O'Hara's Irish Stout - Carlow Brewing Company

Not Rated.
O'Hara's Irish StoutO'Hara's Irish Stout

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very good

802 Ratings

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Ratings: 802
Reviews: 460
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 12.14%
Wants: 55
Gots: 35 | 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)
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Ratings: 802 | Reviews: 460 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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.

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.

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.

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...

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.

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 . . .

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of Kendo
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got it on tap at StoutNYC.

A: Poured black with a creamy, big, 2-finger whitish head after doing the whole nitro-tap cascading thing. Left rings and rings of lacing as I drank my way down the glass.

S: Not much going on in the nose department -- a slight scent of bitter coffee, but "faint" is the optimum description.

T: Not particularly strong in the flavor department either, but it's consistent with the style. Roasted coffee beans predominate with a hint of unsweetened baking chocolate. A dry, bittersweet, earthy aftertaste lingers for awhile -- not in a bad way at all.

M: Smooth and creamy and relatively light.

D: Highly drinkable. Low in alcohol, creamy mouthfeel and a nice viewing experience make this an easily quaffable, easily enjoyed beer. I think I downed my imperial pint in just a few minutes.

Notes: If you like Guinness, you should like O'Hara's Celtic Stout. It's not going to challenge your tastebuds like some bigger stouts, but it fits the style and is not at all objectionable. Recommended.

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

The beer poured a dark brown with a tan head. The aroma was of strong malt with a hint of coffee. The taste was of sweet malt with a nice bitter finish. The feel was heavy and dry. This was a nice stout. The sweet malt was balanced nicely by the dry bitter finish. A very strong aroma was a real bonus.

Photo of Shovelbum
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a two finger mocha head over a black body with just a faint trace of red aroud the edges. The head has decent staying power and leaves bits of lace. Aromas of roasted barley and coffee. A fairly robust roasted flavor mixes with a pronounced mineral character. Although, the mineral diminishes as it warms, becoming a bit softer around the edges with the roasted character taking over. Moderate hop bitterness. Full body. Smooth. The roasted flavor lingers long after the finish.

A nice Irish stout. The emphasis is definitely on the roasted side here with little else adding to complexity apart from some minor chocolate notes—but that’s all right since there’s plenty chew on as it is.

Photo of DrJay
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nearly black with mahogany highlights topped by a thick tan head off a vigourous pour. Streaky lacing and quite good head retention. There's a lactose, caramel sweetness to the aroma with very mild roast and chocolate. Just a kiss of herbal hops too. Mild bitterness balanced by a lactose sweetness. A bit acidic, nearly tart finish. Dry cocoa middle with faint hops. Decent texture, fine carbonation. Quite enjoyable. I'd definitely have this again, especially if I find it on tap.

Photo of shamus
4.45/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A damned good beer. One of the better stouts I've had in a while. Perhaps even better than St Ambroise Oatmeal Stout. This has an amazing smell or roasted smokey grains. It's smooth and smoky to the taste almost like bacon!?
I'd really have to try this next to St Ambroise Oatmeal Stout to compare but right now this is all I need. A very nice beer on a cold Ottawa winter's eve.

Photo of Jettanbass9
5/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If only this was on tap and as available as Guiness....

Poured into a stout style glass... pours like an ordinary stout. And then you take the first taste.... Velvety smooth with robust coffee and chocolate malt flavors cutting through the texture. If i could compare it to anything it would be close to a Murphy's Irish Stout with more roasted malts and barley. Truely a great beer. Drinkability... all night long baby ;) three cheers for O'hara's Irish Stout!

Photo of pootz
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Poured a deep, light-defying black into the glass with a mocha colored 3 finger whipped cream cap that lasted and laces...all this without nitorgen!!

Aroma: Dark roasty grains prevail, some nutty tones and light wet hay smells.

Thick real malt spine, chewy buttery mouth feel and a roasty-crisp deportment.

Up front you chew into black astringent malts...this goes to a butter-nutty decernament as it steeps on the tongue then the hops over take it and sent the drink into a sharp, dry finish.

I don’t like dry Irish stouts but this one is about as good as they get...more to the original character of this ale before it was abominated by Guinness and nitrogen.

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

I must say I'm excited to have purchased this beer. It is more what a dry stout should be.

Pours a deep black with copper tones and a nice dark tan head.
The aroma is very full of coffee and dark toasted malt.
The taste and the mouthfeel is what I would get excited about. The grains come through and so does a vague dark chocolate taste. Rich coffee and carmel malt. It finishes dry and with a slight hint of bittering hops and leaves a coffee after taste.

Overall I feel this is better and more bitter than Guinness. Drinkable and still some what of a sessions beer. However, the import price tag kind of detracts from having more than 2 of these.
Recomend as a stepping stone to more stouts and porters.

Photo of plaid75
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dense black hue with a two finger creamy bone white head. There was excellent retention and lacing. Nice cascading as well.

The smell feaured an excellent toasted grain aroma with hints of cofee.

The taste consisted of an excellent burnt grain bill with strong coffee, not bitter however, flavors. Very smooth.

The mouthfeel was full and clean. Finished dry.

Overall a superior dry stout. Extremely drinkable.

Photo of grub
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a nearly opaque dark brown colour with an inch of thick tan head. after a few minutes the head drops to about a quarter inch and leaves tons of lace behind.

aroma is great. rich and roasty, with just a hint of sourness. bready malt.

taste is great. roasty. nice level of bitterness. bready. bittersweet chocolate. hint of espresso. just a little sourness.

mouthfeel is good. a little fuller body than i expected. moderate carbonation seems just about right.

drinkability is great. tasty, and at 4.3%abv it's not going to kick your ass. very nice. have to pick up a few more while this one is still available locally.

Photo of Derek
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black with a light tan head, some retention, good lace.

S: Very roasty (with a charred BBQ-like aroma), somewhat coffee like, with a little biscuit & nut.

T: Fairly roasty; moderately dry; Flavours of molases, coffee, dark bread, nut and burnt caramel; slight roasted astringency, acidic, with a hint of tartness. Certainly more flavourful, but not as sour as a Guiness draft.

M: Moderate body is slightly acidic, dry & chalky. Moderate carbonation. Fairly chewy for its weight.

D: Not my favourite style, but this one's alright.

Photo of allergictomacros
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pitch black, with a solid, dense head.

S - Extreme roastiness mixed with fruitiness. Sharp notes of coffee and dark fruit. Slight mustiness here as well.

T - Coffee/espresso flavour and bitterness is immediate. Some tartness from the roasted grain as well. Not a lot of complexity.

M - Light bodied and dry.

D - Not bad at all. A little too much in-your-face coffee flavour for my taste, but easy drinking none-the-less.

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

This poured from the bottle a nice dark black with a slightly tan head on top, quite nice. Smell too is nice, roasted malt with something I can't quite identify, somewhat resembles pine or cedar, This is also reflected somewhat in the taste, but with more. Nice roasted malt/Coffee flavor with a slightly piney aroma. Considering it's style it's rather smooth and easy to drink considering the bold aromas and flavors in this.

Overall quite a nice stout. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is my first Irish craft brew. Im very impressed!

Pours out of the dark clad bottle pure black with just a few hints of ruby around the edges. The rocky tan head lasts forever and leaves a lot of lace patches behind. The aroma is full of chocolate, caramel and bitter coffee. Theres a distinct grainyness and even some leather as well. The taste is balanced and hits all the dry stout bases. A good dose of roasty bitterness mixes with lots of dark chocolate and espresso. Some sticky hop bitterness is evident. The finish is roasty and slightly sour (in a good way). The mouthfeel is medium with a very smooth carbonation.

This beer is what I imagine Guinness tasted like several decades ago. Its much richer with bolder coffee and chocolate flavors and a thicker body.

O'Hara's Irish Stout from Carlow Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 802 ratings.