Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale | Guinness Ltd.

792 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 792 | Ratings: 2,712
Photo of libbekat
4.01/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had not enjoyed any Smithwicks till I visted Ireland. When I returned home I now see it everywhere. Thank goodness for that.
This ruby red ale is very smooth. It pairs well with almost anything. Because it isn't heavy or as full bodied as some other favorites of mine, I enjoy this in the summer. I think it is a great beer to take to a friend's house for dinner too; especially if you have to share it but want something you will drink and enjoy too.
It has a well rounded body but is not bitter.

 502 characters

Photo of happygnome
3.17/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a: clear amber color with about a half inch of head that didnt dissapear fast but did leave a lot of creamy lacing
s: hop notes, maybe chocolaty malts
t: kind of bland sweet malts intially and finishes with light hop presence
m: medium bodied beer with average carbonation

overall this isnt too bad a beer but not something that i can see myself buying in the future

 373 characters

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

12oz bottle no freshness date poured into a well cleaned pint glass.

A: Pours a dark and clear amber brown with a one inch tiny packed bubbled head. Looks quite inviting as the head sticks around in a half inch head with solid lacing.

S: Definite toasty malts with a good deal of fresh whole wheat bread along with a tiny bit of coffee. Again quite inviting not mindblowing but still very good and balanced.

T/MF: Begins with a solid toasty malt presence quite bready with a tiny hint of hop fruitiness as the beer warms in the mouth. Finishes a bit watery and leaves me wanting more.

D: Good offering here, but I would like to try more in this style to be sure how the rest stack up against this one.

 713 characters

Photo of biggmike
3.38/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft. Pours nice amber color with small creamy head that it retained. Good flavor, nothing spectacular, but extremely drinkable. Head is decent but doesnt hang around for long. Flavor is of slight caramel nutiness. Decent session beer. Would recommend to those of you that like Irish Ales.

 290 characters

Photo of garbercury
3.76/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Have had many, many, of these along the way. Including in Ireland but my most recent was at a local pub on draft, nothing special...

App-Nice red hue to it, decent head.

Sm-I do not find this to be a real enticing is fine.

T-smooth finish, typical red flavor without a ton of bite or aftertaste

MF-not especially impressive, somewhat smooth/silky

D-This is where the beer shines, if you want a smooth, good tasting beer that is not high in ABV, this is a terrific choice for sure. I also recommend buying the ladies this one. It will intrigue them to go into the "good beer" genre with its smooth, user-friendly flavor. Definitely a decent choice at a pub or if the selection is limited where you are drinking...

 737 characters

Photo of trentley87
3.66/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this after a long day sailing on beautiful Lake Michigan. Pours a dark amber with a very small and slightly tan head which quickly dissipated - a very attractive beer nonetheless. Smell was mild with some hops and slight alcohol. Taste was similarly mild but well balanced with just a little sweetness to balance out the hops - refreshing with no lingering aftertaste. Mouthfeel was interesting, in a good way. Highly carbonated but with very tiny bubbles lends this one a creamy feel that finishes clean and slightly dry. Drinkability was excellent and I will enjoy this one again in the future (although this particular night I had some Bell's to sample). :)

 668 characters

Photo of SirChugsAlot
3.15/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - poured a transparent amber color with some blond coloration near the side of the glass with a decent off white head that left some nice lacing on the sides of the glass

S - Smells hoppy with a touch of smoke maybe some coco nothing exciting thus far

T - decent carbonation with a crisp hop taste and a caramel send off. I could tell that the ABV was low (4.5%) without looking after the first sip

M- Crisp and clean went down pretty smooth aftertaste drifted away pretty quickly

D - wouldn't be bad on a hot day but im not going to stock up on this one

$4.50 / bottle at dinner

 596 characters

Photo of Redwood21
3.6/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: It has a nice brown color with an offwhite head that has good retention to it with a lot of sticking

S: malty for sure with maybe some wheat tones as well.

t: a little earthy with some ester and butter-like taste, not bad with a malty finish

M: a lil weak and a little too thin. not bad not great.

D: very drinkable, not muc to it but not bad either.

 365 characters

Photo of pmcadamis
3.1/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I tried this at Sammy's Sports Bar and Grill after a day of driving around Springfield house hunting with my fiance. We wrapped up the day with a visit to Lincoln's tomb (a place that we hadn't visited yet after living in Springfield for nine months) and a burger at Sammy's (which, by the way, is about the only place to get a beer downtown on a Sunday in this town).

A - Light brown to reddish with a nice one finger cap of fluffy eggshell foam.

S - Lightly toasted malt with some gentle herbal hops and some funky off notes that seem a bit cheap.

T - Toasty with some light caramel and toffee flavors and a bigger hop presence than I expected. Lightly toasted malts with some "burning leaves" like hop flavors.

M - Light bodied with a lot of crisp carbonation and an off-dry woody finish.

D - This one is pretty boring, but it makes up for it's lack of distinction with a gentle and tasty drinkability. Nothing special, but I would order this again with a burger.

 981 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.69/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle

A: Amber-red color, almost cola like in appearance, with thick robust head.

S: Biscuity, toffee malts, hints of toastiness, British hops, and sulfur/minerals.

T: Slight taste of toasty malt, with floral hops and hard water, similar to an English pale ale.

M: Creamy, medium-bodied and smooth, may be a tad over-carbonated for the style, but overall very good.

D: Very good, low in alcohol and good taste makes this an easy drinker for a night at the pub, or an evening at home; you can stick with this one for the whole night.

 555 characters

Photo of Nesued
3.71/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Poured a clear amber color with a lively fine carbonation. An ample three-finger off-white to ivory head formed upon pour, with a resolve and retain of about a half-finger. Nicely large bubble lacing remained on the sides after the head resolution.

Smell - A light roasted malt aroma with a bit of a sweet nose as well. Not a very pronouced nose at all. A bit of a yeasty twang as well if you focus.

Taste - A tart initial offering that opens to a malty sweet body. A crisp presence as well with a slight hop bite at the end. Not very much tho and an overall well-rounded body. There is the initial bie tho.

Mouthfeel - A bit thin on the "walk-around" the mouth. A bit fizzy that is a detractor but overall a nice medium-thin body.

Drinkability - This was nice. I expected something less complex and was suprised by how much I enjoyed this beer. For something out of a "mass market" producer, this is a good stable beer. I'm not very diverse on Irish Red Ales and this makes me want to try more. I would very much grab another.

 1,055 characters

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

Poured this pretty beer into a tumbler at 50 degrees. The beer was a nice mohogany amber color with a light brown head that was big fat creamy and mighty fine. Nothing really outstanding about the taste other than it was just really good. Nothing really jumped out at you as far as what it taste like. I would buy again.

 320 characters

Photo of BretSikkink
3.38/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark nutty brown color with somewhat lighter highlighting. Good creamy head, densely packed foam, and nice retention for the whole glassful (and pitcherful).

Very faint nose, big on roasted malt with a little fruitiness. Dry.

Light in body for such a dark ale, there's some astringency and roast bitterness, but not a lot. It's not terribly sweet, a little bit of bittersweet chocolate and toasted malt. Bitterness is noticed, but not a big part of the flavor. Finish lingers but is a little dull.

Nothing special, the US version is very mild and unobtrusive.

 570 characters

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

Nitro-tap at an "Irish" pub (Pogue Mahones) in Toronto, Canada.

A: Amber-copper with an off-white head, very little retention, some lacing.

S: Not much aroma: sweet caramel, a little earthyness, with slight hints of fruity ale esters.

T: Sweet caramel, earthy, slight breadyness and a hint of nuts. There's a pleasant bitterness, but still far too much residual sweetness.

M: Moderate body is creamy, with a syrupy sweet finish.

D: Too much residual sugar for my palate.

 485 characters

Photo of botham
3.95/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a amber brown color, which is slightly transparent. under light, glows a deep ruby with some brown. has a couple fingers of white head that remains for a couple minutes, leaving lacing on the glass.

smell is of hops and alcohol. should be bitter. grains and bready smells are also present, giving the smell a good balance. there is a distinct doughyness to this one. strangely appetizing.

taste is much like the smell. the hops give it a decent amount of bitterness, while the bready and doughy tastes provide a solid background. alcohol is no longer present. relatively dry in the mouth, without overdoing or overcomplicating the taste.

aftertaste is grainy and bread-like. not bad at all. no film is left after swallowing, which is a plus.

mouthfeel is medium-light bodied. the taste does not reflect this, which is good for the drinkability. very smooth.

drinkability is great. this beer delivers the taste of a robust irish ale (though a bit lighter than others), without the heavy body. a good pick for a six-pack.

overall, this brew is very well crafted. the smell and taste are robust, but withdrawn enough to be very drinkable. a tasty irish ale.

 1,178 characters

Photo of acrawf6
3.21/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out rich dark red amber with a frothy slightly tan head.

Smell. Decent malt presence, slightly roasted and tea-like. A touch of hop dryness comes through.

Taste. Malts are dominant and quite sweet...almost cloying for this beer. a touch of nut flavors come out with more slightly sweet tea flavors. Also has some butterness to it. Aftertaste dries up decently.

Mouthfeel. Body is medium/full, but with an initial quite slick and oily sensation, but fills up as it sits in my mouth and becomes quite creamy. For 4.5%, body is fuller than i thought. Certainly one of the more abstract mouthfeels i have encountered.

Overall, not a bad beer by any means, but nothing in it to have you love it, or even like it that much. I find the appearance and the mouthfeel are the best features of this beer, while the smell and the taste (the most important factors imho) are nothing to call home about.

(I also prefer this in bottle rather than tap).

 959 characters

Photo of prototypic
3.35/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It's dark and smoky brown (hint of red when held to the light). Head is foamy and about one finger. Retention was decent and lacing was light.

Smell: Primarily caramel malts. A bit of a sweet smell. A bit smoky or toasty. Light on the nose. Not much in the hops department.

Taste: Not bad. It has a toasted nut flavor mixed with caramel or toffee malts. It's sweet. A bit grainy. Not very hoppy or bitter. Just a straight forward malty beer.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light bodied, pretty well carbonated, and smooth. All in all, it's drinkable. There's much better out there, but I'd take it over a number of beers found in most bars. Overall, decent beer. Certainly worth a try.

 704 characters

Photo of 1fastz28
3.3/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a very dark amber color with a thick foamy head, tons of malt in the aroma, i almost smell a slight hint of licorice, Tastes a bit more chocolatey, or caramel like than it smells, still malt is present. no real hop taste at all, aftertaste is coffee like. decent beer, alot of folks have compared this stuff to newcastle. dont know how they dont seem anything alike and i'd rather have a dog for the same price.

 417 characters

Photo of garymuchow
3.66/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I believe I reviewed this before it was listed under Guinness brewing as well.
Nice simple straightforward malty character. Little of sweet water note. Very slight hop quality.
Very attractive beer. Deep amber pushing dark red and brown. Water clear. Nice solid off-white head with good stamina.
Light in flavor. Malty, but as much towards pale malt flavors than that of darker grains. That changes as it warms and the bolder grains make a stronger appearance. Mild bitterness rounds out the drink and lingers into a decent tasting dryness that lasts really rather long. Certainly leaves the tongue desiring another coating of liquid.
Average body for style, but carries a watery quality at times too. Maybe a little think. Fully carbonated and probably too much, especially considering the style and that it's an ale from Ireland.
Overall this is a drinkable beer and worth a go, especially if the selection is limited. Definitely lacks sweetness, which I wish it had a touch of. Dryness and carbonation seem a bit much, but the flavors should match many meals quite well.

 1,079 characters

Photo of monkeybutler
3.98/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm surprised this beer is considered an "Irish Red ale", as it's not especially red, but maybe that's just a minute detail. Anyway, this beer is something very inoffensive and relatively inexpensive that I buy a 6 pack of every now and then.

Poured into a pint glass, and it's showing more of an amber color than a red one, it has a one finger head and excellent lacing.

Smell is of malt and of trace amounts of hop aromatics. I can't put my finger on anything specific, but it's definitely in the fuggles, ek goldings arena.

Taste is good, if a bit bland. This beer really doesn't hold a candle to other british mild styles that I would put it up against. The maltiness is barely there, along with the hoppiness, but they are balanced, and that's about all you can ask for an $8 sixer.

It's definitely a session beer, just not a very compelling one.

Mouthfeel is definitely on the watery side, and I'm not chewing this beer with any effort at all. It's down the gullet.

Drinkability, yeah.

Like I said, this beer exists, and it doesn't hurt you, and it has enough flavor to be respectable. It beats the hell out of macros, and it does fine against Bass, but not against a good esb or pale ale.

 1,219 characters

Photo of pittvkyle7
3.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Didn't get a good look at this one cause I drank this out of it's bottle at a family party.

kind of a hoppy smell

Well balanced, sweet first but the hops come through after. A good laid back flavor. It was better than I thought.

Light, a lot of carbonation though

very drinkable. I would recommend this for a setting like a family party.

 349 characters

Photo of BeerBelcher
2.74/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This is a rather roasty and slightly sour barley wine, with some fairly nice coffee notes but a not-superlative flavor.

It poured a dark red with lots more head than barley wines usually have. Aroma is deep and a malty smell that is roasty rather than sweet and has some sourness. Flavor is coffee up front and at the finish, with some out-of-place sour notes. Mouthfeel is fairly carbonated, again not typical of the barley wine style. Not bad.

 448 characters

Photo of auxiliary
4.03/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance - Dark amber color, nice head when poured. Didn't stick around. Some of it floated at the top. Lace stuck around.

smell - Malt flavor, with a little bit of hops

taste - Nice malt taste, with a hint of hops at the end.

mouthfeel - Medium body and carbinated.

drinkability - I like irish red ales, the few that I have tried. Add this to list. I enjpyed this.

 382 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
3.18/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a brown/red color with an inch frothy white head. Head retention and lacing are both good. It smells like sweet malt, nuts and a bit of citrus. The beer tastes the same way to me, but it has a bitter/sour finish. Mouthfeel is light, and has a bit too much carbonation. Drinkability is OK, but not impressive at all. Overall I think it's an average beer. I'd drink it again, but it's not a beer that I would make a regular choice of mine.

 452 characters

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.51/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- dark semi-translucent (mostly transparent) brown/red body with thick creamy head. great head retention.
S- sweet malt and citrus. a hint of bitterness.
T- sweet malt with hints of nuts and carmel. I tad bitter at the end.
M- light to medium weight body with heavy carbonation. Not as smooth as I would expect.
D- this is a great beer but not the best irish red I have had. Its pretty drinkable. The taste does get better as the carbonation fades away so keep that in mind if you pick this one up. It gets much smoother and enjoyable.

 540 characters

Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale from Guinness Ltd.
3.48 out of 5 based on 2,712 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.