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: 1,004 | Ratings: 2,512
Photo of pmcadamis
3.44/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - This on has quite the prodigious head on it! A full four fingers of tan foam rise above a garnet hued brew that shows purple, red, and crimson highlights at times. The head gets rocky and pitted as it slowly recedes to a fat finger. This has tons of crusty lace stuck to the glass, and the head is beautifully fluffy and full. I really like the deep crimson colors that seem to mutate as you move the beer in front of your face.

S - This smells similar to SA lager, but with even more dirty earth and silt aromas. That sounds like a slam, but I like those muddy riverbed notes. The memory that popped into my head whilst sniffing this one is of molding clay....not playdough, but that gray clay that the art teacher always had around. There is a slight whiff of chocolate covered cherries too.

T - This one is dusty, earthy, and a bit mushroomy. Again, very similar to SA lager with the addition of some almost sour fruit. Cherries? There is a bit more complexity than the standard SA, but the hops are subdued. Diacetyl butter and toast notes are here in abundance also.

M - Medium bodied and oily with a neutral-leaning -towards-sweet finish that become a bit drier towards the end.

D - Not bad, but not all that great either. Sure looks pretty though. This is too similar to SA Boston Lager, and it's not very much "to style." This could use A LOT more hops too.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.14/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a five finger cream head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Crystal clear red/amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Slight hoppy nose. Flavor is balanced not malty, dry bitter finish. $1.50 for a 12oz bottle from Capitol Convenience Concord, NH.

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Photo of orangemoustache
3.98/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a stunning amber with deep reds through out,very creamy head almost stout like,light lacing coats my glass from top to bottom

S-sweet smells,floral,and cherries

T-caramels right off the top,cherry licorice,earthy hoppy finish

M-solid medium body,a bit creamy,suttle dry finish

D-this is a straight up session brew,good balance,with a great finish

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Photo of yelterdow
4.6/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A nice surprise at the local beer store... getting in the mood for the third week of March, '08!

Served at fridge temperature in an imperial pint glass, best before July of this year.

Appearance- A gorgeous four finger head billows high over the deep, clear russet beer... the staying power of the crown alone is fantastic. Craggy and rugged, it laces heavily down the glass... Beautiful and one of the best I've seen for this style.

Smell- The East Kent Goldings hops almost fool me into betting this is an English pale ale... unbelievably fresh hop aromas combine with a gentle caramel malt nose and perfumy, floral character. Absolutely engaging.

Taste- Malty goodness abounds, laying a delicate sweetness across the tongue. As it opens, the hops bring the hardness and snap that balances out the malts perfectly. A bready fullness rounds out the finish and really slams the lid on a terrific ride. This beer is winning in all categories so far, and it's about to continue.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Designed as an all-day session brew for the big green holiday? Maybe... all I know is it's dynamic and easy at the same time, showing off the ingredients well and having enough balls to stand up to corned beef and cabbage with extra boiled potatoes. Way more impressive than I'd ever imagined for an unfairly perceived "boring" or ordinary style.

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Photo of steveh
4.65/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I wasn't expecting much from this brew, even though I'm always pleased by BBC's different style experiments, but this brew struck me quite nicely!

The caramel malts balanced well with the English hops made this smooth and drinkable. Not in your face, not over the top, yet not so sublime that you forget you're drinking it. Very nice drink, and just about dead-on to style, with a head that may have been too thick, actually -- but that's not a complaint with this beer.

If you want to taste how Killians ought to, grab this one while you can.

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Photo of unionturf
4.6/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 ounce bottle bought locally with July 2008 date. Very nice ruby color poured into a Sam Adams glass, smells great and taste the same. A very well balanced beer with excellent taste, this beer moves to the top of my favorites list...would and did buy another. :)

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Photo of Jbro1
4.12/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was surprised to see this beer at my local distributor and immediately bought a case. At first glance, I compared it to Killian's Red, but after drinking knew this was indeed more of an Ale, as opposed to the lager taste of Killian's. It has a distinct Ale aftertaste (can't place all of the flavors, amateur taster at best) with a bitter tinge, but is very drinkable and I highly reccomend it. I was told by the distributo it is only available via cases, not on tap.

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Photo of sstackho
3.38/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle purchased from Clarendon Wines in Boston - with a thought to Sam Adams' recent hop giveaway. Consumed in Feb 08 with a July 08 best before date. Pours a rich copper with lots of carbonation. Aroma is all malt with a bit of spice. The taste follows similarly, with a bit of rounded fruitiness in the aftertaste.

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Photo of BeerTaster
4.41/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance dark red two finger off white head very creamy. Smell sweet malt with hint of roasted malt and some floral hop aroma as well. Taste sweet malt caramel and a nice balencing act with hop bitterness. Mouthfeel was mediem body mediem carbonation and had a creamy sensation. Drinkability was very good I could have this one by the pint.

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Photo of uwmgdman
4.36/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a incredibly brilliant, deep, true red. There is a nice thick off-white head with good lacing throughout the beer. The aroma is moderately malty, sweet, caramel-like, a hint of roast. There is also a moderate floral hop aroma, good balance in the nose. The flavor is moderately hoppy, moderately bitter, and has a high caramel maltiness. The mouthfeel is creamy, body medium-full with moderate carbonation. The finish is crisp with a nice balance of hop and caramel malt and drinkability is quite high. Overall this is an incredible brew, one of the best balancing acts between hop and malt. This may be the best Sam Adams brew to date.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.01/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, ruby-colored body with a tall, frothy, lasting off-white head.

Smell: Simple, pleasing aroma of caramel, toast, spice, and cherries.

Taste: Bready caramel maltiness with a medium sweetness. Pinch of light brown sugar. Cherry fruitiness. Bit of spice. Light, clean English hop bitterness. Toasted malts in the drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Very slight creaminess to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A solid Irish Red.

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Photo of RickSawyer
3.62/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cranberry muddy red. A soapy beach nut head builds about 2 fingers thick and dissipates to a nice one finger thick layer atop the beer. The head clings to the side of the glass, leaving sheets of large and small bubble footprints along the side. Smell is earthy, floral, cherry, and green apples. Taste is cranberry, black pepper, celery, whole wheat bread... the cranberry and peppry flavors are a bit overpowering. Mouthfeel is sticky with medium body, and quite carbonated. The let down for me is certainly the taste. I was very excited to drink this after smelling it, but the taste didn't pull through how I would have liked. May be good with herb crusted chicken or... thanksgiving dinner.

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Photo of tapman
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Body appears to run the gamut, a nice mahogany red/brown with orange hues near the thinner parts and bottom of the pint glass. A modest pour results in a one finger head the color of a light tan which recedes into a very complete lacing, enveloping the whole top of the brew in a film of creamy bubbles. Crystal clear; see through. Have seen many beers that look like this, however, though one of the better looking Irish Reds I've seen lately (I'm looking at you, Goose Island). I like the larger head on something like a Smithwicks, but this one is still nice.

Buttery diacetyl? Possibly, but also a tinge of alcohol, pale malts, caramel malts, and I think I pick up the Golding hops, though that may be my mind playing tricks on me since I read that that was an ingredient on the box. If I'm correct, the East Kent Golding hops are bready and sweet smelling.

Now the Golding hops come out. In general, Golding hops are so mild and compliment the malts so well that its easy to miss them, at least for this BA, though they do 'bitter-out' towards the end. Caramel is present, though there is a bitter alcohol note that kind of dumbs down the malts. Too bad, perhaps more malt could be added next time, or a longer, more concentrated mash? Oh well, I'm sure they know what they are doing. Pale malts are detectable, though very subtle and delicate Lots of fun, these pale malts. I also sense a little Belgium-like banana in this brew, though very subtle and only as it warms a little. Did they use Irish ale yeast for this one, or something different...? Also I'm sure there is a little diacetyl

Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy, perhaps the highlight of this brew. Could be thanks to the diacetyl if I'm correct about it, since diacetyl is a known agent for a smoother mouthfeel. Carbonation is decent and bites a little at the end. Not dry at the end like others of the style.

The caramel is more like a sweet, buttery toffee, and the Golding hops are so bland, yet bitter, that I find myself longing for some balancing Fuggle hops. Really not so bad, but this sample is similar to the Boston Lager, except much sweeter. Not a session for me, but I'd hardly turn one down when handed to me. A little bland. More like a weak scotch ale.

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Photo of botham
4.08/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams new beer glass. pours a beautiful fiery reddish amber color with a few fingers of light orange head that leave moderate lacings.

aroma is malty, with caramel malts mainly, but a hint of roasted malts and dark fruit give this one some depth. a nutty base rounds out the profile, giving this brew a wonderful profile.

taste is malty and sweet up front, with caramel and distant toasted malts showing, along with a distant note of dark fruit and caramelized sugar. finishes on a lightly sweet note with lingering caramel.

mouthfeel is medium-bodied, with a slightly dry finish and a creamy texture. great mouthfeel on this one.

drinkability is great. this is a smooth and mellow irish red, that is neither taxing nor overly sweet, as some tend to get. cheers!

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Photo of scoobybrew
3.86/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

A - clear deep ruby amber color with a thick foamy collar for a head that is very well retained

S - toasted malt aroma with a subdued hop scent

T - as expected from the aroma, the flavor is dominated by toasted malt, there is a decent hop finish

M - medium-light body with moderate carbonation

D - good Irish Red, definitely a cut above the average; it's a great session beer and defines the style well

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Photo of blatherbeard
4.53/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The look of this beer is fantastic. LIttle head, very red look to it. The smell is of some kind of fruilt, maybe a blend of fruits. I just cant place it, but damn if it doesnt smell great. Mouthfeel is a bit watery but not grossly so. Taste...mmm. I can say that it tastes even better than it smells. I still cant place the citrusy/fruity taste but my taste buds like it a lot. The hops is there but not overpowering thankfully. Absoloutly no bitterness found in any part of the taste either. Usually with most sams, i get some kind of bitterness, either up front or after, but this i have absoloutly none.

I will buy this again, maybe even take the place of my current favorite.

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Photo of cbleary
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

The beer poured with a beautiful red body and a big off-white head. The beer smelled strongly of sweet malts and it got me excited. Unfortunately, the taste did not completely live up to the promise of the rest of the beer. It was decent, but the malt and hop flavors did not meld together in a convincing and fully satisfying way and that keeps this beer from being truly excellent. Overall though, it was a enjoyable drinking experience. I'd get it again sometime.

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

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, six pack. Standard Sam Adams label/bottle with best by date notched on the label.

Appearance: Poured into my Sam Adams Boston Lager glass, nice red color with a great head and good retention.

Smell: Caramel malt and a bit of hops.

Taste: Malt dominated - nice caramel with a bit of bready flavors in there too. Hops are subdued, but keep it from being overly sweet.

Overall impression: Nicely drinkable, plenty of flavor. This is a nice addition to the lineup.

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Photo of Manosbeeroffate
3.98/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another Jess's Market find. Pours a dark red/brown color with a medium head. Smells a bit biscuity, lightly so. Tastes of slightly smoky malt, caramel, slight citrus hint in the background, not expecting that but it's good. Overall it's another satisfying beer from Sam Adams, hopefully it'll be made easier to find than the Double Bock (in these parts)

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

Pounds a red amber with a thick two inch head. Smell is prevalent but not overpowering hops and roasted malt. Very drinkable. not as heavy as some other red.

This is definitely one of the better sam adams beers, just as good if not better than their Oktoberfest.

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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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Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.56 out of 5 based on 2,512 ratings.
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