Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale
Guinness Ltd.

Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish AleSmithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale
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Irish Red Ale
Ranked #215
Ranked #46,231
3.47 | pDev: 14.7%
Guinness Ltd.
Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish AleSmithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale
Notes: Smithwick's is a clear beer with a rich ruby color and creamy head. Clean and delicate aroma with different individual notes: from the top fermentation by the Smithwick yeast come aromatic esters creating a fruity aroma. The Aroma Hops added late in the boil contribute clean fresh floral notes. Ale Malt contributes aroma hints of biscuit and caramel.
Refreshing and clean taste with a gentle balance of bitterness from the hops added early in the boil, sweet/malty notes from the ale malt, and hints of roast/coffee from the roasted barley.
Reviews: 874 | Ratings: 3,080 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of realJohnnyHobo
3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pronounced Smid-icks - 11.2 oz fl brown glass poured into mug - the brand has a large amount of history and was at one time branded with a Guinness label. As Harp and Diageo have set out to give this beer its own identity, again, with a revamped 2019-2020 label featuring product contents, tasting notes, and identifying this as an " Irish red" ale.

Pours a rusty brown, with a red-tinted hue, I believe Guinness Stout has more red color to it in the sunlight than this ale. There is a large head with a creamy white slowly dissipating lacing throughout the entire top.

The smell is of faint toasted malts, dark bread, and sweet aromas.

Tasting notes include: upfront sweetness, with mids of mild hop bite and caramel tones, finish includes a bit of barely with a smooth creamy texture.

Hops are mild, though present, and the malty flavor of this is complex and sweet. I praise this beer for its smooth mouthfeel and mild carbonation.

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Photo of SmokySignals
4.25/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into glass shaker tumbler.
Dark orangey/ almost hazel brown, perfectly clear, and nice foamy white head which lasts til the end.

Cool old funky aromas stimulate my imagination of an old castle or musty dungeon, and present as authentic ale

Tastes great, with a snappy hop, rich sharp caramel barley malt, and a nice dryness in the finish.

I dig it on a this sunny Feb. mtn day.

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SmokySignals from North Carolina, Feb 09, 2020
Photo of Mindcrime1000
3.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pub glass.

Pours crystal-clear amber with a nice foamy and rocky tan head. It stays quite well.

Caramel malts and toasted grains rather forward, with hints of toffee and crusty bread.

The brew is skewed sweet and very simply but decent nonetheless. Caramel malts forward with toasted grain and some floral hops. The brew gets sweeter as it warms.

The brew is well carbonated and has a nice drying, but not crisp, finish.

Overall, a better-than-average macro that is decently representative of the style.

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Mindcrime1000 from South Dakota, Dec 15, 2019
Photo of Parmesan
3.31/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

L:. Pours a dark Ruby Amber with a fizzy white head and some spotty lacing.

S:. Sweet malt, a note of caramel, a note of creamed corn, a light hop.

T:. Sweet malt, some corn, a note of caramel, a light hop.

F:. Lighter body, smooth carb.

O:. A fairly solid red ale.

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Parmesan from Colorado, Dec 07, 2019
Photo of Bsimpson91
4.9/5  rDev +41.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Surprised to say, This is a very well made and tasty beer. I wasn't expecting the balance of flavors I got.
To start things off, The look. Delicately poured into a tulip glass. The color is deep amber, so dark it looks more like a brown ale. Ultra filtered and with almost no cap. Lacing is minimal and spoty. Carbonation bubbles are big like one would see in a Soda. Moving along to smell. The aroma is quite nice. Very similar to a stout but slightly subdued. I get the aroma of stewed apples and apple cider. You can slightly smell the roasted malts. Now for taste. At first sip, you swear you were drinking a stout. Starts out sweet and builds up to a rich roasted malt and that Apple cider comes in and becomes dominant. the finish is a well balanced hop character that is not bold but really resolves the flavor with added maltyness coming back at the end. Medium dry for the finish. The feel is light to medium, slight creaminess. big soda-like bubbles create a medium carbonation. Overall, Good beer. Interesting to try at least once. I dont think its a "go-to" for me.

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Bsimpson91 from Georgia, Nov 09, 2019
Photo of Ozzylizard
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

$ 11.63 (Including tax and deposit)/6-pack of 11.2 oz bottles ($ 0.173/oz) at Clayton Superfine Supermarket, Clayton, NY. Reviewed 9/4/19.
Bottle dated in code “05:01 LB332GD001” and me without my secret decoder ring. Stored on shelf in store. Stored at 42 degrees and served at 42 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Appearance – 4.
First pour – Amber, clear.
Body – Amber, clear.
Head – Large (Maximum five cm, aggressive center pour), off-white, high density and creamy, average retention, retracting to an irregular nine to eighteen mm frothy crown and a thick partial cap. A few irregular pieces of lacing remain after head retraction.
Lacing – Good. Irregular wide band of tiny to small bubbles with some tiny stalactites. See also above.
Aroma – 3.5 – Malty.
Flavor – 3.75 - Taste follows the nose – starts with a bit of sweet malt and finishes by a bit of hoppy bitterness. No alcohol taste or aroma (4.5 % ABV), no diacetyl, no dimethylsulfide.
Palate – 3 – Medium, watery, soft carbonation.
Impression and interpretation – 3.5 (- 0.25 point for coded dated individual container) Very typical example of an Irish Red ale.

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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania, Sep 04, 2019
Photo of Tripel_Threat
3.79/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap at Murphy's in Alexandria, VA. Nice aromas of biscuit malt and floral hops. Smooth, creamy feel with caramel and biscuit malt, with floral and herbal hop notes. Smooth, clean finish.

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Photo of puck1225
3.52/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass clear reddish brown color with thin whit head but decent lacing. Sweet smell and taste up front. Mild bitterness at the finish. Probably not something I will repeat often.

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Photo of Gajo74
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

My favorite thing about this beer is its color. It pours a lovely ruby red with a large frothy head that retains all throughout.
Clean aroma at first, albeit slightly metallic, although this fades. Then, notes of lightly toasted and biscuity amber malts and caramel malts. There is also a touch of earthy hops spice.
The taste highlights dry toasted malts and a light caramel sweetness. A modest hops bitterness provides a gentle spice and semi bright fruity and floral flavors.
Medium to light bodied, crisply smooth and with medium carbonation. Easy drinking with a clean finish.
Simple beer overall with a nice malt flavor. Not something I usually drink, nevertheless I enjoyed it.

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Gajo74 from New York, Jul 29, 2019
Photo of Thisdrinkinglife
3.09/5  rDev -11%
look: 5 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Review: 500ml can of Smithwick’s Red Ale: 3.8% vol.

Anytime I am back in the old country Smithwicks is my go to drink on tap, love it when I am out and about as it is an easy ale to stomach and you get a lot for your mileage! Albeit it does tend to make one go to the toilet a bit too often!

Coming all nice and shiny in the famous red coloured colours on the can, with the logo of the castle representing the old city of Kilkenny, “Ireland’s Oldest Ale”

Looks good on the pour, good creamy white head and a dark ruby red colour, as advertised!

Nice enough to look at, with some good lacing and a head that sticks around.

Bit of a disappointment in the smell department, in that it was pretty odorless, just the hint of the grains, the malts and the fruits, but very, very light on the nose.

Light enough taste, soft and light bodied, easy going down the hatch, clean and crisp, nice and smooth.

Getting a nice taste of sweet malts, caramel, the roasted barley and some fruit flavours. Hops are gentle and on the low level. Flavour and tastes are subtle but overall very well balanced to create a beer that is so smooth and clean and crisp in taste and in body.

Light enough, slightly different to what I would normally have on tap which has more of a kick to it and the perfect session ale, a little better to what you would get in the can.

Overall quite smooth and a nice and relaxing beer to have on a slow Sunday afternoon in front of the box. It’s simplicity is what makes this beer, no faffing around with mad potions here. The sweet malts and the roasted barely lovely on the tongue. Yes it’s a winner. The top easy drinking beer, albeit, as mentioned, the tap is far superior to the can, but that’s a given I guess. Always love me old Smithwicks, a fan forever!

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Thisdrinkinglife from Switzerland, Jun 16, 2019
Photo of defunksta
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark copper, brown color. Like bourbon or dark spirits. Pours a tall foamy head reminiscent of a root beer float. (4.00)

Aroma: Light aromas. Some red fruit hops, caramel, molasses and rubbery tobacco aromas. Traces of vague vanilla, cocoa cream, caramel bread and cherry. (3.50)

Taste: Initially only slight floral hops before a strong red fruit, rubber,root beer, and tobacco flavor. Then lots of cream. Reminds me of a root beer float. Yeasty and peppery notes upfront followed by a nutty vanilla, cherry, & caramel backbone that is dry. Hints of vanilla. Almost a cola type of flavor. A lot of nuts and malt, yet clean like cola. Lots of cherry root beer float here. (3.50)

Feel: Crisp and clean and lighter bodied. Lots of flavor for the lower ABV. Good carbonation and finishes peppery, dry on the palate. (4.00)

Compared to Castle Cream 3/4/20: Pours a much darker color .Lighter on the nose. Darker flavors, but lighter, dryer, and cleaner. Less malty and sweet.

Compared to Boddington's Pub Ale 3/11/20: Pours a much darker, amber color. Less head. Has less aroma. Flavor is much more cola and root beer. Less red fruit and cream.

Compared to Sam Adams Boston Lager 4/20/20: Pours a darker color. Stronger aromas. More red fruit, cherry, root beer. Less cinnamon and bread. HOppier and more bitter with less malts and rather different flavors.

Overall: This is a nice dark, but lighter-bodied lager. A wide spectrum of flavors with lots of root beer. Smooth, crisp, and delicious. I would describe it as a much milder steam beer or amber ale. Similar caramel notes to an amber, but lighter in body. Rounded by a strong root beer flavor. Really smooth and flavorful beer for the ABV. Glad I tried this one, it's okay but not great. A little too much rubber and root beer for me. (Final Rating: 3.58)

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defunksta from Illinois, May 06, 2019
Photo of Bito24
3.56/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Going through an import stage, especially products from England and Ireland. This red ale caught me by surprise. After reading some of the reviews, I wasn’t expecting much. What a pleasant surprise. My best description for this ale is subtlety good. All areas are understated, but put them all together and you have an ale that is better than advertised. I will definitely drink this one again and highly recommend

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Bito24 from Pennsylvania, Apr 06, 2019
Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle, it pours a clear Irish red, okay..raddish amber color with a large, off-white head that lasts. Light scent of caramel malts in the nose. In the mouth, it is a light flavor of caramel malt and malt. The barest touch of hops as well.

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Photo of HorseheadsHophead
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear dark amber, almost light brown. Capped with a frothy off white head. Great retention and lacing.

Floral and earthy hops on the nose, toasty and rich malt in spades.

Tastes of toffee and toast, caramel, milk chocolate and raisin; with earthy, woody, and slightly floral British hops. Finishes lightly sweet but clean and crisp.

A solid Irish red ale! Makes for a great session beer.

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Photo of paging12
3.2/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle, poured into a nonic pint glass.

A: A darker amber, denser caramel color. No real head, thin lacing.
S: Sweet, roasty malts.
T: Bready, sweet. One note. Lacking depth. Short finish.
M: Soft, flat.
O: Average, has some flavor. Lackluster, but definitely true to amber beer.

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paging12 from Virginia, Mar 22, 2019
Photo of MNAle
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

The beer I'm reviewing is actually labeled "Smithwick's Red Ale" rather than "Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale", but it is my assumption this is the same beer with a new or different label. It is an Irish Red Ale, and it is 4.5% ABV,

Aroma of lightly roasted malts, bread, and slightly sweet smelling.

Ruby-amber with a tall billowy head with excellent retention and lots of lacing down the glass as it does recede. The head is thick and creamy looking. Plenty of small of bubbles rising.

Sweet fruity taste, bread, little to no bittering (well, slightly in the middle). Hops taste is subtle, perhaps earthy, a little spice and fruit.

Light body and a smooth finish. Malty-sweet aftertaste with just a touch of bittering.

Easy drinking. While not an top tier beer, it is enjoyable and at 4.5% ABV just about right for a St. Patrick's Day session. It paired well with my corned beef and cabbage.

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MNAle from Minnesota, Mar 20, 2019
Photo of ArchimedesSox
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Dark red color, large off white head, great lacing
S: Bread, bisquet, slight earthy hopiness
T: Really nice bisquety breadiness, slight earthy hoppiness
M: Medium to light
O: A classic Irish beer, rating on St Patricks day, a nice malty backbone with a slight hoppy balance.

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Photo of NickSMpls
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Having gone through many, many pints of this beer when working in Ireland, I'd been doubtful on the beer as an i port. At least this is from Ireland instead of Canada. The pour is a sparkling dark amber, solid head and thick lacing. There's no pronounced aroma beyond a roasted grain and yeast. Taste is good, maybe not as tasty as the one from draught in a Dublin pub, but no flaws. Refreshing and does the job.

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NickSMpls from Washington, Mar 11, 2019
Photo of mothman
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle. Amber copper color.

Caramel and toffee malts. Bready. A little sweetness. Grassy hops. Classic Irish lager. Easy drinking. Smooth. Lighter bodied. Solid.

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mothman from Minnesota, Mar 10, 2019
Photo of FBarber
3.1/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a crystal clear dark mahogany color. Thick bubbly off-white head dissipates steadily but not completely. Some intricate foamy lacing is left on the glass.

Aroma has some light malty notes. Mildly earthy and nutty. Not much going on there.

Taste has notes of light bready malts. Some subtle earthy hops. Rather bland overall.

Feel is light and easy drinking albeit kind of bland. Carbonation is lightly spritzy.

Overall an inoffensive yet remarkably bland Irish Red ale.

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FBarber from Illinois, Feb 14, 2019
Photo of RMehrenberg
2.55/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Looks nice... very little aroma..malty...taste like seltzer water more than anything else. Disappointed,Nothing else much to say stretching out the minimum character limit

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RMehrenberg from Pennsylvania, Jan 29, 2019
Photo of C-Stockwell
3.16/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

L: more of an amber or a copper than red. Head starts off about an inch or two tall then quickly dissipates
S: mostly malt sweetness and a little spice, like pepper from hops
T: like the label says, hop bitterness and spice with a sweet malt finish
F: a bit watery but with good carbonation

The only issue I have with this ale is that the smell and flavor is more or less binary: hops and malt. Could use some more complexity or a higher ABV. Goes well with food.

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C-Stockwell from Rhode Island, Jan 06, 2019
Photo of Brutaltruth
3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle in a snifter via a friend from work---cheers Randy!
This decent little red pours a red tinged brown color with a decent
head of off white foam that subsides to a thin ring, thin light clumping
layer, and shows some spotty lacing. Nose of light toasted malts and subtle
herbal notes. Flavors of toasted malts and subtle grains with a hint of
toffee and light English yeast giving a trademark English/Irish flavor
with subtle light herbal hop notes. Nice mouth feel; medium light
body, medium carbonation, and a crisp lightly sweet and balanced finish.

Overall a SOLID little brew in a light and under appreciated style.


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Photo of gvickery
3.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I'm not sure why it's called "red", it's not. Very dark brownish amber with tan 1/8" head. The color reminds me of slightly watered down cola. Very faint malt smell. Taste is sweet malt, some raisiny dried fruit, no hop presence. Almost no carbonation, I know that's a style thing but it could use more. Overall it reminded me of something old, stale and musty. They can keep it.

Update: 03/08/20
The first time I tried this it must have been ridiculously out of date.
Tried it again and this time it was very carbonated, very mild smell (faint), taste was similar to a standard bitter with a little more toasted malt. Very light tasting and mouthfeel. You could drink 10 of these with little effort.

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Photo of KMillard
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This is one of the original Irish ambers, the Kilkenny ale and is regularly drank throughout Ireland. It is more bitter and fuller bodied than the standard American take on the style. Goes down easy and can be drank in a session or in between Guinness in order to wet the whistle.

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KMillard from North Carolina, Dec 07, 2018
Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale from Guinness Ltd.
Beer rating: 79 out of 100 with 3080 ratings