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

Not Rated.
Kilkenny Irish Cream AleKilkenny Irish Cream Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

250 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 250
Reviews: 136
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 18.31%
Wants: 5
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Smithwick's Brewery / Irish Ale Breweries Ltd

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  4.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Now brewed here:
 http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profi ... /209/52083 

(Beer added by: Todd on 05-08-2002)
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Ratings: 250 | Reviews: 136 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BBM

New York

3.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I always liked a good cream ale. They're not complex or overly interesting, just extremely drinkable and nice to look at. Kilkenny doesn't miss the boat. It pours a lovely cloudy yellow with a nice cascading white head. Aroma is not much to speak of.

The taste is simple, a balance of malt and hops that quenches more than it does excite the palate. A super-smooth mouthfeel and easy drinkability makes this one good for people who are looking for something light, or people who don't enjoy beer much. If you're a fan of the style, this is a pretty good rendition. If you're not, this isn't going to change your mind.

Serving type: nitro-tap

05-31-2007 13:10:58 | More by BBM
Photo of Suds


3.6/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this brew on tap at a cafe during a late afternoon walk around Milan. It's a light yellow colored liquid with a very slim head. The aroma is faint, with a slight whiff of hops and a bit of grass. Not much else to speak of in the smell. The taste is similar, a hint of grain and a touch of hops. There's also a slight sweetness. The consistency of the brew is watery, with modest carbonation. Frankly, it reminds me of an American lawnmower beer. It served to quench my thirst, but didn't excite the beer lover inside.

Serving type: nitro-tap

05-05-2007 19:34:37 | More by Suds
Photo of oldirtycaffrey


4.05/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Like Caffrey's Irish Ale, Kilkenny is very impressive. Pours a dark amber color with a creamy, white head. Thick, reddish hue to the color. Sweet smell, with a smooth, dry finish. I really enjoyed this beer. Great beer to just sit back and drink all night.

Serving type: on-tap

05-01-2007 02:10:38 | More by oldirtycaffrey
Photo of MMansfield

Nova Scotia (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single at the NSLC.

Appearance: Pours a deep red with a frothy two finger cap that stays till the end.

Aroma: Nothing at all here but a faint faint hint of ceylon tea.

Taste: Not much here either. Sweet malt taste with a bit of caramel. Not much from the hops here, but you know they're at least there. Basically, nothing offensive at all, but oddly still quite pleasurable.

Mouthfeel: Only Jesus himself could create a creamier beer than this. Not just because of the nitro can, it's just a dessert of a beer. Drinkability very highh.

Serving type: nitro-can

03-26-2007 01:31:57 | More by MMansfield
Photo of thehyperduck

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

440 mL nitro-can. A deep amber colour with a creamy head about an inch thick, which lasts right until the finish. Not much of a smell to this one - maybe a bit of malt, but nothing particularly noticeable, good or bad.

The taste is very...subdued. I don't want to say bland, as it was still enjoyable, but there is not a lot that jumps out. Has a (very) slight bitter edge to it, and a toasted bread-ish quality, which were the most noticeable traits to me. Also had a very creamy mouthfeel - which I am admittedly a sucker for - and very little carbonation. This, combined with the lack of any strong flavours means it definitely goes down smoothly.

It's far from bad, but it's not really outstanding either. An optimist might call it balanced; a pessimist might call it dull. I'd just call it a pretty good beer. I would have no qualms with buying this again, but it probably won't be a priority.

Serving type: nitro-can

03-23-2007 01:04:17 | More by thehyperduck
Photo of vanrassel

Alberta (Canada)

3.38/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a good-looking beer coming out of the can, pouring copper with a creamy off-white head that had staying power and left sticky lace on the sides of my pint glass.

Alas, Kilkenny isn't a feast for all the senses. The smell is almost non-existent. Breathing deeply with my nose all the way in the glass, I could smell the faintest roasted barley and a vaguely nutty aroma. Warming up did nothing to bring out any more smell, except a feeble whiff of caramel malt.

The taste is slightly tea-like, which conforms to the style and reminded me of Caffrey's — though better. The mouthfeel and overall effect were more flavourful, with roasted malt and a dry finish. A nice full body and creamy mouthfeel, too.

Serving type: nitro-can

03-21-2007 03:28:37 | More by vanrassel
Photo of joecast


4/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml can. hmm dropped the can from 440ml. best before 07/07

i'll keep this short. i keep forgetting if i have reviewed this or not. not a memorable beer by any means, but for whatever reason, it sure seems to hit the spot tonight.

the nitro head must add another dimension. the aroma and mouthfeel benefit greatly from it.
taste is smoooth (not a typo, it is that smooth) malt with a balance between the sweetness and a touch of hops
much better than i remember (or not remember), and great drinkability which is good cause its better on the cold side than room temp.

----previous review 2004----
clear deep amber color with a head that settles to a 1cm. thick off white layer of foam.
very sweet, almost candy-like malty aroma.
taste starts malty sweet in the mouth but is followed by a balancing earthy-hop bitterness. a bit let down by the almost sour finish.
not bad but the finish hurts the overall beer experience.

Serving type: nitro-can

03-03-2007 09:00:12 | More by joecast
Photo of JohnfromDublin


2.38/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I tasted this 500ml can on 16/02/07, best by 16/06/07. Brewed in Kilkenny and Dublin, it says; make your mind up lads!

Poured into a regular pint glass with a nitrogen-induced Guinness-type surge, and settled to give a pale red brown body (clear), with a creamy head.
Smelled pleasent enough, hard to say of exactly what; maybe a mild hops aroma.
Tasted very bland, almost of nothing - watery. I have had this on nitro tap years ago, and it wasn't this bland.
Mouthfeel okay, but I didn't make it past the halfway mark. Overall a very disappointing beer.

Serving type: nitro-can

02-17-2007 17:49:17 | More by JohnfromDublin
Photo of JOaikido

Quebec (Canada)

2.73/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

440 ml nitro-can.

A- Full orange amber with red highlights. Gives the impression of bright copper againsta a light. Perfect creamy nitro head that clings to my mug, leaving a nice lace.

S- Slight fruity/beryy notes. Sourness. malt.

T- Watery up front. Pleasant bitter finish. Faint berry and burnt toast in middle. Sour notes as in the odour. The different aspects of the beer don't blend well. This is especially true of the sour notes. No balance to this beer.

MF- Quite watery. Helped a bit by foamy nitro head. Slightly astringent, leaving a pasty feel on tongue and palate.

D- I've only had this beer a couple of times. Once a while back and now. I didn't enjoy it either time. Because it is watery with low ABV, it goes down easily enough, but it is not really a pleasant experience.

Serving type: nitro-can

01-05-2007 17:50:36 | More by JOaikido
Photo of Hammarby


3.8/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Light brown, amber to gold. Offwhite head that lingers.
S: Malt, red berries.
T: Malt, medium bitter after taste.
M: Good. Moderate carboration.

A nice beer, but not even close to the pint of Kilkenny I had on tap recently. Still a good beer and very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2007 20:38:19 | More by Hammarby
Photo of vwahaszee

Quebec (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was very attractive with its thick head and red color. It felt as smooth as it looked, which was delightful. The taste was good, however, I felt like it could have been richer to go along with the look and feel of the beer. Rather, it was kind of light, which did make it quite drinkable, but I felt took me in the wrong direction. Overall a good beer though, far better than what I typically get on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

12-14-2006 20:34:15 | More by vwahaszee
Photo of vancurly


3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Can opened with a throaty gurgle as the "widget" kicked-in.
Pours a still, clear burnt orange red, with the head quickly materialising - a centimetre of beige foam, which remains for the duration.
Aromas of medium toasty malts, with definite hop notes at the back. A touch briney.
Taste of toffee, touch of roasted grain, just a touch. Subtle hop in there too.
Smooth, flat, creamy, mild. Medium bitterness.
Good for morning tea.

Serving type: nitro-can

09-11-2006 04:58:47 | More by vancurly
Photo of btmo

New Zealand (Aotearoa)

3.38/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'll just bet that in Ireland this beer is treated with the same disdain that Australians treat Fosters at home (do the Irish trash-talk beer?) but where I live in New Zealand, this is one of the better beers that can be found in a can, and one of the better beers that can be bought from our local supermarket.

It is also available in tap in a number of local bars, especially Irish branded pubs - with names like "Murphy's", "Paddy O'Shea's", etc.

Colour is a nice ruddy brown, and a fair, lingering head can be expected.

Taste is subtle, with just the right amount of bitterness, and malt.

This is one for a session!

Serving type: nitro-can

09-01-2006 08:11:59 | More by btmo
Photo of Gorilla


3.3/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had Kilkenny many times over the years, but had not really appreciated it until I had it recently, served at the right temperature and poured correctly (at the Harp pub in Tempe, Australia). I was pleasantly surprised - the beer was a nice red-amber colour with an inch-thick creamy head that stayed to the bottom of the glass. Aroma was minimal, but smelled slightly malty. Taste was smooth and slightly toffee-sweet, with minimal bitterness. Very, very easy to drink, and I was halfway through my pint before I knew it. I wouldn't say this was a great beer by any standard, but a good session beer to be sure.

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-26-2006 08:04:02 | More by Gorilla
Photo of goodbyesoberday


2.93/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours clear and reddish with a moderate white head. Faint aroma of caramel with toasty overtones. Flavour is the same but weaker than aroma thanks to a faint butterscotch sweetness, no hops, low carbonation and the overpowering flavour of the nitro widget. Some faint lingering astringency. Disappointing overall.

Serving type: nitro-can

08-24-2006 15:34:42 | More by goodbyesoberday
Photo of Frozensoul327


3.28/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours out to a reddish cherrywood color with a stormy presenation that calms slowly, leaving a dense creamy head of foam. Nice. Aromas of toasted bread and grains. Taste is quite light, nearly weak; light malt, caramel, some tea like bitterness. Not bad, but too light. Mouthfeel was good, rather creamy and smooth. Drinkability is average. Not bad, but needs a big boost in the taste dept. Worth a try.

Serving type: nitro-can

08-06-2006 01:37:32 | More by Frozensoul327
Photo of hunteraw


3.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

There's something about nitro cans that I just can't resist. Whenever I see one, I have to try it, so here goes.

Appearance: caramel color, pretty clear. Frothy white head atop a rapidly dissipating N2 creaminess. Forms a film on the glass as you drink, lot a lot of nitrogen beers tend to do.

The smell immediately reminds me of Boddingtons for some reason - it's not possible to smell nitrogen, is it? Nothing too distinguishable present in the nose, vaguely sweet.

Taste: some mild bitterness up front, toffee, finishes on a roast note. Finishes very well, not much in the way of aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: ahhh, the wonderful creaminess of a nitro. Of course, that disappears quickly, and this one was a little watery once the nitrogen had all worked its way out.

Drinkability: not bad! this one is pretty light, has nothing objectionable, and of course it's got the nitro going for it. Definitely a session candidate. Think of it as Boddingtons' Irish cousin.

Serving type: nitro-can

06-13-2006 00:22:45 | More by hunteraw
Photo of Orrshow

Alberta (Canada)

3.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance – This beer pours a relatively deep amber color. There is a bit of redness to it too. The top is capped by a centimeter of creamy head which hold nicely. Lacing is also present all the way down.

Smell – The aromas are all weak. In there I can pick up some caramel malt, a little bread, and some hops. Not overly impressive due to the fact that it’s near impossible to get these smells out of it.

Taste – The taste is decent. Nothing offensive at all but nothing amazing. There is some sweet malt resembling caramel with a crisp light hop finish. Overall it nice but fairly one dimensional.

Mouthfeel – Not bad. Its fairly light bodied with a faint creaminess. The finish is dry.

Drinkability – Pretty good. This beer should be very easy for anyone to drink.

This is one of my favorite session beers. If I go to pub I always get a pint of Kilkenny. It might not be that great to savor but it will do for a long night of drinking and debauchery.

Serving type: nitro-tap

06-02-2006 19:35:21 | More by Orrshow
Photo of nickss


3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at an Irish Pub in Vienna.

Poured a ruddy brown with a miniscule cap of foam.

Smells alot like a U.S. Guiness (ie watery), but with a more rich, malty aroma.

Very macro flavour. A touch of alcohol, with mild dry malt.

Nice thick mouthfeel. A touch too much carbonation.

Drinkable, just not that enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

05-28-2006 00:12:58 | More by nickss
Photo of cratez

Ontario (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A good beer overall.

Appearance: rich amber body; looks almost like tea. Off-white head is thicker than comparable ales. Appetizing.

Smell / Taste: orange pekoe tea, sweet pale malt, lightly bitter caramel.

Mouthfeel: incredibly smooth, slightly creamy, and little to no aftertaste.

Drinkability: high drinkability and moderate alcohol content make this a solid session beer.

Serving type: nitro-can

04-16-2006 04:15:46 | More by cratez
Photo of granger10


2.4/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Comes out with a nice auburn copper color and a thicker egg white head. Looks like a lighter Guinness from the pour. Good sheets of lacing around the glass. Aroma is weak. Maybe some toffee and pear but that's about all I get. Taste is also too weak for my liking. Some caramel is in there along with hints of fruity hops. Creamy in mouthfeel but this is still a bit too watery for me. Just kind of bland all around. I could session this, but why would I want to. Reminds me of Wexford's offering but not as good. Not impressive.

Serving type: on-tap

03-16-2006 12:48:50 | More by granger10
Photo of nortmand


3.13/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Amber, with a long lasting tan nitro head. Good lacing.

Sweet scent, with a faint resin hoppiness.

Tinny metallic dominates the breadth of the palette. Not much else. A bit of sweetness and a touch of hop bitterness at the end.

Mouthfeel is total nitro: creamy, lightly bubbly. Needs to lose a bit of the metallic harshness to become more drinkable.

Serving type: nitro-can

03-14-2006 23:39:30 | More by nortmand
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

amber colour with lace, only a bit of head. Light mouthfeel, creamy and on dry side. Not much taste, but quaffable, in fact quite smooth. Good amount of malt and some carmel. Decent aftertaste though drying. Session ale. Whiff of roast in aroma. 440 ml.

Serving type: nitro-can

02-21-2006 22:13:58 | More by Sammy
Photo of Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Coppery-red, with a creamy, off-white head. Nice lace. I really enjoy it on tap (with the dispersion pour).

S: Light aroma, but pleasant. A little bread, nut & caramel malt.

T: Very well balanced. Nice malt flavour (bread, nut & caramel), with a very smooth bitterness. Not much hop flavour.

M: Moderate body is VERY creamy. Astonishing for its weight! Carbonation is mild to moderate.

D: It's a little filling, but it's still a great session beer. It use to be my winter staple... very hearty.

Serving type: on-tap

02-12-2006 02:51:26 | More by Derek
Photo of headlessparrot

Ontario (Canada)

3.4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

There's a pub that I frequent in Markham, ON called Colonel Mustard's that has Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale on tap - which is a delight, as I've been a moderate fan of the stuff for a few years now. It's just unfortunate that it's almost $6.00 a pint. So instead of breaking the bank I headed down to the LCBO and bought a 4-pack of 440mL nitro cans of Kilkenny and decided to give the brew a critical look.

Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale pours into a pint glass with an absolute beauty that is almost unmatched. With the widget engaged, the beer begins a cappucino colour - but as the cascading takes effect, the brew is revealed to be a nice amber with a significant almost-pure white two finger top and literally a ton of lacing that clings to the side of the glass. It's almost a shame to drink this - it's a work of art.

The smell, however, is a bit difficult - largely neutral, it's hard to pick anything out, good or bad. I suppose roasted malts is the most dominant (some very faint hops as well?), with some hints of chocolate or perhaps coffee. There's a real creamy sweetness to the nose.

I don't know if it's the nitrogenated cans, but taste is hard to pick out as well. Mostly malts, with just a slight bitterness on the tongue - but my God is this stuff deliciously creamy. It's almost like drinking a carton of milk. A touch of hops round out the taste, but it should be said that this is a beverage that, even more so than most beers, benefits from surroundings. If I were in a dank Irish pub throwing back pints, this stuff would taste like touching the face of God.

The mouthfeel is utterly amazing. The carbonation levels are absolutely perfect, and the beer is absolutely silky smooth, with a good body to it. I'd certainly have trouble drinking more than one or two of these in a session (despite the slightly lower alcohol content), but it's still a joy to drink on those occasions when I do want to treat myself to something a little pricier and for that it still scores some points in the drinkability category. Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale is certainly worth a try, and I will say that, if nothing else, it's one of the few beers I've ever had that presents just as well from a can or bottle as it does on draft.

Serving type: nitro-can

02-04-2006 07:32:50 | More by headlessparrot
Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale from Smithwick's Brewery / Irish Ale Breweries Ltd
79 out of 100 based on 250 ratings.