Curley's Irish Stout | Boston Beer Works - Canal Street

22 Reviews

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Works - Canal Street
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Irish Dry Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-27-1999

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 51
Photo of jaasen64
3.38/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz draft

A- Opaque black, a moderate amount of carbonation bubbles sticking to the sides of the glass, about a finger and half of white thick creamy head.

S- Smells of milk chocolate, some malts and maybe hint of hops in the background.

T- Lactose sugars, chocolate, malts.

M- Fairly creamy, a little bit on the heavy side, well-balanced throughout.

O- This was a pretty decent Irish Stout, maybe slightly a step above but very similar to Guiness in my opinion. It had a nice taste and was very easy to drink with the exception that it sat a little bit heavy in my stomach, not surprising. Not a beer that blows me away but overall a solid beer. If you ever find yourself at Beer Works this is definitely a beer you might want to consider ordering.

 756 characters

Photo of vfgccp
3.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Black in color, with a tan head, and a slight lace with low retention.

S - Creamy, roasted coffee. The normal amazing irish stout smell.

T - Creamy and malty with a coffee bitterness. Finish is a little light for a stout.

M - Thick and creamy on the front end, very smooth going down. Wish there was a little more thickness to the head and finish.

O - A solid irish stout, the lightness on the back end was a let down, but solid otherwise.

 447 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.28/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On nitro at Beer Works Fenway

A: The beer pours almost black in color with a dense tan head.

S: As usual with an Irish stout, aromas of coffee and roast with a bit of dark chocolate. Other than that, it's a bit on the watery side and has a few notes of earthy hops.

T: Very bitter, much more so than any other beer of the style that I've had. Heavy on the earthy hops with coffee, dark chocolate, and old coffee grounds on the palate.

M: Light bodied with low carbonation.

O: Aroma was way too watery but the flavor was far too bitter. And the old coffee ground flavor didn't help.

 586 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.09/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at the source in Lowell. Pours a solid black with a creamy frothy white head that sticks around forever. Smells of lightly roasted grains and a slight earthy aroma. Lackluster aroma, maybe they were going for a Guinness clone? Taste is slightly acridic with mild roasted grains and an earthy herbal taste to it. Light body medium carbonation level, slick acridic mouthfeel. I love me a good stout but this one misses on so many levels. The roast is hard to find its bitter and acridic like burnt coffee. Even Guinness would have been better.

 548 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.15/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pour was near spot on for the style and really showed a tremendous amount of promise. Dark as night with a rich and creamy tan head that rose up from the bottom and settled down very nicely along the top of the glass. Bu that was about the best it would get. Too light of a n aroma, as roasted malts and chocolate notes seem to be horribly off balance. Hints of coffee maybe? But it all seemed to be a bit of a mess for me to be honest. Smooth, even carbonation on a somewhat mellow profile, needed a bit more of a punch to really be anything worthwhile to me. Roasted chocolate, hints of tobacco, a light sweetness, but again it really all seemed terribly off balance to me to be honest.

 688 characters

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

On tap this past Saturday at the BBW Fenway location. Served in a 16 oz glass. Dark black in color, with a thin white head. Decent amount of lacing on the glass. Typical stout look. Smell was a bit of roasted malt, but just slightly muted. Taste was pleasing, but nothing too intense. Nice flavors of coffee and chocolate, but all very subtle. Mouthfeel was thick but smooth enough for it to be a nice slow drinker. This is an easy beer to drink. BBW didn't go out on any limbs here, but it they were just trying to make a nice Irish stout, then they succeeded.

 561 characters

Photo of argock
3.38/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap with nitro in a slender, tapered glass tumbler at Beer Works - Canal Street (Boston, MA).

A: Black aaas night body with steely grey-beige head with good staying power and a nice lace collar.

S: Big roasted malt nose with lots of black malt and mineral aromas. Hops are not too prominent but lend a little earthiness.

T: The flavor has too much acrid, toasted-burnt malt edge which builds as you work through the glass. The maltiness is otherwise asd you'd expect for a dry stout, but they push the roast a little too far for my taste. The classic mineral character is in the finish, but it doesn;t work too well with the acrid burnt malt finish.

M: The nitro helps even out the feel. This brew is medium-bodied and is very smooth.

D: A decent shot at the dry stout style, but the toasted malt edge needs pulled back.

 835 characters

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.35/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Received a glass of jet black stout with a decent big bubbled head that dissipated quickly. Some lacing.

Strong coffee and some boiled grain in the aroma. Some good charred malt elements as well.

Interesting stout. Coffee flavor is more akin to coffee grounds, with some charcoal bits in there as a form of bitterness. Little hint of alcohol, which was very surprising, as it is only 4%. Smooth? Not really. This one is kind of uneven with some sharp edges. Decent dry finish, no real off notes.

A bit more watery than I like -- this stout has some carbonation, but overall, there is a lack of even intensity. One and done -- I won't be having this again -- didn't hate it, but really didn't like it that much.

 714 characters

Photo of gcarl
3.26/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Had while catching a Red Sox game at the Canal Street location. As told to me by our great waiter "We have the Curly's on the nitro tap tonight"

The pint came to me black as night with a thick and everlasting tan head, quite an attractive brew. Smell has coffee and a surprisingly strong hop presence. First sip reveals a miraculously smoooth beer. The taste is dry with a very astringent aftertaste, making drinkability underwhelming.

An average Irish stout.


 466 characters

Photo of Sycodrummer
4.08/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Presented from the tap at the canal street location the beer was served in a 16oz. willybecher pint. Near black color, slight ruby around the edges. Bubbly one-finger head that created some spotty lacing.

Roasted malt in the nose with hints of chocolate and caramel. Some roasted coffee aromas as well.

Dry roasted malt base with subtle chicory and chocolate flavors. Hints of strong black coffee and quite dry in the finish.

Medium body and medium carbonation.

A fairly typical Irish stout was this one. Easy to drink, sessionable, and flavorfull. Pretty good all around.

 584 characters

Photo of LarryV
3.92/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Almost black with an intricate tan head. Smell of roasted barley with chocolate mingling. Taste is roasted malt with twinges of chocolate and slight coffee flavors shining through. Mouthfeel is on the thin side, but doesn't detract from the enjoyment. This is a mellow, middle of the road stout that's easy to drink. Quite enjoyable.

 333 characters

Photo of bjohnson
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a thick black with a nice frothy milkshake like one finger white head. Good looking lace on the glass. Poured into a 22oz.
S: Subtle roasted chocolate malt. Sweet smelling also.
T/M: Roasted coffee and sweet chocolate malt flavors, but not too dominant. Smooth through the mouth with a light to medium body. Body could be a bit more thick. Good level of carbonation. Slight bitterness with a usual dry finish.
D: Drinkable stout, although just slightly less body than a good stout. Worth a try if you get a chance.

 527 characters

Photo of beerguy101
2.8/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark brown color, medium head. A medium bodied stout. Deeply roasted malts, very coffee like. Fairly hoppy. Nice balance. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is slightly dry and clean. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. Coffee like flavor dominates this beer. Nearly overpowering. Nice taste, but perhaps a bit over the top.

 320 characters

Photo of bewareOFpenguin
3.4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Curley and stout, two things I could talk about all night. Not the stooge, the mayor and subject of "the Last Harrah". But I digress. The stout looked great, nice and black, and I exspected a bold taste to be named after such a bold man. Disappointed. I found it to be "watery", lacking any body. Sure there were roasted malts, caramel, etc., but IMHO it was weak. I sure hope it was just a bad batch.

 401 characters

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.1/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have had this stout at all three Beer Works locations (on tap) and most recently at the Salem location (where it is also called "Black Bat Stout").

This stout pours black with tan foam that leaves some lace. The smell has coffee and dark malt aromas. The taste is dark malt with bitter coffee and chocolate coming through, but with a hint of a chicory taste, and some hops in the mix. The flavor is rich. The mouthfeel is dry with low carbonation. The drinkability is good. This is one of my favorite Beer Works beers.

 523 characters

Photo of RBorsato
4.42/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This review is for the bottled version made for one of the Michael Jackson Beer Clubs...contract brewed at Riverside Brewing Co. in Riverside CA.

Brownish-red with a low beige head which leaves decent lace. Strong coffee-ish aroma and taste. Roasty and bitter flavor. Light-medium bodied with a dry roasty bitter finish. A bit on the creamy side.

Per M.J. notes: 4% ABV, Roasted and flaked barley and Kent Golding hops.

 425 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.35/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Now, unlike some people who profess otherwise, or who even knock the “style”, I will state that this is a very good example of a “Dry Irish ‘Style’ Stout”.

Dark sinister and served with a thick creamy tan head than has massive retentive powers, this SO looks the part. The taste is definitely of roasted malt and burnt lingering bitterness. Very nice, I was immediately attracted to this Stout, I am no fan of sweet stouts, and this most certainly is not in that category. An astringent, but dark, bitter roast almost coffee ending is the trademark finish of this beer. I found it to be very drinkable indeed. Beamish Stout fans will like this one!!!

Hmm, I really like this beer and I will admit that it was my second favorite beer of the “Session” that I had at the Boston Beer Works, Canal Street on 2/1/03. Ah, I can't wait for the day when time travel becomes possible.

 888 characters

Photo of Gusler
3/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

As it pours from the glass a deep garnet color with a light tan head that is impressive in size, the lace adequate to cover the glass. Light toasted grains, sweet, like cotton candy, hints of yeast. Sweet as it hits the palate, the top skimpy in feel and the finish passably carbonated, adequately hopped, dry aftertaste. "Stout" just barely, this is one for the "Beginners" to try, drinkable but quite a disappointment.

 420 characters

Photo of packetknife
2.1/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Medium brown, lacking head. Smells roasty. Tastes like burned paper of sorts. What I'd expect if I burned a steak and ate it off of paper towels. It's rather lousy and quite depressing for

 202 characters

Photo of jreitman
2.7/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Yeasty aromas. Highly carbonated and dark ruby.brown color which is surprisngly transparent. Thick brown head. A little roasted character comes through and ends in a dry finish. Underwhelming.

 194 characters

Photo of jackndan
3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Curley’s Irish Stout: Dark rich beer, less dry than Guinness. Had definite flavors of chocolate malts, with a clean finish. Went from nice to very nice as it warmed up. Very drinkable.

 193 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.93/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: On tap.

Appearance: Dark brown in colour, almost black ... the head has no problem retaining.

Smell: Obvious roasted barley aromas with a hint of sweetness in the nose.

Taste: Remarkably smooth with a rounded roasted barley bite which seems to linger all the way through. The rest of the malt leaves remnants of bread/grain and a touch of sweetness.

Notes: Not a bad stout here, might be disappointing to the stout lovers. Seems this stout could be more of a baby step for novice beer drinkers, yet a decent brew for all.

 547 characters

Curley's Irish Stout from Boston Beer Works - Canal Street
3.52 out of 5 based on 51 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.