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

2,540 Ratings
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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

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Ratings: 2,540 |  Reviews: 1,012
Photo of DannyDan
3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a dark red body with a small tan head that has decent retention and good lacing. The smell is of caramel, some malts, butterscotch, and some hops. The taste is a sweet caramel and ice tea like flavor with a hint of butterscotch and ends with some bitterness at the tip of the tongue. It has a very sticky mouthfeel that sticks to the lips in this light to medium bodied brew that has some carbonation to it. This is a very drinkable beer that I would have given it a 5.0 in drinkability if not for the harsh stickiness of it.

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Photo of FickleBeast
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a ping glass. Best by March 2011.

Pours reddish amber with one finger of sticky foam. Aroma is caramel sweetness, plum, candied fruit. Smells very nice.

Taste doesn't back up the smell. It is sweet, most likely crystal malts, but there is a lingering aftertaste that is not pleasant. Kind of a harsh, astringent bitterness. No real hop flavor. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, which takes away from the drinkability a bit.

All in all, a decent malty beer.

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Photo of JDFish
3.73/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled poured into a pint glass. Dark and cloudy, like turbid ice-t in color. Decent almond head and some lacing. Nothing outstanding in the smell category, mostly of malts and light nuts and citrus. Mouthfeel was pretty full, lots of carbonation. Not a real crisp sensation, little chalky. Its a very tastey and drinkable brew. Its worth a shot.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours a dark red color with an off white foamy head. Light carbonation and some lacing. Aroma is sweet caramel malt, fruit and touch of hops. Firm, reach, slightly oily body. Flavor is juicy, sweet caramel malt, fruit perfectly balanced by earthy hops. Finish becomes dry and earthy. I like this beer a lot.

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Photo of patreely12
3.36/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - nice ruby red. about a finger or so of cream colored head dissolving more and more each sip. faint, yet sticky lacing.

S - faint malt but nothing else really.

T/M - toasty malts. also some very slight citrus. medium to light bodied. this beer is surprisingly clean and refreshing. better than killian's.

D - goes down very smooth. definitely good choice for a hearty dinner.

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Photo of ronniebruner
3.35/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew has a very intense and strong aroma. That will be the first thing you notice when you pop the cap n one of these. VEry average Irish red, a bit disappointing for Boston Beer CO. If you must drink a red, you cant go wrong with Killians. Now if youre at a party and someone gives you one of these for free, you'll enhoy it.

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Photo of adam42381
3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Duvel tulip. Best before January 2011 notched on label.

Appearance: Pours a hazy dark caramel brown with orange highlights and a 1-2 finger off-white head. Decent lacing.

Smell: Malt dominates with a nice nutty aroma and a hint of buttered bread.

Taste: Bready malt flavor throughout. In addition to the malt, there are hint of nuts, butter and caramel in the background. I detect just a hint of bitter hops at the finish. Aftertaste is very lightly earthy and doesn't linger long.

Mouthfeel: Light-to-medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Very high drinkability. Not a session beer by definition, but you could knock back several without any trouble.

Overall: Pretty good beer overall. Another decent offering from Sam Adams. It's worth a try.

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Photo of lykonluck
3.73/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

very good beer overall with and enjoyable flavor. has malty floavor with perfect amount of caramel. i would reccomend it to everyone. has more caramel flavor then killians irish red and other irsih reds. goes great with thanksgiving dinner. thank you sam adams

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Photo of JimLetson
2.54/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

12-oz. bottle from the fall sampler poured into my tulip.

Appearance - the beer is a coppery red. The khaki-coloured head is thin and recedes quickly. I like the colour and I really like how clear it is.

Smell - there really isn't much of a smell at all. There is some malt, a very faint caramel aroma, and naught else.

Taste - the very first impression I get is Cherry Coke. After that initial shock wears off, there is caramel malt, and it ends with a small amount of bitterness. It doesn't dry my mouth out, but it leaves a funny taste on the front of my tongue and (though I know it's not where taste actually is) the roof of my mouth. It isn't butterscotch, but it is candy, kind of like the caramel inside a Rolo, but not actually caramel. If anyone can tell me what it is, BM me.

Mouthfeel - I don't particularly care for it. I think it's the strange caramel-ish thing going on in the aftertaste. I feel like I need to brush my teeth.

Drinkability - might rate higher if not for the weird feeling after a few sips. I feel like I need to brush my teeth, and this makes me neither willing nor able to drink more than one.

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Photo of Fallonrmq
4.12/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased this beer in a variety pack of Samuel Adams. This particular beer was very smooth with an exceptional head when poured into a nice pint glass. The aroma of this beer made my mouth water and it tasted as good as it smelled. Another great beer by Samuel Adams.

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Photo of kwjd
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My dad purchased this as a part of a mixed 12 pack containing 6 different beers. Pours a clear, fairly bright, amber colour with thin off-white head. Mild lacing down the glass. Smells mostly of caramel, bread and toasted malt. Flavour is quite sweet, not much hop bitterness at all. A fairly nice red ale.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
2.48/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

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

A: Brilliant, clear red-orange with a thick, foamy cream colored head. Tiny quick-moving bubbles of carbonation sustain the head. Retention is very good, and spider-webs of lacing paste themselves onto the walls of the glass.

S: Toasted grain, bready malts, and caramel malts. Grassy and slightly citric hops. Maybe some lemon grass.

T: Sweet, citric, and slightly fruity and juicy for just an instant. Bready malts and caramel introduce themselves, but quickly give up the stage to charming flavors of roasted grain. Grassy and citric hops lend a light bitterness. Slightly vinous raisin esters are noticeable. Buttery throughout. Finishes semi dry with toasted grain, caramel, and a touch of grassy hops.

M: Medium bodied, smooth, and very creamy. A bit slick. Slight alcohol warmth and moderate carbonation.

D: Not as quaffable as an Irish Red should be.

Notes: A little too much diacetyl for my taste. Vinous and raisin-like esters are totally out of place, and the warming alcohol sensation is a bit much for a Red. I suppose the yeast is the culprit here. I'm not digging it.

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Photo of r0nyn
4.07/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my Otter Creek nonic pint.

Pours a clear, transparent reddish amber hue with a fat white bubbly head that dissipates gradually, leaving some serious sticky lacing. Good amount of carbonation can be seen rising to the top. Smell is sweet and malty, with lots of caramel and vanilla, stuff I didn't really expect from a brew like this, but was pleasantly surprised to find. There's also a substantial yeasty breadiness as well.

A crisp, yet subdued bitter bite to start, quickly giving way to a bready backbone along with the sweet flavors from the nose. Roasted malts and a slight spiciness as well. Not overly complex, but very solid just the same. Mouthfeel is a bit on the lighter side, with the lightness of the beer not backing up the bready flavoring. Still, the carbonation isn't obtrusive and it drinks smoothly, so it's a pretty fair trade-off.

Drinkability is great, with the wonderful and aromatic scent and a taste to back it up. Alcohol is pretty lightweight, meaning you can down quite a few of these if you so had the inclination. I do find myself wishing I had another one, and isn't that one of the bigger compliments that can be made about a beer?

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Photo of scottfrie
3.08/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into red wine glass at a friend's house. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a deep reddish amber with a couple fingers of thick tan head that quickly receded into a thick film that left some streaks of lacing down the glass. The film eventually disappeared leaving a flat looking glass of juice.
S: Notes of spicy malt and fruity esters.
T: Flavors of creamy sweet malt and fruity esters including banana. Hints of doughy bread crust and caramel.
M: Medium body, slick yet fairly crisp mouthfeel, with a drying finish. Even, soft carbonation with a slight alcohol presence.
D: Sam Adams lives up to its reputation, and the Sam Adams brews are no exception. The problem is I don't expect much. I can't see how people think this company is even in the same league as SN. There is nothing special about this beer. A decent brew but not something I would ever buy.

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Photo of BeerdedEric
4.18/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light khaki head that looks very creamy. Bubbles start off really tiny and get a little bigger towards the surface forming that creamy head. The body is a light orangy red.

Smell was very strong coming out of the bottle but was not that strong in the glass. I get a hint of roasted chocolate malts and maybe some cherries. It smells more malty than hoppy.

Oh, wow is that smooth! Not overly carbonated but when swished around a little, it bites the tongue. Doesn't leave the mouth dry at all.

Very malty at first but a slight spice with the hops coming in. It's really tasty. The rich malts are the main attraction here. The hops come in at the very end. Doesn't have a boozy taste at all. It claims to have some caramel malts in it, I do believe that's what makes this beer have its sweetness.

Drink Ability is through the roof! I can probably have about six of these and be upset I only got a six pack of it. Although, it's very robust, it's still light enough to keep wanting to drink more.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.33/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle gifted to me by the other Matt. Thanks. This beer was just OK. Beer poured into a goblet. Beer is red and mostly clear with a thin head of off white bubbles ghat doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. Carbonation low.

Aroma is sweet and a little apple-y with a really subtle roast.

Beer is medium bodied and mildly sweet. I think they forgot to add flavor to this beer. There is a mild bitterness at the end. This is a homebrewing trick. If you add roasted barley during the sparge you get a red color and no roast. Ever once in a while I get a little roastiness from commercial beers that use this trick. I don't funk I'll bother with this beer again.

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Photo of herman77
2.83/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Dark, clear amber with a small light tan head, decent retention. A little bit of lacing.

S: Buttery, toasted malt. A little bit of carmel sweetness. A bit lacking.

T: Very dry, grainy malt. A little bit of toasted carmel. Smells sweeter on the nose for sure. Some earthy bitter hops near the finish, but overall its really malty. It does have a dirt like taste at the end.

M: Light to medium body. Moderate carbonation. Pretty run of the mill.

D: Not doing much for me. Glad there is only 2 in the mix 12 pack I got.

Irish Reds are one of my least favorite styles, so I could be a little biased here.

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Photo of diabecktic
3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This slightly translucent, dark copper-colored brew pours with a relatively little amount of white head (< 1 finger). Retention is alright, but lacing is quite good given the quantity of head.

The aroma is fairly basic. A sweet, biscuity malt features subtle notes of yeast, hops, and spices. I also detect a bit of butter, as well.

The buttery, biscuit-like character sticks out quite a bit more in the tasting; the sweeter note of caramel helps keep the malt from becoming too offensive. The hops impart an oh-so-subtle bite near the latter part of the tasting. Alcohol is fairly well-hidden.

There's a decent amount of heft in the body even though its motion in the glass would lead you to believe that it's substantially lighter. Again, the hops impart just enough bite to keep the buttery flavor from becoming too overpowering.

Both the quality and balance of flavors reflect positively on the drinkability. I get just enough variety to keep things interesting without any one aspect becoming offensive. This would make a good session beer.

Though the sight and smell of this beer weren't particularly enthralling, I must remind myself not to judge a book by its cover. The taste and body more than account for what I perceive as shortcomings, and the balance is excellent. I haven't had too many of this style, but I would get this beer again, regardless. Samuel Adams seems to constantly live up to my expectations and this is no exception.

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Photo of danielplainview
4.15/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Was not expecting much from Sam. This beer delivers and then some. Great style with brilliant coloring to this beer. Head leaves a little to be desired though.
smell rich and malty.
Taste like a nectar from the gods. sweet grain flavor

mouthfeel: Feels like another.

I drink a few of these every chance I get.

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Photo of beerprovedwright
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got a real surprise with this one. I removed the cap from the dark brown bottle and it erupted with a slow gush of head onto my kitchen counter. I about cried over gushed beer. Big light brown, billowy head of tight bubbles. As the head of three fingers calmed down it left some amazing lace on the side of my mug. Color is a 24 on the SRM chart. Rich smell of caramel, yeast, sweet barley, and roasted wheat. Enchanting taste that starts with a wave of roasted wheat and citrus, a good tart flavor of hops in the middle and a finish of caramel that lingers in the back of my throat. The flavor is well balanced and refreshing. Feels like whip cream in my mouth. I could get hooked on this beer, but I have not found an Irish Red I didn't like, so far.

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Photo of bamadog
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I really wasn't too excited about getting this one in the recent purchase of a SA variety pack, but I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised. I was a little disappointed to see that it has some lower overall scores from the community, so my numbers will likely be a tad skewed from the averages. Review is from notes taken on 10/26/2010 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a deep caramel brown with nice ruby highlights; starts with a 1/2 finger off-white head that fades quickly to a thin and uneven skim; body has decent clarity and shows a lot of carbonation; only a couple of spots and some oily residue hanging out on the sides of glass.

Smell: A lot of sweet caramel malts and a dark toasty/burnt graininess; much maltier and sweeter than I would typically expect in an Irish Red.

Taste: Interesting -- it almost seems closer to a mild Scotch Ale with the robust and caramel malts; has some nice toasty graininess and a very minimal bitter hop presence; flavors are just a little thin, but this beer is actually surprisingly good and I would have no problem drinking it again.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is strong, more sharp actually than I would prefer and I wouldn't mind it being just a bit more mellow; a thin, semi-dry coating is left behind all over the mouth; body is just a little heavier than light and nothing that would be too heavy to prevent a couple from being tossed back.

Drinkability: Better than I thought it would be, and definitely an enjoyable beer on a cool fall night with those warm caramel malts; body isn't too heavy and the ABV is pretty moderate and it wouldn't too intoxicating to sit back and have a couple of these.

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Photo of BeefyMee
3.98/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Bright, coppery red. They pretty much nailed the color. Good head but no lacing.

S: Huge sweet malt aroma. Slightly metallic. Husky like wet grain.

T: A malt bomb all the way with just a little hop balance in the aftertaste. I can dig it though. The only negative aspects are a soapy finish, and a vague crappy macro quality that pops up in the aftertaste.

M: Silky with the right level of carbonation.

D: Nearly perfect it wasn't for that annoying soapiness.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.27/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dispensed from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams Imperial pint glass. Beer is dark amber in color with chocolate rose colored highlights. A large and voluminous head forms and the retention is really quite nice. Nice rings form around the beer on the glass as the beverage is consumed.

Aroma is quite lacking. Not much to say here except that it smells like beer. Bready and caramelly. Metallic.

Pretty good flavors. Bready and toasty and a touch fruity. Large biscuit flavor and even some Munich malt. Havent had too many of the style but this one seems passable and quaffable.

OVercarbonated and thin, tinny mouthfeel. Needs more body and less carbonation. A suitable offering and certainly a change of pace from macros.

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Photo of Reaper16
3.08/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served into a tulip glass

Pours a breadcrust color mixes with warm, golden, honey tones. The creme colored head gets to be about one finger. OK lacing.

Smells of caramel malts, a touch of diacetyl, sourdough bread, and doughnuts for some reason. Lots of malt, not much nuance. Average for the style.

Same for the taste. Average for the style. Caramel malts, brown sugar, English muffins, some earthy hops, and something chalky on the swallow. Nothing bad about this at all. This is a basic take on the style.

Carbonation level seems off. It is harsh at first but by the finish the beer thins out too much and feels watery. This is easy drinking though. If you want lots of malt flavors in a package under 6% ABV then this is a good option.

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Photo of devinoconnor
3.43/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This Sam Adams is rich and somewhat malty with a deep red coloring (as you'd expect).

The taste is almost creamy, rich and caramel flavored.

Overall, an average ale yet different from your run of the mill mass produced ale. A nice change once in awhile.

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Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.56 out of 5 based on 2,540 ratings.
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