions of body a bit too much and interrupts the handsome malt structure. Hop bitterness is assertive enough to balance the beer and then to also add an English, earthy, minty flavor as well.

This Irish Ale is a very nice beer that shouldn't offend or demand attention. Just an easy drinker and wonderful at that.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings, slow to make enemies and quick to make friends. And may you know nothing but happiness from this day forward."

--an Irish wedding toast

Dark coppery orange with bright Sunkist peel edges. I don't mind the lack of any real redness since the color is so fetching. Most brown ales aren't brown, after all. The pale caramel cap is large after a vigorous pour, looks like whipped mousse and leaves several sudsy streamers of lace.

The nose is pretty good for an Irish red, even if it doesn't wow me. It's primarily caramel malty with a modest fruitiness and a noticeable hoppiness. Magnum and Saaz comprise the hop bill, if such a thing matters in a beer of this style.

Irish Ale is a solid version. Unfortunately, like the nose, it doesn't grab me by the taste buds and convince me of its brilliance. This is one of those styles that needs to do something extra to stand out. In looking back, I've only had three Irish reds that were worthy of real, honest to goodness praise. Boulevard's take on the style doesn't quite join that select group.

I'm pleased at the sweet-bitter balance since I have it in my head that Irish reds are typically more sweet than bitter. The flavor profile follows the nose in that caramel-coated citrus fruit is the star of the show. There's also a sweet black tea character that adds an extra measure of flavor interest. At an ABV of 5.3%, this would make a good St. Patty's day session beer.

The mouthfeel is light-medium in a general sense and is entirely appropriate for the style as I understand it. It holds together nicely throughout each mouthful and finishes on an acceptably smooth, perfectly carbonated note.

I'm much more impressed with the final few ounces than I was with the first few. Whether the improvement was due to warming or to the goodies at the bottom of the bottle, I couldn't say. Boulevard Irish Ale still can't touch Great Lakes Conway's Irish or Three Floyds Brian Boru, but it's damn good beer all the same. I'll be sure to look for it again next March.

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Photo of zeff80
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle

Pours out a reddish, copper color. Maybe a two finger head. It leaves some lace as you drink it. The beer is very typical of an Irish Ale, hoppy and slightly bitter. It goes down very smooth. Goes great on St. Patrick's day, if you don't have any Guinness or Harp on hand.

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Photo of oberon
3.72/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into an impy nonic a deep amber shade with a large blooming light tan colored head atop.Aromas are lighter with deep caramel and dark fruit notes.This is a real deeply fruit Irish red here,dark fruit and caramel over lightly roasted malt notes,a bit of drying earthiness in the finish.Alot of frutiness to this ale wich might not be true to style but it's pretty damn good.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.57/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

And me (purposefully) without some corned beef... Anyway, this stuff pours a sunset amber-ruby topped by a finger of cream foam. The nose comprises rich caramel, a hint of roast, and a healthy smattering of earthy, almost mossy greens. The taste brings in more of the same, with a hearty balance maintained for most of the proceedings. Things topple a bit in the end, though, as the greens puncture through with a mild wave of soil-laden grassy bitterness. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, a nice little red lass, nothing to write home about, but yet another solid offering from Boulevard.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep clear amber, with 2 solid fingers of off-white foamy head. This retains with a creamy ½ finger that flares up rather robustly into a cascade of thick and heavy lacing. The aroma is toasty and sweet in the nose with caramel and biscuits. There's also a good bit of leafy and citric smelling hops, which help impart a deep green tang in the nose.

The taste has a fairly strong roasted presence going on with it, with more than enough malty sweetness present to help balance things out. Hops offer up some herbal accents and spicy bitterness that adds some punch to the profile, while also letting this finish with lingering notes of earth and dryness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a VERY creamy and softer feel to the carbonation that gives this a super mellow and easy drinking nature. I ripped through this glass, before I scarcely had time to finish reviewing it!

I've got to say that this was definitely one of the better Irish Reds that I've had in a while. Lots of robust malt flavors with just the right amount of earthy hops providing balance. Plus the feel and drinkibility on this were great for nearly 6%. Maybe not entirely true to the sytle with all of the hops involved but I was still impressed by this Boulevard offering.

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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 russpowell
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at the class 6 store at Vance AFB, OK, review based on notes, beer was 2 weeks past it's sell by date (bottle conditioned)

Poured a caramel orange with 2 fingers of sand colored head. Good lacing & head retention

S: Breadyness & cereal notes, some leafy hops, plus some caramel as this warmed

T: Caramel, grainyness & leafy hops up front. More of the same plus dryness & biscutty malt as this warmed, Finished dry with more leafy hops

MF: Medium bodied with high carbonation & pretty good balance

Drank pretty good, the dryness would get to me after a while. A passable Irish Red, bottle conditioned, so may be better a bit fresher 2 months post Saint Patricks

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance has a smooth creamy tan caramel tan head body is amber red leaves even thick chunks of lacing. Aroma contains caramel malt sweetness with pine cone scented hops definitely hoppier than the average Irish Red, which is a plus in my book. Taste has upfront malted wheaties sweetness touch of caramel creamy tone altogether with a mild bitterness but complex piney hop flavor. Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied mildly carbonated very smooth with each sip. Drinkability is very nice all around definitely better than many other beers of this style, go Irish this March with Boulevard's take on the style.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.32/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: a clear reddish hue, and the head is short, off-white.
Aroma is a surprising delight, rich and ambrosial: caramel, nuts, some dark fruits, cherry, citrus, and an overall roasted feel. Puts me in mind of a barleywine or a winter ale, more than a typical Irish ale.
Tasty, warm texture. Hops are lying low, true to style. Malt is big, but not too much so. Taste is sweet and delicious. I loved this oned all the way down!
One of the better "Irish ales" I've ever encountered. Great thanks to marc77 for sending it!

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Photo of drabmuh
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the time of this review, this is #4 on the "Top Beers - Irish Red Ale" list on beeradvocate.com. Beer served in a Boulevard Brewing Company Irish Red Ale shaker pint. This is how the fictional God intended. A top 5 beer in a real style is always an exciting find.

Beer is dark red / ruby and clear with a nice one finger off white head of small bubbles. Some lacing, decent retention, moderate to low carbonation.

Aroma is plain and sweet.

Beer is a little apple-like in the mouth, a mild roast on the end, very subtle. A mild bitterness, a nice medium bodied. The finish is nice as well. I'd have it again.

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Photo of mothman
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into New Belgium Globe glass.

Color is a dark mahogany. Pours a tan head that leaves some decent lacing.

Aroma is mainly malts. A lot of carmel and nut smell is present. There are some slight hops present.

Taste is very malty. There is definately a bread taste and some earthy hops. The carmel comes back as well.

Mouthfeel is very bitter. Leaves a sticky aftertaste.

Overall, at 4.26% abv this is a very sessionable beer. It is a really great irish red and something I could easily buy again.

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Photo of WesWes
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a ruby red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice malty scent that boasts of pale, crystal, and roasted malts. It's a bit sweet with a dry, bitter hop aroma. The taste is decent. It has a dry, roasted flavor that boasts of crystal malts and roasted barley. It has a mild hop bitterness and a dry finish. The yeast seems to give it an overly dry flavor. The mouthfeel is decent also. It is a medium/full bodied beer with a little too much carbonation. This is a decent brew. I think I may have aquired an older bottle, hence the overly dry and carbonated feel.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

I had to work late on St. Patrick's Day, so I had two of these when I got home from work. Poured a copper/red color. There wasn't much of a smell, but what smell there was came across as malty. The taste was malty with only a slight amount of hops. I haven't had a ton of Irish Red Ales, but this one tasted good to me. I would definitely try it again.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.51/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Since St. Patty's is around the corner I thought I'd give this one (or 6) a try. I love Boulevard, especially their Smokestack series, although I don't expect this one to match the level of those brews.

Pours a dark orange, perhaps mahogany color. Clear and clean. Head comes to about 1 1/2 fingers and not quite white. Nice retention and lacing on down.

Aroma is tad weak. Not quite sweet, not quite bitter. Some earthiness and tannins. I can imagine tea leaves, but very faint. Not bad/not outstanding.

As with the nose, the taste isn't outstanding, but it is nice. Quiet caramel and biscuit take a front seat, but not driving. A constant undertone of hops, noble I"m guessing (Saaz?). A cross between floral and spicy, but too weak to really concentrate on it.

Well, this beer is easy drinking. The tannins/tea don't mess up anything and provide a backdrop.

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Photo of corby112
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle received in a recent trade with thehand. Thanks again man.

Pours a slightly cloudy golden copper/dark ruby red color with dark golden orange hues when held to a light source and a one finger off white head that quickly settles into a thin lasting ring.

Slightly toasty malt aroma with hints of caramel, nut and toffee along with a prominent earthy, piny hop presence. There's also some slight biscuit and citrus fruit character.

Very hop forward for the style and on the lighter end of medium body. Lots of dry earthy bitterness with some dry sticky pine along with some sweet citrus notes. There is a nice slightly toasty caramel malt backbone that provides some balance with hints of toffee, nut and biscuit. Although there is some decent balance this beer is very, very dry and is dominated by the bitter piny hops. Not much like an Irish Ale at all really but is still pretty tasty. Long dry bitter hoppy finish.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to stephens101 for this brew.

Pours a very nice slight hazey golden amber color, nice carbonation, very nice one-finger plus creamy light tan head, with some very nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with lots of caramel. The taste is malty, nice sweet note, with some caramel. Medium body, with a dry/bitter finish. Drinkable, this is one fine brew, thanks Lane.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.41/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a four finger light tan head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Almost clear amber color. Light-medium carbonation and light-medium bodied. Slight malty nose. Starts almost sweet maybe caramel, clean finish. Hints of hops in aftertaste. Best by May 1, 2006. $1.49 for a 12oz bottle from John's Grocery Iowa City, IA.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)
best before 05/01/11 (It was)
A- This beer pours a hazy deep pecan brown body with a big bubbly carbonation that supports a light tan head that last for a good bit.

S- This beer has a soft brown malt aroma with some graham hints that grow as the beer warms.

T- This beer has a dry malt flavor with lightly toasted notes and a green hop bite at the end. As the beer warms there is a biscuit note that comes through the malt.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a tight fizz in the finish that scrubs the palate.

O- The hops are a bit stronger than the malt but both are a bit soft and there is not a lot of depth in the beer but it has some nice flavors and is easy to drink.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.86/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Top of the evening to ya!!! It's St. Pat's and what a perfect reason to taste the wonderful pot of gold known as Boulevard's Irish Ale! Thsi beer is very good....better than Killians. This beer is a nice clear ruby red with thin white head with slight lacing. The taste is agreat balance of malt and a lil something sweet! The mouthfeel is great and I could session this bad boy!

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Photo of Tone
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy, amber color. 1/3 inch head of a white color. Good retention and slight lacing. Smells of hops, sweet malt, and slight spice (coriander/ginger). Fits the style of an Irish Red Ale. Mouth feel is mooth and crisp with average carbonation. Tastes of roasted malt up front, sweet malt, and then some hops. The roasted malt dominates the finish which is also slightly dry. Overall, not a bad beer, but nothing out of the norm.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium to dark brownish red amber with a two finger light khaki head that seemed fizzy during the pour, but had good retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, dark stone fruit and a hint of grassy hops. Flavor is biscuit malt with a light toastiness, earthy; finishes with a mildly astringent dry grassy hop bitterness with dry biscuit malt. Medium bodied with light creaminess. A nice domestic take on an Irish red ale, covers all the bases for the red profile, with a nice lightly toasty maltiness and a dry almost tannic finishing bitterness. Pleasant mouth feel.

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