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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

1,317 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,317
Reviews: 479
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 56
Gots: 159 | FT: 2
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: 1,317 | Reviews: 479
Photo of GoalieRon33
2.99/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Wonderful, deep color. Not quite ruby, but more reddish than brown. eggshell-white head, about 1 inch in size

smells of sweetness. matly as hell, but very balanced all around.

tasted of many irish ales... slight alcohol burn with a finishing maltiness. overall thick brew; very heavy beer with a strong malty flavor.

heavy bodied beer that is a slow drinker

an enjoyable beer that is fun to drink slow. Not an easy chugger; great dinner beer with chicken

Photo of ZSimon
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful color, halfway between amber and ruby, with a rather thin, bone-white head. Smell is primarily sweet caramel, with a touch of herbal hops. Taste is big, sweet malt, with pronounced caramel. Not getting much of the toastiness that the label promised, more like bready or doughy. A flash of hop bitterness in the middle fades into the round, malty, just-barely-sweet finish. Maybe a trace of warming alcohol, especially as the glass warms, but still a well-hidden 6.5%.

Another fine seasonal effort from Great Lakes. Slainte!

Photo of zimm421
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, this beer has a beautiful appearance. Dark ruby red with some orange hints, and a thick foamy white head that dissipates very slowly, leaving great lacing down the glass.
There is some good malt sweetness in the nose, with caramel and bread standing out. Not a real strong scent, but it is a good one. The flavor follows the nose with caramel, bread and maybe some grape as well. Good sweetness at the beginning, with some decent bitterness in the aftertaste.
Medium-bodied with a mid to low amount of carbonation. Feels smooth and goes down pretty easily. Something I could drink all night, not too heavy and just all around feels great.

Another great brew from Great Lakes, something I've come to expect over time.

Photo of LyonsHead
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A:Deep red, nice off white head but it disappeared quickly

S: substaintial bread crust; toasted french bread; a hint of roast; toffey like sweetness in the background

T: Very warm and toasty, malty sweetness, there is a distinct raison flavor perhaps from a higher L crystal malt

M: Medium body, fairly smooth, lingers around for a while

D: Nice complex malt flavor, a little too sweet. The lingering finish brings the drinkability down some for me. Pretty good malt aroma and flavor, I just feel like it needs to dry out a little more.

Photo of pasdachuri
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured up a little more red than amber, nice ruby colored body with a fizzy thin half finger head.

Smells of faint honey with a mild hop note.

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.

Medium body, smooth, and just a small gentle carbonation.

Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.89/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Completely transparent medium brown with a quick fading head. Not much lace on the glass.

S - Malt sweetness is at the front of this one with caramel overtones. A little toasted bread can be detected as well slightly slightly roasted malt aroma.

T - Very simple beer with a big malt flavor and residual sugars coming to the front. It has an English tea-like backbone all the way through, and finishes with a combination of dry hops and caramelized malt.

M/D - Medium body with big carbonation, both in volumes and on the palate. Semi-dry finish and has a certain stickiness on the plate. Very drinkable and clean with the low alcohol lets you drink a bunch of these at one time.

Photo of claminat420
3.81/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- poured a nice slight transparent amber color with an off-white thick head. looks like this poor could be in a commercial.

S- alil clove aroma kickin out but not to bad considering i don't like that smell. biscuity malt scent with alil spicy and earthy hops hanging in the background.

T- the malts really pull through but like i said biscuity with a smack of alil caramel perhaps?? don't taste any of the clove kick that was in the smell which is good. hops are hidden deep but can be found with the hint from the earthiness.

M- light to medium bodied. good carbonation.

D- could work on a 6 no prob.

Photo of vintajuess
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A - Pours to a high, foamy head. Gold-to-amber gradient looking down the tilted glass.

S - Very pleasant. Fruity, more of the acidic variety--roma tomato, rotting orange (but in a good way), persimmon maybe, sweet red pepper, a little raspberry which could just be my imagination. Floral smell too.

T - Slightly more bitter than I'd hoped but a nice flavor--raspberry, must, a hint of shallot that passes up through the sinuses, just a tiny bit of sweetness that lags behind the bitter.

M - Causes the lips to purse most similar to eating a grapefruit. It feels too thin for my liking. I almost can't feel it swish around my mouth, and there's too much of a carbonated tingle going down the throat.

D - Very drinkable beer. Other than the bitterness, there's nothing that's likely to turn anyone off about it. Very light for an ale, a good choice for a full stomach if you're looking for something with a little bite but don't have a taste for sweet. This would go great with roasted peppers, cabbage, broccoli, endive salad... stuff like that.

Photo of earthboundagain
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle with freshness date clearly marked

A: Ok we have a rust colored beer that is very clear; head is a creamy reddish white

S: Slightly sweet malt, a touch of hop, and a floral smell that eludes me.

T: Ok we have some light caramel malt with some biscuity undertones, a tad more hop bite then I was wanting for this brew, but not over powering.

M: Smooth and dry, but just enough carbonation to make you want another sip.

D: This beer is a smooth drinker, but the floral hop cuts the sweetness just enough to make this brew well balanced.

Thoughts- I love the history behind this brew, nice to see respect given to ones elders. As for the brew it was a good try at the style, and it made an excellent baked chicken, so I would have it again for sure.

Photo of jkrich
3.74/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured a bright, clear red with a slightly off-white head that dissipated in a couple of minutes leaving some very nice lacing. This is a very attractive ale.

The aromas are strongly fruity and sweet. There is almost a hint of molasses in the aroma.

The ale begins with a soft fruity taste and ends with a satisfying malt flavor. There is very little hop presence, yet the ale remains refreshing and never becomes cloying.

Somewhat thin-bodied with a sweet, slick mouthfeel.

This is a very drinkable, if not very complex ale. It is surprising to see the 6.5 ABV on the label as this drinks like a classic low alcohol english bitter.

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.31/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

A- crystal clear burnt orange color with an almost yellow head. The head is pretty sizeable, about 2.5 fingers. It seems to want to stay around pretty well. Its leaving some lacing. I think the laser etching in this glass is helping the retention in this beer as I can see lots of effervescence.

S- Muted malty smell. Its almost corny at times. In all its a sweet smelling beer.

T- Same as the nose. Pretty muted. Biscuit malts, some honey like sweetness.

M- Pretty average mouth feel too. Not too much carbonation, not too much body, not too watery.

D- This would be a good beer to cross people into the world of ales. It goes down very easy, no fuss no muss.

This is probably the least favorite beer of mine in the Great Lakes line up.

Photo of waldoiverson
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into us pint

A: more copper than red, with fairly creamy head and moderate carbonation,

S: Strong sweet malt profile with a bit of grape sweetness, mildly honeysuckle sweet

T: caramel and graham cracker with a good representation of the grape/honeysuckle sweetness in the taste, very accurate to the smell, short burst of bitterness at the end

M: Smooth, enough carbonation to be interesting, slightly dry

D: This is a smooth drinking and comfortable beer...enjoy one after work or anytime, perhaps a bit sweet for more than a couple but your mileage may vary

Photo of bobsy
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Coles.

Pours a wonderfully rich red with a smooth white head that dropped to a collar and film and left some nice streaks of lace. Spicy, bready, caramel heavy aroma immediately lets you know that that malt is in the driving seat. Taste is pretty straightforward - lots of caramel malt, some grainy breadiness and floral hops providing a nice light bitterness and depth in the tail. The body is decent, but not as great as other beers that these guys produce. Its pretty much medium feel and carbonation, but lacks the rich texture you'd expect from the Cleveland crew.

While never being a great fan of the style, I've always loved Great Lakes, and would probably rank them as the prime contender for my favourite brewery. They've done another good job here, though even their efforts won't win me over. Its just a little simple and plain. A pleasant beer for sure, but my complaint with the whole style has always been that its lacks the complexity to ever be anything greater than pleasant.

Photo of Telix
2.72/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a Sam Adams sensory glass.

A: As is typical for Great Lakes, it's an attractive brew. It's clearly filtered and is a lovely orange-gold color, with good levels of carbonation. There wasn't much head on my pour, and there was no lacing evident as I drank.

S: Very mild, extremely so. I have absolutely NO idea how anyone reviewing this beer would give this high marks on smell. This was a very fresh bottle and it still had almost no aroma. There was some slight malt sweetness with no hop bitterness. I had to stick my nose into the glass and swirl many times just to get anything at all.

T: It's pretty boring, really... some mild maltiness with a bit of buttery biscuit/cracker going on, with a very mild honey sweetness of caramel malts. The bitterness is very "european" and refined, with very mild classic hop notes - nothing great to me. The finish is surprisingly long, with bitterness that lingers in a mildly distasteful manner. There is a mild lemon note on the palate, but it's decidedly NOT an American ale citrus flavor. It's an integrated beer that just isn't very flavorful, really.

M: Pretty standard ale thickness. Great Lakes usually nails mouthfeel pretty well. The flavor is pretty thin but the beer itself is fairly substantial. It's a bit "zippy" on the tongue, but it's ok.

D: It's not very tasty or intense, it's almost too mild to care about - it certainly won't wear you out but it's not offensive. I'd want something more flavorful to session, but if you dig extremely mild european ales you might want this. I'm not very impressed with this, really, it's a rare miss by my hometown brewery.

Photo of OldSchoolGamer
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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 +9.5%
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
4.73/5  rDev +24.8%
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
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
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 +9.5%
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
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
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
4.24/5  rDev +11.9%
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%
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
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
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
3.92/5  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
4.36/5  rDev +15%
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.

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Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 1,317 ratings.