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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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2,268 Ratings
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Ratings: 2,268
Reviews: 739
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 15.03%
Wants: 24
Gots: 154 | 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
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Ratings: 2,268 | Reviews: 739 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of becktone
3.13/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Amazing appearance! The beer is clearer than glass just cleaned with windex. It is the color of Cherry wood or a red and or copper color if you prefer. Started off with an excellent three finger creamy looking head, now it has contracted to two fingers in height, however it is leaving some great lacing. This is one of the best looking beers that I have had in a while. Head retention is good, there is constantly a head on the beer, however with time it slowly gets a bit smaller.

The beer has an ovearll alright smell. It reminds me of tea. I also smell a root like aroma, perhaps from the hops? In addition to that I detect faint traces of spices, mainly ginger. I don't really smell any sweet or caramel aromas in this beer.

The taste isn't as great as the appearance would leave you to believe. It has a very balanced taste. Neither hops nor malt dominate the beverage. They are mixed very well both contributing individual aspects into one single aspect of the drink. Its hard to describe the taste of the beer since the two most identifiable aspects are blended so well. There are definitely some hints of caramel in there though it has taken me a long time to find it and indentify it, also earthen and roots come to mind when trying to describe the taste of this beverage. I like the taste, but I think I would like it much more if it were much stonger. To me it is almost like tea, not very strong in taste (due to tea to water ratio), although it definitely has one. Kinda reminds me of a weak gingerale.

Much more caramel flavor to this brew now that it has considerably warmed up. I can also detect the bitterness imparted by the hops, just there on the back of the tongue.

Average mouthfeel in this beer. Very even body, not heavy, not light, but medium bodied. A little more carbonation could have made this beer more interesting, but that's just my opinion. I would have thought by the look of this beer that it would feel creamy on the palate but that wasn't the case with this one, I guess I'm a bit disappointed with the mouthfeel. The appearance led me to believe that it would feel much different than it did. This beer is easy to drink, and I think that I'll definitely obtain some more of it in the future. It is something that intrigues me. You see, I only have this one bottle and I want to try it again to see if I can't nail down what the flavor and taste of this brew remind me of.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 03-23-2006 03:38:37
- realized that I placed this one under the wrong smithwick's when reviewed a few years ago.

becktone, Dec 07, 2008
Photo of DmanGTR
4.1/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Tir na Nog in Philly.

A - poured coppery brown with a foamy 3/4" head that retained nicely with decent lacing in a pint glass

S - herbal hops, roasted malts, caramel malts, bready

T - a little more bitterness than the smell depicted but in a good way. Roast/smoke/herbal mix that makes for an interesting taste. Good malty backbone to support it.

M - light/medium bodied with light carbonation. Quite smooth

D - highly drinkable, highly sessionable.

Overall - Quite decent and definitely more creamy on tap than from the bottle. However, I do enjoy the bottles more. The tap makes it a bit too uncarbonated and a little too silky for the Smithwick's bottles I'm used to. Definitely sessionable though. Thank you, Ireland!

DmanGTR, Dec 04, 2008
Photo of BaltimoreMike
4.15/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

If I were to really simplify the taste it's if Guinness and Sierra Nevada had a baby. It's got a hoppy flavor, but not too strong so it probably won't turn off the average beer drinker. Also, it's got a bit of the sweetness (a bit of molasses I think, but could be wrong) that Guinness has with a rich fullness that I really look for in a beer of this caliber, perfect for the winter months. Great mouth feel, and the foam is just right not too airy. All and all it's a very good beer, and I would never turn one away, hell I'd probably even order one from a bar.

BaltimoreMike, Nov 26, 2008
Photo of RAdragna
4.7/5  rDev +35.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First tried this beer on-tap back in '07 at The Recovery Room in Mineola, Long Island while attending nearby Hofstra. Been hooked since then, whether on-tap or from the bottle.

A-Has somewhat the look of Guinness, but lighter looking and more amber/reddish; very enticing.

S-Aroma not very pungent, but not too dull either. Moderate at best.

T-Exactly the way all Irish red ales should taste. Touches of caramel and malt. Has the characteristic of being heavy, like most ales, yet easy on the taste buds.

M-Again, caramel heavily present in the ale's aftertaste.

D-Bartender, keep 'em comin'!

Serving type-Either bottle or on-tap (though I lean more towards the on-tap variety)

RAdragna, Nov 23, 2008
Photo of EatsTacos
3.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

reddish brown in color with a two finger head and not a lot of lacing.
Aroma is malty, and bready. There are some light herbal, spicy hops
The taste is mostly caramel malt but very dry at the same time. A good bitterness from the hops cuts through the malt backbone of this beer. Long, dry finish.

Medium carbonation and mouthfeel. Pretty drinkable I'd like to try this on tap and would definately try it if available.

EatsTacos, Nov 17, 2008
Photo of rgrholmes168
4.22/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured from a 12oz bottle and the beer had a nice two finger head, while left a lot of lace on the side of the glass. The beer is a dark copper color.

S- I got a nice sweet smell. A bit of caramel breaks through.

T- I have a little bit of bitterness with a little bit of smoke coming in. A very decent tasting beer.

M- Very smooth, seems a little bit complex.

D- I rate the drinkability very high.

This is a really good beer. Could become one of my favorites.

rgrholmes168, Nov 16, 2008
Photo of mcsquint
4.35/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into pint glass.
A - Copperamber in color with foamy off-white head. Thin lacing on side of glass
S - Caramel malt and a bit of tea
T - Caramel malt, hint of roasted malt, good balance with the hops. A bit on the sweet side with a slight bite on the finish.
M - Light to medium with the right amount of carbonation. Very crisp on the finish.
D - This is probably my favorite session beer. It also makes a good 'gateway' beer for those who drink American macro lagers. It's not too complex but has enough flavor to keep me coming back for more.

mcsquint, Nov 14, 2008
Photo of ludachris
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep honey brown, almost reddish in colour. Nice tan head. Fairly little carbonation. Some lacing to it that follows it down to the end of the glass. Somewhat sweet in smell, notes of caramel. Very smooth, nothing overarching in flavour. Overall, a good brew. Would definately have it again with some friends.

ludachris, Nov 07, 2008
Photo of radshoesbro
3.63/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

when you have this on tap it is WAY better than from a bottle. it becomes a lot more of a well shaped beer in some way. this is without a doubt the only worthwhile irish beer of any sort! pours a nice syrupy looking dark with an off white head. malts and yeast in the nose, and basically the same in the body. this is a pretty light bodied beer for something of this color. plenty of yeasty goodness with mild hops and some malts. very low ABV makes this a pretty good one to have if you're at an irish pub. try it with some black pudding and a fried egg!

radshoesbro, Nov 02, 2008
Photo of Reagan1984
3.15/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Grand Canal prior to the Celtics game. One of the few interesting beers on the menu.

Is this Guinness Light? Or Guinness with Training wheels?

Came with a thick creamy head that sat atop the reddish amber ale. This head had a great deal of retention and slowly coated the entire glass with lacing. Almost perfect rings lined the glass marking each and every sip.

Aroma?? Aroma?? A little of the mineral like, yeasty, roasty aroma that I actually associate with Guinness.

Light roasted flavor with some light cracker/caramel notes... A bit grainy. Not very interesting to be honest.

Mouth feel was creamy and smooth. Drinkability was decent, but not a lot of complexity here.

Reagan1984, Oct 31, 2008
Photo of Hojaminbag
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dark colored body that is a mixture of browns and reds.

Smells of some sweet caramel notes with some roasted character.

This beer is very mild tasting. It has notes of caramel and a nice roasted character. Mouthfeel is somewhat dry.

Pretty drinkable beer. Not too heavy with a decent roasted flavor.

Hojaminbag, Oct 26, 2008
Photo of kingothewoods
3.4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Great looking beer when the waitress brought out the pint glass. Darker color but still transparent. Ready to drink the beer from the makers of Guinness. Good head with lacey collection on the glass as you drink down.

S - Definitely an Irish red ale.

T - Tastes pretty darn good. I like this one.

M - Very smooth, brewed with character.

D - Yep, waitress - lets have another.

kingothewoods, Oct 18, 2008
Photo of Biscuit033
3.73/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Light brown tea-like color with a large three finger off-white head and good retention and globs of foam grabbing the sides.

S: Sweet caramel notes and some roasted malts as well not much else.

T: Roasty and sweet with a bit of herbal, earthy, tea-like hop notes on the finish.

M: A bit more carbination than I expected and not quite creamy. There is a is a bitter finish but the sweetness does not allow for a crisp finish.

D: This goes down very easy but the sweetness eventually wins out against the roasted flavors. Something that I could have a couple of without a problem.

Biscuit033, Oct 16, 2008
Photo of thekevlarkid
3.6/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Off the tap this beer was a deep amber/mahogany color with a thick khaki cap for a head. The lacing was minimal because the cap was so sticky but the retention was quite great. The aroma was understated, some caramel malt and something like iced tea. Odd. The flavors however were pretty good, pale malt and toasted malt with some hops muted in the background and caramel sweetness that lingers a little artificially in the finish. The body was rich, velvety and the carbonation soft so it was easy to quaff. But the flavors just weren't grand and I felt in general there were improvements to be made.

thekevlarkid, Oct 12, 2008
Photo of danny013
3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pair of 12 oz. bottles poured into a 16 oz. dimple mug and topped up as needed. Beer pours a rich red/brown body topped with a thick, rocky off-white head. Head sticks in nice, huge chunks and leaves a good covering on the beer for most of the pint with some decent lace.

Aroma is predominantly of sweet, bready malts, some good toast, and a faint hoppiness. Not bad.

Taste follow suit, good sweet malts up front, and plenty of toasty biscuity grains. Mild carbonation moves things around, some light herbal hoppiness shows itself but is quickly pushed out by a light grain astringency. Light sweetness hangs around after the beer is swallowed with some faint hops. A bit on the sweet side, though not overpowering, balanced nicely by plenty of light toasted malts.

Light-medium body with some light carbonation make this a smooth, easy drinker. A simple brew that is not too complex that makes for laid-back sipper or something nice to quaff; a great beer to enjoy and not think about with your mates. A tad bit expensive for a 6'er, but I got this one for free :), so no complaints!

danny013, Oct 08, 2008
Photo of jwhite1979
3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Heck yeah! An attractive auburn color, a subtly sweet aroma, and a smooth mouthfeel make this beer a new favorite for me. No complicated flavors, really, so drinking it is a simple pleasure rather than a sophisticated challenge. Kind of like drinking Guinness.

Put simply, this is the everyday beer I've been wanting Sam Adams to produce for a while now.

jwhite1979, Oct 08, 2008
Photo of cnally
2.75/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The brewery was started in 1710!!! It must be good!

The beer has a dusty, off white head. The pale brown coloring in the beer is clear and unappealing.

The scent has a malty, yeasty, chocolately quality. Oaky, yet sweet.

A full, hoppy taste resounding with sour and bitter flavors is the initial feel. Unbalanced flavors of mild caramel and a woodsy nature. The bitters really come out strong in the aftertaste.

The feel is bubbly and dry. Astringent and overwhelming.

The drink is too pale in color, bubbly and sour. The flavor just doesn't sit right with me at all.

cnally, Oct 07, 2008
Photo of dstc
3.9/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby color with a big frothy, slightly off-white head that is slow to fall with a thin lace left behind.

Roasted malt aroma with caramel and a slight metallic quality.

Nice full malt flavor with a slight metallic finish.

Smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel.

Easy drinking and enjoyable.

dstc, Oct 06, 2008
Photo of jazappi
4.22/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very good beer with great taste. One of my favorites that I can drink a lot of with very good flavor.

You can taste the toasted malts with just a very small hint of citrus.

Has a nutty smell and very decent lacing. You can drink this straight from the bottle or great in a pint glass.

jazappi, Oct 02, 2008
Photo of PatrickJR
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on-tap at Cooper's in Greensboro.

A - Very dark in appearance, somewhere between a dark red and brown. Light comes through on the edges. Two fingers or so of off white head stick around for a bit, leaving some decent lacing.

S - Vanilla hits me more than anything, with some lightly toasted grain and caramel in the background.

T - Much like the nose. Huge vanilla flavor on top of toasted malt. Fairly sweet with some brown sugar as well.

M - Creamy, smooth, medium to full bodied. The carbonation is quite low, maybe a little too low for my tastes.

D - An easy, mild session brew. I had no problem downing a few pints of this, though the sweetness can be a bit much after a while.

PatrickJR, Sep 14, 2008
Photo of pweis909
3.45/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up as a $1 single at the local dollar store - they sell 6 packs for regular retail but label broken sixes for individual bottle sales -- for a dollar. It's hit or miss, and the beer may not be the freshest (it's the dollar store, after all) but I have had a chance to try a good assortment without investing in a 6 pack. I digress.

This beer poured a dark amber and had a tightly packed slightly tawny colored head that stuck around for a while.

The smell and taste was dominated by caramel. Possibly there was a teeny touch of chocolate, but the caramel was the big player. While not imbalanced in the sweetness to bitterness ratio department, the caramel makes it one dimensional to a fault, in my opinion, and impinges on my desire to drink more than one.

Final note: I drank half the bottle while waiting for dinner, a chicken curry, and the second half with dinner. The beer did not hold up well to this spicy dish.

pweis909, Sep 13, 2008
Photo of MAB
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My brother-in-law is finally buying good beers to have around for company to drink (he still thinks Heineken is an outstanding import and regularly drinks Corona- with lime- or Canadian/ Blue/ Kokanee).
Thus it was that he offered me a Smithwick's Irish Ale this weekend and I gladly accepted it.
Like other reporters here, I have seen these cans around town many times but never bothered to try them. Espcecially when a world-class Irish Ale from Big Rock Breweries is sitting in bottles right next to these. But, I digress.
The beer was poured into a Foster's pint glass, stolen from some pub somewhere, no doubt, but again I was grateful.

It had a nice dark color with reddish tones, not a lot of head and that dissipated pretty quickly. The first sip was all malt up front but the slight bitterness and hop flavor followed and it finished slightly sweet.
A very decent effort (I do dislike cans, though) and worth having again, if he's buying.
If I'm buying, I'll stick to the McNally's Irish Ale from Big Rock...

MAB, Sep 09, 2008
Photo of brewmudgeon
2.75/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

3.5 A ruddy brownish amber. not much head but nice rings of lacing
3 S citrusy but not grapefruity. some sort of indistinct citrus. maybe a bit of pine
2.5 T not very crisp. that vague citrus taste and some bitterness as aftertaste. something coppery in the taste, something a bit dulling. becomes a bit too boring. tangy, but not crisp enough. astringency sort of like teabags.
3.5 M enough carbonation, nothing offensive
2.5 D 2 pints without much problem, but would not consider a 3rd. resulted in headache and lousy overall feeling.

brewmudgeon, Sep 07, 2008
Photo of chilidog
3.95/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I kept putting this beer off, first impressed by Guinness, but then, this stuff was everwhere, so I kinda backed-up at the mass appeal.

Pours a good looking dark reddish, slightly brown. Nice full off-white to tan head. Lace abounds all glass long, very nice.

Aroma is malted, sour bread, biscuit dough.

Taste is malts, slight toasted, yeast hint with a toach of caramel.

Mouth is good, malted sweetness, alittle thin on body.
The slight wateryness aids the drinkability and the mass appeal. I see why, an ok red. It would be a preferance over a Killian, if I want my true red from Ireland.

chilidog, Sep 07, 2008
Photo of schanker21
3.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a twelve oz. bottle into a cool-looking retro Guinness pint glass.

A- Huge, huge frothy, off white head (like 3 fingers). At first I thought I maybe I made a bad pour, but even on the second bottle, this ended up with a gigantic head. Lacing left all over the glass. Pours a dark reddish/brownish color.

S- Smell is of bread, and a slight bit of hops, but also very metallic. The metallic smell is the most predominant and almost ruins the nose in my opinion.

T- Very malty, but well balanced by a small amount of hops. The metallic smell is not nearly as noticeable in the taste (thankfully). Bready taste lingers on the palate. Pretty good. I've never gotten into Irish Reds too much, but this is one I might buy again.

M- Too much carbonation makes this one a little less smooth than I would have liked. Otherwise, not terrible.

D- Average when it comes to drinkability. I don't know if I could have a ton of these without getting sick of them.

schanker21, Sep 02, 2008
Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale from Guinness Ltd.
79 out of 100 based on 2,268 ratings.