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O'Hara's Irish Red | Carlow Brewing Company

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

Brewed by:
Carlow Brewing Company
Ireland | website

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by merlin48 on 02-22-2005

View: Beers | Events
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Reviews: 199 | Ratings: 414
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.3/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

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Photo of TSJ4000
4.69/5  rDev +32.5%
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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Photo of eduardolinhalis
3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
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

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Photo of smakawhat
4.13/5  rDev +16.7%
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.

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Photo of horshack7
3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.68/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of Cozzatoad
3.49/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle

A- Light brown colour with bright reddish hints if seen through light, lots of very small bubbles visible among the beer's body. A couple fingers of a quite dense-looking white head, nice amounts of lacing too. Very nice

S- Sweet caramel notes among a soft, quite stout-like, bready malts feel. Maybe a slight roasted hint

T- Pretty much what the smell suggested. Very much on the malty side with a bit of a bready feel. Malts have notes of caramel, chocolate also shows up along with a bit of a roasted feel. Light, delicate tea-like bitterness in the finish. Overall not so distant from an irish dry stout

M- Medium body, minimal carbonation. Super soft and smooth on the palate, carbonation is to be felt only the tongue, where it brings a bit of life

O- Not the most complex beer out there, but sure one that stays totally true to its style by bringing great balance and drinkabilty. Definitely worth as a regular beer if you can find it for a cheap price

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Photo of ThomasMetal75
4.02/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

*Apparently I reviewed this on Rate Beer & not here, so here is my review*

A- Ruby head with a nice thick head. I noticed little lacing.

S- Malty and sweet with a roasted caramel scent.

T- Same as aroma. Malty sweet, and has a nice roasted, almost toasted. caramel thing going on. It is mildly bitter. Excellent!

M- Light and extremely drinkable. Not heavy at all. Ohara’s Irish Red is a great light beer that is easy drinking.

All the flavors work well with each other and the abv is so low that a few could be had easily. A+ brew!

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Photo of darioklc
4.48/5  rDev +26.6%
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!

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Photo of acevenom
4.08/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Pours clear, deep amber with a tall, creamy tan head. The head dissipates slowly, leaving lots of lacing on the side of the glass. There's a pleasant aroma of sweet malts. It smells bready as well. The taste is malty and slightly sweet. There is some hop bitterness and there is some breadiness in the taste. It's very delicious. The body is medium and the carbonation is moderate. It's creamy and the finish is clean. The drinkability is high. Overall, this is a very good beer. It's a solid, delicious beer.

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Photo of mcguirmn
3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - A good amount of cream colored head with pretty good lacing. Beer has a dark red color to it.

Smell - A faint smell of coffee is present. Also very sweet smelling. Lots of Malt.

Taste - The malty smell only increases once it touches your tongue. Very sweet tasting but the taste of alcohol is still very present.

Mouthfeel - I expected this beer to be a little thicker. It was a little too watery for my liking. Perhaps it is better on tap...

Overall - Overall it is a very enjoyable beer. If it is the only Irish Red on the menu, by all means, try it out. In my opinion, it costs too much and leaves me wanting more.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.4/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear dark garnet and is much darker than expected with some carbonation. The head is off-white, modest and quickly dissipating, leaving rings of lace.

Big caramel malt from a tulip glass with some sweet tea and wheat bread.

Balance is better than anticipated from the nose but still on the malty side. The finish is lingering with unsweetened tea. Oddly interesting.

O’Hara’s Irish Red has a medium body and is a bit woolly with no hint of alcohol. This one is well carbonated with a trying finish, almost chalky.

This is a fine session beer with little to discuss. However, it would work well as a social beer with friends on a crisp autumn afternoon.

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Photo of mactrail
2.48/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Tastes like the old sod tossed a couple of clods into the brew tub. Reddish cast is undeniable, so we can agree on that. Watery and might possibly be refreshing if you were thirsty enough. Earthy, to put is politely. Less offensive after a few sips when the tongue is numbed a little. Touch of roasted flavor, but it washes very thin. Sharpish with club-soda carbonation.

On tap at the Linkery in San Diego. Overall, it's cheap-tasting swill even for this benighted style. Easy to see why the Irish drink stout on their home turf.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received a reddish amber brew with a foamy cap of head and slight lace.

Mild toasty notes, some mineral bitterness. Lean in the nose.

Toasted malt up front, with a little burnt caramel, some light hop bitterness, bread crust, and maltiness in the finish.

Medium body, good carbonation.

Ok brew. Liked how this stood up to food. Nice balance of malt and bitterness. Glad I tried this.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.18/5  rDev +18.1%
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.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.28/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

I can't for the life of me remember if/when I've had this beer before... Anyone? Regardless, it pours a clear russet-amber topped by a finger or so of off-white foam. The nose comprises buttery biscuit, a touch of mandarin orange syrup, and a sprinkling of cilantro in the background. The taste brings in more of the same, though the orange-like qualities come to the fore, sorta creating a candied orange peel kind of flavor. Some added toffee helps this effect along. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda dry finish. Overall, an alright red, but not one that I would ever really seek out again. Just didn't do it for me...

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.33/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 ounce bottle - Hop City in Atlanta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a very dark amber body with a moderately sized, ivory-hued head. Fairly copious amounts of lace.

Smell: A sweet-scented brushing of toffee and brown sugar over deeply toasted malts with a faint sniff of quality smoke, dark fruitiness, and herbal hops.

Taste: Toffee and brown sugar, though not overtly sweet, a bit less than anticipated from the nose. Toasted malts paired with modest raisin notes. Very, very faint touch of clean smoke. Light herbal hop character, lightly bitterness. Drying, malty on the back half and into the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-light carbonation.

Overall: I hadn't had this one in several years, and, well, I kind of remember why I hadn't. Particularly so-so.

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Photo of thierrynantes
3.48/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer bottle (50 cl.) purchased in V&B Nantes, and tasted in 2011.

Appearance : red amber color, with white foam head (not persistent).
Smell : malty and caramel aromas.
Taste and mouthfeel : sweet malty with notes of caramel.
Drinkability : an average beer in the style Irish Red Ale.

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Photo of travisnd
3.41/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried this Irish Red in a 4 pack from Total Wine. Compared to other Irish Red's I've had like Sam Admans and Saranac I found O'Hara's to be the best and most expensive. It had a nice dark rich color when poured into a glass with minimal head. Goes does nice and even when warm, still tasty! Bring the price down and I'll be buying more!

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.55/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish-brown amber color with a fairly dense, off-white head. Head retention is above average, lasting a few minutes and persisting with a ring around the glass and a few islands of foam. Carbonation is visible in the transparent beer, but is rather sluggish. Lacing is of small clumps that gradually fade away.

Scent is primarily of mild malt sweetness, caramel influence, a dash of pepperiness, maybe a bit of hickory smoke character on the fade out.

Taste is fairly malty, definite caramel influence, and do I detect even a bit of roasted malt at the end? Smoked presence in the nose is apparent in the aftertaste. No noticeable hop character, this is a very sweet beer with some subtleties.

Mouthfeel is solid for the style, fairly heavy to medium-heavy with enough carbonation to make the beer palatable and keep flowing. Finish is dry, but not sticky.

Overall, a drinkable beer, quite sessionable, but also something that is fairly one-dimensional, and while I'd drink this on another occasion, I don't necessarily think I'd go out of my way to buy more.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of LXIXME
4/5  rDev +13%
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'.

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Photo of eclaycamp
3.12/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark ruby red moving to amber. Has a nice frothy tan head, with some surprising lacing. Aroma has a caramel / malt / burnt sugar thing going on. I get a little bit of smoked malts as well. Taste isn't bad, somewhat middling. There's a big toffee note in the beginning of the beer but it's chased away by more smoked malt character in the finish. Taste is somewhat sweet. There's no real hop character to speak of. This beer calls itself an Irish Red but with the smoked character it feels more like a 60 schilling or something similar. Overall it's not a bad beer but there isn't anything drawing me back, either. Somewhat mediocre.

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Photo of theboozecruise
3.4/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an imperial pint.

It's a clear deep reddish brown color Witt a huge frothy head. It really takes a while to dissipate and left good lacing.

The smell is strong and malty with hints of toffee and a small hint of hops.

The taste is the same basic flavor profile as the aroma, but not as robust. If anything, the hops come through a little stronger. Definitely more bitter after a second sip.

It's a little thin, but this is a very drinkable sessionable Irish red. Not bad at all.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The first time I had this beer I thought it was great, The second time around I thik my tastes had changed because it wasn't nearly as good. The beer poured out as a nice looking red color with a fizzy white head. The lacing was decent but not too impressive. The smell was of sweet malts, they kind of reminded me of a scotch ale. The taste seemed good the first time with a good malt base and not much deviating from that. The second time I think the bottle may have been bad because it just didn't taste the same. The mouthfeel was medium bodied. Overall the beer is worth trying one last time I think before I come to a true verdict on the flavor issues.

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O'Hara's Irish Red from Carlow Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 199 ratings.