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O'Hara's Irish Stout - Carlow Brewing Company

Not Rated.
O'Hara's Irish StoutO'Hara's Irish Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

830 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 830
Reviews: 467
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.89%
Wants: 60
Gots: 55 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Carlow Brewing Company visit their website
Ireland

Style | ABV
Irish Dry Stout |  4.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-27-2001

The flagship of the O’Hara’s brand, this uniquely Irish stout brings one back to how Irish stouts used to taste. First brewed in 1999, it has since been awarded prestigious honours for its quality and authenticity.

O’Hara’s Irish Stout has a robust roast flavour complemented by a full-bodied and smooth mouth feel. The generous addition of Fuggle hops lends a tart bitterness to the dry espresso-like finish. This sessionable stout beer is filled with rich complex coffee aroma mingled with light liquorice notes. The combination of traditional stout hops with an extra pinch of roast barley allows us to stay true to Irish tradition, recreating a taste so often yearned for by stout drinkers.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 830 | Reviews: 467
Photo of buschbeer
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

11.2 fl.oz bottle
Served in a nonic pint glass

It is pretty dark in color. I held it to the light and nothing came through. It was topped with three inches of mocha head the leaves nice lacing as it retreats.

When I first poured this beer I got some rich chocolate aromas. As I consume it I get more of a peaty smell. I like both of the smells.

The taste is definitely more focused on the peat. I get some chocolate in the finish.

Full mouthfeel

This is a flavorful remnant of my Saint Patrick's Day beers. This is a great alternative to Guinness. It appeases the senses more than Guinness.

Photo of TheBierdimpfe
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Opaque black color. Thick creamy and sparkly brown 2 finger head lasting around 6 minutes. Strong legs and no visible activity.

Aromas and flavors of nuts, toffee, cocoa and coffee with herbal spices. Strong earthy smell with a roasted bitter taste.

Creamy heavy body with prickly carbonation. Strong and long bitter finish ending with a thick smoky mouth coat and highly dry.

Overall : The craft and flavors are good but it's slightly slate missing some freshness. Too dry and bitter for my taste, preferring sweeter stouts.

Photo of DaveBar
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Purchased at the LCBO for around $3.00 for a 500ml bottle. Served at 4deg C in a draught glass

A- Opens well and pours a 1" brown head that is gone in a minute. Super dark brown color

S- Lots of malt here. Oceany scent. Not fishy but the scent of the ocean.

T- Hint of oyster. Chocolate/coco flavor. Light flavor which dragged the score down a touch

M- Dry but watery.

O- Pretty good beer. Nice experience but will not seek it out

Food Pairing

This pretty good beer went well with....... Roasted chicken

Enjoy

Photo of tkelley
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a bottle and a half into a tall glass with a Celtic knot on it.

A - dark brown body with caramel highlights. Light tan head that reduced from an inch to a solid thin layer after a minute or two.

N - Smell is dark roasted malts and coffee, a hint of dar chocolate. Earthy hops very barely.

T - Coffee. Dark malty sweetness and roasted character, with again a light earthy hop finish.

M - nice a dry. Smooth. No nitro here but the carbonation level is fine.

O - excellent.a very nice,e choice for st Patrick's day. Happy to see more of these products on shelf and in bars around here lately.

Slainte!

Photo of PorterPro125
3.36/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type: 500 mL Bottle

A- Deep Brown (almost black) colour topped with a beautiful tan 1 finger head that quickly dissipated to a thin skim. Fair amount of lacing

S- Roasty and smokey. Dark chocolate/espresso like aroma.

T- Lots of smokiness. Reminds of smoked gouda. I didn't really pick up anything else because the smokiness was quite overwhelming for me.

M- Low-Medium carbonation and a dry medium body

O- I'm not sure if I got a bad batch or what, but the smokiness on the taste was really overwhelming for me. It could be compared to the peaty smokiness of a Lagavulin Scotch. Not the creamy and subtle stout I was expecting. Besides the taste, everything else was A1. Definitely will try in the future to see if the extreme smoke flavours are a commonality.

Photo of Pisshhead
4.52/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great example a lot better than d bould Guinness..

Photo of ssmack
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark dark brown with 1 inch head that quicky turned to a slick. Signs of carbonation bubbles at the surface. Good lacing and retention.

Roasty aroma. Roasted nuts and bitter chocolate. An element of creaminess comes in as it warms.

The taste follows from the aroma. Smooth and subtle .. not the big overwhelming stout taste. Mainly roasted nuts with an herby hop bitterness. Both the nuts and herbs continue through the aftertaste.

Medium feel which maybe be light for a stout. Definitely dry with a fizzly carbonation feel.

Very good. The hops are very well handled. The bitter and the burnt.

Photo of amasow
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

About as good as it gets. Delicious.

Photo of brureview
4.24/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a dark opaque coffee brown color with a 1/2F head in an imperial pint glass.

The aroma is one of the best I have experienced in an Irish stout: roasted malt, with a touch of sweetness, a hint of candy.

The mouth feel is moderately carbonated.

Taste: pronounced roasted malt with a dry finish- the way an Irish stout should.

This is the first time I have tasted this beer. It's distinctive in the style. The body is full as is the aroma/taste. It's only 4.5%ABV, but quite substantial. It's a low ABV go-to beer.
I will buy more in the near future.

Photo of barczar
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%

Roasty, chocolatey, with a touch of char at the finish. There's a touch of diacetyl, but a solid beer. Hints of coffee.

Photo of biegaman
4.16/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

O'Hara's Irish Stout looks just as good - nay, better - than Guinness and has a head every bit as thick and spongy which it accomplishes without the use of any cheap gimmicks, thank you very much! In fact, the mocha brown tint is more becoming for such a dark, opaque beer anyhow (even if this one does allow a glimpse of colour along its edges).

The aroma's dry, lightly burnt, bittersweet persona is reminiscent of both coffee and cocoa beans, though there's no mistaking the scent of roasted barley for espresso or dark chocolate. While there are hints of rich, strong flavours, this doesn't register as an especially powerful beer - it's far too easy-going and approachable.

The taste tells a similar story; traces of chocolate and coffee are readily appreciated but won't fill you up. Just like you'd hope for an Irish stout, O'Hara's has the flavour profile of a beer twice as potent but drinks its true strength (4.3%). The very definition of 'mellow', this one is pleasantly smooth and soft, entirely free from harshness.

Part of its appeal are the soft, almost ethereal fruity undertones and the gentle wisp of smoke that concludes each sip. The beer's nuances can appropriately be likened to an artisan coffee or single origin chocolate; this is obviously made from top-notch ingredients and with expertise. This is a casual, social, sessionable, easy-quaffing beer... for those with high standards.

If O'Hara's were as ubiquitous as Guinness we'd all have a better quality of life. This stout leaves no room for want - it's as well-crafted a textbook example as they come. Any pub that regularly offered this would have my patronship and full-fledged allegiance - it's the kind of beer I could drink with unconditional regularity and sorrowfully wish I could. Send more!

Photo of kevinlater
2.99/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500ml bottle into nonic pint, poured on november 24, 2014. "BB 28 09 15".

a: a very dark, soy sauce-esque hue, with dark brown tinges at the edges. three fingers of quickly-fading light brown head

s: chocolate, roast, smoke, slight dark fruit, and an odd salty soy sauce note

t: getting that salty, earthy soy sauce here, but there are also notes of chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and mild raisin. closes out with a nice coffee-infused smoky dryness

m: light but not watery. medium, somewhat prickly carbonation

o: the stout flavours are present and tasty, but are marred by the salty taste

Photo of FLima
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pitch black color with a thin caramel head with medium retention.
Bold roasted malty aroma with notes of coffee and mild licorice.
Likewise, intense roasted and even char notes with hints of coffee, earthy hops, some cocoa and tobacco. Quite dry aftertaste with a long lasting roasted and burnt notes.
Light to medium body with appropriate carbonation.
Original Irish Stout reference for the style, not sweet and very assertive on roasted flavors. This is how an Irish Stout should be. High drinkability and sure better than Guinness.

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle served cool into a pint glass. Purchased for $3.75 CDN from LCBO.

Appearance - midnight black beer is poured, topped by a finger and a bit of tan foam with moderate retention.

Smell - tobacco, leather and peat.

Taste - just like the nose, tobacco leather and tons of peat, giving it a very earthy flavor that is also dry. Some coffee rounds things out on the finish.

Mouthfeel - smooth and full bided yet thin while in the mouth making this very drinkable. Carbonation is present but melds nicely with the silky feel.

Overall - a rich and roasty stout with more dank and earthy flavours than many in the style, however very enjoyable as so often this style goes the coffee route of things. A very good stout.

Photo of thehyperduck
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500 mL bottle from the LCBO; best before Sept 28 2015. I believe this may technically be the first actual authentic Irish beer I've ever had, because the Guinness products sold in this country are also brewed here, rather than in Ireland. Served slightly chilled.

Pours a very dark brown colour - easily mistaken for black - and topped at first with one finger of creamy, light beige-coloured froth. It wilts slowly over the next few minutes, with only a thin cap and collar surviving the ordeal. The aroma is enticing, consisting mostly of roasted barley, dark-roasted coffee, milk chocolate and some earthy, herbal undertones. Very nice so far.

Considering the low abv, this is a very full-flavoured, satisfying dry stout. Roasted malts dominate from start to finish, providing a mixture of milk chocolate, cocoa and espresso that is sure to delight dark ale fans. A slight hint of Medjool date sweetness comes through mid-sip, with the tail end of the profile becoming increasingly roasty. There is a hint of earthy bitterness, anise and dark chocolate toward the end, but these all fade rapidly, leaving nothing but dryness behind on the palate. Light-medium in body, with relatively low carbonation levels that provide a slightly prickly feel in the mouth, and a smooth mouthfeel overall.

Final Grade: 4.15, an A-. O'Hara's Irish Stout is a fantastic example of a quintessential Irish session stout, and one of the finest examples of this style that I have ever had the pleasure of trying. They did not skimp on the roasted malts, as this light stout provides far more roasty chocolate and espresso goodness than 'the leading Irish brand' could ever hope to muster. This is a skilfully-brewed beer, and a serious crowd-pleaser - you don't need to be a beer geek to appreciate this one. Session stout fans should consider O'Hara's a must-try.

Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Appearance: dark chestnut body with big frothy tan head after aggressive pour.

Smell: dark malts and heavy roasted grains

Taste: roasted grains dominate from the start; sweet taste starts in the mid and lingers towards the finish; the bitter grains stick around and give a seemingly dry finish. I can't detect much else in the flavor due to the roasted grains.

Mouthfeel: fairly well carbonated and medium bodied

Remarks: pretty tasty overall

Photo of seedyone
4/5  rDev +3.4%

03/15/12 On Tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Full bodied, low ABV but with flavor. No upfront espresso/coffee or chocolate just a creamy/buttery toasted malty flavor.

Photo of DoktorEd
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Poured into a tulip glass, formed a thin head that dissipated rather quickly, decent amount of carbonation. Roasted malt is pretty strong with this one.

Had a somewhat thin consistency, definitely thinner than what I'd expect from a typical Irish stout. Very drinkable. The carbonation is actually rather pleasant. Not a whole lot of bitterness to it, just very warm hints of coffee and a very smooth maltiness. Definitely worth buying.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.86/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle purchased at AJ's Beer Warehouse in Henrietta, NY.

Pours an inky dark black, with a foamy one inch head, and ample lacing. Lots of visible carbonation.

Smells like roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate.

This is one of the better Irish stouts I've had. Fairly bitter roastiness, along with some espresso beans, and bitter cocoa powder. Slightly musty flavor. The malt flavor on this one is practically a burnt charcoal feel, but it's not overpowering.

This one has a fairly light body, and is slightly watery, but I expect that with these stouts. There is luckily a medium amount of carbonation- I was worried it would be too high after seeing the visible carbonation.

This kicks the crap out of most Irish dry stouts. It'll never be my favorite style, but I'd get this one again.

Photo of flyingpig
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pint on-tap at The Ha'Penny Bridge Inn, Dublin (€6.00):
Dark & opaque, almost black with red tinges & topped with a creamy, beige, 2cm head with excellent retention and a layer of creamy lacing on the sides.

Medium roasted malts initially, some darker notes & hints of chocolate with some sweetness. I got the odd creamy, almost milk chocolate like smells & there was and earthy bitterness towards the end as well.

Light malts & roasted with earthy flavours & some coffee. I got some sweetness and chocolate with touches of bitterness & creamy flavours. It was lighter than expected but it went down well and was quite enjoyable.

Silky smooth, it went down incredibly easily. Medium body which was lighter than I would have expected and the carbonation levels were soft before a dry & light bitterness rounded things off.

A pretty good beer & definitely a nice alternative to Guinness. The beer was a little lighter than you might expect but it was full of flavours and very easy going down; definitely a beer worth getting your hands on.

Photo of illpass78
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

11.2-ounce bottle poured into a stout glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark brown - just about black. Initially presents a big, foamy tan head that I wasn't expecting. Lacing is minimal. Carbonation isn't really visible because it's so dark.

Smell: This stout has a big, bold nose, full of black coffee and dark chocolate and espresso beans.

Taste: Mighty tasty stout, this. The black coffee and black chocolate are up front, with just a tiny hint of dark fruit (dates, maybe) in the background.

Mouthfeel: Velvet smooth. This beer is a pleasure to drink. I like the low alcohol, too. It doesn't have super heft to it, but it doesn't need it.

Overall: A terrific representation of a classic style. It's one of the better stouts I've had. The wine of the country!

Photo of Jayhawk
5/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

11.2 ounce bottle that comes as a four pack (and on sale at my local liquor store...score!). Served in a US pint glass.

A - Nearly black with a lovely tan head with great retention...it looks very nice.

S - The aroma is pleasant and there is no question this is a serious stout...roasted malt, coffee, bit of chocolate aroma.

T - Tastes just like it smells. Not sweet, hints of chocolate, coffee, roasted malt. Puts other more famous stouts to shame. This is what stout should taste like.

M - Incredibly smooth and creamy...yet without the use of nitro. Goes down easy, and at only 4.3% alcohol this is a very dangerously sessionable beer!

Wow...best stout I've had in years. Simply superb!

Photo of burnerfinger
4.52/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

poured from the 12 oz bottle into my new belgium goblet:

A super dark - like cola - absolutely opaque - even if held to a light.
thick, nearly chewy caramel style full finger of head that settles to a thin ring of surface foam with miminal lacing

S AHH sweetest nose I can ever recall from a brew. chocolate more than any thing else...this is going VERY well - now for the first taste:

T better than expected. SMOOTH with just a bit of a bitter bite - smooth is what I see most here.
just a bit of a carbonation burn on the back of the tongue

M a bit thick, in line with the silky smoothness

D VERY good to savor, not to be guzzled IMHO

Photo of Acotzintli
4.44/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

My opinion:

smooth, creamy and excellent aftertaste beer that reminds me of melted chocolat because of it's thickness when you hold it in your mouth :) It's special aroma, color and smell are alluring you to try and drink it with every kind of meal and really you can do it without being dissapointed.

I recommend it allways

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle into pint glass, best before 1/31/2015. Pours nearly pitch black color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, toast, dark bread, light char, herbal, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of roast/bready malt and moderate hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, roasted malt, light char, herbal, and roasted earthiness. Moderate amount of herbal/roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, roast, light char, herbal, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance and robustness of roast/bready malt and moderate earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with fairly creamy, smooth, crisp, and lightly bready/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish as expected of 4.3%. Overall this is an excellent dry stout. All around great balance, complexity, and robustness of roast/bready malt and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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O'Hara's Irish Stout from Carlow Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 830 ratings.