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

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Samuel Adams Irish RedSamuel Adams Irish Red
2,558 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
Ratings: 2,558 |  Reviews: 1,015
Photo of ramseye4
3.42/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A=Pours a transparent light red color with minimal head and lacing.
S=light malt, a bit of sweetness. Subdued aroma overall.
T=Very sweet malt, a bit of molasses and booze
M=Very highly carbonated and sticky
D=decent but the sweetness brings it down

 250 characters

Photo of wmtxbb
2.15/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Bottle poured into pint glass

Appearance: Dark Amber with no head, barely something you'd consider lacing.

Smell: Clean barley, almost sweet. Smells a lot like Guinness.

Taste: Light tart, moderate levels of caramel/amber malt, liquorish, and a little bitterness. Needs more malt character.

Drinkability: Ends with this weird tartness and a lingering liquorish flavor I could do without. Meh. I hate to dish any craft brewery, but this brew... is lacking.

 460 characters

Photo of secondtooth
3.58/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Attractive and classy amber with a massive tan head.

Intricate lace. Nice!

Aroma is malty and sweet, with hints of caramel, sugar, and maple.

Flavor is malty sweet, as well. Nothing fanciful or too complex.

Easy to drink, but not a standout from Sam Adams.

 260 characters

Photo of Bogforce
3.19/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a ruby dark brown color with about a finger of head that goes away when you start drinking it.

S: Not good at all.. Just getting some kind of corn/pale malt smell that is not good

T: Dark malt flavor, like a dark fruit raisin taste with a little bittle of toffee

M: Little too carbonated for me, kind of bites the tongue. Leaves a dry taste in your mouth

D: Definitely could have plenty of these

Not something I would buy again

 441 characters

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

12oz brown bottle

Samuel Adams Irish Red was amber in color with good clarity. It had a beige head with decent retention with a little lacing. The smell was sweet malt and a little toasty. The taste was a little sweet upfront with toasted malt and some balancing bitterness. The finish was dry and balanced. The mouthfeel was good with a medium body and good carbonation. The drinkability was good as well. This is a nice and well made Irish Red Ale and worth a try.

 467 characters

Photo of porcelli426
3.08/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a pilsner glass

A-Deep red color, about a 1 finger of head

S-Carmel, sweet malty smell. Little hoppy notes

T- M- Smooth with sweet and small amounts of bitter with a surprisingly dry finish

D- Pretty tasty but I don't know if I could drink more than a few

 279 characters

Photo of stckhndlr
3.92/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Light rusty red color with a good two finger head. Lacing moves fast back into place when swirled around the glass.

S- sweet malt notes with caramel undertones. A very pleasant smell. Doesn't offend in any way to me.

T- Has the classic bite of most Sam Adams brews. Caramel malt up front with a dry finish. Aftertaste has a slight bite but it lingers in a good way.

M- Nice medium body, not to watery not to thick. Glides across the tongue with ease.

D- I would say this one if very drinkable. Picture something like a Killians Irish red with more of a bite.

 565 characters

Photo of SickGnar
3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Faintly coppery robust amber with an off-white to light-tan head that sticks around a bit, but eventually settles to a skim and leaves pretty decent lacing.

S: Caramel malts with roasty edges and hints of lightly toasty grain. Faint grassy and herbal hops. Nice, but not every aromatic. It opens a tad upon warming, but not much.

T: Nicely complex, whish is great for a style that often comes off fairly one-dimensional. The backbone is the expected straight ahead, middle of the road crystal 40/60. Maybe some 80, some noticeable chocolate and perhaps a lesser amount of black patent or roasted barely ad just the barest dark hints. On the lighter end I am also picking up some toasty, nutty, and biscuit notes along with a soft grainy / light crystal sweetness. Hops balance nicely, almost firmly. Herbal and spicy with some grassy hints at the edges. Hop flavor and bitterness linger for a good while. Way at the end some super faint diacetyl pokes through along with near intimations of raisins. A really attractive range of flavors.

M: Medium body with slightly over average carbonation. Some residual sugars, but trending to drying in the finish.

D: Balanced and very well-rounded. Robust enough without being overly complex. A fine drinking and interesting example of a lesser made style that often comes off as cloyingly simplified.

 1,347 characters

Photo of pburland23
3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

From a Brewmasters Collection mixed six pack.

12 ounce bottle poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Beer pours a deep red with a barely noticeable, thin white head that receded to some slight lacing. Aroma is sweet and malty. Nothing to write home about it. Taste is buttery and sweet, very malty.

The carbonation seems inefficient and the mouthfeel on the whole is a little thin. Drinkability is pretty good though. You can definitely drink a few of these in a sitting. I've paired Sam Irish Red with corned beef and cabbage before and its a good pairing for an Irish dinner.

As others have said, there aren't a lot of Irish reds on the market and Sam's offering while not a world class beer is a pretty good representation of the style and a lot better option than many of the mass produced Irish beers on the market today.

 836 characters

Photo of PicoPapa
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle with a Best Before Date notched at July. Pours a rusty red color with almost no head. Minimal lacing. Aromas of bread, malts, and butter. Taste is buttery and bready, almost tastes like a Ritz cracker. A bit of a caramel twinge to it as well. Malty. Overall, it is an alright beer but definitely belongs in a mix 12 pack and not on it's own.

 353 characters

Photo of AlexanderSelby
3.35/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice ruby-red color, not a big head. Smell is malty and bready. I taste a buttered roll here, with a slight black pepper aftertaste. It is noticeably malty, but hardly all that sweet. Little bitterness, and a slight dry finish.

I would turn to this guy if I wanted an all night beer that still had a decent flavor. It is still far from impressive, though, but I guess that is what is to be expected from an Irish Red. To be honest, I haven't had too many of this style (mainly just Killian's) so I as far as I know, this is as good as they come.

 546 characters

Photo of BeerMeInMS
4.11/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drinking Date: 1/5/11
Best By Date - June 2011

Glassware - Tulip-shaped ale glass

Appearance: Deep red...the color of rust and kinda hazy. Mine poured very litte foam and what little was there dissipated immediately.

Smell: I noticed a strong yeast aroma combined with sweetness and a roasted character. Pleasing variety in the smell.

Taste: A long and complex taste. The best overall word to describe it was 'earthy'. There was the sweetness like caramel that was contrasted by a strong roasted flavor, all of which was set in a heavy, strong flavor that I describe as earthy. The brew had a long finish of roasted character and left a dry, bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-body with moderate carbonation; mouth was dry in the aftertaste.

Drinkability: The flavor was pleasing and interesting throughout the beer. I only had one, but I can easily see having two or three. Seems like a beer that would fit anytime of the year.

Notes: Recommended. Other than lacking in the appearance category, this drink was great. Red ales are one of my favorite styles, and I will come back to this brew in the near future.

 1,121 characters

Photo of dcook11
4.03/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Two finger head no lacing little carbonation. Beer itself is amber red. Smells of chocolate, malt, vanilla and some hops. Taste is very similiar. Mouthfeel is medium and drinkability is high. Very good beer that could be improved by better look. Worth your buy

 260 characters

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.

 650 characters

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.

 587 characters

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.

 623 characters

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.

 555 characters

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.

 362 characters

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.

 971 characters

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.

 461 characters

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.

 442 characters

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.

 1,154 characters

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

 577 characters

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.

 599 characters

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.

 405 characters

Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.46 out of 5 with 2,558 ratings