Style: Irish Red
For the uninitiated, the beer is pronounced “Smit – Icks,” not “Smith – Wicks.” The label is mass produced, obviously, but actually has some class, and I really like the gradient green background, in all honesty. The Smithwick’s fonts are all relatively boring, and the castle spire is a little simplistic for a label, but honestly, I dig simplistic, and overall the label really isn’t the ugliest thing in the world. Will I keep it? No. But as far as mass produced beers go, I give them a tip of the hat. As a bonus, Smithwicks bottles are the best bottles to clean the labels off when homebrewing, as their glue is very simple and comes off almost immediately in hot water, and leaves no chunks behind.
The beer pours a dark, dark red, somewhere between ruby, burgundy, and light black, with a lovely white cream head that sits a fingers width above my mug. The lacing on the mug is thin and spattered across my glass. On the nose, the beer smells of sterilized caramelly malts with a touch of staleness. The nose is fairly simplistic, and not the most pleasant but not the most unpleasant either. The smell is a little cloying with sweet malt, but subdued enough that it doesn’t turn you off to the beer. The beer tastes very similar to the smell with sweet sterile caramel malts and a faint touch of bitterness. It begins with almost sickly sweet malts, but quickly pulls itself back with a faint hint of biscuit and more caramel flavor, which balances out the taste into the finish, which is clean and only faintly tingling with the sweet sterile caramel of the malts. On the mouth, the beer feels thin to medium body, with velvety smooth carbonation that reveals only a slight tingle on the close of the sip. Overall, this is a mass produced beer, but it is an Irish mass produced beer, and Ireland just seems to do mass production better than everyone else. Sure it is not as flavorful as some beers, and definitely has some almost-too-sweet flavors to it that are both sterile and weird, but this beer is generally very drinkable, and not offensive to the palate. It’s not a fancy beer, but it’s one that is easy to find and easy to drink, and it does have a hell of a lot better of a flavor than other mass produced beers. It’s a good drink.