Samuel Adams Irish Red
Published: Monday, March 11, 2013
Updated: Monday, March 11, 2013 21:03
There are so many great things to say about St. Patrick’s Day—multiple styles of ales, stouts and lagers. You can mix whiskey with coffee, whiskey with beer or beer with other beer. The list goes on.
However, I’m not here to inform you about all the cool drinks you can make. If that’s what you’re after, Samantha Toscano’s “How To” column is dedicated to finding your special St. Patrick’s Day blend (so make sure to check that out).
Dare I review Guinness, Smithwick’s or Harp? Instead, I chose to bring a less of a classic brew to the table, because there is nothing better than the three aforementioned.
I picked Samuel Adams Irish Red as the beer to try this year. Although Smithwick’s is also an Irish Red style ale, the Boston Beer Company spices things up a bit with this brew.
Red ales date back to the 1710 in Kilkenny, Ireland, which is where Smithwick’s was founded. Irish Reds have a hazy deep amber red color.
Samuel Adams Brewery uses its own two-row pale malt blend with a little Caramel 60 to give sweetness to the brew. Where most red ales are malt based and sweet, the world’s largest craft brewery provides an earthy, citrusy and bready balance.
The hop varieties East Kent Goldings, English Fuggles and Hallertau Mittelfrueh give Irish Red an earthy and citrusy kick. However, the citrus is very difficult to pick up on.
Pour Sam Adams red ale into a traditional-style pint glass, and let the deep red color fill the mug with a tan white collar. This also releases the aromas, which would otherwise be trapped in the bottle. These roasty, sweet smells set the tone for the beer.
For your first sip, take a deep breath through your nose to unleash the full experience. As you savor the taste, you’ll notice the brew is loaded with malty, almost bread-like sweetness.
The hops balance out the taste at the end with an earthy and slightly citrus blend. A simple style done right, and one that rivals the quality of Smithwick’s, a long preferred choice for ale drinkers.
If you didn’t see this one coming, I don’t know what to say. Sit down and have some corn beef and cabbage and a few roasted potatoes paired with this Irish Red. You can’t go wrong when it comes to red ales and roasted meats.
So try mixing things up this St. Patrick’s Day. Stay away from green beer, enjoy a few Irish brews and give this American-style red ale a try.
Taste: 5 out of 5 stars
Malty, sweet and balanced. A different twist for a red ale done right by the world’s largest craft brewery.
Feel: 4 out of 5 stars
Really smooth and refreshing, made for those warm days in Ireland.
Look: 5 out of 5 stars
Big tan collar with deep red hue.
Smell: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Aroma is key in the beer. You must pour it into a glass to release the malty scent.
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
A really well done red ale, and it stays in my top five for Irish-style beers.