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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

467 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 467
Hads: 1,352
Avg: 3.81
pDev: 19.69%
Wants: 65
Gots: 198 | 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: 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: 467 | Hads: 1,352
Photo of smakawhat
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Best before April 28th 2011, we are good to go baby!

A three finger head off a golden pour. Head is an off cream brown color with tiny bubbles that fall away at a good rate. Very clear body of a burnt orange with some visible carbonation. Leaves a good collar but no lacing throughout the drink.

Bouquet is an interesting airy toasty grassy malt. Man Great Lakes beers smell so dang good. Very unique smelling with some sweet caramel like smell hidden in the back.

Taste is a grass malt backbone, with a small hop profile. Herbal tea like in sensation with grass, but also a little carbonated too. Somewhat of a drying finish also.

Another win for the Great Lakes, it may not be my favorite Irish Red Ale but it's a good one for sure.

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Photo of ejimhof
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: perfect amber color with little head and slight lacing.

Smell: malty and grainy.

Taste: malt throughout with a smooth finish a touch of hops.

Mouthfeel: light on the tounge.

Drinkability: Easy drinker no problem having more than one at a sitting.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.62/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into my Founder's pint glass late at night.

Conway has a autumn orange with some faint redness in spots and nooks and crannies. I've seen much redder, anyway a nice light caramel colored head rose about an inch with some burst, not much legs to this. No lacing.

Smells consist of a typical irish red, caramel, small candy vibe, barely smellable hop sense. A boatload of toasted malt. This is fresh and it don't smell that bad.

Taste is simple but bold with the fresh bottle. Caramel and some apple slices dipped in caramel. Toasted malts giving basic bread in the middle. A sweet aftertaste. Hops are not in the picture but sort of keep things in perspective.

A very healthy medium body on this and very sweet, perhaps a bit too much. Kinda reminds me of sucking on a worthers original for a second. This was a easy one to take down, perhaps that's the Irish in me. It's simple, no more no less. I can see this going downhill in the bottle fairly quickly so drink up.

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Photo of Gavage
3.76/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours a clear amber orange color with a 1" head that slowly falls. Spotty lace develops.

Smell: light fruity aroma is all you can detect.

Taste: caramel, bread, ripe fruit sweetness, some hints of toasted nuts, and a moderate bitterness nicely balances the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp from start to finish. Aftertaste is brief and short-lived.

Overall: a very quaffable ale that is refreshing and hits the spot.

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Photo of tempest
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sweet, light, caramel malt flavor. Very creamy mouthfeel. The flavor is a touch bland for 6.5% abv. I do get a touch of vegetable DMS, but I'm not sure if that's completely inappropriate for the style. There's a light bitter aftertaste in the end, but in general it's pretty tasty. I'd like it to be lower in abv, because this beer could sneak up on me fast.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best by 3/29/10

Appearance: Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Copper in color, clarity ok, some little yeasties hanging in suspension. Small head forms, sticks around for a while and laces the glass.

Smell: Bready malt makes up most of the aroma.

Taste: Deliciously malty with flavors mimicking candy roasted nuts. Caramel malt. Hop profile is relatively low, a light lemony bitterness that lingers on after the sip.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and a high degree of carbonation. This beer is the opposite of flat. A semi-dry finish with lingering lemon/tea notes.

Drinkability: Quite enjoyed this one. Yet another solid brew from Great Lakes.

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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 rhoadsrage
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a golden copper red body that is crystal clear with a gentle release of tiny bubbles. The head is a thin creamy head that is white with a faint yellow hue.

S- The smell of lightly toasted malt with some note of dry fresh grain note in there. No real hop aroma in there.

T-This beer had a nice slightly sweet toasted malt flavor with some dry fresh grain flavor that follows. There is a very slight buttery note but it is not detected when the beer is really cold. There is a nice spicy flavor that finishes and some green hop notes in there. The finish is crisp and dry with a soft carbonic note.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a soft fizz in the finish.

D- This is a nice smooth beer that has some good malt flavors and a spicy hop flavor but it would be nice to see the malt have a bit more depth and the hops back off a bit. Definitely a good crossover beer for those that drink Adjunct Lagers.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 3/13/12
*From notes

-- Six-pack purchased at Great Lakes Brewery on 1/17/12 --

A: Copper-reddish-amber in hue. A good pour yields a 1.5 finger head. Decent retention, though the collar remains fairly healthy as it fades. Mild lacing.

S: Sweet grains and grass. It really isn't too far off from the way their Dortmunder smells, but it just doesn't "do it for me" in the same way.

T: Big, hearty malt runs from top to bottom. A touch of that patented (and delicious) Great Lakes sweetness lingers too, and it all comes together quite well.

M: Yeah, no complaints here. Creamy and packs the proper weight vs. flavor profile.

O: Another winner from Great Lakes. Their Conway's is my favorite Irish Red, and one I can easily recommend to those looking for a better, unique alternative to Smithwick's.

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Photo of Viggo
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Standard red ale amber-y appearance, clear, not thick, good head. Aroma had a very small peat smokiness to it. Nice. Not much else.

Taste, sturdier than your average red ale. Traditional in that it doesn't have any overpowering aspect of it, falls to the side of malt heavy, tea, toast. Nothing offensive, just an easy drinking red ale, with a little bit more substance than your average one you might come across.

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Photo of pat61
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Brilliant amber-gold with rich, lingering white/of-white head.
S: caramel, biscuit, no hops, toast, toffee.
T: Flavor, Toasty, sweet, light fruit, dry finish but some odd cherry, medicinal thing going on in the background. Not as smooth with more fruit esters than the style calls for. More roast bitter than hop – fairly low hop bitterness.
F: Medium low body, medium low carbonation.
O: Not as smooth as it could be, slightly off.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12oz Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a clear amber/orange colour with a very large size frothy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for only a few minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - malts, hay, grass, caramel, nuts

Taste & Mouth - There is a low amount of carbonation and the beer feels slightly thin on the tongue. Most of the taste consists of malts mixed with some barnyard (grass/hay). I can also pick up on some caramel and a nuttiness. It finishes with a malty barnyard aftertaste.

Drink - This beer just didn't do it for me. I can see how it might appeal to some, but I wasn't a huge fan. I would not seek this beer out again.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle says best before 4/12/07. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a clear amber/red color with a small white head. It smells spicy and malty, and also like caramel and some floral hops. However, the aroma is a bit weak. It tastes like caramel, sweet malt and bread with a nice slight bitter hoppy finish. The mouthfeel is medium, with just the right amount of carbonation and a bit of dryness. The drinkability is very good, this is a nice smooth beer that would be a great choice as a session beer. Too bad this is only a seasonal beer, I'd like it to be available year-round.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I see a bright yet deep ambery/copper. Very little head, but a cool column of tiny bubbles spewing from the bottom center of the glass. Very uniform. The aroma is a pretty inviting baked then quickly toasted, old fashioned white bread. It just smells warm and comforting. The first sip is great toasted malts, bread with a smooth light caramel finish. The palate is very upfront, nt a lot of stuff lurking in the shadows. No real nuances. Just great malt and a hint of caramel. Very easy to drink beer.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Very nice amber color, pretty dark red with an inch of head that turns to a solid layer of lace.

S - Mostly caramel malts maybe a touch of hops.

T - Pretty balanced. Tastes of tea and hops with an underlying hint of caramel sweetness with a solid bready or gram cracker base. Sweet also. Very nice.

M - Light to medium. Easily drinkable.

D - Wow I have know ales to be either really light or heavy in flavor but this one seems balanced and creamy. ABV is well masked. Another solid offering from Great Lakes.

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Photo of barczar
3.56/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliant amber with a frothy tan head that lingers as a thin layer of foam.

Aroma is floral hops, light fruity specialty malt character, with a toasted malt base.

Flavor follows suit, with underpinnings of fruity malt character turning dry and bready mid palate, finishing with just a hint of bitterness. That malt fruitiness dominates.

Body and carbonation are moderate, with light alcohol warmth at the finish.

I'm not a huge malt fruitiness fan, but this at least has a nice malt backbone for support.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, Woodman's, $1.39, best by 4/4/06

appearance: pours a super clear bright amber, glowing almost, very light beige foamy head with no retention, very light lacing

smell: toasted grain, light sweet malt, apple juice, bready, herbal hops in the background, caramel covered apple

taste: sweet apple juice flavour, creamy caramel, toasted grain, sweet thick malt backbone, light herbal hop presence, light astringency, a touch of alcohol comes through in the aftertaste, slightly nutty, biscuit-esque, bready...good, but not great

mouthfeel: medium-near full body, smooth and creamy

drinkability: pretty good

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Chimay Goblet

A - A red/copper color that looks incredible is sadly overshadowed by the disappointment with the off-white, sudsy head that lingered for mere moments before disappearing into a small ring.

S - The nose is bursting with malty sweet and creamy smelling aromas with caramel hints.

T - Very malty across the palate with a touch of sweetness and a caramel hint. Finished off dry.

M - A creamyness flows across the palate only to be followed by a dry finish. The dry finish, however isn't as prevalent as a normal red leaving the creamyness to distinguish it.

D - For an Irish Red it's certainly creamier and maltier than the standard Red which definitely gives it a leg up in the drinkability catagory.

The Conway's Irish Ale has a good aroma and flavor profile to it with out commanding your attention. I really enjoyed it and would recommend to anyone.

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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 cpetrone84
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-very pretty looking ruby red with a light orange feel to it. The head is an off white to light tan color, tight but thin looking. There is some retention but not much and nothing left on the glass

S-the nose is fair in strength. Toasted biscuit comes in up front. Pale and caramel malts set in through the middle. These malty tones are balanced with a fair hop presence at the finish. Herbal tea like hops and just a hint of lemon.

T-this has a very strong hop presence in it. Toasted bready malts lead off, much more underlying caramel tones with less pale malt. The hop presence picks up with herbal tea notes and a good bit of bittering hops at the finish.

M-highly carbonated and a little rough on the feel. Medium bodied and slightly syrupy with a drying finish

D-this is a very easy drinking beer, Great Lakes does a very good job with everything they make. Very well balanced and big flavors make this something that goes down smooth and makes you want another sip.

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Photo of ZAP
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
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...

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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 tigg924
4.48/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

This is easily the best beer I have had in this style and one of the few that I would drink outside of March if it were available. Nice clean lager with a taste of caramel, toasted malt, and a bit of woodsy hops at the end. Super malty, super sessionable, great beer.

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Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 467 ratings.