Underwhelming but acceptable
A Review of Samuel Adams Irish Red by Boston Beer Co. / Samuel Adams
Posted on 7/25/2012 by Chops
When you mention Samuel Adams, most people immediately think of their delicious Boston Lager, one of the most enduring craft beers ever created. On the flip side, I would say most beer drinkers are unaware of Boston Beer's numerous other offerings. They actually have a very large product line that spans most of the style spectrum. I would imagine that the great success of the Boston Lager has allowed the company to freely experiment with little consequence. That's a nice relaxed environment for a brewer, but it creates a level of complacency that can infect the product. Consequently, Boston Beer's many other brews rarely stack up against their craft competitors. Such was the case when I tried the Samuel Adams Irish Red.

In the glass, this beer has a deep amber appearance with some bright red hues. It comes with a creamy tan head that has really nice retention. On the nose, I detected little more than a generic candied malt smell. That was pretty much it. Just a nondescript baseline smell for the style. It wasn't bad mind you, just not interesting.

The blandness of the aroma carried over into the taste as well. Just a standard candied malt flavor, similar to a mild bubblegum vibe. Again, that was pretty much it. The hop profile is very mild and only appears on the finish as a slightly bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is decently smooth and creates an unassuming brew that's easy to drink. I wish I had more to say about the beer, but there just isn't much to write about.

Overall, the Samuel Adams Irish Red is an uninspired version of the Irish Red style. It's not bad, but it's not good either. I would put it on par with the big Irish domestics like Smithwick's. It's certainly much better than the mass produced garbage reds like Killian's, so given the choice, opt for the Samuel Adams version. But if you're looking for a quality version of the Irish Red style, this isn't it. I can recommend it as a freebie or as an ''in a pinch'' beer, but that's about as far as it goes. I won't be seeking them out, but I'd happily enjoy some out of someone else's cooler.

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Samuel Adams Irish Red by Boston Beer Co. / Samuel Adams
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