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

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Smithwick's AleSmithwick's Ale

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592 Ratings

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Ratings: 592
Reviews: 300
rAvg: 3.36
pDev: 16.37%
Wants: 8
Gots: 32 | 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)
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Ratings: 592 | Reviews: 300 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of shadow1961
3.45/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Smithwick's Irish Ale pours out a rocky head that
collapses to a thinger's thickness. The brew is a
deep (but clear) ruby, carbonation is moderate.
The nose is of vanilla, malt, and yeast. The flavor
quite pleasant, a balance between malt and hop,
with a slight hop finish. Mouthfeel is a bit thin but
dry, almost tannic. Not bad at all, and with an alcohol
by volume of only 4.5%, it's another good session

Photo of pmcadamis
2.78/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

A - Purple/red and clear with a thin cap of hazy foam.

S - Light gentle malt and the faintest touch of caramel malts (I think). Pretty weak.

T - Lightly malty and a bit grapey. Very "to style" for an Irish red, but it's boring really. Pretty weak flavor.

M - Watery, thin, and weak. Mid-level of carbonation with a slightly dry finish.

D - Good session brew if you just want to slake your thirst or get drunk at an Irish pub. Good Irish bar brew for non-BA's that have a "fear of the dark" and want to stay away from Guiness.

Photo of Neehan
3.1/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I got this on tap at Tommy Condon's in Charleston, SC. Though not bad in any aspect, I found this to be very average. Nothing exciting or original in any of the characteristics, although it is quite smooth and this improves its drinkablility. It has a light bready taste with a dry finish. Light-bodied, but the lightness causes a lack of flavor. Can neither complain nor reccommend.

Photo of alysmith4
2.63/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sampled this beer at an Irish pub in Columbus last weekend. Haven't tried many from this style, but I though it was decent. Smell was very earthy.. could detect some hay and straw, as well as a candy-like scent. Taste was okay, a bit odd. The best was to put it was that it tasted "red" of that makes any sense. Kind of like a red-bull energy drink or something.

Overall, it was not my favorite. Not complex enough or well enough developed. Two-dimentional beer at best, but I'm sure it's a decent pick if you like this style.

Photo of billybob
4.25/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a good two finger off white head which leaves about a quarter inch at the finish dark brown in color. smell is like fresh bread. taste is caramel or brown sugar all malt. light, smooth, very nice. drinkability is very good something everyone can enjoy.

Photo of GooberMcNutly
2.23/5  rDev -33.6%
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.

Photo of Toxygen
3.6/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a bright, lucent copper and it poured with a creamy head and attractive lacing.

It has the appetizing aroma of hops, bread, and a little maltiness.

The flavor is just like the aroma, with a malty, bready taste in the mouth and a hoppy bitterness in the swallow. It has a pleasant, yeasty aftertaste, and a rather cosistent flavor from start to finish.

It has a medium carbonation and body, which along with well-balanced flavors, makes it easy to drink.

Nothing that really sticks out as great, but nothing that detracts. It's a good drink that goes down smooth and fast, and a beer my wife can enjoy too.

Photo of clickpush
3.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour: draught to pint glass. Dark with ruby hints, like a cola, with a soft, white, one finger head that skips out pretty quickly and leaves only the barest of film on top and a halo around the glass. No visible carbonation in beer.

Nose: Sweet like caramel & brown sugar, malts, carob perhaps. Can't figure out where this one is going.

Mouth: Sour-ish flavor through mouth and continued into aftertaste. More malt - burnt toast and a bit bready. Bitterness is half hop and half burned malts. The mouthfeel is not my favorite: a strong entrance and a weak finish.

Not the beer I'm looking for!

Photo of Noxious26
3.88/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured in a pint glass.

Clear, red-amber in colour. Off-white head is over and inch high and really thick on the pour. Big sheets of lacing revealed as the head reduces to a solid 1/8 inch thick. Beautiful lacing continues all the way to the bottom of the glass.

Earthy/herbally hops in the aroma. A little musty. Some faint malt.

Nice sweet malt flavour at the start with a syrupy background. Dries out a little in the middle to a more balanced state. Moderately dry and lightly bitter herbal/earthy finish. Lingering aftertaste is a nice herbal and malt balance. Keeping true to the Irish Red style, very nicely done.

Velvety smooth with moderate carbonation. Carbonation is a little agressive perhaps, but that's just nitpicking. Goes down nice and smooth.

This is probably one of the best import beers we have available in our province run liquor monopoly. I'm pretty impressed with the beers that are associated with Guiness. Guiness itself is usually quite good on tap, Harp is one of my favourite Euro Lagers and Smithwick's is quite enjoyable as well. I'm not a big Kilkenny fan, but it's better on tap than in the can. Coming from a large scale brewer like this, these are really good quality beers.

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.03/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had on tap in a pint glass. Burnt orange color with a nice thick head with good retention.

Th smell was malt if anything, but promises no flavor. It follows through on the promise...

I hadn't had this in years but it's about as I remembered. A good session beer but kind of bland.

Photo of tempest
3.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Blarney's in Dinkytown

looks a nice red with a creamy head and lacing. Smells watery, however, like an inoffensive macro. Taste is a little weak, but still nice. A touch creamy in flavor with burnt caramel. Watery mouthfeel, but easy to drink. A tasty drink, but you might as well just order yourself a pitcher as it goes down fast.

Photo of EStreet20
3.23/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Haven't had this stuff in a long while. Was always a decent choice over the macros at a restaurant or bar here and there.

12 ounce bottle poured into a 20 ounce nonic.

A - Nice reddish amber color and a large foamy off white head. Some lacing is present.

S - Caramelly malts wirth a a tiny grassy smell.

T - Some malt character with a big of a grainy taste. Hops are barely noticeable. No real aftertaste to speak of.

M - A nice lighter bodied session ale mouthfeel.

D - Not bad but a little bland/boring.

Photo of zeff80
3.6/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap it had a good head and a dark brown color. It smelled malty and slightly sweet. It tasted a little bitter with a blend of caramel and malt. Mouthfeel was quite soft and creamy. It wasn't too heavy to drink. I really enjoyed my first ever Smithwick's.

Photo of Phatz
4/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This beer pours thick amber brown with deep red hues. A two finger tan head fades into a frothy cap that lasts the entire duration of the beer. It has moderate lacing.

Smell: The smell is toasted caramel malts that are a signature to the style, a bit of a Pale Ale butteryness as well.

Taste: Very crisp malts, sugary up front, clean through the middle and it has a crisp dry finish. The hop character shows up mostly at the finish and after taste as does a touch of diacetyl.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is a very smooth, creamy medium body that feels frothy straight through the palate.

Drinkability: This may be a pretty typical Irish Red, but as a fan of the style, I found it to be extremely drinkable. It is fairly straightforward in taste but sits lightly in your stomach and aftertaste begs you to keep sipping. This is certainly a sessionable ale. Very nicely done.

Hope this is helpful.

Photo of asabreed
3.63/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A fairly dark amber / brown. About a 1" head that comes down slowly, and a good amount of lacing also around the glass as I drink.

Smell: Not tons of complexity, but I like the fruit backing. It seems very right for summer. Other than that, there's some faint hops.

Taste: Carries through from the aroma. Not too discernible as far as flavors, but by the finish there's a nice fruity backing and some curbing hops. Still, not what I expected I guess from a red ale.

Mouthfeel: As expected I suppose. Decent carbonation and full enough without being too astringent or spritzy.

Drinkability: I do think this is a solid brew, and I'd drink it again. I don't know the 6-pack price or anything, but this went down very easily and went very well with my Bangers and some of the spiciness of that. Maybe not the best IRA, but I'd drink more of this.

Photo of flanmedic51
4.28/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got my first taste at King Eider's Pub in Damariscotta, ME.

Great appearance as a red ale should, a dark red with a great head produced on top. It doesn't stick around long but thats not a big concern.

I first noticed that it didn't have a strong alcohol smell as some ales tend to do which was pleasant for me. Aroma is a bit bready and malty, maybe a hint of spice thrown in. But not in anyway overpowering.

Now to the best part...The taste is incredibly smooth and satisfying. Many red ales are quite bold tasting and slamming them are near impossible. This one goes down eloquently without a ridged aftertaste or bitterness. I think there is a fine balance of hops and malt flavors. I was ready to have it bite me in the ass after the first sip of it and it didn't, which led me to drink it in huge mouthfuls into inebriation. There isn't a strong carbonation to it which helps with the almost creamy smoothness to it.

Certainly in my opinion, this is something that I could drink on a regular basis....which I probably will with the multitude of bbq's this summer. I recommend it to those who like a mild smooth taste of an ale. And yes, goes great with any bbq.

Photo of Orrshow
2.8/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance – Pours reddish amber with a decent amount of white head. The foam quickly goes away though leaving some lacing on my glass.

Smell – The smell is somewhat floral and bready. I can mainly smell hops but there is a little bit of malt there too. Nothing special though.

Taste – Not so good here. Some sweetness, bread flavors, and bitterness are here but there is a metal like flavor as well which really put me off.

Mouthfeel – Carbonation was about average and the beer had some substance to it…but not a lot.

Drinkability – Didn’t hit the spot. It was somewhat tough to drink as the flavor seemed tainted and nothing really felt that great.

I won’t buy this again. No point.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.13/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A friend brought over a 6 pack for the weekend:

Good amount of carbonation, enough malty taste to fit the amber style. Very light hops with almost no aftertaste. Easy drinking session beer. A bit more malt and it would be good. as is it's decent, better than some, but not the best.

Photo of MSchae1017
3.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was tasted in a pint glass from a bottle.

This beer pours a copper red with a very frothy off white head. It smells like Irish yeast with other mild maltiness. The taste is also very malty with some hop bitterness. It has a good mouthfeel, nice and thick and overall its not a bad Irish ale, but I would have to take a Highland Gaelic over this one any day.

Photo of Liquids
3.75/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I had tried this once and vaguely remember liking it, but it always seems overpriced for a more "macro" kind of beer. When I saw a single, I thought I'd give it a go.

Pours a thick-headed, big, and bubbly head with a strange, muted, translucent brownish hue for a red ale. Left a creamy dolop at the bottom of the glass. Smells mild, lightly grassy, and of sweet malt. Taste is balanced and outstanding for a macro, with a bit of a hop bite but only in balance with the full malt, taste smooth, sweetish, tea like, and definitely UK style. Better than newcastle for sure, but it has a rather unique taste. It doesn't seem like it would be difficult to imitate and beat this, but I've as of yet had a craft brewery that tried and suceeds in this style. I'd return here, and know it would win at a party. Nothing I'll buy regularly, but I'd be excited if I saw it on tap.

Photo of NClifestyle
3.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at M'Couls Irish Pub in Greensboro, NC.
Pours up clear amber with a thin creamy head of foam, off-white.
Smell is bready and earthy malt, a slight hint of hops, maybe some molasses.
Taste is grainy, spicy, malt, wood bark notes.
Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, medium to thin, slight tingle of carbonation. Sharp aftertaste.
This is an easy drinking ale, doesn't require much from you, slightly sweet, a bit sharp. Great beer to get BMC drinkers off the swill.


Photo of psugrad98
2.35/5  rDev -30.1%
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.

Photo of mclanem
3.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: this beer has a brownish tan color with a creamy white head

Smell: Nice hoppy floral smell with malt hints

Taste: biscuity caramel flavor, a bit metalic with a bit of bitterness

Mouthfeel: great clean feel good balanced carbonation

Drinkablilty: I thought it was refreshing, could drink one or two

Photo of joedon
3.13/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty average beer; more like a "macro-ale". The color was dark amber with a greyish tinge; not even close to red. Unremarkable small.

Taste was also insubstantial. Noticeable hoppiness and bitterness with not much malt to back it up.

Easy drinking but not worth going out of your way for.

Photo of elricorico
2.5/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear reddish brown with a thin cap of off white head. The head seems to have no intention of going away.

The smell seems to have a bit of toffee underlying a floral smell. A bit of a biscuity aroma in there perhaps? Nothing strong enough to make it real interesting, but not bad.

Taste is basically spoiled by a sour metallic flavour that seems to coat the mouth. There is a bit of dryness in the finish, but it doesn't carry through the metallic aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is just bad, I have a film in my mouth from it. The beer is low in body and has a medium amount of carbonation. If it wasn't for the filmy feeling it would be alright.

Well, I could see this being pounded back by someone getting drunk at a bar, but to actually drink for the pleasure, I'll pass.

Smithwick's Ale from Smithwick's Brewery / Irish Ale Breweries Ltd
77 out of 100 based on 592 ratings.