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O'Hara's Irish Stout - Carlow Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

738 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 738
Reviews: 451
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 12.14%
Wants: 50
Gots: 23 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Carlow Brewing Company visit their website

Style | ABV
Irish Dry Stout |  4.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
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.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-27-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 738 | Reviews: 451 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Happy_Camper

1/5  rDev -74.2%

04-25-2012 18:08:18 | More by Happy_Camper
Photo of scoates

Quebec (Canada)

2.23/5  rDev -42.4%

Split a bottle of this with a good friend on NYE 2008.

I'm a fan of fuller bodied stouts, but a nice Dry Irish is fine once in a while.

Poured into our glasses, it was nice and clear (ruby highlights when held directly up to a light), and the head retention was what I'd expect.

The smell of this beer is excellent. Nice rich coffee and dark chocolate notes that seriously raised my expectations for the taste of my half-glass.

But, I was let down. Tasting the beer, I was immediately smacked with acrid, burnt roasted barley and not much else. This brew smells much better than it tastes. I tried to like it because it smells so great, but I ended up dumping out my portion and moving on to the next bottle.

It was extremely over-carbonated, almost to the point that the watery body (which is ok in a Dry Irish) made me wonder if this bottle had been infected.

I have a second bottle of this, but I'll be in no rush to consume it... I'd only buy it again if I found it on tap, on nitro (which I think could possibly save this beer), and even then... not sure.

Smell it if you get a chance, but make someone else drink it.

01-03-2009 02:22:20 | More by scoates
Photo of canders0927


2.25/5  rDev -41.9%

05-16-2012 22:01:30 | More by canders0927
Photo of kojevergas


2.38/5  rDev -38.5%

On nitro-tap into pint glass at the Bull & Castle, Dublin.

A: One finger tan head of lovely cream and notable retention. Black colour. Inferior to Guinness. Far inferior, mind ye.

Sm: Vanilla, caramel, coffee, and either toffee or chocolate. Strong and distinctive.

T: Cream doesn't come through until the end, a damned shame. Coffee steals (read: wrecks) the balance, damaging the complexity of the body. The open sucks outright; it's downright watery. The notes from the nose are subsumed by the climax.

Mf: Too smooth until the climax; too dry after. An unforgivable mistake for the style (my favourite style).

Dr: 4.40 quid is far too expensive for such a mediocre beer. This beer spits on my favourite style. All ye who claim this is better than Guinness are either playing the contrarian or too involved in promoting Irish craft beer over macros. Let me inform you: Guinness is not "the man", however much we may hate Diageo.

05-10-2011 18:27:30 | More by kojevergas
Photo of jsh420


2.45/5  rDev -36.7%

pours dark brown almost black with a 1_ finger fizzy head that left spotted lacing

smells more like a pils - very little roast

taste is a little better but not by much - light roasted malts but i get more cereal grains and medicinal grassy hops

mouthfeel - way over carbonated gives it a very sharp bite that i do not want in a irish dry

drinkability is not good - the only good thing was this beer was sold in four packs

10-08-2010 02:08:09 | More by jsh420
Photo of EStreet20

New Jersey

2.45/5  rDev -36.7%

11.2 ounce bottle. Shaker pint glass.

A - Pours out a dark brown. About two full fingers of off white head thins in some spots but remains a rocky formation on top of the brew.

S - Smell is faint, roasted malts.

T - Taste is basically a little too subtle here. Really just a tiny bit of roastiness with a watery overall flavor.

M - Has a nice body, fairly full.

D - Basically the darkest glass of seltzer water I've ever had. The fact that this brew is practically devoid of flavor makes it tough to drink.

08-09-2008 03:36:34 | More by EStreet20
Photo of sgttibbs


2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

02-20-2014 13:51:15 | More by sgttibbs
Photo of cantfindme

North Carolina

2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

12-10-2011 01:35:46 | More by cantfindme
Photo of numinorian


2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

A Almost opaque in color, with a tan, fairly thick head, and sticky lace.

S This beer gives you charred grain smell with about nothing else

T Sweet cereal, with a somewhat dry roasted malt

MF is full thick and oily

Drinkability is harsh. Thick and hard with a charred dryness.

Overall this beer is fairly solid in the style but unimaginative. Getting through it was not as much as fun as I had hoped it would be.

03-28-2009 03:01:05 | More by numinorian
Photo of sodensp


2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

03-11-2013 22:24:48 | More by sodensp
Photo of mrasskicktastic

New Jersey

2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

A - A creamy, thick three fingers of mocha colored head sits atop a nearly black brew with copious thick rings of lacing. The head vanished a bit quickly than perfection in my opinion, pretty close though.

S - Coffee with a touch of burnt malt and a molasses aroma. Fainter dark chocolate and hay. Pretty nice.

T - The first flavor in a waxy flavor. Actually tastes like lipstick. Yuck. Then there is a faint coffee and dry molasses flavor. The aftertaste, the best part (still not great) is a coffee bitterness with a touch of grassy hops.

M - Thin, a bit harsh from carbonation, moderately refershing.

D - Where did that flavor come from??? It came from left field to ruin what I thought was going to be a great beer. It is still light enough to session, but the lipstick flavor is so unpleasant. I will pass on this in the future. I tried desperately to think of some reason that the beer could possibly have that flavor from an external source, but I couldn't think of one. One course, I still can't think of any internal source for that flavor . . .

01-21-2007 01:43:58 | More by mrasskicktastic
Photo of LittleDon


2.53/5  rDev -34.6%

Surprisingly resilient head for a bottled stout. Creamy tan with plenty of lace. Coffee aroma is on the muted side. A bit of carbonation bite at first. Once it warms up, this improves. Alcohol and a bit of toasted malt flavor, but not that much. Medium body. Jan 11 use by date, so maybe it's a bit old.

01-01-2011 01:51:19 | More by LittleDon
Photo of TerryW

Ontario (Canada)

2.6/5  rDev -32.8%

Dark walnut coloured beer with a great looking tan coloured head that stayed and stayed and stayed. Great lacing. A very handsome beer.

Lots of things happening in the nose of this beer. Roasted and wet (?) smoke smell. Must be some manner of roasted malt. I'm afraid I didn't find the smell entirely enjoyable. The smokiness or burnt smell is unusual and a bit off-putting somehow.

Coffee and roasted malt flavours, but really a bit thin and watery on the palate. Lingering dry bitterness. Hops become more distinct as the beer warms.

Looks great, but after that really didn't work for me.

01-25-2004 05:39:36 | More by TerryW
Photo of beerguy101


2.65/5  rDev -31.5%

Sampled on 5/10/2010. This dry stout pours a deep black color from a 33cl bottle. Large sized tan foamy head with good retention and nice lacing. The aroma is roasty malt, some smoke and a touch of chocolate. A medium bodied dry stout. The malts are roasty and chocolate. The hops are earthy. Nice balance. Good carbonation. A touch fruity at the finish. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

05-16-2010 18:06:50 | More by beerguy101
Photo of maxpower


2.68/5  rDev -30.7%

Jet black in color, small creamy light tan head, aroma of dark roasted coffee and malts. Medium body, thin and watery mouthfeel. Cofffee and chocolate flavors, with a decent burnt bitterness in the finish, some what watery, not all that great, I don't want another one.

06-20-2003 08:33:53 | More by maxpower
Photo of JustinJTisdale

New York

2.73/5  rDev -29.5%

Got this because it was a 2 dollar special for the day at a local bar.

The pour made me excited as it resembled a dark thick stout with a very light colored thick head that stuck around for days leaving some of the thickest lacing ive ever seen on a beer.

The taste was bland. Basically guiness with the slightest bit of hops at the end.

Given the price I would probably have it again as Id see it pairing well with certain foods but it wont be the top of my list.

01-21-2010 06:02:06 | More by JustinJTisdale
Photo of Dave_Treat


2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

10-06-2012 03:17:15 | More by Dave_Treat
Photo of j_eastwood1


2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

09-05-2013 01:38:05 | More by j_eastwood1
Photo of JDavidRice


2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

03-08-2013 18:36:04 | More by JDavidRice
Photo of Whiskeydeez


2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

02-23-2014 03:44:17 | More by Whiskeydeez
Photo of rickyleepotts


2.8/5  rDev -27.6%

Man, today has been a long day. Actually, I have had a REALLY long week. Anyway, since Sheryl started her new job we haven't reviewed a beer. Hopefully we can review two tonight. I suggested we do an "off the wall" review where we review a beer that isn't on the list, but gets equal attention for the blog. I hope to do more of those, as I have started posting more content about the other beers I am drinking on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Anyway, we decided to review a beer that I had already prepared. I am not typically a dan of Irish stouts, but I am excited to try this one. It's been a while since we reviewed a beer, so regardless what it tastes like, it should be fun!

Oh, and I am not 100% positive, but I feel like the bottle changed. This bottle is only 11.2 ounces, and for some reason I thought they were bigger a few months ago. Can anyone shed some light on that for us?

In the Glass: This is pitch black in the glass with a nice two finger tan head. The lace is also nice, which isn't typical for this style. When I think of Irish stouts, beers like Guinness, Murphy's, and George Killian's come to mind. I tend to only drink this style around St. Patrick's day. The lace is drawing the glass to my nose. Let's see what she smells like.

Nose: The aroma is pretty boring. It takes a deep whiff to get some nice subtle dark burnt chocolate aromas. I want to say there are some subtle coffee notes peaking through there, too. I bet a beer like this infused with coffee would be amazing. Yeah, not impressed with the nose. I hope this bottle delivers on the flavor.

Flavor: I will say this is much better than Guinness. I mean, another level better. However, I don't like Guinness. Not saying I hate this beer, but it's just my "thing". The flavor does change as it slides across your palate. I am getting, at first, some nice burnt chocolate flavors, then I am hit with a metallic flavor as I swallow. I dislike my beers tasting like I just licked a coin. The finish is quick, leaving nothing really to desire. It's too cold, but I am not sure this will be much better unless it is in a warm glass AT room temperature.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is nice. It has a nice fluffy experience going on. On my third drink, I did swish it around in my mouth a little. It didn't really do much for the flavor, but did open the beer up a little. If I was in a bar in Ireland, I might order an Irish stout. Just because I was there. But I wouldn't order two.

Aftertaste: It starts with those same metallic notes that I was getting, but quickly fades away leaving me bored. I HAVE to take another drink just to get some more flavor in my mouth. The finish is drying, which I like. But not drying enough to require another drink.

There are a few more of these on the list… but I doubt I like any/many of them. Oh well, maybe the next beer will leave me sockless. Get it?

06-17-2013 03:47:32 | More by rickyleepotts
Photo of OtherShoe2


2.83/5  rDev -26.9%

Received a jet-black pint with a nice 1-finger creamy tan head. This was poured right.

Back to the Guinness copycat element, although this one might just have a bit more charred smoky character. Nothing sour here, but nothing exceptional. Barely a 3.0

Guinness rip-off with all of the bad elements gone. Flavors are cleaner, no sour aftertaste or boiled grain bullshit. BUT -- flavor is mild and muted. A safe beer. Light charred flavors, with some dry and lightly sweet hints, with some cream and maybe vanilla, finishing with cereal grain. It is what it is.

Lighter bodied, but not over-carbonated. They got this right.

Overall, it goes down ok, if you are willing to accept less. Not a great stout, but kinda passable. If you like Guinness, you'll like this. If you want more flavor and character, you'll be disappointed.

07-15-2010 22:49:58 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of biglite351


2.98/5  rDev -23%

A - a lot of red light bleeding through the glass, not as dark as I would want from a stout. Darker tan head that leaves a ton of lacing.

S - there is q nice malty smell in there, but the majority of the scent is just "bar" smell. By that I mean a mix of beers without direction.

T - pleasant malts but quite mild. Nothing in the flavor is bad, it is simply very mild. Not bland but heading that direction.

M - thin with no tingles or feeling.

D - one could easily drink a lot of these, but it is too light to want to.

I would call this a stout lite.

05-23-2010 01:32:15 | More by biglite351
Photo of unclepedro


3/5  rDev -22.5%

01-09-2012 18:20:51 | More by unclepedro
Photo of KevMo84


3/5  rDev -22.5%

05-23-2014 21:31:52 | More by KevMo84
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O'Hara's Irish Stout from Carlow Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 738 ratings.