Thomas Hooker Irish Red Ale - Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thomas Hooker Irish Red AleThomas Hooker Irish Red Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

193 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 193
Reviews: 114
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 12
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Thomas Hooker Brewing Company visit their website
Connecticut, United States

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-09-2002

A rich, malty brew that uses red wheat and a variety of crystal malts, giving this beer its ruby red hue. Traditional English hops give this easy drinking brew a flavor that's perfect year round.

21 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 193 | Reviews: 114
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Jason
3.76/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ the Sunset Grill

Pour from the tap a dark reddish brew, excellent head retention and good clarity.

Malty aroma, biscuity with hints of bread crust and caramel. Same in the flavor with a more of a toasted and very mildly roasted malt character. Balanced hops and very drinkable, nothing earth-shattering but rather just a good drinking ale.

More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice-looking red/brown color with a medium-size white head which left a fair amount of lacing. It had a malt and sweet fruit aroma. Malt predominated first in the taste, followed by a little cherry flavor, and finishing with some hop bitterness. Fairly dry, and fun to drink.

Photo of Doomcifer
3.15/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thought I reviewed this a couple years back....guess not. Pours a deep reddish brown color with a great creamy head. Good retention on this beer. Smells very sweet and a bit floral. Lots of candy in the aroma....along the lines of tropical fruit mike n ikes, or the like...or even bubble gum. Tastes of of sweet malts up front then falls off to a very thin finish with a small herbal hop bite, but nothing significant. Medium bodied mouthfeel, airy, not overly carbonated, slightly dry finish. I guess it;s drinkable but I'd go for another Red Ale within arm's reach very quickly, or any other style for that matter.

Photo of Homebrew35
3.46/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pulled a pint of this at a burger joint in West Hartford, with a one and a half finger head. With a dark maroon color this looks ok. The head dissipates to a few clingy spots on the edges. Smells of sweet Carmel with a hint of grassy earthiness. Tastes initially sweet and Carmel which transitions to a clean slightly bitter finish. This is an easy drinker and think a BMC person could get into this one quite easily. Not a wow beer but not bad either.

Photo of jcdiflorio
3.27/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured into a nonic glass from a 12oz. brown bottle with a crimped on cap.

Clear,mahogany color with a 2" creamy, off-white towards tan head with spotty lacing and some lace curtians

Sweet carmell,very nutty and roasty with subtle burnt notes.A good complex malty nose.

Nutty,carmell taste fruity,tart and some metallic tastes.Finishes clean,sharp with tartness that's a bit sour. Liked the finish on this beer.

The mouthfeel was acidy,a bit of a watery feel,lots of tartness. Goes down good could drink a few but not a lot.

Photo of far333
4.06/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber color with a light brown head. The head is small but frothy, with big bubbles bursting into craters on top. Very clingy with good lacing to the glass. Aroma is light hop. Flavor hits the front of the tongue with a hop bitterness, and finishes with well-rounded malt, some fine roasted nuances. Very smooth mouthfeel.

Photo of tastybeer
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep scarlet color with wood tones and a light tan inch high, dense head. The great color draws me in. Sheety lace remains with a healthy layer of retention. Aroma is of sweet, grainy and bready malt, smokey tobacco, with dry British hops. My nose becomes happier and happier as it warms too. Taste has good maltiness and a complimentary dryness that tickles my tongue. Crisply carbonated with a mildly grainy mouth with a delightful prolonged dry finish. And yes...drinkable indeed.

Yummy and satisfying red.

Photo of jmz62565
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a dark ruby mahogany with a smallish head and good lacing. The smell is light with only a little malt present. The taste is stronger than I expected with honey, sweet malt, hops, and some alcohol in the mix. The m/f is light, but the sweet malt clashes with the bitter hops. Not a bad beer, but the flavors don't quite mix right.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich, roasty, nutty and gently caramelish, the Thomas Hooker Irish Style Red Ale steps beyond the bounds of the normally expected Irish amber (Smithwick's, Killian's, Murphy's Red). It's actually more akin to a Scottish ale - not that that's a bad thing!

It pours a clear mahogany body with a ruby cast beneath a full head of frothy tan foam that holds well and leaves some excellent lacing about the glass.

The nose displays a mineralish character resulting from a combination of scorched-caramel maltiness and leafy hops; and as it warms it becomes more biscuity and grassy.

It's smooth and bordering on becoming creamy in the mouth with a decidedly medium body and restrained, moderate carbonation.

Roastiness appears first in the flavor, followed by some sweet notes of toffee, nuts, gently buttered-biscuit crackers, and caramel; and then some leafy and grassy hop flavors as it crosses the palate. The solid bitterness doesn't really appear until the swallow, and then it slowly fades in a long-lasting, bitter and minearlish finish with some residual smokiness.

It's quite nice, rich, and somewhat complex, although it may build on the palate after one of two. However, it's certainly worth trying!

Photo of cjgator3
3.08/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle

A- 12oz bottle into a pint glass. No freshness dating on the bottle. Pours a brownish red color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma features some biscuity malt and caramel with not much in the hop department. Not a whole lot going on in the nose, a little on the faint side.

T- The taste like the aroma is slightly toasted biscuity malt, caramel and toffee flavors with just a touch of hops in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, this is a decent beer but nothing I would purchase again in the future.

Photo of tempest
3.51/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a rich, full-flavored red-ale, but it's a bit thick and tough to drink. It drinks like a stout, or something bigger than this actually is. Don't get me wrong, there's a nice caramel malt flavor with a splash of citrus hops, but it's too much IMO for a red ale. I like the flavor and complexity, but dial back the mouthfeel.

Photo of jmerloni
2.35/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A - Woody orange-amber. Dull looking and not very lively. Head is one of the most minimal I've seen in beer.

S - Not much here. Wheat, yeast, orange, and a tint bit of malt.

T - I honestly can't detect a single flavor. Dank orange taste. A bit of hops. A bit of malt. I'm confused.

M - Pretty awful. Way over carbonated - so much so that you can't even taste anything. Not very dry either, as the style advertises.

D - Moderately drinkable but I wouldn't really care to drink more than a couple of these. Very boring and cheap tasting from a pretty decent brewery.

Photo of Gmann
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber brown color with an average head, nothing special. The aroma is dissappointing, I pick up some doughy bread malt, not much else. The taste is of buttery malt, light caramel or toffee, no real hop profile detected. The feel is light to moderate with good carbonation. The finish is dry and astrigent. The drinkability is fine but nothing special. Much better brews out there.

Photo of drcarver
3.45/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

A - It poured a deep red color with a small off-white head. The body itself was rather flat with not further carbonation being release post-pour.

S - A clean aroma with the slightest bite of hop

T - Slightly oilly finish. A little bit of toasted grain flavor.

M - This depends on what you are looking for. If you want a red with body, this ain't it. Very light flat watery body. Slight astrigent burn in the mouth after drinking

D - Despite what seems to be a low score I could drink this all day. Not a beer to sit and pontificate on, its a beer to drink.

Photo of KTCamm
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours a deep crimson red with minimal white foam and some lacing.

Huge malty sweet smell, almost like a candy shop.

Taste is rich and malty, with some caramel sweetness. Ever so slight hop at the finish.Strong carbonation in the mouthfeel.

Good drinkability - well done example of the style. Would drink again.

Photo of edchicma
3.71/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber brown in color with a head that doesn't quit. Lacing remains throughout...eye candy. Smell is mainly malt with a hint of hops below the surface. Taste is likewise a tad sweet with a small hop taste on the finish. Mouthfeel is creamy, but not to a fault..very easy on the palate. Because of its smoothness and medium body, this is a very easy brew to drink...defintely have more than one.

Photo of tone77
3.56/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a pretty dark auburn color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some malts. Taste is malty, a touch of caramel, not bad but a bit subdued. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a drinkable and pretty good beer.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a dark ruby red with a full foamy off white head leaving a good lacing behind.

S: a toasted caramel and a rich sweet maltiness.

T: lightly toasted grains, lightly burnt caramel and a light fresh woodiness. There was also a nice fruitiness from the yeast, apples, and fresh cherries.

M: smooth and creamy from the caramel with a medium body and good carbonation.

D: Nice sweet drinkability.

Photo of fank2788
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle to pint glass
This beer pours a nice dark brown with a hint of red. The thin head doesn't stick around to long or lace much. The smell is all malts, caramel and toasted maltiness very little hop character. The taste is much like the smell , dominated by a full malty taste with a bit sweet but not overly sweet and again just a touch of hops. There is a touch of a metallic flavor as well but the finish is nice. The mouthfeel is a bit thin for my taste maybe slightly overcarbonated as well. The drinkability is ok this a decent irish red and is a lot better than some other irish reds that i've had.

Photo of u2carew
3.31/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz long neck. Consumed 3/30/10
A) Pours with a finger thick head. Lacing is thin and fairly sticky. Body has good clarity and upward carbonation. Ruby in color.
S) Caramel malt. Hints of citrus and earthy tones.
T) Noticeable malt blast - toffee, caramel. Light traces of nuts. Thins out a little bit in the finish, ending the a touch of hop nip. Lingering maltyness in the aftertaste.
M) Crisp. Light to medium body. Slightly dry in the finish.
D) A decent Irish red but not a standout.

Photo of wedge
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark crimson-brown with a tall, sudsy off-white head of froth. Pretty good retention and minor lacing. Aroma of dusty, nutty malts...sweet caramel, a touch of breadiness, and faint British hops. Sweet malt and roasty grain flavor with a little fruitiness and a bitterness that's suprisingly high for the style. Light, grassy like hops. Medium, slick mouthfeel with moderate carbonation and a little drying.

A good version of a style I generally don't get too excited about.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A – Poured a very nice reddish tinted light brown with a nice two finger head of off white lace on top. Nice easy fade into a layer across the top that stayed with it throughout the session and provided very nice side glass lace throughout.

S – Aroma was full of malts, I mean tons of them. All I picked up off of it were deep roasted malts and cereal grains. Lots of earthy tones as well as a nice little bit of grass as it warmed up. Very full and nice for a red ale, I liked where this was going.

T – The flavor was excellent. Very crisp and clean with no dragging out of the flavors. Big time roasted malts and earthy grains dominated this and really took no prisoners. There was a slight bit of grassy hops in the finish but this was mostly bready and cereal grains on their full display. Very nicely blended it did not suffer from the all too familiar musty or moldy aspect of it.

M – Very clean and very well carbonated, I was actually shocked by just how smooth this actually was. It was just light enough in body to be a good session ale but still had the flavor and robust enough feel to let you know it had a little weight and to add some character to it.

D – Very nice, as I mentioned this was very sessionable, albeit a heavy session ale. It was nice and medium bodied and had a good carbonation and nice clan flavor profile. All this can really lend itself to being a very drinkable beverage.

Overall I was quite impressed with this one and to be honest it has been a while since a red ale has impressed me. This was very nicely crafted and never got boring and dull. Nice palate and great feel. This was defiantly a winner and I am sure it really shines when on tap. This one is recommended.

Photo of SixpointJMH
3.56/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very nice deep amber colour with a big creamy head that sticks around for a while. Even though it clearly wasn't, this one almost appeared for a bit as if it was poured from a nitro-tap.

The aroma is big and malty, with earth and sweet caramel notes being the dominant scents here. The malt is a touch roasted as well.

Flavour basically echoes the aroma, with a big maltiness leading the way. Sweetness from the caramel is mixed in throughout but is more noticeable toward the finish. The roasted characteristics are again subdued but welcome, with minimal hop flavour scattered about. Mouthfeel is a bit on the creamy side and not bad at all.

This one was pretty good. It's easy drinking and full of flavour throughout. It's definitely worth your time if you prefer this style to lean more toward the malt side of things rather than toward the hops.

Photo of metter98
3.54/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is very hazy amber in color (with some yellow hues) and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high dense tan colored head that died down, leaving a layer of bubbles covering the surface, a collar around the edge and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: When the beer is first poured, notes of chocolate are present in the smell; this quickly transitions to aromas of tea leaves and toasted malts.
T: The taste has flavors of nutty and toasted malts along with notes of earthy yeast and hints of black tea and toffee.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a little thin (but not watery) on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and seems to be an average representation of the style.

Photo of Zorro
4.32/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled through sinstaineddemon and Secret Bunny '08 BIF.

Clear brown colored ale that is really not red in color in normal light. Held up to the light this shows a lovely maroon red color with a small tan colored head.

Wonderful malty aroma with a trace of peat and smoke. Unexpected chocolate and coffee aromas here, and it is pleasant. Little bit of molasses cookie aroma and some dark bread. Not much hop in the aroma just a little English style hops.

But does it taste as good as in smells? Starts out malty with a peat and a bit of smoke, some dark bread and a biscuit malt finish. Little bit of herbal hop in the finish, but this is a strongly malt slanted beer. Malt abates a bit to reveal an oak wood layer and a vanilla and slightly butter flavored beer. After awhile the hop becomes more assertive and you can taste herbal hop and a fair amount of bitterness.

Mouthfeel is Good.

An excellent beer here, I wish I had more than just this one bottle. Straddles Scottish and Irish ale varieties a bit, but the result is wonderful.

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Thomas Hooker Irish Red Ale from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 193 ratings.