1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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.

2,224 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,224
Reviews: 736
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 15.03%
Wants: 22
Gots: 137 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd. visit their website

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
Ratings: 2,224 | Reviews: 736 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

3.76/5  rDev +8.7%

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.

10-12-2013 20:57:56 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of drabmuh


3.2/5  rDev -7.5%

Poured from a bottle into an imperial pint glass. This is a popular beer and I'm not exactly sure why. I guess because its so unoffensive and bland that people like it the same way they like mayonnaise.

Beer is brown and clear, forms an off white head that's thick. The head falls away leaving lacing behind on the glass and the carbonation is steady and moderate of medium sized bubbles. This is a red ale? Looks like an English brown. Other than the color the beer looks fine.

Aroma is weak but I can detect a slight roast. I'm going to ignore that this beer is a classified as a red ale from now one.

Almost no flavor at all. Some sweetness up front, no roast, no bitter no alcohol nothing. Blank. Its like drinking colored water. Oh well.

01-20-2010 18:38:34 | More by drabmuh
Photo of jlindros


3.3/5  rDev -4.6%

A: Nice frothy 2 finger head and very clear toasty amber orange brown color.

N: Toasty malty aroma. Some sweet dark malts, and just a hint of hops.

T: Raw malt flavor, some syrupy almost adjunct like flavors. Slight hop taste. Sweeted dark malt flavors. Rustic earthy malt and hop flavors.

M: Medium body, decent carbonation.

F: Finishes slightly bitter, a little spicy hop flavor, fading sweet malts, a little bit of that nagging not so tasty syrupy extract flavor. Finishes pretty clean otherwise.

11-28-2009 04:18:42 | More by jlindros
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.68/5  rDev +6.4%

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

12-23-2011 23:42:13 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of WesWes

New York

3.53/5  rDev +2%

The beer pours a beautiful amber/red color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a dry, caramel/roasted malt nose with little to no hop aroma. It's light with a stiff dryness. The taste is the same. It has a very drinkable pilsner malt flavor with a touch of caramel malt sweetness and a faint roasted feel. It's light and easily quaffable; a fine session ale. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low/medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This isn't the most complex around, but these brews generally aren't. It's an accessible beer that most can enjoy.

12-17-2010 18:17:48 | More by WesWes
Photo of Rifugium


3.83/5  rDev +10.7%

First had: on tap at Ri Ra Irish Pub, Burlington, VT

Pours a dark reddish-brown, with a nice finger of foamy off-white head. Grains and sweet malts in the aroma, with hints of herbs. More of the same in the taste, thick, sweet caramel malts, toasted bread, a bit leafy, with slight notes of dark fruits. Very little to speak of in the way of hops. Smooth, medium bodied, and very drinkable for a mainstream beer, and a preferred choice of mine for casual drinking.

06-20-2011 17:46:49 | More by Rifugium
Photo of mactrail


2.28/5  rDev -34.1%

Flat and dishwatery are the flavors that come to mind. The faintest beer-like smell. Why do I think of bricks and concrete basements? There is something like used tea bags and spoiled fruit here. A hint of sawdust in the nose. Sharpish club soda flavor takes over. No hint of anything hop-like, nor any hint of malty sweetness. The head is big and rather coarse, but pleasant enough.

This is such a wretched beer, I don't think being an allegedly Irish style is any excuse. I went back and looked at my review of bottled Guiness with the new harp logo. The Diageo legacy seems to be making their beers into even more unpleasant industrial concoctions. I feel a rant coming on.

12 oz bottle from Trader Joe's.

04-09-2012 05:43:56 | More by mactrail
Photo of mendvicdog


3/5  rDev -13.3%

11-13-2012 18:08:31 | More by mendvicdog
Photo of jwc215


3.35/5  rDev -3.2%

An Irish steakhouse that I enjoy going to has this on tap. I tried it between guinnesses, so couldn't rate it before. On my way home from work, and before any other beers, I decided to go to the store and pick it up to give it a fair review. It has become quite popular in this area.
It had a dark, reddish color with a white head that didn't last too long before becoming a decent lacing. Its carbonation was light to moderate.
The smell was faint. Couldn't quite pinpoint it, but had faint tea-like malt aroma with slight hoppy scent. The scent was not bad, but very subtle.
The taste was not bad either. Nothing great though. Some hints at a sweet tea at first. Later it became slightly more bitter. This was what it should be for this type. However, it was a bit too watery. The taste was thinner than the appearance led me to believe. To improve, it should have a bit of a stonger scent and more malty thickness.
It was refreshing, lending to its drinkability, but could become boring.

04-19-2006 02:30:06 | More by jwc215
Photo of Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +15.6%

12-02-2011 17:59:37 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of smcolw


3.98/5  rDev +15%

Pours dark amber/light brown; quite clear. Impressive three-finger head that recedes to a lumpy centered froth. Good lace.

Lots of crystal malt in the smell. Biscuity, sort of like graham crackers. Very mild hop background.

This beer reminds me of what I'd expect from a darker British mild. The hop is present but very subtle. Even the aftertaste has a fine blend of hop and malt. The malt is reminiscent of baked apples and toast. No sugar presence but this is not an overly dry beer. There's a chewiness to the body but the carbonation is adequate to compensate.

I would call this a "round" beer with lots of British characteristics. For a mass-produced beer, this is superior with an easy drinkability.

07-24-2008 20:35:11 | More by smcolw
Photo of Halcyondays


3.7/5  rDev +6.9%

12 oz. bottle

A: Amber-red color, almost cola like in appearance, with thick robust head.

S: Biscuity, toffee malts, hints of toastiness, British hops, and sulfur/minerals.

T: Slight taste of toasty malt, with floral hops and hard water, similar to an English pale ale.

M: Creamy, medium-bodied and smooth, may be a tad over-carbonated for the style, but overall very good.

D: Very good, low in alcohol and good taste makes this an easy drinker for a night at the pub, or an evening at home; you can stick with this one for the whole night.

06-29-2007 03:09:13 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of DrunkinYogi


3.75/5  rDev +8.4%

07-11-2012 23:36:36 | More by DrunkinYogi
Photo of MarkyMOD


3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

05-22-2012 06:53:31 | More by MarkyMOD
Photo of beernads


3/5  rDev -13.3%

06-05-2013 09:35:51 | More by beernads
Photo of kojevergas


3.68/5  rDev +6.4%

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are quite high; I drank more than me fair share of this in the auld country and I know it's good.

Served refrigerator cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as I know it doesn't have carbonation issues.

A: Pours a three finger head of good cream, good thickness, and excellent retention. Colour is a transparent dark copper-amber. No yeast particles are visible.

Sm: Toasted clean malts, some cream, a tiny amount of hops, and hints of fruit esters - maybe cherry or raspberry. A mild strength aroma.

T: A great toasted malt foundation with really light subtle fruit esters, full bodied clean barley, and great amber hops. Built brilliantly. Complex and subtle enough. Efficient and enjoyable. Pleasant. I really like it. Layered. Fantastic.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with enough coarseness and dryness to coax out the flavours. Suits the flavours extremely well. Perfectly carbonated.

Dr: Obscenely drinkable. I've had this countless times and I'd definitely have it again. Definitely best on draught. I love it, but in fairness it is limited by its complexity and subtlety. Well priced. I'd recommend this to friends. One of the better Irish reds; certainly the best macrobrewed Irish Red I've tried.


03-31-2012 07:49:30 | More by kojevergas
Photo of imperialking


3.25/5  rDev -6.1%

11-14-2012 00:11:16 | More by imperialking
Photo of oriolesfan4


3.23/5  rDev -6.6%

Pours a copper/red color, nice big fluffy head to it that sticks around with a lot of lacing. Taste is pretty light bodied, nice mouthfeel though. Nice and malty, some caramel taste in there. Pretty well balanced and smooth, definitely very drinkable. The lightness of the body hurts this beer a lot IMO, but still pretty solid. For being a mass produced import it was much better than I thought it would be... it's St Patty's Day weekend... be Irish and give this beer a try.

03-14-2009 23:34:04 | More by oriolesfan4
Photo of weeare138


3.28/5  rDev -5.2%

Thanks to globob3jen for this...
Appears a dense, dark, red toned mahogany color with a creamy, thick, light tan head that floats atop the brew and slowly dies out. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of mild sweetness with some crystal malt caramel standing out with a light metallic, wet coin-like smell buried in there mixed with grains.
Taste is a step up from the sub-par aromas. Decent amount of caramel and toffee right up front with the malt dominating with a sweetness.
Mouthfeel is a light-medium bodied with a sweet malt and breadiness that is overly dominant on the front the front of the tongue and in need of a bit of bitters and a more full mouthfeel.

05-31-2006 22:46:19 | More by weeare138
Photo of woodychandler


4.1/5  rDev +18.5%

Re-reviewed on Su, 08 Sept 2013 for your edification.

My local, in-person trader, tone77, once more came through with some CANs that I had seen advertised, but not managed to score on my own, this being among them.

The extant name, "Smithwick's" is a bit too generic for my taste, especially since the CAN clearly delineates it as "Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale". Also from the CAN: "[undersigned] J. Smithwick"; "Enhanced Draught Taste ".

14.9 fluid ounces?!? What, they don't trust me with a full pound?

The Crack and inverted Glug were textbook perfect! The two-plus fingers of rocky, tawny head were short-lived, however, quickly fading into memory. The color and its clarity were likewise picture-worthy. A deep, coppery-red (SRM = > 22, < 27) with NE-quality clarity and I was (sadly) reminded of one that got away. She was a solidly-built redhead whose coarse hair was precisely this color. We looked like we could have been brother and sister and I wanted to marry her, but she married someone else while I was on deployment. Sigh. Nose had a biscuit-y, malty fragrance and I was really starting to jones for a sip. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite creamy, but on the approach. Imagine what this would be like in an N2 (nitro) CAN ... One draught and already beautiful lacing was beginning to appear in the glass. The taste was malt-driven, but not malty, if you catch my drift. It had a semi-dry biscuit-like quality and I was relieved as I do not like sweet anything, but especially not sweet beer. This finished with a semi-dryness that lingered well past the swallow. At 4.5%, I would definitely put some of these in the cooler for a day at the beach. YMMV.

My original bottle review was dtd 30 June 2011 with scores of 5.0; 4.0; 4.0; 3.5; and 4.0.

I was on a bottle shop excursion today and seeing this as a single-o inspired me to purchase it for a review (at last). The CANQuest (TM) is in search of new CANs for a jump start, so let me know if you CAN help!

From the bottle: "The brewery at St. Francis Abbey in Kilkenny, Ireland has been in operation since 1710. SMITHWICK'Sis Ireland's oldest ale, inspired by John Smithwick's original recipe. This ale delivers a distinctive amber color, full bodied taste and ultra-smooth finish."

As soon as I popped the cap, I was met with a small amount of foam coming through the opening. My gentlest of pours still created better than two thick fingers of tawny head with excellent retention. When they describe this as a "red" ale, that red is a deep-copper with NE-quality clarity, like an Autumn sunset. Drool! As the massive head slowly fell, it created some beautiful lacing. Nose was quite biscuity, not terribly sweet. Mouthfeel was medium and the biscuit malt taste was prevalent on the tongue. Finish was slightly dry and definitely refreshing on a breezy summer afternoon.

06-30-2011 17:30:00 | More by woodychandler
Photo of barleywinefiend


3.43/5  rDev -0.9%

Poured a deep with a decent off white head. Nose was sweet, mild roasted malts, faint hops. Taste was slightly grassy hops, malts are sweet but a bit Creamy mouthfeel quickly thins out with a more astringent than bitter character. Nothing special but certainly drinkable.

08-10-2008 19:32:57 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of InspectorBob

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

05-22-2013 16:11:43 | More by InspectorBob
Photo of Georgiabeer


3/5  rDev -13.3%

06-24-2014 02:52:23 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.43/5  rDev -0.9%

Served on tap at Village Pourhouse in Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours a clear very dark amber in color with some light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a two finger tall creamy light beige head that slowly reduces to a thick layer covering the entire surface of the beer with an even thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Very significant amounts of lacing are observed (it practically coated the entire inside of the glass).

S: Moderate aromas of roasted/toasted malts and some caramel malt sweetness. There is a very light smell of nuttiness and peat notes.

T: Moderate flavors of molasses and caramel malt sweetness with some light notes of nuts. There is a light amount of peat smokiness and light earthy hop notes. There is a light to moderate amount of bitterness with this beer that lingers in a non-aggressive fashion.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Creamy.

O: Relatively easy to drink but not one of my favorite beers - I think this one might be a little more enjoyable on nitro than it is on tap. This is just on the border of being sessionable - might be just a hint too bitter.

07-05-2012 22:39:37 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of rhoadsrage


3.05/5  rDev -11.8%

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a dark reddish-brown body with a strong carbonation and a crystal clear body. The head is a thick dense light tan mass that has an iceberg shape as it sits above the glass.

S- The faint aroma of dry pale malt with a slight cooked corn sweetness in the background. Some faint noble hop bitterness finishes the smell

T- This beer has a light taste of pale malt with a faint dry lightly toasted malt in the background. There is a soft bitter noble hop finish but no hop flavor other than that.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a fizz in the texture.

D- This is a very light flavored, average beer in a "importee" bottle. Not much character or depth.

03-15-2007 15:21:32 | More by rhoadsrage
Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale from Guinness Ltd.
79 out of 100 based on 2,224 ratings.