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

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Samuel Adams Irish RedSamuel Adams Irish Red
2,559 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: 2,559 |  Reviews: 1,015
Photo of GossageBrewery
3/5  rDev -13.3%
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 +10.7%
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 -18.2%
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 -21.7%
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 -14.7%
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 +12.1%
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 -10.1%
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 +8.7%
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 -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.

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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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Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.46 out of 5 with 2,559 ratings