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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,178 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,178
Reviews: 451
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.58%
Wants: 51
Gots: 74 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: chilidog on 07-28-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,178 | Reviews: 451 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of n811
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my new Sam Adams sensory pint glass (thanks to James)!

Deep copper color with a nice fluffy head, crystal clear. Smell was nice malty sweetness, promising for the style.

Taste was nice and smooth, but less sweet than the smell indicated. Malty graininess, a bit of alcohol, a bit of hop bitterness - the balance is very good. The aftertaste is relatively short with a dryness coming through. Ready for my next sip!

I love Great Lakes beers, and this was no exception. Maybe it's the yeast strain they use, but many of their beers share taste characteristics - I've tasted many of the same notes in their Oktoberfest and Christmas ales.

n811, Mar 11, 2009
Photo of ABOWMan
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice burnt copper color ale withr perfect clarity. Head is a fluffy modest one finger of off white foam.

Amoma is caramel and malt.

Flavor is slightly roasted malty sweet with brown sugar notes. Very full mouthfeel almoswt more like a creamn ale.

Goes down easy and will rate high drinkability wise.

ABOWMan, Mar 06, 2009
Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice copper color, very clear with a thin white head that did not stay for long.

A nice toasty aroma, almost a charred wood note with some sweet malt and earthy grain as well. There is something slightly vegetable like in the aroma as well. I cannot place it exactly, it is not unpleasant but it is definitely vegetable.

The taste has the same thing, again not bad just different and I need to identify the actual plant still. Some good sweet malt and even a little hop spice involved here. Dries out in the end and turns slightly sour with alcohol sneaking in as well.

This is a hearty ale, very different from a lot of Irish reds I've had, but good in it's own right.

ZimZamZoom, Mar 06, 2009
Photo of JamesS
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice mid-copper color with good initial head, although it rapidly fades and there is no lacing; a fair bit of carbonation, as well. Nice scent, deep almost like a brown ale, with just a hint of sour to it. Good taste, a bit of Irish red sour, but with noticable hop tones and a deeper, thick malt flavor. Goes down quite well, if a tad over carbonated. Nice Irish-style red ale.

JamesS, Mar 02, 2009
Photo of CrellMoset
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of seanpachefddfa - thanks! Poured into a 12 oz. brandy snifter.

Appearance: Pours a filtered orange red body, full of active, fine-bubbled carbonation, streams and streams of which swim up the curvature of the snifter towards the huge, fluffy, near-permanent, slightly offwhite head. The stick on this one's great, big and clumpy, cloud-like, and the head leaves sticky swaths and curtains of lacing as it's forced to recede (as a result of the level of the beer lowering). Just a really attractive beer.

Aroma: Very fruity, and heavily reminiscent of pineapple. Canned, and slightly faded pineapple. What is coming across as the corn syrup in a can of pineapple is the lightly roasted malt backbone, and faint nuttiness brings up the rear. Interesting, though a little odd.

Taste: Make that very odd. Incredibly fruity, slightly nutty, faintly spicy, and lightly roasted about sums this one up. It's an odd combination, to be sure. Hints of cherries, citrus, and pineapple - perhaps imparted by hop additions, perhaps the result of a high fermentation temperature or other yeast-manipulation technique - meld with light nutmeg and hints of walnut, all over a bed of somewhat neutral and subtle but definitively roasted, caramelized malts.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied to perhaps a little thin and reasonably well-carbonated, making for a somewhat even but nonetheless relatively full body.

Drinkability: This one was very odd, very heavy on the fruits, moderate on most everything else. It wasn't unpleasant, but I can't say it was stylistically too accurate! The 6.5% is also pretty up there for the style. I'd have it at a party, but I dunno if I'd seek it out in the future.

CrellMoset, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of schoolboy
4.53/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When I first tasted Conways several years ago I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. Since then, every winter these become available and quickly disappear from Northeast Ohio retailers' shelves.

It's a special brew, with a smooth, drinkable character. I hope to drink these until I go to my grave. The color and clarity are second to none.

I think I should go out tomorrow and try to find some more before they are gone.

schoolboy, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of Tilley4
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a nice dark reddish brown with a nice off white head that lingers for several minutes...

Sweet deep malty aroma... Almost a little fruity in nature...

Deliciously sweet and malty... Very thick and rich and filling... The fruit is present in the taste as well...
I could drink a few of these but they are so filling I'm not sure I could session them...

Tilley4, Feb 19, 2009
Photo of sliverX
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

poored a nice transparent copper color very little beige head that dissipated down to nothing but a ring around the glass
Smell is sweet caramel malts, some biscuit notes along with some toast notes
taste is perfect Irish red, big malts no hop presence just nice caramel maltiness
mouthfeel is light with decent carbonation, a string or 2 of bubbles constantly streaming towards freedom
drinkability is very high a good beer to session with

sliverX, Feb 17, 2009
Photo of imaguitargod
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of the bottle to a nice off-white colored head that stuck around from a very long time. Great red/copper color well carbonated. This is a tad malty in its sweetness but not overbearingly so and has a slight floral nature to it. Easy to drink and not bitter like some Reds you'll have.

~Jonathan Passow

imaguitargod, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of IronCitySteve
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A rich copper red color with a nice thick foam head. The head dissipates quickly.

S: Other than some vague malt scents, which were sweet, I could not get much of an aroma.

T: A good mix of bready, biscuit, toffee and caramel malts. Definitely has some sweet undertones, but not very predominant.

M: Pretty thick and smooth. Leaves a slightly sweet taste on the palate.

D: A good offering, worth a try.

IronCitySteve, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of wiseguy142
3.18/5  rDev -16.3%
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.

wiseguy142, Feb 15, 2009
Photo of Brew33
3/5  rDev -21.1%
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.

Brew33, Feb 13, 2009
Photo of BDIMike
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very nice red color. There is a nice amount of carbonation that creates a thick white head that stays nicely throughout the drink.
There is not a ton to the smell of the beer, but that is normal for the style. There are some good toffee and caramel malt smells, though.
Taste is really a nice taste of some great malts of toffee and caramel. There is a good hop bit as well.
Great mouthfeel to this Irish red. There is a very nice thickness paired with a nice smoothness as well. Great smooth feel.
Drinkability is awesome on this irish red. This beer is a nicely balanced selection that has some really great tastes to it, but nothing so strong that you can get sick of it. One of the better Irish reds I have ever had, but a nice session beer to drink all day...the way the Irish intended.

BDIMike, Feb 13, 2009
Photo of DoctorDog
3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz bottle into a nonic. "For freshest taste, please enjoy by: 04/06/09" stamped on the side of the label.

A- Amber/copper and clear. Pours with ~2 fingers of light tan head, which fade slowly, to a thin, complete cap.

S- Malty, bread notes. Not a lot going on here.

T- Moderately sweet malt flavors with bread like notes. Slightly earthy, roasted bitterness on the finish.

M- Moderate carbonation, fairly smooth.

D- Decent.

Future outlook: This beer just didn't quite come together for me. A rare miss for Great Lakes, though still not something that I would say was "bad" or push away if offered. I won't seek this out again, but could accept it as part of a variety mix-pack.

DoctorDog, Feb 12, 2009
Photo of yesyouam
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great Lakes Conway's Irish Red Ale is a clear amber ale with a fading white head. It has a slightly sweet aroma that's a little resiny. It is medium bodied, smooth, bubbly, and the finish is clean. It is simple and balanced, with notes of resin, smoke and peat. It has a good bitterness and a touch of sweetness. Not bad.

yesyouam, Feb 11, 2009
Photo of Getinthevan
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

From first appearance, its a strong amber red/almost rusty colored red with a fair if not small amount of lacing. Not many bubble are surfacing, but nonetheless the color is striking.

The smell is faint in roasted hops. Overall this brew has a very roasted smell to it as it seems perfect to go with steaks, ribs and anything cooked on the grill. There's a small hint of other hops in there somewhere as well. Definitely carries its own.

Taste is good. From the first sip entering to the end of the mouthful, this is a genuine tasting beer. A bit sweeter than a typical Irish ale, it nonetheless comes through satisfying and refreshes the tastebuds. Definitely a good Midwestern craft brew.

Mouthfeel was a bit average on flavor retaining. After it lingered in the mouth for a bit, it began losing its flavor fast. Not bad, but it could be better.

On the plus side, this is a drinkable brew. A few of these to sip on with definitely clear your mind and make you relaxed in no time. Definitely worth a purchase!

Getinthevan, Feb 05, 2009
Photo of midnite2sixman
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an orange/amber color ok size head. Not much lacing, may be the glass.

Bread, rye, touch of hops, and a dash of sweet. Perhaps the malts, maybe not.

Savory, not too sweet, levels off. Not huge hops or rye, but a subtle finish. Not a typical irish red.

Fairly balanced. Hits up front but levels off fast.

Give it a try. Easy going, good taste, smooth and delicious.

midnite2sixman, Feb 05, 2009
Photo of adamette
2.55/5  rDev -32.9%
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.

adamette, Feb 04, 2009
Photo of Jae27
4.85/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From Pitcher to frosted mug.

A - Pours a wonderful copper color with a good inch of off-white/tan hearty head that stays through the end of the glass. Lacing is on the higher end of the Great Lakes line about average.

S - More complex than most of the style. Notes of baked apple, toasted nut and molassas. The first glass was masked by the cold temperature but by the second the warmth really brought out the natural aromas that make this beer special.

T - The most distinguishable flavor is toasted malts with sweet notes of caramel and hickory. The hops are very well balanced and do not dominate at any point. It finishes with a fruity grapefruit and apple. All elements are balanced throughout which yield a flawless taste.

M - Slightly on the dry end, the finish is exceptional. This beer does not ware your palate out in the slightest which makes it the perfect compliment to food.

D - This is the easiest drinking beer GLBC has to offer. Easily got through the pitcher with a buddy. I could drink this beer all day.

This is my favorite beer from GLBC. It is a seasonal beer but I wish it wasn't. I reviewed it from draft but it is just as good out of the bottle. The only complaint I had was that it was served too cold. The twelve pack box is a wonderful buy. Do not hesitate to pick some up!

Jae27, Feb 04, 2009
Photo of GoodKnight1220
4.75/5  rDev +25%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle to a Great Lakes pint glass.

This is a beautiful beer, very pure red in color and a small frothy head.

Overpowering aroma of sweet malt. Smells like butterscotch.

Not nearly as sweet as it smells, but just right. Good and malty with just enough hops for a good bite of a finish.

Goes down smooth and easy. Great Lakes never lets me down.

GoodKnight1220, Feb 04, 2009
Photo of UDbeernut
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap Poured into standard pint glass

A: clear ruby red color, plenty of carbonation. Decent head with good retention and stiky lacing

S: sweet aroma most likey from carmelized malt

T: sweet taste, carmel malt slight hop bitterness balances

M&d: Medium bodied, nice buttery mouthfeel very drinkable beer.

Another great selection from GLBC


UDbeernut, Feb 01, 2009
Photo of hooliganlife
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a bottle. pours deep copper with light head. smell is very malty. the taste is huge malts with little hop presence really. I kind of get a wet hop flavor? which I found odd. the mouthfeel is pretty perfect, nice light carbonation. this is pretty decent but after maybe a few i would be looking for something new.

hooliganlife, Feb 01, 2009
Photo of Avagadro
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed: 1-16-2009

Enjoy By: 3-19-2009
6.5% ABV

A: Light copper in color with a frothy head. There is a small amount of carbonation visible, and the beer is crystal clear.

S: Bouquet is active, grabbing the drinker's attention immediately. Caramel, toast, and clove come together to create a great aroma.

T: Flavor is dominated by malt. Sweet barley takes the lead, with a great toasty/roasty flavor to back it up.

M: Medium to full in body. Carbonation is lightly active on the tongue.

D: Another great brew from GLBC. This is an excellent example the the Irish Red style.

Avagadro, Jan 31, 2009
Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.53/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a wonderful looking tawny ruby brown, soft ropes of carbonation do their best to hold up this well worn looking head which subsides rather quickly into a soapy lace.

The aroma is a true accomplishment in brewing, a wonderful aroma coming from any beer and simply heaven for the style. Initially the aroma is slightly citrusy with notes of grapefruit being the easiest to distinguish then moves/melts into a remarkable malty essence. I knew I've smelled this before and I've finally put my finger on it, this beer smells like a piece of fresh toasted bread spread with a thin layer strawberry preserves, not even Southern Tier could top this with their next creation. I could smell this every day, all day, they should pipe this aroma into anywhere such things can be piped to.

Soft carbonation makes me contemplate the flavor of this beer. Not as quite straightforward as the aroma but close. There is a slightly sweet hop fruitiness in this beer that is easily balanced with remarkably fresh cereal grains. I could go on about this beer but then I wouldn't be drinking it any longer. It has pretty much everything I like in a beer, hops that are not overly done, malts that are not overly sweet, a nice dryness that makes me yearn for another sip and a mouthfeel that reminds me more of a cask ale than a bottle of soda. Go out and get this stuff while it's fresh.

bluemoonswoon, Jan 22, 2009
Photo of UA8
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a crystal clear amber color with a tall yest somewhat thin off white head.

S- Slight notes of citrus and grassy hops with a biscuity malts.

T- Kinda light on flavor starts with light biscuit malts, mid palate has a hint a citrus and herbal hops, finishes sweet and yeasty.

M- Nice and refreshing with a lively, moderate carbonation.

D- Ive had this beer twice and have to say that the first time it made a stronger impression than it did this time. However with that said it really comes off as more a of a lighter ale than an Irish red. Its refreshing and the flavors are nice but could stand to be slightly more pronounced.

UA8, Jan 15, 2009
Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 1,178 ratings.