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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.

2,270 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,270
Reviews: 739
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 15.03%
Wants: 24
Gots: 155 | 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: 2,270 | Reviews: 739 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of gonzo138
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- pours a deep reddish color, has a creamy white head that retains decently and laces okay

S- a sweet roasted like malt type smell, very crisp

T- malty sweet taste with a light hop aftertaste

M- too carbonated for my taste, very dry

D- its okay, im not too impressed, its definitely not awful, would drink again, probly would not buy again though

gonzo138, Oct 04, 2006
Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.18/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - A ruby to mahogany color with a monsterous head that lives for a while. Lacing coats the pint glass in big uneven lumps.

S - A touch of smoke on a stronger caramel malt with a rice pungency.

T - A light smoky caramel malt flavor with a bland bitter aftertaste. It is an alright flavor.

M - Carbonation is absurdly high (makes for a like look though) and the brew is of a medium viscosity. Pretty refreshing.

D - This is a pretty quaffable brew. I think it might get old during a session since it is virtually devoid of any hoppy character, but it is certainly the sort of brew one could drink every day. A decent food brew for sure.

mrasskicktastic, Oct 04, 2006
Photo of LarryV
3.63/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured with a 1 inch thick creamy head that faded to a 1/8 inch layer after several long minutes. Lots of lacing left a ladder like effect down the side of the glass. Aroma of malt, crisp and clean.
Taste is malty with a subtle caramel undertone, little hoppiness.
Sweetness is held in check very well making this an easy drinking brew that would session easily.

LarryV, Sep 27, 2006
Photo of gosurfobx
3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice ruby red color with a one finger width head that fads to a nice film and leaves some lacing on the glass. Just by looking at the glass I can tell that the bar is serving the beer too cold. The beer has a sweet smell with a small hint of hops. At first taste the beer is too cold and the flavors are muted. Wraping my hands around the pint glass helps warm it to a good temperature. Once the beer is at a good temp the flavors come out much better. There is nice carmel sweetness with a slight peaty smokeyness and only a slight hint of hops. The mouth is a little on the heavy side with low carbination. A good irish red.

gosurfobx, Sep 23, 2006
Photo of cjgator3
3.63/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber color with creamy white head with pretty good retention. Aroma is clean with malt, biscuit and nuts. Much like the aroma, the taste is roasted malt with a dry finish. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Overall, this is a solid brew that makes for a good session.

cjgator3, Sep 22, 2006
Photo of Phocion
3.03/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured darker than I remember in the bottle, though this could just have been because of the lighting at the pub. The bartender knew how to pour for a change, so it had a decent finger or two of head which quickly fell into a thin lacing.

Smell was light, same as I remember in the bottle. Roasted malt.

Taste was less complex than I remember. Light creamy roasted malts and somewhat nutty.

Thin mouthfeel, especially amplified by the temperature it was served at. Smooth, but thin. I managed to knock back about four or five pints before last call so I'd have to say that it is indeed a decent session beer, but nothing I'd order at a real beer bar.

Phocion, Sep 21, 2006
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.03/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big “Thank you” goes out to Chris & Adam for providing this beer. 12oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: The beer is a copper-brown color with slight red tint. It has a thick, tan head which takes a while to fade and leaves a decent lace on the glass.

S: There’s a pleasant smell, but it isn’t too strong. It’s mostly a smell of malt, with some caramel and little bit of hops. I would have scored this category higher if the smell were a little stronger.

T: You can certainly taste the malt right away and all throughout as you drink it. You can also tell that there’s some hops bitterness trying to poke its way through. Caramel stays behind in a syrupy but mild after-taste.

M: Very smooth with a rich, medium body and light carbonation. It goes down very easy.

D: The smoothness and sweetness makes it very easy to drink. It’s one of those beers that you can pound away without realizing how much you’re drinking. I had tried this beer previously and remember the taste being too strong and too bitter, which made me hesitant to try it again and made me question the hype that I had heard about it, but I’m thinking it might have been skunked that first time. Overall, I think this is a very good beer and would certainly recommend it, especially if you’re looking to try this style for the first time.

TheManiacalOne, Sep 18, 2006
Photo of zymurgy4all
4.3/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Overall a beer very worth trying. The bottom line up front: A light colored smoked Guinness Stout. This is a very rewarding beer. My wife picked it up for me while we were visiting her parents in the Villages, Florida, and obviously she has figured out that if the beer she looks for is one I have never had, buy it, and this was it. For some reason I cannot seem to find this one anywhere in Alabama.
I am a huge fan of Alaskan Smoked Porter or any Rauchbeer smoked kind of beer, and this is the first one I've been able to get semi-locally.

It has a nice brownish-reddish color, good lacing, and medium body mouthfeel. The taste is totally an Irish Ale with smoked malt overtones. It must be brewed with Irish ale style yeast, and the signature guinness sour stuff--I can taste it here for sure. But if you don't like the darkness of Guinness, this is one to try for sure. It is a lighter color, and possibly a lighter body than Guinness, but some great robust flavors too.

Drinkability: I could drink these all night, but the average yellow beer drinker may not be able to hold more than 2 or so before drinking yellow water again for alcohol instead of flavor.

zymurgy4all, Sep 17, 2006
Photo of KevinB
3.95/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I could drink these all night. A nice beer with some flavor. I had my first one over a decade ago when I was 16 on my first trip over in IRL. I purchased it in a Pint can at a local grocery, for some reason I remember it tasting just a little bit differently then the ones now available in the U.S. I remember it tasting a little sweeter and less metalic, either way I am glad it's in the states, you could serve these to anyone and they wont complain. It's a happy medium between macros and micros.

I poured this into a conical pint, the beer has alot of carbonation, lots of bubbles creating a foamy tan head which disappears steadily over time. Color is a nice dark amber, smell is very mild aroma with hints of hops and roasted barley. The taste is mild, more of a teaser yet still has plenty of flavor. Mouthfeel is good, overall this is a nice beer that you could drink year round, it has a decent amount of flavor but wont overwhelm the taste buds, will go down smooth. and leave a nice lace on the sides of the glass.

KevinB, Sep 15, 2006
Photo of Rudgers73
3.35/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a nice deep reddish-brown with a thin head that leaves quickly. The aroma is rather thin, but it smells sweet, roasted, with a touch of alcohol. The taste is also a little thin but it is nutty, and a little tart at the finish. Smooth throughout but not quite bold enough for me. It has a great mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation, not too thick. It is a beer you can drink all night if you are feeling like mild tasting beer.

Rudgers73, Sep 11, 2006
Photo of kimcgolf
3.38/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured to a brownish red, with thick white head that lasted long and then left very good lacing. Not a real strong aroma, but what was there was a nutty, almost brown ale nose. I enjopyed the flavor more than an American Brown Ale, although it was hard to pick out a distinctive flavor. Had a decent finish. Not a bad beer all and all.

kimcgolf, Sep 10, 2006
Photo of TechMyst
4.43/5  rDev +28%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Container Volume: 335ml

Container type: Bottle

Head: Slight

Lace: Good

Reflected- Red
Transmitted- RubyRed

Aroma: Good

Mouthfeel: Medium

Palate: adjusts well

Comments: Sharp and crisp taste! Slightly too much carbonation taste for me (freshness of sample is in question). Medium body and mouthfeel. Better than I expected. Hint of Sweet-Black-Cherries.

Mowing/Working on car- n
With Friends- y
Sipping- y
Get my buzz on- y

TechMyst, Sep 08, 2006
Photo of jglazer75
4.22/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'll cop to a slight bias: I love Irish Reds. I've had a lot of them. And, I really really liked this one. For me it sets the standard. I've had better, to be sure. I'm not saying this is "the best" Irish Red I've had. I am saying it is an excellent example of the genre; every brewer should strive to make theirs like this one.

Appearance: Amber red; laces well with a thick head

Smell: smells lightly roasted and slightly malty/bread-like mixed with a bit of honey or light fruity undertone

Taste: exactly what an Irish Red should taste like; full but clean and sharp with a fruity, slightly hoppy bite; it's not exactly a complex flavor, but you can distinctly taste the maltiness and hoppiness - it's like the marriage of chocolate and peanut butter - while distinct flavors, they meld together yet retain their distinctiveness

Mouthfeel: a quick hoppy/fruity hit which quickly turns into a finds it feet, runs around in your mouth for a minute or two and then disappears so you can enjoy the next sip

Drinkability: I wouldn't want to drink a whole six pack (but I would), but I'd definitely greatly appreciate 2 or 3 of them.

jglazer75, Sep 05, 2006
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.08/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not unlike Guinness which now owns Smithwick's, there are several versions - at least 5 to be sure:
- Irish draught with an original gravity of just 9 Plato
- export to Canada (Smithwick's Export) with an OG of 12 and 5% abv
- an Italian version at 13 Plato
- and a slightly bigger Italian version starting at 15 Plato (Kilkenny Strong)
- the bottled version that's now being sold in the US at 4.5% abv which is brewed by Guinness in Dublin.

The US version is dark with a rich mahogany color and deep amber highlights. The head is creamy and ivory in color. The head retention is quite good, and it leaves some very nice rings of lace about the glass.

The nose is limited, but a whiff of dull roasty malt and some delicate yeasty fruitiness can be discerned. It's clean, and that differs from the slightly buttery version that comes out of the abbey brewery in Kilkenny because it's different yeast. I much prefer the "English" character of the former.

It's light-medium bodied and remarkably smooth and creamy - note, this beer really needs to be enjoyed at, or just below, cellar temperature.

The flavor is a bit fuller than the nose implies with a nice combination of scortched caramel (it's not particularly sweet), lightly toasty malt, and dull roastiness. A thin thread of yeasty fruitiness floats about in there, and some earthy and leafy hop flavors give it ballast; as does the limited (@ 28 IBU's), but very firm, bitterness. A touch of toasty and nutty malt appears in the finish but immediately vanishes, followed by some more leafy hops and a dull, lingering bitterness.

It makes a great session ale, but there's really not much more going on. If I were out at the pub I'd have one or two of these and then switch up to Guinness. Some of the other versions, however, offer more character.

NeroFiddled, Sep 03, 2006
Photo of KroMagnon
3.15/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice appearance, amber with a slight head. the aroma was slightly fruity and herbal, with a touch of malt. The flavor was mostly malt with some slight herbal hoppiness, a nice complement but not terribly brilliant or innovative. The mouthfeel had a rather large tannin quality, it was similar to drinking iced tea (but yeah it was really beer). A bit off, I think I'll pass next time.

KroMagnon, Aug 30, 2006
Photo of veech
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a good representation of what an Irish red ale should look and taste like. A: Deep auburn with med brown body,med carbonation with little to no head and light lacing S: Caramel malts with peat like undertones T: very mild maltiness with a little hoppiness on the back end for balance and a strong finish. M: medium mouthfeel with enough coverage and body to satisfy D: easily drinkable with session prospects quite high. Overall it was a good ale with repetitive samplings easily desirable. I was unable to tour the brewery while in Kilkenny last August and hope to return some day as this is a great Irish ale.

veech, Aug 30, 2006
Photo of afinepilsner
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bown bottle

Smithwick's Irish ale was dark amber in color with a large light tan head. The head faded to a thin layer, but remained until the beer was gone, leaving a little lace behind. There was some sweet malt in the nose. The taste was fairly light, sweet malt upfront with a bitter finish. The body and carbonation were both on the light side. It would make a good session beer.

afinepilsner, Aug 27, 2006
Photo of bort11
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I had this at Mickey's Irish Pub and Grill in Gladstone. Mickey's is a very standard bar and grill, but it's close to home and so far they have had a good crowd.

Poured into a tumbler pint glass. Standard American bar pour, so very little head. What head there was left an acceptable white ring around the edge. Color was a clear, dark reddish brown. Smell was a strait forward hop malt mix. Slightly bitter, slightly sweet. Taste added a bit of orange peel to the mix. Mouthfeel was clean and refreshing. Irish Reds are straight up session beers, and it's really hard to screw one up. In this session I had about 6 over about an hour time. Good times.

bort11, Aug 25, 2006
Photo of dubman003
3.48/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I think Smithwicks is the more drinkable Guiness. I know some that swear by Guiness, but some of that is the "Irishness" of the drink (like it's cool to be Irish, you know?). But Smithwick's is good, especially on a fresh keg. Unfortunately, not everyone knows about it so a keg can sit at my drinking hole for awhile. On the other hand, when the bartender tells me the keg is new, I drink the stuff until I can't stand. Good taste, good to introduce to friends. Enjoy a pint.

dubman003, Aug 17, 2006
Photo of cratez
3.23/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled on tap during a recent trip to southern Ireland.

Appearance: dark amber/brown body with a bubbly tan head that promptly fizzles away. Lacing is sticky and consistent.

Smell: mildly sweet and hoppy, notes of roasted malt.

Taste: smooth caramel malt flavour with traces of barley and a slightly bitter finish. Alcohol is almost untraceable - Smithwick's is 3.8% in Ireland - and the carbonation adds a sharp bite to the taste.

Mouthfeel: there's no head on this beer and the body is too carbonated, which makes for a pop-like mouthfeel. The dry aftertaste disappears quickly.

Drinkability: overall, a decent beer. Smithwick's is a lighter, more carbonated version of Kilkenny. Worth trying.

cratez, Aug 09, 2006
Photo of perfectkaos
3/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

much like its sister beer, guiness, this beer isnt anything to write home about. it pours a copper color into a pint glass with a lot of head.

tastes sort of bitter, and has more of a pilsner feel (although its certainly not a pilsner) than that of an ale.

might make a good session beer.

perfectkaos, Aug 08, 2006
Photo of trevorwideman
3.4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into a pint glass. Copper red colouring with a low/medium carbonation. A fair-sized frothy head subsides quickly then flattens leaving a bit of lace. Smell is packed with sweet roasted caramel malt character, seems a bit on the cloying side. Slight fruitiness and an earthy backbone.

Taste has a bit more bitterness than I expected, which is nice, the roasted character comes through a lot more, and the sweetness, which still a bit cloying, is balanced by a nuttiness and astringent citric acidity. Hop presence is very pronounced. Quite a bit of bite on the tongue in this one, but not overcarbonated, not too watery either. All in all, a decent ale, and one I could tip back a few pints of on a night out.

trevorwideman, Aug 04, 2006
Photo of CharlesDarwin
2.83/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Originally reviewed March 21, 2005. On tap at the Irish Times Pub - Laurium, MI. Deep clear ruby pour with copious offwhite head and decent lacing. Strong rich malty aroma. Flavors of dry bread, yeast and light caramel malt. The strong dry oak and bitter finish kind of bother’s me, but is probably typical for the style. Leaves too much of a bitterish astringent aftertaste for me.

CharlesDarwin, Aug 04, 2006
Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale from Guinness Ltd.
79 out of 100 based on 2,270 ratings.