As promised on my Twitter here is #15, coming from Hamburg Brewing Company is their Irish Red Ale. Just like #14, the Irish Aviator Red Ale by Flying Bison, this will be another Irish Ale in preparation for St. Patrick’s Day. I’m hoping that after reading these, some people might find some sort of guidance in some of their future beer choices!
Here we go!
The Beer: Irish Red by Hamburg Brewing Company
ABV: 4.8% IBU: 20
Hop Profile: Willamette
Malt Profile: Two Row
So I’ve had this beer before both on draft and from the bottle and I’ve never been disappointed in either of them. Speaking from my previous experiences the Irish Red is smooth, delicious, and is extremely easy to drink. If you look at Hamburg’s website and read the description provided for the Irish Red, it’s easy to see that’s what they were going for. Now with that being said, this is all before I did my research for the beer and planned to do a Brewview. Not that I’m expecting to be disappointed. But I’ve found that having more knowledge about the beer you’re drinking allows you to see it from a different perspective.
So why don’t we see what the Irish Red has in store for us!
With opening the bottle the aromas are exactly what I expected them to be. A predominant roasted aroma with a slight hint of spice to it. Looking at what was used in the brewing process it is quite simple to find the culprits. In my experience with Two Row malt I’ve found that it produces a clean malt aroma, but add in the Roasted Barley and we get that roasted aroma. Simple, but magnificent. The hints of spice I am thinking came from the Willamette hops. Which are known to provide more earthy/nature aromas. Altogether, the Irish Red’s aroma is simple but not in a bad way. A way that makes it easy to appreciate every aspect of the aroma that there is to offer.
After pouring this beer into a glass the head on this beer was magnificent and remained for quite sometime. Measurement wise it is easily seen to be two to three finger widths, which slowly dissipated to one finger width. Even as my glass continues to be emptied foam can still be found on the sides. In my opinion I’d stay the appearance of this beer is so far very impressive. Color wise, I’m on the edge with whether or not it’s a pale amber or a dark amber. If you want to be technical the SRM(Standard Reference Method) is 19 on Hamburg’s website, which places it in the realm of the dark amber beers. I guess I can’t argue with facts.
My first sip of this beer is exactly how Hamburg described it. Describing it as smooth, malty, and ‘backed by a good dusting of roasted barley.’ Though at first I could not fully appreciate the roasted flavor until more beer was consumed and then it set in. Just glancing at the malt profile for this beer I am easily able to pick up on the different additions each malt has brought to the brewing process. The Two Row’s clean and crisp malt flavor, Caramel 60L adding an ever so slight sweetness, and the Roast Barely adding the obvious roasted flavor. This beer may be a bit heavier in the malts than the hops but I’m still picking up on what the Willamette hops have to offer. Now I’m going to piggyback on what I said earlier about being knowledgeable about the beers one chooses to enjoy. Simply because if I wasn’t looking for the specific flavors Willamette hops can create, it would have been easily missed. And I am very glad I didn’t because it gives a nice spice tone to the beer. Now combine that with the malt flavors and you have yourself a delicious beer. Excellent job Hamburg!
Moving on, besides flavor hops also create the bitterness for a beer. And this beer is not very bitter at all, the IBU of 20 I’d say is spot on. Which is nice every once in a while, being a hop head I enjoy a lot of bitter beers. So having a beer with a low IBU is nice every now and then, almost refreshing if I may say so. Now I apologize for the next part Hamburg, but I am not compelled to say the body of this beer is medium. Much like the bitterness it’s very light, there and then gone. Again this is not a bad thing, if anything it can make consumption an even easier task. Not that I ever find it difficult to enjoy multiple delicious beers in one sitting.
Bringing this to a close I am going to give the Irish Red a 4.25/5. Ultimately this beer is very refreshing and easy to drink. The nice clean and crisp malt flavor combined with the roasted barley and spice makes for a delicious beer. If the other five of the six pack weren’t already drank, I’d find it quite easy to throw them back. I think it goes without saying I will definitely be enjoying at least one of these on St. Patrick’s Day. Great job Hamburg Brewing Company!