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Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale | Guinness Ltd.

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Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish AleSmithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale

Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd.
Ireland | website

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Mebuzzard on 04-01-2006

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Reviews: 784 | Ratings: 2,645
Photo of archyquaffer
3.84/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 ounce Euro-brown bottle into a shaker pint. A moderate pour produces about one inch of a creamy, pale tan head that proves quite sticky. The color is a deep copper with high carbonation.

I perceive that old familiar aroma of minerals and faint, tea-like hops that distinguish many of these beers from the Brittanic isles. The flavor is malty and a little sweet but with a fairly dry finish. The malt tastes of caramel, but hints of a honey-like quality can be detected as well. The body is medium thin and lager-like, but with a creamy mouth feel from the head and carbonation. A little bit of grassy hop bitterness settles on the tongue.

This is a fairly light, sessionable and refreshing beer but with a good deal of flavor. Nothing special, but nothing overbearing or off-putting- just an all around good beer. Bought as part of a six pack for about $8.50 (on sale) at Hennessey Market in uptown Butte. Believe it or not, this is a fairly rare beer to find in these parts.

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Photo of neenerzig
3.38/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

There was a 6 pack of this beer sitting in the fridge at the condo my dad and I are staying at in Osprey, FL so I decided to crack one open and try it being that I have never had this beer before. Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a clear, medium to dark copper/brown color with some amber highlights when held up to the light. Off-white/slight tan head is about 2/3 of an inch thick when first poured before settling to a good 1/4 inch thick with good retention. Nice lacing here as well. Aromas of nice roasted caramel malty sweetness, but not much else really. Flavorwise this beer of course also has a nice slightly toasted caramel malty sweetness upfront followed by a slight hop presence. The flavor profile is pretty solid, but the main problem is that it is not as strong as I think it should be. The flavors are somewhat too bland for my tastes. Has a crisp, prickly, slightly smooth, frothy, medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate to heavy carbonation. The mouthfeel is actually my favorite aspect of this beer. Easy to drink in the way seltzer water is, and I expect more from a beer than that.


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Photo of leantom
3.16/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Was looking for Killian's but found this instead. Here goes:

A: My favorite thing about the beer. Ruby red and see-through; perfectly clear, in fact. I poured it properly and got a nice foamy head that took minutes to recede. Good lacing.

S: Smells like a cheap English pale ale. Detect some amber malt and maybe a faint smattering on English hops, but not much else.

T: OK, not as good as Killian's, though. Wish there was more of a malt character like other Irish red ales. Very light and drinkable, but there's not much going on in the beer. Some amber malt, minimum hop character.

M: Medium carbonation. Doesn't go down as smoothly as I thought it would judging by the appearance, though.

O: An OK beer with little character. Drinkable but disappointing.

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Photo of WillWillows
3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was an okay beer. I poured a Dale's pale ale through it and it tasted better. Tell you a story about this, my brother was in Ireland and his wife ordered a Guiness draught. When it came my brother's turn he said he would like a Smithwick's draught. The publican looked at my brother then at his wife and said, "so the wife is having the Man's beer and himself is having the Lady Guiness." That about sums it up.

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Photo of tillmac62
3.03/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3

Clear dark amber pour with a dark ruby cast. Average head and lace retention. The nose is slight and has a slightly burnt aroma. Nice medium body with average carbonation. The taste follows the nose with a slight burnt malt off flavor. The finish has a bit of effervescence and the burnt off flavor lingers. If you want a red ale, get an excellent one like Green Flash Hop Head Red.

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Photo of Foyle
3.19/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: pours a 1+" off white head that recedes slowly leaving faint lacing. color is a ruby-light brown and mostly clear. Not a lot of carbonation evident.
Aroma: freshly rolled bread dough and floral hops
Mouthfeel: mostly watery with a fairly dry & refreshing finish, contrary to the appearance, the mouthfeel is quite carbonated.
Flavor: brown bread, toffee, a nutty flavor and some raisin as well as floral hops.
Overall: a nice and well balanced session ale.

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Photo of ZachMcGinn
4.12/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

One of my favorite beers at my place of work. We have it on draft which definitely creates a better experience. It pours a very pleasant copper/red and has a sweet malty aroma. Its sweet aroma transitions nicely into a semi sweet flavor that makes for a very easy drink.

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Photo of lochef81
3.18/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I remember really relishing in this beer before I discovered craft brews. Not so much now. This one pours a handsome copper red hue with a generous white head and nice lacing. The aroma is malty but unfortunately in the way of a mass produced beer. The flavor is light and sweet and refreshing but yet again carries the taste of the use of inferior grains(I.e. corn). Its a good beer and better than typical lawnmower beers....but not by much.

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Photo of Murphious
3.19/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Now sold with the modernized red label. Pours dark amber with a 2 finger off-white head. Decent carbonation with malty and slightly skunky aroma. Taste is metallic bitterness then turns malty and sweet. Medium mouthfeel with some slight grittiness? Finishes off typical of mass produced brews. Good but nothing stands out.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.27/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Smithwicks pours a dark reddish color with a nice large lacing head. There is a rather stale and weak aroma but with some malty notes. The taste is a bit wet, but has a sharp malt backbone. Weaker flavors, but still there. Overall its a decent red ale, looks good, and the taste isn't bad.

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Photo of illpass78
3.88/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark ruby with heavy carbonation. Lacing moderate to heavy. Looks like the classic Irish ale that it is.

Aroma: Caramel, toffee, bread, toast, grass and hops all compete. It had a balanced malty and hoppy character.

Taste: Follows the nose, with caramel and floral hops dominating. Pretty solid red ale. I don't want to say it tastes generic, but you definitely know this is a big-brewery beer. Very good, though, and it works for all seasons.

Mouthfeel: Perfectly balanced.

Overall: Like a lot of long-standing European brands, Smithwick's has kind of been outpaced by modern craftier takes on the style. Still, it's a very reliable beer, and I can't see myself ever turning one down, especially on an early Spring day when it's getting greener outside and stout-and-snow season is fading.

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Photo of barczar
3.47/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a bubbly, effervescent clear deep amber red with a foamy, frothy eggshell had that slowly dissipates, leaving sticky lacing.

Floral hops, grain, specialty malt fruitiness, and fruity yeast esters accompany a hint of toasted bread. Becomes very metallic late.

Flavor reveals a toasted, nutty, bready malt backbone, which finishes dry and a touch bitter. There's an underlying ester fruitiness that isn't quite as prominent as in the aroma. Slight metallic notes emerge.

Body is moderate, with moderate to slightly high carbonation and a bit of harsh astringency in the finish.

More malt backbone than expected. The bitterness is a little overly done. The metallic character is offputting. Esters are a little odd, as well.

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Photo of TeamMathis
3.21/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Light, clear brown with reddish hue against light.
Smell: Faint malt and moderate skunky cheap beer smell.
Taste: Faint biscuit and malt. Maybe a touch of honey.

This is really rather lackluster. To me, this is the beer to get when there are no other options because Bud and Miller stuff at the gas station. The smell is so faint, and the taste is just barely there, but enough to tell it's a Red Ale (barely). I confess I'm not big on this style. I probably wouldn't ever go out of my way to get this. However, yes, it is drinkable.

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Photo of Rhf9120
3.43/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish amber color with a thin white head. The scent is of hops and caramel with a bit of malts. The flavor is a nice balance of hops malts and caramel. The overall mouthfeel of the beer was good and it was very well balanced. Overall i enjoyed this one and would drink it again.

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Photo of Auraan
3.82/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a clear amber red with a one finger white head that receded to a white ring leaving abundant lacing down the glass. Pretty good for the style. Scents of skunked hops, caramel, toasted malt and slight nutty aromas. Not the best scent in the world, but not bad for a red ale. Flavors of toasted malt, caramel, some grainy malt and moderate levels of floral hops throughout with some slight nuttiness. The finish is semi-dry and toasty with a toasty aftertaste. Not bad, not extremely complex but good for a session ale, the toasted, nutty and caramel flavors are quite nice. Mouthfeel is light bodied, with medium carbonation and a slightly watery mouthfeel. Not bad for a session ale, quite drinkable. Overall this is a decent session ale. Nothing bad about it, but nothing amazing, its still a good enough offering. I'd have it again.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.3/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Revisiting this one. Purchased a 500 ml can from LCBO for $2.55 CDN. Served cold into a pint glass.

Appearance - Clear red color with a fluffy dense white head that lingers. Low amount of bubbles in the beer and leaves nice lacing around the glass.

Smell - Beer aromas, caramel malts. Not a lot here, but nothing off putting.

Taste - Light graininess, some bitter malts but flavor is not terribly deep either.

Mouthfeel - Ok feel, but a bit thin and low carbonation.

Overall - I recall having this on tap about a year ago and it was a very solid beer, revisiting it reminds me that while a good beer, there really is nothing exceptional and would look to other offerings in the future.

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Photo of dacrza1
2.49/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

DATE TASTED: November 28, 2013... GLASSWARE: Kisatsky pint...OCCASION: kicking back--another Thanksgiving Day hosted well and right... APPEARANCE: cloud-evoking white head; solid dark amber body; slow, steady effervescence; nice, hazy lacing... AROMA: slightly fragrant with a soft, mostly malty bready dough scents... PALATE: medium-bodied; monolithic, flat mouthfeel; a bit creamy; drinkable, but not distinguished...TASTE: a bit of toffee mixes with malts to create a rather dry, basic ale--little to deliberate on or over...OVERALL: not a bad beer for talking over or complimenting hors d'oeuvres pre-meal; after desert, not much of a motivator or nightcap...

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Photo of Dsimenson
3.04/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Draft poured into a pint glass. Little head and no lacing as you drink it. Nice medium brown color. Little aroma--just a bit of grain an toffee. Flavor is mild, not complex--grain and malt with a bit of toffee. Not a lit of hops, or perhaps it is a type of hops I am not familiar with. This is a style of ale that I don't know or understand. Mouth feel is OK, not creamy. Overall this was disapointinting--an OK ale but not one I would seek out.

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Photo of JimKal
3.62/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Part of an eight pack of cans with Guinness Stout and Black Lager and Smithwick Pale ale and Irish Ale.

A: A red/brown brew with a one inch head. As it dissipates it leave behind some nice lacing. More than the other offerings in this eight pack.

S: A nice malty aroma.

T: Starts with a nice hit of malt with a slightly bitter finish. This is what I look for in an Irish red ale.

M: Light to medium body.

O: I enjoyed this more that the other offerings in this mixed pack. I would like to see this offered in cans on a regular basis, it would make me a regular customer.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.92/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear reddish copper color. The head isn't very nice looking: it's a sudsy, one finger off-white shade with a slightly rough texture. About the only thing it does right is leave some lacing on the glass.

S: There really isn't much here aside from a touch of cereal grain and some caramel maltiness. Nothing defined or anything that pops out of the glass by any means. It becomes slightly nutty as it warms up, though I don't pick up any roasted barley.

T: It starts with a slightly acidic barley tingle, and finishes with some toffee. That's about it really, but it actually kind of works considering that's all it features.

M: I'll give it one thing: it's drinkable as hell. The thin texture, high carbonation, and ultra-clean finish means this goes down almost like water. I actually prefer that it has a slightly sharp, angular feel over a rounded, creamy (and sweet) one.

O: Not bad, not great, it's just a very quaffable red ale with no standout characteristics. Basically, it's one of those "chug 'em and forget when you're in some faux-Irish pub" brews.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.77/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice Guinness sampler in cans this one appears a pale copper amber with a big highly carbonated khaki tan head, fine bubbles cling to the sides of my glass great head retention. Aroma has biscuit malts with a fresh baked bread note, very tame nose on it with a hint of herbal hops in the backend. My wife loves it and I'm frankly okay with this beer enough flavor to keep me interested. Bready malts hints of faint herbal hops well balanced mass produced drinking ale, you can't really go wrong with at least trying this beer especially well protected from the light in can form. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied smooth flowing natural carbonation arises across the palate, I know I like it. Overall, an impressive beer that I would like to indulge in a couple pints of without having to worry about whether or not it's considered craft or not it's an acceptable Irish ale better than most imports these days and that's good enough for me to spend my hard earned dollars.

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Photo of The-Jolly-Imbiber
2.8/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured from a 500 mL can into a conical pint glass.

Very frothy: head was at least 4 fingers. Clear, dark amber

Head had essentially no aroma. Not good. Even after the head settled, still barely any scent. I could detect a faint hint of what I had tasted earlier.

Taste is very simple. Not much character or overtones here. Just a plain, red beer taste. However, I admit that it seemed to improve a bit as time went on (warmed up?).

Moderate carbonation.

Overall, a very basic beer. The taste doesn't put me off, but there also isn't anything in the flavour that I would call really likeable or enjoyable. If someone bought this for me in a bar, I'd drink it, but this is not something I'd go out of my way to purchase myself. There are other ambers that I think are much better.

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Photo of pkalix
3.12/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

surprisingly white topper, 1 1/2 fingers, over a transparent, clear, beautiful color of dark brown/red... have had this many times before. remember it tasting very good....
smell is of a weak brew, typical dive bar kind of brew. have my tastes (and nose) changed since I last had this?
taste is easy, typical dive-bar kind of stuff... I remember liking this a lot last couple times, keeping in mind the low abv and thinking it's just a satellite Guinness product. it is why I purchased this single this time around..,.. i'm not very happy with it.
perhaps it's because I've done a Korbinian, Optimator and Slingo already. it just is not a match for any of those.
it smells like a bar, though. it smells like a typical commercial mass-produced beer. I wonder if they have changed the recipe? either way, I wont be buying this one again. there are way too many other brews out there with more satisfying flavor than purchasing this import from 6000 miles away. California is FULL of average grade brews.... and GOOD ones too!

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Photo of Huffs
3.17/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured to a bubbly head, very airy, with moderate lacing and retention. Had a rich, ruby color with a mild, malt / toffee aroma. taste was a mild caramel toffee back with some malty notes up front. dry finish was a light, almost watery mouthfeel. Not a bad drink, had not had in a while and is not a good as I remember it being.

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Photo of Wyattldavis
3.29/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice deep copper appearance with a tall, thick head. The smell and mouthfeel are understated and fairly flat. The flavor is the high point, but it isn't anything extraordinary. It tastes kind of like a very light Guiness I supposed. Definitely not a summer beer. Perhaps best on a very cold December night in Ireland?

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Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale from Guinness Ltd.
79 out of 100 based on 784 ratings.