| Beer Review:
Murphy's Irish Red
Cork, Ireland (via Holland)
July 12, 2005
we consider ourselves to be fairly knowledgeable people.
Not that we presume to know everything there is to know
in this world, much less everything there is to know
about beer. However, when it came to deciding on a somewhat
off-the-beaten-path beer to represent our visit to Ireland,
we figured that Murphy's Irish Red would be a
fair choice. It's not a well-known brew in America,
at least we hadn't seen it ever advertised on the television
or anything like that. Guinness or Harp
was a bit too commercial, Smithwick's or O'Hara's
couldn't be found, and given the option, Murphy's seemed
to suit our needs.
Imagine our surprise when
we looked closer at the can and saw the words "product
of Holland" written right there where anyone
with a modicum of vision could read it. Embarrassing.
Here we are, intrepid travelers of the virtual world,
purveyors of finely brewed beverages, and we can't even
pick the right damn beer!! How sad. Nonetheless, we
were committed and thus this beer shall be reviewed
with our apologies to the fine people of Ireland who
we know to have fine brewing tastes, none of which will
be represented in this review.
Murphy's Red is a product
of the Heineken Brewing consortium, who are marketing
this beer as a traditional Irish brew. It comes in a
can, which is a first for our little project. For fairness,
we sampled it first in a beer snifter-type glass, then
a standard pub pint glass, then finally from the can
itself. Unfortunately for us, none of these methods
did anything to improve the experience.
Murphy's pours as a typical
pedestrian brew, nothing spectacular about the head
or aroma. The color is a light red that one could read
through. Again, nothing distinct or impressionable about
Murphy's performance within the pint glass, either.
As for taste and flavor,
err, well in plain terms it's sucks. It has the burnt
bitterness that curses some reds, but there is no body,
fullness or other pleasurable dynamics to speak of.
I found myself making "sour face" more than
a few times as a took small sips. When I moved to the
can, I figured that this was the intended vessel of
consumption. Perhaps the added flavor of the aluminum
would mix pleasantly with the hops and improve things.
After all it was beer #3 at that point, and the tastebuds
should be sufficiently dulled into complacency. No such
luck, In fact, it was worse.
Effects weren't too bad
from Murphy's 5% ABV. In fact, it was making up for
the bad taste to a degree. But, like some other cheaper
brews, the payoff was complicated by the hangover on
the horizon, which one could feel coming before the
night was even over. Not a good way to make a lasting
In fairness, Murphy's Red comes on the heels of one
of the finer beers we've sampled, The
Red MacGregor, which to this point is one of the
best red beers I've ever had. The comparisons are unfair
and not really relevant. I would take one Red Mac over
a case of Murphy's, if that is a testament. After all,
Murphy's is about as unique and characteristic as it's
|Beer Tasting Scorecard
For more information
on Murphy's Irish Red, visit their website at