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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

740 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 740
Reviews: 451
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 12.14%
Wants: 50
Gots: 24 | 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: 740 | Reviews: 451 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of waughbrew


3.93/5  rDev +1.6%

Thanks for the freshness date! I would not have bought this had I not seen that.

A pretty pint indeed, this near-opaque black beer with a creamy medium-sized beige top. Glorious aroma of silky dark chocolate and dark-roast coffee beans. Slightly burnt dark caramel is the flavor, but with very little accompanying sweetness. Medium-thin and a good dose of carbonation comes off pretty well. Not ultra-smooth, but not harsh at all either. Very pleasant. The dry, slightly acidic roasty finish leads well into another sip. I am very happy with this beer.

09-04-2005 01:44:09 | More by waughbrew
Photo of joecast


4.03/5  rDev +4.1%

good looking 355ml bottle. very dark and mysterious. no date on label or bottle.

pours black with ruby edges around the base of the glass. forms a 2cm tan head that settles to about half that. leaves some lacing.

strong dark malt aroma. roast and burnt with hints of sweetness. very appetising.

another beer where the aroma is a good predictor of the flavor. in this case, its a good thing. more roast/burnt malts to be found on the tongue. not so strong as to be offensive, and balanced by a light but detectable hop bitterness. probably not as dry as it could be, but its fine by me.

that lesser degree of dryness leaves a smoother mouthfeel. a nice, easy drinking stout. and to think i avoided this for a long while thinking it was a bit "gimmicky". hah, what do i know.

08-31-2005 08:24:08 | More by joecast
Photo of RoyalT


4.05/5  rDev +4.7%

Appearance – This beer is almost black in color with a nice, lightly-tanned white head.

Smell – The roasty malts and dark coffee are subdued but prominent in the bouquet. I didn’t find a lot of sweetness here, which is good.

Taste – The flavor is really bold. It is truly a dry stout. The malts are roasted and bitter and the coffee is thick like a Turkish or Lebanese blend. There is some light chocolate here but mostly this is a dry, roasty flavor.

Mouthfeel – This beer is very light though a tad bigger than light-bodied. It is bitter but not brutally so. The carbonation is light out of the bottle. It is velvety smooth and definitely has strong sessiony characteristics.

Drinkability – I can just imagine this on-tap at a pub in Ireland. It is light enough to session yet fun enough to keep you ordering more.

08-27-2005 02:39:04 | More by RoyalT
Photo of Naes

New York

3.8/5  rDev -1.8%

This one is jet black with an enormous off white / light tan head. This head is quite frothy and laces incredibly.

Aroma is of roasted malt.

The flavor starts out a bit watery then moves into its roastiness and finishes with a mild blending of hops. It’s just a little bitter in the end which is ok by me.

Mouth feel is medium bodied as a whole, but as stated above, it is a bit watery in the beginning.

This is an easy drinking stout, but I don’t think it is anything special. I will not be going out of my way to get another but I did enjoy this brew.

07-28-2005 02:09:02 | More by Naes
Photo of Imbiber

New York

4.45/5  rDev +15%

From a bottle that originated at Key Food, Brooklyn.

Very dark ruby with a decent enough head. Mild malty aroma, enticing. Flavour is dry, pleasant roast and slight burnt notes becoming more prominent; the finish is a crescendo of 'stouty' roast malt on the tongue which makes this beer a most pleasant imbibing choice. A high quality Irish beer, one of the few.

07-15-2005 18:01:30 | More by Imbiber
Photo of RonfromJersey

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev +6.7%

Black-to-very-dark-brown body, ruby highlights, and a heaping head of tan froth that started at the middle of my English pint style glass and soared above the rim. Outstanding lacing. Cascading bubbles. All without nitro.

Nose is heavy with well roasted coffee, wisps of cocoa.

Taste starts with the well roasted coffee, picks up a little bit of chocolate, but could use a little more, and finishes with some herbal hoppiness.

Medium mouthfeel, not overly full as to impair sessionability. Drinkability is very good, particularly if you are a fan of Irish stouts and/or coffee.

This taste much more like Guinness than Guinness does these days. My Irish eyes are smiling.

07-02-2005 19:14:15 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of ppoitras


3.95/5  rDev +2.1%

11.2oz bottle purchased as a single at Julio's, Westboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" tan head over the translucent mahogany brew. Head lasts well, and exhibits nice lacing. Aroma is roasty dark malts, as expected. Taste is sweet dark malts upfront, a bit coffee grounds and hops bitter in the middle, and a dry finish. Mouthfeel is a bit rough with the coffee flavor more the car repair shop bitter and not espresso bitter, but the drinkability is still good once you get used ot the bitterness. Nice dry stout.

06-19-2005 20:00:02 | More by ppoitras
Photo of mattcrill


3.25/5  rDev -16%

Thanks to cmaruschak for letting me sample a bottle of this.

Appearance: Pours cola black with ruby edges. A nice two-finger, pancake batter looking head that sticks to the glass. Looks nice.

Smell: Black patent, rye bread, slight smokey, slighty vinous.

Taste: Dry rye bread, slightly chalky, black patent, wheat bread, a little bit of smoke round out the taste. Nothing really dominates and nothing really stands out.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, a little creamy, and a little crispy b/c of the carbonation.

Drinkability: With the low ABV it's pretty slammable. It's pretty unimaginative. Irish dry stouts aren't my favorite but I think there are better examples out there. The chalkiness gets a little hard to deal with after a while.

06-18-2005 19:01:39 | More by mattcrill
Photo of NeroFiddled


3.83/5  rDev -1%

O'hara's Stout on tap delivers the typical nitro-pour appearance; and beyond that it's a typical dry Irish stout, cleanly done, with just a mild touch of dark malt acidity, an appropriate amount of roastiness, a sprinkling of brown sugar, and a touch of bittersweet chocolate. It finishes dry with a touch of residual malt, a dull bitterness; and some soft roastiness. Quite enjoyable!

05-22-2005 21:47:11 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of Brent


4/5  rDev +3.4%

Poured the expected black. Powerful aroma of roasted malt - notes of maple syrup, bordering on soy-sauce intensity. Flavor was dominated by a caramel/espresso roastedness with a slightly acidic character. Missing were any peat smoke notes I usually associate with the style, but this was not a problem. Hopping was enought to balance, but the beer is obviously all about the malt. Called to mind a bit bigger version of Guinness Foreign Export. Surprised at what this beer could do and yet be relatively low in alcohol.

05-11-2005 14:38:48 | More by Brent
Photo of horndecker

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev +0.8%

The bottle and label have a nice look to them. Inviting.

It pours inky black with a rough capuccino head, fluffy and long lasting. So far so good.
The nose has at first a vegetal thing, quickly overwhelmed by sharp espresso and cocoa powder aromas.
The taste is dark and flinty. Burnt flavors, dark roasted coffee beans, hints of cocoa and damp earth. Sustained on a decent medium to full body, all the flavors work well together, it's very smooth, and finishes long and bitter.
Really nice.

04-29-2005 15:24:50 | More by horndecker
Photo of merlin48


3.53/5  rDev -8.8%

11.2 oz bottle served at cellar temperature into a dimpled pint glass.

Appearance: Dark brown, but clear, on the pour. Appears opaque in the glass, but is ruby mahogany when held to light. Creamy, beige head is two fingers tall. Good retention, with attractive patches of lace sheeting the glass.

Aroma: Very subtle bouquet for a stout, with mild roasty notes of carob and coffee.

Mouthfeel: Light medium body, slightly creamy, with medium carbonation.

Taste: Smooth and creamy, with tingly carbonation. Mild carob notes with softly bitter, roasted dark malts. A reserved hops presence adds a nice floral/herbal taste. Finish and aftertaste have a mild coffee bitterness.

Drinkability: Very good drinkability for any style of stout. Modest alcohol content and relatively light body will allow you to enjoy more than a couple of these at a sitting, if you choose.

04-29-2005 00:22:11 | More by merlin48
Photo of Sayson

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -4.9%

Beer poured nicely. Color was opaque with some garnet hues showing through. Long-lasting head with pleasant amount of lace as I drank. Nice roasty aroma. Moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is medium with a good amount of roastiness and a pleasantly bitter, dry aftertaste. No hop aroma or flavor detectable. This is a very drinkable stout.

04-20-2005 03:04:17 | More by Sayson
Photo of BeerFink


4.08/5  rDev +5.4%

Pours a very dark brown, with red at the sides and bottom of the glass. About a finger of very light brown head croppped up, but died back down. Big roasted aroma, also coffee, and a bit of chocolate. Taste is very long on the roasted flavor. Some coffee and a little nuttiness are also present. Some black malt is in there as well. Roasted bitterness is a good way to sum of the flavor. Finishes crisp and dry. The CO2 carbonation gives this more bite than a nitro stout, and I like it. Creamy and highly quaffable, a good example of the style.

04-17-2005 04:58:55 | More by BeerFink
Photo of StevenZubler


3.9/5  rDev +0.8%

“A full bodied and luxuriously smooth stout with a discernable roast bite.”

Thee one I bought had a different label. Drink it colder than recommended. Looks good, color is black with a little brown and a good head, decent smell. It tastes good like roasted malt, a slightly complex flavor. Good smooth body. Definitely drinkable, but a little bit of after taste. I did not like their Irish Red, but I recommend this Stout brew.

04-03-2005 03:22:53 | More by StevenZubler
Photo of Hibernator


3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Recently picked up a single of the O'hara's irish stout. This beer comes in an 11.2 oz brown bottle. I have noticed this beer popping up more and more on the beer market recently.

I had served this in an imperial pint glass. It pours a ruby color with a reddish brown highlights towards the bottom of the glass. Spotted lacings on the side of the glass with a tannish colored head on top.

Aroma of roasted malts and burnt toast.

Light coffee flavors match with a roasted and smokey backdrop. I thought the body was a little thin for what I am looking for in this style of stout. It's drinkable, but average in the big scope of options.

04-01-2005 01:20:45 | More by Hibernator
Photo of edchicma


3.83/5  rDev -1%

Almost black with a creamy, pillowy head. Strong roasted malt smell, but with some odd background notes. Taste is smoky, bready, with some nice bitter roasted malt notes. Mouthfeel is light, but chewy...very dry on the finish. Low abv...nice dry finish...simply easy on the drinkability scale.

03-30-2005 23:58:38 | More by edchicma
Photo of dauss


4.1/5  rDev +5.9%

Appearance: Pours a clear but very dark amber color, almost black, almost. A large light tan head with excellent retention and lacing forms.

Smell: Lots of roasted malts. Very grainy with a touch of coffee.

Taste: Very smooth and light on the carbonation. Lots of roasty malts, coffee, and chocolate. Has a very mild bitterness at the back of the tongue in the finish. Long roasty aftertaste with a very slight astringency.

Notes: Way better than guinness. I could enjoy drinking these all day. I wonder what this tastes like on nitro.

03-30-2005 03:01:03 | More by dauss
Photo of karst


4.33/5  rDev +11.9%

Best by Dec '05 from a March trip to Corral Liquors in Granite City, Il. Black with ruby glints from dirrect sun on this perfect Spring day. Kaki head leaving sticky lace. Light aroma improving with warmth emitting roasted coffe beans and bitter burnt malt. Like this Irish Stout around 50°F / 10° C or slightly warmer. Velvet smooth (tingle of C02) while having a almost thin mouthfeel - this seems contradictory until you drink this chared wood/steak, nutty, and stronly roasted barley tasting beauty. Lingering aftertastes of burnt charcoal and grain while not especially complex provide an amazingly flavorful taste as hops and overroasted flavors play on the tongue and palate. Finishes dry.

note: I think I detect sodium bicarbonate like taste when I hold this beer in my mouth and let it efferesce and sit. This may be how such a thin body still feels good and doesn't go watery.

This stout is begging to be paired with an open face steak sandwitch with a side of veggies and mashed potatos and a nice dollop of butter. Like the one at Gordos in Rolla, Mo.

03-29-2005 00:31:54 | More by karst
Photo of mschofield


4.55/5  rDev +17.6%

Pours an inky black with ruby highlights, topped with a two finger dark khaki head, leaves thick sticky webs of lacing.
Thick, roasty malt aroma, charred wood or steak, strong roasted barley presence.
Roasted malt, charred bread, clay and earthy notes.
Medium bodied, off the charts taste for a 4.3% ABV beer. Great drinkability with that taste and low ABV.
My mother actually found an article on this one in the newspaper and pointed it out to me - thanks Mom!

03-23-2005 01:19:36 | More by mschofield
Photo of UncleJimbo


3.7/5  rDev -4.4%

12 oz, brown, longneck bottle, capped.

This stout poured a clear, very dark mahogany color with light brown foam that settled to a film, but which coated the glass. The smell was malty with dark, roasted malt the dominant aroma. The taste was malty: black malt with a touch of coffee. There was a slightly tangy, mildly hoppy finish. The mouthfeel was very dry with medium body and modest carbonation. The tangy, malty flavors lingered in the aftertaste. This was a pretty good dry, Irish stout.

03-21-2005 00:24:22 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of bewareOFpenguin


4.1/5  rDev +5.9%

I wanted a real Irish beer, so when I saw this, I knew I had the real McCoy. It poured the usual black, but the taste was quite a throwback to something I hadn't had in a while. At first I'm thinking, "watered down?" But actually it was just an Irish Stout as it should taste, not an Imperial Stout. This was a very good beer.

03-18-2005 15:20:35 | More by bewareOFpenguin
Photo of babydoc


4.35/5  rDev +12.4%

My St. Patrick's Day beer. 330ml bottle labeld best before DEC 05. Pours deep, dark, translucent brown with ruby overtones. Generous three-finger stiff foamy head lasts and lasts, leaving generous lace. The head diminishes but never disappears. Nose is sweet malt, nuts, and fresh ground coffee. This is a sweet stout, with roasted malt mixed with bittersweet chocolate and subtle coffee flavors. The sweetness overpowers any coffee or chocolate, but is balanced by slightly astringent hops. Moderate mouthfeel, finishes dry. Very drinkable.

03-18-2005 03:54:49 | More by babydoc
Photo of shertzogovina

New York

4.18/5  rDev +8%

A 330 ml long neck bottle of a new irish import to the USA.
Best before date on the back label (December 2005).
Nice looking black label seems promissing. (how many new dry irish stouts from Ireland does one get to taste?).
Pours dark-ruby with a good biege head and lacing.
Smell of burnt coffee and roasted malt.
Excellent coffee/espresso-like flavours nicely balanced with the hops.
Dry all the way. Medium body.
Very highly drinkale. Perfecty matched my chocolate cake.
A great welcome to the US market and very reasonably priced ($2).

03-17-2005 23:49:49 | More by shertzogovina
Photo of BeerResearcher


3.78/5  rDev -2.3%

11.2oz dark brown bottle. Poured into an (free) O'Hara's pint glass. Freshness date stamped on back label (Dec. 05)
It pours a ruby-hued black walnut color. On top, sits a foamy and bubbly beige/tan head. Some trailing and patches of sticky lace are noticed.
It has an initial grainy smell, and then slowly reveals notes of roasted malt and a wee bit of dry hay.
The roasted malt has an almost burnt taste (reminiscent of over- brewed coffee), but it is not an entirely bad thing. It's a bit on the thin side and has a slightly harsh taste around the edges.
The hops have a sharp edged, astringent bitterness to them.
It finishes dry, dry, dry.
This brew goes really well with good aged cheddar and rye crackers.

03-11-2005 23:12:29 | More by BeerResearcher
O'Hara's Irish Stout from Carlow Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 740 ratings.