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

2,543 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: 2,543 |  Reviews: 1,013
Photo of hoplover82
3.91/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pretty good offering from BBC. A nice rendition of the style.

Pours a thick clear dark red color with a tan head, that stays for a good while.

The aroma is faint maltiness. A little smoky.

The flavor bursts with roasty sweet malt. Just a little bitterness, couldv'e used more. A little smokiness.

Kinda smooth with a little lingering bitterness in the end. Full bodied.

Pretty drinkable. Couldn't have more than two, would want more that two.

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

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: Beautiful reddish amber coloring, nice head that quickly dissipated. Nice lacing. Overall a very nice looking brew.

S: Nice caramel malt on the nose, very clean smelling.

T & M: I have not had a lot of Irish Reds in my beer journey but I really enjoyed this beer. Nice caramel tones up front with a somewhat flat finish.

D: Highly drinkable, I would definitely like to have this brew again. I have yet to see it by itself in six pack, this was purchased in a Brewmaster Pack along with the Honey Porter and Black Lager.

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

Poured a somewhat hazy dark reddish-brown. Nice head that fell to a thin ring with some islands of foam.
Lots of malt in the aroma. Caramel, bits of brown sugar, dark fruits and a little breadiness.
Pretty malty flavors too. The caramel comes through again along with toasted bread and malts, the dark fruits, some dark chocolate. Earthy hop bitterness gave an iced tea flavor to the beer.
Medium bodied. A little watery, but not bad.
Quite drinkable. I could see having a few more of these.
Probably one of the better reds around and would be a great beer to keep on hand.

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Photo of thain709
3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A nice amber color...a small light, very light brown head...left little lacing

S - Sweet caramel malt notes

T - A nice roasted caramel maltiness...a slight finish of hops...pretty well balanced flavors

M - Creamy and smooth going down

D - A nice Irish Red...I had three of these in one night...and I could of kept drinking them

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a somewhat dark and slightly hazy amber-red color. Light tan head is big at first, but quickly dissipates to a film that leaves a good deal of lacing.

Smell: Caramel hints with malts and some grassy aromas.

Taste: Toasty malts with caramel undertones, with grasses and then hops at the finish. Decent aftertaste combines all those flavors.

Mouthfeel: Light- to medium-bodied and mostly smooth. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Easy to drink with moderate ABV, but I think it would get tiresome as a session beer.

Not my favourite style, but a nicely brewed example. Worth trying. I pick up a 6-pack of this from time-to-time, so for the price and availability, it is worth having again.

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Photo of oldirtycaffrey
3.56/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very tasty Irish Red Ale from Sam Adams. First heard of this a year or so ago but finally found it available in a variety pack (with the beautiful Black Lager & the solid Honey Porter) at a Wegman's in NJ.

Pours a very dark copper with a foamy tan head. The smell is subtle -- just slight hints of malts and a touch of caramel/grain. Taste is malty and slightly bitter. Dry. Very smooth tho and very easy to drink.

I'm curious why this isn't more readily available as I feel it would surely give sales of Smithwick's a run for its money.

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Photo of daliandragon
4.03/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a deep, dark copper color with a wet but surprisingly resilient head and equally impressive tan lace. The caramel malts run the nose but there are some grassy and citrus hops providing balance and piquing my interest.

The taste is likewise levied on each side although again heavier towards the malt, as one would guess. The caramel and toasted flavors are joined by an earthy nutty flavor and a light edge of bitterness from the hops that carries into the aftertaste.

Especially for the style, this one is complex and layered. I'm not head over heels for it but I'd look for it again.

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Photo of MTNboy
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It has dark brownish red body it has a caramel tan head with a little bit of lace. The lace is tight. It has a roasted malt aroma. The taste is a little most complex than most reds. It has a deep roasted malt and nut like taste with some bitterness. The after taste has a grainy plant like flavor. The mouthfeel is medium and slightly fizzy.

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

Pours crystal clear, filtered sparkly color that falls perfectly between amber and red. Nice, but nothing special.

Smells of more traditional American red ale malts (the cripsness is unique, I want to call it rusty but that'd be cheap, but it kind of smells fresh like a piece of metal playground equipment after a rainstorm). The hops that balance it are--you guessed, it spicy Hellertau! Or maybe Goldings. I'm not sure. But whatever, it really that doesn't work that well. It's not bad, not by any means, but danmit I want some alpha in my red ale, some citrus at least.

Tastes slightly better than it smells. The malt is balanced not by the hops but, as usual with BBC brews, the sweet aftertaste in which the yeast dominates. Pretty good.

Some styles just don't work to well with european hops, in my opinion. Sam Adams is a hell of a brewer and they can always been counted on to deliver beers that are worth drinking and at least a little interesting, but this once just ain't all that great.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.93/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark red, just a shade light of burgandy. Some orange hues when held up to the light. Head has a good creamy texture but is a tad on the thin side. Sticky spotty lacing on the sides of the glass.
Faint, somewhat subdued aroma, of caramel and some cookie dough like sweetness. Just a faint hint of some earthy hoppiness.
Nice clean and crisp flavors. Nothing ground breaking or earth shattering in the flavor profile but this is a dang good Irish Red. As expected heavy on the caramel malts but there's a nice green tea hoppiness that makes this one stand out for me in the Irish Red category.
Mouthfeel and drinkability are spot on. Fixing to open up another with a good book.

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Photo of Gmann
3.38/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber red color with a small dense tan colored head that settled into a light cap. The aroma faint and is of light caramel malt, slightly buttery. The taste is of sweet caramel malt, some honey, and a dry bitter tea like hop. The brew has a moderate body, with semi-soft carbonation, astringent, finishes with a lemony bitterness. A decent Irish Red, though it is a bit hard to review since I am not a real fan of the style. Seems to be true to the style.

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Photo of mcsquint
4.1/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into pint glass
A - Reddish amber in color with 1 - 2 finger tan head. Light lacing on glass
S - Caramel malt with a slight grassy aroma
T - Caramel malt and tea,slightly sweet, well balanced with hops
M - Light to medium with carbonation that complements the style.
D - True to the style this is made for session drinking. Competitively priced. Could go with this easily if there is no Smithwick's available.

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Photo of MSchae1017
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was poured from the 12oz bottle into one of the "new" Samuel Adams glasses.

The body of the beer is slightly hazy and orange-amber with a decent sized tan head. The head dissipates fairly quickly leaving little to no lace.

The aroma is mostly malty displaying toasted and caramel malts along with sweet green apples, and tea like and grassy hops.

The taste is up front with the caramel malts, and is quickly followed by a tea like hop aroma. The beer finally gives way to a toasty finish with some bitterness.

The body of the beer is medium with a lower carbonation.

Overall, a nicely drinkable Irish red. It certainly separates itself from an American Amber with less citrusy hops and more tea like hop characteristics. The caramel is also quite prevalent with a bit of toast.

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Photo of marcellaproust
3.67/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Great beer for the price and accessibility! Great beer in general. Short-top but stubborn head. Amber of course. Aroma is big and forward--the caramel and toffee and brown sugar candies. I'm not sure I can distinguish this from a typical scotch ale, though. Tastes exactly like it smells, likewise bears a syrupy mouthfeel. Because the carbonation lasts and so, nicely cleans the palate, you never feel too gooey or heavy. If the label were masked, I would definitely feel--by the overall weightiness of the beer (taste, aroma, feel)--that this were a true microbrew brew, rather than Sam Adams. Not a session beer; needs your attention.

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Photo of birchstick
3.85/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark amber with a decent looking head
S - 3.5 very sweet malts with a little bit of candy
T - as the nose suggested, this is very malty and sweet. Caramel malts and toffee with a very faint bit of toastedness and some bitterness as well.
M - creamy and smooth, albeit a little thin and watery
D - this was a pretty good beer. I haven't had this style before and was pleasantly surprised. One of the better beers I have had from Sam Adams and will revisit this one fore sure.

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Photo of CHSLBrew
3.31/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass.

A-A light tan head tops off this clear, deep amber beer. Low head retention with no lacing.

S-Fruity and sweet, with subtle toffee.

T-With fruity esters initially, a hearty roasted toffee malt dominates this beer's flavor. No hop flavor, but the bitterness helps balance out the sweet flavors. Finishes almost dry. A very malt-centric beer, but has enough bitterness to keep it all together.

M-Medium-heavy on my tongue, almost on the brink of chewy as a result of the toffee/caramel flavors.

D-Quite drinkable. Enjoyable from start to finish, I'll certainly have this one again (especially considering there's another in the fridge!).

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Photo of baos
4.05/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into dog-faced mug.

a: Nice head on this one. The bottle runneth over whilst i was looking for dog-faced mug. 2 1/2 finger head that goes down to a nice sheen. this brew has really good lacing. Body is nice reddish iced tea looking.

s: Nice maltiness with a bit o' hoppiness.

t: A bit like unsweetened tea the dryness is very nice and the hop bitterness goes perfectly with the all the maltiness. Better than I was expecting.

m: very nice medium body on this one with an almost creamy feel.

d: I could take six of these quite nicely over a game of cards. Me proud of that sammy, ain't he sam and mary's boy? Old deacon raised that boy right!

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Photo of Beastdog75
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is Sam Adam's attempt at an Irish red, a style which I think many macro-drinkers and novice beer drinkers move on to when the pale yellow American-style lagers start to grow a bit boring. Sam did this one right, as it is a full flavored offering that certainly surpasses stuff like Killians, yet remains accessible to almost any beer drinker.

Sam Adams Irish Red pours a really nice slightly murky reddish brown color, with about 1 1/2 fingers of light beige foam forming and lasting for a little less than 30 seconds. A nice caramel malt aroma is present, and some citric hoppiness is present in the nose as well. The mouthfeel is smooth and moderately carbonated. The predominant flavor is, of course, the caramel malty flavor that carries with it a slight nuttiness. Good hop presence, as the citric/herbal hop flavors balance the brew out nicely and is not overly bitter. In the finish, the nuttiness lingers on along with some tea like flavor, and the herbal hoppiness lasts for quite some time. The beer concludes with very little alcoholic warmth.

A very nice offering and one of the better Irish reds that I have had. I bought a single of this, and now I would not hesitate to pick up a sixer.

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Photo of Jordan1985rec
2.83/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Loads of people have hit on the same ASTMD points, and for the most part I agree. I think the real only folly of this beer is the lack of body when compared to other major offerings of this style like Smithwicks. For me it didn't have the same biscuit quality that a Smithwicks has, it is closer in style to the Murphy's Red, which to me at least is not as good despite my love of their stout. I really do love BBC and I was hoping for a bit more. Not awful in any respect though, drinkable but could have been better.

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Photo of Bockrules
4.11/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass

A - Pours a brilliant off-white three finger head with great retention. Deep Amber brown color with a bit of orange. Head stays intact all the way down the glass. Leaves gorgeous lacing.

S - Pleasant smell of citris hops on caramel malt background. Aroma could be stronger, but quite inviting non the less.

T - Sweet orange flavor up front. The body is very well balanced with hop flavors occasionally poking though caramel malt background. Pretty dry finish, leaves a pleasant mild orange-spice aftertaste.

M - pretty thin body a decent amount of carbonation. Not at all bad, but I would prefer a slightly thicker body

D - It took me a few of these to appreciate them. At first it just seemed like a highly drinkable beer with little flavor, but it has been growing on me. This favor is quite complex and pleasant and yet isn't an assault to the taste buds, I could see drinking a few of these in a night. A great deal at $7.50 a six on sale, plan on purchasing again. Perfect fall beer that reminds me of drinking apple cider full of spice and oranges during the holidays.

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Photo of jpkoch1962
4.35/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oustanding Irish ale. Deep redish hue is topped off with a long lasting vanilla head with plenty of lacing. The aroma is dominated by caramel, sweet malts and a bit of fragerent hops. The taste is big -mainly caramel, toffey with a smooth finish that dries a bit towards the end. A very nice session brew with a moderate amount of alcohol. One of SA's best seasonal ales.

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Photo of spointon
3.99/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a shaker pint glass.

A= This red ale poured a crystal clear dark amber red color with a thin 1/4" off-white head. The head quickly dropped to zero, nada, gone completely and did not leave any lacing on my glass.

S= Very big caramel notes dominated the aroma of this beer. Very sweet smelling, with a mild earthy sulphuric undertone.

T= I tasted lots of sweet caramel maltiness, a slight twinge of buttery diacetyl, and a very mild hop presence which kept the sweetness from becoming cloying. Not a complex beer for sure, but very pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a slightly viscous mouthfeel. Carbonation was very low and in my opinion barely within range for the style.

D= One of the better red ales with mass appeal, this one was easy to drink and would be a good choice to have with food when you don't want the beer flavors fighting with the food flavors.

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Photo of thespaceman
4.42/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First time trying this, let's see how it is:

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

Appearance: Dark amber/red in color, hence the name, minimal head that dissapates quickly, perfect coloring for this style, excellent dark yellow lacing for such a small head.

Smell: Cranberry notes stand out big here, as well as a caramel afterbite. Earthy yet very invigorating. Compared to a Killians, the smell of this is miles ahead of alot of other red's.

Taste: Surprisingly excellent! This doesn't give away a huge portion of the "red bite" you get from alot of other red's like Killians or Mendocino's Red Tail Ale, but that's not a bad thing at all. This beer has nice floral notes that stand out, and the caramel kick in the end is terrific. Fruity, yet balanced perfectly with the caramel hops.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, mild carbonation, and pretty refreshing. Very nice body to this one.

Drinkability: Easily alot more drinkable then alot of other red ales, I can easily sesh a 6 pack of these. Very drinkable without having a boring taste, Boston Beer Company does it again! Good work.

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Photo of JayQue
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a pretty tasty Red Ale. Pours a mostly reddish color with a little amber brown. Medium size off fluffy off white head with fairly good retention. Leaves some lacing on the glass.

Smell is pretty good also. Very strong (for a Red Ale) aroma of sweet malts, a little spicy also.

Tastes pretty good. A little on the sweet side but still a solid session beer. More pronounced smell and flavor than Kilian's.

Mouthfeel is good, not too thin or watery. Crisp slight hop finish cuts the sweet taste a bit.

Drinkability is good. Pitchers of this stuff would be welcome at a session. Good take on a fairly basic style.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.03/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Translucent brown-red with a fluffy 2-finger head.

S- Smell is balanced with earthy hops and sugary malts

T- Caramel, wheat bread, and apple. Great blend of flavors that goes well with the medium body.

M- Feel is medium and pleasant with decent carbonation that carries it over the tongue

D- Drinks well, but too sweet for the style in my opinion

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Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.56 out of 5 based on 2,543 ratings.
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