Irish Ale | Boulevard Brewing Co.

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Irish AleIrish Ale
613 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: 613 |  Reviews: 248
Photo of SmithwicksNut
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
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 -0.3%
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%
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 +8.4%
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 +7.6%
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 -12.8%
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 +9.8%
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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Photo of HOPPYKC
3.41/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Also had this beer on tap at johnnys tavern during the chiefs playoff game. This is a good beer. Nice dark red color almost black when not in the light. The look of this beer is amazing I love a beer with deep color and character. The smell is nice with alot of malt and a little bread. Lots of lacing on the glass. The drinkability of this beer is amazing. A nice Irish ale.

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Photo of wmtxbb
2.3/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Dark red with lacing.

Smell: Tea and cotton candy. Smells a lot like some of the scottish herb ales I've had.

Taste: Way too much alcohol up front, really over powers the other flavors. Not balanced at all. Alcohol followed by malt and ends tart. Horrible mix that ends far too bitter.

Drinkability: One is too much. I've really wanted to like Boulevard's brews, but I haven't been able to find any (thus far) that I like. This Irish ale should be revamped or just retired.

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Photo of Offa
4.57/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is an excellent take on the Irish red ale and absolutely one of the best I've had, being light and easy to drink yet well-rounded with a little complexity.

Deep copper, it has a very big tan head with a hint of orange, steadily shrinking to a foamy ring and a hint of lace.

Aroma is very nice, caramelised, toasted barley and bread crust - full, bright and clean, with light firm fruitiness, light herbal-woody hop and some winey plum.

Taste is dryish, caramelised barley, some toast, light dryish plum and wine, light tea and woody bitterness balancing the light sweetness.

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Photo of JamesS
3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a decent red-copper color with a bit of nice head and some decent lacing throughout. Odd scent, with slight malt but a distinct alcohol tinge; shouldn't be there at < 6%. Decent taste, some nice malt with that nice tartness that comes with an Irish red, but not as strong as would be liked; very little hop at the end, more of a sudden drop. Goes down fairly smooth, though.

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

Clear deep copper, orange and amber highlights. creamy beige head that dissipated on the fast side. a light ring of lace that continues to drip back into the glass.

toasty caramel, bready, touch of soap. mild herbal and lemon hops. fruity apple yeast esters.

Nice rich toasty caramel, nutty, bready, malt with a bit of sweetness. herbal, medicinal, and lemon hop flavors are hanging around. Apple yeast ester, touch of dark fruit. pleasant earthy herbal bitterness.

Smooth, well carbonated, rich, a little dry

Good Drinkability, a decent craft irish-american ale with nice hop bitterness.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear red/amber color. Poured a 2 finger creamy tan head with good retention to a half finger skim. Laced in thick rings.

S: Crystal malt sweetness and wet grain. Grass and earth hops with some spice in the background.

T: Homey bready flavor followed by carmelly sweetness. Balances with peppery bitter hops (with a slight pine character). Some malty sweetness lingers through the bitter.

M: Medium body. Moderate carbonation. Smooth and rich with nicely balanced finish that doesn't quite completely mask the malt character.

D: Easily drinkable. Flavorful, balanced and moderate ABV.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep clear amber, with 2 solid fingers of off-white foamy head. This retains with a creamy ½ finger that flares up rather robustly into a cascade of thick and heavy lacing. The aroma is toasty and sweet in the nose with caramel and biscuits. There's also a good bit of leafy and citric smelling hops, which help impart a deep green tang in the nose.

The taste has a fairly strong roasted presence going on with it, with more than enough malty sweetness present to help balance things out. Hops offer up some herbal accents and spicy bitterness that adds some punch to the profile, while also letting this finish with lingering notes of earth and dryness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a VERY creamy and softer feel to the carbonation that gives this a super mellow and easy drinking nature. I ripped through this glass, before I scarcely had time to finish reviewing it!

I've got to say that this was definitely one of the better Irish Reds that I've had in a while. Lots of robust malt flavors with just the right amount of earthy hops providing balance. Plus the feel and drinkibility on this were great for nearly 6%. Maybe not entirely true to the sytle with all of the hops involved but I was still impressed by this Boulevard offering.

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Photo of morimech
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color with a large off-white head that had good retention. The head settles to a thin cap. Moderate amount of lacing is left on the glass. The aroma is different from most Irish Reds. More hoppy than malty. A large dose of citrus and spicy hops before the malt underneath can be detected. The hops also play a large role in the flavor. Almost has a German Pilsener hop charactor. The typical caramel malt flavor comes in after the initial hop flavor. Bittersweet is a perfect discriptor for the taste. The body feels a little light which is not surprising considering the malt profile. Atypical for the style but it might appeal more drinkers because of the hops.

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Photo of Vixie
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a nice red color with a bit of an off white head that dissipates fairly quickly.

Quite a bit of roasted malt in the smell. Actually reminds me a bit of the smell of rye bread. Also picking up a bit of sweetness in the smell.

You are first hit with the roasted malt taste, then a bit of sweetness kicks in. Before it can get too sweet, the hops come in and balance it out. Malty sweetness balanced by hops, with a bit of a sweet, almost citrus note tossed in.

High carbonation helps make this beer feel a bit more solid than it mighty otherwise be. Not bad, about what I expect from this style.

Very nice example of the style. Goes down easy and smooth, and there's enough in the taste to make it interesting. Worth checking out, glad I tried it.

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Photo of soju6
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It pours a nice amber color with a good head. The smell is that of grain with a hint of malt. The taste is crisp with a bit of bitterness. The body is light and smooth with a dry finish with a hint of bitterness. Is an enjoyable beer for kicking back.

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Photo of NicholasCasber
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This beer was poured in a straight pour into a stein glass. Had great head and was well sustained throughout the drink, but gave minimal lacing.

S: Smelled of citrus, however it left off the bitter notes of plain old hops.

T: Tasted of sweet plums initially and then finished with a nice citrus end, still wanted more though.

M: Didn't feel too watered down for my mouth, however, the carbonation was perfect.

D: I'd do drink it again no problem.


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Photo of ThaBobfather
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

* Notes from Terre Haute Tasting*

Pours a lightly orange with some reddish hints a bubbly tannish head.
Nose is malty with a lightly sweet grain scent.
Taste is blended well with some light sweetness on the malt with a grainy bitter that is nudged into the flavor.
Finish is dryish with a grassy malt quality to the after-taste.
Drinks well-sessionable especially on this murky spring taste in the MidWest.

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Photo of wmthorne
3.21/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoying this on a sunny 65 degree day in West TN on the patio of my favorite brick oven pizza place.

Poured into a footed pilsner glass. Nice spongy head. Good caramel-red color with lots of bubbles.

Caramel in the nose and a fair amount of carbonation in the first swig. Just a touch of hoppiness to give it a little edge.

The beer laces the glass beautifully.

It is a pretty tasty overall Irish red. I could have several especially at the $2 happy hour draft price.

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Photo of Briken
3.96/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best until 4/12/10 printed on the bottle

Since this ale has a secondary bottle fermentation, the best by date may have an effect on the outcome of its performance. It's appearance is a dark amber color with a slight red glowing from the bottom of the glass. A generous fine head sticks around for quite some time. A pleasant earthy aroma starts things off. There is a pleasant hop bite that comes with an Irish ale and a good caramel malt sweetness to back it up. The mouthfeel on this is just fantastic. The high, fine carbonation gives this a silky feel that makes the overall impression of a very smooth ale. If it had just a little more bite it would be perfect.

This is a very fine example of an Irish ale just perfect for St. Patricks day or really any other day you have corned beef or soda bread. Or pizza for that matter.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.66/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's refreshing to have a simple, well-crafted, and (almost) sessionable beer for once. We need more beers that quietly give such pleasure without yelling at me.

Boulevard's Irish Ale begins with a deep ruby color with a stubby foamstance of stark-white foam, very creamy appearance, and very good lacing. Very clear.

Aromas of bready malted barley and estery red apples rise to the forefront of the glass. Subtle hints of bread crusts and toffee give an understated backdrop to the aromas.

Flavors do much the same but the light toast and sweeter, sun-kissed grains take precedence over the toffee sweetness and fruitiness. Still, the malt flavor is the driving force for the beer, allowing a light grainy taste to come into play early and late, somehow avoiding the main body of the beer.

The grain taste lingers into the impressions of body a bit too much and interrupts the handsome malt structure. Hop bitterness is assertive enough to balance the beer and then to also add an English, earthy, minty flavor as well.

This Irish Ale is a very nice beer that shouldn't offend or demand attention. Just an easy drinker and wonderful at that.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a nice red with some orange hints and a very light tan head at about .5 inches with some nice medium sized bubbles.

S - Crisp malt sweetness and grain like qualities are present as well as some nice piney and grassy hop notes on the back end.

T - Delicious fresh baked bread and grain like flavors are felt followed by some nice malt sweetness that is well balanced right away by the nice grassy hops. Some pine character is present as well. There are some hints of spices as well, some pepper amongst others. There is a nice bitter finish to it that accompanies the roasted malt backbone.

M & D - Delicious crisp and refreshing with a nice light to medium body that balances well with the flavors. Very drinkable with a lower ABV. Good stuff from Blvd.

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Photo of robbyc1
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

beautiful creamy head, off light brown, with clear red-orange look, great lace.

biscuit malt nose with some sweetness there, earthy and grassy as well.

Taste is deep malt with bready and biscuit flavors, soft finish, very flavorful, finish is a bit too sweet for me.

Mouthfeel is creamy and soft and full, very well done.

Drinkability would be better if the finish was more balanced, otherwise a good session beer.

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Photo of cameraman
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep amber color is poured with touches of ruby red along the sides of the glass. A quarter inch thick beige to light beige color head forms on top. The head dissolves away quickly leaving some traces of lacing to become thin film on top. The sweetness of malt along with cracked grain, bread, and biscuit are the main fragrances. The malt also dominates the taste as well with a hearty bread flavor with the addition of sweet caramel. A biscuit flavor develops towards the end it finishes with a mild grassy bitterness. A light and watery feel grows to become more medium bodied. Halfway across the palate the foaming sensation of carbonation come out cleanses the back of the palate. This may the closest beer to this style I have had yet. The strong malt scent and flavor is spot on, with the classic color and soft feel, makes me crave some bangers and mash to have this beer.

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Irish Ale from Boulevard Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 613 ratings