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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

474 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 474
Hads: 1,382
Avg: 3.81
pDev: 19.69%
Wants: 66
Gots: 210 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States | website

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 474 | Hads: 1,382
Photo of WoodBrew
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Conway's Irish Ale....is good. The label is awesome! Great Lakes is probably the best thing to come out of Cleveland since the Browns left for Baltimore. This beer pours a nice amber with no head and no lace. The scent is mostly caramel malt with biscuits. The taste is nothing remarkable or noteworthy...just solid. It is well balanced from start to finish. The mouthfeel is medium in body with so so carbonation. Overall it is a decent sessionable beer and worth a try.

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This review was taken earlier this year the day it hit shelves here. It's a brew I've had multiple times(roughly 15-18 bottles) over the last few years. With the seasonal lineup changes going on at GLBC of late I want to get this into my review log.

12 oz brown bottle with the usual GLBC style labeling. This particular label displays Mr. Conway himself in his officer uniform. One of the things I appreciate most from GReat Lakes is their way of doing their bottlings In way that doesn't pay much attention to bright and flashy colors. Sure, I love that, but I enjoy the GLBC style all the same. Simple and black bordered labeling with a focus mainly on the quality of the liquid inside. I poured this into a Standard tall style 12 oz mug.

A - orange. Ruby orange we'll say with the slightest touch of amber red. Head was a shade of white leaving a nice semi sticky ring of lace. Not the most impressive of heads but it left enough to make for a very nice looking Irish ale.

S - very simple and down to earth aroma. Caramel malt make up the main piece with some herbal characters and some near fruity hops displaying touches of orange and softer dark fruit. A lot like plum. Aroma carries a sweet character due to the big punch of caramel in the front.

T - more of that bit caramel malt backbone with fresh herbal hops. Hop notes are soft and really just flow without any serious bitterness. Less dark fruit than in the nose, but a good dose of lemon and orange jump up from no where. Clean finish with more sweetness. Wonderful Irish sweetness.

M - pretty creamy texture and comes off a lot thicker to me than maybe it does to some. Simple medium body is refreshing and extremely drinkable. A beer you can have more than one of at any time. It carries some sweetness but its perfectly setup and nothing about it is crazy or too much of any one note. Exceptional balance and texture.

O - a truly underrated ale in today's craft beer world. A real hallmark on the roots of GLBC and what they are about. This Irish ale gets back to the basics of crafting exceptional brews and with the kind of stuff that's being created in the U.S. right now we sometimes forget these simple yet brilliant ales. This is reviewed based on what they accomplished with the idea they had. This wasn't intended to start a new trend or be an insanely flavored giant. This is the basics of brewing and done perfectly. Sometimes a beer doesn't have to be a 9% abv brew to get a high rating. I applaud beer like this done right.

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Photo of ColdWaffles
3.36/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Conway's Irish Ale

Reviewed from notes from the Spring. 12 oz poured into a standard pint.

Appearance: Short white head with a red/amber color. Once the head dissipates, the surface looks slightly oily. 3.5/5

Smell: Not particularly strong. Grainy scent with a little hops. 3/5

Taste: Malt first, somewhat toasty and very clean. Easy to drink with a little bit of hops on the tail. Was surprised to see this was a 6.5% brew. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, light to medium carbonation with a slightly oily feel. 3.25/5

This is a little underwhelming for Great Lakes, but overall it's not too bad. Easily sessionable. 3.5/5

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Photo of tectactoe
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Rusty, sunburst orange throughout with an otherwise nice clarity that's obscured by a gentle, yeasty haze. The head grows quickly and recedes not quite as fast; eggshell colored and fluffy as all hell, it leaves a few sheets of lacing on the glass, though they are pretty fast to run down back towards the top of the beer.

Hmm, wow, the nose is just a bit different than any other brew I've smelled before; perhaps (and most likely) because I haven't had too many Irish red ales. Malty sweet with rich caramel and buttery toffee aromas at capacity, followed up by a lighter, yet integral proportion of lightly fruity and somewhat grassy hops. Toasted malt is the key player here, and I would assume that the hops may be more aggressive when this beer is a bit fresher; I'll admit that it's just a little bit past its prime now.

Well, the nose wasn't lying; Conway's Irish Ale is a malty bomb that lays the pipe as soon as it hits your palate. Coming out a bit more robust than the aroma, the flavor smacks you with some faintly metallic caramel malts - sweet, rich, toffee-like, and toasty. Lighter bready flavors bring up the rear; somewhat buttery and toasty with a touch of burnt grains and graham cracker.

The hops are there, and even for being a touch over-the-hill, they still balance the malty sweetness nicely; a nice round of slightly floral and grassy hops roll through the flavor profile, hand-in-hand with an orange-like fruit juiciness that can't go unnoticed. Mildly bitter, enough to counteract the sweetness, but not enough to scrape any enamel away or anything like that. The finish lends a hand to some slightly nutty and woodsy, toasted malt flavors for a warm, dry finish. Thicker bodied than you'd expect with a mild stickiness that adheres to the sides of my mouth; a little cloying and teeth chattering in this respect.

One of my first of the style, I enjoyed it a bit, although I know I'd get tired of it after one bottle (much like I did this time around). The intense caramel and toffee malts are nice at first but can be a touch overwhelming after twelve ounces. Tasty brew, no doubt, but one is certainly enough for me.

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Photo of atr2605
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a nice reddish amber color with an off white head with decent retention
S-bit of caramel, some slight biscuit and low hop aroma
T-a sweet and malty flavor that is dry and biscuity in the finish. Hops provide a nice balance and keep the finish short and clean
M-medium bodied
O-very well balanced and malty. Great example of the style

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Photo of gcamparone
4.04/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into into a snifter. Acquired from a friend who visited Ohio. Best by date is 4/15/13 but I've kept this refrigerated so it should be pretty fresh.

A- Pours a ruby red, ever so hazy body with a tiny white head that reduces fairly quickly. Leaves very little lacing.

S- On the first whiff I got some caramel and yeast, somewhat raw. Straining to smell more, I get caramel, toffee, sweet almost fruityness.

T- Toffee and sweet caramel upfront, progresses into a nutty and roasty flavor. The aftertaste is somewhat fruity, grapes and citrus. Subtle flavors but they work quite well.

M- Medium-light body, super refreshing with medium carbonation. Super drinkable.

I don't drink many red ales but was pretty impressed with this one. If this were distributed in my area it would definitely be in my refrigerator as a go-to beer.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- orangish red color. small off white to tan head. leaves a slight lacing. not quite clear but almost there

Smell: bread and fruit. not very interesting or complex but still pleasant

Taste: bread, caramel malts, fruit such as sweet apples, slight earthy hop, maybe some toastiness, very complex and slightly better at a 15 minutes out of the fridge temp.

Mouthfeel: unbelievably smooth. slightly dry, touch of hop bitterness, slight warm. again impressively complex and this time perfectly done

Overall: drinking this i went back and forth if it was good/great. I ended up at great. its near the end of its freshness (~20 days away) so I want to try it fresh next year but this beer is another great one from Great Lakes

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Photo of KYGunner
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Very clean in appearance there was a swiftly fleeting and wispy head that set atop a bright rusty red hue.

The scent favors a caramel and toffee sweetness. Dry kilned barley couples with a pecan nuttiness and very faint chocolate malts.

The flavors are rich with kilned barley and an almost smoky taste. I catch touches of roasted malt with hints of nut and caramel sweetness, plus I get a finish of hop bitterness. The taste and feel are dry.

The bottle indicates its about three months old, which should not be old enough to lose its Pop. The flavors are good but I feel like if it were at its freshest this could be more robust.

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Photo of tviz33
4.19/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, served in a nonic pint glass.

A- A good pour reveals a full inch and a half of frothy white head covering a transparent burnt orange body.

S- The aroma is bready malts with some saltine cracker notes. A lot going on here, from cashews, to caramel, to hops.

T- Surprisingly malty even though the nose was malty. This beer is very different as to how the taste arrives on the palate. The flavors comes in late and quickly, but the are fairly sweet and refreshing. Just barely enough hops to balance it.

M- I would absolutely love the feel of this one if it was just a bit more carbonated. Super drinkable, however. Silky smooth.

O- A great beer to keep you on your toes and awaken all your senses.

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Photo of microbrewlover
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

This brew pours a red/brown color with a white one finger head which dissipates rather quickly; minimal lacing on the glass.

The smell is heavy with sweet and roasted malts, some carmel and a little orange also the smell is dank and earthy.

The taste quickly moves from malt sweetness, orange, carmel to tangy hop bitterness. The various tastes seem to hit all at once and that makes it hard to appreciate the individual flavors.

The mouthfeel is really tangy thanks to the high carbonation, there is also a cracker like feel to this brew.

Overall this is a good session beer, a little to tangy for my tastes. The sweetness in the smell does not come through in the taste and the whole thing has the carbonation level of soda. Not bad but this could be better.

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Photo of TheSSG
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a big, soft, off-white head that collapses down nicely to a fine head. Aroma is biscuity, sweet, a touch of caramel, and a touch of hops. Nice light-amber color. Starts sweet with notes of caramel and hop bitterness. Builds to a medium-low bitterness, then the malt comes back with a vengeance. Smooth, slightly sweet biscuit in the finish, a touch a caramel, and a faint lingering of grassy/grainy hops.

This isn't too bad. It's a really excellent balance of sweet malt and hops. I'm not really digging the slight caramel aspect to it, but it's still well done.

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Photo of Bills453
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - poured from bottle into chalice. Dark orange color with red tint. Nice one finger head, left pretty quickly but the lacing is real nice.

Smell - grassy, plant smell. Some wheat/straw. A hint of sweetness which smells floral.

Taste - ok. Seems to really be missing a strong flavor.

Mouthfeel - ok

Overall - not my favorite from Great Lakes, actually I think this one is my least favorite. Still an ok beer tho.

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Photo of NiceTaps
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap in a pint glass.

A-Reddish copper color, vivid. About a 1-finger head, some lacing.

S- Raisin bread.

T- Dry toasted malt, dark fruit, cinnamon-raisin.

M-Good body and carbonation, long dry finsh.

O- A good beer that I'd drink again, this one may have suffered from sloppy barkeeping.

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Photo of dpodratsky3
3.64/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Crystal clear very bright copper, small head doesn't last, thin foam around edges

S: Malty base with earthy hops, clean aroma, sweet but not heavy

T: Definitely malty sweet, but actually has a decent bitter backbone, unfortunately its a little too herbal for me, I'd prefer clean buttering, the herbal notes make the malt taste funky, not bad but it could be better, malt is caramel in flavor but not dark, doesn't ever get cloying but has a decent bready base

M: Just on the dry side, medium to full body

O: Solid, but not a standout

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is an easy drinking, if not very challenging Irish ale. Minimal amounts of that mildly fruity and leafy thing that seems prevalent in the style. Decent enough to drink, though not overly interesting or mind blowing. I hope this is an accurate sample of this beer. Really, I just tried it because it was one of the Great Lakes beers I had yet to check out. Next!

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Photo of patpbr
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours reddish with a nice head. I rarely drink this style and bought because of the date. Malts and grain in the nose. The taste is malt and a strong hop presents. Overall it blends nicely. Medium carbination. It exceeded what I thought I would get in this style.

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Photo of wac9
2.42/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

it took me 8 years fo find this beer it has a great beer smell , and it pour nice in a glass its not red maybe dark orange goes down smooth but it taste like im swallowing a flower big disappoint here for all of you who likes good for you but i cant wait for there other wonderful beers

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Photo of NuclearSoAndSo
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a beer mug.

Appearance: Pours a not quite two-finger head which dissipates within a few minutes. Has a great golden-amber color; lots of bubbles on the side of the mug.

Smell: Has a decent nose; grainy and hoppy.

Taste: Plenty of hop bitterness with a malty presence, and just a touch of grainy sweetness to finish it out. Crisp.

Mouthfeel: Quite carbonated and sort of light in a good way. Not in taste but in the body; refreshing.

Overall: An all around good beer, I can dig it. I would buy this one again, always a fan of GLBC.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a bright copper color with some ruby-red hue, small fizzy white head that reduces quickly, leaving just a bit skimming the top.

S- very clean grain with some toasted nutty character, herbal tea-like hop aroma with some sweet bread

T- well balanced, sweet malty character matches well with the toasted grain, hop linger provides freshly steeped tea flavor, the finish is slightly sweet-yet-dry with a clean finish

M- medium body and medium carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and fizzy finish

O- this is a simple, well made beer. Four ingredients that are finely balanced

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Photo of bum732
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

S: Rich, toasty character, faint floral notes

L: Crystal clear, orangish red, white creamy head that dissipates

T: Toasty, fairly clean malt with a touch of herbal hop flavor. Medium low bitterness with some hints of fruity tea nearing the finish. Finishes semi-dry. Slightly herbal.

M: Medium bodied, medium low carbonation

Solid, quaffable beer. One of the better for the style.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served on-tap at the Doubletree Cleveland Downtown Lakeside in Cleveland, OH

A: Pours a clear deep amber in color with some heavy amounts of visible carbonation and light ruby red highlights. The beer has a finger and a half tall dense light beige head that very slowly reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of toasted and caramel malts with a hint of toffee sweetness. There are some light fruit notes from the yeast and just the faintest hint of citrus/orange peel hops.

T: Upfront the malts really take center stage with some toasted malt flavors that have notes of caramel and toffee sweetness followed by a slight hint of breadiness (which still has a bit of the toasted flavors). There are light hints of fruit and just a touch of citrus/orange peel hops. Lightly bitter in the finish which does not linger.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation.

O: Easy to drink and enjoyable for folks that enjoy the malt forward style (I do). Alcohol is well hidden and this beer is almost sessionable. Pairs well with food.

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Photo of CurtFromHershey
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bronze amber with fluffy white head which recedes to a ring which is more stubborn than my wife.

Smell is of toffee, caramel, and almost a hint of coffee.

Taste taste is clean crisp, true to the nose. Hint of chocolate malt rather than the coffee on the nose.

Mouthfeel is pretty standard for a sessionable ale. Move along.

Overall a solid beer from Great Lakes which I'll likely buy again.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – Pours a deep amber color with a one finger just slightly off white head. The head has a pretty good level of retention, slowly fading to leave spotty lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell- The aroma is heaviest of toasted malt and a sweet caramel aroma. Mixed with these are a light toasted bread and fruit aroma of apple and some spice.

Taste – The taste begins with a bready and toasted malt flavor with a lightly caramel sweetened flavor as well. As the flavor advances more the caramel fades more toward the middle with a light fruit flavor taking its place. The roasted malt flavor dwindles as well as the flavor moves on with a more doughy like flavor replacing it. In the end some light spice flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg as well as a light earthy hop come to the tongue. In the end a quite pleasant light roasted malt cider and spice flavor is left on the tongue.

Mouthfeel- The body of the beer is a bit on the thicker and chewier side with a carbonation level that is on the more average to just above average side. The slightly higher carbonation is nice for keeping the drinkability, but not too high to take away from the aspects the thicker body accentuates- the roasted and spiced flavors of the brew.

Overall – As should be of no surprise this is another good brew by Great Lakes. It has a nice blend of roasted and sweet flavors while still maintaining great drinkability but still remaining quite proficient in flavor.

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Photo of wedge
3.99/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a copper-orange color with a fluffy head. Toasted malt and nuts aroma...gently sweet, bready, slightly fruity. Tasty malt, biscuit, toffee, graham cracker, and tea flavors. Medium bodied and smooth. Sort of chewy and dry in the finish. An enjoyable and easily drinkable take on a style that is oftentimes pretty boring.

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Photo of Jimmys
3.76/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. drink before 04/11/13.

A: clear, bright copper body. head starts bubbly and bright white. retention is minimal as is the lacing.

S: lots of sweet caramel malt. smells inviting. a touch of acetone. virtually no hop bitterness.

T: malty sweet to start. flavor develops as the sip goes down. slightly metallic. flavor is rich. lingers long into the finish with woody and sweet unfermentables. sweet tang.

M: carb is moderate, slightly mellow. light/medium body.

D: im glad GLBC took this style and made it bigger. a style that could definitely use the meat, this is well welcomed. lots and lots of caramel flavors and aromas. if you are a fan of irish red's, pick this up.

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Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 474 ratings.