O'Hara's Irish Red - Carlow Brewing Company

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O'Hara's Irish RedO'Hara's Irish Red

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BA SCORE
81
good

193 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 193
Hads: 383
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 12.64%
Wants: 16
Gots: 40 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Carlow Brewing Company visit their website
Ireland

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  4.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: merlin48 on 02-22-2005

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 193 | Hads: 383
Photo of Tom_Banjo
3.18/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

500cl bottle consumed over lunch at The Boat Yard Restaurant in Dingle. Paired decently with a plate of mussels and fries. Nothing special about it, but would drink again. (171 characters)

Photo of soulgrowl
3.64/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Clear, deep brown – not really red. More of a strong tea color. Nice, sudsy, parchment-colored foam on top. Smells lovely and malty, like a well-made Vienna lager or altbier. Not a lot of ale esters nor big hop aromas, though there is something fruity, like stewed apples. Overall it reminds me strongly of a tarte tatin, though it doesn't smell 'sweet,' if that makes sense. The aroma is too restrained, too austere, to suggest something that's going to be really rich. A hint of spice – I want to say nutmeg – comes through as well.

The flavor wants to be full and rich, but the mouthfeel won't let it. There are nice, warming flavors here of cocoa, orange pekoe, poached pears, caramel, and even cider brandy, but ultimately it's just a bit too dry and thin to let those flavors really shine. They finish too quickly, in a flash of cola-like bubbles and spice. The aftertaste is a sort of hollow hop bitterness, tasting faintly of bitter orange. It's a tasty beer, and one that's easy to drink, but I just wish it had a bit more oomph. Possible food pairings: pizza, spring greens, bratwurst, duck, cheese souffle. (1,128 characters)

Photo of combatbootz
2.94/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Unimpressed, looked good, smelled good......then huge disappointment. Lack the real Irish amber flavor. Better than a bud, but rather have a Killians. (150 characters)

Photo of oldglory78
3.09/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Drank from a bottle in Dublin city centre bar because they had no IPA including the O'Hara IPA. This is not a bad beer and better than most of the other red Irish ales normally available. I enjoyed it though it would not be my normal beer. Nice enough smell and taste and slightly bitter aftertaste. No head whatsoever after pouring bottle. If you like red ales I would recommend this (384 characters)

Photo of bark
2.55/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

The colour is dark brown-red (60 EBC), the liquid is clear. The two finger head is beige and compact, it sinks slowly leaving some lacing.

The smell is malty and a bit dry with notes of caramel, milk chocolate and dried red berries. Floral bitterness. Hints of vanilla and boiled vegetables.

The taste is dry with malty notes of caramel, rye bread and dried fruits. Light floral hops and low bitterness. Medium body. The aftertaste got some boiled vegetables/cabbage, brown bread and brown sugar. The finish is smooth with some milk sweetness and chalk.

The carbonation is medium strong, the mid-size bubbles are short-lived. The liquid is semi-smooth.

Shame about the vegetables... (689 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.64/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Befitting for an Irish ale, O'Hara's Irish Red has a russet tone that's something like that of a ruby potato. It is a fairly dark beer but shows fantastic clarity. Its head is thick and spongy and is sure to leave its mark on the glass - the dishwasher has its work cut out for it.

As you'd expect with an Irish Red, it's a very dry and distinctly nutty graininess that has head seat at the table. The label mentions a "traditional hop flavour" by which I assume they mean one that is completely subservient to the malt; this smells, as it should, overwhelmingly of barley.

Indeed, O'Hara's Irish Red is probably about as close to nibbling on actual malted barley grain as you can get with a liquid. Mind you, the taste isn't entirely "raw" - there is soft caramelization and nutty toast, and also a faint 'seaweed' kind of character. Nothing about this flavour profile is brittle.

Apparently a "pinch" of roast barley can go a long way; there's a restrained but definite smokiness that's almost reminiscent of a peaty Islay and adds bitterness to the otherwise sweet fruitiness of the finish. And though I dismissed the idea of this maltiness being anywhere close to "as impressive as a bock" upon first reading it, the claim turned out to be not far off. It's hefty.

What this offering highlights is the fact that 'Irish Reds' are from a different stable than 'American Ambers'. This is a very interesting beer - be sure to taste it in isolation, before you've had anything else that might confuse your taste buds. Its clean-cut barley notes make O'Hara's among the most pure and veritable examples of the style as they come. (1,640 characters)

Photo of FLima
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice clear ruby copper color with a thin beige head with good retention keeping a constant plate.
Malty aroma with notes of toasted malts, caramels, licorice and herbal hops.
Flavor or minerals, toasted and roasted malts, caramels, nice spices, herbal, earthy and slightly tangy hops, pears, mild hay and even some smoke. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Light body with medium carbonation.
Pleasant Irish Red Ale, not overly sweet, tasty, very well balanced and with a relatively huge drinkability. Now the style makes more sense to me after tasting this reference. (560 characters)

Photo of seedyone
3/5  rDev -15.7%

03/19/13 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Good brew. Malt & toastiness make up the flavor set here. Would have a few if not faced w/39 other choices. Sorry, O'Hara, it's not you...it's me. I'm fickle & playing the field. (216 characters)

Photo of Karibourgeois
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Very dark ruby pour with a one-finger beige head. Strong aroma of bready malt and dark fruit. Flavor has bread and caramel malt and cereal grains upfront backed by a touch of earthy hops. Light to medium bodied and very smooth mouthfeel. Grain flavor develops very nicely as the beer warms. Finishes with a nice lingering sweet malt taste. (339 characters)

Photo of Samp01
3.52/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish brown with a medium lasting beige head with good lacing. Aroma and Taste is of toasted caramel malt, mild fruity notes, yeast and bready with some mild bitterness. A medium body, smooth with moderate carbonation on the palate. Has good toasted caramel malt yeast flavor with mild bitterness on the end. A good drinking and enjoyable brew in my view. (365 characters)

Photo of Paul_PABrewNews
3.41/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Lovely reddish brown hue and soft carbonation, excellent looking red ale. Slightly off white small head.

Aroma: Brown Bread, Caramel, Earthy Hops and Very Soft Tones of Molasses

Body: High, Low body overall. Clean taste with a mild earthy/dirty hops tone and bitterness.

Taste: Nice overall flavor for a red ale, the caramel and brown bread notes began the ale which mellowed out and blended with the earthy hops flavor. The bitterness play it's part more in the middle of the ale and blended down towards the end bringing up a sweet cereal grain sweetness to finish.

Overall not a bad red all, it has it's own character and is one of the nicest traditional red ales I've had, very solid and should be searched out by all red ale fans, Cheers! (760 characters)

Photo of khmel
3.4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A: Deep amber light brown, slightly opaque. Minimal light-beige head but decent retention. Lacing and ample carbonation.

S: Brown bread, faint nose. Sweet malty.

T: A little hoppy up front, sweet-ish, roasted malt, little smokey in the finish.

M: Smooth, creamy, light to medium body. Medium carbonation. Dryish finish. (323 characters)

Photo of Moose90
3.72/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

16oz on tap from Rí Rá Irish Pub

A – Good looking beer, nicely red in the glass with a cream colored one finger head. Lacing stays great throughout.

S – Mostly subdued, some sweet caramel notes and a earthy almost peat note as well.

T – Nicely malty, though balanced as well with just the right amount of hops.

M – Refreshing, easy to drink, carbonation levels are in line for the style.

O – Good beer for the style, has a little bit more complexion than some others in its range. (497 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle into pint glass, best before 1/31/2015. Pours fairly crystal clear ruby red color with a 2 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, toast, pear, apple, raisin, brown bread, brown sugar, light roast, and herbal earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of malt, yeast ester, and earthy hop notes; with decent strength. Taste of caramel, toast, roasted malt, pear, apple, raisin, brown bread, brown sugar, floral, grass, and herbal earthiness. Fair amount of earthy herbal/roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, roast, pear, apple, brown bread, brown sugar, floral, grass, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Nice balance and solid robustness of bready/roasted malt and earthy hop flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and light-medium bodied; with a very smooth and crisp mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with no warming present after the finish as expected of 4.3%. Overall this is a solid Irish red ale. Good balance and solid robustness of malt, yeast ester, and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A pleasantly enjoyable offering. (1,365 characters)

Photo of flyingpig
3.28/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

500ml Bottle from O'Reilly's in Lisnaskea (£2.39):
Dark caramel amber with a thin, beige head that turned to a soapy lacing after about thirty seconds and looked slightly wavy around the circumference.

Light, earthy malts and a faintly sweet aroma with some sugar coming through. There is a little caramel and some toasted malts as well but the smell is quite a light one overall.

Toasted malts and caramel start things off, followed closely by some background sweetness, some bread and a light bitterness with some basic, earthy flavours as well.

Medium body & carbonation about the same, there is an earthy bitterness throughout and hints of sweetness, although these are few and far between. Smooth bodied and with a slight tang but overall the balance is quite good.

Sadly this was another fairly average Irish offering that seems to be a common feature of the beers I have tried from the country, albeit with a few exceptions. An okay beer but not one that would warrant a second try really. (1,001 characters)

Photo of bmwats
3.49/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 33 cl bottle into a standard pint.

A: Dark brown ruby hue. Pours a 3 finger, frothy brown-white head. Settles and craters slowly. Dry and uneven fallout, with some dry sticky residue in its wake. Never fully dissipates. Lots of dry beer ring lacing, too.

S: Malt, caramel, molasses, and pecan.

T: Earthy malt, tree bark, and a little hop.

M: Full and hearty feel. Subtle flavors all around. Slightly bitter finish.

D: Drink session style, but worth savoring.

Atmosphere is pretty strong. Dark hue, huge frothy head, and lots of lacing. Nose is nutty and malty, with some sweet and candy notes. Earthy, hearty malt, with a little hop. Overall, this is a pretty good quaff. (691 characters)

Photo of Pegasus
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep mahogany body, crowned by a moderate, fine-beaded tan head, which fades to a thin layer rather quickly. Thick lacing coats the glass walls.

Aroma: Moderate toasted malt and caramel notes dominate the aroma. A faint herbal hop presence is notable as well.

Taste: Begins with moderate caramel and toasted malt. As the taste progresses, a slight herbal hop presence makes itself known. Late in the taste, a mild herbal bitterness appears. The finish is somewhat dry.

Mouth feel: Smooth and full, with soft carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: Pleasant and drinkable, although whenever drinking an Irish beer, I wish for a Guinness.

Presentation: Packaged in a standard twelve-ounce brown glass long-neck bottle with a pry-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice. (788 characters)

Photo of rickyleepotts
2.76/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.25

I see this beer all the time at Total Wine & More, but I never buy it. I am not a huge fan of this style, but from what I have been reading, this is one of the best red ales available. It has to be good… it's an Irish red ale from Ireland. If it's not good, then I will have to order a Guinness when I visit.

We were going to review an IPA today, but since St. Patrick's day is this weekend, I wanted to make sure we had time to review this bottle. Oh, and we got another trade in the mail today. I actually got one yesterday AND today. Yesterday included Mad Elf, a beer on the list, and several beers from the east I had never heard of. Today we got two bottles of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, which is also on the list. I asked for two bottles because I love the beer, and want to toss one in the cellar for a few years.

The beer trading stuff is an addiction… we are new to it, but I can see why people enjoy it. I love it when the UPS man knocks on the door! Anyway, let's get to the O'Hara's. That is a really low ABV, and while that scares me, I have faith in the flavor. Speaking of a low ABV, I heard William, beer manager at Total Wine in Scottsdale, talking about low ABV beers being a new trend in craft beer. I haven't seen much of that, but I hope he's wrong. I like stronger beers… the higher the ABV the better!

In the Glass: This looks like a traditional red ale. It had a nice thick white head to start, but that quickly became a thin layer of foam on top of the beer. I wonder how big of a difference the temperature makes on this beer. With such a low ABV, I wouldn't think it would get better as it heats up. Maybe. I will let it warm up a bit before I finish it. The beer doesn't have much lace to speak of. This makes me think of George Killian's Irish Red. I hope it's better than that!

Nose: I will warn you, my nose has been stopped up for the last few days. I thought I was getting sick, but I think I am just suffering from allergies. I never had allergies until I moved to Arizona, where I was told allergies didn't exist. Oh well, I can still smell and taste, and that is all that matters. This smells like an Irish red. I haven't had a Killian's in a while, but I remember that smelling better than this. Surely not… let's see what the O'Hara's tastes like.

Flavor: There is a lot more flavor here than in a bottle of Killian's, but the flavor is consistent with the red ale style. Like I said, we are drinking this ice cold… so I am going to let it sit before I take a second or third drink, but I am not impressed with the initial flavor profile here. I AM impressed with the finish and the aftertaste. But we will get to that in a moment.

Mouthfeel: There are a lot of bubbles up front, and as you swallow, the beer really mellows out. It has a nice smooth finish, and leaves a lingering sugary sweet aftertaste. It almost tastes like burnt sugars with a hint of caramel. In regards to the mouthfeel, this is boring and way too carbonated for my liking.

Aftertaste: This is my favorite part of the beer. As soon as you swallow, the aftertaste becomes somewhat drying with a nice sugary sweet finish. Not barleywine sweet, but a nice dark caramel flavor. It lingers, but dries out as you continue to swallow. I would never expect a beer that has such a low ABV to have such a powerful finish.

I am glad that we could drink an Irish beer this week, but I wouldn't order this one again. If this was on draft and I was sitting in a pub in Ireland… maybe. But only because it is a true Irish beer and I would be drinking this IN Ireland. Jeremy and Petulia were recently in Ireland. I wonder if they had any of this while they were there. (3,700 characters)

Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.55/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

O’Hara’s Irish Red has a very thin, off-white head, a brilliant brick-red appearance, lots of bubble streams, and a little bit of lacing left behind. The aroma is of medium-roasted barley malt, molasses, brown bread crust, and candied fruit. Taste is of tannin, bread crust, and mild bitterness. Mouthfeel is light and watery, and O’Hara’s Irish Red finishes crisp, dry, refreshing, and easy drinking. Overall, this is a simple, yet good beer. It's worth trying out.

RJT (479 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.3/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Best before 12/28/12.

Pours a clear super dark reddish-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Thin streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, and a slight alcohol aroma. There is also a distinct soy sauce aroma that comes out as the beer warms up. Taste is much the same with toasted bread and herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a pretty good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a slightly above average beer that is drinkable but not something I would go after again. (663 characters)

Photo of TSJ4000
4.69/5  rDev +31.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Ok, Irish Red's are not my preferred style except for the Session Holiday that is, St. Patrick's Day. I get pretty sick of Guinness and having a nice session red available makes things a little more exciting.

This beer is orangy-brown, not really all that red. It has the perfect carbonation for throwing a couple liters down the hatch and it isn't too high in alcohol.

I wish this beer came on Nitro, then it would be awesome. (430 characters)

Photo of eduardolinhalis
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle served in a Thumbler glass.

A: Pours a dark amber copper color. Clear. Forms a small beige to gray head with low retention. A very think layer remains on the top forever and some lacings are formed and left in the glass

S: Toffee, caramel malts, wood and hops. Some notes of bready yeasts. Light lactic notes in the very end

T: Slightly sweet grains upfront. Strong notes of wood. Notes of roasted malts, caramel malts, English style grassy hops. BTW, an smooth but very pleasant hoppy bitterness. In overall, a dry beer in the mouth. Very reach in flavors

M: Light body. Medium to low carbonation. A little bit molasses. Excellent woody and bit bitter aftertaste

O: Great drinkability. Very well done beer. Recommended (737 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.13/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A sudsdy but fairly good retention off white light tan head, hits three fingers deep with a great body color. A fantastic very dark amber red with lots of play in hues through the light from ruby to dark indian red all throughout with a nice mahogonay brown top.

Roasty malts, sticky toffee more like a doppelbock strangely not so much grassy or fruity. Faint chocolate on this, smells real nice.

Palate hits with a good mix of malt stickiness and toffee. Sweet malts roll nicely, with an almost toasty finish but not quite. Lightly crisp almost with some decent carbonation but nothing watery or wet, or that takes away from the palate. Palate is VERY malt coating for an Irish red. Warmth brings out cocoa powdered chocolate, and a quick hop bitter that lingers very slightly.

This is quite a lively solid brew for 4.3% I could just pound these back all day. Great beer. (924 characters)

Photo of horshack7
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It's a very dark amber red with brown hues around the edges. On top is two fingers worth of an off white head.

Aroma: Dark fruits in the front. Plum, raisins, brown bread, caramelized sugar. Malts are very much on the bready side with traces of molasses.

Taste: Dark bread, faint banana, plum, molasses, light grape, caramel malts. Mostly a smooth mouthfeel with a wisp of a malty bite.

Notes: I'ts not too bad a good example of the style and drinkable. Cheers. (476 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the classic irish red to me. pours dark ruby to brick red, much darker than its american counterparts. nice off white head rests lazily on top. smells like earthy semisweet irish malts with a touch of smoke to it. flavor is malt driven but well balanced. long bittersweet finish rounds it out. tons of culinary potential with this beer too. its just a rich but drinkable perfect example of the style. mouthfeel is right on for what it is, excited carbonation and a just medium body. slightly filling after a few, lots of malt here, but not heavy. i would recommend this to anyone seeking a sudsy irish red. (606 characters)

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O'Hara's Irish Red from Carlow Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 193 ratings.