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

2,534 Ratings
Read the review
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,534 |  Reviews: 1,010
Photo of drunkenmess
3.64/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Liked this beer better than Killians. Very drinkable, not filling. Will buy again

82 characters

Photo of Dodt
3.64/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

been a while since i reviewed anything from sam adams. with a nice ruby color and thick head(seems to be the standard when it comes to beers from sam adams). malty and not to sweet with a bit of hop bite at the end. for me i enjoy getting my feet wet with new style through sam adams they are usually very solid beers that are good examples of the style.

 354 characters

Photo of cnally
3.64/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

dark dirty brown color with a tan head that goes away quickly.

malty, deep almost chocolately scent.

surprisingly malty flavor very strong. slightly nutty and caramel filled, like a doppelbock but much lighter in quality.

bubbly and fizzy feel.

not my style, but decent considering.

 286 characters

Photo of Blitzstyle
3.64/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a SA glass. Good intial head, disapates and blankets the brew for most of the way down. Great laceing, but I think the glass has alot to do with it. Good looking beer a glowing deep red color.

Not a whole lot going on the smell department. Pick up some caramell and malts.

Tastes good. Let it warm for a minute. Very smooth and creamy. Pick up some caramell notes and some spice bitterness.

The flavor really builds in this brew. Mediumish body and very smooth.

Nicely balanced very drinkable. Solid beer!!

 522 characters

Photo of Bzash
3.64/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Myboymi
3.64/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of dbossman
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Deep red hue with a big, dense head, good retention, and great lacing

S: Slightly burnt and toasted malts; some caramel and toffee and lots of brown sugar; it starts off fairly subdued but aromas do develop as it warms

T: Toasted malts, subtle herbal hops; caramel and toast--lots of bready qualities with a very subtle banana flavor lingering underneath

F: Medium mouth feel; even a touch chewy

O: An okay beer--easy to drink and pleasant enough; not my favorite of the 12 pack but decent enough

 503 characters

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

Pours a reddish brown with a nice two-fingered off-white head that settles to a thin cap. A moderate amount of lacing left on the glass.

The malt and not much else is detected in the aroma. It is a pleasant slightly sweet caramel smell.

I would describe the flavor as a mellow malty beer with maybe a hint of smokiness deeply hidden behind the mild malt flavor.

Has a creamy mouthfeel but the body seems to be a bit on the thin side.

This beer is nothing extraordinary but like all SA beers it does a good job of representing the syle.

 539 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a reddish/brown color with an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. It smells like toasted malt, bread and a bit of fruit. It's a mostly sweet smelling aroma. The beer tastes like toasted and bready malt, with a bit of fruit, toffee, butterscotch and caramel. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit coating and has good carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and easy to drink. This isn't a bad beer at all. It's not something I'd make a point to seek out, but I certainly wouldn't turn one down either. Definitely worth a try.

 607 characters

Photo of toolbrew
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this beer for the first time tonight at an Irish Potluck I attended. It poured a deep mahogany red color with a white head. Had a nice malty smell. You could taste the malt and there was a crisp hoppy finish. You could sense the hops the most on the back of your throat.

I could have a couple of these at a sitting. Not big on the red beers but this was good.

 365 characters

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.

 461 characters

Photo of jar2574
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice, full bodied, tan head. Reddish brown beer.

Sweet smell, caramel and malts.

Easy drinking, nice taste. Smooth, medium-bodied mouthfeel. Flavor is malts and sweetness, with not a lot of hops.

An enjoyable beer. I figure it would be a great beer to introduce newbies. But like many other Sam Adams products, I think it lacks a distinctive punch, and its quality lies only slightly over the median.

 403 characters

Photo of robbyc1
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice clear amber red look, good off white head with good lace.

Nose has some malt, and the taste is deep bready malt with good sweetness in the middle, dry at the end. Hops are small, easy drinker with a nice heavy mouthfeel. Not on the top of my list, but I'll take this anytime, good beer to have with lunch or dinner.

 321 characters

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

A clear bright amber color with a medium off-white head that lasted a white.leaving spotty lacing. Aroma of sweet caramel malt and herbal hops. Flavor is spicy,earthy hops with a dark toasty caramel malt backbone, very strait forward but good,clean mouthfeel,not sticky or watery, a hint of hops in the finish,very sessionable and a pretty darn good brew.

 355 characters

Photo of Phurley2
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of gordavidson
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.

 549 characters

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

I really wasn't too excited about getting this one in the recent purchase of a SA variety pack, but I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised. I was a little disappointed to see that it has some lower overall scores from the community, so my numbers will likely be a tad skewed from the averages. Review is from notes taken on 10/26/2010 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a deep caramel brown with nice ruby highlights; starts with a 1/2 finger off-white head that fades quickly to a thin and uneven skim; body has decent clarity and shows a lot of carbonation; only a couple of spots and some oily residue hanging out on the sides of glass.

Smell: A lot of sweet caramel malts and a dark toasty/burnt graininess; much maltier and sweeter than I would typically expect in an Irish Red.

Taste: Interesting -- it almost seems closer to a mild Scotch Ale with the robust and caramel malts; has some nice toasty graininess and a very minimal bitter hop presence; flavors are just a little thin, but this beer is actually surprisingly good and I would have no problem drinking it again.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is strong, more sharp actually than I would prefer and I wouldn't mind it being just a bit more mellow; a thin, semi-dry coating is left behind all over the mouth; body is just a little heavier than light and nothing that would be too heavy to prevent a couple from being tossed back.

Drinkability: Better than I thought it would be, and definitely an enjoyable beer on a cool fall night with those warm caramel malts; body isn't too heavy and the ABV is pretty moderate and it wouldn't too intoxicating to sit back and have a couple of these.

 1,685 characters

Photo of EasyTrotter
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mithrascruor
3.63/5  rDev +2%
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.

 746 characters

Photo of brewcifix
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

To me, the best way to enjoy an Irish Red is to let it roll down the back of your tongue. This may be a bad habit that I acquired in college, but it seems to work every time. This Red pours a beautiful clear amber with not much head to talk about- nothing lasting, anyway. I get sweet candy and malts on the nose, with a touch of honey and caramel. There's nice carbonation. I taste the same, finished by lovely sweet candied honey hops. (Is there such a thing? Can I say this?) This beer has everything I'd expect from an Irish Red- nothing more, nothing less. It's hard to describe this beer above that. I don't understand the harsh reviews, as this is a very drinkable beer. I don't expect complexity or richness, and find myself pleasantly not disappointed. Boston can be proud of this Irish Red. Anyone that knows more about Irish Red's is welcome to introduce me to the "finer Red brews".

 894 characters

Photo of HoppyBastard
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Shaker pint glass, "best by" date May 2017.

APPEARANCE; pours a clear, dark amber color with less than one-finger off-white head that slowly dissipated until a thin, broken layer of small bubbles remained, lighter carbonation, moderate lacing on the glass.

SMELL: bread, sweet caramel and buttery.

TASTE: the taste follows the nose, bread then sweet caramel and a buttery taste, a malty mess with very little hop presence.

PALATE: a little watery and lighter carbonation.

OVERALL: this is the most unbalanced, malt forward beer I have ever had, it's not a style I appreciate, I had this as part of a sampler pack, not terrible but I would not seek this out again.

 710 characters

Photo of Vdubb86
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Sam Adams sensory pint glass

Another beer my buddy gave me on my visit over to his place.

This beer pours a nice garnet red color with a decent off white foam head. The aromas consist mainly of some caramel malts and the faintest of hops in the background. The flavors are intensely malty with little to no hop flavor to be located. The flavors consist mainly of caramel, both burnt and unburnt, as well as some lightly toasted malts, but very little citrus from the hops as I would have expected. The mouthfeel is a bit syrupy for my liking, but overall it's not too bad. It's a nice drinkable beer that I could easily have some other times, it's not outstanding, but it's pretty good.

 700 characters

Photo of clemtig76
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle part of the Sam Adams variety pack. Poured into a Sam Adams pint glass. Pours a clear reddish-brown with a thick rocky tan head. The foam is slow to settle leaving a nice ring of lace. Very faint aroma of sweet malt. Taste is of sweet malt with hints of caramel and toffee. Not a bad brew.

 308 characters

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

Appearance: Amber-tan colored beer with a thick, golden white head.

Smell: Toffee, burnt caramel with a minor hop presence.

Taste: Sweet and smoky start smoothes out into a lingering malty finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body. Low carbonation.

Drinkablity: Good change of pace, well crafted. I would like to see Samuel Adams increase the availability of these brews.

 373 characters

Photo of StevenShawSr
3.62/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.56 out of 5 based on 2,534 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.