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 q33jeff
2/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.75


Bottle to goblet.

LOOK: brown red, small off white head.
AROMA: faint ash, grass.
TASTE: ash, that seltzerish aftertaste,
FEEL: good lasting carbonation. Thin body.


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Photo of LiquidSanity
2.07/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Ap: Very dark reddish-purple brown color. Weird description to use, but it has a cockroach brown color. I hate roaches but I won't allow it to affect my opinion. Surprisingly, I find it to be a beautiful color. Virtually no lacing however.

Ar: Harsh, bitter floral smell. Almost like fresh soil. Weird aroma. The maltiness is present in the aroma.

Ta: Awkward syrup and malt flavor. Very thick sugary presence which does not allow the flavor to settle. This is almost worse than Killian's. I'm guessing I'm just not a fan of this style. It seems artificial and sugary.

Mf: Watery but rich. The carbonation is mild and the remainder of the feel is lackluster. Not a fun beer to sip.

Ov: Rather thick and syrupy. It showcases a rather disgusting flavor. Almost identical to Killian's which makes me think I'm just not a fan of the style. Take my review with a grain of salt. Cheers!

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Photo of jujubeast6000
2.08/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed 4/17/2008 (bottle):

Pours a clear reddish colored body, with a small white colored head that is somewhat lasting. Has a malty, and somewhat fruity aroma, but is very weak. A creamy watery taste, malty, and fruity. Has a somewhat fruity taste. Too watery.

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Photo of AleWatcher
2.11/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottle into pint.
Clear orangey bet body with small cola colored head that settled into a wispy froth of cloud-like bubbles. Some chunks of lace hang behind.

Smells malty, but dry. Not a whole lot of sweetness at all, and no hops to speak of-- so, why am I drinking this again? The flavor is mild and bland, and surprisingly dry. Rather syrupy feel.
Overall, meh. This is pretty mediocre for an Irish red from SA...

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Photo of wmtxbb
2.15/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Bottle poured into pint glass

Appearance: Dark Amber with no head, barely something you'd consider lacing.

Smell: Clean barley, almost sweet. Smells a lot like Guinness.

Taste: Light tart, moderate levels of caramel/amber malt, liquorish, and a little bitterness. Needs more malt character.

Drinkability: Ends with this weird tartness and a lingering liquorish flavor I could do without. Meh. I hate to dish any craft brewery, but this brew... is lacking.

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Photo of rpardon7
2.16/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from the bottle a crimson red with a decent off white head that lingered for some time. Smell was dominated by sweet malt a bit of roast to it but mostly caramel malt. Taste pretty much the same very one sided caramel malt with hardly a trace of hops to be found. Too sweet with no balance. Mouthfeel was decent, the beer had some smooth creaminess to it. Drinkability is there if you like the beer but I for one will not purchase another one of these. Sam adams has some decent brews but this isn't one of them

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Photo of tjsmith910
2.2/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Very dark redish brown color.with nearly to virtually no lacing

the taste wasnt to bad actually, not as flavorful as killians but descent in taste.

the feel was rich and sharp. not a beer to constantly drink but alright to try a few times.

overall not to much of a fan but there are far worse of this style out there

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Photo of Nethol
2.28/5  rDev -36%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - nothing great nothing special

S - wasn't bad... but wasn't good.

T - Was sadly disappointed, especially after so many great beers by ol' Sam.

M - Honestly, seemed a little bit bubbly.

O - Probably my least favorite brew by BBC. However, I am also not the biggest fan of an Irish Red. Just didn't have the taste of general pleasantry that I normally find from this company.

If anyone knows a great one that's easily accessible let me know. I hate writing off a style.

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Photo of Overlord
2.28/5  rDev -36%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer's score is rather shocking to me.

Pours a dull red. Inch or two of white foam. Smells like ... what is that? Kind of a herbally, hoppy scent, maybe some yeast ... pretty weird.

Taste is just all over the place. A weird astringent minty/herbaliness, maybe some piney/earthy hops (just a bit), and a strange overly sweet caramel malt base. Just bizarre tasting.

Will avoid in the future.

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Photo of Duxx
2.31/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Pours a very clear rust color but with almost no head. (This was the 3rd beer in this glass today so I know its not a dirty glass.)

S: Kind of funky almost "sulfury" like a poorly aged lager. No real hop or malt aroma. I really am at a loss to describe it but suffice to say I am not a fan of this aroma.

T: Nondescript, no malt, not hops, just dry.

M: Thin and watery but with a punch of carbonation.

D: Bought this as part of a mixed sixer looking for beers to use in my beer tasting class so I only have one bottle, good thing! Sam Adams are some of my favorite beers but not this one. One is enough!

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Photo of Utica_Brew_Review
2.32/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Light amber appearance with little head. Very little aroma, slightly fruity. Very bitter. Starts out yeasty with a hit of fruit. Then it hits you with ash and bitterness. Sweet alcoholic backdrop. Not too much flavor unfortunately but you can definitely sense the toasted caramel note becoming more noticeable especially in the aftertaste. Moderately carbonated. Finishes with less ash but with more of a sweet alcohol taste.

Compared to other Sam Adams and Irish Red beers this is a let down for us.

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Photo of Shoegaze99
2.35/5  rDev -34%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

The thing about Samuel Adams mix packs is, you've got to take the bad with the good. This one is not one of the good ones.

Looks like a pretty standard red; deep copper with an active head that died almost immediately after pouring.

Nothing really stands out in the aroma, either. Again, this is a pretty standard red.

Tastes ... well, once again, like a standard red. A little on the bitter side. Touch of a metallic taste, too. It's actually a little *worse* than a lot of reds out there. By far one of the least enjoyable beers in the Sam Adams lineup.

Feels raw and abrasive on the mouth. Overactive carbonation, light body, unpleasant.

Not much to say about this beer because it's just not very good. Generally speaking I find the always consistent Boston Beer Co. to make some very drinkable, nicely tasty beers that are good for a session. Not this one. Reds aren't my style to begin with, and this is a particularly subpar example of the style.


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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 Squelch
2.43/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Cloudy dark brown. Not red. No head.

Smell: Biscuit malt. Lots of it. no hop aroma.

Taste: Biscuit again dominates. Slight hop bitterness. No noticable hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: undercarbed. thick. Heavy. Dull. Lifeless

Drinkability: No thanks. I will not be drinking this one again.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
2.48/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

A: Brilliant, clear red-orange with a thick, foamy cream colored head. Tiny quick-moving bubbles of carbonation sustain the head. Retention is very good, and spider-webs of lacing paste themselves onto the walls of the glass.

S: Toasted grain, bready malts, and caramel malts. Grassy and slightly citric hops. Maybe some lemon grass.

T: Sweet, citric, and slightly fruity and juicy for just an instant. Bready malts and caramel introduce themselves, but quickly give up the stage to charming flavors of roasted grain. Grassy and citric hops lend a light bitterness. Slightly vinous raisin esters are noticeable. Buttery throughout. Finishes semi dry with toasted grain, caramel, and a touch of grassy hops.

M: Medium bodied, smooth, and very creamy. A bit slick. Slight alcohol warmth and moderate carbonation.

D: Not as quaffable as an Irish Red should be.

Notes: A little too much diacetyl for my taste. Vinous and raisin-like esters are totally out of place, and the warming alcohol sensation is a bit much for a Red. I suppose the yeast is the culprit here. I'm not digging it.

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Photo of stephadelphia
2.48/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Drank this straight out of a chilled bottle.

A - Seems to have a little bit of froth/head in the bottle - cloudy and reddish in color (not surprising since it's an Irish red ale).

S - Smells pretty average, nothing too strong. Some notes of rye, malts.

T - Pretty basic and light. Didn't detect any real bitterness, and was able to taste a bit of a wheaty note at the very end.

M - Just enough carbonation, pretty pleasant. Fairly smooth but at the same time, a bit watery.

O - Overall, there are better Irish reds out there. I bought this in a Sam Adams variety pack (with Oktoberfest, Black Lager, Pumpkin Ale, etc.) so I'm not too disappointed, and will gladly drink both bottles in the case. I wouldn't go hunting for it, however. It's not bad, it's not fantastic. It's drinkable, and pleasant enough.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
2.49/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle, the label on the side of the bottle is notched at best by July 2013. Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - Pours probably one of the most red colored beers I've ever seen with very little head that dies down quickly.

S - Toasted malt / grain, and some fruity cherry notes coming through, though little else action happening.

T - Toasted malty goodness. Slight hint of cherry, maybe some cranberry? I don't know. Slight carbonation. Not my ideal Red Ale, I prefer it to be hopped to the brim. Smooth, crisp, and refreshing, nonetheless, just not very interesting. Artificially sweet tasting in the end.

M - Smooth, watery, nice level of carbonation. Not a terrible mouthfeel just not a very ideal aftertaste.

Overall, probably one of my least favorite beers I've had by Samuel Adams, bland, and pretty boring, but with a modest 5.80% abv, it remains drinkable and I have definitely had worse, but it is not a beer I would seek out again.

Samuel Adams Irish Red ---2.5/5

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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 Floydster
2.54/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle taken from my friend Scott's fridge tonight, poured into a pint glass, color is a clear amber with a 3/4 inch soapy white head that leaves some lace at first, weak retention, aroma is sweetness, lots of malt, black pepper, light toffee, and a hint of vanilla, no scents really stood out or were very strong, flavor does not seem to have much of a hop presence except maybe some grassy accents early on, mostly malt that is pretty sweet, maybe some light fruit in there too, light and sweet mouthfeel, can be smooth at times, medium bodied, light carbonation, could not drink much more than a bottle, too sweet and malty overall, needs bitterness to battle it out, probably would skip next time, might be worth trying

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Photo of JimLetson
2.54/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

12-oz. bottle from the fall sampler poured into my tulip.

Appearance - the beer is a coppery red. The khaki-coloured head is thin and recedes quickly. I like the colour and I really like how clear it is.

Smell - there really isn't much of a smell at all. There is some malt, a very faint caramel aroma, and naught else.

Taste - the very first impression I get is Cherry Coke. After that initial shock wears off, there is caramel malt, and it ends with a small amount of bitterness. It doesn't dry my mouth out, but it leaves a funny taste on the front of my tongue and (though I know it's not where taste actually is) the roof of my mouth. It isn't butterscotch, but it is candy, kind of like the caramel inside a Rolo, but not actually caramel. If anyone can tell me what it is, BM me.

Mouthfeel - I don't particularly care for it. I think it's the strange caramel-ish thing going on in the aftertaste. I feel like I need to brush my teeth.

Drinkability - might rate higher if not for the weird feeling after a few sips. I feel like I need to brush my teeth, and this makes me neither willing nor able to drink more than one.

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Photo of Jamesthebrit
2.54/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Red. Low on bubbles.
S: Quite offputting. Smells super bitter and sour with prevalent alcohol scent.
T: Actually not bad. A little malty. Some hops in there. Goes down smooth.
M: Leaves a lingering gross bitterness that makes me want to not take another sip.

Overall a rather poor showing. The taste is pretty decent but it doesn't make up for all the other short comings. Also the fact that it leaves such a bad taste makes me want to not drink more. If the before and after are no good it drowns out what the success of the taste.

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Photo of RodBurg
2.55/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a clear dark red with a small cream head and minimal lacing.

Scents of caramel malt and a small amount of bitter chocolate. Barely audible is a smoky peat smell that reminds me of Scotch.

Heavy caramel malt and chocolate taste up front followed by an unpleasant metallic aftertaste that lingers. Medium body and carbonation.

Pretty typical for the style but the aftertaste kills it.

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Photo of alpinebryant
2.56/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a nice copper red with a slightly reddish tan head

Aroma of light malt, Irish yeast, slightly dry and a bit of caramel.

Taste is pretty weak, slightly stale flavored and not a lot of character. This is not something I would ever seek out. A light malt character with chalkiness is the base of the flavors coming out along with a slight bit of yeast that is noticeable but not strong. light mouthfeel and a light carbonation with a slight twang at the end.

Overall I cannot think of many beers that I would turn down over this one that I have had recently. Just calling it how I see it, not my favorite style perhaps

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Photo of Jablonski
2.56/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

It pours into a pint glass with an average sized tan head. This beer is reddish-brown colored. It smells malty, but that's about all I can pick up since it's so overwhelming. No hops here. This beer tastes better than the smell, but not by much. It's malty up front followed by a dry, slightly bitter finish. Definitely drink this beer cold, as it gets worse as ti warms. However, the mouthfeel is decent, as the carbonation nice. The beer is a bit watery though. It's a low ABV, but the beer isn't that drinkable due to the overpowering sweetness. Definitely not the best Sam Adams out there.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.58/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

33cl brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a five finger head of nice cream, good thickness, and good retention. Pours a clear dark copper. I wouldn't even call it amber. Strange for an Irish Red.

Sm: Malty but not overly so, with some amber hops and caramel. I don't get any "earthy notes" per the label. Aroma is mild in strength.

T: Amber hops, a bland malt and barley foundation, and light caramel. It's built simply, and rather garbage for an alleged Irish Red (not that the style is even that popular in the auld country anyway). It lacks balance as well.

Mf: Smooth and wet - too much on both counts. Doesn't suit the flavours at all, either.

Dr: Drinkable but lacking quality, especially for the style. It's priced right, but I won't be buying it again.

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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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