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.
very good

839 Ratings

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Ratings: 839
Reviews: 467
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.92%
Wants: 60
Gots: 57 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Carlow Brewing Company visit their website

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: 839 | Reviews: 467
Reviews by Sixpack595:
Photo of Sixpack595
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a truley black with a fair amount of tan head. The aroma was faint, but suggested roasted malt. Taste was a crisp, dry bitterness. Roasted malt and expresso dominate with a hint of chocolate. The mouthfeel was a bit on the thin side of medium. Not bad at all. A bit of a change from Guiness, but not something I'll be drinking regularly.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 11.2 oz brown bottle with a best before date on the back label.

Appearance: Dense bubbly tan lace, great retention. The color is a shade away from pitch black.

Smell: Aromatic roasted smell of coffee and burnt grain.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Velvety smooth with an amazing viscous carbonation with in a moderate body. Creamy malt with mild roasted notes that turn into a dusty charcoal flavor. Clean palate with a light hop bitterness, finish very dry with a lingering charcoal note.

Drinkability & Notes: Highly quaffable, this one gives Guinness Draft a run for its money IMO.

Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a jet black color with huge pillowey head took a while for it to come down.Smell was of bitter chocolate and pretty sweet.I thought the taste was real smokey and burnt and somewhat dry and oily.Like the firm body of this not thin and watery by any stretch.Good to find another fine example of a dry Irish stout.

Photo of RoyalT
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – This beer is almost black in color with a nice, lightly-tanned white head.

Smell – The roasty malts and dark coffee are subdued but prominent in the bouquet. I didn’t find a lot of sweetness here, which is good.

Taste – The flavor is really bold. It is truly a dry stout. The malts are roasted and bitter and the coffee is thick like a Turkish or Lebanese blend. There is some light chocolate here but mostly this is a dry, roasty flavor.

Mouthfeel – This beer is very light though a tad bigger than light-bodied. It is bitter but not brutally so. The carbonation is light out of the bottle. It is velvety smooth and definitely has strong sessiony characteristics.

Drinkability – I can just imagine this on-tap at a pub in Ireland. It is light enough to session yet fun enough to keep you ordering more.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've found this and their Irish Red in stores around here. This is a very nice stout. It's a very dark brown, almost black, color with a small tan head. Coffee and roasted malt aroma. Nice bitter espresso taste. Dry on the palate. Good beer to drink, will look for it again.

Photo of smbarz
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a very dark brown, almost black with dark brown/copper light peering through the sides of the glass. The off-white head is a thick and creamy crown that remains and leaves dense lacing down the glass.
The bouquet gives anise, very dark chocolate, roasted grain, and slight dark cherry aromas.
The flavor brings out more of the dark chocolate and light anise.
The mouthfeel is velvety and roles across the tongue with ease, finishing clean. The carbonation is low. This is a very easy drinking stout that would be great by a fire or with roasted duck or oysters.

Photo of merlin48
3.51/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle served at cellar temperature into a dimpled pint glass.

Appearance: Dark brown, but clear, on the pour. Appears opaque in the glass, but is ruby mahogany when held to light. Creamy, beige head is two fingers tall. Good retention, with attractive patches of lace sheeting the glass.

Aroma: Very subtle bouquet for a stout, with mild roasty notes of carob and coffee.

Mouthfeel: Light medium body, slightly creamy, with medium carbonation.

Taste: Smooth and creamy, with tingly carbonation. Mild carob notes with softly bitter, roasted dark malts. A reserved hops presence adds a nice floral/herbal taste. Finish and aftertaste have a mild coffee bitterness.

Drinkability: Very good drinkability for any style of stout. Modest alcohol content and relatively light body will allow you to enjoy more than a couple of these at a sitting, if you choose.

Photo of nem2006
4.21/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on draft at Maggie Miley's in Normal, IL. If you are ever in the area, check it out. A great Irish pub.

Dark color, almost black, creamy head that holds very well and leaves nice lacing on the glass.

The nose is roasted. Nothing that really distinguishes itself.

The taste really is the thing that gets me. Even though it is hailed as a Dry stout I found it very creamy, almost milky and somewhat sweet. There are hints of coffee and a little caramel in there. The finish is smooth for this medium to full-bodied beer. Very tasty and I prefer this over Guinness. If I see this on tap anywhere, I will be sure to snag a pint.

Photo of Mora2000
3.06/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to swalden28 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours dark brown to black with a khaki head. The aroma is a sweet, slightly roastey malt. The flavor is more of the same with some earthy hops in there as well. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation. Decent, but nothing special.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Inky black on the pour with a very nice bed of creamy lace that rings nicely.

Smell: Roasted coffee, malts, chocolate. Nothing too overbearing.

Taste: Like the smell, there is noticeable roasting of the flavors involved: chocolate, coffee, and a toasted malt sweetness. Behind all of this, though, is a fairly strong bittering effect and this really shows up at the end.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. Not as thick and syrupy coating of the mouth as I expected, but very smooth.

Drinkability: Above average. Just a slight bit of toasty bitterness on aftertaste, though I felt as though this beer is a little on the thin side.

Notes: I think this would be a good introduction for someone wanting to try a stout and isn't ready to dance with an Imperial stout.

Photo of Thrasher
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Interesting... this doesn't taste like Guinness to me at all. My first Irish micro. Nearly black with big poufy head that subsides. Excellent roasted barley aroma. Very bitter, almost biting; a combination of sharp-tasting hops and the dark malts. A big hit of black coffee. At first sip I thought there were some unappealing off flavors - mostly the hops which are grassy and grating. However I grew accustomed to them and began to enjoy them. I think the lasting, persuasive finish has something to do with it. If you're looking for a replacement for Guinness, get some Beamish. If you want something different - a rawer, less creamy, more uncompromising beer - check this out. It could be the effects of their marketing, but I like to imagine this is what Irish stout tasted like in the days of yore.

Photo of far333
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow-what a great beer. This reminds me of what Guinness tastes like in Ireland. The thick, foamy, beige head stays with the pour (I think I can float a quarter on it), and there is nice lacing down the glass as you drink. The beer is dark brown, nearly black. Taste is weak on the front of the tongue, but rolls across the middle and down the sides toward the back with a smooth mouthfeel and a smokey, highly roasted malt flavor, with hints of bitter chocolate and coffee. I could drink this all night. Really nice Irish stout.

Photo of BadBadger
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

O'hara's Stout is rather pleasant, relative to the other mass marketed Irish dry stouts on the market (e.g., Guinness and Murphy's). This beer pours a brown, nearing dark, color. It has a nice sized head, which goes away a bit to quickly (some swirling brings it back easy enough). The smell is malty, with hints of roasted malt. The taste is on the bitter end of the spectrum, with strong burnt flavoring from the roasting coming through. The moutfeel is smooth. I would certainly rather see these on tap than Guinness.

Photo of robertjbell
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep black, much darker than most Irish Dry Stouts I have had in my time. Small tan head leaves spotches of creamy lacing all around the glass. Certainly raises my expectations for what is to come

N: Tons of roasted grains, barley in particular aggressively standing out. Nice hints of mellow coffee, balanced by an underlying sweetness remeniscent of butterscotch and cream.

T: Right away there is a marked roast quality, both from the barley and the coffee notes that punctuate throughout. This is followed up vague indistinguishable dark fruits, with a touch of sourness to them. The finish lives up to its name of dry with remarkable efficiency, it is a pleasant surprise to get a similar bitter quality that a good dark IPA might provide.

M: Although the style is low in ABV, the feel of this beer, while being far from lucious and creamy, still holds its own with a light, airier complexions dominating

D: The drying effect of this beer certainly packs a wallop, yet the low ABV means with some water one could easily knock back a few like one would pints of Guinness

Photo of ADR
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep black, just a touch of ruby where the light comes through at the bottom. Tan, puffy head -- a good 3/4 of an inch. Aroma muted and not pronounced. Somewhat astringent coffee tastes, roasted malts seem more subtle than some Dry Stouts. Not very burly in impact. Fades consistently. Noted a papery or wheat paste flavor in the aftertaste that was somewhat unpleasant. To me this was a decent, but not great, Irish Stout. May have been subject to aging.

Photo of Itoclown
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased from Ladd's in Muskegon. Drank from a pint glass. Wow... Did this one fall through the cracks or what? I think this is better than Guinness. One of the better stouts I've ever had.

Look: Black with a little head.
Smell: Quite delicious. Roasted malts. Caramel, coffee. Smells much like an Irish red blended with a stout.
Taste/mouthfeel: Smooth and gives a good fizz on the tongue. Slight burnt taste. Bit of a coffee taste. Leaves a delicious after taste.

Overall/notes: Wow! Wasn't sure about this one. Smells and tastes a lot like Guinness but better. I'd love to try this one on tap or from a nitro can. A/A-

Photo of Shovelbum
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a two finger mocha head over a black body with just a faint trace of red aroud the edges. The head has decent staying power and leaves bits of lace. Aromas of roasted barley and coffee. A fairly robust roasted flavor mixes with a pronounced mineral character. Although, the mineral diminishes as it warms, becoming a bit softer around the edges with the roasted character taking over. Moderate hop bitterness. Full body. Smooth. The roasted flavor lingers long after the finish.

A nice Irish stout. The emphasis is definitely on the roasted side here with little else adding to complexity apart from some minor chocolate notes—but that’s all right since there’s plenty chew on as it is.

Photo of glid02
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up for St. Patrick's Day at Tower on Piedmont in Atlanta.

Pours a very dark brown with a one-finger tan head. The head sticks around for a while before dissipating into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of creamy roasted malt with hints of coffee.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Lightly roasted malt flavors with mild coffee flavors that carry through until the dry and bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with solid carbonation that makes this go down smoothly.

Drinkability is great. I will have no problem finishing this one and can drink plenty more, especially with the 4.3% ABV.

Overall this is one of my favorite Irish Dry Stouts, definitely one of the more flavorful beers in the style, and well worth a shot.

Photo of rastaman
3.3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A pretty decent stout, dry and bitter, roasty and burnt, tastes very Irish. I fact, it tastes similar to the mainstream Irish Stouts, but with a touch more body, and less of that crappy creamyness, decent. A better alternative to Guinness, and it doesn't have the crappy nitro creamyness of Guinness.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a dimple mug) Best before date see bottle/cap?
A- This beer has a crystal clear but opaque black body with a lumpy oatmeal tan head and big bubbles stuck to the base of the glass.
S- The fruity blueberry quality to the roasted black malt has a slight musty/smoky hint in the finish. There is a peaberry coffee note in the finish.
T- The roasted chocolate malt has a slight smokey tart quality to it with a berry flavor that leans toward blueberry. The finish is pretty dry, with a very brief char hint lingering.
M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a slight slippery texture, and no alcohol heat.
D- This beer has a nice start with some nice depth and is impressive for a 4.3%ABV. This is a very sessionable beer but the beery qualities grows a bit to much as it warms.

Photo of LXIXME
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 2 1/2 to 3 inches above the glass leaving a big light brown head floating over a clear dark brown to black colored stout. The head dissipates faster than the O'hara's Irish Red's did but this one left a big longer lasting lacing on the beer.

Light aroma consists of roasted almost burnt malts with light hints of roasted dark chocolate malts.

Taste is dark roasted malts, some dark chocolate, maybe a hint of roasted coffee or molasses lurking on the edges, a very enjoyable stout.

A dry lightly roasted malt aftertaste on this Irish Dry Stout. A pretty good beer, I wish I had picked up some ice cream, I enjoy stouts like this with a scoop of ice cream in, back in the day we called them Guinness Floats, if you haven't and you enjoy stouts/porters you should definitely try one.

Photo of jbphoto88
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep chocolate brown colored beer with a khaki head that rises about a 1/4 inch above the brew. It dissipates quickly to a thin collar and an island of bubbles in the middle.

Smell has good roasted malt and barley characteristics with a touch of almond/vanilla coffee. Nice nose but a little on the weak side.

Taste is damn decent. A mix of scorched grains with a creamy start and a bitter dry finish. Slightly dusty mouthfeel in the end but combined with a chocolaty slight caramel malt aftertaste.

Tasty brew. This one is mild but delivers in the flavor department as well as the nose and feel. Easy to drink and very satisfying and much more interesting to me then the grand daddy of Irish stout Guinness.

Photo of acurtis
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a four pack of O'Hara's Celtic Stout. This is a bottle conditioned irish stout. It pours a very dark, almost black color with nice aroma of coffee and chocolate. Taste is coffee with a bit of carmel and some roasted malt. Nice stout with smooth, almost thin mouthfeel. Drinkable but only an alternative, not a replacement to its big brother.

Photo of ascrivens
4.11/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As an Irish stout goes, this is my favorite. No question.

On tap in temple bar district in dublin, the color was unbelievably dark. like a black hole, no light escapes. Held up to the sun through a pint glass only the faintest shimmer could be seen. I knew i was in for an interesting beer.

The smell was good. Roasted hops prevailed with a coffee and spicy notes. I thought paprika, but couldnt put my finger on it.

The taste was equal to the smell. Full flavoured. Full bodied. Delicious. Smooth. Ahhh, glory. This was my last, and best stout of my Ireland trip.

The drinkability was good but strong flavours tended to slow the consumption a bit. Not a bad thing though with a drink like this. Not at all watery or metallic (slight at another famous stout).

I will try it out of a bottle in the future to see if it lives up the the glory that was fresh from the tap.

Photo of eweneek83
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Its a typical cream stout, the body is murky black, almost opaque. The head is thick and creamy, like the heavy cream on a mug of Irish coffee. Its very typical of a stout, but there's not a lot to see, as its very dark and murky. Carbonation is light.

Smell: Fantastic nose, so much better than Guinness. The dark roasted malt is very evident, almost no hops. Behind the warm burnt smell, theres some sweetness as well coming from dark fruit. I think there some tar too, like a freshly laid asphalt road.

Taste: The bitterness is born almost wholly by the dark malt. Its skillfully roasted, bitter but not burnt (it smells burnt -nicely- but the taste is more dark coffee bitter). There's a syrupy sweetness under the bitter malt, molasses I think, with some dark cherry and raisins. Its not a "cloying" sweetness, its well balanced, keeping the formidable bitterness in check.

Mouth Feel: This is very thick! You almost eat it as much as drink it. It coats the mouth and ads its flavor to anything you eat.

Drinkability: I love this beer, but due to the thickness and strong flavor, I'll have to say its less drinkable than some others. Usually I'll go on to something else after one or two of these.

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O'Hara's Irish Stout from Carlow Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 839 ratings.