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: 682
Photo of dbrauneis
3.39/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on nitro-tap at The Lucky Shamrock at the airport (PEK) in Beijing, China

A: Pours an opaque creamy copper to clear garnet red in color as the nitro-pour settles out with some light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a two finger tall creamy beige head that has very good retention properties, keeping a full finger of head in an even layer over the surface of the beer for the entire drinking of the beer. Huge amounts of lacing are observed, essentially coating the entire glass.

S: Mild in aroma with some notes of caramel malts, nuts, and floral hops.

T: Extremely mild in flavor but very enjoyable - there are some light hints of caramel and toffee malts. There is also a light hint of bitterness which does not linger from the floral hops and some nuttiness.

M: Light bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Very creamy.

O: Extremely easy to drink but not a lot of specialness in the taste or smell - this beer's best qualities are the appearance and the mouthfeel. Definitely enjoyable.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.2/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. poured via nitro-tap in a clear plastic cup at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. From notes.

A: Pours a reddish copper color with the typically gorgeous waterfall effect from nitro-tap. The head is an (amazing) two finger offwhite color with near perfect retention and an incredible texture. Tons and tons of lacing are left on the glass. Exactly what I'd expect from a nitro-infused beer - truly stunning to look at, even in a dinky plastic cup.

S: ...and here's the bad part of the nitro-tap. There's very little in the way of aromatic qualities. Some caramel malts here, a little cream there, and that's about it. Nothing about it smells unpleasant, but there's so little aroma, that it's hard to give it a good score here.

T/M: It's weird, there isn't much flavor at all, but for some reason, this just works. The milquetoast character means it's hella drinkable, albeit uninspired. There are some caramel malt notes, cream, nuttiness, and the faintest touch of fruit; otherwise it seems kind of bland. The feel is that of a typical nitro beer, very thin, watery texture (and even flavor), but with a subtle touch of dryness that aids drinkability without drying the tongue too much.

O: This is NOT a beer that will impress you through your tastebuds. Rather, it's the kind of beer - like draft Guinness - that only works in the right situation; yet when it does, it inspires the ability to put down multiple pints of this in a single sitting. Accept it for what it is, and you might enjoy it a lot. It gets high marks here just because it's so easy to down.

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Photo of heygeebee
3.46/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From notes.

Pours a clear copper with dense white head. Takes a while for clarity to emerge after pour.

Subdues aromas due to serving temp

Toffee malts on nose, add in some caramel to taste

Mouthfeel very light.

Interesting to compare after a Guinness - much lighter all in all.

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Photo of TubaManJack
3.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Always helped by a proper pint glass, has a moderate brown color with reddish undertones. (Like most bars there wasn't an abundance of light) Its thick creamy nitrogen head did not diminish throughout my consumption. It was weird to have that much "cream" left at the tail end of the beer.

S- Moderate and almost muted. However the nitrous sensation was there along with the notes of malt.

T - A slight note of bitters(hops) but overwhelming malt taste. The nitrogen body was smooth and creamy. So I propose this beer be renamed a thick Irish Cream. Its is so thick that it seems to have a delay between when you tip the glass back to when it begins to pour, just kidding its a thicker beer than most of what I have encountered in the past.

M- A lingering bitterness that is floating on the nitro-body. Towards the end of the sitting, the head began to be repetitive and almost airy in relation to its initial character.

D- A refreshing change from Guinness and when the bar runs out of it then you shouldn't be disappointed. The body gets in the way of its endless drinkablity, however I enjoy the style and its certainly more friendly per pint then Guinness. If you like Guinness than revel in a new found beer.

Overall- I loved this beer from the tap and from the can. This might just be my favorite session beer that isn't a microbrew.

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Photo of hoserking
3.26/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On a nitro tap in Kilkenny.

Very reminiscent of Wexford Irish Cream (which I didn't see at all in Ireland or the UK). No real strong aroma, taste is very dry and bitter with a touch of malt sweetness.

I love this style, the beer isn't magnificent there is just something about it that I really enjoy. The mouthfeel ties the beer together and the off flavored bitterness is fixed by the super creamy mouthfeel.

Definitely worth trying on tap.

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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 Murrhey
2.77/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured on-tap at the Auld Irisher in Orange, CA. Reviewed from notes.

A- Finger and a half foamy head. Reddish color. Decent carbonation. Great retention.

S- Golden bodied malts. Really subtle smell. I'll drink it down a tad and smell again. Has some skunky and darker hop notes. Not great.

T- Some lighter malts and nutty flavors. Ok tasting but not very good.

M- Creamy and thick bodied. Pretty good feel.

O- Passable beer. Might be a good standby when Guinness runs out.

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Photo of thehyperduck
2.97/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

440 mL can picked up at the LCBO. Haven't had this since it was bought by Diageo - in fact it was one of my first reviews, back before it came under the Guinness umbrella.

Pours an amber-red colour; cloudy at first as the bubbles slowly settle out, but completely clear once this process is over. Beautiful light-beige head that reminds me of whipped cream, with great retention as it lasts for most of the drink. Malty aroma is quite faint like with many of these nitro ales, so it's hard to identify any specific qualities. If forced to be more detailed, I'd describe it as creamy and lightly toasted I guess.

The flavour is equally muted, or 'mild' if you prefer. Lightly toasted bready malts are pretty dominant, with a light toffee sweetness not far behind. Pleasant, leafy drying bitterness that comes through in the finish and aftertaste. Like most nitro ales the mouthfeel is creamy and smooth as silk. Still, the body is on the thin side of medium, and rather watery overall. Quite light and easy to knock back.

Inoffensive and straightforward. Optimists might call it mild, while pessimists would probably use a word like bland. Either way, I don't think either side would disagree that it's a smooth brew and not a chore to drink. Wouldn't recommend this to beer geeks, but if you're a fan of nitro beer in general this could be worth the time.

Final Grade: 2.97, a comfortable C. If I had to choose between this and Guinness it'd be a tossup; they're of comparable quality but I doubt I'd ever be in a situation where nothing better is available. Kilkenny is just more cream and less roast. I wouldn't turn this down, but it's not something I'd want to be a staple... at least it makes for a decent St. Patrick's Day session.

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Photo of DexterP236
3.69/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Came out a cloudy amber - and the head dissipated all too fast.

S - A bit of a grainy aroma, maybe some maltiness, light hops

T - Caramel, a little fruity, but quite bitter too but not too heavy

M - Velvety, smooth, light carbonation

O - good beer, but not something I feel is worth having too often

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Photo of djura
3.61/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Clear amber color,medium carbonation,nice sweet darker foam,lasting all the way.

S-Mostly sweet aromas with coffee,and roast cereals.

T/M-Refreshing bitterness,a bit watery taste,low carbonation. Usual average taste for red beers.

O-Very refreshing,but nothing 2 special about this beer.

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Photo of leaddog
3.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a semi-hazy copper brown with an extremely dense cream-coloured head, about 1-2 finger width (very milky and smooth, clings to the glass as you drink).

Smell - Condensed milk, vanilla, light sweet orange.

Taste - Very mild flavour with a creamy taste. Very light sweetness and bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied with minimal carbonation. Very smooth and creamy texture, as the name suggests. A tad on the watery side.

Overall - One of the brews I like to revisit once in a while, when I'm looking for a mild brew. A decent cream ale, but could use a little work to avoid wateriness. Beautiful appearance is noteworthy.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
3.46/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Re-post from my hacked "jmkratt" :(

look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On nitro tap poured to a pint glass.

A - It has a nice copper/amber color to it with a nice creamy off-white head that dies down slowly and has nice lacing. The nitro cascade looks great with this translucent brew.

S - Perhaps the nitro muted the aromas a bit but there isn't a lot here with hints of roasted malts, caramel notes and a bit of earthy hops.

T - Begins with a roasted malt taste with slight caramel notes and some fruity notes. The hops also add a bit of bitterness at the end. Surprisingly little flavor, I expected more. It wasn't bad but not outstanding.

M - The nitro adds a nice creamy smooth mouthfeel, which works wells with the style.

O - A bit of a disappointment but it isn't terrible. I liked the nitro smooth creaminess which compliment the malty caramel flavor well.

Serving type: nitro-tap

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Photo of bylerteck
2.87/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pint at some Scottish pub. From notes.

A - Poured with one finger of creamy and pillowy white head. Dark copper colour. No visible carbonation. Cunky lace and good half finger of retention.

S - Malty. Really mild.

T - Earthy, a little sweet, musty, malty, some toffee.

M - Creamy, minimal carbonation. Medium body and a sweet finish.

O/D - Smooth. Extremely uncomplex. Simple and drinkable, yet in no way interesting.

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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 rangerred
2.73/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served from a nitro tap.

Poured with a large creamy head typical of beers served on nitro. The beer was a dark reddish brown.

Smelled of some caramel malt along with a sour smell that's typical of irish beers.

Taste was extremely sour/bitter. More than I was expecting. There is some caramel flavor in there but it is all overpowered by the bitterness.

Not a very well balanced beer and one that I would probably not seek out again.

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Photo of airforbes1
2.74/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes taken this morning.

"Oh my God, they imported Kilkenny!" This is the first time I've seen this beer in the US, so I had to try it, even though it's only 10:35 as I sit here at the airport. I just learned this pint will cost me $10.88, so it better be good!

It has the same cascade effect as Guinness Draught and even seems slower to settle. Pours a clear red-brown color and has a weak, toasty aroma.

The taste is pretty watery. In fact, the watery taste offsets the creamy head. The taste that's there is toasty and a little buttery. It's easy drinking, at least.

This was worth trying once, but I'd much rather have a Tetley's if I wanted a lighter ale on nitro.

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Photo of oldirtycaffrey
3.16/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark copper with an inch foamy off-white head. Leaves a good amount of lacing along the glass. Smell is sweet and malty, but the taste is a little flat. It's smooth and creamy, but just not a lot of character to it. If you're looking for a smooth ale, I'd go with Tetley's or Boddington's Pub Ale. This one pales in comparison.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Appearance - Light brown colour with a large size creamy beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is a lot of lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, pears, tea, caramel

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a low amount of carbonation and it feels very creamy on the tongue. I can taste caramel mixed with notes of tea and a bit of a pear juice sweetness. It ends with a malty slightly sweet aftertaste.

Overall - This is the type of beer that I feel like I could drink a dozen of with no issues. It goes down way too easy and it has a fantastic appearance in the glass. The taste is pretty subtle, but that adds to the drinkability.

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Photo of skypup
3.45/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Irish pub in Amberg

Poured into a Kilkenny Pint glass.

A- Deep Copper color, short coarse head, not much retention. No lacing.

S- Toasted malts, cereal grain, some hops and floral notes

T- Very light toasted malts, some sweetness and herbal notes, very watered down. Mellow bitter aftertaste.

M- Very mild bodied, still velvety.

D- Not a bad beer, but doesn't hold a candle to some other Irish beers.

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Photo of nickthetick
2.97/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: pours a copper, almost rusty amber color into a nonic pint with the pretty cascade of bubbles and nice hockey puck of creamy, khaki colored head. This is a pruddy beer.

S: some sweet caramel malt and a bit of wheat is about it.

T: it is creamy, there is almost a lactose taste to it in the beginning then a toffee note comes and chases it away before it is discernible. I don't know what keeps this beer from being too sweet but it defiantly walks that line.

MF: a bit heavy and chewy, but I suppose that's the point. Not dry but defiantly not refreshing.

O: a good "irish red" from the nitro, but I'd take a Guinness for what I got for this and be happier.

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Photo of dansmcd
3.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A clear cut head that is the softest, creamiest imaginable. The body is creamy to deep red in colour and darkens as the head settles. Consistent layer of lace envelopes the glass. Gorgeous.

S - Malt, caramel, grain.

T - Disappointingly plain and diluted. Not unpleasant but lacking in flavour. No hop bitterness at all and faint biscuit and caramel in the malt.

M - Beautifully velvety smooth and creamy.

O - Nothing big or complex about this but a real looker and ice-cream smooth for what that's worth and perfectly sessionable.

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Photo of NatalBrewingCo
3.69/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased in Durban South Africa. Tall nitro-can poured into a Guinness glass.

a - Pours a dark ruby/brown color with a lovely cream head.

s - Very muted smell but with hints of roasted malt and caramel.

t - Roasted malts and caramel. Mellow and creamy finish. Earthy notes but with a slightly metallic tinge that may be attributed to the can.

m - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Very smooth.

o - Very pleasant and drinkable macro-beer. Definitely one of the best imports available in South Africa, and worth the price. This is the first time I've had it in the nitro-can, although it still came off rather well I would still prefer draught.

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Photo of jsprain1
2.99/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a solidly red color with slightly brown note. Head is that nice nitro fine bubbled three finger froth.
S- Smell is pleasant, but virtually nonexistant. Earthy with a lightly caramalized presence.
T- The taste is lightly caramel, some earthyness nad a faint toast character.
M- The mouthfeel is that nice smooth creamyness that comes from a nitro tap. Light in body, smooth all the way.
O- It's easy drinking, but the depth and volume of flavor is not there.

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Photo of kjyost
3.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

440 mL Nitro Can with an indecipherable canning date poured into a flared pint glass.

A: There is not too much better than a nitro'ed beer to look at. Thick, rich creamy white head with tons of lacing. The body is brownish red and clear, though without much carbonation left.
S: Fairly subdued nose, though with a bit of vegetal on it. This is the bane of nitro'ed beers. The thick head releases next to no aroma...
T: Surprisingly good. Light caramel notes with a hint of sweetness coupled with light earthy hop flavours that are well paired. A well balanced beer.
M: Creamy and smooth. Incredibly low carbonation. Light lingering sweetness.
O: Save the missing and vegetal nose a winner for what it is. I wasn't expecting much and it delivered above expectations.

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Photo of Preismj
3.6/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

beautiful pour on this...nice brown amber body with minimal bubbles popping from the floor of the glass, but the head is rich and creamy. Looks like a frother took hold of some good heaving whipping cream and laid it on the top. Sits throughout the entire drink and even when it's gone. Beautiful look to it.

Smell is blocked slightly by the heavy head, but there are hints of mild roasted malt. Taste is low key. Barley, wheat, roasted smokey flavors pop hear and there. Hints remind of guiness...slightly coffee flavoring. The feel is what does it for this brew. Incredibly rich and creamy thick feel in the mouth. Little to no carb from the base of the beer, but my goodness every sip captures some of the huge head on top and it is like a nice iced coffee that has been frothed. Overall, a nice cream ale. Really lives up to in on the feel, but could certainly use a bit more in the flavor and smell department...especially with the lack of carbonation in the beer itself.

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Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale from Guinness Ltd.
3.41 out of 5 based on 682 ratings.
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