Burly Irish Ale | The Vermont Pub & Brewery

17 Reviews
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Brewed by:
The Vermont Pub & Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A slightly caramel, medium bodied smooth Irish Red Ale. Rich, creamy and mellow. A VPB favorite for 23 years! Designed to be a session ale at 4.2% ABV. Very lightly hopped to enhance the appeal for the masses. A true crowd pleaser. We have proudly served over a half million pints of this popular ale to our loyal customers!

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-25-2003

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Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 59
Photo of BranfordBound
3.79/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Had at Vermont Pub & Brewery. Pours a kind of ruddy brown color, clear, with a thin head. No lacing.

Caramel and peat in the aroma, not much in the way of hops, per the style. Taste is very caramel malt forward, doughy, notes of smoke and peat, finishes with a slightly dry earthy bitterness.

A well made Irish Red that isn't overly sweet like all the other commercial examples of the style. Surprisingly flavorful given the low ABV.

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Photo of fitzy84
3.44/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on a sampler flight. Served in a 3 ounce glass. The beer had a reddish tint to a somewhat brown colored beer with thin lacing on the sides. Aromas included malts mixed with a light spice, caramel, and some fruit, like cherry. Taste followed the nose and was generally bittersweet with some extra earthy flavors not in the nose, such as nuts. Decent mouthfeel made this drink slightly creamy while keeping a crisp carbonation. Overall, not a bad drink with your meal.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured on-tap and served in a shaker pint, the beer is a nut brown coloring with a filmy white head that sits a solid half an inch. Nose of nut, toffee, and roast characteristics. Flavors of roasted nut, cream, peat, and earth. Clean and smooth aftertaste is nutty sweet, with good roast to balance everything. Smooth, clean finish. Tasty beer, more of a brown than red, IMO.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.04/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Ben got this for Christmas. It's about 2 weeks old. Thanks Ben! Poured into a pint glass. Not much head at all. I never seem to find much luck with screw top growlers.

The aroma is slightly chocolatey with a nice breadiness.

The taste is very bready, with some chocolate malt to round out the sweetness. There isn't much bitterness at all here, and I can taste some wateryness (it's light and drinkable).

This is light in body, with very mellow carbonation. This has to have lost some carbonation in the growler.

Decent; nothing I would go out of my way to get, but could certainly serve a purpose with a campfire.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.09/5  rDev -13%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My boss picked this up for me on a revent trip to Vermont. Thanks for the surprise Brock! Poured into a pint glass. Pours without a head. Just a brownish colored beer with a little bit of a reddish hue to it.

The aroma is a little bit nutty with a hint of cocoa. Pretty enjoyable to sniff this guy. The flavor is a little bit weaker though, a slight nuttiness with some fruitiness to round it out. A little bit of metallic hops in the background.

The carbonation is soft on this one with a nice light body. Overall easy to enjoy and very drinkable. Glad to have tried this.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Here’s a clear reddish/dark chestnut colored brew with a quickly dropping head but solid lacing. Most of the VPB beers look very nice. Toasty malt in the nose; slightly roasty and vaguely sweet; hint of hops. Taste strikes a good balance between toasty caramel malt and a lightly floral hop note; a little sweetness but not too much; controlled bitterness.

Smooth and creamy with low carbonation. A nice beer, nothing extraordinary but a good sessionable brew that’s pretty tasty; balanced and more enjoyable than many of the other more “adventurous” attempts by this brewery.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.4/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clean reddish chestnut color with little head. Scent is pale and contains mostly toasted flavors with a splash of buttery toffee. Taste follows suit, follows the style guidelines but doesn't standout in any one area. Thinner body for style with active carbonation. Approachable and drinkable for the masses but lacking in excitement.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at their brewpub

I've had this on all of my visits to VT P&B. A nice selection, harmless and simple. Poured a chestnut brown with ruby tints, and a nice-sized, well-retaining eggshell head. Toasty caramel in the aroma, vanilla, touch of cherry. Caramel in the taste, toasty, light fruits: pear and cherry, vanilla, mild earthy hops. Medium-bodied, and very easily drinkable.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap poured into a sample glass.

Pours a nice deep dark ruddy brown that's almost black with a very small thin brown head. Nose is roasty and smokey.

Taste is a bit chalky and smooth and it's quite dry. Mouthfeel is light and crisp with light carbonation. It has a smooth finish.

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Photo of scottg
4.3/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"slightly roasty, smoth Irish red ale. Rich, creamy, and mellow."
Served in a pint glass.

Pours a clear garnet color with a 1/2 finger tan head that fades quickly with solid lacing. Toasted malt aromas miz with chocolate and light smoke. Toasted malt flavor up front with chocolate undertones lead to a sweet, but not to sweet, carmel middle with a lemony hop & cherry finish. Medium body, medium carbonation, there is a chalky mouthfeel. This is a well balanced beer that you could drink all night.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.69/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My experiences at this pub have always been a little varied but this is one of the better brews they offer in my opinion. Poured off the tap a maple hue with some red highlights and a nice head and a nice cap. Often the lack of head is a problem at this location, I was pleased. Aromas were slightly roasted malts, generic fruit, floral hops. Flavors were nice, started with a mellow malted caramel character, then some hops o give it a bit of an edge and finishes a little biscuity. Light/medium body and medium/high carbonation. Sessionable and doesn't taste as punchy as it is. I wouldn't call it Burly but I would say it's good.

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Photo of Brad007
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Also sampled this today.

Pours a reddish-brown hue with a one-finger head. Aroma is roasty and fruity. Smooth upfront. Taste is much of the same with a smooth, buttery (not diacetyl) aftertaste. Balanced and not too dry. Went down well and it's very sessionable. If this was made in bottles, I could drink it while homebrewing. Heh.

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Photo of scarletfire79
3.56/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

brownish red with a light off white head that leaves fairly quickly. this was the first beer i sampled there, not a bad offering but very middle of the road. very smooth taste, lightly roasted flavor. overall very creamy and mellow. definitly one of the better beers there in my opinion, but i guess i might be partial to the style.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.27/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a caramelized ruby in color. Faint, bone-white head with average retention. Some thin and spotted lacing.

Semi-sweet, rustic floral hops. Burnt, caramel malt character with whaffs of heavy cream and a touch of vanilla. Dried hazlenut and cocoa bean.

Hints of light cream and caramel malts that break down and fall flat to a tastelessness. Notes of lightly toasted biscuit. Very bland and watery at mid sip prior to a tea-like, weak bitterness. Light caramel in the aftertaste.

A light, medium in body; watery and thin.

A let down, as the aroma foreshadows some pretty good things. Weak, watery, and pretty bland in flavor.

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Photo of tubbnik
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served slightly chilled On-Tap at the brewery.

a - Nice redish brown color. translucent. light carbonation. no head on arrival.

s - Flat. Slight hop aroma. Some mild sweetness, maybe peat or grass odor.

t - Again, flat. Doesn't 'pop' like the Irish Reds I enjoy more. Somewhat disappointing, especially since they advertise it heavily outside the brew pub.

m - Smooth , mild carbonation. Goes down easy.

d - Dispite some disappointing characteristics from a style stand point (especially a style I love) its very drinkable. Enjoyed it on a warm day, and it hit the spot.

Overall an average offering of a popular brewpub style.

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Photo of Dewey0603
3.62/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a cloudy dark red with almost no head. For an Irish Ale, this looks alot like a porter. The smell is light and malty with some cola scents. The taste has a roasted coffee flavor to it with not much carbonation. The m/f is light and creamy. This is a decent beer, but I was alittle disappointed in that this wasn't true to a Red Ale.

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Photo of UnionMade
3.92/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer is a mellowed orangey amber, topped with a thin mist. The head thins out to a weak collar after a couple sips, dying out about halfway through. Good clarity, with an attractive coppery color through light.
The aroma is mainly a full, rich caramel maltiness. A touch toasty, with some soft floral esters. Mild herbal hopping allows the malt to dominate.
The flavor starts with a mellowed caramel maltiness, a bit toasty and perhaps a hint of roasted malt. Some soft floral esters sit atop the tongue, with a bit of pear fruitiness. The caramel malt continues throughout, restrained with just enough herbal hop flavor in the finish. The aftertaste sticks to the back of your tongue for ages, a pleasant blend of caramel sweetness and herbal hops. Fairly light bodied, with modest, low carbonation and a full, rich mouthfeel.
A really well made irish red ale. Great malt flavor, with a restrained hop bitterness. I'd definitely get it again.

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Burly Irish Ale from The Vermont Pub & Brewery
3.55 out of 5 based on 59 ratings.
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