George Killian's Irish Red Ale 2402b

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By George, I've tried Killian's Irish Red and I like it!!

Dec 9, 2003 (Updated Sep 8, 2005)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Smooth and a good with spicy foods.

Cons:I was fooled by the label and name.

The Bottom Line: The price of the beer is good and I liked that it held its own beer after beer and went well with my spicy foods.

On Sunday I was watching my favorite football team on TV, reached into the fridge, and out came a George Killian's Irish Red. I've been wanting to review a beer but I decided not to do this one because, being my first ever beer review, I wanted to start with a beer from the states.

Anyways, I was still checking out the bottle and I read the label stating that it's from Golden, Colorado. What's this all about? So I go to my computer, bring up a search engine and punch in some letters. Next thing you know I find out that this beer is not Irish at all! It's an American beer made by the US's third largest beer company, Coors. Coors also offers Blue Moon and Zima. These guys had me fooled. I should have had a hint when I noticed a "Product of USA " printed on the bottle. I did find out, however, that George Killian's Irish Red does have it's roots in Ireland.


This brown bottle is said to be fashioned after the original bottle that was used for George Killian Letts amber lager. The bottle's label tells me that the first recipe of this lager was developed by George Killian's great grand father in Ireland in the year 1864. Man, that's a long time ago, the civil war just ended. I suppose though, in European standards, that's not old at all.

The label is eye catching with black borders and a distinct label with a horse head in the middle that yells out IMPORT!! It's the label and not the horse that's doing the yelling. That label sure had me fooled.

The top twists off with just a firm turn, no problem.

On the label I could see the words SLAINTE and CHEERS surrounding the horse in a toast to good health from both sides of the 'big pond'.

Also on the label is a phone number just in case you need to call the parent company with questions or comments.

The alcohol content of this beer is 4.9% There is a "drink before" stamp in small white lettering near the bottom of the neck.


So I crack open the bottle with a quick twist of the wrist and the lager opened with an almost "pop" to it. A breath of fine fog hung over the bottles open neck.

As I tilted the bottle a rust-red coloured liquid made its way into my glass. OK, rust-red may not be a good example if it conjures up a dirty looking fluid. It isn't at all, the colour is a rust-red, but the liquid is very clean and clear looking. It happens to be a really fine looking and in a nice distinct colour.

After the pour I see a very full and firm looking cream coloured head. It looked rich and solid enough that it could support a coin if placed on it.

This fine looking head, unfortunately, dissipated quite quickly leaving just remnants of light foam clinging to the sides of the glass.
I put my nose in the glass I picked up a sweet even slightly fruity aroma.


As I tried my first taste of this lager I thought it was thin. If you have read any of my restaurant reviews you know I had usually ordered Sam Adams Boston Lager. I did say that in past tense because now, after starting to study a bit about beers, I am now open to new experiences.

So it is to Sam Adams that I compare it as a bit thin. The Irish Red generates its sweet aroma into the taste and it continues through to the end that also has just a very subtle bitterness. There is a very fine fizz to the tongue and then it goes down quite easily with a crisp end. Afterward I noticed a very faint smooth feel on my tongue, an almost milky feel. I liked it. In fact, it went very well with the wasabi peas I was snacking on. The wasabi can really bring some hot spice into the mouth. When my mouth and nasal passages are at full tilt with that spice I need a thirst and spice quencher.

Having only a slight fizz was perfect with the wasabi. Too much fizz would enhance the burn sensation of the spice. My mouth needed to be cooled down. The Killian's was perfect. The best part was that slight creaminess that smoothed out my mouth at the end of the taste in preparation for the next onslaught of wasabi peas.

In the aftertaste I picked up the very, very slightest taste of hops, but a fine sweetness held to the end. Ha, until a few weeks ago I didn't even know what hops were or how they tasted. A bit of homework and guidance from the beer experts at Epinions has me at least trying to detect differences in beers. My Sam Adams Boston Lager did have a bit of the hop taste at the end. It's a taste I really like. I hope to start experimenting with some ales soon.

During half time I had some of my wifes home made chili, extra spicy. The George Killian's Irish Red was perfect with it. I thought that it might not stand up to the full flavor of the chili but I was wrong. This isn't a heavy tasting beer in any way, but, it does hold its own against the heavy competition of the chili tastes. I liked the crisp taste of the beer then followed by some chili and then that crisp taste again from the beer.

The other thing I noted was that each one went down quite smoothly and were not heavy at all. The taste continued on with each beer.

I have to say the Killian's, though not filling, did have a substantial "belch factor". The taste did come back, unannounced, a few times.


I enjoyed this beer very much. This is so much better than the regular Coors product.

If it were a choice between this and the Sam Adams I am familiar with, I would have to stick with the Sam. But alas, I may not be having that same Sam every time I go out now. My days of one beer ordering are now a part of my past. I see a search and seek expeditions in my future.

I will have to experience beers as I do foods. Sometimes I'll go to old favorites but I am now much more open to trying some new "dishes".

Gosh I'm glad I won't have to have my George Killian's Irish Red 'imported' ever again. It is a good domestic beer and at the price at about a buck a bottle a decent value.

Well my football team lost its game but this beer, George Killian's Irish Red, came out a winner.


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Recommend this product? Yes

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