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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

1,167 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,167
Reviews: 449
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.58%
Wants: 51
Gots: 72 | 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: 1,167 | Reviews: 449 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a golden copper red body that is crystal clear with a gentle release of tiny bubbles. The head is a thin creamy head that is white with a faint yellow hue.

S- The smell of lightly toasted malt with some note of dry fresh grain note in there. No real hop aroma in there.

T-This beer had a nice slightly sweet toasted malt flavor with some dry fresh grain flavor that follows. There is a very slight buttery note but it is not detected when the beer is really cold. There is a nice spicy flavor that finishes and some green hop notes in there. The finish is crisp and dry with a soft carbonic note.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a soft fizz in the finish.

D- This is a nice smooth beer that has some good malt flavors and a spicy hop flavor but it would be nice to see the malt have a bit more depth and the hops back off a bit. Definitely a good crossover beer for those that drink Adjunct Lagers.

rhoadsrage, Feb 26, 2006
Photo of Ricochet
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's been awhile since I've reviewed one from my hometown. For a red ale, this one scores on all bases. Dark amber with little head and full, dark malt smell with hops to spare. Mouth seemed light, with little to no bite and smooth when swallowing with a creamy finish. You can taste the hop bitterness, with the roasted malt flavor and alcohol making a balance that only beers that really nail thier style. Very dry from the bitterness and a slight wine note.

So, what can I say, this is great stuff. Another homer from the hometown brewery.

Ricochet, Feb 19, 2006
Photo of evanackerman
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

finally found some of this at a local store.

Beer pours a beautiful amber with a thin head that dissipated quickly (this may have been due to my glass). moderate carbonation.

aroma is fruity hops and bready malt mixed with a tinge of alcohol.

taste is delicious toasted malt with a nice kick of hop bitterness. this would go great with a hearty stew.

mouthfeel is a bit thin but still pleasant.

drinkability is extremely high, a nice easy drinking ale here.

overall, i really enjoyed this beer, an all around well balanced winner, my favorite Irish Red to date. I'm not sure this brewery can do any wrong, hands down the best all around brewery in America.

evanackerman, Feb 18, 2006
Photo of klewis
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

5/1/06 freshness date

A: Pours a clear reddish-golden color with a small head.

S: Pleasant aroma of caramel malt

T: Strong malty character with a touch of hops in the finish. Tasty.

M: Dry with a medium-light body

D: I could probably drink a sixer of this without noticing - very smooth and easy to drink. This is what Killian's should be.

klewis, Feb 17, 2006
Photo of Sammy
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

Sammy, Feb 17, 2006
Photo of nlmartin
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer was poured from a bottle into a pub glass.

Appearance: The beer was amber almost scarlet in coloration. The head was a honey tinged coloration two fingers thick. The head quickly resolved. Faint traces of lacing remained on the glass.

Smell: The beer has a very nice grainy malty smell. There is a bit of floral hops present in the beer.

Taste: Small peppery spicy bite up front. This gives way to a very nice biscuity bready sort of maltyness.

Mouthfeel: This is a meduim bodied beer. The beer has an awesome creamy character to it.

Drinkability: This is a very nice drinking beer. I am glad I have a six pack more to drink.

nlmartin, Feb 06, 2006
Photo of mobyfann
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Paid $7.99 for a 6-pack...

The beer pours a clear amber-ruby colored base with a medium white head that retains for some time and minor lacing effects too. I didn't get much from the smell, but what I got consisted of faint tones of hop, malt and sweet tones as well.

The taste is very nice for an Irish Red Ale. It gives you a strong beer with such a light and refreshing taste with a sweet tasting finish. It is easy on the mouth and extremely drinakble at 6.5% abv - I really like this contrast, feels like a light beer for strong ales.

Final Thought: This is one of the better beers out there and ranks in the upper-end for most GLBC products, impressive!

mobyfann, Feb 02, 2006
Photo of becktone
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As the style suggests, this beer is a red/copper color. It is crystal clear and has a tan creamy head. The head, however, is small and quickly dissipates. There is lacing along the sides of the glass, which gives the beer an apetizing look when tipped/being drunk. When agitated the lacing thickens, and moves more towards the center of the glass. In my opinion, the beer would look much better if there were better head retention.

To the nose this beer is also pleasing. The aroma is not quite as potent as I would like but, even though hard to smell, it smells good. I detect a slight lightly roasted/toasted smell in this beer, and don't really smell any aromas that I can attribute to hop charater.

This beer is good. I really appreciate the flavor of this brew. It has a carmel taste with hints of lightly roasted/toasted flavors as well. It is sweet in the mouth, and in the after taste there is more of the light roasted/toasted flavor. Overall it is a good brew, however, there are better beers from the Great Lakes Brewing Co.

The mouthfeel of this beer is pretty good as well. I believe that the medium body of this beer is appropriate to the style. It feels a bit heavier and thicker than water on the palate and has a dry finish. It is very easy to drink, and is much better warmer as opposed to colder. Not quite a session beer, but I could just chill with some buddies and drink this one all night long. This is a beer that I'll probably buy next winter when it hits the shelves again.

becktone, Jan 21, 2006
Photo of maddamish
3.33/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Another solid offering by the GLBC.

There was a slight clove smell that was very hard to pull out. It became more pronounced in the drinking.

Clove is the dominate tasting note here with a slight orange pulp after-it-was-squeezed aftertaste.

This really is a treat and I will be pick up more of these. At least the price of this six pack was comparable to their others. (Unlike the Christmas Ale which was 3.00 more in my area.)

maddamish, Jan 21, 2006
Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear bronze color. One finger head quickly falls to a thin but dense cap. Mild spotty lacing. Toasted amber malt nose with background spicy hops. Sweet caramel and dextrin taste, followed by a very evenly balanced german hop bitterness. Medium body and carbonation, very smooth and almost creamy. Finishes a touch sweet, with the hops more apparent; but mostly clean. easy to knock back a few of these. Once again, GLBC nails the style AND produces an outstanding beer.

PBRstreetgang, Jan 15, 2006
Photo of sinistrsam
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this bad boy at the Mad Mex in the north hills of Pittsburgh, which as a side note has a pretty serious selection of good draft beers. Anyhow, on to the brew!
Thin white head on top of a reddish-amber body, with little noticable carbonation.
Major sweet malty smell, some herbal qualities, sweet fruit hints, alcohol.
The taste was malty and sweet, with some mild carbonation up front that faded into a smooth buttery sweet aftertaste, mild hops throughout.
This was a smooth and full-bodied ale, and I was a fan. Not the best Irish Ale I've had but pleasant and very drinkable. hats off the Great lakes again.

sinistrsam, Jan 12, 2006
Photo of IrishRedRock
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Deep coppery red color, major chill haze goin on, thin ring of lace hugs the edges. Biscuity wheat malt and estery sweetness in the nose. Tingly carbonation initially, then fades out to nearly none, being utterly smooth and palatable. Buttery toffee malts linger throughout, with a touch of butterscotch and hop bitterness in the finish. So quaffable. Great Lakes is quickly becoming a stellar brewery in my personal world of beer; bring your brews to PA!

IrishRedRock, Nov 11, 2005
Photo of BEERchitect
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

BEERchitect, Jul 03, 2005
Photo of merlin48
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 12 oz bottle pours a chill hazed, ruby amber body with a tightknit, two finger beige head. Good head retention, and some sheets of lace are left on the glass.
Aroma: Floral and fruity hops mingle with malt notes of toffee and caramel.
Mouthfeel: Light medium body with medium carbonation.
Taste: Toasty and bready malts offer up a good deal of toffee and caramel sweetness, but floral European hops balance well with a moderate bitterness. Some apple peel fruitiness really hits the spot. Clean and even on the finish, with a dry and bitter hops aftertaste.
Drinkability: Probably my favorite Irish Red Ale, I prefer this one to Smithwick's. This would be an excellent session ale.

merlin48, May 28, 2005
Photo of Realale
3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear full copper with a fine bright beige head that sits and stays, leaving decent lacing.

Nose is toffee, well-toasted, but not burnt, bread, and a nice cherry fruitiness. Toffee is dominant enough to make me think I'm not going to like the taste very much.

Medium in the mouth with a soft round toffee sweetness leading the way. A pleasant toasty maltiness is working in the background, as is a slightly sulphury mineral component. The toffee just dominates too much and the sweetness hides any complexity that might really be there.

Nice mouthfeel, but its more than a touch too sweet for this taster. I can't imagine drinking too many of these without it getting cloying. A disappoinment given the very high standard set by this brewery's other offerings.

Realale, May 23, 2005
Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- This one is more brownish-orange than red with a nice, off-white head that came up on an easy pour and showed some retention.

Smell – The European hops and laid back grainy malts were well balanced at the nose. I found the big, sugary sweetness quite pleasant and a good compliment to the bouquet.

Taste – Ah, the grain picked things up at the taste. They are very well done and heavily complimented with sugar. There’s some good Euro hopping in here as well. It’s grassy and bitter and mixes well with the overall flavor profile.

Mouthfeel – This one is just barely medium in the body with some live carbonation and a nice, lightly bitter finish.

Drinkability – This is a nice session ale that would go down well any time of the year.

Comments – Thanks to BuckeyNation for sending this GL beauty shop out my way.

RoyalT, May 12, 2005
Photo of SupaCelt
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Orange that is hot enough to be designated as rojo. Limp white head crashes into the pond hastily. The surface of the glass displays a yin of residual head froth, with the pseudo red beer occupying the yang aspect. Ominous.

Smell: This may be the first time I have ever smelled something in a beer that urges me to call it "bready." This smells like steeping grains and toasty breadiness.

Taste: Caramel malt sweetness. Very fresh and grainy as if it were fresh from the brewpot. Slight red sourness accompanies the toasty caramel characters, leaving a pleasingly well organized flavour upon the palate. This glass entertains me with relative ease.

Mouthfeel: Great Lakes mouthfeel. You know it and love it most of the time. Medium weight and smooth. Easy to swallow.

Drinkability: I must say I was not expecting much outta this beer. The only other "Irish red" I can remember drinking ( which has been affectionately dubbed an "euro dark lager" by BA ) was served in a plastic pitcher at a bowling alley. You know the one. This one makes me think I might actually like this style after being traumatized by the other.

SupaCelt, May 07, 2005
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Apr 24, 2005
Photo of gimmehead
4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: red-bronze, with a quickly receding cream colored head that thinly coats the beer

Smell: toasted malts, grainy, some caramel sweetness, and floral hops, biscuity

Taste: rich toasted malts, very robust malt character, noticeable hop twang for a great balance, biscuity earthiness, and a little honey-like sweetness

Mouthfeel: medium body, moderate carbonation

Drinkability: highly drinkable, great session ale

gimmehead, Apr 24, 2005
Photo of Star80
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Described as a rosy copper color with a thick, two-inch beige head on initial pour. It has settled to a light covering with some sticking to the glass. Smell somehow reminds me of Irish soda bread, with some leafy hop. Tastes very toasty, and has a nice bitter finish. Not quite as hoppy as St. Rogues Red I've had at the same time but they are present. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth for a 6.5% a.b.v. red ale. Overall I found this beer enjoyable and will buy more next year.

Star80, Apr 20, 2005
Photo of clvand0
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one pours an amber/red color with a moderate head that falls quickly and leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma is really bready and toasty with some caramel thrown in. Not really my thing, but right on for the style. The flavor follows suit with a lot of bready notes and caramel malts. Plenty of crystal malt in there. The body is fairly thick and the drinkability is pretty good, it's just not my style.

clvand0, Apr 19, 2005
Photo of kmpitz2
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ths brew pours a slightly ambered orange color with a finger of head that falls to coat the beer. The nose is not nice. There is a big grainey biscuity aroma, wih a touch of sweetness, but not something that appeals to me. The flavor is okay. There is a big grain character, with a bit of a spicey grain quality. The feel is moderate. As far as irish reds go, this is okay. I'd still take most other styles over this.

kmpitz2, Apr 19, 2005
Photo of BuckSpin
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of three different brews I had on tap this afternoon, this was the winner. I haven't had a dog yet from GLBC.

1st chance to sample one of their efforts on tap. A curiously cloudy, rusty tea in color, its head was about 3/4" of cream that disappated quickly, albeit the lace has a nice cling.

Nose was sweet, spiced (clove?), reminded me of crisp autumn days. Its mid-bodied on the tongue, nice with just a whisper of that clove/fall spice. The hops show more on the throat with a pleasant bitterness.

I would drink this again in a heartbeat, and look forward to a glass of it amid the falling leaves some October day.

BuckSpin, Apr 02, 2005
Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A cloudy mixture of a light sun-down orange with red highlights, decent sized tan head that has great dedication. Biscuits, malts and some sweet orange juice detected on the nose. Caramel malts, a bit dry, maintains a decent hop flavoring. As she warms, some juicy sweetness, bubble-gum offerings are found. Butterscotch, toasted bread, very rich and filling, in a good way. The backbone has a spicy bite that combines wonderfully with the wonderful texture and body that this beverage has! One darn fine Irish Red!

GeoffRizzo, Apr 01, 2005
Photo of Dogbrick
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great Lakes usually provides exemplary models for the beers they create, and the fact that this brew is merely above average is kind of a letdown. Still, it’s pretty good. Deep ruby amber color with a medium beige head and thin lacing. The aroma is roasted malt and caramel. Medium-bodied and on the carbonated side, with flavors of sweet malt, light hops and a bit of fruit. The finish is clean and somewhat sweet. Overall pretty good, but I just know GLBC could knock this one out of the park if they really wanted to.

Dogbrick, Mar 19, 2005
Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 1,167 ratings.