Saturday, December 4, 2010

Category 9: Irish and Scottish Ale

Beer: Smithwick's Irish Ale
Category: Scottish and Irish Ale
Subcategory: Irish Red Ale

Scottish and Irish ales are characterized by a very solid malt character, moderate hop bitterness, and a distinctive baked cookie flavor exuding from the crystal malt-rich malt profile. They are very enjoyable, balanced ales when done well, so today I did a review of Smithwick's (pronounced smithix) Irish red ale.

Appearance: a deep reddish-brown with a healthy, creamy, off-white head that fades away at a moderate pace and leaves some nice lacing on the sides, dark but still quite clear

Aroma: definitely earthy, definitely somewhat caramel sweet, with subtle but detectable tones of scones or cookies

Flavor: very balanced, and very much like the aroma with a sweet, bready maltiness reminiscent of baked scones or cookies, but with a nice taste of earthy hop bitterness on the end. no hop flavor

Mouthfeel: wonderfully pleasant--deliciously smooth with medium-low carbonation and a medium body that complements the flavors perfectly...this is perhaps the best feature of the beer

Overall/Drinkability: incredibly drinkable ale because of the balanced flavor and the excellent mouthfeel. not earth-shatteringly exciting, but definitely enjoyable and a great session beer. I enjoy this quite a bit, but as I look back over all of my reviews of beers with comparable profiles, I would be likely to reach for an Oktoberfest or Schwarzbier first, which is funny because I consider myself more of an ale drinker, and those are of course lagers. That being said, I would definitely want to consider brewing this style because of its malt interest and excellent sessionability. I would strive to get a mouthfeel similar to that of Smithwicks, too!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting sidenote:

    I reviewed this beer when it was ice cold, but drinking it slightly warmer brought out some of the flavors more, and I think I liked it better then.