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: 2,493
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 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.

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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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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.21/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally having a Sam Adams beer in one of the new glasses, woo hoo!

Appearance - pours a reddish brown, a moderately good cap of cream-colored foam. It slowly recedes, leaving a mostly solid layer of lace on the glass.

Aroma - light, crackery grain. A very neutral sniff.

Taste - the caramel malts deliver a robust and roasty grain flavor. The sweetness is fully checked by the hops at mid-palate. From there, a smooth bitterness and low level abv warmth are key. Even finish, warm, dry and roasty with a bitter edge. Even more abv warming as it warms up, amazing feat for 5.5%.

Mouthfeel - solid body, nice smoothness. Carbonation is peppy so the beer doesn't come across too heavy. Well done.

Drinkability - already an ideal style for sessioning, this beer is an all-season winner.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.61/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A hot-looking beer. Ridiculously well-filtered ruby red shines in the glass like a gem, while the head is big, soapy, fluffy, rocky, off-white leaning toward a dirty yellow. Some nice patches of lace are left as the head slowly drops.

Light caramel and peaty, earthy malts in the nose. Hints of smoke, cherry, and tobacco. All of that is repeated in the flavor. It's solid and flavorful, but nothing that will blow your mind. Seems a tad on the watery side, despite some healthy carbonation propping it up. There's a woody bitterness in the finish that's a little strong, maybe conflicting with the more mild, sensible aspects of the primary flavors.

If you just read off those detected flavors, it sounds like a Scotch Ale. But it's not, it's got more of a lager-y drinkability to it, it's uncomplicated and drinks easily. This isn't meant as a harsh critique, and the Irish and Scotch alike will cringe, but it's like diet Scotch Ale. So there.

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Photo of wiseguy142
3.47/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

There's nothing that really stands out tremendously about this beer, only in that it's a straightforward and well made Irish Red with no gimmicks. There is a strong presence of fresh caramel malt that makes it true to the style, which becomes accentuated and lifted up by the Golding hops in the aftertaste. The color is dark for a red with and it has a grainy smell. I can drink about two of these before I want to switch over to something else but I think they did a good job nailing the style and not making it outrageous for no reason.

Edit: I did one of those stupid "review it again things" without seeing that I had already reviewed it. Here it is anyway.

Pours a dark oak-like color with little to no head and a small amount of lacing. Aroma is of dark crystal malts hiding beneath the surface. The dark crystal hits again nicely in the taste with a astringent and slightly weak finish. Obviously calcium-treated water which goes well with the crystal malts and the irish feel of the beer. Medium body with peppery carbonation. Pretty tasty- the astringency gets to me a bit but part of it is the water.. sort of like drinking a Killkenny.. only made in Boston.

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

Even layer of head tops the brilliant red body. No real lacing to speak of.

Solid amber malt scent with loads of biscuity aroma and healthy doses of grain chaff and mildly acidic fruit.

Strong biscuit character comes to the fore with an appealing sourness tempered by a revealing hop kick on the back end.

Really quite a good Irish Red and one of the few in the style that I'd be happy to have a few of. Ranks with Goose Island's Kilgubben as one of the best of the bunch.

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Photo of whynot44
3.71/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice mahogany red color with a creamy tan head that hangs around for the duration and leaves a bit of nice lace.

The aroma is biscuits, caramel and a hint of grassy hops.

The taste is buttered biscuits, caramel, hints of fruit and citrus. The finish is toasted malt with a lingering floral aftertaste.

Mrdium bodied, smooth and easy to drink.

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Photo of kbnooshay
4.05/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This poured a clean brown ruby color. The beige head was smooth & creamy. It stuck around for quite awhile. Good amount of lacing. The smell is similar to the boston ale. It is sugary sweet and has notes of caramal and malt. Delicious! Complex, Rich, and sweet. The light hop flavor tastes great with the malty caramel and sugar flavor. This beer is so smooth! It is airy and creamy; somewhat like a boddingtons. There is lots going on here. I could drink this forever in one sitting.

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

Very nice pour. It has a ruby red color, rather dark except when held to the light, with a thick, creamy half-inch of head on top, long-lasting. Nose is a bit disappointing. There's some caramel malt with a light floral hop presence. First taste is a lightly caramel malt, together with noble hop flavor. Quite similar to the Stock Ale, if I remember the taste right. Good body for the strength, with a neutral texture.

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Photo of eberkman
3.39/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice deep golden red with a hefty, creamy two-finger head that stuck around for the duration leaving a thick sheen of lacing behind. The nose was pretty much biscuity, bready malts. The taste had a surprising citrusy, fruity sensation on the intake, moving to a cookielike buttery diacetyl presence, finishing with the mildest hoppy twinge and a long, lingering yeasty, bready flavor in the mouth. Mouthfeel was thinnner and weaker than I would have liked. Drinkability is decent -- a somewhat interesting beer that I wouldn't turn down but probably wouldn't select if it was sold on its own in a 6-pack either.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.55/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear, with reddish highlights. Almost no head with an even pour. A ring of lace remains.

Dextrin, starch-like aroma that seems a little dry. Light sweetness on the nose as well.

An even caramel malt flavor, most of the nose re-emerges as the body is lightly sweet in the mouth, with a small bite of hops at the very end.

Verdict: ok. Not too exciting, the signature yeast flavor is present but doesn't have enough supporting character to bring me back.

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Photo of sraimondi
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best by July 2008. From Brew Masters 12er.

Poured into a pint glass with a 2 finger ivory head which shrinks to a film head. Nice spot lacing. Nice medium ruby color, very attractive.

Malt sweetness dominates smell, no hops readily apparent. On style.

Very bready taste, with some definite sweetness. Searching for hops, just a hint in the very finish.

Feel is medium full and quite balanced.

A very drinkable beer. Nothing special but a really sessionable brew. I like it and will bury a bunch of these.

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Photo of Kallessin
4.71/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A deep red caramel color with a thick foamy head that settles down pretty quick, but leaves a little foam remaining until the beer was gone.

It has a very sweet smell with an aroma of earthy hops, and a slight hint of fruitiness.

A very sweet malty flavor (but not heavy), with a slight toasted malt flavor towards the end. I also pick up some light fruity flavors if you mix it around your mouth a little.

It's very smooth and coats the mouth nicely. A fair amount of carbonation. The finish is slightly dry, but not too much.

I could drink this beer all day.

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Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.56 out of 5 based on 2,493 ratings.
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