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Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale - Guinness Ltd.

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

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BA SCORE
80
good

764 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 764
Hads: 2,528
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 13.43%
Wants: 44
Gots: 343 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd. visit their website
Ireland

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mebuzzard on 04-01-2006

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 764 | Hads: 2,528
Photo of smcolw
3.98/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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. (710 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle into pint glass, bottled on 11/30/2014. Pours fairly crystal clear deep reddish copper color with a 2 finger dense and rocky off white head with great retention that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, plum, pear, apple, herbal, grass, light nuttiness, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, and fruity yeast, and earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, plum, pear, apple, herbal, grass, light nuttiness, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Light herbal/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, plum, pear, apple, herbal, grass, light nuttiness, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice robustness, complexity, and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and earthy hop flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and moderately creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish as expected of 4.5%. Overall this is a very good Irish red ale style. All around good robustness, complexity, and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering. (1,568 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.06/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

330 ml bottle. 4.5% ABV.

Appearance: Dark red-brown color with a creamy and durable tan head that leaves the glass partly coated with foam.

Aroma: earthy hops; light spiciness and faint off-notes.

Taste: nearly as hoppy as malty; mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied with medium carbonation. (306 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.33/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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. (994 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.25/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (746 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.41/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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. (1,121 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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. (606 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Sine in Arlington, VA.

The beer is amber hued with a thin tan head. Honey and fruit notes. Bread and biscuit character with a light bitterness in the finish. Pretty easy to drink. Unexciting but inoffensive. Thin bodied with moderate carbonation. Ok. (263 characters)

Photo of tdm168
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber with 1/2" of head. Nice retention. Smells of caramel malt. Taste is caramel malts with a hint of yeast. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and crisp; decent carbonation.

Rather one dimensional, but it's not a bad dimension. This is my go-to St. Patty's day drink. (276 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.11/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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. (2,873 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
2.66/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. St. Paddy's leftovers I guess.

A sort of dirty tan head fairly foamy and large is made at about three fingers, many large bubbles in the head. Settles very quickly. Body color is a dark red copper brown amber color and quite clear.

Nose smells like soapy malt. Faint grass, maybe a little cinnamon, but first impression is something feels really strange and off putting.

Taste, there is next to nothing on this palate. Mostly just a soily dirt component, not much of a malt backbone, or classic grassy irish ale tastiness. Body seems to have a bit of stability to it, but the flavors just aren't coming out.

Overall, fairly uninteresting compared to other Irish Ales I've had. (728 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.69/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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. (555 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
3.36/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Who can reject free beer from work? On to the beer:

Smithwicks pours a copper red into a pint glass, forming a good head at the top. It has a sweet smell that's mixed with a grainy scent and a vague DMS. The taste is a tad sweet, with a buttery follow-up. Bready notes are recognized, and it has a quick hoppy bitterness at the end of each sip. Finishes dry. A decent brew that's worth a shot. (396 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this both on tap and by bottle.
A good pour, dark, caramel color with beige head that lingered a bit, that all but disappeared.

Aroma was light; soft hops, malt and nuts and biscuit.

Taste was about the same as aroma. The biscuit seemed to fade. A balanced beer between sweet (at first) and dry (finish). (315 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.07/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an odd long glass my roommate has. Anyway.. This bottle has been in my fridge for almost a year. Pours a reddish brown with a small white head.

S. Bready malts, some bitter hops.

T. A pretty good Ale here. Malty, I can taste some grains as well. Leafy hop bitters. It even tastes slightly roasted. Well balanced and mighty tasty.

M. Medium bodied, pretty smooth.

D. Something about Smithwicks makes me happy. I love drinking these. Good as a Black N Tan as well, I prefer this to Bass. A good session beer. (547 characters)

Photo of weeare138
3.24/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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. (695 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.08/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer pours a deep, amber-red color that is crystal clear. There is a huge, chunky off-white head that has reasonably big bubbles and remains for quite some time. Semi-sweet caramel and nutty smells on the beer. Super sweet and tangy malts on the tongue when you first taste the beer. There is a very subtle underlying hops bitterness that creeps up on the end of the flavors. It helps greatly to balance all the sweetness. Also, there is a roasted quality that reveals itself after the beer has had some time to warm in the glass a bit. There is a crisp and slightly sour bite to the finish, with a subtle caramel aftertaste. Tasty beer. (681 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.42/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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. (271 characters)

Photo of biegaman
2.85/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at The Overdraught Irish Pub, in Toronto.

For a beer that's supposedly made in the style of either an Irish Red or an English Brown it emanates an awful lot of gold and seems seriously depreciated of both red and brown. That's not to suggest the beer isn't dark - it's darkish - but its complexion is flimsy and its colours seem superficial. There's only about four bubbles that float atop like peas.

It really says something about how insipid a beer is when you can make out its water profile from the aroma! Beers from the Ireland often have this characteristically rough, chalky, mineral-y, high carbonate water and that can be appreciated in this one right from smell alone given there's nothing remotely malty or hoppy or yeasty that interferes.

Nor is there in taste, and I sorrowfully wish there were because all that's tasted is pure corn syrup. Knowing who brewed it and on what scale, I expected it to have a cheap, industrial taste - but not like this! To use an ironic choice of words: this is the pure, unadulterated taste of corn syrup with hardly a drop of authentic maltiness about it.

Without any perceived roasted grain, the cloying syrupy sweetness runs free. Its makers, clearly, thought it would emulate that desired caramel malty flavour but it makes a poor, poor substitute. Although some is acceptable, this spews out diacetyl like a BP oil spill. It tastes like the straight syrup used for fountain pop. Indeed, that is what it is.

I'd love to say that this was a sensual, satisfying pint and that I found all the charm of the Irish local in the (so-called) Irish pub in which I drank it. Unfortunately, neither could be further from the truth. In both, all I found was bastardized commodities that market the illusion of Ireland without the thinnest of actual veritableness or virtue. (1,823 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.06/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(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. (725 characters)

Photo of plaid75
3.1/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had a few pints on tap while in Connemara, Ireland. Overall a decent ale.

The color was in keeping with its style as a red ale. I, however, have learned to be very leary of a red beer (Killians, Red Dog, Red Wolf - need I say more?).

I was impressed however with this ale's drinkability. It wasn't overly smooth and had a very good hop presence. (353 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
3.12/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean/clear dark amber color, some carbonation, little fizzy off-white head, some tiny islands and sticky lacing left behind. The nose is mostly malts and caramel. The taste is malty with some caramel. Light body. Drinkable I guess, but I would not buy it again. (270 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
2.8/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Can from the LCBO in to Guinness pint glass.

A - Medium translucent brown with two fingers of off-white head that settled down after a couple of minutes.

S - Light caramel and toffee notes up front with a slight bitterness and some floral aromas in the background. The nose has a slight off-putting aroma that I can't pinpoint.

T - The sweet malt profile dominates with toffee, caramel and bready notes. A slight bitterness is present as well, especially in the finish.

M - Medium body, slightly creamy. Light carbonation. (528 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz from Bucket O'Brew for about $1.45.. shared with Brenda.. mine from a goblet.

Very clear dark amber brew with ruby highlites.. pillowy but short lasting 1" head left behind good lacing.

Aroma is a nice nonastringent grainy feel... Hops are present, but I can't identify.. yeasts impart an odd but pleasant smell.

Bigger bodied than a 4.5% brew would lead you to believe.. caramel without the sweetness and a dusty graininess... light toasted malts and an earthy hop presence... but even the hops seem old. I can't put my finger on it, but the yeast imparts something to this beer that makes it really come together.

Not bad.. just not my cup of tea... I'm told by a couple of friends that in Ireland, this is the only beer to be enjoyed for a beer drinker who want's something different than Guiness..

The only real negative would probably be my own tastes.. I can only see myself having 1 of these at a time, and I will probably never buy it again outside of Ireland. (978 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
3.56/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried Smithwick's irish red at the Tilted Kilt today...good beer and good service. The beer pours a deep clear amber with white head that left some lacing on the glass. The smell was fairly simple, malt. The taste was a decent malt based beer that had subtle hop to help clear the pallet. The mouthfeel was a nice medium body with good carbonation. Overall it is a decent beer. (379 characters)

Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale from Guinness Ltd.
80 out of 100 based on 764 ratings.