Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale | Guinness Ltd.

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Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish AleSmithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale

Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd.

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Mebuzzard on 04-01-2006

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Reviews: 798 | Ratings: 2,732
Photo of hopphead31415
4.14/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This premium Irish Red Ale is world-class I believe yet is underrated. It has, admittedly, a mere 4.5% ABV, but has a lot to offer other than a quick, cheap buzz.

Look-It shimmers with brilliant reds, copper, and mahogany in the light and has a bready, foamy, and smooth head of one finger that is a bit persistent. The lacing is thick and layered all the way down.

Smell-The aroma is complex. It has notes of nugget caramel cracker malts and suggestions of grassy noble hops.

Taste-It tastes like Cherrywood up front with a strong malt body and plenty of caramel, cracker, burnt toast, and noble hops. A fine astringency tampered with mild malt sweetness evens it out and makes for a robust and complex flavor. A tinge of oak-wood floats high over notes of grassy hops and buttered bread-based malts. Quite delicious! Definitely on the light side of medium-bodied and no less.

Overall-This is a very refreshing beer with a strong malt body, tampered attributes, rich flavor, and lots to offer. Pour finely chilled and into a worthy glass. Cheers!

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Photo of TheBoldBeerGuy
4.31/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Best on tap instead of bottled. Full flavor Irish ale. Sharp without being bitter, the barley rounds out as an amazing stand alone drinker. Brush up on your pub songs, and have a pint.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.05/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours, not surprisingly, a deep red in color with a light tan head. Retention is not a strong suit, though, dropping to thin film in under a minute. Decent amount of scattered lacing left behind.
Smell is pretty typical with notes of roasted malts, caramel and some bread.
Taste is somewhat astringent initially but follows with the roasted malt & caramel notes and a hint of vegetable.
Fairly light in body with a bold carbonation profile, too much, I think. Overall, it's all right but nothing to really recommend it either.

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Photo of K_murph
3.71/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This beer is one of my go to's if nothing else looks appealing. Its a very drinkable beer, hence my taste rating, but its not stellar. Its a solid choice for an Irish Ale.

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Photo of Mexwald
3.44/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Smithwick's is a mainstay in any Irish pub or restaurant. It certainly beats Killian's when it comes to red ales and always goes down smooth. On the lower end in ABV, this beer can be enjoyed with a meal and has a very pleasant aftertaste to boot.

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Photo of jancona
3.78/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful mahogany with off white foam. Smell of molasses and roasted malt. Flavor follows with hints of caramel and cola. This is not a complicated ale, though is has a nice amber flavor and a good feel which makes it a great session brew.

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Photo of maedhros09
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A decent red ale. A nice toasty maltiness - not a whole lot else - but very drinkable overall. A little over carbonated than I prefer. At a an Irish pub I would much rather have this than a guinness.

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Photo of Premo88
4.34/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

11.2 oz. bottle poured into mug

L: red ... clear ... solid 3/4- to almost a full inch head of off-white/beige foam that is super sticky; keeps a half a skin and a nice thick collar; very little lacing but the pour and brew itself are lovely

S: sweet malt, dusty, toasted malt, very sweet toasted grain; slightly lour grain but just slight

T: malty sweet with a small earthy hop bite and a pinch of oak-wood flavor, not overly charred or burnt ... everything is mellow but there, especially the almost buttery malt sweetness; the malt tastes toasted at times, but not as toasted as it smells

F: fantastic ... perfect for my Americanized carbonation-loving planet ... crisp as a good lager with just enough ale heft for a perfect quaff

O: love it ... there's nothing here that's going to blow you over, but the blend of toasted malt sweetness with a bit of earthy hop character and some oak-wood flavor is a fantastic combination, and at 4.5% ABV, it's close to being a true session beer. i'll be mixing this in to my regular rotation often. a perfect drinker.

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
3.85/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hazy dark brown color with a strong amount of subtle activity. Creamy light brown 2 finger sparkling head, lasting around 15 to 20 minutes, with some strong legs.

Aroma of faint ginger bread. Flavors of caramel, faint molasses, a little spicy and syrupy. Bready and highly sugary, but still with a nice sharpness.

Slick smooth light to medium body with a nice carbonation intensity. Light to medium strength finish with a perfectly spiced feel and a hint of peppercorn and ginger.

Overall a very good quality craft having delicious flavors and great freshness. Well balanced and intensified. Would drink this all day long.

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Photo of AdmiralBaltimore_29
2.9/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I wasn't really thrilled with the quality of this beer. It tasted like I was drinking coffee. Irish beers to me are kinda disappointing. This was no exception to the rule. The look and smell was good, but in the end, it had an aftertaste I was not really fond of.

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Photo of Brian_L-2056
4.03/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This wonderful brew pours a deep caramel/cola color. Has a nice roasted nut smell. The head is a thin, light tan color, but fades fast. Lacing is good with plenty of carbonation. Initial taste is roasted toffee with a little coffee. Finish is very pleasant and slightly dry. This is definitely better than the Killians Red I had years ago. Would seriously consider a 6-pack now

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Photo of rjd722
3.31/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Harp and Fiddle in Bethesda. Nice deep red color and one-finger foam that dissipated quickly. Smells almost more like a lager than what you'd expect from a red. Smooth feeling initially but leaves a slightly astringent aftertaste. Not a bad macro red.

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Photo of Tom_Banjo
3.03/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pint draft at McSwiggans in Galway with lunch of chicken tenders and fries. Not much going on in the flavor department but worked for me at the time because it tastes OK and has a low ABV. Would drink again, but wouldn't go out of my way for it.

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Photo of TDotScott
3.87/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a can into a wine glass.

L- Dark amber, with a white head that quits after a few minutes. Very clear.

S- Buttered toast, with some caramel. Not too complex, or strong.

T- more Buttered toast.

F- low carbonation, with a good dry finish

O- the progenitor of the style. There are better Irish reds, but there are worse ones too

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Photo of chinchill
3.06/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

330 ml bottle. 4.5% ABV.

Appearance: Dark red-brown color with a creamy and durable tan head that leaves the glass partly coated with foam.

Aroma: earthy hops; light spiciness and faint off-notes.

Taste: nearly as hoppy as malty; mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied with medium carbonation.

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Photo of the_awesometeer
4.02/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: Dark reddish brown, small foamy head. Carbonation viable

Smell: Sweet malty smell with a hint of bitterness and hops

Taste: Nice simple malty taste, a very small hint of hops.

Feel: smooth nothing of note

Overall: Simple enjoyable beer

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Photo of ordybill
4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good example of an Irish Red Ale, I found the flavor to be rich and full of malt and some fruit. It also has a nice copper color. I would drink this again.

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.28/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Dull, clear copper or bronze with off-white medium-retention, somewhat rocky head. In the bottle, nose is pure bread. In the glass, more bread, some toast, but strong caramel predominates, accompanied by the faintest citrusy or herbal hops. Mostly toasty malts, a little crackery and a little tart, and caramel to the taste, much smaller black pepper, dark fruit, and licorice notes in the back, easily lost after your palate's been desensitized and giving way to a modicum of what can only be described as lemon, likely a combination of flavors. All this followed by just detectable — not even bitter, really — herbal hops in the finish. Gentle bitterness and caramel in the aftertaste. Medium, fine carbonation, bit of a creamy feel in this lighter end of medium-bodied brew. Only mild astringency, and no warming to speak of.

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Photo of sjccmd
4.19/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Caramel and toffee in the aroma. Brown sugar as well as dark fruits. Minerally, somewhat cola like. Some clove, cream soda. No hop character.

Pours amber with some ruby highlights. Off-white/light tan head. Good retention, decent lacing.

Toffee, brown sugar, molasses upfront finishing with biscuits and toast. A hint of coffee. Some dark fruits. No hop flavor. Mineral character is present. Nice and dry.

Medium low carbonation with medium light body. Somewhat chalky mouthfeel.

Quite nice. Better than I remember, but I could just be more accepting of the style now.

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Photo of OldManMetal
3.42/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This typical red ale pours to a brief, thick rocky head on a clear, amber-brown medium body. The nose is malt-forward, predominately light caramel with more subdued alcohol notes and hints of cassis and plum. On the palate this maltiness is nicely balanced by alcohol notes and a moderate hops presence. The finish is a flash of caramel followed by a moderate hop bitterness that lingers until the next sip. The mouthfeel is on point for the light-medium body, and the texture is slightly creamy with average carbonation. (12 oz bottle, 331 days after pkg.)

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Photo of KinkyEconomist
3.8/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Deep reddish brown. Very appetizing looking! Not pitch dark, but it looks like a strong, solid beer.

Smell: A solid malty smell with a little bit of hops.

Taste: A standard ale with a little bit more malt than average. The blend of spices with the malt actually has the curious effect of tasting vaguely like bacon. Definitely fine to sip on at the bar or during a movie.

Feel: Carbonated enough to keep it medium/maybe a little heavier, with a very smooth finish. A little bitterness from hops at the very end.

Overall: Not bad, not great. If it was on special or someone offered it to me, I'd accept, but nothing I'd buy again

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Photo of Greywulfken
3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not too bad - had some body and feel, some aroma - a little malt, a little hop - rather middling - some malt and some hop but nothing compelling - decent but nothing I'd drink again.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a deep reddish brown color with a 2 finger width foamy head. Head retention and lacing are both very good. Somewhat of a bready and tropical fruit aroma. Not much to it, though. Bready, biscuity malty taste with some fruity ester at the end - maybe some plums. Slight astringent aftertaste. Not much to it, though. Decent for drinking, but definitely not a go to beer.

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle into pint glass, bottled on 11/30/2014. Pours fairly crystal clear deep reddish copper color with a 2 finger dense and rocky off white head with great retention that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, plum, pear, apple, herbal, grass, light nuttiness, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, and fruity yeast, and earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, plum, pear, apple, herbal, grass, light nuttiness, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Light herbal/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, plum, pear, apple, herbal, grass, light nuttiness, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice robustness, complexity, and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and earthy hop flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and moderately creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish as expected of 4.5%. Overall this is a very good Irish red ale style. All around good robustness, complexity, and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of joeseppy
3.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Looks like a flat root beer. Very clean aroma with some fruity esters. Mild hop noted as well. Mild flavours with more hop eccentuated. Metallic finish like I'm drinking out of a stainless steel tankard.
Paired well with Redbreast 12 yo cask strength Irish pot whiskey. I guess I'm feeling Irish today.
Solid pull off the shelf.

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Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale from Guinness Ltd.
3.48 out of 5 based on 2,732 ratings.
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