1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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

823 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 823
Reviews: 467
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.18%
Wants: 58
Gots: 55 | 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.
View: Beers (18) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 823 | Reviews: 467
Photo of MuddyFeet
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really dug this beer. Definitley better than Guinness by far. I have a feeling that the bottled version would not be as good.

Pours a dark midnight brown in color. Thick and frothy head resting on top thanks ot the nitro that never quite went away. Nose had strong hints of cocoa and a smooth malty base.

Flavor was quite distinct for the style. Strong cocoa flavors with a good-sized wallop of sulphur. Almost as if the cocoa was burned in the kettle. Malty base but not particularly filling. Velvet smooth on the palate and a great session beer. Speaking of which, I think this may be my new session beer when I can find it on-tap.

Photo of gmfessen
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I guess I picked this one up again due to the fact that the previous bottle I had was labeled "Celtic Stout" and this bottle is labeled "Irish Stout. Oh well, here goes again. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a dark brown on the pour and jet black in the glass with a very thick, viscous looking brown-tan head. Smell is pretty enjoyable, probably more so than I previously gave it credit for. Toasted malt notes, a bit of nuttiness and a slight smokiness. The initial taste isn't all that great; there is an acridness about it from the roasted malt (somewhat expected based on the style), but it finishes very smooth and slightly dry. The mouthfeel is relatively light as the style calls for and the carbonation level is pretty low and smooth. A very drinkable beer, excellent example of the style.

Photo of KarlHungus
4.58/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This brew pours an opaque black color. The head is a drak tan color. I have never seen a head even half this dark on an Irish Dry Stout. The aroma is of graham crackers, nuts, cream, milk chocolate, and has a hint of vanilla. The taste is of nuts, cream, dark chocolate, and has a smokiness that runs throughout everything. The mouthfeel is medium-light bodied with a nice velvety texture, and low carbonation. Overall, this is one of the best dry stouts I have had. I cannot see myself drinking another dry stout from Ireland, when this one is available.

Photo of canucklehead
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Much like Biddy Earl's Black Biddy this is an Irish Stout that fully delivers in complexity and drinkability. Full of coffee and roasted malt this beer is smooth yet lingers on the tongue. Sadly I bought this in Winnipeg so I cannot enjoy a few more when winter comes to town.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a nice suprise to find at my local market here in Southern NH, it's always nice to try a new (for me) Irish stout.

AP: Dark-ass brown color, almost black with a thick mocha-brown colored head that is very thick around the edges and a bit bubbly and only moderatley sticky. Head retention seems to be very good.

Nose: This one is very herbal and even spicey, much less creamy than some of the other Irish stouts with major coffee notes and a wheat/grain effect.

Flavor: Yes, indeed very roasty malt! A nice burnt-oat effect with coffee notes and a nice herbal hop and a slight zesty yeast effect.

Feel: This one is much more crispy than some other verison, not as smooth or creamy but still, it's a full bodied look that really feels much more like a medium bodied brew.

DA: 4.3% ABV makes this a fine session beer.

Photo of cichief
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft at Frisco Grille and Cantina, Columbia, MD.

A- Pours a deep dark brown, nearly black, with a nice tan head.

S- Scent of coffee and roasted barley, no noticeable hops.

T- Sweet roasted barley and coffee, with a decent dry finish.

M- On the nitro it is very smooth, full bodied, coats the tongue.

D- Very drinkable, but the flavor is muted by the nitrogen.

Photo of khiasmus
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Black with half as much head as liquid. Head lasts well and laces decently. Ruby highlights when held to the light.

S- Dark roasted grain, coffee and just a hint of smoke.

T- Same as the nose. Tons of dark roasted grain, malt, a hint of vanilla, and the finish is smoke and coffee. Pretty yummy.

M- Smooth, clean, and medium. finish is astringent from the dark roasted grain.

D- An excellent go-to Irish stout... far better than average, and a good session beer.

Photo of ralree
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Photo of TheBierBand
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.28/5  rDev -15%
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.

Photo of kexp
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

Photo of TheDeuce
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Photo of BrewSomerville
3.57/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

Photo of SaltyLime
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of Vancer
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Photo of treehugger02010
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

Photo of sethmeister
4/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Photo of athensbeermaster
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
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!

Photo of Slatetank
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Photo of tapman
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

Photo of drseamus
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

Photo of KATE12
4.16/5  rDev +7.8%
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 +3.6%
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
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
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 +3.6%
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.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
O'Hara's Irish Stout from Carlow Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 823 ratings.