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

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Samuel Adams Irish RedSamuel Adams Irish Red
2,552 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 2,552 |  Reviews: 1,013
Photo of MichaelBurns
4/5  rDev +15.6%

Photo of justintcoons
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of Scourge07
3.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep, clear amberish/orange with a finger of foamy, cream-colored head. Decent amount of lacing on the glass as beer was consumed.

S: Hops, sweet malts, slight hint of roasty malts

T: Clean and crisp. Hop taste makes itself known right away, however, the bitterness is quite subdued. Sweetness from the malts follows closely afterwards and lingers in the mouth for a bit. Pleasant, but bland - nothing really stands out.

M: Crisp with a medium mouthfeel. Moderate amount of carbonation. Very easy to drink.

A pleasant brew overall, but again, nothing really stands out - In my opinion, this seems to be a common trait with a lot of Sam Adams beers. Good to try once, but not something I will probably buy again.

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Photo of JohnnyChicago
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a SA Perfect Pint.

A: Full, amber-red body with a creamy cap of off-white head.

S: Rich toast and buttery notes. Caramel and slight earthy hops are present as well.

T: Clean, roasty-sweet profile. Hops provide some tangy bitterness and it finishes fruity and buttery.

D: Really easy drinking stuff and nice amount of complexity for a (sometimes) boring style. I could really go for another after this one.

Overall: Sam's got a knack for balance and this is just the beer where that skill pays off. Good representation of the style, it hits all the caramel and bitter notes without abandoning the roast hint that makes and Irish red what it is. Solid brew here.

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Photo of dogfishandi
3.06/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, fridge temp poured into an imperial pint glass. BB FEB 2012 notched.

a rather vigorous pour gave me a pretty mice, slightly off white head. thick retention with some random big bubbles, some decent lacing as well. clear, deep amber, red color.

nothing really intriguing in the the smell. bready, buttery, maybe a little biscuit, and caramel. hints of leafy hops.

again, buttery bread, biscuit, caramel grain balanced by a leafy hop. sweet. its there and its gone, very bland finish.

light, close to medium in body. way too much, slightly fizzy carbonation.

a pretty boring beer, good for a newbie craft beer drinker, but just mehh, average.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
3.45/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

App- The offering has a copper-red body that is crystal clear. There is a little bit of carbonation in the beer. There are two fingers of orangey-tan head. It's very fluffy and has retained a good amount of its head with a small lip of lace.

Smell- The malt is sweet and toffee like. There is also a little bit of earthy hop. It is really heavy on that sweet and biscuity malt.

Taste- No surprise the malts are heavy on the tongue too. The sweet caramel malt changes into the earthy hop flavor, almost peaty. The finish brings back that buttery malt.

Mouth feel- The mouth feel is decent. It is medium bodied and goes down easy.

Overall- The style doesn't offer much to begin with, and I'm not sure the extremely sweet caramel malt was the best choice to mix with this earthy hop flavor. It becomes distracting.

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Photo of HeavyMetalBrew
3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Not much head, too clear for my personal preference, though it has a good color.

S: Apples and caramel seem dominant.

T: Caramel. Apples/pears. Slight bitterness and flavor from the citrusy hops to help offset the sweetness of the malt.

M: Carbonated, easy to drink.

Overall: A decent beer. Not as heavy as I would expect for an Irish Red, but still pretty good. Definitely worth trying.

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Photo of depechemode1983
3.35/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Reddish/copper in color. Head is off-white fairly thick and with medium retention. Just a bit of lacing but not much.

S - Malty upfront with some nice caramel tones. Also has a nice sweet citrus character in there that stays to the finish.

T - Malty and tons or bread qualities. Hops are bigger in the taste and are a lot more bitter forward. Still getting a caramel sweetness only this time with a touch of alcohol.

M - Medium bodied and smooth with the carbonation being on the light side. Not to bad. Could use a little more oomph.

O - Pretty easy drinking stuff. Nothing to write home about. Just an ok Red. Wouldn't drop money on it but would take one if offered with no problems.

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Photo of jifigz
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: The beer pours a deep, amber red. The head dissipates quickly.

S: The aroma is malty and candy sweet.

T: The taste mimics the smell almost exactly. Malty and candy sweet. The finish is slightly dry and bitter (very light on the bitter). The beer is kind is bread-like, but not plain bread, a bread with a light spread of fruit jelly.

M: The beer feels relatively thin and lighter bodied.

O: This is by no means a bad beer. Like most Samuel Adams, this beer is tamed down in both flavor and alcohol. It is a good beer for anyone and to be appreciated, but is not trying be cutting edge or anything.

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Photo of brown2cu
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours crimson and is topped by a beige head. Plenty of sticky lacing coats my mug.

S: Sweet malt. plenty of caramel in the nose. I am digging this.

T: Sweet but not overly so. A moderate hop presence balances it out nicely. More notes of caramel and possibly some chocolate and if I'm not mistaken some red meat.

MF: Smoothe, slick and creamy.

O: Another solid SA brew. delicious. Make sure that you get a good pour on it I have had this beer before and been less than satisfied I seemed to get it just right this time.

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Photo of corby112
3.39/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark golden copper color with dark ruby edges and a one finger yellowish beige head that quickly settles into a thick lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lacing left behind.

Slightly spicy sweet malt aroma with hints of rye, caramel and toffee as well as faint spicy hops.

Medium bodied with a crisp, spicy hop presence up front that lingers over the sweet malts into a slightly dry finish. The hop character up front is spicy and only slightly bitter providing a nice dryness that compliments the sweeter notes. Lots of sweet malt with hints of rye, caramel, toffee, nut and biscuit. Really well balanced and quite quaffable.

 633 characters

Photo of falloutsnow
3.61/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased as part of seasonal pack from Hyvee in Omaha, NE.
Poured into a standard US pint glass.

Pours a thick off-white head of about 1cm, composed of very fine bubbles. Some lacing is evident as the head decreases and with each sip. Head becomes a 0.5 cm ring around the glass over time. Body is transparent, with a small amount of visible carbonation. Outside of light, this is an amber brown color, but in the light it's a gemlike amber red in color with orange highlights.

Scent is of rich caramel malt, some light toasted bread. Generally a bit light with the aroma.

Taste is richly malty and bready with a slight buttery flavor to it, too, which surprisingly goes well with this. Closes with some biscuit-like flavors and a slight bitterness. Aftertaste is pleasantly sweet, not cloying.

Beer has a medium body with a carbonation level that is a bit too strong for it, making the beer foam up a bit unpleasantly on the palate. Finish is dry, without much in the way of sticky residue from the malt.

At the moment, I do not know much about red ales, but I found this to be an enjoyably balanced and generally flavorful ale with a malt emphasis. It could use more complexity in the aroma, and have the carbonation toned down a bit, but in general I find this quite acceptable.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pilsner glass. Color was reddish caramel, a bit darker than the OctoberFest. Close to an inch of head. Small amount of lacing on the top, that lasted most of the way down. Various film on the sides.

Smelled of caramel malts first. Slight toasted toffee in there as well. Definitely an amber.

Tasted of toasty caramel malts. Sweet and a hint of coconut in there. That could be my cold. Light bitterness at the end.

Medium body. Slightly stickly. Lively carbonated. Smooth finish.

The best so far of the three I’ve tried from the Harvest Collection (not including regular Sam Adams, better than Octoberfest and Pumpkin). A pretty good beer all around.

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Photo of vkv822
2.81/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into tulip snifter.
Best Before: March 2012

Pours a clear amber, with faint burnt-orange hued edges. The head is frothy light toffee color.

The nose is caramel malts and grassy, lightly floral hops.

The taste is of biscuity malts and grassy hops. Has a slightly herbal after taste.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with mild, yet appropriate carbonation.

While there was nothing unpleasant about this beer and I wouldn't turn it down were it free, I just wasn't very impressed nor left with any desire to try this again.

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Photo of brewmandan
3.97/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance-red in color. small white head that doesn't disappear too quickly. not much for lacing on the glass.
smell-bisquity malt smell combined with a good hop smell.
taste-good amount of bisquity malt flavor, giving it a little sweetness. plenty of hops to add a hoppy flavor, but not enought to overpower the malt-well balanced between the malt and hops.
mouthfeel-leaves behind some of the malt/hops flavor after swallowing.
overall, one of the better irish red's that i've had.

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Photo of Kc4shore
3.57/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Full on Amber with a medium white head

S: Caramle hues, strong malt aroma

T: Very malty, excellent caramel flavorings. Sam's Irish Red has a nice amount of hops which balance this one out very nicely. It is very drinkable

M: Medium bodies, decent carbonation

O: While I get excited when I see any beer with the name "Irish" on it, I almost instantly fell in love with this one. The flavor is upfront and prevelant. However, the combination of hops and low abv lead to Red being extremely drinkable. I buy my beers as singles, but if I had a case of SA Irish Red, it would have been gone before I even had the chance to think about it.

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Photo of doughanson78
3.06/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Dark amber color with great clarity. One finger light tan head, very creamy, with decent retention and good lacing.

S: Very malty, caramel and toffee. Bready and slightly toasty with just a touch of floral hops.

T: Toasted caramel and toffee malts. Very bready and biscuity finish. Slight floral notes.

M: Light bodied. Medium light carbonation. Slightly sticky.

O: A so-so beer. Easy drinking. Nothing special going on.

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Photo of neophilus
3.49/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark tawny color, more brown than I was expecting but with lighter caramel tones in the light. Creamy head sits firmly on top, doesn't look like it is going anywhere.

Smells of sweet malt - a rather richer malt aroma than I was expecting. Reminiscent of a Bock beer, firmly bready aroma with a spicy hint of sourdough.

First sip brings balanced malt sweetness and bitter hopping. Firm bitterness prevails, almost overtaking the malt. Mouthfeel is medium, not too heavy or too light. Washes away with a faint hop flavor and lingering bready taste.

Very well balanced, almost to the point that you could describe it as "average". It's as if nothing in particular stands out, especially if you are used to hoppier beers. This beer may make a mark on a lighter palate but on one that is used to hops it just makes an appearance and then is quickly forgotten.

Is a beer good only if it stands out in your memory? Or can a good beer be one that is just very drinkable and gets the job done? Nothing negative to say about this one, just a decent brew that delivers good malt flavor and solidly balanced hop bitterness.

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Photo of phichifiji00
3.46/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Caramel/amber in color, clear, pours thick white head that quickly fades. Lots of lacing.

Smell: Malty, caramel, sweet, toffee.

Taste: Caramel, malty, sweet, subtle hop profile.

Mouthfeel: Med. Bodied, good carbonation.

Overall: A decent beer. Not very complex, and a bit on the sweet side.

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Photo of DaveBlack
2.96/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Crystal clear, light brownish red color with almost no head despite an aggressive pour and very light lacing.

S: Lightly toasted malts and a hefty hit of sweetness. Not much else going on, and the aroma is pretty weak.

T: Sweet roasted malts are up front, then a slight hit of bitterness. The aftertaste is a bit strange, almost metallic or medicinal. The beer is good until you stop drinking it.

M: Medium bodied, light on the carbonation.

O: The first two sips I liked this beer, but then the aftertaste built up in my mouth. It's just unpleasant and seems to linger on. Too bad, because otherwise it would have been a pleasant fall brew.

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Photo of BrewCrew2010
2.96/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A: A deep amber or reddish body with a fast receding tan head that leaves sticky lacing.

S: Nothing too complex. Some toasted caramel malts with a hint of earthy hops (but very little).

T: Sweet toasted malts upfront with notes of caramel. Kind of buttery, but is cut short by some bittery hops. Semi-dry finish and pretty one-dimensional.

M: Medium-light body; moderate carbonation; smooth and clean mouthfeel.

O: Nothing too complex or interesting in this beer. Got it in a combo pack. Nothing worth searching out and not the best example on the style.

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Photo of AleWatcher
2.11/5  rDev -39%
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 BeerBuckeye
3.36/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a mahogany/red, a bit amber. Decent 1.5 finger head that dissipates quickly. Leaves a bit of lacing.

S - Bready malts, a bit of caramel, a tinge of spicyness in the background, but rather light smell.

T - The taste is a bit spicy on the beginning before fading into a biscuit malt. The finish is a slight bit metallic, but not bad.

M - Mouthfeel is a touch sticky, but overall, it's fairly smooth.

Overall - It was pretty unoffensive. Not stellar, but not bad. Just a decent brew.

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Photo of zdk9
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours out orange-brown and cloudy. My aggressive pour leaves two full fingers of head. Some lacing.

S- A good full smell of caramel, pineapple and tropical fruit, sweet orange, malt syrup, maple syrup, tea.

T- As with the taste, a lot of caramel with tropical fruit sweetness. There's a bit of a break in the middle of my mouth where the beer suddenly goes to bitterness, with a black tea and bitter greens type of taste.

M- Good, sweet and a bit syrupy but the bitterness counteracts that nicely.

O- A more complex beer than I expected. Some nice flavors of caramel. Maybe a bit sweet, but not bad at all.

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Photo of Mississipping
3.2/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a mostly clear deep amber color with a small khaki-colored head that falls quickly, leaving only a patch or two and a thin ring.  Very little lacing left behind on the edges of the glass.  

S: Muted a bit, but there's some sweet malt, sweet fruit, and a slight nuttiness.  Really not a whole lot going on in the aroma. 

T: Sweet malty caramel right up front.  Transitions quickly to a nutty, spicy, and hoppy finish. I'm not sure what it is, but you can certainly tell this is a Sam Adams beer.  There's a spicy bite that is present in many of the beers in their seasonal packs, especially the winter/holiday pack.  Slightly warming and quite pleasant, but typical for them.

M: Medium bodied with quite a bit of carbonation.  Almost a little prickly, but it kind of works for the style.  Starts out somewhat sweet but ends slightly bitter and drying. 

D: Really goes down easily.  Typical, and not very complex, but not bad overall. For what it is, it's a good beer for a weekend of watching football.

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Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.46 out of 5 with 2,552 ratings
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