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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

767 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 767
Reviews: 453
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 12.14%
Wants: 52
Gots: 27 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 767 | Reviews: 453 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ralree
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark, like coffee. Head was generous but short-lived.

S: Smells sweet and slightly bitter and roasted.

T: Tastes sweet and roasted, and just a little bit bitter, as any stout should.

M: Rich yet smooth, leaves a slightly roasted aftertaste.

D: Very smooth for a stout. I don't feel as bloated as I usually do drinking other stouts.

ralree, Aug 26, 2007
Photo of TheBierBand
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 11.2 oz. bottle into a european pint glass to produce a 1" head of light tan color. the beer is ebony.

Nose: sweet malt predominant.

Taste: Sweet, dried fruit, roasted malt bite bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth/creamy low carbonation.

Drinkability: Nice creamy... Recommended if you like sweet.

TheBierBand, Aug 09, 2007
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.25/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A dark brown liquid pours into a pint glass with a collectively black appearance. Nice off brown head tops the body to about 2 1/2 fingers. Aromas of slight coffee, molasses, roasted malt and chocolate whaff up from the foam; the driness can be smelled.
Taste offers a narrow glance at coffee, roasted malt, dried hops and molasses. Nothing overpowering or central, a good balance. Drinks well as it warms, to a point, then becomes a bit astringent.

Mebuzzard, Jun 08, 2007
Photo of kexp
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Great looking stout. A little lacking in what i consider traditional stout head, but it was out of a bottle after all.

S - Smelled like strong coffee, alerting me to the roasted taste to come

T - Very tasty. Not overly complex. A true Irish taste to it. Roasted flavor is quite forward

M - like a good stout, it stuck to the palate and didn't let go.

D - very drinkable in moderation. Not as sessionable as some other stouts, which means that this stout is a cut above many others, but not all others

This one is the state of the art for Irish stouts. Very honest about its origin, it is a great Irish Stout with an enhanced roasted profile. I would LOVE to taste this one out of the tap.

kexp, May 23, 2007
Photo of TheDeuce
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Not bad, thick black with a thick, heavy head. Roasted chocolate and coffee hints and a maltiness that lingers. Taste is smooth and deep as a stout should be, not that strong but that's sensible given the ABV and a desire for a more relaxed stout. Not a craft breweres high alcohol stout but a plain good session stout, I see nothing wrong with that. Very drinkable and a step up from Guinness.

TheDeuce, May 16, 2007
Photo of BrewSomerville
3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A damned good stout.

Aroma is all roasted malts.

It looks black. Good head. Moderate head retention. Some lace.

Tastes like a stout should. You can really taste the roastedness, it almost has a burnt flavour. The malty-sweetness is just enough to balance out the astringent flavours of the roasted/burnt malt flavours. There is a little bit of hop flavour present as well.

Mouthfeel is full bodied. Smooth, but could have a smoother carbonation profile.

Overall, I like it very much. I will think of this when I think of a good stout.

BrewSomerville, May 08, 2007
Photo of SaltyLime
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Surprised to not see a cascading effect from pour. Very nice dark brown color with a light tan head. Head was bountiful and stretched over the top of my 16 oz glass, it pocked quickly and died fast.

Smell - Surprised again with a sweet and grassy smell.

Taste - Crisp and clean taste. Flavor was not strong but did have a gentle balance of maltiness and hops. I had a blast of maltiness when the beer was gone and the head clumped into my pie-hole.

Mouthfeel - Lighter than expected. No funny business lingering on the palate, clean finish.

Drinkability - I like it and could drink plenty. It had a lighter feel then other Irish Stouts without the taste suffering.

SaltyLime, May 05, 2007
Photo of Vancer
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This one would make for a good session type brew, with the 4.3% and sturdy stout taste. Except the import price of over $10 for a sixer puts it outa my range.

Dark as night with a proper tan head. Good aroma of fig and cherry, which progressed into the quaff, along with a toasted nut hint. Dry and raspy finish.

Kinda thin bodied with the low alcohol, but fire up a sixer if you get a chance.

Vancer, May 04, 2007
Photo of treehugger02010
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is the last beer from the special 6 pack my lovely girlfriend bought me. I poured it into a pint glass.
Appearance: Darker than the depths of hell, well at least the body. Very creamy and fluffy brown head, with annoyingly good retention and the sticky lace we all love. It poured very syrupy.
Smell: A strong yet bland smell of carmalized malts.
Taste: I nice malt profile with a hop bite (without the hop taste).
Mouthfeel: Very smooth, but interestingly it had a nice crisp taste, maybe because it is a Dry Stout. Oh the world is full of unanswerable questions.
Drinkability: Pretty darn good.
Don't drink and review.

treehugger02010, May 01, 2007
Photo of sethmeister
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown; near black in the glass. Large fluffy tan head which leaves some lace.

Scent is mild and earthy with roasted malts and a hint of coffee

Sweet roasty nutty creamy with hints of coffee and chocolate with a subtle bitterness at the end.

Silky, creamy medium mouthfeel.

Very drinkable.

This is a very nice Irish stout; a solid 4.

sethmeister, Apr 17, 2007
Photo of athensbeermaster
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I bought this in a six pk. which was new to me I only bought this tasty stout in a big bopper btl. before. This is the real deal stout.It is made in Ireland unlike the guinness we get in the states! The color is pitch black with a very nice tan head with good head retention. The smell of roasted malt and coffee was well balanced.
The taste was more of the roasted malt and coffee with the classic dry dusty finish you come to expect. The mouthfeel was med. body. And the drinkablity at 4.3% made this a brew you could drink all night long and feel fine the next day!

athensbeermaster, Apr 09, 2007
Photo of Slatetank
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Slatetank, Apr 09, 2007
Photo of tapman
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Irish Dry Stouts, especially popular ones, generally are a good choice everytime when out at the pub. Smooth and creamy, chocolatey and complex, O'Hara's is a fine choice after you've had your 10,000th Guiness of the month.

Pouring an inky black color, when held to the light the beer takes on a dark ocher glow. The carbonation cascades in typical nitro fashion and is just too beautiful as it rolls upward, defying gravity. The head is indeed 2-3 fingers and the lacing does indeed persist throughout the experience.

I sampled this brew on nitro-tap at a bar and could smell next to nothing from the nitro's masking metalic aroma, a pity. Slight chocolate maltiness when it warms up and I could really get my nose in there deep, to the chagrin of my drinking companions.

The taste is of chocolate and roasted malts mixed with a cascade-like hoppiness sets this apart from the "big G". Too often I miss the hops in my stouts, which focus more on the complex malt flavorings than the bright, tangy hops, but OHara's is a step in the right direction with its blend of the too. Not that it is bitter at all, just that it tastes like a stout beer opposed to chocolate milk with stout flovorings like some beers we know. I'm just teasing (sorta), love 'ya Guiness.

The nitro makes it hard for any beer that utilizes it to have a below average mouthfeel. That's the point of the nitro anyways, right? Still there are many stouts out there that have wonderful mouthfeel without the aid of nitrous oxide and without it, O'Hara's may be kinda lax in that department.

I feel that Irish Dry Stouts should always be high in the drinkability category. This brew is no exception. I made this beer my beer du jour for that outing. Unlike a porter or Imperial Stout, an IDS can be complex, but not overpowering in the least; the Coca-Cola of beers.

tapman, Apr 05, 2007
Photo of drseamus
3.3/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours with a dark body that shines ruby colored at the edges when held to the light. It had a decent off-white head. The aroma was pretty sweet with caramel notes. The flavor was VERY light. It had a bit of roasted flavor but was very thin overall; much thinner that I would like. The taste and mouthfeel bring the drinkability down a lot.

drseamus, Mar 30, 2007
Photo of KATE12
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer on tap at Stout in NYC. It was probably one of the best looking stouts I've ever seen. It was a dark, deep ink color and the head was at least three fingers and a creamy wheat color. The lacing was great also and didn't disappear even as I was taking my last sip. The smell had hints of chocolate and maybe a little carmel which made it taste smooth. In each sip there was a powerful, but not overwhelming, hoppy taste which only positively added to the flavor. I was very satisfied with this beer and would highly recommend it.

KATE12, Mar 23, 2007
Photo of LarryV
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma of roasted malt with hints of toffee in the nose. Pours with a 1" fluffy tan head on top of the inky black brew. Head fades slowly to a lingering ring of foam that hangs around for the duration. Taste is deep roasted malt with a licorice like flavor and hints of dark unsweetened chocolate. Hops are noticeable and provide a nice bitter counterpoint. Medium mouthfeel feels right for this brew. A tasty offering and one that stout lovers should enjoy.

LarryV, Mar 16, 2007
Photo of ncvbc
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found this at the local store and although it was somewhat steep I had to try it. Very similar to Guinness, with differences that make it better to me. Not too high (4.3%) ABV which makes this one easy to put down. Extremely smooth and silky, with hints of toffee and some chocolate. Definitely less thick and chewy in texture than a Guinness which was fine by me. The taste was on point and I will definitely grab some of these again.

ncvbc, Mar 14, 2007
Photo of jaz58
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not too bad of a dry stout. 4.3 % ABV Poured black. Head was a thin tan cream yet it dissipated quite quickly.

Nice hints of toffee in the nose.

Subtle bitterness finish to this brew. Coffee and malt flavours throughout.

A beer worth having again. Compared to Guinness which I've always enjoyed this stout is a nice change.

jaz58, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of mdagnew
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle bought from GapWines, Belfast...

Poured completely black... Creamy tan head poured quite thick and foamy then faded slowly to nice thick layer... lots of sticky lacing..

Aroma - Nice strong treacle / brown sugar notes, nutty sweetness, light smokiness, some fruitiness (prunes, figs), soapy notes, woody / earthy, roasted malts, some peppery hops, vanilla, some faint oatiness...

Taste – Not as good as the aromas indicates - quite washed out. Earthy, lightly toasted malt bitterness, some dustiness, light smokiness, herbal notes, some nutty sweetness, peppery, burnt butter notes..

Feel - Smooth and pretty creamy... full bodied...

Overall - An OK stout - nothing special... probably worth a try though...

mdagnew, Feb 01, 2007
Photo of Tallboy
3.33/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- When poured in a pint glass it is jet black in color with ruby accents and a light beige head, with rather thick lacing.

Smell – Predominantly rich chocolate , roasted malt, and dark coffee at first, intertwined with a nice earthy presence.

Taste – Was rather sweet for your average dry stout. the malts tasted extra roasted and not at all bitter like I expected. I also thought the creamy chocolate and espresso was divine.

Mouthfeel – Was rather moderate, but I liked the distinct coffee aftertaste.

Drinkability – Not sure if I would recommend this over Guinness, but on occasion this would be a nice drink.

Tallboy, Jan 27, 2007
Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - A creamy, thick three fingers of mocha colored head sits atop a nearly black brew with copious thick rings of lacing. The head vanished a bit quickly than perfection in my opinion, pretty close though.

S - Coffee with a touch of burnt malt and a molasses aroma. Fainter dark chocolate and hay. Pretty nice.

T - The first flavor in a waxy flavor. Actually tastes like lipstick. Yuck. Then there is a faint coffee and dry molasses flavor. The aftertaste, the best part (still not great) is a coffee bitterness with a touch of grassy hops.

M - Thin, a bit harsh from carbonation, moderately refershing.

D - Where did that flavor come from??? It came from left field to ruin what I thought was going to be a great beer. It is still light enough to session, but the lipstick flavor is so unpleasant. I will pass on this in the future. I tried desperately to think of some reason that the beer could possibly have that flavor from an external source, but I couldn't think of one. One course, I still can't think of any internal source for that flavor . . .

mrasskicktastic, Jan 21, 2007
Photo of lehows
4.68/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at Bobbique in Patchogue. Poured a beautiful thick black color with a nice cascading head. Aromas of roasted barley. Taste is much bigger than expected with wonderful flavors of roasted barley, malt, with a slight smokiness. Super smooth mouthfeel. Wow...I could drink a ton of these. Just an all around amazing Irish stout. Two thumbs up.

lehows, Jan 12, 2007
Photo of techdiver
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dense opaque brownish black with a substantial head that leaves nice lacing.

Sweet roasted malts to the nose.

Taste of coffee and chocolate. All very well balanced and a pleasure to drink.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly light and refreshing. Because of this, as well as the low alcohol content this is a very drinkable brew.

techdiver, Dec 28, 2006
Photo of bluejacket74
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a dark brown/black color with a good sized tan head with excellent lacing. It smells like roasted malt and coffee, but the aroma isn't too strong. It tastes the same way it smells, but luckily the taste is stronger than the smell. As the beer warms, a smoky taste comes out. There's also a nice bitter finish with this beer. This is a full bodied beer with a good amount of carbonation. The drinkability is very good, as it's smooth and easy to drink. A very nice Irish stout, and not a bad choice as a session beer.

bluejacket74, Dec 20, 2006
Photo of JayQue
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich black color with no light getting through. Nice size than head that fades fairly quickly. Leaves a large amount of lacing on the glass. Some aroma, mild roasted malt. The taste is good, roasted malt, very nicely balanced with some bitterness at the end. Mouthfeel may be a hair thin, but very smooth and drinkable. No unpleasant after taste. This is a very drinkable beer. I had it with cheese and crackers, would be a great session beer also.

Nice stout, reminds me of McGuires Stout from Orlando.

JayQue, Dec 17, 2006
O'Hara's Irish Stout from Carlow Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 767 ratings.