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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

809 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 809
Reviews: 462
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 12.14%
Wants: 56
Gots: 46 | 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: 809 | Reviews: 462 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bark
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The liquid is clear; the colour jet-black. The large beige head is firm and compact.

The smell is roasted with hints of soap, fresh mint and chocolate. Very nice!

The taste is a little sour with lots of malt. Notes of dark roasted toast. Very clear and elegant flavours. The aftertaste is a bit bitter with notes of toffee, nuts and sweet malt.

The carbonation is mild; the liquid creamy.

An Irish session stout at its best!

Photo of medic25
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black color with a thick, tan head. Mild burnt malt aroma. Taste is a balanced one, burnt grain, a little coffee flavor, relatively crisp and clean flavor. Goes down easy, no real hint of alcohol flavor. Nice, dry Irish stout; I still prefer the nitrogen mouthfeel of some of the other beers in this class, but this is a tasty beverage.

Photo of missginsu
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is kind of surprising. Dark, with no real head (just a mingling of bubbles), it smells like molasses. Then, once you taste it, there's a bright crispness with fine bubbles and very little sweetness. As it washes over the mouth, tobacco hits at the back of the tongue and there's a lingering flavor that's like moss, tobacco and ashes. It's a fascinating beer... it sort of reminds me of a scotch.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic. pours black with four fingers of tan, thick head that is reduced to a nice pillow with a few minutes. rocky lacings.

aroma is of distinct roasted malt and hazelnut. notes of grain and a bready character are present as well. not much else.

taste is of roasted malts and the same hazelnut base from the aroma. finishes on a roasted note with a nutty base in the aftertaste.

mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a creamy texture and a smooth finish of lightly bitter malt.

drinkablility is good. this is a smooth and unique malt with a hazelnut quality rarely seen in this style. a rich profile for this unique stout.

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

12-oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Dark mahogany, large tan head of medium bubbles with frothy top, fair retention, heavy lacing on glass.

S = Light smell of cocoa powder, traces of cinnamon, less smell than I would have liked.

T = Bitter coffee with light tree bark and cinnamon, medium long dry bitter finish.

M = Light bodied, carbonation a little too strong but good foam when swished, fair mouthcoating.

D = A nice simple Irish Dry Stout. Definitely worth drinking.

Photo of drinksandeats
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark beer with a good solid off-white head, not tan or brownish like some other stouts. Strong roasted barley aroma, with good coffee undertones. A tad too much bitterness, perhaps from hops, perhaps from overroasting. Great roasted barley taste that sometimes fades back and forth into mild sweetness. The body is thicker than the average stout, which makes for a hearty drink. Was given two bottles just recently, and now I may have to find a full six-pack of this.

Photo of abcsofbeer
3.16/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle with a 03.09 drink by date. It is topped by a two finger tan head that retains itself very well and leaves a good amount of sticky lacing. The color is pitch black.

The aroma is hard to pin down, but, is mainly comprised of roasted maltiness. The taste is roasted/burnt malt and bitter chocolate. I also detect a small amount of flowery/grassy taste and a bit of hop flavor.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied, on the light side for a stout. The bitterness that I detected is not so much from the hops but from the roasted malt. It is not necessarily a nice bitterness, but, one that is grassy.

Photo of pmcadamis
3.19/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - An enormous tan head rises to a full four fingers above a cola-black brew that shows a few hints of brown around the edges. The head is fluffy and puffy, and forms mounds of mashed-potato lumps in the middle. Lots of really nice lace is left on the glass.

S - Cocoa puffs and coffee for breakfast. Mild cocoa powder notes over cold creamy coffee and milk. This smells nice enough, but it's really weak. I have to really try to smell this one.

T - Cold day old coffee and cocoa powder. I don't like the sour bitter notes found here...I tasted the same odd flavors in their Red Ale. This improves immensely with warmth! The old-coffee sour notes mutate into dark roasted coffee with tons of sugar, and the cocoa flavors develop into full blown chocolate aspects.

M - Light bodied, dry, and more carbonated than I'd like in a stout. This is watery and prickly where it should be creamy and smooth. I left this beer sitting out for about half an hour while I ran with the dog, and when I came back, the carbonation mellowed out and the warmth brought out nicer flaors and mouthfeels. Somehow, this works as it approaches room temp but sort of sucks when even slightly chilled.

D - A slightly above average stout. Nothing really jumps out at me, but its pleasantly drinkable.

Photo of adams82
3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black, like most stouts... with a huge fluffy tan head.

Smells roasty, slightly chocolaty, notes of coffee at first and then backed by a faint malt aroma. Tastes roasty and slightly bitter, most notable flavors are coffee and bittersweet chocolate finished with a mild hop bitterness. The aroma leaves a little to be desired, but no real complaints here.

This beer is smooth and dry; a very nice session beer and a pretty good Irish Stout.

Photo of nasty15108
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip Guinness pint.

A - Poured Black with slight ruby hues around the bottom of the pint. Thick light-brown head with adequate lacing throughout.

S - Very Malty. Slightly burnt coffee aroma.

T - smokey malt flavor upfront, followed by a bitter, slightly metallic, dry finish.

MF&D - Smooth and slightly oily. Overall I enjoyed this one. Try it if you get the chance.

Photo of hyland24
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Unfortunately I had to drink this straight from the bottle due to extenuating circumstances so I cant comment on the appearence.

S- The beer gave off a fairly strong roasted malt smell with hints of roasted coffee.

T- The taste was a nice roasty malt, with a sweet smokey barley flavor. Finished with a slight roasted dry coffee flavor.

MF&D- The stout was medium bodied with a creamy mouth coating that actually finishes quite dry. A worthy addition to my preferred stout list. Definitely deserving of three or four follow up servings. Could be a decent session beer as long as you dont mind the slight heavy feel.

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

I hadn't had this one before. Great beer.

A: Black as night. Rocky head that stays the whole way down. Leaves a heavy lace.

S: Subtle. Lots of coffee, with hints of chocolate and vanilla.

T: Nice burnt malt flavor without the charcoal taste of some stouts. Coffee from the aromas carries into the taste. Not at all sweet. Slightly acidic. Finishes very dry.

M: Medium body. Mine had a little too much fizz. I'd love to try it on tap.

D: This beer has a very consistent personality. Taste and aromas blend perfectly. I could see myself drinking several in a night.

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

A: Poured a dark cola-coffee color with a rocky, 2 finger dark khaki head that slowly faded leaving a sticky film lacing down the sides of the glass.

S: soft roasted coffee aroma with some bitter chocolate.

T: starts out with some sweet roasted coffee with a dairy creamer sweetness. There is a nice smooth dry roasted bitterness in the middle of the drink before finishing with a nice carbonation bite and a dry roasted coffee grind lacing. There is a rich dark roasted flavor of coffee grinds that stand out.

M: medium with a slight tingle from the carbonation warming up to a fresh black coffee fade after the swallow.

D: Drinkability is nice, dry and perfectly fit to style. There is a nice lingering reminder long after the swallow of the dry roasted nature of this beer.

Photo of Tolann
3.12/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Dark in color and nearly opaque. Some reddish hues if you hold it up to the light and look really hard. Pours and off white brownish head that fades pretty quickly. This bottle does not have a nitro widget like Guinness.

S - More roasted and more chocolate notes than the other Irish stouts I've had this week. Smells real good and a bit sweeter. A bigger nose than the others, but still not too big or offensive.

T - very roasty. Kinda bitter like burnt. Not sweet. Not the big chocolate taste I expected after the smell. I definitely pick up the roasted-ness.

M - light to medium body. More carbonation than expected that was lively on my tongue. Not a big after taste.

D - OK for drinking. I think I may enjoy something else more, but being that this is 4.3% ABV it won't mess you up in a hurry. Light enough to drink all night, but lacks some in taste to make you come back for more.

Photo of tempest
3.24/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Got an imperial pint at the neighborhood bar right before St. Patty's day. The appearance is spot on with thick lacing and a thin, but resilient head over a black body. The aroma is a bit odd and reminds me of soured chocolate milk - not something I describe as necessarily pleasant. The flavor is more bitter than the other imports with a little kick of roasted barley at the end and a mild creamy flavor beforehand. Very drinkable, and it has character, it's just not the best tasting of the Irish Dry Stouts. I'd still take it over Guinness any day though.

Photo of Homerbag
3.86/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black body with very dark red hues around the bottom of the pint, two inch thick foamy head that retains as a smooth layer and laces a bit.

Smell is of roasted coffee, some choclate malt, and roasted malts. Tastes as good as any Irish stout, perhaps a bit more traditional. Not as roasted as Guinness extra stout. Roasted malts and some coffee note take center stage leaving a dry and clean finish.

Highly sessionable, I could only inamge this tasting better on tap, even a nitro-tap for some creamy mouthfeel. Can't go wrong with this choice.

Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Best before 31.12.08:

Pours black with dark brown highlights along edges. A lasting tan head tops it off.

The smell is of charcoal roastiness and coffee grinds.

The taste is of roasted/smoky barley - roasted coffee grinds turns charcoalish. Dry, bitter, ashy finish.

Not "full-bodied and smooth" as indicated on the label, but has an adequate, appropriate fullness for the style. Roastiness gives the palate a bit of a kick.

Pour a pint (well - 11.2 oz., as that is the bottle size) and enjoy the roasty dryness that this one gives.

Photo of yelterdow
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Just a few days from St. Pat's 2008, I'll get my Italian self in the spirit with one I haven't tried. This will be served in a pint glass at between fridge and cellar temperature. Best before 12/31/08.

Appearance- Chocolately and light-bodied, this beer produced a beautiful whipped head... it's amazingly fluffy, lighter than air. It stands easily four fingers tall, and it laces in long chunks down the inside of the glass. It's all good!

Smell- Rich and roasty aromas of chocolate and smoke.

Taste- Deeply roasted malts without too big of an emphasis on chocolate or coffee. The finish has a good, lasting bitterness that grips the sides and back of the tongue better than your average dry stout.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Average at best, the texture is quite uneventful. Any activity is fleeting and doesn't carry the flavors as well as it should. It's effortless to drink, but I wouldn't necessarily choose this above all else when given the option.

Photo of brentk56
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an obsidian black with a scarce highlight of ruby here and there; luscious rocky head that retains beautifully and webs the wall of the pint glass

Smell: Roasty and charred aromas; almost smells like yesterday's fire with some underlying dark fruit

Taste: Opens with a combination of dark fruit, coffee and a hint of caramel with an increasingly bitter roasty edge by mid-palate; after the swallow, the char and coffee flavors blend together and mellow into the finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Despite the slightly thin mouthfeel (though to be expected with the low ABV), this stout delivers a lot in the flavor department

Photo of Kwak
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this one poured creamy with a nice dark brown color. the head was thick tan and stuck to the glass nice

smell was toasted malt

taste smooth , with a roasted feel to it nice bitterness not to strong. just enough flavor
the aftertaste was malty and bitter nice combo and very drinkable top notch

Photo of bkilpatr
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a pint glass. 03/02/08. Bottle has a freshness date of 03/31/07.

Pours pitch black, with about three fingers of fluffy tan head. The head leaves decent lacing around the glass. Smells of roasted malts, with some creamy chocolate.

Taste is roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate, with a dry and bitter taste to it. The mouthfeel is kind of thin and watery - would have liked it to be a little thicker. Makes it more drinkable though, combined with the lower carbonation.

I was slightly concerned about the freshness date, but it seems to have held up pretty well. I'd love to try this fresh on tap someday.

Photo of Brad007
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color: Pours a pitch-black color with a decent head of foam that leaves a bit of lacing.

Aroma: Thick and malty upfront. A hint of coffee peeks out in the nose. Some dryness.

Taste: Rich and malty upfront. Coffee hints in the middle with a good dryness. Roasty. A second sip confirms the dryness in the middle and towards the end. Just the right touch of dryness/roastiness.

Mouthfeel: Roasty, dry and malty. Smooth.

Verdict: A decent example of the style. No worrying about a nitro-head or anything like that. This beer simply doesn't need it. Genuine and delicious. Low enough in ABV that it would be a decent session beer.

Photo of deg
4.66/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The beer looked black as pitch after I poured it. I'd like to know how the brewer gets stouts that dark, my homebrewed stouts never look that dark. I picked up a nice coffee aroma when I smelled it. However, the smell was a little weak. The beer tasted good with a good coffee/roasted taste to it. My only regret was I only bought one bottle instead of the whole six-pack.

Photo of jdmorgan
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Irish stout poured a rich deep brown with a minimal head.

It's smell had a rich roasted malt aroma and a medium hop aroma as well. The taste was full of roasted malt body and some coffee flavor as well. The hop profile was medium/high but wasn't overdone. The mouthfeel was very smooth and enjoyable with a heavy consistency and a medium/low carbonation.

This was a great heavy brew. It was an excellent beer for it's style and highly recommended.

Photo of iceviper22
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pours a deep black color with gleaming hints of dark reds shining through the light at the glass edges. It pours with a big fluffy cream/tan colored head that dwindles to a nice foamy layer after a few minutes.

It smells mostly of dark chocolates and coffee with scents of raisins or plums mixed in. The heavy and dark burnt malty smell is very welcoming.

The taste is very smooth and balanced nicely. A lot of dark chocolate taste to it, with a nice coffee ending and a touch of bitterness to round it out. It isn't overly bitter and dry like some other stouts. This one is very drinkable and tasty. The mouthfeel might be a wee bit thin, but I feel it's pretty close to perfect the way it is.

O'Hara's Irish Stout from Carlow Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 809 ratings.