1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
BA SCORE
79
okay

2,268 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,268
Reviews: 739
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 15.03%
Wants: 24
Gots: 154 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd. visit their website
Ireland

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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,268 | Reviews: 739 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of alexskovan
3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured copper-amber with a huge off-white head that was very sturdy. (I set the bottle-cap on top of the head, and it didn't quite "float", but it did sink very slowly -- so slowly I was able to pluck it out before it sank into the beer.) Aroma was toasty malt, with hops behind that. Taste is round and everything hits you at once. Biittersweet, with that hard-water feel in the mouth that is so nice if you like it (I do). Nicely bitter aftertaste.

A very good ale.

alexskovan, Feb 24, 2007
Photo of cyberbmcd
3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I guess I was expecting more from this Ale when I tried it. Being of Irish descent and knowing an Irish beer "must" be great I felt a little let down.

Now, with that said, this is a FINE brew. Smithwick's ale is golden/amber when poured with a fine head that lingers(something MOST American brews still lack) fine lacing and a wonderful malt aroma.

The smooth, creamy mouthfeel is the redemption of this ale since the flavor left me wanting.

All in all I certainly wouldn't turn one down if offerred to me, but unless I'm in the mood for one, I'll grab something more to my liking at the distributor.

cyberbmcd, Feb 23, 2007
Photo of mpyle
3.58/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Robust amber color with sparkling clarity. Medium sized off-white head with good retention. Swirling leaves behind a bit of a lace.

Caramel malt, a bit sherry-like, overall malty and no hops, quite clean.

A malty flavor, caramel sweet, but with an aged, oxidized character almost like an Old Ale. Subtle hop bitterness slightly offsets the malt, but overall is malty and a bit sweet. Lingering sweetness that dries slightly at the finish.

Medium body and carbonation. Very creamy mouthfeel that is fabulous.

Nice example of the style. Slight oxidized character added complexity, but detracted somewhat. Dark malt drying could be more pronounced to sharpen the finish.

mpyle, Feb 18, 2007
Photo of xzqrut
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer poured out a nice deep brown, with decent head and carbonation. Smell gave a nice hop aroma, and the taste had a nice surprising hoppiness to it as well. Mouthfeel seemed to be a little syrupy at times, but overall was surprised at my enjoyment of this one.

xzqrut, Feb 09, 2007
Photo of FenwaySquid
3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presenatation: 12 oz brown bottle, no dating, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep reddish brown color with decent head retention.

Aroma: Sweet caramel malts.

Taste: Sweet caramel malts mixed with some hops, not bitter though. The finish is chocolate and caramel malts, a little bitter. Very pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and smooth, almost creamy. Carbonation was in good balance as well.

Overall: Very enjoyable. I could easily drink a lot of these in one sitting if nothing better was available and not even complain. Can't say that about the other Guinness brews, there's only so much Guinness and Harp a person should have to endure.

FenwaySquid, Feb 09, 2007
Photo of DirtyGoat
3.9/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

Very drinkable beer, I usually give this to my friends who enjoy drinking the foul delights of Bud Light. Very lightweight in the mouth. Too fizzy for my taste. I am almost confused as how this falls into an Ale catergory as this is very Lager-like. Very little head when poured into a glass, very nice red color to it as well. Its a nice alternative to my everyday beer.

DirtyGoat, Feb 06, 2007
Photo of Sconnie
3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a bottle of this last night, a very solid brew. Nice brown color with good head retention (it is a Guinness brew). Slight carmel smell. A bit of malty sweetness and a bit of hop flavor; nothing overpowering in either but a good blend with plenty of flavor. A smooth finish. Overall a very drinkable beer.

Sconnie, Feb 03, 2007
Photo of neonbrown82
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New to the Iowa City market, and available on-tap at the local Old Chicago. Much more enjoyable than I expected it to be. Still quite pedestrian, as I expected, but it actually has some character to it, unlike Guinness which I can't even taste.

For some reason I was expecting an Irish Dry Stout, so you can imagine my surprise when I was served a rusty colored amber ale. I would have appreciated more of a head, but the bartender assumed I wanted the Miller Light pour, all the way to the brim. I am not dick-ish enough to turn it away and ask for a straight pour. Nonetheless it turned out well. Decent lacing and carbonation.

The smell is nice, if not a tad on the sweet side. Very candy-like. Can't tell if it's from the malt or the hops. Intriguing. I don't know whether to like it or hate it. Even though it isn't what I would expect for an Irish Red (seems to be lacking its balls), I can't honestly say it is horrible or undrinkable.

The taste is the same. Fruity and floral. Nice and sweet malt flavors. Has the taste of hops, but no bitterness. Not even the slightest hint of roasted or caramel malt. Like I said, it lacks its balls. Almost tastes a bit foo-foo. It is still quite pleasant and easy drinking. I would probably drink it again even though it is the epitome of pedestrian brew. Despite its downfalls (or rather, lack of high points), it is a very good all around beer. I am surprised it is made by Guinness, considering I loathe the lack of flavor in Guinness and Harp is no better, IMO.

neonbrown82, Jan 26, 2007
Photo of Musky
4.2/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Has a nice ruby red color with rich and smooth head that recedes with a nice lace. Has a sweetness to the aroma, very smooth on the tongue with just the right amount of carbonation. An extremely easy drinking ale with tones of chocolate. Hop aroma is virtually none existence which is perfect for this style all malt.

Musky, Jan 10, 2007
Photo of GreenCard
2.83/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: hazelnut brown, good clarity, pillowy layer of light tan foam, good head retention

Aroma: caramelly apples, dark bread, brown sugar

Flavor: mellow malt sweetness with a roasty edge like a thinned out Guinness; slight acidity and nuttiness; finishes dryish with a dark malt aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium body, bubbly carbonation, dry

Other comments: Would probably never have heard of this beer if it wasn't in a 24-pack mixed case my mom had bought from Sam's Club. I can say without a doubt that I would still have died a happy man if that had been the case!

GreenCard, Dec 29, 2006
Photo of zuggy9
4.1/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A wonderful Irish ale, it pours a dark amber with a fine white head. It tends to have a pleasantly sharp taste with sweet malt qualities. It is very smooth and full bodied. It's a family favorite and is a great ale to accompany a good meal, snack time or a movie at home.

zuggy9, Dec 21, 2006
Photo of JustinOSU99
3.13/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Slightly dark amber color with a head that poured large and settled nicely.
S: Slightly disappointed as the first scent that came to mind was rusty metal. Slight caramel and orange scents also.
T: Good deep taste that far differs from the smell of the beer. Slight hints of caramel and chocolate with spicy aftertaste.
MF: Sits light in the mouth and goes down easy. Has a creamy feel in the mouth ( not as creamy as a porter or stout, but nice for an ale)
D: I could drink a few of these before I would have to switch to a nice stout.

JustinOSU99, Dec 21, 2006
Photo of maddogruss
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried a Smitty's tonight at a fine Irish pub. A nice, dark red ale with a good, white head that retained throughout the beer, lacing galore. Smelled a little malty and toasted. Tasted very toasted; reminded me of a stout. Nice mouthfeel; thick enough where you know you're drinking a good ale. Very drinkable all the way around; recommended.

maddogruss, Dec 16, 2006
Photo of jcdiflorio
3.9/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

served into a Guinness pub glass from a 12oz.long neck brown bottle with crimped-on cap.

Meduim copper/red clear.Creamy,rocky white head 2'' thick with good retention, chunks of lace clinging down the sides of the glass.

A nice malty nose, roasty/carmelly with a smoked peat aroma.Clean,with a pleasing earthy quality.

Complex malty tastes of chocolate/caramell/roasty with a slight burnt taste. Clean,sharp finish with an earty bitterness and sweet caramell,slightly tart with a lingering sweetness.

Light to medium mouthfeel.a bit grainy.Very drinkable a smooth and refreshing beer.My first Smithwick's,didn't get a lot of good imput on this beer. A pleasing suprise for me. I found this to be a very good beer.

jcdiflorio, Dec 03, 2006
Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.2/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark reddish in color, maintains a solid copper head throughout. Caramel malts graze the nose; light notes of burnt toast become more noticeable during warming. The taste is solid—caramel malts, wheat crackers and white bread toast. The palate is left creamy, with a touch of almonds. Medium bodied, decent flavors and passes the test for the style. Simple and easy going. Nothing to complain about.

GeoffRizzo, Nov 24, 2006
Photo of Foxman
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours a deep amber, almost mahongany in the center. A finger of light tan head dips soon to mere surface traces of foam. Squiggles of lacing jot the inside of the glass.

The aroma is rather thin, though it does carry elements of slightly berry sweet malt, and the hop presence is pretty much a perceived crispness as opposed to a real aroma.

Upon tasting, a managed malt fruitiness comes about, slightly sweet and with a nutty component. The hops are more disctinct here, though just, with a muted slicy floral note playing through. The finish is actually nicely refreshing, with a lingering crispness that dries more as it fades. The overall flavor is nothing to crow about, but it is pleasant enough.

Light bodied, it has a fair measure of presence on the palate, with the crisp glow lingering most.

It certainly starts rather pretty, and while it struggles a bit in the nose, the final verdict is certifiably positive. While nothing stands out, it accomplishes what I think it sets out to do, which is to come off as nice, pleasant, and if a bit above average, quite drinkable as well. So it will never be my first choice, but I wouldn't gripe if it pulled my fat out of the fire in a barren beer-scape somewhere.

Foxman, Nov 08, 2006
Photo of supercolter
4.03/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is quite good, with the very dark brown color, the 1and a half finger of head and the fair amount of lacing on the side of the glass.
Smell is pretty lopsided, so much malt and so dry. But it definately intrigued me.
Taste was exactly what the smell led me to believe. Pretty delicious.
Mouthfeel was light to medium in body.
Drinkability was good.

supercolter, Nov 07, 2006
Photo of BBM
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this beer on taps many times, and for some reason it varies more than any other beer I've tried. Some I've had Smithick's have blown me away, and yet others have not been good at all. Fortunately I am reviewing a good one tonight.

The beer pours a dark clear brown, with a nice 1/2 inch foamy tan head. Good retention and lacing. Smell is a light malty smell, with a nutty aroma as well.

The taste is quite a good balance of hops and malt; it never gets overly bitter nor sweet. The malt does come through a bit more than the hops though. Mouthfeel is surprisingly full and dry, yet there is a good amount of carbination. The beer goes down incredibly easy, and is quite drinkable. It is certainly reccomended if you enjoy a sessionable dark ale.

BBM, Oct 28, 2006
Photo of goschool
2.95/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've had a few pints of Smithwick's on-tap at Scotland Yard Pub, a smoky dive in Canoga Park, CA, but I had never seen it in bottles before this Spring. It was on sale for $5.99 at Ralph's.

Appearance: The pour is clear mahogany with bright red highlights topped by a respectable sized off-white head that shrinks to a thin layer.

Smell: The nose is rather weak. There's toasted malts, caramel malts, and not much else.

Taste: The taste has a much greater presence than the aroma. The flavor profile has toasted malts, caramel malts, toffee, non-descript fruit, yeast, and a light hop bitterness. Unfortunately, everything comes together in a dull flavor profile

Mouthfeel: The body is on the lighter side of the medium bodied spectrum. It's smooth and creamy, but slightly watery.

Drinkability: It's a half-decent session ale and an okay choice when faced with some of the other options at most English or Irish-style pubs in the US.

goschool, Oct 23, 2006
Photo of AustinBeerLvr
3.48/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at an Irish Pub in Austin.

Pours a nice looking redish, brown clear color. The smell of the beer isn't all that compex, as there isn't much there other than a hint of a nutty flavor. Its taste is good but not that complext at all. About the only thing I got from this brew was just a hint of roasted malt and nuts, with little finish at the end. This may sound strange, but I also tasted what seemed to be kind of a clean paste to it as well in the middle of the sip. Not bad, but just kind of strange. For the style, its mouthfeel is kind of watery. It could defenitely use more body for an Irish red ale.

I usually drink this brew whenever I go to an Irish pub here in Austin. It's a fairly easy drinking beer, kind of like if AB where to switch to mass producing an ale instead of a lager. I like it, but there are better Irish ales out there.

AustinBeerLvr, Oct 22, 2006
Photo of mooseisloose
2.75/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours to a unique delightful metallic brown in colour. Nice macro bubble head that holds up nicely. Head clings nicely. Good lacing. Smell is malty. Taste is kind of neutral. The balance of malt and hops is too good and nothing stands out at the beginning but the hops bitter comes through in the end. Rare taste for an ale. Carbonation is perfect. Not bad but don't think it will be on the list of favorites for imbibing. They may want to stick with the Guinness.

mooseisloose, Oct 21, 2006
Photo of malcolm723
4.72/5  rDev +36.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this on tap at a local bar. I had never heard of this beer before trying it. Heard it was made by Guinness, and thought I might give it a try. Pours a reddish brown color. With about 2 finger length head that recedes quite quickly. Leaves a light lace on the glass. Hints of caramel, sweet with some smoothness, and light carbonation.
Goes down pretty good. All around good beer. I would take this over a Guinness Draught.

malcolm723, Oct 17, 2006
Photo of pgenius
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ahh, my Irish eyes are smiling. Another one of my favorites. It’s dark in appearance but doesn’t taste like you would expect. Unlike most people who use Bass, every time I have a Black & Tan, its gotta be with this stuff. However, it is slightly over carbonated for my taste. Overall it’s a good malty ale with nice body and a light carbonation.

pgenius, Oct 10, 2006
Photo of KarlHungus
2.4/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This brew pours a clear dark red color. The head is two-fingers in height, and recedes slowly into decent lacing. The aroma is of malty and mildly spicy. The taste is amazing, but not in a good way. I am amazed at how a beer this dark can have such little flavor. There is absolutely nothing there while the beer is in my mouth, and the aftertaste of caramel malt is very mild. The mouthfeel is overcarbonated, which might account for some of the lack of flavor. It is also very light in body. Overall, this beer is a major disappointment. I will not buy this again.

KarlHungus, Oct 08, 2006
Photo of adammills
3.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this 12oz bottle into a glass mug which managed to raise a thick head which slowly became creamy as it thinned. The brew is an ambery brown and a bit more carbonated than I expected. A slight malty sweetness both in smell and taste, slight bitterness. Solid mouthfeel, pretty drinkable.

adammills, Oct 07, 2006
Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale from Guinness Ltd.
79 out of 100 based on 2,268 ratings.