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

2,545 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 2,545 |  Reviews: 1,013
Photo of clint1019
2.58/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Amber brown in color with a cream colored head.

S - Not much, light malty aroma if anything.

T - Light malty flavor with a light hop bitterness.

M - light bodied.

O - Not that great of a beer. Not much in the way of flavor or aroma. Probably one of my least favorite beers I've tried from Sam Adams.

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Photo of DirtyPenny
3.47/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank it right from the bottle during hurricane Irene and a power outage. Let it be known that the lacing told me to kill. Second bottle had no such murderous intent

A: Rusty ruddy red, with a thin beige head. Seriously though, the lacing spelled out "kill." So, yeah. This is apparently Son of Sam's Irish Red(rum).

S: What's that bottle? You want me to smell you? You smell of yeasty bread. Really that's about it. Why did you want me to smell you? You're crazy, man.

T: Draining the red liquid from this bottle results in the sensation of bready, faintly sweet caramel and pale malts on the tongue, giving way to a minimally sour sting on the downswing. Slight hop spiciness is like needles being ever so faintly dragged across your mouth, just enough to let you know it's there, but not enough to cause any harm.

M: Medium-bodied with aggressive carbonation that keeps stabbing and stabbing and stabbing...

O: Who am I am why am I here? What's this red stuff everywhere? Oh god, the bottle broke! (not really)

In short, another above average Sam Adams offering, though nothing that will drive you mad.

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Photo of tdm168
3.4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber with a red hue; there's a 1/4" of head that quickly fades to nothing. Smells of rich caramel malt and mild hops. The taste is similar to the smell; rich caramel malts and mild hops for balance. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth; very drinkable.

Not a bad beer, but the flavor here is neither bold nor impressive. Overall, rather forgettable.

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Photo of imbibehour
3.92/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A good solid light caramel colored head with very uniform bubbles and soapy is created off the pour. Body is a very dark and clear Indian red color. No lacing comes from the drink at all.

Nose is a nice simple grassy malt and toasty dry sense. Solid and simple and noticeable and good.

Taste is malty, just a little fizzy, but not overbearing. Slow rolling malts in the mid palate compete with some carbonation, after finish and swallow doesn't bring much else but some rooftop mouth dry-ness.

Overall, fairly solid and straightforward for the style, don't mind this it will do in a pinch.

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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 fsvan
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into pint glass. Best by date of December.

A- Bright amber. Translucent. Minimal off white head.

S- Big malty nose. Sweet, caramel malts. A little toastiness. Not much in the way of hop notes. Nice.

T- Again some caramel malts up front, a sweetness in the middle, and a good dose of hop bitterness that isn't present at all in the smell in the end.

M- Medium bodied. Carbonated well. Pretty easy drinking.

O- Another pretty good, but nor spectacular offering from Sam Adams. Got this as part of a mixed 12, and this is one that neither turns me off of one of their mixed packs, nor turns me onto it.

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Photo of Jerone
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance is a nice reddish brown with a slightly creamy off white head and some very good lacing.

The smell is of malts, caramel and a grainy bread.

Sweet malts and good caramel, with some grain or biscuity flavor. The mouthfeel is medium and a bit creamy, low carbonation, but quite drinkable.

Tasty beer that is great in the fall, winter or spring. It could use a bit more complexity and flavor, but is still a good brew.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle; label notched best by Oct 2011. Poured into a Duvel tulip. (eh, why the hell not?)

Appearance - Dark hazy amber body. Big creamy offwhite head with good retention.

Smell - Malty. Mild character profile. Nut. Chocolate. Overripe banana.

Taste - Alcoholic throughout. Surprising considering the relatively low percentage. Almost seems boastful of what it has. Bone dry. Toasted black coffee bean.

Mouthfeel - Dry. Somewhat astringent. Medium-light bodied.

Overall Drinkability - Basically watered down black coffee. No, not watered down. Seltzered down. Kinda weird. Not really digging it.

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Photo of Snamnoum
3.23/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - dull redish brown in color with little head.

Smell - Pronounced toasty malt aroma like sweetened cocoa powder. Not much in the way of hop aroma or yeast.

Taste - tastes much like it smells. Big toasted grains, lots of butter and sweetened cocoa almost like ovaltine or nesquik also some vanilla. Finish has a touch of bitterness which help balance out the sweetness. But all told the flavors are pretty mellow and flat. Not much in the way of complexity and flavors don't persist on your palette.

Mouthfeel - not much going on here either. Feel is watery and over-carbonated. For a medium bodied beer I would have expected a little more creaminess.

Overall - a lackluster irish red. Not bad but not particularly interesting either though perhaps it would be a good beer to introduce to someone trying to branch out of the normal BMC offerings.

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Photo of mattkoon
3.36/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I don't have much expierience with "irish reds" I have had kilion's which I didn't care for too much. I do have to say that I like this beer a good bit. It has a very full flavor but it's not over powering. The color of this beer is a very nice rich crimson. The flavor are of sweet malts an rich carmel with a slight vanilla wash. I have only seen this beer in sam adams variety packs, which is smelly cause would def. buy it on it's own. Thank ya now.

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Photo of obrike
3.62/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a bottle from my mix pack of SA. Dark caramel/orange color...head falls lacing, but a nice off-white ring for the duration of the drink.

Smelled a bit of dark fruit, some caramel malt...almost doppelbock-esque? I liked it.

Taste followed, but rather thin. Earthy sweet malt, dark grapes, a hint of hops, but certainly malt forward. Pretty easy drinking, but holding back a bit too much in flavor. Certainly on the right track with this one SA, but needs to be a bit more bold.

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Photo of tito42
3.26/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle to an imperial pint. Best by SEP 2011 notched on label.

A: Brown with a slight red tint. Thin tan head, but lacing is great.

S: Faint aroma of roasted malt and a faint whiff of earthy hops.

T: Tea, peat, and caramel with roasted malt and a moderately hopped finish. Taste is better than the nose.

M: Medium-bodied and malty up front, slightly watery in the middle, and a moderately dry finish.

O: Nothing special but hits most of the requisites of the style. Could stand more umph in the nose. An easy drinking Irish Red.

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Photo of cadizkyguy
3.73/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Surprisingly, it took me more than two years into my craft beer orientation to try my first Sam Adams beer and now I enjoy several of SA's offerings, none better than the Boston Lager flagship. But this one has merit, too. Cracked open after a hot night at work, with a tombstone pizza in the oven, poured aggressively into my Samuel Smith pint glass and I must say, it's love at first sight. If I didn't know better, this one looks very much like the Boston Lager. But that's where the similarities end. Smell, I detect some caramel overtones and get flashbacks to a couple of my favorite Irish Reds in Short's Magician and Guinness's Smithwick's. Taste is superb, very refreshing, as well as the mouthfeel. Overall this is a new Sam Adams favorite. Well done Boston Beer Company !!!

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Photo of Briken
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear very red amber, thin tan frothy head, good retention and nice lacing. Lightly floral tea and lager aroma. Big bite upfront with tea/floral, caramel, and earthiness. Moderately sweet and balanced. Sharp, smooth and lightly dry feel.

Like most SA beers, it’s easy drinking because it’s not too bold and smooth and evenly balanced. It’s certainly better warmer and this really does have an above average taste. Overall, I enjoyed this better than most out of the mixed case.

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Photo of spitInTheOcean
3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a nice deep rosy color, and its crystal clear.

aroma has a slight malt and corn aroma.

cannot really notice a caramel flavor, more just malty with a slight hop flavor. a little roasted grain and corn.

its a pretty thin beer, but the carbonation is nice and crisp.

not bad, though i think the flavor is lacking with the maltiness, its kind of effeminate in that way.

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Photo of bamojr
3.26/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice clear red with fluffy white head. I was surprised by the lack of smell from this beer. Very bitter flavor with a good amount of hops. This really reminds me more of an Imerial IPA than a traditional irish red. This is the least impressed I have been with a Sam Adams in a while, but it is still an ok beer.

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Photo of northaustin
3.77/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a dark amber with a nice finger of lightly tan head. short retention and minimal stringy lacing.

smell: thick syrupy, lightly roasted malts, with minimal peat.

taste: the peat is more present here. the grain bill is reminiscient of molasses and sugar bread.

mouthfeel: smooth as a babys bottom. also leaves a cool syrupy type feel on the back of the tongue, and a dry throat.

drinkability: a little too hefty to be a session beer, but is highly recommended for a night of steady sippin.

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Photo of SuperSpy
3.4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear brown with an orange hue. Very little head but a foam cap does persist for a while.

The aroma is malty, buttery toffee and a little bit yeasty.

Smooth, medium bodied and almost creamy. The flavor profile leans more toward light roasted malt with a slightly sweet toast, buttery caramel and a bit of bitter hop flavor toward the end. A very drinkable beer but it doesn't really stand out in a crowd.

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Photo of tjacobs610
3.01/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: This beer has an orangeish amber color that makes this beer fit perfectly into its Red Ale category. It has a small one finger brownish white head that lasts for quite a while before fading. It also has a moderate retention and great thick lacing.

S: Has an aroma that is a very faint caramel and wheat hoppy smell. The sweet malts are the most present as soon as you open the bottle.

T: This beer has a slightly sweet taste, with a fairly strong caramel malt flavor as well. The finish is slightly bitter but it’s still an overall good taste.

M: This is a very easy to drink beer, the sweetness mixed with the caramel flavor makes this a great sessionable beer. It is very light bodied with the only flaw being a dry aftertaste.

O: A great beer with a very sweet caramel taste that makes it very enjoyable. This beer doesn’t have a lot of “flavor” but if you looking for something good and simple this is your beer.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
2.86/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours a lively orange/brown color. The beer boasts a big fluffy head that refuses to die down. Great lacing as well. Like most other Sam Adams beers, this one looks the part.

S-Nothing very special here. The beer's aroma is overall, quite light. Maltiness and some herby qualities. Very light hops.

T-The taste is not for me. I think it is more due to the fact that I may not love the style. The beer is decently sweet and has a bread component. There is a light fruitiness that I can somewhat detect. Light hops as well.

M-Leaning closer to medium for the body. Medium carbonation as well.

O/D-Overall, I am not a big fan of this one. The style is not my favorite. I just do no love the flavor combination here.

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Photo of metter98
3.52/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is crystal clear amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high creamy beige head that gradually faded away, leaving only a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass and lacing down the sides.
S: There are moderate aromas of caramel malts in the nose.
T: The taste is slightly sweet and has moderately strong flavors of caramel malts with some notes of bitterness towards the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied, creamy and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a bit of dryness in the finish.
O: The beer is very easy to drink and can be considered sessionable, however if I was looking for something with a bit more of an interesting flavor I would try something else.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.35/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint. Deep amber body with an initially creamy head that fails to remain creamy and leaves lacing that mostly drips back in.

A touch of apple flavor seems to clarify the vague nature of the fruitiness that joins the caramel and earthy aromas. Good balance of caramel sweetness and tealike hop character with a dash of earthiness thrown in. Kinda light and creamy with a generous dose of bitterness. Well-constructed and quaffable brew here.

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Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a small one finger head that is already disappearing, maybe some decent laving. The head is slightly off white, a little unique of a off white really. The body is a dark red, white a big hint of brown, and maybe some hints of orange as well. I'm surprised at how cloudy this beer is, it's not dark enough to not be able to see through it, but it's cloudy enough so that I can't see through it at all. Very small amounts of carbonation from what I can tell. Overall it looks pretty good, but not great. Malt malt and more malt on the nose. Unfortunately it smells like some cheap malt, maybe Munich malt, the kind I'm not a fan of, or maybe just cheap malt, also it just smells way too sweet. Either way it doesn't smell that great, and not very complex at all. No hops on the smell whatsoever, and I would hope for at least a small hop bite in an irish red. This smells just a hair above average. Yeah the taste is just so boring, boring, BORING. I mean this might be the most un-complex beer I've ever had, is that the worst thing you can say about a beer? No, not at all, but it just means it's not going to stand out from the rest at all, and this one doesn't. Is it a bad beer? I don't think so, you can tell they used good ingredients, and they didn't skimp out too much on the beer, it's not very watery or anything, it's just super boring. There just isn't anything good to say about it, there isn't much bad to say about it, but's just like I would feel completely indifferent drinking it, or not drinking it. It's not very refreshing at all, there is basically no hop bite, and the carbonation isn't very high. I guess in terms of mouthfeel it's ok, carbonation is decent and the body feels right in your mouth, it's just the boring taste. I'm trying to decide if I want to give this a 3 for taste or a 3.5 for taste, because I can tell it's made with good ingredients, and I usually give a 3 to a terrible micro brew or a really good adjunct lager, and this isn't a terrible micro brew, just really really boring. I guess what it comes down to is that I think it deserves a C+, not a B-, and I can only get that if I give it a 3, so even though I don't think it deserves a 3, since it's right on the cusp anyways, I'll bump it down for the sake of the overall grade. Drinkability is pretty bad, just because I have no real reason to drink it, I don't have a problem drinking it, but I have no reason to drink it, other than the fact that it's beer, I mean it's not even crisp. Overall, what else can I say, boring, boring, and more boring, pretty average beer.

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Photo of bristol2120
3.3/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle. Not much of a head at all on the initial pour; after settling, there was just a thin layer of foam. Beer shows a very deep copper-red color appropriate to the style. Aroma is pleasing, showing nice hoppiness, but it is lacking the malty/caramel presence I would expect of the style. Malt is more in evidence upon tasting, along with some unexpected but welcome very subtle background notes of tart cherry. Despite this, I still feel the malt taste is still too restrained. Mouthfeel is thinner than I would have preferred, but the carbonation is nice, tight, and refreshing. Overall, this beer as a whole is a bit greater than the sum of its parts. While it is lacking in a solid malt presence in the nose and on the palate, it is still tasty and refreshing.

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Photo of EricCioe
3.56/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours halfway between amber and Kool-Aid red, with a two finger head dying quickly leaving a hint of lace as it settles into a ring. On the nose there is a light caramel mixing with more generally bready malts. There is a slight hop presence here, very muted fallen pine needles, but definitely underneath the malts. In the mouth there is a repeat of the taste, caramel and bready malts forward with some earthy hops in the background, but riding atop it all is a pleasant, light fruity note. Is this the Sam Adams house note finally working for one of their beers rather than against it? The body is medium and creamy, with the fruitiness hanging on longer than the sweet caramel. The drinkability is very good, and I rated the overall a half point higher than I would have otherwise to indicate that.

Overall, this is decent beer. I'm not familiar with the style, but this beer is pretty good as far as styles similar to this one goes. For once, the Sam Adams house flavor didn't put me off of a beer, and I think it actually enhanced it and added interest to a good but pretty plain beer.

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Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.56 out of 5 based on 2,545 ratings.
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