Kilgubbin Red Ale
Goose Island Beer Co.

Kilgubbin Red AleKilgubbin Red Ale
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Irish Red Ale
3.67 | pDev: 11.72%
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Kilgubbin Red AleKilgubbin Red Ale
Notes: This ale pays homage to the Irish who settled on Kilgubbin Island, in Chicago over one-hundred years ago. Made in the Irish tradition, Kilgubbin is brewed with roast barley and chocolate malts giving it a rich ruby color. A touch of malted rye gives it a spicy finish.
Reviews: 133 | Ratings: 167 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of kojevergas
2.57/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served on-draught into a 16 oz nonical pint glass at Goose Island Clybourn over St. Patrick's Day weekend. Reviewed from notes. 5.1% ABV per their menu. "Irish Red Ale."

A: Pours a one finger head of white colour. Fair cream. Fair thickness. Below average retention, Body colour is a nontransparent auburn-copper. Semitranslucent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Light toasted red malts. Very mild floral hopping. Maybe a hint of berry. Fruity and evocative. A mild strength aroma. Hints of syrup. I'm excited to try it.

T: Imbalanced. A mess of toasted malt, syrupy amber malts, generic light floral hops, and berry. Downright wrong for the style. Built poorly. Little complexity of subtlety. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. Meh. Very disappointing.

Mf: Syrupy, smooth, and wet. Carbonation is merely adequate. Not at all right for the style.

Dr: A failed attempt at an Irish red. Syrupy. Borderline crap. Wouldn't get this one again, though it hides its modest ABV alright. Goose Island can do far better.

Low C-

 1,059 characters

Photo of kjyost
3.24/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased on tap at the Xcel Energy Center for Jets vs Wild. Poured into a tall plastic glass.

Clear amber body with great lacing. Clean malt profile on the nose with light caramel notes. The body has light hop flavours including citrus and spice with a lightly sweet malty body and some corny sweetness that feels off in this beer. Good building bitterness and the beer finishes clean.

 387 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in an imperial pint glass at the Clybourn brewpub.

Man, sometimes I wish I spoke Gaelic (or whatever it is). This stuff pours a clear sunset amber topped by a finger of cream foam. The nose comprises toasted caramel, very dark greens, cocoa, dark wheat, and toasted rye bread. The taste holds notes of toffee, cocoa, sharp greens (mostly dark grass), rye spice, and black pepper. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda dry finish. Overall, a nice Irish red, but not something I would make a habit of drinking regularly.

 576 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

light brown color, hazelnut highlights are riddled throughout with a wonderful mix of colors. A smallish head of light tan then pops up from the bottom of the glass and reaches about a half an inch before settling back down again.

Aroma is of light caramel, roasted nuts, light touches of butterscotch like sugary notes. Warming brings out a very earthy and pronounced flavor to it. Really nice done but a touch light. This is my only complaint as it did not have the pop I was really looking for at the time. Smooth, even flavor really did not deviate much from beginning to end as the overall impact was nicely put together.

 627 characters

Photo of doughanson78
3.44/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On cask at Goose Island brew pub. Poured into a pint glass.

A: Golden copper in color, with great clarity. One finger off white head, that is super creamy, with good retention and awesome lacing.

S: Very light in the nose. A light toasted caramel comes through. Also a touch of graininess.

T: Sweet caramel upfront. Toasted notes come through in the middle. Overall a very light taste. Product of the cask conditioning?

M: Medium light body. Light carbonation. Super creamy.

O: Decent beer. Nothing special by any means. Not a huge fan of cask conditioning.

 562 characters

Photo of thain709
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - The body showed your typical copper color with some clarity...the head was small and thin and white in showed little retention in the form of a small, thin ring...not much lacing

S - Holy sweet caramel and toffee...those two elements dominate the aroma...they don't overpower or become cloying but boy are they there...light floral hops in the background

T - The sweetness dies down a little in the flavors and more flavors come into play...likewise, at first sip you get the caramel and toffee malt...again they never become cloying, rather they play well with the other flavors...the rye adds a nice spiciness and a touch of earthiness that you wouldn't expect...hops again a light and in the background but they make for a nice finish to the beer

M - Medium bodied...smooth with a spicy and earthy finish that has a touch of sweetness

O - At first I thought this was going to be a caramel malt bomb but it turned out being pretty balanced...the addition of the rye balanced the sweetness out and the hops did just enough as well...this was different for the style

 1,085 characters

Photo of philosobeer
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the clybourn brewpub.

A \\ Nice color of red/brown. Clarity is pretty fantastic. White head. Not much lace, and head retention is only available apparently on cask.

S \\ This has some decent grassy notes. I got some disappointing soapy notes, and I have no idea what that was about. Roasty coffee and biscuit both detectable.

T \\ It's breadiness and roastiness combine very well. It makes for a pretty nice glass, if not overly complex. The hops are low in flavor and aroma, but that isn't improper. Despited the roasty character, there's some lingering sweetness.

M \\ A beer in this style goes fantastically on cask and it's mouthfeel this way is a strongsuit.

This and the honkers are both really nice selections with a snack in the middle of the day. Nothing that I'd rave about, but not to be dismissed at all.

 832 characters

Photo of AgentZero
2.78/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had on St. Patrick's Day at GI Wrigleyville.

A - A carmel colored beer with a small head that faded to a partial cap and a solid ring.

S - Mostly caramel malts, slight touch of butter, light sweetness. Mild hops.

T - Maybe I don't understand the style, but this just tastes like caramel water with a touch of honey. A very low hop profile.

M - Slightly flat, watery, lighter boded.

O - It's easy to drink, but it's not a fantastic beer, I'd put it at merely average.

 471 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine March 2007.

First, Goose Island gets marks for presentation. Clear, reddish brown color, with some killer head retention! This beer really wants to stick to the glass in a very appealing way. Very aromatic, with fresh and redolent floral hop, and dark, watery, caramel malt. A bit nutty too, with a rousing, spicy, rye note. Impeccable smooth- ness throughout. The creamy, medium body really holds things together, and makes this brew insanely drinkable.

Medium hop bitterness and flavor. A kiss of hop oil with a mild bitterness keeps this beer in proportion. Hints of steely grain and soft malt sweetness. Soft, chocolaty notes; hearty breadiness, and a distinct spicy, rye malt flavor. Nice semi-steeped tea character. Finishes relatively dry, with a bit of grain tannin in the linger.

This brew is an homage to Irish immigrants who came to Chicago and founded neighborhoods known as Goose Island and Kilgubbin, some 150 years ago. We think they'd be honored. The use of chocolate malts and rye is superb, and gives what can sometimes be a rather dull style tremendous appeal. As a result, this is one of the better Irish Style Red Ales to meet our palates. Pair it up with a traditional Irish breakfast or boiled dinner, or a nice Irish cheddar. Yeah, it's a no-brainer, but damn good. Sláinte!

 1,336 characters

Photo of BierFan
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tumbler glass. Bottled on 1/11/08, so it's over 10 months old at the time I'm reviewing it.

Appearance: Red/brown body with a small off-white head.

Smell: Great malty aroma. This beer has definitely improved with a little age on it.

Taste: Some roasted malts are coming through in the taste. I've never had one of these fresh but I'm sure the extra time on the shelf has done nothing but good things to it.

 446 characters

Photo of Auslander
3.51/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I spotted this while making my weekly pilgrimmage to the area beer stores. I hadn't seen this before, so I picked up a couple bottles from the singles cooler. Pouring this beer into a pint glass, the color is a pretty auburn with a snow white head. The head does not stay long but laces nicely. Slight malt aroma. Clean mild malt taste that grows on you.
I wish I'd purchased more. Will definately drink this one again.

$1.69 for a single 12 oz. bottle.

 457 characters

Photo of BigJim5021
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber as one would expect of a red. The head is off-white and none-too-impressive with very little lacing. It was, however, bottled back in January, so a loss of carbonation is not too surprising.

The flavor is fairly typical of what you would suspect from a red. Slightly malty and a tad sour, but in a good way. Aroma is much of the same.

Not too complex, and nothing that will knock your socks off, but it's a nice enough beer. And at $7 for a six-pack, the price is certainly right.

While it's not my favorite Goose Island brew, it's still a pretty decent beer.

 575 characters

Photo of happygnome
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: pours a nice amber color with about a half inch of head that dissapears fast leaving a little lacing around the edge of the glass as well as a pillowy lacing in the center of the beer
s: caramely malts, leafy crisp hops
t: caramely malts dominate the palate but there is a deffinate balance by a leafy/piny hop flavor
m: medium bodied beer with little carbonation

overall, this is a pretty solid beer very nice

 415 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review based on notes

Pours an effervescent amber with 2 fingers of pearl white head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Leafy hops, caramel & biscuitty malt

T: Leafy hops, caramel & toffee up front. More leafy hops, apricot, & dryness as this warms. Finishes with more leafy hops

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation & good balance, maybe a bit too hoppy for the style

Drinks good, not a style I go wild about, but worth a try

 431 characters

Photo of morimech
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An attractive reddish tinted amber beer with a one-fingered head that had some good retention. Moderate amounts of lacing left on the glass.

Toasted and biscuit malt are the aromas.

Mild toasted malt flavors with a hint of cinnamon or nutmeg are the flavors I detect.

Medium body with low carbonation.

A good beer but with low ABV makes it sessionable.

 357 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to Monsone for this brew.

Pours a nice clean/clear golden amber color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, some nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is big and malty, with some very nice caramel notes. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, with some caramel. The finish is slightly dry/bitter. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a tasty one.

 374 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.61/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle, from a 6-pack left at my place from a poker game. It pours a dark copper color, nearly hazy, with a 2cm foam cover with long retention. The aroma seems to be mostly roasted malts, and the taste is malty and tasty (although too neutral to be called rich). Easily drinkable as the style should be.

Goose Island is reliable as always, but this beer could jump beyond average if they cared to do it. Still, a safe choice for an Irish Red.

 462 characters

Photo of Gehrig
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A pleasant surprise, Kilgubbin is more brown than red in its body, very rich hazelnut. More complex nose than I expected, with chocolate malt emerging fairly strongly. It did also in the taste, melding with fruity hops and some caramel to produce a good, solid flavor. Smooth and pleasant, this is a nice, solid representative of the style.

Irish Red never jazzes me, but this is good and well worth returning to. Recommended.

 427 characters

Photo of ybnorml
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clean dark amber beer. Has a small white head. The aroma has a light crisp grain character with hints of vanilla and coffee running through the background. There is a small battle between the barley and rye malts. Resulting in alternating sweet and dry/crisp malt notes. There is a nice herbal hop note on a lovely crisp finish.

 330 characters

Photo of JDV
3.61/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bottle from archer liquors from the "freshest in house" section.

Pours slightly hazy dark red to maroon. Lasting creamy beige head sits atop. Smell is malty in the way a light lager is, at least initially. Taste is surprisingly satisfying. Malty, a hint zesty and nicely drinkable with a bit of balancing crisp hoppiness in the middle. Finishes with a lingering sweetness and has a nice body to it. This was definitely fresh, and I was extremely surprised how easy drinking it was and how much I liked it. What a fantastic session beer.

 538 characters

Photo of giblet
3.47/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a solid irish ale. pours a nice reddish color. has very little head with a light carbonation. was wanting a little bit more of both. aroma was nice, sweet, malty smell. taste was quite nice and not as sweet as i expected - which for me is a very good thing. nice balance of taste.

suckem up and movem out!


 315 characters

Photo of tmitch75
3.47/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy red color with thin head and tons of lace, at least at first.

Toasted english muffin smell with butter, cinnamon, & sugar. Sounds like a good breakfast! No hops that I can detect.

Tastes caramelly and a little nutty. Lightly floral hop finish.

Light to Medium body with nice carbonation and a dry finish.

A nice and drinkable session beer, but not as goo as I remember it. Very tasty though, and I will definitely buy again. It's a spring-time staple for me.

Tasted on 3/15/08.

 489 characters

Photo of Jason
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish brown color, brightly glows in the light. Creamy colored lace is bubbly and randomly sticks to the glass here and there. Sweet highly toasted malt, smells of fresh baked dark bread with a hint of caramel as well in the nose. Moderate body with a creamy back, level carbonation that adds a lot of crispness. Toasted malt flavor creeps in slowly and brings it to the point of being close to roasted, slight nutty flavor from both the malt and yeast. Spiciness comes from a touch of malted rye though the hops are in there also. Faint smokiness comes out of no where, this might be from some floor kiln dark malt. Hops are light in bitterness yet they have no problem balancing. Fruitiness is trivial and the clean finish is full of residual toasted grain flavors.

Great stab at the Irish Red Ale style, very malty without the clinging hoppiness that some have. One the clean side with fresh malty flavors bursting within.

 928 characters

Photo of champ103
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A deep and clear red/amber color. A billowing and frothy white head forms and leaves a good coat of lace down the glass.
S: Burnt, toasted, caramel malt.
T: Lots of caramel malt, though not as sweet as I thought it would be. Toasty and bready flavors. The malt flavors work well with just a hint of hops as the taste lingers.
M/D: A fairly dry feel in the mouth that has a medium body. Creamy, well carbonated, and not watery at all. Very smooth and easy to drink. I can session this with no problem.

A very good red ale by Goose Island. This is a beer I would recommend and drink again soon.

 597 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber with a modest ecru head that fades with some haste but leaves some shards of lace behind

Smell: Almost graham cracker-like

Taste: Opens with a mouth full of cracker malt that starts to display the rye spice by mid-palate; after the swallow, the caramel flavors return to dominate through the finish, but are offset, very gently, by a tea-like hoppiness

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Not being a big fan of the Irish Red, this was an eye-opener; quite enjoyable between the impact of the cracker flavor, the rye and the hops

Thanks, brandoman63, for the opportunity

 633 characters

Kilgubbin Red Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 167 ratings