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

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
86
very good
489 Reviews
THE BROS
80
good
Read the review
Great Lakes Conway's Irish AleGreat Lakes Conway's Irish Ale
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
489
Ratings:
1,475
Avg:
3.81
pDev:
19.69%
 
 
Wants:
74
Gots:
270
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 489 | Ratings: 1,475
Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, best before 4/7/2014. Pours fairly crystal clear orange copper color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cal that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, biscuit, toast, toffee, pear, apple, raisin, floral, herbal, pepper, light nuttiness, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of malt, hop, and yeast ester notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, biscuit, toast, toffee, raisin, pear, floral, herbal, light pepper, light nuttiness, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Slight earthy herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, biscuit, toast, toffee, raisin, pear, floral, herbal, light pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance of bready malt, yeast ester, and light-moderate hop flavors; with good robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice Irish red ale. All around good balance and robustness of bready malt, yeast ester, and light-moderate hop flavors; and extremely smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,409 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired from hawks10, so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light coppery brown color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, grain and some hops.

T: The taste starts with the breadiness from a hearty but not too heavy malt character. There are background flavors of fruit and spice. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is solid beer that is worth drinking for a long time.

 765 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sending this one, Jeff.

A: The pour is amber in color with a finger of khaki colored head.

S: A very toasty aroma. Lots of sweet, toffee and caramel malts with plenty of toasted malts. There is a touch of fruit to the nose and a bit of hops in there, but they're pretty faint.

T: Quite a pleasant flavor which consists mostly of sweet and creamy caramel. Plenty of toffee and toasted bread are there as well. Malt driven, certainly, but there is just a very light hop flavor and bitterness.

M: Light to medium in body with a medium level of carbonation.

O: A pretty decent Irish Red. The malt character really stands out and gives a good flavor to the beer.

 673 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this with carlos -enjoyed from schooner glassware, purchased at The Brass Rail in Campbelltown.

The color is deep ruby red with a slight scarlet hue and nice thick cap of cream with tight bead. The smell is very herbal and has a slight bready tinge with mild hint of nuts and light spice. The feel is good with a nice dry body and slightly stronger than average yet still nicely balanced with a little spiciness in the finish.

The taste is good but comes off very smooth and lager-like at times with a slight toasted grain character and mild caramel notes intermingling. the finish has an almost lager-like flavor with herbal hops enhancing the malt but leaving a slight dry effect. Overall this is a very drinkable Irish Red. I wasn't expecting one with the amount of alcohol, but it is well balanced and very drinkable for the strength I enjoyed this more than most I have had of the style.

 903 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from pwoods, Cheers Patrick!

Pours amber with a finger of tan head. Some lacing & minimal head retention

S: Cereal notes & not much else

T: Caramel, grainyness & dryness up front, plus some nice pear & apple notes lingering in the back of the throat. Some leafy hops & biscuitty malt as this warms, plus a bit more caramel apple-laced grainyness. Finishes with a semi-yeasty bite & more green apple. .5 Deduction for being a bit off style

MF: Medium bodied, semi-sticky, with moderate carbonation

Drinks very easy, not the best Irish Red I've had, & has some aesthetic issues, but session worthy!

 615 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a shaker pint glass at The Firkin.

Somehow this guy got swept under the rug following my recent jaunt to the Firk. Ordered last, to compliment my share of a burger (tasty stuff, I tells ya). It pours a clear copper topped by a finger of off-white micro-foam. The nose comprises caramel, light greens, oak, and a light-ish dash of orange peel. The taste follows fairly closely, with notes of orange peel, light caramel, sweet rice, and a sort of celery-type flavor. Everything has a vague sweetness to it, though a similarly vague bitterness pervades as the finish nears. I'm still not sure if they go together all that well. (I'll get back to ya.) The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry-ish finish. Overall, a decent brew, especially in the capacity of accompanying the burger, but frankly nothing all that special. I can't really knock any part of it per se, but I also can't rave about them either. You know what I mean.

 973 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served on-tap at the Doubletree Cleveland Downtown Lakeside in Cleveland, OH

A: Pours a clear deep amber in color with some heavy amounts of visible carbonation and light ruby red highlights. The beer has a finger and a half tall dense light beige head that very slowly reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of toasted and caramel malts with a hint of toffee sweetness. There are some light fruit notes from the yeast and just the faintest hint of citrus/orange peel hops.

T: Upfront the malts really take center stage with some toasted malt flavors that have notes of caramel and toffee sweetness followed by a slight hint of breadiness (which still has a bit of the toasted flavors). There are light hints of fruit and just a touch of citrus/orange peel hops. Lightly bitter in the finish which does not linger.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation.

O: Easy to drink and enjoyable for folks that enjoy the malt forward style (I do). Alcohol is well hidden and this beer is almost sessionable. Pairs well with food.

 1,209 characters

Photo of billab914
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Surly pint glass. poured a bright copper color with a thin foam covering that barely covers the beer. It left some pretty good lacing on the sides as I drank it.

Aroma is sweet and malty with some nice apple and caramel scents. The taste starts off sweet with some malt and bread flavors but is somewhat balanced out with some bitterness in the finish. It also has a slightly fruity almost apple juice like flavor to it.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's a very drinkable nicely flavored brew that goes down pretty easy. One of the better Irish Ale's that I have had for sure.

 659 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 02/04/11 notes. Had on tap at RFD in DC.

a - Pours an amber color with one inch of white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, toasted malts, bready malts, fruity malts, and light hops.

t - Tastes of toasted malts, bready malts, and caramel malts. Some light creaminess to it as well.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Very creamy, pretty nice.

d - A nice red ale. Some nice bready and toasted malts, and a nice creamy body. Would have again.

 487 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I finished my classes today and turned in my last paper before spring break, so on my way home from class I stop at the liquor store. Good thing I did it seems they recieved a new Great Lakes product whoo hoo! This Irish ale pours a fine amber with a creamy tan full head that is already leaving me a nice even ring of lace. The aroma is a very slight hop aroma with caramel malt sweetness to it, overall pleasant. In the taste category this beer combines a bit of a smokey blend to it with a rather sharp bite to it between the balance of malt to hops. Overall a selection I am happy to be able to find on the kickoff of this St. Patrick's Day weekend. This beer is medium to light in body and it sustains a smooth lighter mouthfeel to it, and I only wish I could find it on tap by St. Paddy's cuz I think this would be my go to on that day!

 842 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is an easy drinking, if not very challenging Irish ale. Minimal amounts of that mildly fruity and leafy thing that seems prevalent in the style. Decent enough to drink, though not overly interesting or mind blowing. I hope this is an accurate sample of this beer. Really, I just tried it because it was one of the Great Lakes beers I had yet to check out. Next!

 366 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.56/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours much more amber than the "ruby red" that is described on the label. A thin, wispy head leaves a little lacing.

The smell is of caramel with very light toast and a touch of earthy hops.

The taste is of caramel, light toast with a bitter-ish finish. A bit of alcohol shows.

It has a malty smoothness to it and reaches medium-bodied.

An interesting, enjoyable American interpretation of an "Irish Red" - a bit hoppy and more alcoholic than traditional but it works for a different slant on the style.

 507 characters

Photo of tdm168
3.49/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - light caramel amber with a thin white lacing of head

S - caramel, some faint apple

T - apple, caramel, fruity esters, faintly bitter, some sweetness

M - medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This is a rather simplistic beer. The esters from the yeast provide most of the flavor offering some fruitiness. The malt is prevalent, but it really only adds caramel. This was a nice beer to try once, but this isn't something I would seek out again.

 451 characters

Photo of smakawhat
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Best before April 28th 2011, we are good to go baby!

A three finger head off a golden pour. Head is an off cream brown color with tiny bubbles that fall away at a good rate. Very clear body of a burnt orange with some visible carbonation. Leaves a good collar but no lacing throughout the drink.

Bouquet is an interesting airy toasty grassy malt. Man Great Lakes beers smell so dang good. Very unique smelling with some sweet caramel like smell hidden in the back.

Taste is a grass malt backbone, with a small hop profile. Herbal tea like in sensation with grass, but also a little carbonated too. Somewhat of a drying finish also.

Another win for the Great Lakes, it may not be my favorite Irish Red Ale but it's a good one for sure.

 781 characters

Photo of ejimhof
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: perfect amber color with little head and slight lacing.

Smell: malty and grainy.

Taste: malt throughout with a smooth finish a touch of hops.

Mouthfeel: light on the tounge.

Drinkability: Easy drinker no problem having more than one at a sitting.

 264 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Conway's Irish Ale....is good. The label is awesome! Great Lakes is probably the best thing to come out of Cleveland since the Browns left for Baltimore. This beer pours a nice amber with no head and no lace. The scent is mostly caramel malt with biscuits. The taste is nothing remarkable or noteworthy...just solid. It is well balanced from start to finish. The mouthfeel is medium in body with so so carbonation. Overall it is a decent sessionable beer and worth a try.

 471 characters

Photo of drabmuh
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Haven't reviewed the #1 Irish Red Ale (yet) but I can get the #2 locally so what the hell. Beer is served in a Russian River wine glass. Beer is red and clear with a big white head of small and medium bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate.

Aroma is a little roasty and sweet. Smells exactly like I expected.

Beer is medium bodied and easy drinking. Mildly sweet on the front end, a little bitter at the back but the bitterness is from a type of roasted grain that I find a little odd. I know that's a brewing trick, add a little roasted grain at mash out for color, that's probably what happened here. I enjoyed it and would have it again.

 673 characters

Photo of tempest
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sweet, light, caramel malt flavor. Very creamy mouthfeel. The flavor is a touch bland for 6.5% abv. I do get a touch of vegetable DMS, but I'm not sure if that's completely inappropriate for the style. There's a light bitter aftertaste in the end, but in general it's pretty tasty. I'd like it to be lower in abv, because this beer could sneak up on me fast.

 358 characters

Photo of WesWes
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice amber color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has an excellent malt scent that boasts of pale and biscuit malts. It has a mild caramel malt sweetness and a dry Irish ale yeast aroma. The taste is good as well. It has a smooth, malty flavor that goes down easy and finishes dry with some toasted/bready notes. This has got to be the most complex Irish ale I've ever tried. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very enjoyable beer. It's full flavored with excellent malt character and a smooth finish.

 621 characters

Photo of Tone
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, copper color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of strong caramel malt, slight sweet malt, yeast, pale malt, hint of earthiness, hint of hops, and a hint of honey. Fits the style of an Irish Red Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of honey, strong caramel malt, yeast, slight pale malt, slight sweet malt, hint of hops, and a hint of alcohol. Overall, smooth, earthy, dominated by malts, and nice subtle hop addition.

 523 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.76/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours a clear amber orange color with a 1" head that slowly falls. Spotty lace develops.

Smell: light fruity aroma is all you can detect.

Taste: caramel, bread, ripe fruit sweetness, some hints of toasted nuts, and a moderate bitterness nicely balances the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp from start to finish. Aftertaste is brief and short-lived.

Overall: a very quaffable ale that is refreshing and hits the spot.

 455 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
3.62/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into my Founder's pint glass late at night.

Conway has a autumn orange with some faint redness in spots and nooks and crannies. I've seen much redder, anyway a nice light caramel colored head rose about an inch with some burst, not much legs to this. No lacing.

Smells consist of a typical irish red, caramel, small candy vibe, barely smellable hop sense. A boatload of toasted malt. This is fresh and it don't smell that bad.

Taste is simple but bold with the fresh bottle. Caramel and some apple slices dipped in caramel. Toasted malts giving basic bread in the middle. A sweet aftertaste. Hops are not in the picture but sort of keep things in perspective.

A very healthy medium body on this and very sweet, perhaps a bit too much. Kinda reminds me of sucking on a worthers original for a second. This was a easy one to take down, perhaps that's the Irish in me. It's simple, no more no less. I can see this going downhill in the bottle fairly quickly so drink up.

 990 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best by 3/29/10

Appearance: Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Copper in color, clarity ok, some little yeasties hanging in suspension. Small head forms, sticks around for a while and laces the glass.

Smell: Bready malt makes up most of the aroma.

Taste: Deliciously malty with flavors mimicking candy roasted nuts. Caramel malt. Hop profile is relatively low, a light lemony bitterness that lingers on after the sip.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and a high degree of carbonation. This beer is the opposite of flat. A semi-dry finish with lingering lemon/tea notes.

Drinkability: Quite enjoyed this one. Yet another solid brew from Great Lakes.

 664 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a golden copper red body that is crystal clear with a gentle release of tiny bubbles. The head is a thin creamy head that is white with a faint yellow hue.

S- The smell of lightly toasted malt with some note of dry fresh grain note in there. No real hop aroma in there.

T-This beer had a nice slightly sweet toasted malt flavor with some dry fresh grain flavor that follows. There is a very slight buttery note but it is not detected when the beer is really cold. There is a nice spicy flavor that finishes and some green hop notes in there. The finish is crisp and dry with a soft carbonic note.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a soft fizz in the finish.

D- This is a nice smooth beer that has some good malt flavors and a spicy hop flavor but it would be nice to see the malt have a bit more depth and the hops back off a bit. Definitely a good crossover beer for those that drink Adjunct Lagers.

 978 characters

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 3/13/12
*From notes

-- Six-pack purchased at Great Lakes Brewery on 1/17/12 --

A: Copper-reddish-amber in hue. A good pour yields a 1.5 finger head. Decent retention, though the collar remains fairly healthy as it fades. Mild lacing.

S: Sweet grains and grass. It really isn't too far off from the way their Dortmunder smells, but it just doesn't "do it for me" in the same way.

T: Big, hearty malt runs from top to bottom. A touch of that patented (and delicious) Great Lakes sweetness lingers too, and it all comes together quite well.

M: Yeah, no complaints here. Creamy and packs the proper weight vs. flavor profile.

O: Another winner from Great Lakes. Their Conway's is my favorite Irish Red, and one I can easily recommend to those looking for a better, unique alternative to Smithwick's.

 844 characters

Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
3.81 out of 5 based on 1,475 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.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!