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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 rkuhnel
3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle this poured a copper to brown color with a nice fat tan head and good lacing. Nose of nuts, caramel malts, and toffee is present. Smooth mouthfeel. Flavor is sweet with touches of malts and light hops, and the finish is dry. Decent Irish Ale.

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Photo of JDV
3.63/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice aroma, slighty sweet and malty. Tastes similar, and has a nice off white creamy head. Delicious, very easy to drink, with almost no hoppy bitterness whatsoever. Very smooth aftertaste. Drank on draught at 2 locations in Austin. The first was definitely less carbonated than the second locations, yet it is still a lightly carbonated beer, either way. Would definitely get again, and enjoyed. Would make a decent session beer

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Photo of Overlord
3.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Decent tasting Irish Red. Pours an unattractive muddy reddish brown. No real head to speak of.

Taste is mostly burnt caramel/malt. At a pub with a truly awful beer selection this was a standout: take that for what it's worth. Some hop notes to balance it, and maybe a tad of sweet backing for the roasted flavor.

I enjoyed it.

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Photo of animal69
3.33/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

this is my first true irish red ; pours a med. ruddy-brown color w/ a thin head which dissipates quickly leaving little lacing in my pint glass ; a faint burnt caramelish aroma, no hops to speak of ; a little on the thin side, there's a crisp, caramel malt-like flavor at first, followed by a slight floral hop bite w/ some nutty undertones, similar in taste to an eng. mild brown with less hops ; a light, almost watery body w/ a modest amount of co2, would be dry if not for the "wet" taste ; not a bad drinking beer, a good style example (though i'm not too familiar w/ the style), but i could knock back a lot of this...

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Photo of MMansfield
3.1/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Maxwell's Plum in Halifax, NS.

Appearance: Arrives a deep red colour with a modest white head settling to a nice layer.

Aroma: Caramel malt, fruity, sweet.

Taste: Inoffensive, not overly flavourful. Mostly malty, sweet, some caramel in the finish. Mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, under carbonation doesn't really work with this red ale for me.

Final Statement: Pretty bland mass produced irish red. Not a good example of the style. I remember it being better 3 or 4 years ago.

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Photo of Durge
3.6/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dark ice tea color brew with a thin but sturdy off-white head and decent lacing. The aroma is a light chocolate malt. The flavor suggests some charcoal and malt. It is finely carbonated with a peppery sense at the front and a hint of chocolate in the background. A little acqueous, still a solid choice. Mellow and quite drinkable.

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Photo of RichardWalter
3.9/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had beer at a ball game where other Guiness ales also available. Dark amber color with nice white creamy head that it stayed for a good while. Aroma is mild. Nice full flavor that is similar to smell, nothing spectacular, but very drinkable. Mouthfeel is good and aftertaste stays full.

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Photo of biggmike
3.38/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours nice amber color with small creamy head that it retained for a good while. Aroma is a little on the weak side, but pulled roasted malt and some caramel from it. Decent flavor that is similar to smell, nothing spectacular, but extremely drinkable. Mouthfeel is smooth, but thin. Lacing was minimal.

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Photo of dirtyoldtown53
4.43/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Great Irish beer, good deep red colour, finger thick head that lasted for quite a while. It has a real mellow ale taste, good mouthfeel. I had it multiple times in Ireland and each time was as good as the last. It definitly leaves you wanting another pint.

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

I recently tried this on tap at a local Toronto eatery and found it to be an alright brew. The colour was a brownish colour, slightly dark with an off-white head that didn't stay long. The aroma was slightly malty and sweet but weak. The flavour was slightly malty at the start but became better as I got closer to the bottom. Like other ales I have tried it was thick on the tongue with little carbonation. This is one of those brews that when provided a list on tap...if I've previously tried them all...occassionally I'll pick this one.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.06/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful translucent brown-red with a very thick and persistent head. Pleasant aroma is mostly malty but has some hoppy hints. Flavor is more malty than hoppy, with some hop bitterness and a hint of caramel. A smooth and very enjoyable ale, definitely worthy of one's time and money.

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Photo of guinnessfan
3.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pint ordered at Murphy's Irish Pub in Virginia Beach.

A: Darker copper pour, with no head at all. Flat and thin looking.

S: Mild, sweet malt.

T: Slightly sweet taste, but very tame. Slight hop profile. Real thin flavor, one-dimensional.

M: Thin, slightly carbonated.

D: Decent beer to drink one after the other. Not great, but easy to wash down some Irish food. Pretty refreshing ale.

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Photo of BigRedN
3.48/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from the 12 oz bottle, which did not look like the one in the photo, into a pint glass. The beer is a darker amber somewhat reddish, with a nice 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch head. Head fades to a solid cover and leaves some patchy lacing.

Smell: Some decent malt (carmel, some bready and biscutty scents, not really anything roasted). Hop scents seem lacking.

Taste: Leaves me wanting, but I think it fits in with the style. Some good maltiness, not overly sweet. There is a lack of any kind of bitter hop bite, but I think it closely follows the style, so in the end I guess it works ok for me.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium in body. Decent carbonation. Dry, clean (no aftertastes) finish.

Drinkability: A good drinker, I got 2 sixes on sale for St. Patty's day and had two left to review. I liked it. I was a change of the usual Irish dry stouts I guzzle on the 17th. From what I understand this imported US version has slightly higher ABV. I would love to try the "lighter" version and just drink the day with this beer.

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Photo of hseritt
2.01/5  rDev -40.9%
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.

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Photo of shadow1961
3.43/5  rDev +0.9%
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

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Photo of pmcadamis
2.78/5  rDev -18.2%
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.

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Photo of Neehan
3.1/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

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Photo of alysmith4
2.64/5  rDev -22.4%
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.

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Photo of billybob
4.2/5  rDev +23.5%
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.

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Photo of GooberMcNutly
2.25/5  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.

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Photo of Toxygen
3.6/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

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Photo of clickpush
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
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!

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Photo of Noxious26
3.86/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.06/5  rDev -10%
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.

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Photo of tempest
3.41/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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