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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.

2,304 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,304
Reviews: 740
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 15.07%
Wants: 25
Gots: 170 | 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: 2,304 | Reviews: 740 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ElGrecoVerde
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is becoming pretty popular now, and with good reason. Poured a dark reddish brown with a decent head.

Smell was toasty and sweet, with a slight bitter coffee smell, which I personally enjoy.

When you taste it you can definitely notice the sweet caramel and coffee flavors. Again, toasty, just like the smell. A little thin, but otherwise tastes great.

The feel was actually pretty similar to Guinness. Smooth and creamy, but this one was a bit more crisp. Altogether makes for a very drinkable beer.

ElGrecoVerde, Jan 16, 2008
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
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.

JohnGalt1, Jan 15, 2008
Photo of sawyer776
2.98/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

There is nothing too terribly wrong with this one, it just tastes a little empty in the finish. If I had to sum it up, I'd say it's essentially like Guinness, but with an abrupt end to the taste just a few seconds after drinking. I probably wouldn't buy another six pack, but if one were served to me I wouldn't complain.

sawyer776, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of Kemmerlin
3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It had a very thin and quickly diminishing head with a reddish brown color. The aromas were of caramel and hops. The taste had strong caramel flavoring and hoppy bitterness. There wasn't much else to this beer it was light and definitely an enjoyable beer and I could put down many in one sitting.

Kemmerlin, Jan 08, 2008
Photo of Poser
3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber brown with a nice frothy head that stays around for the most part. Aroma is a buttery caramel but very subtle. Goes down clean, crisp, and slightly malty with a dry finish. Very smooth, but perhaps too light for me. It's a very good representation of the style.

Poser, Jan 08, 2008
Photo of jar2574
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The white head is initially an inch thick. Beer is a dark amber color.

Pleasant, sweet malty smell, with a hint of coffee.

Toasted malts, less sweetness than the smell indicated. Mouthfeel is a little watery. Easy to drink though, and quite enjoyable.

jar2574, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of mattster
2.95/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Opened 12oz bottle, poured into pint glass.

Thin creamy head dissipates quickly, light lace on top. Nice dark Red with light haze. No Visible bubbles.

Smell is of malts, no other smells - although I thought I had a brief hint of chocolate. Taste is uninspired. Dry, but a tad malty, slight bitter.

This is not a bad brew, just nothing that stands out. It is pretty smooth on the finish, not over powering, very easy to drink.

mattster, Dec 29, 2007
Photo of HardTarget
3.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Inspection: List 4.5% and an indecipherable date code that lets me know they don’t want me to know how old it is. I don’t normally note bottle condition, but this one seems roughly made with an obvious seem.

Aroma: (4.5) Floral hops, almost rose, with a lightly toasted sweet malt base.

Appearance: (4) Gorgeous clear amber glass shows a white head that lasts and laces.

Flavor: (3.5) An earthiness combined with a hop leaf. Malt is supportive but not sweet, hops are full flavored without bittering, a very well balanced brew.

Mouthfeel: (3) Medium light body with moderate to low carbonation. Fairly clean finish.

Overall Impression: (4.5) The leafy note in the taste and the last leaf of Fall appearance makes this the perfect Autumn beer. Taste is simple, but interesting enough to make a great session. Glad to see this one in bottles in Texas.

HardTarget, Dec 24, 2007
Photo of OtisinAZ
4.03/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Great beer! I can't believe it took this long to try it. After 2 all I could think was I want more. Terrific malty taste with a dark amber color. The head had small bubbles that had just the right amount of mouth feel. Lasing stuck right to the glass.

OtisinAZ, Dec 16, 2007
Photo of BeerLover729
3.1/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with a red hue and little to no head when in a pint glass from a local bar. The smell was of malt with a note of roasted barley. The roasted barley comes through more in the taste with a coffeeish character present, perhaps from chocolate specialty malts. Medium to light body with crisp carbonation. Goes down smoothly. Drinkable.

BeerLover729, Dec 16, 2007
Photo of barleyman
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the brown glass 12 oz. bottle into my straight sided tumbler. The ample medium white head dissapates and leaves a nice lace down the side of my glass. This is one beer whose taste really suffers if it is consumed too cold. The smell is malt and raisins. The taste is quite nice and malty. Mouthfeel is quite light and one could session a few of these with no problem. The draft product available in Ireland is quite a bit more characterful.

Just a thought,


barleyman, Dec 09, 2007
Photo of rossioak
4.28/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I tried it origionally at a bar and had to puchase some more. Alittle pricey however, $9 for a 6-pack in centeral Wisconsin. Pours with a great head and beautiful appearance. I have been told it is used to top off a true Irish Black and Tan of a glass of Guinness with Smithwick's added to the top. Sounds tastey to me!

rossioak, Dec 06, 2007
Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap at the Old Corner Cafe, Naugatuck, Conn.

A: Pours a reddish amber color with a thin head of tight, white foam. Very clear and not too much carbonation to take note of.

S: Smells malty and slightly metallic. Odorless for the majority, but there are some smoked, fruity notes on a deep whiff.

T: Tastes smooth, creamy, definitely caramel malts, and no real hoppiness to be had.

M: It's a light-medium bodied brew, fairly clean, smooth and easy-drinking.

D: Given it's lower ABV, solid body and good taste, this could make for a great session brew.

It's not too sweet, and not too dominating in any way. If you're staring at this or a McSorley's, go for the former, and support Guinness Ltd. a bit more, yeah?

Gambrinus1184, Dec 04, 2007
Photo of BDIMike
4.13/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is almost perfect. Head stays thick throughout the entire beer, nice amber color.
Not a lot on the smell, but one doesn't expect a lot with an Irish red ale.
Taste is great. Nice malty smoothness. Fills in on the mouthfeel but goes down smooth.
I've been to Ireland and definitely could drink this all day and all night.
Great beer. When mixed with Guinness for a REAL black and tan is very tasty.

BDIMike, Dec 01, 2007
Photo of BiereBlanche
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. Bottle

Appearance - Clear, deep crimson amber pour capped off by a fluffy 2 finger beige head. The head settles slowly, leaving a light clouding over the top and sticky lacing up the sides. Looks pleasant and rich.

Smell - Sweet and malty, slightly caramel. Hops are hard to pick out

Taste - The malt flavor is sweet, but not entirely unbalanced. The bitternes is light, allowing the malt flavors to be enjoyed. Maybe a slight bit of roastiness as it's warmed up. The aftertaste is a very nice, sweet caramelly filling the mouth. Really very smooth.

Mouthfeel - Medium-full body, light carbonation.

Drinkability - I could very well see drinking this daily. It's very smooth and has an enjoyably sweet flavor. Hops bitter is fairly mellow, but allows sweet, full malt characteristics to come through. Roasty malt floavor could come through more. Very nice drink.

BiereBlanche, Nov 21, 2007
Photo of SargeC
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Amber-brown with a frothy, beige head that lingers.

Smell: Smoky, sweet malt and light molasses.

Taste: Sharp initial bite followed by a soothing wave of smoky malt. Produces a refreshing quality.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body. Thinner than expected. Provides a light, yet flavorful drinking experience.

Drinkability: This is a great, flavorful session brew. Offers decent flavor in a light package.

SargeC, Nov 17, 2007
Photo of madjr80
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I really liked the way it looked when pouring it into a glass. Not the best red ale, but worth a shot in a pinch. Could have used a bit more hops, but it had great head retention. I had this in Ireland and was advised to try a black and tan with Guinness.

madjr80, Nov 13, 2007
Photo of Rootdog316
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The pint pours beautifully. A thick, creamy, everlasting head. The beer is coppery with a tinge of brown, looking like a foamy iced tea. The aroma is very mild. Maybe a little grassy, but only the merest hint. The flavor is balanced, and both the bitter hops and sweet malt hit you at the same time. The malt stands out a bit more, giving it the essence of a proper Guinness stout. It's smooth, but a little thin. Medium bodied at best, so it's not going to be overly filling.

Rootdog316, Nov 12, 2007
Photo of shererjt
3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a clear, light copper color with a very large, creamy, off-white head. Fairly neutral aroma with some malt and not much else. Pleasant, but mild. Light-to-medium body. Mild and smooth, with a fairly dry and possibly adjuncty finish. Still pretty decent, though. Mouthfeel was smooth, though it lacked depth and body. Would say the drinkability was just average, especially considering the price.

An about average, non-offensive beer. Reminds me of the old Murphy's Amber, which I suppose is the point.

shererjt, Nov 02, 2007
Photo of JamesS
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a wonderful shining copper color and has a fantastic head and great lacing. Has a very nice smell, towards hoppy, but with a slight sweet tang. The taste is the opposite, it has a nice malty sweet flavor with just a slight bitter aftertaste. Very mild but pleasing. It goes down very, very easily.

JamesS, Nov 02, 2007
Photo of MarzenMan
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an imported 12 oz bottle. I was served this beer as a blind tasting. Here is the review I made from that:

A - Very Impressive. A very dark brown beer which barely lets light pass through. 1 finger rocky head. As much lacing as I've ever seen but head retention is low.

S - Roasted malt. Not much else.

T - Roasted malty carmely not quite chocolate taste. Little to no detectable hops. The roasted malt is understated and very smooth. Not a complex beer and no strong flavours.

M - Smooth and very slightly creamy. Faint carbonation.

D - Very high. Very smooth and light with a relatively low ABV at 4.5%. You could easily drink a sixer of these in a night.

MarzenMan, Oct 28, 2007
Photo of Shadman
3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This brew has been on my -to-review- list for a while. Color certianly fits the profile, a reddish copper, clear with amn off white bordering on tan head. Reasonably creamy in texture, but retention is poor compared to say...Kilkenny.

Smell is a definite Irish Red. Toasted malt is quite bold and up front. Taste is generally where it should be as well...toasted malt with a solid tea-like hop bitterness and dry finish.

One could do worse....certainly worth another try and more than 1 at that

Shadman, Oct 27, 2007
Photo of terrapinchris
3.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just had it on tap at a local British pub. My friend recommended it to me, so I figured I'd give it a go.

Barmaid served it in a pint glass. Came as a lovely amber/ruby color with an almost nonexistent head. I wasn't sure if I would be getting a Scottish-style ale, a red ale, a pale ale, or a regular brown ale. Apparently it would be a red ale, which I was absolutely fine with.

There wasn't much of a smell to it, but it did have that pleasant fresh-cut grass smell that I often associate with amber ales.

It tasted deliciously fresh, with the chewy sweetness of a red ale being the first thing I noticed. These are the distinct notes of malted barley, which are promptly followed by a hops kick that almost reminds me of the west coast's ubiquitous cascade hops. Needless to say, this is a pleasant surprise. Just as the nose indicated, it has a grassy taste that is complement by lemon and the afore-mentioned creamy sweetness, with enough kick to keep a hop-head like me satisfied.

The mouthfeel is fairly pleasant, as it has enough body to allow the flavors to linger well after the finish.

This would make a terrific session beer, as it goes down smooth, and becomes better tasting the further into the glass you get. Not a beer that will make you stop and ponder life's mysteries, but a great lunchtime/afternoon drink.

terrapinchris, Oct 22, 2007
Photo of LeftonJackman
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bellied up to a Mavis Winkle's bar during my grandfather's 80th birthday celebration. Saw it on tap and had to have one pulled.

A: A deep amber/brown but still crisp enough to catch a carbon bubble or two. A finger and a half, healthy head that stuck around.

S: This is where I was looking for more. A little understated for me but with slight aromas of butter and toffee.

T: Again, understated, but not to say it isn't a delicious beer. Buttery caramel, nutty with the hoppiness kicking in towards the draw. A great crisp carbonated brew. Light and easy.

M: Very smooth mouth feel, easy to drink. The carbonation is just right.

D: All together very drinkable and lovely to sway to the Irish drinking songs we sang. Thanks to Mavis Winkle's for keeping this a regular on tap. Not what I would expect from an Irish red, but I will enjoy it again.

(And it is "SMIT-icks" to the Irish and not "Smith-wicks" like we yanks say.)

LeftonJackman, Oct 21, 2007
Photo of Amalak
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A nice dark amber. Solid head off the tap.

S: Very mild, couldn't pick much up.

T: Nutty, smooth, but very sly in its taste, meaning it goes under the radar.

M: Like a Guinness, just not as good.

D: Smooth, but doesn't have the kick I would hope for with something this dark.

It is like the younger brother, but where the older brother got the best genes.

Amalak, Oct 20, 2007
Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale from Guinness Ltd.
79 out of 100 based on 2,304 ratings.