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

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Smithwick's AleSmithwick's Ale
733 Ratings
Smithwick's AleSmithwick's Ale

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

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 3.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 04-16-2002

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Ratings: 733 |  Reviews: 317
Photo of Duncanster
1.5/5  rDev -55.5%

Photo of Impicker
1.6/5  rDev -52.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A lot of carbonation. But taste like water. Miller light has more taste

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Photo of duvel1979
1.67/5  rDev -50.4%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.75

Photo of charlzm
1.7/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

On draft at Molly Malone's Los Angeles, 1/13/08.

Nice light copper hue with modest head. Aromas of musty malt. Mouthfeel was like flavor: thin and watery. Only the faintest hints of malt and hop aftertaste bitterness emerged from the watery brew. There's subtle, then there's Smithwicks. This is like the water that was used to rinse out a glass a real beer had been served in.

I won't be drinking this stuff again.

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Photo of dheldman
1.75/5  rDev -48.1%

Photo of GOBLIN
2/5  rDev -40.7%

Photo of Eighty
2/5  rDev -40.7%

Photo of MattFox
2/5  rDev -40.7%

Photo of allbrigs
2/5  rDev -40.7%

Photo of sennin
2/5  rDev -40.7%

Photo of jdwilliamson79
2/5  rDev -40.7%

Photo of Jmathews011
2/5  rDev -40.7%

Photo of XmnwildX12
2/5  rDev -40.7%

Photo of hseritt
2.01/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: Got the Smithwick's from the tap in a pitcher. The color was a very dark color... no head and looked almost flat.

S: No smell to speak of.

T: There was very little taste -- kind of like an extremely light (or non-alcoholic) Guiness. If I come across a bottle of it, I will give it a shot since the tap version may have been kind of old.

M: The consistency may have been the best thing about this beer. It had a good medium feel.

D: Other than just trying out the bottled version for Pete's sake, I don't think I'll ever order this or even drink on a weekend afternoon.

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Photo of deliriumtremens
2.07/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

More than anything else, this reminds me of the Michelob All-Malt, which in itself isn't an insult, as I rather like the All-Malt. But I was expecting more from a beer that's as hyped up as Smithwick's. Very little smell or taste to speak of. A little bit of a metallic tinge that you'd expect from Busch or Tecate out of a can. There's a very slight sweetness in the taste that despite being almost undetectable still manages to be cloying, and a sharp bitterness that seems to come more from the carbonation than from hops or roasted malts. The mouthfeel is thin and watery, just terrible, which is suprising for how carbonated this beer is. I wanted to let the beer settle to let some of the carbonation out, but it just stayed fizzy, and the taste only gets worse as it warms.

The appearance is exceptional, certainly, a nice mellow brown color with a medium white head that sticks around for a good long time. But other than that I was amazed at how bad this beer managed to be. Better than macro-swill, but only very slightly so. I'd rather go with just about any Leine's or Michelob brew for less money, or spring for a real Irish like Beamish or Guiness Extra Stout (never been a fan of the Draught).

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Photo of guildofevil
2.21/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This is one of the standard draft beers in Ireland and the only ale you'll find in some pubs.

It is brewed by Smithwick's Brewery Kilkenny (and Cherry's brewery, Waterford), but they were bought out by Guinness years ago and since Guinness have been bought out by Diagio, the brewery name is little more than a marketing tool.

It's a pretty looking beer. Red/Brown with a low, off white, head. Some lacing, but overall not great head retention. All of this is AOK for the Irish Red style of ale, though.

The aroma is muted. Not much in the way of hop character on the nose, allowing sweet malt and caramel notes to come through, to an extent. Nothing much to get excited or offended by.

It tastes a lot like it smells. Low on bittering hops, this beer comes off as a mild, slightly sweet offering. The yeast makes no discernible contribution to the flavour profile, which lacks the esters which make more interesting offerings, of the same style, stand out. Some caramel notes, but overall lacking any real depth of flavour.

This beer is the mass market version of the Irish Red style. It is brewed and sold with, more or less, the same marketing philosophy in mind as the big international bland lager brands.

The caramel notes, essential to the Irish Red style are, I am told, achieved by the addition of caramel, not caramel malt, as you might expect.

This beer used to have a sister beer called Phoenix Beer, brewed in Cherry's brewery, Waterford, but I have not seen it in years. Even when it was available, Phoenix Beer was so incredibly similar to Smithwicks, that many suspected it of simply being a different label for the same beer.

If you like Irish Red, you would be better off going for a Beamish Red or a Porterhouse Red, if you happen to be near a Porterhouse.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.21/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

Hell yeah on the appearance! Chunky big bubbled head leaves massive lacing, highly filtered, Amber body. nice.

Sweet malts take the lead on this brew, almost toffee like in the aftertaste, tends to stick to my teeth a bit. Carbonation loses steam but still is sharp and stinging. Mouth ends up going sweet and lingers. Lackluster. Theres not much balance here and I don't mind that if the dominance is well put together but the malt bill is just soft, and hops are non existent.

light sweetness up front, sting sizzle pop carbonation in the middle and soft lingering malts to finish. Reminds me of something Gordon Biersch would make, forgettable for the most part.

 671 characters

Photo of duceswild
2.25/5  rDev -33.2%

Photo of buzzarooski
2.25/5  rDev -33.2%

NOT sure what to say here....Not a BAD beer...But Nothing I would recommend either....Go with Murphy's Red if you have a Choice

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Photo of SMortiL987
2.25/5  rDev -33.2%

Photo of GooberMcNutly
2.25/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

16 oz can. Poured well carbonated into a tall glass with a good white head and no foam fall. Aroma was of strong hops and the first sip confirmed it: very bitter. Malty character flavors with some oaky flavors and even some pine essence, but not enough to overcome the bitter hops.

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Photo of jstevep00
2.25/5  rDev -33.2%

Photo of psugrad98
2.35/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reddish amber in color. Moderate head and almost no lace. Aroma of faint hops with carmel notes.

Light and fizzy on the palate with no discernable hop bitterness or floral/fruit mouthfeel. Only slightly bitter. Malt is more firmly planted as primary flavor. Mediocre at best. An Irish macro ale.

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Photo of helloloser12345
2.36/5  rDev -30%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving Type: 440ml can. 'New and improved' printed on the can.

Pour: Off white foamy head which soon disappears leaving only a ring around the glass. No lacing.

Appearance: Dark amber

Smell: Slight smell of roasted malts and that is about it, except for the nasty sulphur odour.

Flavour: Very, very thin. No great amount of flavour, slight hint of malt. Too much carbonation.

Overall: Not nice at all.

I feel this review is a harsh though as Smithwicks is a very good beer from the tap or bottled. It is well rounded and full of flavour. It is just nasty from the can!

I will update next time I get it either bottled or on tap.

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Smithwick's Ale from Smithwick's Brewery / Irish Ale Breweries Ltd
Beer rating: 3.37 out of 5 with 733 ratings