Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

very good
498 Reviews
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Great Lakes Conway's Irish AleGreat Lakes Conway's Irish Ale

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by chilidog on 07-28-2002

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Reviews: 498 | Ratings: 1,515
Photo of ajm5108
2.76/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Optics are traditional, aroma is mostly an amber malt with some over-ripe fruit notes floating around too. Felt the malt / hop combo on this one was out-of-whack, the flavor has elements of caramel malt flavor but the hops really clash with it & you get kind of bitter sweetness that tastes like spoiled fruit cake with grated hop cone icing.

 342 characters

Photo of schusterbauer
2.8/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a bit light in hue for being a red ale -- looks like an APA. 12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass, head rises to the top of the glass, and eventually disappears, never to be seen again. smells, well, like an APA. hops first, and then some sweetness from malts. taste is, again, hops first, giving way to what has the potential to be an enjoyable, toasty malt profile. there's also an odd red licorice flavor that manifests itself every few sips. a lot of mismatched flavor here, which is a shame, because despite that fact, it's apparent that good ingredients are present.

when i think of an irish red ale, i think of a beer that has a lot of bread and malt flavors, with a bit of sweetness -- good food beer. this is not good food beer. disappointing.

actually, this beer makes me want to write an essay on the unfortunate topic of inordinate hop levels seeming to be the american signature on attempts to interpret non-american styles. this, too, shall pass....(hopefully)

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Photo of GuyFawkes
2.84/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

"Best by 3/30/16"; drank 2/4/16 @ the Yarchives.

Poured from the bottle into a glass.

See-through orange/red appearance.

A rough pour yielded a big, noisy eggshell head; decent lace

Corn, honey & faint pickle juice notes in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Caramel & corn flavors up front; pickle notes on the finish. This was barely drinkable; surely not enjoyable

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Photo of colts9016
2.97/5  rDev -22%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass at 45 degrees.

Appearance: A one finger head that has poor retention; furthermore, the head is white and foamy. The color of the beer is a reddish copper hue with amber highlights. The clarity of the beer is clear with carbonation bubbles. The head left no lacing on the glass.

Nose: The malt is caramelized, toasted malt, and a subtle sweetness. There is a mild hop that is floral and a hint of wood. Other notes are yeast and slight buttery character.

Taste: The beer is malty with notes of caramel, toast, and subtle sweetness. There is a mild hop character with a hint of floral and wood.. Other flavors are yeast and a slightly buttery character.

The mouth feel of the beer is coating, and slightly chewy.

Overall: The body of the beer is medium and the finish is medium light. This is an okay Irish Red Ale, the flavors are not in balanced too malty.

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Photo of TheBrewo
2.98/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This brew was served from the tap at MacGregor’s Grill and Tap Room in Canandaigua, NY. It arrived in a flared pilsner glass. This beer glowed a solid reddish gold, holding a one finger tan head of creamy bubbles. This showed moderate retention with spotty sheets of lacing here and there. No sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared moderate. The aroma was strong with white and red grapes, which showed with a juicy sweetness and light tartness. The malts were paler in aroma, with clean steel. Finally, baker’s yeast rounded out the back and softened things up. Our first impression was in regards to the huge grapey flavoring. As we sipped, red grape and bright strawberry sugars hit first. These mixed with softer pale malts, but really dominated the palate. The middle moved forward with more chalky, grainy malts, and gritty pepper at the peak. Here the balance was better, with the sweetness cut significantly. We were pulled to the finish on a wave of even more toasty, deeper malts, and a tonic water sourness, but that grape was persistently in the background. The aftertaste breathed of copper, grassy hops, and light peppery booze. The body was light to medium, and the carbonation was high and prickly. There was a light coating around the mouth with a brief astringency before all traces of the beer were gone. The mouth was cooled with decent slurp, but cream and froth were poor. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank nicely.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was how fresh and easy drinking it was. The fruitiness was overbearing at first, and was still quite strange by the end, but the balanced through the middle saved it. It was nice for the style, but seemed to be lacking just a bit in every category.

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Photo of Brew33
2.98/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I make it no secret that Great Lakes is my favorite brewery. I like ALL their beers... except maybe this one....

It isn't bad, but it isn't very good either. Bland as can be. Looks like a red, smells like some malt, tastes slightly malty but no real depth of flavor. Wow.... I was very disappointed to taste this from my favorite brewery.

Oh well, I'll just keep drinking the rest of their excellent collection.

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Photo of GoalieRon33
2.99/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Wonderful, deep color. Not quite ruby, but more reddish than brown. eggshell-white head, about 1 inch in size

smells of sweetness. matly as hell, but very balanced all around.

tasted of many irish ales... slight alcohol burn with a finishing maltiness. overall thick brew; very heavy beer with a strong malty flavor.

heavy bodied beer that is a slow drinker

an enjoyable beer that is fun to drink slow. Not an easy chugger; great dinner beer with chicken

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Photo of Cresant
3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a nonic. Enjoy by date: 3/19/07. Clear, amber/red color. Moderate head faded fast.

Smell was malty and spicy. Caramel. Leafy hops aroma bloomed late.

Taste was sugar cookies. Caramel and mild hops zestiness. Drying, pleasant finish.

Mouthfeel was zippy yet it glass-like smoothness. No one element of this beer was spectacular but every characteristic was enjoyable.

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Photo of mchegash
3.01/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Appearance - 3.25/5
A nice clear, dark orange-red in color. Minimal head. An average amount of carbonation can be seen rising up the beer,

Smell - 3.5/5
Slightly metallic, a bit of hops, subtle fruit notes, a little sour earthiness. Roasted malts.

Taste - 2.5/5
Toasty/roasty malts, a little sour hoppiness, some light fruit notes. Overall has a slightly strange taste and I'm not a big fan. Slight spice notes.

Mouthfeel - 3.75/5
Medium bodied, smooth and crisp. Medium amount of slightly more than medium-intensity carbonation.

Overall - 3/5
This is a subpar beer in my opinion. Perhaps it's just the style but this one wasn't doing it for me.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.02/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Sampled on 3-8-07
Best before 4-27-07

Pours a crystal clear amber color with a good head that leaves light lacing.

Smell is very light and fruity, with a sweet almost strawberry hop aroma.

Taste is a little disappointing. A vegetable earthiness at first masks almost every other flavor, and maintains in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is decent, very carbonated, thin, and mildly refreshing.

Drinkability suffers as a result of the taste being sub-par.

Overall, not a very enjoyable beer for me. I usually like red ales, so I think it's this particular one that has this overpoweringly earthy dirt flavor.

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Photo of riboflavin88
3.06/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured a beautiful reddish-orange hue. However, there was hardly any head even when poured harshly. Its nose definitely had a caramel, malt presence with a little smokiness in back. Its taste was mild in my opinion, caramel with moderate malt, and a little smokiness in the back just as in its smell. I didn't particularly like its mouthfeel. Its carbonation vanished as I got to the bottom of my glass, giving it a flat feel. More carbonation would have made it much more drinkable. Not a bad beer, but I've had better from Great Lakes.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.15/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured a bright red, sparkling color with good head formation. Aroma was lightly malty with good caramel smells coming off of it. Taste was OK, but a bit ho-hum. Mouthfeel was typical. I would call this beer drinkable, but in a world with so many choices, I have a hard time strongly recommending it.

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Photo of dmamiano
3.16/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

pours a beautiful reddish copper with virtually no head but lacing hangs to the glass.
initial hit on the nose is a slight sourness, musty with hints of malt following a bit of sweetness.
taste is rather bland. a mild mix of sweet malts, souring vegetables? and a little hop bite at the end for bitterness.
Not of of Great lakes best.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I picked up a bottle of Great Lake's Conway's Irish Ale last week for $1.69 at The Lager Mill. I haven't had an Irish Red Ale in a while and Great Lakes is a pretty solid brewery so I decided to give this beer a try, lets see how it goes. It had a best buy date of 3-26-12. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks ok and it has a nice looking old school picture on the label. It poured a nice copper/red color with two and a half fingers worth of fluffy white head that died down to a thin layer that stayed till the end and left a little lacing. The color was a little light but the head was spot on.

S- The aroma of this beer is all about the malts. It starts off with lots of malts that smell lightly toasted and pretty sweet, it imparted some brown bread, caramel, and biscuit like aromas. Next comes a light amount of spices and a really light earthy hops aroma. The aroma was on the sweet side and seemed to be pretty average.

T- The taste seems to follows the nose. The first thing that I pick up is loads of malts that seem lightly toasted and have a high amount of medium sweetness and impart some caramel, biscuit, brown bread, grains, and a little bit of cereal. After that comes that light amount of spices that I got in the aroma and a light amount of earthy and herbal hops on the finish with a very low amount of bitterness and a biscuity and slightly spicy aftertaste. The flavor seems to be pretty average as far as Irish Red Ales go, it wasn't that memorable and little dull.

M- Smooth, slightly creamy, medium bodied, and it had a medium amount of carbonation. I got no complaints with the mouthfeel, it worked well with this beer.

Overall I thought that this was an Ok beer and a pretty average Irish Red Ale, it didn't have anything that was out of place for the style, but it seemed like the flavors didn't meld as good as they could of and the sweet malts didn't let hardly any other flavors and aromas come through. This beer went down fairly smooth, one went down smooth and I might be able to drink another one but after that I think the sweetness would start to get to me. What I liked most about this beer was the mouthfeel, it was pretty spot on for an Irish Red Ale. What I liked least about this beer was the high amount of sweetness, I think the sweetness needs to be toned down some to make this beer more enjoyable and drinkable. I don't think I would buy this beer again, there are better Irish Red Ales to be found that are more available at the same price. I don't really recommend this beer unless you are a huge Irish Red Ale, I find it to be a pretty middle of the road kind of beer. Great Lakes is a pretty solid brewery and this beer was Ok, but it just wasn't that memorable of beer and it really didn't hold my attention, better luck next time guys.

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Photo of chaz01
3.19/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this on draft at the local BW3's because, well that's about all they had for craft beer. 16 oz glass with my chicken wings.

A: Amber/Mahogany in color, nice head retains well.

S: I picked up very little aroma from my glass, maybe a faint grassy aroma.

T: Very malty with bitter rye notes.

M: Medium bodied with a bitter finish that reminded me of chocolate malt balls dipped in Irish Whiskey.

D: This actually went well with my hot wings. It's got a little bit of bitter/sour aftertaste that would prevent me from having more than one, but it's more than I expected for a place that doesn't normally serve craft beers.

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Photo of wiseguy142
3.2/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark burnt orange that looks a little like concentrated fruit juice or dark apple cider. Thin white head floating on top.

I can smell the malt aroma from a couple feet from the glass. Light and husky, like toasted pumpernickel with a bit of fruit juice. Smells unusually like malty grape juice.

Taste is less crisp of crystal malt than you'd expect. A little more like a mild with rounded edges and slight raisny notes. Mouthfeel is pretty heavy for an Irish red with peppery carbonation. A little slick and oily for me in terms of overall mouthfeel and taste.

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Photo of Tallboy
3.2/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance-12oz bottle pours a bright ruby copper that is highlighted by a nice beige froth.
Scent-Toffee and caramel are prevalent with some interesting malts but no outstanding hops to speak of.
Taste-Bready and sweet toasted malts where the predominant flavor with some vibrant green hops and tasty caramel.
Mouthfeel-Nice medium mouthfeel.
Drinkability-A nice Irish styled session beer. I have tried a lot of GL's brews and have yet to find one that I can speak bad about!!!

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Photo of jsprain1
3.22/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Red-copper with a thick head that doesn't last all that well.
S- Very simple on the nose. Toast, caramel, and a touch of noble hop.
T- It's a fine beer, but it never really gets past acceptable for me in flavor. It's a bit sweet up front with caramel flavor. Finish is toasted bread. Quite bready.
M- Medium body for a red. Carbonation is on the assertive end.
O- Like I said it's a fine beer but there is nothing that transcends the normal Irish Red level for me.

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Photo of Realale
3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear full copper with a fine bright beige head that sits and stays, leaving decent lacing.

Nose is toffee, well-toasted, but not burnt, bread, and a nice cherry fruitiness. Toffee is dominant enough to make me think I'm not going to like the taste very much.

Medium in the mouth with a soft round toffee sweetness leading the way. A pleasant toasty maltiness is working in the background, as is a slightly sulphury mineral component. The toffee just dominates too much and the sweetness hides any complexity that might really be there.

Nice mouthfeel, but its more than a touch too sweet for this taster. I can't imagine drinking too many of these without it getting cloying. A disappoinment given the very high standard set by this brewery's other offerings.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Standard red ale amber-y appearance, clear, not thick, good head. Aroma had a very small peat smokiness to it. Nice. Not much else.

Taste, sturdier than your average red ale. Traditional in that it doesn't have any overpowering aspect of it, falls to the side of malt heavy, tea, toast. Nothing offensive, just an easy drinking red ale, with a little bit more substance than your average one you might come across.

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Photo of twaddlac
3.26/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear reddish orange with a little head dissapating into a light lace. smells of faint honey with a mild hop note. Taste is slight hoppiness with a honey like aftertaste and a bit of sweet grass. drinkability is good but not what I was expecting.

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Photo of DoctorDog
3.26/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz bottle into a nonic. "For freshest taste, please enjoy by: 04/06/09" stamped on the side of the label.

A- Amber/copper and clear. Pours with ~2 fingers of light tan head, which fade slowly, to a thin, complete cap.

S- Malty, bread notes. Not a lot going on here.

T- Moderately sweet malt flavors with bread like notes. Slightly earthy, roasted bitterness on the finish.

M- Moderate carbonation, fairly smooth.

D- Decent.

Future outlook: This beer just didn't quite come together for me. A rare miss for Great Lakes, though still not something that I would say was "bad" or push away if offered. I won't seek this out again, but could accept it as part of a variety mix-pack.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.27/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Has the red appearance and clarity, soft 1/4" off white/cream colored head. Aroma dropped a faint amount of smoke and peat, earthy.

Taste is something an old school irish grandpa with one of those stupid tough guy hats would wear. Traditional, but professionally done. Tea and toasted malt notes. Almost no hops.

One of those better than average for style for a style that is less than average. Feel me?

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.27/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my pint glass the beer is orange amber with a tiny wisp of off white head. No lace to be found.

The aroma is super sweet caramel malt. A touch of hops and a decent amount of black earth.

The flavor is modest caramel malt. A faint bit of hops help to balance the sweetness but get pushed aside by the malt.

Medium body with moderate carbonation.

Overall a decent representation of the style. Nothing all that memorable but drinkable.

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Photo of Duster72
3.28/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear reddish amber with little head and no retention. Aroma is sweet malts with no hop character. Taste is very like iced tea with some roastiness and strawberry present. A fine beer but nothing remarkable -- I wouldn't be interested in having it again, especially when it sits next to Commodore Perry!

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Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
3.81 out of 5 based on 1,515 ratings.
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