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O'Hara's Irish Red - Carlow Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

355 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 355
Reviews: 193
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 13.24%
Wants: 13
Gots: 19 | 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: 355 | Reviews: 193 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of FreshmanPour77
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 02-06-10
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A - Dark chocolate, 2 fingers of reddish/dark brown foam, good head retention, and lacing ring present for entire review. Lots of carbonation present also throughout review

S - Dark chocolate malts. Hints of caramel but not to strong

T - Smooth medium bodied brew. Taste the dark chocolate and a touch of caramel sweetness and a little hop bitterness at the end but nothing to shy me away from

M/D - Pretty good tasting Import out of Ireland. First time having this and was pretty impressed. Very smooth tasting. I very good session brew indeed. I would recommend picking up some and I will for sure purchase again

Photo of stakem
3.26/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber/red color with 2 fingers of white slightly tanned head. Fair retension and a sticky amount of lace clings to the glass. Slight aroma of hops hidden behind an abundance of grain in the nose. Taste is malty with slight hop bitterness and a crisp finish. It is light bodied and moderately carbed. Overall a fairly decent red but nothing I would be excited about trying again.

Photo of joshstevens87
3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-pours a dark ruby brown with a solid white white head
S-sweet malt with notes of chocolate and caramel yet with a spicy hints to it
T-sweet malt with notes of caramel this still has a refrshing straw like profile to it in the background
M-medium body with a fair amount of carbonation nice refreshing profile to it
D-very drinkable this beer has a good taste and a low abv and is perfectly suited to drink throughout the night

Photo of tronester
3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark reddish brown with a super creamy tan head. Smells primarily of smokey malts. Taste is chocolate and rasperries up front with a tangy malt middle and a dry bitter finish. Mouthfeel is slightly watery and slightly high carbonation. Drinkability is great, low abv and filling tastes. An excellent session beer.

Photo of DTavares
3.38/5  rDev -4.8%
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 Durge
3.36/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Found a bottle of this at the bar at the resevoir Inn in Woodstock, NY, this shows a nice golden brown color with a fair white head and good lacing. The aroma is a very mild malty grass hop. The flavor brings a somewhat thin caramel malt with wheat overtones. It's nicely carbonated, refreshing and very drinkable. But ultimately there isn't alot going on here. Fair malt sweetness, a bit of hop bitterness, but kind of watery. The caramel builds as you go, it's OK but I don't look to revisit this one.

Photo of biggred1
3.45/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ruby red with a creamy tan head that melts to soft peaks after a minute or two. The nose is toasted grain and mild sweet malt. Good toasty malt flavor with mild hop bitterness to balance nicely. Medium light bodied with mild carbonation. A decent beer but pretty wimpy flavor and body wise, I guess I prefer the bigger domestic versions of the style.

Photo of Nezzy
3.74/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - More dark brown like dirt with slight red coming through. Decent amount of white head and lacing, much more then anticipated.

Smell - Sweet malts and chocolate with the scent of hops also.

Taste - Not at all what I expected. Tastes more like a stout with strong tastes of malts coming through. Not so much of an ale but more like a stout with slight hops and bitterness to it. A lot of reviews are saying fruits, and that is present but not to a great extent more malts then anything.

Mouthfeel - Decent with a good amount of carbonation.

Drinkability - It's a nice beer that I can drink all night, no problem. The issues is I wonder if its correct to classify it as an irish red ale. It's taste, aroma and characteristics make me wonder about that. However overall good beer, nothing too special but not that bad.

Photo of russpowell
3.39/5  rDev -4.5%
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 almychristopher
3.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

this beer pours a really dark mahogany red with a frothy tan head that recedes slowly to lacing. the aroma boasts of a lot of sweet malts and a bit of the roasted caramel that comes through better in the taste. the medium body and somewhat agressive carbonation make this a pretty decent drink.

Photo of TommyW
3.56/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A- Light amber with a sudsy, white head.

S- Caramel malt with a slight lemony hop aroma.

T- Caramel and bready malts with a slight toasted flavor. A slight smokey flavor comes through briefly. Then a note of lemon rind. Not a big hop profile.

M- Thin to medium body with a nice carbonation.

D- A really drinkable Irish red; an ok representation overall.

Photo of cvaypai
2.38/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle marked 12/04/07.

Poured from bottle to tumbler.

Gift from neighbor because he knew i was into beer.

Appearance - Brown like dirtwater, hint of amber, transparent. 1 finger creamy head. Alright retention.

Smell - Figs, dark fruits, dark malt, caramel?. There is a really weird smell at the end. Almost like vomit.

Taste - Surprisingly watery, sweet with hints of metal. This is not very good. Nutty and coffee come through strong and has your average irish taste.

Mouthfeel - Feels like water in the mouth, its very thin and low alcohol.

Drinkability - There is none, this was enough for me. I could not see myself drinking this beer.

I think this might have been because of the age but this beer was pretty bad.

Photo of tone77
3.42/5  rDev -3.7%
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 BeerSox
4.03/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle into nonic.

Deep mahogany hue with a one finger tan head that slowly settles to a thick pillowy cap. Rings of stringy lacing along the glass.

The aroma is very sweet, with plenty of caramel and a bit of fruity hop aromas.

Lots of burnt caramel in the flavor, along with some minty tea-like hop flavors. Full bodied, with a good amount of carbonation.

A rather enjoyable Irish Red, one of the more robust ones I've had. Recommended.

Photo of hdofu
3.7/5  rDev +4.2%
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 TexIndy
2.21/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a pint glass. No dating info. It was dark brownish red color with some carb streams but no lacing. It had an average sized beige head that very quickly dissipated into a collar with a touch of film.

The aroma was caramel malt, grainy and sweet. Not much there. The taste was bland as well. Starts out weak but OK and then finishes with a unpleasant grainy aftertaste. Bad.

Overall, a bland not much there beer. Honestly not much better than a BMC. Avoid. One and done.


Photo of skeetermoses
3.51/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Okay this beer was pretty different, poured beautifully, smelled excellent but the taste was not what I was expecting. I might try this one again at a beer pub but overall I was not impressed and did not find my new go to Irish red. Kinda dissapointed.

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.38/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 4/19/2009 (Bottle):

Pours a dark red body, clear. Huge foamy light tan head , pretty lasting. English malty tasting, malty. Some bitterness. Some malt roastiness. Hard to describe besides British. Some nuttiness too. Roasted malty aroma. Lots of malt. Some light chocolate too.

Photo of Rayek
3.43/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Looks great. Deep mahogany with very nice clarity and active carbonation. Rocky amber tinged head has great retention and leaves an intricate lace.

S: Chocolate chip cookie dough. That's what instantly came to mind. Lingering longer reveals aromas of grass and earth.

T: Doesn't live up to the nose's promise. Starts are with a bittersweet toffee flavor that's joined by a stout-like charcoal flavor. Bitterness is mild, with a black tea quality. Finishes dry and somewhat acidic.

M: Medium-light body is dry and has too much fizz.

D: Things started out well for this beer. But the situation went downhill as I drank it. The acidic finish and hyper carbonated body just didn't work for me. At least it looks and smells nice.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.06/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

There are certain beers that define the style. Guinness does it with Irish Stouts, Sierra Nevada with American Pale Ales, Urquell with Pilsners; and O'hara's with Irish Reds.

The pitcher comes to the bar with a darker than expected red-brown color and a billowing mousse-like head. Decanting into the glass, the beer has a firm look that doesn't over state the carbonation or firmness.

Light aromas of carmel-toffee and lightly toasted breads. Mild nuttiness comes through as the beer warms. A light creamy malt aroma comes in late.

Flavors of caramelized malt, toasted malts, and sun-kist malts come together in a very clean and unobstructed taste. No fruitiness, no spiciness; just a complex, malty taste.

Hopped to balance the bitterness only, the profile of the beer rests in it's delicate creaminess, well-attenuated malt taste, and superbly clean drinkability.

Not the most complex beer, but simple, pure, clean, and highly sessionable. I'll gladly share a pitcher any day. Thanks Marikka's.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.91/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Small, sudsy head. Dark ruby/amber color.

S - Crisp smell. Either I was totally plugged up or this beer didn't have a whole lot of any smell. I couldn't get much out of the sent area.

T - Slight bitter action which surrounded a hoppy, malty robust flavor.

M - Dry feel to the finish - tingle of a pretty high amount of carbonation.

D - Good, solid fuller bodied beer that has a good drinkability to it. Not something I'd choose to put back all night though.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.66/5  rDev +3.1%
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 selecter70
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My second O'Hara's (the 1st being the exceptional stout that I'd abandon Guinness for). Definitely a bit less than my expectations sought, especially since I had it in Ireland, albeit canned (not that a can ruins a beer..). The pour was a richer red, brown-amber with ruby light edging it out. The head was decent & full, but not overwhelming, while the lace stuck to the glass throughout. The initial aroma expressed a malty lemon-bread, which stayed in the tasting, roasted malts, toasted bread & the edge of lemon towards the end of each sip. Not too sweet, and with a nice mouthfeel, this red was superior to many out there, that lack any complexity. A good, basic beer & a shame it's not more common.

Photo of aeminter
4.05/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A-Deep amber, almost brown when viewed normally, but a deep bright ruby when held to the light. It pours up a nice thick foamy tan head

S-Nice and malty with a buttered toast smell and just a hint of hops.

T-Very mellow with a nice balance of hop and malt. It is a little nutty and roasty...it makes me smile.

M-Medium body and carbonation makes this beer very smooth and adds to the drinkability.

This is quite possibly the best red I've ever had.

Photo of Windigstadt
3.74/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

O'Hara's Irish Red from Carlow Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 355 ratings.