Caffrey's Irish Ale | Thomas Caffrey Brewing Co.

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Caffrey's Irish AleCaffrey's Irish Ale
131 Ratings
Caffrey's Irish AleCaffrey's Irish Ale

Brewed by:
Thomas Caffrey Brewing Co.
Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 3.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-03-2001

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Ratings: 131 |  Reviews: 82
Photo of Gusler
3/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer as its spills from the can a slightly hazy gold color with a prodigious and creamy off white head, and as it evanesces the lace forms a fine velum like sheet to conceal the glass. Nose is musty and sweet, fresh and appetizing, start is sweet and the malt personable, top is light to moderate in feel. Little carbonation and the hops quite mild also very dry aftertaste, a drinkable brew and one that used to be available readily on tap, but alas, I can now only find it in cans, mores the pity, a great change of pace beer.

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Photo of LarryKemp
3.66/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A very dark golden brown with a thick white head. Carbonation clouded the beer for maybe a minute and then it cleared quite well. A wall of lace stuck to the side of the glass.

The aroma was primarily sweet malt with just a hint of hops. No off notes.

The taste had a very mild hop bitterness but was so balancesd that only a little malt sweetness comes through. Again there were no off flavors.

The mouthfeel was light to medium light with a tingle of carbonation on the tongue.

I found this bitters a delightful way to spend time in the airport.

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Photo of JustinBathurst
1.96/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Okay, so the beer was handed to looking quite normal with a thick head. Then I started to drink it. All my best intentions went out the window. I was assured this was a nice pub brew, but the thing was about as close to smelling and drinking natural gas as I'm sure one can get. I could barely toss this back out of consideration. I hardly ever review something like this. No beer smell, no beer taste, just the appearance of beer.

Someday, I'll likely give this another chance, just to check and be 100% fair.

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Photo of cypressbob
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

440ml can, non nitro

Pours with a golden amber hue, quite light in body considering, head is quite creamy, reasonably thick, but doesnt last for long

Smell is quite inviting, toffee aromas are the first thing to hit you, followed by a maltiness

Taste is refreshing, served very cold, the toffee comes through once again along with hints of caramel and banana

Not a bad ale by any means, very drinkable

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Photo of Doiv
2.74/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

When landlords set up bars for students, they know damn well that most of their profit will be turned from flogging bland lagers and those luridly coloured sugar solutions that were mixed with fruit flavouring and some cheap vodka and deemed ‘fashionable.’ For the tiny percentage of students who want a real ale, they either provide Tetley’s Smooth-Flow Bitter or Caffrey’s Irish Ale. I feel somewhat insulted by this.

Caffrey’s has a slightly offensive, sugary taste that makes it difficult to drink compared to other ales. It is however quite well-balanced. The aroma is nutty yet not too over-consuming.

Overall this is an average beer, made more sub-standard by becoming too commercialised.

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Photo of koolk
2.51/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A deep red/amber colour with a thick cream head.

Aromas are lacking in what is a slightly bland smelling beer. Caramel, earth and a sweetish malt smell are all that I can detect.

Long creamy palate that is nice but is just so flat that it defeats the purpose of nitro cans. It needs some oomph thats just not present.

Price was expensive compared to other nitros so will be passing next time.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.3/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 440 ml can, beautiful creamy pour, especially considering this wasn't a nitro can. Gorgeous clear amber/orange body, thick creamy cap of a head that lasts the whole way down. Massive lacing. Sweet caramel malt on the nose, accompanied by pear and light flowery hops. Flavour contains a cidery apple/pear along with sweet, almost bready malt. A bit of hops come out on the finish, but are slight. All that said and done, the mouthfeel is on the oily side, and the overall experience is actually not very impressive. Far better English ales out there to quaff and save for session brews. This one falls along the wayside.

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Photo of TerryW
1.53/5  rDev -53.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

This stuff was utterly bland.

I can't figure how you can throw together a bunch of interesting things like hops and malt and yeast and etcetera and come up with something that tastes like nothing. No bite. No tickle. No fizz. No flavour. Quite disappointing.

Suspicious looking stuff in the glass. Head looks like ice cream that's spent too much time in the sun. Creamy, slick mouthfeel. Really watery, no aromas or flavours to recommend it.


"Hey Waitress! I thought I ordered a beer?!"

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Photo of beerguy101
2.68/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light brown color. Medium head is a beige and foamy. Aroma is malty and very sweet, touch of fruit. Medium bodied amber. Rich malt flavor, slightly too sweet. Good balance of hops and malts. Rich smooth taste. Finish is smooth. Aftertaste is malty, slightly bitter.

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Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An above average Irish Amber/Red Ale. This ale was presented to me at the wonderful Claddagh pub in downtown Montreal, QC. This beer had a very thick head on it and it was a very nice amber/red colour. This ale had some nice sweet aromas of malts with some hop aromas on the nose as well. This tasted very light, creamy, and refreshing. A very well-balanced irish brew with a smooth mouthfeel and an above average drinkability. Why is this no longer available to us in the U.S.?

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
1.99/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Made the mistake of following a Guiness on tap with this in a nitro can. The nitrous oxide puts on a good show cascading the head toward the top. The final appearance is nice with a deep amber hue complimenting the thick and creamy head. Unfortunately the taste and smell does not match the appearance; the smell is stale and the taste somewhat hard to define, but definitely leaving a sense of sourness. No hops are noted in the brew at all. The mouthfeel is creamy yet bland in its residual palate sense. Watery liquor taste. Not a pleasing taste to be sure; won't go back.

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Photo of oberon
3.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have had this on tap a few times,a nice creamy look to it with nice creamy head.Kind of a dark gold almost amber color.Smell was nice and appetizingly sweet,the taste was a little bland for the look and smell of this one.A little smack of hop will hit the farther down the glass u go.A pretty good Irish ale but nothin to spectacular.

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Photo of canadianbarman
4.5/5  rDev +36.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nice amber color and the cascading pour is really nice to watch. It adds to the anticipation of the beer. It leaves a nice thick head which lasts until the end (Which is usually quick!)
The taste is a nice mixture of bitterness and flavour.

When living in England my place was near an O'Niels Pub, which soon became my local watering hole. It was there that I was introduced to Caffrey's Ale, which soon became my beer of choice. I am kind if biased, but this is one of my favorite beers. It was this beer that introduced me to the wonderful world and awseome variety's of beer that is available to us. I owe my eye opening to this beer!

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Photo of Fabric8r
4.82/5  rDev +46.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I asked for a sweet ale, and this is what I got. Wonderful selection, I enjoyed it very much. Had another. Went back to the same place 2 weeks later simply to have another and was told it is no longer made. What's up?! I loved this beer. Wonderful aroma, exceptional taste, sweet (if you like that thing) with a delightful flavor all it's own. Slightly red or coppery color, would this be considered an Irish red ale? Are there any others similar?

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Photo of JISurfer
4.46/5  rDev +35.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a very good Irish ale. I'm not sure if it would be considered a cream ale, but it's very creamy in color and taste. Everytime I go to the local Irish Pub, I start off with this beaut. It's easy on the tastebuds and get's ya ready for the night. The head is always a nice thick cream color and it's real thick too. The seperation it does in the beginning is just like Guinness, which is another great beer in my book. Anyways, the finish is nice a sturdy, but light at the same time. It's not stouty or bitter, which I think is the reason it makes a great "starting out" beer.

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Photo of allboutbierge
3.74/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great head creation and retention from the Nitro can. A pinky finger width head stuck with the beer all the way til it was gone. I was very impressed by that. Has a very alluring redish orangish color to it. If this beer were a woman she would be a supermodel. Flavor was good but disappointing. Tasted a little watered down but that may just be the style; I have nothing to compare it to. Kinda hoppy and bitter. Fragrance is a reflection of that.

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Photo of frank4sail
3.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Wow what a different brew in England. I still am not a huge fan but the brew is improved on tap and fresh. It took 3-5 mins. to settle. Slightly sweet nose. Thick white persistant head. Sweet chewy malt taste with the usual hop metalic finish. This is what I dislike the tin-like finish to this brew. It was less watery than the can but still not a stand-out!

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Photo of BeerGlassesCollector
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried this one in a steak house. Pours a light reddish colour topped by a thick white head that settles rather easily. It's a fairly refreshing beer with nice smell and i wonder why this Ale is not found in every pub in Cyprus. Only some selective pubs or steak houses have this beer

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Photo of proc
3.86/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Caffrey's on-tap is less creamy than the nitro can, but seems to be more substantial. A decent session ale that is quite quaffable. (review taken from notes before Coors pulled the plug on the brand in the U.S.).

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Photo of zerk
3.11/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

The nitro can pours out a beautiful looking brew... cascading creamy copper-gold, which eventually becomes translucent with a persistant thick white head. The flavor and aroma are somewhat hoppy, but very little bitterness. Overly creamy mouthfeel, bordering on flat. This is a brew that is slightly better than average, but doesn't have enough complexity to keep me interested.

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Photo of ADR
3.55/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nitro can...

Typical nitro pour, this one was lighter colored and not quite as pretty to watch as some. When settled the head is 1/4 inch with hanging murkiness beneath. A little sourness to the yeasty aroma. Velvet mouthfeel, pretty good toffee-like malts and a trace more hoppiness than some. Drinkable enough, but aside from Young's Luxury Double Chocolate, I'm geting pretty bored with these nitros...just not enough flavor.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.06/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Excellent pour that started out butterscotch-colored then settled into the more typical Ale hue. Creamy almost to a fault, as there was not much of a beer flavor to it at all. Slightly tannic, and overall the flavor does not live up to the looks.

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Photo of goindownsouth
4/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very good Irish beer. Nice and thick although light in color. It has a head that really sticks to the glass all the way down. Very sexy. A well rounded brew that is balanced in aroma and flavor. Prost!

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Photo of IrishRedRock
3.21/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks very nice, with a thick cloudy appearance similar to Guinness, but obviously much lighter. No smell or special taste to speak of, but certainly not bad. Very easy to drink.

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Photo of Anonmatel
2.83/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Decent head, creamy, Caramel tastes, hints of homey and malt. It was way too watery though. bland bland bland.

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Caffrey's Irish Ale from Thomas Caffrey Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.29 out of 5 with 131 ratings