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

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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: 1,008 | Ratings: 2,529
Photo of FlatRabbitRed
4.88/5  rDev +37.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Awesome beer, I can't believe some of the reviews on this one.

Caramel! ....thats it! ....and dam good caramel flavor.

My neighbor brewed some and did a taste test with three others ... this beer was the best by far...and over a signature "Irish Red". They got this one down.

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Photo of JoLight
4.84/5  rDev +36%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - A ruby body with a white head that leaves some nice lacing.

Aroma - Earthy, grassy hops, with some malt in the background.

Taste - Earthy hops, and some lingering malt.

Finish - dry, crisp, refreshing, delicious.

This is a good beer.

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Photo of hopman333
4.83/5  rDev +35.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had to pick up a sixer after reading the rave reviews here on the site. And after all, the Boston brewery is considered one of the old standby's along with Anchor, Sierra.

S - Very nice chocolate covered cherries with backing of those earthy Golding's hops, not quite enough hop aroma to give it a five, however that's not really fair to say given the style which is typically more malty than hoppy.

T - WOW !!! A rare and perfect balance between the malt and hops. I wish there were more beer's available like this one. Toasty and ripe caramel malt's followed up by a generous addition of peppery hop's. I also get a somewhat bready and crackery feeling as well, slightly pretzel like too.

Truly a session beer, and an awesome one at that. I wish they brewed this year round, as this would be a staple in my fridge. Glad I listened to my fellow B'A's on this one. As this is definately one great beer. Another hit from the boy's at Boston !!!

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Photo of steanu
4.8/5  rDev +34.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's got a nice reddish brown appearance, has a nice sweet smell and a great taste. It goes down really smooth. It's Samuel Adams and it's a given that's its going to be amazing, that's my biased for Samuel Adams is my favorite beer company. Them and Weihenstapfener.

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Photo of Kallessin
4.71/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A deep red caramel color with a thick foamy head that settles down pretty quick, but leaves a little foam remaining until the beer was gone.

It has a very sweet smell with an aroma of earthy hops, and a slight hint of fruitiness.

A very sweet malty flavor (but not heavy), with a slight toasted malt flavor towards the end. I also pick up some light fruity flavors if you mix it around your mouth a little.

It's very smooth and coats the mouth nicely. A fair amount of carbonation. The finish is slightly dry, but not too much.

I could drink this beer all day.

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Photo of steveh
4.65/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I wasn't expecting much from this brew, even though I'm always pleased by BBC's different style experiments, but this brew struck me quite nicely!

The caramel malts balanced well with the English hops made this smooth and drinkable. Not in your face, not over the top, yet not so sublime that you forget you're drinking it. Very nice drink, and just about dead-on to style, with a head that may have been too thick, actually -- but that's not a complaint with this beer.

If you want to taste how Killians ought to, grab this one while you can.

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Photo of osi
4.61/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - More brown than red. Mahogany with a red tint. Head was small and faded fast.

S - Great mix of malts and hops with fruit accents. Peaches and Pears?

T - Excellent combination of flavors that blend together with ease. Nothing stands out alone. Fruits and malts with a hop finish leaving a slightly bitter after taste.

M - Slightly carbonated with a medium body. Slick on the tongue and lingers for a second.

D - Great great beer. I would love to try this on tap somewhere. I love the brewmaster's packs from Sam Adams. There are always great beers included in the set and I believe they nailed the Irish Red. 100% Should give this a shot when you find it. I am pretty sure you will love it too.

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Photo of SanFranceIsco
4.6/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My first ever BA review... there was some debate about which beer to pick, but after several tastings this has become my standby, and I can't imagine a better one. I personally don't care much for appearance or smell... I think they're given a bit too much weight in the rating, so I'll focus on what i know.

Taste: Sweet but in a rich way. Caramel is present right away, slowly fading away to a more earthy taste. Rich bread tastes, not the light bread of lagers but dark rye or strong sourdough baguette. This taste is so full and lasts a while, I'm still salivating 10 seconds after the sip. I almost want to chew the beer, it has such a grain taste. It's not as complex as a Trappist, but the flavors are extremely well balanced and leave you wanting more.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: goes down very easy, but the taste is there the whole time. You couldn't possibly describe it as watery, but you could chug it almost as easily as water, though it'd be a waste. Irish red ale and Vienna red lager are my favorite styles for combination of drinkability and taste. It's definitely smooth. There is noticeable but not strong carbonation.

I have had more complex beers that I know were "better" without being able to put my finger on quite why. I can't think of anything I would really want to improve about this beer. It's like a classic family dish, pot roast or lasagna. Not a 5 star restaurant, but rich and flavorful, and you'll never get tired of it.

$6.99 for a six pack across the border in Delaware, I can keep myself regularly stocked on a college student budget.

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Photo of unionturf
4.6/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 ounce bottle bought locally with July 2008 date. Very nice ruby color poured into a Sam Adams glass, smells great and taste the same. A very well balanced beer with excellent taste, this beer moves to the top of my favorites list...would and did buy another. :)

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Photo of yelterdow
4.6/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A nice surprise at the local beer store... getting in the mood for the third week of March, '08!

Served at fridge temperature in an imperial pint glass, best before July of this year.

Appearance- A gorgeous four finger head billows high over the deep, clear russet beer... the staying power of the crown alone is fantastic. Craggy and rugged, it laces heavily down the glass... Beautiful and one of the best I've seen for this style.

Smell- The East Kent Goldings hops almost fool me into betting this is an English pale ale... unbelievably fresh hop aromas combine with a gentle caramel malt nose and perfumy, floral character. Absolutely engaging.

Taste- Malty goodness abounds, laying a delicate sweetness across the tongue. As it opens, the hops bring the hardness and snap that balances out the malts perfectly. A bready fullness rounds out the finish and really slams the lid on a terrific ride. This beer is winning in all categories so far, and it's about to continue.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Designed as an all-day session brew for the big green holiday? Maybe... all I know is it's dynamic and easy at the same time, showing off the ingredients well and having enough balls to stand up to corned beef and cabbage with extra boiled potatoes. Way more impressive than I'd ever imagined for an unfairly perceived "boring" or ordinary style.

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Photo of tesguino
4.57/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A good beer from koch, brilliant red color, round and deep taste, floral and crushed hops smell.

I try this with a mexican enchiladas, and is the best thing that i do, the light chile flavor and the rounded irish red beer combined is the mos beautiful thing in south the border.

95% recommended.

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Photo of Tee76
4.57/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A reddish brown cooper color with a sizeable tan head.Looked very nice

S: Sweet smelling beer with a hint of caramel and malts.

T: The taste blew me away,it's got a warm taste to it which makes it best suited for fall and winter in my opinion.Very smooth and creamy but with a small amount of "spicy" bitterness.

M: Good mouth feel, nothing negative to say here.

D: Very drinkable. For an Irish Red this one ranks up there as one of the best in my opinion. Easy to drink and goes down nicely.

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Photo of blatherbeard
4.53/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The look of this beer is fantastic. LIttle head, very red look to it. The smell is of some kind of fruilt, maybe a blend of fruits. I just cant place it, but damn if it doesnt smell great. Mouthfeel is a bit watery but not grossly so. Taste...mmm. I can say that it tastes even better than it smells. I still cant place the citrusy/fruity taste but my taste buds like it a lot. The hops is there but not overpowering thankfully. Absoloutly no bitterness found in any part of the taste either. Usually with most sams, i get some kind of bitterness, either up front or after, but this i have absoloutly none.

I will buy this again, maybe even take the place of my current favorite.

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Photo of ClassicBrad
4.52/5  rDev +27%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crimson red with an off-white to white head that laces pretty well and succumbs to a thin but relentless layer of head. The nose smells strongly of cherry and nutty malt sweetness; almost identical to an amaretto. Taste falls into the same description as the nose. Mouthfeel is bright and has a polished carbonation. Overall, this beer is dead on to the style and is as easily quaffed as it is dissected and relished. I'm thinking this and Guinness make for a nice staple of cases for my St. Patty's get togethers.

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Photo of nickspagnolo
4.48/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: It is a copper/red colored beer whose foam is tan. The foam is tall and short lived; in some cases it completely disappeared.

S: Sweet deliciousness.

T: The taste of this beer is amazing! I believe the caramel malt flavor is what makes this beer so delicious. It is a sweet beer however the sweetness is not overbearing; you will still think you're drinkin' a beer.

M: Smooth and Refreshing.

D: These don't last too long in my house and therefore received a perfect score in the drinkability category.

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Photo of srrn
4.45/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm either feeling generous or this is a really good beer. Pours a deep garnet color with i inch tan head that reduces to a ring and lacing with some islands. Smell is mostly malty and honey like with a hint of of earthy spice. Taste is the same with a bit more hops bitterness to offset the sweetness of the brew. I get some carmel apple in there too. A bit of oil to the mouthfeel.

I put off buying this because the few offerings of the style didn't impress me. This is really nice.

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Photo of n00tz
4.43/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a Pilsner I picked up as a freebie with the 6er of the Sam Adams Irish Red I'm reviewing all amber/dark beers in this glass from now on.

A - Absolutely gorgeous amber body, arousing carbonation, and 3 finger head that diminishes over the course of drinking the glass leaving a detailed lace behind, reminding you of every sip you took.

S - Rich caramel malty goodness endowed with some sweet molasses on the end.

T - Caramel malts put on a show and absolutely work well with the advertised East Kent Goldings hops. Sam Adams has made a very loyal customer out of me.

M - Absolutely perfect carbonation, there's a little thickness and there's enough left on the palate for your senses to beg for more.

D - Superb beer at a good price. I'm HIGHLY recommending this to my beer-drinking friends!

I glanced at the presentation on the first pour and rushed through the scent to taste it on my first two bottles, but on the third I slowed enough to write this review. Every sip I took I was almost convinced that I've found my favorite beer. I had fallen in love with the mainstream Irish Red (Killian's) and I knew that I'd have to find another Irish Red when I got into actually caring about the beer I was drinking. I know there are others out there, and I'm hoping they can beat this one, but wow this is a great Irish Red.

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Photo of budgood1
4.43/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

pours out a nice looking auburn type colour, with a thin rocky head and chunky lace. sweet aroma...along the lines of some of ripe fruit and brown sugar. very inviting. the flavour is richly malty, with thick toffee and caramel notes, with an underlying spiciness that is quite earthen and herbal in nature from the EKG hops. heartily sweet but finishes dry. almost perfect. a thick body and full, luscious mouthfeel really round out and complete this delightful ale. drinkability is great. this just tastes delicious. i really dig this beer.

i am amazingly impressed by this new beer from SA. it's a great take on the style and should be a staple in every beer drinkers diet at this time of year. definitely recommended!

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Photo of thespaceman
4.42/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First time trying this, let's see how it is:

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

Appearance: Dark amber/red in color, hence the name, minimal head that dissapates quickly, perfect coloring for this style, excellent dark yellow lacing for such a small head.

Smell: Cranberry notes stand out big here, as well as a caramel afterbite. Earthy yet very invigorating. Compared to a Killians, the smell of this is miles ahead of alot of other red's.

Taste: Surprisingly excellent! This doesn't give away a huge portion of the "red bite" you get from alot of other red's like Killians or Mendocino's Red Tail Ale, but that's not a bad thing at all. This beer has nice floral notes that stand out, and the caramel kick in the end is terrific. Fruity, yet balanced perfectly with the caramel hops.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, mild carbonation, and pretty refreshing. Very nice body to this one.

Drinkability: Easily alot more drinkable then alot of other red ales, I can easily sesh a 6 pack of these. Very drinkable without having a boring taste, Boston Beer Company does it again! Good work.

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Photo of BeerTaster
4.41/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance dark red two finger off white head very creamy. Smell sweet malt with hint of roasted malt and some floral hop aroma as well. Taste sweet malt caramel and a nice balencing act with hop bitterness. Mouthfeel was mediem body mediem carbonation and had a creamy sensation. Drinkability was very good I could have this one by the pint.

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Photo of meechum
4.4/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Poured a deep ruby with brown highlights. Nice thick white head that fell slowly and had some sticky lacing

S - A nice malty smell along with a little fresh hops that has some earthy/piney hops smell

T - A big malt flavor..cracker..nut..and fresh grains..along with a fresh hop flavor that leaves a nice piney taste at the end

M - Good carbonation...crisp and clean

D - Very drinkable in my opinion...I had several without even thinking about it..a very good example of the Red style...very enjoyable

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Photo of CaptJackHarkness
4.4/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle was from the newly released Harvest Collection dated use by Jan. 2012.

This is a copper colored gem of a beer. Nice crisp and clean finish, pleasant aftertaste. Nicely sweet caramely taste, barest hint of hops.
Very much in the Traditional Irish Red Style .

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Photo of cdrogers
4.38/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Pour: It poured a very golden red. Instead of trying to minimize the head completely I poured about 1/4 down the side and the rest straight into the glass. The head was about a 1/4" and was nice off-white.

Glass Look: The look in the glass was nice and the head held nicely.

Taste: Very smooth. Nice sweet taste with no bite or bad aftertaste. Nothing stayed on the tongue and in my opinion this would go well with any meal.

Would I Drink Again: I could see myself buying this regularly. I didn't give it a perfect 5, but it was very close. I am very picky choosing my beers to begin with and I just grabbed another good one. I would recommend this to anyone wanting a nice and smooth beer.

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Photo of uwmgdman
4.36/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a incredibly brilliant, deep, true red. There is a nice thick off-white head with good lacing throughout the beer. The aroma is moderately malty, sweet, caramel-like, a hint of roast. There is also a moderate floral hop aroma, good balance in the nose. The flavor is moderately hoppy, moderately bitter, and has a high caramel maltiness. The mouthfeel is creamy, body medium-full with moderate carbonation. The finish is crisp with a nice balance of hop and caramel malt and drinkability is quite high. Overall this is an incredible brew, one of the best balancing acts between hop and malt. This may be the best Sam Adams brew to date.

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Photo of BostonBrewins
4.36/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured a deep red with a fairly thick caramel colored head. Some moderate lacing on the glass.

S - Nothing overpowering here, but the smells of caramel and toffee tones are there.

T - This is one of the sweeter irish reds I've had, but the hops do provide some balance to the sweet malty caramel flavor.

M - The smooth, creamy body and mild carbonation provide for a very pleasant mouth feel. This might be this beer's greatest strength.

D - Although this might be too sweet for some, this could be a solid session beer. The malty flavors make this a good cold weather brew, but its so easy going down I could drink this any season of the year. A very solid brew from Sam Adams.

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Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.56 out of 5 based on 2,529 ratings.
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