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

2,545 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: 2,545 |  Reviews: 1,013
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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Photo of Dadoftwogirls
3/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This about as middle of the road a red as I've had. Absolutely nothing about it grabs you and makes you want to have more. Lots of carbonation. Good appearance. However, I tried two at one sitting (my preferred method) and they both made me go.. "Umph... I had better.... I have had worse." I might drink more than a couple if they were free but I definitely wouldn't seek this out in a store.

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Photo of BennyL1
3.47/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into SA Pint Glass

A - The beer pours a nice amber color. Not much head to speak of with a bit of lacing down the glass.

S - Aroma is dominated by the caramel and sweet malts.

T - Sweet at the beginning. The malts are really present throughout the beer as well as a bit of caramel. I think it could have used a bit more hop presence then what was in the brew.

M - Smooth and creamy with a medium to light body.

D - Overall a drinkable beer. Nothing to exciting here but solid all around.

Probably my least favorite out the harvest pack but thats not saying its a bad beer by any stretch. I wouldn't say no to one if offered for sure

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clean orange-ish to copper color with a light tan head. In the aroma, earthy and a caramel malt. In the taste, earthy, caramel sweet, and a malty end. A small hop presence all the way through. A small bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry hop, and slight caramel sweetness in the aftertaste. Easy to drink and nice hop presence.

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Photo of taigor
3.16/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A - Poured clear amber color with medium head that quickly dissipated leaving light amount of lacing around the glass.

S - Mostly sweet malts and caramel. Can not detect any other smell.

T - Just like smell it is sweet upfront with some spices towards the end and a dry finish.

M - Medium bodied with high carbonation.

D - Very drinkable red ale. Would probably prefer something else in the future.

Overall a pretty average red ale by SA but nothing impressive.

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Photo of chefhatt
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured the beer into a pint glass, it has a light red color body with a little bit of head to it. The aroma is of sweat malts and a little bread. The taste is sweet and balanced of malt and hops but more malt than anything and sweet lingers after you swallow. Great mouth feel and is very drinkable.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.41/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased as part of the Samuel Adams Harvest 12 pack. This box contains a nice selection of six different beers.

A: Nearly transparent amber hue with a fairly small head that quickly recedes to just a thin coating atop the beer. Random traces of lacing are evident.

S: Slightly sweet malt, sweet bread

T: Initially, a decent balance between hops and malt. The beer finishes with a caramel sweetness that could be toned down a notch or two. The beer is a bit on the sweet side. I would prefer more hop bitterness in lieu of the sweeter flavors.

M: Thin to medium bodied with plenty of carbonation. Lingering sweet malt taste on the palate (75% sweet malt to 25% hop bitterness).

D: An OK beer. Nothing too bold or exciting going on.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this in the "harvest" fall case.

A - Pours a semi reddish brown, but really could have been a bit darker. The head was pretty decent.

S - Well you get bready yeasty smell with slight caramel and mild hoppy like grain.

T - Pretty standard but could have really used more hops. Mostly came off sweet and caramel with a semi dry finish but the sweetness lingers.

M - Medium bodied and kind of boring.

D - This beer (compared to the Lucky 13) fell kind of short than what I would expect of the beer but it did have a nice level of sweetness that would keep me drinking the last three in the case. Pretty nice.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.41/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of the Harvest Collection twelve pack. Poured into a stemmed beer glass. Very dark red color, with a surprisingly good sized head. An impressive looking Irish Red ale. Smell was petty mediocre, nothing too outstanding. Taste was reasonably good for the style. Liked the malt flavor, and it also had a bit of earthiness to it. Just a slight spice profile also. Mouthfeel was good, as I found this beer to be hearty enough for my liking, plus it was smooth enough to drink easily. A fairly decent Irish Ale. Since I don't buy much of this style, it wasn't bad, and I'd consider picking some up again. But like I said, I don't buy this style very often, so I guess I'll only see it in variety packs etc.

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Photo of Vdubb86
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Sam Adams sensory pint glass

Another beer my buddy gave me on my visit over to his place.

This beer pours a nice garnet red color with a decent off white foam head. The aromas consist mainly of some caramel malts and the faintest of hops in the background. The flavors are intensely malty with little to no hop flavor to be located. The flavors consist mainly of caramel, both burnt and unburnt, as well as some lightly toasted malts, but very little citrus from the hops as I would have expected. The mouthfeel is a bit syrupy for my liking, but overall it's not too bad. It's a nice drinkable beer that I could easily have some other times, it's not outstanding, but it's pretty good.

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Photo of bourbonbock
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a clean pint glass.

A. Reddish golden color with off white head that poured about a finger thick and slowly reduced to a cap.

S. Sweet malts and a little bit of hops and yeast in the background. I can also smell a crayola crayon type of smell.

T. Pretty good red ale taste. Slightly roasted malts and some bittering hops, not sure of the type, but very balanced with malt up front.

M. Light and smooth with some caramely and candy like quality.

D. I would definitely buy some more of these.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.2/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Pours an amber caramel color with an off white head. Nose brings some toasted bread and a bit of caramel. Taste is pretty much limited to lightly-toasted white bread and light hints of caramel. Feel is a light to medium body. Not typically a super-flavorful style, but this one is a bit lacking even in comparison.

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Photo of hardy008
3.32/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Copper color with a thin off white head with poor retention. The aroma has some sweet caramel and a small amount of hops. The taste is just like the aroma. Nothing extraordinary, but solid.

Medium bodied with good carbonation and a slightly sweet aftertaste, with a bit of dryness. Overall a decent beer, but not one I would hurry to buy again. I also would not refuse one if it was offered to me.

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Photo of Kooz
3.03/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

Deep red color--almost looks artificial. Decent head which dissipates quickly. Nice lacing.

Smells okay, faintly malty. Not a strong scent to it.

Tastes pretty good. Very malty. Label says caramel tastes--I can get caramel notes, but I don't know if that's just because I'm predisposed to it from reading the label. It's nice overall, but not great.

Mouthfeel is not as good as usual for Sam.

Overall, it's an above-average party beer, but with so many good beers out there, why settle for this?

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Photo of sommersb
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle with a best by date of February 2011 poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Color is a clear red/amber, with few bubbles and a 1 finger tan head that disappeared soon after pouring. Very little lacing in the glass.

Aroma is of malts with a little sweetness and no smell of hops. The taste is a warm, caramel malt flavor with a little sweetness. Over the course of drinking the beer it seemed to have more of a dry finish to it. Mouthfeel was clean and warm with a hint of alcohol.

Drinkability was good - this is one of my favorites from the Sam Adams Harvest pack.

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Photo of HUXC
3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S- Served from a chilled 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- Dark, full bodied ale with red undertones. About two fingers worth of pale brown head that laces the glass for the entire drink.

S- Smells of malted caramel and hops.

T- Dominant malted caramel flavor with a hop finish. This beer, like all, is exponentially better when it is fresh.

M- Moderate amount of carbonation, full bodied ale.

D- Easy and smooth to drink if consumed when fresh. A nightmare to drink when it's skunked or stale.

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Photo of BDJake
2.96/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- clear reddish-orange body with a decent size of dirty white-yellow foam on top that stuck around for a minute

S- a little bit of spice, some mild euro hops, but extremely faint

T- some malt, grape, and diacetyl

M- fairly crisp carbonation, cloying aftertaste, and somewhat dry

D- it's an adequate offering when included in mixed packs or given for free, but it's not really much to fuss about

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

Look - light crimson/amber in color. Good two fingers worth of foam and somewhat slow carbonation.

Smell - Somewhat sweet-smelling and malty.

Taste and Mouthfeel - Definitely more malty in taste, but fairly well-balanced. I don't notice the caramel malts, but it is slightly sweet, especially in the finish. More toward the lighter, watery side of texture.

Drinkability - Not terribly complex, but decent-tasting. Easy to drink and fairly smooth.

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Photo of HockeytownBrew
4.21/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into my Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass

A: Beautiful amber red color. Nice head, a bit quick to fade but leaves a good amount of lace on the glass

S: Very good aroma, sweet and malty.

T: Very malty taste, very nice note of caramel. Well rounded with hop notes with a subtle earthy character.

M: Lightly carbonated, medium mouthfeel. Finishes clean and smooth.

D: Very good drinkability. Easy to have a few.

Highly recommended brew from Samuel Adams here. I'm impressed, and will soon get more.

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

Part of the Harvest Collection 12 pack this is a very nice take on a style that was ruined by any beer with a red tint from a Macro brewer.

Has that nice red colour and a big head. The beer is quite flavouful with a good mouthfeel and lots of quality malt to show its legs. I applaud Sam Adams for over the years doing a good job bringing underappreciated styles to public forefront and packaging them in a well priced well made fashion

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.91/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in a mixed 12 pack so lets give it a try. Poured from a 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- This brew poured a dark redish amber with 2 fingers worth of off white foam that turned into a small layer that left some nice lacing.

S- Caramel malts stick out the most and there is this nice hint of citrus that i wasn't expecting.

T- Pretty similar to the smell with the caramel malts making the biggest presence and it was balanced nicely with some citrus hops.

M- Creamy and medium bodied, a light amount of carbonation but it works well with this beer.

D- I find this beer to be pretty drinkable, i got 2 of these in my 12 pack and i wish they would have thrown in 2 more instead of a couple boston lagers.

Overall I thought this was a damn good irish red and i wish i had more. If i was at the bar and had a choice between this and killians i think i would choose the sam adams every time.

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Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.56 out of 5 based on 2,545 ratings.
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