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 BrazilianAussie
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of irishkyle21
2/5  rDev -39.2%

Photo of cdwil
3/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of jjkatter
2.5/5  rDev -24%

Photo of ElCommodoro
1.74/5  rDev -47.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance is a red-orange type amber with a distinct creamy one centimeter head.
I smell a hint of grain, but it smells almost like nothing at all.
The taste is so watery. It doesn't taste like an Irish red at all. Of course, it doesn't advertise itself as one either. It self identifies as a "smooth Irish Ale." Mildly hopped water with a hint of grain is how I would describe this. Maybe it tasted better before Molson Coors bought it. Who knows. But this doesn't really taste much like beer. It's lack of carbonation makes its thinness even more noticeable. That mouthfeel of cold flat water makes it refreshing, but lacking in any beer-like quality.

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Photo of evlu1441
3.06/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a medium amber colour. The nitro-can setup leads to a finger of creamy white head sitting on top, with little carbonation rising up after the initial cascade. It's an appealing looking beer.

The aroma is sweet and slightly grainy. It's fairly neutral overall, and very faint. Pleasant nonetheless.

The taste is mild and slightly toasty. There is some nuttiness that comes through in the aftertaste.. The mouthfeel is kind of watery, and there is litte carbonation. There aren't any off-putting flavours or anything though.

Overall, this isn't really the beer for me. It tasted fine, but It's just not something I'm really into

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
3.35/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pint served on tap

A: Deep clear amber color with a small creamy beige head. Thin bubbles and few lacings

S: Sweet caramel malts and hops, basically. Some bready yeasts too

T: Follows the nose. A typical Irish red ale. Sweet and caramel malts, yeasts and hops. Nice bitter end. Not bad

M: Light body. Watery as expected. Low carbonation. High drinkability

O: Quite honest Irish red ale. Typic pub ale

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

440ml Can

Appearance - Orange/amber colour with an above average size creamy beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is a large amount of lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - malts, tea, pears, butterscotch

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a low amount of carbonation and it feels very creamy on the tongue. Most of the taste consists of malts, butterscotch, and a pear/fruit sweetness. There was also a bit of a metallic flavour and it reminded me of an iced tea to some extent. It finishes with a smooth malty/tea aftertaste.

Overall - A nice easy drinking beer that is ideal for a session. It is along the same lines as a Kilkenny Irish cream ale. I could drink a few of these every now and then.

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Photo of scott451
3.58/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. A one finger plus very fine white head on a clear dark amber. Lots of foamy lace and the head is retained to the end.

Mild malt smells. Taste is sweet creamy mild caramel malts.

Mouthfeel is smooth,creamy. A bit watery as the carbonation dies down. Outstandingly drinkable. A long session could be built around these, if they were drunk fast.

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Photo of kwjd
3.08/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this at an Irish pub in Toronto. Was hoping for a pint of Murphy's Irish Stout, but they were out of it, so decided to go with Caffrey's. Pours a clear amber colour. A finger of nitro-assisted white head is there and doesn't dissipate at all. Some very mild lacing. Some floral hops with a lot of caramel in the smell. Flavour actually has more bitterness than I remember, some sweetness as well. Creamy mouthfeel from the nitro. This is an ok beer, nothing special though.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.38/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from Old Chicago (2001): A beautiful pour from a nitro-keg. It takes forever to separate. When it does, it is a clear red-golden with a creamy nitro-infused head. The aroma is very mild. Much better in terms of flavor. While still a bit mild for my tastes, it has a definite apricot note that I rather enjoy. As would be expected given the means of dispensation, it is very clean and smooth on the palate. It lacks a certain richness but it's not bad overall.

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Photo of rjimlad
3.88/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This reminds me of my beloved John Smith's Extra Smooth. Poured a beautiful deep amber with a creamy and persistent head. I didn't get much in the way of aroma but the toffee and malt flavour was really enjoyable. Carbonation is low and very fine. The problem with this is quaffability. I can smash down a whole pint before I can even taste it so drinkability is huge. There's not a whole lot going on in terms of complexity and it is a bit watery but this suits me as long as the flavour is there and though the toffee and caramel is subdued it's still there and balanced. Good but not great.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.63/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this one on tap at our Christmas party.

A - Pours a crystal clear golden amber colour, finger of creamy head with really solid retention and sheets of fine bubbled lacing.

S - Scent is rather metallic, slight caramel bready-ness, with a bit of a fruity apple cider coming through.

T - The caramel malt and bready finish dominate, and the slight apple cider flavours also linger. Touch of roasted almonds also present.

M - A tad watery, though the head was quite creamy. Finishes smooth and leaves the palette nice and wet.

D - A tasty irish ale, and great to have on tap. Nothing mind blowing here, just an all-around tasty beer.

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Photo of case4816
3.71/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Light brown, golden amber in colour. Very creamy head that lingered for the entirety of the drink.

S- Heavy Caramel, toffee scents. Lots of Vanilla as well. No discernible hop smell.

T- Caramel, toffee, and nice light roasted malts come to the front. Sweet after-notes of vanilla come through as well. Very smooth with very little to no carbonation.

D- My favourite beer on tap at one of my favourite pubs. Very smooth and very drinkable.

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Photo of grac1970
3/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A = medium dark amber colour with no carbonation noticeable. A rich creamy head

S = very light smell

T = sweet but light, a very light, malt taste

M = smooth and creamy, light carbonation, almost seemed like malted water

D = A beer that is very easy to drink. I found it was half gone before I even gave thought to what I was going to say.

I have to say this was way too easy to drink - like flavoured water.

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Photo of dolzan
3.6/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deeply amber coloured and a very clear appearance. The can had a nitrogen ball, so the head was pretty firm and creamy.

The smell is pleasant and the taste is sweet. The beer is smooth and creamy, but it definitely lacks something - the taste is very straight forward and not too complex, which prevents the beer from being a really great one.

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

A clear amber brew with hints of copper, an off-white compact head that leaves some lacing.

The smell is mostly sweet malt, caramel, dark syrup, fresh baked bread.

The taste has initially a brown sugar sweetness, molasses tones, and a slight bitter finish.

Low carbonation, a smooth rather watery feeling, a dry finish.

Rather average, but not at all unpleasant.

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Photo of fullsweep
2.9/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

440 mL nitro-can (sans widget) poured into a pint glass.

NOTE: my can looks different than the one pictured here, and it is also listed as 4.0% ABV rather than 4.2. As best as I can tell, this is the same beer, as I cannot find any distinction, other than the possibility that changes ensued when Caffrey's was bought by Bass, then sold to InBev and distributed by Coors. Nonetheless . . .

A: beautiful deep amber with perfect clarity and thick, creamy head (typical of nitro-cans).

S: floral and sweet.

T: this would be a great beer except that it lacks flavor. It doesn't taste bad, but there's just not much there in the way of flavor. A mild sweetness and creamy finish--not a lot of complexity.

M: Smooth and creamy--very similar in mouthfeel to Boddington's (both versionsl), John Smith's Extra Smooth, Tetley Smoothflow and Marston's Extra Cold.

D: Even with its faults, it's a highly drinkable beer.

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Photo of Long813
2.61/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

G: Caffrey's Pint Glass

A: Clear copper body with a two fingers of white head. Good retention and lacing. Carries the same appearance as any other nitro beer.

S: Light sweet malts, biscuits and hint of green apple. Nothing else comes though.

T: Again like smell, sweet roasted malts and some biscuity to it. Nothing to strong, very pale and bland.

M: Medium bodied and light carbonation. Smooth and creamy while leaving a dry lightly malty finish.

D: This reminded me of a darker Boddigton's ale. No flavours are strong in this, very bland and pale. I wouldn't buy this again - maybe it's the style it self, but it's a weak beer.

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Photo of ivanwatling
2.26/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Appearance - Golden colour, creamy head
Smell - Slight aroma, not unpleasant
Taste - Very watery, lacking any interest
Mouthfeel - Completely flat
Drinkability - Might as well be drinking water

The notes on the can say this should be served cold, so the can came straight from the fridge. Popping the can released a satisfying woosh and pouring revealed a creamy beer with a lovely head. The appearance suggested this would be a wonderfully smooth drink.

The first thing that I noticed upon taking a sip was how flat the beer is. There is absolutley no carbonation, maybe due to the nirto-can approach. The taste was equally flat and dull. In fact, I could barely discern any taste whatsoever.

More sips revealed nothing intereting whatsoever. It's the most unrewarding beer I've ever sampled. I bought a 12 pack for £8, making each can only 66p. So I've no probelms in giving the rest away or pouring it down the sink. A complete waste of drinking time.

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Photo of donniecuffs
3.44/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass; translucent amber, with a thin off-white head, and very little lacing. Was surprised by how light colored this was for the style. The smell was predominantly yeasty, biscuit, toffee, and apple, while the flavor was exceedingly dominated by malt. The mouthfeel however was velvety smooth and medium-bodied, likely the result of the nitro. Felt nice enough to session, but didn't have the requisite flavor. I don't think that I'll buy this one again.

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Photo of PartyBear
2.77/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Awesome beer to watch settle. Chestnutty red in colour with a large creamy white head.

Aroma: Subtle maltiness, with a hint of caramel.

Taste: The overall flavours are weak, however, the most prominent flavours are sweet, malty, and biscuity.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, although slightly watery.

Drinkability: This lacks taste for me, there just seems to be no substance behind it. The smoothness of the feel is impressive but without taste, it is sadly a sub-par beer.

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Photo of Soozy
3.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

I really wasn't too impressed with this beer. It has a very malty nose to it, couldn't distinguish too many flavors other than caramel. It is just an overall very malty beer that is accompanied with some bitterness. A good beer to have at an Irish pub if you're tired of Guinness.

Nothing surprising, nothing outstanding, would not go out of my way to try it though.

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Photo of mareth01
3.08/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Poured a nice thick 1 inch head with a clear golden amber color.

S-All I could smell was a light hint of hops

T/M-Tasted a bit of malt with a little hops aftertaste, otherwise it almost tasted like water to me, might be because I've been use to drinking Hefe's and Dunkels. It was also very smooth going down with very little or not carbo.

D-Overall a drinkable beer but nothing to write home about.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
2.9/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: I poured it from the nitro-can into the pintglass, and at first it was all head, thick creamy head. After a little while it settled and a perfect amber beer with a nice white head remained.

S: Malty with a hint of yeast. Also some fruit and a bit floral hops.

T: Well, a beer that looks and smells like this sure raises the expectations, but it kind of falls flat. A sweet, buttery, malty beer with a touch of bitterhops looks great on the paper but it doesn't deliver. The tastes are to meek - the aromas should be stronger than this. The aftertaste is to short.

M: Creamy at first, but soon it feels like water.

D: I'm glad I tried this one, but it's not likely I will buy it again. It looked and smelled great, but the taste was a bit to meek for my taste.

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