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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

1,203 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,203
Reviews: 456
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.58%
Wants: 57
Gots: 91 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,203 | Reviews: 456 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OldSchoolGamer
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great Lakes first seasonal of the year. I have only had a couple Irish Ales in the past, and this is easily the best one I have had to date. Here is my review:

A: Pours a nice amber-red color. Very clear with minimal carbonation. Head is rather small, but leaves a small layer on top of the beer.

S/T: The aroma is very malt forward. Lots of toasted malts and caramel. Taste is quite similar to the smell. Lots of toasted malts. Caramel, toffee, and slight hops in the finish. Not overly sweet, which is a good thing. Its a rather full and robust flavor profile, unlike most of the other Irish Ales I have had.

M/D: Mouthfeel is medium bodied and very slick in the mouth. Drinkability is excellent, especially for a 6.5% ABV brew. Very sessionable. Killing a six pack shouldn't be a problem, especially around St. Patricks Day.

This beer has set the benchmark for Irish Ales. I will make a point this year to try more of the style, and see if there is a better one out there. Until then, this one is gonna be a hard one to topple. Well worth seeking out.

Photo of association330
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle with a bit of history and humor in the descriptions. Very typical of this brewer.

A - Pours deep golden/orange with a slight reddish hue. A pinky of off-white head drops to an average cap with a bit of lacing.

S - Sweet toasted malt (a bit toffee-like), fresh bread, and tea. Slight fruitiness as well.

T - Basically more of the same. Pleasant sweetness of toasted malt, with bready notes and breakfast tea. Light hop flavor in the finish, and bitterness is just enough to provide a bit of contrast. Dry finish.

M - Body is on the light side of moderate. Carbonation is medium-high and lends a crisp feel to round out the nice, basic flavors.

D - A "meat and potatoes" kind of beer indeed. Would be great with a nice, down to earth homecooked meal. Almost sessionable at 6.5%.

Photo of generallee
4.74/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: The body has light amber honey color with very good clarity. On top it forms a big creamy off white colored head. The head slowly fades but hangs on well and make cool rings of lace on the glass.

Smell: The aroma is mostly sweet with hints of lightly roasted grains, bready yeast, light hops and some mild fruit notes.

Taste/Mouth Feel: Its flavor has a good solid medium body with a sweet malty character that is tempered with just enough leafy hops for some balance. There are notes of bread, light caramel malt, orange marmalade and mild hops. The palate is smooth, slightly slick and easy drinking with mellow carbonation.

Notes: I love Great Lakes and this is one of my favorites. I also converted my mother and step father to craft beer with this Irish Ale! How cool is that!!!

Photo of sarahspat
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a shaker pint glass.

Very clear orangeish amber. Nice looking caramel-tinted, fluffy head. Good retention; decent lacing.

Nice roasted and caramel notes, with some tea thrown in for good measure. Pretty low key nose, but it smells great. The taste is consistent with the nose, with some fruity notes and sweet tea. There also is a subdued nuttiness in the background. This brew is mostly sweet-tasting, but there's a little kick of bitterness going into the finish, which is dry. Pretty much perfect for the style. Actually, I kind of feel like I just wrote the style description. This beer is light-bodied and slippery with a good amount of carbonation.

This is an amazing example of the style and a great beer all around. Nicely done.

Photo of sgoodship
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My mother in-law gave me a few bottles of this on her last visit from Cleveland.

A: Poured from a 12oz bottle, it popped up a nice finger off-white head. It was creamy and instantly started to stick. Spotty lacing. The color is a nice brown red amber. Some large carbonation bubbles sit at the bottom of the glass and rise intermittently.

S: Nice simple, dry, sour malt smell. Very earthy.

T: There's a creaminess to the taste. It is woody/nutty with a slight sweetness. The finish is characteristically very dry. A gentle hop balances it out. The dryness really makes you want to keep on sipping away. There's a breadiness which is a little tantalizing because I wish it were more.

M: Light body but there is a creaminess that makes it feel more medium body. There is a medium carbonation that keeps things lively.

D: A really nice, solid ale. Man, it's nice to drink something clean and simple in these days of big and complex. It's just a good beer. Nothing more, nothing less. Another nice brew to enjoy from Great Lakes. They really know how to make beer.

Photo of kkipple
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First off, thanks to Prototypic for the hookup! This is an extra and I've never heard of it, but always want more Great Lakes beer. Always! More!

A. Pretty. Mostly-clear orange-red, some active bubbles, fine, tough and lacy head, just all around appealing, really.

S. Minimal, but clean and sweet. Slight caramel malt is here, a bit of biscuit, earth-hops, general "crispness". A touch of butter. I can't really describe it except that it is everything nice about Irish Reds and nothing wrong.

T / M. This is good, but it's... very subtle. Much like a good cup of green tea or, say, a potato, there ain't much to write home about. It's sweet, and caramelly, and "red", and sports a touch of bergamot. A tiny bit of diacetyl buttery slickness rears up, but it's easily tamed by the crisp and well carbonated thinness of the brew. It's all very clean and sweet and quite easy. This is full bodied, but simply absurdly enjoyable to drink. I do wish it was a touch hoppier and dryer... but I am not the target audience for this beer.

D. Yeah, very high. Sure beats the pants off Killian's and their ilk. With a billy club. Whist tooting a loud whistle. And calling for backup. The bagpipes sound over the hill and -- oops, wrong guys. Always get those two mixed up...

In any case, this is a great Irish Red and one of the best I've had. Catholics and Prots alike can get behind something like this. Bottom line: Recommended, especially with Irish Stew or Haggis. Dangit! There I go again....!

Photo of Infamous7100
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thoroughly enjoyed this beer.
A: Poured a copper/light red from the bottle with very little lacing.
S: Malts, Malts and more Malts. You can smell the sweetness. Just a hint of a nutty scent as well.
T: Very sweet across the palate. The hops are detectable but blend very well. The malts win out. You can also pick up on the nutty flavor as well.
M: Smooth and satisfying! Thick and almost creamy, which I find impressive. Finishes clean and dry.
D: Once you have one, you want another. ABV a little higher than your typical brew, but you really wouldn't notice by the taste.

Photo of Viggo
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from Premier Gourmet.

Pours a clear light coppery orange, dark amber, thin white head forms, wispy, quickly settles to a thin ring around the glass, not much there, no real lacing, doesn't look too exciting. Smell is nice and malty, caramel, some really toasty and grainy malt, oats/cereal, light floral, very malty. Taste is similar, very sweet, oranges, some grainy malt, biscuit, cereal, light fruitiness in the finish, low bitterness, not too exciting. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low to medium carbonation. Alright beer, easy to drink but a little boring and light.

Photo of russpowell
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
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!

Photo of littleshamrocks
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Very clear copper body topped with a respectable creamy off-white head. About average in the carbonation department. Looks a little bit like tea. Left very small traces of lacing.

S: Up front smell of toasted grain to bread-y malt with noticeable floral to herbal hop aroma in the background.

T&M: Medium body with a straightforward flavor similar to the nose. Toasted malt, herbal hops, toffee, caramel, and pepper spiciness come to mind. Carbonation is medium at best and the finish is relatively clean.

D: Solid brew to be sure. I have yet to taste a poor offering from Great Lakes, and this is no exception. I think they hit the nail on the head by calling this a "meat and potatoes'" kind of beer on the label. It's a no frills, solid, good tasting beer. Recommend.

Photo of Rennpferd
4.45/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It was poured clear with a deep red hue. It had a nice one finger head that held during the entire sitting.

It had a lite scent, malt was present.

It had a nice clean malt taste that was accompanied by a slightly bitter hop taste. It was medium bodied with a clean finish.

It was a great beer. Excellent for a session.

Photo of TheycallmeTim
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Sasa in Cleveland. Poured into a shaker pint glass (in Shaker Square, no less!).

A--Poured up a little more red than amber, nice ruby colored body with a fizzy thin half finger head that bubbled and gurgled itself down the drain pretty quickly, with no rings or lacing in its wake.

S--Subdued, even for the style. A little bit of sweetish toffee and some whole wheat crust, but not much. The nose suggested this might not have been the freshest keg in the world.

T--Taste was better, and bloomed into a bigger malt profile with a sharp and instant bittering finish. Glint of oily hoppiness that's unexpected but welcome. Mostly more crackery wholegrains and breadcrust in there, and while the finish isn't quite as clean as Victory's Seamus, it's certainly in line with the style.

M&D--The mouthfeel they pretty much nail, as it's creamy and full and an all around foamy good time. Not what I expected given the head, but made my mouth happy for sure. Drinkability is decent--had a couple pints, one before dinner and one during, and it stuck out to me as a beer you could either belly up to or pair food with pretty easily.

Not the best Irish red I've had, but far from the worst. Hits all the right notes without challenging the taste buds, but without surprising them either. One of those brews (and styles) you wouldn't be ashamed to stick with when you're sick of throwing down big beers. My biggest complaint is that there could be a bit more punch in the flavor given the abv, or could lower the abv the bit while keeping the current profile.

Photo of bamadog
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is really a solid beer that's got all the potential in the world for me to be a session beer. I had a brief sip of this once about a month ago and I thought it was very interesting, so I was happy to try a full serving on my own. Like with the other Great Lakes beers I've tried, I'm pleased... Poured from the bottle into a trusty pint glass.

Appearance: Poured a nice deep copper color with a core of amber; moderate carbonation coming up in even lines; started with a nice 1/2 finger head that turned quickly into an inconsistent skim, as well as the ring at the top; left a slightly oily/foamy lacing along the sides of the glass on the swirl, but as it was drank down it left the sides clean.

Smell: Sweet, mildly carmelly maltiness comes across the nose, followed by a pretty strong yeasty/bready/biscuity smell; ever so slight hints of alcohol are way in the back of the nose. I'm loving the bready nature of this, and this the first beer I've had where this feature is this strong, so it's sticking out nicely in my mind and in my nose.

Taste: Malts and bread right up front; does have a mild and subdued hoppiness to it that leaves a nice, slightly bitter aftertaste in the mouth, but largely the filling bread taste is dominant. While this is the dominant flavor and what I'm focusing on, overall this is a pretty mild beer in the grand scheme of things, so it's actually pretty refreshing. It's not an overwhelming beer at all and I feel it's very easy to drink (more on this in the drinkability portion). This would be a great pairing with many kinds of food, but for some reason I was thinking that grilled foods would be good with it.

Mouthfeel: Nicely carbonated, feels lively in the mouth and a little prickly on the palate. Light and crisp, very refreshing and not heavy at all.

Drinkability: As mentioned in the taste portion above, I found this beer to be very drinkable and easy going. Not challenging at all but very tasty and fulfilling. To me, this one comes across as a little more unique because of bready-like quality (I know, I keep coming back to that), but I really find that to be most pleasing. I give this a higher drinkability because it is indeed easy to get down, but also the ABV is pretty do-able.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Chimay Goblet

A - A red/copper color that looks incredible is sadly overshadowed by the disappointment with the off-white, sudsy head that lingered for mere moments before disappearing into a small ring.

S - The nose is bursting with malty sweet and creamy smelling aromas with caramel hints.

T - Very malty across the palate with a touch of sweetness and a caramel hint. Finished off dry.

M - A creamyness flows across the palate only to be followed by a dry finish. The dry finish, however isn't as prevalent as a normal red leaving the creamyness to distinguish it.

D - For an Irish Red it's certainly creamier and maltier than the standard Red which definitely gives it a leg up in the drinkability catagory.

The Conway's Irish Ale has a good aroma and flavor profile to it with out commanding your attention. I really enjoyed it and would recommend to anyone.

Photo of ROBORB
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to Mike B., thanks man!

Beer pours a reddish/brown hue with a short lasting head. I picked up lots of malts and toffee/carmel in the aroma. The finish improves as the beer warms as the carbonation is a little to prickly at first. Not a bad beer but nothing extraordinary.

Photo of twaddlac
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear reddish orange with a little head dissapating into a light lace. smells of faint honey with a mild hop note. Taste is slight hoppiness with a honey like aftertaste and a bit of sweet grass. drinkability is good but not what I was expecting.

Photo of dmamiano
3.15/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

Photo of penguinjive7
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber with about a finger of head.

Smell is mostly sweat malt with a hint of a floral aroma.

Taste is very sweat with a bit of tree bark. There is a tiny bit of floral/pine sap flavored hops that immediately fades to a sweat finish.

The carbonation is done very tastefully and the brew goes down smoothly.

This brew has a very earthy character which lends itself nicely to the Irish style.

Photo of endincolorado
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Clear red-amber with thick foamy cream-colored head.

Smell- Bready malt- light hop aroma to balance.

Taste- Rich bread malt, fairly sweet, toasty caramel- light hop-bitter finish to balance.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, fairly creamy- helped by good carbonation.

Drinkability- High. This is one of my favorite session beers for this time of year.

Photo of RickKrumenacker
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- crisp, clear amber in color...two-finger, light-tan fluffy head...leaves a thin cap across the top

S- cedar chips and tobacco...very pleasant

T- I don't know if I've ever hand anything with these flavors before...smokey earthiness...tobacco really comes through like a good cigar...floral hop notes afer I swallow

M- clean and smooth...medium bodied

D- more punch than the standard Irish Red but still easy to drink

Photo of LeftyBWS
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a Sam Adams specialty pint glass.
A: Bright orangey brew with reddish tones. Full two inches of thick frothy white head after a particular vigorous pour.
S: Sweet caramel malts and piney/oily hops. Good balance.
T: Subtly sugary at first, leading into a little hop nip but still mostly sweet. Finish is mostly malty and sweet, too. Occasional taste of breadiness, yeast, and wheat, but the sugars (and to a lesser extent, some oily hops) tend to dominate.
M: Fine, malty and somewhat hoppy, with a bit of alcohol in the finish.
D: Actually pretty good, considering the 6.5% ABV.

Photo of robbtjones68
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Here is one of those cases where the beer from the tap is Sooo much better than out of the bottle. I will review the tap version and give Great Lakes the benefit of the doubt. I had one several years ago from the bottle and was not impressed; even disappointed since I have been a huge GLB fan since the late 90's. Have made several trips to the brewery Mecca over the years. My last trip, my buddy advised that I try it as a draft. I did and it was like a different brew. It came to life with punch and aroma. It delivered on a brilliant Irish Red which can be drank endlessly when done right. Bartender, pour me another! This one's on Eliot Ness....

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this brew in a trade with drgonzo3705, Thanks Paul!

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - clear amber color with a fluffy beige head that left good lacing.

S - toasted malt aroma with a hint of earthiness.

T - rich malty flavored brew with a light hoppy bite right before a sweet finish.

F - medium bodied with good carbonation.

D - it would be easy to drink a few of these.

Photo of Pauly2X
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Solid clear amber with a half finger head.

S- Rich malty aroma with roasty/toasty notes.

T- Full caramel malty flavor that increases in complexity as you go to include some toasty notes along with a light hint of roasted malt. Toward the end there's a very light floral hop note right before the smooth sweet finish.

M- Medium boby with a nice light level of carbonation.

D- These are going down great.

Sometimes Red's can get boring but this is very full flavored while maintaining the approachability that reds are known for.

Photo of turnblom79
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I really enjoy most Irish ales, but was a little disappointed in this one. I had just sampled Michelob Irish Red, and felt that this one tasted a little watered down. The smell and appearance were great, but was thinner than I expected when drinking. Great Lakes has so many great products, it was a shame that this one fell a little short.

Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 1,203 ratings.