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O'Hanlon's The Original Ruby Stout - O'Hanlon Brewing Co. Ltd.

Not Rated.
O'Hanlon's The Original Ruby StoutO'Hanlon's The Original Ruby Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

86 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 86
Reviews: 83
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 13.57%
Wants: 1
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
O'Hanlon Brewing Co. Ltd.
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Stout |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-25-2003)
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Ratings: 86 | Reviews: 83 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by JudgeRoughneck:
Photo of JudgeRoughneck
JudgeRoughneck

Louisiana

3.5/5  rDev -3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Amazing, huge, fluffy, foamy nut colored head is sculpted and precariously teetering well out of the rim of the glass. Damn thats sexy. The lacing is good, and the beer itself is black with slight ruby tinge, as the name implies.

The nose is alcohol, cherry, slight raisin.

Well crap. For a beer that looks and smells so impressive, I sure was expecting a big taste here. I have been disappointed. Perhaps the first thing I notice is the mouthfeel, which is ridiculously thin for a stout, is very carbonated at first, and then totally flat. It is slick also. First taste is definately of red wine. It slowly goes to a snapshot of malt and then a big splash of very typical stout bitterness, with more wine in the finish.

This is really a good beer, its appearance and smell just had me expecting something way different from what I got. This is an interesting stout, worth a try, but it has some serious mouthfeel issues in my book and if you're going to drop 4 bucks on a stout you can really do better.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2006 07:01:04 | More by JudgeRoughneck
More User Reviews:
Photo of BillRoth
BillRoth

Maryland

3.75/5  rDev +3.9%

12-07-2013 20:45:07 | More by BillRoth
Photo of stereosforgeeks
stereosforgeeks

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -3%

12-17-2012 15:16:37 | More by stereosforgeeks
Photo of jfcaa193
jfcaa193

Connecticut

3.5/5  rDev -3%

02-15-2012 02:18:43 | More by jfcaa193
Photo of buschbeer
buschbeer

Ohio

3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1 pint 0.9oz bottle
Served in a pint glass

A - It pours dark brown with dark amber highlights. It has two inches of mocha head.

S - The aroma is roasted coffee and bitter chocolate. I also get a tart cherry smell.

T - I get some rich roasted coffee with a hint of burnt popcorn on the finish. I had some initial sweetness, but it fades as the beer warms.

M - Medium to full

O - It is a decent beer. I really didn't detect much of the port but it was interesting to try it.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2011 18:52:29 | More by buschbeer
Photo of tigg924
tigg924

Massachusetts

3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

Appearance: 1 inch head, clear, dark brown in color with a touch of red

Smell: big time port and some chocolate

Taste: big time port, some chocolate, light coffee, and black licorice

Mouthfeel: medium carbonation, medium-light body, sweet but super dry...especially on the finish.

Overall: A sipper where the port comes through big. This is about as different a stout as I have had in a while. You must like port to enjoy this one and I do. However, the taste is a bit too strong and different for me, so this is most likely a one and done.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2011 13:12:26 | More by tigg924
Photo of StJamesGate
StJamesGate

New York

3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at the GBBF*.

Pours black-ruby with a taupe filmy head that holds. Roast, chocolate and port barrel on the nose. Vinous malts with notes of baker's chocolate, earth and ash, with a whiff of petrol. Mint hops end. Very clean finish, light to medium, not much chew.

Of two minds on this one. Very drinkable in body and finish, but I'm not sure I like at all what the port brings, or why it's even there.

*silver medal, 2010.

Serving type: cask

08-09-2010 16:24:39 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of StevenBilodeau
StevenBilodeau

Connecticut

3.08/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was a nice and complex beer. It poured into my tasting glass nice and dark brown, with hints of red highlights. It has some head, and little lacing. The smell was sweet, with some notes of fruit, and the bitterness of dark chocolate. I drank it, and it was very flavorfull and had a unique taste due to its port wine attribute.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2010 05:04:35 | More by StevenBilodeau
Photo of alleykatking
alleykatking

Indiana

3.13/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had some higher hopes for this stout as I love a good port wine. Let's see how this one goes.

A- Pours a deep dark brown almost black color. One and a half finger mocha colored head that dies down to just whisps on the top of the beer. Little lacing on the glass. Nothing pops with this beer in appearance.

S- Good roasted malt upfront on this. This turns into some plum, raisin, and tart cherry fruit notes. The port comes into play toward the end of the aroma but almost in a separate kind of way. Nothing wrong with that but the aroma kind of stops and then goes into this....not blends into this.

T- Roasted malts on the front of this breaks way to a nice cherry tartness with some darker fruits as well. There is a light smoked presence that makes way into a port taste in the back of the beer. Once again the port has its own taste that juts in and doesn't do it in a smooth fashion. Start and stop jerk motion in the mouth with flavors.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Kind of watery feeling in the mouth. Carbonation was a little lacking in the beer. Roasted malts and port are left on the palate and in the aftertaste. Clean tasting for the most part. Drying on the tongue.

D- This beer was a one and done. Actually I don't think I finished the very end of this one. I didn't expect a whole lot with this one and it didn't surprise me. Might drink again if someone buys it.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2010 01:50:49 | More by alleykatking
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.43/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a three finger tan head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Totally black color, no high lights. Medium carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Slight roasted coffee nose. Flavor is semisweet roasted coffee. Small burnt coffee finish. Not finding any port. Halfway between a sweet and dry stout. $4.99 for a 500ml bottle from Manchester Wine and Liquors Manchester, CT. Best by 1/23/10.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2009 22:39:20 | More by jdhilt
Photo of treehugger02010
treehugger02010

Pennsylvania

2.8/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

My girlfriend got me this beer, and I poured it into a pint glass.
Appearance: The body is an opaque dark brown color. The head is four or five fingers tall, light tan in color, huge sized bubbles, wonderful retention and thick sticky lacing.
Smell: The aromas are resin, pineapple and grapefruit.
Taste: The flavors are roasted barley, watery and coffee.
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is thick and edgy.
Drinkability: This is a not too drinkable beer.
Don't drink and review.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2009 01:53:49 | More by treehugger02010
Photo of HeyItsChili
HeyItsChili

China

4.05/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a pint glass. Pours dark brown/black with a foamy brown head.

S - The stouty qualities of chocolate and coffee are present and mix very well with the vinous port influence.

T - Really unique. The aged wine essence of the port serves as aa deep, dry, balance for the sweet and chocolaty stout.

M - Smooth and creamy.

Notes - An interesting twist on stouts. Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2009 21:52:26 | More by HeyItsChili
Photo of cvfish
cvfish

Louisiana

3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a dark brown color that produced a tan head that retained well and left nice lacing around the glass

S - plums and cherries, chocolate malts, some smoked wood

T - The fruit taste of the red wine is present, along with chocolaty, burnt malts, and some sulte hops

M - A little dry, creamy, medium body, light carbonation

D - Good beer, very interesting combo here, recommend giving it a try

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2009 21:18:29 | More by cvfish
Photo of poetaster
poetaster

California

3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

The concept interested me: a stout "enriched with port wine." Pours almost black with a generous amber head and fruity, hop-spicy nose. The mouthfeel on this one hits you before the taste--too much carbonation. It takes a while to settle down, but when it does, what emerges is an especially dry stout flavor with winy, port-like topnotes. All in all, a disappointment, though I would like to try another one, and compare it with other O'Hanlon offerings, if I can find them.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2008 22:30:29 | More by poetaster
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a very dark, opaque color (dark ruby red when held up to the light) with a small creamy and persistant off tan head that stuck around for awhile.

S: dried fruitiness (plums) with a silky, smooth roasted aroma that was vinous with some dark licorice, and smoked oak. Not a lot of hop bitterness detected.

T: Labeled as brewed with port wine that gives this stout a very warming and refined texture similar to a fine wine. The initial flavor starts out malty with a dry lightly smoked roasted flavor with dried fruit (plums). A touch of chocolate, licorice is also detected while the beer finished dry on the tongue with a light smoked wood character.

M: medium bodied with a smooth, soft, and silky roasted feel while it slid down the throat effortlessly.

D: Very easy to drink and to enjoy. A nice dry English stout worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2008 22:47:01 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of beace
beace

Ohio

2.6/5  rDev -28%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Sounded unique so grabbed at $6. Wasn't to worried if it wasn't fantastic, kinda wish i would have purchased something else.

Appearance was dark with a not so tight beige head that left some distinct bands of lacing but nothing to write home about.

This aroma is dominated by a tart cherry character that is accompanied by some roasted notes. Kind of strange; expected more of a stout nose, or maybe just a robust aroma both the cherry and roast aromas just prance around.

My feelings on the flavor is similar to my aroma notes. Everything needs to be turned up a bit. I can faintly detect some promising flavors but I wish that they would stand out more. The mouthfeel is a bit watery.

This is an english ale so the flavors tend to be more on the mild side. Hats off to O'Hanlons for crafting this beer, I just wish they would have turned it up a bit louder.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2008 21:06:04 | More by beace
Photo of charlzm
charlzm

California

3.25/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Consumed 05/04/08. Bottle labeled "best before 02/29/09."

Pours deep, dark brown with mahogany highlights. Head is large and soda-like but reduces quickly to a creamy foam.

Aroma is musty and a bit tannic.

Mouthfeel is thinner than expected.

Flavor is restrained dark roasted malt with a hint of chocolate. The port wine character may not even really be there; perhaps it is the power of suggestion that has me tasting a fleeting red wine note. I expected sweetness (port wine, you know) but didn't notice any. There's a thin but substantial bitterness that lingers afterwards.

Anyway, this is not an especially interesting beer and certainly does not live up to its promise.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2008 04:12:35 | More by charlzm
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

3.05/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought this at Hollingshead a couple weeks ago because it said it had port wine in it. The price was only $5 so it wasnt a rip off but I was a little dissapointed.

The beer poured a black standard stout color. It had a nice thick creamy tan head. Nice retention and good lacing.

The smell was watered down. It was of roasted malts but unfortunately no port wine. The thin quality of the beer was evident by the smell.

The taste was unimaginitive. Very standard run of the mill stout. Had some roasted/burnt malt tastes. There was a touch of dark (non roasted) malts and it a little bitterness.

Decently drinkable and very light. Don't think I'll buy this again, theres too many better beers out there.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2008 08:23:00 | More by t0rin0
Photo of Tilley4
Tilley4

Tennessee

2.48/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Wow, I was expecting much more from this brew, I'll have to admit....

Pours a deep brown with reddish highlights, I'm guessing from the port? It actually looks really good..

Smells sort of winey, I guess... Not getting much of anything to be honest...

Very watery tasting, there is a bit of a port presence but I think if more had been added, this could have been very interesting to drink.... Just not enough to this one...

Drain pour for me... I tried to finish it and I just couldn't

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2008 14:40:39 | More by Tilley4
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

2.28/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

16.9 oz. bottle, purchased at Hi-Times Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, CA,

A: Definitely looks the part, the beer is black, with maroon highlights possibly from the port used, with a thick, creamy tan head which lasts forever.

S: Bitter chocolate, baker's chocolate mostly, with roasted malts, a slight hint of port wine.

T: Basically all I'm getting is burnt sugar/toast character that is not very appetizing and kind of one-dimensional, the port is there as a slight grape and brandy cordial character at the end, but it is very light, and you really have to look for it, I assumed it would be more upfront.

M: Mouthfeel is too light, this is not a nitro beer, I expect more body from my stouts, even at under 5% alc./vol, the main mouthfeel is carbonation.

D: I bought this beer on the assumption that it would create an interesting marriage between beer and port wine, but it turned out just to be a mediocre stout. I would say to the creators that they should use more port, try a different blend, I assumed this beer would be around 8-9% before I looked at the bottle, but at 4.5% the port would have to be very understated, as port is like 17-19% alcohol, fortified with brandy. I'll finish the bottle, for sure, but I won't buy again.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2008 06:40:52 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best before 02 29 09 (?) Whatever that means...(probably a code as a 4.5 would prob. not hold up that long and moreover there is not a 29 of Feb. in 09 and the British put month first if I remember correctly):

Pours nearly pitch black with slight ruby highlights when held to the light. A towering tan head tops it off nicely, leaving broken ring of creamy lacing.

The smell is of roasted, chocolatey maltiness with slight earthininess. The port is hardly detectable at first, and never comes through more than vaguely.

The taste is of roasted barley with a vague smoky touch. Some earthy balance though it remains sweetish. It says, on the label, to serve chilled. With good reason - the chocolate and port (which is subdued) come through at room temperature. If it is too chilled it has a slight metallic tinge. Sweetish finish. Smooth, slightly oily in a medium body.

Very easy to drink and not bad as a stout, but more port character would have been welcomed, as would a touch more smokiness to give it more of an English Stout character. A nice appearance, body and smoothness but more richness in aroma and taste (with more port character) would bring this to a higher, more unique, level.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2007 14:15:23 | More by jwc215
Photo of trill
trill

Mississippi

3.45/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick brown, opaque except for the edges, with a cream head that falls to 1/8". Smell is a nice mink chocolate, with just a tiny hint of cherries. Taste is a very smooth, restrained, espresso-like bitterness, with very little else. Not sure where the port went, but this is a nice, calm, enjoyable stout. Not one I'd wrestle an alligator for, but certainly more flavorful than many other low-alcohol stouts. Probably wonderful with oysters and lighter desserts.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2007 04:24:55 | More by trill
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

2.55/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Barely opaque charred pecan with sparking highlights of garnet and gold. The butter toffee colored cap is a thing of beauty. The mass of sticky bubbles stays humped in the center as it falls, depositing an impressive amount of shotgun-blasted lace in its wake.

The nose isn't very stout-like and I can't appreciate the 'ruby port wine' at all. Those are pretty big faults for a port wine-added stout, wouldn't you say? No off-aromas (other than an initial hint of metal) keeps the score from falling even lower.

I'm still not impressed. TORS is one of the least flavorful stouts that I've run across in a very long time. I know that it's English and I know that the ABV is less than 5%, but still. Where the hell is the port? A wee bit of berry-like tanginess on the back end is the only evidence... or it could just be my imagination. That 'stored in a stainless steel drum' character is still present.

A shortage of malt means that roasted flavors are at a minimum, as is sweetness. Bitterness is definitely present and is almost crushed aspirin-like in its sharpness. My first thought was that I'm drinking old beer, but the 'best by' date is still several months off. My second thought is that I'm drinking poorly crafted beer.

There's no way that a stout of any kind should have a body this spindly. In fact, Ruby Stout is too thin for a beer of any style. Well, maybe not for a light lager, but that's about it. With very few malt sugars to run interference, it isn't surprising that the carbonation favors (lightly) fizzy.

I didn't expect great things out of The Original Ruby Stout, but I sure as hell expected more than this. The idea of adding port to stout is appealing because, if done right, the resulting beer could be both interesting and good. If done wrong, as here, the result is a chore to finish. If you want to see this brewery at their best, go with Royal Oak Pale Ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2007 14:58:04 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of IntriqKen
IntriqKen

California

3.25/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Interesting concept.
Pours a ruby black in the glass with a decent off white to tan head of loose foam that leaves lots of sticky lace in it's wake. The head on this beer lasts quite a while. Impressive.

Aromas are mildly dark roasted malts with some raisins and a whiff of vineous port wine.

Mouthfeel is thin for the style.

Taste is dark roasted malt with coffee and chocolate undertones and then the sharply bitter fruit flavors of the port melding with some hop finish. Balance works very well.

Only disappointment for me is that the mouthfeel is too thin and leads to disappointment in the taste and aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2007 03:41:33 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of geexploitation
geexploitation

Indiana

4.55/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours black, with a tenacious, soft light brown head and the faintest of deep ruby highlights when held up to direct light. The nose is subdued -- some roasted malts, baker's chocolate, burnt caramel, and just a tinge of fruits. The ruby port added to this beer is not forward in the nose. On the palate, the key word for this beer is smooth. Mildly bitter malts first off, then the port character comes through, as cherry flavors show up for the mid-palate. The end comes with mild bitter chocolate and an increasingly dry, hoppy finish. Mouthfeel is very lightly carbonated (although this beer has a beautiful head) and highly smooth. Overall, this is a fantastic stout. Seamless and deep, with the perfect amount of fruit notes blended in, this is a great example of what wonderful flavors can be achieved at a relatively low ABV.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2007 02:42:57 | More by geexploitation
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O'Hanlon's The Original Ruby Stout from O'Hanlon Brewing Co. Ltd.
82 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.