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Gray's Irish Red Style Ale | Gray's Brewing Company

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Gray's Irish Red Style AleGray's Irish Red Style Ale
Very Good
21 Ratings
Gray's Irish Red Style AleGray's Irish Red Style Ale

Brewed by:
Gray's Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by maxpower on 05-16-2002

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Ratings: 21 |  Reviews: 17
Photo of Mdodge8837
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of KellyScottMad
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Hoploaf
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of cliff1066
3.25/5  rDev -14%

Photo of MikeInIowa
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hey, beer geeks out there! The Gray's company is also offering an Irish Style Ale packaged as "Busted Knuckle...," which is what I purchased. My question to anyone who knows is: Are these two the same beer? But while you ponder that possibility...

"Busted Knuckle Irish Style Ale" was experienced as follows:

Look: Medium amber and transparent brew with an ecru' or off-white foam that recedes fairly quickly and laces just a bit as it descends the glass.

Nose: Fairly fragrant caramel malts.

Taste: Sweet caramel malts roll over the receptor site in fore-palate without activating the bitter sensors in the rear, thus allowing the caramel to predominate this imibing experience.

Mouth: Full-bodied mouthfeel.

Drink: This easily drinkable brew would be a nice item to offer guests at a St. Pat's Bash next week. And so, Erin go braugh and treat your friends to a "Busted Knuckle," ...er...the ale, that is. Fighting is for amateurs.

 938 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had received this one in a trade a few weeks or so ago and put it in the fridge, and while cleaning out the fridge last night stumbled upon it. I was thirsty, so off we went. Served cold, right out of the fridge and poured into a pint glass. This one was consumed on 11/04/2008.

The pour was pretty darn good I have to admit with a rich reddish tinted brown coming through quite nicely. Good clarity here allowed me to see the subtle carbonation that came bubbling up to the surface rather easily, forming a nice head of about two inches that laid on top for a good minute or so before finally settling down back into the glass.

The aroma was a nice mix of light cereal grains and a good touch of bready and caramel filled malts. Light hoppiness rounding it you, but nothing terribly extraordinary about it at all, rather it was just enough to provide a hint of balance. The flavor was as you would expect for the style. Steeped in sweet caramel malts, with a nice musky flavor creeping up on the back end of it. Interesting mid palate was almost a touch sour, with a hint of a fig like fruit in it, but then quickly dried out with an earthy like hop presence that rolled the flavor together quite well. Nice medium bodied feel with a more then impressive drinkability. I had no issue at all with throwing this one down right away.

Overall not bad. I really did not have many expectations for this one, but I was very pleased that I was able to try it. A very solid red ale that really stands up well in the category. I definitely would not have an issue with having this one again.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.51/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark coppery orange with enough of a ruby red blush to make it perfect for the style. The orangish ecru cap looks fabulous after a vigorous pour. It's thick and rich and packed with features, including an impressive amount of honeycomb-like lace. Let's hope the beer can maintain this degree of quality when it comes to the other senses.

The nose is less impressive. Although my first few sniffs were overly metallic, I'm hoping that time and warming will allow it to open up and show off its grain and hops. Caramel malt, with an assist from earthy hops, appears eventually. However, this still isn't a nose that deserves even the slightest praise.

Irish Style Ale is a different beast on the palate. It has all of the characteristics that I look for in beer of this style, I just haven't decided how good it is yet. I'm not sure that I'll make up my mind for certain until the final ounce. I know one thing, there's a lot of flavor to be had.

Caramel malt leads the way and provides an underlying sweetness that isn't allowed to get out of hand. Modestly bitter (probably English) hops make their entrance at mid-mouthful and keep the reins tight all the way to the wire. There's also an unripe fruity sourness that isn't typical, but is such a minor contributor that it's easily managed.

The mouthfeel doesn't stand out in either a positive or a negative direction. It's light-medium and is gently carbonated, making rapid drinking a breeze. All it all, it matches the flavor profile very well.

In looking back at my Gray's Brewing Company reviews, I was surprised at how much I like their beer. Bower City Pale Ale, Oatmeal Stout and Fauerbach Export Beer are all good. Even a so-called macro lager named Hausman Brewing Co. Pale Beer is impressive in its own way. It's too bad that Irish Red Ale isn't quite up to snuff. It's far from bad, though, and is probably worth a look for fans of the style.

 1,919 characters

Photo of BeerBelcher
2.79/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This beer is not dry like the Great Lakes Conways Irish Ale I had recently; instead it is lightly sweet (but somehow unsatisfying) and very thin feeling. Not a huge fan...

This beer pours a dark ruby red with good white head formation. Aroma is a lightly sweet malt smell, with perhaps some honey flavors? It smells a bit like a honey brown to me. Flavor is lightly sweet, with a very thin mouthfeel. This beer is rather drinkable.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep scehtnut-red color with moderate off-white puffy head.
Smell is firmly malty with nice notes of summer fruit.
Taste is also highly malty with only a mild hop bitterness in the background.
Leaves a nice feeling in the mouth with good taste retention.
A nice easy drinking beer.

 294 characters

Photo of uwmgdman
3.96/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The Irish Ale pours brilliant deep copper color with a moderate white head, diminishing to a thin skim with some lacing evident. The color of the beer is very striking. The aroma of the beer is well balanced, malty sweetness, caramel tones with a little bit of roastyness and there also is a low amount of earthy hop aroma. The taste is pleasant and pretty much like the smell. It begins a bit caramel sweet, has a well balanced hop bitterness toward the swallow, and finishes with a faint amount of roasted grain. The beer is medium bodied, has moderate carbonation, and is fairly smooth. Overall I enjoyed this beer. Nothing really swept me off my feet, but at the same time there wasnÂ’t anything that disappointed in the least; good flavor and a very nice color. I could drink a good amount of these.

 804 characters

Photo of dirtylou
3.77/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz single, left in my fridge by blackie i think

go wolfpack, fuck tarholes

appearance: poured into a pint glass...watery amber body, clear, bubbly beige head with no lacing really

smell: grainy, light caramel malt structure, a touch woody, light hopping

taste: sweet apple, caramel malts, a touch woody...pretty good actually with a light booze warming

mouthfeel: medium-light

drinkability: good

 415 characters

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear, dark copper with a frothy off-white head.

N: Sweet caramel and chocolate, toast, a pinch of leafy hops.

T: Boat loads of sweet malts but not entirely unbalanced. Caramel and toffee flavors. Earthen/woody finish.

MF. Sweet and crisp. Warming ABV. Medium bodied.

D: Sessionable.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear, deep copper body with an orange cast beneath a frothy head of off-white. The head retention was fair, and it left tiny spots and fingers of lace at the outset of the glass.

The nose was malty and mineralish with a smear of grassy and leafy hops.

In the mouth it was quite smooth with a dextrinous medium body and low level carbonation.

The flavor offered a lightly sweet, bready maltiness with caramel notes smeared with leafy, mildly grassy, tea-like and subtly spicy hop flavors. It was very well-rounded with a display of maltiness upfront and hops across the middle and into the finish. The bitterness was perfectly balanced against its 'just right' maltiness, and it was remarkably drinkable.

A great example of the style, and an excellent session ale.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dull copper; nill head, zilch. Sweet caramel rolls, malts and some hints of peach on the nose. Huge malts, combined with a near zesty hop bite, similar to an APA. The body is medium, and the flavors are rather nice. Some citrus like offerings in the body; hidden toffee notes and mild coffee bean tastings. A near metallic finish, the palate is left satisfied. A superb offering, and a great Irish!

 398 characters

Photo of karst
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My hand glows red from the morning light passing threw the clear deep red amber. Lacing remains on the brim but the butter from cornbread and baked potato has diminished the righteous head of this seasonal single brewed by 5th generation descendants of Joshua C. Gray, an Irish immigrant, starting his brewing business in 1856 Janesville, Wisconsin based on the simple principle of making the very best tasting ales (and soft drinks) possible using the finest ingredients available, and brew with craftsmen who really cared.

Alas, as I inhaled the aroma I detected not only the toasted, sweet, caramel malts, and light fruit but something amiss. Metallic taste that blewout any chances of enjoyment. Each sip finished with a extreme dose of bitter metal.
Until I can find a fresh bottle (no readable date only a bar code on neck label) I will never know its true taste. Not bad enough to throw out but close.

The chance you take when you grab from the bargan bin!

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Photo of maxpower
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear deep amber with a nice off white head that leaves some lacing in my glass. Sweet malty bready aroma, nutty, fruity flavors, well balanced. Medium bodied with a crisp mouthfeel, finishes on the sweet side.The best I have had from this brewery so far, well done.

 274 characters

Photo of donnyw
3.52/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is an orangie-dark amber color. Nothing to the smell. The taste was surprisingly good, as I'm not a fan of Grey's other offerings. Caramel, Coffee, Malt flavors, sort of sweet, really, in a good way. Very light bitternes in the aftertast-nice complement to the sweetness.

 281 characters

Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
3.44/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice cloudy orange color with a decent head. There was nothing great about the aroma. Not saying that it smelt bad, I just couldn't pick up anything at all from it. A pretty strong coffee and nutty flavor came first and ended with a malt taste. I was suprised that this was not a dry tasting brew. If this is considered an amber ale, there are many more that I would take before choosing this one, but none the less, a decent local beer.

 437 characters

Photo of Winter
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear copper in color with a light tan head that disappeared shortly after the first few sips. Intriguing aroma consists of sweet malt, biscuit and caramel. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and crisp. Toasted malt and buttery flavor upfront. Mild caramel sweetness to the finish. Nice overall balance between the sweet malt and spiciness of the hops that are utilized. Finish leans toward the dry side. Overall taste is good but not overly complex. Very good Irish Red Ale.

 476 characters

Photo of cokes
3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bronzed body with just a momentary apparition of a off-white head.
Loads of sweet caramel on the nose along with a sense of brisk flowing, clean water.
Caramel hues dominate throughout, with interjections from like-minded butter toffee. Some cracker-like dryness midway, offsetting the partially hidden plummy tones. Traces of bitter cocoa powder. Earthen hops at the closure.
Glassy smooth, and perhaps thin, yet seems about right.
Nicely done, if not a favorite.

 469 characters

Photo of Bighuge
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew's a deep burgandy color. Impressive. Medium dense head that fades farirly quickly. Caramel malt sweetness is very evident on the nose. Very pleasant taste. Malt is dominating presence in this brew. Almost a bock-like malt presence though not so thick. Very nice. Hop tastes are minimal. This one goes down the hatch very nicely. Seems like a dry, woody finish. Good beer. Glad I scored a single of this in Milwaukee last weekend.

 451 characters

Gray's Irish Red Style Ale from Gray's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.78 out of 5 with 21 ratings
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