1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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.
BA SCORE
87
very good

823 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 823
Reviews: 467
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.18%
Wants: 58
Gots: 55 | 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.
View: Beers (18) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 823 | Reviews: 467
Photo of chrisrhoppe
4/5  rDev +3.6%

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

500ml Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a black/brown colour with a huge size fizzy and frothy light brown coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is some good lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Chocolate, malts, smoke, roasted nuts

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and it feels slightly thin on the tongue. I can taste chocolate mixed with malts and a roasted/smoke taste. It ends with a chocolatey aftertaste with a bit of a lingering burnt/bitter aftertaste.

Overall – Definitely a fantastic stout that is a must try for fans of the style. My one complain would be that the price is a little high. (at least it is where I live) Still, it was worth buying to try and I'd love to try it on tap someday.

Photo of MONKandTUCK
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed last night at McGillin's. Great place with great draught line-up.

A - It took sometime to settle. It looked like rich Colombian coffee filtering down from a head of whipped chocolate mousse. Really beautiful.

A - Some roasted notes. TBH, I dunno if my nose is the sharpest or if it was already spent. I wasn't picking up sharp roasted notes, as I had expected.

T - Very solid. This lacks the sharp bite of Guinness or Murphy's. I suspect that the sweeter finish was a factor. But I also detected a rich chocolate flavor. Perhaps restraints on Roasted Barley for a more approachable ale?

As the beer warms it becomes very savory. The flavor profile picks up. I could ask for more, even within style, but I'm quite impressed with this beer. And I feel it's the kind that grows on you. I really wish I could drink it everyday.

M - exceptionally creamy and full-bodied. The finish was too rounded, though. Something sharp, with definite resolution could take this beer to another level.
Mass-produced Dry Stouts are weaker and use sugar in the grist.

O - Very delightful and I'm happy to give props to a micro-brewery from God's Country. Maybe this beer appeals to a broader demographic than the one I fit into, but they were willing to make a few tweaks this could become a beer of unrivaled quality.

Photo of zbellino
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours an espresso-bean black. The head is big, beautiful, brown rainbow. From off white, to cream, to coffee, to shades of walnut where the brew meets the head.

S - Really nice, very typical 70% chocolate aromas, some coffee bean smells, some cream, and lots of roasted malts. It's almost like boiled milk and coffee, really a treat.

T - The best part is that the first sip delivers all those flavors, with a malted milk hit in the front, a only the tiniest hint of zest on the sides (think a refined Ethiopian coffee) and a host of broad bitter flavors on the middle and back of the tongue evoking coffee, roasted nuts, etc. This brew works your tongue like a see-saw, sweet to bitter, front to back, and never quits or tastes watery.

M - Nice cream-textured body, like light whipping cream. Much better than some more well known competitors that can be a little watery at times.

O - It's hard to imagine a better executed DIS, without someone truly innovating. Well done Carlow!

Photo of soju6
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a virtual black color with a head that fades quickly to good lacing.

S: Mild aroma of roasted malt, some chocolate sweetness with a bit a coffee.

T: Flavor of roasted malt, dark chocolate, bit of of coffee with a subtle bitterness and a nice dry finish.

F: Moderate body, smooth and creamy. Nice balance;

O: Nice stout, quite sessionable.

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

The first time I ever had this beer, I fell in love. I was new to beer and it was one of my original starter beers that got me into beer with flavor. A few years later I bought another 4 pack and it just wasnt as enjoyable. The apperance was nice and black, like a true Irish Stout. The smell has roastedness and very enjoyable. The taste on the other hand bothered me. At first it was delicious and then it turned into a cigar taste. The taste would be a 5 out of 5 if it didnt have that horrible cigarette/ cigar taste. The mouth feel was nice and easy. Overall this is a good beer, but one little thing ruined it for me. Still have to appreciate all the good points of the beer though.

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

A - A shade lighter than pitch black with a two finger mocha-like head. Nice retention along with impressive cobweb lacing on the glass.

S - Intensely malty, syrupy/brown sugar, molasses.

T - Creamy barley malts, vanilla, latte, suger.

MF - Moderate/light-milky consistency, incredibly smooth feel.

O - Nicely crafted Irish stout we have here, this is one to revisit time and again.

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 jjanega08
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

There was freshness date painted on the bottle but it has since been washed away from the sweaty bottle.

A= Pours a nice dark black color with some brown highlights when I hold it to the light. The head is a bit of a dissapointment. The head falls fast and only rises to about a half finger. The head turns into a very thin skin on the glass.

S= The smell is interesting. It's a mix of your typical beer smell and a bit of a smokey dark malt. Unlike any stout I've ever smelled. Light on the smell as well.

T= The taste is like the smell only a bit stronger in the smokey dark malt. The typical light beer taste comes though first then it comes through with a dark malt taste. Not bad at all.

M= The mouth is very light for a stout. A bit watery.

O= This is not a bad stout at all but I've had better. Worth checking out and an easy drinker. I don't know how much it costs because it was left at my house but I may pick up a pack or two sometime.

Photo of Matt1516
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Didn't see this one coming. Enjoyed on balcony with friends in a slightly too-chilled glass. Midnight colour, fluffy head that lasts with lacing. Smells of milk and roasted malts.

Beautiful creamy flavour, roasted malts, dark chocolate and cocoa flavours with a lovely milkiness.

Wonderful. Would seek out again!

Photo of JohnnyP3
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle with a best before date of 28 Dec 11. According to the bottle, this is a Championship Trophy and double Gold Medal Draught Winner that is full bodied and luxuriously smooth.

Pours a midnight black with what is initially an impressive head of 2-3 fingers, but gradually simmers down to a thin tan cap over the stout. Quality stickage on the sides of the glass.

Smell is somewhat muted, but I can detect milk, perhaps oatmeal or cereal-like grains, and a generous aroma of roasted malts with hints of dark chocolate.

Taste is of roasted malt upfront, roasted coffee beans, a burnt twinge, and a dry, somewhat bitter finish. If that's not an Irish Dry Stout in a nutshell, I don't know what is. There are some faint hints of dark chocolate in the taste as well.

Mouthfeel is fairly smooth, but not as much so as some others in this category as the carbonation is lively.

Overall, a very sessionable stout. True to its style and an easy sipper.

Photo of Knapp85
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
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 +17.4%
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 +5.4%
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 -36.5%
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 +13.5%
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 +0.5%
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 +6.7%
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 +3.6%
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 -10.1%
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 -4.9%
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 +3.6%
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 -16.8%
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 -9.1%
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.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
O'Hara's Irish Stout from Carlow Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 823 ratings.