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

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Smithwick's AleSmithwick's Ale

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614 Ratings

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Ratings: 614
Reviews: 303
rAvg: 3.36
pDev: 16.07%
Wants: 12
Gots: 43 | 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:
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: 614 | Reviews: 303
Photo of malthead
3.68/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice clear red color, with a beautiful two-finger crowning white head. Smells clean, straight-forward malt and muted hops. Taste is sweet malt, with grainy notes, then light herbal hops with a slightly bitter finish. Above average carbonation, keeping it very light and refreshing. Great drinkability.

Didn't expect to be blown away by this, especially after reading some other reviews, and overall I wasn't. However, this is great for what it is - a light, flavorful beer that doesn't demand too much of the taster - somewhat lower in ABV and wonderful for a session beer.

Photo of Beastdog75
3.6/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Harrigan's Pub in Sea Girt, NJ. Smithwick's is supposedly going to become available in NJ in bottles soon, but when I went out to eat last night, I decided to try the more common way of offering this brew, which is on tap. It seems like some people adore this beer, but to me it was just a plain old good ale and not neccessarily something that will turn the beer world upside down.

Smithwick's pours a nice reddish copper color with a finger of foam that retained reasonably well. The smell was quite fruity and struck me as somewhat perfumey. The mouthfeel had a moderate amount of carbonation and body. There is some malt sweetness in the brew, but overall I thought it mostly had a fruity taste to it, similar to some English pale ales. The perfuminess was in there too, and the hop presence was decent, lending a hearty amount of dryness in the finish. The lingering dryness and fruitiness continue on into the aftertaste, and the beer concludes with no alcoholic warmth.

This practically has "session ale" written all over it. I suppose those looking for an Irish beer that isn't a stout will enjoy this. Nothing groundbreaking, but still rather enjoyable.

Photo of redmosquito
3.44/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Garnet in color with an off white head which left a fair amount of lacing. Nice malt and mineral aroma coming off this beer, with very little hops. The flavor is malt dominated ranging from sweet to toffee and then roasted, with a bitter finish to balance. Nice carbonation and body. This is perhaps the best of the three Irish reds I’ve had, with more body and richer malt character than Murphy’s or Killean’s.

Photo of jokelahoma
3.92/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured with a decent head that lasted a good five minutes before settling into a thin layer of foma that followed the glass down to the bottom.

The aroma was all malt. A trace of caramel, with just a hint of roastiness.

The taste had just enough bitterness to provide a good balance for the maltiness. The roasted malts give a bit of a bitter aftertaste, giving the perception that the beer is more bitter than it truly is. There's really no hop flavor to speak of at all. Very balanced between sweetness and bitterness, though.

The body is a solid medium. Not thin, but certainly not thick and heavy. Easily drinkable.

Overall, this isn't a bad beer. I'd not go out of my way for it, but it's much better than many of the "standards" you find on tap. I'll drink it again.

Photo of cokes
4/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tarnished, earthy bronze below a fully fluffed beige dome of intermediate retention.
Nose of walnuts, toffee, and earthy tea.
Begins with a muscular malt, a mixed bag of candied -but not sweet- nuts. Sways earthier, with a continuation of toffee. Rye dough-like yeast contributions. Enders faintly bittered, with a steely black tea suggestion.
Moderate of both body and carbonation. This is a session beer all the way. Not a bad choice.

Photo of KoG
3.26/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brown with good head and excellecnt lacing. Doesn't smell all that extraordinary with the dark malt profile.

Taste is bitey with hops, hiding the malt profile until it warms up.

Numbs the tongue and senses but finishes smooth.

Not bad, but I'd find other first.

Photo of merlin48
3.88/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at the Dilly Deli, in Cincinnati, on 12/30/04. Served in a pint glass, the ale had a thin, wispy, offwhite head atop a clear, dark amber body. I didn't see what the head looked like when it was initially drawn, as the little deli was quite crowded and I was seated in the dining section. Delicate sheets of lace draped down the glass. A fine looking ale.
Aroma was subdued, with a hint of caramel and a note of herbal/floral hops.
Mouthfeel was crisp and evenly carbonated, with a light body.
Taste was well balanced, with a sweet malt backbone and a kiss of herbal hops bitterness. Crisp and refreshing, with biscuity malt and a lot less hopping than the American red ales I've grown accustomed to. Very enjoyable, particularly with the deli's signature dish of grilled shrimp and asparagus salad.

Photo of kelticblood
4.64/5  rDev +38.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Outstanding! I've had this on tap and in bottle.Perfect appearance with a long lasting head and clear dark amber color.Bubbling carbonation and spotty lacing. Very Refreshing crisp mouthfeel and well-balanced with just the right bitterness and malt flavors.Perfect when are not in the mood for Guinness,Harp,or Bass.Highly drinkable again refreshing.Aroma could be more distinctive.This could easily become a staple beer for me.Medium bodied with a sweet malt finish.

Photo of apintofknowledge
3.31/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Hearing this selection was an Irish Red, I was surprised when a tall dark pint appeared at my table, almost as dark as a Guinness, but with significantly larger bubbles of carbonation. The aroma was somewhat mild, but a toasty note came through. As for the taste, it again was somewhat mild… nice flavors of coffee, toasted nuts and caramel with just a touch of a bitter burnt chocolate. All in all, a very drinkable beer, and a few pints will go down quite easy. That being said, it’s also isn’t one to get overly excited about… nice, but not memorable.

Photo of JISurfer
3.83/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap at some Irish pub in SF. Nice creamy head with an amber body to it. The taste was creamy as well. Had hints of malts and light fruits. The taste was almost like a beer with cream in it. The mouthfeel was creamy as a result of the taste. It also coated the mouth fairly well and held a nice aftertaste. It was very refreshing and made it easy to pound a few down in no time. Give it shot if you like Wexford or Belhaven's Best.

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

The fellow at the liquor store raved to me about this beer. It was a pretty steep fee for a 6 of bottles, but I splurged with trust in my fellow brew salesman.

The beer immediately impressed me with one of the smoothest and finest looking pours I have ever witnessed. The pint glass glowed at me with a light amber color. There was about 1/2" of head to the body.

The mouthfeel was perfect, with a superb blend of head and beer upon my first sip. The taste was even better; it was a typical ale flavor, similar to a Killians, except with more head to it. The aftertaste was real good too. I could have bought another 6 of Smithwicks Irish Ale.

So glad I took the salesman's advice on trying out this wonderful brew.

Photo of bashiba
3.1/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a very nice red with a thick creamy head.

Smell has a nice caramel malt scent.

Taste is very of very light toasty and caramel malt flavors with a very dry hopless finish. All flavors are very moderate.

Mouthfeel is slightly thin and watery.

Drinkability is a average with this overall average beer.

Photo of necoadam
3.71/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out a nice copper color with a good head to go along with it. It did have a nice appearance I have to admit.

Smell was a little weak I thought. I waited for the beer to warm up as well and still thought it was a little weak. But there was some sweetened malts and some caramel as well. Some earth tone was in there as well.

Taste was pretty good. Caramel, malts, light earth tones all come together. A little on the sweet side, but nothing to complain about really. Not cloying at all.

Moutfheel was average. A little creamy, it did go down fast. Finished on the dry side.

I gotta say this wasn't all that bad. A nice example of a session brew. Wouldn't mind having this in my rotation once in a while.

Photo of helloloser12345
2.36/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving Type: 440ml can. 'New and improved' printed on the can.

Pour: Off white foamy head which soon disappears leaving only a ring around the glass. No lacing.

Appearance: Dark amber

Smell: Slight smell of roasted malts and that is about it, except for the nasty sulphur odour.

Flavour: Very, very thin. No great amount of flavour, slight hint of malt. Too much carbonation.

Overall: Not nice at all.

I feel this review is a harsh though as Smithwicks is a very good beer from the tap or bottled. It is well rounded and full of flavour. It is just nasty from the can!

I will update next time I get it either bottled or on tap.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Light caramel amber tone with an almost white cream head forms nicely leaves fine lacing behind, not bad. Aroma: Pale malt sweetness with some residual caramel notes as well tame floral hops seems light and airy overall. Taste: Flowery hops light caramel malt sweetness blend nicely very balanced and unoffensive as a whole finishes slightly earthy for me. Mouthfeel: Medium to light in body evenly carbonated can't complain too much. Drinkability: Very sessionable not too watery but not flavorful enough for me, I enjoyed it in Canada when throwing darts and drinking in bars with little or no beer selections glad to see it made it's way back to the States.

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
4.24/5  rDev +26.2%
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
3.89/5  rDev +15.8%
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
3.21/5  rDev -4.5%
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
3.91/5  rDev +16.4%
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
3.98/5  rDev +18.5%
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.

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Smithwick's Ale from Smithwick's Brewery / Irish Ale Breweries Ltd
77 out of 100 based on 614 ratings.