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

Not Rated.
Smithwick's AleSmithwick's Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

599 Ratings
THE BROS
69
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 599
Reviews: 300
rAvg: 3.36
pDev: 16.37%
Wants: 11
Gots: 35 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Smithwick's Brewery / Irish Ale Breweries Ltd
Ireland

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 04-16-2002

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 599 | Reviews: 300 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AlexJ
2.68/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've finally done it! I've fried my palate with hops! I guess there comes a point in every hop-lovers' career where beers like this become indistinguishable from Killians and Yeungling. "There is nothing wrong with this beer, it's a good example of the style", that is what I tell myself. Yet my tastebuds yearn for more, it's out of my control. OK, anyway...
-Pours a deep ruby/brown color with good clarity and a nice thick light brown head. Medium lacing and retention.
-Aromas of mild and sweet malts. Faintly chocolatey. Kinda smells like Bass Ale.
-Taste is mild and malty with a slight hoppy nip. Finish is smooth and clean. Very similar to Bass, just a little darker.
-All in all not bad, but certainly nothing to write home about either. Might make a good black and tan though.

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

Appearance: Served in a Smithwicks pint glass, this beer has a hugely enticing deep ruby red color. The head consists of a white foam which remains until the end of the glass due to a brewing process called lacing. Unlike other ales, smithwicks will not develop a watery appearance after a few mouthfulls.

Smell: Nothing particularly offensive or attractive here. For the most part, it smells of bitter sweet malt with some fruity esthers.

Taste: Slightly bitter but not overly so. A wooded malt flavour prevails with a very pleasant and unique sweetness to it.

Mouthfeel: Quite a pleasant mouthfeel. Heavy at times but not overly creamy like a stout tends to be too often. The slight acidity ensures quite clean feeling is to be felt on the palette.

Drinkability: Excellent drinkability. Perfect for a quiet night out of rest and relaxation. It's smoothness ensures it goes down very well but I wouldn't recommend it as a drink to be taken with a meal due to the fact that it is quite a filling ale. Nonetheless, as an Irish man, I can't help but feeling proud of this crowning ale.

Photo of Stimack
4.1/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well I have been enjoying Smithwicks for the past few months and guess I have forgotten to review it! It has really taken off in the Albany NY area, can find it on tap at a lot of restaurants and is available for growler fills at both Glenmont and Olivers beverage centers. With this said I got a growler the other day and must say that this is a nice brew. It pours to a nice deep copper color with a fantastic light tan head that has fair retention and good lacing that sticks nicely for about half of the glass. The aroma is of a nice balanced brew, stronger on the malt side with highlights of caramel that seems to go along with the sweet smell. The taste of this brew goes along with the aroma, solid flavor and the sweetness that I sensed in the aroma goes well, definitely not over powering! This is a great session brew, one that I could enjoy for an entire evening. Also see that this brew has been able to bridge the gap for some friends that are usually macro drinkers.

Photo of 57andcounting
3.9/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The head is nothing to write home about but the off red color of the brew tells you it is going to be a nice drink.
Has a nice clean smell of hops.
The flavor is clean, rich hops with a little alcohole aftertaste. Not complex, none of the heavy taste that is foune in beer from Ireland or England, but a good drinkable brew.
Again a cleas mouth feel and easy going down. Good for more then one.

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

This is a pretty typical English/Irish ale. It’s got a similar flavor to the stuff like Boddington’s and Bass, but it doesn’t have a lot of flavor. Very slight hops, a bit of estery fruitiness and a touch of malt. It’s easy drinking, but also very forgettable.

Photo of Skidz
3.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Paul's Club on State Street. After constant bickering from people about why we should try to get Smithwick's in bottles, I had to see what it was all about.

Deep orange amber, near brown in the glass. Big range of color from yellows to reddish browns. Nice foamy white head that eventually fades away, leaving little skim.

Aroma was a very blended structure of caramlized sugars, malts and faint hops. Toasty, with a bit of sourness coming out. Hops were vague, little to recall, only a bit of herbal aromas. Apples and pears make up the estery portion of the nose.

Tastes sweet and malty to start, and brings in many carmelized flavors. Toasted malts and herbal hops balance out for an appealing flavor. There isn't anything to praise here, other than it's a well balanced beer.

Smooth and creamy in the mouth with a light carbonation. Medium-full bodied and floated very well over the mouth.

Priced at the premium import range, this would be a tough beer to turn to. Nothing wrong with it at all, I would probably have more of in were I drinking it somewhere localy. A nice IR ale, does well and it's like Guinness to produce something as easy drinking as this.

Photo of chunkylover53
3.98/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Many years ago, this was the beer that made me like beer. I "grew up" (for lack of a better phrase) in the 'burbs where crappy beer is king. (At least it keeps telling us that.) And because of that, I thought I didn't like beer. Then I tried Smithwicks. The clouds parted, the sky cracked open, and St. Patrick himself reached his arm through and tickled my tongue. I'm pretty sure even made that tickle noise that people do to babies.

Anyway... This is a dark ale with a beautiful reddish hue. It actually looks a lot like a certain well-known soft drink.

Smells and tastes very nutty. Quite bitter, but not *too* bitter.

Not the best beer I've ever tried, but a fine brew nonetheless. It will always hold a special place in my heart, and I owe it thanks for setting me on the path to beer righteousness.

Photo of 99bottles
4/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured into a Smithwicks pint, this beer has an inviting amber color with a tight head of white foam, an inch tall, that retains moderately well. Carbonation is active, but not overly so.

Smell: Smooth, nutty, light malt.

Taste: Very smooth, very nice. A toasted characteristic is quite palettable, and combines nicely with light wooded and nutty flavors. Slight liveliness from a nice soft hop, perhaps noble.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, not cloying, not overly sweet and viscous, and also not watery like a macro.

Drinkability: Easily enjoyed and one of the best session ales I've ever had. It's great to have it widely available on draft in the States. If only it's price were on par with US macros, I think this could develop a real following.

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

Had not seen much of this in the USA before I glanced at the taps after I entered Kells Irish pub in Portland. So while me and the wife waited for a tabel I ordered one. Very attaractive clear brown beer with a lovelly off white frothy head. Nice aromas of slighly roasty malts. Not a bad tasting Irish Ale at all..smooth and malty with a small hint of hops, maybe a littel toffeeish taste too. Its sort of average on the palte, maybe on the "lager" side of thin. Overall a nice session ale for watching "footie" on the big TVs.

Photo of DrJay
3.08/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear nutbrown, red colour topped by a thin lace of light tan/cream-coloured head. The aroma was nutty and had a definite caramel quality, but little to no hop presence. Nuttiness carried into the flavour and light, fruity esters were present. Malt sweetness was nicely balanced by hop bitterness, but there still wasn't a lot of flavour character from the hops. The finish was clean and slightly bitter. Medium body and medium/high carbonation that was more evident towards the finish.

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.5/5  rDev +4.2%
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 +10.1%
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 +6.5%
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 +11%
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 +5.1%
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 +10.1%
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 +6.5%
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 -1.8%
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 -13.7%
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 -12.8%
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 +22.9%
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 +31%
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 +12.5%
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 +17%
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 -27.1%
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.

Smithwick's Ale from Smithwick's Brewery / Irish Ale Breweries Ltd
77 out of 100 based on 599 ratings.