Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale | Guinness Ltd.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
791 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: 791 | Ratings: 2,690
Photo of xnicknj
3.11/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

on tap at the dublin house in red bank

Pours a dark auburn color with some mahogany and red hues. A thicker beige head retains well, leaving thick rings of lacing on the glass while drinking.

Scents of breaded, doughy malt with slightly sweet caramel. A faint hop profile with that atypical macro tinge.

Doughy malt and caramel sweetness. Soft hoppiness balances out the malts. Perhaps a light note of dark fruit?

Decent medium body and carbonation, a bit creamy and smooth on the tongue. You know, this really isn't THAT bad, especially compared to other macro offerings at bars like this. I wouldn't go out and buy it, but I'd drink one if there wasn't many craft options.

 681 characters

Photo of mynie
4.15/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark rust color. Very, very dark. Very clear, as well, and with a head that's gigantic and sticks around. Nice pours for an Irish Red.

Very intense and crip fruity grain. Half-pasteurized. Like, it takes the good fruity crispness part of pasteurization but leaves behind all the gassy chemical badness.

Tastes like a wonderfully fruity and crisp grain all throughout. Sweeter up front, big fruits like red apples and white grapes. This moves into a middle that's lightly spiced by British hops and ends with a caramely sweet finish. Wow, that's impressively complex!

To me, nothing confirms my patriotism more than my own taste in beer. No matter how much I may try and hide it, I am at hearta gaudy, excess-loving American. As such, I have to say that I'm more partial to the overblown, highly-hopped American versions of the Irish red style.

Even taking this into consideration, though, I can't help but give this brew some very high marks. It manages a wonderful complexity without going overboard on anything, it's interesting without being punishing. It is, simply put, a wonderfully brewed beer.

 1,119 characters

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.

 1,110 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.93/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Comes out of the tap a nice clear warm brown, almost mahogany, with a decent pale beige head. Aroma is malty with hints of caramel and spice. Flavor is mainly malty and has undertones of toffee and caramel, and just a touch of cloves. Texture is quite smooth and fairly fizzy and jazzy, as a beer should be.

 307 characters

Photo of jera1350
3.23/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Maroonish color with a creamy fluffy head. Smells pretty light. Some grain and light caramel malt. Taste is light. Some bitter hops, grain, a bit of caramel. Feels thinner, a bit watered down and slightly flat. A tad creamy. Not the best crafted red. Drinks easily, kind of like water. Average beer at best.

 307 characters

Photo of Durge
3.46/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Virtu's in Waterbury, CT, this well known brew poured into the pint glass a dark carmel color with a giant, slightly off-white head, and lots of thick lacing. The aroma is yeasty grass hop bitterness and caramel malt. Not too complex but decent enough. The flavor is very consistent with the aroma, grassy tartness with thin malt background. Peppery carbonation, fairly thin and refreshing, pretty easy drinking if you like the tart side of ales. Not bad but nothing exciting to me.

 492 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear garnet color with a thick off-white large bubbled head. Surprisingly nice staying power and lacing. A nice looking brew.

Roasty malts, weak coffee and a bit of sulfur in the nose. Not exactly a great sniffer here.

Fairly watery roasted and toasted malt flavor profile. Overly carbonated and lager-esqe mouthfeel. It is actually pretty unoffensive and has just enough flavor to keep it somewhat interesting. A decent Irish poundable beer. Pint after pint is easily attainable with Smithy's...not bad at all.

 522 characters

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

This beer has a nice brownish red color and has a nice bit of head.

The smell has a lot of malt

The taste is the best part of the beer. It has a nice amount of malt and has a great after taste.

The mouth feel is good, but not great. It isnt the smoothest beer ever, but still very easy to drink.

This use to be one of my go to beers. I don't get it very often anymore, but it sure is nice during the hot summer days.

 420 characters

Photo of KarlHungus
2.48/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This brew pours a clear dark red color. The head is two-fingers in height, and recedes slowly into decent lacing. The aroma is of malty and mildly spicy. The taste is amazing, but not in a good way. I am amazed at how a beer this dark can have such little flavor. There is absolutely nothing there while the beer is in my mouth, and the aftertaste of caramel malt is very mild. The mouthfeel is overcarbonated, which might account for some of the lack of flavor. It is also very light in body. Overall, this beer is a major disappointment. I will not buy this again.

 566 characters

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

On tap at The Claddagh in Franklin Park. Notes from 6/3/09.

This brew is a clear coppery color with respectable head retention and lacing.
The smell is nothing complex but it's pretty good. There's a nice mix of hops with caramel and toffee malt and some grains.
The caramel malt is up front in the flavor, pretty well-balanced by the hops backing. Bitterness is light and there's a toasted grains flavor as well.
Body is light to medium. It's smooth and fairly creamy, and some active carbonation adds a little crispness as well.
This one's not complex, but it's got a nice mix of hops, malt and grains and a good balance. This one's my favorite of all the Guinness-produced brews.

 683 characters

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

A: Pours a dark, ruddy amber with a thick, pillowy off-white head that laces deep into the glass. Really a nice looking ale.

S: Earthy aromas of cocoa, chocolate, chalk, cream, and peppery ale hops are present on the nose. Nice malt character.

T: Opens malty and mildly tart with notes of coffee, tobacco, moss, moist earth, heavy cream, chalk, minerals, cocoa, vanilla bean, leather, and peppery, herbal hops. The finish is dry and clipped with notes of earthy, peppery hops, cream, coffee, and leather.

M: Medium-bodied, firm, and dry with subtle, prickly carbonation. For an ale of such a modest strength, it is surprisingly filling.

O: This is a very nice Irish red ale. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it is solid and widely available. I think this will remain a standard in my refrigerator.

 803 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
2.83/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a yellow-ish/ copper color with an off-white head. In the aroma, a caramel sweetness. In the taste, again caramel sweet maltiness. A light body, with a nice bitterness in the mouthfeel, and a dry, caramel maltiness in the aftertaste. A nice caramel presence, yet nothing too exciting, a nice OK stand-by.

 310 characters

Photo of Fatehunter
3.91/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Two fingers of head. Clear copper colored body.
Smell is a wet hay and barnyard scent, which turns out nice.
Taste is malt sweetness balanced with a nice dose of bitterness.
The texture fits well. Medium body with moderate carbonation.
A solid ale that hits the spot.

 267 characters

Photo of MattyG85
3.98/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep and clear amber ruby red with lots of rising bubbles. Impressive five finger off white head with very good retention. Lots of lacing sticking around the glass.

Smell: Sweet malts that are slightly roasted with plenty of caramel and toffee. A very bready and biscuity aroma. Light hint of earthy hops in the background. A pretty nice smell of bread.

Taste: Sweet bready pale malts with notes of caramel, toffee, and wheat grains. Somewhat roasty like darker bread. Light taste of earthy hops towards the finish. Fairly simple but the malt taste is solid.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Creamy, crisp, and somewhat drying in the finish.

Overall: A nice tasting Red Ale. On the lighter side but good for the style.

 850 characters

Photo of gford217
3.86/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, deep red with a dense off-white head that lingered the entire session and left an absolute wall of lacing from top to bottom. Definitely one of the best looking irish reds I have ever seen. The smell is sweet and mainly malts with caramel and nuts. The taste has a strong malty sweetness as well but has a little bitterness in the finish to balance it out a little. The mouthfeel was a little over carbonated but still fairly smooth. I was actually pleasantly surprised by this one and thought it was very drinkable.

 530 characters

Photo of Gmann
3.36/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear brown color with a sudsy off-white head that became rocky as it slowly settled into a puffy cap. The aroma is light, some caramel malt and mineral water. Light toffee flavors are forefront, honey, and mineral water, kind of heavy on the mineral water. The feel is light, watery and quite fizzy, finishes slightly dry. An average brew, some light flavor mixed with fizzy mineral water. Easy to swill.

 413 characters

Photo of DrinkSlurm
2.6/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It tasted very flat with little head and flavor. Although smooth, the taste wasn't for me. However, this is coming from someone with an appetite for a "paler ale". Nevertheless, very little aroma and an almost bitter taste.
Overall...an average beer. A bar that carries Smithwick's should also have Guinness....I say just go with the Guinness.

 343 characters

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

Beer 2 for St. Pats day. Poured bottle to pint glass.

Pours a dark crimson red, bordering on brown with a little white foam. A 1 cm layer remains floating atop the beverage.

Light caramel sweet smell. Minor.

Taste is the same - sweetness prevails. Hint of spices. Somewhat watery in the mouthfeel. Did I say sweet?

Overall a decent brew, but the sweetness overstays its welcome.

 382 characters

Photo of bubseymour
3.18/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

I had a Smithwick's on tap last night. Not quite as good on tap (in a plastic cup mind you) as the bottle I remembered from a year or 2 ago (or maybe my palet changed).

The taste seemed somewhat lacking in flavor and it left a very dry aftertaste.

It is somewhat watery as well.

Its an easy beer to drink but I don't like the way it makes me thirsty afer drinking it.

 371 characters

Photo of DmanGTR
4.1/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Tir na Nog in Philly.

A - poured coppery brown with a foamy 3/4" head that retained nicely with decent lacing in a pint glass

S - herbal hops, roasted malts, caramel malts, bready

T - a little more bitterness than the smell depicted but in a good way. Roast/smoke/herbal mix that makes for an interesting taste. Good malty backbone to support it.

M - light/medium bodied with light carbonation. Quite smooth

D - highly drinkable, highly sessionable.

Overall - Quite decent and definitely more creamy on tap than from the bottle. However, I do enjoy the bottles more. The tap makes it a bit too uncarbonated and a little too silky for the Smithwick's bottles I'm used to. Definitely sessionable though. Thank you, Ireland!

 747 characters

Photo of buschbeer
3.28/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured into a Smithwith's pint glass to an abundant off white head. It is dark amber in color. The smell is toffee malt primarily. The taste is caramel. It is a rather bland beer. I'm thinking I should have went with Guinness today. Oh well, it is very easy to drink.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

 295 characters

Photo of Reagan1984
3.14/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Grand Canal prior to the Celtics game. One of the few interesting beers on the menu.

Is this Guinness Light? Or Guinness with Training wheels?

Came with a thick creamy head that sat atop the reddish amber ale. This head had a great deal of retention and slowly coated the entire glass with lacing. Almost perfect rings lined the glass marking each and every sip.

Aroma?? Aroma?? A little of the mineral like, yeasty, roasty aroma that I actually associate with Guinness.

Light roasted flavor with some light cracker/caramel notes... A bit grainy. Not very interesting to be honest.

Mouth feel was creamy and smooth. Drinkability was decent, but not a lot of complexity here.

 702 characters

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!

 1,023 characters

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

Smithwick's has a thick, beige, whipped cream-like head, and a very clear, copper appearance, with medium carbonation. The aroma is a light malt, and the taste is mostly mellow breadiness, with just a touch of hops in the under-taste. Mouth-feel is light and watery, and Smithwick's finishes smooth and refreshing. This is a very drinkable Irish Ale, and I would recommend giving it a try. RJT

 393 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

Smithwick's Imported Premium Irish Ale from Guinness Ltd.
3.48 out of 5 based on 2,690 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.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!