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

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Samuel Adams Irish RedSamuel Adams Irish Red
2,551 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:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,551 |  Reviews: 1,013
Photo of Knapp85
3.3/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

 302 characters

Photo of sj660
3.82/5  rDev +10.4%
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 +3.5%
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 -3.8%
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 +14.5%
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 -4.9%
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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Photo of Snow81
3.09/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Brownish red clear glow

Head: Light tan frosty head

Smell: Sweet malts with little grass and some caramel

Taste: Caramelized malts with a sweet grassiness

Weight: Medium to light body with a medium carbonation

Finish: Grassy and earth

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.64/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Once again....Samual Adams does what many think impossible....a micro taste in a from a macro brewer!! This beer is red/amber with decent white head and good lacing. As with most reds, the smell is weak. The taste is decent, along the Killians line...mouthfeel is easy so it could be a lllooonnngggg SESSION! Top of the evening to YA!

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Photo of farrago
3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nicely whipped up and frothy light tan head, crests around two fingers, decent staying power in spite of its general delicacy, in turn has a credible amount of lacing sticking around. Brown to red amber in color, darker than most while also unblemished with transparency and clarity, decent activity in the bubbles. The nose is very malty and smooth with caramel, toffee, milk chocolate, brown sugar and ripe cherry, plum and apricot fruit scents, has some peat, tar and earth elements as well, light grass presence but hops not factoring in here. Full-bodied, well-carbonated and close to fluffy through the attack, immediately covers the mouth from cheek-to-cheek. Lays on that molasses, brown sugar, maple, caramel, however, a brush of pine, orange citrus, raw grains, and straw helps dry it out as it moves forward. Retains that mix of cherry, berry to peach, apricot fruit. One of those beers that's hard not to like when it's in your glass and going down the gullet but unlikely to make you want to pull the trigger on a future purchase.

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Photo of bagpiper2005
3.78/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour: Deep, dark ruby red color. A finger and a half of tan head that dissipated pretty quickly and left some streaks of lacing on the glass.

Smell: Caramel and some dark roasted malts. A hint of apple and hops.

Taste: Very biscuity tasting with caramel sweetness up front. Slightly fruity and nutty middle, and finishes with a bittersweet sweet tea flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and slightly creamy. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Quite smooth drinking and very sessionable. I could easily have a few of these.

Final Notes: A pretty good beer. It's nothing just out of the park, but it's a solid choice and one of the better Irish Reds I've had the pleasure of drinking. An ideal selection for a "first beer."

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Photo of largadeer
3.41/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear crimson red with a slim head that recedes fast, leaving some webbed lacing behind.

Very subtle aroma, largely consisting of toasted, lightly caramelized malt. Fruity esters and toasted nuts come out as it warms, along with a slight sulfur note.

Tastes pretty good, similar to the aroma but bolder. Semi-sweet caramel malt backed by a mild roasty note. Plum-like fruitiness and toasted nuts pop up mid-palate. Slightly buttery in the finish with a mild hop bitterness that doesn't linger.

A pretty good beer overall, easy to drink and nicely balanced.

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

Sam Adams' Irish Red

C: 4.0 - Medium brown, which appears to be red in direct light. Filtered crystal clear. Pours with about a 1/2 inch of white head.

S: 3.5 - Malty, Roasted scent similar to a brown ale. Hint of sweetness.

T: 3.5 - Sweet in the front. With an alomst fruity/floral taste in the middle followed by a slight bitter finish.

M: 4.0 - Good Carbonation. Smooth texture. Nice Body. Not watery.

D: 3.5 - Better than a brown ale. This beer has a very good balance of flavors and texture. Overall a very easy to drink beer, which is also enjoyable.


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Photo of damndirtyape
3.52/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (best by June 2011) poured into a Shaker Pint glass.

Appearance: Nice dark, but clear, coppery-red beer with some nice sized bubbles moving up through the beer. Beer poured a dense 1/4" thick light tan head which died down to a dense, but thin, skin across the top. Some strands of lacing here and there.

Smell: Wow....there's nothing here. Maybe a very faint malt smell, but it's surprisingly odorless. Very odd.

Taste: For something with very little smell it makes up for it in flavor. Nice caramel malt moving into some toasted smells and then a nice bitter finish. Nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation on the tongue with a reasonable thickness to it. Goes down easy and doesn't cling to the teeth.

Drinkability / Overall: Despite the lack of smell (which I still don't get - maybe it's me) it's a good beer. Very drinkable and I could have another - balanced, good and malty, and nice to look at. Not an amazing Irish red, but quite good. Cheers!

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Photo of greenmonstah
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into pint glass

A - pours a dark copper brown with half a finger of offwhite head that dissipates into a thin soapy wisp.

S - Typical Irish Red aroma, with some sweetly toasted malt characteristics.

T - Toasted malt with some artificial caramel flavor. Finishes a little dry and sweet.

M - Light to medium body with some active carbonation and a nice drying finish.

O - This is my first "Overall" score since the change from drinkability. I will put less emphasis on ABV considerations and things like that and focus on the overall impression of the beer. That said, the beer is a perfectly average Irish Red. It goes down easy and tastes fairly average. A alright beer, but I'd probably just settle for a Killian's due to the price of that beer and my not-so-discerning tastes for the Irish Red.

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Photo of Meerkey
3.77/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Little head, very deep red, brown. A nice looking beer.

S: Caramel, malts, hops.

T: Same as the smell, bitter -going into a malty sweet finish.

M: Carbonated, sweet, enjoyable.

D: Very -this is good. Pleasant, I'd have another. Easy to drink.

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

Deep reddish hue with a yellow-ish head.

Aroma of off-dry, slightly nutty and caramel malts.

A fairly one dimensional flavor of caramel malt, but fairly dry and without any fruit notes or other distractions but for a tip of the hops on the finish. It kind of reminded me of drinking Smithwicks, which can be considered a good thing for style points, but a bad thing for genuine enjoyment.

Medium-full body with a dry malty finish showing a dash of hops.

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Photo of Duff27
3.31/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a one-inch, off-white head. Clear red with some effervescence. Above average lacing and good head retention.

S- Slightly grainy/grassy. Malty.

T- Bready. Caramel malts. Faint hop presence if any.

M- Thin to medium mouthfeel....kinda watery.

D/O- A very "sessionable" beer here. This would be a good one to have a 6 pack of when the focus isn't on the beer. One of the weaker BBC beers in my opinion.

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Photo of philbe311
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - A thin layer, less than a fingers worth, of fizzy off-white colored head... Minimal retention gives way to a splotchy lace and thin collar... A couple carbonation bubbles can be seen bursting through the surface... The color is a glowing vibrant reddish amber... A moderate bit of moderate paced carbonation...

S - Rich malty nose... Caramel... Toasted malts... Fresh baked bread... Slightly nutty... A bit of fruitiness... Very faint euro hop presence...

T - Not as sweet as expected... There is a sweet caramel/toffee flavor, but it is balanced well with subtle but effective hoppiness from the East Kent Goldings... A bit of graininess... Slightly complex...

M - Medium bodied... Quite dense... A bit lush with a touch of creaminess... Nice carbonation...

D - An easy drinking sessionable offering from the Boston Beer company... There's nothing remarkable about it, but it goes down very easily... Could have several of these in a sitting and I would never shy away form drinking in the future...

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Photo of rtepiak
2.97/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

a beer that would be served at a happy hour said one of my drinking buddies. This is a amber red pour with a head that fades somewhat quick. Nose of dextrose and grain. Palate of just about the same too. Mellow feel but no consistent quality besides a lingering protein and aged sugars. Sees a bit too gritty like a one dimensional malt forward lager.

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Photo of ngeunit1
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a light amber-red color with a finger of frothy tanish head. The head does not retain for long and leaves behind a tad of lacing.

S - Aroma has some roasted sweet carmel malts and just a touch of grassy hop mixed in. Overall, a bit to subtle.

T - Starts off with some sweet light roasted caramel malts and just a touch of grassy hop in the background. Starts a bit bland. Through the middle the malt comes through a bit stronger with a bit bread flavor. The finish has some bread flavor along side some toffee flavor which linger for a while.

M - Medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels a bit watery and bland. It does feel a bit refreshing though.

D - Very drinkable, but mostly because there is not all that much going on. Pretty smooth but also not very exciting and a bit watery. Could have used some more intensity in a few areas.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.14/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another beer from the American Originals Pack

A-Clear dark amber. Not much head and it is gone instantly.

S-Bland, some Roasted and caramel malts

T-Also has the same roasted malts. Once again bland.

M-Light with no carbonation.

D-A very bland beer, one of Sam Adams worse offerings. I figured I'd get this and the White Ale out of the way first. There are better examples of the style and better offerings from Sam Adams. Don't waste your time with this one (unless your doing the whole Irish St. Patty's thing) or you desire to try all of Sam Adams once in your life..

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Photo of nimrod979
3.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber red with a one finger tan head that fades to a single ring of lace. Aroma is mostly sweet caramel malts. Flavor-wise, you get that same caramel malt with some mild earthy hops bitterness. Dry finish. Medium bodied, slightly creamy mouthfeel. It is a little better than Killian's, however.

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Photo of Outchillen
2.83/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Got this in a variety pack, reddish in color, white read, very mild body lighter than other reds, smooth, not much of an aftertaste, smell slightly sweet, not overly impressed, good for the style, very basic, nothing to crazy, would drink it again if in the mood for an IRA, but never really in the mood for an IRA

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Photo of NATOuk
3.51/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice bright red, clear with a decent head clearing quickly to a white ring around the glass.

Aromas of caramel malts, slight grassy notes of hops. Not a strong aroma overall.

A taste stronger than the smell led me to expect. Sweet caramels/toffee but a nice hop bite towards the end leaving a lingering bitterness at the back. Very smooth. Quite balanced although I was expecting slightly more in the hop finish.

Medium carbonation with a medium/medium-light body.

Very drinkable on its own or in quantity, not too rich in taste but not too weak either.

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Photo of G2Brew
2.95/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a stout glass at 45 degrees.

A -- Deep red brown with good clarity, and a nice full finger of off-white to light-brown head that fades pretty quickly, but leaves good lacing.

S - Caramel and grain up front, bready. Light, soft hops, and a fruity ester aroma. Not bad, but not very strong either.

T - A little disappointing, to me. I was expecting more from SA, and this didn't really give me anything over a Killian's IR. Modest sweet caramel and toffee flavors, light fruity notes, and a hoppy reminder in the finish.

M - Soft, but a little watery. Carbonation was OK, but not a lot here. Fairly refreshing, but not very exciting.

D - This is an OK beer, but not something I will go out of my way for. I'd probably pick it over a Killian's IR, but I won't be keeping it in my fridge.

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Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.46 out of 5 with 2,551 ratings
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