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

Kilkenny Irish Cream AleKilkenny Irish Cream Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

238 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 238
Reviews: 135
rAvg: 3.43
pDev: 18.37%

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: 238 | Reviews: 135 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of thierrynantes


3.95/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer bottle and can (50cl.), tasted in 1999.

Appearance: red copper color, with white creamy foam head.
Smell : caramel aroma
Taste & Mouthfeel : very soft, thin it slips in the mouth, caramel flavour. Creamy with a hint of toast finish.
Drinkability: a good refreshing beer, in the style Irish red ale

Review translated from french 6-11-2008.

Serving type: can

10-28-2007 17:23:23 | More by thierrynantes
Photo of Amalak

New York

4.1/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My good friend brought me back a four back of Kilkenny from Canada (because those bastards at Smithwick's won't allow it to be distributed in the US). This is such a brilliant beer.

It's basically a Red Guinness. It has the incredible dancing cascade. Thick, foamy head. It is the most beautiful beer there is.

The scent is mild, but present. It is a smooth almost caramel kind of smell.

It is incredibly smooth and creamy, even more so than a Guinness. Out of the can, it doesn't have quite the crisp bite that it has off the tap. That is really the only bad thing I can say. But there is not a beer that I have had that has near the kind of smoothness and drinkability as Kilkenny.

Overall, this is definitely my favorite brand of beer. It simply has everything you can ask for out of a beer.

Serving type: can

10-27-2007 20:41:24 | More by Amalak
Photo of ThatWineGuy

Ontario (Canada)

2.83/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

One benefit of starting to actually critique the beer you drink is a growing awareness of the nitro-can, I find it hard to look at this beer the same way I did a year ago. The layered head is two-plus fingers with amazing retention and foamy presence yet there appears to be no carbonation. Feint odour of grain, yeast. There's just a hint of hops in the mouth, mildly bitter, rye bread with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. The aftertaste is a bit sweet. Actually, it isn't anywhere rich as it looks and I think it drinks quite well for a cream ale. I wouldn't hesitate to try this on tap sometime.

Serving type: nitro-can

10-18-2007 01:28:14 | More by ThatWineGuy
Photo of Shadman

Alberta (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ah, the cascading display that is the niro-can. After the show, I was left with a rich copper brown brew, very clear, with a gorgeous off white to tan head, as thick as cream, that really never went away. Some rich roasted malt aroma is prevalent if you can get past that head that acts like a aroma seal. Some immediate tea-like bitterness followed by a sudden rush of roasted caramel malt which never overpowers the experience. The drying finish is there along with some hop bitterness. Altough somewhat creamy and very smooth, it was a tad on the watery side. Still very drinkable in large quantities by this reviewer.

Serving type: nitro-can

10-14-2007 02:36:55 | More by Shadman
Photo of DrinkSlurm


4.08/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is an example of what every Irish Red would hope to be. From the first pour, it resembles a Guinness, with the dark red color and thick white head. Its as smooth as beer gets. The flavor resembles a somewhat fruity amber with a surprisingly short aftertaste. This is the type of beer you have to unwind and relax, since it is a heavy brew. The only con I can think of it getting a hold of it. I have only had it in Montreal...well worth the trip!

Serving type: on-tap

10-04-2007 17:05:47 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of LittleCreature


3.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - 4.0
Cascading effect is almost as pretty as that of Guinness. A thick finger of solid white head sits on top of a copper red-brown body that is clear at the bottom and a little murky at the top. Head stayed at a good level for the duration of the glass.

Smell - 3.0
Just a little sweet malt at first, a whisper of hop bitterness and a pleasant buttery shortbread-like aroma. Nice, but lacking strength.

Taste - 3.5
Not a whole lot of flavour, but what there is, is good. Moderately sweet, toasty, malty, grainy flavours dominate, some caramel, with an earthy hop bitterness in the finish. Aftertaste is smooth and mild.

Mouthfeel - 2.5
Apart from the creamy head, the mouthfeel is almost identical to cold water, with almost no carbonation whatsoever and a light to moderate weight in the mouth. It goes down smoothly, but more carbonation would be nice.

Drinkability - 4.0
This is relatively low in alcohol, with a 4.3% ABV, and makes an easy session beer. Personally, on any day other than St Patrick's, I'd want something with a bit more carbonation and kick after a couple.

OVERALL - 3.45
Possibly I'm being a little generous, but this is a real easy drinker with no clear flaws apart from the watery mouthfeel. I prefer Kilkenny over Guinness when given the choice on most occassions, but I have somewhat lost my fondness after an awful St Patrick's day hangover.

Serving type: nitro-can

09-27-2007 13:52:48 | More by LittleCreature
Photo of GrimmReaper

British Columbia (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a striking beautiful brew with it's deep mahogney color with a reddish-orangey tint,a beautiful full foamy tan head that stays with the brew all the way to the bottom of the glass,and leaves a full sticky lacing all the way through.
The nose is of malts,with a sniff of caramel butter,and toffee.
Taste is bitterness right from the start than the malts,caramel and toffee kicks in than more bitterness again and finish's off with a tinge of dryness,all going down like a creamsicle,creamy smooth,just slides right down very easy.
Excellant mouth to this one, medium body that goes down thin but creamy at the same time,very very smooth,and the head, that turns into a nice 1/4 inch collar,stays with you all along, and adds to the creaminess,wonderful to drink,could easily drink 3 or 4 of these at 500 ml. before moving on to some thing else.Very enjoyable and highly reccomended.

Serving type: nitro-can

09-26-2007 03:18:49 | More by GrimmReaper
Photo of soupyman10

District of Columbia

3.23/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Cute waitress wrote "Yay" in the foam on top. It stuck around for a while, in a thick foam about an inch, over a deep red colored beer. Looked amazing. Unfortunately, appearances can be deceiving. Nose was nearly non-existant, just some very light caramel malt (I think I got my nose wet trying to find any odor). Taste was likewise, extremely mild caramel malt. Body was excellent, thick and creamy. Overall, this one wasn't terrible, but I really could do with a little more kick in my beers.

Serving type: nitro-tap

09-12-2007 17:18:10 | More by soupyman10
Photo of dirtyoldtown53

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thick creamy Guinness like head, slightly lighter in colour. Slightly bolder taste than Smithwick's, a little more full bodied I felt, I did have in on non-nitro and it seemed even more full bodied, nitro had slightly drier finish. Good beer anyhow.

Serving type: nitro-tap

07-18-2007 20:00:41 | More by dirtyoldtown53
Photo of cyrenaica

Ontario (Canada)

2/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Another British ale that just didn't please my palate (yet my friends tell me that someday, my ale will come!). This beer has a darker colour than I normally like (I prefer golden nectars) and a weak aroma. It went down very smooth however. It felt thick in the mouth, very little carbonation. The flavour was alright, very malty.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2007 02:43:13 | More by cyrenaica
Photo of BBM

New York

3.55/5  rDev +3.5%
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 +5%
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 +18.1%
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 +2.9%
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 +9.3%
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 -1.5%
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 +16.6%
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 -30.6%
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 -20.4%
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 +10.8%
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 +8.7%
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 +1.5%
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 -1.5%
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 -3.8%
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 -14.6%
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
Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale from Smithwick's Brewery / Irish Ale Breweries Ltd
78 out of 100 based on 238 ratings.