Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale - Guinness Ltd.

Not Rated.
Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish AleSmithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

764 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 764
Hads: 2,527
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 13.43%
Wants: 44
Gots: 343 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd. visit their website

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mebuzzard on 04-01-2006

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (36) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 764 | Hads: 2,527
Photo of RJLarse
3.33/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A "special"offering at a local macro watering hole for St. Patrick's Day. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a nut brown/amber color. Medium off-white head not very resilient.

The smell is faint. A little smoke and ash aroma perhaps.

The taste is mostly a roasted grain flavor. A little coffee, very little sweetness. A mild and smooth, slightly bitter finish.

Mouth feel is fairly light for a dark beer, clean and smooth.

This is a very drinkable beer. Reasonably good taste, and a low ABV make it quite sessionable. It is unremarkable but a nice St Patty's Day offering. (586 characters)

Photo of mynie
4.15/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark rust color. Very, very dark. Very clear, as well, and with a head that's gigantic and sticks around. Nice pours for an Irish Red.

Very intense and crip fruity grain. Half-pasteurized. Like, it takes the good fruity crispness part of pasteurization but leaves behind all the gassy chemical badness.

Tastes like a wonderfully fruity and crisp grain all throughout. Sweeter up front, big fruits like red apples and white grapes. This moves into a middle that's lightly spiced by British hops and ends with a caramely sweet finish. Wow, that's impressively complex!

To me, nothing confirms my patriotism more than my own taste in beer. No matter how much I may try and hide it, I am at hearta gaudy, excess-loving American. As such, I have to say that I'm more partial to the overblown, highly-hopped American versions of the Irish red style.

Even taking this into consideration, though, I can't help but give this brew some very high marks. It manages a wonderful complexity without going overboard on anything, it's interesting without being punishing. It is, simply put, a wonderfully brewed beer. (1,119 characters)

Photo of theopholis
2.14/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Appearance- Very deep, clear amber color That continues effervescing for a while. Small white head with little staying power. Foam clings to the side well.

Aroma- Very faint caramel. Some malt sweetnessand malty. No hop aroma.

Taste- Not real impressive. Somewhat of a malty flavor with a strong metallic after-taste. some hop bitterness. Kind of dry at the finsih to. Not much to recommend it.

Mouthfeel- Body a tad light and over-carbonated. The over-carbonation brings out the very worst in the taste.

Drinkability- Wish I hadn't bought a sixer. (561 characters)

Photo of penguinjive7
3.51/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark mahogany with a generous two fingers worth of head. Lacing is very strong throughout.

Smell is of caramel and a strong malt presence.

The taste is very malty, with a very slight tinge of burntness. Caramel notes come through as it lingers in the mouth.

Many might consider this a medium body, but for me I would say it is on the lighter side. Carbonation is done well and it is very smooth going.

This is a great brew for just going to the pub and grabbing an ale. I feel the same way about this as I do the Guinness Draft - not the most complex thing in the world, but it is always there, and always worth a pint or two. (646 characters)

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.4/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've had this beer many times before today, but today I reviewed it...

It's St. Patty's Day season so I bought a six pack of Smithwick's at the supermarket (that's what my wife gets for asking, "can you go out and get milk and eggs?"). ps> I got an Irish Soda Bread too!

Smithwick's pours a very nice dark reddish brown with good lacing (I pour slow to avoid "head")

Smithwick's smells good, sweet roasted malts.

IMO this beer tastes very good for the style and price.

it goes down easy and has a pleasant aftertaste.

I can (and have!) drink a lot of this beer, great for St. Patty's Day parties and celebrations. Makes a great Black & Tan when poured very slowly (over a spoon) on top of a half pint of Guinness Extra Stout... an Irish Classic

Erin Go Drinking! (786 characters)

Photo of JDK
4.8/5  rDev +37.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my favorites
Pours a nice mahogany color with a 1 finger off white head
Very light caramel smell
Nice light-to-medium mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation
Very nice semi-sweet malt taste with lingering hops at the end
Being able to find this almost everywhere (Meijers even has this in the cold section), pricing is right, makes this one of the best Irish Ales I've had. (397 characters)

Photo of alexskovan
3.78/5  rDev +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. (471 characters)

Photo of cyberbmcd
3.55/5  rDev +1.4%
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. (610 characters)

Photo of mpyle
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
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. (679 characters)

Photo of xzqrut
3.83/5  rDev +9.4%
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. (262 characters)

Photo of FenwaySquid
3.85/5  rDev +10%
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. (670 characters)

Photo of DirtyGoat
3.9/5  rDev +11.4%
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. (371 characters)

Photo of Sconnie
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
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. (308 characters)

Photo of neonbrown82
4/5  rDev +14.3%
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. (1,520 characters)

Photo of Musky
4.17/5  rDev +19.1%
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. (317 characters)

Photo of GreenCard
2.83/5  rDev -19.1%
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! (582 characters)

Photo of zuggy9
4.1/5  rDev +17.1%
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. (271 characters)

Photo of JustinOSU99
3.08/5  rDev -12%
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. (543 characters)

Photo of maddogruss
3.85/5  rDev +10%
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. (341 characters)

Photo of jcdiflorio
3.9/5  rDev +11.4%
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. (725 characters)

Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.22/5  rDev -8%
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. (400 characters)

Photo of Foxman
3.51/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (1,235 characters)

Photo of supercolter
4.03/5  rDev +15.1%
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. (363 characters)

Photo of BBM
3.68/5  rDev +5.1%
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. (763 characters)

Photo of goschool
2.94/5  rDev -16%
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. (950 characters)

Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale from Guinness Ltd.
80 out of 100 based on 764 ratings.