Irish Red Ale

Thomas Hooker Irish Red Ale
One 12 oz bottle as part of mix-six pack, $9.90, 4.9% ABV

Purchased at Copaco Liquors, Bloomfield

I’m sure many of you think of an old Irish setter when you hear the words “Irish Red” spoken together. My best friend when I was a little kid, Allison, had an old Irish setter. His name was Riley and he always had a funny smell to him, but he was a gentle old dog and I never had an issue with him.

Meanwhile, my dad kept turtles and snakes. Alison, who is one of the few people from my youth I regret having lost touch with, used to care and feed those reptiles when we’d go away on vacation. She was a cool little kid to say the least. Shout out to Alison Sipe, formerly of Crestover Road in Wilmington, DE. (Do your magic, Google… I just found her and there’s one of those annoying word misuses in her 12-year-old bio – peaked/piqued. Interestingly, the very same biology teacher fostered and promoted my own studies into biology at UConn. Fascinating stuff.)

Others of you probably conjure images of red-headed Irish lasses. No offense to my ginger readers, but I’ve never been into that look. Sure, there are some beautiful red-headed women and strangely, several others with fake red hair, but it’s just never been my thing.

And, for the record, I was never one of those corny dudes with an Asian fetish thing either. I never dated or even thought about dating an Asian woman before I met my wife. I’m like Colbert; I don’t even see race. I just see beauty.

So, did I see any beauty in this red ale? Yeah, a little bit.

Hooker says:

Thomas Hooker’s traditional Irish-Style Red Ale gets its warm, ruby color from an interesting blend of pale, caramel and roasted malts which promote a sweetness that’s balanced with crisp, authentic, English-style hops. A very unique and drinkable red ale that’s also favored by amber lovers.

Hooker Irish Red is drinks well year-round, not just on St. Paddy’s day.

Frankly, this beer is one of those, “yeah, it’s good. If I was having a party with a bunch of pedestrian beer drinkers I’d think about getting a log of this because it’s not crap, and it’s very accessible and has a bit of color to it, making me look like I sprung for higher-end beer” type beers. It imparts more flavor than a blonde or a lager, it’s fairly low in alcohol, you can’t taste the alcohol and there is nothing offensive at all about it.

Unless you’re a ginger who just read this page and you now want to punch me.

Overall Rating: C+
Rating vs. Similar style: C-

Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
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One response to “Irish Red Ale”

  1. EdHill says:

    I love that the way you compliment a dog is by saying “i never had an issue with him”. you’re so warm and fuzzy. Also, you should compare against the BJCP style guidelines to help your reviews. For instance, here is the official style of an Irish red ale:

    Aroma: Low to moderate malt aroma, generally caramel-like
    but occasionally toasty or toffee-like in nature. May have a
    light buttery character (although this is not required). Hop
    aroma is low to none (usually not present). Quite clean.
    Appearance: Amber to deep reddish copper color (most examples
    have a deep reddish hue). Clear. Low off-white to tan
    colored head.

    Flavor: Moderate caramel malt flavor and sweetness, occasionally
    with a buttered toast or toffee-like quality. Finishes
    with a light taste of roasted grain, which lends a characteristic
    dryness to the finish. Generally no flavor hops, although some
    examples may have a light English hop flavor. Medium-low
    hop bitterness, although light use of roasted grains may increase
    the perception of bitterness to the medium range.
    Medium-dry to dry finish. Clean and smooth (lager versions
    can be very smooth). No esters.

    Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body, although examples
    containing low levels of diacetyl may have a slightly slick
    mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation. Smooth. Moderately attenuated
    (more so than Scottish ales). May have a slight alcohol
    warmth in stronger versions.

    Overall Impression: An easy-drinking pint. Malt-focused
    with an initial sweetness and a roasted dryness in the finish.

    full guidelines are here:

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