The Irish red ale, also known as Red Ale, is a type of beer from the Ale family, originally from Ireland. Its slight red color is due to the types of malt used in its recipe. It is usually low in alcohol (3.5% is typical), although the style allows brewmasters more powerful variations.

Style characteristics:


Low to moderate malt aroma, usually caramel-like but occasionally toasty or toffee-like. May have a slight buttery character (although not required). Hop aroma is none to low (usually not present). Very clean.


Amber to deep reddish copper in color (most examples have a reddish tinge). Crystalline. Low foam, whitish to cinnamon in color.


Moderate caramel malt flavors, sweet, occasionally with a toasted butter or toffee character. It ends with a slight taste of roasted grain, which provides the characteristic dryness to the finish. Generally no hop flavor, but in some examples may have a slight English hop flavor. Medium-low bitterness, although the discreet use of roasted beans can increase the perception of bitterness to a medium range. Medium-dry to dry finish. Clean and smooth (lager versions can be very smooth). No fruity esters.


Medium-light to medium body, although some examples containing low levels of diacetyl may have a slightly oily feel. Moderate carbonation. Smooth. Moderately attenuated (more like Scottish ales). May have a slight alcohol warmth in stronger versions.

Overall Impression:

An easy drinking beer. Focused on malt with initial sweetness and a dry, roasted finish.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.