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

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Samuel Adams Irish RedSamuel Adams Irish Red
2,552 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,552 |  Reviews: 1,013
Photo of jsprain1
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a nice amber/red color with a thick head that disappates down to a slight head and a good bit of lacing. Almost looks orange when held up to the light.
S- Smells malty, bready, hint of fruit, and very caramelly and butterscotchy.
T- Tastes much like it smells. Caramelly and bready. quite balanced.
m- on the light end of medium bodied. carbonation is ok. there's just not the presence i was hoping for.
D- Drinkable. For those who enjoy SA beers and malty beers, this is a good beer. Satisfying, though maybe not outstanding.

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Photo of Lolli1315
3.4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Amber brown color that is easily seen through. Minimum lacing.

S- An amber malty smell, very sweet with notes of caramel resonating. An almost bready grain smell that is a little hidden. Smell reminds me somewhat of a a marzen.

T- Very sweet malty amber malty flavor dominates the beer with a caramel undertone. Very little hop flavor in the taste with a grain aftertaste following. Seems that this beer is a little unbalanced with the malt.

M- a Lack of carbonation concerning, but this a average mouthfeel. Does not annoy me, just does not seem to impress.

D- Taking me a little while to get through this beer, and not because it is a nice beer to let sit. Wouldn't want more than one of these.

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Photo of asabreed
3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a Guinness pint glass.

Appearance: Medium amber-colored body with a dishsoapy head that slinks lower each second, leaving huge foam gams. Sinks down to the body and doesn't leave a lot on the side of the glass.

Smell: A bit of nice caramel and amber sweetness, mixed malty fruit notes, and some citrus rind hop bitterness, though it's more orange than grapefruit.

Taste: Initial hop and citrus punch, with some earthiness and graininess coming through. Finishes slightly hoppy with some good pungent citrus and malty fruit esters, but it still seems a little too toned down by the end to go higher for me.

Mouthfeel: Lighter to medium-bodied with good levels of carbonation, and though some would maybe say this is a bit watery, I think it goes beyond that just to make it a little softer on the palate, or at least that's what it's positively doing for me.

Drinkability: I'd drink this again, especially since it's year round. Like most Irish Reds, as far as I'm concerned, this is certainly above average, but it doesn't take a lot of risks. That said, it probably wasn't trying or didn't need to.

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Photo of jp32
4.16/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours nicely. A deep burgundy woodstain in color with a small amount of khaki colored head retention.

The smell is rich and on the marzeny-sweet side.

The flavor is malty and has a bittersweet taste in the middle. Finishes clean.

Similar to most sam adams beers, the mouthfeel (and appearance) are of high quality. The clean finish also creates a high level of drinkability for this beer.

This is one of the better Irish/Red Ales that ive had in a long time.

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Photo of Hoagie1973
3.41/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Awesome appearance. Robust dark red/amber with a medium cream colored head. Excellent lacing typical of the brewer.

Sweet malty caramel/butterscotch aroma. Hint of alcohol. hops aren't apparent in the nose.

Flavor is as malty as it gets. Very sweet with caramel, and a little earthiness from the hops, but they don't do much in the way of balance.

Feel is smooth and creamy. Full bodied.

Tasty and enjoyable if you're looking for malt, but I think the sweetness hurts the drinkability a bit. Probably could only do 2 of these before the sweetness gets to me.

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

poured from a 12oz bottle into a SA glass. Bottle had freshness dating.

A - poured a creamy, tan-colored two-finger head that disippated into a tight cap. even lacing. had a deep, red hue.

S - nothing overbearing in the least, expected more. some hops/bread is about all i get.

T - slightly phenolic/metallic, nutty first impression. kinda like the smell, i was hoping for more. a bit of floral notes as the beer warms.

M - light-bodied, above average carbonation. not much finish, or aftertaste.

D - overall, not the SA offering. i'd rate it well below even Killian's. would not invest in a six of this particular brew.

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Photo of blackenmn
3.38/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a glass:

Appearance and Smell:Poured a fairly dark amber/red with a thin creamy pink head which dissipated pretty quick. Smelled a bit like apple juice and spicy pear, with a mild floral hop aroma backed by some caramel malt scent.

Taste and Mouthfeel:Tasted of mild spice, and caramel malt. A bit of floral hop taste and grassiness in this. Felt pretty light bodied and finished kinda dry with a bit of hop linger.

Drinkability:Not a bad beer, could drink a couple of these in a sitting. Nothing I'd probably buy again.

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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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Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.46 out of 5 with 2,552 ratings
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