McIlhenney's Irish Red | Alpine Beer Company

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McIlhenney's Irish RedMcIlhenney's Irish Red

Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our most versatile beer. Good to drink as well as cook with. Light enough to quench a thirst and complex enough to accompany fine dining. Caramel malty sweet fades to a chocolate roasty finish and dry from a touch of rye. 1.057 OG 13 IBU

Added by Gusler on 12-19-2002

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Reviews: 77 | Ratings: 270
Photo of mactrail
2.73/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Seems like a lack of inspiration meets a category of low aspirations.

Lemony and fruity, is the best quality. Slight sweetness. Very light bodied. Coppery amber in the glass with a decent head and lacing. Just a little taste of hops. Light all around. Mostly beery with a little murkiness. Totally forgettable. The cask version certainly doesn't add anything to the flavor or mouthfeel.

This makes me wonder about the medals at beer-judged events, if this won gold anything anywhere. I don't see that we, the Great Unwashed horde of BAs, like this so much. On the cask at the Linkery in San Diego.

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Photo of Gusler
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer as it sets in my glass a limpid mahogany color, the head average in size, frothy in texture. Light tan in color and the lace a decent covering upon the glass. Malt dominates the nose, fresh and clean, sweet as it the malt-laden start; top is skimpy in feel. Finish is lightly carbonated, the hops present and mild in their bite, dry aftertaste, average beer, drinkable and pleasant enough when your into something on the lighter side.

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Photo of aracauna
3.01/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice dark plummy red brown but the head is licaking. The aroma is malty, a bit roasty but little else. The flavor is more roasty than expected with a light sweetness. Not a lot of complexity except for a little melon, and really low hopping. Of course, low hopping makes sense for the style, but the lack of fruitiness doesn't. Boring but not bad.

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Photo of drseamus
3.04/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Got this beer from metallitone1 in Bday '07 and I'm drinking it on St. Pats day. It pours a brilliant dark amber red and is crystal clear. Not much to speak of in terms of aroma, mostly light caramel and dark fruits. The taste is pretty tame. Nothing really stands out here to grab my attention. The body is good but the flavor is weak. What is there is some caramel sweetness and malt. This would be a decent session beer, but I've been more into bolder beers lately.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.08/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

650 mL bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance - Reddish brown body. Small khaki head. A thin collar and some lacing.

Smell - Nutty malts. Caramel. Hint of roasted malt, like chocolate. Some English hops.

Taste - Brighter. More of a hop presence. English hops. Nutty malts. Sweetness builds into the finish.

Mouthfeel - It gets a little sweet. The low bitterness doesn't cut any of it, either. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Not many Irish Reds are very exciting and this is no exception. It is well made, though. No trouble sharing this bomber.

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Photo of hopdog
3.12/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle acquired in trade with DarkElf (thanks!).

Poured a medium and clear brownish color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of caramel and fruity. Tastes of pretty much the same - fruitiness and caramel. Some graininess too. Thinner body.

Notes from 12/12/05

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Photo of jcalabre
3.16/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to xlperro for this brew.
Appearance: McQlhennye's Irish Red pours a crystal clear reddish brown color w/ a two finger dirty white head. The head slowly dissapates.
Aroma. The nose is nice and malty
Flavor: This brew has a slightly malty taste with a touch of hops.
This is a nice session beer.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ski Lodge label, 6% ABV, 22 oz bomber $3.99 from Hollingshead Deli in Orange, CA.

Pours with a light auburn apricot hue topped with a settled skim ivory collar leaving no lace in the glass.

Aroma is a light red apple and light mixed fruit peaches and red grapes wth a bit of Earthy dirt in the fist.

First swigs: A big husky, grain malt Earthy front with a light almost peat moss scotch ale. Rye is perceivable, but hops dry out instantly to a brisk dry dusty orange peel finish with a linger of caramel.

Feel is medium bodied and crisp carbonation. Bold flavor that takes over a palate for a spell, so not quite session worthy, but well woth a try.

Last swigs: Grainy husky malt middle with an orange peel finish. Worth the $4 from Hollingshead Deli. Not quite a hoppy red, but a robust red, nontheless.

Beer is good. Happy Red Irish Beering.

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Photo of anon
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Deep, clear ruby brew. Minimal head with a bit of lacing that doesn't hang around for long. An average look for this style. Smell is pretty well crystal malt-forward with some faint hop presence. Tastes sweetly malty and a bit chewy, caramel definitely stands out with a touch of barley and rye. Hops are there and actually balanced decently. Some bready, biscuit, roast, resin notes as well, but all don't linger very long. Crisp and light bodied. Almost a little too sweet for my liking, unfortunately, but for a straightforward Irish Red this is a decent one to give a go

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Photo of Moose90
3.24/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Served On-Tap, 16oz Willibecher Pint

A — Pours a ruby red, slightly dark hue into the glass. There is a nice bit of clarity shown through the beer as well. Nice cream colored head of about 1/2" forms and leaves behind some consistent enough lacing.

S — Smells malty and lightly sweet here, nice notes of caramel, toast, bready malts, lightly doughy and sweet. Not much in the form of hops, just a little bit of a clean crisp pine note in there if you search long enough.

T — Taste is driven by malts and focused on smooth malty sweetness. Nice notes of caramel, bread crust, cracker, crusty bread, little bit of a rye spiciness as well on the finish.

M — Medium bodied, lingering and sticky finish.

O — Pretty good overall, fairly well done, just very mellow and approachable, could have a few of these in a sitting.

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Photo of RuckusDu
3.24/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Just a half finger of light beige head that quickly falls. The body on this thing is moderately cloudy. Color is a rusty red, maybe indian red. Slight lacing

S - A malty freshness to it. Some banana and raspberry compliment the bready backbone.

T - Here is where the fruitiness doesn't help. A sour-milk flavor in this one. Raspberry still there. Biscutiness does not go well with the sour-milk.

M - Strong carbonation which holds up a bit weaker body.

O - The flavor just seems off on this one. Some weird berries don't go well with the rest of the beer.

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Photo of farrago
3.27/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light head, crests at maybe half a finger, between cream white and the lightest tan, a lot of larger bubbles with not so much foam, lacing about as non-existent as can be and have still momentarily been there. Lighter amber red color with orange rims and glass bottom, damn close to fully transparent, widespread bubbles quickly kick upwards. The nose is fairly airy and light with a soft malty, caramel, molasses, honey, cocoa and pie flake core, not that sweet but sweet enough red cherry, grape, apricot, apple, pear fruit scents to outweigh the grass, hay component, citrus stays in the background, the stuff is there to be more appealing, however, simply isn't clearly keen on taking many steps to please. Medium-bodied and on the soft side, an amiable jiggle and "more to love" going on, still the carbonation tries to add more precision and leanness, if ultimately failing. Good deal of cocoa, milk chocolate powder with caramel mixed in, powdery texture yet sweet. The lemon, orange citrus is tart and lacks the zest to persist to the end. Bready, more towards rye or maybe pumpernickel than whiter dough. Faint metallic earthy ring. Tenuous apricot, peach, nectarine, apple fruit. Not flawed, in the end commits the cardinal sin of just being boring.

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Photo of MisterGone
3.28/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This was a pint from West Coast BBQ (which rumor has it is now the same people as O'Brien's... so I ahd high hopes).

A deep, ruby-copper red, well fitting the style. But then, things fell apart. There was no nose whatsoever at first, which I attributed to a cold brew. After sitting, there was just the slight hint of maltiness. The flavor was also very subdued. I expected some serious malt-forward flavors, but got a little caramel and a little roasty malt backing. There was a nice little bitter blast in the finish.

My hope is that this was the result of the pour or equipment because everything else I have had from Alpine has been top notch. I will try again in a different setting.

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Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.31/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brought this home from a weekend trip to Alpine. Poured from a bomber into a Firestone Walker pint glass...

A - Pours a reddish copper with a one finger tan head. The coloring is spot on what I would expect from an Irish Red. Head retention is decent at best, and there is only a little slippery lacing to be had, but the coloring of this one is really exceptional.

S - Caramel, rye, and some mild fruity notes...

T -Caramel, bread, cocoa, and maybe a little toffee. Lots of sweet malts. Ends on a slight bitter note. Finish is dry...

M - Pretty thin. Light bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Refreshing and smooth, but still a little for my likings...

O - Glad I got a chance to try this one, but not my favorite from their lineup. While it's not a bad beer, it's not necessarily a good one either. Probably won't be revisiting this in the near future...


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Photo of regspeir
3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle (courtesy of Hamilton23) poured an dark amber with a small off-white head which dissipated into a coating. There was little lacing. The nose was dark fruit, caramel and roasted malt.
The taste is fairly sweet - brown sugar and caramel, tempered by rye and with a bready taste. The mouthfeel is thin with medium carbonation. While this is a fine stab at the style, with so many great beers from this brewer, this one missed for me. Not a bad brew at all, this just isn't a noteworthy offering.

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Photo of Trilogy31
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish brown, without much head to speak of. I poured very aggressively and this beer seems lightly carbonated as no head formed. (the mouthfeel also has a pleasant light carbonation. Nose has simple caramel and lightly roasted malts with maybe a little coffee/toffee as well. Taste is a tasty mouthful of different malts. Really from light breads through rich caramel and finishing with a touch of dark roasted malt. Good beer for the style though you could give me a newcastle and i would be sadly just as happy.

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Photo of popery
3.37/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, home. This beer is okay, but it's a disappointment coming from Alpine. This beer is bright orange rust in color with a small dissipating head, white. The aroma is a nice mix of malt flavors. It's hard to pick out too many individual malt notes because the caramel dominates, but chocolate and a touch of fruit peak out. Hops are almost nonexistent. The flavor is the real downer. It starts out almost rich and sweet with malt flavors but that quickly fades into an odd mess of sickly sweet and off-kilter light roast bitterness. The mouthfeel is also odd and not so great. I wish that this beer had a bit more hops or a bit more direction with the malt. It's not bad or anything, but this isn't a direction that I particularly like. All that said, I still firmly believe that Alpine is awesome.

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Photo of MrVonzipper
3.41/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fairly mirky red with a dark amber tone. Nice 1-2 cm tan head with decent retention and no lacing.

Smell is kinda like a bowl of mixed sweet and sour dark fruit consisting of cherry, plum, raspberry and blackberry.

The flavor overall is pretty good. It is lacking character though. Tough to determine distinct flavor characteristics. It's interesting and different for a red in my opinion. Definitely doesn't really have the roasted chocolatey finish that the bottle states. Caramel malt and Slight roasted malt on the back end.

Mouthfeel Is medium bodied overall. Starts light and finished a tad heavier. Medium carbonation.

Overall the beer is pretty good. I really think the 10 IBUs is really what is keeping this beer from being a pretty great beer. I think it's seriously lacking character and maybe dry hopping would just set this beer above and beyond.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.47/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice clear coppery color in the glass with a small head that melts to merely a ring of white.
The nose is fruity and sweetly amber malts.
Sweet malts on the tongue immediately are overcome with a fruity, grainy taste and a bit of citrus hops. Decivingly dry and slightly bitter makes you think it is hoppy until you notice the spice and graininess of rye malt used in this brew.
Not really a big red as first percieved. More a reddish-rye if that makes any sense.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

563rd Review on BA
Bottle to Pint

Bottle brought home from Alpine Pub over Memorial Day.

App- When this sat in the glass it looked like wood varnish with a finger and a half of fast receding khaki pancake batter colored head. Left a large amount of sticky lace.

Smell- From a malt aspect its quite dominant with a sweetness that is tamed by a touch of rye. The caramel is faint is well but I hate to say this its kind of corn like in smell.

Taste- Its pretty straight forward malty with a touch of brown sugar and no real chocolate flavors are there more of a walnut nutty/roast taste.

Mouth- The feel is quite thin and high carbed. The residual flavors are a bit adjunt to me. Very let down by feel.

Drink- Im glad I got to bring a bottle home. Normally i really like what Alpine does but this was thin and off flavored for me. I probably wont come back to this one.

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Photo of JMScowcroft
3.49/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Alpine Beer Company - McIlhenney's Irish Red

Snagged one of these as an added bonus via a trade, figured it was Alpine so why not.

Look - Pours a hazy deep amber red with a small soapy head that doesn't stick around. No noticeable lacing, not much retention.

Smell - Malty caramel and chocolate meets typical Irish Red tang on top. Hearty aroma. Fruity, zero on the hopometer.

Taste - Thinner than expected but a wave of creamy caramel and chocolate hits first, then fades into a roasted chocolate finish. Interesting take on a red.

Mouthfeel - On the dry side, but sweet, the chocolate roast dominates the feel, which is the best part of this brew. Bread and butter. On the boozy side for a 6% but it is not a major deterrent. Medium bodied.

Overall - Interesting brew, the mouthfeel makes this maybe worth a shot. Very unique in the land of Irish Reds but not anything to write home about, strange overall.

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Photo of DuaneL
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

DL had this on draft at Henlopen Oyster House 9/10 - to JK seemed a bit watery, but DL liked it with the food he was having at the time, like raw oysters; not something we'd want to purchase.

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Photo of hophead247
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out clear deep copper with thin off white head. The aroma has sweet malty caramel and lightly roasted malts along with a light smattering of hops. The flavor is much like the aroma with sweet caramelized malts, roasted malts and light hints of vague hoppiness. It ends with less sweet roasted malts. Nice malty brew.

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Photo of armock
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Pery's Liquor in Livermore CA

A - Poured a mahogany color with an off white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is mostly of sweet caramel malt

T - Like the smell strong sweet caramel malt

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

O - This is a good beer overall its easy to drink with a good taste not sure its worth the price in bomber form but if you see it on tap its worth getting to try

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, no date but August or September I think from memory. Shame on me for leaving this one go so long in the fridge. Poured into a New Belgium globe

A: Pours a clear dark amber color. Half finger of off white head. Some lacing bits.

S: Maybe old but get tons of caramel on this. All malt. The hops, what were used that is, have really faded.

T: Again, this beer is 6 months old. Stinks, but usually red ales hold up for a while. I get no hops. Tons of caramel malts! Just a full on malt bomb. Also, I do get some of that rye spice still. Maybe a little milk chocolate in the end also. Longer finish than expected. There is certainly some nuttiness, which others were mentioning too.

M: Medium bodied.

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McIlhenney's Irish Red from Alpine Beer Company
3.73 out of 5 based on 270 ratings.
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