Irish Red
Rubicon Brewing Company

Irish RedIrish Red
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American Amber / Red Ale
3.57 | pDev: 11.2%
Rubicon Brewing Company
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Irish RedIrish Red
Reviews: 19 | Ratings: 35
Photo of ronniebruner
2.75/5  rDev -23%

Very disappointed. I really wanted to like this brew because Sacramento is my hometown. This is one of the last breweries in town and I had to get a bottle. I didn't care much for it! First off the biggest problem here is the watery taste...not watery as in clean, but just not crafted well. The aroma was almost non-existent and the taste was bland hops and poured with way too much foam. I really wanted to like this beer, but honestly, its average.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.57/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thin head on a hazy rust colored body.
The aroma is barley and malty all the way through.
The taste has a solid malt backbone with moderate lemon bitterness. Good balance.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation.
Enjoyable. I like the general malty nature of it.

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Photo of BierJager89
3.94/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a translucent red with a creamy tan head.

S: Sweet red and dark fruits and berries in the nose.

T: Blackberry, pine, quite a bit of orange, pineapple, kiwi and maybe lime. Interesting.

M: Full bodied and smoothish.

O: Nothing too exciting, though for the style it's definitely an interesting, and fruit-forward beer. I like it.

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Photo of pkalix
4.27/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

energetic reddish head, dark red liquid.
smells a tad hoppy with a little grapefruit;
taste is thin and light for the hop smell and 7% abv. very easy to drink. the "thin and light" is not meant in a bad way; I was expecting something heavier by the look of it. minimal bitterness, some grass toward the end. more malt than I expected. someone else mentioned 'tea'; that definitely fits.
I really like it. I'd like to see what else they offer...

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Photo of Zorro
3.36/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Clear red colored ale with a medium sized tan colored head.

The scent is decidedly malty. Burnt sugar and toffee with strong tea and a slight savory funk like toasted onion. Lesser scent of butter and pipe tobacco.

Starts out malty with a big caramel flavor. Mild bitterness but this beer is all about the malt. Toasted grain and slightly woody but there is no getting around the malt.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a completely unoffensive ale. Not for hop heads though it is all about the malt.

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Photo of jvillefan
4.28/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A: It has a deep golden copper color with a thick ivory white two finger head.

S: There is rich caramel and toffee armoas that come off at first. Then there is a little of hoppy bite at the very end.

T: There is both hoppiness and maltiness but they do not mash together perfectly. There caramel from the malts is good on its own. And the very bitter, citrus, and pine resin flavors from the hops would be good on its own, but for some reason they clash a little bit.

M: Very heavy and creamy with a pleasant bite from the carbonation.

O: A good amber ale, worth a try.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.38/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Rubicon Irish Red Ale. I'm taking the brewers at their word for the style - not beeradvocate's somewhat flawed categorization scheme. (And hey, if the brewers can't identify the style correctly anyway, they'd deserve a worse review). Acquired for $4.99 at the Cap N Cork nearby me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, California. Reviewed live. 22 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Uinta brewing pilsner glass in me gaff. Expectations are above average; I dig the style but I'm not familiar with the brewery. 7.00% per the label on me bottle.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a three finger khaki colour head of nice cream and thickness and very good retention for the fairly high ABV. Frothy and smooth. Appealing. Lacing is decent. Colour is as it should be - a vibrant toasted red. It's a bit dark for the style, and the nontransparency is a bit bothersome, but otherwise it's spot on. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Clean fragrant floral hops, a toasted malt foundation, a bit of biscuit malt, and other pale malts. Very fresh and evocative, but a bit off for a red. Lacks a sufficient malty bite. Also a bit too soft and hoppy. I'm growing increasingly concerned, but the aroma is all around a pleasant one independent of style designations and conventions. Understated and average in strength.

T: Very clean and fresh, with marvelous fresh floral hop tones all across the body. A clean lightly toasted pale malt foundation. It does lack body, though - a consequence of its light feel. Some cream comes through. The flavours don't hit where they should structurally, and it's certainly off for the style, but that said it's still an enjoyable brew. Some hop bitterness strikes just after the climax - completely out of place for the style. It's too light, almost a bit watery. Vague biscuity yeast notes do come through, but I don't detect alcohol.

Mf: Delightfully soft and light. Excellent light creamy touches, like the soft cream of a fruit tart. Suits the flavours decently, but not the style. Too smooth and wet. Where's the dry coarse climax I want in a beer of this style? Not thick enough/too thin. A bit watery.

Dr: A drinkable brew that falls short of where it needs to be for the style. I like the experimentation, but this needs work. Priced highly for a domestic beer in the same state of this quality. Personally, I'd sooner take a Smithwick's any day over this one. Maybe it's better on-draught. That said, it's worth a try for any fan of the style. I'm glad I had it, and I quite enjoyed it for what it was. If only it was priced at something like $10.00-$12.00 per six pack, I'd definitely be having it again. Hides its ABV well.


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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.92/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky copper with a 1 inch foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, and some herbal and citrus zest hops. Taste is of toasted malt, caramel, brown sugar, and some citrus zest hop flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is much hoppier than any other beer of the style I have had before. Solid stuff.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. As expected this pours a deep copper red color (surprise!) with a light tan head that slowly settles to collar around the glass. I am a little surprised in the nose as it has a nice citrus hoppy note along with caramel. Medium/light mouthfeel. Caramel, slight roast, apple, and a little citrus rind round this fella out. Slight lingering bitterness. No real notes of the 7%. Overall, a decent beer that overdelivered on my expectations. I would like the mouthfeel a tish heavier on it though.

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Photo of gordavidson
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a somewhat murky leathery brown-red liquid with a massive craggy off-white head.

S- Citrus, caramel, and pine. Pretty simple.

T- Caramel, citrus rind, and pine. Simple.

M- A nice, creamy body with an abundance of carbonation. Smooth at first with a bit of a bite on the finish.

O- A rather standard beer for the style. Tasty and enjoyable but it doesn't jump out at me.

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Photo of Offa
3.9/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a good American red ale, despite the Irish name, that seems to be a good beer to go well with pizza.

Red brown, it has a medium tan head soon dissipating to a foamy ring and bubbles.

Arioma is rich caramelly citrus (grapefruit and orange) plus brown bread, dried fruits. It’s a nice, very good stronger US West Coast red ale aroma, with some good well-rounded character, none of that odd, off-putting “old dusty” aroma that I often get with the style.

Taste is similar, leafy with dry bread crust up front, plus leafy-citrusy hop bitterness (grapefruit, orange), hint of wood and earth. It’s very nice, has good balance, and some light complexity. Feel is a nice, frothy/creamy feel and body.

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Photo of mactrail
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Well, it IS on the red side of amber. Quite hoppy with a long lingering bitterness. Wouldn't be confused with Killian's.

Attractive in the glass and keeps a little foam with nice lacing. Relative strength gives this ale an edge and seems to accentuate the dirty hop flavor. Odd slight sourness, or maybe it's the hoppy astringency. Whatever this hop it, I should research what it is for my least favorites list. Still it's drinkable enough, very clean, and would be better with food.

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Photo of Ghenna
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a darker copper, seriously minimal off white head.

Smell- the nose isn't working at the moment- so I will have to skip this other than to say prodominant hop, a little caramel hop.

Taste- Rich malty flavor with a mellow, and ultimately dry, hop finish.

A nice Irish red, nothing particularly special, but pleasant. Good if you are in the mood for a hoppy red.

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Photo of bbb099
3.37/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had it on-tap at the brew house.

A - Dark red, mahogany color. The white colored head was a little lacking and did not have much retention.

S - Toasty aroma of caramel malt with a hint of corn.

T - Tasted more like a pale ale than an amber. Sweetness from the malt is followed by moderate to light amount piny and floral hoppy flavors.

M - Average to low carbonation. Medium to light bodied.

D - Decent drinkability. Overall tasted ok, but the flavors could be stronger. It was also a little too watery for my taste.

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Photo of 1759Girl
3.81/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance> warm brown/coppery. Clear with a big head, which dissipates slowly and leaves nice lacing. Medium liveliness

Smell>yeasty and malty.

Taste> sweet, malty, bitter, complex.

Mouf> creamy, slightly chewy.

Drinkability> nice. Good hang too. All around a pretty nice little red.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ericandersnavy for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a hazy orangish-brown color with an off-white head. The aroma is resiny hops with some caramel malts. The flavor is similar with toffee and caramel malts which are balanced with the resiny hops. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of excal
3.74/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Spotted this in a local deli/market on St. Paddy's Day, thought it'd go better with a corned beef sandwich than either Guinness (which I don't care much for) or the Russian Imperial Stouts I already had. Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

The beer pours a dark reddish copper with a white head of about a finger and a half. Very nice lacing.

I picked up this beer before looking at the rev, and the smell was the first clue that this wasn't actually an Irish red. The smell, which is a touch thin, is hoppy and a bit floral.

The first taste reminds me of a west coast pale ale, it's so hop dominated. Further sips make the malt with its hints of honey and caramel a bit more apparent.

Mouthfeel is a bit heavy, though not unpleasantly so.

Very drinkable.

Overall, this beer is a little bit conflicted. On the one hand, Rubicon hasn't totally lost sight of the Irish Red style it's claiming to be, but on the other hand, that's very clearly not what they ended up with. It's worth a try, though.

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Photo of MisterClean
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pint night at Sac Brew featuring Rubicon beers.

A - Copper pour with 2 fingers white head. Dissipates slow and doesn't leave any lacing behind.

S - Honey, with heavy notes of citrus.

T - Honey, toffee, moderate citrus and bittering hops.

M - Full-bodied and hop dominated.

D - Very drinkable though it varies from the style being so hop dominated.

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Photo of pjwilson
3.98/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this place is 3 blocks from me and I drink here quite a bit, so guess i should start reviewing the beers. Ok this beer isn't an Irish Red despite the name, so i'm gonna list it as an amber.

appearance: ok, so this does look like an irish red, minimal head, a bit dark, and nice lacing. looks good.

smell: deep grains, some hops

taste: ok yeah that's good, but certainly no Irish Red, this is more of a strong hoppy amber along the lines of Red Rocket Ale or Deschutes Cider cone red. The first note is a blast of grapefruity, followed by smooth, slightly sweet malts. Quite good, but the flavors are sort of seperate, not blended.

mouthfeel: a very chewy mouthfeel, works well enough

drinkability: this is a good, classic drinker.

This excellent beer is certainly work a trip to the brewpub. Silly to call this an Irish Red though, oh well, don't say i didn't warn you.

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Irish Red from Rubicon Brewing Company
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 35 ratings