McSorley's Irish Pale Ale | Pabst Brewing Company

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McSorley's Irish Pale AleMcSorley's Irish Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by cyberbmcd on 01-10-2009

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Ratings: 326 |  Reviews: 153
Photo of smcolw
3.68/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Modest head that settles quickly. It does leave nice blanketing lace. The color is dirty copper/amber.

More malt than hop, but dry. Earthy with notes of milk chocolate.

Full-bodied with a rich pale malt (again, dry) up front. I also detect caramel. There's a good hop balance in the swallow which leaves some lingering pepper in the aftertaste.

This beer is a very easy drink. There are no flaws and it exhibits all of the Irish Ale characteristics.

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Photo of TAMU99
2.19/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a good looking orange. Medium, quickly dissipating head and little to zero lace. Smells of cheap beer and alcohol, some brown sugar mixed in. Taste is sharp, again with the alcohol and some present, but confused hops. In other words, it's bitter but not good. Mouthfeel is average, but the drinkability suffers from the below-average taste. If it were good we'd call it "complicated", but this is just muddled and lost. I'd avoid.

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Photo of mainlyale
3.66/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I found this at a border store in Calais. I bought 1 12 oz bottle. It poured a clear dark amber and had a short lived 1 finger head. The smell was pretty neutral. The initial taste was sweet and that stayed for middle and aftertaste. I did not dislike it - I might drink it again, but I have many more to try before I do that. It reminded me of an English mild or brown.

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Photo of brentk56
2.41/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a clear lighter shade of amber with a head that is quick to fade and leaves not a trace of lace behind

Smell: Unusual aroma of grain and diacetyl - not very enticing

Taste: While there is a bitter, earthy hop element up front, the overall flavor profile is grainy with a strong diacetyl component that grows, after the swallow and into the finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with low to moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I'm afraid I just don't have much positive to say about this beer so I will leave it at that

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Photo of allforbetterbeer
2.95/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

No freshness date on bottle, poured at 48 degrees into a tall thin glass.

Pours with a thin large-bubbled off-white head that quickly becomes a thin limp layer floating on the surface of the lifeless orange body. No lacing. Nothing here is remarkable.

Smells like a thousand other forgettable red lager/red ales. Some frothy grain and some minimal hop smells meld in a normal way. Nothing here to indicate the taste will be much better.

Better than expected, with some sweeter grains up front and some leafy mild hops joining to form the highest point of the taste arch. The aftertaste is minimal and slightly sweet, free of any off flavors. Nothing remarkable here either.

Mouthfeel is over-carbonated, as the best of this style are smoother and fuller in body. Drinkability is like that of any run of the mill lighter beer, pretty good but not really great.

Conclusion: Another beer to add to the long list of beers that I have tried and will not try again. There is nothing wrong with this beer other than the fact that there are so many better options.

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Photo of TylerBGoode
3.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 6 pack out of curiosity and stored in the fridge for a couple weeks before trying one. Not knowing anything about the brewery or the beer itself I researched a bit here on BA. Surprised to find that the reviews were somewhat poor and the beer was classified as an Irish Red rather than a Pale Ale. I've never been a big Irish Red fan and was a little weary before pouring my first glass.

The appearance obviously resembled that of a Red more so than a Pale, even if I hadn't have done my research the color and accompanying smell (which had an odd sweetness and was quite underwhelming) would have clued me in. My glass didn't have much of a head and pretty much dissipated by the time I took my first sip. Once I did have that first sip though, my worries of having bought a whole sixer of something I wasn't going to like lifted. The flavor was subtle with a slight hop bitterness, and a well bodied caramel malt taste. I quite enjoyed the flavor and the overall smoothness of it. I've read that this was a drain pour for some folks, but I found the drinkability to be right where I like it. I finished half the 6 pack that night.

Overall I found McSorley's Irish Pale to be one of the cheapest and most rewarding brews of this style. I plan on adding it to my ever growing rotation of beer stock at home.

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Photo of climax
3.6/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one poured copper with good clarity, several bubbles racing towards a finger of tan head.

The nose had surprising hop spunk to it initially. Those floral tones were eventually taken over by the more expected toasty caramel and sweetness.

The flavor was expected, but done well, exceptionally smooth. Citrus juiciness helped keep it balanced up front, and a sweet dry finish rounded it up.

The body was medium with very crisp carbonation. The feel was borderline creamy yet very easy to drink. Not a bad session beer, especially for what is often a lack-luster style.

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Photo of darkmartin
3.26/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours to a translucent caramel-brown with strong red undertones. Huge, foamy white head that hangs around and leaves nice, sticky lacing. Really good looking beer.

Smell: Smells of strong, spicy malts. Some hops.

Taste: Taste is predominantly spicy malts, with a subtle hop finish. Begins very nice but flavor seems to dwindle with the finish.

Mouthfeel: Fairly light to medium bodied. Moderately carbonated.

Drinkability: Overall the flavor presented is agreeable, although the finish could be improved.

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Photo of Crowls
3.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into beer mug

Appearance: nice amber poured a nice head but didn't retain

Smell: Nothing special, alcohol and hop sent

Taste: Similar to most pale ales, more of the bitter side with small hint of peppery spice

Mouthfeel: kind of heh, feels like an average beer doesn't stand out or make you take notice

Drinkability: Quite drinkable, could have a couple in a sitting

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Photo of mzrebiec
2.08/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This is a less than desirable beer. It pours a promising amber color with no head and goes down hill quickly from there. The flavors are nutty and bitter with a lack of delicious hops. The lion is infamous for producing shitty beers and this is a prime example. Stay away from this pale ale and you will be glad.

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Photo of gboy515duo
3.99/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: A beautiful dark brown, amber colored body with little to no head.

S: A strong malty aroma with very present spices

M: a very strong bite, decently carbonated.

T: A very nice malty taste, almost creamy. The hops were also noticeable in this ale. After a few sips other flavors seem to creep out, such as an almost chocolately or coffee flavored hint.

D: Definitely could drink this one all night long.

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Photo of NHGrafx
2.95/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle.

Pours a dark amber color, very clear. 2 finger head which was gone quite fast. No lacing at all.

Aroma is mostly malt and grain. Some slight hop aromas. There is also a light soapy aroma too.

Taste is a bit malty with some hoppiness. There is some nice hoppiness on the finish, but nothing really stands out overall. Mouthfeel is ok, seems bit watery and light.

Not really impressed with this one. Maybe its old, there are not dates on the bottles so I have no way to tell.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.15/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled on 6-21-10

Pours a hazy golden brown color with a pleasant white head that settles to a thin layer.

Smell is nicely malty, not over thick or sweet, with a light floral hops at the very end. Surprisingly delicate.

Taste is a bit sweet and adjunct, bland and boring. Not offensive, just nothing going on.

Mouthfeel is decent, creamy but a little on the flat side.

Drinkability suffers from the lack of anything memorable in the flavor.

Overall, totally worth it if you can get one for free.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.71/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at a Greek joint called Sartori's in central NY this beer was a clear copper color with one finger of slightly tan-colored head. The retention was fine and the lacing in broken bands. The aroma was balanced but unassertive, light hops and generic malt. The flavors, however, were really quite enjoyable! It started malty and then went into a soft hoppiness comprised of two layers, one slightly citrusy in a zest/rind kinda way and one more spicy. I also tasted hints of toasted grains and the finish was pleasantly hoppy. Lovely, without being big. Just balanced and quaffable. The body was medium-light, the carbonation good and the mouthfeel good.

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Photo of zeff80
3.37/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, amber color with a small, tan head of bubbly foam. It left no lace.

S - It smelled of caramel, roasted malt and grasses.

T - Good caramel flavor with sweet maltiness. It had a floral/grassy hop presence - mild presence.

M - It was crisp and somewhat sharp. A light bodied ale that is pretty easy drinking.

D - This is an okay ale. It wasn't the most flavorful red ale but it makes a nice session ale.

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Photo of dpodratsky3
3.09/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Fluffy, foamy white head fades to less than one finger after a few minutes, beer is crystal clear amber orange

S: Almost nothing, smells distinctly sweet, thought this was a pale ale

T: A little better than the aroma, mostly just some sharp hops without any flavor, a little earthy, but mostly just pure bitterness, malt sweetness adds a little balance, almost some sweet bread

M: Good, carbonation is there but doesn't affect taste adversely, fairly smooth overall, not dry but a little tacky

D: Ok, the flavorless bitterness hurts

Notes: Whether this beer is supposed to be an "Irish" pale ale or an Irish red ale, it doesn't impress. The look is pretty good. However it stops there. It doesn't smell like anything but sweet and then the taste just has nothing but bitterness. That doesn't do well under either category.

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Photo of thekanna
4.01/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a gorgeous clear amber with a huge tan head that leaves spotty clumps of lacing down the side.

S: Sweet caramel malts, some yeast.

T: Sweet caramel malt taste and a bit of toasted rice devolves into a great, not overwhelming hoppiness and slight metallic earthiness.

M: Smooth with medium carbonation.

D: Very drinkable, kick-back-and-have-a-few stress relief kind of beer.

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Photo of hangh
2.93/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A dark red clear colored beer with a thin head that lingered for a while. Pretty average looking
S- Not much smell, maybe some light fruits. Hard to pick out because it is so faint. Not distinctive
T- Fruity taste with a hint of something, charcoal maybe?. There is not a very strong taste but it isn't terrible
MF- Light bodied beer that is lightly carbonated
D- Easy to drink, not very stark tastes or body, you could buy several and get drunk if you wanted to without any problem

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Photo of aasher
2.3/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: amber in color, reddish tint, little carbonation and almost no head

Smell: not very aromatic, kind of stiff, smells of a typical red or light pale ale

Taste: bland and uninspired, not really going in one direction or anything, lacks complexity

Mouthfeel: smooth with little carbonation

Drinkability: not very, lacks aroma and true flavor

I would not recommend this beer

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Photo of KrisPaulk77
1.34/5  rDev -57.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A "buddy" of mine bought a sixer of this and was kind enough to share. I may start talking to him later on this summer.
Poured into a standard pint glass, and the beer poured up that stereotypical pale ale look, amber color, topped with a whitish head of foam. Rather decent looking.
I took a whiff of my beer, and must've made a face, because my pal asked me what was wrong. This beer smelled weird. I can't pin it down, but it was bad... I'm sure the malt and hop profile was in there somewhere, but I couldn't get past this weird stink of what I can only describe as butterscotch coated, caramel dipped margarine that had been left unattended and outside of a refridgerator for a while. I think my eyes were watering by this point.
I took a swig of the beer and it was like chewing up a piece of the crap I described above. I took another swig just to confirm the taste, and then I dumped it down the drain. I apologized to the drain.
I looked at my friend, and he calmly, without batting an eye said, "I couldn't finish it either."

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Photo of ralree
1.74/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

A: Extremely fizzy, bubbles stick to the glass. Red, cloudy, not much head, no retention or lacing.

S: Very tart and bitter, hops don't smell to great, caramel malt.

T: Really weird tart bitter flavor - way too bitter and tart! Ulgh this is terrible. The caramel in the malt tastes OK, but the other flavors overpower it with bad.

M: Way too fizzy. Hard to measure since I can barely bear to have it in my mouth. A bit oily. Slightly astringent.

D: Undrinkable.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Thanks to Wedge421 for this guy!

Boston's "Amanda" is currently rocking my iTunes while I drink this, a reminder of an unrequited love, one that got away. *tear* With this review I will "say it like a man and make you understand" what this brew's all about. It pours an orange-amber, quite clear, with a short stack o' white sudsy head. The nose is condensed floral hops and toffee, very sweet, with a touch of brown sugar thrown in for flavor. ... How appropriate, .38 Special's "Caught Up in You" just started... Think about it. Anyway... The taste comes off as fairly bitter, plenty o' leafy greens for some reason, sorta an ivy-ness, followed by a stiff bit of what is trying to be an assertive caramel-ity. (You come up with these non-existent nouns, you're so smart!) A tiny bit o' that brown shugga (how come it tastes so good?) survives to tell its grandkids about its invasion of the 'strils. The carbonation is moderate, the body a light medium, and, as Natalie Imbruglia's "Torn" starts off (you wish you had the eclecticism of my playlist), it goes down pretty smoothly. It ain't the greatest thing in the world, but a solid brew to slam back for an easy bit of enjoyment. "So, I guess the fortune-teller's right..."

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Photo of generallee
3.1/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. I didn't notice if there was a freshness date or abv% but the back labels have different stories of the famous Pub in New York City.

Appearance: The body has a deep golden amber color with a small one finger thick head on top. The head is very light and soapy. It fades out quickly and makes no lacing at all.

Smell: There is a light sweetness with a touch of light roasted malt and grain. There are some light hop notes too which add light herbal and metallic notes.

Taste/Palate: Its flavor pretty much walks the same line as its aroma. Mildly sweet grainy malt hooks up with herbal/metallic hop bitterness for balance. It finishes with some of the odd tangy metallic hop notes hanging on to the tongue. Its light to medium bodied with light carbonation and a boring feel.

Notes: Overall it was average at best. I was just not excited about this beer.

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Photo of travduke
3.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Orange bodied, minimal head that doesn't last long and no lacing clings.

Aroma: Malty and bready. Maybe some sour fruit.

Taste: Malt dominates. A little caramel and bready notes hind behind as well.

Feel/Drink: Thin mouthfeel, drinkablity is alright but this beer is undrinkable if it warms up.

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Photo of Walken
3.48/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

McSorley's: Irish Pale Ale
12 oz. bottle, poured into a dimple mug.

Appearance: Slow pour right down the center yields a relatively thick head of off-white foam, containing a mix of small and large soapy bubbles. The beer is a vivid rusted amber color, the head dies down quickly into a short foamy cap, tiny spots of lace.
Odor: Musty milled grain aroma, extremely subtle hints of caramel and fruity ester.
Consistency: High end of light bodied with a grainy dry, slightly astringent feel. Carbonation is extremely low.
Flavor: Mix of sweet and husky grain up front, hints of caramel, slight diacetyl, slight ester profile. Subtle roasted malt flavor and earthy hop bitterness fill out the back end. Finish is clean with a bit of musty grain sweetness lingering on the tongue.

While this is a marked improvement over the McSorleys I remember, the price increase is nowhere near warranted, it's still nothing more than a slightly above average Irish style red. Negative nelly-ism aside, this beer will always hold a place in my heart, glad to see it's still around.

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McSorley's Irish Pale Ale from Pabst Brewing Company
3.18 out of 5 based on 326 ratings.
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