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O'Hara's Irish Red - Carlow Brewing Company

Not Rated.
O'Hara's Irish RedO'Hara's Irish Red

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

329 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 329
Reviews: 186
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 13.24%
Wants: 14
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Carlow Brewing Company visit their website

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  4.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: merlin48 on 02-22-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 329 | Reviews: 186 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerLover48Fan
4.88/5  rDev +37.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally reviewing an old favourite that I haven't been able to find in a year or so.

Poured from a 12oz a very, very dark reddish-brown. Crystal clear and without much excitement in the carbonation department.

Smell is caramel malt all the way - nutty and bready, and quite frankly like the "malt" you remember from being a kid. Some good overripened fruit esthers - banana and mango, not floral. Just a little bit of cola edges in at the end to suggest spice.

Taste is more of the same - cloying caramel malts. Finish is dryish, though, and aided away by the carbonation opening up. Very meaty and much more yeast than in the scent. Caraway and fine white pepper, but only in great moderation.

Body is fairly balanced with zealous carbonation. It's hard sometimes to tell that the cloying feel is the taste and not the beer itself. Drinkable if you're into the very up-front personality!

I cant find this beer in my area but I wish I could because I would drink it often

BeerLover48Fan, Sep 19, 2007
Photo of mualphapiper
4.85/5  rDev +36.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my favorites at The Fiddler's Hearth pub in South Bend, IN. Comes draft in full British pint glasses.

Appearance: A typical red ale color, but I'd say deeper and richer than most. The head is light, but persistent, clinging to the edges of the surface all the way to the end. Nice to look at.

Smell: Thick and earthy, but not overpowering, and appropriate for a red ale. I immediately noticed a distinct aroma of canned mandarin oranges. Also, various nice malts, with en emphasis on roasted walnuts, burnt toast (in a good way), and caramel. Also, I'd say a nice deep smell of freshly turned dirt, I get the impression that this is a very earthy, real, natural ale. Not too much hops on the nose.

Taste: The oranges continue along with more of the toast and roasted nuts. The caramel is less noticeable, but still there. More hops, reminiscent of herbs and spices, cloves in particular. Still very earthy on the finish. Nice combo with a beef/potatoes meal. Long finish! You'll taste this for several minutes after you take a swallow.

Mouth feel: Very nice, I'd put this in the thicker range of red ales. Very genuine. It coats the mouth very thoroughly, contributing to the long finish.

Drinkability: I'll have several pints of O'Hara's Irish red over an evening at the pub. It never gets old, every sip has something new.

mualphapiper, Nov 17, 2007
Photo of Lambo774
4.75/5  rDev +33.8%

Lambo774, Jul 17, 2014
Photo of TSJ4000
4.7/5  rDev +32.4%
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.

TSJ4000, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of stckhndlr
4.65/5  rDev +31%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer at Finn McCool's in Virginia Beach, VA
Review from notes.

Classic rust red color with a two finger head. Nice thick foam. Sweet malt notes like a belgian ale but with some caramel spice. Has a sweet rootbeer flavor at first but then notes of coffee and chocolate malts come through with a crisp malty finish. Medium body with a clean finish. Very enjoyable beer.

stckhndlr, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of granger10
4.58/5  rDev +29%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark amber color with a larger sized light tan head which dissipates rather quickly. Nice sheets of lace along the glass. Great aromas of nuts and roasted grains and a twinge of fruity hops. Taste begins sweeter with caramel and toffee being dominant. An earthy flavor wipes out the caramel but the toffee holds up through it. Roasted nuts and spent grains come out towards the finish. Finish is drying and toasted, almost smoky and charcoally. Oh yeah, I really dig this beer. Extremely easy to drink.

granger10, Jan 07, 2006
Photo of EPseja
4.55/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Time to review the undisputed champion of my blind Irish Red tasting... http://beeradvocate.com/forum/read/2095926

Served from a 12oz. bottle in an O'Hara's pint glass at between fridge and cellar temperature.

A - More of an auburn than a red really, but vibrant when viewed against the light. Pushes up a nice, fluffy off-tan inch-thick head. Lacing is sporadic, but comes in full rings. Head retention is respectable.

S - Wonderfully biscuity malts with a hint of honey and a wisp of perfumey peat. Quite heady.

T - Sweet and malty up front, with a porter-like richness that's quite surprising for this style. Quickly moving to the back of the tongue and the throat with a satisfying cocoa-powdery dryness that gets you all ready for the next sip. Simple, yet delicious.

M - Substantial body on the way in, with perfect expansion and carbonation tingliness. Swallow is slick and voluminous without being gassy. No shortness of sensation here.

D - I've never come across an under 5% ABV beer that has as much flavor and substance as this one does. This is a true session beer by any definition, and puts most peers I've had in its category to shame. I could drink it all day, and I think I plan to this St. Patrick's Day.

EPseja, Feb 16, 2010
Photo of JamesS
4.53/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice copper color with excellent head and very nice lacing. It has a great malty scent, with just a hint of sourness to it. Tastes good, a fairly deep flavor with a nice semi-malty flavor, a tiny hint of spice, and a nice slightly sour aftertaste. Goes down easily. A very nice Irish red.

Had this on tap at Rover's Irish Pub in Louisville. Such an excellent draught beer! Thick and smooth, wonderfully sweet with a nice tartness. Goes down great.

JamesS, Dec 28, 2007
Photo of Milkysunshine
4.5/5  rDev +26.8%

Milkysunshine, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.5/5  rDev +26.8%

BurgeoningBrewhead, Jul 18, 2012
Photo of darioklc
4.5/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into original O'Hara's 0.5l glass which I've bought together with beer.
A: The color is reddish with a lot of bubbles. There isn't a lot of foam and it gradually disappears.
S: It has a pretty intense malt aroma with a slight sensation of alcohol
T: This is the first red beer that I tried and maybe because of that it seems to me that this is one of the best beers I have tried. It has a rich caramel flavor, neither sweet nor bitter, just as it should be.
Overall: As I said before this was really big surprise for me in a good way. Surely beer that you must try!

darioklc, May 08, 2012
Photo of hoppecatania
4.5/5  rDev +26.8%

hoppecatania, Jun 27, 2014
Photo of KarlHungus
4.43/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours a dark amber color. The head is two inches in height, and recedes slowly leaving nice sticky lacing The aroma is of sweet caramel, brown sugar, toffee, and a hint of grapefruit. The taste is a little hoppier than other Irish Red Ales I have had, but it is more well balanced because of it. There is a nice interplay between the sweet malt, and this floral hops that lasts long into the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium light bodied with nice refreshing carbonation. Overall, this is a very good Irish Red Ale, and a great session beer too. I will certainly drink this again. I could see this being a wonderful beer on a nice spring day.

KarlHungus, Feb 15, 2008
Photo of Brad007
4.38/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color: Pours a copper red color with a well-carbonated head of foam (seems almost too carbonated to be honest).

Aroma: Sweet and malty. Little or no hop presence.

Taste: Sweet and malty upfront. A bit of dryness on the tongue as well. Kind of chewy. Some bitterness. Very drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Sweet with some bitterness.

Verdict: I really like this beer. It's sessionable, drinkable and it goes down very well. I could drink a few of these if I could find it in a pub setting.

Brad007, Feb 19, 2008
Photo of GregaR
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%

GregaR, Aug 17, 2014
Photo of LJWalker
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%

LJWalker, Oct 05, 2013
Photo of CWhite
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%

CWhite, Oct 01, 2012
Photo of Edruil
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%

Edruil, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of wrightst
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%

wrightst, Sep 25, 2014
Photo of Molson2000
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%

Molson2000, Jan 07, 2014
Photo of Matak3
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%

Matak3, May 17, 2013
Photo of Halcyondays
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle, along with the stout, this showed up at Hi-Times, so I've got to try it,

A: Pours red (I'm Shocked... Shocked), with a full creamy white head, great lace.

S: Real nice caramel malt, sugar.

T: Sweet malt, pastry flour, red malt with a light hop presence. Very good flavour.

M: Soft carbonation, creamy, medium-bodied.

D: One of the best Irish Red's I've had, good beer, very enjoyable.

Halcyondays, Feb 24, 2010
Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.23/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass. The beer is a deep, ruby amber brown. A dark cream colored head stays around for a while and settles to a thin film. Random light lacing. The beer smells of dark caramel, malts and faint hops. The taste is well represented by the smell: a sharp hop presence, but followed by a mellow caramel malt finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, very drinkable.

Overall, this is the second beer I've had from O'Hara's, and it's another good one. Well made, very drinkable, and no punches. I love breweries that aren't pretentious, and this is one. Well done.

JuicesFlowing, Feb 25, 2012
Photo of MusicaleMike
4.18/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this 11.2 oz bottle into my Carlsberg pint glass. The freshness date on the bottle reads 31/12/08. I am excited to try this beer out, since I have had their other beers and have been really impressed. This is some REAL Irish beer for ya...

A: It pours with two fingers of rocky, sticky, cream-colored head. The beers body is semi-hazy and deep amber (almost brown) in color, with red hues playing out in the background light. The head sticks a little as it fades.

S: Wow, this smell is unique. I haven't read any other reviews of this beer yet, but I can't imagine what other people think about the smell. Surely, people are not smelling french onion, garlic, butter and croissant in the malt like I am picking out. I know how ridiculous that sounds...Some floral hops, every now and then.

T: I really like the way this beer tastes. I am getting flavors of tobacco, smoke, toasted grains and sweet, overripe raspberries. Great aftertaste!

M: Very light in the mouth, yet the beer is definitely full-flavored. The sugars reach the back of the tongue as the beer is swallowed. Smooth, almost non-existent carbonation.

D: Drink! Drink it up! Easy as can be, if you enjoy the unique flavor. Low alcohol means that this beer could be had throughout the night.

MusicaleMike, Sep 14, 2008
Photo of scarletfire79
4.15/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

pours an orange hued red. looks nice in the glass. small head that leaves quickly. definitly smell some caramel notes in the nose, hints of other sweetness as well. very well balanced. the taste backs up what the smell previewed. very well balanced. nice flavor profile, sweet, malty, bitter, the whole nine. really nice. not my favorite irish red, but a decent stab.

scarletfire79, Jun 13, 2007
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O'Hara's Irish Red from Carlow Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 329 ratings.