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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.
very good

811 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 811
Reviews: 462
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 12.14%
Wants: 56
Gots: 48 | 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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Ratings: 811 | Reviews: 462 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark brown to pitch black color from a 11.2 oz bottle, with a clearly marked best by date.
One finger tan head that dissipates very slowly.
Aroma is a very nice blend of roasted coffee, dark cocoa with some malt and hints of smoke.
Dry as dry can get with the perfect amount of bitterness to hit the palate. Surprisingly silky and rich mouthfeel.
I am not a big fan of dry stouts, but this one is probably one of the best I have had.
Very good lacing all along the glass as I sipped through this stout.
Good drinkability and mouthfeel.
A must try for ever stout lover, highly recommended.

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.53/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Comes out of the tap a dark opaque sable with a very fine bubbled, velvety tan head. Smoky, malty aroma has hints of caramel and licorice. Rich, pleasing flavor is malty, nutty and smoky and contains hints of licorice and burnt caramel. Texture is velvety smooth and somewhat woody. Recommended to all stout fans.

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Beautiful pour; classic for the style. If you don't know what that looks like, kill yourself.

S - The nose is a bit, dare I say, lager-y, with some metallic and mineral-y notes, a modicum of sweaty continental hop, and really not much else. After a while, faint peat and sweet-smoky notes arise.

T - Tastes pretty damn good; good enough that I drained most of the glass before noting any flavor aspects; here it goes before its all gone: it has an even balance of peat-y roast malt and grassy green hop, and there is the faintest campfire-smoke nuance that really adds a note of complexity. For the style, this may be the best tasting example I've had.

M - The feel is lighter than medium, very soft carbonation, and has a long, woody, drying finish.

O - Most everything about this beer is excellent, save for the nose. I can't think of an example of the style with a particularly fabulous nose, though, so even that is not much of a detractor.

Photo of kojevergas
2.45/5  rDev -36.7%
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.

Photo of omnigrits
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a straight pint glass.

A. Black as the ace of spades. Not even any ruby highlights around the edge. A one-finger light tan head that hardly goes away even to the bottom of the glass.

S. The aroma's a bit muted but what's there holds a lot of promise. Lots of high-roasted malt, some caramel.

T. This is where it really shines. Full-flavoured with plenty of burnt grain notes, coffee, chocolate, some early sweetness and a delicious sour note with a wonderfully dry, bitter finish.

M. Thick, creamy, full bodied. Nicely done for a CO2 stout.

O. I'm really glad I stumbled across this little gem. It has the same twang of sourness that Guinness does and which I think all stouts should have a little of. At a little over 4% it's what I'd consider a session beer and I'd be very happy to drink this throughout the evening.

Photo of madpentzer
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm reviewing this off notes from Beer U: Stouts at Stone Brewery.

A - Pours a very dark brown with two fingers of tan head that dissipates quickly.

S - Roasted malt notes with a slight hint of coffee.

T - Roasted malts, some caramel sweetness, and a little bit of coffee.

M - Good carbonation with a nice dry finish.

O - One of the better dry Irish stouts I've had. Would definitely drink this one again.

Photo of Intrinsic
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not a huge fan of stouts but I was quite excited to see this pour. Its very dark brown, just a shade lighter than coffee, and has a light brown head that dissipates quickly but looks good while it's there.

The smell is fantastic. A huge dose of coffee hits the nose first, followed by, well, even more coffee. It isn't terribly complex, but its very appetizing.

The taste is very well balanced, with lots of malt up front and a bitter finish highlighted with coffee and earthy tones. I'm already a fan of this beer.

O'Hara's is a full-bodied beer and is quite creamy, but maintains a dry finish. Very comfortable and easy to drink.

Overall, this is definitely something I'll pick up again when I see it.

Photo of aubuc1
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle poured into a tulip pint glass.

Nice big tan fluffy head on top of a black body.

Smell is sweet, roasty, slightly leathery, and raisin/plum.

Taste is a nice roasty, sweet and slightly bitter finish. Good balance.

Mouthfeel is good and overall this is a top notch irish dry stout.

Photo of PorterLambic
3.47/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark brown, black in low light. Big head of dark tan foam forms quickly and dissipates almost as fast, like head on root beer. An exceedingly small filmy island is all that remains and most of that appears a result of a less than perfectly clear glass. No lace remains.
Smell is roasted malt, hops, smoke, molasses and dark chocolate with just a hint of woodiness. Balance is good. A dryness permeates.
Taste is malty, roasty, a metallic note, hops and dark chocolate.
Dry, with an almost tanginess upfront, finishes fairly clean, a bit too much for me. Medium bodied with a decidely sharp effervescence. Comes across as a somewhat more flavorful version of Newcastle Brown of which I am a fan.

Photo of david18
3.67/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this at the 307 Taproom on a recent trip there. The bartender recommended it, I don't typically like Irish Stouts but this was better than many and i'll have it again.

Deep brown color with a white-ish head that lingered quite a while and added some lacing when I was through.

Aroma was roasty but a little weak for a stout.

The flavor was a little thin, low in alcohol and everything else for that matter but enjoyable nonetheless.

Mouthfeel was good. A good amount of viscosity and an overall easy drinker.

Photo of DrDemento456
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep dark brown with a bountiful tan head. Looks creamy.

S - Smells of mild roast, maybe coffee, and a bit of smoke.

T - Wow its pretty smooth. Mild roast, smoke does come off a bit ashy but balanced with a bit of coffee. Finishes with some chocolate that's creamy like Yoo-Hoo.

M - Light body with pretty easy drinkability.

Overall I really enjoyed this beer. The price is pretty steep at 10 bucks a four pack but if I found it cheaper I would grab a four pack. Easy drinkable stout.

Photo of marty21
3.21/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours black with 2.5 fingers worth of tan creamy head. Settles to a nice cap and left a decent amount of lacing on the glass.

S: Lot's of burnt roasted malt. Not much else.

T: Smokey burnt malt taste. Not something I particularly enjoy.

M: Medium carbonation with a light to medium body.

O: The first time I had this I liked it a lot but this time the taste completely turned me off. I'm not sure what it was but I didn't enjoy it too much.

Photo of augustgarage
3.51/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Nitro-tap @ Blue Palms Brewhouse - keg is probably 12 days old now (this is a hold over from St. Patrick's Day I think), so freshness may be playing a role in my impressions - served in a nonic.

Lovely cascading coffee-ice-cream-colored foam, eventually builds/settles to a fat lasting finger of heavy cream. Dark brown, though rufous highlights reveal an unlikely clarity. Big layers of dense sticky lacing.

Faintly nutty aromatics, but otherwise very restrained, even as it warms.

Nutty, toasy, barley-laden palate entry. There is a tartness that fades away into the finish which has hints of caramel and diacetyl and is both bready and relatively dry.

Creamy, rich, and velvety mouthfeel - the nitro is working it's magic here.

Flavorful, yet flawed; it improves a bit when it warms, but while it's sessionable, I didn't really care for another pint.

Photo of Nerudamann
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look - jet black in color, with about an inch of dark tan-colored foam, with a bit of a purple-ish hue, that dissipates somewhat slowly.

Smell - strong and "stouty". I don't smell the roasted aroma, but maybe a bit of molasses, or maybe somewhat of a roasted malt.

Taste and Mouthfeel - indeed a bit of a "dry" character. The front of the tongue almost doesn't even seem to react at all. It's mostly felt on the top middle of the tongue and the back of the palate. Slight roasted qualities in the middle and finish. Aftertaste is mellow. Texture is fairly light, but well-balanced.

Overall - good brew, very drinkable, not too heavy. Somewhat complex, but not very. Good taste.

Photo of yesyouam
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

O'Hara's Irish Stout is an opaque black beer with a dense, light brown foam that has outstanding retention and lacing. It's slightly sweet with a little roast and cardboard flavor. It's pretty full bodied; smooth with a dry finish. It's lightly flavored and roasty; dry with a green bitterness at the finish. It has a bitter, roasted aftertaste. It's incredibly sessionable.

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured half the bottle in my corned beef. Drank this other half.

Pours a super dark black. Off white head. Good lacing.

Aroma is super roasty. Little bit of caramel.

Taste is super roasty and dry. Like guinness but with more roast. Pretty tasty.

Mouthfeel is not as smooth and silky like I like my Guinness and has alot more carb.

Overall a good Irish stout with more flavor than Guinness but lacks the mouthfeel Guinness benefits from with the nitro cans and bottles.

Photo of smcolw
4.21/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Photo of TomStew
3.52/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Something in this beer did not convince me. I enjoyed it but I felt like it was a bit too dry (perhaps it has to do with the style). There is a coffee aroma to it, which I would describe as subtle for a stout.
Sweet and hoppy, I still like to keep a couple handy when I feel like having a simple stout.

Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Very fine creamy one-finger offwhite head that will never die and hangs onto the sides of the glass like it was painted there. Impervious black body with only a small glimmer of dark ruby red light making it through the deep blackness.

Smell - Like an espresso. Heck, it even looks like one. Slight sweetness like bitter chocolate and caramel. Faint hints of licorice.

Taste - Deep coffee taste with tobacco and fragrant roasted wood. Noticable alcohol.

Mouthfeel - Could have a bit more carbonation to balance out the bitterness and make it feel lighter in the mouth.

Drinkability - Especially for this style, has good drinkability. Like I said, could use a bit more carbonation though, so it's not getting a 4.5

Photo of ScorpyX
3.61/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Very Dark pour, rather bubbly. Less dense, finger width head which leaves a lot of lacing behind.

S: Chocolate and cherries in the smell.

T: Coffee coffee comes first with sweetness that follows. The Taste definitely has a roasted quality to it.

M: Surprisingly rather light in body, not expected for an Irish stout. On the lighter end of medium-bodied

D: Pretty good drinkability, but maybe a little too sweet. Good example of the style, though there are better out there.

Photo of Sachsenfreude
3.81/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

appearance; tan head with nice retention and lacing. Very dark brown body but still transparent.

smell; coffee roast and burnt toast. Mild sweetness mixed with resiny hops.

taste; roasted malts with all sorts of burnt flavors. Finishes a liitle sweet, before resiny hops take control and blast the palate with a dry and bitter finish, which lingers into the aftertaste, with some burnt flavors on the side.

mouthfeel; quite froathy and creamy. On the lighter side of heavy body, not so much chewy, as it is stick and slick in the finish. Overall, weak carbonation.

drinkability; an easy drink but the aftertaste is just a little unbalanced with the rest of the brew....somewhat distasteful but not awful.

Photo of titosupertramp
4.45/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Fine Wines Off License in Limerick, IE.

A: About as dark as it gets for a light stout..not a lot of amber/ruby colored at the bottom of the glass. Finger of a half of tan, rocky head. Minimal lacing.

S: Chocolate, toffee, a little coffee...prune maybe? Has a dark fruit quality to it. Very nice.

T: Everything from the nose..get a little bit of a peaty flavor as well. The dark fruit that I'm getting is a nice surprise for an Irish stout. Nice balance with sweet and roasted flavors. Delicious.

M: Medium bodied, good carbonation, slightly dry finish.

D: Very high. I could see myself drinking a few of these over the coarse of an evening. As far as light stouts go, O'Hara's is as good as it gets. A pleasure to drink.

Photo of Schoney62
4.92/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The color is a beautiful dark brown, almost black. It pours with a thick head that thins down to about 1/8" for the rest of the sitting. It smells of chocolate and coffee. The flavor is bold, not terribly hoppy, with hints of the coffee and chocolate. It feels smooth, and not nearly as overwhelmingly heavy as Guinness. This is the best stout I've ever had, more drinkable than most imperial stouts and smoother than most oatmeals that I've sampled. I understand that they are different breeds, with different characteristics, but ultimately for most beer drinkers I know, it's hard enough to get them to differentiate between a stout and a black lager, so explaining the difference between an Irish dry, imperial and oatmeal stout is far too much to expect. A perfect choice, in my mind, for St. Patrick's Day.

3/22 - I've had it again, this time warm. I like it even better now, and I can detect a burned flavor in there, though discerning it is difficult.

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Moderately light aroma of roasted malt and tobacco with faint notes of caramel and vanilla. Very dark color, thick, off-white head - looks really nice. Malt-forward flavour, light coffee together with earthy hops. Lightly minerally and metallic. The mouthfeel is light, unfortunately a bit watery on the palate. Mediocre, drinks pretty good.

Photo of metter98
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

O'Hara's Irish Stout from Carlow Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 811 ratings.