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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

748 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 748
Reviews: 453
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 12.14%
Wants: 52
Gots: 23 | 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: 748 | Reviews: 453 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ChiSox05
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%

Black with edges showing reds and violet 1/2 inch head fades fast, nothing eye-catching

Smells burnt, on the smoked side, reminded me of a mild black cigar

Mellow and burnt, again reminds of a mild cigar, faint cocoa at the end, just the right bitterness. If the carbonation were toned down (or nitro as a substitute) it would go from good to great. For now, carbonation is a small distraction noticeable through the light body.

I thought this was a stout on the mild side that was smooth, burnt, bitter and very easy to drink. Would go great with a cigar.

ChiSox05, Dec 17, 2005
Photo of scruffwhor
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Appearance- Two finger head that left quickly but maintained a foamy film throughout the beer. Head had a nice creamy brown hue. Beer was dark brown almost black.

Smell- Started with creamy, roasted malts and ended with some bitter hops to help balance the aroma.

Taste- Milky cream taste to start with roasted and smokey malts to follow till the end. A hint of hops jumps in at the beginning of the taste.

Mouthfeel- Not very heavy for a stou, although this is my first Irsih stou, so I don't know what to expect. Definetly dominates the palate for awhile after finishing the beer. But not overwhelming.

Drinkability- Being a big stout fan, I can drink plenty of these babies, plus the 4.3% abv doesn't knock you out to fast.

scruffwhor, Dec 11, 2005
Photo of evanackerman
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%

pours a dark ruby, not opaque black, color with a decent head, the retention was not great, left much lacing.

aroma was typical stout aroma, not my favorite, average.

taste was all about roasted barley, mellow hops.

mouthfeel was kind of thin but typical of the style.

drinkability is very high due to smoothness and low alcohol content.

overall, a very enjoyable beer, i was expecting it to be much better than guinness, murphey's, beamish, but it really wasn't - it was pretty much the same only more expensive, the only difference was a more pronounced hop presence in the finish. it was good but at Michigan prices i won't be buying again.

evanackerman, Nov 27, 2005
Photo of mmmbeer
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%

11.2 oz. bottle, best before 4/30/06. Pours black with mahogany tinges and a 1 finger tan head that leaves decent lacing. The main aromas are dark fruits, roasted malts, caramel, and sweetness. Lots of roasted and burnt malts on the palate with coffee, some chocolate, green hops, and hints of wet paper. It is pretty bitter - almost too much so - both from the hops and the burnt malts, and the medium body lingers and lingers as a result. The bitterness is a bit unbalanced and raw, something I noticed in their red ale as well. However, they're not bad by any means and I'd recommend trying them if you see them as a change of pace.

mmmbeer, Nov 27, 2005
Photo of trevorwideman
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%

Served in a 500ml bottle, lots of accolades on the label.... I'm in a stout mood this evening.

Big, fat frothy brown head. The head sticks around and stays big for a good long while. Thick, syrupy, and black as night. A nice looking stout. Smell is malty-sweet, light coffee notes. Taste is very bitter, madly dark roasted malts, and a touch of sweetness on the way down. Feels quite rich and hearty. Very dry, sticks to the throat a lot, slides down fairly well though. This is a good stout, not the best, but good.

trevorwideman, Nov 23, 2005
Photo of wl0307
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%

BBE: APR 06.
A: in a jug it pours a very deep dark brownish hue, with a mahogany hint against light; effervescent but fluffy tan head dissipates at a slow pace, leaving uneven but noticeable lace.
S: roasted barley dominates the nose, without surprise--baced by a rich whole-meal breadiness, mild note of coffee beans, and laced with a tinge of ripe, sweet black plum fruitiness and a refreshing hoppy note, going deep and buttressing the rich roasted aroma upfront. Very pleasant and quite refreshing overall~~
T&D: a dryish flow of barley and roastiness prevails from the first second onwards... the dryish texture provides a light mouthfeel for the rich roasted, bitter flavour, making it very soul-lifting and easy-to-drink. Not much complexity at the tail of the flavour apart from a mildly coffeeish aftertaste, though the roasted bitterness sustains quite well underneath the tongue, and resulting in a lingering dryness arousing more and more thirst. Pretty smooth and light on the mouthfeel backed by healthy amount of fizz, this is a light-medium bodied stout with moderate but balanced flavour.
D: not as colourful as I'd expect from the aroma; a quality brew in itself, a pint of it would be quite enough for me as it could get a bit boring with the modest flavour and slightly thin body.

wl0307, Nov 03, 2005
Photo of tgbljb
4/5  rDev +3.4%

poured a very deep brown, almost black color with bountious tan chunky head that was extremely long lasting. Smell is a great mixture of coffee, chocolate, and roasted grains. Taste is roasty, malty, coffee, chocolate, all rolled into one great creamy drink. A moderate bitterness is also present. Finish is incredibly creamy with more roasted notes and a pleasnt dry bitterness. Very drinkabel beer. I truly enjoyed it.

tgbljb, Sep 27, 2005
Photo of jarmby1711
3.25/5  rDev -16%

This is the darkest black stout I have seen It is almost shiny black.
The lace hugs the glass
The smell is unusual There is not much of it but it has a vague billy goat smell ".
Plenty of roasted cereal in the taste which is dry as all get out and quite bitter.
It is smooth and oily but dry in the mouth.
An interesting drop but too dry and bitter for a lot of drinking

jarmby1711, Sep 16, 2005
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.

waughbrew, Sep 04, 2005
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.

joecast, Aug 31, 2005
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.

RoyalT, Aug 27, 2005
Photo of Naes
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.

Naes, Jul 28, 2005
Photo of Imbiber
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.

Imbiber, Jul 15, 2005
Photo of RonfromJersey
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.

RonfromJersey, Jul 02, 2005
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.

ppoitras, Jun 19, 2005
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.

mattcrill, Jun 18, 2005
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!

NeroFiddled, May 22, 2005
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.

Brent, May 11, 2005
Photo of horndecker
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.

horndecker, Apr 29, 2005
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.

merlin48, Apr 29, 2005
Photo of Sayson
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.

Sayson, Apr 20, 2005
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.

BeerFink, Apr 17, 2005
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.

StevenZubler, Apr 03, 2005
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.

Hibernator, Apr 01, 2005
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.

edchicma, Mar 30, 2005
O'Hara's Irish Stout from Carlow Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 748 ratings.