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Samuel Adams Irish Red | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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985 Reviews
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Samuel Adams Irish RedSamuel Adams Irish Red

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Pale and Caramel malts, and East Kent Goldings hops.

Added by WilliamPhilaPa on 08-24-2007

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Reviews: 985 | Ratings: 2,445
Photo of woodychandler
3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I am not only back to eradicating the Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody, but I am laser-focused on beers from the Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) for the time being.

From the bottle: "Deep russet in color, our Irish Red is full of hearty, roasty character inspired by the red ales of Ireland. Brewed to suit the cool rainy days (or any time in a pub), we use roasted caramel malts for a rich smooth malt backbone and balance them with earthy English hops for a comforting & satisfying brew. Cheers! [undersigned] Jim Koch".

I Pop!ped the cap and really let go with a pretty good pour into the awaiting glass. The result was a finger of dense, foamy, tawny head with moderate retention. Color was Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity & deep amber highlights. Absolutely beautiful! Nose was very malty, a combination of earthiness and caramel sweetness. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was mainly caramel, but its sweetness was tempered by an earthy presence that was also undoubtedly borne of malts. I was pleasantly surprised by it since I was expecting a bit of a malt bomb, which I do not like. Finish was semi-sweet, leaving an earthiness that reminded me of the smell of decomposing Fall leaves. I found it to be a pleasant taste.

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Photo of MACrist
3.26/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear, red/amber with a two finger foamy, khaki head that lingers and the beer leaves a nice bit of lacing down the glass. The aroma is earthy, lots of caramel, and sort of a buttery note. A little of a spicy quality as well. Same goes for the flavor, very earthy and buttery. Feel is medium full, a little sticky/syrupy. Admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of the hop varieties in this beer, with that earthy quality. Carbonation is average, maybe a little lacking. I can't get past that butter-like flavor in this.

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Photo of Bierliebhaber3
3.54/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a bright, dark, almost ruby, red with a moderate tan lacing. The smell is sharp and kind of hoppy. The taste is malty with a hint of caramel and is well balanced with a light but distinctive hop character. There are also subtle fruity and earthy flavors. The finish is really nice and crisp. This is a very solid red ale. There’s nothing ground breaking here, but Irish reds rarely are. It’s just a nice, very drinkable, beer that I think would make a good session beer for those that don’t like things too light (though technically over 5% alcohol) and is another fitting choice for the Spring Variety Pack.

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Photo of Samlover55
3.61/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bttl in BL glass
BB 7/2016
L- Copper with cap of foam, decent retention
S- sweet caramel malt bomb!
T- light sweet malt with obvious earthiness that goes down with slightest hop-bite
F- light bodied, creamy, light carbonation
O- Decent beer, definitely within definition of the style

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Photo of davidperez
3.57/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass, it pours a perfectly clear amber with a dark red/brown hue. It forms a one-finger head, creamy and foamy with decent retention.

The bouquet is interesting, though not very assertive.
Caramel, slightly roasted malts, a floral note, slight butterscotch.

Nice flavor.
Upfront a high carbonation and a strong bitterness, earthy. There is a slight buttery note behind such bitterness. Afterwards the sweet notes appear, mild. Roasted malts, toffee, caramel, a herbaceous note which is refreshing.
Medium to light body, smooth.

I would have this beer again.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A dull red of a darker variety with brown running through it, good clarity, but the head formation was subpar and there wasn't much to retain or provide lace with. Aroma was a little bit of red/amber malts, sweetness, but nothing hop wise or peat going on.

Taste was a red ale through and through, not necessarily dry, almost no hop flavor, just some colored malt addition. Predictable caramel and toffee, unsweetened notes.

Absolutely the quintessential example of an average beer. Does nothing good nor bad.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.73/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This product of Sam Adams resulted from extensive customer feedback on brewing experiments and rightfully made it into the permanent portfolio.
Looks average, but malty in the nose and balanced on the tongue. A "malt hero" as described by Jim Koch, SA's founder.
Without much hops, this one can't be for everyone... but it made my session... and I'll have it again.

Reviewed in Roger Protz' "300 More Beers To Try Before You Die", a sequel to his CAMRA classic.
This made the "1001" list and arguably deserves to be there.

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Photo of CNoj012
3.31/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a crystal clear rust like amber brown color. One finger off white head with little retention and few small spots of lacing. Smell is sweet caramel and toffee malts with the slightest hint of floral hops. Taste is muddled and nothing special. Feel is light with a dry finish. Overall not a good beer. Would not drink again.

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Photo of GarrettB
2.35/5  rDev -34%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Ever since my first college Killian's Irish Red (God rest its blessed soul) I've been a devotee to the Irish Red. Strangely opposite of the Belgian Strong Ale, it tends to have a single, pronounced flavor, rich with caramel and toffee, with a clean, crispness that keeps away the candied, saccharine flavors that can kill a good beer for me. So, it is with some eagerness that I attempt the Sam Adam's version, which begins with the characteristic rich, malty smell, drizzled with quality, but also bringing in a peppery quality I've been noticing across some of these fancier Sam Adams beers. The flavor dumbs things down a bit with a blunt grape fruit flavor and mouthfeel, adding a little maltiness for body, but letting me down. These overwhelming sugary notes are lager killers for me, and this one OD'd on sugar cubes.

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Photo of VTR
3.38/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams Glass. I picked up alcohol in the nose. Further inspection revealed slight malts, with some caramel and toffee. I picked up some slight caramel from the malt backbone. The alcohol was present but was not too overpowering. I picked up some hints of cherry in the taste but did not linger enough to make it interesting. Hops were present but fit nicely with the beer and malts. The beer left a weird aftertaste which was not too pleasant. Overall this is one of the better Sam Adams Offerings I have had. While I enjoyed this I am glad I got it in a mixed six pack.

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Photo of ravisingh
3.54/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

L: Pours to about a half an beige inch head that is light in terms of its thickness and dissipates very quickly. It's about a 13-14 on the SRM chart. It is a very pretty reddish color and looks like very clear rusty water at first, but looks prettier the more u stare @ it.

S: A sweetish floral scent hits you first and it has some spiciness to it also like nutmeg in the background. There is also pine there also. The malt flavors are light but working here.

T: The flavor is toasty and mildly sweet with some rose like hints in the flavor also. It is a very nice flavor and is crisp and refreshing. A mid tininess in the background but not in a bad way. Very nice balance. The malt flavors are present but in this example of an Irish Red beer there are light hops notes in the background detectable, but light.

F: Medium-high body in terms of thickness. The finish is dry and there is a mild fizz to the carbonation. There is a slickness that is in the style guidelines, not much but a little.

O: Overall this is a nice Irish Red. It is smooth and flavors please with a nice medium scale on the thickness. Sweet, pretty and medium-thick, not bad @ all. Cheers.

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Photo of Mike_Aguirre
3.92/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I liked this Red Ale, looks good, intense ruby red, smells great with caramel notes and malt, and tastes balanced and refreshing, nice beer. Bitterness is slow but still refreshing.

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Photo of ArchimedesSox
2.93/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A: Deep reddish brown with small head

S: I get some malty sweetness, a little fruity, cherryness

T: Rich malty sweetness gives way to a fruity, cherry flavor in the middle of the taste, light sweetness in the aftertaste.

M: Medium, good carbonation

O: A decent beer but that weird cherry flavor in the middle throws it off a little for me.

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Photo of Tom_O
2.54/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

A very drinkable beer that I'll have a couple times a year. Nothing special, but better than a few other irish reds out there. A decent Sam year-round.

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Photo of bmeehan
2.96/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

I think this was the first Irish Red I ever drank, and it's probably still better than Killian's, the same way stubbing your toe is better than stubbing your toe and breaking your toenail.

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Photo of EvoRich
4.06/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: It's Red. Poured into a Sam Adams pint, it poured with about a finger of head which quickly fades. Like I said, it's red, but with a copper tone to it.

Smell: I first smell strawberries. It has a very sweet sugary scent. a touch of caramel.

Taste: A very forward caramel flavor, with a hint of fruitiness, strawberry's, cherry's. Very refreshing!

Feel: Very easy to drink, light bodied and medium carbonation.

Overall: I'm very satisfied with this brew. It's really much better than the ratings suggest, in my opinion.

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Photo of KLHBB
3.71/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First time I reviewed this beer, it was 4's all around. Now, comparing it against other's it's not as strong, but that's okay. Easy drinkability, caramel, not too sweet. Possibly my favorite Samuel Adams.

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Photo of WAbeerfiend
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Best by date of 05.2014.
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tumbler on 02.08.14.

A: Deep red. Very see through.

S: Caramel. Very malty is it should be.

T: Follows the nose but with a touch of slight bitterness.

M: Crisp. Very bubbly.

O: This was a caramel bomb. The bitterness was barely noticeable, and nicely balanced the malt. This was interesting to try against the ambers that I've had. It was a simple beer, but good.

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Photo of BrewAskew
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Pours to a beige head that lasts and laces. Color is a maroonish red hue. Aroma is toasty, caramel, sweet malt and spicy, earthy hops. Flavor is more of the same with a toffee-like finish. Overall a very good Red.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
3.06/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled tonight on 7/17/14. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a Sam Adam's pint glass.

Pours a pretty dark russet amber in color with a thin white head. Some spotty lacing was seen but not a lot. The aroma is of roasted malts with a hint of caramel and nuts. The taste was mostly of malt with a slight hoppy bitter finish that lingered a bit. Medium bodied with good carbonation. Overall, it was OK but nothing special in my book.

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Photo of Gabriel_Vaughn
3.49/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Once I poured the beer into my chilly pint glass the appearance of the brew completely blew me away. As I leaned in to take a whiff I enjoyed the nutty, sweet smell. Quite enjoyable. Outstanding, even before I had really gotten down to business. The taste is a bit disappointing after all that, I find that this has a more alcoholic taste than other sam adams brews. On top of this I feel almost cheated, after a great smell and appearance I feel as if the taste is missing an element. Sweet, then almost borderline bitter watery alcoholic taste is how I can put it.
Yes I would drink it again, yes there are better beers, yes there are far worse beers.

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Photo of Sizeable_Paladin
3.94/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Overall I found that the appearance of this brew is red amberish and had a wonderful color for a Irish type ale.

Smell: to my nose it had a nice smell of roasted malts with a mixed smell of a toasted nuts.

Taste: Had a slight malty flavored with a small hoppy flavor which didn't overpower the flavor of the brew I also had a slight toasted nut flavor at the back of the throat.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel was smooth and and medium bodied. carbonation was ok However I would prefer a tad more carbonation with this brew.

Overall: Overall I found this brew to be a awesome staple to add to your beer list if you haven't tried it. Also I do like this brew and do keep it in my pantry during the spring and summer when it is in supply locally. I recommend this brew to anyone who prefers an irish style ale and want an easy slight into this type of beer and I find it will not overpower your tastes

*note: I am not a professional beer taster, the opinions in this review are mine and mine alone.

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Photo of Cconsalvo
4.09/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Maybe it's just me, but I think this beer is delicious....beautiful copper color, great aroma, and awesome, slightly malty taste. Not too heavy, very drinkable in warm or cold weather. Excellent with hearty foods like stews and potato dishes (go figure)!

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Photo of dbossman
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Deep red hue with a big, dense head, good retention, and great lacing

S: Slightly burnt and toasted malts; some caramel and toffee and lots of brown sugar; it starts off fairly subdued but aromas do develop as it warms

T: Toasted malts, subtle herbal hops; caramel and toast--lots of bready qualities with a very subtle banana flavor lingering underneath

F: Medium mouth feel; even a touch chewy

O: An okay beer--easy to drink and pleasant enough; not my favorite of the 12 pack but decent enough

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, best before 5/2014. Pours crystal clear reddish copper color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a large amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of caramel, toast, toffee, brown bread, light roast, raisin, plum, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of dark/bready malt and fruity yeast ester notes; with solid strength. Taste of big caramel, toast, toffee, brown bread, light roast, raisin, plum, herbal, floral, and yeast earthiness. Minimal earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, brown bread, light roast, raisin, plum, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and robustness of dark/bready malt and fruit yeast ester flavors; with a nice malt forward profile and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy, smooth, and lightly bready mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good Irish red ale. Good balance and robustness of dark/bready malt and fruity yeast flavors; and very smooth to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.56 out of 5 based on 2,445 ratings.
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