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George Killian's Irish Red | Coors Brewing Company

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827 Reviews
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George Killian's Irish RedGeorge Killian's Irish Red

Brewed by:
Coors Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-06-2001

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Reviews: 827 | Ratings: 2,936
Photo of joe12pk
3.8/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a lager glass.

A - Reddish tea. One inch head leaves a foam the entire duration. Good lacing throughout.

S - Sweet malts, grain and barley with some hops.

T - Sweet malts and hops dominate with a clean finish.

M - Medium, a little creamy.

O - Damn good beer. I'll buy it whenever it's on sale (or not).

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Photo of michaelleepemberton
4.75/5  rDev +56.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

[Please note: Phenylthiocarbamide (PTC), discovered in 1931, "has the unusual property that it either tastes (salty), very bitter, or is virtually tasteless, depending on the genetic makeup of the taster" and the threshhold of the chemical's concentration and potency. "The ability to taste PTC is a dominant genetic trait, and the test to determine PTC sensitivity is commonly used in genetic tests on humans" and other primates. "The genetic correlation was so strong that it was used in paternity tests before the advent of DNA matching. "One study has found that non-smokers and those not habituated to coffee or tea have a statistically higher percentage of tasting PTC than the general population", which implies that many people who smoke tobacco and drink coffee cannot readily detect PTC and related compounds. PTC "does not occur in food, but related chemicals do", which accounts for our choices in food and drink. I am unable to taste PTC at all in low to moderately high concentrations. PTC is toxic in very high concentrations. "In 1976, a remarkable inverse relationship between taster status for PTC and for a bitter component of the fruit of the tree Antidesma bunius was discovered. Antidesma bunius is a species of fruit tree native to Southeast Asia and northern Australia. Its common names include Queensland-cherry, wild cherry, and currant tree." The fruit is edible and is commonly processed into a jam for consumption.] With the aforementioned information in mind, an affinity for one beer over another is unavoidable, almost genetic, so "to each his own" beer and opinion. Again, I have a very high threshold for PTC and related compounds.

When it comes to beer, I happen to have enjoyed Ba Moui Ba, a Vietnamese beer preserved with .01% formaldehyde. I also enjoyed German wheat beer (weizenbier), those containing yeast (hefeweizen), and the dark beer (dunklebier). I have very fond memories from my U.S.Air Force days spent in Colorado of Coors unpasturized. MillerCoors Icehouse is still very palatable to me. However, my all time favorite, either with food or all on its own, is the Coors "George Killian's" Irish Red beer. It is the only beer I have ever tasted that did not offend my palate, even while consuming food. I routinely stock other brands for guests, but I prefer "GK" to any other beer on the market. It may seem that I have a Coors "hang-up", but I assure you that I had no idea that Coors produced "GK" until I researched "GK" today. Other beer products taste bitter to me and leave an aftertaste.

I have consumed copious amounts of various foreign and domestic brewery products in my lifetime; especially during my career in the US Air Force from 1968-1972, the Canadian Forces (Reserve) 1980-1984, and the US Army from 1984-1998. I have spent twelve years in Canada, five years in Germany, two years in Korea, and a year in Viet-Nam, in addition to my years in the continental US, sampling beer. I do not usually drink more than two bottles or cans at one sitting. (No, that's not because I have to empty my bladder after every two beers and change seats at the bar upon returning.) I have not been thoroughly intoxicated since I had an OD on rum and cola in 1969. I view drinking alcoholic beverages as relaxing, pleasant, and even enjoyable. George Killian's Irish Red is my first choice, and if an establishment does not stock it I frequently order tonic water or I go elsewhere.

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Photo of Mavigo
3.54/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear copper color with a 1/2 inch tan head with medium amounts of lacing.

S: Smells of wheat, grains, malts

T: Light flavor, tastes of wheat, grains, malts

M: Medium bodied, ample amounts of carbonation

O: Overall, it's an alright beer. It's run of the mill but hey that's a lot better than what the vast majority consumes. It's great for barbecues and it's not all that expensive.

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Photo of BrettMRogers
3.43/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle poured into a glass.

A-3/4 in white head. Dark amber color, foggy, lots of carbonation

S-very small hint of fruitiness

T-Apple like flavors, I like the flavor but it's bland

M-medium bodied brew

O-nothing really noteworthy or special. Decent brew with a little bit of character

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.11/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

Look: Dark rust. A light cream colored head leaves a film and light lacing.

Aroma: Roasted barley, malts, faint toffee.

Taste: Roasted nuttiness, toasty grains. Just a touch of some toffee or caramel in the sweetness. Metallic overall.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied.

Overall: Classic metallic cheapness on the overall taste, but this beer doesn't offend after that.

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Photo of tillmac62
3.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber with a nice ruby cast. Low average head with moderate retention and lacing. Light malt focused nose which is a blend of biscuit and caramel. Medium bodied with a nice smooth texture. Normal carbonation level with associated effervescence on the finish. The well balanced flavor profile begins as the nose and flows to a pleasant bitterness. The finish effervesces nicely accentuating the hop flavor and leaving a tingle on the tongue.

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Photo of beergoot
3.24/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bottle date: MAY1914

Deep, copper-red body with a thick, foamy white head. Heavy bready aroma; brightly sweet smelling; some caramel notes. Light toasted grain flavor; somewhat bitter with a bit of astringency lingering at the finish. Fairly light feel, almost watery; dry finish.

Looks great and drinks so-so. There is some depth to the flavor and smell but nothing overly robust.

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Photo of CFHMagnet
3.21/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Reddish amber color. Head poured to a finger and a half, dissipates in about a minute.

This smells adjuncty.

Light and grassy with a touch of light malt on the beginning. Gets a little spice and more grass and light garden notes toward the end.

Light bodied. Washes down easy. Good for a lawnmower would be my guesss.

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Photo of Abra
3.44/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pleasantly surprised with this one!

I'm not one to go for a macro brewed beer but when the option was Killian's or Bud Lite, naturally I went with Killian's.
I can't accurately judge the look or smell, but the taste was not bad...dare I say I actually kind of enjoyed it and might even try one again. What I picked up was a smooth buttered popcorn taste from the malts with the slightest hint of a sweet undertone.
Overall I enjoyed it, but nothing special.

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Photo of Mike_Moe
2.67/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: Light brown amber color, light brown head.
Aroma: Light malty smell.
Flavor: Light toasted malt taste. Lightly hoppy, and slightly  harsh finish. Light bodied, slightly acidic carbonation.
Overall: Nothing special about this brew. The light body lends it to warm weather drinking. It has a decent light toasted flavor. The slightly  harsh body and finish prevents it's from becoming a better beer.

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Photo of LightEnthusiast
2.62/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Killan's Irish Red is a fair beer but not something I'd prefer to drink regularly. I've had a 12 pack in my fridge for roughly 6 months, and it gets a rotation ratio of maybe 1 to every 11th beer I have - let's put it that way.

Smell - Toasted amber grains with wild rice and hints of maple syrup. A very robust, sweetly aromatic beer.

Taste - Carbonation hits first with an immediate slap of bitterness. Floral notes follow with a watery toasted malted grain finish. Bitter notes remain on the palette a few seconds after swallowing.

Mouthfeel - Watery with a carbonated underbelly. Finish is watery with floral notes and bitter toasted malt. Not very impressive.

Overall - It's a beer I'd choose over Bud Light, Fat Tire, Goose Island, or Sam Adams Winter Lager but it's not a favorite of mine. Too watery and too many bitter off-notes left behind.

At $9.99/12 pack it's a plausible departure from the normal adjunct lager but its appeal wears off quickly and remains an unfortunate staple in my fridge. There's better beers out there for the price and for the category.

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Photo of BeerNewbs
4.45/5  rDev +46.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It is now second nature to me, when I see Killian's Irish Red in a store I immediately purchase it. A straight forward, easy drinking toasted lager with a hint of caramel and spices. It pours red, like its name, but does lack in head. Regardless, this is my go-to, relaxing brew, for any night of the week.

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Photo of cj5y
2.93/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A: It pours a transparent red or brown color with about a finger head that disappears quickly to decent lacing. It almost looks like sweet tea.

S: Not a lot going on for the nose. Maybe slight scent of malt with an even more faint hint of hops and sweetness.

T: Malt and alcohol is pretty much the only taste out of this, maybe a slight hint of fruits. A bit bland but drinkable enough.

I don't think this a bad beer, but its not my first choice for sure.

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Photo of sommersb
3.28/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Tasted On: 08-27-2013
Freshness: Best by 11-04-2013
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle, twist-cap
Glassware: Tulip pint
Purchased: 6-pack from Kroger

A: Dark copper color and clear, with a nice 3 fingers of head. Not much lacing but head retention is good.

S: Aromas are light, of biscuit and caramel malts.

T: Tastes semi-sweet of malts plus a light earthy bitterness. Balanced nicely

M: Moderately carbed, with a medium body. The finish is balanced between light sweetness and a light bitterness.

O: Overall a simple but pleasant beer. It doesn't blow you away with any outstanding qualities, but it doesn't offend either. I was pleasantly surprised...

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Photo of BeerWithMike
3.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this years ago. Sampled 8/12/13 with a date of "MAY 2013" which I don't know if it was the born or use date as it didn't taste sour or bitter. Pours a pretty copper/bronze color with a very tiny head with just a little lacing when sipped. The aroma was of nothing special, just a light sweet malt smell. The taste was pretty much the same though it wasn't bad at all. Not a real harsh aftertaste either. Overall it was just ok.

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Photo of dacrza1
2.76/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

DATE TASTED: August 3, 2013 ... GLASSWARE: Samuel Adams Boston Lager... OCCASION: watching Money Ball--and loving it!... APPEARANCE: handsome black and tan split-level body; thin white head that staggers on its reddish-brown base--looks inviting... AROMA: fragrant caramel malts breath a bready blast; sugary suggestions as well... PALATE: medium-to-light bodied with a swift, soft aftertaste--a red in the pattern of the many during its mid-90s deluge that we came of drinking age to at college...TASTE: strongly malted base forms the brunt of this old-time Hess Tavern offering; rather flat, rounded ops that profile as an ESB, though not enough hops surface to make an ale; a bit buttery too--but more in the feel than in the taste; the after drag is slightly warm and rough... OVERALL: a lagered, emasculated ESB that fulfills its March Ides duty but cannot demand much more on a cool summer night such as this...recently I toasted the anniversary of my wife and I by romantically recalling this beer set next to mine (a Honey Brown) on a college bar basement table; out of context, Killians looks nice in that oddly-necked bottle, but now under Coors' auspices, one can see what is and is not present in this beer...

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Photo of hiemedall
2.92/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

on-tap and in the bottle.

I hope I can start a rallying cry for days of yore on this beer... I realize the almighty $ and taking it in the shorts from the craft beers on sales required the mega-brewery to try something.. but I miss the good ole' flavor of Killian's Red... I gave it over a year, but I miss the old flavor.. the celery seed flavoring (in my opinion) was truly unique and quite refreshing... Can I start a movement to go back to the flavoring it was before?? Is this old coke V.new coke?? I have tolerated MGD64 going to 64 and I am brand loyal to miller/coors... no Bud. has touched my lips in 30+ years...

But it is time to bring back the previous taste.. PLEASE

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Photo of Smock19nathan
2.11/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

I was looking forward to tasting this beer after seeing it for awhile.
I will just say that i am not a fan of the taste, it to me taste like a high alcohol beverage with little to no body. I couldnt compare it to anything i had tried, but maybe a domestic pale lager? Thats just my 2 cents.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.37/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #64 (May 2012):

LOOK: Clear dark brassy hue, creamy lacing

SMELL: Caramel, bready, slightly grassy, biscuity, clean

TASTE: Smooth, moderate-sized body, caramel, grass, biscuity, bread crust, modest hop bitterness, faint alcohol, faintly herbal, dry grainy finish

This doesn’t pretend to be anything less than a no-frills, easy-drinking lager. The brand has been somewhat reincarnated by recipe and packaging. The labeling is a bit more focused, and the beer seems to have a bit more life to it compared to its former self.

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Photo of robertgurley
2.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Not a favorite of mine, but something that I'll pick up when it goes on sale every month. A decent red ale, not quite as good as Red Oak but better than any of Coors' other offerings. Pours with very little head, decent golden brown appearance, a bit harsh but none of the "metallic" taste that some reviewers complain about.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.43/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear dark red color with a finger width foamy head. Head retention is minimal. Lacing is decent. Has a very sweet, malty aroma. Tropical fruit is definitely strong. I thought I can get some hints of java and/or chocolate. Kind of odd, but I will go with it. Maybe it is more of a licorice aroma. Tropical fruit taste. It is also bready and definitely has a mild red licorice taste at the end. Light bodied with heavy carbonation. Not bad, considering the brewer. Definitely a better offering than any adjuvant lagers from the big brewers. Would do in a pinch.

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Photo of Why-P-A
3.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A: The red color when served on tap matched the name and is very visually appealing.

S: Not a lot going on, very light wisps of grain but minimal.

T: Nice toasted malt base which matches the red color. Almost no hop presence in either flavor or bitterness which may have overpowered this mellow beer anyways.

M: Smooth and clean, traditional of mass produced beers but still has great flavor/drinkability.

O: For a widespread domestic brew Killian's Irish Red has a lot of flavor. Easy to find both on tap and in bottles. It's hard to beat the taste for the price if you're in the mood for a smooth red ale.

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Photo of JackMcAwesome
3.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this into a mug.

Nothing really stands out with this beer one way or the other.

Look: It has an interesting color that I haven't seen elsewhere. The lacing is minimal, and the one finger head disappeared fairly quickly.

Smell: Not much of anything. A bit of a malty smell, and a touch of honey. What little aroma there was, dropped off quickly.

Taste: Again, not too much. A bit of malt, maybe a slight bread tinge, but it's not necessarily bad. It's just not great.

Feel: A weird combo of thick and light. I could drink this on a hot day, and at the same time in the dead of winter. (A real winter, not a Florida winter).

Overall: Decent enough. When I feel like throwing the macros a bone, I could see myself picking this up again. Coors generally makes me want to come back every once in a great while, and this is another on the list where I'll go "Sure, why not."

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Photo of jackmormon
3/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

I used to really like this beer, and I mean like just last year. I recently bought a case of bottles and when I got home I dropped a few bottles on the floor while loading up the 'fridge. Sad day, to spill your beer, but the smell got to me immediately. While cleaning up the mess I got so tired of the smell that I can't really enjoy drinking it any more. I just drank another bottle of the 3 or 4 I have left since a few months ago. Since then I've finished numerous other beers but never bought another Killian's. Oh, well, it's really not that good a beer, anyway, so no great loss.

It's a little watery and unpleasantly bitter sometimes, but good with a pizza if you don't want to spend a lot on a half-decent brew. It's better than Pabst by a long shot, and you can often find it on sale. Don't be a dweeb and bring it to other peoples' parties. Let somebody else be that guy/girl. If you like amber beers, just get Bass Ale or something similar, they're basic but good. Even Blue Moon is better. You want a really nice Amber beer? Palm Speciale is a good pale ale that isn't cheap or pretentious either. It doesn't review well on this site, for some reason, but if you're faced with Killian's or Palm (like we have them one section apart at ABC Liquor here in town), go with Palm. Killian's is also kinda skunky.

End of rant.

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Photo of jjamadorphd
3.43/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

George Killian's Irish Red - a beer I now have only had three times. The first time was in the rathskeller of my college, then about ten years later after I got married and had a few kids, then just recently, another ten years later, with two kids out of high school and one in college. Why I wait so long between tries now surprises me...

The beers pours a dark brown color with a slight tinge of red - nothing overly impressive to the eyes. But the head it pours is amazing, thick and with a touch of red as well, it has good staying power and the best lacing I've seen in awhile. The smell is nothing to terribly to right about - I smell some floral mixture of some sort. Just the right amount of carbonation for the mouthfeel, but a bit watery for such as strong tasting beer. I did notice hints of cinnamon and orange (strangely enough). Overall, a good beer to have around, especially if you've got folks over who are a bit nervous to try unknown craft brews.

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George Killian's Irish Red from Coors Brewing Company
3.04 out of 5 based on 2,936 ratings.
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