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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: 1,383
Avg: 3.81
pDev: 19.69%
Wants: 66
Gots: 211 | 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: 1,383
Photo of RoamingGnome
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Conway's Irish Ale

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into an English dimpled pint glass. This was served chilled.

A) Medium amber in color. There was a finger of off-white head which slowly dissipated. Not much lacing.

S) A little caramel sweetness and some toast. It's a bit fruity, with a touch of earthy hops.

T) Malty for sure in the taste department, at least upfront. Light toffee sweetness, perhaps a bit nutty. The hint of fruit on the nose is detectable as well. This gives way to a earthy/grassy finish and aftertaste.

M) A nice medium bodied brew with pretty light carbonation. This goes down smooth and is quite easy to drink. Absolutely no complaints from mouthfeel standpoint.

O) A pretty solid session beer to enjoy this time of year. No wow factor, but quite enjoyable. Glad to recommend.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.74/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From: Binny's, Champaign, IL
Date: Best by 03/21/2013
Glass: US pint glass

A solid Irish Ale, interestingly malty and hoppy, easily appreciable by those able to enjoy beers in the maltier spectrum.

Pours a 1cm tall mass of foam, composed of small to medium-sized bubbles, slightly off-white in color, with average retention of a bit less than a minute. The head leaves very small bits of lacing along the sides of the glass, a few dots and thick lines scattered here and there. Body is a dark orange-brown-red color, transparent, with light bringing out orange and yellow hues. Carbonation is visible, though modest and not particularly vigorous.

Aroma is sweet, toffee-like, with lightly toasted malt and dried leaf-like, earthy hops.

The flavor of the beer is generally sweet with toasted and toffee-like malt components that verge on nuttiness as well. Some choice hop additions add what comes across to me as dried leaves, furthering the complexity. Opens with modest sweetness from toasted malts with hints of toffee. Mid-palate of sweetness from toasted malts, caramel malts with hints of faint cocoa, then balanced by faintly dried leaf-like hop accents. Back of palate picks up continued toasted malts and toffee-like sweetness with mild bitterness and dried leaf-like hops. Lingering aftertaste of toasted and caramel malts with slight bitterness and dried leaf-like hops.

Beer is medium-bodied, with carbonation of moderate intensity, leading to a mouthfeel that is somewhat fizzy at first, then foamy, then a mix of creamy and slightly watery mouthfeels. Closes dry, with moderate stickiness lingering across the palate.

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Freshest by 03/20/13.

A: Pours a clear reddish amber with a 1 finger off white head. A little bit of visible carbonation. A spot or two of lace.

S: Carmely malt notes are the first thing to hit my nose. Has a mild sweetness and a touch of earthiness.

T: Good malt forward taste. A hint of sweetness, a decent roastiness and certainly some carmel.

M: Light to medium body with a fairly crisp finish. A real easy drinker.

Overall a great beer for those who love the lighter yet maltier brews. Great Lakes makes some very tasty brews and this one fits perfectly in their family.

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Photo of TheMultiYeast
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This Irish Red pours clear amber with a small white head and some lacing.

Smell is pleasant, soft, grainy, toffee sweetness, biscuits.

Similar to nose with a hint of hops for balance. Grainy biscuits dominate with light sweetness, just enough flavor development, clean finish.

Very drinkable, very tasty, smooth sessionable feel.

Just another solid offering from Great Lakes.

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Photo of keithmurray
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - clear copper color with white head

Smell - this is faint, picking up caramel, green apple

Taste - green tea, caramel, green apple

Mouthfeel - smooth, medium bodied, high carbonation, sweetness upfront and some bitterness on the back/finish

Overall - good beer to have during a session, I am drinking this as I get ready for the SuperBowl

Price Point - $8.59/6pk 12oz bottles

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Photo of tdm168
3.49/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - light caramel amber with a thin white lacing of head

S - caramel, some faint apple

T - apple, caramel, fruity esters, faintly bitter, some sweetness

M - medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This is a rather simplistic beer. The esters from the yeast provide most of the flavor offering some fruitiness. The malt is prevalent, but it really only adds caramel. This was a nice beer to try once, but this isn't something I would seek out again.

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Photo of BierStein711
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Toasty Irish Ale poured from bottle into pint.

Two finger head, amber body!

Smells of toast and bread

Tastes of malt, toast, bread, and floral hop at the finish.

Tastes of malt, bread, smoke, floral hop, and more bread at the finish.

Smooth mouthfeel!

Overall, this is not a bad beer. But, I'm not too fond of the style.

I'd have this again!

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Photo of Groomsy
3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic. Best by 03/23/12.

Conway's Irish Red, when poured, yields a... well, red... color. When held to light, it has some color resemblances to an English pale ale. Topped by a thin head of white bubbles, this beer leaves spotty rings of lacing down the glass. Carbonation isn't really evident here. It looks unflattering and unlively for a brewery of this caliber.

Although the Irish Red isn't necessarily an "exciting" style (nor meant to be), Great Lakes have nailed what makes the style enjoyable to drink. The nose is malt-heavy with scents of toasted barley, caramel, and toffee. Some hops hang in the balance and contribute some herbal tea notes.

There's a nice balance to be found here, and this a souped-up take on the typical amber ale. There is more earthiness to be found here than what one would find in a typical American amber or pale. Caramel and toffee dominate on the front of the palate; the ale yeast contributes some light fruitiness, and some residual earthy flavors linger into the finish. This style isn't meant to blow you away, but for entering into the spring season, this is a good balance.

The mouthfeel of this beer is its downfall, unfortunately. This brew would be made better with a more lively carbonation; I feel that it falls flat on the palate and is a little on the watery side. (Not exactly desired for the winter/spring transition). The lingering flavors are nice, but there's just not a good overall feel here.

While I wasn't expecting to get blown away by this beer, this was just a little underwhelming for a brewery like Great Lakes. While a good Irish Red (keep style in mind) and very much sessionable, there are a few caveats that take away, in my opinion. Worth checking out, however.

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Photo of detchazm
4.56/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I have liked this beer for sometime. I started homebrewing about a year ago. I tried to brew my first Red Ale as close to this as possible. Dark reddish hue, not a very aromatic beer. It doesn't smell bad, just doesn't smell much at all. I found it to be very filling. A sweet & heavy taste. I have always liked Red Ales as my favorite style & flavor. Living in Cleveland makes it a disappointment that this brew is only seasonal. I would drink this all year if I could.

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Photo of scaliasux
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Reddish copper. Slightly hazy. Short off-white head with good persistence.

Smell - Medium roasted malt. Toffee and raisins. Not getting any hops.

Taste - Sweet medium-roasted malt. Bready caramel. A little bitter in the finish and a little watery character. No hoppiness.

Mouthfeel - Medium and smooth.

Overall - Very dirinkable, but I'm not crazy about this iteration. Flavors don't melt quite right for me.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.52/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from session notes.

Pours out a standard amber color but with a flash head and minimal lacing only. Smells like graham crackers with a hint of toasted nuttiness. Flavor is more about a generic sort of maltiness that has the toasted and nutty character in the background. I couldn't find any hop presence at all in this one. Has a clean crisp quality over its medium thick body.

Not bad, but not great either.

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Photo of srv33
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful amber red pour, inch head, excellent lacing. Smells of caramel and malt. Taste is of roasted malt, and a bit of vanilla and peppery zest. Mouthfeel is thick, wonderfully balanced and very smooth. I was really surprised by this, the flavor profile and smell is somewhat simple, though its very smooth with just the right amount of zesty finish, creamy and that makes for a very enjoyable brew.

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Photo of claytri
3.59/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice amber with a good white head leaving a nice lacing. The aroma was a pleasant light malt. The taste was a very satisfying bit of malt with a peppery finish. The feel is medium and dry. This is a very pleasant beer. It is well put togethet and could easily be consumed en masse.

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Photo of dorianmarley
4.11/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is rusty, red-orange with a fabulous, fluffy white head and some good lacing.

Nose has some medium malt and a bit of pepper; and some orange zest.

Taste is blend of toasted malt and orange zest, with some toasted marshmallow. It has a natural roastedness that is soothing instead of gimmicky.

Mouthfeel is clean and easygoing, with medium carbonation.

Overall, this beer is exceptional for its naturally roasted flavor, as well as its unpretentious drinkability.

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Photo of Veristic
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Conway's Irish Ale served @ 45* into a Red Oak tulip pint glass, consumed on 4/20/12. Best by date: 5/9/12.

A- Big fluffy 2-finger off-white head that dissipates into a thin sheet that hangs around until the end. Minimal spotty lacing. Deep copper-red body. Good clarity, only slightly hazy.

S- Some sweet caramelly malt, a little toffee-ish. I can pick up a very slight herbal & floral hop aroma. All aromas are tame, pleasing and in balance.

T- Smooth & balanced, very easy drinking. Light caramel malt, a little buttery. Mild hop bitterness. Some light toasty roastiness in the finish, very nice!

M- Slightly slick mouthfeel. Medium body. Medium carbonation. Slightly astringent in the roasty aftertaste.

O- 6.5% ABV but goes down like a good 4.5% session beer. This is definitely brewed closer to style than FFF Brian Boru but I like the Brian Boru a little better. Both are great, seek em!

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Photo of TwelveOunces
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 Oz poured into a Guiness pint glass

A- Clear dark orange with a clear off white 1.5 finger head.

S- Smells like caramel and a lot of different malts, A nice fruity hoppyness. Some dark note like a tiny bit of chocolate.

T- Similar to how it smell. A nice bit of caramel notes. A good variety of malts typical of a red ale. Only a little bitterness but it has a slight fruitiness with it.

M- Aftertaste is dry and only soso. This beer however is super smooth and creamy. Good carbonation and rather refreshing. Has a nice feel to it and is easy drinking.

O- Another winner from Great lakes.

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

Poured into a pint glass.
The body has a nice reddish color body with a small head that lays down quickly. The smell has a nice maltyness to it. The taste has a nice balance of sweet malt and hops. It also has some fruiteyness to it also. The mouth feel is great and overall a really good, easy drinking beer.

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Photo of pschul4
4.36/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into my mini snifter

A- Looks insanely red. Nailed the red ale part

S- Lots of malt in the nose. Tiny bit of hops. Pretty good stuff going on here

T- Delightfully sweet malts and just a pinch of tasty hops. Very well done

M- Nice combination of smooth on the front and prickly on the back.

O- I don't really like reds so this was a big surprise. Well done GLBC!

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Photo of TheBrewo
2.98/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This brew was served from the tap at MacGregor’s Grill and Tap Room in Canandaigua, NY. It arrived in a flared pilsner glass. This beer glowed a solid reddish gold, holding a one finger tan head of creamy bubbles. This showed moderate retention with spotty sheets of lacing here and there. No sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared moderate. The aroma was strong with white and red grapes, which showed with a juicy sweetness and light tartness. The malts were paler in aroma, with clean steel. Finally, baker’s yeast rounded out the back and softened things up. Our first impression was in regards to the huge grapey flavoring. As we sipped, red grape and bright strawberry sugars hit first. These mixed with softer pale malts, but really dominated the palate. The middle moved forward with more chalky, grainy malts, and gritty pepper at the peak. Here the balance was better, with the sweetness cut significantly. We were pulled to the finish on a wave of even more toasty, deeper malts, and a tonic water sourness, but that grape was persistently in the background. The aftertaste breathed of copper, grassy hops, and light peppery booze. The body was light to medium, and the carbonation was high and prickly. There was a light coating around the mouth with a brief astringency before all traces of the beer were gone. The mouth was cooled with decent slurp, but cream and froth were poor. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank nicely.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was how fresh and easy drinking it was. The fruitiness was overbearing at first, and was still quite strange by the end, but the balanced through the middle saved it. It was nice for the style, but seemed to be lacking just a bit in every category.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12oz bottle pored into a pint glass

A - A clear red, with 1 finger of lace on the glass.

S - Dried fruit and caramel is what I detect.

T - Like the smell, a lot of fruit. Has some earthiness too it. Caramel, dried fruit, pears.

M - Medium bodied

O - A good Irish Ale, although it is not my favorite style. But the sweetness from the fruit flavors is quite enjoyable

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Photo of homebrew311
3.31/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer appears a fiery orange with good clarity. Thick, dense white head present with great retention and tons of lacing. The nose features a light earthy hop character along with a punch of malty sweetness. The taste starts malty and sweet and then gives way to a tea like hop bitterness along with grass and herbs. The taste finishes slightly bland. The body is moderate and the carbonation is mellow. Overall, this beer has a lot of character, but the flavors don't work for me.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass.

A: Clear amber with one-finger, white, cream head that lasted several minutes. Okay lacing.

S: Subtle citrus and floral hops with bready caramel malt.

T: Moderate sweetness and moderate bitterness. Caramel malt and and subtle hops.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Smooth and slightly dry. Nice and crisp.

O: This is a very drinkable and delicious beer from Great Lakes. I've had it several times on tap and would recommend it.

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

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper, with a couple fingers of off-white foamy head. This retains with a rich ½ finger, leaving back a sudsy cascade of sticky lacing. The aroma is a nice mix of toffee, citrus, and roast, which is wrapped up in some fresh feeling leafy tones and light mineral notes.

The taste is caramel sweetness, buttered toast, and green citrus, with a leafy bitterness that trails some dry spice in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a sharp prickle on the tongue that spreads out into more of a firm creaminess in the rest of the mouth. This has a nice crisp feel to that really puts those hops to good use here.

This is a very solid Irish Red Ale and probably one of the better examples of the style that I’ve had recently. This was well balanced and flavorful with a crisp and quenching feel to it. I could easily drink a few of these.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a Great Lakes pint glass. Clear with a nice amber color. Carbonation is quite low and the head is very thin. Very faint nose with some biscuit and floral notes and a touch of fruitiness.

Flavor is primarily sweet toast and jam with some caramel notes and a nice mild hop presence. There is a faint touch of spice (nutmeg?). Mouthfeel is thin-to-firm. Overall, this is a very nice, enjoyable representation of the style that I would be happy to drink again. I do wish it had a little more going for it in the hop department though.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this with carlos -enjoyed from schooner glassware, purchased at The Brass Rail in Campbelltown.

The color is deep ruby red with a slight scarlet hue and nice thick cap of cream with tight bead. The smell is very herbal and has a slight bready tinge with mild hint of nuts and light spice. The feel is good with a nice dry body and slightly stronger than average yet still nicely balanced with a little spiciness in the finish.

The taste is good but comes off very smooth and lager-like at times with a slight toasted grain character and mild caramel notes intermingling. the finish has an almost lager-like flavor with herbal hops enhancing the malt but leaving a slight dry effect. Overall this is a very drinkable Irish Red. I wasn't expecting one with the amount of alcohol, but it is well balanced and very drinkable for the strength I enjoyed this more than most I have had of the style.

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