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O'Hara's Irish Red - Carlow Brewing Company

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

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357 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 357
Reviews: 194
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 13.24%
Wants: 12
Gots: 23 | 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: 357 | Reviews: 194 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of marty21
3.86/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark clear ruby red almost brown. Has a creamy two finger off white head. Settles to a thin cap. Leaves thick dense creamy lacing. Left a complete wall of lace at the top of my glass.

S: Very sweet malt. With hints of caramel and I get a bit of dark fruit.

T: Sweet caramel malts with a bit of hops. Finishes sweet but with some roastiness.

M: Light carbonation with a medium body. Very clean and crisp.

D: I was impressed with this one. It had a great appearance and the taste was really good. This could be a great session beer especially with the low Abv. One of the best red ale's I've had.

Photo of Nerudamann
3.52/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle and into a pint glass.

Look - brownish/dark red in color, fairly clear, and with about 2 fingers worth of a soft beige colored foam that dissipates slowly. Good carbonation.

Smell - very malty smell, also a little musky. Fairly rich smelling texture.

Taste and mouthfeel - somewhat acidic and pungeant taste, fairly bitter in the middle and end..can't place the hops. Texture is somewhat creamier.

Drinkability - aftertaste is a little too bitter for me to enjoy often.

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.6/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brown 500ml bottle, best before 28 Aug 2011, drank in my hotel lounge after a night out in Cork, Ireland.

Poured into a small, quarter pint tumbler it looked a lovely redwood tree bark colour, bright and clear. A lot better than the two Irish Reds I'd had on tap at one of the bars I'd been in earlier. Creamy head, both in colour and texture, produced some good lacing and stayed on each pour until the end.

Sweet malty molasses, toffee apple treacle without the sickly feel, those are the smells I got from the beer.

Semi-sweet taste, those molasses and treacle type aromas already mentioned were evident in the flavours also. A bit too sweet for my normal liking, but still enjoyed the beer.

Well carbonated and full of life, but somewhat lacking in depth or inner strenght, an OK beer but not an outstanding one in my eyes.

Photo of silver0rlead
3.67/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.93/5  rDev -17.5%
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 ryan1788a5
3.95/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Dark red, almost to the point of being brown. Big foamy tan head. Great retention and sticky lacing.

S: Big malty smells. Rich caramel, some toffee, and lots of coffee. Grassy and slightly citric hop smells.

T: Huge tastes of roasted coffee give way briefly to some sweeter caramel flavors. Citric hops add a quick bite before being overwhelmed again by the malt. Coffee flavors re-emerge and are accompanied by toffee and even some chocolatey roasted malt tastes. Long, slightly dry finish showcases coffee and roasted malt flavors.

M: Thick for the style, but smooth. Plenty of carbonation.

D: Good. Goes down easily despite the thickness.

Notes: This is not your average Irish red. A bit of a malt bomb, but I like what they've done with it. There are almost some stout-like qualities. Flavor and body are more robust than most examples of the style, but it still retains its sessionability. A nice change of pace from all the watery, bland reds that saturate the market.

Photo of xnicknj
3.33/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500mL bottle poured into pint glass

Pours a deep mahogany brown with burnt orange hues. A thinner head fades to a nicely retained off-white film, leaving plenty of lacy rings.

Toasted grain, biscuit, a touch of caramel, and some grassy hops in the nose.

Fairly standard red ale with some mild roasted malts in the beginning, giving way to some breadyness. A light hoppiness springs up, along with some sweet character from the darker malt. Finishes quick and clean with some slightly citrus hops and little lingering flavor.

Medium body, chewy, lower carbonation. Smooth, quick drinking, although the flavor profile isn't exactly anything spectacular. Still alright for the style though.

Photo of zeff80
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, copper/red color with a small, white head of foam. Not much in the way of lacing.

S - It smelled malty and sweet with some mild grassy notes.

T - Nice bready malt flavor with a good caramel taste. Mild grassy bitterness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light bodied beer with a dry finish.

D - This is an okay red ale. Not fabulous but tasty and drinkable.

Photo of MBPChead
3.46/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Trying this one for the first time, a good friend gave a bottle so here goes.

Look: Deep ruby in color with amber hues with a thick creamy colored and textured head. Exquisite

Smell: Scents of caramel, lite cheddar cheese, rice cakes, cherries, and honey. Very pleasant as well as interesting.

Taste: Mild hop flavor as well as pines, lime and cherries, and cheddar upfront, followed by a toasted malt charachter with toasted wheat and buttered popcorn on the backend. Quite peculiar but at the same time nothing to special.

Feel: Smooth and easily goes down pretty well, medium thickness and a bit prickly on the tongue. Good feel overall

Drinkability: Not bad overall, taste and body are a tad offputting. But, its not hard to swallow.

All in all not a bad beer, but its not not my particular taste, and I can honestly say I don't think I'm going to be buying this one.

Photo of confer
3.57/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown with a tan head that fades to a rim of foam. I though it was an Irish Red?
S- Sweet and sugary with a small roasted malt smell.
T- Taste gets better as it warms. Sweet and malty. Watery finish.
MD- Light and dry feel. This is a beer that goes down real easy. It is pretty pricey for just an okay beer.

Photo of froghop
3.1/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours a semi-hazy brick red with a medium size light beige head, and good lacing.

smell of spice, a little sour malt, and brown sugar.

taste is a little watery, spice, malt, and caramel, ends a little bitter.

overall a below average red ale, bit on the watery side, but nice flavor.

Photo of dolzan
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The appearance is indeed red as it should be in an Irish Red Ale.

The taste is slightly burnt and smoky (caramel?), but in a good way, the overall feel is very balanced, and it is one of the best Irish Ales I had the pleasure to drink. Very little bitter taste can be felt, which is true to the style. However, maybe there is a slight lack of complexity in the taste for this to be a world class brew.

Photo of stcules
3.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Red color, with a light beige foam, not too compact.
In the smell a strong maltiness, biscuit, and caramel, and after a while, also some hop.
Well balanced in the mouth, with malt and caramel, but also some hop.
Maybe some dusty note. Anyway, pleasant, with a good hop, easily drinkable.

Photo of mdfb79
3.28/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Sn 30th Anniversary tulip.

a - Pours a dark brown with one finger of off white head and moderate carbonation.

s - Smells of roasted and toasted malts, caramel malts, and chocolate.

t - Tastes of bitter chocolate, hops, nuts, and roasted malts.

m - Light to medium body and high carbonation.

d - Ok but not that great of a beer. Wouldn't seek out again,.

Photo of tim9887
3.33/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby-brown from the bottle into a pint glass. 1/2" of white foamy head. Aroma is sweet and malty. Caramel and nuttiness from the aroma are slightly less present in the flavor. This well-rounded ale has just a slight hop bitterness to balance out the very sweet malty character to it. Nice carbonation. A good beer - though I certainly prefer their Celebration Stout.

Photo of drabmuh
3.21/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at the liquor store because it was less than a dollar a bottle. This should have set off an alarm in my mind.

Beer is dark red to brown and mostly clear. Forms a big head of medium off white bubbles that falls away leaving some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is minimal.

Aroma is mildly malty.

Medium body with an unfortuante late bitterness and slight aftertaste. Some sweetness up front, slight roast in the back. I wonder how they got the black colour to this beer (U added intentionally). Eh, its relatively easy drinking. Not too impressed in general. Sorry.

Photo of aval89
3.45/5  rDev -2.8%
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 metter98
3.45/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: It poured deep amber red into a pint glass with a creamy, off-white head. A moderate level of carbonation is visible; there is a good amount of head retention.
S: The nose is relatively sweet and there are hints of caramel malts.
T: There wasn't a whole lot of overall taste, although the few flavors there were shared similarities with the aroma and were malty and sweet. The taste also had some hints of black tea, burnt malts, and other grains and there is some bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels light-bodied and smooth on the palate.
D: It was relatively easy to drink this beer but nothing really stood out about the taste so I'm not sure if I would have it again.

Photo of ocmpoma
3.46/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After browsing around to see what the highest rated Irish stouts were on the site, I was quite surprised to see this Irish red from County Carlow at the Whole Foods in Hillcrest.

It pours out a wonderfully dark but unmistakably amber into the old Duvel tulip, with a nice, fluffy head that's just slightly tan in color. Good lacing as the head dissipates.

The nose is quite spicy up front, with a strong malt backbone. Little to no bitter notes. On the palate it's very malty with just some hints of spice and a little tiny bit of funkiness... I get a little bit of pine resin and the hops are there, barely, at the end.

Mouthfeel is pretty good; it's a tad thin but not off-balance. It's drinkable: smooth and if anything a bit too sweet, but overall a nice showing.

Photo of mynie
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at 9 Irish Brothers in West Lafayette.

Pours clear crystalline red. Really sparkly but not much of a head.

Smelled quite fruity. Not quite like fruit-flavored cereal, not as ersatz, but damn close. That was folded into some toasted cereal malt and really it was like if someone had mixed up a bowl of 80% Life and 20% Fruity Pebbles.

Tastes like it smells, only with a wee bitty dose of dry european hops near the back end. The whole thing is nitrogen smooth, which makes it feel nice in your mouth but also taste a little weird. I have a feeling that maybe this one is a little bit better fresh.

Photo of farrago
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Solid two fingers of light tan foam, somewhat delicate micro-bubbles, steady dissolve with much lacing, like froth lapping at the beach. Clean amber color with a little more brown than orange, excellent clarity and vividness. Bready nose with caramel, chocolate fudge, sugar cane and a hint of golden raisin and date alongside the pear, apple scents, the hops come across as mixed drink bitters with a pinch of green field grasses. Medium-bodied, the carbonation has an aggressiveness which comes out of left field, churns things up and favors the bitter, grassy element as well as sour grapefruit, lemon citrus. The maltiness more of a powdery texture here, hence less sweetness in the cocoa, milk chocolate, hard toffee flavors. Some raisin left, more green apple, bosc pear, apricot pit. Flash of cloves. Astringency and overall dryness builds through the finish. Curiously, the breadiness more or less absent. Interesting beer, throws a fair amount of curveballs.

Photo of SShelly
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark red amber with almost no head.

Aroma is pure bread with some sweet malt.

Light sweet malt plays with toast and bread upfront. Leaves a light sweetness in the mouth. Med light mouth leaves this feeling a little thin.

Tried it for st pattys day, not particularly interested nice and drinkable, not horrible.

Photo of sitarist
3.78/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber, ruby red. The head is tan and big. The head last awhile with lots of lacing.

The smell is fruity and sweet with apples and grapes leading the way, caramel following.

The fruity sweet goodness from the nose come right into the taste. There is a slight tea like flavor, and it has a slight red wine like aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is a little thin, the carbonation is nice though, and dry.

Very drinkable. This beer is refreshing and begs you to drink it. By far the best Irish Beer Ive had so far.

Photo of StJamesGate
3.93/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On cask at the Bull & Castle, Dublin.

Pours glowing ruby with surprisingly long-lived off white head that rings. Big floral hops nose along with some roastiness. Red apples, chocolate and toasted hazelnuts for malts, dry roasty middle and bitter orange rind hops to end. Roast squash sweetness at the end with a tight linger. Medium, creamy and round, getting stickier over time.

Fresh and lively, hops forward makes a nice change for an Irish red. Unfortunately, the hops die down as it warms and it starts to cloy a bit.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.23/5  rDev +19.2%
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.

O'Hara's Irish Red from Carlow Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 357 ratings.