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Smithwick's Ale | Smithwick's Brewery / Irish Ale Breweries Ltd

306 Reviews
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Smithwick's AleSmithwick's Ale

Brewed by:
Smithwick's Brewery / Irish Ale Breweries Ltd

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 04-16-2002

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Reviews: 306 | Ratings: 672
Photo of stevoj
2.65/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Nice pour, creamy thick head. All else lacking, kind of weak and watery, unimpressive, tasteless. Now I know why they mix with this Guinness in the Derry pints.

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Photo of jeffdr123
3.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Drank from draft at Shannon's Irsih Pub in Glen Ellyn, IL. Great pub. OK beer. Looks nice with a short head that lingers. Not much smell to it. Sweet malty taste. A little boring. If sweet tea were carbonated, it would taste a little like this.

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Photo of erconn0r
4.02/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank when I was in the West of Ireland. Noted it tasted better in different pubs. When carbonation was lower, could taste the maltiness better.. & this was when I enjoyed it best. Great session beer...

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Photo of Geneth
2.43/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

An extremely mediocre red. Didn't get much of a smell out of it (granted, it was a little windy). The color was pretty dark, but tasted light. No complexity to the flavor.

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Photo of jancona
3.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap for a friend's wedding - Very bready malt flavor and a tad bit of caramel sweetness. A nice session pub brew, but not much more....

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.28/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Dull, clear copper or bronze with off-white medium-retention, somewhat rocky head. In the bottle, nose is pure bread. In the glass, more bread, some toast, but strong caramel predominates, accompanied by the faintest citrusy or herbal hops. Mostly toasty malts, a little crackery and a little tart, and caramel to the taste, much smaller black pepper, dark fruit, and licorice notes in the back, easily lost after your palate's been desensitized and giving way to a modicum of what can only be described as lemon, likely a combination of flavors. All this followed by just detectable — not even bitter, really — herbal hops in the finish. Gentle bitterness and caramel in the aftertaste. Medium, fine carbonation, bit of a creamy feel in this lighter end of medium-bodied brew. Only mild astringency, and no warming to speak of.

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Photo of DMACH
3.26/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A very nice red not fantastic but goes well with most meals. A great go to beer to avoid the Macro guys. Also a decent choice when you tire of the next super IBU IPA to hit the market

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Photo of EagleTalon
3.05/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out to a rich creamy buff head that lasts and a deep auburn color. Aroma is caramel, biscuit, bread, nuts and and cooked veggies. Flavor is nondescript amber ale with low hopping, a slight toastiness/nuttiness. Slightly sweet finish. Mouthfeel is light and slick. Overall, boring and mass produced but not particularly bad.

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Photo of Mike7141954
5/5  rDev +47.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I really like this ale, I will be the only one in this one horse town that will, I rated it all 5's.
I get a toffey taste from it or maybe it's caramel. To me it is a refreshing taste from all the floral taste out there! I would recommend it to my friends.

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Photo of BFCarr
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%

While it may lack the depth of taste of a truly good craft beer, it remains one of my gateway beers to the Craft scene. After not having one in a while, it's still a good beer, especially at an Irish theme bar!

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Photo of curasowa
2.82/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear, brownish-red color with two fingers of off-white head that fades with a decent curtain of lace.

Aroma: Grainy, grassy, a little nutty, cooked veggie.

Taste: Mild roasted malt flavor that is a bit nutty and astringent, some light bitterness towards the finish, then a pretty grainy finish with a little dish rag.

The Rest: Decent body and carbonation, but fairly unremarkable otherwise. It lacks a robust, appealing malt profile; this is much to grainy tasting.

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.12/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Had on-tap at Three Blind Mice in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. From what I can tell, this is a permatap over there and it comes at $4.50 a pint, or something like that.

Appearance: Nice red color with a small tannish head. Lacing is alright at the start, but spotty the rest of the way. Looks alright. (3.5/5)

Smell: Malty. "Red." Maybe a sort of hoppiness, but definitely malt-forward and grainy. Nothing special, average at best. (3.25/5)

Taste/feel: Blah. It has all the typical flavors you'd find in a red/amber, but this one has a significant artificial sweetener sort of aftertaste that I tend to get in cheaper beers and it turns me off to this a good amount. Grainy. Slightly below average. The mouthfeel on this one is a bit thin with a moderate/high carbonation. (3/5, 3.25/5)

This is just a pretty mediocre beer, and it's about what I had expected, maybe a bit less than. Wouldn't buy again, but I wouldn't turn it down.


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Photo of kcrosson492
3.04/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Smithwick's Ale (pronounced Smit-icks in Ireland) is a decent choice of ale while in Ireland. Personally, I will probably never have another one because it is just okay. The appearance is the best thing about this beer.

A-Nice reddish color with a decent off-white head.

S-The smell is plain and not very strong.

T-The taste is better than the smell (if that makes sense) and it goes down quite easy.

M-There is an emptiness of feel in the mouth but it is smooth.

O-The beer could be summed up with one word and that word is okay.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.16/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, no freshness date. I haven't had a smithwicks in probably ten years. Now I know why. Boring aroma and flavor, both were grainy and forgettable. Deep red color.I would likely never buy another one of these unless I was actually in Ireland.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
2.88/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled on tap at a "Scottish ale house" serving mostly Irish and local brews. A red to dark chalky brown ale with some light butterscotch foam. Astonishingly little in the way of aroma, maybe a hint of dried dark fruit (raisin) and toffee but largely flat on the nose. Taste was mellow toast, dilute caramel sauce, slight hop bitterness, little of the tea-like smooth bitterness and body of other Irish reds. Watery and thin, lingering sweet finish with a little cardboard. Unobjectionable but insipid.

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Photo of Dsimenson
2.46/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Has a lovely red brown color. Advertized as a red ale. Thin head on draft in a Guinness glass. Almost no aroma, or my nose is plugged up. A very disappointing taste, mildly citrys, little hops, no malt. Very fizzy, almost like a cola. I'm glad to have sampled it, but i wont be trying it again. At least the fish and chips were good!

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Photo of stillrockin67
5/5  rDev +47.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So many ales have a bitter aftertaste. Smithwick Irish Ale satisfies long after the swallow. The only problem I have with this ale is locating it. I try to buy as many six-packs as I can when I locate it on the shelves. Nevertheless, eventually the stores seem to just stop stocking this beer.

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Photo of Davidvols
5/5  rDev +47.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite beers. Looks and tastes like a excellent craft beer should - not too hoppy. No strong odor or bitter aftertaste. Drinkable and smooth. No comparison to Guiness, as this one is very drinkable and not "heavy" like Guiness Extra Stout. Great history of brewery as well.

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Photo of beer272
2.64/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - looked like an ale that had black patent added to give a dark appearance. Looked very dark in the glass with ruby color on the edge. Head looked OK and with a white appearance.

S - poured out very cold. Negligible smell either malt or hops.

T - ok, body ok. As the temperature rose on the last part of the beer got a taste of butter...

M - Pass, ok

O - This was a light beer, nuetral, ~no hops or malt. Then with black patent added. I would not buy again.

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Photo of woodychandler
2.72/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I received this as an extra in a recent trade with KevSal and I was rather surprised to realize that I have never reviewed it in any of its forms. No time like the present, I suppose.

From the bottle: "The brewery at St. Francis Abbey in Kilkenny, Ireland has been in operation since 1710. Smithwick's is Ireland's oldest ale, inspired by John Smithwick's original recipe. This ale delivers a distinctive amber color, full bodied tatse and ultra-smooth finish."

My pour produced better than two fingers' worth of dense, light-tan head with great retention in today's heat and humidity. It looked like the top of a coffee ice cream cone. Color was a deep coppery-red with NE-quality clarity, the shade that makes me swoon when it is on a woman. Nose was malty, fairly sweet, nothing terribly remarkable. Mouthfeel was on the thin side and other than a mild sweetness, it really lacked Ooomph of any sort. It was not bad, just lacking. Finish was equally ho-hum. I hate to look a gift horse in the mouth, but this was not doing anything for me.

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Photo of Mellonius
3.35/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at The Royal Oak, Ottawa.

Smithwick's pint glass. Pours a beautiful reddish/grenade color with very little head formation.

Aroma of malts, caramel, and some "fishyness".

Mouthfeel is light, almost watery, with little carbonation. Tastes like it smells. I could not identify some of the annoying, acidic notes in the finish, just before the hops come in.

Overall, an average red ale. I would have no problem drinking it again, especially in hotter days. But it is not unforgettable.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.26/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice red-amber. with substantial head. Impressive and detailed lace.

Smell is caramel malty, with a slight hint of hops. Not much here.

Taste is mild and malty, again, with the hops coming in near the finish. Overall, a very plain and unremarkable (even forgettable) ale. Won't pursue this one again anytime soon.

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Photo of Ragingbull
3.45/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer was being hailed by all of my the husbands of my wife's high school friends. I stepped out of my own "beer box" and gave it a try.

It pours a reddish brown in color with a light foam head. The nose is mostly malty with some hints of earth and nut. The beer flavor is pretty simple and clean. There is a slight hoppiness to the finish which is really the most distinguishing characteristic aside from the nose. Its okay but with a whole world of beer out there to try I am not sure when or if I will drink it again.

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Photo of Oxymoron
2.94/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Smithwick's seemed to be the other alternative (to Guinness) in Ireland. Or at least it was the "other" option where ever we went (pubs etc). Sampled a crystal clear, light amber color with a bronze hue. A soft white head with ok retention and lacing through out the tasting.

The nose is soft with a light malty aroma. Some minor sweet caramel and husky notes. Very light overall. Some minor earthy hop aroma but very light. The yeast is very clean, almost like a lager.

The taste is similar in that it has a lager-esk feel. The malt comes out lightly with a more grainy and husky note. But there is a sweet caramel note. There is a bit of butter that comes out but is light. The yeast is very clean with a light phenol but very crisp and clean. Some minor hop notes but limited.

The body is light with a slight dry finish. As mentioned, clean and crisp. Overall this is kind of like a hybrid amber/lager with limited taste overall. Very easy to drink and easily attainable in Ireland.

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Photo of vtisme
4.58/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one delicious Ale. Arrives a deep ruby color with a finger head that doesnt go away for a while and leaves minimal lacing on the glass. Smells pretty bitter up front and so does it taste, but it goes down smooth and the faint taste of bread is what is left on your tongue on the end.

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Smithwick's Ale from Smithwick's Brewery / Irish Ale Breweries Ltd
78 out of 100 based on 306 ratings.