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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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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

Poured from a bottle, dated to be enjoyed by May, 2005, into an imperial pint glass. A reddish, vaguely copper color; very pretty. Smells slightly of alcohol, malt sweetness, very slight hop aroma, and a bit of toastiness. A good white head, half inch to an inch forms that settles down to a thin layer as you drink. Leaves some lacing on the glass.

The taste is a pleasant amount of sweetness balanced by some hop bitterness. Great Lakes says it's 25 IBU, which isn't that much for a beer with this much malt, so it's a mild hoppiness. Close to the style definition for sure. As the beer sits in your mouth, the wonderful light toasty flavor appears. It feels nicely full in your mouth. And the level of carbonation seems about right.

The drinkability is good, although at 6.5% you feel it a bit faster than some. Great beer and sad that it's only around for part of the year.

Photo of frazbri
4.28/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured crimson-golden and clear with a short creamy white head, good lace. Floral, citrus and bread aromas. Malty, bready, with a citrus tang and mild bitterness. Medium-light body, moderate carbonation and a dry finish.

Conway's is another solid brew from Great Lakes. It stands on the sweet side of the balance scale. This would be a great selection for your St. Patrick's Day celebration. I've also gotta say this might be a good transition beer for your buddies. It is an easy drinking beer. If it was a tad lower in alcohol, it would be an ideal session beer.

Photo of Gaisgeil
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yum! They really need to start making this one year round!

Pours a clear and deep orange red with a thin white head. Lots of lacing throughout the entire pint. Nose is spicy a well balanced, a biscuity character is the dominant scent. Taste is quite gorgeous, extremely well balanced and smooth, with a fair spicy character, biscuit, slightly herbal, and a mild but tasty hop profile, overall quite malty, in the best of ways, quite beautiful! Mouthfeel is quite full and almost a bit creamy. Drinkability is quite good, very fresh tasting and smooth, very easy drinking. Perfect for St. Paddy's!

I deeply like this one, it was worth the lengths I had to go through to hunt some down. Finally found a six-pack at Big Ten in A2, MI.

Forget that dyed green crap on the 17th, get some of this instead, if you're lucky enough to find it! It's like the gold at the end of the rainbow, and those wee Irish bastards aren't giving up the goods very easily.


Photo of bnuttz
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a caramel copper color with a nicely lacing off white head. Smells of sweet caramel malts and a hint of noble hops. Taste is very balanced. Bicuits and caramel are the most prominent malt flavors here. A nice hop bite to keep these malt flavors in check. Mouthfeel is very nice, medium and well suiting for the style. I would love to put quite a few of these down as is with any great lakes brew.

Photo of Maestro
4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a seasonal from Great Lakes. I hear they only make one batch every year. The beer pours a hazy dark orange/red color. The head is creamy and lingers for quite some time. Lots of lacing clings to the pint glass as you drink. The nose has some fruit and spice. The taste is quite mild with a mellow taste almost like tea. The malts are sweet and the hops are subdued. Although the alcohol is a little higher than some, it would make for a nice session beer. This is a keeper!

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

Pours out bright orange brown and sits a deep, gleaming reddish-brown in the glass with a good sized light tan head, fading to a light skim, some random lacings around the glass.

Smells fresh and malty, with raw apple cider aromas pouring out amongst a lightly toasty body. Freshly baled hay and honeysuckle float on top. Miniscule nuttiness and bits of maple leaves.

Tastes gloriously toasted, nice rich malt presence. Hop bitterness picks up quickly to balance it all out, bringing some green, leafy flavors. Dabs of caramel soak up juices of nectarines and plums. Finish is well bittered with lingering toastedness.

Crisp and refreshing in the mouth, nice solid carbonation the melts out to soft formed bubbles. Medium-light bodied. Solid feel all the way.

Excellent candidate for those questionable spring months. Easily finds its way into my belly.

Photo of maxpower
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy glowing amber with a nice creamy off white head that leaves sheets of lace in my glass. Sweet fruity aromas, nutty, buttery, toasty and sweet fruity flavors. Medium bodied with a soft and creamy mouthfeel, finishes on the sweet side. Another good one from this brewery.

Photo of elricorico
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer has a nice ruddy copper colour with a thin fizzy off white head. The head was gone quite quickly. No lace was left on the glass.

The smell is a lot of toffee. Kinda sweet but not too sweet.

Taste is more of the same, toffee sweetness, but not too sweet, followed by a hit of hoppiness on the finish. A touch of alcohol is the last taste.

Mouthfeel is good, but nothing special. Thin to medium body, light carbonation.

Goes down well, and was a good dinner beer. I owe my friend Praneel for bringing me a mixer of Great Lakes beers, as they don't come out this way.

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

Bottle dated best before Apr 10, 05. Pours a deep amber/light copper color with a fluffy, beige head. Lots of toasty biscuity malt, subtle grassy hops with a light yeasty fruitiness. Big on the sweet biscuity malt complete with tea-like tannins, some herbal hops come through in the finish. A touch of fruitiness gives it an extra dimension of depth. Medium to fuller bodied, it is one of the better Irish red ales I've tried. Very drinkable.

Photo of BeerFink
4.6/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice sunset orange/red color with an off-white froathy head. The smell is sweet, flowery, and clean. The taste is wonderfully complex. The malts are big, lending a great toasted flavor. The hops are used sparingly, just enough to balance the malt and still make their presence known. A hint of caramel and citrous fruit gives extra complexity. A noticeable spiciness is also present. This light and refreshing brew disappears quickly, I should have bought an extra 6 pack.

Photo of aquilontendants
4.68/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought at Frugal Homebrewer and drank same day of purchase. Poured into thick stein glass.
Beer smells very malty, and toasty. There is a background of hops aroma hid well behind the malty intensity. The aromas are very welcoming to the style, but unclear as to what style.
Its appearance is ruby-red orange and when poured, a one finger head was left atop the beer. That faded to a thin head throughout the drink.
Wonderfully malty and toasty this beer is. I will not hesitate to say this is the best red beer I have tasted. Its alcohol strength works perfectly with its robust toastiness and crisp taste. The hop flavors are right there with it, not hiden too well and blending very well with the slightly roasted, again toasty, biscuity flavors.
The mouthfeel is great and fresh. I would say it is a medium-bodied beer, and it fits perfectly with its style. GLBC has really hit the mark of the aspect of the brau, could not be better, for my taste at least.
The drinkability is very good. It fills the mouth up quite a bit with flavor but that flavor is full, and desirable. I might have to keep some of this ready for St. Patrick's day.
Overall this beer is one of the best red ales I have tasted. Eggerton's (spelling?) red ale is also a mentionable one to try if you can get your hands on it, though it is stronger and more assertive than this one. I stand by on my rating of this beer, very high!

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

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a slightly hazy medium red color with three big fingers of off-white head. There is quite a bit of sticky lacing left on the glass. The smell is very malty with lots of sweet aromas like caramel and burnt sugar. A nice nose. The taste is good as well. Fairly sweet lightly toasted malt sit atop a small dose of hops. Very well balanced and smooth. The mouthfeel is fairly thick and smooth. The drinkability fairs very well. A smooth refreshing 6.5% brew!

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.

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.

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