Murphy's Irish Red | Murphy Brewery Ireland Limited

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Murphy's Irish RedMurphy's Irish Red

Brewed by:
Murphy Brewery Ireland Limited

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-08-2001

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Reviews: 325 | Ratings: 684
Photo of FLima
3.46/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice amber red color. Made a thin head with short duration
Predominant sweet malt aroma, caramel and toasted malts.
Taste is similar with toasted malts, caramels with some herbal and floral hops. Fairly sweet, but zesty at the same time. Aftertaste is mildly bitter, dry and astringent.
Light body with strong carbonation and medium size bubbles. Well balanced beer.

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Photo of dictatorial
4.2/5  rDev +32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty great beer. I got a single bottle and drank it from a large mug. The appearance was a beautiful red with vibrant carbonation, the smell was great and the taste was, to me, above average. It left no bad after taste and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I still don't know the exact alcohol content as it is not labeled on the bottle, but it is a really great beer. Overall, great beer and I would recommend it.

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Photo of Bishop_Collar
3.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Beer poured a copper color with three fingers of fluffy off white head. Good carbonation was noted with some patchy lacing.

Smell: Picked up a minerally aroma off this one, like an iron smell.

Taste: Yeasty flavor with a nice malt character. The minerally aroma did not follow to the palate. Some sweetness noted when it warmed up.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel with noted carbonation.

Overall: I enjoyed this one. I recently tried the Newcastle Werewolf Red Blood Ale and was very disappointed. This one had more flavor and was not as watery.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Samuel Smith nonic.

An "Irish Red Ale" that is actually a mass market lager?

Pale, clear, rusty burnt orange body with no head. Virtually no lacing. Meh.

Clean vaguely toasty aroma with hints of kettle caramelization.

There is a pleasing maltiness on the palate. Initial sweetness is washed away by a toasted corn tortilla flavor - odd but not entirely unpleasant. Finishes clean and moderately dry. Very low bitterness throughout.

Brisk, light-bodied, albeit sort of flaccid feel.

A bit dull, and a poor value, but easy drinking and with a hint of character hiding in there somewhere.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.15/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: single finger head on a copper-amber clear body and scant lacing.

S: very sweet aroma from the caramel malts. burnt toast notes.

T: less sweet than was expected from the aroma. otherwise this one is simple with grain, caramel malts and toasted notes.

M: slight bitterness affects the drinkability. medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: standard for the style but little that sets it apart from the mainstream irish reds.

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Photo of DM1293
3.13/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tastes comes across as toasty malt, but its fairly light and leads quickly into a faint dry finish. A little bit sweet as well. Mouthfeel is a little bit sediment-y.

Overall, its an average, highly drinkable red. Nothing really makes it remarkable or bad, and it goes down easy. But its not a great stand-alone beer to drink with. Safe to try, but if you have a better red as your go-to, this probably won't convince you to switch to it.

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Photo of Kendo
3.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured - on Saint Patrick's Day, 2012 - from the funny-shaped bottle into a pint glass. Body is oddly coppery-amber and crystal clear. Small off-white head on top. Some lace.

S: Sweet malt and husky grain.

T: Sweet with some grainy malt. Slightly minerally bitterness and a fairly dry finish lead to a slightly metallic aftertaste.

F: Body is light, carbonation is modest.

O: Not a fan. Too sweet. Drain pour halfway through.

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Photo of soju6
3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a copper color with a small head that fades to bits of lacing.

S: Mild aroma of sweetness some grain and bit of malt.

T: Mild tasting beer with a light malt sweetness, no real bitterness and a fairly dry finish.

F: Light body, smooth and fairly bland.

O: A very non-offensive beer that goes down easy. Goes best with food.

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Photo of biegaman
3.05/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A stickler might complain that Murphy's Red Ale is actually more orangey-brown in colour. Fair enough, considering there really isn't any red in it. There also isn't a trace of froth or lace to bear testament to the soundtrack of crackling bubbles that ensued from the pour, despite that carbonation is plainly visible in the body of the beer.

The nose is a tad syrupy with a cereal-y sweetness reminiscent of poorer (often Latin American) examples of Vienna lagers. Although generally clean smelling, it does have a bit of buttery popcorn note. Void of pretty much any toast, toffee, or hop character, it seems like this is more of a lager than it is an ale. It is painfully dull.

There's more body and flavor appreciated on the palate, but not a significant amount enough to warrant a higher score. A more bready (as oppose to corn syrupy) taste emerges and with it some of the toast and toffee elements so desired (only "some", mind you, not all). The light roasted grain flavor is glossed over by low levels of diacetyl.

It's either a bit of hard, copper-y water minerals or some English hop flavor, but something gives this a surprisingly refreshing finish. Good carbonation and lagering obviously help too. While I'm quite unimpressed by Murphy's Red Ale, it might not actually be a beer I'd hesitate to order if in the right social setting. It is, as the kids say, just "aight".

Some will argue Murphy's Red as a quintessential example of its style. That argument must surely be based on the merit of its lineage rather than its actual qualities (it's like a king ruling the country because of his genealogy, rather than his credentials). This very well may be how the Irish now brew their amber ales, but others nations do it much better.

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Photo of secondtooth
3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clean amber, with a huge head of creamy white foam. Lace is spotty, but present nonetheless.

Nose is grainy and yeasty, with a hint of buttery tone somehow. Hmm.

Flavor is mild and malty. I get a bit of citrus hops in the middle, but it's quite subtle. Finishes sweet and pretty overbearing, though. Fair to average, overall.

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Photo of 57md
3.67/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours reddish-copper with a healthy finger of head that dissipates quickly. There are spicy notes in the nose. The flavor is light, but there is still a healthy dose of malt anyway. The finish is dry. Decent beer to session, but nothing here to write home about.

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Photo of blakelive784
2.35/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle served in a snifter, reviewed live:

A - Pours a transparent amber/copper color with 2 fingers of decently creamy, just off-white head. Retention is average at best. Nothing special.

S - Heavy on the caramel. Toasted malts, musty/stale hops, and an almost mineral-y smell going for it. Mild to moderate in strength.

T - A really strange, muddy, and bland flavor carries the beer start to finish. It's a a strange blend of none too fresh hops, bland caramel, and water. Really odd and not very good. It finishes on the same mineral/medicinal taste present in the nose.

M - Light bodied, coarse, and dry on the finish. It's just all wrong.

D - Bland, uninspired, and just not real fun to drink. I'll pass on it.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
2.66/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Pours out a typical reddish-brown color with partial haze and a two finger eggshell colored head that persists for a minute or so, leaving behind mild lacing. Smell and flavor both have a strong presence of sweet malt with a buttery diacetyl structure and semi oily/buttery texture on a lighter body. Minimal to nonexistent hopping. Not a very memorable beer in my opinion.

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Photo of Douberd
3.33/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle of 300 ml, well, two actually, to fill the half litef Guinness glass I poured it into. ABV is 5,0%.

Colour is deep red/ light amber, with a nice three finger soapy head, with average retention. A minimal amount of bubbles rising to the surface. Foam leaves mo lacing behind it.
Aroma of roasted malts and light caramel.
Taste is also of roasted malts,some caramel sweetness and nice bitterness, bringing in mind dark chocolate. Some iron flavour on the aftertaste, that thankfully doesn't stay for long and is being overpowered by the bitterness.
Thin to medium body and light carbonation.
Overall not bad.

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Photo of bump8628
3.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Burnt red, thin white head. Steely caramel with a hint roast like barely burned toast. Some coarse earthy bitterness livens it up just a bit. Mouthfeel falls off at the end leaving a thin impression. There are plenty of better beers, but this beer tends to show up in places with poor selection so I end up drinking a pint every once in awhile.

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Photo of chinchill
2.99/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Distinctive brown bottle (with different label than on BA), emptied into a pint glass.

Crystal clear brown beer, leaning more towards orange than red, and topped by a generous if short-lived tan head.

The aroma and taste are a bit odd but seem familiar. Examining the label I see this is a Heineken product, then it hits me ... this tastes a lot like Heineken, at least a lot more than an Irish red ale should. Only the slightest skunkiness here, until the finish; less than a typical US bottle of Heineken. There is a much strengthened and improved malt profile, again in comparison to a standard Heineken lager.

Decent mouthfeel with good carbonation. Medium body, Semi-dry finish.

O: So what we have here is something more like a (Heineken, if there were one) amber than a traditional Irish red. Frankly, I think Coors (Killians) makes a better Irish red.

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Photo of rwrk42
3.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber reddish color with some nice head
Smell: Nice smell a caramel malt. Typicaly irish ale smell.
Taste: Nice taste with a good caramel malt flavor. Finishes nice with a good balance. Very smooth but was hoping for a bit more flavor.
A decent red which I recommend

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Photo of mjfisher
3.63/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It poured to a nice head, yet quickly dissipated. It had and amber orange hue color, which is probably where the RED comes from. It had almost no aroma to it at all. Given the appearance I wasn't expecting much in taste. However I was pleasantly surprised with the initial gulp. It had a nice "beer" taste going down, but the after taste it what struck me. It had that distinct malty taste I was looking for. It almost resembles a domestic light beer in taste with a darker appearance.

Many more to go down.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
1.86/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. No discernible date, just some character strings near the bottom of the bottle, and on the bottom of the back label.

Appearance - Pours two finger pearl white head with good stick and decent to good retention. Clear medium brown body.

Smell - Very skunky. Some mild, musky corn underneath.

Taste - Light bodied. Corn. Faint traces of metal. Some faint bitterness and maltiness.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium bodied. Somewhat sticky. Head offers slight creaminess. Like solvency/astringency.

Overall Drinkability - I heavily suspect this is either an out of date or skunked bottle, but I can't be sure because there is no clear date. Lesson be learned, brewers!

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Photo of scootny
3.16/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A very pretty beer with a clear amber red and a rocky head with a dusky off white hue. Smell is malty with butterscotch notes. A faint earthinesss as well. Taste is malty and smooth with a mild but respectable bitterness. Medium weight but a touch on the fizzy side detracts from a pleasant overall feel. Not bad, but not great. A nice enough session ale. Smooth and easy drinking with enough flavor to make a couple of these a nice moment and a decent gateway brew.

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Photo of smcolw
3.56/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Large head that settles in a rocky fashion. Relatively light (spotty) lace on the glass. The color is deep, dark amber. Clear.

Rich caramel aroma--moderately sweet. Light hop background. Only distraction is a metallic note of iron.

Like a classic Amber Ale--big, semi-sweet crystal malt beginning, plenty of biting hop in the swallow. The aftertaste is short-lived, though. The flavor is not multidimensional. Good body, high carbonation. This is a good beer when other micros may not be available.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lots of clarity to the brighter red hued beer. Aroma was largely neutral, like most red ales, just a smidge of sweetness.

Again, a little bit of sweetness, and not much else makes up the flavor profile. Light toasting and grain. Really not a whole lot going on, how can you tiptoe around saying its pretty plain? No hops. Light body, some metallic notes. Meh.

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Photo of Boto
3.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Draught: This one poured a clear amber color. It had a tight, white nitro head. Almost solid lacing down the glass. The aroma was lighter, but decent. Somewhat sweet, caramel, floral. The taste is OK. A bit creamy. Fairly neutral on the bitter/sweetness divide. Malts, faint fruits. Hint of roast. Drinkable.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
2.68/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a pint glass

A: has kind of an odd color, slightly brown, slightly red, a bit of golden hay color when held up to the light, perfectly clear, pours with two fingers of very foamy light tan head that lingers for a while, leaves a nice amount of lacing
S: my first whiff of this brew reminds me immediately of...crappy beer, reminds me of the smell of my fraternity house in college, nasty old keystone and sweat, there is a slight hop note that hits the nostrils at the very end
T: taste is surprisingly decent given how i felt about the other aspects of the brew, slight caramel malt and a bit of smokey flavor
M: smooth on the palate from the beginning to the end, leaves a lingering creaminess on the tongue
O: if you can get over the smell and the appearance its not an entirely terrible brew, i could have one or two but thats about it for this one

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Photo of Brabander
3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I drank this beer in a restaurant in the place where i live on tap. Not served in the proper glass but at least it looked like the Murphy glass!

Nice darkruby/red fluid with a small head. No carbonation.

Not much going on in the smell, some sourness which i also tasted when i took the first sip. A decent beer but not more than that. Next time better a Belgian beer on the tap!

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Murphy's Irish Red from Murphy Brewery Ireland Limited
3.18 out of 5 based on 684 ratings.
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