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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

1,180 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,180
Reviews: 451
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.58%
Wants: 51
Gots: 75 | 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: 1,180 | Reviews: 451 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mitchster
4.78/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Brewed with Harrington 2-row, Crystal 77. Hopped with Northern Brewer, Hallertau, and Fuggle.

6.5% ABV, 25 IBU's, OG=14.5P.

Slightly cloudy deep caramel with a touch of ruby accents, forms a whipped dark beige head with very good retention and solid sheets of lacing. Carbonation is moderate. Aroma is pleasant with abundant crystal and biscuit malts, a touch of roasted barley, toast, nuts (akin to Fat Tire), and a touch of butterscotch. Mouthfeel is silky smooth with a creamy, medium body. Excellent mouthfeel. Taste begins with a ton of toast and biscuit, some excellent (German Noble?) spicy flavor hops perfectly in balance with the abundant malts...the malt body is luxurious with wonderful residual sugars...a tiny wisp of alcohol, and a very nice roasted and toasty finish with mild bitterness.

First off, I am not a fan of Red Ales, but this is the best Red Ale I've ever had...bar none. This sets the standard for all others to follow in the category, and is everything I want in a red. Amazingly drinkable, I could put these back all night long. Reminds me to a certain extent of Fat Tire with the wonderful toast and biscuits. I absolutely love this stuff and it will become a regular addition. Amazingly balanced and rich, without ever fatiguing the taste buds. Another amazing brew from the alchemists at GLBC! Highly recommended.

Mitchster, Jun 18, 2004
Photo of beckerboots
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured to a copper red colour with an overly long lasting head which seemed to destroy any semblance of lace. A rich carmel/toffee aroma overtook the slight waft of whiskey malt (perhaps a sour mash). Had a positive effect on the palate and although a touch tart in the sweetness department; its durability showed through. A very functional Irish Ale; good to the last dram.

beckerboots, May 27, 2004
Photo of Ahhdball
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Good red/orange hue with beige head that sticks with the drink about halfway.
Couldn't really smell much to this but a faint floral scent. I was in a favorite tavern of mine and unfortunately there was a lot of smoke.
Great taste! A hearty toasty malt with a great hops in the finish. Slight fruit but not too much citrus. A flavorful Irish Ale that would shine in the Mother Land.
Great job GLBC!

Ahhdball, May 04, 2004
Photo of Brent
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A red ale is sort of like a center in football - he never gets noticed as long as he does his job. The only time anyone pays attention is when he fumbles. Likewise, a good red ale seems to be a beer that happily slips into the background, solid and easygoing, and largely unnoticed unless it is bad. Consequently, this beer deserves being singled out for praise for doing quite well what it sets out to do. No screaming hops, no massive malt, just a well-balanced, easy to drink beer. Nicely nutty and smooth, with just enough hops to balance the malt. A tip on the scale toward the sweet side, but just barely. Would be a great session ale, but I fear the abv will sneak up on me.

Brent, Mar 28, 2004
Photo of deejaydan
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've like most of the Great Lakes brews that I've tried, so I picked up some of this the last time I was at my local beer store.

Pours with a nice head that sticks around for a while. Nice lacing, a faint orangy-red color.

Not much aroma that I can pick up, a touch of sweet maltiness though.

Taste... this is where this beer shines. Sweet, malty and nutty, but not cloying. Delicious. A faint whisper of hops in the aftertaste.

Drinkability. I could easily drink this all night. This brew is dangerously good.

deejaydan, Mar 18, 2004
Photo of Wildman
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Decided to finally try this the day before St. Patrick's day. This beer poured as nice dark reddish gold color and formed a nice foamy white head that retained itself very nicely. It coated the glass with lace when it finally drifted away. A medium amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, hops and some small spice and caramel elements. A flavor of malt, caramel and some hops present. Fairly sweet notes in the flavor and finish of this beer, with some spriteness in the finish. Great Lakes can rarely go wrong with their beers.

Wildman, Mar 16, 2004
Photo of Bierguy5
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark copper/amber color with a white foamy almost fluffy head. There was a decent amount of lacing in the glass. Smells somewhat like caramel with some toasted notes along with it. Taste is slightly sweet, caramel with a dryness to it. Some amount of bitterness in the finish, but not overwhelming. I found it to be medium bodied. I didn't feel that it was particularly drinkable, mainly because of the dryness, but I did find it to be good. This usually surfaces around St. Patricks Day, and is another quality brew from Great Lakes.

Bierguy5, Mar 14, 2004
Photo of Winter
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear bright copper in color with an off-white head. Aroma consists of caramel and malt with just a touch of toffee sweetness. Medium-bodied mouthfeel with some sharp carbonation upfront. Rich malt characteristics dominate the taste. Flavor is less sweeter than anticipated from the nose. Malt front is overshadowed toward the back of the tongue by a very assertive hop profile. Toasted malt flavor returns after the hops subside. Buttery finish. A solid Irish ale and another good offering from Great Lakes.

Winter, Mar 08, 2004
Photo of bditty187
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear tawny-bronze-coppery hue, the off-white head reached almost two fingers in height but my pour was a touch harder than it should’ve been, nevertheless the large head held very well. The lacing was unorganized but prevalent enough to be noteworthy. This is an attractive looking beer, albeit faithfully typical of the style. The nose is biscuity with a trace of toffee sweetness, a note of hops, rather clean. With minimal potency the invitation isn’t stated clearly. The palate is tasty, I mean don’t get me wrong it is tasty but very ordinary. The maltiness is biscuits with a hint of cracker; add in soft flowery hops, a kiss of fruitiness after that, the finish returns to the biscuity malt, nuts, and toasty caramel. It is clean yet a little muddled, I find this distracting. Medium in body, the bulk is very appropriate for the style, also the carbonation is low and natural. As a whole the mouthfeel is very good. I found this to be a very drinkable Amber Ale, as expected for the style, I am both impressed and turned off by the abv. It is cool to quaff an Amber Ale that packs a punch and it is a well-hidden sucker punch but, in my opinion, a redeeming quality of the style is session-ability. This one lacks that. But why should I care, I can’t get this locally anyway. But I can get a beer that is very similar, that pesky little beer called Fat Tire. Anyway Conway’s is a quality beverage and well worth sampling.

Thank you PhantomVodoo!

bditty187, Mar 03, 2004
Photo of masterbruewer
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a golden amber with a thick off-white head. Light carbonation

The smell, right out of the bottle, was strong malty scent with a little vanilla. It reminded me a vanilla malt from United Dairy Farmer's ice cream counter. A little hop scent became apparent as the pint had time to breath.

The taste starts with a wallop of hops that gives way to a nice malty flavor that turns a little sweet. The sweetness fades over the length of the pint, leaving a very nice flavor similar to an IPA.

The mouthfeel is just right, not too heavy, not too light.

This is a very drinkable brew, quite enjoyable with a nice mix of taste.

masterbruewer, Mar 01, 2004
Photo of abents
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Apperance: A redish-brown brew with moderate carbonation and little head visable.

Smell: Not much of a nose, other than the obvious roasted malt aroma. Maybe a sweeter note of carmel in there as well.

Taste: Roasted malty sweetness with a very full taste to it. Slight alcohol tinge to it as well.

Mouthfeel: Again very full, but smooth. The carbonation feels great in the mouth.

Drinkability: A very drinkable beer that tastes great, but yet is nice enough to enjoy a couple of them.

Overall a pretty good brew by Great Lakes, I would have to say I don't enjoy it as much as some of their other brews, but this one is still better than most Ambers I've had.

abents, Feb 26, 2004
Photo of GreenWBush
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle. Nice use of creative packaging on the carrier; effective at light-protection and adds a distinctive eye catching appeal.

This pours out a nice dark amber, killians on steroids as someone else pointed out. The head was tough to beat - big and frothy all the way though with large swaths of lacing.

The nose was an interestingly rich amalgam of maltiness. Just a whiff or two of hops if your mind can pluck them out.

While other brewing companies make hop fiascos, this is truly a malt monster. A bit sweet to imbibe too much of, but damned good.

So if you're a dedicated malty, or just need a palate cleanser in between your 90 minute and Hop Ottin', this is the beer for you.

GreenWBush, Feb 23, 2004
Photo of beergeek279
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 12 oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The color was amber, with a nice white head with good retention. The smell was a very nice sweet caramel malt. The taste was a very nice sweet caramel-flavored malt, with a good mild hop backing in the taste. Mouthfeel was average. As for drinkability, could definitely have a few of these.

Amongst the best Irish ale out there, and another fine offering from Great Lakes, and since I'm out of Cleveland pops, I won't say much other than I'll have this beer once again!

beergeek279, Feb 15, 2004
Photo of Gritsak
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

noticed this at a local store and had never seen it before so i figured what the hell...i dont think its possible to get a bad brew from great lakes anyways.

poors amber color with an off white head that stays all the way through. laces really well.

mouthfeel is a little think and smooth..good blend of carbonation

taste is sweet up front and smooth on the way down with hints of malt

this is another hit from great lakes...i could be satisfied drinking this all night long.

Gritsak, Feb 13, 2004
Photo of kwalters
4.63/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

If I had to choose a favorite session beer, a beer that I could finish off multiple bottles of, this would be it. Far and away the best Irish red I've tasted. To the masses, this is like an intense Killian's. To the longtime BA's, it might be similar to a weakened Scotch ale. I really like this one.

It's color is a nice amber red. The head is sturdy and lasting with good lacing. The flaovr seems a bit tipped towards sweetness and malts, but that's a good characteristic in my book.

I've been on a quest to try as many different brews as possible and in so doing I only buy one or two bottles of each kind. Conway's Irish ale is a brew I'll be buying in sixpack formation, for sure!

kwalters, Feb 02, 2004
Photo of granger10
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a scarlett red color with small, compact tan head. The nose is really bready in my opinoin and slight alcohol. But in taste, I do not recognize any alcohol. Which is quite amazing since it's a red ale at 6.5%. The flavor is malt dominate, but there's an array of various malts. Toasted biscuity sweetness along with some caramel are strongest. A slight citrus sweetness is also there. Hops stand up to the malt but dont overtake it. They're not bitter but more floral. Very dry finish. Quite good.

granger10, Jan 25, 2004
Photo of CRJMellor
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a fairly clear amber nectar. Small off-white ebbs quickly and leaves scattered lace on the glass.

Aroma is heavy roasted and sweet malts. Hint of floral hops in the background.

Flavor seems to be mainly caramel and roasted malt, very roasted. Very "full" beer in the mouth and fairly high alcohol doesn't seem to show up on the palate. Heavy sweet and roast is offset by a slight bitter finish.A bit of roasted grain. The alcohol is hidden very well. Finished with a pleasant toasted nut/slightly bitter taste. Pretty well-balanced.

Highly drinkable, although relative sweetness makes me think more than two would be too much.

CRJMellor, Jan 24, 2004
Photo of JackTheRipper
4.45/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a coppery color, very clear, good head which dissipated fairly quickly, trace lacing.

Smell: Sweet malty smell, maybe a bit grainy.

Taste: Beautiful balance of sweetness and bitterness, neither particularly dominates. Almost has a root beer-like taste up front.

Mouthfeel: Nicely carbonated, full bodied beer. Pleasantly warming.

Drinkability: Another hit from GLBC. This is a very nice offering, not too overwhelming, I could see myself drinking a few of these tonight. Way to go, Great Lakes.

JackTheRipper, Jan 16, 2004
Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This along with Casco Riptide are my favorite red alse out there,pours a deep red/amber with a real nice creamy sticky head,the aroma is nutty and malty sweet with some bread-like aromas.The taste is slightly burnt with some real nice malty sweetness,very good roasted qualities with a ever so slight hop profile.A real nice beer to sit down and savor.

oberon, Aug 04, 2003
Photo of ZAP
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

You know for a guy who apparently loves kickking back macro brews in his spare time, this brewer really does a bang-up job for Great Lakes (And nothing against having a few Macros, I just expect brewers to be pushing the envelope not dumbing things down on their spare time)....No dumbing down with this beer (or any of their beers I've tried)....a high quality red...great toasty aroma...body is medium....the flavor is surprisingly bready....It's great though....some caramel too....the hopping is floral and definitely sits quietly in the background but it clearly plays it's part in keeping thisfrom being too one-dimensonal..

I love this beer and am giving it's drinkability high marks because of that and because it seems very balanced for as swet as it is...This is probably the best red I've had...if not in the the top 5 for sure...clean, crisp, tasty, great nose...Now if only we could replace the 100 or so taps of Killians in my town with this I'd be happy...

ZAP, May 26, 2003
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz. amber bottle with the familiar GLBC black and white label. No "best by" information in the little box...

Appearance: Poured a hazy amber color. Lots of floaties suspended in mid-beer. Creamy off-white head settles to a thin layer with a fair amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell: Very malty. Sweet and bready. Slightly bitter aroma also noted.

Taste: Mostly caramel sweetness. Chewy in texture. A bit of roasted grain. The alcohol is hidden very well. Finished with a pleasant toasted nut/slightly bitter taste. Very nicely-balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and very smooth. No aftertaste.

Drinkability: Another solid offering from GLBC. Not my favorite, but it is certainly high up on my list of ambers. I gotta get my parents to buy some for me before their next road trip from the Buckeye State. A great session beer that is very drinkable. GLBC delivers again.

I raise my glass to fellow BA PhantomVoDoo for trading this to me during our last road trip to Ohio.

OldFrothingSlosh, May 21, 2003
Photo of Bighuge
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a glowing scarlet red. A bit of chill haze is noted. A nice medium sized light beige colored head sits on top and has some decent retention. Lacing is adequate. The aroma has some nice caramel tones as well as a predominant toasted grain aroma. Pretty nice. The toastiness of this brew is its main allure. Toasted malt flavor is very nice. There's also a dry, somewhat bitter hop presence noted as well. A very small dollop of sweet caramel malt accentuates as well. The mouthfeel is smooth, creamy and pleasing. Body is close to medium-full. One of the better Irish Red Ales I've had.

Thank you cokes for sharing Mr. Conway.

Bighuge, May 12, 2003
Photo of cokes
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tarnished bronze with a healthy pale tan head.
Nose of toffee and earthy malts. Not overly expressive, but appropriate.
Taste begins in the buttery toffee direction, fading to a earthy malt domain that is minimal with the sweetness, except for a few residual caramelly sugars. When cold, there's a fanciful earthy tang that cues at peat. As it warms, more caramel grows, the peat-ishness begins to assert itself midway, and becomes a highlight. Full of earth and tang as the flowery hops enter, more brash than expected, but nowhere near obnoxious.
Medium-light in stature, with tempered carbonation.
I think it is safe to label this the best Irish-style Red Ale I've ventured across thus far.

However, I do believe they missed a vowel in the name. Call this Conaway's Irish Ale, and I'd be inclined to give it 5 stars.

cokes, Apr 11, 2003
Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another good GLBC beer. This one is good looking, but a bit less intriguing than others on the taste side. Pours a copper or orangish amber with a nice tan head; it also has some nice ruby highlights. The lacing is adequate if not great. The taste is full of malt sweetness, but gets some dryness from adequate hops. A good beer that has to run in stiff company at GLBC. This would be considered a great beer from many American brewers who offer only the fizzy yellows.

AtLagerHeads, Apr 06, 2003
Photo of jtw5877
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an orangish hue with a white head, a light to medium body malty beer with enough kick to keep things fun. A decent offering from GLBC. This beer would make a good session ale a couple times a year. Not the best offering from GLBC but a solid as hell red ale.

jtw5877, Mar 22, 2003
Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 1,180 ratings.