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
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Ratings: 2,545 |  Reviews: 1,013
Photo of sportscrazed2
3.34/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice dark reddish brown color with a minimum amount of head. Adequate amount of lacing that adds to appearance
Aroma: Apples and sour grapes. Slightly sour.
Taste: Slightly astringent with a nice amount of malt sweetness to balance it out. Hops are barely detectable in this brew. Leaves a slightly sour aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Low carbonation slightly sour, very pleasant.
Drinkability: Yeah I could go for another 1.
Overall Impression:Looks better than it tastes. Tastes alright but nothing really special here. Glad they always have at least a few bottles of boston lager in there mixes to persuade me to try out the out the others.

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Photo of MurphyMacManus
3.56/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle into pint glass

A: It's red. (Duh!) And clear. Nice head retention. Almost has a nitro-like head.

S: Caramel. Faint English hops -- slightly floral and citrusy. Something tea-like in there too.

T/M: Very smooth, almost nitro-like mouthfeel, but without the taste of nitro. Sweet. Lots of caramel in the flavor, with minimal balancing bitterness and a bit of tea-like astringency -- though not enough for my taste. It's a decent beer, but I don't know that I would necessarily call it an Irish Red.

D: Actually, pretty good as a session beer. Though maybe a bit strong.

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Photo of silver0rlead
4.25/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice amber color with a frothy beige head that leaves impressive lacing and retains well. The aroma is nice and earthy, with big fleur de sel caramel notes upfront, along with some grassy hops, red delicious apples, toasted bread, fruity esters and a faint hint of roast. The flavor is similar, with salty caramel notes initially, as well as red delicious apples, grassy hops, toasted bread, fruity esters, and some slight roasted notes. The mouthfeel is smooth and velvety, and drinkability is outstanding. A really strong effort from SA here, probably the best or second best Irish Red I've had, very sessionable.

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Photo of BaronRogue
3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle notched Jun 2011.

Poured into chalice... color is, surprise surprise, a deep red. Average head and minimal lacing.

Smells malty and slightly... metallic?

Tastes like earthy caramel, with the hops jumping in to say hello every now and then.

Feels a little strange in the mouth, a bit like a thick soda.

Quite drinkable, a nice change to the really bitter beers i normally prefer. Brings to mind sitting in a pub in the UK, sipping pints til the early morning. Not the best red, but worth a try, it's drinkable and affordable when it's on sale.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Red pour, good clarity, poor head, retention and lacing. Slight sweet malt note to it.

Taste is largely unadventurous, which means its definitely brewed to style. Breadiness, moss flavor. Can't detect hops, much like the majority of the SA profile. Easy enough to drink, but isn't going to knock your socks off. A suitable upgrade for your BMC swilling friends.

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Photo of Kinsman
3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours into my glass with a dark chestnut red color and some lighter bronze highlights. A thin light tan colored head makes an all too brief appearance for my liking.

Aroma is noticeably sweet with the caramel malts and some biscuty notes too. Some of the spiciness associated with the East Kent Goldings can be detected but this is not by any means a hoppy aroma.

Taste seems to be on par with the aroma. Sweet caramel malt flavors dominate the palate and a fruity syrup like flavor comes in right behind. Hops seem to add a touch of flavor and a little bitterness but not enough to balance out the malt.

Mouthfeel may be the highlight of this beer for me, with a slightly dry but very clean medium body feel to it. This feel is really making this beer hit the spot for me.

Overall, it's hard to say too much about this beer for its style. This style isn't going to wow anyone, but this Irish Red can please anyone looking for a simple and refreshing ale.

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Photo of theo871
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into perfect pint.

Pours a deep orange-red with a quickly dissipating head that leaves behind little to no lacing.

Smells faintly of malt, picking up on some toastiness.

Tastes sweet up front, which moves to a bitterness on the back end. Aftertaste is a little sour.

Mouthfeel is crisp, clean, creamy. Dryness on the finish.

Drinkability is good, nothing too exciting, but there's enough here to keep me interested for a bottle or two.

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Photo of rlshep
3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Light malt in the aroma.

Orangish red in color. Small white head dissipates quickly. No lacing. Very clear.

Malty, Light caramel. A bit of toast. Low hop bitterness. No hop flavor. A hint of dark fruits, maybe a dark cherry.

Medium low mouthfeel. Medium high carbonation. Alcohol not noticeable.

A decent beer. Nothing off putting, just a little too boring. I would like to see stronger malt flavors and a bigger mouthfeel. Easy drinking.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.2/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not that I've had a ton of Irish Reds, but this isn't among the best. 1 step forward, 2 steps back. Seems for every one pro about this, there's roughly 2 cons...I like to say.

The color reminds me of blood-tainted urine - so it's pretty much spot-on (could use a lil more blood maybe). Bubbling is soft, compact, and smooth to the touch, initially. Head don't stay around long though. (pro?)

Smells lightly of white bread toast and a somewhat surprising degree of, is that, chocolate malt?! I'd say there IS a slight roasted character to the malt as well. Overall, the aromas are more bold than I'm used to with these ales. Not baaad...

The flavor is where, ah!, the roasted characters of the malt come forward more, yet a strangely stomach-acid/corn-oil presides over it all. Light-moderate malt presence - about what I'd expect from an big-craft, American version. My friend described the taste as "drinking a bag of pennies". It sports an above-mellow bitter bite throughout and just about has the mouthfeel and lingering essence of a circus peanut.

C'mon, sirs, you can do a little better than this. I won't be ordering one of these anytime soon.

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Photo of JDew
3.79/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a beer mug

A - Pours a deep amber, clear, with a creamy thick head, two fingers. Lacing all over the top and almost spilled over the top of my mug - almost took a picture

S - Mostly a quick whiff of malted barley maybe rye and other bread, some sweet smells somewhere in there too, not too potent

T - Butterscotch and toasty malts, full and creamy flavor that hides itself from the smell. Almost sweet, but not sugary

M/D - The first foamy sips are the best, smooth and rich, full of that butterscotch feel, medium body though, and easy to come back for another

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Photo of gatorguy
3.28/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Another review of a Sam Adams brew. Pours a ruby red color with about two fingers of white head that has some lacing. Smell is of caramel malts and also has some biscuit notes. Taste starts out somewhat sweet from the caramel malts, has a bready taste through the middle, then finishes kind of bitter with a hint of hops. The aftertaste is dry, and a little unpleasant but not enough to ruin the overall taste and experience. Drinkability wise, a few at a time is about the limit due to the aftertaste. Definitely not a session beer. Overall, another good offering from Sam, but far from their best.

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Photo of DovaliHops
3.23/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear ruby red-amber color with a medium-small white head. Scent is somewhat buttery with biscuit/bread aromas. I also get some caramel malt and a bit of dark fruits. Taste is nice balance of malts with very subtle bread flavors and earthy notes. Hop flavors are there, but not really anything too special. Mouthfeel is somewhat full-bodied with a slightly unpleasant finish. Drinkability is fair.

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Photo of mwa423
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very clear dark red with a half finger of off white head and good lacing all the way down the glass.

S - Light sweet maltiness with a hint of grain. There's a fresh light hop note but it's very faint.

T - The taste is very full and has a sweetness that fades to a bitter note. There is a bready taste in the mouth that leaves a dryness in the aftertaste.

M/D - Mouthfeel is thick and rich but also creamy and dry on the end. Very drinkable and a nice transition beer between wintery stouts and summer wheat beers.

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Photo of tbern007
3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy, ruby red. Thick, long lasting head with a lot of sticky lace.
S - malty, a little hoppy, light yeast.
T - sweet, caramel, malty. There is good balance with some hops.
M & D - very clean, very drinkable. Great red. Sweetens a bit as it warms but not too sweet. Great balance.

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

12oz bottle poured into pint glass

Pours a deep mahogany brown with some reddish tones. A frothy head retains well with some bubbly film and rings of lacing.

Bready malt in the nose with hints of caramel and citrus hops.

Slight hop bitterness up front with citrusy tones. Bready malt base with some toasted grain. Caramel sweetness with a drop of honey. Finishes with a bittersweet mix.

Fuller medium body, higher carbonation, very sticky and chewy. Pretty drinkable, but a forgettable flavor profile and an easy loser when compared to other hopped up ambers.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a ruby red color with a 1 finger head that sticks around for a decent time

S: Smells like malt with light caramel notes

T: Pretty malty and bready, with a small bitter aftertaste

M: Fairly light with medium-high carbonation

D: Like most SA beers, this is pretty drinkable and tastes pretty good. Nothing too special about this one though

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

A - This beer pours a coppery red color. It has a thin off-white head, that dissipates quickly. The head left little lacing behind as it fell. It also has a nice clarity to it.

S - The smell is a bit faint here, but I am getting some toasted malt and caramel sweetness. There are also notes of hops, light fruits, and ... butter?

T - This tastes of sweet caramel malts, brown sugar, and earthy hops. The finish is pretty clean. This is a pretty good beer, but overall the taste is pretty average.

M - It has a medium-light body and high carbonation. It has a bit of a smooth and creamy feel to it.

D - Overall, this is a pretty drinkable beer. It is pretty good, but it seems pretty average. I would try again, but I'd like to see what other red ales are out there.

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Photo of mpcrump
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Cloudy reddish color with an off-whit almost almond looking head. Fairly small head that lingers for quite a while.

S: Interesting mixture of caramel, tofee, and hops. Smells sweet somehow.

T: Caramel, toffee, and biscuits. A small amount of bitterness.

M: Right down the middle. Not light, not heavy. A little bit of sweetness.

D: Good enough. I'm ok with Irish Reds. Not a huge fan but they are ok in my book. This seems to be a decent Irish Red. I would drink again.

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Photo of Apellonious
3.39/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy reddish brown. Creamy head, dissipates quickly. Mildly bitter aroma, cant quite place it. Very malty taste, again slightly bitter, with some sweetness of the caramel variety. Detecting a hint of fruit, faint raisin. The mouthfeel is thick, yet crisp, the carbonation is perfect. The only thing holding this beer back is the aroma, which (at least this bottle) was slightly pungent or off. Worth a try, but it may need more consumptuary investigation. Yep, created a word there.... Consumptuary... It means to consume a beverage, primarily beer, for a purpose related to sharing information regarding said beverage with other consumers

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Photo of mikesgroove
2.83/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

reviewed from notes, part of the big sam adams tasting on xams day. we plowed through everyone we could find in the damn state! served cold and poured into a pint glass.

nice medium brown color with hints of red on the sides that give way to a nice and well rounded off white head that seems to serve the purpose quite well. aroma is one sided with tons of bready malts and grains and lacking a hoppy balance and this would be a theme throughout the glass. lots of caramel, hints of earthy notes, breads, but the feel was a bit thin to me and it lacked that touch of hops to bring balance to it.

overall it was not a bad beer by any means, but just seemed to be lacking overall for my taste.

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Photo of rpardon7
2.16/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from the bottle a crimson red with a decent off white head that lingered for some time. Smell was dominated by sweet malt a bit of roast to it but mostly caramel malt. Taste pretty much the same very one sided caramel malt with hardly a trace of hops to be found. Too sweet with no balance. Mouthfeel was decent, the beer had some smooth creaminess to it. Drinkability is there if you like the beer but I for one will not purchase another one of these. Sam adams has some decent brews but this isn't one of them

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Photo of bnes09
3.79/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Red-amber in color. Pours a thin head which really doesn't stick around that long. Forms some lacing but it just slides down the glass.

Nice aroma. Nutty. Spicy. Caramel malt and mild hop bite.

Flavor goes along with the smell. It has a nice smooth caramel sweetness that sets the tone. Malt is balanced with a mild herbal hop flavor. Cashew and walnut flavors. Fairly complex, tasty and well balanced.

Medium-bodied brew and a bit chewy. Well carbonated. Semi-course texture.

Overall, this is pretty descent stuff. It can go up against the modern day Smithwick's for sure.

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Photo of JayS2629
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Ruby red with medium white head that recedes quickly and leaves minimal lace.

S- Sweet caramels, rich toffee, and hints of fruit, tea, biscuits, nutty notes, and earthy hints.

T- Follows the nose, caramels and toffee. Malt forward with a touch of earthy hops. Sweet and nutty.

M- Medium balanced with slight creamy feel

D- Very easy to drink.

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Photo of tburus
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: A ruby orange transparent liquid with slow rising carbonation and a one finger, off-white head.

Smell: Picking up sour malt and yeast as well as some smell that I can't really describe as anything but "off." It's not really bad, it's just different. It's not skunkiness though; I'm pretty sure it's intentional.

Taste: Sour and bitter malt flavors with a medium amount of carbonation. The taste is pretty much right on what I expected from the smell.

Mouthfeel: A little sour malt left over but mostly the yeastiness is what I taste now. Like most Sam Adams, it's a good aftertaste that makes it easy to take that next drink, but not much in the way of exciting feel.

Drinkability: This is an average beer in a not so common style, so it is an acceptable choice. I like it, but I am waiting to get my hands on other offerings in the same style such as Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale and Three Floyd's Brian Boru. Worth a try in the meantime.

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Photo of shand
3.82/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep red with about a finger and a half worth of head. Lacing and retention are both slightly below average. Aroma focuses mostly on caramel malts, but there's some slight fruit and hop aspects here too. The taste is very good! Although there's a main caramel malt, a masterful blend of slightly bitter fruits and hops really helps temper the malt bomb, making this a perfectly drinkable malty brew. Nothing outstanding, but just a nice balanced, malty brew.

The mouthfeel is just about right, it's highly carbonated and on the lighter side of medium bodied. It's also very drinkable. A solid beer from Sam Adams. It won't offend or amaze, but is an enjoyable drink.

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