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Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Conway's Irish AleGreat Lakes Conway's Irish Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

466 Reviews
THE BROS
80
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 466
Hads: 1,347
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 6.27%
Wants: 62
Gots: 183 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: chilidog on 07-28-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 466 | Hads: 1,347
Photo of korguy123
1.57/5  rDev -59%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Bottle into tulip
Best before 3/31/2012

A- Clear copper/red pour with a finger width white head. Lacing is decent.

S- Definitely getting citrus and a slightly sweet malt but the smell that hits me like a ton of bricks is what my brain thinks is cabbage. It's something slightly rank and off putting. It's a strange, sickly sour aroma.

T- Biscuity, slightly sweet, there is a bittering hop flavor and that awful cabbage/ sour vegetable taste. Taste is part smell, when I hold my breath and take a sip it's a 3. When I catch a whiff it's a 1.

M- Nice carbonation, Light bodied.

O- My goodness, I really like Great lakes. I do hope this is a bad bottle or my taste buds are shot (just had a vanilla coffee porter) this beer is almost vomit inducing... (753 characters)

Photo of Buggabeer
2.18/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A Very average nothing special. Pours to a light red color with a nice 2 finger head. Laces nicely around the glass

S Very bread like to me with a hint of hops and yeast. I also pick up a slight spice aroma

T This isn't very good : ( The more I drink it the less I like it. Very metalic finish to the beer. In my opinion not a good thing. I have it rated at a 2 but I wouldn't be affraid to go lower. I'm in a nice mood tonight.

M Well carbinated but it leaves a foul coating on my mouth.

O I will never drink another one of these! I'm almost ready to proclaim this thing as awful. Great Lakes is a hit or miss for me and this is clearly a miss. I would say the Cleveland Browns are better than this beer. (709 characters)

Photo of JunkYardJake
2.2/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle to pint glass.
First thing I noticed about this beer is the unique herbal smell as I poured it into the glass. I cannot fully place the smell but it's similar to some sort of vegetable or some less than fresh fruit. Either way, it's not something I want my beer to smell like. The same flavor is in the palate but is milder and at least there is a good malt base with toasted and caramel flavors to make it drinkable. As for appearance, the orange color is less than spectacular and the large amount of unexpained floaties is downright unappealing. Not one I'll drink again. (587 characters)

Photo of Shaggy9356
2.34/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Nice copper appearance, white head with little lacing.

Smell of grains, maltose, bready sweetness.

Taste is definitely malt forward, some tea, cabbage and very grainy, way too sweet. Hops add a bit to the bitterness but are barely present. This is reminds me way to much of the way wort smells during the boil. All you home brewers out here will definitely pick this up. Fine for a boil but not for a completed beer.
Too much unfermented sugar.

Unfortunately, this in not one I'm going to finish. Just doesn't fit the style for me and not a pleasant beer overall. Disappointed as I've enjoyed most of GLB other offerings. (626 characters)

Photo of wac9
2.42/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

it took me 8 years fo find this beer it has a great beer smell , and it pour nice in a glass its not red maybe dark orange goes down smooth but it taste like im swallowing a flower big disappoint here for all of you who likes good for you but i cant wait for there other wonderful beers (286 characters)

Photo of fx20736
2.45/5  rDev -36%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass, served cool.

light amber forms 2 finger beige head, little lacing.

aroma is surprisingly hoppy, of the Noble variety.

mouthfeel is ok.

taste of spicy hops and GL's signature toasted malt that has a slight taste of chocolate.

Notes: there is something about Great Lakes' ales; Burning River, Nosferatu and now Conway. They all have a cocoa aftertaste. Conway is hoppier than any Irish Ale I have ever had. I don't like anything about this beer. The color is insipid, the aroma not to the style, the taste out of sync. (566 characters)

Photo of adamette
2.55/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap last night at Winking Lizard into a clear pint glass. Review from notes taken while enjoying the beer.

A Great Irish Ale presence with 1 cm head and a nice light brown tranlucent body.

S Almost no smell whatsoever. I have to fight to get some barley maybe. I am not impressed with the smell which is really difficult to detect.

T Thin, some barley, malt but really kind of forgettable. This really reminded me of a lager with a bit more barley. It is not a complete departure from its style but I remain not very impressed at all.

M Moderate with minimal malt, barley. Thin physicially, somewhat watery. Appropriate to the style but not much more here.

D Fair since it is just kind of forgettable. Style suggests that it should be even higher drinkability wise.

Notes: Not Great Lakes best offering and maybe one of their weakest. (843 characters)

Photo of zdk9
2.67/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours clear dark orange fading into red. A half inch of frothy head quickly disappears. Perhaps my glass isn't clean enough...

S- Light straw and dry grass maltiness. Some toasted notes, like the straw was grazed over the fire and singed. There's also a slight tin note that isn't pleasant, though isn't the worst thing in the world.

T- Just a touch of smokiness surrounds a lot of sweet malt. There's bitterness in the back of the mouth, a good balance out.

M- Sweetness is a little clingy to the mouth, but mostly a light drinker.

O- Ok. Would be better with food. Decent toasted flavors. (597 characters)

Photo of Telix
2.72/5  rDev -29%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a Sam Adams sensory glass.

A: As is typical for Great Lakes, it's an attractive brew. It's clearly filtered and is a lovely orange-gold color, with good levels of carbonation. There wasn't much head on my pour, and there was no lacing evident as I drank.

S: Very mild, extremely so. I have absolutely NO idea how anyone reviewing this beer would give this high marks on smell. This was a very fresh bottle and it still had almost no aroma. There was some slight malt sweetness with no hop bitterness. I had to stick my nose into the glass and swirl many times just to get anything at all.

T: It's pretty boring, really... some mild maltiness with a bit of buttery biscuit/cracker going on, with a very mild honey sweetness of caramel malts. The bitterness is very "european" and refined, with very mild classic hop notes - nothing great to me. The finish is surprisingly long, with bitterness that lingers in a mildly distasteful manner. There is a mild lemon note on the palate, but it's decidedly NOT an American ale citrus flavor. It's an integrated beer that just isn't very flavorful, really.

M: Pretty standard ale thickness. Great Lakes usually nails mouthfeel pretty well. The flavor is pretty thin but the beer itself is fairly substantial. It's a bit "zippy" on the tongue, but it's ok.

D: It's not very tasty or intense, it's almost too mild to care about - it certainly won't wear you out but it's not offensive. I'd want something more flavorful to session, but if you dig extremely mild european ales you might want this. I'm not very impressed with this, really, it's a rare miss by my hometown brewery. (1,651 characters)

Photo of schusterbauer
2.8/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a bit light in hue for being a red ale -- looks like an APA. 12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass, head rises to the top of the glass, and eventually disappears, never to be seen again. smells, well, like an APA. hops first, and then some sweetness from malts. taste is, again, hops first, giving way to what has the potential to be an enjoyable, toasty malt profile. there's also an odd red licorice flavor that manifests itself every few sips. a lot of mismatched flavor here, which is a shame, because despite that fact, it's apparent that good ingredients are present.

when i think of an irish red ale, i think of a beer that has a lot of bread and malt flavors, with a bit of sweetness -- good food beer. this is not good food beer. disappointing.

actually, this beer makes me want to write an essay on the unfortunate topic of inordinate hop levels seeming to be the american signature on attempts to interpret non-american styles. this, too, shall pass....(hopefully) (984 characters)

Photo of colts9016
2.97/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass at 45 degrees.

Appearance: A one finger head that has poor retention; furthermore, the head is white and foamy. The color of the beer is a reddish copper hue with amber highlights. The clarity of the beer is clear with carbonation bubbles. The head left no lacing on the glass.

Nose: The malt is caramelized, toasted malt, and a subtle sweetness. There is a mild hop that is floral and a hint of wood. Other notes are yeast and slight buttery character.

Taste: The beer is malty with notes of caramel, toast, and subtle sweetness. There is a mild hop character with a hint of floral and wood.. Other flavors are yeast and a slightly buttery character.

The mouth feel of the beer is coating, and slightly chewy.

Overall: The body of the beer is medium and the finish is medium light. This is an okay Irish Red Ale, the flavors are not in balanced too malty. (891 characters)

Photo of TheBrewo
2.98/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This brew was served from the tap at MacGregor’s Grill and Tap Room in Canandaigua, NY. It arrived in a flared pilsner glass. This beer glowed a solid reddish gold, holding a one finger tan head of creamy bubbles. This showed moderate retention with spotty sheets of lacing here and there. No sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared moderate. The aroma was strong with white and red grapes, which showed with a juicy sweetness and light tartness. The malts were paler in aroma, with clean steel. Finally, baker’s yeast rounded out the back and softened things up. Our first impression was in regards to the huge grapey flavoring. As we sipped, red grape and bright strawberry sugars hit first. These mixed with softer pale malts, but really dominated the palate. The middle moved forward with more chalky, grainy malts, and gritty pepper at the peak. Here the balance was better, with the sweetness cut significantly. We were pulled to the finish on a wave of even more toasty, deeper malts, and a tonic water sourness, but that grape was persistently in the background. The aftertaste breathed of copper, grassy hops, and light peppery booze. The body was light to medium, and the carbonation was high and prickly. There was a light coating around the mouth with a brief astringency before all traces of the beer were gone. The mouth was cooled with decent slurp, but cream and froth were poor. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank nicely.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was how fresh and easy drinking it was. The fruitiness was overbearing at first, and was still quite strange by the end, but the balanced through the middle saved it. It was nice for the style, but seemed to be lacking just a bit in every category. (1,752 characters)

Photo of Brew33
2.98/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I make it no secret that Great Lakes is my favorite brewery. I like ALL their beers... except maybe this one....

It isn't bad, but it isn't very good either. Bland as can be. Looks like a red, smells like some malt, tastes slightly malty but no real depth of flavor. Wow.... I was very disappointed to taste this from my favorite brewery.

Oh well, I'll just keep drinking the rest of their excellent collection. (413 characters)

Photo of GoalieRon33
2.99/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Wonderful, deep color. Not quite ruby, but more reddish than brown. eggshell-white head, about 1 inch in size

smells of sweetness. matly as hell, but very balanced all around.

tasted of many irish ales... slight alcohol burn with a finishing maltiness. overall thick brew; very heavy beer with a strong malty flavor.

heavy bodied beer that is a slow drinker

an enjoyable beer that is fun to drink slow. Not an easy chugger; great dinner beer with chicken (459 characters)

Photo of Cresant
3/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a nonic. Enjoy by date: 3/19/07. Clear, amber/red color. Moderate head faded fast.

Smell was malty and spicy. Caramel. Leafy hops aroma bloomed late.

Taste was sugar cookies. Caramel and mild hops zestiness. Drying, pleasant finish.

Mouthfeel was zippy yet it glass-like smoothness. No one element of this beer was spectacular but every characteristic was enjoyable. (414 characters)

Photo of mchegash
3.01/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Appearance - 3.25/5
A nice clear, dark orange-red in color. Minimal head. An average amount of carbonation can be seen rising up the beer,

Smell - 3.5/5
Slightly metallic, a bit of hops, subtle fruit notes, a little sour earthiness. Roasted malts.

Taste - 2.5/5
Toasty/roasty malts, a little sour hoppiness, some light fruit notes. Overall has a slightly strange taste and I'm not a big fan. Slight spice notes.

Mouthfeel - 3.75/5
Medium bodied, smooth and crisp. Medium amount of slightly more than medium-intensity carbonation.

Overall - 3/5
This is a subpar beer in my opinion. Perhaps it's just the style but this one wasn't doing it for me. (649 characters)

Photo of BMoney575
3.02/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Sampled on 3-8-07
Best before 4-27-07

Pours a crystal clear amber color with a good head that leaves light lacing.

Smell is very light and fruity, with a sweet almost strawberry hop aroma.

Taste is a little disappointing. A vegetable earthiness at first masks almost every other flavor, and maintains in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is decent, very carbonated, thin, and mildly refreshing.

Drinkability suffers as a result of the taste being sub-par.

Overall, not a very enjoyable beer for me. I usually like red ales, so I think it's this particular one that has this overpoweringly earthy dirt flavor. (619 characters)

Photo of riboflavin88
3.06/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured a beautiful reddish-orange hue. However, there was hardly any head even when poured harshly. Its nose definitely had a caramel, malt presence with a little smokiness in back. Its taste was mild in my opinion, caramel with moderate malt, and a little smokiness in the back just as in its smell. I didn't particularly like its mouthfeel. Its carbonation vanished as I got to the bottom of my glass, giving it a flat feel. More carbonation would have made it much more drinkable. Not a bad beer, but I've had better from Great Lakes. (547 characters)

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.15/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured a bright red, sparkling color with good head formation. Aroma was lightly malty with good caramel smells coming off of it. Taste was OK, but a bit ho-hum. Mouthfeel was typical. I would call this beer drinkable, but in a world with so many choices, I have a hard time strongly recommending it. (310 characters)

Photo of dmamiano
3.16/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

pours a beautiful reddish copper with virtually no head but lacing hangs to the glass.
initial hit on the nose is a slight sourness, musty with hints of malt following a bit of sweetness.
taste is rather bland. a mild mix of sweet malts, souring vegetables? and a little hop bite at the end for bitterness.
Not of of Great lakes best. (334 characters)

Photo of StoutHunter
3.18/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I picked up a bottle of Great Lake's Conway's Irish Ale last week for $1.69 at The Lager Mill. I haven't had an Irish Red Ale in a while and Great Lakes is a pretty solid brewery so I decided to give this beer a try, lets see how it goes. It had a best buy date of 3-26-12. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks ok and it has a nice looking old school picture on the label. It poured a nice copper/red color with two and a half fingers worth of fluffy white head that died down to a thin layer that stayed till the end and left a little lacing. The color was a little light but the head was spot on.

S- The aroma of this beer is all about the malts. It starts off with lots of malts that smell lightly toasted and pretty sweet, it imparted some brown bread, caramel, and biscuit like aromas. Next comes a light amount of spices and a really light earthy hops aroma. The aroma was on the sweet side and seemed to be pretty average.

T- The taste seems to follows the nose. The first thing that I pick up is loads of malts that seem lightly toasted and have a high amount of medium sweetness and impart some caramel, biscuit, brown bread, grains, and a little bit of cereal. After that comes that light amount of spices that I got in the aroma and a light amount of earthy and herbal hops on the finish with a very low amount of bitterness and a biscuity and slightly spicy aftertaste. The flavor seems to be pretty average as far as Irish Red Ales go, it wasn't that memorable and little dull.

M- Smooth, slightly creamy, medium bodied, and it had a medium amount of carbonation. I got no complaints with the mouthfeel, it worked well with this beer.

Overall I thought that this was an Ok beer and a pretty average Irish Red Ale, it didn't have anything that was out of place for the style, but it seemed like the flavors didn't meld as good as they could of and the sweet malts didn't let hardly any other flavors and aromas come through. This beer went down fairly smooth, one went down smooth and I might be able to drink another one but after that I think the sweetness would start to get to me. What I liked most about this beer was the mouthfeel, it was pretty spot on for an Irish Red Ale. What I liked least about this beer was the high amount of sweetness, I think the sweetness needs to be toned down some to make this beer more enjoyable and drinkable. I don't think I would buy this beer again, there are better Irish Red Ales to be found that are more available at the same price. I don't really recommend this beer unless you are a huge Irish Red Ale, I find it to be a pretty middle of the road kind of beer. Great Lakes is a pretty solid brewery and this beer was Ok, but it just wasn't that memorable of beer and it really didn't hold my attention, better luck next time guys. (2,837 characters)

Photo of chaz01
3.19/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this on draft at the local BW3's because, well that's about all they had for craft beer. 16 oz glass with my chicken wings.

A: Amber/Mahogany in color, nice head retains well.

S: I picked up very little aroma from my glass, maybe a faint grassy aroma.

T: Very malty with bitter rye notes.

M: Medium bodied with a bitter finish that reminded me of chocolate malt balls dipped in Irish Whiskey.

D: This actually went well with my hot wings. It's got a little bit of bitter/sour aftertaste that would prevent me from having more than one, but it's more than I expected for a place that doesn't normally serve craft beers. (628 characters)

Photo of wiseguy142
3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark burnt orange that looks a little like concentrated fruit juice or dark apple cider. Thin white head floating on top.

I can smell the malt aroma from a couple feet from the glass. Light and husky, like toasted pumpernickel with a bit of fruit juice. Smells unusually like malty grape juice.

Taste is less crisp of crystal malt than you'd expect. A little more like a mild with rounded edges and slight raisny notes. Mouthfeel is pretty heavy for an Irish red with peppery carbonation. A little slick and oily for me in terms of overall mouthfeel and taste. (571 characters)

Photo of Tallboy
3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance-12oz bottle pours a bright ruby copper that is highlighted by a nice beige froth.
Scent-Toffee and caramel are prevalent with some interesting malts but no outstanding hops to speak of.
Taste-Bready and sweet toasted malts where the predominant flavor with some vibrant green hops and tasty caramel.
Mouthfeel-Nice medium mouthfeel.
Drinkability-A nice Irish styled session beer. I have tried a lot of GL's brews and have yet to find one that I can speak bad about!!! (482 characters)

Photo of jsprain1
3.22/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Red-copper with a thick head that doesn't last all that well.
S- Very simple on the nose. Toast, caramel, and a touch of noble hop.
T- It's a fine beer, but it never really gets past acceptable for me in flavor. It's a bit sweet up front with caramel flavor. Finish is toasted bread. Quite bready.
M- Medium body for a red. Carbonation is on the assertive end.
O- Like I said it's a fine beer but there is nothing that transcends the normal Irish Red level for me. (467 characters)

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Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 466 ratings.