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 shaunb81
3.24/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into my SWEET Turbulator glass.

Appearance - Pours a nice copper/red with about a 1 finger width head. Minimal lacing and lots of bubbles. Head disappears after about 1 minute.

Smell - Sweet malts and some fruity hops up front. Faint caramel and a little spiciness on the end.

Taste - A little sweet off the bat, but then the bitters take over and hang out for the rest of the ride. Not very impressive, to be quite honest. I can't really taste the fruit that I smelled before, so I'm not really sure what happened there. It's like there was a TON lost between the nose and the mouth...

Mouthfeel - Carbonation isn't too bad. I wish it was a little thicker and less watery. It's alright, though.

Overall - Not my favorite Irish Red. At all. A decent try by those guys at Boston Beer Company though.

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Photo of yesyouam
3.28/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Samuel Adams Irish Ale is a highly sparkling, crystal clear red beer with a thin, yellowish foam that fades to a film and leaves decent lacing on the glass. The very malty, slightly sweet aroma has a hint of medicinal hops. It's medium-light bodied and quite lively. It's pretty foamy and it leaves the mouth dry and a little chalky. It's quite malty but it doesn't seem sweet. It's pretty resiny and there's a light herbal bitterness at the finish. It seems like a pretty solid session ale. It's not a main attraction, but it's unoffensive.

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Photo of Floyd12
3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- Pours a beautiful copper red color with a decent two finger off white head. While the head did disipate at a moderate pace, it left a sticky rim that created nice lacing down the side of the glass

S- A sweet smelling malty beer with a small amount of bitter hops to keep the sweetness in check.

T- A sweet caramel flavored beer. A little sweeter than I expected but overall a nice balance between hops and malt. Slightly toasted bready hops present.

M- Medium bodied beer with decent carbonation. A little watery, but the lack of dryness doesn't detract too much

D- Pretty high, I really enjoyed this one. With some minor flaws its an overall good offering from Sam Adams

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Photo of Brunite
3.86/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A nice clear copper color. Ecru head than leaves amazing lace.

S: Sweet caramel malts. Faint hops.

T: Sweet malt, bitter hops, caramel, toffee...nice balance.

M: Medium body. Bitter finish...dry.

O: I like this one. One of the better I have had from SA. Will try again.

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Photo of mdvatab
3.07/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle into imperial pint glass.
Best before 8/2011

Aroma: Rich, dark caramel malt. Butterscotch schnapps. Slight metallic note.
Appearance: Off-white 1.5 finger head quickly disappears to a thin layer of foam. Would have liked better head retention. Iced tea-colored body with a slight chill haze.
Flavor: Rich toffee, caramelized sugar, and Cracker Jack. Bittersweet finish with slight metallic twang.
Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation/body. Caramel malty sweetness coats tongue.
Overall: I enjoyed the flavor of this one better than many other Irish reds that I've had, but was a bit let down by the metallic twang that I picked up. I rate it average, and would definitely try it again to see if I'm still picking up the metallic note

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Photo of bayougutter
3.13/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a translucent ruby red with a nice off-white head. Head lasted about thirty secs and was gone, just a little webbing left. aromas of bready malts, sweet caramel, maybe some dark fruits. Smells were somewhat muted and faint. Taste simular to smell and muted as well. Mouthfell was nice and average with good carbination.

I got this in sampler 12 pack. Not one of my favorites but a decent offering from SA. I can see me having this again maybe during a round of golf.

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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 cbutova
3.05/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Dark red body with a small light tan head. It makes it to about one finger before fizzing out. A small ring doesn't give me any lace.

S- Caramel malt and buttery notes come out the most for me. Toasted nutty hints as well as just a bit of grassy/earthy hops.

T- The malt gives me caramel, toasted nuts and toffee, semi-sweet overall. Also contains notes of raisins, earthy hops and bread.

MF- Light-end body with high carbonation. Some bitterness in the finish.

A decent beer but nothing really sticks out to me. Not as solid as many other Sam Adams offerings.

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Photo of OStrungT
3.42/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a reddish brown color with a thin fluffy tan head. The head fades slowly, leaving a great lacing.

This beer has a biscuity malty aroma. I detect some toasted malt, amd maybe some earthy hops.

This beer tastes much like it smells. Biscuit and toffee. That is pretty much it.

This beer is carbonated well. It is crisp and refreshing, leaving a biscuit aftertaste.

This beer would probably make a good session beer., It is mild and low enough in alcohol to make is an easy drinker.

Overall: This beer is kind of boring, but it is a good beer to drink when you are not looking to get messed up. It is solid.

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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 jwinship83
3.38/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle picked up as part of the american originals mixed twelve pack. drank from a snifter. not many choices for glassware where i was at.

A- this one pours out a translucent rich looking ruby red colored body under a thin layer of eggshell colored head. the head is quick to fall and leaves behind small spots of lacing.

S- the nose seems pretty quick and to the point here. nothing fancy. toasted bread-like malts and some caramel which adds sweetness. earthy hops finish this off.

T- the taste starts out with more of the bready and caramel malts that i could smell, giving it a moderately sweet backbone. after that i pick up some slight fruitiness. a little bit of cherries and maybe a touch of plum. earthy and spicy hops finish come in towards the end.

M- the body is a solid medium with average carbonation.

D- not my favorite beer from samuel adams. not a really exciting beer at all. id drink it in a pinch, but its not something ill actively be seeking out.

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

Poured this Irish Red ale from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. This beer poured a dark amber color and it produced a small amount of head. Head retention was poor but the lacing is very nice. The Aroma was a nice; caramel and malt came through. The beer itself is medium in body and it is malty sweet. There are some hints of toasted malt but not enough in my opinion for the style. This beer is barely average.

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Photo of Chaney
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a crystal clear, well... red crystal color. The head was about a finger + reddish-brown head with a pretty tight bubble formation.

S: A bit of cake icing, with a VERY malty presence. Nothing too potent, just enjoyable candy goodness.

T: Almost like a mild Scottish Ale actually, but a bit more watered down than that. The malt appearance backbone was astounding in that there really wasn't a trace of hops to be found... just Sam Adams taste profile, diluted candy sugar, and a bit of cherry Kool-Aide on the aftertaste.

M: It seems like most of SA's beers in their variety packs have the same carbonation level, so I'll go with that. The sweetness was tempered, if somewhat watered-down, and the lacing was substantial.

O: Some of my craft beer friends go nuts over this, but personally, I've had better. I would basically place this a half notch above most of the reviews on BA.

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Photo of
2.83/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a small head, which quickly fades. Clear dark red in color. Strong hop smell, also is kind of buttery with misc. yeast funk. Fruity tasting, earthy and has kind of a sharp aftertaste (yeast?). Hop flavor is a little bit masked by this. Has a slightly creamy mouthfeel.
Not my favorite from the sample pack I bought, it had a little too much yeast flavor for my taste.

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Photo of kflack
2.71/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle, drink before 7/2011.

A: Pours with a one finger head that disappears quickly, light lacing. Golden red color (duh). Looks to loose it carb quickly.

S: Not a lot going on here, light caramel, Stuck the bottle to my nose and still not much else.

T: A little hoppy in the finish, light biscuts but oddly bitter.

M: Smooth with little carb. A little sticky, a little chewy. Could really use some more body to it.

O: Not bad, but not one I will purchase again. Overall very bland.

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Photo of NickRivers
2.95/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A&S - Nice whiskey red, creamy tan one finger head, some malts, little yeast, and spices on the nose.

T&M - Sweet alcoholy malts on the front which fades to a spicey end with a slight hop bite. Medium heavy body with a syrup mouthfeel.

O - I welcome this beer in my Variety Packs.

Pretty good SA. As I said I don't mind this coming in my Variety Packs but I probably wouldn't go out of my way to buy a six pack of it as I would Oktoberfest. Nice starter red, but I prefer the Dunk that comes in the Fall Pack. Stay thirsty my friends.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Sam Adams sensory pint glass.

I find it odd that it's taken me this long to try this beer. Oh well. It pours a clear russet-garnet topped by a half-finger of dirty cream foam. The nose comprises toffee, orange peel, light black pepper, and light toasted rye bread. The taste amps things up a good deal, leaving me with notes of peppery toffee, toasted rye bread (plenty o' crust), and clove-y orange zest. I gotta say, I enjoy this stuff. The body is a light-ish medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta dry finish. Overall, a nice, malty Irish red, something I could see drinking over and over if presented with the proper situation.

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Photo of OhSoHoppy
3.11/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From bottle to Glass (sam adams perfect pint)

A- Poured very nicely good color, definitely an Irish Red but at the same time surprised it wasn't a little more red. Rich looking head that lasted an average amount of time.

S- Smell was good.. but nothing jumped out and grabbed me, or made me overly excited to drink this beer.

T- Good, very modest, smooth, like a cold creamy glass of seasoned liquid bread. biggest flavor in this beer is the malt.
I just wish there was a hint of more hops

M- Favorite part of this beer was the body, definitely matches the taste of being creamy and smooth, very full bodied.

O- Average beer, nothing to really bash or truly praise. I Enjoy this beer and will continue to drink it, as it comes in the Samuel Adams variety pack. But I can't say I would ever buy a 6 pack of it by itself.

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Photo of MattyG85
3.76/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into Sam Adams glass.

Appearance: Deep reddish brown with a decent head that quickly dissipates.

Smell: Slightly sweet caramel malt with a hint of hops.

Taste: Caramel sweetness up front with a light bready taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium with a slightly creamy feel.

Overall: A nice tasty Red.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.3/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I like this beer, I just don't feel that it's as good as it could be. The color of this beer is a very nice red. The malts and hops are there on every sip. The head doesn't last very long. The Beer is very drinkable and worth trying anytime. I just feel that there are better Sam Adams brews out there.

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Photo of sj660
3.82/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lacking in head retention, but lacing is ok. Medium red color. But appearance isn't everything. In fact, it's not much, really. But we're asked to judge it anyway.

I don't smell much. Just a faintly malty caramel. The taste is malty, bready, a little toffee, and a little bit of hops. Buttery.

Medium body, medium carbonation, and a little slicker than you'd expect from a beer that's so warming.

Nothing wrong with this beer. Worth drinking.

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Photo of MadCat
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Reddish brown, decent head that dissipates fast, leaving good lacing

Smell: Sweet caramely malts, and subtle hints of hops.

Taste: More sweet caramely malts, subtle hops, some bitterness

Mouthfeel: Medium body, crisp carbonation

Overall: Easy session beer, but seems just average to me. I think Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale ruined this beer for me. I have no problem drinking more, but I would gladly go for anything else in my fridge. I remember getting this when it was first available, and not being too impressed with it, and that was when the only Irish Red I could compare it to was Smithwicks. I would pick most Sam Adams brews over this. Looks like something I won't get again unless it is in another mixed 12 pack.

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Photo of AleEvangelist
3.33/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Very nice copper color with effervescent head, calming down to a pillowy froth, which settled down to a half-finger layer with significant lacing. Perhaps darker than other reds I've sampled, though the light in the room could have been a little more muted than I would have otherwise have liked.

Smell: Revealing very little in the nose. Some malt, smallish amount of hop aroma, slight hints of ash, perhaps imparted by the roasted malts they used to achieve the color.

Taste: This beer came out of a dying fridge, so it was warmer than you'd get it at most bars, which should bring out the malt, but sadly, malt is muted, hops are muted, leaving a slight metallic tang. The beer is certainly more malty than hoppy, and not unpleasant. Decent session beer, and would pair with dishes containing subtle flavors and aromas, as it won't be overpowering the food.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is somewhat more viscous than I expected with the malt being so subdued. Nice creamy feel in the mouth, and swishing only thickens it. I wonder what this beer would be like on Nitrogen.

Overall: Apart from the Triple Bock, Utopias, and Imperial Series, Sam Adams aims to not offend. It's a nice change from the "bigger is better" style that permeates the West Coast, (and which I LOVE), but I don't know that it's bombastic enough to stand out in a lineup. If I had 6 or 7 decent beers in a night, I would be afraid that the Irish Red would fade into the background. Like all of Sam Adams' beers, it is certainly a safe bet, and with Sam Adams being distributed everywhere, it's almost certain you'll be able to find it.

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Photo of zoso1967
3.96/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Irish Red pours a vibrant reddish copper color with an attractive, slightly tan head. The head is quite frothy and fades to a nice thin later that leaves plenty of sticky lace.

The aroma is rich, malty and bready. It has plenty of caramel and a bit of fruity character to it. Some toffee and sweet bread aromas are also present. There is little to no hop aroma with this beer.

The flavor is also malt forward with the same pleasant malty sweetness and sweet bread notes. Toffee and caramel again make an appearance and while the slight fruity character is a bit toned down, it does still make an appearance. The beer is well balanced with enough bitterness to keep it enjoyable and not too malty. Some herbal hops also make their presence known in the flavor.

The mouthfeel is pretty much spot on. Medium bodied with a subdued carbonation that helps give this beer a super smooth mouthfeel. The finish is just dry enough to make this quite quaffable.

I am not a huge fan of this style, but I found this beer to be quite sessionable and enjoyable. It is not all that complex, but it does taste quite good and what few flavors make up the whole package are rich and true. Just like the White, this was a bit of a pleasant surprise from this mixed twelve pack.

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Photo of brewdub17
3.29/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Gorgeous dark ruby color with orange hues and a light tan head.

Smell: Watery, semi-sweet notes with an alcoholic backbone.

Taste: Dry with small bitterness that is not attributed to excessive hop usage. Small traces of alcohol flavors.

Mouthfeel: Dryness lingers in the aftertaste but feels a little watery all around.

Overall: The brew looks amazing but does not give any extraordinary reasons to purchase more. Its not bad tasting by any means, just not exceedingly impressive. Slightly above average for style.

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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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