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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,153 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,153
Reviews: 735
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 15.03%
Wants: 22
Gots: 97 | 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)
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Ratings: 2,153 | Reviews: 735 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.53/5  rDev +2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2011 03:09:27 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of Eramen


3.35/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - An attractive red, hazel-brown ale, not much of a head to speak of but it laces the glass well enough.

S - There is an indistinct fruity pleasantness along with caramel. A bit disappointing actually.

T - Buttery caramel, red fruit mixing well with a nice maltiness.

MF - Too watery for a fuller appreciation, carbonation is mild and just about right.

O - A decent enough Irish red ale and the most popular one here in Ireland. I often find myself drinking this in most pubs in Dublin due to the fact that American adjunct beers are all the rage here and no other ales are stocked! :(

Serving type: on-tap

07-11-2011 16:26:37 | More by Eramen
Photo of Kartoffeln

Ontario (Canada)

3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours copper auburn with a bubbly beige head that dissipates to a well-retained cap of dense foam, leaving some spotty lacing.

S: Biscuit malts and floral, slightly herbal hops are rounded out by lighter aromas of copper, roasted malts, caramel, and ripe fruit.

T: Slightly sweet biscuit malts forward with hints of caramel and bready malts and faint undertones of nuts, yeast, and roasted malts that gain prominence towards the finish alongside very light floral, vegetal hops.

M: On the heavy end of light-bodied with low, smooth carbonation. The finish, mildly bitter between the roasted malt and vegetal hop flavours, is exceptionally clean and dry.

D: Smithwick's isn't bad, it's just not very distinctive or complex - it isn't even really all the roasty. It is, though, very sessionable and full of biscuity goodness; it seems to be relatively easy to get on tap around here, to boot.

Serving type: can

07-09-2011 21:48:16 | More by Kartoffeln
Photo of MoreThanWine


2.85/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a 3" linen colored head. Body in masstone looks like brown tea but held up to the light it's really an attractive clear auburn brown. I got no smell at all from it, not even after warmed. Taste when cold was any basic BMC, after it warmed it had the slightest hint of the weakest of dark beers. To me this is another beer just built to look a certain way while having nothing offensive of any kind in the flavor to make sure it has mass appeal.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2011 13:20:51 | More by MoreThanWine
Photo of Knapp85


3.95/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-07-2011 01:21:59 | More by Knapp85
Photo of woodychandler


4.1/5  rDev +18.5%
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.

Serving type: can

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


3.1/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this Irish Red Ale from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. The ale pours a clear reddish amber color and produces a nice off white head. The retention is average and it leaves an average amount of lacing. The aroma of the Irish Red smells of toasted malt. The taste of the ale is slightly toasted with some caramel maltiness. There are sweet undertones and some hop bitterness. The finish is a little on the dry side. Overall this is an average Irish Red Ale.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2011 15:27:54 | More by GossageBrewery
Photo of MONKandTUCK


3.23/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

OK, so it's been a while since I've had this one, which isn't something I directly regret. Actually, I regret not having a reason to seek it out, and make it a fridge staple.

A - Twany, kind of Red, but really passing into Brown. I'd be disappointed if I had a Brown Ale pour this hue, but it's barely still Red. Translucent, not transparent. Thinner than a Brown Ale or Porter, but clearly has body.

A- Not impressive, roasted character very muted. Smells like a neutral ale.

T- pleasantly surprised. Very refreshing, stable and full enough of a body to satisfy non BMC drinkers, though remains suitable for warm weather.

This tastes a lot like a generic English Bitter, with the taste of slightly burnt toast and a little char chasing in the end. The roasted malt is faint, but undeniable. There's a balance of sweetness, I suspect from the base malt and crystal malt both. Nothing cloying, it's very faint. But it's perfect for a maltier beer, with some hop and roasted notes.

The use of adjuncts begins to show through.

The finish distinguishes this from both Macro Lagers and Bitters, though it kinda tries to play in both fields.

M- as expected, a medium-bodied smooth mouthfeel that does nothing to offend.

O- Better than expected, but as I drink this one, the uniformity becomes boring. And that roasted malt begins to peek through in an unpleasant way. Not a great beer, but far exceeding its ilk. I wish there were a bit more complexity here.

The tough thing w/ Irish Red Ales is that they're very much a nuanced English Bitter. And for the few breweries that brew them, an after thought. I suspect that judicious use of Roasted Barley, and then the hops and crystal malt which help to hold balance, really prove a brewer's worth. However, what that translates into a beer style seems very limiting. I dunno, maybe the parameters are too constricting or it's too small of a beer to inspire re-energized interpretations.

Whatever the case, this adjunct (syrup) ridden example can out-compete the fellows it keeps company with (macro lagers), but pales in comparison to the finer ales of the world.

Serving type: on-tap

06-28-2011 03:44:23 | More by MONKandTUCK
Photo of Rifugium


3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: on-tap

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


2.78/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark copper, small tan head. Moderate lacing.

S: Malty, a little metallic, maybe some hints of citrus.

T: Caramel maltyness shows through first, maybe some toast/bread coming through, a little watery. Not too impressed.

M: Watery, light bodied, light carbonation.

Definitely wouldn't seek it out again.

Serving type: on-tap

06-20-2011 16:59:31 | More by lespaulrocker
Photo of flyingpig

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had a pint of this on-tap to make a change from the usual pale lagers that were on offer in the pub. A pretty standard offering from an ale & nothing that really had me wanting more. Drinkable & kind of enjoyable although probably not one that I'd look out for again.

1001 Beers to try:

Serving type: on-tap

06-14-2011 00:47:41 | More by flyingpig
Photo of dali27


3.63/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: A dark reddish brown, mahogany in color. Foamy, creamy light tan head that has lots of staying power.

S: Malted barley scent filled the nose Nicely aromatic.

T: Nice malt aroma transfers into the taste. Really that's what the taste is. And that's not bad. Mild bitterness in the aftertaste which is enjoyable too. What is bad is the bit of metal in the aftertaste.

M: Slightly creamy, but not very full. I would say that it's light feeling with a little bit of substance.

O: A nice beer to drink if you're looking for this style. I think it does more "not offending" than "pleasing", but either way, it's a fairly accessible option in this style that's also pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2011 05:17:09 | More by dali27
Photo of BrianBoruma


3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Harvestor in Danesfort Ireland.

A: Copper colored liquid with a think head of white foamy bubbles that dissipates over time.

S: Sweet and malty

T: Same as above with some hop bitterness on the back end that is quite pleasant.

M: Medium. Lightly carbonated but the bubbles are present.

O: Very pleasant and refreshing. Enjoyed it.

Serving type: on-tap

06-08-2011 08:10:35 | More by BrianBoruma
Photo of kjc51478


3.18/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Appearance is dark amber color with light, beige head.

S: Aroma is weak with some sweetness, caramel, and bread hints.

T: Taste is also subdued but some nice flavors of caramel, toast, and basic sweet malts are present. Hop character is very weak with no discernible characteristics or bitterness.

M: Palate is medium-bodied, slightly thin, average carbonation.

O: Overall this is a decent pub beer that’s not necessary very complex or mind-blowing but very drinkable nonetheless.

Serving type: on-tap

06-07-2011 00:39:42 | More by kjc51478
Photo of gskitt

New York

2.68/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bland. Pours a nice reddish amber. Looks ok, but Irish Red? eh. Vanilla. Not in flavor but just nothing special. Certainly not bad, just vanilla. Tasted like many adjuncts. Actually, Corona came to mind when I was trying to figure out what this reminded me of. Next time, I'll pass.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2011 13:46:45 | More by gskitt
Photo of Ralphs66

New York

3.15/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Everything about this is average. I liked the coloration and the head was decent, but is faded quickly. Smell is muted, taste even more so. Went down really easy; watery. You could drink this all day (and night) long.. Not impressed, but it was the best offering they had....

Serving type: on-tap

05-13-2011 22:20:39 | More by Ralphs66
Photo of sommersb


3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce brown bottle, served in a tulip pint glass.

A: A moderate amount of bubbles are seen in this clear, dark amber beer. The head is off-white and 3 fingers high. Head retention is OK and lacing is good throughout.

S: Malty aromas, with some spiciness evident as well. Crisp smell but is marred somewhat by metallic notes. Some hop aromas are present, especially as the beer warms.

T: Caramel malt flavors are balanced well with a touch of bitterness, leaving a dry experience overall. Not a lot of flavor but a good session beer.

M: Body was medium with a moderately dry finish.

O: Nice, easy drinking beer that goes well with dinner or for just having a few pints.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2011 23:06:33 | More by sommersb
Photo of BarryMFBurton


3.73/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had quite a few pints of this on my 21st birthday. I definitely liked it, but it's not something I went back to after I got into true craft beers. However, when I saw it on nitro-tap at my local Chumley's, I decided to revisit it; this time, though, with a reviewer's eye.

Poured from a nitro-tap into a pint glass at Chumley's in Lafayette, IN.

A: It arrived to me a beautiful, shining auburn color with a big, white, milky head. Gorgeous. Pale but powerful. The head stays the same size (and just as thick, for that matter) all the way to the last drink.

S: Very mellow: bready yeasts, with some citrus hops. Hardly any nose on this one.

T: The first thing you notice is the tame nature of this brew. Fruity hops are there, but they're very dim; they're overwhelmed by the smooth bread tastes that take over the palate. The wheat and yeast tones make the finish earthy and organic. Not a whole lot of clashing tastes, but, a light, warming drink, nonetheless.

M: Superbly drinkable. I love nitro-taps! This is one of the areas where ol' Smiddy shines. Milky and magnificent. It's so smooth for being a relatively light beer.

O: This is unlike any other beer I've ever had. It's not over-the-top with flavor, but still, it's uniquely satisfying. If I see it again on nitro-tap, I'll definitely be down.

Serving type: nitro-tap

05-02-2011 21:03:56 | More by BarryMFBurton
Photo of chriskq


3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- A deep, dark amber. This beer almost appeared somewhat cloudy.
S- Sweet, with a rough toasty smell.
T- A big punch of sweetness and grains. This beer was fairly bitter on the back end.
M- Decent heaviness. Smooth going down.
O- I was slightly disappointed; The bitterness really took away the sweet flavor it gives at first. Definatley an above average beer- and I was suprised in how many different flavors I went through. Easy to drink, thats about it.

Serving type: on-tap

05-01-2011 20:59:40 | More by chriskq
Photo of psuKinger


3.3/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Pours a translucent shade of orange/red with a moderately thick white head on top. 3.5

S: Presence of sweet corn and "bready sugars" in the nose. 3.0

T: Smooth, with more of an astrigency and hop presence than I expected. The nose suggested this beer might be destined to run out-of-control sweet, but there is sufficient bitterness/dryness to keep this in check. Not a terribly complex beer, malts shine through with a pleasant sweetness (I still pick up a hint of sweet-corn here, though), but ends with some dry bitterness. 3.5

M: Light and smooth, with a good dry finish. 3.5

D: Better than expected. Why did I doubt Guinness LTD? Not a "great" brew, but certainly worthy of revisiting in the future. 3.0.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2011 01:21:32 | More by psuKinger
Photo of womencantsail


3.1/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2011 23:28:57 | More by womencantsail
Photo of RickS95


3.38/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A little darker than I expected, but a medium brown with obvious reddish tones. Clear. A finger of bright white head forms and retreats in little time.

Lots of smells to sort through. Caramelly malts, notes of chocolate, and licorice immediately come to the front.

Nothing dominates the taste buds like in the nose. It's got an almost pilsner taste and feel to it. Somewhat biscuity and malty, with some hoppiness in the finish.

A little bit bitter and similar to some mass-produced American lagers, but did have a cleansing characteristic that gave a slightly clean, dry finish.

Not all that great, somewhat disappointing given it's from Ireland, but still better than average.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2011 01:53:39 | More by RickS95
Photo of rundocrun


3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear deep golden brown color with a fluffy vanilla ice cream colored head. Nice lacing on the glass after the head fades.

S - Slight sweetness and noticeable hop aroma.

T - Sweet and tea-like up front with some subtle grainy biscuit flavor. Definite hop presence.

M - Thinner but very crisp and drinkable. Very dry finish that leaves me craving another sip. Overall, fits the description of the style to a "t".

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2011 02:36:15 | More by rundocrun
Photo of farrago

New Jersey

3.3/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Loose and delicate head, even if it tops out over three fingers, eggshell white, mainly microfoam with a hilly surface, decent retention given its delicacy, thick streaks of lacing, albeit razor thin. Trim amber color with a redwood brown influence, pleasingly aggressive bubbles streams, orange tint grows around outer edges. Mildly burnt character to the nose, like sugar left too long on the stove, malty with toffee, chocolate powder, carob, roasted chestnuts, has its loamy/earthy side as well, pinch of pepper, touch of unprocessed grains but little outright bread or dough, can appear herbaceous at moments, especially when warmer. Medium-bodied, foamy with a level of carbonation arguably above what the body should have to support. Smooth like fine sandpaper, you feel some grit and then it immediately releases. The sweetness seems frontloaded, cocoa and carob, cola, licorice, honey and orange peel before a momentary flutter of apple, pear, cherry fruit, then more biting grass and straw notes, semi-caked in dirt. Still, the carbonation ensures a creamier finish. Good pub beer style, likely better on tap.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2011 01:51:33 | More by farrago
Photo of micromaniac129


3.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dark malty brew, deep chestnut brown in color with just a hint of transparence. A average tawny head that just coats the surface.
Aroma is of malts and grains just like the taste.
Tasting is rich and full with grains and malts being the flavor. No hops are present.
A satisfying brew.

Serving type: on-tap

04-03-2011 15:13:52 | More by micromaniac129
Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale from Guinness Ltd.
79 out of 100 based on 2,153 ratings.