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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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358 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 358
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: 358 | Reviews: 194 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of ruckus232
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

The color of this was darker then expected, it was a reddish brown but leaning more towards brown. The head was just slightly off white and left a small amount of lacing.

The smell was a very pleasant smell but it was a little hard to describe. The closest I can guess it had a grassy smell to it which was a slightly sweet smell mixed with a slightly metallic smell.

The sweet smell was picked up in the taste after swallowing the sip but only for a second and then the taste disappears. It is very light and easy to drink without being light in flavor.

Photo of allengarvin
3.66/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours very nicely. The color is quite red, deep and luscious, with a large creamy head. The aroma is faint at best, with some sweet malt and little else. To taste, there's lightly toasted breadcrust flavor, which is pleasant but a tad grainy, with a light dusting of hops. The yeast is pretty neutral giving a clean finish.

Nothing exciting here, but it is a solidly drinkable red. Not worth the 10 buck price for a 4-pack, though.

Photo of atis
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle from Dublin

Ruby-dark brown colour with quite foamy slightly off-head, leaving some lacing. Aroma is mild toasted malt, a bit bready, some distant hops. Taste is clean roasted malt, some hints of coffee and smoke with bittery finish. Mouthfeel is quite thin.

Quite drinkable.

Photo of jwc215
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark, ruby-crimson - towards brown even - with a thick tan head that descends and lasts, leaving spotted lacing.

The smell is of light caramel with herbal notes. Mild.

The taste is is lightly roasted caramel (soft) with taste (slightly burnt edges) with a mild herbal bitterness (towards metallic) in the finish. Medium-bodied.

This didn't exactly make me want to run for more after the bottle was through, but the one was drinkable. It could use more all-round fullness (and slightly less burnt/metallic touches). On the up-side, it does have balance, and enough smoothness to be on the enjoyable side of things. Not a bad interpretation of the style.

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

this brew pours up a beautiful crimson color with a decent white head. decent lacing. the nose is sweet malts, some sort of raw malt aroma, grains I suppose. it has a distinct Scottish/Irish aroma to it. the taste is watered down, bitter malts, very subtle hops, a crisp brew. dry finish. similar mouthfeel to Guinness in the finish. that rhymes. Guinness in the finish, Guinness in the finish, oh ya ya ya...

Photo of HoppyMcStout
3.18/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was surprised as how dark this brew was - deep brownish red, with a solid head on it. I was searching for the toasted malts but really had to reach to find that flavor. Decent hop profile, and nebulous malt body. What stood out more than anything was the slightly metallic flavor that hit me at times. I was a litte disappointed given how good their stout was.

Photo of RobH
3.1/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

11.2oz brown bottle.

This is my second O'hara's beer, the other being the Irish Dry Stout. There's just something about these two beers that both have the same underlying dry, sort of punky flavor that I just don't like.

This Irish Red tasted like a more mild version of their Irish Stout. I was frankly hoping for something a little more malty-sweet. On that it doesn't deliver for my palate.

Compared to the new Samuel Adams Irish Red, this "real" Irish Red seems dry and "off" in the flavor department, with zero touch of malt sweetness.

Glad I tried it once, but I won't be buying this one again.

Photo of MusicaleMike
4.12/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
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 Jayli
3.95/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I thought this was a great Irish Red.
The beer pours a dark red/dark amberwith a good size slightly off white head. Fairly good amount of lacing.
This beer has a very smooth taste and feel to it. It has distinct malt flavors but is mellow with no after taste. The alcohol content on this is lower, but based on alcohol content it's got great taste. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer.

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.26/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured an appealing Grade A Maple Sugar Brown. One finger head of cream colored head fades to a tiny bubbled ring. Not much retention but some lacing. Smells are a little subtle but like the flavors appealing, lightly floral hops, assorted dry grains, the appearance is great overall. Palate is a bit malt heavy with a hoppy bitterness. Slightly herbaceous and sour. Medium carbonation is too feisty to makes the beer as smooth as it wants to be. Same problem their Stout has. Sadly, the appearance is the best part of this brew. This is a good beer, but nothing the famously proud Irish should tout.

Photo of MTNboy
3/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- Super dark red with sort of a purplish/brown hue. The was only a little haed and it was of white with some lacing.

Smell- It has a real faint smell. Mainly of plain malt.

Taste- I found this to be a very bland ale the taste is average a little bitter and a little sweet.

Mouthfeel - Light and thin with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability- It is alright I would not go out of my way to get it again.

Photo of CrellMoset
3.13/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Total Wine in Chantilly, VA. Provided by a friend. Poured into a traditional American pint glass.

Appearance: A clear, dark, ruddy copper/brown body. A mild pour yielded a two-finger head which, although fading quickly, left swiss cheese-esque lacing as it went. Fast carbonation.

Aroma: Steely caramel malt, vegetal hoppiness, and not much else.

Taste: Hmm. Nothing too attractive here. Some nondescript and dry, metallic caramelized malts with some mild and faint bittering and herbal, plant-like hop notes. Leaves that dextrose like aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Thin thin thin. Bubbles don't seem to be "contained" very well - it fluffs up big and uneven very quickly. Leaves a bit of a film.

Drinkability: Very watery and thin - everything seems muted - so it's drinkable if that's what you're looking for. I didn't really care for this beer too much - everything seems sort of muted and nondescript. It wasn't really refreshing or complex or ... well, anything really. Not recommended.

Photo of cvstrickland
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle poured into a shaker pint glass yields a clear reddish-brown with amber highlights capped with a finger of soft, mottled ivory/white foam that leaves sticky bands of lacing on the glass.

Smell is malty with a hefty herbal, floral hop note.

Taste is a bit sweet and juicy with a toasty malt note and a mildly bitter, herbal finish.

The drink is medium-bodied, crisp, mild, and clean with superb drinkability.

Photo of argock
3.66/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. Freshness date present.

A: Beautiful ruby-brown with tall, creamy, 1-2 finger off-white head with good retention and lacing.

S: A little weak in aroma with some sweet malt notes, butterscotch, and a little floral hops.

T: Much fuller than the aroma with smooth toasted buttery toast flavor with a touch of smokiness and crisp floral hops.

M: Very smooth and creamy feel with pleasant sweet, buttery aftertaste.

D: A great Irish red with unique smokiness and good feel. Pretty expensive though in the bottle.

Photo of Traquairlover
3.01/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Clear amber, with small one finger off white head consisting of a mix of foam and medium to large bubble, medium lacing left on glass.

S = Light toasted grains, white pepper, fresh flowers.

T = Unbuttered toast is the first thing at the front of the tongue, mid palate there is some bitterness from the hops, very light citrus flavors appear in the back of the mouth and there is a medium bitter finish.

M = Light to medium-light body, carbonation stings a bit too much, mouthcoating only fair.

D = Nothing affirmatively wrong with this beer, but it is not particularly special in opinion. Low enough ABV to session with I suppose but just not enough of interest in the taste.

Photo of abcsofbeer
3.13/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought as part of a three pack of the brewery's offerings. Has a drink by date of 01.09. Poured into a pint glass, it is topped by three finger tan head that has very good retention. The color of this Irish Red is a deep mahogany red color that has good clarity.

The aroma is of butterscotch along with fruits (cherry). The taste is sweet caramel malt with a tiny hop flavor on the backend. The mouthfeel is medium bodied. Easy to drink this one but there is nothing all that special.

Photo of pmcadamis
2.66/5  rDev -25.1%
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 NCSUdo
3.6/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle

A: Pours a clear dark rusty red under a big frothy white head. OK lace and retention.

S: Smells of toasted malt, caramel and a little chocolate. Slightest hint of citrus fruit, but malt dominates.

T: Kind of plain and ho-hum. Malty like the nose, but without the same character. Again, a slight citrus twang with a decent bitterness, but malt tones could be better.

M/D: Medium bodied, carbonation is right. Drinkability is fine. Could have really benefited if it were more flavorful. Not bad though.

Photo of drpimento
3.18/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Kind of like this beer. Poured with a nice head which mostly dissapated and some lace. Good reddish amber color. Mild malty and roasty aroma with little hops. Perhaps a little fizzy in the mouth which also leads to a sharpness on the tongue. Still, it's not overly sweet and is drinkable. It gets even better as it warms a bit.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
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 Homerbag
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber body that has a two thick head that disappears to a lacing foam layer.

Smells of a brown sugar, malty, and some toffee notes. Taste is really good for this style. Toasty malts, slightly sweet, clean finish. Feel is a bit high in CO2, but it is true to style.

A refreshing, clean, and true to style red ale. A great session beer, even if the price is a little higher than your normal session. I will pick this one out again on an warm weather Irish day.

O'Hara's Irish Red from Carlow Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 358 ratings.