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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373 Ratings
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Ratings: 373
Reviews: 196
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 12.92%
Wants: 16
Gots: 38 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Carlow Brewing Company visit their website

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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 373 | Reviews: 196
Reviews by silver0rlead:
Photo of silver0rlead
3.67/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber with a thin tan head that doesn't retain particularly well. The aroma is very British in style, with notes of caramel and toffee, dark fruits, burtonized water, fruity esters, and some slight floral hops. The flavor is similar with soft caramel and treacle notes upfront, along with some apple and cherry, earthy hops, vanilla and a hint of oak, sharp carbonation and a kiss of alcohol. The mouthfeel is soft and smooth and drinkability is very good. A very understated Irish Red Ale, probably more representative of the style than the hopped up American versions.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.73/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice clear amber with a one finger head that is gone pretty quickly,heavy caramel malt aroma along with some brown sugar and highly toasted grain makes it pretty aromatic.Pretty sharp mouthfeel though pretty darn prickly on the tongu the only drawback to this brew in my opinion.Big and toasty flavors some almost butterscotch flavors come thru no hop bitterness really but that tru to the Irish red style.Pretty flavorful but the mouthfeel brings down the scores a little on this one.

After drinking a few of these beers the mouthfeel was alot smoother and rounder,maybe just one bad bottle in the bunch the better mouthfeel made this brew alot better.

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

Appearance – This one poured a deep reddish brown with a good, solid off-white head that showed some tenacious retention. So far so good.

Smell – The malts here are big at the nose and full of unsweetened molasses. It’s almost reminiscent of a bock in that regard. There’s little else to the bouquet that I can pick out.

Taste – The malt flavors are very intense. The raw molasses from the nose steps back a bit but the gooey liquid malt flavor is sharp. It’s almost yeasty in a way with lots of butter on the sides of the tongue.

Mouthfeel – This is medium-bodied with an English-type of bitterness from the malts and some light carbonation. It feels very concentrated in between the cheeks.

Drinkability – This is a lot bigger than it looks. It’s a big beer for sure and I seem to have enjoyed it more than the few others who have posted reviews.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.6/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Tapped at Maduro.

A: Deep mahogany, almost purple/red brown. Thick off white head. Quick dissipation. Minimal retention or lacing.

AR: Smokey caramel, roasted malts, red bean ice cream, grilled meat.

T: Burnt skirt steak fresh off the grill covered in caramel sauce.

MF: roasted, toasted, and smoky with mild bitterness. Meaty, yet light.

D: very low. This beer bothered me immensely.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.66/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A pretty beer: red/brown color with a huge tan head that resembled whipped cream. Very sticky. The aroma was on the light side, light roasted malt and some fruit. Lemony taste, some caramel, and a little bitterness at the end. A pleasant beer, easy to drink a few of these.

Photo of merlin48
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

New arrival at the Richmond Road location of the Liquor Barn, in Lexington, Ky. This 330 ml(11.2 oz) bottle pours a clear copper body with a one inch head that is tinted between offwhite and beige. The head quickly falls to a film, leaving some patchy lace on the glass. Aroma is mostly spicy herbal hops, with a slightly sweetish pale malt background. Mouthfeel is light bodied with prickly carbonation. Taste begins with some biscuity pale malt sweetness that is quickly subdued by an herbal/floral hops bitterness. The mild hops bitterness rides through to the finish. Crisp and refreshing, and pleasantly drinakble. Not quite as good as a Smithwicks, but in the same league.

Photo of far333
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ruddy copper with strawberry hues and a quickly rising and then quickly departing foamy head that leaves a fine cap and long tendrils rising up the side of the glass like vines. Aroma is bright, almost moist, sweet malt with some pungent hop and cinnamon. Thin mouthfeel leads to an odd malt base, almost smokey, with some fruit and spice and a slightly tannic finish that imparts an iced tea flavor. Sort of metallic flavor lingers. Small bits of hop poking through, but could easily be missed.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.93/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Pours red, a little darker than average, no head.
Aroma was kind of flat beer.

Taste, some slight tang to the ale, but really not much going on. The bitterness prolly isn't desireable in this style of beer. Tastes as if it is a half red, half brown ale blend with the slight nuttiness and subtlety (read: boring) that fans of session beers like. Lacking depth, substance, ingredients it seems.

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

Pours a deep ruby brown color forming a large creamed coffee like hue, fine speckled lacing forms evenly on the sides of my chalice. Aroma has some mild fruit notes, hints of grape and cherry with earthy rounded notes with a nice malt presence. Much more palatable than the last Irish Red I tried at double the price. Hints of peated malt, fruitiness lingers on throughout the maltiness, this beer could become one dimensional unless you really really like it. Underlying fruit blends nicely together, minimal hops. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with even flowing carbonation going on. No harsness on the palate really smoth and expressive. This was a solid authentic offering of the style from across the pond.

Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark Red. Two finger tan head. Ample lacing.

Smell: Toasted malt, caramel, biscuits, and hops.

Taste: Nice hops with malt and grain taste. Some pepper at the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Smooth. Carbonation is plentiful.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink.

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

Poured from 2 1/2 to 3 inches above the glass leaving a big tan to light brown head floating over a clear reddish/amber colored ale.

Aroma consists of fruity caramel malts, a classic beer aroma.

Taste is more of the same a fruity caramel malt taste, and not the fruits of the tropics, the more hardy fruits grown in cooler temperatures.

A nice dry light caramel aftertaste on this moderately carbonated Irish Red. A pretty good beer to kickback and throw down on a hot summer day.

When I finished I saw that I give it 5 out of 5 'good' so I guess that's pretty 'good'.

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

Another timely review, just after St Patty's Day.
Nice red-orange color with a decent head on it. Aroma was mostly malty with a slight hint of skunkiness. That didn't show through in the taste though. This was a straightforward Irish Red. Again a mostly malty flavor with just a bit of light hop bitterness to dry out the finish. It's not going to knock your socks off, but it's better than drinking green beer. For that matter, it's definitely worthy of a second glass. It paired fairly well with both corned beef with colcannon and steak with sweet potatoes.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.85/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A classic looking Red Ale, deep, firey amber color with a slightly off-white head, decent lacing and moderate retention. Plenty of livliness as well.

A sweet, bready malt scent dominates with earthy, grassy hops in the backdrop.

This ia very clean, livley feel with a medium sweet malt flavor, with minor notes of smokiness and sweet-doughy fresh bread. The hops are a bit mossy but finishes semi-dry and leafy in the aftertaste.

This is a great choice for a BBQ in the back yard with friends during early fall.

Photo of aval89
3.45/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep ruby color with a nice head that quickly disappeared.. Noticed some good lacing...

Smelled bready.. Hints of caramel, slight malt roast, sugar, slight hop presence..

Taste was of sugar cane, caramel, apple, slight hop bitterness lingers.. Maybe some licorice in there?

Overall a decent brew.. Not too heavy not too light.. Easy drinking.. Nothing too special here but not bland..

Photo of pmcadamis
2.66/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - A big creamy tan head floats like a fluffy cloud above a deep amber brew that is very much the same tone as the label on the bottle. The head shows really excellent retention, and deposits tons of crusty lace on the glass. The head forms mashed-potato lumps in the middle as it SLOWLY drops to a whipped cream two fingers and stays there. A damn fine looking brew!

S - Caramel and toffee with a hint of sweet orange candy (orange gummy bears). Brown sugar drizzled with maple syrup. If this were only a bit more assertive, it would be outstanding but it seems a bit subdued.

T - Stale fruit cake, brown sugar, and mushy brown bananas. This is well hopped for a red ale, and the dry hay-like herbal hops keep the brown sugar and caramel in check. There are some sour notes that I really don't like, and this is really not doing it for me.

M - Taught, firm, and extremely dry on the hoppy finish. This is light bodied and moderately carbonated with a really tight feel overall.

D - Not terrible, but not very good either. I really can't find any faults other than a vague sour flavor, but I really just don't like this beer all that much.

Photo of tempest
3.16/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from the cooler at Abe's.

Looks normal enough with a red body and white head has hangs around for a few minutes. The aroma is distinctly import in that it smells like its been abused and there might be adjunct used or simply DMS floating around. The beer is properly malt centric with a smooth caramel flavor that feels creamy going down. What can I say, I'd be better fresh and it wasn't bad for washing down some dinner. I'd take a fresh Killian's over this any day.

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

Poured into an English pint glass. Pours a deep garnet red. Thin off white head with ok lacing.

Aroma is kinda German maibock lager smell. Little bit of caramel.

Taste is kinda the same. Kinda like a red mixed with a maibock.

Mouthfeel is smooth. High ish carb.

Overall a decent beer. Probably won't buy it again though. I like my reds hoppy and to taste a little more like a red.

Photo of russpowell
3.39/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Puts an effervescent caramel with 2 fingers sand colored head Average lacing & below average head retention

S: Grainyness & toasty grains as well, much orchard fruit

T: Fruittyness (apples & pears), leafy hops & astringency up front. Astringency continues as this warms, along with pears & leafy hops & a bit of dryness. Finishes fruity with leafy & minty hops & a touch of apple peel

MF: Light/medium bodied, fairly vigirous carbonation, okay balance

Drinks alright, I'd say there's at least a dozen American versions I prefer, nothing special here IMO

Photo of DTavares
3.38/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Dark amber with a very little white head. I expected more head.

S- Caramel malt with a slight hop aroma.

T- Caramel, malty, and toasted flavor. Pretty flavorful. Expected a stronger bite to the taste.

M- Light with little carbonation.

D- Average Irish red; I would purchase again.

Photo of hdofu
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Interesting for a red, not how I remember them. Pours redish black with a cherry tan head. Smells of cherries and hops Kind of fruity. Tastes a bit hoppy, a hint of what reminds me of cherry. Finishes with a grassy taste . Not unplesant but nothing super special either. Sort of lite Not a bad taste and the low abv make it fairly drinkable

Photo of tone77
3.42/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown bottle into a weizen glass. Has a dark brown color with reddish tint to it. Smell is somewhat sweet and hints of caramel. Taste was very mild and much less flavorfull than I expected. Medium texture in mouth and decent drinkability. Overall a pretty good brew.

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.

Photo of Windigstadt
3.74/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a brilliantly clear, deep amber hue with a quickly dissipating off-white head.

S: A sweet aroma of crystal malts and possibly some kettle caramelization. Brown sugar, black tea and caramel notes co-mingle with a touch of fruitiness and earthy, herbal hops.

T: Despite the sweetness of the aroma, the first flavor to greet my tongue was a slightly acrid, roasty quality likely contributed by the roast barley that gives this beer its color. The middle is surprisingly dry, with almost tangy, bread, rye-like notes taking the place of the sweet crystal malt flavor I was expecting. A notable (for the style, at least) hop finish, combined with more roast flavor, guarantees that this beer would never be classified as cloying.

M: While it may be slightly overcarbonated for the style, the carbonation gives it a pleasant, creamy mouthfeel.

D: At 4.3% this is definitely sessionable, as a good Irish Red should.

Overall: A solid beer, though personally I like a little more sweetness out of my Irish Reds.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a dark cranberry red with a huge 3 finger rocky white head that had very good retention throughout the entire course of the drink. Visible carbonation was very soft, almost non-detect.

S: The nose was quite odd, some light skunky flowery hops, and dry, sour caramel malt.

T: some sour bread, caramel, and light flowery (leaf) hopping. There was some warm ice tea and breadiness in the middle of the palate with a light toasty feel. The beer finished dry with some flowery hopping and dry malt lacing.

M: light and watery with not much substance and a light bitterness. Very light and soft on the tongue due to the lack of carbonation.

D: Overall a dry, earthy red with a moderate drinkability.

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.

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O'Hara's Irish Red from Carlow Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 373 ratings.