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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.
very good

467 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 467
Hads: 1,352
Avg: 3.81
pDev: 19.69%
Wants: 65
Gots: 198 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale Alström Bros
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Reviews: 467 | Hads: 1,352
Photo of Sammy
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enormous initial head, looks roasty, light colour. Very fresh draft-like taste. A bit of roast and alcohol in aroma, fairly neutral. Mild, creamyish mouthfeel, light body close to watery. Easy drink, bitter with mild roastiness. Drying finish. Nothing too interesting, unless you are very much a true Irish style fan. had on tap a year later and noticed malt and creaminess more than anything else.

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Photo of metter98
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is clear yellowish amber in color (more reddish when viewed from afar) and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short off white head that quickly died down, leaving lacing on the sides of the glass, a collar around the edge, and delicate lacing on the surface.
S: Light to moderate aromas of toasted malts are present in the nose along with some notes of biscuits and hints of floral hops.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, with the notes of biscuit malts being a little stronger and slight hints of sweetness from the malts being perceptible. No bitterness is noticeable.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The beer coats your mouth a little.
O: This beer seems to be a little maltier compared to other beers that I've had in the style and doesn't exhibit much in the way of tea-like qualities.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of brentk56
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a clear copper color and a fluffy white head that leaves great lacing

Smell: Graham cracker and light fruit aromatics

Taste: Starts out with a toasty graham cracker and light fruit flavor that continues to the finish; nothing fancy but very flavorful

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: This is not a style I would normally seek out but the Great Lakes version is a keeper

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks well, red...and golden, copper, with a light beige head that lingered. Smells malty and caramelly sweet. Toffee and strong tea notes are present. Slightly tart from the yeast. Tastes malty sweet with very little notes of hop flavor and bitter only for balance. Cloying mouthfeel. Has a medium, creamy body. Finishes sweet and malty; lingers into next sip. A better than average red, but it's not my style.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous, yeasty, duskyrustic orange. There's a faint reddish blush perhaps, but not enough to include the word red in the description. The head is the usual from this brewery; that is to say: quality. It's light orange-influenced parchment in color, semi-firm in consistency and a splendid lace maker. While it isn't the stunner that other Great Lakes beers can be, it's lovely to look at nonetheless.

The nose is nicely aromatic and consists of sweetish, lightly toasted malt and fruity-herbal British hops. It doesn't jump out of the glass, but then show me a beer of this style whose nose does. Again, not the best that this brewery is capable of (I sense a trend), but still good and plenty nose pleasing.

I knew that the flavor would come through in the clutch; it always does. Conway's Irish Ale possesses a perfect combination of toasted bready malt and orangefruity hops; sweetness and bitterness. I use the word balanced a fair amount, but this beer is the epitome of balance among all of its various attributes. It's amazing how so many flavor elements can interact so seamlessly and can combine to create a wonderfully delicious ale.

It's my understanding that the typical Irish red ale is dry, but such is not the case here. The understated sweetness asserts itself more on the longish finish (as do the hops!), but stops well short of too sweet. The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium; something of a surprise coming from Ohio's best brewery. It fits the beer perfectly though and makes quaffing multiple bottles a breeze.

Conway's Irish Ale isn't one of my favorite Great Lakes brews, but then most of the rest of them live in the stratosphere. A pretty good GL beer is extraordinarily good when judged against the offerings of all but a handful of breweries. This is, by far, my favorite Irish red to date and is a beer that I heartily recommend. Thanks Mom for a terrific belated birthday present.

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Photo of oberon
3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This along with Casco Riptide are my favorite red alse out there,pours a deep red/amber with a real nice creamy sticky head,the aroma is nutty and malty sweet with some bread-like aromas.The taste is slightly burnt with some real nice malty sweetness,very good roasted qualities with a ever so slight hop profile.A real nice beer to sit down and savor.

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Photo of oline73
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber color with a finger and a half of tan head that leaves a layer on top of the pour.

Smell: Some bready caramel malt sweetness. Not a ton going on here.

Taste: Again, the malt is really the star of the show. Hints of bread and caramel. The is a very mild spice note. A bit nutty as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with delicate carbonation. Dry finish.

Overall: A solid Irish red. I really like the malt flavors. Well balanced and mild.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sending this one, Jeff.

A: The pour is amber in color with a finger of khaki colored head.

S: A very toasty aroma. Lots of sweet, toffee and caramel malts with plenty of toasted malts. There is a touch of fruit to the nose and a bit of hops in there, but they're pretty faint.

T: Quite a pleasant flavor which consists mostly of sweet and creamy caramel. Plenty of toffee and toasted bread are there as well. Malt driven, certainly, but there is just a very light hop flavor and bitterness.

M: Light to medium in body with a medium level of carbonation.

O: A pretty decent Irish Red. The malt character really stands out and gives a good flavor to the beer.

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Photo of jlindros
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Perfect St Pattys Day Beer thanks to the great Noslenwerd.

Pours a frothy 1 finger head that fades at a medium pace, over crystal clear toasty honey orange with a slight reddish hue color.

Nose has some light toasty malts, a crisp ale aroma, slightly yeasty actually, light caramel malts, and just the slightest hint of a spicy hop addition.

Taste is different, starts with a corn like mash flavor, toasty and semi sweet malts, little crystal, sweet and vegetative, somewhat like dipping into a bourbon mash while it's fermenting (not that I did that at BUffalo Trace or anything), crisp ale flavors, lighter but a decent flavor, the slightest hint of floral hops. Finishes crisp and dry, light bitterness at teh finish, lingering malts and semi sticky sweet flavor.

Mouth is med to slightly lighter bodied, with good carbonation.

Overall, not bad, the corn flavor is really weird and unexpected, but it's still light and drinkable, a little sticky on the finish, but a crisp and dry ale.

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

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper, with a couple fingers of off-white foamy head. This retains with a rich ½ finger, leaving back a sudsy cascade of sticky lacing. The aroma is a nice mix of toffee, citrus, and roast, which is wrapped up in some fresh feeling leafy tones and light mineral notes.

The taste is caramel sweetness, buttered toast, and green citrus, with a leafy bitterness that trails some dry spice in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a sharp prickle on the tongue that spreads out into more of a firm creaminess in the rest of the mouth. This has a nice crisp feel to that really puts those hops to good use here.

This is a very solid Irish Red Ale and probably one of the better examples of the style that I’ve had recently. This was well balanced and flavorful with a crisp and quenching feel to it. I could easily drink a few of these.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a shaker pint glass at The Firkin.

Somehow this guy got swept under the rug following my recent jaunt to the Firk. Ordered last, to compliment my share of a burger (tasty stuff, I tells ya). It pours a clear copper topped by a finger of off-white micro-foam. The nose comprises caramel, light greens, oak, and a light-ish dash of orange peel. The taste follows fairly closely, with notes of orange peel, light caramel, sweet rice, and a sort of celery-type flavor. Everything has a vague sweetness to it, though a similarly vague bitterness pervades as the finish nears. I'm still not sure if they go together all that well. (I'll get back to ya.) The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry-ish finish. Overall, a decent brew, especially in the capacity of accompanying the burger, but frankly nothing all that special. I can't really knock any part of it per se, but I also can't rave about them either. You know what I mean.

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

The rich, lightly sweet, caramelish, toasty and berry-ish flavors of Conway's Irish Ale are sure to please. It's deep-amber/copper body glows with orange and gold highlights, and the creamy off-white head holds just fine, leaving behind spotty walls of lace. The nose is clean with a malty and fruity edge. It's medium bodied and gently crisp on the tongue. In many ways it's just your basic Irish red ale, but it does have a distinct malty character that's caramelish, toasty, and offers the suggestion of some roastiness in the background. Blanced towards sweetness, the bitterness is just enough to give it ballast and keep it from becoming sweet. Nicely done!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired from hawks10, so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light coppery brown color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, grain and some hops.

T: The taste starts with the breadiness from a hearty but not too heavy malt character. There are background flavors of fruit and spice. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is solid beer that is worth drinking for a long time.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this with carlos -enjoyed from schooner glassware, purchased at The Brass Rail in Campbelltown.

The color is deep ruby red with a slight scarlet hue and nice thick cap of cream with tight bead. The smell is very herbal and has a slight bready tinge with mild hint of nuts and light spice. The feel is good with a nice dry body and slightly stronger than average yet still nicely balanced with a little spiciness in the finish.

The taste is good but comes off very smooth and lager-like at times with a slight toasted grain character and mild caramel notes intermingling. the finish has an almost lager-like flavor with herbal hops enhancing the malt but leaving a slight dry effect. Overall this is a very drinkable Irish Red. I wasn't expecting one with the amount of alcohol, but it is well balanced and very drinkable for the strength I enjoyed this more than most I have had of the style.

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Photo of russpowell
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from pwoods, Cheers Patrick!

Pours amber with a finger of tan head. Some lacing & minimal head retention

S: Cereal notes & not much else

T: Caramel, grainyness & dryness up front, plus some nice pear & apple notes lingering in the back of the throat. Some leafy hops & biscuitty malt as this warms, plus a bit more caramel apple-laced grainyness. Finishes with a semi-yeasty bite & more green apple. .5 Deduction for being a bit off style

MF: Medium bodied, semi-sticky, with moderate carbonation

Drinks very easy, not the best Irish Red I've had, & has some aesthetic issues, but session worthy!

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is an easy drinking, if not very challenging Irish ale. Minimal amounts of that mildly fruity and leafy thing that seems prevalent in the style. Decent enough to drink, though not overly interesting or mind blowing. I hope this is an accurate sample of this beer. Really, I just tried it because it was one of the Great Lakes beers I had yet to check out. Next!

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Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, best before 4/7/2014. Pours fairly crystal clear orange copper color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cal that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, biscuit, toast, toffee, pear, apple, raisin, floral, herbal, pepper, light nuttiness, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of malt, hop, and yeast ester notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, biscuit, toast, toffee, raisin, pear, floral, herbal, light pepper, light nuttiness, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Slight earthy herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, biscuit, toast, toffee, raisin, pear, floral, herbal, light pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance of bready malt, yeast ester, and light-moderate hop flavors; with good robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice Irish red ale. All around good balance and robustness of bready malt, yeast ester, and light-moderate hop flavors; and extremely smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I finished my classes today and turned in my last paper before spring break, so on my way home from class I stop at the liquor store. Good thing I did it seems they recieved a new Great Lakes product whoo hoo! This Irish ale pours a fine amber with a creamy tan full head that is already leaving me a nice even ring of lace. The aroma is a very slight hop aroma with caramel malt sweetness to it, overall pleasant. In the taste category this beer combines a bit of a smokey blend to it with a rather sharp bite to it between the balance of malt to hops. Overall a selection I am happy to be able to find on the kickoff of this St. Patrick's Day weekend. This beer is medium to light in body and it sustains a smooth lighter mouthfeel to it, and I only wish I could find it on tap by St. Paddy's cuz I think this would be my go to on that day!

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Photo of mdfb79
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 02/04/11 notes. Had on tap at RFD in DC.

a - Pours an amber color with one inch of white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, toasted malts, bready malts, fruity malts, and light hops.

t - Tastes of toasted malts, bready malts, and caramel malts. Some light creaminess to it as well.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Very creamy, pretty nice.

d - A nice red ale. Some nice bready and toasted malts, and a nice creamy body. Would have again.

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Photo of jwc215
3.56/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours much more amber than the "ruby red" that is described on the label. A thin, wispy head leaves a little lacing.

The smell is of caramel with very light toast and a touch of earthy hops.

The taste is of caramel, light toast with a bitter-ish finish. A bit of alcohol shows.

It has a malty smoothness to it and reaches medium-bodied.

An interesting, enjoyable American interpretation of an "Irish Red" - a bit hoppy and more alcoholic than traditional but it works for a different slant on the style.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served on-tap at the Doubletree Cleveland Downtown Lakeside in Cleveland, OH

A: Pours a clear deep amber in color with some heavy amounts of visible carbonation and light ruby red highlights. The beer has a finger and a half tall dense light beige head that very slowly reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of toasted and caramel malts with a hint of toffee sweetness. There are some light fruit notes from the yeast and just the faintest hint of citrus/orange peel hops.

T: Upfront the malts really take center stage with some toasted malt flavors that have notes of caramel and toffee sweetness followed by a slight hint of breadiness (which still has a bit of the toasted flavors). There are light hints of fruit and just a touch of citrus/orange peel hops. Lightly bitter in the finish which does not linger.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation.

O: Easy to drink and enjoyable for folks that enjoy the malt forward style (I do). Alcohol is well hidden and this beer is almost sessionable. Pairs well with food.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Haven't reviewed the #1 Irish Red Ale (yet) but I can get the #2 locally so what the hell. Beer is served in a Russian River wine glass. Beer is red and clear with a big white head of small and medium bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate.

Aroma is a little roasty and sweet. Smells exactly like I expected.

Beer is medium bodied and easy drinking. Mildly sweet on the front end, a little bitter at the back but the bitterness is from a type of roasted grain that I find a little odd. I know that's a brewing trick, add a little roasted grain at mash out for color, that's probably what happened here. I enjoyed it and would have it again.

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Photo of tdm168
3.49/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - light caramel amber with a thin white lacing of head

S - caramel, some faint apple

T - apple, caramel, fruity esters, faintly bitter, some sweetness

M - medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This is a rather simplistic beer. The esters from the yeast provide most of the flavor offering some fruitiness. The malt is prevalent, but it really only adds caramel. This was a nice beer to try once, but this isn't something I would seek out again.

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Photo of billab914
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Surly pint glass. poured a bright copper color with a thin foam covering that barely covers the beer. It left some pretty good lacing on the sides as I drank it.

Aroma is sweet and malty with some nice apple and caramel scents. The taste starts off sweet with some malt and bread flavors but is somewhat balanced out with some bitterness in the finish. It also has a slightly fruity almost apple juice like flavor to it.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's a very drinkable nicely flavored brew that goes down pretty easy. One of the better Irish Ale's that I have had for sure.

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Photo of WesWes
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice amber color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has an excellent malt scent that boasts of pale and biscuit malts. It has a mild caramel malt sweetness and a dry Irish ale yeast aroma. The taste is good as well. It has a smooth, malty flavor that goes down easy and finishes dry with some toasted/bready notes. This has got to be the most complex Irish ale I've ever tried. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very enjoyable beer. It's full flavored with excellent malt character and a smooth finish.

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Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 467 ratings.