Smithwick's Ale
Smithwick's Brewery / Irish Ale Breweries Ltd

Smithwick's AleSmithwick's Ale
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Irish Red Ale
Ranked #237
Ranked #47,161
3.38 | pDev: 15.98%
Smithwick's Brewery / Irish Ale Breweries Ltd
Smithwick's AleSmithwick's Ale
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Reviews: 325 | Ratings: 764 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Thirstytraveler
4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Full disclosure; I grew up drinking Guinness, so I am no doubt influenced by great memories, as this has a similar but lighter and more malty taste. Mild caramel notes, slightly sweet. Very nice light red color, nice head without too much carbonation. This is my go to beer now that it is locally available at Traders Joes.

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Photo of milkshakebeersucks
2.87/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

This one has been popping up in the area since St Paddy's Day is approaching so thought I"d try again after many years. Some things don't change much.

Deep amber with a decent clingy head. Slightly nutty aroma but nothing too enticing. Mild, inoffensive taste that lacks any distinction. Blah. Now back to drinking locally.

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Photo of dd53grif
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear red brew with a foamy head that lasts quite a while. Aroma was sweet, a bit fruity. No hop bitterness. Taste was crisp and fruity. Good mouth feel.

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dd53grif from Michigan, Aug 02, 2019
Photo of dukeandduke
3.2/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

6/24/17 (Chicago). 16 oz draft pour into standard pint glass. $5.50 @ NW Vaughn’s. Dark copper pour, light tan head and carbonation. Light, sweet malt aroma. Mild sweet malt and chocolate taste. Light mouth feel and texture, minimal carbonation. Overall good offering.

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dukeandduke from Illinois, May 13, 2019
Photo of RJLarse
3.36/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

An average red ale. Mahogany color, thin head not much of an aroma to speak of. Taste is malt forward, low bitterness. Probably a good English version of the style, but I like a little more hop presence.

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RJLarse from Washington, Mar 18, 2019
Photo of EMH73
3.37/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a reddish amber with a poorly retained half inch white head that left little lacing. Smells of malt. Tastes of sweet malts, a hint of hops, nuttiness and caramel. Nothing complex about the taste and nothing offensive. Light to medium bodied and carbonation, watery mouth feel, no bitterness to speak of.

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EMH73 from New York, Nov 23, 2018
Photo of JimboBrews54
4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sweeter than Guinness but not as draught. This one does have some bitter malts, this also is balanced out again by the sweetness that helps those roasted malts come out. I would still pick it over Guinness and this is a great introduction once again to the category.

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JimboBrews54 from Michigan, Oct 08, 2018
Photo of Amendm
3.42/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

11.2-oz bottle poured heavily into a 16-oz. mug produced a beige 1/2 finger head which quickly shrinks to ring with moderate lacing.
Brownish amber color looks red-amber in front of light.
Faint smell, some sweet and roasted malt.
Taste follows with a slightly bitter hop start, a semi sweet malty middle and a dry clean finish. A slight spicy after taste lingers.
Light body, a little watery with moderate carbonation. Alcohol is well hidden.
Balanced and easy drink, not as malty as it could be.

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Amendm from Rhode Island, Oct 01, 2018
Photo of Kayakguy
3.46/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours and looks nice with a ruby color and nice head. Take a picture because those are the best qualities. It does not have any smell that is noteworthy. The taste is very balanced which is a euphemism for bland. The alcohol is only 4.5 abv so you could drink several pints of this ale if quantity and volume are your goals. I my neck of the woods we call this a “ Lawn Mowing Beer” which means it is good for quenching your thirst and you can still operate machinery.

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Kayakguy from Massachusetts, Sep 04, 2018
Photo of Zeteckiller
3.66/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

One of the first beers I ever drank so I kind of have a soft spot for it.

Lovely clear deep red colour with a white foamy head.

Smells a little malty.

Not overly sweet or hoppy, just somewhere in between.

Easy to drink all night.

I have had this on draught and from pint bottles, draught is better but only if the barrel is fresh.

Best pint of this is definitely to be found in the brewery in Kilkenny after the tour.

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Photo of VashonGuy
3.54/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Smithwick's was at nearly every pub in Ireland on our holiday, usually right next to Guinness. When I wanted a change from the usual Guinness, Smithwick was the best option. It's a caramel red ale, with a bit of hoppy bite to it. It doesn't have much complexity, but it goes well with meals, and it's pleasant enough.

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VashonGuy from Washington, May 18, 2018
Photo of Victory_Sabre1973
3.23/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a darker amber color. 1 finger off white head. Retention is good.
The nose is minimal. I get nothing from it.
Taste - is mellow. Slight sweetness. Slight malt. Minimal hops.
Feel is fairly light. Somewhat watery.
So, so beer overall. Nothing to go out of your way for.

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Photo of poisoneddwarf
3.77/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Backlog. 12 oz bottle. Never used to be a fan of Irish Ales (probably due to Killian’s), but these maltier styles are growing on me. Aroma is of roasted molasses. Color is deep, deep red. Tastes of mostly malt, little hop presence. Better than I was expecting.

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S: smells rich and malty with light toast and a hint of spice and some dried grass in the background. The malt aromas are medium and the toast and spice aromas are medium low.

L: pours an alluring brilliant copper amber to light copper brown under a moderate sized cream colored foam cap with moderate retention.

T: creamy, spicy palate with moderate malt, a trace of nuts, and moderate malt and hop spice. The malt flavors are fairly complex with a light sweetness and a hint of caramel. The bitterness is mild and spicy and just enough to keep the beer from being cloying.

F: Smithwick's is a creamy beer with a medium light body and slightly below average carbonation.

O: The fresher this beer is, the richer and more nuanced the malt flavors and aromas. Like a fresh cut bouquet of flowers, the malt character dies fast.

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pat61 from Minnesota, Mar 31, 2017
Photo of Squire
3.42/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Dark reddish brown with white cap and decent lacing.

Aroma of caramely malt with a light whif of floral hops.

Taste is a simple combination of sweet malt, hint of toffee and whisp of hops. Can't say what variety of hops but there are some in there. Mildly rich if that makes any sense.

Rather thin texture.

Overall it's not bad for a universally (almost) available brew that's been around long enough to ride on a reputation. Acquaintances who tell me they like this also carry memories of having been introduced to it on draft or very fresh, neither condition of which is available locally. So these are my thoughts subject to revision and extension if I ever come across a better example in the future.

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Squire from Mississippi, Mar 05, 2017
Photo of down_to_clown_69
3.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

Ahhhh Smithwick's. Takes me back to being a wee lad on the Irish shores of Killgehangy. My mum used ter pour it in our bottles. "Makes the kinder grow tough" she'd say. Naturally, I feel a certain kindred as I sip this fine, premium beverage here in our local Irish watering hole. Lit only by a lone candle, this sultry brown ale saddles its way up to me as if she were to say, "Hey there, got any plans later tonight?" To which I would reply with a wink and a nod, "Certainly mam, with you and 11 of your closest friends."

We made love all night, the bar patrons were appalled. I couldn't care less. Here's to Ireland. As they say on the shores of Killgehangy, "Once you go Smithwick's, you never go backwicks."

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down_to_clown_69 from North Carolina, Mar 01, 2017
Photo of WalterFeegis
3.93/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What in the hell does it matter what a beer feels like? I can understand the look being a nice addition and the smell is really only needed right before the first drink, but all that really matters is first Taste and then maybe feel. There have been instances where a beer was so silky smooth it really stood out and should be noted for no other reason that it really felt good. The bottom line is taste and this beer tastes good. I first had Smithwicks at an Irish pub with corned beef and cabbage and it was an excellent combination. Came from a tap. Now, since then I've had it both straight from bottles and poured into glasses and it remain one of my favorites. Leaves a nice taste in my mouth without overpowering everything else. My wife doesn't like dark beers and although this really isn't dark, it's darker then what she normally drinks and she likes it as well. This is a great middle of the road brew.

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WalterFeegis from Arkansas, Oct 07, 2016
Photo of ordybill
4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap. The appearance is a clear light brown color with a large white head. The aroma is full of grains and has a slight sweet scent. The taste is a very good blended grain flavor.

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ordybill from Georgia, May 17, 2016
Photo of Bruno74200
3.21/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

On On tap on several occasion, this one benefits from a nitro draught system thanks to their Guiness owners. Classic Irish red ale with no hop presence and a big influence of the malt. Maybe overly sweet and definitely out of balance. Maybe a bit better than a Kilkenny ale

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Photo of stevoj
2.65/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Nice pour, creamy thick head. All else lacking, kind of weak and watery, unimpressive, tasteless. Now I know why they mix with this Guinness in the Derry pints.

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stevoj from Idaho, Dec 22, 2015
Photo of jeffdr123
3.4/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Drank from draft at Shannon's Irsih Pub in Glen Ellyn, IL. Great pub. OK beer. Looks nice with a short head that lingers. Not much smell to it. Sweet malty taste. A little boring. If sweet tea were carbonated, it would taste a little like this.

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jeffdr123 from Florida, Sep 29, 2015
Photo of erconn0r
4.02/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank when I was in the West of Ireland. Noted it tasted better in different pubs. When carbonation was lower, could taste the maltiness better.. & this was when I enjoyed it best. Great session beer...

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erconn0r from California, Aug 15, 2015
Photo of Geneth
2.43/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

An extremely mediocre red. Didn't get much of a smell out of it (granted, it was a little windy). The color was pretty dark, but tasted light. No complexity to the flavor.

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Geneth from Georgia, Jul 17, 2015
Photo of jancona
3.55/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap for a friend's wedding - Very bready malt flavor and a tad bit of caramel sweetness. A nice session pub brew, but not much more....

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jancona from Pennsylvania, Jul 11, 2015
Photo of Libeertarian
3.28/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Dull, clear copper or bronze with off-white medium-retention, somewhat rocky head. In the bottle, nose is pure bread. In the glass, more bread, some toast, but strong caramel predominates, accompanied by the faintest citrusy or herbal hops. Mostly toasty malts, a little crackery and a little tart, and caramel to the taste, much smaller black pepper, dark fruit, and licorice notes in the back, easily lost after your palate's been desensitized and giving way to a modicum of what can only be described as lemon, likely a combination of flavors. All this followed by just detectable — not even bitter, really — herbal hops in the finish. Gentle bitterness and caramel in the aftertaste. Medium, fine carbonation, bit of a creamy feel in this lighter end of medium-bodied brew. Only mild astringency, and no warming to speak of.

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Smithwick's Ale from Smithwick's Brewery / Irish Ale Breweries Ltd
Beer rating: 77 out of 100 with 764 ratings