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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.

589 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 589
Reviews: 300
rAvg: 3.37
pDev: 16.32%
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: 589 | Reviews: 300 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Two pints on draft at Molly Quinn's...
In a genuine Smithwick's glass, too...
pours out a dark copper color, browner at top, clear at the bottom, with a bone white layer of foam that slips away in an instant.
Aroma is muted, mostly, sweet and pleasant enough.
Taste: very smooth, with a small drizzle of hops, and larger helping of malt. Feels slick, caramelly, easy to toss back, just enough flavor, but not really enough to make it more than a session ale..something to pass the time, without worrying the mind...who's up for darts?

Photo of connecticutpoet
3.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice red clear brew with about a finger-width of fine-bubbled foam that persisted for a couple of minutes. Died down, but lace remained on the glass as I drank.

The aroma was of slightly sweet malt, a little fruity (almost apples but not quite), no hop character to speak of.

The taste was likewise malty, with some nuttiness to it and a little smokiness. It was not bitter.

Mouthfeel was pretty good, given the style.

A nice ale to have as a session beer, or when hanging around the pub with some friends.

Photo of Rastacouere
3.58/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brownish red ale. Nutty caramel nose. The taste is caramelic and hoppy, excellent balance between malt and hops actually. Great nutty bitterness. Very well done simple and light ale. Surprisingly decent as I'm not a fan of any irish beers that I know of.

Photo of fdrich29
3.73/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Cornwall's in Boston's Kenmore Square.

Pours an amber brown with a thick white head with little retention. Smells nutty, sweet and smokey. Taste is strong malt, no hops to speak of. Some caramel sweetness. Not much in the way of mouthfeel, a bit chewy. Very easy to drink, good choice for a day of hanging around the house or of putting back pints at the local pub.

This was my first time trying this beer. It was quite popular in Ireland when I was there, but I chose to only drink Guinness and Baileys for the entire trip. Good to see it make it's way to the States.

Photo of bignick
3.53/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours an attractive brown amber, with a nice head. The smell is on the dull side. The beer has a deep caramel malt taste, followed by a quick hit of bitterness. It is a pleasant, although not overwhelming, taste. It is has a medium body, and I would say that overall it is quite palateable and drinkable.

Photo of arizcards
3.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this recently before a Diamonbacks ball game at Seamus McCaffery's Pub.

This reddish-brown ale poured a decent sustained head. Smell was a wee bit smokey. Taste was of caramel malts blended into a muted hop finish. Mouthfeel was decent and lively. This is an easy drinking beer, very enjoyable.

Photo of sraimondi
3.58/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I think I have found a new Irish session beer. I think it is better than Harp and Killians. Not real "exciting" in any particular category, but pretty solid in balance and appearance. I'm planning to go to Portland, ME on business this week and will seek this one out on draught at Brian Boru's or RiRa's--I wonder how it tastes?? Also, it will probably appeal to my business colleagues, who before traveling with me were pretty much wedded to Bud and Heineken (yuk!!). I'll purchase this one again.

Photo of soper2000
3.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice nightcap apreciated on-tap at Scotty's Brewhouse.

This beer poured a nice dark copper/brown color with a slightly off white head. Aroma is malty with a slight hint of smoke. Not a very assertive nose. Flavor is very well balanced. Heavy malts press against a nice smokiness that becomes more prevalent as the beer warms. A tad bit of bitterness is to be found as well. It possess a medium body and I definately would nominate this as a decent session brew. Plus it's sweet enough to offer to your friends who can't stand hop bombs, although it won't be in my regular purchasing rotation.

Photo of beertaster13
2.9/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a brown amber with a nice head, lacing is average at best. The smell is very nutty and of brown sugar, slight hints of molasses as well, the tate a little to scotch for my tasting, very sweet of brown sugar and molasses and no hop balance to blend with the sweetness, medium bodied and wouldn't recommend to anyone.

Photo of oracle
2.93/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Beer arrived a medium clear amber with extremely dense head that left very heavy lacing.

Taste was heavily malty. not much hops or any real flavor. There was a faint hint of hops, but not much balance. Kind of Ho-Hum. Not much to recommend here.

I would call this a fairly boring beer. Move along and try something else

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.13/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper bronze color with lots of big bubbles and a long lasting creamy head. Theres plenty of lace on the glass. The aroma is of a yeast fruityness, pleasant diacytel (buttery), caramel and aroma hops. The taste is well balanced with a big dose of caramel malts, a distinct fruityness and herbal hops. Bittering hops are sparse. The mouthfeel is grainy. The finish isnt bogged down by the sweet malt flavors, very clean. overall this is a very good ale, and its available on tap in a lot of places too.

Photo of Sixpoint
4.4/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think it is hard to evaluate a beer from a style that most people do not seek out...

I think most of the folks on BeerAdvocate appreciate high-gravity, heavily-hopped beers. Enter an Irish Red Ale...

Well, its definitely a session ale. I cannot pick out any off-flavors, seems to be technically sound.

The color is appropriate... although a bit hazy??? Smells like it should, nice and malty with maybe a faint trace of hops.

Tastes nice... good balance for an Irish Red. Nice creaminess... probably because its dispensed with beergas (50/50) mixture.

Overall, a very drinkable brew.

Photo of Dithyramb
3.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried at Fado in Washington last night. Pours a deep dark tan with a fluffy off-white head. Good retention and lacing throughout. Seems to be served a little too cold and looks way too brown for the style.

Very light malt aroma with not much else.

A very nice medium bodied brew with sugary caramel malts. Seems slightly creamy and chewy at the same time. I’m not sure if I should praise it for being simplistic and nice or for not being overly complex. There are no real hops in there to fall back on. Until I checked on the site, I would've sworn this was a brown ale.

Seems like a great session beer and is definitely worth a few. I’m weening myself off of a hop kick and this was a nice counter-balance. I would love to try this properly served in a firkin.
I heard that this is owned by Guinness, which must be why it seems to be popping up just about everywhere. Being owned by them doesn’t seem to have impacted the quality much.

Photo of claytri
3.93/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We dropped by The Office in Morristown, NJ tonight and found this on tap. The ale came out a nice reddish brown with a matching head, it also was translucent. A very nice looking beer that added to the anticipation. The smell was light, with just a little bit of malt and alcohol in it. I was pleasantly surprised by the taste. A very mellow malt flavor with a slight hoppy finish. It is medium with some carbonation. I found this to be a very pleasant experience and will have to make my way back to The Office to do a little more research on this one.

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.

Photo of crookedhalo
3.35/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a garnet red with some brown highlights and a thick beige head that stays fluffy down to the bottom of the pint. Really kind of hard to pick on any aroma other than some weak, earthy malt and a dulled fruitiness, maybe a dash of cocoa. Weak, lightly toasted malt taste that is pretty enjoyable, dulled chocolate malt notes as it warms. Watery mouthfeel, probably around the same strength of Belhaven or Boddington's. Easily drinkable due to low ABV. This beer has some character, but lacks some at the same time. A touch acidic in its malt profile and a bit minerally in its water content.

Photo of granger10
3.35/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had this on-tap at The Black Rose, an Irish pub in downtown Grand Rapids. I believe this is the only place in Grand Rapids where I could get this beer, so I had to try it out. The beer had a really dark amber color to it that turned copper when held to light. Small but steady tan head accompanied the beer. The smell seemed a bit weak and watery but I was surrounded by food. The taste was not watery at all though. This beer was much thicker in body and flavor than I had expected. There was a caramel maltiness upfront but it wasn't really sweet. Underneath that was a toasted grain flavor combined with a maple syrup taste. Little earthy hop pricks kept hitting my tongue but a full hoppiness was never relized. I believe this beer is only 3.9% abv and considered a session beer but I don't know if I could have too many of these. But it was still a solid beer.

Photo of Sammy
3.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A lot of carbonation, a bit of malty taste. Did not go flat after an hour - robust. Some hops and a bitter bite aftertaste. Quench your thirst..then after that..You could do worse, its an easy summer drink. Carmel and mid-sip fruity taste, and carmel colour. Session beer.

Photo of Redrover
3.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this one on tap at McNallys in Elmhurst, IL Great Irish pub with an awesome beer garden.

Beer was s nice crystal clear red bronze. It had an off-white head and some decent lacing.

Beer smells like slightly roasted malt and fresh baked bread. You also get a subtle hint of fruit.

The taste is solid, but it won’t rock your world. Nice malty sweetness with a distant touch of molasses and caramel. Some hints of hops emerge about mid glass. A little bit of apple flavor as well.

Smooth, silky and soft mouthfeel. It is a delight to see how the brewer matched the carbonation so well to the beer. Easy drinking session type beer.

This is one of my dad’s favorites. He had it while on a trip to Ireland and has been raving about it ever sense. He will be glad to know its now available on this side of the pond!

Photo of Hunter
3.08/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Visited an Irish pub in north Phoenix last night, had this on a friend's recommendation.

Beer is a lovely ruby hue, with a one-finger head of white foam that dissipated quick. No noticable carbonation.

Aromas of caramel malt, light hops.

Malt predominantes in the taste, with a slight backbite of hops underneath a silky mouthfeel and clean finish. Nothing terribly spectacular here, just a decent brew. I switched over to Guinness without trying another. Not bad.

Photo of farHillsBrewer
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Sean Bolan's, Baltimore's authentic Irish Pub.

First tried it in Ireland about 15 years ago and thought it was an interesting alternative to Guiness. The question was: Would it still hold up after all these years, a thousand American craft beers having passed through this thirsty throat? Or was I conned into imported Killians?
The answer was a surprising yes!
It tasted the way I remembered it, with a pleasing caramel malt flavor that balnced with a slight hoppiness.
The color was appealing with an ivory head atop a ruby red brew.
It may be my Irish beer of choice next time I return there.

Photo of sulldaddy
3.9/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Surprised to find this on tap at the local Irish pub in branford. Easily the best choice of an otherwise average to sub-par selection of brews.
The beer comes chilled in a pint glass. The color is mohagany to caramel in color and is darker than I expected. A small beige head rests on top of the beer and remains through my sampling. The aroma is very mild but some hits of caramel mix with a light earth hop presence.
First sip reveals an average bodied beer with fine rolling carbonation. Flavor is not robust but is tasty. Some sweet malt flavors mix with the earthy hops that were present on the nose. As the beer warms the hops are more flavorful and dominant. Quite an easy drinking brew that rolls to my belly very smoothly.

Photo of ADR
3/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap, Patrick McGovern's Pub, St. Paul, MN...

Clear darker amber appearance with a pale creamy head of excellent duration. Fat dripping rings for laces. Slight grain to the aroma, but not too much else to read in that department. Body is fine, the carbonation is done right, just enough to call it quaffable and creamy. The flavor just leaves me wanting something more to hang a hat on, very obvious pale caramel and powdery sugar to begin with, then a fade to black without much of any hop sense. There's nothing obviously wrong here, but the bottom falls out after the attractive looking pour.

Photo of ppoitras
3.68/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at Brew City, Worcester, MA.

Pint glass presentation. Nice light tan head on dark amber brew, and laced excellently. Aroma and taste similar to that of Guinnes (which I have never been able to describe with words), but less intense. This is not so much a bad thing. Mouthfeel very good, and drinkability is excellent. Could and would be interested in drinking this more than once.

Photo of NJpadreFan
4.25/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smithwicks Ale. on tap at Bar-A (Belmar, N.J.)

My Irish friend tells me its pronounced Smith-icks!!!

Appearance- copper with an amber hue. nice size head that lasts to the last sip.
Smell- malty and caramelly. nice
Taste- a nice well rounded malt flavor.
Mouthfeel- very good- no bitterness or dryness goes down so smooth. a real session beer.

Overall- a very good beer to have on tap alongside bud, miller, & coors!!!

Smithwick's Ale from Smithwick's Brewery / Irish Ale Breweries Ltd
78 out of 100 based on 589 ratings.