Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

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.

766 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 766
Hads: 2,546
Avg: 3.48
pDev: 14.94%
Wants: 44
Gots: 358 | 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 (37) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 766 | Hads: 2,546
Photo of Brenden
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Claddagh in Franklin Park. Notes from 6/3/09.

This brew is a clear coppery color with respectable head retention and lacing.
The smell is nothing complex but it's pretty good. There's a nice mix of hops with caramel and toffee malt and some grains.
The caramel malt is up front in the flavor, pretty well-balanced by the hops backing. Bitterness is light and there's a toasted grains flavor as well.
Body is light to medium. It's smooth and fairly creamy, and some active carbonation adds a little crispness as well.
This one's not complex, but it's got a nice mix of hops, malt and grains and a good balance. This one's my favorite of all the Guinness-produced brews.

 683 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.57/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance- Served a reddish-brown colored brew with a very small tan colored head. The head fades rather rapidly, leaving almost no lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is malty with notes of biscuit and lightly roasted smells. With these aromas comes a rather stronger sweet smell of caramel and apple. A very light grassy aroma rounds out the rest creating a rather nice smell overall.

Taste – The taste begins with a roasted malt and biscuit flavor upfront with a moderate amount of a caramel sweetness. As the flavor advances a little bit of a fruit flavor as well as some grassy hop tastes come to the tongue. The caramel takes on a more toffee like flavor more toward the end with these flavors leaving a lightly roasted and light sweet flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average to slightly above average side for a brew of only 4.5 % abv. The carbonation level is rather average as well and in combination with the moderately thick body creates a feel that is very nice for the lightly roasted and toffee/caramel flavors of the brew.

Overall – Not a flavor powerhouse but rather easy drinking and a good brew for the more session level of alcohol. Overall it’s rather well done.

 1,275 characters

Photo of mrfrancis
3.76/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark, ruddy amber with a thick, pillowy off-white head that laces deep into the glass. Really a nice looking ale.

S: Earthy aromas of cocoa, chocolate, chalk, cream, and peppery ale hops are present on the nose. Nice malt character.

T: Opens malty and mildly tart with notes of coffee, tobacco, moss, moist earth, heavy cream, chalk, minerals, cocoa, vanilla bean, leather, and peppery, herbal hops. The finish is dry and clipped with notes of earthy, peppery hops, cream, coffee, and leather.

M: Medium-bodied, firm, and dry with subtle, prickly carbonation. For an ale of such a modest strength, it is surprisingly filling.

O: This is a very nice Irish red ale. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it is solid and widely available. I think this will remain a standard in my refrigerator.

 803 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
2.83/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a yellow-ish/ copper color with an off-white head. In the aroma, a caramel sweetness. In the taste, again caramel sweet maltiness. A light body, with a nice bitterness in the mouthfeel, and a dry, caramel maltiness in the aftertaste. A nice caramel presence, yet nothing too exciting, a nice OK stand-by.

 310 characters

Photo of dar482
3.03/5  rDev -12.9%

The aroma has lightly roasted malt, cereal grain

The flavor follows with those flavors as the beer is generally malty. Cereal grain and a decent body Lacking in flavor and then a corn-like flavor comes in. A slightly metallic finish.

 235 characters

Photo of mynie
4.15/5  rDev +19.3%
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 jmdrpi
3.63/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap, into shaker glass.

appears a reddish-brown mahogany color, with thin white head, that fades. aroma is sweet malt, bready.

taste is similar. mellow slightly sweet, buttery. no hops detected. medium body and carbonation, about on par for the style. pretty easy to drink.

not a bad option for a mass produced beer, and a good option at bars without better craft options.

 381 characters

Photo of gford217
3.86/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, deep red with a dense off-white head that lingered the entire session and left an absolute wall of lacing from top to bottom. Definitely one of the best looking irish reds I have ever seen. The smell is sweet and mainly malts with caramel and nuts. The taste has a strong malty sweetness as well but has a little bitterness in the finish to balance it out a little. The mouthfeel was a little over carbonated but still fairly smooth. I was actually pleasantly surprised by this one and thought it was very drinkable.

 530 characters

Photo of gtermi
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a nice brownish red color and has a nice bit of head.

The smell has a lot of malt

The taste is the best part of the beer. It has a nice amount of malt and has a great after taste.

The mouth feel is good, but not great. It isnt the smoothest beer ever, but still very easy to drink.

This use to be one of my go to beers. I don't get it very often anymore, but it sure is nice during the hot summer days.

 420 characters

Photo of KarlHungus
2.48/5  rDev -28.7%
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.

 566 characters

Photo of Gmann
3.36/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear brown color with a sudsy off-white head that became rocky as it slowly settled into a puffy cap. The aroma is light, some caramel malt and mineral water. Light toffee flavors are forefront, honey, and mineral water, kind of heavy on the mineral water. The feel is light, watery and quite fizzy, finishes slightly dry. An average brew, some light flavor mixed with fizzy mineral water. Easy to swill.

 413 characters

Photo of jera1350
3.23/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Maroonish color with a creamy fluffy head. Smells pretty light. Some grain and light caramel malt. Taste is light. Some bitter hops, grain, a bit of caramel. Feels thinner, a bit watered down and slightly flat. A tad creamy. Not the best crafted red. Drinks easily, kind of like water. Average beer at best.

 307 characters

Photo of DmanGTR
4.1/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Tir na Nog in Philly.

A - poured coppery brown with a foamy 3/4" head that retained nicely with decent lacing in a pint glass

S - herbal hops, roasted malts, caramel malts, bready

T - a little more bitterness than the smell depicted but in a good way. Roast/smoke/herbal mix that makes for an interesting taste. Good malty backbone to support it.

M - light/medium bodied with light carbonation. Quite smooth

D - highly drinkable, highly sessionable.

Overall - Quite decent and definitely more creamy on tap than from the bottle. However, I do enjoy the bottles more. The tap makes it a bit too uncarbonated and a little too silky for the Smithwick's bottles I'm used to. Definitely sessionable though. Thank you, Ireland!

 747 characters

Photo of Reagan1984
3.14/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Grand Canal prior to the Celtics game. One of the few interesting beers on the menu.

Is this Guinness Light? Or Guinness with Training wheels?

Came with a thick creamy head that sat atop the reddish amber ale. This head had a great deal of retention and slowly coated the entire glass with lacing. Almost perfect rings lined the glass marking each and every sip.

Aroma?? Aroma?? A little of the mineral like, yeasty, roasty aroma that I actually associate with Guinness.

Light roasted flavor with some light cracker/caramel notes... A bit grainy. Not very interesting to be honest.

Mouth feel was creamy and smooth. Drinkability was decent, but not a lot of complexity here.

 702 characters

Photo of canucklehead
3.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

New in can in BC. Not a bad beer in that it has a pleasant malty note that creates a beer that works well in the style. This is a mass produced beer that actually delivers. Nice finish and nose though not overly complex. Will buy again as long as I can find it in cans.

 269 characters

Photo of Fatehunter
3.91/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Two fingers of head. Clear copper colored body.
Smell is a wet hay and barnyard scent, which turns out nice.
Taste is malt sweetness balanced with a nice dose of bitterness.
The texture fits well. Medium body with moderate carbonation.
A solid ale that hits the spot.

 267 characters

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.

 1,110 characters

Photo of prototypic
3.35/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It's dark and smoky brown (hint of red when held to the light). Head is foamy and about one finger. Retention was decent and lacing was light.

Smell: Primarily caramel malts. A bit of a sweet smell. A bit smoky or toasty. Light on the nose. Not much in the hops department.

Taste: Not bad. It has a toasted nut flavor mixed with caramel or toffee malts. It's sweet. A bit grainy. Not very hoppy or bitter. Just a straight forward malty beer.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light bodied, pretty well carbonated, and smooth. All in all, it's drinkable. There's much better out there, but I'd take it over a number of beers found in most bars. Overall, decent beer. Certainly worth a try.

 704 characters

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.4/5  rDev +26.4%
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 DrinkSlurm
2.6/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It tasted very flat with little head and flavor. Although smooth, the taste wasn't for me. However, this is coming from someone with an appetite for a "paler ale". Nevertheless, very little aroma and an almost bitter taste.
Overall...an average beer. A bar that carries Smithwick's should also have Guinness....I say just go with the Guinness.

 343 characters

Photo of Vancer
3.89/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this bad boy into a freebie Sammy Adams glass - looks pretty darn good with a dark and clear amber (root beer?) with a 2" rocky top floating on top, leaving a sheet of lace.

Aroma of spicy malt, not too strong, not too weak. Damn good taste of spice, caramel and malt - followed by a well balanced hop kick and finish.

Ya know, this a fine Irish Red. Just because it's made by Guinness is no reason to turn ones nose up at it.

Edit - oh, I see BA gives it a "B". Nevermind, rant over... ;)

 499 characters

Photo of tgbljb
3.95/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served as a very deep amber colored beer with moderate white creamy head. Good retention.
Smell is significant for roasted malt and caramel.
Taste also has some light caramel notes, with only a slight hop character at the finish.
Very thin mouthfeel, with little taste retention.
A nice refreshing beer, but really very simple. Could be a nice sessuon beer.

 357 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.78/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on draft tonight at TGIFs. After a lackluster experience from the bottle, I thought it deserved another try.

Appearance - served in a large 22-ounce tumbler mug, amber red, high clarity as with the bottled variety. About a finger of tan head, constantly fed from below, there was still a thin cover at the end.

Aroma - clean, sweet, caramel and toastiness. I can already tell this will be better than my initial experience. Maintains a light roastiness throughout dinner.

Taste - the metallic taste I picked out from the bottled sample is not here on the draft version. Matching the nose with a caramel, toasted grain flavor, slightly sweet but not very much, really. My wife had a Killians and in a side-by-side, hers was less malty, thinner, and sweeter. Comparatively, the Smithwick's had a far more robust malt flavor, was a little drier, and the hops played a far better role in balancing out the beer.

Mouthfeel - thin-bodied, crisp. Pretty average.

Drinkability - much better on-tap, I'd session this easily.

 1,029 characters

Photo of ehammond1
3.19/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap

Patrick's Irish Pub
Poway, CA

A good enough looking beer. A deep rich mahogany color with a thin white head that doesn't stick around for long at all. This beer leaves nice and regular lacing down the glass.

I struggle to find much in the nose except simple bready malts and a slight hint of fruity sweetness.

A mild fruity taste with dominant bready, toasty and caramel malts. Pleasant enough but unexciting.

Thin and watery mouthfeel. Not much heft to this beer.

A sessionable and serviceable red ale, appropriate for an Irish pub setting if Guinness isn't what you want.

 586 characters

Photo of garymuchow
3.66/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I believe I reviewed this before it was listed under Guinness brewing as well.
Nice simple straightforward malty character. Little of sweet water note. Very slight hop quality.
Very attractive beer. Deep amber pushing dark red and brown. Water clear. Nice solid off-white head with good stamina.
Light in flavor. Malty, but as much towards pale malt flavors than that of darker grains. That changes as it warms and the bolder grains make a stronger appearance. Mild bitterness rounds out the drink and lingers into a decent tasting dryness that lasts really rather long. Certainly leaves the tongue desiring another coating of liquid.
Average body for style, but carries a watery quality at times too. Maybe a little think. Fully carbonated and probably too much, especially considering the style and that it's an ale from Ireland.
Overall this is a drinkable beer and worth a go, especially if the selection is limited. Definitely lacks sweetness, which I wish it had a touch of. Dryness and carbonation seem a bit much, but the flavors should match many meals quite well.

 1,079 characters

Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale from Guinness Ltd.
79 out of 100 based on 766 ratings.