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

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Samuel Adams Irish RedSamuel Adams Irish Red
2,559 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: 2,559 |  Reviews: 1,015
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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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.62/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A see through copper red with not much head or retention, just a wispy lace on top.

S- Malty as hell. Caramel and fruit sweetnesses.

T- Similar to the smell. Oaty, grainy, fruity. Nicely balanced though. A little weak on the palate however. I'd like to see the flavors punched up more.

M- Smooth smooth. Pretty modest carbonation with a medium body. This goes down well.

D- Easily sessionable. Not the best but a very nice alternative.

This beer has gotten me interested in the style. For some reason I always thought Irish Reds were hoppier. Now I'm off to try some of the best red's.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
3.47/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- dark red color, clear

Smell- malt

Taste- sweet, malt, little bit of fruit, pretty good

Mouthfeel- medium bodied, smooth

Drinkability- pretty good, I would drink it again, came in a sam adams variety pack thing, pretty good irish red ale

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

A - blood red, with scant amounts of carbonation, a thin light tan head sits atop

S - malt-acular, plenty of caramel sweetness, lent by the roasted malts, nice, yet monotypic

T - plenty of roasted malt goodness, a slight hop profile lends some balance, the most enjoyable characteristic is its goldilocks sweetness (not too subtle, not too sweet), a caramel tinged sweetness

M&D - this sweetness also gives it a nice smoothness and quality mouthfeel, one of the better SA beers i have tried

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Photo of vishneda
3.26/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

The beer looks really good in the glass. It has a great color and the head on the pour is pretty nice. The aroma is not very strong but what is there is fruity and maybe a little floral -- average at best.

The initial taste is sweet followed by a mild array of fruit notes. I would say it was a mix of cherry, apple juice, and maybe light plum. Grain flavor comes through in the middle. Something in there reminded me of Cheerios. The finish is maybe a little tart but not very bitter at all. The blend wasn't blowing me away.

It's a very refreshing beer, which I think is probably the key hallmark of the style. The carbonation is strong out of the bottle and the body is light to medium. The way it feels really isn't moving my opinion on this largely average beer.

SA Irish Red is ok, but it's not a world beater in this style or on its own. Recommended to fans of the style. Otherwise, meh.

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Photo of jacobseyb
3.91/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A=nice deep amber color with tan/khaki two finger head that dissipated rather quickly

S=nice aroma of malts with a slight banana aroma

T=great flavor of malts that reminds of caramel and coffee on the finish

M=light tight carbonation and lingering aftertaste

D=extremely drinkable and enjoyable

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Photo of Casey10
3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark reddish hue with a thin head poured from bottle into glass.

S - Light caramel smell with toffe notes come to mind.

T - Can taste the malts and caramel nice flavor not bad at all.

M - Surprizingly good with a bit of a aftertaste/feel to the mouth

D - This is just as rated good I would have another as this is not bad at all.

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

A: Garnet hued amber with exceptional clarity and mild carbonation. A vigorous pour netted a small and fizzy cream cap. Head retention is fair and patches of lace are left behind.

S: Earthy and slightly vinous, plus a bit of toasted malts.

T: Starts with a dry toasted maltiness. Dark fruits in the form of raisin and cherry come and go in a flash. A lemon and tea bitterness is fairly strong. Finishes with a lingering lemon and a burnt malt flavors.

M: The dry body feels overly carbonated.

D: This is a nice Irish Red overall. I appreciated the flavor complexities at work here. A very good take on the style.

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Photo of LukeD23
3.86/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Heres my take on this beer...If you put this infront of someone and dont tell them its a Sam Adams beer they will rate this ale high.

Color and head are beautiful, rich mahogany color with a tan 1/4 inch holding head. Nice lacing on the side of the glass.

Aroma is filled with toffee and caramel with a slight piney backround. Full and round in aroma

Flavor is full and balanced. caramel is the most pronounced, with notes of sourdough bread and rosemary. Could be a bit more complex. But nice

Mouthfeel is full, obvious dextrose going on, nice accompanyment to the malty flavor of the ale

Overall a wonderful beer from Sam Adams. I have been very impressed with the Brewmasters Collection.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a chalice.

A - Deep, mostly red with some amber color. About a finger and a half of carbon dixiode bubble head on the top that dissipated rather quickly leaving the sides of the glass mostly clean.

S - Some dark fruits and mild hops. Malty, caramely smell.

T - Definatly get the malts and fruits on this one. A little bit of hops balance it out at the end.

M - Medium carbonation, a little empty, could have used more body or more taste, left me wanting for a little more.

D - Easy enough to get down, solid, but not great beer. Would definately drink it if it's around.

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

Appearance - Pours a deep amber/red color with over a finger and a half of head. This quickly dissipates but leaves decent lacing on the side of my SA Perfect Pint glass.

Smell - On the forefront, caramel followed by malts, molasses, and a hint of fruit.

Taste - Very bready, malty, can quickly taste the caramel. After the initial flavor I can taste some darker fruits come through. I know it sounds odd but this aftertaste reminds me just a bit of the SA double bock (not a bad thing).

Mouthfeel - Around a medium body and moderate carbonation.

Drinkability - Relatively so, however, it is a bit sweet (granted this is coming after drinking an American wild ale) so as for sessionability, I could have a couple but that would be about it. Overall, pleasantly surprised.

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Photo of jeffthecheff
3.58/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very nice reddish color with a very solid and consistent head. One of the reddest red ales I've ever seen.

Aroma is surprisingly malty. Obvious carmel malt in the nose. Very juicy and surprisingly strong malt aroma. Hops are pretty restrained, the label says East Kent Goldings are used but I'm having a hard time detecting any hop presence here.

Taste has a nice, thick malty flavor with a huge carmel malt presence. Lingering sweetness has a huge character. Bitterness is light, but present if you look for it. A very brew from Sam Adams.

I'm not too familiar with Irish red ales, but I think Sam Adams gets it right here. While it is a huge in malt character, it isn't a very thick beer. Body is medium, and sticks with the lingering sweetness. Carbonation is on the low side. A little dryer would have been nice, to combine the sweet malt character some light, refreshing beer qualities.

Drinkability is good enough. I really am not craving another since this isn't my favorite style of beer, but it is enjoyable. I recognize this as a pretty good beer, but not one that I would buy a six pack of. Nice to have in the mix pack. The next one I'm saving for a food pairing as I would see this as pairing well with a pork dish like smoked ham.

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Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.46 out of 5 with 2,559 ratings