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Irish Ale | Boulevard Brewing Co.

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Irish AleIrish Ale
606 Ratings
Irish AleIrish Ale

Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing Co.
Missouri, United States

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Irish Ale, Boulevard’s early spring seasonal beer, is our Midwestern tribute to the legendary red ales of old Ireland. Our recipe combines six kinds of pale and roasted barley malts to provide a rich, toasty flavor and tawny reddish hue.

30 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-02-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 606 |  Reviews: 246
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)
best before 05/01/11 (It was)
A- This beer pours a hazy deep pecan brown body with a big bubbly carbonation that supports a light tan head that last for a good bit.

S- This beer has a soft brown malt aroma with some graham hints that grow as the beer warms.

T- This beer has a dry malt flavor with lightly toasted notes and a green hop bite at the end. As the beer warms there is a biscuit note that comes through the malt.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a tight fizz in the finish that scrubs the palate.

O- The hops are a bit stronger than the malt but both are a bit soft and there is not a lot of depth in the beer but it has some nice flavors and is easy to drink.

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Photo of ElCommodoro
3.22/5  rDev -12%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer poured a very dark brown copperish colour, but was still transparent. It had a large foamy light tan head that left the most incredible lacing I've ever seen. It looks incredibly delicious.

It smells a bit metallic and of cheap malts. Surprisingly unremarkable for such an amazing appearance.

The taste is far more astringent than I'd expect from an Irish red. It's a little too obviously hopped. It tastes sweet enough and there are SOME toasty characteristics, but I'm displeased with how much they are masked by the excessive hops. The toasty and sweet malt profile should be allowed to shine. I really think that Sam Adams does a better job of the Irish Red. I'm going to have to say this is average.

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Photo of jsprain1
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours sort of a copperish orange with a relative thick, fine bubbled head, that lasts well. some lacing.
S- Caramelly malt, some toasted bread aromas. Light hop aroma, seemingly noble varieties coming through.
T- Toasted brown bread is definitely the big flavor, slowly becomes more caramelly, with just a light hop bitterness. Well balanced.
M- body is a bit thin for the style, and carbonation is a little high.
O- I'll be honest, I'm not much on the style. But I tried to grade by style and this is quite a good little beer, both within style and in general.

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Photo of Rayek
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy red tinged copper. A dense cream cap slowly falls to a blanket of foam while leaving behind a fair amount of lace.

Roasted toffee and lemony sum things up. Burnt toast and bittersweet toffee do the work up front. Bitterness is well balanced with a lemon bite that's propped up by a light burnt flavor. The beer gets a bit acidic in the finish. The mouth is dry and slightly chalky.

Overall, this is a nice Irish Red. The acidity in the finish is the only detractor here.

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Photo of cocogan
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Visual: Dark brown with cherry amber hues. A creamy white/tan head.

Nose: Caramel, speramint, toast

Taste: Sweet breads and grains, lemon, tangerine, backed with a light hoppy taste and bitterness (cascade hops maybe?)

Mouth: Smooth, leaves a sticky party in yo mouth.

Drunkability: this beer is fairly tasty. If today was St. Pats day I would definitely get drunk off this brew.

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Photo of bowz32
3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

medium lasting head.
color of red amber good clarity.
smell of lightly roasted malt.
taste very light not much flavor at all.
body had a very average feel with good carbonation.
had a lasting after taste.
I got this beer in a Boulevard Sampler pack and it was the seasonal selection bought in Clinton Ia. Very reasonable priced. a very average beer

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Photo of tfarmstrong
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice dark brown was hoping for a bit more head and head retention

S - Nice dark malt smell with some coffee and roasted smell

T - A good combo of malt and hops in my mind. Dark roasted malt is not overwhelming and hops are not at the forefront but are there enough to balance.

M - Smooth and rich, was looking for a bit of creaminess but not really there

O - A good beer for dinner with some pot pie or a burger (my choice) I enjoyed it and it disappeared faster than I hoped which means they did something right for sure.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.86/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Top of the evening to ya!!! It's St. Pat's and what a perfect reason to taste the wonderful pot of gold known as Boulevard's Irish Ale! Thsi beer is very good....better than Killians. This beer is a nice clear ruby red with thin white head with slight lacing. The taste is agreat balance of malt and a lil something sweet! The mouthfeel is great and I could session this bad boy!

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Photo of bump8628
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

At $3 bucks a pint at my local on St. Paddy's day this becomes my go-to pull every March.

Burnt red with a thin but creamy build up of bone-colored foam.

Mild caramel with light toffee adding a small measure of depth and sweet bread sweeping throughout. Hop bitterness is mild and hop flavor, while adding some earth and spice is washed away quickly by the malt-dominant palate.

This one seems to be getting slightly dumbed down over the years. Still drinkable and flavorful compared to Harp, Guinness, and some of the big name Irish Reds, but past years seemed to offer a touch of roast and more in the way of hops.

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Photo of GossageBrewery
3.76/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Boulevard's Irish Ale pours a very nice dark red color, perfect for the style. A tan head emerges but quickly dissolves. Head retention is below average. The beer leaves slightly above average amounts of lacing. Aroma is not great, only slightly malty, with just an ever so slight hint of caramel. The beer is very malty and tastes much better then it smells. The toasted malt flavor dominates and it finishes smooth. The beer is slightly sweet and well balanced. The mouthfeel is very nice for a Irish Red and it i give it high marks for drinkability. I think this is a good representation of the Irish Red style- if it had a little more aroma, it would have very high marks.

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Photo of OlRasputin989
3.86/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint...

One of my favorite beers from this brewery and one of my favorite seasonal offerings for spring.

A: slightly hazy dark amber with a big tan head of creamy foam. leaves bits of lacing along the glass and a silky cap remains after the head disappears

S: has a light aroma of buttery caramel and sourdough bread.

T: malty and toasty up front with more of the buttery character in there as well. tea-like flavors blend well with the sweetness. roasted grains present in the finish. also becomes slightly metallic(which i have noticed even more in tap samples), but remains sweet through a slightly bitter finish

M: medium body with a lush carbonation and a slightly slick mouthfeel. leads to an off dry, crisp finish.

Overall, this could be the consummate session beer. flavors are light, well balanced and refreshing. The price is very reasonable at around 6 dollars a six pack (also, i can get this for around 3 dollars a pint at the local watering hole). Nothing exceptional, but a great go-to that never lets me(or leaves me) down.

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Photo of TheSarge
3.82/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Makes a pretty good head presentation of light tan head, which is about three fingers thick. The body is copper red in color, and has a mild haze to it. Irish Reds shouldn't have any haze, so that's a mark down.

Aroma wise it's of lightly toasted oatmeal, and a slight hint of lemony hops.

The taste has a good caramel flavor, with a snap of herb or tobacco like flavors.

Ample amounts of carbonation and quite dry. A somewhat complex beer for a lighter ABV profile.

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Photo of JMad
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass...

The beer was a copper, marroon color with a thick, rocky, off-white head. It has an earthy, dirt smell along with some toasted caramel malt. When you take a sip there is a slight bite on the tongue that smoothes over with some roasty malt flavors and herbal hops, there is just a bit of sweetness to it. The beer is medium bodied with prickly carbonation. This is a solid beer, it's very easy to drink and the flavor makes it enjoyable.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.51/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Since St. Patty's is around the corner I thought I'd give this one (or 6) a try. I love Boulevard, especially their Smokestack series, although I don't expect this one to match the level of those brews.

Pours a dark orange, perhaps mahogany color. Clear and clean. Head comes to about 1 1/2 fingers and not quite white. Nice retention and lacing on down.

Aroma is tad weak. Not quite sweet, not quite bitter. Some earthiness and tannins. I can imagine tea leaves, but very faint. Not bad/not outstanding.

As with the nose, the taste isn't outstanding, but it is nice. Quiet caramel and biscuit take a front seat, but not driving. A constant undertone of hops, noble I"m guessing (Saaz?). A cross between floral and spicy, but too weak to really concentrate on it.

Well, this beer is easy drinking. The tannins/tea don't mess up anything and provide a backdrop.

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.24/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a root beer lollipop brown with two fingers of slowly dissipating tan head. Smells of molasses and malts. Tastes of a dry roasted malts and, some cherry and walnut hints, a slight after taste of semi bitter hops. Medium thick mouthfeel, a little light on the carbonation. I'd recommend a pint to a friend its quite drinkable.

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Photo of Zadok
3.16/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Jack Stack, the plaza location.

Arrived at my table with a deep amber appearance and about a finger head, lacing was actually pretty good as the beer receded.

Very mild if not weak smell, mild malts and not much else. Maybe a bit of a roasted aroma.

Taste similar to the smell, sad to say not a whole lot going on. Mild roasted malts and maybe a dash of hops not much else.

Pretty good mouth feel as the style would dictate and carbonation was on par.

Overall a pretty average brew. Probably not something I would try again to be honest, not bad per se just underwhelming.

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Photo of jpkoch1962
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice middle of the road Irish Ale. It poured a darkish ruby red, ahd sported a long lasting head which left plenty of lace. The aroma had a subdued malty, toffee chracter to it. Overall, this was a malty and somewhat sweet ale. A smooth bitterness could be picked up only in the background, but the fully body malt character had the last say. A very nice session ale.

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Photo of bnes09
3.76/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber in color. Huge ivory colored head which refuses to quit and leaves some patchy streaks on the glass.

Aroma of biscuity malts and some nutty character.

Flavor is highly malty with buttered biscuit notes. Almonds. Touch of raisin and prune sweetness. Not too much hop character but it's not really needed.

Solid medium body. Good carbonation. Slightly coarse texture.

Overall, a tasty Irish red.

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Photo of SmithwicksNut
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours out a nice, ruby color. 1-finger tan head with decent retention. Nice and clear, with a slight lacing down the sides of the glass. Not bad looking at all.

S - Very sweet and caramelly. A bit roasted scents along the way, and very low hops. Scent is a bit thin.

T - A lot like the nose, but much more potent and noticeable, with the caramel taking center-stage. Nice mixture of roasted malt flavors makes for a vaguely coffee-like undertaste. As it warms, this becomes more powerful.

M - A light bodied beer, with sharp carbonation and a surprisingly dry finish, porter like.

D - Pretty much the definition of a drinkable brew. It's affordable, easy to drink. A nice session beer if you want to call it that.

Overall/notes - It's a solid Irish red ale from one of the best breweries in middle-America. A good beer to drink while relaxing.

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Photo of BigHeavy
3.66/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a New Belgium globe. Beer was consumed shortly after pouring as a way to stave off the bitter cold and 20" of snow sitting in the driveway.

A: Beer pours an almost opaque auburn color that looks pretty good. A semi-fluffy, tan two finger head appears and parties for a bit in the glass before settling to about a half finger. When held up to the light the edges are a brighter red color and the beer is fairly clear. Looks delicious.

S: Aroma of Irish Ale is more muted and subdued than I remember. Hmm, it has been two years since I have had it. I got some almost candy-like sweetness (caramel/toffee) and some citrusy hops (a little orange-peel like, almost). Aroma did open up once it warmed a bit, but nothing mind-blowing.

T: Taste was also more muted than I remember. It was 90% malts, which I did find enjoyable on this cold evening. The caramel sweetness shines, as well as some nutty grains. A little bit roasty as well. Hop flavor is a little spicy and citrusy, and there is just the slightest tinge of hop bitterness that lingers on the tongue. Flavors that I remember are there, just not as pronounced.

M: Mouthfeel is very nice, but perhaps a little thin. A little bit creamy and oh-so smooth. Lower levels of carbonation work well with the style.

D: Irish Ale is very drinkable, could down several in a session, no problem. Not overly filling, and alcohol was not overbearing in any way.

O: While not exactly as I remember, Irish Ale is a solid seasonal from my local guy, Boulevard. If they could just ramp it up to like a 7 or 8 on the volume knob (it's like a 5 right now) I would enjoy it more. That being said, it's worth a try and I will probably buy another sixer or two this year.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's a beautiful amber-red with a great head that lasts, slowly dissipating into a nice sheen with fine but beautiful sheets of lacing.

Crisp and clean is the smell of this beer. Toasty and hoppy.

A great malt character, almost like the pristine frozen woods of the northern states, permeates your taste buds when you're taking in the great beery goodness of this lovely creation. Yet there's still plenty of hoppiness, penetrating the frozen tundra, reminding you that summer's on its way.

Quite smooth, low bitterness on the finish, nice carbonation and medium body.

A very tasty Irish red, great value too. One of Boulevard's better seasonals.

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Photo of bbkd3b
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours out a nice, cherry-wood color with a sort of rosy, 1-finger head with decent retention. Nice and clear, with a slight lacing down the sides of the glass. Not bad looking at all.

S - Very sweet and caramelly. A bit roasted scents along the way, and absolutely no hoppiness whatsoever. Scent is a bit thin, though.

T - A lot like the nose, but much more potent and noticeable, with the caramel taking center-stage. Nice mixture of roasted malt flavors makes for a vaguely coffee-like undertaste. As it warms, this becomes more powerful.

M - A bit lighter-bodied, with sharp carbonation and a surprisingly dry finish. Kind of like a dry, thicker version of soda. Normally it'd turn me off, but I actually think it works with this style.

D - Pretty much the definition of a drinkable brew. It's affordable, easy to drink, doesn't try to do anything new... Very accessible.

Overall/notes - What can I say? It's a solid Irish red ale from one of the best breweries in middle-America. A good beer to drink while watching a film with a friend or two.

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Photo of tito42
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into an imperial pint. Best by 5/1/2011 stamped on bottle. 5.8% ABV

Appearance: Nice tan head with good retention. Cloudy copper with lively bubbles.

Smell: Smells almost exactly like honey sweetened hot tea. A nice, strong smell.

Taste: Lightly toasted malt and a sweet tea flavor. Very balanced, a slight alcohol bite at the end. Very true to the style.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body with just a hint of creaminess. Only a slight drying effect from the carbonation and alcohol.

Drinkability: This irish red ale fits the style description perfectly in my mind. This style is far from my first choice, but I enjoyed drinking this and will probably pick up a sixer.

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Photo of jar2574
3.2/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brown/red color, with a thin off-white head, average carbonation and clarity. Smells sweet and malty. But no sweatness in the taste. The toasted malt taste is accompanied by a surprising taste of alcohol. Other than that, I'm not tasting much of anything. The beer isn't very full, it's a little watery. The combination of the toasted malt and the alcohol leaves this beer quite dry. As with most Boulevard offerings, it's not bad but not great.

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Photo of jokelahoma
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 Edition, poured into a Sam Adam's Perfect Pint

It seems seasonals are getting earlier and earlier. I fully expect to see Oktoberfests show up in May this year, with winter warmers on the shelf before the summer solstice. Be that as it may, this is a good brew.

It pours a beautiful red/burnished bronze, crystal clear, with a good head that lasts a decent amount of time.

The nose is quite caramelly, with a dark sweetness that entices the drinker to partake. Almost has a sweet pastry aroma to it. Hops don't show in the nose here.

The taste really doesn't reflect the aroma. While the nose is all sweetness, the taste is surprisingly dry and a but roasty. Darker roasted malts take over from the sweet caramels and balance the flavor nicely, leaning it ever so slightly to the dry side. There's not enough to provide any astringency, but there's more than enough to counter the substantial amount of caramel malt. Hops barely make an appearance in the flavor, same as in the aroma. That's fine, and appropriate for the style. All in all, this is as good an Irish red as I've had in a long, long while.

The mouthfeel is fairly full, with the caramel malts finally coming into their own, giving this a creaminess that goes well with what the eye believes it ought to be.

This beer varies year to year. Some years it's good, other years it's outstanding. This one leans toward outstanding to me. It could probably handle a bit more bite from the roasted malts, but as it is it's very, very good, and well worth finding. Great job by a great brewery.

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Irish Ale from Boulevard Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.66 out of 5 with 606 ratings
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