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

310 Reviews
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Smithwick's AleSmithwick's Ale

Brewed by:
Smithwick's Brewery / Irish Ale Breweries Ltd

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 04-16-2002

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Reviews: 310 | Ratings: 700
Photo of stillrockin67
5/5  rDev +47.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So many ales have a bitter aftertaste. Smithwick Irish Ale satisfies long after the swallow. The only problem I have with this ale is locating it. I try to buy as many six-packs as I can when I locate it on the shelves. Nevertheless, eventually the stores seem to just stop stocking this beer.

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Photo of Mike7141954
5/5  rDev +47.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I really like this ale, I will be the only one in this one horse town that will, I rated it all 5's.
I get a toffey taste from it or maybe it's caramel. To me it is a refreshing taste from all the floral taste out there! I would recommend it to my friends.

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Photo of Davidvols
5/5  rDev +47.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite beers. Looks and tastes like a excellent craft beer should - not too hoppy. No strong odor or bitter aftertaste. Drinkable and smooth. No comparison to Guiness, as this one is very drinkable and not "heavy" like Guiness Extra Stout. Great history of brewery as well.

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Photo of far333
4.92/5  rDev +44.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I spent 2 weeks in Ireland, and spent much of that time constantly looking for another pint of this wonderful ale. It's right alongside Guinness in every pub, but can't be found in the UK. I like it better than Bass. Although the Guinness is definitely better in Ireland than in the states, I had a hard time having anything but a Smithwick's. Like Guinness, the Irish version is far superior to the American version. I made the mistake of pronouncing the w in a smokey run-down local pub outside of Cork City the first time I asked for one. That's something you're sure to do only once.

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Photo of kelticblood
4.64/5  rDev +36.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Outstanding! I've had this on tap and in bottle.Perfect appearance with a long lasting head and clear dark amber color.Bubbling carbonation and spotty lacing. Very Refreshing crisp mouthfeel and well-balanced with just the right bitterness and malt flavors.Perfect when are not in the mood for Guinness,Harp,or Bass.Highly drinkable again refreshing.Aroma could be more distinctive.This could easily become a staple beer for me.Medium bodied with a sweet malt finish.

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Photo of JAL67
4.63/5  rDev +36.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What can I say...A GREAT BEER! This is my alltime fav. I have this everytime I go to Ireland. It's the best. Many would descibe it as a light Guinness and that might be appropriate. But not in the taste and you can take down quite a few of these with NO hangover the next day. I can give testimony to this fact. Spent many a night and day enjoying this brew up North with friends and 'tis a grand experience!

Has a great taste and is incredibly NOT filling at all. It has a beautiful red/amber color and a fantastic head with "Irish" lacing throughout the drinking experience. Many have said that Bass is comparable but as the Irish say"musha"(shut up).

So I guess you can tell I just love this beer and I do. Rumour is that it will be in the States within a year...can't wait.

I highly recommend all to try this beer you won't be dissappointed.


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Photo of vtisme
4.58/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one delicious Ale. Arrives a deep ruby color with a finger head that doesnt go away for a while and leaves minimal lacing on the glass. Smells pretty bitter up front and so does it taste, but it goes down smooth and the faint taste of bread is what is left on your tongue on the end.

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Photo of drugsbunny
4.5/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Now available in many bars in the New York Metro area, I have had occasion to sample this ale a few times this past week. Wonderful taste, completely absent of any bitter aftertaste. There is a mild sweetness, can't describe the flavors... Great dark color, and a decent head. Very easy to drink, with mild effects the next morning. My absolute favorite beer.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.45/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brownish-copper color with a low light tan head. Aromas of breadiness and caramel malts with some roastiness. Tastes much like it smells without being overly malty or sweet. Hops just for balance. Medium bodied with a light dry roasty finish.

Per Bottle: "Since 1710" & "4.5% ABV"

Tasted: 06/16/07

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Photo of tobyandgina
4.45/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Great Irish Ale!

Smithwick's (pronounced smithicks) is a great tradition Irish Ale. Brewed by the infamous Guinness brewers in the lovely little town of Kilkenny, Ireland. Enough of the geography lesson.

It tends to pour with a very thick head that lingers for a good while. Smell is tender and not too harsh with malts present.
Colour is a nice amber with plenty of bubbles to tickle your fancy. Good tongue feel and no real aftertaste.
Great Irish tasting ale with the classic maltiness and lightness - not too much bite, smooth going. I could drink a lot of these ;)
I would recommend this fine ale with a hot plate of fish 'n chips.

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Photo of dirtyoldtown53
4.43/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Great Irish beer, good deep red colour, finger thick head that lasted for quite a while. It has a real mellow ale taste, good mouthfeel. I had it multiple times in Ireland and each time was as good as the last. It definitly leaves you wanting another pint.

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Photo of BUD
4.38/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass; the color was an exceptionally appealing amber, with nice clarity(for a red beer). The head that formed had an off-white appearance approximately an inch and a half in thickness. It never really went away while I took 20 to 25 minutes to enjoy this beer. When I had about an inch of beer left in my glass, there was still a quarter-inch of head left.

The aroma seemed well balanced with the malts and hops.

Taste was very smooth since it had low carbonation to it. Definatley a creamy or buttery mouthfeel. Quite satisfying to the taste buds. Very refreshing compared to say a Killians Red Lager(which I happen to like).

I have already purchased 12 bottles of this beer and began to share it with my friends. Enjoyed very much.

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Photo of Sixpoint
4.38/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think it is hard to evaluate a beer from a style that most people do not seek out...

I think most of the folks on BeerAdvocate appreciate high-gravity, heavily-hopped beers. Enter an Irish Red Ale...

Well, its definitely a session ale. I cannot pick out any off-flavors, seems to be technically sound.

The color is appropriate... although a bit hazy??? Smells like it should, nice and malty with maybe a faint trace of hops.

Tastes nice... good balance for an Irish Red. Nice creaminess... probably because its dispensed with beergas (50/50) mixture.

Overall, a very drinkable brew.

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Photo of HoorayBeer
4.33/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a wonderful rare find here in the United States; I have only seen it on tap or offered in bottles ina handful of places. Smithwick's Irish Red Ale was served in a nice pint glass. It had a nice dark brick red color to it, very appealing to the eye.
There is a thin head, that seems to have stayed for most of the time I was drinking it, it faded around the inside of the pint glass as I drank it.
Smithwick's gave off a very rich and powerful olfactory smell that was hard to ignore while drinking. Had a slight malt smell to it.
The taste was fantastic, very rich with a slight malt taste. Very sweet subdued after taste. In all a great beer. I am kind of partial to this beer however, I would take a Smithwick's anyday!

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Photo of RushLimbmalt
4.3/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber color and has a frothy white head that leaves a ton of lace. The aroma is of caramel and a touch of hops is in there too. The flavor is a bitter hop bite up front and a nice smooth ale character in the middle followed by a hoppy, dry finish. More proof that our friends on the other side of the pond can brew some groovy beer. I could definitely drink this all night and not get bored.

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Photo of jdaelhousen
4.28/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The fellow at the liquor store raved to me about this beer. It was a pretty steep fee for a 6 of bottles, but I splurged with trust in my fellow brew salesman.

The beer immediately impressed me with one of the smoothest and finest looking pours I have ever witnessed. The pint glass glowed at me with a light amber color. There was about 1/2" of head to the body.

The mouthfeel was perfect, with a superb blend of head and beer upon my first sip. The taste was even better; it was a typical ale flavor, similar to a Killians, except with more head to it. The aftertaste was real good too. I could have bought another 6 of Smithwicks Irish Ale.

So glad I took the salesman's advice on trying out this wonderful brew.

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Photo of lipschitz
4.25/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a lively burnt orange with a sufficient, lathery head, which retains a nice sticky lace. The smell is a tad spicy with sweet malt overtones. Taste is immediately caramel malt, with soft suggestion of raisin toast . You are then warmed with a touch of alcohol, and then your pallette is rinsed clean by the dry finishing hops. The mouthfeel is well carbonated, and almost tingly at times, with a bit of a buttery feel as well.
Notes: This might be the benchmark Irish Ale. I hadn’t had this in about 10-12 years, and it’s as good as I remember. I am extatic that this is available at the liquor store 2 blocks from my home. It remains an excellent example of an excellent style. If you see this beer….buy it! It is absolutely the cat’s pyjamas!

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Photo of Ruaidhri
4.24/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Served in a Smithwicks pint glass, this beer has a hugely enticing deep ruby red color. The head consists of a white foam which remains until the end of the glass due to a brewing process called lacing. Unlike other ales, smithwicks will not develop a watery appearance after a few mouthfulls.

Smell: Nothing particularly offensive or attractive here. For the most part, it smells of bitter sweet malt with some fruity esthers.

Taste: Slightly bitter but not overly so. A wooded malt flavour prevails with a very pleasant and unique sweetness to it.

Mouthfeel: Quite a pleasant mouthfeel. Heavy at times but not overly creamy like a stout tends to be too often. The slight acidity ensures quite clean feeling is to be felt on the palette.

Drinkability: Excellent drinkability. Perfect for a quiet night out of rest and relaxation. It's smoothness ensures it goes down very well but I wouldn't recommend it as a drink to be taken with a meal due to the fact that it is quite a filling ale. Nonetheless, as an Irish man, I can't help but feeling proud of this crowning ale.

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Photo of Jdiddy
4.23/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I loved this beer when I went to Ireland. Great Irish Ale. Impossible to find in the States (they have an agreement with Harp and as long as Harp is here, no Smithwicks!) Smooth and amazing taste. Nice foamy head too.

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Photo of flanmedic51
4.23/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got my first taste at King Eider's Pub in Damariscotta, ME.

Great appearance as a red ale should, a dark red with a great head produced on top. It doesn't stick around long but thats not a big concern.

I first noticed that it didn't have a strong alcohol smell as some ales tend to do which was pleasant for me. Aroma is a bit bready and malty, maybe a hint of spice thrown in. But not in anyway overpowering.

Now to the best part...The taste is incredibly smooth and satisfying. Many red ales are quite bold tasting and slamming them are near impossible. This one goes down eloquently without a ridged aftertaste or bitterness. I think there is a fine balance of hops and malt flavors. I was ready to have it bite me in the ass after the first sip of it and it didn't, which led me to drink it in huge mouthfuls into inebriation. There isn't a strong carbonation to it which helps with the almost creamy smoothness to it.

Certainly in my opinion, this is something that I could drink on a regular basis....which I probably will with the multitude of bbq's this summer. I recommend it to those who like a mild smooth taste of an ale. And yes, goes great with any bbq.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.21/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From Ireland's oldest brewery (1710, but now owned by Guinness) comes an impressive, well-made brew. There are several versions; this one is at 5.0% and exported to Canada. The bottle is embossed with the Arthur Guinness name and the metallic green label is in both English and French. It's a Deep brass/copper in color with excellent clarity and a surprising rocky off-white head that holds exceptionally well and leaves some nice lace. The nose expresses an earthy character with just a light touch of diacetyl - very English in nature! The body is medium, and quite smooth & creamy in the mouth (although the carbonation seems quite standard). The flavor starts gently fruity, then quickly displays some sweetish caramel malt as it warms along with some leafy hop character, and finishes dry with a long lingering soft and nutty caramel note and some residual earthiness. Really nicely balanced with a firm bitterness that supports the malt but never really comes forward. Full flavored, but also very drinkable.

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Photo of xduderx
4.21/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have a new favorite beer!!!! I ordered a pint of this at my local flying saucer and was kindly rewarded for trying something new.

appearance - very rich amber/red colors with a nice 1/2" - 3/4" head

smell - slightly hoppy but not a very strong smell

taste - sweet and smooth with no bitterness

mouthfell - very smooth and pleasant. heavier than a lager but not as heavy as some irish ales.

drinkability - this stuff is very easy to guzzle. I could almost drink it like water it goes down so smoothly.

everyone sitting with me at my table tried this and everyone (non-beer drinkers included) was very impressed. This is now my go-to beer!!!!

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4.2/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smithwicks Ale. on tap at Bar-A (Belmar, N.J.)

My Irish friend tells me its pronounced Smith-icks!!!

Appearance- copper with an amber hue. nice size head that lasts to the last sip.
Smell- malty and caramelly. nice
Taste- a nice well rounded malt flavor.
Mouthfeel- very good- no bitterness or dryness goes down so smooth. a real session beer.

Overall- a very good beer to have on tap alongside bud, miller, & coors!!!

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Photo of billybob
4.2/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a good two finger off white head which leaves about a quarter inch at the finish dark brown in color. smell is like fresh bread. taste is caramel or brown sugar all malt. light, smooth, very nice. drinkability is very good something everyone can enjoy.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.13/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper bronze color with lots of big bubbles and a long lasting creamy head. Theres plenty of lace on the glass. The aroma is of a yeast fruityness, pleasant diacytel (buttery), caramel and aroma hops. The taste is well balanced with a big dose of caramel malts, a distinct fruityness and herbal hops. Bittering hops are sparse. The mouthfeel is grainy. The finish isnt bogged down by the sweet malt flavors, very clean. overall this is a very good ale, and its available on tap in a lot of places too.

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Smithwick's Ale from Smithwick's Brewery / Irish Ale Breweries Ltd
3.4 out of 5 based on 700 ratings.
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