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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 hopman333
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Just picked up a sixer at Walmart for $6.29, and since I'm in Mo now,,,, ( God I miss Chicago ) it just hit the shelves today and I'm a sucker for fresh beer. And just for the record I like Boulevard brews in General.

I really don't like to spend alo't of time commenting on the looks of a brew although I will say it has a nice tawny reddish brown appearance and a nice frothy head on it as well.

Smells of Rich Pale malts ( which I love ) and a nice Floral Hop aroma going on as well,,,, Very nice.

The taste is much better then last year's , in my opinion anyway's. It starts out Hoppy and Floral and quickly turn's into a VERY nice Caramel / Pale / Chocolate Malty palette that then carries out a nice 30 IBU Bitterness that does leave the mouth moist with with the juicy pale and assorted malts... Very Well Balanced.... This is about a well balanced as a brew can be.... I love the floral Hop and malt combo going on here....

Not sure why other's have rated this so low... It's not my favorite style by any mean's. Although I love Brian Boru ( AKA ) Three Floyd's and of course Conway's Irish Ale from Great Lakes. I think this is a fine representation of the style, especially at the price point I'm buying it at. All of the Boulevard 6 packs can be had for $6.29 here in Springfield which is a STEAL in my opinion. Hell sometimes their on sale for $5.99,,, NO BRAINER TO PICK THIS UP...

All in all a beautifully balanced brew that is 6 pack worthy for sure.... Do you ever just crave a nice hop and malt balance where one does not over power the other... If so, then this is your ticket. VERY NICE BREW<<<

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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 sethcroisant
3.79/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- enticing two finger off-white head that leaves a nice lacing that lasts

S- a little bit of grassiness and some toasted grain in the nose. barely any kind of noticeable traits

T- nice sweetness from the malt up front. soon followed by a decent amount of hops, for the style, and a touch of salt that adds a bit to the bitterness. pretty dry in the finish with lingering toasted grains

O- a splendid offering from boulevard. one of the better and more balanced red ales i've tried

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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 matjack85
3.32/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got this single 12oz squatty brown bottle at the Binny's store in Bloomingdale, IL as part of a build-your-own six pack for $9.99. No freshness date, bur Boulevard only makes these from Jan. to March and this is only May, so I assume it's pretty fresh.

The beer poured a murky color similar to an old copper penny, and produced a fast receding single finger of bubbly white head. Thin rings of lace slid down the glass with each sip.

Toasted malt and flowery hop aroma.

Malty without being sweet. Six different roasted and toasted malts are supposed to make up the backbone of the flavor here according to the website, but it didn't seem all that roasty or toasty to me. If anything, it's biscuity and dry with a mild herbal bitterness for balance.

Creamy smooth mouthfeel, medium bodied, and moderate carbonation.

It's very drinkable with no alcoholic taste, but it's nothing outstanding.

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Photo of Hopswagger
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes:

P: Full finger of tan frothy head on a body of dark brown copper amber highlighted ale. Cloudy with a layer of foam that resides on top.

S: Sweet malts, spices, earthy,, bisquity, hints of banana, esters, timid toasted grains that warm the nose.

T/M: Big carbonation level that delivers a combination of floral and woody hops. Medium body that is on the sticky side. Toasted grains, semi-sweet malts with a peppery bite. A small warming sensation that responds to the dry finish of toasted sesame seeds.

O: Goid tasting beer that is well balanced. A great St. Patty's Day beverage. Not my most favorite Irish red but a solid one.

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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 NuclearDolphin
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Pint Glass

Appearance - Dark Brown with an absolutely look to it. Head pours around 1 finger in width; Decent retention in terms of lacing.

Smell - Yeasts, caramel, cocoa, barley and malts. It smells like freshly baked bread with some mild sweet notes!

Taste - Sweet yeasts, malts and barley. This is a pretty simple tasting beer when compared to the smell. Luckily, the flavors are all pretty good. Aftertaste is a bitter barley taste.

Mouthfeel - It's on the heavier side in terms of body and thickness but not in a molasses sort of way. Carbonation is pretty light so it's pretty easy to drink

Overall - It's simple yet inoffensive in taste, and it's easy to drink. This is a beer that plays it safe, doesn't take any chances and succeeds in doing just that.

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

poured from bottle into a pint glass. Pours a dark amber color with a nice head

Well balanced with very good aromas of toffee, caramel, grains, a touch of hops and bits of citrus.

Nice medium body with a good feel. Nice flavors of toffee, caramel and some citrus but lacking a bit on the mid

A very drinkable irish ale. Yet another beer from boulevard that I've enjoyed and want again

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Photo of imasloth
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Served into a pint glass. Outrs a nice red to amber color, with two-finger cream head. Highly carbonated to the extent that bubbles line the sides of the glass. Sparse but persistent lacing.

S- The smell really excites me. It's a nice mix of sweet malt/grain, with playful floral hop aromas.

T- Interestingly, the hops hit first. Good bitterness, with dry malt flavor to follow. Very tasty. Aftertaste brings back out the floral.

M- Smooth, medium body. Carbonation evident.

O- After the last few Boulevards I had in the twelve pack sampler I was having some doubts. This Irish Ale though is quite good. Would buy it again.

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Photo of dmfrench
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tart apple spice but too thin to be nice

Spring Seasonal

A: Finely hazy deep blood red body with a fairly persistent, sudsy, three finger light khaki head. Simply beautiful.

S: Light dusty and slightly spiced hops with sweet caramel green apple. Simple but fragrant.

T: A bit of a let down after the look and the nose, but still flavorful... tart yet candied green apple dominates throughout with spiced hops making themselves known on top. Oddly, I'd swear I can taste alcohol. There's also just a bit of metal on the palate, and somehow the flavor lacks foundation. really not bad at all, just not a slam dunk.

M: A bit on the thin side for my tastes.

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Photo of Redrover
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This had just been tapped at the Flying Saucer in Little Rock. Served in a standard pint glass, the beer is garnet with just a wisp of a beige head.

It has a nose of grains and some dough.

The beer beer’s taste tracks the smell. It is grainy & doughy with a touch of floral hops at the back end.

Mouth has decent heft. There is nothing bad here, but nothing that exciting either.

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Photo of phishsihq
3.33/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Boulevard Irish Red pours a light shade of mahogany, with a half-inch of off white head that provides spotty, yet sticky lace. Sweet malt, caramel, and some herbal hops are noticeable in the nose, with the slightest hints of roasted malt discernible as well. The flavors of this brew closely follow the nose, with the sweet malt dominating the pallet out front, hints of caramel and toffee poking through, and a long, sustained finish with a touch of floral hop flavor and bitterness in the end. A medium level of carbonation is met with a medium-high body. Another wonderful example of the "Irish Red Ale" category.

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

Had on tap at Wild Monk, a new gastro pub in downtown Lagrange. Served in a Two Brothers pint glass.

A: Pours a dark mahogany with a thin white head forming on the pour. A thin white film is left on the top of the brew and it leaves some sticky sheets of lace.

S: Very malt forward nose. Sweet and pale malts with some raw bread dough and some caramel. Slight earthy pine in the background.

T: Caramel and pale malts up front with some doughy bread, a touch of peat and some some bitter hops on the finish.

M: Medium bodied with a medium carbonation. Nice sweet maltiness is left on the palate.

O: A solid Irish red. Nice malty flavors with a subtle hop finish. Not overly complex, but easily drinkable.

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Photo of kjyost
3.56/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle purchased as part of a mixed 12 pack at Happy Harry's, Grand Forks, North. Bottle BB June, 2012. Poured ~4C into a Duvel snifter.

A: Clear ruby red body with a nice tabs head that lasts the whole pour and laces lightly.
S: Sweet malts, hints of butter, light earth hop. Grew on me as time passed.
T: A bit better here with a body that is sweet and full of caramel. Seemed watery to start but it built to a thick body with at times a dank earthy, but more often a spicy hop finish.
M: As above. Watery when cold. Thick when warmed.
O: I initially has this beer pegged around a 3, but it built on me. This is not my favorite style, nor a beer I would regularly reach for, but was enjoyable enough for what it was.

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Photo of beagle75
3.56/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

A: Clear, dark amber color with two fingers of cinnamon-tinted foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass.

S: Rustic grain and spicy herbaceous hops seem somewhat scattered due to persistent carbon dioxide.

T: Begins dry, with crisp mid-range malt that is suggestive of rye, and mild citric acidity. A whiff of green herbaceousness becomes married to the citric acid in the middle, offering dark citrus effect alongside slightly astringent earthy hop flavors. Slight sweetness develops temporarily before the soft bready finish features more earth and limited bitterness.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, balanced if a little acidic on the palate, with low carbonation.

D/O: This balanced ale is safe but respectable, able to cultivate mid-range flavor qualities that seem to find some new territory between that of the amber and brown ales. While the smell is representative of the flavor, it seems like a less interesting version of what greets the palate. It should pair well with most savory foods.

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Photo of rfbenavi80
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle Best by 5/01/12
Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a deep reddish amber, with lots of thick foamy tan colored head on top. Leaving some mild lacing.

Aroma is full of malts. Caramel. Some mild hops are in the back ground. Smells kind of sweet.

Tastes of sweet malts. Follows the scent profile well. Some very mild bitterness at the end. Mildly dry finish.

Mouthfeel is medium body, with out a lot of carbonation.

Overall this is an easy drinker. Nice to have on hand to compliment any kind St. Patricks Day celebration. Another well balanced beer from Boulevard.

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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 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 samie85
3.56/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, deep red color with two fingers of white head.

Smells of deep, estery fruit notes with some caramel malt.

Starts out with a crisp bitterness and a rich malt quality.

Light side of medium bodied with light carbonation and a slick feel.

I appreciate the balance struck on this beer; it's rich and malty yet has a nice bitterness that cuts through the malt to keep it from being cloying.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.3/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. Best by 05/01/12.

(A)- Pours a reddish amber hue. Produced a good cap of tan froth; plenty of lacing.

(S)- A nicely rich malty profile: caramel, toffee, and a mildly spicy cinnamon and vanilla.

(T)- Similar to the smell. A wide range of malty goodness: caramel and toffee-like spice. Finishes with some grainy bits.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Overall, just an array of malty-rich flavors.

(D)- A nice little beer with a wealth of malty flavors. A bit too malty for my tastes with really no other noticeable flavors.

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Photo of KJay1408
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A very nice dark redish brown with a nice dense rocky, foamy head on top. It looks awesome.

S: Very malty with some awesome herbal/hop aromas

T: Nice and malty sweet up front, with some toffee, notes and a good bit of grapefruity hop flavor on the back side. Very easy drinking beer. I should note that it does have that "dry" flavor beers like Smithwicks have at the end. However it is much more subtle in this brew making it more of an accent than a punch you in the face flavor.

M: Heavy/Medium I'm having trouble defining it precisely but you can definitely tell it's no pilsner or Mega Brewery Bullcrap.

O: Pretty darn good as far as i'm concerned. I wouldn't drink this year round but for St. Patty's day I'll be knocking back a few every year.

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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 TheCondor
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I bought this brew the day it hit the shelves, but just now got off my arse to review the thing....

Appearance - Poured from a bottle into a mug. Poured a nice deep amber color with a creamy, imposing three finger head. Good head retention, moderate signs of lacing.

Smell - Nice and sweet, you can certainly smell the malty character coming through in the smell. A good roasted malt smell.

Taste - Follows the nose for the most part. Caramel undertones, with a strong roasted malt flavor. Right on the nose for the style

Mouthfeel - A dry finish, nice. Good carbonation and body.

Overall - This brew will get away from you quick. I started the night with one, and have had a whole bunch since then. It is easy to drink several of these bad boys and not really pay it much mind. An excellent brew, I really liked it. Recommended, especially for the spring/St. Patricks Day/March timeframe. Enjoy!

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

Poured into a standard pint glass. The beer is a deep oak/mahogany color, with just a hint of haze. An off-white colored head, rather frothy dissipates to a thin film. Sticky lacing persists. For the first time, I can smell both malts AND hops in a beer, this one. The beer tastes Of slightly sweet chocolate/caramel malts with a dry hop finish. The mouthfeel is carbonated, and that's reflected in the pour, sometimes you need to pour slowly or the head with get away from you. Medium bodied.

Overall, this is a decent Irish Red, but again, with all of Boulevard's beers, there's just too much carbonation I think. When you pour the beer, the head blossoms as if you're pouring it into a chilled mug -- not good. But it's well balanced with malts and hops, and I do like this beer, but it's not perfect.

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