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

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Kilkenny Irish Cream AleKilkenny Irish Cream Ale

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

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Now brewed here:

Added by Todd on 05-08-2002

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Reviews: 151 | Ratings: 387
Photo of baiser
3.81/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This was a red ale that looked so damn smooth and creamy right off the bat. Poured a somewhat cloudy mahogany red colour, with a creamy white head. A centimeter of foam stayed throughout.

Some floral aroma, and a little toasted flavour.

Tasted a little sweet, a little biscuity. Ending was slightly astringent and bitter. For me, the the highlight of this beer was its 'fullbodiedness'. It had stout like qualities. So smooth and creamy.

A great session beer in my mind...and always better on tap.

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Photo of cypressbob
3.63/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

440ml nitro can

Pours with a dark amber body, with brown hues, with a nice think nitro style head

Smell is malty, with a faint hint of hops coming through

Taste is malty, very similar to that of cafferys with a higher level of bitterness, more hops

All in all, a nice ale, probably will buy again, the nitro really helps the head and creaminess

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Photo of DrJay
3.46/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Deep coppery brown with a dense, cream coloured head. Plenty of lace down the glass. The aroma was very mild, with some floral hops and light toasted malts. It had a light biscuit or toasted malt flavour with a mild bitterness that lingers through the finish. Fairly smooth, partially due to the light carbonation, and it had a light body. Dry finish, partially due to a light grain astringency.

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Photo of cbl2
3.45/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


A crystal clear brown with a quarter inch white head that has good retention.


A sweet fruity aspect (peach-like) predominates.


Very smooth and fruity, with low carbonation like a cask conditioned ale.

Notes: Had this one in the Temple Bar District of Dublin in April of 2004.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.16/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nitro can: Poured a creamy light brown beer with a nice thick creamy head that has lasting retention (the head is similar to the Guinness). Aroma is very light with some small notes of malts. I founded the taste to be very creamy with some small notes of roastiness and sweetness. This beer was a bit dry at the end with a small watery aftertaste but again subtler then Guinness. Overall, this is a very enjoyable session beer from a ‘’decent’’ brewery.

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Photo of Andreji
2.55/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I do not really know cream ales enough to judge this one on another basis, but it was certainly not my favourite. The pour, brown with a head and sinking bubble appearance like a stout, immediately releases a considerable malt aroma that describes most of what the beer is- extremely sweet on a full body with no carbonation, and just a slight bitterness at the end, which doesn't match with the rest properly.

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Photo of CreamAle128
2.83/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Back in the days when i was totally into cream ales, i gave this one a try. Upon pouring the appearance looked very nice, nice creamy head, darker looking red ale. Smelled of hops, and malt. When tasting, all i can remember is tasting what i thought was tin, not very impressed. For the available cream ales we have here, i reccomend Tetley's anyday. Although i don't care much for cream ales anymore, even though my nickname implys i love it. Back to the Belgians for me!

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Photo of Naerhu
2.08/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Permanent finger of pure white creamy head on a hazy golden body.

Butterscotch and hop aroma.

This is just thin reedy nitro garbage.

Light non-carbonated nitro-garbage mouth-feel.

Do not bother with this, yet another inspid "creation" from a once great brewery.

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Photo of diablo14
3.01/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

kilkenny is one of those bridging beers thats great for a novice to get into, but once youve got a bit of experience under the belt, wont go back to unless theres limited choices. nothing if unspectacular.

coppery color that pours like a guiness. i love watching this beer ebb up the glass like the tide coming in. full, thick, creamy head that will always leave a mo on ya. smell doesnt have anything but a trace of sweet malt. flavor a little more intense. quite malty , a little fruity with some caramel notes overall. i think the best thing about this brew is the hoppy, dry finish. only problem is it doesnt blend as well as it could with the rest of the beer. drinkable, but you can do better.

is this a good indication of the style? im not sure...i think in the end, kilkenny is o.k, but give me a murphys irish red any day of the week.

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Photo of PiratePete
2.94/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured out a dark red with a thick creamy head that pretty much stayed 'til the end. Thick lacing too. Not particularly exciting. No strong nose. No strong presence in the mouth. A light hopy aftertaste. It was just too thin for my liking. If offered this beer at somebody's home I'd take it, otherwise I wouldn't bother. (4.3 abv in a 440 ml can)

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Photo of Ardon
3.34/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got the nitro can. Not usually a fan of nitro cans let alone cans period but I like this stuff on draught so I thought I'd give it a try.

Appearance: Pours beautifully as all nitro cans seem to do. Enjoyed watching it rise. Ends up a decent clear amber colour with a nice thick creamy head that lasts.

Smell: Lowest marks go to smell. A bit of a nutty smell with shades stale beer.

Taste: No definite tastes come to the front. Not much going on here.

Mouthfeel: Wonderful. I love that creamy ale mouthfeel. Very smooth and velvety.

Drinkability: Could go all night with this. Makes a great session beer.

Notes: Overall nothing special but definantly worth it for a night of constant drinking. Would choose the draught over the can any day.

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Photo of allboutbierge
3.04/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The head is super dense and levitates on a redish/brown/orange hued sea. Smell is rather meek but taste is slightly fuller. Taste is sweet, mellow, with a touch of vanilla? but lacks the bite of other red ales Ive had such as Erie and Murphys. Mouthfeel is typical of the Guiness family--thick, creamy, and luscious. The beer is drinkable but rather boring, especially when other options are presented.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.36/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

4.3% abv from a 440 ml nitro can. A great looking ale, big, thick creamy head topping a clear pale amber body. The head lasts the whole way down, far more than just a thin cap. Aroma is primarily of sweet caramel malt. Taste directly matches this, with a small touch of hops on the finish. Nice thick mouthfeel and it goes down velvety smooth. Nothing exceptional about this ale, it's actually pretty plain and average and very straight forward, but it makes for a good session beer, and it sure looks pretty.

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Photo of steelreign
3.49/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aside from the insanely thick and dense white head on this pint, I really can't say I find anything special about this one. The color is a reddish amber, and the nose reveals very little about this one. It goes down easy enough, but the hops and/or malts just aren't prominent enough for me. I was expecting alot more judging by the looks. Ah, well - at least at this pub they also had Murphy's, which is a far better alternative for me! :)

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Photo of UnionMade
3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep earthy straw color, with cascading nitro carbonation clearing to a clear pale gold. Thick white nitro head.
Aroma is malty and fruity, with a very mild hopping. Similar to Wexford's cream ale. Slight caramel, with apple and pear. Nice.
Flavor is rich and creamy, with a sweet maltiness and loads of apple and pear fruitiness. Light caramel flavor, with a mild hopping in the finish, provinding some dryness. Smooth creamy texture. I didn't notice any metallic taste, which was good, considering it came from a can.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.51/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this one on St. Patty's day and found it a nice companion
to the pint of Guinness that followed. A huge white head that would
not die, even at the end of the pint. The mid gold colour was
pretty to look at but the dry malty taste is what makes this beer
easy to drink throughout the evening. Not a huge beer in flavour
but that is also true of Guinness and Murphys. I would drink this
beer again in the right Irish surroundings but would probably not
pick up a six pack at the liquor store.

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Photo of Shiloh
3.66/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A nice looking brew, pours a dark copper with a thick creamy head.
The aroma is a light caromel and the carbonation is light.
The body is medium/full.
The taste is very well balanced leaning ever so slightly to the hops with a dry finish.
At the end of this review, all that remains is the original thick creamy head minus a little of its original depth.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.76/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

There are so many versions of Smithwick's/Kilkenny now that it's almost impossible to keep up with them! Still, I think I've got it under the right heading here. This is a nitro can exported to Canada with 4.3% abv. It pours a deep copper with an orange/reddish cast. The off-white nitro head is exceptionally creamy and maintains a solid 1/4" cap throughout the pint (well, 14+ ounces anyway). It leaves some nice lace and gives the impression of "a proper pint". Within the nose a softly sweet and gently buttery caramel malt darts in and out through mildly earthy/mineral Fuggles hops. The body is light but creamy; and accentuates the balanced toasty, caramelish, and lightly fruity malt. It finishes dry and biscuity with a lingering note of dull buttery caramel. It's very easy to drink with a decent amount of character. A nice session beer! Worth trying.

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Photo of francisweizen
3.68/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pretty decent little brew if I remember correctly. I had this when I was in Montreal and it was pretty damn good! This beer poured a nice cascading reddish colour from the nitro tap. This smelled very creamy and malty...the hop aromas were pretty hard to distingiush on this one. anyway, this tasted pretty good...I mean it was nothing spectacular but it was pretty tasty. The mouthfeel, however, was very exceptional on this was very creamy and quite nice. The drinkability for this beer is good and I would definately have it again on tap up north in Candada, but definately not out of a can as I have heard that it is quite bad out of a can!!!

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Photo of SaunaKing
2.76/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Wow! A great looking beer - pours a crazy creamy head that engulfs the whole glass then quickly settles to a nice level. The bubbles float downward like with Guiness as the head recedes. The foam below the level of the beer comes up in a groovy, acid-trip sort of way as the beer settles in your glass.
The smell is kind of sweet, strange for a beer, to me smells like tea.

The colour is a dark amber-brown and the taste is creamy and also like tea.

The can has a widget (ping pong ball) inside I guess to make sure there is a nice head poured with your beer and it does the trick.

My little bro introduced me to this beer a few years ago and alas, its not bad but not as good as the memories of it.

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Photo of BeerManDan
2/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Do not waste your time and money on this beer if you buy the can. If you want a great beer, drink this beer from a tap. But, they do not sell this beer in the U.S., yet. What a waste of brewing this beer and putting it in a can!

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

i've heard kilkenny is just smithwick's renamed in order to appeal to a younger crowd, but i can assure you it's a completely different beer. a very good irish red ale that's an excellent session beer. pours a reddish amber with a fairly thick, creamy head. i had this on tap while in ireland, but i believe it's still unavailable in any form in the US, which is a shame because i certainly miss it.

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Photo of BeerGlassesCollector
2.85/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

An Irish Red Ale. Average taste with quite impressive body. An impressive Ale but certainly not one of the top. Search BeerAdvocate and you'll see what i'm talking about...


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Photo of canoehornpoint
3.84/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Medium brownish amber color with thick dense off white head. Little to moderate carbonation. Good head retention and life.

Malty nose with a hint of bitterness (straight not flowery or citrusy)

Some crystal-like malt taste with dry hop bitterness finish.

First one was pretty smoothe but the second didn't tase as well.

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Photo of the42ndtourist
4.58/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Readily available in Canada, I regularly partake of this classic beer. Few beers have a better appearance than Kilkenny. The deep red colour and cascading carbonation of a freshly poured pint are prime examples of the style. The taste is near heavenly; smooth and well heeled, without significant bitterness. Kilkenny is truly drinkable, I could drink this daily for the rest of my life and be a happy man. I feel sorry for Americans, since you apparently can't find Kilkenny in the States. My favourite beer, hands down.

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Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale from Smithwick's Brewery / Irish Ale Breweries Ltd
3.4 out of 5 based on 387 ratings.
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