Friday, March 16, 2012

Irish Red

Short one today, mostly because on Friday, especially the Friday before St. Patrick's Day, you probably want to do less reading and more drinking. I'll just leave you with another classic option for tomorrow, Smithwick's, an Irish Red Ale.

Smithwick's (pronounced Smid-icks) holds the distinction (according to them) of being the oldest Ale from Ireland (opened in early 1700s).  Like most Irish beers, it is pretty light in alcohol (4.5% ABV), but has a good malt backbone. What is funny, is that the Smithwick's that you can get in US is actually stronger than abroad (abroad is 3.8% ABV).

In terms of flavor, the beer is creamy and smooth, very similar to an English Bitter. It is malty, but has good bitterness, making it a very balanced beer. The hops are not overt, so you probably won't like it if you are a hophead. Part of what the Irish enjoy about Red Ales, like Smithwick's is that they go down easy. This makes it a pretty good beer for St. Patrick's Day. 

It is by no means my go-to beer, but I do enjoy a Smithwick's from time to time. If you haven't tried one before, give it a shot, especially if you are generally happy with mild, easy-drinking beers.

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