Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

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

469 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 469
Hads: 870
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 16.24%
Wants: 62
Gots: 74 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Carlow Brewing Company
Ireland | 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.
View: Beers (27) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of O'Hara's Irish Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 469 | Hads: 870
Photo of andrenaline
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours pitch black with a ruby hue on the edge, finger of head with solid retention and sporadic lacing.

S - Roasted coffee and cocoa, hints of burnt wood and peat.

T - Nice cocoa flavor with the espresso coming through alongside a touch of wooden oak. The finish leaves dark cocoa on the palette.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and a touch of dry.

O - A tasty stout that delivers some solid flavors, is easily drinkable and certainly worth a try. Glad had the opportunity to take this for a spin.

 499 characters

Photo of horshack7
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark as dark could be with a light beige head two fingers in height.

Aroma: Espresso, dark chocolate with some semi sweet mixed in. Dark roasted coffee, bits of burnt hop a little bit mossy with a touch of oak.

Taste: Quite the crisp mouthfeel to start. Lots of espresso and dark roasted coffee. Chocolate malts and very dark roasted hops show themselves front and center. Slight bit of oak in the tail end with a subtle dry finish.

Notes: Dam tasty beer all the way through a good one to pick up. Cheers.

 520 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 Pencible
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a nearly opaque black cherry with moderate tan head.
S: It smelled like dry roasted coffee and dark chocolate powder, with some cream and brown sugar.
T: It tasted like light roasted coffee and some dry dark chocolate, with a bit of cream. It had a clean but faint bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was watery with moderate carbonation. Fairly thin body.
D: This had a nice scent, ok taste, and weak body. It was easy to drink, but not anything special (aside from being Irish on St Patrick's Day).

 509 characters

Photo of duracell
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500mL bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours a pitch black color with a light brown, creamy head which leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

S - Aroma is a nice blend of roasted malt (mostly caramel) and some herbal hop.

T/M - Roasted malt dominates. I pick out chocolate, coffee, a hint of caramel. Bitterness is spot on, featuring nice resiny and herbal notes going with typical dry finish. Carbonation is excellent.

O - An excellent exemple of Irish Dry Stout, quite complex, well balanced and with a good drinkability.

 520 characters

Photo of Jadjunk
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Summit's Snellville. Reviewed from Notes.

(Appearance) Very dark brown almost black appearance. Light smooth tan ring and surface cover. No head but a solid unbroken surface cover makes for a Solid appearance. 4

(Smell) Dry roasted Irish malt, bitter chocolate and earthy hop tones. A tad bit sweeter and fuller than the aromas of Guinness. The aroma is well balanced with lots of flavor. Potency is a medium. It's good. 4.5

(Taste) A dry creamy beginning complete with bitter hops and black malt with a roasted bitter chocolate finish. Overall the flavor is mild save for the bitter aspects that hit full-on. Overall much more flavorful than the comparing irish stouts and more enjoyable as thus. 4

(Mouthfeel) Smooth and thick texture. Carbonation Is mild. Body is a medium and alcohol is well concealed. Good pairing. 4

(Overall) One of the better Irish Stouts that I have had. If its available, I'd choose it over Guinness or Murphy's any day. Worth a drink especially with some good St. Patrick's food! 4

 1,031 characters

Photo of Durge
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found at My Place in Newtown, CT this stout shows a pretty much opaque black color with a crew cut firm tan head full of soap suds sized bubbles and healthy, caked on lacing. The aroma offers classic charcoal malt, rlatively mild and unspectacular. The flavor comes on with smooth charcoal and mild vanilla malt with a touch of tropical fruit. Very nice and such an unusually creamy feel in a medium-plus bodied brew. There is a mild milk chocolate idea here, highly drinkable stuff. The most notable aspect is the slightly aqueous, creamy texture but plenty tasty as Irish stouts go. An easy choice though nothing too out of the ballpark.

 639 characters

Photo of mcguirmn
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this beer on-tap at the Publick House in Brookline MA.

Appearance: tan head with decent retention and lacing. It has a very dark, brown body but you can still see through it a little. Semi-opaque

Smell: Definite coffee and toasty smell to it.

Taste: I sensed a lot of roasted malts. It finishes a little sweet, but the hops kick in towards the end and this beer has a bit of a bitter finish. There are a lot of burnt flavors throughout.

Mouthfeel: This beer was quite frothy and creamy. It wasn't too heavy, probably on the lighter side of heavy body. The carbonation was very light.

Drinkability: I feel like this beer is extremely drinkable. I prefer this stout over some of the others that I usually find on-tap (namely Guinness). Probably wouldn't be too good in a can though...

Serving type: nitro-tap

 818 characters

Photo of greenengineer
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz Bottle into my Central Mass Striders pint glass
A - dark black, creamy brown heady, lots of foam, persists
S -"stouty" sweet malt fragrance, hints of coffee, chocolate
T - nice, malty sweetness, but not overpowering, hop bitterness at the end. Well balanced. Little bit of a burnt malt flavor.
M - thin, not sticky. Definitely can sense the low alcohol content.
O - good stout. A nice change of pace from Guinness. I like the Guinness Export better.

 457 characters

Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.88/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a standard pint glass. The beer is a rich espresso black with a hue of brown, if any through the light. A thick, soapy dark cream colored head sits on top that slowly dissipates to a film. Loads of sticky lacing. The beer smells dry and sweet somewhat, but mostly of bitter chocolate and roasted malts. The taste is exceptional: roasted malts, bitter chocolate, and a faint milky sweetness in there. The mouthfeel is dry.

Overall, this is an exceptional stout, and it's about as close to perfect as can be for an Irish Dry Stout. Also, the low ABV is a delight. I could drink this for hours.

 605 characters

Photo of welldigger888
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured an opaque black with some garnet hues around the edges. Dense tan cream colored head that leaves ample lacing down glass.

Roasty malty goodness on the nose.

Roasted grain coffee and caramel that has a touch of that old sour magic to it.

Creamy and smooth as butter, velvety soft and highly drinkable.

Oh my I may have found an everyday drinker, well played by my local bottle shop. The St Pattys Day special of $4 per growler fill.Awesome brew.

 455 characters

Photo of acevenom
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Pours black with a two finger length tan head. The aroma is of roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee. The flavor is of dark roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee. It tastes exactly as it smells. The hops aren't veyr prominent and the taste lingers in the back of the mouth. There's a pleasant interplay of sweet and bitter in the taste and this stout definitely opens up as it warms. The finish is dry and the mouthfeel is on the lower end of medium and it's crisp. This drinks fairly easily and I could see myself sessioning this beer. It's very good.

 574 characters

Photo of intensify
3.26/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured a motor oil looking type body with a huge head. Head stuck around for a nice while and left tons of lacing while doing so. Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, banana and vanilla beans. Taste is on-que with the smell except the banana and other fruits really tend to stick out. Vanilla was a huge hit on this stout and I say this because the sweet aftertaste couldn't have came from anything else. However, it might just be the specific 6 pack I came across but there is something funky about the finish of this beer. Would i buy again? Naa. Would i refuse if it were available for free? Naa.

 598 characters

Photo of TempeBeerMan
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a mug.

A - Pours a not-quite-totally-black with a two finger tan head that lingered decently. Good amount of patchy lacing.

S - Roasted grains predominant. A hint of chocolate and dark fruit. Aroma is strong.

T - A nice grainy toasted flavor. Slight bit of dark fruit sweetness in the finish, but overall kind of a one-note wonder. None of the chocolate that was present in the nose. Hops barely detectable. Lacking a little complexity.

M - Thin almost to the point of being watery. Lively carbonation. Finishes dry alright...bone dry. Easy drinking.

O - A solid dry stout, with an almost unparalleled drinkability. I had to fight to keep from downing the entire glass long enough to write the review. Overall just a little too thin bodied and a little too simple for my taste. Could see knocking back a six pack of these though.

 863 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

O’hara’s Irish Stout has a medium, creamy, beige head and a very dark brown or black appearance with ruby shining through in the light. A good amount of lacing is left in the glass. Aroma is a mix of dark-roasted barley malt, dark coffee, and dark baker’s chocolate. Taste is dry, powdery, chocolaty, coffee-like, a little sweet and a little bitter. Mouthfeel is medium, and O’hara’s Irish Stout finishes mild, bitter, and pleasant. Overall, this is a very nice beer, and I highly recommend it.


 510 characters

Photo of rjplumer
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pitch black with a tan two finger head. Roasted malt notes. Dry chocolate flavor with a hint of sourness in the middle. Very carbonated for the style. Smooth yet does have a mild roast bite. Also a faint hint of some sweet hops. Respectable and I would have again no problem.

 275 characters

Photo of Everydayoff
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into a mug by freshness date.

Jet black in color with thick foamy tan head with good retention, it recedes into frothy tan film covering the surface along with plenty of lacing tan rings and several clingy patches.

The smell is black coffee with roasted/caramelized malt and some smokiness as well as some creamy note.

Backbone is bitterness from roasted malt with some black coffee-like flavor, bread crust, slight creamy. Dainty bitterness is all round also lingers as an aftertaste.

Mouth feel is firm, rather smooth with good crisp of carbonation, dry finish.

I could drink this all day long due to its high drinkability. O’Hara’s Stout has flagged itself in one of the top Irish Stout list in my mind.

 750 characters

Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a nice dark brown almost ruby red dark brown color.
Small head but plenty of lacing.

Small nose- Hints of roasted malt. But not much else.

Flavor is a dry bitter flavor, hints of roasted barley.
Nice long finish.

I like this beer because of it's lower ABV-- I can keep enjoying this beer-- twelve ounces don't weld me to my seat. This is a beer I can enjoy several pints of and not regret it the next morning.

The flavor is well balanced-- not particularly robust-- but that maybe be the profile of an Irish Stout-- but it's such that the flavor and consequential mouthfeel is not tiring.

Overall this is an enjoyable beer if you're planning to quaff a few pints-- sitting down for the beer of the day I prefer one with a more muscular stance that slows my guzzling down a bit-- even with a pint the glass' bottom comes up all too quickly.

 857 characters

Photo of BierStein711
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz Bottle poured into mug

Best before February of 2012

Three and a half inch soda colored head, black with some red

Smell: Coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt

Taste: Roasted malt, coffee

Mouthfeel: not as smooth as other stouts.

This is a good, solid beer. However, I'll have it again on tap, and not from the bottle. This is worth a try.

 350 characters

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

A: Pitch black beer, with a finger's width of light tan foam that sticks around a good long while and leaves some nice rings of lacing on the edge of the glass.

S: Chocolate malts, nice roasted aroma and coffee.

T: Bitter roasted malts are certainly the primary flavor in the brew. Some notes of chocolate and caramel through the middle and finish with the taste of strong black coffee.

M: Medium-heavy body, not as heavy as the color would have you believe. The carbonation is moderate, and the feeling is rather creamy.

O: Not the best stout that I've ever had, but far from the worst. The flavor is balanced, nice and bitter without overwhelming. The 4.3% alcohol and relatively light mouthfeel make this, if not sessionable, then at least easy and quick to drink.

 773 characters

Photo of rarbring
3.56/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is dark brown, almost black, a tan thick head with good lacing.

Smelling of toast, cofee and roasted malt, some sweet dried fruits.

Tasting of toast, burnt bead, dried fruits and coffee beans.

Medium carbonation, fresh feeling, medium body, a nice dry finish.

Still a really good Irish stout, better than the biggest ...

 333 characters

Photo of Jimmys
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle best before Feb '12

A: pretty much pitch black body with a brownish whitish creamy head. good retention and sticky lacing.

S: a bitter roasted/coffee aroma. a little vanilla sweetness as well. good but very simple.

T: a bland, im sorry, dry, roasted flavor that is quick and sharp and then moves into a very dry finish with a touch of bittersweet chocolate, but just a touch.

M: a moderate carbonation on a very easy drinking light body.

D: not my favorite style by a longshot, but on my list of styles to check-off. very easy drinking because of the dryness, but with the lack of body it is not the most enjoyable brew to me.

 647 characters

Photo of spinrsx
4/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

 839 characters

Photo of MONKandTUCK
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

 1,312 characters

Photo of zbellino
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
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!

 990 characters

O'Hara's Irish Stout from Carlow Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 469 ratings.