1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale - Guinness Ltd.

Not Rated.
Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish AleSmithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

2,303 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,303
Reviews: 740
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 15.07%
Wants: 25
Gots: 170 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd. visit their website
Ireland

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Mebuzzard on 04-01-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 2,303 | Reviews: 740 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber color with a 2 inch off-white head that fades to a puffy small cap. Nice rings of lace form all down the glass on the drink down. Smells of caramel malt and maybe some fruity aromas. There is also a distinct herbal/hoppy smell as well. Taste is of caramel malt, bread, and a bitter herbal/hop finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a smooth and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer and my first of this style.

UCLABrewN84, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -13%

djrn2, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of zestar
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%

zestar, Aug 22, 2014
Photo of Thorpe429
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate darkened amber color with a bit of an off white head. The nose brings forward a bit of roasted and toasted malt as well as some slight hop characteristics. The taste is quite bready with some roast and a bit of hops. Moderate feel with good carbonation. Drinks fairly well and is a decent alternative at some bars, but nothing I'd really come back to.

Thorpe429, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of acurtis
2.5/5  rDev -27.5%

acurtis, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +15.9%

nmann08, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of metter98
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear dark amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half-finger high off white head that quickly died down and consistently left a thin head covering the surface and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of tea leaves in the nose along with notes of toasted malts.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of tea leaves and toasted malts as well as a very slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The finish leaves your mouth a little dry.
O: There’s nothing overly special about this beer, but it’s a nice change of pace from just drinking Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s very easy to drink and I wouldn’t have a problem knocking back a few of these.

metter98, Mar 17, 2012
Photo of brentk56
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a two finger head that leaves a few shards of lace

Smell: Vague grainy aroma

Taste: Grainy opening, with a growing biscuity flavor that blends together by mid-palate; after the swallow, the mslty flavors dominate slightly through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Drinkability: I wasn't expecting much but was pleasantly surprised; not inspiring but accessible and acceptable

brentk56, Oct 03, 2009
Photo of BEERchitect
3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's an honor to now sit down with a glass of this classy Irish Red Ale, now brewed under the Guinness umbrella.

A dark amber color gives a glow of red, crimson, or ruby with medium brown low lights. Great clarity shows off the colors and give the impression of cleanliness. A soft creamy head forms an eggshell topping on the beer, retains well, and laces equally.

Classic butterscotch aromas fill the olfactories first, but with a blend of toffee/caramel, bread crust, buttered toast, lightly kilned grain, and subtle fruitiness.

Moderate through and through, the flavors of caramel turns to butterscotch and complex malt flavors for the bulk of taste. Where the flavors of toffee and caramel are present, there's only a timid sweetness beyond. Non-descript fruitiness from dark grains accompany the toffee richness for interest and intrique. Richly kilned grains, fresh baked bread, and deep caramelization give extra flavors to keep the sweetness from becomming one-dimensional. Low on bitterness, the beer relies on malt complexity to carry it from nose to finish.

Creamy and moderate in mouthfeel, yet taking a moderate oily feel at mid palate and carries through to the finish. Where it hurts the crispness and cleanliness, it accentuates the fullness and 'fatty' portion of the taste. This becommes nearly as much of a deterrant as it is a benefit.

Smithwick's is the classic Irish Red Ale and is largely responsible for defining the style. Where the diacetyl is acceptable, and celebrated in this beer, it still provides an ill-concieved distraction for me.

BEERchitect, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +15.9%

kjkinsey, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of GRG1313
2.13/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

From the brewers of Guiness.

Pours brown/black with a thick, firm and pillowy off white head. Nice looking and inviting.

Nose is lightly sweet, lightly burned black coffee with a plum character. Better than it sounds.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery with no character or appeal. Feels like a light coffee flavored water in your mouth.

Flavors follow. Light, weak and watered. Like a weak cup of coffee to which one added light carbonation and some water.

No reason to drink this one, unless one needs to hydrate and there no water in sight.

GRG1313, Feb 05, 2011
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%

ygtbsm94, Mar 17, 2012
Photo of jaydoc
3/5  rDev -13%

jaydoc, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of womencantsail
3.1/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The pour is dark amber in color, perhaps mahogany, with a tan head sitting on top.

S: A fairly bland nose, but what is there smells mostly like burnt toast. Some toffee and caramel sweetness is there, almost no hops, and a mild roast aroma.

T: The flavor isn't really much of an improvement at all. The same bitter, burnt toast character is there and just isn't enjoyable at all. Some toffee and mild roast, perhaps a little bit of red apple.

M: Light to medium in body with a moderate level of carbonation.

O: Wasn't a fan of this one at all. The burnt toast thing was really off-putting.

womencantsail, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of kylehay2004
2.93/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: quarter finger head. Hazy, dark brown with amber hues.

S: not a whole lot on the nose. Maybe some malt.

T: opens with metallic bitterness up front. lots of malt.

M: high carbonation. Medium body. crisp, moist finish.

Overall: A little more bitter than I like. The aroma is non-existent. One of the better regular beers at your standard irish pub.

kylehay2004, Sep 16, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is really nice to have from time to time. The beer poured out as a really nice red color, the beer is clean and clear looking. The smell of the beer had a good malt quality to it with a bit of earthiness as well. The taste of this brew is good in my opinion, it's got plenty of malt and just a touch of hops to bitter the finish of it. The mouthfeel is very smooth and easy to drink. Overall I like the beer quite a bit. Worth trying for sure.

Knapp85, Jul 07, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I recently received a coupon for a few bucks off either Harp, Guinness, or Smithwick's in the mail. Coordinating with a sale at the local grocery store, I opted for Smithwick's. Let's give it a go in the bottle.

Appearance: Pours the same crystal clear, mahogany-hued head with a tall, expansive, ivory-colored foam head.

Smell: Smells of toasted bread with the edges ever so slightly burnt and dried herbs akin to getting a quick sniff of a basic tea bag.

Taste: Moderately toasted, caramel-hinting maltiness with a light sweetness and a very, very, very fine hint of roasted grain. Modest fruitiness. Light, lightly leafy hops with not an ounce more bitterness than is needed to balance things out. Finishes dry albeit malty, with a lingering hint of nuts and decaffeinated Irish Breakfast tea.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium-light carbonation. Quite light, but no coming up watery.

Drinkability: I'm preferring this revisit in the bottle over my prior near-tasteless on-tap tastings. Sure, it's still kind of simple and forgettable, but a $3.99 six-pack was a deal this cheap jerk couldn't pass up.

ChainGangGuy, Nov 16, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a shaker pint glass at Finn McCool's.

Another Quizzo beer. We came in second this week (couldn't repeat, dammit...). It pours a darkish amber-copper topped by finger or so of ecru micro-foam. The nose comprises orange peel, light caramel, and light flowers. The taste is nearly identical to the smell, though ever-so-slightly caramelier. Not by much, though. The body is a light medium, with a light carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, a nice brew (I've been drinkin' 'em for years, now), nothing overtly special and nothing very emblematic of Irish reds in general, but a tasty- and drinkable-enough brew to enjoy while rockin' fools at pub trivia.

TMoney2591, Sep 16, 2010
Photo of SocalKicks
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

SocalKicks, Dec 22, 2012
Photo of JAHMUR
2.5/5  rDev -27.5%

JAHMUR, Mar 26, 2013
Photo of zeff80
3.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an orange/amber color with a white, two-finger head. Leaves a little lacing.

S - It smelled of malt and some grassy-like aromas.

T - It tasted malty and with a slight bitter hoppiness.

M - It was crisp and light to medium-bodied.

D - This is a pretty good Irish Red Ale. I've had it on tap before and it was much better, but it is still pretty good from a bottle.

zeff80, Mar 19, 2007
Photo of biboergosum
3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A pint at the local Irish Pub.

This widely available ale saved me from the tyranny of the Irish Dry Stouts when I toured Ireland a few years ago. I was familiar with the bottled version available at home, but not particularly impressed by it. On draft, Smithwick's was, and is, a whole different story.

This beer arrives to the table a dark-ish amber hue, perfectly clear, with an ambitious finger or two of puffy, soapy white head, which leaves a nice webbed pattern of lace around the glass as it slowly seeps away.

It smells slightly of grainy malt, and a bit of earthy, leafy hops. The taste has a fairly sizable bit of floral hops, and slightly sweet grainy malt - simple, and verily workable.

The body has got some decent weight, the carbonation is very low, helping this to be a very smooth pub draft, and it finishes off-dry.

This is a stellar session ale, one I will continue to enjoy when in UK/Irish-theme pub land. It's also amusing/confounding to ask for this at the typical locations, in the manner in which the Irish pronounce it, and getting blank stares.

biboergosum, Feb 02, 2009
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.08/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not unlike Guinness which now owns Smithwick's, there are several versions - at least 5 to be sure:
- Irish draught with an original gravity of just 9 Plato
- export to Canada (Smithwick's Export) with an OG of 12 and 5% abv
- an Italian version at 13 Plato
- and a slightly bigger Italian version starting at 15 Plato (Kilkenny Strong)
- the bottled version that's now being sold in the US at 4.5% abv which is brewed by Guinness in Dublin.

The US version is dark with a rich mahogany color and deep amber highlights. The head is creamy and ivory in color. The head retention is quite good, and it leaves some very nice rings of lace about the glass.

The nose is limited, but a whiff of dull roasty malt and some delicate yeasty fruitiness can be discerned. It's clean, and that differs from the slightly buttery version that comes out of the abbey brewery in Kilkenny because it's different yeast. I much prefer the "English" character of the former.

It's light-medium bodied and remarkably smooth and creamy - note, this beer really needs to be enjoyed at, or just below, cellar temperature.

The flavor is a bit fuller than the nose implies with a nice combination of scortched caramel (it's not particularly sweet), lightly toasty malt, and dull roastiness. A thin thread of yeasty fruitiness floats about in there, and some earthy and leafy hop flavors give it ballast; as does the limited (@ 28 IBU's), but very firm, bitterness. A touch of toasty and nutty malt appears in the finish but immediately vanishes, followed by some more leafy hops and a dull, lingering bitterness.

It makes a great session ale, but there's really not much more going on. If I were out at the pub I'd have one or two of these and then switch up to Guinness. Some of the other versions, however, offer more character.

NeroFiddled, Sep 03, 2006
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

one of the better large scale imports. pours deep amber in color with a fluffy white head. smells like a cross between a guinness and a bass, malty and roasty and defiantly english in nature, although its not made in england. flavor is very well balanced, drinkable for its color, and fairly priced. finish is a bit dry, but it adds an appealing character to this brew. one of my favorite beers to take on the golf course

StonedTrippin, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.76/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice Guinness sampler in cans this one appears a pale copper amber with a big highly carbonated khaki tan head, fine bubbles cling to the sides of my glass great head retention. Aroma has biscuit malts with a fresh baked bread note, very tame nose on it with a hint of herbal hops in the backend. My wife loves it and I'm frankly okay with this beer enough flavor to keep me interested. Bready malts hints of faint herbal hops well balanced mass produced drinking ale, you can't really go wrong with at least trying this beer especially well protected from the light in can form. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied smooth flowing natural carbonation arises across the palate, I know I like it. Overall, an impressive beer that I would like to indulge in a couple pints of without having to worry about whether or not it's considered craft or not it's an acceptable Irish ale better than most imports these days and that's good enough for me to spend my hard earned dollars.

WVbeergeek, Oct 12, 2013
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale from Guinness Ltd.
79 out of 100 based on 2,303 ratings.