The real Irish red ale.
Smithwick's is like the Guiness of red ales that all imitators try to duplicate with their own twist. I first had this on tap in Ireland and thought at the time - what a great beer.
Pronounced Smithiks - it poured an amber-brown with a loose, white head. The head had good retention considering how loose the bubbles were.
I could not detect much in the way of aroma except for some light brown sugar sweetness.
As for the flavor, there were caramel and soft vanilla notes. The sweet aroma was balanced with some earthy clay like and some lavender flavors. This beer is smooth and just about perfect. Given the sweetness in the aroma, this beer is dry. What I also liked was I could not detect any spices and the hops were well blended.
There was no need for a gimmick (as with American imitators) as there was just "balance." Smithwick's does not have to be anything but what it is, an real Irish red ale. I could not taste anything that was not supposed to be there.
The carbonation was lighter and just perfect for this beer.
There really is not a lot more that can be said. This is the real thing.
Ah and even like Guinness, this is best served while on the Emerald Isle where I first had this.