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Samuel Adams Irish Red Ale

Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
5 / 6
33 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
15 / 20

Another solid offering from a powerhouse brewery, Samuel Adams Irish Red ale is a smooth, seriously quaffable brew. Pouring dark bronze, almost copper, this beer is brilliantly clear with glints of burnished gold at the edges. As with the very best examples of the style, the aroma is redolent of sweet caramel and offers nutty malt hints under that caramel. There was no hop aroma to speak of, and that too is expected for this style. Lee was pleasantly surprised by the taffy and maple notes, as well as a Tuaca punch, in the aroma. Rick picked up on milk caramel and powdered sugar notes in the nose, while Pete liked the somewhat buttery, toffee aromas. Caramel malt takes center stage in the flavor, with faint traces of other flavors like sweet butter, toffee and peanut brittle offering a bit of complexity. The judges felt this beer was a little too heavy on the caramel, and that it tended toward being one-dimensional. As Tim said, this beer had a big, dark-caramel flavor profile, and the finish and aftertaste are M-A-L-T. This is one malty beer, but there was a touch of tannic dryness toward the finish that kept the beer from being too sweet. Tom opined that the texture was “kind of juicy,” and while a very sweet beer, it came up short of cloying. All in all, this is a very good example of the style and will appeal to any fan of Irish red ales.