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

Samuel Adams Irish RedSamuel Adams Irish Red
Liked This Beer
3.46 w/ 2,545 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

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,545 |  Reviews: 1,013
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

 251 characters

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!

 334 characters

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.

 1,043 characters

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."

 728 characters

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.

 559 characters

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.


 595 characters

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!

 977 characters

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.

 814 characters

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.

 250 characters

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.

 456 characters

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.

 412 characters

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...

 1,012 characters

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.

 351 characters

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.

 862 characters

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..

 575 characters

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.

 307 characters

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

 314 characters

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.

 605 characters

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.

 817 characters

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

355ml bottle, consumed Feb 2011.

A - Mahogany red body with a decent head on the pour that dissipates fairly quickly, leaving moderate lacing.

S - Grainy aromas of caramel malts with a little hops.

T - Caramel and toffee sweetness with a slightly hoppy finish.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation.

D - Very drinkable, either on its own or as a session.

 362 characters

Photo of JunkYardJake
2.95/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle to pint glass.
Pours a dark amber-brown color with little to no head. Smells malty and a little buttery. Palate is mostly caramel malts with some notes of raisan and toffee. Medium body with a creamy mouthfeel. Somewhat drinkable but is pretty much an average brew.

 278 characters

Photo of DrJay
2.9/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Clear, deep copper with an inch of beige foam. Bready aroma, malty and caramel, faint grassiness. Same in the flavour, light bitterness that lingered in the finish, kind of a spicy and metallic end after a grassy middle. Slight alcohol character, lightish bodied with average carbonation. This one just didn't come together for me and felt a little harsh.

 355 characters

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

[Best served in an English Pint]

The pour was a clear dark deep mahogany with a small (less than 1 finger) off white frothy head that was mostly diminishing and did not have much lacing at all.

The aroma was heavy of a biscuit malt, a light floral hop, and an earthy yeast with notes of caramel and some toffee.

It tasted malty sweet with a hint of toffee from the start and then had a slightly bitter hoppiness to it with a light sweet caramel finish. The flavor lasted an average amount of time after the swallow allowing for the malty bitter sweetness to settle nicely on the taste buds.

Mouthfeel was creamy in texture and just a shade under medium in body with a lively carbonation.

Overall this beer has a nice sweet maltiness with a touch of hops to it. Although it is a tasty and average brew, I have to say I did it enjoy it and would drink another.

 864 characters

Photo of Erish
3.48/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into a nonic pint glass. Best by May, 2011.

A: clear medium red/orange-amber, an aggressive pour produced a nice three-finger head, it maintains a nice light tan cap and good lacing.

S: molasses-soaked whole-grain bread dough, light fruity esters, a bit of earthy funk, a hint of caramel.

T: all of the aromas come through in the taste, but there is a definite lack of depth to this beer, especially up front and in the finish, the hop presence is subdued and fruity/earthy.

M: light to medium-bodied, watery to faintly silky texture, moderate carbonation, but the finish is lacking.

D: while not bad, I believe BBC phoned this beer in. Still, BBC rarely misfires when it comes to the look of a beer.

 733 characters

Photo of DMXLOX22
3.82/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up this sixer after a long disappearence from BA. Hope to start fresh again!

Appearance: Chestnut brown, with a nice blackened haze floating upwards as soon as I pour it. Not too impressed considering this is a RED ale, but still somewhat impressive.

Smell: nice robust odor of caramal malts, but also a slight overtone of grain. Possibly just an oversight, but does has a sweet tint of roast to it.

Taste: Thick and dark roast taste at first, but also has a slight espresseo and vanilla flavor to it. Enjoyable overall and the aftertaste leaves somewhat creamy.

Mouthfeel: Medium to Medium-light body. Solid to say the least.

Drinkability: Average when it comes to Irish ales, which happen to be a favorite of mine for their bitterness and texture, but it wasn't bad atall. Definitely a brew I would try again espically with St. Patrick's day around the corner. Recommended if your a fan of the Irish ale genere, but if you've had smithwicks or Killian's, then this a beer for you. Cheers!

 1,002 characters

Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 32.4% out of 100 with 2,545 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.