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

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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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Reviews: 984 | Ratings: 2,443
Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.01/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I first tried this beer in a mix pack, by far the best of the "collection" at that time. Malts are the most overlooked component to craft beer, this one is all malts, balanced by some pretty decent hop/bitters for the finish. At 5.5, this is a great seesion beer, considering the price of craft 6r's these days, for that matter, 6r's of anything, this is a pretty good deal.

I am pleased to see that Sam Adams is branching off from the Boston Lager mold. I liked this one.

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Photo of chilidog
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I've waited for this brew to arrive in my area, I love a good Irish red.

It pours a good looking red, nice egg shell head that did lace well.

The aroma of toasted grains and malts with hints of earth and pine.

The taste was good caramelized grain malt. The hops crisp things nicely with a pine hint or bark.

The body was alittle thinner than expected. The body seemed light to alittle watered.

Overall very drinkable with any meats or on its own, i'd buy this again.

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Photo of meechum
4.4/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Poured a deep ruby with brown highlights. Nice thick white head that fell slowly and had some sticky lacing

S - A nice malty smell along with a little fresh hops that has some earthy/piney hops smell

T - A big malt flavor..cracker..nut..and fresh grains..along with a fresh hop flavor that leaves a nice piney taste at the end

M - Good carbonation...crisp and clean

D - Very drinkable in my opinion...I had several without even thinking about it..a very good example of the Red style...very enjoyable

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.96/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As I wait until this beer arrives in my area, I wonder if it will take on the classic toasted maltiness with a crisp hop counterpart, or become grainy, artificially caramel and metalic like many other American breweries deliver. Turns out to be the former. The beer opens with a bright ruby color with hints of darkness (brown) with a terrific slight-of-tan head formation / retention and adequate carbonation. Aromas of rich malt, lightly toasted malts, nuts, and an ester that reminds me of timid berries. A fresh (wet-hop) aroma gives a distinct pungent / earthy / herbal, and at times piney character that later transfers directly to flavor. Along with the hops, the malts deliver a steady, medium malty flavor that hinges of fresh bread, yeast, and toast. A well attenuated, crisp cracker-like flavor provides a nice pillow for the piney hops and light esters. Kinda like the ale version of an Oktoberfest, but with increased maltiness. Finishes clean and with a mild, pleasant pine flavor. A very nice beer worthy of the Sam Adams branding.

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Photo of zeff80
3.33/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a reddish brown hue with a bubbly, soapy, two-finger, tan head. It left some lacing.

S - It smelled of roasted caramel malt and somewhat grassy.

T - It tasted of sweet caramel malt and was lightly hopped.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - Another fine seasonal brew from Sam Adams. It is very sessionable.

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Photo of Lenny2884
3.46/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice reddish caramel color with a 1 and 1/2 finger fluffy off white head.

The caramel malts really push through in the smell giving it a complex malt character. A slight hop spicyness is present but not prevalent.

Very balanced. The caramel malts once again come to the forefront of the tongue presenting a very tantalizing malty sweetness, but does not overpower. Hop spicyness comes through in the end nicely balancing the brew. The spicyness helps with the dry finish.

Overall, I am impressed with this offer from Sam Adams. I must admit I came in not expecting much but was pleasantly surprised in the result. I love big hoppy beers so this isn't a beer I would fall in love with but the malt character is very intriguing and keeps me reaching for the remaining beers. Very sessionable which is also a plus.

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

Poured a crystal clear reddish color with massive white puffy head. Great retention with sparse lacing.
Smell is of fruity malt, but somewhat restrained.
Taste also has a nice fruity malt character, with a nice background of hops.
Finishes slightly dry and refreshing.
A nice well-balanced beer with perfect drinkability. Would be nice to session.

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Photo of FuzzyGuy84
4.31/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Red brown color with highly active carbonation. Full copper colored head with excellent lace and retention.

S - Well balanced smell, lots of caramel and malty notes. A small amount of sweet hop character comes through as well.

T - There is a very fine balance to this beer. Roasted malty flavor up front with a light hoppy bitterness in the back.

MF & D - This is a very complex beer with a reasonable alcohol content, pushing it high on my drinkability list. The bitterness from the hops is a bit much, resulting in a bit of acidity on the back of the tongue. That aside, this is a very pleasant drinking experience.

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

Sounded like an intriguing beer, so I wanted to give it a try.

A: beautiful ruby-mahogony color with ample cream colored head.

S: soft carmel malt in the nose with some woodsy, earthyness.

T: descent, but not special. understated caramel, smooth malts and a nice undergirding of earthy, leafy hops, but no "punch." Tame, balanced. Dry finish.

M: Smooth feel, descent carbonation.

D: Alcohol not assertive, coupled with a pleasant body and taste make for a highly drinkable brew. A bit dry in the finish, and not sure if I expected or wanted it from this beer.

Overall, good, solid beer that does a lot right, but not extra special.

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Photo of russpowell
3.86/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

BBD May 08

Pours a super bubbly copper with brown tints tinges the upper 3rd of my SA pint glass with 2 fingers of pearl white head. Below average head retention & lacing

S: Toasty, bready & caramel notes & some wet cereal smells

T: Breadyness, biscuitty malt & dryness up front. Some grainyness, a slight nuttyness, diathecthyl (sic) & leafy, herbal & some
metallic hops as it warms. Finishes dry with caramel, biscuitty malt, some more metallic hops; plus a touch of grainyness

MF: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, much dryness & pretty good balance,

Drinks pretty easy, the dryness might wear on me after a while. A pretty good Irish red, but give me the scotch ale in six packs now! Cheers to a brewer out there that makes the American Beer scene better every day

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Photo of IPAcraig
3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love a good red colored beer. This beer pours a deep, slightly brownish red with a big white head that could have lasted longer.

All malt in the nose ... very nice.

The taste is a little thin despite having a great malty body. Not complex, but very nice. The beer finishes with a slightly burnt/metallic flavor; it is very faint, but still present.

It has a crisp, almost lager-ish mouthfeel. Highly drinkable. Not much to say about this one; it focuses on malt sweetness and does a solid job of it.

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Photo of triplecoil
3.81/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Bright, clear, amber red appearance with a two finger head that faded fairly quickly. Smelled faintly of barley. Soft but crisp on the tongue with moderate carbonation. Decent malt flavor with a slightly metallic taste. This is a nice session beer, glad there's another red on the market.

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Photo of EPseja
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12oz bottle in my SABL glass at between fridge and cellar temperature.

Look: Deep, copper color with brickhouse red highlights. Light, sandy colored head rises two full fingers to the rim of the glass and recedes unevenly, forming craters in the resilient foam. Lacing is sporadic and soapy.

Smell: A really nice melding of toasty malts and European hops in which neither really takes the driver's seat. Very similar in character to the nose of a Sam Adams Boston Lager for the very same reason.

Taste: Starts out with a hit of caramel sweetness from the malts, almost leading you to believe that this is going to be a malt bomb. Then in the middle, a transformation begins as the sweetness subsides completely and gives way to medium-bitter hops and a hearty breadiness. The finish is crisply drying, with hints of the sweet malts becoming evident again. Fantastic flavor profile for a style that's too often one-dimensional.

Feel: Tingly and well carbonated -- perhaps a tinge too carbonated -- taking away from the creaminess in the mouth. Puffs up quickly, and consolidates for a fast swallow. Decent, but not this beer's best point. NOTE: Mouthfeel improves as the beer warms... as is the case with many beers. Get this one closer to cellar temperature for maximum enjoyment.

Drink: For a style that has disappointed me so many times in the past, I must say that I am impressed at the depth of character that Samuel Adams has crafted into their version. Not overly malty, and certainly not wimping out on the hops, either. This beer is definitely one that could be sessioned or enjoyed all evening long at a party.

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Photo of hckyfn9999
3.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep reddish amber with about a finger and a half of head into a Boston Lager glass. Good head retention and some nice lacing on the glass. A very nice sweet caramel malt presence dominates the aroma along with some grain and a faint touch of citrus and fruit. Taste is more caramel and biscuity malt. Pretty well balanced and a somewhat grainy finish that I could do without. Easy drinker. Pretty good Irish Red in my opinion.

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Photo of fitzy84
3.73/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The appearance is a bright amber-red with a ridiculously thin head that does last throughout the drink. A good malty aroma overall permeates from the drink. The taste is wicked good: sweetness wrapped in flavors of malt and caramel. The carbonation allows it to be pretty refreshing and crisp. While being both malty and light, this drink might still not win over all. But, I highly enjoyed this great drink from Sam Adams.

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Photo of rdesisto
2.67/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted in a bottle. The drink by date states the beer is good until july 2008.

This is a quality beer with a couple small flaws in my opinion. Appearance good enough with a nice chill haze. Average head retention. Smell and taste of butter very strong here - possibly oxidized?? i like irish reds and this certainly lives up to the style. very drinkable. soft mouth feel.

Certainly a 'better beer' - but for my personal taste it had too much butter taste and after taste to be a 'great beer'.

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Photo of hiikeeba
3.33/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours up Ruby red with a thick white head that lasts a while.

S - Bready, a hint of malt.

T - Cararmel malts start off, but really don't deliver. It's got some hops in the finish, but it is a little bland.

M - Mouthfeel is excellent. Full bodied.

D - This would be a good session beer.

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Photo of bboven
3.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ruby red clear body, very pretty. A half-finger of lasting head leaves lots of lacing.

Lots of caramel in the aroma and some breadiness, just what it should be!

Everything that should be there is in the flavor, my only complaint is a slight metallic taste at the end that kind of hurts it.

Great carbonation but just a little thin in the body.

Pretty tasty little beer, except for the aftertaste. I would probably pick a different Irish red ale if it were available, though.

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

Sam Adams Latest addition to the Brewmaster's Collection.

a: Clear ruby red body with a thin white head. Good lacing.

s: Sweet toasted caramel malt and a mild hop aroma.

t: Sweet toasted caramel malt just like the aroma. Nicely balanced with some earthy hops. Has some of the cola-esque flavor found in dubbels.

m: Medium body, appropriate carbonation, dry finish.

d: Irish red isn't my favorite style, seems a little boring to me.
That being said, this is pretty good. More hop presence than many, good balance as well. A pretty neutral, everyday, non-intimidating brew. Very quaffable. Would have been cool to see something more extravagant from Sam Adams, but we're not too far removed from the Imperial Pilsner and there is a hop shortage, so I can understand.

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Photo of malty
4.21/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's notched for July '08, so I'm guessing this baby is very fresh.

Pours a brilliantly clear orange & ruby color with a fluffy 2 1/2" light khaki head. Almost no uprising carbonation, except for a tiny bubble here and there. It rests still, with its glowing ruby hue and thick creamy head - very gorgeous indeed. Huge globular even rings of lace all the way down.

Toasted caramel malts linger over the creamy, thick head. After a few swirls of my .3L HB Pils glass, I detect some earthy hops in the nose. Some table fruits are apparent; apples, some dark figs, raisins - but kinda in the background as the soft & sweet malts are commanding the nostrils.

Snappy fresh sweet toasted malts ride the first wave. There's a friendly sweet swath of light toffee and a very gentle hit of molasses. The hops really add a nice bitter dimension to the malt foundation, with their herbally, earthy green tones. A chalky dryness is imparted by these welcomed green conical gifts of goodness.

Mouthfeel is spectacular. Even though the liquid didn't look to have much carbonation after the poor, the ultra fine carbonation is at a perfect level for quaffing this ale in great amounts. The medium body carries these deep, sweet and somewhat dry flavors along nicely. A touch of spice along with the chalky dry long flavorful finish makes for a truly great rendition of this style.

Drinkability is awesome. To me, this is a perfect combo. of a delicious amber and a dry pale ale. In a way, it reminds me of an O'Dells 90 Schilling w/o the nuttiness. I could have a few tall schooners of this and be satisfied. I bet this would pair well with a bunch of different foods too!

I'm really not much into this style, but SA did brilliant work on this and made it their own. Not over sweet. Nice hop addition to really give the malts a perfect counter balance. It looks, tastes and feels great. I'll be bringing this to my towns St. Patty's Day fest this year for sure. All I can say is 'Wow'!

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Photo of Liquids
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thick red color, with a foamy rocky head that holds, that has a slight muted amber hue to off white. Aroma is mostly noble hops, with that fresh and unmistakable Sam character to it. Taste is spot on red ale, sweet toasted and tea like up front, with full flavors, and a hop bite that is true to style, a bit typical of Jim/SA's love for some spicy noble hops in the mix, but maintaining the ever-masterful balance without trying to be all about hops, which would not only be easier to brew, but is a common way to go and is the problem I have with the average microbrew reds--they're just boring red hop water. This blows most all of them away. Medium mouthfeel on tougue, as per style, and a tad high on carbonation.

Overall a fantastic brew! I find only one or two of Jim/Sam's brews outright unpleasant, a lot of it as "solid" if not my pick, and then a few select to be absolutely outstanding to my palate. This is one of the outstanding in my book. I can't say it edges out Rock Art Red in flavor, but besides for being nearly as stunning (in it's own way) this is way cheaper, easier to get (at the moment), and it knocked me out by exceeded my expectations when I took a single, so I'm paying my dues and stocking it. Cheers to Sam!

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Photo of billybob
4.3/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a clear reddish amber color with a beige three finger head with a easy pour with some lace, could have been better. fruity aromas with a hint of caramel. taste is sweet, fruity, malty, caramel, with a slight tea finish. mouthfeel light and carbonation ok. very nice beer.

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Photo of horshack7
3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It pours a very dark red garnet color with about one finger of head. The head is light but dissipates quickly.

Aromas: Their is subtle yet light hop nose. Notes of caramel malts as well. The malts do give off a nic earthy aroma.

Taste: This is nicely balanced even with the sweetness it gets from the malts. It does have a light earthiness and a slight bisuitiness as well. The mouthfeel is a little crisp but does smooth out.

Notes: I found this one in this years Samuel Adams brewmaster collection pack only two but it will do. I wish this one would be brewed year round but oh well if it's not. I could definately drink a few of these in a sitting. Cheers.

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Photo of david131
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- A very clear but pretty orange/red color with streams of rising carbonation. The head is creamy and white looking and has excellent retention.

S- Sweet, malty, carmely, peaty, and a little bit of Sam Adams tossed in.

T- Sweet caramel and a little earthy. Right how it should be. Doesn't blow me away, but this would make a decent session beer.

M- Very clean and crisp. The carbonation is good and is not as harsh as I was expecting.

D- A very good example of the style. I don't see myself keeping this around, but it is thoroughly enjoyable.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown bottle; served in a tumbler.
Purchase before 05.2008.

Moderately hazy oak with auburn highlights. Very creamy, off-white head with stable retention that leaves a ring of condensed lacing with a moment. Walls of ringed and condensed lacing.

Toasted, biscuity malt with a faint hint of diacetyl. Floral hops, light citrus; a distinct noble hop spice amidst a layer of mustiness.

Orange and light apple acidity prior to a bready, toasted maltiness. Semi-sweet caramel creaminess. Big floral hop presence in the middle with notes of spice. Slightly phenolic and grainy in the finish.

Medium in body; somewhat smooth, but gritty due to the spicy hops and grainy flavor.

A decent Red, but nothing too memorable. The distinct spiciness distinguishes this from other Amber Ales.

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Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.56 out of 5 based on 2,443 ratings.
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