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: 983 | Ratings: 2,443
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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Photo of Gehrig
4.33/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been waiting to try this and, having just picked up the Sam Adams Brewmasters' Six (with Black Lager and Honey Porter), I have my chance. Terrific presentation, with two fingers of dense, durable froth topping a reddish-brown body. The smell is also impressive, loaded with caramel malt and noticeable fruit aromas that translate well into the taste.

The taste is deceptively complex, with some bitterness in the finish complementing sweet berry and milk chocolate malt; really delicious. Although this is moderately sweet, there is a nice touch of bitter that does not fade from Irish Red. The carbonation is well-balanced. All-around good beer, not spectacular but very good, surprisingly so. I can't say that Irish Red Ale is atop my list of preferred styles, but this is highly drinkable, delicious, and enjoyable. Well done.

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Photo of ChrisBuster
3.93/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Off white head that thick but dissipates quickly. A very nice dark red orange color.

S- Malty, with a bit of a sweet smell with a hint of caramel.

T- Light bitter taste with a slight sweet aftertaste and very little hops.

M- Mildly heavy and coating.

D- Very much so, I would happily have another.

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Photo of Doomcifer
4.1/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright amber/reddish color with an immense tan head. Great retention as well as lacing. Smell is of sweet caramel malts, pineapple, earthy/spicy, citrusy. Taste is very spicy malty, earthy, fruity, bitter finish and an ever so quaint touch of peat. Medium body, well carbonated, dry finish. Pretty drinkable. This one turned out better than I had expected it to be.

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Photo of Kingdom4aPint
3.96/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Standard Pint Glass

Pours murky reddish burnt orange with 1.5 finger beige head which dissipates quickly but not entirely and leaves decent lacing all the way down. Smells fresh but that is about all I can gather (my nose is not very good). Taste is very robust and pleasing with malt up front and fruit/hop hint at end. I can take one sip and still taste it several minutes later which I find pleasant. This is a good beer that has a lot going on with lots of flavor. Unfortunately only two in the SA BM 12 pack so would definitely buy on its own if I run across sixer.

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Photo of thirtysixbelow
3.41/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a - copper color with a 1.5 finger head. Head holds well for a few minutes. The head has a tan/yellow color to it. Not quite as "red" as I was expecting. Gotta give extra points for the ridiculous lacing.

s - sweet malty smell with maybe some hops. Not a very strong aroma.

t - all I really taste is malt. Clean finish with almost no hops apparent. Fruity and earthy flavors mainly. Leaves a mild coating in your mouth for a few seconds.

m - i'm usually not good with this category but this beer definitely has what I think people refer to as a velvety texture. It's very smooth in my mouth and as stated above leaves a coating in your mouth after you swallow.

d - not quite what I was expecting. It's nothing too special. It's an easy drink and has a solid flavor and balance that you would expect from a sam adams. The smooth mouthfeel was nice, but other than that nothing really stood out, which could also be a good thing.

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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.

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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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Samuel Adams Irish Red from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.56 out of 5 based on 2,443 ratings.
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