Thomas Hooker Irish Red Ale | Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

113 Reviews
Thomas Hooker Irish Red AleThomas Hooker Irish Red Ale

Brewed by:
Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
Connecticut, United States

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A rich, malty brew that uses red wheat and a variety of crystal malts, giving this beer its ruby red hue. Traditional English hops give this easy drinking brew a flavor that's perfect year round.

21 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-09-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 113 | Ratings: 201
Photo of BranfordBound
3.43/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Had at Friend's & Company in Guilford, CT. Pours amber and there is a lot of caramel and malt sweetness going on. A touch of herbal bitterness in the back-end keeps it all together. Easy to drink but very forgettable.

 217 characters

Photo of 57md
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Reddish-copper in color. Hearty in body and toasty in flavor. The maltiness is the heart of this offering.

This is a good old session beer that can blend well with any food; in the case of this tasting, I paired this beer with some hot wings.

 245 characters

Photo of metter98
3.54/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is very hazy amber in color (with some yellow hues) and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high dense tan colored head that died down, leaving a layer of bubbles covering the surface, a collar around the edge and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: When the beer is first poured, notes of chocolate are present in the smell; this quickly transitions to aromas of tea leaves and toasted malts.
T: The taste has flavors of nutty and toasted malts along with notes of earthy yeast and hints of black tea and toffee.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a little thin (but not watery) on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and seems to be an average representation of the style.

 782 characters

Photo of dpianka
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

date of tasting: 3/21/2013
place of tasting: Barley Vine
beer: Irish Red Ale
brewery: Thomas Hooker
type: Ale
style: Red Ale
glass: mug
temperature of beer: 45F

Appearance: head was average and persistent. Color is like a sienna toned copper. little carbonation that dissipated quickly.

Smell: rich roasted malt, light caramel, mix of prune & nectarine and generally reminiscent of stone fruit.

Taste: somewhat lackluster and one dimensional. strong roasted light caramel malt with slight stone fruit undertones and a slight hop tinge. The hops fight with the malt towards the end just eeking out the sweetness to leave a slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: creamy, not at all flat or thin. Medium bodied.

Overall Impression: not a bad representation of the style. it is an easy drinking beer and would be a good introduction to craft brew.

Food Pairing: american cheese burger with ketchup mustard and romain, pulled pork (apple cider vinegar and brown sugar not bbq sauce), shepards pie, charred steak, chocolate cake with a vanilla buttercream and fresh strawberries

 1,076 characters

Photo of jjchristiano
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a perfect St. Patrick's Day beverage.
I had a cooler full of various Irish beers for a party. I am not a big Guiness guy.
I kept going back to the Hooker's as it was so easy sipping. And after a big plate of corned beef and cabbage it was still sippable.

 262 characters

Photo of fstorey
2.94/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Served from a bottle in a pint glass

A - medium brown with copper hues. A little cloudy. Head is thin, uneven and dissipates fairly quickly.

S - Sweet with slight hops finish

T - Astringent initially, followed by a little maltiness then bitterness. Dry finish.

M- light body. Carbonation is noticeable on the tongue.

O - Quite dry with more hops character than I expected. I probably would not buy this again.

 414 characters

Photo of mikeg67
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours red with a long lasting, off-white head and lovely carbonation. Aroma is of sweet caramel malt, bread crust, hints of chocolate and piney hops. Body is medium and slightly crisp. Caramel, earthy hops, hints of chocolate combine on the palate. Long earthy finish. Good Red but definitely not my favorite.

 323 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours dark red. The pour creates a fluffed head that retains well and laces consistently but not thickly.

S-Has the traditional Irish Red nose but also has its own unique tangy aroma. Smooth nose. Sweet with a bitter herbal hop twinge.

T-Caramel and earthy hops but that tangy aspect is quite evident here. I actually enjoy the strange flavor component. Pretty mellow overall in terms of all around flavor intensity.

M-Lighter bodied. Plenty of carbonation. Not exceptionally crisp.

O/D-Overall, this was one of the better versions of one of my least favorite beer styles. One bottle was enough for me. It could have been much worse.

 640 characters

Photo of Pete27lax
3.41/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this beer on 2/9/2011

Pours a dark amber with not too much head of lacing. No retention on the head either. Decent looking beer.

Smell is also slightly above average. Caramel malts are present but nothing really standing out in the smell.

Taste is pretty good, caramel malts are the stand out here, maybe black tea? Something I can't quite put my finger on. Little smokey as well.

Mouthfeel is very thin, kind of lacking all around. Not too high in carbonation either. Definitely the low point in this beer.

Overall not too bad, good session beer. Also have to not this beer isn't too fresh which would explain some of the lacking flavors.

 650 characters

Photo of tone77
3.56/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a pretty dark auburn color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some malts. Taste is malty, a touch of caramel, not bad but a bit subdued. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a drinkable and pretty good beer.

 259 characters

Photo of taigor
3.51/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a regular pint glass.

A - Poured clear brown reddish color with minimal head that quickly dissipated leaving almost no lacing around the glass.

S - Sweet malts and caramel with slight citrus hints and a slight earthly hoppy scent.

T - Caramel and yeast to start with earthly flavor and hoppiness towards the finish.

M - Light bodied with medium carbonation.

O - Just an average Irish Red so do not go out of your way to get it.

 444 characters

Photo of PicoPapa
3.08/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle. Pours a murky dark brown with red hues. Not much head. Almost no lacing. Aroma is slightly boozey with some bread, malt, and maybe some hints of chocolate. Taste is somewhat sour with some earthy and malt flavor. Some caramel as well. Tangy, sour finish. Light body and carbonation. Not sure how I feel about this one. The sourness is a bit much for me. Not a bad beer but not a great one either. Overall, it works alright in the mix 12 pack but I wouldn't ever seek it out.

 487 characters

Photo of KrautAficionado
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear dark garnet red body under a beige one finger fizzy and foamy head. Lots of visible carbonation. Nose is slightly sweet toasted and crystal malts with some light hoppiness. Flavor is dry toasted and lightly crackery malt with just a hint of bitterness on the finish. A lingering huskiness remains. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, just shy of creamy in texture were it not for the prickly nature of the carbonation. Overall, just about what you’d expect from an Irish Red. Quite full of flavor, but not in your face.

 527 characters

Photo of BeerResearcher
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle. Served in a standard pint glass.
It pours and tannish oxblood leathery color with a solid 1" off-white head and some spotty and webby lacing.
The smell is an earthy and peaty powdered malt. A lightly sweet fruity bouquet peeks through.
The body is a bit thinner than expected, though not in a bad way. Caramel and toffee sweetness come through in the malt. The hops are in the distance, offering up light fruit cup and a hint of tea-like bitterness.
Not as buttery as some other Reds, but fairy silky and smooth.
This is a very easy-to-gulp Red Ale! Bring me some fried clams and scallops please! Yeah, that sounds good!

 639 characters

Photo of Homebrew35
3.46/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pulled a pint of this at a burger joint in West Hartford, with a one and a half finger head. With a dark maroon color this looks ok. The head dissipates to a few clingy spots on the edges. Smells of sweet Carmel with a hint of grassy earthiness. Tastes initially sweet and Carmel which transitions to a clean slightly bitter finish. This is an easy drinker and think a BMC person could get into this one quite easily. Not a wow beer but not bad either.

 452 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light beige head with some spotty lace left behind after each sip. The brew is a light brown color and is very cloudy.

Darker crystal malt aroma with some earthy smells. Light hop in the background.

Sour malt flavor that is almost as if a malt vinegar was added. Light hop that shows up in the swallow and aftertaste can't save this one. The mouthfeel is thin.

 362 characters

Photo of rfgetz
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish brown with minimal cap of off white head, decent lacing. Scent brings sweet notes of brown sugar, burnt carmel and some grassy and roast qualities. First taste brings the brown sugar and dark carmel sweetness with a roasted nut quality. Grassy flavors as well as some earthy and smoke. Fuller side of medium bodied, slick and coating, perfect like carbonation. A nice Irish red which contains some bold flavors without being overly sweet.

 459 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

poured into pint glass, a dark reddish brown color, with an inch thick white head. the head shrinks to a thin covering of tight little bubbles, and then to just a collar. the smell is rich malts, sweet caramel and toffee. the taste as expected is also sweet - all malt, no hops. buttery

moderate carbonation, a little heavy feeling. drinkability is below average since it's a little too sweet.

 394 characters

Photo of flagmantho
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich, deep brownish amber color with plenty of thick haze. Head is a finger of deep ivory foam. Looking good.

Smell: rich, sweet malt aroma. Character is of caramel, plums and raisins. The bouquet is both well-composed and dense. Really liking it.

Taste: a little less dense than the aroma, but still quite nice. Thick malt flavor with dark, dried fruit flavors. There's a hint of biscuit and a nice bitterness toward the end, which is not strong but is well-balanced. Quite enjoyable indeed.

Mouthfeel: medium body, maybe medium-light. There's a good carbonation, but I wish the body were as thick as the flavor. Not bad, though.

Drinkability: a highly flavorful and enjoyable brew. I'd gladly have this again.

 771 characters

Photo of jmerloni
2.35/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A - Woody orange-amber. Dull looking and not very lively. Head is one of the most minimal I've seen in beer.

S - Not much here. Wheat, yeast, orange, and a tint bit of malt.

T - I honestly can't detect a single flavor. Dank orange taste. A bit of hops. A bit of malt. I'm confused.

M - Pretty awful. Way over carbonated - so much so that you can't even taste anything. Not very dry either, as the style advertises.

D - Moderately drinkable but I wouldn't really care to drink more than a couple of these. Very boring and cheap tasting from a pretty decent brewery.

 570 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Dammit, I hate admitting that I don't remember who I got bottles from. Thanks go out to either jlindros or GoGriz for this guy (though both deserve plenty o' thanks anyway). It pours a clear ruby amber topped by about a finger of ecru foam. The nose comprises caramel, rye bread, maple syrup, and brown sugar. The taste follows, emphasizing the sweeter notes, like maple syrup, brown sugar, and plenty o' toffee. A slightly sharp bit o' sourdough creeps in there near the end as well, and this somehow does not detract. The body is a nice medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a pretty smooth feel. Overall, not a bad red at all, nice and straightforward.

 708 characters

Photo of u2carew
3.31/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz long neck. Consumed 3/30/10
A) Pours with a finger thick head. Lacing is thin and fairly sticky. Body has good clarity and upward carbonation. Ruby in color.
S) Caramel malt. Hints of citrus and earthy tones.
T) Noticeable malt blast - toffee, caramel. Light traces of nuts. Thins out a little bit in the finish, ending the a touch of hop nip. Lingering maltyness in the aftertaste.
M) Crisp. Light to medium body. Slightly dry in the finish.
D) A decent Irish red but not a standout.

 489 characters

Photo of beerbutcher
4.47/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

deep red russet beer with fair head retention

aromas are richly malty; chocolate, toast, nuts, caramel with little fruityness. fantastic

full body with great complexity of malt and light sweetness finishing surprisingly dry on a firm hoppy note.

best red ale i've had yet. could just keep drinking this lush and delicious beer...

 332 characters

Photo of donniecuffs
3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep red, near-brown, into an American pint glass, with less than a finger of head, spotty lacing, and mild carbonation. The smell was dominated by malt, with a little bit of caramel. The taste was a little more balanced between malt, caramel, and toffee, but still fairly one-dimensional. The mouthfeel was medium, with less carbonation then expected. Sessionable? Yes, if you love malty flavor in excess, but this beer was too one-dimensional for me.

 461 characters

Photo of mostpoetsdo
2.95/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Really nice deep read. Not much head on this pour.

S: Malt, malt, and more malt. Smells sweet too.

T: Not as malty as it smells, but has a bitter kick to it at the end. Not as sweet as I had hoped for, but not bad. Pretty dry.

M: Medium, almost light bodied. Not much carbonation.

D: Average, not a beer tasty enough to drink a lot of, but light enough.

 360 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Thomas Hooker Irish Red Ale from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
3.65 out of 5 based on 201 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.