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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

732 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 732
Reviews: 450
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 12.14%
Wants: 48
Gots: 21 | 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)
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Ratings: 732 | Reviews: 450 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ProfessorHomer

New York

4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2

What a fantastic dry stout!

Must be a new label on mine, it is listed as an "irish stout" not "celtic stout".

A: pure black, a creamy, tiny-bubbled and populated long-lasted tan head head, reminiscent of the nitrogen-widget Guinness cans. Spidery lacing left behind on the glass for long after.

S: Clean, chocolate aroma, strong roasted barley nose.

T: of chocolate, caramel and dark-roast coffee. Great dry, roasted malt aftertaste. Nicely-tailored dry hop bitterness.

M: Creamy with a very smooth carbonation, tiny bubbles.

This is one fantastic, dry stout. Methinks sublime-even.

Nice body, fantastic taste for a 4.3% ABV beer. A dry stout session beer? Blows the doors off Guinness - O'Hara's is richer, creamier, and better-balanced with those chocolate coffee flavors and the nice, smooth, dry lingertaste. And what a beautiful body. Best stout I have had in years. Highly recommended!

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2010 01:06:07 | More by ProfessorHomer
Photo of MP72


3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- poured into an imperial nonic very dark with a nice thick white head//almost jet black.

S-roasted malts and coffee

T-coffee hops and a little bitter chocolate

M-velvety smooth low carbonation

D- Very good low ABV and decent flavor. Not to mention the health perks of a dark brew.

Serving type: nitro-tap

03-09-2010 00:00:55 | More by MP72
Photo of magine


3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a dark brown, near black color. Has a light tan chunky head, with nice lace. The head settles to a lace island, but has great lace as you drink.

This brew smells of light roasted malts and hops, chocolate sweetness.

This brew tastes smooth and light bodied as far as mouth feel goes. I was expecting a thicker mouthfeel. Brew has a roasted malt flavor; chocolate, coffee, a slight metallic taste. Brew is somewhat carbonated. The brew finishes slightly bitter.

This brew is a sessionable brew for sure. The light mouthfeel which was a bit unexpected makes it very drinkable. A better option then the Guinness Drought brew. Good brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2010 23:30:15 | More by magine
Photo of brewdoc75


3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I used to love Guinness back in the day. Over the years, either my taste has evolved or Guinness has become to watered down, so I've lost my taste for it. Ever since then, I have been looking for a replacement.

A: Dark black with ruby hues. Strong, off-white, almost dirty looking head. Starts off at 2 inches and takes a long time to die down to a 1/2 inch lasting head. Moderate carbonation.

S: Roasty, slightly smoky, and a hint of metal. Faint sweetness and maybe some chocolate.

T: Lots of roastiness. It has several levels of roast. Some bitter, charcoal flavors at first. This is followed by some faint dark chocolate flavors. A touch of dark roast coffee as well. The rest is a slightly sweet malt profile followed by the hops. The hops are a bit soapy in the end, but otherwise ok.

M: Starts off silkly and smooth and ends very dry. Right on for the style. The bitterness from the roasted malts last a little longer than I'd like, but otherwise stellar.

D: A solid Dry Irish Stout. Not my favorite (so far that is Beamish), but pretty good. Quite drinkable at a nice 4.3%. A good replacement for that watered down Guinness. Looking forward to trying the Celebration Stout.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2010 02:52:14 | More by brewdoc75
Photo of ZorPrime

Quebec (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer is dark black. The head is brown color and made up of big bubbles. A very creamy looks. The aroma is chocolaty with some vanilla notes. I get some honey too. The taste is more milk chocolate than anything else. A light bitterness in the after-taste. Dense and creamy, I like this one. Drinkability is high.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2010 01:47:40 | More by ZorPrime
Photo of jokelahoma


4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a shaker at Old Chicago in Olathe, KS.

Pours a nice, nearly opaque black, with only slight traces of ruby hues around the edges. Large rocky heads lasts a long time.

As one would want in an Irish stout, the nose is full of roasted barley. There's a sniff of sweetness here too, almost caramel. Whether from malts or brewing process, the aroma compliments the more acrid roasted grain smells, creating a complexity usually absent when smelling a dry Irish stout.

First thing one notices when taking a sip is the brewer isn't shy about roasted barley usage. This is definitely a good thing. When combined with the carbonation, it gives the beer a pronounced bite that is missing in many examples of the style. After that initial kick, the drink settles into a sweet finish that disappears quickly, leaving only the lingering roasted, burnt flavor. A very good start, and an equally good finish.

Mouthfeel is a bit of a letdown. It's noticeably thinner than many stouts. That may very well be due to one being used to stouts being delivered on nitro while this is CO2 only. Whatever the cause, it really doesn't harm the beer. It is noticeable, however.

Overall, this is an impressive example of the style. Roasty without going overboard, well balanced, and unmistakably a stout. Recommended if you can find it.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2010 19:36:30 | More by jokelahoma
Photo of Halcyondays


4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle, finally this shows up in the Southland, I've been dying to try it,

A: Pours black with a creamy off-white/tan head. Great head retention and some nice lace. Looks better than a lot of nitro stouts.

S: Roasted malt and dark chocolate shavings.

T: Great dark malt flavour with a hint of iron without going to burnt or charcoal flavours which I liked. Nice finish with milk chocolate, a hint of sugar, and a bit of leather.

M: Crisp biting carbonation, but finishes very soft and true, easy.

D: While not as gulpable as the nitro stouts, this is a great session ale and something I'd like to revisit on St. Patrick's Day.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2010 23:46:24 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of EPseja

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served from a 12oz bottle in an O'Hara's pint glass at between fridge and cellar temperature.

A - Dark mahogany in the pour, and almost opaque in the glass. A beautifully pillowy tan head pushes up a full inch and a half even with a fairly tame pour. As the head slowly subsides, it clings quite stickily to the glass, refusing to give up any real estate. Lacing continues to be ringy and conspicuous. Head retention is excellent, completely keeping the surface of the beer hidden.

S - Heavily roasted malts and wet coffee grounds. Simple, but on par for the style.

T - Big, roasted toasted and almost burnt malts. Powdery sweetness like shaved super dark chocolate. Rounds out towards the end with a delicious hop dryness that provides some balancing bittering without putting the squeeze on the bitter taste buds. Full of flavor, but only moderate in the body, which is a key factor in a good session stout.

M - Quick and watery coming in with only a touch of slickness. Carbonation is spot-on -- light and playful, providing a gentle swell in the body, and making the swallow robust and satisfying.

D - This beer packs a world of flavor that's missing from many offerings in this style. It's tasty, easy to drink, and low ABV to boot, making it a fantastic choice for sessioning. Another world-class offering from Carlow Brewing.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2010 01:38:41 | More by EPseja
Photo of ReFill31

Quebec (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle served into a Pint glass.

A : Nice black color with little head. Unfortunately, it does not stays on very long

S : Really inviting. We can smell chocolate. The aroma is kinda sweet.

T : The taste is also sweet, with chocolate notes.

M : Medium bodied, low carbonation

D : Really easy to drink, and with the low ABV, it would be really easy to open another one right away.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2010 19:10:01 | More by ReFill31
Photo of stakem


3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with more than 2 fingers of slightly tanned head. Thick head receeds slowly leaving quite a bit of lace on the glassware. Sweet aroma of malt but also has the burnt grain touch as well. Little bit of hop presence in the background of the nose. Taste is roasted grains, chocolate and little bit of citrus hops. Light feel and moderate to low amount of carb. Quite drinkable.

Enjoying this dry irish treat along with some stout infused imported and aged cheese. Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2010 02:14:38 | More by stakem
Photo of Mora2000


3.05/5  rDev -21.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2010 19:51:36 | More by Mora2000
Photo of sunrisesolara


4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

.5L emptied into a pint glass.

A: Poured jet black with just a hint of copper as the light diffused through it. Tan 2-finger head which settles to a trace ring with puffy islands drifting throughout. Generous lacing.

S: The smell is rich, with roasted barley immediately apparent, with a faint vanilla sweetness layered finally with hints of dark chocolate at the end. The longer I smell this beer, the sweeter it gets.

M: The mouthfeel is creamy, perhaps a bit more watery than I supposed it would be. There is a nice carbonation here.

T: The taste follows closely on the heels of the promising scents, with the roasted barley malts providing a nice textured body and a spicy bite of hops just at the end. The middle is reminicent of dark bread which has been in the oven for slightly too long.

D: This is the perfect beer for a relaxing evening. I could only put back a few of these before the rich flavors overwhelmed me, but definitely worth the price.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2010 18:41:36 | More by sunrisesolara
Photo of ujsplace


3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pub glass...

Head is thick and puffed with nice chunky islands and nice lacing. Nearly black in color with the faintest amber hue at the very bottom edge of the glass.

Smells of burnt caramel malts, and faint coffee.

Roasted caramel-like malts and coffee like hop bitters.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy and on the lighter side.

This is a very drinkable Irish stout and pretty much what you could expect for the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2010 22:07:08 | More by ujsplace
Photo of joshstevens87


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

A-pours jet black with a nice inch or so tan head
S-burnt/roasted malt with hints of coffee and choclate
T-toasted malt with hints of coffee and chocolate good taste but lacks the character and creaminess of it's cousins
M-thinner body with a solid carbonation this beer is a very crisp dry stout
D-very drinkable its light body and low abv makes this beer extremly drinkable and is perfectly suited for a session beer

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2010 04:14:07 | More by joshstevens87
Photo of donkeyrunner


3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I'm formulating a recipe for my own Irish stout. I'm not just drinking beer, I'm doing research.

Opaque dark brown/black. Large, cascading, cocoa colored head so thick you can dip you finger in and give yourself a foam mustache...if that's your thing. Lacey megalopolis built by glass bottom retention.

Smells like low fat vanilla ice cream and char. Little bit of smoked almond in there too.

Typical thick but airy Irish dry mouthfeel. Nutty front leads into a smooth roasted finish with details of burnt brownie.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2010 03:38:00 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of JustinJTisdale

New York

2.73/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-21-2010 06:02:06 | More by JustinJTisdale
Photo of Natural510


3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle. Date of May 09 listed; not sure if a best-by or bottled-on date...either way taking a bit of a risk.

Excellent pour; pitch-black midnight with a hefty, creamy head which leaves a nice top layer throughout.
Roasted malt nose, lightly sweet with hints of cocoa.
Malt upfront, medium-roasted, with hints of cola and cocoa. Mildly sweet, with hops making their presence known toward the end.
Not as full as others of the style, but no weak sauce either. Easily drinkable and an excellent session beer which works well with heavier meals. Hope to try the red ale soon...

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2010 13:02:41 | More by Natural510
Photo of pinotboy007


3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Opaque with a rich, bubbly, khkai-colred head that took its sweet time to settle, leaving some nice bubbled lace. Very nice looking stout.

S - Roasted coffee beans, some dark chocolote malt.

T - A lot like it smells, of course! Add some leather and maybe even a bit of earthy sourness on the finish.

M - Creamy, but not as heavy as I thought it might be.

D - Probably ideal for stews and other autumn/winter meals.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2009 22:31:17 | More by pinotboy007
Photo of tone77


3.13/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a small head. Smell is of malts with some notes of chocolate and coffee. Taste is of roasted malts with some notes of chocolate, finishing bitter. Feels light and bitter in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a decent beer but nothing special.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2009 00:56:42 | More by tone77
Photo of Monsteruss


3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This had a nice dark wheat colored foam that was bubbly, lacey and smooth. The color was opaque/brown with red highlights in the light. The smell was crisp, yet potent with a roasted barley and wheat aroma. Taste was potent and smooth, a beauquet of many complex tastes with a flowery undertone. Mouthfeel - full-bodied, bitter and crisp. Drinkability - not too bad, has a crisp, bitter deepness - good session.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2009 22:19:24 | More by Monsteruss
Photo of TommyW


3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Black body with a big, tan head.

S- Burnt and toasted malts.

T- The burnt and toasted malts pretty much dominate here; leaving a lingering burnt flavor with a slight bitterness mixed in.

M- Pretty thin body with a smoothing carbonation.

D- An average Irish dry; would be a nice session beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2009 18:46:01 | More by TommyW
Photo of robertjbell

Alberta (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
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

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2009 23:39:42 | More by robertjbell
Photo of t3hcho53non3


4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A dark dark black color with a two finger brown head that halfway dissipated but left behind a good lacing

S: Dark roasted malts, chocolate, caramel, coffee, licorice

T: Roasty flavor dominated by chocolate and coffee undertones with a backend of caramel

M: Creamy ale with a soft carbonation; very dry

D: Very drinkable and very complex. Definitely must have a second to evaluate the evolution.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2009 02:38:47 | More by t3hcho53non3
Photo of EgadBananas


3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Jet black. Theres a little bit of red in the right light, very faint though. Nice creamy tan head, half a finger on a good solid pour. Fair retention.

I'm rating the smell higher than maybe I would. But going into tasting this beer, it being an Irish Dry Stout, I envisioned more of a Guinness type smell. Elements are there, but theres rich stout smell that escapes through, and it's very good. A very mild burnt smell, with semisweet chocolate hints. Very appealing.

The taste didn't live up entirely to the smell, though good nonetheless. The bitterness is a bit more pronounced in the taste. It's a tad smoky as well.

It doesn't coat the palet too well, and i would like a bit more substance to the feel. Average feel for the genre I'd say.

Fairly high on the drinkability factor. It's pleasant in sips and gulps and a few of em would be just as enjoyable as one.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2009 02:06:37 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of bfields4


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

Very deep black body with a crimson hue. Tight but frothy head has a nice light mocha shade. Gives a nice lace to the glass.

Roasted malt and coffee gives way to a deep earthy hop quality.

Dry roasted malt with a nice burnt quality. Very earthy again. Light coffee flavors. Finishes with a nice charcoal twang.

Incredibly smooth body. Very drinkable with a great taste profile to boot. Wish the more popular Irish dry stouts could learn by example.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2009 02:50:26 | More by bfields4
O'Hara's Irish Stout from Carlow Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 732 ratings.