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

Smithwick's AleSmithwick's Ale
712 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 712 |  Reviews: 312
Photo of Pellinore1
4/5  rDev +19%

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +19%

Photo of beerman999999
4/5  rDev +19%

Photo of Ragingbull
3.45/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer was being hailed by all of my the husbands of my wife's high school friends. I stepped out of my own "beer box" and gave it a try.

It pours a reddish brown in color with a light foam head. The nose is mostly malty with some hints of earth and nut. The beer flavor is pretty simple and clean. There is a slight hoppiness to the finish which is really the most distinguishing characteristic aside from the nose. Its okay but with a whole world of beer out there to try I am not sure when or if I will drink it again.

 526 characters

Photo of Oxymoron
2.94/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Smithwick's seemed to be the other alternative (to Guinness) in Ireland. Or at least it was the "other" option where ever we went (pubs etc). Sampled a crystal clear, light amber color with a bronze hue. A soft white head with ok retention and lacing through out the tasting.

The nose is soft with a light malty aroma. Some minor sweet caramel and husky notes. Very light overall. Some minor earthy hop aroma but very light. The yeast is very clean, almost like a lager.

The taste is similar in that it has a lager-esk feel. The malt comes out lightly with a more grainy and husky note. But there is a sweet caramel note. There is a bit of butter that comes out but is light. The yeast is very clean with a light phenol but very crisp and clean. Some minor hop notes but limited.

The body is light with a slight dry finish. As mentioned, clean and crisp. Overall this is kind of like a hybrid amber/lager with limited taste overall. Very easy to drink and easily attainable in Ireland.

 988 characters

Photo of vtisme
4.58/5  rDev +36.3%
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.

 291 characters

Photo of IrishRacer
4.11/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I love the Irish Reds, and one brewed in the Emerald Isle will always get my taste buds' attention. This is my favorite of all the bottled redheads I've had through the years. I enjoy just about everything this beer has to offer. The color, aroma, and taste are all outstanding. Only the aftertaste, maybe something to do with the bottling process, could be a little better in my book.

 385 characters

Photo of puboflyons
3.67/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap at Patrick's Irish Pub and Eatery in Gilford, New Hampshire (USA). This tastes a whole lot better on tap than when I buy it in a bottle. At least it did when I sampled it on Jan. 19, 2009.

Appearance - Handsome ruby-brown pour with about a half-inch of frothy off-white head and decent lacing.
Smell - An aroma of sweet malts and almost caramel-like
Mouthfeel - Average to above average body. Holds its body well while thrashing it around on my tongue
Taste - Malted and mild. Not bitter at all. A distant hint of hops.

 536 characters

Photo of dpsychoholic69
3.26/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark red clear color, nice thick off white head that stayed around awhile, good lacing

S - lots of malts some caramel aroma

T - Malts, some hops, a little thin, sweet bitter finish

M - Kinda chewy, goes down pretty smooth. not much carbonation

D - Drinks OK nothing special, I've had better reds

 303 characters

Photo of Vendetta
3.28/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Original Rating Date:
June 26, 2008

On tap at the Irish bar and restaurant Grasshopper Too in Wayne, NJ. Pours very dark black with a good amount of head. Smells sweet, a bit of clove, very roasty. Very easy to drink. Dark, sweet caramel taste. Very malty, a little bit of hoppiness but not very noticeable. A little watery, but the Irish should be proud, this is a fantastic effort.

 384 characters

Photo of Haybeerman
3.14/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Clear reddish/brown color. Poured a 2 finger off-white creamy head with decent retention. Heavy, coating lacing all the way to the bottom.

S: Malts and light hop bitterness.

T: Earthy malts and bitter hops. Finished clean with a light, but sdiscernable, hop bitter.

M: Medium body. Little carbonation. Smooth and creamy.

D: Malts and flattish feel could get tiresome, but certainly nothing offensive. Better than many of its style.

 438 characters

Photo of Kijimuna
3.64/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours nicely with a medium head with light lace neither of which lasted very long. Medium dark amber color. No real nose for me to appreciate. Taste slightly sweet, mellow hop, no overtly carbonated. Immediately gave a flat somewhat watery mouthfeel but still pleasant. I found this brew easy to drink and enjoyable.

 316 characters

Photo of craytonic
3.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have had this on-tap at a couple of places.

Nice head, red velvet cake color.

Caramel taste, a little watery, a little flat. Could be much better; tastes like it came from a factory that also makes little toys and tourist gifts for export. I wish there was more earth and chocolate.

Not very heavy, drinkable if you actually like it. A little on the wrong side of average.

 377 characters

Photo of glid02
3.38/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this on tap at Limerick Junction in Atlanta.

Pours a good amber color that's lighter at the bottom and darker at the top of the pint glass. Head is a little less than one finger and dies down pretty quickly to a thin layer of bubbles on top. Not much lacing.

Smell is close to an Irish stout. A lot of malt aroma, with a little bitter scent.

Tastes the same as it smells. Biggest taste is the malt, and it ends with a slightly bitter taste and a dry finish.

Mouthfeel is alright. There's a little too much carbonation, could be a little smoother.

This is a pretty drinkable beer. The malt taste could be a little more integrated with the rest of the flavors.

Overall this is a decent beer. Better than a lot of other macros, but you can find better beers.

 765 characters

Photo of harpo111
2.91/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Redish in hue...ok head...looks pretty good

S: Malty..not tooo hoppy..about average.

T: smooth, not too bitter. some hops..plenty of malt. Not too over carbonated.

M: not overly heavy...but nice.

D: Beats most domestics hands down..but I like it less than a lot of other imports.

Overall...not up on domestics. very drinkable...not too heavy.

 362 characters

Photo of BryanCarey
2.9/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Smithwick's Ale pours to a reddish/copper color with a head of foam that is adequate, but with bubbles that are on the larger side. The aroma of Smithwick's is a little weak, with only a hint of sweet malt and flowery hops.

The taste of Smithwick's can be described as one of light caramel malt, light roasted malt, bread, and lightly spicy/earthy hops. There is a metallic element present in the taste, even though the beer I sampled was from a bottle, and there is also a dab of chocolate. The body of Smithwick's is light for this type of brew.

Smithwick's is an easy beer to find in the USA, and it is common to see it on the store shelves in many stores- even small carryouts. But Smithwick's, while certainly acceptable, is a little on the boring side, with a taste that attempts to be complex but that doesn't offer enough body or character to reach its full potential. It is also a tad overpriced, too, and I can think of many beers that taste better and cost less. Still, the taste is good enough to imbibe a few bottles when there is nothing better available.

 1,073 characters

Photo of Baileyuk
3.72/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Good clean appearance with a decent head. Malt smells with definate but modest hints of apples. Slightly bitter taste (was expecting a little more). Carbonation was light which was what I was expecting. Overall was a decent beer but one that was just average.

 259 characters

Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.41/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The pint came a dark caramel brown color with a wispy head. Aroma is light with a generic maltiness coming through. Fairly light caramel and toffee on the palate. No hop or bitterness to mention. A fairly light flavored beer, but refreshing nonetheless.

 253 characters

Photo of PhillyStyle
3.85/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a pint glass.

A: The beer gave off a reddish brown hue with a white head that held on for an appropriate length of time. I don't recall the carbonation being that noticeable.

S: It gave off a malty and slightly hoppy aroma.

T: Tended to have a hoppy flavor to it with hints of malt and some other flavors that I could not discern at the time. It seemed earthy. It was smooth, creamy and finished clean and not to bitter.

Overall, I enjoyed this beer more than I thought that I would. I feel that I could have had a few more and will be buying/ordering this beer again.

 589 characters

Photo of Offa
3.26/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is pleasant and malty but light and rather lke a boring interpretation of Newcastle.

On tap, it's dark red-brown with a medium white head that steadily shrinks to a small, permanent top and leaves pretty good lacing. In the bottle, the head tends to be a little darker and less lace-iferous, as it were.

The aroma is caramelly-fruity sweet malt, with grain, yeast, and very faintly earthy.

The taste is similar, mostly lightly sweet, dark-bready with hints of burnt caramel and earth. It has only a faint hint of bitterness. It's somewhat bland and one-dimensional, thinning out at the end.

 601 characters

Photo of RBorsato
4.45/5  rDev +32.4%
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

 299 characters

Photo of chadlebald
3.21/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

not only in between color for their other brews--harp and Guinness--but also in overall quality. Ie, better than harp but not as good as Guinness.

Color is nice deep copper. Don't sense too much in aroma. White head that dissipates quickly but laces the pint glass well.

Taste is light toasted malt but too complex.

Drinks easy though and makes for a better session beer than many other mass brews.

 403 characters

Photo of jadpsu
3.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured medium to dark brown with a great head that had even better lasting power. Also had some good solid lacing. Love dark brews with good lasting heads.
Smell is of some sweet malts with some caramel with hints of toffee. Light on the hops but they were there too.
Thiner mouthfeel than I expected but a good if not great beer.

 330 characters

Photo of thierrynantes
3.83/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (50c), tasted in 2001.
Appearance : deep ruby red color with a white head
Smell : lots of soft sweet malty aromas, flowery hops anf fruit.
Taste and mouthfeel : The palate is soft, touch of caramel.
Drinkability : a good beer in Irish red ale style (but I prefer the draught version)

 296 characters

Photo of Sidedrummer
4.05/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I really enjoyed this beer.

The head peaked at two fingers, rock solid and lasted longer than I thought it would. Coffee colored with a slight red cast, not the least bit opaque.
To the nose it was soft and light, a faint bread and malty aroma with a fair amount of hops.
The flavors were a little tough to discern, malty bread and ever-so-slightly sweet,....nice finish with not much after-taste.

Drinkability, definitely left me wanting more,....this will be an excellent afternoon BBQ beer or a great one with a snack and a good ballgame!

 550 characters

Smithwick's Ale from Smithwick's Brewery / Irish Ale Breweries Ltd
Beer rating: 3.36 out of 5 with 712 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.