Monday, March 8, 2010

Samuel Adams Irish Red

It’s that time of year again.  When waves of Americans start thinking about which pub they will pour themselves into for the drinking of obligatory “Green Beer” and celebrate St Patrick’s Day.

An interesting aside, Green Beer didn’t start with St. Pat’s, but instead with “Green Beer Day” in 1952 at Miami University in Oxford Ohio.

Anyway, Green Beer aside, this is the month that several “Irish Red” styles of beer are consumed……probably the most popular being Killian’s Irish Red. 

To start this month, I thought I would go a different route and check out Samuel Adam’s Irish Red instead.

First, a Beer Lesson:

Irish red ale, red ale, or Irish ale are beers that gain its slightly reddish color from the use of a small amount of roasted barley.  The term red ale or red beer is used by brewers in countries other than Ireland; however, the name Irish Red is typically used when roasted material is used.

In America the name can describe a darker amber ale, and some breweries may produce a "red" beer that is a lager with caramel coloring.

Now…on to the beer.

Sam Adam’s Irish Red for me was a pleasant change from Killian’s, for with just the general alcohol content.  Killian’s runs at approx 4.9%ABV, whereas Sam Adam’s Irish Red is a hearty 5.5%ABV. 

The Color is a deep red, almost ruby color, with a light head and great caramel aromas.

The initial taste caught me a little off guard, being maltier than I expected, with hardly any hops to it.  Some sweetness added to the complex flavors of roasted malt and toffee, and there was a solid dry finish at the end.

Overall, the beer was very full bodied and tasty….and I would almost say I prefer it to the frontrunner (at least in mass production) in this category. 

Even though it is a member of their “Brew master's Collection”, I am curious if it is also somewhat seasonal….as this is the first time I have seen it available in over a year.  If it were available more locally, I would definitely add this to the rotation here at the house….and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good “Red” this Irish season.

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