Shillelagh Irish Red Ale | Watch City Brewing Co.

13 Ratings

Brewed by:
Watch City Brewing Co.
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-14-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 13 |  Reviews: 10
Reviews by GarthDanielson:
Photo of GarthDanielson
2.91/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured on a nitro-tap into a tumbler pint, the beer is a vibrant, bright amber coloring with a filmy, white coating of head. Aromas of nut and butter sweetness. The flavors are a bit watery initially, with a subtle roasting and toffee sweetness. There is a touch of smoke to the aftertaste, with the watery palate again. Clean, light, and smooth finish. Meh.

 358 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Franchise
3.26/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a deep red hue that leaves a thick tan head. The body and color is beautiful on this red ale. The aroma is very weak, I can't make out alot of the flavors in this red ale. Some slight caramel, a citrus background but not much going on here. The taste mimics the aroma, watery not much going on in terms of flavors besides the citrus slightly sweet finish. The description on the menu says "this beer goes great with food". I can see that if you don't want a beer to compliment your food and to just stay in the background which could be the intention. Overall a weak offering from Watch city

 598 characters

Photo of goz
3.91/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour was medium copper, with a thick peach colored head that lasted the whole glass, leaving a strong sheet of lace on the way down. Aroma was rather light, with sweet maltiness being the main thing noticed. Flavor was sweet (hints of caramel?), with a slight floral hoppiness in the end. Mouthfeel was solid and creamy. Quite enjoyable, even with a slight cold that I have now.

 378 characters

Photo of carln26
3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer poured from the cask a deep red, very clear with a thick off white head. The aroma is mild malt with subtle caramel, and perhaps a little vanilla. The taste is dominated by the oak. Mostly bourbon and vanilla. Smooth rich mouth feel. I really like Aaron’s brewing, and I think many of the oak dedicated casks were great, but in my opinion, this one doesn’t work. Any malt character is just dominated by the oak. This worked in the scotch ale, not here.


 470 characters

Photo of jneiswender
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap as part of sample tray. Served in a small/medium sample glass.

A-reddish amber body, thick off-white head

S-herbal and grainy smell

T-toast, bready, some cereal flavor


D-my wife's favorite brew. Very drinkable, and not a bad representation of the style. I would drink this again.

 304 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.38/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On nitro-tap at the brewpub on 3/19/08, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light reddish brown color, with a short, dense, off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, nuts, tea and some hops.

T: The taste is malty and nutty with flavors of caramel, tea and a little smokiness. There's a good hops presence that provides a nice balance and the nitro adds some creaminess. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, mild kick, very good representation of style, this is an excellent beer to drink for an entire evening.

 752 characters

Photo of Mikeluzzjr
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of Jayli
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at the Skellig in Waltham on 4/13
This beer pours a beautiful clear, deep red. There is a half finger of white fluffy head - though the bartender was careful not to put too much of a head on it. Nice sheets of lacing coat the glass. The nose is of carmel malts, light on the hops, slightly bready. Taste is very well balanced. The caramel malts hit the tongue first - nice and smooth, and then some floral hops give a nice kick, and then evens out with some pale malts at the end. This beer is medium bodied, a bit sticky but goes down very smooth. Decent carbonation and extremely well balanced. This is one that I DID in fact sit with for an evening, and would do so again!

 679 characters

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a reddish-brown in color. Bits of light poured through the beer like stained glass onto the table. Had the thick, foamy head that only a nitro-tap can bring to a beer. Also had the characteristic lacing of a nitro beer--lots of it. Nose was sweetly malty with a whole lot of dough aroma rising from it.

Flavor was spot on for an Irish Red Ale. The malt came through loud and proud as a very sweet tang. Slight hop presence that was a bit minty. A very refreshing beer. Very creamy and smooth mouthfeel that had a slight hint of dryness to it. They may have changed this beer a bit because if I recall correctly the ABV that was listed was below 4%. If that is true it was a very sessionable beer.

 706 characters

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on cask at the brewpub.

This ale poured a hazy, red-brown color with creamy, off-white foam. The smell was malty with some woody oak overtones and a touch of caramel together with a hint of alcohol. The taste was malty with a taste of caramel. There was a dry, oak flavor and a very light tanginess. Mild hops. There was an almost bourbon-like flavor from the wood. The mouthfeel was crisp and smooth and dry with medium body and low carbonation. The aftertaste was nicely malty with flavors from the wood. This was a very good and very drinkable cask offering.

 572 characters

Photo of maxk
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of Truh
3.89/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed some traditional stuff in the front room with this one on 2/19/2005. 16-oz. pint at the Skellig.

Called the Skellig Irish Red on the chalkboard, but confirmed with Watch City that it is their Shillelagh Irish Red. Magnificent, bulbous cream of head that frankly amazes with its ocean of white and a knife’s edge cut; huge stick and lace. Dark red hue with a dead quiet calm and plenty of crystal clarity. Biting malt on nose with a cooling breadiness that insinuates itself. Little bit of toast on mouth with an accompanied bit of hop bite and a resounding malt frontice that appears at the back end as well. Really quite good.

 639 characters

Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Shillelagh Irish Red Ale from Watch City Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.66 out of 5 with 13 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.