Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale | Guinness Ltd.

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Kilkenny Irish Cream AleKilkenny Irish Cream Ale

Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd.

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
An "Irish Cream Ale", though this style does not exist on, and the closest style is Irish Red Ale.

Added by UncleJimbo on 08-23-2009

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Reviews: 161 | Ratings: 681
Photo of Jeffreysan
4.92/5  rDev +44.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

12 oz can, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, clear, golden, amber color with a half of a finger of cascading white-colored head that once settled, formed a half of a finger of creamy, pillowy, head that completely covered the top of the beer. That head was retained throughout the drinking experience.

Aroma: Nice aromas of bready, biscuit-like toasted malt, imparting aromas of freshly baked French baguettes and English muffins, as well as aromas of caramel and toffee, a touch of black pepper and heather.

Taste: Ah, delicious and satisfying! Lots of bready, toasted malt up front, followed by lots of caramel and toffee-like sweetness, hits of black pepper, coriander and floral, grassy, heather and clover. No hops to speak of. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and extremely smooth and creamy, as there is no carbonation what-so-ever. In fact, this beer is nitrogenized with a nitro widget in the can so it’s an extremely smooth and creamy beer. With an ABV of 43.3%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: Kilkenny is one of my favorite Irish beers, one of my favorite beers, period! Malty, sweet, tasty, satisfying, crushable, session-able and delicious!

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Photo of beersareonme
4.63/5  rDev +35.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Winner thru & thru. Nothing but good things to say about this rich cream ale. I like to refer to it as "Guinness Light". When I'm stuck on what to drink, this is always a good go-to pint.

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Photo of t2thebro
4.51/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

16oz nitro can

A- pours typical of nitros lots of froth, tight little bubbles. crystal clear darkish red color.
S- clean pale malt, irish yeast. hints of spicey hops and sweet crystal malt.
T-super smooth. sweetness is light and refreshing. a very nice woodsy/ earthy hop flavor compliments the finish. finishes nice and with a slight dryness.
M- amazing. gotta love nitro
O- an easy drinking smooth beer with a great balance of mild flavors that beg you to take another drink!

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Photo of SDVargo
4.5/5  rDev +32%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Was extremely happy with this beer. Had it while at an Irish pub in Canada. The taste was very good and the creamy head (which never dissipated) gave a sweet taste to counteract any bitterness. My first impression that it would be extremely heavy which at the time would be bad because I was about to enjoy a nice Irish meal, but the beer was much lighter than expected. If I could find this stuff in the US, I'd be getting some for the holidays!

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Photo of kilks
4.46/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

pours a dark amber colour with a beautiful thick creamy head. Attractive aroma. tastes dry with hints of caramel and malt also packed with plenty of hops. this beer goes down extremely smoothly and is highly enjoyable to drink. all in all its a great beer and one of favourites that i'd highly recommend.

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Photo of Alexc11
4.35/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Kilkenny was the first beer I ever drank in an Irish pub. I enjoyed then and still enjoy it today. I particularly like the creamy, silky feel of the beer with little bitter after taste. The cream reminds me of the nice 'crema' (the thick golden cream in an espresso) after a properly brewed espresso. Nice deep golden color with thick cream. It may lack the 'kick' people may look for in a beer but great overall Irish cream ale.

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Photo of ChrisCage
4.34/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Ahh, I finally review the beer that got me interested in drinking this fine beverage in the first holds a special place in my heart :)

A- Well who can argue with the look of this brew? It is a reddish/brown color, is clear, and pours with a beautiful pillow like foam head, created of course by the nitro widget in the can....I wish it cascaded like Guinness does though...oh well. Fine carbonation clings to the side of the glass and gently rises to the top of the brew. the lacing is incredible! A thick foamy layer covers the side of my glass as I drink this down! A fine looking beer for sure!

S- Overall, the aroma is mild, but there are notes of sweet malt, unsalted butter, and just a hint of hop bitterness. Nothing else to report but just a pleasant aroma profile.

T- Starts out smooth and creamy....gentle caramel malts grace the palate, with mild burnt brown sugars and/or toffee. It finishes off with just a slightly bitter leafy hop note, yet creamy....overall just nicely balanced.

M- A solid medium bodied beer....leaning slightly towards full bodied. The carbonation is probably as fine as a person will find in a beer, but it's just enough for this style....closer to an English/Irish draft beer than anything canned.

D- Give this to me any time and I'm gonna enjoy it! With or without food, this is so easy to drink...low alcohol, creamy, sweet throughout, yet bittering enough to just balance the flavor profile. A great starter for anyone just discovering beer outside of BMC types, and just a great session beer!

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Photo of Yoonisaykul
4.03/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I used to drink this all the time. Got kind of bored with it. I sometimes buy it again when I can't find anything special at the store. Decided to review it tonight.

440ml nitro-can poured into it's own Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale pint. One of the first glasses in my collection.

A-Beautiful clear red amber surgically topped with a thick dirty-white head (seriously, the head/liquid separation is perfect.) No bubbles in the liquid. Some decent lacing. Head stays until the last sip. This kind of appearance is part of what really makes me love beer.
S- Fresh Candied Malt. Acid Caramel. Sweet Hops. A little burnt honey.
T- Hazelnut. Almond. Light smooth malt. Hops.
M- Smooth and Creamy. Very tiny tingle. Less watery than I remembered (still a tiny bit watery).
D- High. I've demonstrated this many times. I usually want three at a a time. Great session beer.

Watch your pour and enjoy the beautiful cascade effect.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.03/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks like a red Guinness. The color was a very nice looking clear amber. The head was creamy thick and white from the nitro. The aroma had some sweet malts in there not a whole lot else going on in the way of smell. The taste was very smooth and had some hearty malts in there. The mouthfeel was light and had no carbonation. This beer went down like water to me. I could have drank several of these without any issue for sure. A very nice Irish Red here. Enjoyed it fully.

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Photo of Tom_Vrchek
4.01/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look 2.2/3
- I like bottle design, it was 0.33L 4.3% ABV
- sediment in the bottle was minimal, barely noticeable
- in the glass it looked like standard red ale, color of the drink was darker shade of rust color,
the foam faded quickly and it wasn't strong.
Smell 2.6/4
-scent was weak at first, it takes some time to build up
-after a minute it smells really pleasent, great balance with hop fragrance
Taste 7.9/10
-density of the flavour was great
-aftertaste feels a bit too dry
-you can feel a nice malt
-achieved a balance of malt and alcohol
Overall 3/4
-this was my first red ale, usually I hate trying new things but this was surprisingly good
-after a tons of bad beers these was a quite refreshment
-very good beer I would really recommend it
-you can tell its Irish by its flavour

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.01/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap in a dimpled, 20-oz imperial mug at J. Timothy's in Plainville, Conn.

A: Poured a reddish and orange amber color which arrived with a great deal of nitrous carbonation which built its way into a neat, two-finger head of dense, creamy rich white foam which held up throughout the brew.

S: Smells slightly sweet and bready with hints of floral hops and some aluminum notes.

T: Flavor is semisweet and grainy at first, with a roasted, bitter malt and hop infused buttered bread quality soon to follow. The brew finishes dry with a semisweet and bitter roast, made slightly sweeter and creamy around the edges due to the carbonation.

M: Mouthfeel is creamy and medium bodied at first sip, but the brew itself keeps rather dry and thin. Lends itself well to big quaffs and for washing down food.

D: Really quite sessionable at 4.3% ABV and holds it's place among Tetley's and Boddington's for the best light, nitrous based pub ales I've had. Kilkenny is made more interesting as it drags some of the bittersweet, roasted caramel malt generally characterized by Irish red ales into the mix.

I could see throwing back a few mugs for a nice pub session or just having one to cut the grease associated with a plate of fish and chips.

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Photo of beer-fan-1
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good beer. Looks good on a great pour from a tap. Beertender trained to "write in" the final pour to fill the glass to the top with the perfect head.

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Photo of PhillyStyle
3.98/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Cook McDoogal's Irish Pub, Kokomo, IN:

The beer appeared a dark golden color with a nice one-finger, creamy, white head and a thin cap remained throughout the beer. No lacing to note.

The aroma was light and of roasted malted barley.

The taste was roasted malted barley sweet and was nicely balanced.

The beer had a light feel to it, as expected, but the beer was extremely drinkable, crisp, very smooth and very creamy. I could drink this beer all day every day.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.93/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On nitro-tap 10/9/2010 at Mews Tavern in Wakefield, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright reddish brown color, with a large dense off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains caramelized malts, tea, some fruit and a little bit of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel and a little fruit. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and the nitro-tap brings some creaminess. The hops presence is mild and provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: A little crisp and very smooth, medium body, light carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while if you're in the mood for the style.

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Photo of Matt1516
3.91/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

All hail the floating widget! I love the excitement of cracking one of these open.

The cascade in the glass is also part of the show. A goodly finger of head sits atop and remains till the end. The lacing is medium. It's a rusty penny-coloured dark copper ale. The mouthfeel is very creamy (thus the invented category of Irish Cream Ale). The first taste is sweet malts with a late bitter aftertaste.

The ABV is low at 4.3%--a perfect choice for session drinking. One of my early favourites.

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Photo of LampertLand
3.89/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Kilkenny "Irish Cream Ale" @ 4.3% served cold from a 4pack a 440ml nitro-can
A-from the crack of the can being opened to the initial pour starts off a milk white and cascades into a clear copper brown with a tan head with good retention leavin large lacing along the pint glass
S-toasted malts and a hint of earthy hops
T-lightly buttered toast with a sweet caramel finish
MF-smooth and creamy , medium to thick body ,
Ov-oh so easy to drink , feeling a little rough try a couple of Kilkenny's , your on your way

Cheers LampertLand

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Photo of keeganfrank
3.88/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a nitro tap into a Smithwick's glass. Nice "raining" as the beer settles, leaving a thick, foamy head. Smells sweet and creamy. Flavor is creamy, roasted barley; mildly bitter with hints of black coffee. Unique and very tasty.

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Photo of BeerManDan
3.88/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When poured from the tap, there was not a ton of foam in the glass, but, two tons and after finishing off the pint, there was one ton of lace on the side of the glass. The color was a light hazy cream brown when served, but after a few minutes, the color was of a clear medium goledn brown. The smell of roasted malts and a hint of spice? or fruit? or whatever had a pleasant aroma. The taste was of the sweet/bitter roasted malts and a nice balance of, whatever the components were in the ale. I really enjoyed it, especially being in an Irish Bar in SF.

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Photo of DCon
3.86/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on-tap @ Johnny Haran's in Chicago, IL for $5. Tapped into a Miller Lite Pint Glass from a Kilkenny Tap Handle and enjoyed this only because I had to charge my phone and we were parked next to this venue! :)

Aroma- Huge malt aroma, fresh, and can smell the creamy attributes that will be taking place in the drink. Very mild and faint.

Appearance- Received with a 2 finger, creamy head that stays for a good time. The body is a reddish/amber color wit huge lace that coats the sides.

Flavor- Has a very sweet malt taste and is creamy all the way through the drink. A low bitterness finishes this drink off.

Mouthfeel- Medium-Full Bodied, Medium Carbonation, and leaves a sharp bite of malt on the palate.

Overall Impression- I wasn't ready for this Irish Red Ale to be so good! It was an easy drinking beer and almost felt like there should have been some futbol game in front of me while drinking it. Had good attributes all-around and since I had everything else on-tap, this was a fun one to go.

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Photo of rcfunk
3.85/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

This beer has a special place in my heart. I am looking at it through rose colored glasses so I don't think this review is objective.

When I was an exchange student as a teenager, my friends and I would sit around and drink this beer in an Irish Pub in Madrid. This is the beer that made me love beer. I spent years searching for it in the US and they just started to import it recently into Texas. I have one whenever I see it on draft.

I believe this beer is the purest example of the distinction between a red ale and an amber ale. This distinction is the use of roasted malted barley in the mash but no crystal malt. As a result the beer is very dry.

Yeah, so have a Kilkenny.

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Photo of Apek
3.84/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Obtained from liquor store - refrigerated section. Evaluated the next day.

A: Lovely ruddy amber and sparklingly clear after the nitro cascade settles. Head is a perfect high density foam typical of this serving type - very much like nitro guinness stout

S: Faint malty notes and faint hop aroma (difficult to characterize). This is not a big aroma beer

T: Mild malt, mild bitter. Well balanced but no overwhelming theme. mild bitter aftertaste that fades quickly.

Drinkability - a good session beer, very light and the typical low carb for this style does not "fill" you up.

Overall - A nice refreshing beer - perhaps more typical of an English Mild but not particularly malty.

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Photo of Paisan
3.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Irish and red, it's a cliché, but there it is.
Reddish amber, a silky head that lasts, and lacing that would make Bruges jealous.
Tad of malt, wee bit of caramel, do I detect corn?
Smooth, light, bittersweet, unassuming. Nice on a summer's day. I like it, but not necessarily love it.

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Photo of marcusR111
3.81/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark ale with a red tinge to it. Thick creamy head, bubbles are almost non-visible.

S- Doesn't have much smell but you can definately smell hops

T- Tastes kind of metallic. Hop taste as well

M- Head is very creamy almost like melted ice cream. A little watery, feels just like a Guinness.

D- Could maybe drink 1 or 2 but no more than that in one sitting.

Serving Type: Nitro-can

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Photo of scott451
3.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Very fine textured creamy head similar to Guinness. Sticks around to the end. Medium reddish brown colour. Lots of clingy fine lacing.
S - Malts up front, sweetish, faint spice.
T - Mild malts, some caramel. A mild lingering hop finish.
M - Awesome full round. Creamy. Very nice.
D - Very drinkable. Smooth well balanced flavours.
Surprisingly good compared to the rest of the Guinness "family".

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Photo of WHROO
3.79/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can with widget poured into 500ml mug.
As expected after a slow pour, very soft & creamy 1 finger head...creamy lacing down the glass & as typical with red ales, a deep reddish burgundy - strong tea colour. No real carbonation.
aroma had a little yeasty sweetness, but definately had to search for anything really.
The taste was creamy & as expected...just don't expect a carbonated mouthfeel...& a fraction bitter at back!
Drinkabilty:: Good...& will & have had more

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Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale from Guinness Ltd.
3.41 out of 5 based on 681 ratings.
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