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 illpass78
3.88/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark ruby with heavy carbonation. Lacing moderate to heavy. Looks like the classic Irish ale that it is.

Aroma: Caramel, toffee, bread, toast, grass and hops all compete. It had a balanced malty and hoppy character.

Taste: Follows the nose, with caramel and floral hops dominating. Pretty solid red ale. I don't want to say it tastes generic, but you definitely know this is a big-brewery beer. Very good, though, and it works for all seasons.

Mouthfeel: Perfectly balanced.

Overall: Like a lot of long-standing European brands, Smithwick's has kind of been outpaced by modern craftier takes on the style. Still, it's a very reliable beer, and I can't see myself ever turning one down, especially on an early Spring day when it's getting greener outside and stout-and-snow season is fading.

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Photo of barczar
3.47/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a bubbly, effervescent clear deep amber red with a foamy, frothy eggshell had that slowly dissipates, leaving sticky lacing.

Floral hops, grain, specialty malt fruitiness, and fruity yeast esters accompany a hint of toasted bread. Becomes very metallic late.

Flavor reveals a toasted, nutty, bready malt backbone, which finishes dry and a touch bitter. There's an underlying ester fruitiness that isn't quite as prominent as in the aroma. Slight metallic notes emerge.

Body is moderate, with moderate to slightly high carbonation and a bit of harsh astringency in the finish.

More malt backbone than expected. The bitterness is a little overly done. The metallic character is offputting. Esters are a little odd, as well.

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Photo of TeamMathis
3.21/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Light, clear brown with reddish hue against light.
Smell: Faint malt and moderate skunky cheap beer smell.
Taste: Faint biscuit and malt. Maybe a touch of honey.

This is really rather lackluster. To me, this is the beer to get when there are no other options because Bud and Miller stuff at the gas station. The smell is so faint, and the taste is just barely there, but enough to tell it's a Red Ale (barely). I confess I'm not big on this style. I probably wouldn't ever go out of my way to get this. However, yes, it is drinkable.

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Photo of Rhf9120
3.43/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish amber color with a thin white head. The scent is of hops and caramel with a bit of malts. The flavor is a nice balance of hops malts and caramel. The overall mouthfeel of the beer was good and it was very well balanced. Overall i enjoyed this one and would drink it again.

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Photo of Auraan
3.82/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a clear amber red with a one finger white head that receded to a white ring leaving abundant lacing down the glass. Pretty good for the style. Scents of skunked hops, caramel, toasted malt and slight nutty aromas. Not the best scent in the world, but not bad for a red ale. Flavors of toasted malt, caramel, some grainy malt and moderate levels of floral hops throughout with some slight nuttiness. The finish is semi-dry and toasty with a toasty aftertaste. Not bad, not extremely complex but good for a session ale, the toasted, nutty and caramel flavors are quite nice. Mouthfeel is light bodied, with medium carbonation and a slightly watery mouthfeel. Not bad for a session ale, quite drinkable. Overall this is a decent session ale. Nothing bad about it, but nothing amazing, its still a good enough offering. I'd have it again.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.3/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Revisiting this one. Purchased a 500 ml can from LCBO for $2.55 CDN. Served cold into a pint glass.

Appearance - Clear red color with a fluffy dense white head that lingers. Low amount of bubbles in the beer and leaves nice lacing around the glass.

Smell - Beer aromas, caramel malts. Not a lot here, but nothing off putting.

Taste - Light graininess, some bitter malts but flavor is not terribly deep either.

Mouthfeel - Ok feel, but a bit thin and low carbonation.

Overall - I recall having this on tap about a year ago and it was a very solid beer, revisiting it reminds me that while a good beer, there really is nothing exceptional and would look to other offerings in the future.

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Photo of dacrza1
2.49/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

DATE TASTED: November 28, 2013... GLASSWARE: Kisatsky pint...OCCASION: kicking back--another Thanksgiving Day hosted well and right... APPEARANCE: cloud-evoking white head; solid dark amber body; slow, steady effervescence; nice, hazy lacing... AROMA: slightly fragrant with a soft, mostly malty bready dough scents... PALATE: medium-bodied; monolithic, flat mouthfeel; a bit creamy; drinkable, but not distinguished...TASTE: a bit of toffee mixes with malts to create a rather dry, basic ale--little to deliberate on or over...OVERALL: not a bad beer for talking over or complimenting hors d'oeuvres pre-meal; after desert, not much of a motivator or nightcap...

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Photo of Dsimenson
3.04/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Draft poured into a pint glass. Little head and no lacing as you drink it. Nice medium brown color. Little aroma--just a bit of grain an toffee. Flavor is mild, not complex--grain and malt with a bit of toffee. Not a lit of hops, or perhaps it is a type of hops I am not familiar with. This is a style of ale that I don't know or understand. Mouth feel is OK, not creamy. Overall this was disapointinting--an OK ale but not one I would seek out.

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Photo of JimKal
3.62/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Part of an eight pack of cans with Guinness Stout and Black Lager and Smithwick Pale ale and Irish Ale.

A: A red/brown brew with a one inch head. As it dissipates it leave behind some nice lacing. More than the other offerings in this eight pack.

S: A nice malty aroma.

T: Starts with a nice hit of malt with a slightly bitter finish. This is what I look for in an Irish red ale.

M: Light to medium body.

O: I enjoyed this more that the other offerings in this mixed pack. I would like to see this offered in cans on a regular basis, it would make me a regular customer.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.92/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear reddish copper color. The head isn't very nice looking: it's a sudsy, one finger off-white shade with a slightly rough texture. About the only thing it does right is leave some lacing on the glass.

S: There really isn't much here aside from a touch of cereal grain and some caramel maltiness. Nothing defined or anything that pops out of the glass by any means. It becomes slightly nutty as it warms up, though I don't pick up any roasted barley.

T: It starts with a slightly acidic barley tingle, and finishes with some toffee. That's about it really, but it actually kind of works considering that's all it features.

M: I'll give it one thing: it's drinkable as hell. The thin texture, high carbonation, and ultra-clean finish means this goes down almost like water. I actually prefer that it has a slightly sharp, angular feel over a rounded, creamy (and sweet) one.

O: Not bad, not great, it's just a very quaffable red ale with no standout characteristics. Basically, it's one of those "chug 'em and forget when you're in some faux-Irish pub" brews.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.77/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice Guinness sampler in cans this one appears a pale copper amber with a big highly carbonated khaki tan head, fine bubbles cling to the sides of my glass great head retention. Aroma has biscuit malts with a fresh baked bread note, very tame nose on it with a hint of herbal hops in the backend. My wife loves it and I'm frankly okay with this beer enough flavor to keep me interested. Bready malts hints of faint herbal hops well balanced mass produced drinking ale, you can't really go wrong with at least trying this beer especially well protected from the light in can form. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied smooth flowing natural carbonation arises across the palate, I know I like it. Overall, an impressive beer that I would like to indulge in a couple pints of without having to worry about whether or not it's considered craft or not it's an acceptable Irish ale better than most imports these days and that's good enough for me to spend my hard earned dollars.

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Photo of The-Jolly-Imbiber
2.8/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured from a 500 mL can into a conical pint glass.

Very frothy: head was at least 4 fingers. Clear, dark amber

Head had essentially no aroma. Not good. Even after the head settled, still barely any scent. I could detect a faint hint of what I had tasted earlier.

Taste is very simple. Not much character or overtones here. Just a plain, red beer taste. However, I admit that it seemed to improve a bit as time went on (warmed up?).

Moderate carbonation.

Overall, a very basic beer. The taste doesn't put me off, but there also isn't anything in the flavour that I would call really likeable or enjoyable. If someone bought this for me in a bar, I'd drink it, but this is not something I'd go out of my way to purchase myself. There are other ambers that I think are much better.

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Photo of pkalix
3.12/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

surprisingly white topper, 1 1/2 fingers, over a transparent, clear, beautiful color of dark brown/red... have had this many times before. remember it tasting very good....
smell is of a weak brew, typical dive bar kind of brew. have my tastes (and nose) changed since I last had this?
taste is easy, typical dive-bar kind of stuff... I remember liking this a lot last couple times, keeping in mind the low abv and thinking it's just a satellite Guinness product. it is why I purchased this single this time around..,.. i'm not very happy with it.
perhaps it's because I've done a Korbinian, Optimator and Slingo already. it just is not a match for any of those.
it smells like a bar, though. it smells like a typical commercial mass-produced beer. I wonder if they have changed the recipe? either way, I wont be buying this one again. there are way too many other brews out there with more satisfying flavor than purchasing this import from 6000 miles away. California is FULL of average grade brews.... and GOOD ones too!

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Photo of Huffs
3.17/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured to a bubbly head, very airy, with moderate lacing and retention. Had a rich, ruby color with a mild, malt / toffee aroma. taste was a mild caramel toffee back with some malty notes up front. dry finish was a light, almost watery mouthfeel. Not a bad drink, had not had in a while and is not a good as I remember it being.

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Photo of Wyattldavis
3.29/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice deep copper appearance with a tall, thick head. The smell and mouthfeel are understated and fairly flat. The flavor is the high point, but it isn't anything extraordinary. It tastes kind of like a very light Guiness I supposed. Definitely not a summer beer. Perhaps best on a very cold December night in Ireland?

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Photo of JanetCDavis
3.03/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The Smithwick's did not overwhelm. Lovely color, but comparatively bland overall. From smell to mouthfeel, just short of interesting. Paired with oysters on the half shell and the beer definitely could not stand up to cocktail sauce. Might be OK as a pure pub beer with low expectations.

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Photo of Jdbateman83
3.89/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very smooth ale. Hints of caramel, fruit, malt, sweat, honey, smoke. Very easy to drink, if its on tap, and I am in the mood, why not. Is one of my top go to beers if nothing else is on tap I feel like, and when you go to an Irish bar (down the street from my house) and you don't like Guinness, this is one of the best alternatives. I love to drink my setting, and this will do just fine for my Irish bars. Go Groggs!

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Photo of BrewMcQ
4.94/5  rDev +42%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Since everyone else has described the flavor (which is all highly subjective), this is the "go-to" beer in my household. It's smooth and light and just an all-around solid Irish ale.

When I brew my Irish ale, this is the benchmark I use.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Sine in Arlington, VA.

The beer is amber hued with a thin tan head. Honey and fruit notes. Bread and biscuit character with a light bitterness in the finish. Pretty easy to drink. Unexciting but inoffensive. Thin bodied with moderate carbonation. Ok.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.29/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance- Pours up a good amount of head which has little retention to begin with but staggers at the end. Some lacing is left behind. The head is a pure but weak cotton white while the body is a dark amber which shows some orange when held up to the light. Some of the foam clings to the side of the glass.

Nose- Fairly subdued. Faint hints of caramel that become stronger when I swirl the glass. Some biscuit, grain, and toffee when I smell from the bottle. Caramel is very strong from the bottle. Perhaps some roasted notes but they are very faint.

Taste- Sweet malt with slight citrus notes. Some grain, some biscuit. Slightly woody bitterness. This doesn't have a lot of presence but it is fairly well balanced. There is some caramel but it is not quite as strong as on the nose. This beer is above average when I expected it to be mediocre. Not a great beer by any stretch of the imagination, but I see its appeal and how it represents the style. It is a little watery and thin but as I mentioned before, I did not have high expectations. Some hints of tea are present as well.

Mouthfeel- Light carbonation with a fairly smooth and creamy texture. This is one of the highlights of this beer.

Drinkability- Very easygoing. No heat. No off flavors. Not all that interesting but it definitely has more going on than most lagers. Price is about the same as most other six packs.

Overall- A little above average. It's worth a try and is quite sessionable. More of a drinking beer than one you mull over. Probably won't purchase again as there are plenty of better beers (and styles) for the same price or cheaper.

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Photo of beergoot
3.31/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Dark copper body with a sticky, foamy head. Earthy, musty, and slightly sweet aroma. A sprightly sweet malt character; light caramel; sweet tea. Light bodied, smooth, clean finish.

A decent, unpretentious beer that doesn't go anywhere as far as distinctive flavors go. It also seems a little watery. Still, a good thirst quencher, especially if you're not looking for hop or malt bombs.

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Photo of chuckwagonrocks
4.08/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Great in appearance. Rich dark brown. Little weak on smell but pleasant. Tasted a little watery going down but after taste is medium. Left you wanting a bit more bite but still wanting another drink. Lacked that tightening sensation of the checks and tongue that dark beers give (light on the hops I guess) but ok. Over all its a good beer! Does not have an over powering alcohol taste like the IPA's. Not that there is any wrong with an IPA. Try it you will like it. Bottoms up!

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Photo of RonPizzle83
3.36/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

I tried this irish ale out of the bottle and into a pint glass. I noticed the head is medium to deep depending on the pour. The color is right away the head turner, a beautiful deep ruby. Unfortunately it is a very deceiving characteristic. The deep color reminds me of fools gold. While the caramel shines through with woody hints, the power of flavor seems to be lacking. It seems the ease of drinking this red style ale is it's second positive trait. Think Guinness Black but with a lighter carbonation. I did enjoy this beer for its ease of drinkability and deep color but i feel the flavor and alcohol power is lacking. An Irish keg beer. A gateway beer for people that do not drink dark ales or reds.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.57/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance- Served a reddish-brown colored brew with a very small tan colored head. The head fades rather rapidly, leaving almost no lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is malty with notes of biscuit and lightly roasted smells. With these aromas comes a rather stronger sweet smell of caramel and apple. A very light grassy aroma rounds out the rest creating a rather nice smell overall.

Taste – The taste begins with a roasted malt and biscuit flavor upfront with a moderate amount of a caramel sweetness. As the flavor advances a little bit of a fruit flavor as well as some grassy hop tastes come to the tongue. The caramel takes on a more toffee like flavor more toward the end with these flavors leaving a lightly roasted and light sweet flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average to slightly above average side for a brew of only 4.5 % abv. The carbonation level is rather average as well and in combination with the moderately thick body creates a feel that is very nice for the lightly roasted and toffee/caramel flavors of the brew.

Overall – Not a flavor powerhouse but rather easy drinking and a good brew for the more session level of alcohol. Overall it’s rather well done.

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

Appearance: Amber; effervescent; medium head with good lacing

Aroma: Malty; sweet; hints of honey

Taste: Malty, creamy on start; ends slightly bitter and nutty; pretty well balanced ale

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

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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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