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

Not Rated.
Smithwick's AleSmithwick's Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

570 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 570
Reviews: 299
rAvg: 3.37
pDev: 16.32%
Wants: 7
Gots: 27 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Smithwick's Brewery / Irish Ale Breweries Ltd

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 04-16-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 570 | Reviews: 299 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Duncanster
1.5/5  rDev -55.5%

Duncanster, Sep 09, 2013
Photo of charlzm
1.68/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

On draft at Molly Malone's Los Angeles, 1/13/08.

Nice light copper hue with modest head. Aromas of musty malt. Mouthfeel was like flavor: thin and watery. Only the faintest hints of malt and hop aftertaste bitterness emerged from the watery brew. There's subtle, then there's Smithwicks. This is like the water that was used to rinse out a glass a real beer had been served in.

I won't be drinking this stuff again.

charlzm, Mar 02, 2008
Photo of hseritt
1.98/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: Got the Smithwick's from the tap in a pitcher. The color was a very dark color... no head and looked almost flat.

S: No smell to speak of.

T: There was very little taste -- kind of like an extremely light (or non-alcoholic) Guiness. If I come across a bottle of it, I will give it a shot since the tap version may have been kind of old.

M: The consistency may have been the best thing about this beer. It had a good medium feel.

D: Other than just trying out the bottled version for Pete's sake, I don't think I'll ever order this or even drink on a weekend afternoon.

hseritt, Feb 02, 2007
Photo of GOBLIN
2/5  rDev -40.7%

GOBLIN, Apr 02, 2014
Photo of Eighty
2/5  rDev -40.7%

Eighty, Dec 05, 2013
Photo of allbrigs
2/5  rDev -40.7%

allbrigs, Mar 12, 2013
Photo of sennin
2/5  rDev -40.7%

sennin, Feb 13, 2013
Photo of jdwilliamson79
2/5  rDev -40.7%

jdwilliamson79, Oct 28, 2013
Photo of Jmathews011
2/5  rDev -40.7%

Jmathews011, Jul 17, 2014
Photo of XmnwildX12
2/5  rDev -40.7%

XmnwildX12, Nov 25, 2013
Photo of deliriumtremens
2.05/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

More than anything else, this reminds me of the Michelob All-Malt, which in itself isn't an insult, as I rather like the All-Malt. But I was expecting more from a beer that's as hyped up as Smithwick's. Very little smell or taste to speak of. A little bit of a metallic tinge that you'd expect from Busch or Tecate out of a can. There's a very slight sweetness in the taste that despite being almost undetectable still manages to be cloying, and a sharp bitterness that seems to come more from the carbonation than from hops or roasted malts. The mouthfeel is thin and watery, just terrible, which is suprising for how carbonated this beer is. I wanted to let the beer settle to let some of the carbonation out, but it just stayed fizzy, and the taste only gets worse as it warms.

The appearance is exceptional, certainly, a nice mellow brown color with a medium white head that sticks around for a good long time. But other than that I was amazed at how bad this beer managed to be. Better than macro-swill, but only very slightly so. I'd rather go with just about any Leine's or Michelob brew for less money, or spring for a real Irish like Beamish or Guiness Extra Stout (never been a fan of the Draught).

deliriumtremens, Mar 05, 2005
Photo of guildofevil
2.17/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This is one of the standard draft beers in Ireland and the only ale you'll find in some pubs.

It is brewed by Smithwick's Brewery Kilkenny (and Cherry's brewery, Waterford), but they were bought out by Guinness years ago and since Guinness have been bought out by Diagio, the brewery name is little more than a marketing tool.

It's a pretty looking beer. Red/Brown with a low, off white, head. Some lacing, but overall not great head retention. All of this is AOK for the Irish Red style of ale, though.

The aroma is muted. Not much in the way of hop character on the nose, allowing sweet malt and caramel notes to come through, to an extent. Nothing much to get excited or offended by.

It tastes a lot like it smells. Low on bittering hops, this beer comes off as a mild, slightly sweet offering. The yeast makes no discernible contribution to the flavour profile, which lacks the esters which make more interesting offerings, of the same style, stand out. Some caramel notes, but overall lacking any real depth of flavour.

This beer is the mass market version of the Irish Red style. It is brewed and sold with, more or less, the same marketing philosophy in mind as the big international bland lager brands.

The caramel notes, essential to the Irish Red style are, I am told, achieved by the addition of caramel, not caramel malt, as you might expect.

This beer used to have a sister beer called Phoenix Beer, brewed in Cherry's brewery, Waterford, but I have not seen it in years. Even when it was available, Phoenix Beer was so incredibly similar to Smithwicks, that many suspected it of simply being a different label for the same beer.

If you like Irish Red, you would be better off going for a Beamish Red or a Porterhouse Red, if you happen to be near a Porterhouse.

guildofevil, Apr 28, 2005
Photo of DogFood11
2.17/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

Hell yeah on the appearance! Chunky big bubbled head leaves massive lacing, highly filtered, Amber body. nice.

Sweet malts take the lead on this brew, almost toffee like in the aftertaste, tends to stick to my teeth a bit. Carbonation loses steam but still is sharp and stinging. Mouth ends up going sweet and lingers. Lackluster. Theres not much balance here and I don't mind that if the dominance is well put together but the malt bill is just soft, and hops are non existent.

light sweetness up front, sting sizzle pop carbonation in the middle and soft lingering malts to finish. Reminds me of something Gordon Biersch would make, forgettable for the most part.

DogFood11, Mar 17, 2006
Photo of GooberMcNutly
2.23/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

16 oz can. Poured well carbonated into a tall glass with a good white head and no foam fall. Aroma was of strong hops and the first sip confirmed it: very bitter. Malty character flavors with some oaky flavors and even some pine essence, but not enough to overcome the bitter hops.

GooberMcNutly, Oct 25, 2006
Photo of duceswild
2.25/5  rDev -33.2%

duceswild, Jul 21, 2014
Photo of buzzarooski
2.25/5  rDev -33.2%

NOT sure what to say here....Not a BAD beer...But Nothing I would recommend either....Go with Murphy's Red if you have a Choice

buzzarooski, Sep 23, 2014
Photo of SMortiL987
2.25/5  rDev -33.2%

SMortiL987, Jul 18, 2012
Photo of jstevep00
2.25/5  rDev -33.2%

jstevep00, Aug 01, 2013
Photo of helloloser12345
2.35/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving Type: 440ml can. 'New and improved' printed on the can.

Pour: Off white foamy head which soon disappears leaving only a ring around the glass. No lacing.

Appearance: Dark amber

Smell: Slight smell of roasted malts and that is about it, except for the nasty sulphur odour.

Flavour: Very, very thin. No great amount of flavour, slight hint of malt. Too much carbonation.

Overall: Not nice at all.

I feel this review is a harsh though as Smithwicks is a very good beer from the tap or bottled. It is well rounded and full of flavour. It is just nasty from the can!

I will update next time I get it either bottled or on tap.

helloloser12345, Dec 02, 2004
Photo of cdkrenz
2.35/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Deep, deep amber color, almost brown. The head is a pale tan and is nice and foamy as it stands about 3/4 of an inch. Nice lacing as well.

Smell - Interestingly there's a chocolate and coffee aroma.

Taste - The flavor is actually quite mild. There's some unique flavor. I actually taste bubble gum even though there's nothing sweet about this brew.

Mouthfeel - The feel is smooth. There's nothing coarse about it as it goes down very easy.

~ If the flavor were more enjoyable this would be a solid session brew. As for now I think I'll pass.

cdkrenz, Feb 28, 2008
Photo of psugrad98
2.35/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reddish amber in color. Moderate head and almost no lace. Aroma of faint hops with carmel notes.

Light and fizzy on the palate with no discernable hop bitterness or floral/fruit mouthfeel. Only slightly bitter. Malt is more firmly planted as primary flavor. Mediocre at best. An Irish macro ale.

psugrad98, Mar 27, 2006
Photo of oxmasterscream
2.45/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Had this on tap at McFadden's Pub at Citizen's Bank Park (Phillies' stadium) in Philadelphia, PA. I remember this beer to be really delicious but something's happened to my taste buds between now and then. This time, I just didn't smell or taste anything redeeming in this beer. It poured a beautiful dark reddish brown color, with a nice, thick head which stayed for the duration of the beer. I tried and tried and tried but couldn't recognize any distinguishing aromas. It just smelled like beer. The taste was very wood-like and leathery if that makes any sense. It's got a strong malty backbone but virtually no sweetness whatsoever. It leaves a bitter tang on your tongue as you swallow. It's very, very carbonated and thick to the taste, so much that it feels like you have to chew the bubbles. I really suffered through the glass and actually left a good portion of it because I found no enjoyment in it whatsoever. I won't be drinking it again.

My disclaimer: This beer is popular and in reading reviews, other BAs really enjoy it. I'm not sure what it is but maybe it's just not my cup of tea. Maybe I've been drinking too many bock style beers, stuff from Belgium, and big IPAs... who knows. Maybe it wasn't so good because I wasn't in Ireland while drinking it this time around. Regardless, I just wasn't impressed.

oxmasterscream, Aug 10, 2004
Photo of Dsimenson
2.46/5  rDev -27%
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!

Dsimenson, Aug 05, 2013
Photo of DanGeo
2.5/5  rDev -25.8%

DanGeo, Aug 03, 2014
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Smithwick's Ale from Smithwick's Brewery / Irish Ale Breweries Ltd
77 out of 100 based on 570 ratings.