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: 992 | Ratings: 2,465
Photo of ksbrainard
3.19/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Perfectly crystal clear reddish brown with a fair head that remains a thin layer on the surface of most of the beer. These guys make awesome looking beer.

Smell: I have a bit of a cold, so it's hard to smell too much. I think it smells grainy, but has a faint overall smell. There could possibly be some hops in the smell. Again, my nose ain't workin' too great right now.

Taste: I wanted to love this beer, but I found it blah. It reminds me a lot of the Boston Lager. I even went so far as to wonder if it was the same beer as an ale. It has that sort of mineral, dirty, grainy taste that I have come to associate with the Boston Lager. There is a nice hop flavor in there that hits you right in the front and then at the end - floral and a bit fruity, but the overall sensation is almost like a burned taste.

Mouthfeel: It does have a nice full, but not overly sticky mouthfeel, lightened by carbonation and by hops on the finish.

Drinkability: I'd say it's OK. I wouldn't probably buy it by itself on purpose, especially the way Sam Adams is pricing their six packs these days. But as part of a 12-pack brewmasters select collection, it's worthwhile. A nice filler, good for some variety in your fridge or for a party.

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Photo of EStreet20
4.18/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, 16 ounce shaker pint.

A - Very appealing on the eyes. A nice deep red color a shade or two darker than copper. About two fingers of off white head forms. Shrinks a tad but stays nicely at about one finger thick.

S - Lots of fruity smell. Some sweet sugary malts. A nice aroma for an Irish red.

T - Very nice. This is what an Irish Red should be. Initially a very nice caramel sweetness. Frutiness comes into the fold shortly thereafter. The bottle describes an "earthy" balance from Goldings, and it definitely shows through here. A very nice. Sweet but extremely well balanced red ale.

M - Medium body with some easy going carbonation.

D - This is a hell of a drinkable brew. Nice flavors going on make you want more. ABV is on the higher side of the average for an Irish Red. But not so high that you can't have quite a few of these. Definitely going to move into my rotation of session beers when I'm not looking to satisfy my hop craving, but am not in the mood for a dark beer.

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.71/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear ruby color. The head is large, fluffy, and recedes very slowly into a nice cap of lacing. The aroma is lightly malty with a nice touch of earthy hops. The taste is like the aroma. It is very balance, and light without being watery. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a velvety texture. Overall, this is a nice beer. If they keep this beer in the Brewmaster's Collection Sampler I will certainly drink it again. It sure beats the Cranberry Lambic.

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Photo of JDK
4.33/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Anderson's in Lima, OH just got 2 cases of this in today, what a nice surprise!
Poured a beautiful red amber with a 2 finger head.
Has a very light sweet caramel with a bit of hops
Medium lacing that really hung to the sides throughout the drink
Light to medium mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation. Does not go flat at the back of the tongue
Tasted the roasted malts that finished with the hops. Very pleasent, nothing over bearing.
This is my first bottle of this and really enjoyed it. Definately worth a try.

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Photo of TravelingBeerMug
3.21/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer has a beautiful dark red color and when I poured it into a pilsner glass it had a tan half-inch head. This dissipated after a minute and left some nice lacing on the sides of the glass. I like the smell - there's some hop aroma, and a roasty malt scent. The taste is not quite as good as the look and smell, and leaves an aftertaste that is sticky. I think this would make a good dinner beer, paired with something meaty (and Irish, I suppose). It's not a session beer, at least not for me, but overall not a bad choice.

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Photo of SIRIUS2
3.86/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As I poured this into a wide mouth glass, I noted the deep rich red color. The aroma was pleasant with a hint of hops, but there was nothing that stood out as particularly interesting. The first taste was nice...full of body but not overbearing; malty but balanced; smooth as it rolls over the tongue. The ale finished with a balance that was just as good, with just enough linger to remind you of the caramel and hops.

I very much enjoyed this ale! More than once I remarked that this is probably my new favorite red. It's the kind of drink that you can take in any time and enjoy it.

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

A: Poured a clear ruby-orange with a rocky light beige head that was moderately lasting and left a thin film lacing behind. Visible carbonation was very light.

S: caramel fruitiness (apples) and some tart berries.

F: malty with deep, rich caramel notes and fruitiness (caramel apples). A soft malty residue coats the tongue with light brown sugar sweetness.

M: The mouthful was light and smooth with very soft carbonation and a left a fruity lacing.

D:Very good drinkability, smooth maltiness and fresh berries combine to make a easy, fruity drinking Irish style red that is enjoyable in multiples.

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

Pours a really nice dark red color with a nice thick tan head. The beer has a sweet malty and slightly hoppy aroma. The taste delivers just that. Nice malty base with a hoppy finish with a caramel hint to it. This is a good irish red but it wasn't as hoppy as I would have hoped. Not a bad beer though, a nice take on this type of beer. This beer has a really nice mouthfeel and is a pretty drinkable beer. It has a very smooth feel to it that I really enjoyed.

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

A 12 oz bottle poured into my pint glass. This beer pours a clear, deep red color. Slightly tan head is about 2/3 inch thick when poured. fairly quickly settles to a nice thick ring lining the inside of the glass with decent lace. Has a nice, rich caramel, and malty aroma. Also some fruit and tart smells here. The taste is slightly roasted malty and sweet upfront with flavors of caramel and tart. Also a bit of a bready/yeast flavor. Rounded out by some hop bitterness. Good malt and hop balance here. I just wish the flavors were a bit stronger overall though. Has a full bodied, crisp, smooth, and frothy mouthfeel with moderate to heavy carbonation. Easy to drink. A good beer for sure, but SA could maybe have done a little better here.

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Photo of Proteus93
3.88/5  rDev +9%
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 +18.8%
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 -12.9%
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 +5.6%
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 +11%
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 +22.2%
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 +15.7%
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 -7.6%
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 -11.2%
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 +6.7%
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 -0.8%
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 +9%
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 +12.1%
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 +15.7%
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 SixpointJMH
3.46/5  rDev -2.8%
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 0%
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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Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.56 out of 5 based on 2,465 ratings.
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