Boston Red | Boston Beer Works - Canal Street

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

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-12-1998

For Trade:
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Reviews: 27 | Ratings: 71
Photo of buzzarooski
3/5  rDev -9.4%

Me and Sully Saw it....Tried it....Whateva....NOT bad....but NOT WICKED Pissah Either....Honestly NOTHING about it makes me want to run out to "The Packy" and get more. Simply put....Yaz & Nomah might have Hit a Homah or two in Boston....But this Beer DIDN"T! Swing and a Miss!

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Photo of puboflyons
3.07/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on June 3, 2014.

The pour is a hazy medium amber with no red hints. A modest head that fades to nothing.

The aroma has a sweet roasted malt character and a semi-crisp hint of hops.

The body is light to medium and somewhat smooth.

The taste has nothing extraordinary to it. There are some sweet malts and a short bitter finish. It feels like a knock-off brand.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.46/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Red-orange in color, ours with a mild chill haze. The off-white head settles pretty quickly. Lacing is limited to just a few minute spots.

S: Caramel, toffee, bread. Grainy. Fruity raspberry ester. Soft grassy hop backing.

T: Grainy up front. Slightly woody. Lots of toast. Touch of caramel and toffee. Drying. Jab of citric hops. Lemon peel and orange marmalade for an instant. Tobacco. Subtle fruity esters. Dry finish of toast and crust.

M: Medium bodied. Creamy and well rounded. Prickling carbonation. Good.

O: A decent amber ale. Nothing more, nothing less.

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Photo of tigg924
2.87/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: minimal head, high carbonation, amber in color, clear

Smell: toasted malt and light citrus hops

Taste: bread, honey, toasted malt and light citrus hops

Mouthfeel: light body, sweet with slight bitterness, moderate-low carbonation

Overall: An average amber that is on the maltier side. Not a bad beer, but nothing I would look for again. Beer Works makes better and there are more enjoyable in the style.

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Photo of wedgie9
3.26/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From notes. Tasted from a bottle that was given to me as an extra in a trade. Pours deep clear amber with a frothy tan head that has real staying power. Nose is a fairly boring caramel and nutty malt with a hint of aromatic bitter hops. The flavors are a little more prevalent with caramel malt, some dough yeast, and just the right amount of hops flavor. The body is light with an oily texture, average carbonation, and a medium but sticky finish of caramel malt.

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Photo of abgba121
4.15/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a ruby color with very thin head and almost no lace

S: sweet and light, not very much here

T: sweet up front, then a strong bitter middle and smooth, crisp finsh

M: thin to medium body and good carbonation

O: good beer, a nice red ale, would have again

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.62/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light copper color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, some fruit and some hops.

T: The taste starts out a little sweet with flavors of fruit and caramel. Then a hearty but not too heavy malt character comes in. The hops presence is mild but provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer worth drinking for a while, but there are better within the style.

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Photo of ddean
3.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Logan.

Hazy but a pleasant amber-red color. Light foam with decent retention.

Smell is subtle and almost completely malt, maybe a faint bit of hops at the end of the whiff.

I get some sweet caramel. Not a bad flavor, but nothing interesting about it at all....Malt is pretty one note and not enough hops for my taste. I prefer those hoppier, West Coast Reds.

Mouthfeel not so good because the flavor and feel of the beer is gone as soon as you swallow.

I will say, though I did not like this beer, it is not offensive in any way and it has a nice combination of lightness and body, making it something that goes down easy if you wanted multiple pints. It's just that I'm a big beer guy, and this one has nothing unusual about it. To give you a sense, the closest taste I can think of is Honey Brown meets a red ale.

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Photo of MMansfield
3.57/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Fenway location.

Appearance: Deep red colour with a big whitish head settled a little faster than I anticipated.

Aroma: Malt heavy, toast, caramel, bit of hops.

Taste: Again, malty first, touch of sweetness followed by a slightly dry bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium bodied, high drinkability.

Final Statement: Could be a session beer, but not one of my favourites I had there.

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Photo of jlindros
2.88/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Even with an aggressive pour yields a minuscule head that fades quickly to just a light fizz. It's a super clear toasty reddish maple brown color.

N: Some sweet malts, a little sweet malty syrup, with some toasty malts, reddish darker malts, and a slight ale crispness. That, that's pretty much it.

T: Malty, not sure malty but there. A slightly sweet toasty malt flavor, some syrupy sweet malts, some reddish almost porter malts. Then with all that... is it... perhaps... maybe I can taste... almost there... it's... is it? Yes, a slight hint of earthy hops. Ha! Something other than boring malts. Wait, was that a dream I just had. I can't really tell, I'm not really sure if there are hops in it. Is that a hint of... water? Nope, lots of water. Anyways, boring red malts. End of story.

M: Lighter body with decent carbonation.

F: Dries a little, still leaves a little malty and sticky sweetness. Some spicy mouth feel, more like it would be a much higher abv beer on the tingly mouth finish, but its not. Some sticky sweetness and lingering syrupy malt flavors. Red malts linger. Wish I could add more. But nope. If they could package up the word bland and put it in the dictionary... er I mean beer dictionary, there would be a picture and scratch and taste sticker of this beer. Actually, for a scratch and taste sticker of this beer, take any sticker commercially available, scratch it and lick it. Taste anything? Exactly!

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.16/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Received a glass of reddish brown brew -- a good amber color, but not really ruby. Some fairly decent lacing, with a less than substantial head.

Milder aroma than expected. Toasted malt and some charred husk.

A bit on the mild side. Some decent hop bitterness, but not really hop distinctive. Bitter, but without flavor in that bitterness. Some toasted malt and some mild caramel, and some bready, maybe even biscuity flavors. A little boiled grain gives it a mashed, lightly sour aftertaste in the finish. Not horrible, but eh.

Fair body and decent carbonation. Nothing wrong here.

Overall, just ok. Not really blown away by this, and this one could have been a substitute for almost any other brew. It went down fairly easy, but that was mainly because it was not all that substantial. Not a palate clearing beer at all. This was the primary glass with the food and it did not hold up/stand up to the challenge at all. Just ok.

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Photo of smcolw
3.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber/light brown color. Moderately hazy. Although the head is modest, it does leave ample blanket lace on the glass

Earthy, dry malt aroma. Very faint hop nose.

Better hop presence in the taste. The malt is still the stronger flavor, still earthy. The aftertaste is well balanced, but short lived. The body is richer than most with a slightly higher level of carbonation.

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Photo of cbutova
3.4/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark amber, almost brown, with a one finger head after a pretty aggressive pour. The head is pretty foamy with some large bubbles in the middle. The off-white head dies down decently quickly and leaves light lacing behind. As I pour it I can get some of the huge grainy malty aroma. Besides the malts I get a some fruity notes and a bit of piney and earthy hops. The strength of the aroma quickly dies down for me and it is hard to pick up anything but malts after a while. The aroma is decent but it needs more strength and after a while a bit of a chemical/metallic scent comes into play. Wow I never knew what people meant by the "wet dog" flavor. About 3-4 sips in it reminded me very briefly of my old dog walking in during a rainy day. (the beer was too cold at this point) This taste occurs right after swallowing and makes me wish the flavor while the beer was in my mouth lasted longer. It quickly turned to a taste of homebrew malts in a wort. The initial taste is just straight up homebrew type malts and a small dose of earthy and piney hops. As the beer warmed up, a little bit more hops came into play and really helped the beer out. I also do get that chemical/metallic note in the taste a bit, probably what bumped this down a bit for me. Mouthfeel is probably the best part of this beer. The body is moderate and so is the carbonation. In MF terms, this one goes down pretty smoothly. It does feel a tiny bit too watery to me and a little bit more of a creamy feel would do this one good. Drinkability is on the fence. It is definitely a beer that could be sessioned. However, drinkable beers are also ones that taste good. This one did not taste bad but I would not prefer to buy it again any time soon. A decent red, I think you can tell who this one is aimed for right when you take a sip.

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Photo of MTNboy
3.88/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It has a very dark red amber body with just a little bit of an off white head and lace. The aroma is very sweet. The taste is malty and sweet for the most part with some toffee like tones but there is slight floral hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and the carbonation suits it. It was a nice addition to the sampler I had.

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Photo of Boto
3.58/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draught @ Fenway: This one pours a Reddish-amber color. It has a small white head and some lacing. A little better aroma than their other red. There are some spicy hops and a bit of caramel. The taste is a touch dry, with some spiciness and a good medium body. A good session beer.

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Photo of maristfan
3.71/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Across from Fenway Park sits the BeerWorks and it's wall of taps. If you're going to see a "RED Sox" game what better beer to try than the Boston Red? I liked it! Full of color, red to burnt orange depending on the light, it smelled like a beer, nothing special there, but had a very drinkable pre-ballgame taste. Here's the thing, when you are about to pay 7 dollars for a Budweiser and there is a place like the BeerWorks right across the street I think anything they pour off tap is going to be more satisfying. It certainly was the more memorable beer of the evening, besides their blueberry(why do they float btw?). The Boston Red may not be the best red ale you ever have but it is certainly servicable and hits the spot on a nice day before the game.

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Photo of shamus
1.93/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

We tried this at the Boston Beerworks and were extremely disappointed. It tasted sour, like really bad homebrew. The yeast may have been contaminated or they may have used sugar adjunct instead of pure malt. In anycase it was very flat and undrinkable. And for me to say that we left it mostly undrunken on the table should tell you how awful it really was.

I'm going to guess that we just had an off batch but I really couldn't recommend this less.

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Photo of Beerboybill
2.57/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I tried the "cask conditioned" version of this beer. It had a deep red color and average cabonation with good head retention. The nose was weak and I wasn't able to detect any hops aroma. The taste was malty and slighly sweet, with little hops bitterness. There was also a distinct oak flavor (the cask did it's job). The finish was very short.

Overall, this is a very drinkable, but not memorable, beer.

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Photo of twelvsies
4/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a solid beer. It's nice to see a brewpub with a decent Red Ale, one of my favorite styles when it's done right. And this is a nice interpretation of the style, so they get bonus points for being original. Appears almost brown actually, but when held up to the light the bright red shines through. Big head, and it sticks around for a long time, nice and creamy. Smell and taste are both slightly to the malty side, with hints of nuts and caramel, yet there's a perfect hop balance, nice and sprucy. I love the way a well balanced red ale can really make all the complexities of a beer stand out, but work together at the same time. Creamy, smooth, mouthfeel. This one is a winner.

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Photo of Truh
2.28/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Imbibed this on 5/1/2004 prior to the Kaiju Big Battel at the Fenway location. Served in a 10oz. short glass. This was actually called the Red Reserve, and was told that it was their usual Red with the addition of some dry hopping. Look was light oak and hazy with a filmy, thin head. An immediate strong, flowery bouquet with straw and some watermelon notes to taste. As it warmed, I noticed some red wine aspects. Far too carbonated overall - has the feel of a soft drink.

Not too sure what they were trying to do with this, as it was, on the whole, unimpressive. Despite the dry hopping, there were few hop notes throughout. I would not order this again, and will not recommend it.

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Photo of PatandDavid
3.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this at the Fenway location. Pour was more brown than red in color, I also noticed that the head on this one was slightly tan in color. Found it to be fairly well-rounded in taste, ie. no drop offs, or overwhelming notes. Thought it to be a bit dry, and actually a bit fruity in flavor, as opposed to sweet or hoppy. Pretty decent, but I think I liked the regular on-tap version was a bit more refreshing. pat

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Photo of mschofield
3.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark red with orange fringe, head laces well.
Lightly roasted malt and a slightly fruity nose.
Rich malty taste, a litte fruit, slightly sour grape as it warmed.
Bitter aftertaste. Medium feel, quite malty for the style.

I think I may have gotten a bad one, it shouldn't have been so sour.
That brought the scores down, I'll have to retry it in the future.

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Photo of bewareOFpenguin
3.7/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured an amber reddish color. Nice head, but once again, nothing really jumped out at me from this offering. Maybe its me, but this was good beer, but nothing spectacular. It had the hops, but not the character. All in all though, it was quite drinkable.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.12/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This cask-conditioned version was right on the money for the style. Pours a cloudy Amber/red tint. The sweet caramel with mild hop aroma flows out easily and lasts longer than most ales. The body is medium to full with a slightly mealy texture (though not too much). It's dryer than most red ales, but becomes more liquid after a few gulps. There's a hint of oak and sweet caramel in the herbal malt. The light lemony/Lime citrus hops blend well with the malt. The soft yellow tinged white head fades but leaves a memorable lace.

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Photo of Alewife
3.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick, rich creamy head, long lasting. Cloudy, medium brown color. Thin to medium bodied. There were tastes of citrus (grapefruit), woody, whiskey-like flavors mixed with grains. Very smooth malty finish.

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Boston Red from Boston Beer Works - Canal Street
3.31 out of 5 based on 71 ratings.
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