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 mnrider
3.41/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle. Pint glass

A: Pours a deep beautiful red with a one finger creamy tan head. Leaves very nice lacing down the sides of the glass.

S: Very malty. Caramel and bread aroma.

T/M: This brew is smooth with light caramel malts. Taste also reminds me of bread. Could use a little more hops and carbonation. Not very bitter but is a little dry on the back end.

D: This is a good beer, but not great. A little too filling for me to have more than two or three. As it leans more malty than hopy. But still pretty well balanced.


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Photo of Blitzstyle
3.64/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a SA glass. Good intial head, disapates and blankets the brew for most of the way down. Great laceing, but I think the glass has alot to do with it. Good looking beer a glowing deep red color.

Not a whole lot going on the smell department. Pick up some caramell and malts.

Tastes good. Let it warm for a minute. Very smooth and creamy. Pick up some caramell notes and some spice bitterness.

The flavor really builds in this brew. Mediumish body and very smooth.

Nicely balanced very drinkable. Solid beer!!

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Photo of jhammel01
3.58/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark red (go figure!) that has a fast dissipating off white head. Looks pretty appealing as it laces down the glass. Looks good!

Not much going on in the smell department. A few notes of caramel and malt.

It tastes strongly of caramel malt, and finishes with a bit more caramel and toffee. Very slight notes of bread throughout. Not to bad, but there is a metallic taste that is strong in this beer anod the others Ive had from SA lately. Its strange..

The beer is medium bodied and has a decent amount of carbonation.

A good beer. I've enjoyed this one and will enjoy the second one in my fridge.

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Photo of dfillius
3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass
A: Aggressive pour yields 2/3 finger of tight off-white head with good retention. Liquid is burgundy with some toffee brown. Good looking beer.
S: Sweet caramel and toffee, some fruity estery alcohol.
T: Swee and bready, strong bitterness that I usually associate with Amer. Amber/Red. What does it come from? The malt? East Kent Goldings hops?
M: A little off roasty bite (related to the flavor note similar to ambers/reds) detracts. Oily, a little prickly carbonation at first, smooth later.
D: Fairly good. I would maybe have another, but wouldn't buy a sixer again for just myself. Maybe if it was for a party, but then only as a last resort.

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Photo of Winter
3.61/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sam Adams Irish Red pours a reddish copper in color with a thick creamy, light khaki head. The nose is not strong, but offers up a bready malt and caramel aroma. Hints of toffee and brown sugar are also in there. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied. The taste has a sweet malt flavor to it. Hop bitterness combined with the malt gives it an almost sourdough quality to it. The finish is dry with a touch of alcohol.

Not bad for an Irish Red. Enjoyable enough, yet nothing really makes this stand out either.

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Photo of Tee76
4.57/5  rDev +32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A reddish brown cooper color with a sizeable tan head.Looked very nice

S: Sweet smelling beer with a hint of caramel and malts.

T: The taste blew me away,it's got a warm taste to it which makes it best suited for fall and winter in my opinion.Very smooth and creamy but with a small amount of "spicy" bitterness.

M: Good mouth feel, nothing negative to say here.

D: Very drinkable. For an Irish Red this one ranks up there as one of the best in my opinion. Easy to drink and goes down nicely.

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

pours a clear dark copper with a very small beige head, and good lacing.

smell is faint, malt, a touch of caramel, and some spice.

taste is of caramel, malt, spice, pepper, a touch of cocoa, and hops in the back, end is a little dry.

overall a nice irsh ale.

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Photo of dpodratsky3
3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Clear, dark amber, with a big creamy head that finally settles at around 1 finger, light tan in color, a little bit of chunky looking lace

S: Some sweet caramel malts and some slight hops to balance this, nothing over powering, just nice

T: Caramel malt starts it off with a nice hop balance coming in slow, takes a minute to really feel the hops, but the more you drink the better they get, kind of floral but also spicy hop flavor, some breadiness in the finish, also has a small alcohol presence as other irish ales do

M: Medium body, feels a little thin at first, but the flavor that builds helps to improve it, pretty smooth

D: Pretty good drinkability, nicely balanced, not too out there with its flavors but good all around, this has a little something for everyone to enjoy

Notes: As I said, not a real adventurous beer, but a nicely crafted variety of flavors that could appeal to craft and non-craft drinkers, hop heads and malt lovers. No one will be wowed, but its a nice fall baseball evening beer.

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Photo of Thur123
3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep red color, duh. The head is light tan and frothy, but small, less than one finger. The smell is a medium malt character that's on the toasty side. A bit of bitterness as well.

Glug glug glug

It tastes good. The malt goes from toasty to bitter on the end, and after that it's kind of grassy and sweet. Tasty and full bodied and balanced, a great Irish Red.

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Photo of cvfish
4.01/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer poured a deep reddish orange color that produced a nice, fluffy white head that good retention and laced the side of the glass very nicely

S - The aromas produced by this beer were some caramelized malts and earthy hops

T - The flavor of this beer was bolder than I was led to believe, sweet, bready malts, caramel, a slight black tea flavor, and some earthy hops

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium body with a light to moderate amount of carbonation

D - This beer was great, I was really not expecting this to be good after listening to the post after this beer won the Longshot competition, but I really liked this one

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Photo of nickspagnolo
4.48/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: It is a copper/red colored beer whose foam is tan. The foam is tall and short lived; in some cases it completely disappeared.

S: Sweet deliciousness.

T: The taste of this beer is amazing! I believe the caramel malt flavor is what makes this beer so delicious. It is a sweet beer however the sweetness is not overbearing; you will still think you're drinkin' a beer.

M: Smooth and Refreshing.

D: These don't last too long in my house and therefore received a perfect score in the drinkability category.

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Photo of Riccymon
3.47/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours from the bottle a deep reddish-brown color with a quarter-inch of short-lived head. Beer looks like maple syrup lying in the glass. Smell is inviting-- lots of caramel malt and a little cherry fruit note. Taste is a bit less interesting, though. Sweet syrupy flavor, almost makes me think of sweet potatoes, with a touch of earthy, leafy bitterness toward the end.

Beer is pretty thick on the tongue, which is a plus, but that leafy flavor leaves the mouth a little puckered, which isn't appealing to me. A pretty tasty beer, just what I'd expect from Sam Adams.

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Photo of soulgrowl
4.01/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very picturesque beer; while it doesn't have an exceptionally large or long-lasting head, it is a striking cranberry red with tints of plum and shades of walnut, contrasted by an airy, marzipan-colored head. The aroma is not so special, but not bad, mostly caramel and honey with some pumpkin pie spice notes and a hop profile of wet leaves. The flavor is round and balanced, mostly toffee malt sweetness with a hint of pound cake, cola, and an unexpected berry fruitiness. Hops provide a firm, leafy spice that bitters the beer nicely. A lingering bittersweet, vaguely herbal finish calls to mind a dry Manhattan. Medium bodied but still dry, this is actually a very good beer that makes for some seriously easy drinkin'.

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Photo of Kromes
4.05/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A deep reddish brown color with a tan head. Looks pretty good to me.

S: This is a very malty smelling beer. A big bready and caramel malt aroma. Very nice.

T: The malt flavor is really good, very smooth and creamy caramel. There is a little bitterness in the finish that lingers. The finish does have a somewhat citric acid feel and taste, not in a bad way though.

M: Very good mouthfeel. The beer is velvety.

D: A nice Irish Red that is very drinkable. Better than most that I have tried, a good change-up beer from the hop-bombs that are out there right now.

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Photo of vacax
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark reddish amber beer with less than a finger of head. Slightly lighter in color than the Sam Adams Brown Ale. Fair retention and some decent lace on there. Nose has candi sugar, red licorice, some raisin. Smells decent rich. Tastes like toasted malts, waxy red licorice, brown sugar, some tart fruit quality. Some alcohol presence and waxiness are off-flavors. Decent feel, medium body and soft smooth carbonation. This is okay.

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Photo of TheMadJack
4.05/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Beer pours beautifully. Reddish brown, turning a deep, bright garnet shade when the light passes through. Fruit smells are apparent from the time the bottle is opened, practically leaping out from under the bottlecap and into your nose. The head is full and settles to a millimeter or two, with delicate, full lacing that moves at a moderate pace.

The aforementioned smell has strawberry and a hint of vanilla over cereal and the suggestion of hops - it is obvious the hops are present, but also obvious is that they are not the stars of this show.

First taste brings a mildly hoppy cereal base of rye flavor with a solid, but not overpowering, strawberry and vanilla overlay. The flavors dissipate crisply leaving a light toastiness on the back of the tongue and roof of the mouth. As the beer warms and the palate adjusts, the sweetness becomes more pronounced and overcomes the initial dryness of the rye. I actually taste sugar at times. The sweetness is still subdued enough to let the complexities of the beer remain. The grain in the finish takes on a cereal character familiar to anyone who has had Irish steel-cut oats.

The beer has a medium-light weight to it and the carbonation is a firm fizz that adds a certain levity and amplifies the minimal hops, aiding the finish. While I drank it cool, the beer has a distinct warmth to the finish. Not the sort of warmth that shakes off a chill, but a pleasantness that is subtle and very enjoyable.

The beer is fairly light on the stomach, but I find sweet beers to be less than ideal as a session brew. Mixed up with a couple other beers, maybe a porter and a pub ale to change things up, and you've got a good night/day/morning/whatever. Alone, this is probably limited in it's enjoyablility to around 3 at a time. Still, it's extremely enjoyable and I could easily put away a few of these without complaint.

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

Appearance: Nice rich, ruby red color with a good head.
Smell: Good caramel aroma.
Taste: I enjoyed the intense caramel malt flavor accented with the pale malts in the brew.
Mouthfeel: Clean feel with a good light carbonation.
Drinkability: It goes down smooth and it's not hard to enjoy this beer.

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

I poured this from a 12 ounce bottle into a mug. It is amber in color with a caramel colored head.

The smell is somewhat lacking.

The taste is good with a bit of caramel. There is very little hops presence.

The mouthfeel is quite good and it is very drinkable. Overall this is a pretty good beer. I prefer several other Sam Adams offerings to this one though.

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Photo of KenOnBass
3.32/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Nice red color. Foamy head with decent lacing.

S: Malty with a little sweet caramel. Nutty and some spice.

T: Sweet malty flavoring. Full bodied, spicy Irish red. Nice and bitter too. Very crisp and tasty. Malty aftertaste is not a strong selling point.

M: Crisp, nice and fizzy.

D: Nice, crisp, hoppy and malty Irish red beer. Pretty interesting taste. A little too malty overall unfortunately.

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Photo of kevinjosephlee
2.8/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle poured into a glass

A: This was a deep ruby red/copper color, with a rich and full whitish (maybe even tanish) head, not much lacing.

S: An above-average caramel (maybe some toffee) maltiness (perhaps too much). Some diacetyl adds buttery notes. No hops aroma present. Scent of alcohol comes through.

T: A caramel maltiness and overly sweet. The diacetyl that produces the buttery smell is more sour than buttery on the tongue, an effect that is exacerbated as more is consumed. No hoppy bitternes. Overly sweet in the finish.

M: Medium-full body, with heavy-moderate carbonation. No slick mouthfeel as would be expected with the diacetyl. Rich and full. Not so crisp taste.

D: I have had this beer on a few occasions, and every time, I have the same experience: it seems like a very drinkable and enjoyable beer; however, the flavor falls apart as the beer is consumed. Not the most easily-drinkable beer.

Overall: A bit off of what would be expected from this style; just average. Too much carbonation which takes away from the refreshing nature of the style. Also, overly sweet.

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Photo of ruckus232
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 Ounce brown bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Reddish in color with a slightly tan thin head

Smell: Sweet nutty with a slight earthy smell as well

Taste: Balanced nicely between the sweetness and the slight bitterness. It might have a better taste if it had a little more bitterness to compliment the sweet taste but overall it has a really nice flavor.

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Photo of imanidiot777
3.64/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice looking dark red color with a cream colored head that stays for a pretty long time. Also leaves excellent lacing on the glass.

S: Malty, but I'm not to good with my nose so I can always be wrong here.

T: Malty and pretty sweet, not ever really bitter just a little bit but very malty.

M: Feels fine, could use a little more carbonation.

D: Goes down smooth but couldn't drink a lot because it is a little heavy.

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Photo of berley31
3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured with a fairly large, creamy, off-white head that diminished to about 1/2-finger size. Body is a beautiful dark red color, and completely clear (unexpected for the style).

S: Smells of average malt, quite sweet with some caramel notes to it.

T: Nice flavor - sweet and malty at the beginning, with a very slight bitter bite to the finish. The sweetness is definitely the dominating flavor.

M: Fairly light-bodied with an oily/creamy texture, it's kind of light for what I would expect from an Irish Red.

D: Not what I expected (compared to other Irish Reds such as Kilkenny and Smithwick's, anyway), but quite good. Definitely easy to drink a few of these... yet another solid entry from Sam Adams.

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

Poured out a deep amber color with a big head that went away quickly.

Aroma was strong on the caramel with a nice blend of toasted malts and spicy hops. Seemed that it was all in the right amount of dose.

Taste was good. Toasted malts with a hint of toffee which went good together. Some caramel and spicy hops blend in the middle. Some lingering sweetness remain at the finish.

Mouthfeel was medium, which was surprising, but had a nice creamy texture. Carbonation was in check.

A pretty good Irish Red I must admit. At 5.5%, some people might be caught off guard with the medium body of the beer. Worth a try for sure.

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

A: Bright clear red/amber. Poured a 2 finger tan head that dissipated to a thick skim. Sheets of lacing.

S: Big roasted caramel malt; slightly sweet and bready. Hint of wet grain.

T: Consistent with smell; sweet bready roasted malts. Sharp bitter finish for good balance. Not obtuse and over-bearing.

M: Light-to-medium body. Medium carbonation. Crisp, dry and bitter

D: Smooth and easy to drink; not too filling.

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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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