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Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale - Guinness Ltd.

Kilkenny Irish Cream AleKilkenny Irish Cream Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

388 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 388
Reviews: 125
rAvg: 3.42
pDev: 17.54%

Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd. visit their website

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  4.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
An "Irish Cream Ale", though this style does not exist on BeerAdvocate.com, and the closest style is Irish Red Ale.

(Beer added by: UncleJimbo on 08-23-2009)
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Ratings: 388 | Reviews: 125 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of barnzy78


3.48/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nitro-tap at Five Roses Pub - Rosemont, IL
A - tall beige reverse cascading head gives way to a dark amber colored ale. Foam remains leaving a thick coating on the glass as the drink goes down.
S - malty with toasted grain, caramel, and toffee; some earthy hops in the background
T - milder flavors of toasted grain, earthy hops, caramel, fruit, faint tea and roasted barley
M - exceptionally smooth, light-medium body, finishes with modest bitterness and very dry.
O - good example of the style. The nitro tap helped out the scores for appearance and body, but overall I did enjoy it.

Serving type: nitro-tap

12-13-2013 21:37:29 | More by barnzy78
Photo of DenisKolkin

Ontario (Canada)

3.36/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on nitro-tap at the local pub on Christmas Eve. Served into a Kilkenny pint glass.

Appearance - Clear brown color at the bottom with reddish hues and becoming a muddier, murkier brown the closer to the top of the glass you get. About a finger and a half of dense nitro whipped head that is white in color and lasts fir the duration of the glass. Beer becomes more clear as it settles.

Smell - Not a ton, but some dry roasted grains come to the nose with not much else.

Taste - Pretty much like the nose, not terribly interesting and the only real flavor is again the roasted grain flavor. It's not a bad flavor, I just wasn't able to go much beyond that.

Mouthfeel - Any sip with head feels dense and heavy, any sip without feels a little on the thin side. Lowish carbonation. If you get a sip with a little head and mostly beer, its pretty good.

Overall - Not a bad beer in the style, not my favorite, but certainly tasty enough to quaff with lunch.

Serving type: nitro-tap

07-12-2013 20:50:15 | More by DenisKolkin
Photo of Wildeman


2.21/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 1.75

All I really have to say is this beer feels like a practical joke. It looked like it would be a decent beer since it was poured from a nitro tap and I had to wait 5 minutes for the head to settle to even taste the damn thing, but alas, a flavorless waste of time. Instead of straight up slamming this beer I'm just gonna say drink anything else that is available. You'll make the right decision.

Serving type: nitro-tap

01-19-2013 06:27:50 | More by Wildeman
Photo of TMoney2591


3.48/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a shaker pint glass at McGonigal's.

A nice way to cap a train trip out of the City and as a prelude to a nice sushi dinner from down the street. This stuff pours a lightly hazy bronze topped by a nice finger of cream foam. The nose comprises light sweet malt and even lighter powdered sugar. I think some light sweet flowers may have wafted in there from time to time as well, but I could have been imagining things. The taste brings in more of the same, flowers and all, only stronger and with an addition of mild caramel and even milder grass. Th body is a light medium, with a firm nitrogenation and a subsequently silky-smooth feel. Overall, this stuff wasn't bad at all. I could easily see myself downing pints of this as a Guinness replacement at Irish-style pubs around here (if they carried it...).

Serving type: nitro-tap

10-19-2012 20:09:22 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.38/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on nitro-tap at The Lucky Shamrock at the airport (PEK) in Beijing, China

A: Pours an opaque creamy copper to clear garnet red in color as the nitro-pour settles out with some light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a two finger tall creamy beige head that has very good retention properties, keeping a full finger of head in an even layer over the surface of the beer for the entire drinking of the beer. Huge amounts of lacing are observed, essentially coating the entire glass.

S: Mild in aroma with some notes of caramel malts, nuts, and floral hops.

T: Extremely mild in flavor but very enjoyable - there are some light hints of caramel and toffee malts. There is also a light hint of bitterness which does not linger from the floral hops and some nuttiness.

M: Light bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Very creamy.

O: Extremely easy to drink but not a lot of specialness in the taste or smell - this beer's best qualities are the appearance and the mouthfeel. Definitely enjoyable.

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-26-2012 11:40:43 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of ThisWangsChung


3.2/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. poured via nitro-tap in a clear plastic cup at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. From notes.

A: Pours a reddish copper color with the typically gorgeous waterfall effect from nitro-tap. The head is an (amazing) two finger offwhite color with near perfect retention and an incredible texture. Tons and tons of lacing are left on the glass. Exactly what I'd expect from a nitro-infused beer - truly stunning to look at, even in a dinky plastic cup.

S: ...and here's the bad part of the nitro-tap. There's very little in the way of aromatic qualities. Some caramel malts here, a little cream there, and that's about it. Nothing about it smells unpleasant, but there's so little aroma, that it's hard to give it a good score here.

T/M: It's weird, there isn't much flavor at all, but for some reason, this just works. It's milquetoast character means its hella drinkable, but uninspired. There's some caramel malt notes, cream, nuttiness, and the faintest touch of fruit; otherwise it's kind of bland. The feel is that of a typical nitro beer, very thin, watery texture (and even flavor), but with a subtle touch of dryness that aids drinkability without drying the tongue too much.

O: This is NOT a beer that will impress you through your tastebuds. Rather, it's the kind of beer - like draft Guinness - that only works in the right situation, but when it does, it inspires the ability to put down multiple pints of this in a single sitting. Accept it for what it is, and you might enjoy it a lot. It gets high marks here just because it's so easy to down.

Serving type: nitro-tap

07-29-2012 23:46:42 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of heygeebee


3.48/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From notes.

Pours a clear copper with dense white head. Takes a while for clarity to emerge after pour.

Subdues aromas due to serving temp

Toffee malts on nose, add in some caramel to taste

Mouthfeel very light.

Interesting to compare after a Guinness - much lighter all in all.

Serving type: nitro-tap

07-20-2012 06:01:35 | More by heygeebee
Photo of hoserking


3.33/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On a nitro tap in Kilkenny.

Very reminiscent of Wexford Irish Cream (which I didn't see at all in Ireland or the UK). No real strong aroma, taste is very dry and bitter with a touch of malt sweetness.

I love this style, the beer isn't magnificent there is just something about it that I really enjoy. The mouthfeel ties the beer together and the off flavored bitterness is fixed by the super creamy mouthfeel.

Definitely worth trying on tap.

Serving type: nitro-tap

07-03-2012 10:21:35 | More by hoserking
Photo of hopfacebrew


3.48/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Re-post from my hacked "jmkratt" :(

look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On nitro tap poured to a pint glass.

A - It has a nice copper/amber color to it with a nice creamy off-white head that dies down slowly and has nice lacing. The nitro cascade looks great with this translucent brew.

S - Perhaps the nitro muted the aromas a bit but there isn't a lot here with hints of roasted malts, caramel notes and a bit of earthy hops.

T - Begins with a roasted malt taste with slight caramel notes and some fruity notes. The hops also add a bit of bitterness at the end. Surprisingly little flavor, I expected more. It wasn't bad but not outstanding.

M - The nitro adds a nice creamy smooth mouthfeel, which works wells with the style.

O - A bit of a disappointment but it isn't terrible. I liked the nitro smooth creaminess which compliment the malty caramel flavor well.

Serving type: nitro-tap

Serving type: nitro-tap

01-18-2012 14:40:27 | More by hopfacebrew
Photo of tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

2.9/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pint at some Scottish pub. From notes.

A - Poured with one finger of creamy and pillowy white head. Dark copper colour. No visible carbonation. Cunky lace and good half finger of retention.

S - Malty. Really mild.

T - Earthy, a little sweet, musty, malty, some toffee.

M - Creamy, minimal carbonation. Medium body and a sweet finish.

O/D - Smooth. Extremely uncomplex. Simple and drinkable, yet in no way interesting.

Serving type: nitro-tap

12-16-2011 17:19:10 | More by tbeckett
Photo of keeganfrank


3.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a nitro tap into a Smithwick's glass. Nice "raining" as the beer settles, leaving a thick, foamy head. Smells sweet and creamy. Flavor is creamy, roasted barley; mildly bitter with hints of black coffee. Unique and very tasty.

Serving type: nitro-tap

11-28-2011 19:25:50 | More by keeganfrank
Photo of rangerred


2.7/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served from a nitro tap.

Poured with a large creamy head typical of beers served on nitro. The beer was a dark reddish brown.

Smelled of some caramel malt along with a sour smell that's typical of irish beers.

Taste was extremely sour/bitter. More than I was expecting. There is some caramel flavor in there but it is all overpowered by the bitterness.

Not a very well balanced beer and one that I would probably not seek out again.

Serving type: nitro-tap

11-26-2011 17:25:23 | More by rangerred
Photo of airforbes1

New York

2.73/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes taken this morning.

"Oh my God, they imported Kilkenny!" This is the first time I've seen this beer in the US, so I had to try it, even though it's only 10:35 as I sit here at the airport. I just learned this pint will cost me $10.88, so it better be good!

It has the same cascade effect as Guinness Draught and even seems slower to settle. Pours a clear red-brown color and has a weak, toasty aroma.

The taste is pretty watery. In fact, the watery taste offsets the creamy head. The taste that's there is toasty and a little buttery. It's easy drinking, at least.

This was worth trying once, but I'd much rather have a Tetley's if I wanted a lighter ale on nitro.

Serving type: nitro-tap

11-12-2011 03:08:09 | More by airforbes1
Photo of spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Appearance - Light brown colour with a large size creamy beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is a lot of lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, pears, tea, caramel

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a low amount of carbonation and it feels very creamy on the tongue. I can taste caramel mixed with notes of tea and a bit of a pear juice sweetness. It ends with a malty slightly sweet aftertaste.

Overall - This is the type of beer that I feel like I could drink a dozen of with no issues. It goes down way too easy and it has a fantastic appearance in the glass. The taste is pretty subtle, but that adds to the drinkability.

Serving type: nitro-tap

11-03-2011 18:44:29 | More by spinrsx
Photo of nickthetick


2.98/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: pours a copper, almost rusty amber color into a nonic pint with the pretty cascade of bubbles and nice hockey puck of creamy, khaki colored head. This is a pruddy beer.

S: some sweet caramel malt and a bit of wheat is about it.

T: it is creamy, there is almost a lactose taste to it in the beginning then a toffee note comes and chases it away before it is discernible. I don't know what keeps this beer from being too sweet but it defiantly walks that line.

MF: a bit heavy and chewy, but I suppose that's the point. Not dry but defiantly not refreshing.

O: a good "irish red" from the nitro, but I'd take a Guinness for what I got for this and be happier.

Serving type: nitro-tap

10-21-2011 02:43:11 | More by nickthetick
Photo of jsprain1


3/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a solidly red color with slightly brown note. Head is that nice nitro fine bubbled three finger froth.
S- Smell is pleasant, but virtually nonexistant. Earthy with a lightly caramalized presence.
T- The taste is lightly caramel, some earthyness nad a faint toast character.
M- The mouthfeel is that nice smooth creamyness that comes from a nitro tap. Light in body, smooth all the way.
O- It's easy drinking, but the depth and volume of flavor is not there.

Serving type: nitro-tap

09-16-2011 01:04:32 | More by jsprain1
Photo of rcfunk


3.85/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

This beer has a special place in my heart. I am looking at it through rose colored glasses so I don't think this review is objective.

When I was an exchange student as a teenager, my friends and I would sit around and drink this beer in an Irish Pub in Madrid. This is the beer that made me love beer. I spent years searching for it in the US and they just started to import it recently into Texas. I have one whenever I see it on draft.

I believe this beer is the purest example of the distinction between a red ale and an amber ale. This distinction is the use of roasted malted barley in the mash but no crystal malt. As a result the beer is very dry.

Yeah, so have a Kilkenny.

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-19-2011 16:39:05 | More by rcfunk
Photo of alleykatking


2.7/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured off nitro-tap.

A- Poured a coppery amber color. Nitro pour gives a nice 2 finger cream colored head that shows good retention. The overall head looks a little fake like most nitro pours. There was a ton of sheet style lacing.

S- Light aroma of roasted malts in the front with hints of nuts as well. Caramel malts also play a part toward the middle to ending. Light alcohol aroma lingers with a very light hopping of Euro hops.

T- Roasted malts in the front of the beer gives way to light caramel malts right behind it. Middle of the beer shows off a darker fruit flavor that is light overall. The ending of the beer is more or less caramel malts blending with a nutty flavor. Ending of the beer shows a bitter hop bite and almost no alcohol at all.

M- Light mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Roasted malts and caramel malts are left on the palate. Aftertaste is caramel and roasted malts with light nutty flavors that blend with alcohol. Flavors overall were balanced well for the style. No off flavors were present while drinking this one. Light alcohol drying on the palate.

O- This beer is light everywhere except in the appearance. A interesting beer for the fact that I didn't expect much of this and it delivered a little more than I thought it would.

Serving type: nitro-tap

06-28-2011 06:52:34 | More by alleykatking
Photo of fountainofyouth

District of Columbia

2.73/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On nitro-tap at a pub in Alexandria, VA.

A: Not great. Darkish amber. Two-finger head that leaves some lacing.

S: Light malty aroma with no hops.

T: Disappointingly little malt flavor. Hints of toffee and not much else. Light hops taste, and balanced overall.

M: Head is creamy and smooth, like nitro-poured stout should be. Medium-bodied with little carbonation.

Serving type: nitro-tap

06-25-2011 01:50:46 | More by fountainofyouth
Photo of lespaulrocker


2.6/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served on tap at a Scottish style pub in Victoria, BC.

A: Amber, two fingers of white, creamy head. Very nice and inviting. Very heavy lacing.

S: Lots of malts. Not a lot else.

T: Watery. Malty. A little sweetness. Not impressed.

M: Creamy, light carbonation, light body.

It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't good either. I wish I'd gone with one of the local brews also served on-tap but I felt like I needed to try something from across the pond at a Scottish pub. I won't seek this out again.

Serving type: nitro-tap

06-20-2011 16:43:31 | More by lespaulrocker
Photo of beertunes


3.18/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in bubble pint. The cascade took a good long while to settle, leaving over an inch of white head that had the expected retention and lacing of a nitro brew.

The aroma was a subdued grain malt scent and just a hint of yeast. The flavor was the same, pleasantly neutral. The body was nice, full and smooth. Drinkabilty was good, the went nicely enough. Overall, a decent, if unspectacular, beer. Worth trying if you see it, probably not worth seeking out.

Serving type: nitro-tap

06-05-2011 22:11:57 | More by beertunes
Photo of Knapp85


4.03/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks like a red Guinness. The color was a very nice looking clear amber. The head was creamy thick and white from the nitro. The aroma had some sweet malts in there not a whole lot else going on in the way of smell. The taste was very smooth and had some hearty malts in there. The mouthfeel was light and had no carbonation. This beer went down like water to me. I could have drank several of these without any issue for sure. A very nice Irish Red here. Enjoyed it fully.

Serving type: nitro-tap

05-07-2011 23:16:02 | More by Knapp85
Photo of ghetto90007


3.55/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on nitro-tap at a mediocre "Irish pub" in Long Beach. Served in a Kilkenny pint glass.

Pours a copper to red-brown color. I just love the look of the nitrogen working through a beer like this. Beautiful, silky off-white head, a finger and a half thick. Spectacular lacing on the glass. This beer looks so good.

Scents of malt, dry save a slight caramel aroma, mild bitterness. Fairly subdued aromas.

A malty sweetness mixed with caramel, which gives it a little bit of depth, but very soft flavors here. Some balancing from the bitter finish of the hops, but it's really gentle. The sweetness gently rises back to the surface in the follow.

Super-soft mouth feel, body is moderate, carbonation is there but gentle due to the nitro.

Fairly gentle, drinkable beer. I'm a sucker for just about anything decent on nitro-tap.

Serving type: nitro-tap

04-10-2011 01:32:19 | More by ghetto90007
Photo of Erish


3.48/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at Tommy Nevin's pub in Naperville, IL.

A: brownish/red amber, a nice cascading, creamy head courtesy of the nitro-tap, the cap and lacing are good.

S: roasted malty backbone, earthy; reminds me of Guinness light.

T: dry, roasted malty backbone, some smokiness, a bit of chocolate, vanilla, oak.

M: light to medium-bodied, creamy texture, moderate carbonation.

D: not bad. Kind of reminds me of Smithwick's. Nothing earth shattering here.

Serving type: nitro-tap

03-11-2011 03:43:02 | More by Erish
Photo of Everydayoff


3.25/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On nitro-tap served in a Kilkenny pint glass at the Dubliner Irish Pub, Bangkok.

Reddish copper brown color with everlasting creamy thick head from nitro effect, the head recedes slightly and leaves good lacing all around. Carbonation is mild.

Rather mild aroma; touch of malt sweetness, caramel, honey, slight hop bitterness and subtle toasted character.

Malt sweet up front balance and finish by bitterness from hop. The taste is not complex but easy to pleasant. Rather thin body, smooth with light carbonation.

Easy drinkable, at least it has more characters than any nitro-tap beer that I ever had.

Serving type: nitro-tap

02-16-2011 09:46:49 | More by Everydayoff
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Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale from Guinness Ltd.
78 out of 100 based on 388 ratings.