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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 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 oldirtycaffrey


3.15/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark copper with an inch foamy off-white head. Leaves a good amount of lacing along the glass. Smell is sweet and malty, but the taste is a little flat. It's smooth and creamy, but just not a lot of character to it. If you're looking for a smooth ale, I'd go with Tetley's or Boddington's Pub Ale. This one pales in comparison.

Serving type: on-tap

11-06-2011 13:13:55 | More by oldirtycaffrey
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 skypup


3.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Irish pub in Amberg

Poured into a Kilkenny Pint glass.

A- Deep Copper color, short coarse head, not much retention. No lacing.

S- Toasted malts, cereal grain, some hops and floral notes

T- Very light toasted malts, some sweetness and herbal notes, very watered down. Mellow bitter aftertaste.

M- Very mild bodied, still velvety.

D- Not a bad beer, but doesn't hold a candle to some other Irish beers.

Serving type: on-tap

10-30-2011 09:15:38 | More by skypup
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 dansmcd


3.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A clear cut head that is the softest, creamiest imaginable. The body is creamy to deep red in colour and darkens as the head settles. Consistent layer of lace envelopes the glass. Gorgeous.

S - Malt, caramel, grain.

T - Disappointingly plain and diluted. Not unpleasant but lacking in flavour. No hop bitterness at all and faint biscuit and caramel in the malt.

M - Beautifully velvety smooth and creamy.

O - Nothing big or complex about this but a real looker and ice-cream smooth for what that's worth and perfectly sessionable.

Serving type: nitro-can

09-27-2011 13:11:44 | More by dansmcd
Photo of NatalBrewingCo

South Africa

3.75/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased in Durban South Africa. Tall nitro-can poured into a Guinness glass.

a - Pours a dark ruby/brown color with a lovely cream head.

s - Very muted smell but with hints of roasted malt and caramel.

t - Roasted malts and caramel. Mellow and creamy finish. Earthy notes but with a slightly metallic tinge that may be attributed to the can.

m - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Very smooth.

o - Very pleasant and drinkable macro-beer. Definitely one of the best imports available in South Africa, and worth the price. This is the first time I've had it in the nitro-can, although it still came off rather well I would still prefer draught.

Serving type: nitro-can

09-18-2011 23:42:15 | More by NatalBrewingCo
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 kjyost

Manitoba (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

440 mL Nitro Can with an indecipherable canning date poured into a flared pint glass.

A: There is not too much better than a nitro'ed beer to look at. Thick, rich creamy white head with tons of lacing. The body is brownish red and clear, though without much carbonation left.
S: Fairly subdued nose, though with a bit of vegetal on it. This is the bane of nitro'ed beers. The thick head releases next to no aroma...
T: Surprisingly good. Light caramel notes with a hint of sweetness coupled with light earthy hop flavours that are well paired. A well balanced beer.
M: Creamy and smooth. Incredibly low carbonation. Light lingering sweetness.
O: Save the missing and vegetal nose a winner for what it is. I wasn't expecting much and it delivered above expectations.

Serving type: nitro-can

09-11-2011 01:17:36 | More by kjyost
Photo of Preismj


3.63/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

beautiful pour on this...nice brown amber body with minimal bubbles popping from the floor of the glass, but the head is rich and creamy. Looks like a frother took hold of some good heaving whipping cream and laid it on the top. Sits throughout the entire drink and even when it's gone. Beautiful look to it.

Smell is blocked slightly by the heavy head, but there are hints of mild roasted malt. Taste is low key. Barley, wheat, roasted smokey flavors pop hear and there. Hints remind of guiness...slightly coffee flavoring. The feel is what does it for this brew. Incredibly rich and creamy thick feel in the mouth. Little to no carb from the base of the beer, but my goodness every sip captures some of the huge head on top and it is like a nice iced coffee that has been frothed. Overall, a nice cream ale. Really lives up to in on the feel, but could certainly use a bit more in the flavor and smell department...especially with the lack of carbonation in the beer itself.

Serving type: can

09-10-2011 21:02:21 | More by Preismj
Photo of gtermi


3.58/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Had it in San Antonio and fell in love with it. It's not the greatest beer ever, but very smooth, has a Guinness type feel drinking it. It is very hard to find so when I find it again, I will def get it. I enjoyed this beer and wish they had it in cans or bottles around me.

Serving type: on-tap

09-07-2011 06:57:08 | More by gtermi
Photo of gskitt

New York

3.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a pleasant surprise. In Montreal sampling as many as I could find and stumbled along this Irish red. Pours a reddish amber, some lacing along the sides of the glass. Smell is faint but smells malty, even spicy. Taste is of malty sweetness, drinkable and mouthfeel is creamy enough. There was nothing really spectacular about this beer but it was a solid drinkable brew.

Serving type: on-tap

08-27-2011 17:56:11 | More by gskitt
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 clayrock81


3.05/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a lovely two-finger frothy head that died ever so slow on top of a brownish body. Very mild aroma of citric, bitter hops and sweet malts, but almost non-existent. While it is somewhat smooth and creamy, it can also be said to be almost watery. Very little hop or sweet malt tastes; just kinda goes over the tongue w/ a little noise and finishes easy. It was an alright beer to sip on at the pub while playing darts w/ my buddies but nothing else to say other than an average beer at best.

Serving type: on-tap

08-08-2011 16:42:04 | More by clayrock81
Photo of rvdoorn


3.8/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Look: The beer pours a brown-orange color with a nice light-brown head
Smell: Malts, toffee, caramel and some nuts
Taste: malts, caramel, toffee, butter and toast. Dry and nutty aftertaste
Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, full bodied
Overall: Nice drink for pubquiz

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2011 14:38:08 | More by rvdoorn
Photo of Macca


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

This pours a dark mahogany red with a dense slightly off white head. Clear.

The nose is malty but certainly not as strong as I expected. I'm getting a confectionary note as well.

The malts are there on the palate but again lighter than expected. Slight sweetness but bitterness kicks in to balance it out.

Quite thin mouthfeel for what it is.

How disappointing. I drank a bit of this years ago and thought it was good but not anymore.

Serving type: nitro-can

07-22-2011 10:45:29 | More by Macca
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 DCon


3.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on-tap @ Johnny Haran's in Chicago, IL for $5. Tapped into a Miller Lite Pint Glass from a Kilkenny Tap Handle and enjoyed this only because I had to charge my phone and we were parked next to this venue! :)

Aroma- Huge malt aroma, fresh, and can smell the creamy attributes that will be taking place in the drink. Very mild and faint.

Appearance- Received with a 2 finger, creamy head that stays for a good time. The body is a reddish/amber color wit huge lace that coats the sides.

Flavor- Has a very sweet malt taste and is creamy all the way through the drink. A low bitterness finishes this drink off.

Mouthfeel- Medium-Full Bodied, Medium Carbonation, and leaves a sharp bite of malt on the palate.

Overall Impression- I wasn't ready for this Irish Red Ale to be so good! It was an easy drinking beer and almost felt like there should have been some futbol game in front of me while drinking it. Had good attributes all-around and since I had everything else on-tap, this was a fun one to go.

Serving type: on-tap

06-27-2011 20:51:48 | More by DCon
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 kojevergas


3.75/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

.33cl bottle into an An Brainblasta goblet in Belfort, France. It's a bit strange reviewing here since Ireland's me home, but I never saw her out of the bottle back in the auld country. She was always nitro-can or draught. Reviewed live.

A: A biteen over two fingers of head, with light cream, fair thickness, and fair retention. Semitransparent gold colour. She's different than she is in the auld country.

Sm: Cream, caramel, amber hops, and even slight dark fringe esters I never quite picked up before. Doth mine broken nose deceive me?

T: Heavy creamed caramel, cream, amber hops, slight toffee (even!), and curbed dark fringe esters that are very subtle. Hard to place their particular nature, anyway. Complex for the style (WHICH IS IRISH CREAM ALE, YE BASTARDS!), and very well balanced and built.

Mf: Delightfully silky creamy smooth and wet. Extremely refreshing. Gloriously refreshing. Very complementary of the flavours of the body. Sadly, it does begin to approach the beginning of the realm of overly thick. Got to keep that in check, lads.

Dr: Average or below average ABV depending on your perspective, extremely drinkable, and a great price in France. You won't find it out of the bottle back home. Tastes a bit different (especially those damned esters!), but still of course a welcome beer anytime. You owe it to yourself to give it a go, especially if she's off the draught.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2011 23:17:36 | More by kojevergas
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
Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale from Guinness Ltd.
78 out of 100 based on 388 ratings.