• Ian

Kilkenny - Irish Red Ale

Cream Ale from Ireland 🇮🇪


Brewed by St James's Gate Brewery

Dublin, Ireland.

Beer Type


Alcohol %


A bit about the beer

Ingredients – Water, Malted Barley, Roasted Malted Barley, Hops, Yeast

From the makers of Guinness comes a nitrogenated Irish cream ale, Kilkenny, which originated in Kilkenny, Ireland. Due to the difficulty in pronouncing the word 'Smithwick's', the name Kilkenny was used during the 1980s and 1990s to market a stronger version of Smithwick's for the Canadian and European markets. Later on it became a distinct beer on its own.

Kilkenny was brewed in the oldest operating brewery in Ireland - St. Francis Abbey Brewery in Kilkenny, until it closed in 2013. Today it is continued to be brewed at St. James's Gate brewery in Dublin.

Australia and Canada are the two largest importers of Kilkenny.

Similar to Guinness, Kilkenny cans has a widget' inside, which is a technique that allows the beer in the can to taste the same as if it was just freshly poured from a tap. The widget is a spherical ball with a tiny hole in it. When you open the can, the pressure in the can drops to equalize with the room pressure. The pressure in the widget is still much higher, so the nitrogenated beer from inside the widget squirts into the beer and gives a burst of tiny bubbles of nitrogen gas which rises to the top and gives the beer a thick, creamy head similar to what you will get from the tap.

Back to the beer... For me, poured from a can with a 'widget' it pours a clear amber colour with the most amazing thick cream head. The head is the star of the show and what makes a Kilkenny a Kilkenny. The aromas are mild, sweet malt and very faint spice. The flavour is rich and malty with a light bitterness at the end.

Each mouthful is creamy and smooth, crisp and refreshing. It is a very enjoyable beer full of character!

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