Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale | Guinness Ltd.

157 Reviews
no score
Send samples
For Trade:
Kilkenny Irish Cream AleKilkenny Irish Cream Ale

Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd.
Ireland | website

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.30%

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.

Added by UncleJimbo on 08-23-2009

View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 157 | Ratings: 651
Photo of LampertLand
3.89/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Kilkenny "Irish Cream Ale" @ 4.3% served cold from a 4pack a 440ml nitro-can
A-from the crack of the can being opened to the initial pour starts off a milk white and cascades into a clear copper brown with a tan head with good retention leavin large lacing along the pint glass
S-toasted malts and a hint of earthy hops
T-lightly buttered toast with a sweet caramel finish
MF-smooth and creamy , medium to thick body ,
Ov-oh so easy to drink , feeling a little rough try a couple of Kilkenny's , your on your way

Cheers LampertLand

 535 characters

Photo of Murrhey
2.77/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured on-tap at the Auld Irisher in Orange, CA. Reviewed from notes.

A- Finger and a half foamy head. Reddish color. Decent carbonation. Great retention.

S- Golden bodied malts. Really subtle smell. I'll drink it down a tad and smell again. Has some skunky and darker hop notes. Not great.

T- Some lighter malts and nutty flavors. Ok tasting but not very good.

M- Creamy and thick bodied. Pretty good feel.

O- Passable beer. Might be a good standby when Guinness runs out.

 479 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
2.97/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

440 mL can picked up at the LCBO. Haven't had this since it was bought by Diageo - in fact it was one of my first reviews, back before it came under the Guinness umbrella.

Pours an amber-red colour; cloudy at first as the bubbles slowly settle out, but completely clear once this process is over. Beautiful light-beige head that reminds me of whipped cream, with great retention as it lasts for most of the drink. Malty aroma is quite faint like with many of these nitro ales, so it's hard to identify any specific qualities. If forced to be more detailed, I'd describe it as creamy and lightly toasted I guess.

The flavour is equally muted, or 'mild' if you prefer. Lightly toasted bready malts are pretty dominant, with a light toffee sweetness not far behind. Pleasant, leafy drying bitterness that comes through in the finish and aftertaste. Like most nitro ales the mouthfeel is creamy and smooth as silk. Still, the body is on the thin side of medium, and rather watery overall. Quite light and easy to knock back.

Inoffensive and straightforward. Optimists might call it mild, while pessimists would probably use a word like bland. Either way, I don't think either side would disagree that it's a smooth brew and not a chore to drink. Wouldn't recommend this to beer geeks, but if you're a fan of nitro beer in general this could be worth the time.

Final Grade: 2.97, a comfortable C. If I had to choose between this and Guinness it'd be a tossup; they're of comparable quality but I doubt I'd ever be in a situation where nothing better is available. Kilkenny is just more cream and less roast. I wouldn't turn this down, but it's not something I'd want to be a staple... at least it makes for a decent St. Patrick's Day session.

 1,742 characters

Photo of DexterP236
3.69/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Came out a cloudy amber - and the head dissipated all too fast.

S - A bit of a grainy aroma, maybe some maltiness, light hops

T - Caramel, a little fruity, but quite bitter too but not too heavy

M - Velvety, smooth, light carbonation

O - good beer, but not something I feel is worth having too often

 307 characters

Photo of djura
3.61/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Clear amber color,medium carbonation,nice sweet darker foam,lasting all the way.

S-Mostly sweet aromas with coffee,and roast cereals.

T/M-Refreshing bitterness,a bit watery taste,low carbonation. Usual average taste for red beers.

O-Very refreshing,but nothing 2 special about this beer.

 292 characters

Photo of leaddog
3.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a semi-hazy copper brown with an extremely dense cream-coloured head, about 1-2 finger width (very milky and smooth, clings to the glass as you drink).

Smell - Condensed milk, vanilla, light sweet orange.

Taste - Very mild flavour with a creamy taste. Very light sweetness and bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied with minimal carbonation. Very smooth and creamy texture, as the name suggests. A tad on the watery side.

Overall - One of the brews I like to revisit once in a while, when I'm looking for a mild brew. A decent cream ale, but could use a little work to avoid wateriness. Beautiful appearance is noteworthy.

 644 characters

Photo of hopfacebrew
3.46/5  rDev +1.5%
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

 918 characters

Photo of tbeckett
2.87/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

 422 characters

Photo of keeganfrank
3.88/5  rDev +13.8%
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.

 238 characters

Photo of rangerred
2.73/5  rDev -19.9%
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.

 436 characters

Photo of airforbes1
2.74/5  rDev -19.6%
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.

 689 characters

Photo of oldirtycaffrey
3.16/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

 335 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.58/5  rDev +5%
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.

 715 characters

Photo of skypup
3.45/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

 417 characters

Photo of nickthetick
2.97/5  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.

 668 characters

Photo of dansmcd
3.49/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

 538 characters

Photo of NatalBrewingCo
3.69/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

 654 characters

Photo of jsprain1
2.99/5  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.

 466 characters

Photo of kjyost
3.52/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

 767 characters

Photo of Preismj
3.6/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

 977 characters

Photo of gtermi
3.56/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

 274 characters

Photo of gskitt
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

 378 characters

Photo of rcfunk
3.85/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

 684 characters

Photo of clayrock81
3.06/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

 495 characters

Photo of rvdoorn
3.78/5  rDev +10.9%
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

 260 characters

Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale from Guinness Ltd.
78 out of 100 based on 157 ratings.