O'Hara's Irish Stout - Carlow Brewing Company

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O'Hara's Irish StoutO'Hara's Irish Stout

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BA SCORE
87
very good

465 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 465
Hads: 843
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 10.82%
Wants: 60
Gots: 60 | 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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Reviews: 465 | Hads: 843
Photo of Sammy
3.74/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beatiful dark brown pour. Easy light drink, bit much on water, particularly with lower alcohol. A bit of bite -molasses and hoppy. Liked: Only mildly roasty, only bit of the coffee, and hint of chocolates and nutty. Clear freshness dating. Very good stout. (256 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.51/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On nitro tap at Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks, CA.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a thin cap on top of the beer. A foamy curtain of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt and cocoa aromas. Taste is much the same with a slight coffee flavor on the finish. There is a medium amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is drinkable but the nitro presentation isn't doing much to help it. (605 characters)

Photo of acurtis
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
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. (351 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
3.66/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: single finger thick head with excellent retention on a near jet black dark brown body.

S: light on the nose with some roasted malts, a touch of vanilla and chocolate.

T: semisweet chocolate, some earthy hops on a nice mildly bitter roasted malt backbone.

M: very smooth, semi thick body and nice degree of carbonation.

Overall: full flavored Irish stout. Has the body an mouthfeel you expect. Very drinkable. (415 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is essentially black in color (some amber shows through at the bottom of the glass when it is held up to the light). It poured with a thin tan head.
S: There are aromas of roasted malts and peat in the nose.
T: The overall taste is quite malty and has flavors of roasted malts along with notes of chocolate and coffee.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied, a bit thin and somewhat dry on the palate with a light to moderate amount of carbonation.
D: Drinking this beer is a breeze and it's very tasty so I would consider it to be quite sessionable. (559 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an obsidian black with a scarce highlight of ruby here and there; luscious rocky head that retains beautifully and webs the wall of the pint glass

Smell: Roasty and charred aromas; almost smells like yesterday's fire with some underlying dark fruit

Taste: Opens with a combination of dark fruit, coffee and a hint of caramel with an increasingly bitter roasty edge by mid-palate; after the swallow, the char and coffee flavors blend together and mellow into the finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Despite the slightly thin mouthfeel (though to be expected with the low ABV), this stout delivers a lot in the flavor department (691 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got Saint Patty's Day comming up, ...so, what the heck. As far as the look, aroma, taste, texture, and impression goes, see Guinness. Very close to Guinnie, I may detect a bolder chocolate flavor and, perhapse a touch more malt (caramel) sweetness at the cost of dryness and chalkiness. Still very drinkable and enjoyable. (322 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Instead of getting a Guinness I wanted to try an O'Hara's. They look pretty much the same, both are black in color with a great looking creamy tan nirto chaged head. The smell is subtle, slightly roasted malts. The taste of the beer is toasty too. The mouthfeel is a bit thicker than a Guinness. Overall this beer a pretty good in my opinion. I enjoy having this has an alternative to Guinness when I'm out and I see it on tap. (427 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.52/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dark black colored beer with an average bubbly head with standard retention. Aroma is really great with a nice mix between roastiness and coffee. Taste is OK with some nice touch of roasted malts and coffee. The aftertaste is dry without too much of the watery feeling you get with Guinness. Overall, a good stout but nothing too much out of the ordinary. (372 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque dark chocolate with golden trim and a large crown of malted milk ball colored foam. I'm a little surprised (and pleased) to see how dark Celtic Stout is. Maybe that means that it'll be more flavorful and more rich than most beer of this style. Lots of sticky, bubbly lace finds its way to the glass, putting the capper on one of the best Irish dry stouts looks in recent memory.

The nose is a good one and is characterized by aromas of roasted barley, coffee with cream and (much less so) sour dark fruit. There's even a pleasant dark butterscotchiness that appears as the beer warms. I was originally caught between scores due to a lack of power, but have no trouble granting the higher score now.

Not as impressive on the palate. I'm trying to recalibrate my expectations since beer of this style has very little in common with the American stouts that I love. Even so, it falls a bit short. I'd like to see a bit more malt to keep things comfortably above porter territory. Still moderately roasted, still bitter coffee grounds-like (sans cream), cocoa powdery and even more sour fruity.

It's amazing to me how Irish dry stouts can sometimes be more dry and more bitter than IPAs. This is a case in point. Although I rarely drink water alongside my beer, I'm tempted to do so while drinking this one. There's very little underlying sweetness and the finish is almost brutally flinty, biting and parching.

I have a hard time orienting my mouth to light-bodied stouts, but keeping style in mind, O'hara's Celtic hits pretty close to the ol' bull's-eye. It is, however, nowhere close to 'full bodied and luxuriously smooth' as the brewery would have us believe. Doesn't matter, it works well.

I've had enough Irish dry stouts to know that this one wouldn't blow me away. Having said that, it could easily be one of the best with a little more boldness on the flavor front. More malt would seem to be the obvious solution as long as it didn't eliminate the vast majority of the dry, chocolate wafer crispness that is the hallmark of the style. Worth a purchase. (2,082 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, black color with hints of ruby. It had a two-finger, light brown, pillowy head that left behind sticky rings of lace.

S - It smelled of chocolate, caramel, molasses and licorice.

T - It tasted of great roasty flavors. Great chocolate and caramel flavors. There was a slight bitter hop kick.

M - This is a soft and creamy ale with a dry finish. A light to medium boded brew.

D - This is a great Irish Dry Stout. One of the best that I've ever had. (474 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
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. (318 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

O'hara's Stout on tap delivers the typical nitro-pour appearance; and beyond that it's a typical dry Irish stout, cleanly done, with just a mild touch of dark malt acidity, an appropriate amount of roastiness, a sprinkling of brown sugar, and a touch of bittersweet chocolate. It finishes dry with a touch of residual malt, a dull bitterness; and some soft roastiness. Quite enjoyable! (385 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
3.69/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in wheat glass extry cold from Brewhouse grille in Camp Hill, PA

A - Creamy milkshake thick tan head w/ opaque onyx body and deep brown highlights.

S - Mineral and sweet odors are noticed along with a faintly sour smell. A Floral yeasty aroma is present with pleasant esters.

T - Sweet malt and tinges of bitter and more mineral hints. Chocolate dryness and Irish ale yeast flavor with minimal saltiness in the finish.

M - Moderately carbonated, thick, chewy and slightly dry.

D - Substantial body and an easy drinking Stout recommended if Guiness or Murphy's are to your liking. (601 characters)

Photo of LXIXME
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
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. (796 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
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. (601 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.45/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

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. (941 characters)

Photo of smcolw
4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Plenty of lace as the head subsides. More lace after each sip. Solid, long lasting beige head. The liquid is dark brown where only a minimal amount of light shines through.

The smell is mild. Cocoa and whole-grain bread are featured in the aroma. Light yeast to nose as well.

The balance of this stout is wonderful--there's nothing extreme about this stout. The flavor is dry, but the body is creamy. The black patent malt gives this stout a coffee flavor, yet the hop bitterness is not hidden. Excellent complexity. Blindfolded, I might guess that this is a Murphy's, my favorite of the Big Three. (600 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm betting that if you poured this brew into an empty bottle of Guinness Extra Stout, you could fool most of the people most of the time. By the numbers interpretation of the classic Irish dry stout style. Roasty, but smooth and quaffable with no surprises. Goes down easy, puts the mind at ease. (297 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500 ML bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a dark brown with 2 inches of tan head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel and roasted malts, chocolate, and vanilla.

t - Tastes of chocolate, vanilla, and roasted malts. A bit bitter.

m - Medium body and high carbonation.

d - A decent stout. I enjoyed the vanilla which really came out in the smell. Would give another shot. (406 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer is black (Jan 2010) and forms a thin brown head of tiny bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Looks OK.

Kind of a coffee aroma to this beer. Level is appropriate, smells good.

Beer is thin and has some roast in the back. Minimal sweetness. The mouthfeel is OK to good. I'm giving this beer the benefit of the doubt due to the low alcohol content. I'm not sure I would get it again but its a pretty good beer overall. (431 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Best before 31.12.08:

Pours black with dark brown highlights along edges. A lasting tan head tops it off.

The smell is of charcoal roastiness and coffee grinds.

The taste is of roasted/smoky barley - roasted coffee grinds turns charcoalish. Dry, bitter, ashy finish.

Not "full-bodied and smooth" as indicated on the label, but has an adequate, appropriate fullness for the style. Roastiness gives the palate a bit of a kick.

Pour a pint (well - 11.2 oz., as that is the bottle size) and enjoy the roasty dryness that this one gives. (538 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (1,448 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours an opaque black in color with some dark amber highlights and a light amount of gentle visible carbonation. The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy dark tan head that slowly reduces to thick layer covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of roasted malts with some light hints of peat and coffee.

T: Moderate flavors of roasted malts with some lighter notes of bittersweet chocolate and coffee. There is a light to moderate amount of bitterness but it does not linger for long.

M: Light to medium bodied with slightly more than moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly on the thin side with some light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Between the lighter mouthfeel, low ABV, and good flavors this beer is quite easy to drink and very sessionable. I would have no problem knocking back a handful of these in an afternoon/evening. (974 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a sweet chocolate and crystal malt scent along with a roasted feel. The taste is good also. It has a dry and earthy black malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes with a slight chocolate aftertaste. It has a roasted malt element along with some residual sweetness. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine Irish stout. It has great aroma and taste; a fine sessions brew. (552 characters)

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O'Hara's Irish Stout from Carlow Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 465 ratings.