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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.

564 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 564
Reviews: 298
rAvg: 3.37
pDev: 16.32%
Wants: 7
Gots: 24 | 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: 564 | Reviews: 298 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of acarroll413
3.28/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured from a 12 oz bottle into a glass

A- the theme of this beer is "guinness light", and the color totally embodies that. it doesnt have that funky turning black thing that guinniess has but is it a dark dark brown.

S- smelled like malted hops, not much to report here.

T- tasted like a lighter guinness, a nice roasted flavor, maybe a hint of wheat in the back end. it was well carbonated which i wasnt expecting with an irish ale. had a little bit of a bite on the back end.

M- nice and smooth, except for that aforementioned bite on the back end.

D- i dont know if id have this again, but its certainly easier to drink than guinness. yes i am a weakling.

acarroll413, Mar 18, 2006
Photo of beveragecaptain
2.55/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Smitchwicks pours out a copper color with a small head. I detected absolutely no aroma in this beer. I stuck my nose so far in that I inhaled foam, but I never smelled a thing. The flavor is quite watery with a bit of caramel. There is some metallic flavor. A hint of hops comes in at the finish. I can't really call this beer bad, but it has almost no flavor. Mouthfeel is thin and watery, without the creaminess I was hoping for. Not something I'll be wasting my time with again.

beveragecaptain, Mar 18, 2006
Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear medium amber body with an incredibly fluffy head that lasts forever and laces the glass with perfection

Smell: Not much aroma but what there is, is of caramel and biscuit

Taste: There's that biscuity caramel flavor you would expect from the aroma, but it is joined by some mild bitterness

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and surprisingly creamy; lively carbonation

Drinkability: Flavorful but not demanding; well-balanced and easy-to-drink; I liked it more than I expected - Happy St. Patrick's Day

brentk56, Mar 17, 2006
Photo of clemtig76
2.7/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a six at a local Ingle's for $7.97. Pours a dark amber color with a nice thick head. Not much in the aroma department, just a little light dry malt. Taste was a disapointment too, faint pale roasted malt with little hop bitterness. I hate to say it but I would prefer a Killian's over this. Way over priced. On the label it says "From a recipe inspired by John Smithwick." I'll bet if John had one of these, he would be pissed to have his name on the label.

clemtig76, Mar 17, 2006
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 ChuckD
2.95/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Thick, chunky tan head atop an organish red body. No sharp colors.

To the nose, the malts are pretty much out there. A slight flowery hint in the back.

In the mouth, sweet and bland with a little kiss of the hops. Nothing overly tasty.

The feel is weak - thin and metallic. Not a lot to work with here. The finish is dry - but not refreshing.

Musings: Bought a 12 pack of this because of a SPD sale. It's drinkable, but I won't be going back anytime soon.

ChuckD, Mar 16, 2006
Photo of kgotcher
3.33/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours very dark amber, almost brown color with big pillowy offwhite head that leaves huge sticky lacings everywhere. Nice!

Aroma is dissapointingly light. Just a light malty aroma but nothing really jumping out at me. Taste is more of the same with a fairly light mouthfeel. Not a ton of flavor, just a bit of malt and grain with a smooth flavor front to back. Nothing jumping out or off balance. Finishes fairly dry. I was expecting more malty flavor from an Irish Ale. This one is a bit light on flavor and a somewhat overly dry finish.

kgotcher, Mar 14, 2006
Photo of tobyandgina
4.47/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Great Irish Ale!

Smithwick's (pronounced smithicks) is a great tradition Irish Ale. Brewed by the infamous Guinness brewers in the lovely little town of Kilkenny, Ireland. Enough of the geography lesson.

It tends to pour with a very thick head that lingers for a good while. Smell is tender and not too harsh with malts present.
Colour is a nice amber with plenty of bubbles to tickle your fancy. Good tongue feel and no real aftertaste.
Great Irish tasting ale with the classic maltiness and lightness - not too much bite, smooth going. I could drink a lot of these ;)
I would recommend this fine ale with a hot plate of fish 'n chips.

tobyandgina, Mar 10, 2006
Photo of Naes
3/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a dark amber colored ale with a tall off-white head that retains well but does not leave very much lacing.
The aroma is of dark malts.
The flavor is of caramel malt with a bit of hops near the finish.
The mouth feel is light in body and moderately carbonated.

Naes, Mar 09, 2006
Photo of BeerRun13
3.23/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My bottle looked diferent. The label said it was the same brewer as Guinness...?
Poured a very clear brownish/amber with a pretty thick off white head.
Not a very strong aroma, but it smells okay. A slight hop presence.
Earthy malt flavors. A suggestion of nuts and maybe fruit, but not sweet at all.
Mouthfeel is a little dry, but still fairly smooth.
Over all Smithwick's is an okay beer. Other reds I've had seem a little sweeter. Still goes down easy and is quite drinkable. I'd probably say it would be a good session beer, maybe good for the golf course.

BeerRun13, Mar 09, 2006
Photo of MrHolland
3.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle, pours a dark amber color with red hues and a big off-white head with some lace.

Smells of a butter-caramel with faint malts.

Taste is watery with faint hints of some caramel and malts, hops are really not present in this brew. Not much carbonation, does not tingle the taste buds.
First time I have had this style I hope there are better ones out there.

MrHolland, Mar 04, 2006
Photo of therica
3/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First, my bottle looked entirely different from the one displayed, said "Imported Irish Ale" (ie possibly bottled for a US audience?) and noted that it was "by the brewers of Guinness" on the label.

The appearance is a medium tea-color. The head didn't form while pouring down the side of the glass, so I beefed up pouring directly and had an immediate large, foamy brownish-white head which stood firmly. The head had little taste.

The ale did not strike me as exciting, on first sip, nor afterwards. It's decent, drinking-ale, and I was searching for a description for the taste and noted it in the previous reviewer's comments-- smoky caramel, or burnt caramel. But there is also a watery-ness in the taste, and a tinny hint in the aftertaste, along with a slight sweetness that I'd rather do without.

I bought this in a 6-pack at a local store which occasionally has a few imported-beers of note. Would I buy this beer at a bar? Yes, probably-- but if they had this to offer, they'd probably be offering others that would tempt me more greatly.

therica, Feb 25, 2006
Photo of oldirtycaffrey
3.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance was dark brown/amber w/ a good sized head and nice, consistent lacing. Not much to speak of as far as smell goes, but it is sligthly sweet, as is the taste. Spikes of smoky caramel touch the taste buds. I found the mouthfeel totally enjoyable -- definitely a beer I could drink all night. I actually tried this for the first time from a Chili's that was offering 2-fers...I got one Guinness, and one of these. Guinness is one of my favs, but I took an immediate liking to Smithwick's. This won't blow anybody away, but it's a totally enjoyable beer and I hope it continues to become popular here in the states.

oldirtycaffrey, Feb 25, 2006
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.03/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I guess this is the new In beer for our area; it's popping up in all my usual hangouts. After tasting it, I'm not impressed. It"s a dark amber color with a thick white head and some nice lacing. It had a weak toasty odor, and tasted of grain with some slight hoppiness. I really didn't appreciate much flavor. An average beer.

lordofthewiens, Feb 21, 2006
Photo of FranklinPCombs
2.85/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

As far as beers go, this one struck me as very unimpressive to look at. As soon as I poured, i was overcome by the head, which at one point was about half the glass. The color is a maple amber, crystal clear, and with tons of carbonation on the sides and bottom of the glass. It looked more like a root beer, or maybe a food-colored macro. The head only looked pleasant once it had died down to about half a centimeter, and actually left a good deal of lace. The smell was metallic off the bat, although I was able to uncover some hidden honey malts with a touch of hops, after some searching. The taste was a bit watery, although this would probably be the strongest point of the beer. It is unimpressive on the front of the pallate, but it divulges a few malty flavors on the back, released by the carbonation. Mouthfeel is high in carbonation, and watery. Drinkable, fine for a round or two, but you wont see me drinking the night away with this.

FranklinPCombs, Feb 21, 2006
Photo of jmz62565
2.98/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This pours a dark ruby color with a smallish head. The smell has a slight malt aroma,but it is pretty weak. The taste is all malt sweetness with a slight hop presence. The m/f is light and pretty well balanced,but this is just an average beer at best.

jmz62565, Feb 19, 2006
Photo of wcudwight
3.1/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark amber with a nice fluffy head that recedes to a spotty lace. Smells malty, grainy, and like buttered biscuits. Taste is very heavy on the malts with a toast-like finish. Feels thin in the mouth. Not a bad beer, but not one I would pay my hard earned money for. If it was free I would gladly accept though.

wcudwight, Feb 19, 2006
Photo of longarm
3.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Fluffy head rests atop dark-reddish base. Great lacing.

Both aroma and flavor principally consist of light, earthy malts. Hops not noticeable. Somewhat sweet, but not overwhelmingly cloying. Fits the style well if maybe a little bland.

Very nice mouthfeel. Moderate sweetness coats the palate without any stickiness.

Fairly drinkable, brown/red ale. Maybe not the best example of the style, but still a good beer.

longarm, Feb 17, 2006
Photo of elsinore
3.38/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this in a trade from a friend. I suspect he got the better of the deal, but that's neither here nor there.

Pours from the bottle an attractive brownish-amber. The head fades pretty quickly, but some nice lace remains behind on the glass.

Like others, I didn't detect much of a smell ... I'd say what I did notice was kind of mildly sweet.
The taste, meanwhile, is a whole bunch of malt with some caramel poking through at the end. I was kind of underwhelmed.
I didn't think the mouthfeel was quite as harsh as some other folks noticed. I do believe I could drink a lot of these, and I wouldn't be offended while I did. But I wouldn't be dazzled, either.

This is not a bad beer, just kind of average, in my opinion. If it's the best alternative to boring macros, I would have at it ... but I wouldn't go that far out of my way for it.

EDIT: I let the beer warm up some more after my initial comments, and found the caramel character to be more evident (and more enjoyable.) I bumped up my score to reflect this, but I still don't think this is a beer to scream from the rooftops about.

elsinore, Feb 16, 2006
Photo of russpowell
3.03/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

pours brown/copper with a fluffy sand-colored head 2 fingers deep. Good head retention and excellent lacing on the bottom of the glass

Smell: A little fruitty and not much else

Taste: Fruitiness, caramel, and ever so slight hop bitterness. Some hints of alcohol and dryness on the finish

MF: A little thin & prickly (over carbonated)

Decent drinkability, but overall not too impressed. A beer that pours way better than it drinks

russpowell, Feb 15, 2006
Photo of Enola
2.75/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer really did not live up to my expectations. I thought it would be a lot better. It is the color of iced tea. There is a decent sized head. The smell is similar to a light beer. The taste could use some improvment. There is quite a bite to it. I will not buy this again. There are much better options for red beer than this.

Enola, Feb 14, 2006
Photo of hopsaplenty
2.98/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The pint of amber ale is topped with a modest soft khaki colored head of medium sized, loosely packed bubbles that diminishes fairly quickly to a minimal collar that left no lacing. The smell is of soft malt sweetness with a mild hop note, not overly distinctive. The taste is much the same. Generally sweet with a bit of graininess finishing with subdued hops that have a modest spice to them. There was also a bit of a metallic note as well. Medium body with a light mouthfeel that has a bit too much carbonation. I’m not sure how many of these I’d want to drink, as it was not overly enjoyable.

This seems to be slightly different, less flavorful and more carbonated, than I remember having it while on an Ireland trip a few years ago.

hopsaplenty, Feb 08, 2006
Photo of Bitterbill
2.95/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle a deep amber with a good head of foam that dissipated slowly

The smell is a light note of malt and pretty much nothing else.

The taste is a mix of malt and faint hops....not at all exciting nor complex but certainly not offensive. I'll let my next bottle get closer to room temp and if there are any noteworthy changes in my opinion of this brew, I'll edit my review. As it stands now, this just lacks the flavour that I was hoping for in a UK session ale. Too bad.

Bitterbill, Feb 07, 2006
Photo of daliandragon
2.7/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Recently sampled this on my vacation to Ireland this past week. This was my first pint in the Emerald Isle, drank during the Man City- Man Yoo match in the hotel pub in Newmarket-on Fegus, County Clare. Review conducted upon written notes.
Color is a dark rddish gold with a mediocre cap of head and sparkling clear body. The nose is based in hops but these are masked by an adjunct aroma, likely corn. Not appealling.
Taste is bitter and somewhat lacking in flavor. Ends in a crisp finish but an astringent aftertaste. Mouthfeel is creamy but thin..one dimensional and boring.
Not a good first pint for any country in my opinion. I probably won't be sampling this again any time soon. Not recommended.

daliandragon, Jan 25, 2006
Photo of arguemaniac
3.53/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, almost opaque copper color. In fact, the beer looks almost entirely black unless you hold it up to a light. Definite caramel aroma in the nose. The beer features a very clean caramel flavor with a slightly buttery quality. A fairly slight hop crispness comes through midway through. Caramel and grainy malt in the finish.

Not bad, makes a decent session beer, but not the tastiest one. Good caramel flavor with decent drinkability. Recommended.

arguemaniac, Jan 25, 2006
Smithwick's Ale from Smithwick's Brewery / Irish Ale Breweries Ltd
77 out of 100 based on 564 ratings.