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Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale - Guinness Ltd.

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Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish AleSmithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale

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2,458 Ratings
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Ratings: 2,458
Reviews: 758
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 14.78%
Wants: 37
Gots: 271 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd. visit their website

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,458 | Reviews: 758
Photo of psuKinger
3.28/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Photo of womencantsail
3.11/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

Photo of RickS95
3.42/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

Photo of rundocrun
3.61/5  rDev +4.6%
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".

Photo of farrago
3.33/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

Photo of micromaniac129
3.71/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

Photo of kola
3.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A Dark brown with some translucence. Decent head but it doesn't last long. Good lacing,

S Grains and malts.

T No hops to speak of, nice flavor of roasted grains and a good dollop of malts. Slightly sweet.

M A bit thin. Smooth. Noticeable carbonation.

O For being mass produced, this is a great ale that can be found most anywhere. It is light enough to be enjoyed any time, but dark and heavy enough to let you know you're drinking ale.

Photo of jbphoto88
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had at an Irish pub here in the states. On tap it pours deep amber brown and clear. The head is a tan white and bubbly. It looks like a fine sponge and doesn't really last to long.

The nose is mild and malty with much more of a grain presence then any hop. It doesn't really have much character but it is pleasant and somewhat refreshing.

Taste is a lot like the nose with very mild flavors leaning more towards grain then hops. Sweet a little caramel and lightly toasted cereal tasting grains. The hops are there slightly but they taste a little like an earthy tea and don't give off any bitterness.

Mouthfeel is mild and smooth with fine carbonation and a little coating sweetness. The finish is all grain tasting with a slight drying. A solid brew that is easy to drink and satisfying. Other then that there isn't much personality to it.

Photo of Meerkey
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Thick, bubbly white head that soon dissipates. Clear amber. Lots of bubbles.

S: Grainy and malty. Faint hop finish.

T: Grains, some sweet malts. Bitter. Hint of honey. Little bit sour.

M: Smooth and carbonated.

O: Not too bad. Rather average. I had the most pleasant memories of drinking Smithwick's in pubs when I was in Ireland and quite enjoying it. This was the start of my fondness for beer and now revisiting it over a year later, the taste is not as good as I remember. Despite that, my fondness shall remain.

Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Two finger foamy, bready head. Deep brown with amber tones. Good lacing.

S: Sweet, a little chalky. Malty and rich.

T: Okay, so this seems different from what I remember. I guess my palate is changing. Okay malty base with umami throughout. Falls a little flat overall and carries a metallic tinge borrowed directly from the Guinness playbook.

M: About as average as you can get.

D: Despite the fact that I don't like this as much as I used to, still a very drinkable brew.

Photo of busterthecat
2.13/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured into pint glass.

A- Pours a mildly transparent muddy red hue. a thick rocky head forms before dispersing. Lots of large bubbles from carbonation.

S- Light, sweet, canned pears. Kinda sugary, no hops or bitterness detected.

T- Similar to smell, but less robust. A sweet light malt body, one dimensional. No fingering of flavors. No hops or much of anything. A slight earthiness in finish.

M- Like a faint bubbly soda. Thin, watery, very light.

D/O- Like a dark semi-sweet soda water. Nothing really to it.

Photo of G2Brew
3.54/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle, poured into a pint glass at about 50 degrees. There was some sort of code printed on the bottom of the back label, but if it was a "best by" date, I couldn't decipher it.

A - Brown with some redness, pretty dark with good clarity. Two solid fingers of tan head that lasts a long time, and has very good lacing. Nice appearance.

S - Not much of anything, but there is some caramel and malty grain. Some light roasted grain notes. The hops are AWOL.

T - Picks up the aromas in the taste, but there's a bit more of it in the flavor. It also has some nuttiness, and the roasted grain comes out a bit more. The roasted barley kicks in more in the aftertaste. Not getting much sense of the hops here, although it has good balance. It's a good Irish red flavor profile.

M - Thin and watery. Carbonation was medium to low. The too-light mouthfeel doesn't match the expectation from the color and flavor.

D - Slightly above mediocre. Worth drinking, but nothing terribly special. It's OK as a change of pace.

Photo of ReelBigwigFish
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had a few on tap at Finnegan's Wake in Philly last night and thought I'd give it a review since 5 on tap is the most Smithwick's I've drank in one day.

a: came in guinness pint glasses, reddish-brown in color, rather nice looking foamy head.

s: the aroma is more subdued than other reds, smells to me almost more of a brown ale with a slight nutty burnt scent with lost of sweet malt.

t: about as much going on as with the smell, nothing spectacular but the taste is definitely enjoyable. I'll take it over most offerings at a popular bar.

m/o: again, nothing spectacular happening. a little on the creamier side, doesn't really bite at all, making it really drinkable. Obviously I enjoyed this enough to keep drinking it, even though a Sam Seasonal was looking at me all night, I stuck to the Smithwick's.

Photo of hopsolutely
4.15/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An "old stand-by" long overdue for a formal rating... Travelled to Kilkenny many moons ago to make a pilgrimage to the home of the eponymous Guinness cream ale, and was pleasantly delighted by the historical old town and even more so after my first introduction to Smithwick's. It travels well and tastes the same (to my nonprofessional taste buds) in North America - in both bottle, can and draught glass. A delightful surprise, wherever it's found.

Beautiful amber colour, clear but dark enough to be almost opaque. Subtle aroma of malt and caramel, followed by a complex and well balanced taste, and a clean but satisfying finish. Overall a delightful "session ale"!

Photo of jmdrpi
3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap, into shaker glass.

appears a reddish-brown mahogany color, with thin white head, that fades. aroma is sweet malt, bready.

taste is similar. mellow slightly sweet, buttery. no hops detected. medium body and carbonation, about on par for the style. pretty easy to drink.

not a bad option for a mass produced beer, and a good option at bars without better craft options.

Photo of jsprain1
2.94/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Clear reddish-brown, one finger eggshell head holds on, some lacing.
S- Really had to dig deep to get much of anything. Caramel, a touch of sweetness is about all I could get.
T- Caramel and grain, not too sweet. I also pick up just the slightest milk chocolate flavor.
M- Thinnish body, ample carbonation.
O- It must be my tastes changing but this was nowhere as good as I remember it being. Easy to drink, but there's nothing that exciting about it.

Photo of Daktyls
3.33/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a amber-red color with a small head that dissipates to a fine lacing fairly quickly. The beer itself is pretty clear, letting you see the bubbles rising up from the bottom.

S: There's a lot of maltiness here, some nutiness and a little bit of sweetness. Other than that, not a whole lot going on.

T: Much like the smell, there's some maltiness, nutiness and a hint of sweetness. Pretty 'plain' flavored.

M: Has a decent mouthfeel, certainly has a little bit of carbonation, enough to suit the rest of the flavor well.

D: Decently drinkable, certainly not a drain-pour but also not particularly memorable.

Photo of chefelf
3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I found this beer to be average. Just average. I picked it up because I'd honestly never heard of it before and I thought it would be a good accompaniment to a St. Patrick's Day gathering. I suppose it was if you wanted the focus to be on the food and not the beer.

We did have fun pronouncing it properly. Smith'ick's. At least that's how I was reliably informed by resident Irishers.

Photo of xnicknj
3.11/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

on tap at the dublin house in red bank

Pours a dark auburn color with some mahogany and red hues. A thicker beige head retains well, leaving thick rings of lacing on the glass while drinking.

Scents of breaded, doughy malt with slightly sweet caramel. A faint hop profile with that atypical macro tinge.

Doughy malt and caramel sweetness. Soft hoppiness balances out the malts. Perhaps a light note of dark fruit?

Decent medium body and carbonation, a bit creamy and smooth on the tongue. You know, this really isn't THAT bad, especially compared to other macro offerings at bars like this. I wouldn't go out and buy it, but I'd drink one if there wasn't many craft options.

Photo of richkrull
3.76/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one yesterday at Paddy Coughlan's Pub in Fort Atkinson, WI.

Poured a darker amber brown color with just a bit of head. Not a whole lot of aroma to it, just some malt coming through. Taste was not too bad, sweet, nutty, slightly bitter. Relatively light bodied beer. Pretty decent overall.

Photo of Groomsy
3.64/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought a six pack of this for St. Patty's Day. Cheers! 12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. Review taken from shorthand text message notes to self.

Appearance: The brew poured a clear and transparent - but very dark - amber with hints of brown in there. A vigorous pour produced a rocky ivory-colored head of about 3 fingers. Some visible carbonation floats, and as the beer is consumed, strings and rings of lacing drag the glass. Very nice looking beer, I'm really enjoying the color of it.

Smell: Just okay. There are some caramel scents from the malt as well as some earthy hops and just a touch of roasted nuttiness. There's a slightly weird metallic funk lingering in the background, homage to the mass-produced nature of this brew. Not bad overall, smell is rather faint.

Taste: Hey, this isn't bad. Not bad at all. Some sweet and sugary caramel malt flavors hit the front of the tongue and follow with just a small bite of earthy, sort of dirty-tasting hops. The brew rounds out with a touch of smokiness and nut character. A very balanced and drinkable beer. Not quite sessionable, but refreshing. Would definitely drink again, but there are some undesirable metallic notes in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Fairly smooth on the palate, medium body with fairly low carbonation. Finishes slightly dry on the tongue and coats the mouth with the flavors in the finish. High drinkability due to its simple balanced nature and decent flavors.

Not a bad beer overall. It's not something I would chase after regularly, but it's a solid Irish beer and is very drinkable. The low ABV makes it ideal for longer drinking sessions. Worth a try if nothing else.

Photo of Lemke10
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I bought a 6-pack of this for St. Patty's day at Woodman's in Janesville, WI in spring 2011.

Pours a darker brown color with a fairly thick, off-white head on it. The scent of malt is very evident here. Has a smooth mellow taste to it. Is very nicely blended so not too much of one item sticks out. I got a small cocoa/coffee hint from it. Nothing out of this world, but a very well made and drinkable Irish beer to enjoy on St. Patty's day or any other day!

Photo of woemad
3.14/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle purchased at a local grocery store for $1.34.

Poured a dark brown that takes on a decidedly more rubyesqe shade when held up to the light. Big, creamy wihte head and lots of lace.

Not much going on at the olfactory. Smells like a brown ale with the more brown sugary elements removed. There's a vague, nutty roastiness, and that's about it.

One dimensional in the flavor as well. Vaguely sweet, nutty malt notes are all that is present.

Medium bodied, with a slightly slick mouthfeel.

Blandly drinkable is the best thing you can say about this beer. Oh, it actually looked pretty good, but that doesn't mean jack once you've tasted it. I won't bother with this again.

Photo of jgreenearrow
2.83/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours an amber brown color with a fluffy 1/2" head. Some lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Sweet molasses and earthy malt notes in the nose.

T: The sip begins with sweet molasses and honey flavors. The middle to end of the sip is where the flavors of this beer fall apart. Some bitter almost metallic flavors enter in the middle followed by a bitter and dry end. The taste starts well but ends up being very unbalanced.

M: The mouthfeel is okay, well carbonated and somewhat thin.

Overall, this is an average beer. The flavors of the beer leave something to be desired, but not a bad Irish beer to drink on St. Patty's day.

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.08/5  rDev +18.3%
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.

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Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale from Guinness Ltd.
79 out of 100 based on 2,458 ratings.