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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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2,437 Ratings
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Ratings: 2,437
Reviews: 752
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 14.78%
Wants: 33
Gots: 246 | 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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Ratings: 2,437 | Reviews: 752 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of alkemy
3.31/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The color is a combination of amber, burnt orange, and copper. There's a subtle sweet malt smell, but there's really not a lot going on here. Actually, there's not a bunch of flavor either. Some malty caramel, brown sugar, and a grassy note but not much else. It's definitely an easy drinker and mildly refreshing as well.

Photo of Fatheranderson
4.68/5  rDev +35.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have to say, for the price I was extremely pleasantly surprised. The taste is balanced and smooth and vaguely reminds me of pumpernickel bread and coffee beans. The high level of malt gives it a lasting and satisfying thickness that lends itself to slow enjoyment.

For the price, the taste is exceptional.
A very thick brew with plenty of substance.
Alcohol is not very pronounced in this brew, which allows the subtlety of the malt and hops to come through and form a delicious blend of flavor.

It could stand a little more flavor, possibly a pinch more hops.


Really, for the price, you can't go wrong. It's a good beer, not perfect, but it's a heck of a lot better than it's price tag would suggest.

Photo of tjsdomer2
3.93/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Red amber and copper with a good layer of tan, caramel-like foam. Some good carbonation, but difficult to see due to the color. Smithwick's is not very transparent due to its darkness.

Smell: Nothing strong here. Some roasted coffee and nuts. Fairly sweet as well. It's a good smell, but not great.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Very smooth in my opinion and not very strong. Not too carbonation and not too sticky, considering the sweetness. That said, this beer is not actually that sweet. It's maltier than it smells. Thumbs up!

Drinkability: As with the smell, there's nothing great about this, but it is good. I don't know if I'd wanna drink this all night, but it goes great along with a rotation of Harp and/or Guinness.

Overall: See drinkability.

Photo of WhiskerWrangler
4.24/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- 1 1/2 finger light tan, off white colored head. Very good retention. Head lasted for quite a while, leaving a half finger length head. Light brown chocolate, somewhat reddish color. Carbonated bubbles rising from bottom. Lace is great showing thick lacing all the way through the drink.

S- Very subtle hoppy smell. Somewhat chocolatley smell.

T- Very rich taste that stays in your mouth for a while... This beer is absolutely amazing. This is my first experience with this beer and it tastes alot like Petes Wicked Ale. Every time I take a sip I smell a bit of chocolate, but the taste doesnt compliment this.... but that isnt a bad thing.

M- Great. Slight to no carbonation. Very light feeling with a full taste. Goes down easy and is easy on the stomach.

D- I can most certainly see myself drinking more than one of these in a sitting. This is one of my more favorite beers. Everything from the color to the lace, to the taste is beautiful.

Photo of revolution
3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - dark amber color with medium off-white head, nice lace

S - Malty, caramel, sweet pleasant oder, hint of toffee

T - solid malt flavor with caramel, mild toastiness/roasted grain with a med-dry finish

M - medium-bodied ale, mod. carbonation, fairly smooth

D - pretty easy drinking brew, malty, decent smoothness, roasted dryness at the end

Photo of yesyouam
3.57/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Smithwick's is a very clear, solid amber ale with a big, fluffy, frothy head that has outstanding retention and lacing. It has a dank aroma, like a cave. There is a light maltiness, light grassiness and slight funk to the smell. It's medium-by-light bodied; Smooth and creamy, with a pretty crisp, mineral finish. There's not too much flavor, but it's not bland. The light, grassy bitterness is balanced with malt that avoids being sweet. They combine to form a resiny flavor. There is a soft, wooden quality to it and a touch of musk. This is clearly a session ale. I kind of assumed it would suck because it's such a big name but now I feel like a jerk for never trying this before. I bet this would be great on cask.

Photo of DerekP
3.71/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Redd Dawgs All Star Clubhouse in Belle Vernon, PA.

Appearance: Beautiful dark mahogany belly with a creamy nougat head. The head retention is outstanding, leaving a thick trail of off-white lacing all over the inside of the glass.

Smell: Quite yeasty. Freezer-burned ice cream hitting the nose hairs; maybe a mild cheese in there also.

Taste: Lots and lots of diacetyl (not so sure I'm crazy about its quality in this one) Heavy whipping cream; sour notes. A very full tasting beer.

Mouthfeel: Milky soft; incredibly delicate--one of the finer characteristics of this brew. Enough bite to make it a beer, but so little, so perfect.

Drinkability: For a solidly full tasting brew, this beer could be imbibed several times over, but the excessive diacetyl is a little disappointing, though my opinion on it is so undecided that it could fluctuate from one pint to the next. Better than average, but not exactly good.

Photo of herman77
2.66/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Dark crimson red. Decent amount of off white head, but it dies off somewhat quickly. Average amount of lacing.

S: Nothing really here. A little bit of bready malt and a touch of hops. Very muted.

T: Not much flavor. A little watery/bland. Mainly bitter, slightly buttery taste. A little to bitter for my liking. Some carmel malt is trying to come through, not really happening though. Not my favorite.

M/D: Light to medium body. Medium carbonation. Somewhat smooth and creamy. Pretty easy to drink, but the taste is lacking and not the best, so this does affect the drinkability in my book.

Photo of jera1350
3.23/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Maroonish color with a creamy fluffy head. Smells pretty light. Some grain and light caramel malt. Taste is light. Some bitter hops, grain, a bit of caramel. Feels thinner, a bit watered down and slightly flat. A tad creamy. Not the best crafted red. Drinks easily, kind of like water. Average beer at best.

Photo of SamN
2.88/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Dark copper color, very clear and with extremely lively carbonation (LOTS of bubbles). Good head, fades down to about one pinky width, with fairly lumpy surface; not rocky, lumpy.

S- Corn and rice grains, maybe barley. Stinky sweet, ever so slightly roasted notes with noticeable hops background. I like that very small roasted character.

T- Little more bitter than most Irish reds. Malt forward, of course, but without richness, rather one dimensional and flat. To get any caramel malts, pulling air through the beer is necessary and even then you don't get much for it. Strong corn flavors, a cheap tasting import. Fading bittered finish. Why so much hops?

M- Rough bubbly pulls from the glass. Lots of carbonation leaves the carbonation burn on the back on the tongue. Medium body.

D- Guinness once again fails to impress. Pretty pathetic excuse for a rich, malty Irish Red. Go with Samuel Adams' Irish Red, much much better.

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

This review is based on a tap serving in an imperial pint here domestically, although I had it in Ireland a couple of years ago, too.

A finger's worth of cream-colored head atop a deep copperish amber body. Retention is just OK, but the sticky lacing is plentiful.

While the psychological effect of drinking this beverage in its homeland definitely ratcheted up the enjoyment a few notches for me at the time, I still find this to be a pleasant, sessionable ale. The flavors and aromas are simple and well balanced. The malts are a bit toasty, a bit nutty. There's a light fruitiness mid swallow before the fairly dry finish. A bit of grassy bitterness lingers. Medium-light body with a rather crisp feel and plentiful carbonation. Smitty's gets an easy thumbs-up.

Photo of damndirtyape
2.74/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Single bottle (no dates I could interpret) poured into a tumbler.

Appearance: Orange-brown in color but when held up to the light the orange shades are stronger. Pale white foam (1/8") across the top of the glass with plenty of lacing when drinking it down. Nice.

Smell: Earthy and loamy - reminds me of first spring dirt. There is some hoppy smell in there, but it's unusual. It's not doing it for me.

Taste: Earthy flavors again. Some metallic tang and bitterness combined. Again very unusual but for me unbalanced in the bitterness direction. I'm still not getting it.

Mouthfeel: Plenty of carbonation otherwise nothing special.

Drinkability: No...I'm not liking this one. It didn't go well with a meal and the taste isn't something I can see sitting and sipping, or even having alone. Maybe this one is past freshness?

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

Since I can't stand Guinness in a can, this is my go-to St. Patty's brew. Figured I'd give it a proper review.

Pours a deep amber hue, about a half inch of head. Recedes to a ring, only slight lacing.

Nose is good, but not very complex. Caramel malts with a touch of butter.

A surprisingly sweet brew (I remember in younger days I used to think this beer was too bitter...), sweet caramel malts up front followed by woody bitterness to the finish.

Mouthfeel is slick, with sharp carbonation.

An old favorite, and my default whenever I'm in a pseudo-Irish pub and need a good draught.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Wow only 4.5 damn I must be spoiled by dark beers because I thought this one was at least 6!

This beer seems to be popping up all over my town on tap and in bottles in every mix and match shop so after I found out it was by Guinness I was sold.

A - darkest amber without being like a porter. Aggressive pour resulted in heavy head that laces the glass.
S - Smells of bread malts and a tiny bit of hops.
T - mild Roasty flavor along with malt presence.
M - Thin (as expected) for a beer like this but refreshing
D - Meh... I really didn't like it too much. One and done.

Photo of scott451
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Smithwicks pint glass. A transparent reddish brown with a 1/4" head that quickly diminished to thin layer that soon dissapeared. Persistant lacing that suck around to the end.

Malty taste with a hoppy finish.

Surprisingly thin for a darker ale but very drinkable. Just not anything super special.

Photo of zimm421
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Appears a dark amber color with a thick off-white head that leaves average lacing.

Smells of malts, caramel and some cream, definitely a sweet scent. The taste is similar with the malts dominating. However, there is a slight hop presence, but nothing that stands out. Finishes very sweet.

The mouthfeel is creamy and has a surprising amount of carbonation. This goes down fairly smooth, but is nothing very impressive. Not difficult to drink whatsoever, but not something exciting to drink. Overall a decent brew.

Photo of KTCamm
3.03/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beer 2 for St. Pats day. Poured bottle to pint glass.

Pours a dark crimson red, bordering on brown with a little white foam. A 1 cm layer remains floating atop the beverage.

Light caramel sweet smell. Minor.

Taste is the same - sweetness prevails. Hint of spices. Somewhat watery in the mouthfeel. Did I say sweet?

Overall a decent brew, but the sweetness overstays its welcome.

Photo of JunkYardJake
3.08/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap in imperial pint at Annie Bailey's.
Small head that didn't stick around long. Very deep red color that looks black at certain angles. Very small nose that's mostly caramel malts. Taste is of roasted malts and a slight metallic note on the finish. Very fluid mouthfeel. Quite drinkable for style.

Photo of buschbeer
3.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured into a Smithwith's pint glass to an abundant off white head. It is dark amber in color. The smell is toffee malt primarily. The taste is caramel. It is a rather bland beer. I'm thinking I should have went with Guinness today. Oh well, it is very easy to drink.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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

Smithwick's Irish Ale pours a nice crystal clear coppery brown with a much bigger creamy white head than expected which is leaving more lacing than I would have expected too.

The aroma is distinctly beery for lack of a better description, with nicely toasted malts coming through with a bit of grassiness.

The mild flavor has smooth toasted malts, nutty and a little sweet up front which finishes smooth and lightly bitter. Quite nicely balanced actually.

Mouthfeel is fairly light, smooth, just slightly watery but still manages to be nicely creamy with just just a right amount of carbonation.

All in all this is a surprisingly good very drinkable red ale! Just a good easily sessionable beer. I may have to revisit the other members of the Guinness family now. I'll bet this is fantastic with a meal as well... fish and chips anyone?

Photo of drizzam
3.51/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I figured I would review a beer before I go out to swill green macro tonight. Seemed like Swithwick's was the obvious choice for St. Patty's day.

A - Poured from the brown bottle into a clear pint glass. Cryptic batch stamping on the back label. The body of this brew is a crystal clear copper color, topped with a foamy white one finger head. Head retention was excellent and it left a frothy wall of lacing down the inside of my glass.

S - Roasted malt seems predominant herewith just a slight hint of floral hops lingering in the background.

T & M - Tastes much like the aroma. The backbone of this beer is a roasted malt with some earthy hops to balance everything out and make it interesting. Fairly light bodied mouthfeel with a creamy smoothness to it.

D - This is easily a very sessionable brew. There's a reason you can find Swithwicks on tap almost anywhere you go...and that's the ease of drinking it. It may not be the perfect example of an Irish red, but it has got its place in the beer world. I'm not embarrassed to spend a night at the local pub drinking this brew.

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

Pours a nice copper/amber color.Nice thick off white head falls 1/4 inch with lots of lacing.

Not much in the smell department. Maybe some wet hair(soapy).

Not much going on in the flavor department either. Some apple, and watered down iced tea. Nothing bad.

The mouthfeel is thin and watery, not too much carbonation. Not bad, not great.

Very drinkable, a great beer to pound with food.

Photo of AmberMan22
3.29/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a transparent ruby-mahogany color with a distinct cream colored head. Leaves a good amount of lacing as the drink progresses.

Smell is hard to detect. Like most guinness products, I just don't pick up much of a smell from these guys.

Taste, This is a tough call for me. I've had some tasty irish reds before, be they sweet and malty, or jacked up a bit with some hops. This one doesn't take either road, just sits somewhere in the middle. It's not bad, but I was hoping for more.

Mouthfeel, very creamy, medium+ heft to it, carbonation was perfect.

Overall, not as exciting (and way more expensive) than most Irish Reds you'll stumble upon. Smithwicks is an easy drinker, probably great for watching soccer matches, but I want an irish red with a bit more gusto.

Photo of Scrapss
3.76/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A good all around irish ale that is neither too offensive nor too boring.

Apppearance is a dark rich brown. I love that color, it says "I probably have a very pleasant flavor".

Smell is a very pleasant sweet malt. kinda reminds me of the William Penn lager. No trace of hops that I can detect, although I imagine there are some in there.

Taste is smooth, with sweet malts but there is no hops whatsoever. No bite, no kickback.

Mouthfeel is light yet quite filling, probably due to good amount of carbonation and lack of hops. Smooth as silk.

Drinkability is quite high due to it's light alcohol content and silky smooth characteristics.

Photo of ZebedeeDuBois
2.56/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Had this beer on tap from my local craft bar, which is running some specials fro Guinness for March.

It had a rich reddish brown hue and a light malty smell.
However, upon drinking it - it was just forgettable - not much flavor at all. Nothing objectionable, but nothing recommendable.

Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale from Guinness Ltd.
79 out of 100 based on 2,437 ratings.