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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.

567 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 567
Reviews: 299
rAvg: 3.37
pDev: 16.32%
Wants: 7
Gots: 25 | 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: 567 | Reviews: 299 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rootdog316
3.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Swithwick's Ale pours to a beautiful, deep ruby red color with a thick white head that eventually fades and a moderate to soft amount of carbonation. The nose on this beer is wonderful with lots of soft sweet malty aromas, paired with flowery hops, and light touches of plummy estery fruit. The palate is soft and buttery, with lots of good sweet malt flavors, biscuity malt, a touch of caramel, and undertones of ripe estery fruit that just glide over the palate. This beer finishes with more malt and fruit up front, then ends with just a slight bit of grassy hop bitterness, to balance the sweet and fruity flavors that linger.

Rootdog316, Aug 13, 2005
Photo of nota
3.31/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep amber with a huge, long lasting, brownish, frothy head with fair amount of lacing. Some Smokiness and slight caramel flavor upfront that giveaway to a dry finish. Nothing overpowering or heavy. Goes down smooth. Overall a good beer, but nothing that stands out.

nota, Aug 13, 2005
Photo of battlekow
3.65/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Smithwick's, which I gather has just recently been launched in the US, is an odd-looking beer. It's a diluted dark brown color, with a huge head full of random, enormous bubbles. It looks like sourdough bread or swiss cheese. Smells malty, with some smoked and buttery diacetyl undertones. Tastes surprisingly good, smooth and malty with a pronounced smoked character that I did not expect. I have no idea how this compares to the Smithwick's served elsewhere, but the label design is different and my girlfriend claims the version she got in Ireland was much better.

battlekow, Aug 12, 2005
Photo of Fish113d
3.48/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mahogany color with a 1/2" of white, creamy, sustaining head. It eventually leaves a nice surface layer on my brew.

Aroma is of some mild caramel malt with some semblance of earthy hops, but nothing very flashy...pretty ordinary.

Interesting taste to me; sweet caramel up front on my palete backed by some earthy hops bitterness and some slight grainy flavors on the finish; smooth taste.

A smooth brew overall, with a bite of sharp carbonation after first sipping and maybe just a slight bit of dryness on the finish.

Overally, this brew is very easy to drink, refreshing, and not bad. However, for $3.75 a pint, I'd pass on another to be quite honest.

Fish113d, Aug 07, 2005
Photo of steinlifter
3.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance, was this beers strong suit, poured a nice amber, with a frothy meringue-like head, that left broken puffs all the way down the glass, smell was rather vague, sweet malty aroma, dried fruit perhaps, taste waspleasant, rather weak, unsweetened tea-like taste, very light, and slight hop dryness, but a nice beer on a warm day, as it is here right now, Mouthfeel, is light bubbly,smooth. Drinkability: is average, not bad, but not that great either, good session brew, because of the low abv, you could probably drink this till "the cow's come home"....if you are so inclined.

steinlifter, Aug 05, 2005
Photo of Beervis
4/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer on tap at the Waltzing Weasel in Oshawa, ON Canada.

Color was a dark brownish amber with a thick beige head.

Smell was of toffee, chocolate and a little coffee. Slight flowery hops were also present in the nose.

Taste was light to medium bodied with a nice caramel flavour and hop bite. Fruity overtones give way to a bitter drying finish.

This beer was hoppier than what I expected, but since I'm a hophead, that's a good thing. I ordered this beer thinking I was just getting something better than the everyday macros, and I was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed this one.

Beervis, Jul 28, 2005
Photo of Opethsprite
3.73/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brought it back home from Pazzo's in Lexington (Plug for Pazzo's! Yay!) It is deep brown in color with a strong red tint. It would be a lot better looking if the head hung around for more than 0 seconds, but hey. Smells very sweet (in a fruity way) and yeasty. Not too complex, but rather refined in its simplicity. The taste is surprisingly subtle and fades rather quicky. As expected from the nose, there is a sweet yeasty taste, the aforementioned fruit being drowned out. It finishes with a dry, grassy taste. Normally, I'd prefer more carbonation than this, but somehow, this beer pulls it off without much at all. A very nice beer.

Opethsprite, Jul 28, 2005
Photo of bjoyce12
3.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well above average character and body, but light on the aroma and mouthfeel. Dark in color, creamy head that held up well. Above-average and vastly better than Coors' Killian's "Irish" Red.

There is supposedly some story that Smithwicks couldn't be sold in the US for a number of years due to a non-compete with Bass? Makes sense; this is a superior product to Bass. Also, I am told it's pronounced "Smitticks".

bjoyce12, Jul 25, 2005
Photo of jimbotrost
3.53/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a bottled offering that I had to try, I have had draft and enjoyed that. Pours a deep red with a full off white head. There is malt in the nose but no hop bitterness, what is an irish red ale anyway. The flavor was malt driven, although light, some bitterness is present, no hops detected. The bitterness does linger after the malt goes away, this one finishes dry and bitter.

jimbotrost, Jul 20, 2005
Photo of baiser
3.28/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish brown, with an cream coloured head. Faint caramel in the nose, along with some diacetyl. Taste wise, nothing stands out, but nothing offends. A very safe beer. Some caramel, grain and a little hops. A step above most national brands. Crisp, medium bodied.

baiser, Jul 16, 2005
Photo of palliko
3.53/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is red amber with lots of fluffy foam that produces sticky lacing. Aroma has brown sugar and malt, butter (diacetyl) and few hops. Initial taste contains notes of roasted barley, sweet malt, toffee, a touch of bitter hops, and reminds one of Killian’s. Body is thin and watery, carbonation needs a booste. Finish is unsatisfying, leaving the tongue wondering where the flavor went.

palliko, Jul 15, 2005
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark orange with amber highlights. I fail to identify even a hint of red in this red ale. The buff colored cap has a bumpy, bubbly, sticky look that resembles sheep's wool. Therefore, it isn't surprising that a generous scattering of thick shornlets of lace are arrayed haphazardly on the glass. It's a baa-utiful look, I just wish the color was more inviting.

There isn't much of note going on in the nose. It's lightly sweet and lightly toasted malty. Perhaps a whiff of herbal, minutely musky hops.

Smithwick's is a 'by the numbers' Irish red ale that is unlikely to either offend or impress. It's adequately malted without any breakout flavors, just a soft, mellow sweetness that gives a cheery wave and is then gone. Malt and hops cancel one another out rather than build on one another, which contributes to the relatively simple flavor profile.

If anything, I'm less and less impressed as the beer warms. What flavor is present seems to be leaking away with each mouthful, and the light, almost watery, nature of the mouthfeel isn't helping matters. The finish feels and tastes just a bit flat.

Smithwick's Ale is what the horticulturally-inclined might call a garden variety Irish red ale. It looks pretty good (even though a little red would provide some needed visual interest), but it can't back it up with regard to the other senses. My sense is that there are much better examples of the style and that this one is skippable.

BuckeyeNation, Jul 14, 2005
Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.68/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

The beer arrived on the table crystal clear deep amber brown with a ghost white head which lasted well to coat the glass.

The aroma was lightly fruity with a light caramel impression. Also present was just a slight smokiness.

The flavor was lightly fruity with a crisp flavor. Very light caramel and a low bittering component. Also present was just a slight sourness.

The finish was dry with light lasting caramel and slight bittering. The body was medium light. Kinda boring, but very drinkable.

Draft at Ship & Anchor in Sandy Springs, GA.

GCBrewingCo, Jul 12, 2005
Photo of HoorayBeer
4.35/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a wonderful rare find here in the United States; I have only seen it on tap or offered in bottles ina handful of places. Smithwick's Irish Red Ale was served in a nice pint glass. It had a nice dark brick red color to it, very appealing to the eye.
There is a thin head, that seems to have stayed for most of the time I was drinking it, it faded around the inside of the pint glass as I drank it.
Smithwick's gave off a very rich and powerful olfactory smell that was hard to ignore while drinking. Had a slight malt smell to it.
The taste was fantastic, very rich with a slight malt taste. Very sweet subdued after taste. In all a great beer. I am kind of partial to this beer however, I would take a Smithwick's anyday!

HoorayBeer, Jul 06, 2005
Photo of BEERchitect
3.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A much better Irish Red than the Killian's that I drank the night before. Looks like Coca Cola with nice ruby and orange highlights. Has great head retention. Smells malty sweet and herbal. No reall hop detection. Tastes toasty sweet, slightly biscuity, caramelly, and malty. Round mouthfeel, but not heavy. Finish is malty and tacky to the palate. Never detected much hop character, just enough to offset the sweetness.

BEERchitect, Jun 30, 2005
Photo of Dogbrick
3.18/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I thought the draught version of this beer was a little better than Killian's, but the bottled version? Not so much. Dark amber with a medium beige head. The lacing is sticky and thin. Light malt aroma. Medium-bodied with flavors of malt and caramel. The finish is hoppy but not very flavorful. I can take it or leave it.

Dogbrick, Jun 24, 2005
Photo of Brent
3.03/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A pretty average example of the style, all around. Did pour a nice, glowing amber with an impressive head. Aroma was muted, with some vague malt. Seemed a bit underweight - all along I had the impression that the beer needed more malt substance. Mouthfeel was on the thin side. A bit of tartness and some caramel, but not all that much. A snoozer.

Brent, Jun 22, 2005
Photo of PatYoda
3.13/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear copper with a great, billowy cream colored head and lots of lacing. Smell is pretty weak. A little caramel biscuit can be detected along with some mild hop. Taste isn't too bad. A tad watery on the palate, though very smooth. Tastes like a bit of sweet caramel, very light, some biscuity malt, and a faint hop bitterness. I wanted something light tonight, but this goes a bit too far in its wateriness. Certainly nothing offensive about it though.

PatYoda, Jun 20, 2005
Photo of Mitchster
3.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out to a clear dark auburn, forming a soapy light beige head with very good retention and creamy lacing. Carbonation is moderate. The aroma is more akin to a lager, specifically, it has a Euro-Lager nose with a touch of skunkiness, otherwise with some English yeast characteristics of caramel. Mouthfeel is crisp, clean and wet, like a lager with a medium body. The taste begins with mild herbal hoppiness, followed by a well-balanced malt body with a touch of amber malt, however there is a faint hop spiciness in the middle, akin to basil and oregano. Distant touches of roasted grain give it some appeal. The finish is bright with mild woodiness and moderate bitterness. Drinkability is decent.

This surprised me. I wasn't expecting much as I am not a fan of this style in general, but for being an easy to find mass-appeal bottled beer, it's not too bad.

Mitchster, Jun 19, 2005
Photo of BUD
4.4/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass; the color was an exceptionally appealing amber, with nice clarity(for a red beer). The head that formed had an off-white appearance approximately an inch and a half in thickness. It never really went away while I took 20 to 25 minutes to enjoy this beer. When I had about an inch of beer left in my glass, there was still a quarter-inch of head left.

The aroma seemed well balanced with the malts and hops.

Taste was very smooth since it had low carbonation to it. Definatley a creamy or buttery mouthfeel. Quite satisfying to the taste buds. Very refreshing compared to say a Killians Red Lager(which I happen to like).

I have already purchased 12 bottles of this beer and began to share it with my friends. Enjoyed very much.

BUD, Jun 10, 2005
Photo of Jason
2.95/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle with no freshness date. Big foamy off white head, good retention. Bright reddish copper in color.

Clean caramel malt aroma, hint of hop and buttery diacetyl.

Water caramel malt palate in a moderate body and medium carbonation. Mild on the hops with not much of a finish other than a lingering toasted grain husk flavor.

Decent at best, taste mass-produced and to light on the palate. Many American brewers make a better Irish style red ale.

Jason, Jun 07, 2005
Photo of TheDeuce
3.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Smithwick's Ale

Appearance-pours a gorgeous ruby red color with a HUGE head, the head sticks around leaving tons of fantastic white lace, WOW!!

Smell-very malty initiailly but then turns slightly acidic and hoppy to the nose, not too bad

Taste-initially traces of sweet malt are mixed with really minimal hops, on the later end it turns coarse and dry with a slightly bitter finish, somewhat plain on the tail end...could be the ingrediants.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability-fairly smooth going down, bitter aftertaste could be better, only 4.5% alcohol so a definite session beer for those who like Irish Red Ales.

Overall-this beer got off to a great start then turned rather adequete and plain in the end. Seeing as Guinness now produces it, it may be the ingreadiants have been changed, or perhaps it was always like this. Regardless, this is a decent Irish Red that is passable and true to the style...nothing more.

TheDeuce, Jun 07, 2005
Photo of packetknife
3.58/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I never new this was available in a bottle until today and I must say, I liked it better out of the bottle compared to the taps I've had at two places. Solid amber pour with a thin off-white head that faded into a mill but held and laced all the way down. Very malty and sweet on the nose, made my mouth water almost instantly (good). Brutally smooth and crisp, malts through-and-through with a hoppy sting on the finish. Very drinkable.

packetknife, May 31, 2005
Photo of ommegangpbr
3.23/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a twelve ounce bottle poured into a chalice.
Looks really quite lovely. A dark red, ruby color with an off white, almost tan head.
That seems to be where anything extraordinary about this beer ends.
Smells and tastes very average. Mild malt and hops stuff going on. Finishes rather dry, if not very dry which ups the drinkability some.
This might be what happens when you mix Bass and Harps together, though it doesn't taste as good as either in my opinion.
I'll have to experiment and post my results.

ommegangpbr, May 29, 2005
Photo of whynot44
4/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Medium bodied, deep bronze/amber with a moderate off white head that dissipates to a trace of lacing quickly.

The aroma is mainly toasted caramel malt with just a hint of spicy hops.

The taste is creamy malts and light apple nicely balanced by an herbal hops finish.

Slightly too much carbonation in the taste but a very nice brew, smooth and easy to drink, refreshing.

whynot44, May 21, 2005
Smithwick's Ale from Smithwick's Brewery / Irish Ale Breweries Ltd
77 out of 100 based on 567 ratings.