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

Appearance: Clear garnet in color, with a large and dense cream-colored head, which retains very well. Scattered, patchy lacing adorns the glass walls. There was little carbonation to note.

Aroma: Sweet bread notes, pronounced malt, with little in the way of hops, and a distinct note of honey and caramel throughout.

Taste: Sweet caramel malt, which is quickly subsumed by a wave of tea-like herbal hops. These continue throughout the taste. Finishes with a lingering herbal bitterness at the back of the mouth.

Mouth feel: Smooth and full, soft, with hints of stinging carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: Pleasant and drinkable, albeit not particularly memorable. Seems to be spot on for this unassuming style.

Presntation: Packaged in a custom twelve-ounce brown glass long neck bottle with a pop-off crown, served in a standard Pilsener glass.

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Photo of cdrogers
4.38/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Pour: It poured a very golden red. Instead of trying to minimize the head completely I poured about 1/4 down the side and the rest straight into the glass. The head was about a 1/4" and was nice off-white.

Glass Look: The look in the glass was nice and the head held nicely.

Taste: Very smooth. Nice sweet taste with no bite or bad aftertaste. Nothing stayed on the tongue and in my opinion this would go well with any meal.

Would I Drink Again: I could see myself buying this regularly. I didn't give it a perfect 5, but it was very close. I am very picky choosing my beers to begin with and I just grabbed another good one. I would recommend this to anyone wanting a nice and smooth beer.

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

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Samuel Smith pint glass.

Appearance: Decent light tan head, and a clear dark ruby red/brown body.

Smell: Very sweet and malty. Very light hops.

Taste: Very smooth and drinkable. It's malty with the hops in the background. To me this tastes like an English pale ale.

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

A: A translucent reddish brown color with a nice sized creamy and frothy tan head with solid retention and some decent lace.

S: Very sweet caramel aroma with some citric (orange?) hops.

T: Toasted caramel malt sweetness with some citric and earthen hops flavor. Some hints of dark fruit or raisin and a surprisingly alcoholic bite.

M: Medium bodied with crisp carbonation. A riding dry bitterness is not overpowering but it persists.

D: This one is tasty and unlike many other SA offerings, it drinks a little heavier than it actually is. Decent complexity and somewhat robust while remaining quite quaffable.

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Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a dark ruby red but I got almost no head retention and not much lacing on the glass.

S - The aroma of sweet caramel is obviously present at first with an almost citrusy finish which I'm assuming is from the hops.

T - Quite a complex taste but it is very traditional of Irish Red beers. It's a nice caramel flavor with a burnt toffee hint in there too. Not a lot of hop presence and almost a peanut-buttery finish. Quite nice.

M/D - Quite a bit of carbonation in this brew, but in a good way. It has a medium body and kind of a tinny/burnt lingering taste.

A nice American version of a classic beer style.

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Photo of Mosstrooper
3.62/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into Guinness tulip pint glass.

Appearance: Pours an amber brown color with a minimal orange-ish head that dissipates pretty quickly leaving behind a bit of foam and some lace.

Smell: Sweet caramel malt prevails, with hints of floral hops.

Taste: Relatively weak flavor, and mostly sweet caramel malt. Finishes with a bit of hop spice.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium body with pretty low carbonation.

Drinkability: Overall a solid beer from Sam Adams, but nothing truly outstanding. A bit too malt-heavy, though.

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Photo of wahhmaster
2.87/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a 19 oz. branded Guinness pint glass.

Appearance: Not impressed. It has dark, reddish color with a foamy head that dissipates very quickly leaving some lacing.

Smell: Caramel malts and that's about it. Nothing too much going on here.

Taste: Meh...You can detect the caramel in the taste but not much else. Kind of bland, really.

Mouthfeel: Pretty full and smooth. Not too heavy on the carbonation.

Drinkability: Not terrible, but not great either. I think Sam Adams is reputable for brewing a wide selection of beers, none of which are terrible, but none of which really stand out either. This one might be a good introduction for someone whose never had an Irish Red before or someone who's not used to good beer.

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Photo of Goliath
3.13/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy dark amber color with a one inch light tan head. Slightly poor retention and no lacing.

The aroma is ok, pretty typical. A big dose of raw grain and sweet caramel are the big factors here.

The taste is not that great. A bit of caramel, raw grain, and not a whole lot else. A metallic finish. Pretty weak.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, kind of watery, and overcarbonated.

Drinkability is moderate. It's not completely offensive, just missing the mark on most aspects.

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Photo of skrib09
3.06/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured a hazy red/brown color with a tan head. decent lacing.

it almost smells reminiscent of the smell you get before you taste apple juice... weird.

the taste is a combination of malt and hop flavors. the bitterness is a nice match to the slight sweetness. i keep getting an apple-like sweetness.

i can feel the alcohol on the middle of my palate. some bubbles towards the back. a touch of bitterness. average drinkability.

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Photo of hoplover82
3.91/5  rDev +13%
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 +10.7%
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 +15.6%
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 +12.1%
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 +4.9%
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 +2.9%
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 +16.5%
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 +8.4%
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 -3.2%
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 +13.6%
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 -2.3%
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 +18.5%
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 +5.5%
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 +6.1%
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 +11.3%
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 -4.3%
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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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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