Review: Irish Red, Samuel Adams

Irish Red

  • Style:  Irish Red Ale
  • Bitterness:  25 IBU
  • ABV: 5.8% ABV
  • Malts:  Two-row Harrington, Metcalfe, and Copeland pale malts, and Caramel 60
  • Hops:  East Kent Goldings, English Fuggles, and Hallertau Mittelfrueh
  • Calories:  190 per 12 oz.
  • Sampled:  12 oz. bottle

Description:  "The gentle rain and fertile soil of Ireland helped inspire this style of ale, known for being remarkably balanced.  Pale and caramel malts give Samuel Adams® Irish Red its rich, deep red color and distinctive caramel flavor.  The sweetness of the malt is pleasantly balanced by an earthy character from the East Kent Goldings hops.  Samuel Adams Irish Red finishes smooth and leaves you wanting to take another sip.”  — Samuel Adams

Random thoughts:  I'm just starting to profile fall beers, and the winter seasonals are suddenly emerging onto grocery store shelves. What happened to fall? Worry not, you won't be reading about holiday brews on this blog for at least another month. I've got plenty of fall seasonals lined up. This beer is part of the Samuel Adams Harvest Collection variety pack.

The tasting:  Deep copper in color, slightly hazy, with an off-white head that dissipates fairly slowly.  Aroma of light caramel malt—that's about all I got. The aroma was weak. This is another malt-forward beer. Caramel and toasted malts dominate the flavor and it has a brown sugar-like sweetness that emerges in the middle along with a light earthy hop bitterness. It's medium bodied,  moderately carbonated, and has a creamy mouth feel. Light alcohol emerges in the finish and the hop bitterness kicks into a higher gear at the end.

Rating:  3 star.  Good.  I would drink this again if someone gives it to me.  The malty flavors of Samuel Adams Irish Red remind me of the Oktoberfest style. While the malt sweetness and lingering bitter finish were a bit too much for my personal tastes, I think this is a solid choice for the fall season.

What's your favorite Irish Red ale?

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