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

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Samuel Adams Irish RedSamuel Adams Irish Red
2,558 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: 2,558 |  Reviews: 1,015
Photo of Proteus93
3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Quite a nice looking glass... and the rocky foam of head was great on this pour. Dark, crisp red with golden highlights.

S: Sweet, herbal nose... almost a bit of a fruity scent in there, but can't quite make out what exactly.

T: Nice balance of hops and malts, though it could stand to have a little more complexity overall. For the simplicity, it does well, though.

M + D: Again, could be a little deeper but it drinks well. A decent feeling brew, it's not mind-blowing, but there are times when that is the mood. I'd take another if it were offered, though I might not actively pursue it.

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Photo of Hokies
4.23/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Sam glass and got a two-finger head that quickie dissipated. The body was a nice bronze red. The aroma is rich with caramel and malt, also can detect a flowery almost citrus hint. A roasted caramel malt taste with a bitter after taste. It is lightly carbonated with a decent body. This beer is very drinkable worth buying a six pack

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Photo of udubdawg
3.1/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle

this one looks fantastic in the Sam Adams glass, beautiful red color, vibrant, excellent clarity, and topped with a tall off-white head that crowns the rim of the glass. Most of this would recede soon, but a ring remains for most of the glass, and there are some decent initial rings of lace.
The nose is light. Caramel malt is there, but I have to inhale sharply to get enough of it. I think this one is going to be very sweet.
...and it is. Sweet caramel malty body, a little bit fruity but short of complex. I swallow and most of the flavors disappear, leaving a vague drying on the palate...but as the level in my glass diminishes, this is more and more discernable as a cloying sweet aftertaste. I take another sip and now the fruits taste like berries. Not my thing, but I can see how many people would like it.
The body here is on the full side, but the carbonation is quite low and the beer goes down pretty easily. A bit less sweetness and I'd have a few more. As it is, it'll be a novelty March 17th beer for me that I wouldn't otherwise order again.

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Photo of Freshie
3.76/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hard to believe Sam's hasn't done this style yet.

Beautiful dark brown, almost red color. Light soapy head.

Smell is sweet, a bit of candy, and grain. A bit raw, something not quite right there.

Taste is tanic, and a bit of dry hop sourness. Sweet malt in the middle. Finish is a bit sticky but indicative of the style.

I like it!

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Photo of hustlesworth
3.95/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- nice 2in of creamy beige/caramel head that becomes clumpy, loose, and buildable. great retention, plenty of cobwebs of lace. clear reddish copper brew with amber highlights.

S-toasted caramel, toffee, burnt marshmallows, brown sugar, peanut brittle, sweet bread, cereal grains

T- buttery sweet malt, copper, well water, toasted grains, burnt caramel, a slight tart fruitiness in the middle, becomes very bready and dry with an earthy hope finish for sure, somewhat wooden and resinous.

MF- kind of grainy, medium bodied with ample carbonation, sweet and residual at first, becoming slick and dry leaving a clean feeling.

D- nicely balanced, very smooth and juicy, its dryness at the end help it's D.

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Photo of letsgopens
4.35/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The latest addition to the Sam Adams lineup, this Irish Red pours a clear, very bright, pure copper amber with some orange highlights and a thick rocky tan head that holds decently well and leaves some spotty lace. Lots of rising carbonation is visible.
Malty and sweet to the nose with lots of caramel malt and some faint spice. Honey and mild fruit are prevalent as well as nice dose of herbal Golding hops. Citrus and a buttery biscuit character are present as well.

Well balanced and very palatable. Sweet initially than becoming more bitter due to some good hops then fading to a bready, buttery note in the finish. Excellent flavor progression. We’re certainly not dealing with a one note brew here. Some citrus and honey sweetness are floating around as well along with a slight toastiness. Just a hint of a metallic quality but mostly a bready, nutty sweet finish. An excellent rendition of the style.

Medium bodied with a smooth, buttery mouthfeel and moderate carbonation. A full, velvety finish with a slightly dry feel. Very well balanced and pleasing. In fact on of the better SA brews I’ve had and I don’t think there are many I haven’t.

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Photo of WesWes
4.12/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a wonderful, malty scent that boasts of sweet caramel malts. It's balanced with a mild noble hop aroma. The taste is good. It has a solid pale and crytal malt flavor. It's semi-sweet in the beginning and dry in the finish. It's incredibly balanced with a nice mild hop taste. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking and well brewed Irish red. It doesn't sell out in the malt department and finishes with excellent hop character.

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Photo of nickfl
3.29/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - One finger of off white head on a clear, spectacularly ruby colored body. The head settles quickly, but leaves nice lace.

S - Malty with some watery fruit notes.

T - Grainy with some slight roasted quality. Biscuity, brown malt flavor lasts through the finish along with moderate hop bitterness.

M - Moderately high carbonation, medium body and dry finish.

D - Easily drinkable and not a bad example of the style, but it isn't particularly compelling either.

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Photo of joekfsu
3.16/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours a red/amber with a monster 3 cm off-white head that is slowly diminishing. Aroma of sweet malts and a hint of hops. Initial flavor is malty, caramel and bread, and citrus hops at the end to balance it out. Aftertaste is very mild citrus. Nearly no carbonation, light to medium body, no lacing. Drinkable as a nice alternative to a heavy beer, or one with more alcohol, or another SA selection.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass amd received a one-finger head that mostly receeded, but there was some constant frothiness w/ no lacings. Typical reddish-copper body, but more than what I expected w/ a smell. Nostrils picked up a faint smell of citrus and bread, but also a nice smell of flowers and malt. The malts balanced nicely with the hops, creating a springy mouthfeel that is smooth, w/ a minor dry backbite but overall a creamy drink that is nicely flavored. I will definitely pick up a 6er of this and recommend the same to any fan of Irish Red Ales.

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

Pours a dark red color, pretty hazy, decent head that fades fast, not much lacing.

Mostly a caramel and malt aroma. Not too much going on.

Taste is immediately malty and hoppy at the same time, not really separated into stages. A bit buttery, solid carbonation and a slightly bitter finish.

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

12oz bottle dated July '08. Picked up a six pack last week, time to review.

A: deep red in color with a two+ finger mostly white head, lingers long and leaves a sheet of lace down the glass

S: malty with caramel aroma dominating. fruity and a little earthiness present

T: Again caramel is dominant, sweet and malty with a hint of spiciness

D: medium body, some creamy texture and the finish is dry.

D: very drinkable. I'm glad I got the six and not the Brewmasters Collection.

At the time I voted for the dunkel but this Red will be in the fridge often.

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Photo of grahambo
3.99/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this beer on two occasions. The first was on tap at a beer festival over the summer where it was in competition with another Sam Adams beer where the public got to vote for which one would go into production...I voted for this one.

This beer looks like just Smithwicks or most any other Irish Red. That is where is stops being average.

It smells much malty like most Irish reds I've had, but there is also a bit of smokiness which is interesting.

It tastes malty but with more bitterness than I expected it to have. The beer then finishes with a nice mild creaminess. Overall I rate this as a great beer. A good addition to the Sam Adams family of beers.

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Photo of Domingo
4.12/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this as part of the Brewmaster's Collection box. Honestly, it's a pretty "blah" style when many people brew it so I didn't have high hopes.
Pours a red/brown color (shocker!) that's about a shade or two darker than I expected, but still clearly more red than brown.
Head's there in full force and retention's excellent.
The smell is malty x 5. Some of the SA beers are pretty similar to one another (likely due to similar ingredients) and this one reminds me of a really kicked up version of their brown ale. Very biscuity, but with a clean bitterness from the hops.
The taste is really clean, and again, VERY malty. Reminds me of roasted chestnuts, molasses-based cookies, and caramel. It has a nice dry finish courtesy of the Goldings.
Mouthfeel is thicker than I expected, with it having a texture that reminds me a little of a black and tan (with 1/2 nitro).
I only had 2 bottles in the pack, but I wanted to open that 2nd bottle immediately. I can't say how it would work beyond that, but it's light enough to warrant at least 1-2 more.
This was a complete shocker. I expected a throw away item for SA to test out, but I now think this could be Boston Beer's best new item in quite some time. I look forward to being able to buy this in 6-packs.

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Photo of AsburyParkJMH
3.46/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lovely dark amber to ruby colour with a big foamy off-white head that arcs nicely out over the top of the new Sam Adams pint glass. Head retention time is decent and a good amount of residue is left behind on the glass.

The aroma is, well, eh. There's almost a bit of a metallic scent mixed in at first, but this goes away and leaves a bit of caramel sweetness to mix with a good amount of malty earthiness.

The flavour holds a fair amount of bitterness throughout whilst the earth notes intermingle with less of a sweet taste here and perhaps a bit of cooked vegetables (?) or even a bit of a buttery flavour that mixes with the slightest hint of floral hops at the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice dryness to it.

Not bad but nothing overly impressive. It's a bit too much like or at least seems like a blend of some of their other beers at times, i.e. there's nothing terribly distinctive about it. That said, it's represents the style fairly well an, along with the Boston Lager, Scotch, Honey Porter, Black Lager and Brown makes for one of the nicer SA mixed packs in some time. Liked it, didn't love it.

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Photo of jamie2dope
3.56/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have to admit that I am slightly disappointed that this brew beat out the Dunkel for being the new Sam Adams brewmaster reserve beer. At the same time, it doesn't seem like you see much of this style around on the market, so so be it. Poured in to my Sam Adams pint glass a pretty copper color, with a medium sized white heading that eventually fades and leaves a ring around the glass. Smell is clean for the most part, with hints of cream and mint here and there. Taste starts off with a nice hop bite, followed by a decent amount of carbonation to back it up. In the middle, things get a bit creamier, then finally it ends on a buttery note. Mouthfeel is medium, and very drinkable....would make a proper session beer. Pretty impressive offering from Sam Adams right here. Reminds me a little bit of Humble Patience from Magic Hat, which was unfortunately retired some time ago.

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Photo of iceball585
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Deep reddish color, semi-clear, one finger thick cream color head that lowered to a thin layer, lots of tiny carbonation bubbles rising throughout

S- Caramel, toasted malts, brown sugar, floral hops, fairly sweet smell

T- Toasted malts, sugar, buttery, biscuits, caramel, hint of dark fruits, creamy, light hops finish

M- Medium body, medium carbonation, smooth, creamy, fairly sweet

D- Great session beer

I would definatly recommend this beer to anyone. Good full malty flavors but still has a little complexity to it as well.

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Photo of animal69
3.38/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a new Sam Adams, found in the brewmasters collection 12 pk. ; pours a hazy reddish-brown color w/ a thin off-white head which dissipates quickly leaving some lacing in my pint glass ; not much smell, some caramelish notes detected ; a crisp, almost astringent taste w/ some caramel and darker fruit undertones, a faint floral hop and diacetyl in there but not really noticeable ; a very dry, light bodied beer, good co2, just a bit too dry for me, the more i drank, the thirstier i got ; not bad at all for the style...

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before july '08. Consumed on 1/9/08
12 oz bottle> SA 16 oz glass.

A lively, clear reddish amber with a two-finger deep, solid-frothy head that sticks mightily to the edges for a while.

A very herbal and earthy nose. All-spices, roast beef, sour and tsngy hop notes, and a smokey, brown-sugar malt scent.

The malt is a smokey but smooth, semi-sweet flavor that is equaled only by a very earthy, herbal and spicey eefect, the balance within theset two worlds is pretty good. The finish is a sour-yeastie lager-like effect that becomes semi-bitter later on.

Medium bodied, crisp and clean with a slick, smooth creaminess. Pretty nice.

Quaffff away!

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Photo of argock
4.18/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass

A: Orangy-red with very thick foamy head and ample stick lacing

S: Light aromas of caramel and pale malts with only a touch of hops contributing

T: Laced with sweet malts dominated by caramel, toffee, and maple flavors. Again, low level hops presence, but enough is there to counter the delicious, sweet maltiness.

M: Incredibly smooth and creamy with a clean finish, medium carbonation and body, and a sweet, light aftertaste.

D: A real surprise that they haven't made this a more frequent offering as it would crush most reds out there. Smooth, creamy, and malty sweet without excessive heft -- the mouthfeel alone would make it a really nice session beer.

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Photo of axxis64
4.1/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this in the new Sam Brewmasters pack. I've been looking forward to this one since I heard about it last summer in the voters poll. My first beer I ever had was an Irish Red, so this one is a style I've always wanted Sam to do. Here goes.

A: Looks pretty good. Pours a deep amber with a thick white head that very slowly fades.

S: The first thing I smell is hops. Much like Boston Lager, which makes sense because it says on the bottle that they use the same hops. You can also get a sense of the slight maltiness of this brew

T: Taste is good. I was worried that it might come off with that off flavor that Killians gives you in their Red. In Sam's case its's a great malt flavor that is quite well balanced with the hops.

M: Not heavy, not light. Just in the middle. Good carbination

D: For me, easily one of Sam's better drinkers as far as drinking one and wanting another. It's not heavy where you don't want another, but not light enough to down with out noticing.

Overall a great brew. Sam's site says that Irish Red is brewed all year long, so here's hoping for the sixer to come out soon. Because when it does, I'll be first in line to get it. Good work guys

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.98/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper translucent body with close to an inch of light tan head that leaves some lacing. Floral earthy hops with fruitiness and maltiness characterize the aroma. Tastes toasty, slightly peaty, with a good dose of citrusy and floral hops to balance it out. Roasty caramel malt dominates the finish. On the lighter side of medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation. A pretty good drinker, this one is. Not my favorite example of the style for sure, but a fairly solid beer nonetheless.

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Photo of Dewey0603
3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark deep red with a large tan foamy head. A long lasting head with good lacing makes this a nice looking beer. The smell is sweet malt with maybe some hops. The taste is crisp,hoppy,and full of sweet malt. This is better than I thought with more of a hop presence. The m/f is light with the sweet malt and hops mixing very well. This is a pretty good beer,one that Sam should sell all year long.

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Photo of Brad007
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish-brown color with a decent head that fades to a one-finger head. Aroma is sweet and malty with only a hint of the Goldings hops. Taste is very malty upfront with very little bitterness and a mildly dry feeling at the back of the throat.

After letting this warm up some more, the aroma is the same. However, the taste has more malt sweetness and a more pronounced bitterness. In other words, I taste more.

It's decent. Not the best example I've had of the style but it's not meant to be overhopped (like the examples I really like) and comes closer to a traditional example.

Decent if not spectacular. Sessionable as well.

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Photo of maddogruss
3.3/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 12 ounce bottle into a glass mug.

A: Pours a red-amber body with a thick, off-white head with ok retention. Slows down to a lacing along the top of the beer with lacing along the sides of the glass.

S: A slight, sweet malty smell.

T: A slightly alcoholic taste with a cherry aftertaste. Reminded me a little bit of cough syrup with the same bite in the aftertaste.

M: A little thin on the mouthfeel, but with decent carbonation.

D: Ok drinkability. The Robitussin-like characteristics took away from the beer a little bit for me, but worth a try.

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Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.46 out of 5 with 2,558 ratings