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: 998 | Ratings: 2,489
Photo of Jeffreysan
3.69/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a Samuel Adams pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful dark reddish-mahogany color with a finger off-white head that dissolved into a nice lacing of foam that covered almost the entire top of the beer.

Aroma: Very malty, like crusty bread and butter. There’s some nuttiness there too, followed by a slight roastiness.

Taste: Very malty, with a roastiness finish. Very nutty too. Like toasted bread that’s been buttered. Excellent flavor. Finally there’s a very subtle hops flavor to balance everything out.

Mouthfeel: Medium to slightly chewy. Good carbonation to tickle the taste buds.

Overall: Damn, this beer tastes great! Definitely my favorite of Samuel Adams’ regular line up of beers. I really enjoyed this beer and will certainly look for more. I would love to try it on tap!

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Photo of Treyliff
3.72/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- pours dark amber in color with a ruby hue, one finger creamy white head that lasts well after the pour, leaving some nice lace

S- sweet grainy malt with some herbal-tea-like hop bitterness, light metallic notes

T- sweet and malty up front, transitions to a slightly bitter grey-tea hop bitterness. Toasted finish that is dry and slightly herbal

M- medium body and carbonation, heavy-foam mouthfeel with a crisp finish

O- easy drinking irish red, well balanced and true to the style

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

"Deep russet in color, our Irish Red is full of hearty, roasty character inspired by the red ales of Ireland. Brewed to suit the cool rainy days (or any time in a pub), we use roasted caramel malts for a rich smooth malt backbone and balance them with earthy English hops for a comforting & satisfying brew. Cheers!" Brewed in the style of an Irish Red Ale.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a Samuel Adams Signature pint glass. Served above 58º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Beer pours a caramel cream head over a red-amber ale with high clarity and ambitious carbonation. Some light lacing streaks the sides as the head recedes but has no staying power. Retention is above average. The appearance is enjoyable overall. 3.75

(Smell) Big emphasis on mildly toasted caramel grain and biscuit malt and mild yeast characters bring a bready character to the malt body. The smell is creamy and thick and potency holds at a medium strength. There are few extra surprises beyond what is immediately perceived in the aroma, which holds true to the style, but besides bold flavors, it's not incredibly unique. 3.5

(Taste) The most dominant taste in the red is that of a chewy medium roasted caramel, a grain heavy flavor, rugged in taste with some bitterness and husk. A light earthy hop taste contributes to the mild bitterness of this beer. The balance is almost on; the bitter notes shine a little more brightly as the graininess of the caramel adds to the complexity of the bitter characters of this brew. Balance is slightly dry- the lack of an overly sweet flavor profile balances the beer well. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Toasted chewy malt texture with a creamy carbonation presence. Slightly sticky, arid dry finish with a mild but pleasant bitterness. Alcohol is concealed well in this brew, masked by the grainy malt bill. Body is medium. It's a nice carbonation level for the style, and most of the textures are spot on. 4

(Overall) This is an enjoyable beer for me, as the balance is nice, the bitterness is ideal and the malt bill is flavorful and diverse with rough edges. The sweetness isn't overdone as the beer doesn't drink like a sweet caramel bomb. Amongst Samuel Adams' immense lineup of beers, this one does a good job at standing on its own. Approachable flavors and a mild ABV would make this a nice session beer. It's highly drinkable. 3.75

Boston Beer Company's
Samuel Adams Irish Red

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Photo of artdob
2.8/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

For starters, I seem to have a mental block woth red ales - not sure why, but I can't quite cozy up to the style. With that preface, since this was included in the latest summer sampler package, it would be unworthy of the beer journey to avoid a sampling, so here goes.

Junior-ish head, dissipates quickly. Color is ruby reddish brown. The nose has mild sweet tones, some maltiness - not getting anything with a specific note otherwise.

On the palate - initial sweetness that is very quickly counter balanced with a mixture of bitterness, roastiness, and even a somewhat sour tone - all at the same time. So here I am again, in a land of red that just doesn't do it for me. Suspect it isn't all that bad, if this is what one likes, just no for my taste.

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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.

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Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Reddish amber; big, beige frothy head, long lasting; excellent lacing

Aroma: Malty; sweet; slightly bready

Taste: Juicy, malty and zippy on start; hop bites pretty quickly and through the mid; hoppy on finish with semi-sweet, nutty finish

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

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Photo of gmfessen
4.09/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, SA Irish Red is a red-amber color (surprise!) with a cream colored, thick, soapy head. The nose is faint but is of caramel and grainy notes. Flavor also seems a little muted, but definitely easy drinking. Mild caramel sweetness with a bready-toasted malt flavor, hops only to balance - finish is very neutral, somewhat dry and very satisfying. The mouthfeel is medium in body with a thick, creamy carbonation. Overall, I don't drink many amber ales any more but this one is a home run in my book - smooth and not too sweet this is one you could have more than a couple of.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.01/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a perfect pint.

3.25 A: Clear orange amber color. One and a half fingers of frothy beige head. Retention is a touch below average and a short ring of lacing is left.

2.75 S: Buttery with light caramel and some toastiness. Not much else going on. Super boring nose.

3.0 T: Taste is also underwhelming. Light caramel, toastiness, some buttery notes.

3.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Light creaminess.

3.0 D: This is about as average as it gets. Nothing wrong with it, but nothing right either. Boring beer.

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Photo of stella77artois
4.11/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pilsener glass.

A - A very dark reddish-amber. Very nice to look at. A thick head developed which stuck around very nicely. Small amounts of carbonation visible. Pretty beer.

S - Not a lot happening. Still pleasant. Malted caramel, not much else.

T - Hadn't had this in years, and don't remember it being this good. Typical Sam Adams base w/ lot's of malt noticeable, as well as toffee, caramel, and even a hint of coffee. Hard to describe what the taste in most quality Red Ale's is, but that was noticeable as well. Great tasting beer.

F - Not too thick, but still strong. Felt some carbonation and it went down smooth. Nice, sweet aftertaste.

O - Appreciated this beer much more this time around. A very flavorful and pleasant red ale. Several unique flavors going, with a small amount of sweetness. Highly recommended beer.

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Photo of curasowa
3.3/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear, reddish-copper color with one finger of head that fades to a ring with streaks of lace.

Aroma: Bready malt with some caramel sweetness and a light floral hop note.

Taste: Grainy malt with some bready notes up front quickly followed by a surprising amount of earthy hop bitterness that lingers through all the way to the finish, which is fairly clean and a bit metallic.

The Rest: Not my favorite style, but a pretty decent red.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
3.94/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Irish Red

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a shaker pint glass. Served chilled...

A) A nice vibrant red with a good finger slightly off-white head. Nice retention, ample lacing. Looks good...

S) Nice malty sweetness... A little caramel, bready, a bit of toast. Not much hops on the nose, but still very pleasant.

T) The tastes follows the nose. A malt forward brew, with a nice amount of grassy/floral hops presence in the flavor.

M) Medium body with lighter carbonation. This was soft on the palate. Smooth and easy drinking.

O) I've had quite a few different red ales and ambers recently. This was one of the more enjoyable for sure. As far as Samuel Adams goes, I put this right up there with Boston Lager, Oktoberfest, and Winter Lager, as one of my favorite offerings from their brewery.

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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".

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.38/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Enjoy before 7/2013.

Pours a clear orange-red with a foamy tan head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Thin streaks and dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, grain, and some caramel aromas. Taste is much the same with malt and slight metallic flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable but I think the smell is better on this one.

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Photo of BeerEngineer
3.06/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

General - This beer was from a bottle with a best buy date of July 2013. I poured this into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. This came in a variety pack called the "Spring Thaw" from Sam Adams. This beer has a new label on it than the image above.

Appearance - BJCP color around 28 to 30 with a heavy red tint to it. Head was a light khaki color and was extensive upon the pour. It diminished rather quickly when drinking. There were no legs on this beer at all. All head diminished very quickly.

Smell - A slight caramel scent although very faint. There isn't a lot of scent to this beer actually. A touch of earthy smell, again it's extremely subtle. To get any significant scent I had to actually hold one hand over the beer while warming it with my other hand.

Taste - Not a lot of flavor to this beer actually, there is a slight caramel sweetness to this but not that pronounced. I'm actually disappointed in this because I've had several Irish Red style (BJCP 9D) beers that are extremely flavorful. There is a touch of butter/toasty flavor to this either from the malts used or a touch of diacetyl. I am guessing it is a hint of diacetyl because of the slick mouthfeel (see below). This seems like a watered down version of a good beer. There is a bitter bite on the finish that is to be expected but again, it seems like it is missing that vast majority of what it should have!

Mouthfeel - A little on the thin side of how an Irish Red should be. There is a slight slickness to this indicating a touch of diacetyl. Not really what this beer should be.

Overall - "Eh" is about all I can say about this beer. It's not a bad beer by any means but it is not a traditional Irish Red that I would expect. It almost seems like a watered down version. I'll drink the other 3 Irish Reds that came in this variety pack after having a couple of more flavorful beers. This was pretty disappointing for sure.

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Photo of Seekerpilgrim
3.18/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pouring a clear burnt auburn, there is a delicate sweet aroma on the nose, a mixture of honey and agave nectar. On the tongue, a bit more bitter than the smell would suggest, though not at all unpleasant. The three hop varieties are well balanced here, with just enough bite to let you know there are present, followed my a brief creamy middle and a smooth finish.

This is a delicious beer, with the briefest presence in my mouth that I can remember a beer having, which again, isn't unpleasant. Probably best in the summer when you want a lighter (though not weak) brew, somewhere between a Pale Ale and an IPA. Though best on it's own, the slight sweetness might go well with a light pasta dish or contrast with a white clam chowder. Cheers!

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Photo of Mavigo
3.28/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This came in Sam Adams Spring Thaw pack, it's time to try this beer now. Served in a tulip.

A: Pours a copper amber color with a half inch tan head that dissipated quickly to a thin layer on the top with small amounts of lacing.

S: Smells of wheat, barley, rye

T: Tastes ok, wheat, barley, maybe a tinge of hops, rye

M: Very carbonated, with a light body, unbalanced with the carbonation

O: Meh, it was alright, not horrible and it was fairly smooth too, I've had far worse. Just a decent beer, would pair great at a Barberque in 90 degree weather. I'd recommend it though I probably won't have this again unless it's given to me

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Photo of JamesMN
2.99/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Translucent dark copper with a red tint. Poured a thin off-white head.

Aroma: A nice toffee malt and caramel quality without being too sweet. Also a slight off-aroma that may be from the yeast.

Taste: Very lageresque in flavor. Starts with some amber malt that carries a far amount of earthy flavor and bitterness from the hops. Finish is slightly crisp with an unfortunate metallic aftertaste. Based on the aroma I was expecting some nice toffee malt flavor but it's a bit bland in that department. I think the off-flavor of metal may be coming from the yeast as I've noticed it in other Samuel Adams offerings. At 5.8% ABV there isn't much gravity to hide any off-flavors.

Mouthfeel: A tad under medium in body but perhaps considered to be medium by most. Average carbonation for the style. Average drinkability.

Final Thoughts: Overall the Samuel Adams Irish Red is a bit of a below average beer. It really doesn't have much going for it to begin with and the off-flavors don't help. Would I drink it again? No.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.57/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Dogfish signature snifter. Notch on label indicates best enjoyed by Aug 2013.

A- Pours a dark ruby color with a 1/2 inch light tan head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a half-full sheet of wispy surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a solid ring behind on the glass.

S- Malty sweetness with that signature red ale aroma. Light hops are herbal.

T- Balanced flavor of mild hop bitterness and toasty malt. Bready, semi-sweet with a refined flavor one would find in a lager.

M- Crisp with a minimal hop bite, medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the fuller side.

O- I'm not really a fan of red ales unless they're super hoppy (e.g. OB G'Knight, Lagunitas Imperial Red) and this one certainly isn't that hopped up. Still, it drinks well and I could name several Sam Adams beers that are worse.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.56/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I picked this up as part of the spring thaw mix at Giant in Linglestown, enjoyed this chilled in a 1/2 pint.

The color is deep ruby with good clarity and thick beige head with average sized bead and retention. The smell is bready and slighty yeast influenced with light fruit ester and subtle caramel sweetness from the malt in the aroma. The feel is okay, but a bit too creamy with subtle mineral and tanginess of yeast with a slight diacetyl smoothess and mild sweetness in the finish.

The flavor is okay, not bad mild maltiness with slight fruitiness in the yeast with just enough hops to give it some balance. The flavor is slightly creamy with bready toasted taste yet the diacteyl comes forward as it warms with a light tanginess in the yeast I am not ecstatic about. The flavor is okay, but after one of these I was ready to move on, the style is fine, but this particular interpetion is not that impressive.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.41/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from a sampler 12pack, pours reddish-amber in color and is topped with a frothy, off-white head that holds good retention and leaves some lacing as it fades. Malty nose with caramel, toasted grain, and herbal, earthy hop. Tastes are sweet with caramel, herbal and earthy hop again, kind of sour, with some toasty grain notes as well. Thin-to-medium body, creamy with ample carbonation. Overall, it's what I'd expect for a traditional Irish Red Ale.

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Photo of ggourde
3.17/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Little head out of the bottle, but a pretty,clear amber with a fair amount of red. Strong sweet malt comes upon opening the bottle. Fair amount of dryness, but more is needed for this style. A bit of fizz on the tongue from the carbonation. Overall it is a tasty variation that is welcome, but as an Irish red goes- a bit too sweet and needs to be a tad drier.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a pretty good irish red, not as dry as the traditional ones, but a good spring mix brew no doubt. it pours a nice amber honey color with a solid white head with fine retention. the nose is a little sweeter than the style usually allows for, with a woody sort of malt vibe and a balancing hop component towards the end. the flavor follows suit, with a surprisingly delicate malt profile that makes this a real easy drinking beer. the caramel toffee English sort of sweetness comes out in the middle before the hops checks it in the finish. the hops are sort of pine like, foresty and more winter than spring in this beer. medium body and average carbonation, slightly sticky finish and a tad filling. a better than average irish red and a fine addition to the spring mix.

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

Appearance: A crystal clear red color dominates the look of this beer and it is topped with ½: of off white colored head that dissipates quickly.
Smell: This is a rather clean smelling brew that has good malt aroma that is balanced by the hops in the beer.
Taste: The flavor of this red ale is very typical of the style a good caramel malt base with hops to balance it out and a dry finish.
Mouthfeel: This is a bit of the light bodied side that makes it rather easy to drink compared to some red ales, and with its dry finish makes it a good Irish red.

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Photo of Ivanhoes_Backpack
2.67/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

341ml bottle out of spring thaw pack (beer #2)

A - chestnut, amber colour, two full fingers head! (pretty aggressive pour)
S - really sweet hops on the nose, caramel, earthiness.
T - hint of roasted sweetness for a split-second, quickly gives way to earthy bitterness, blades of grass almost, something seems a bit off.
M - medium bodied, somewhat watery-smooth.
O - Not really balanced between the smell and taste, the beer is kind of all over the place. Not as much taste as one might hope, and even then the initial flavours fade very quickly. Not terribly impressed, this will be my already-drunk beer if I have to pick one from the pack.

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Photo of mactrail
3.24/5  rDev -9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A pleasant warmth of malt and a hint of sweetness makes a welcome appearance. There is an interesting herbal note, even a hint of wood. A touch of cardboard in the nose. A touch of resins and enough hops to be pleasantly beery.

Surprisingly coarse and sparse bubbles in the appearance. This was from a Spring 2013 12 pack out of the cooler at Albertson's, so this is about as fresh as it's likely to get. Carbonation is usually an unheard-of defect in Sam Adams beers, so I'm surprised.

I don't know how they get this perfect copper color, but it's a little suspicious. Lovely, though, and there is a float of foam, finally, on the last pour of the 12 oz bottle. Not a bad contender in one of my least favorite beer categories.

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Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.56 out of 5 based on 2,489 ratings.
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