O'Hara's Irish Red - Carlow Brewing Company
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Ratings: 284 | Reviews: 179 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by rickyleepotts:
2.76/5 rDev -22%
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.
Serving type: bottle
03-12-2013 22:55:24 | More by rickyleepotts
More User Reviews:
United Kingdom (Scotland)
3.28/5 rDev -7.3%
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.
Serving type: bottle
02-06-2014 15:36:57 | More by flyingpig
O'Hara's Irish Red from Carlow Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 284 ratings.