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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

1,273 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,273
Reviews: 470
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 56
Gots: 127 | 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: 1,273 | Reviews: 470 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of schoolboy
4.53/5  rDev +19.5%
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.

Photo of Tilley4
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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...

Photo of sliverX
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
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

Photo of imaguitargod
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
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

Photo of IronCitySteve
3.76/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Photo of wiseguy142
3.2/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

Photo of Brew33
2.98/5  rDev -21.4%
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.

Photo of BDIMike
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Photo of DoctorDog
3.26/5  rDev -14%
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.

Photo of yesyouam
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Photo of Getinthevan
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
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!

Photo of midnite2sixman
3.51/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

Photo of adamette
2.55/5  rDev -32.7%
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.

Photo of Jae27
4.83/5  rDev +27.4%
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!

Photo of GoodKnight1220
4.75/5  rDev +25.3%
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.

Photo of UDbeernut
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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


Photo of hooliganlife
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of Avagadro
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.54/5  rDev +19.8%
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.

Photo of UA8
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Photo of kels
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of the first beers that got me interested in drinking craft beer. I wasn't reviewing back then, so I was excited when it came back out this week so I could get to it. This is from a bottle poured into my Great Lakes pint - how fitting!

Appearance: Pours a lovely golden brown with red highlights. Very clear with good carbonation running throughout and a 2 finger white fluffy head that quickly fades to a half inch skim and leaves behind good, sticky lacing.

Smell: Deliciously sweet and subtle malty smell with a bright, crisp hop presence. Very lightly detectable, as with most Great Lakes beers I've had.

Taste/Mouthfeel: The taste is a balanced and flavorful blend of crunchy, bready malts, and bright, crisp hops. A subtle sweetness comes from the toasted grains, and a very clean feeling comes from the medium-bodied, mildly carbonated mouthfeel. The only thing I'd like is a little higher CO2.

Drinkability: So high, and even better with food.

Just as good as I remembered. I'd love to try it on tap.

Photo of Freshie
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at their Main location in downtown Cleveland. 1/3/09

ABV and IBU of 25 listed on tap menu, with description.

A- Amber, and clear, with slight white head. Missing that tint of red.

S- Semi-sweet malt aroma. Light barley and toasted malt. nothing special really. Probably due to the cold serving temperature. Aroma did not come through as with their other beers.

T- Light sweet malt. some light floral hops.

M- Very watery, with some carbonation.

D- If anything, it did go down smooth.

Not much to this one. A very light Irish ale. Very average too below average. I don't think this batch was up to snuff.

Photo of treyrab
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glad I finally found this one. Great Lakes is by far one of my favorite breweries. Poured into a pint glass...

A: Hazy deep copper red with a small head. This one does not lace, though it is so sweet and lacking hops I was not expecting it to.

S: The smell is pure sweet caramel and munich malts. Smells like a sweet caramel apple with some sugar on top, fantastic.

T: The taste is very, very sweet with caramel. Extremely malty, which I was expecting. But other than sweet caramel and munich malts, there is not much hops.

Great Lakes never disappoints, and this is no exception. A great example of the style!

Photo of kinger
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Seasonal Irish Amber from Great Lakes, named after their grandfather an honor for sure. Faintly sweet malty aroma not much else aside from a very low key hop nose. Twinkling amber pour sizable head that soon becomes a thin film leaving mild lacing. Crisp with an easy finish this has a real good medium bodied fullness to it. Flavor is more intense than the aroma, lots of sweet malts caramel and a touch of honey. Low key hop presence nice change from this brewer. Overall one of Great Lakes' more simple beers but it's a nice choice for it's respective style.

Photo of wagenvolks
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a DFH off-centered pint glass.

Pours a fiery, copper-orange body; excellent clarity beneath a thin, decently-retained khaki head that eventually recedes to a wisp of bubbles. The nose picks up fruity notes of grape juice, pear, and green apple, alongside sweet caramel malts and a light biscuity note. Very good so far.

Very enjoyable taste: peppery hops with a hint of citrus, perfectly balanced by amber malts and breaded notes. A kiss of alcohol and hops leaves a complex and intriguing finish. Body is perfectly carbonated with a medium thickness--everything an Irish Red should feel like. All in all, Great Lakes delivers once again...a stand-out beer.

Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 1,273 ratings.