Smithwick’s Premium Red Ale

Reviewed by on March 13, 2015 in Spring Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Guinness & Co.

  • Origin: Dublin, Ireland

  • Rated On: March 13, 2015

  • Best Before: packaged September 7, 2014

  • ABV: 4.5%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Irish Red Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Smithwick’s is an Irish brand that was brewed in Kilkenny until the end of 2013, when production was moved to St. James Gate in Dublin, to be made alongside that other famous Irish beer.  For interest’s sake, the ‘w’ in the name is generally elided over, so remember that when ordering this over the next week or so (and beyond, of course).

This 500ml can pours a clear, bright medium bronzed amber hue, with an ambitious handful of puffy, rocky and chunky off-white head, which leaves a pleasant pattern of webbed lace around the glass as it slowly seeps away.

It smells of semi-sweet grainy malt, a touch of generic citrus and dark orchard fruitiness, faint oiled leather, and a bit of earthy, leafy and grassy hops. The taste has a fairly sizable allotment of floral and weedy hops up front, followed by a decently sweet grainy caramel malt, and some fast-fading indistinct fruitiness – simple, and quite workable. The body has got some adequate weight to it, the carbonation is very low – barely a wee tickle is perceptible – all aiding in this one’s very smooth pub draft simulacrum.  It finishes off-dry, the lingering grainy caramel and mixed ethereal fruit notes urging us on.

A stellar session ale, one I will always enjoy when in UK/Irish-theme pub land. Easy to drink, from cans or on draft, and as mentioned, it’s also amusing/confounding to ask for this in the manner in which the Irish pronounce it, and getting blank and/or challenging stares.  Whatever, it’s good, and worthy of a few rounds, at the very least.

Brady White

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