Here we have the 2nd of 3 beers offered in the Sam Adams Brewmaster's pack, and Sam Adam's version of a red Irish Lager. I think at some point most Americans that begin their beer drinking days with mass produced macro-brews, and then begin to refine their tastes, drink George Killian's Red. I know I did. (Incidently, after some research, Killian's Red is a Coors product...) Sam Adams Irish Red is so much better than Killian's Red.
This beer pours easily with a beautiful chestnut brown hue. Hold this beer to the light and the deep red fairly glows. Medium head and moderately intricate lacing round out a really nice presentation.
On the nose the carmel malted hops jump to the forefront with warm roasted nuttiness. Many people tell of a fruity or citrus scent, but I found it to be more like the smell of freshly brewed sun tea--you know, the big glass jar mom set on the back porch in the heat of July days.
First sip brings mellow nut tones, with the sweetness of the caramel hops nicely balancing the moderate carbonation. Sun tea warmness is especially evident at swallow, and the beer finishes with a proper lager crispness.
I paired this beer with roasted corn calzones--the corn complemented the caramel tastes, and the crisp lager carbonation cut the acidic pasta sauce nicely.
I think I will try a bottle of this beer at cool room temperature in true Irish fashion to see if it will develop more of the nutty tones.
Overall I give this beer an A-.