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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.

316 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 316
Reviews: 183
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 13.24%
Wants: 12
Gots: 10 | 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: 316 | Reviews: 183 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PittBeerGirl


3.15/5  rDev -11.3%

A- beautiful deep red body with thick off-white foamy head that settles doen to the perfect thin head. Leaves a nice lacing behind in the glass.

S- Pungent smell of dark fruit, alcohol (suprising for the content), and heavy malt.

T- not as big as the smell. Pretty thin malt character with some toasted notes. Very unoffenxive. Not what I was expecting.

M- medium weight body and high stingy carbonation. Goes down smooth.

D- its pretty drinkable and unoffensive. Not the Irish red character I was looking for though.

05-20-2007 17:36:53 | More by PittBeerGirl
Photo of Redwood21


3.63/5  rDev +2.3%

pours a dark amber color with a decent sized white head that falls but there is a good amount of veil on there.
it has a sweet malty aroma which though written right on the bottle holds true in both the aroma and taste, good call bottle.
tatse wise is almost a fruity sweet malty flavor, whith no detectable hop flavor imo. its got a bit of a dry finish which paired with the sweet taste is a bit odd. its a good beer and if you like the sweeter malt beers to the bitter hop beers then its definatly for you . low abv and non offensive flavor allows for it to be very drinkable.

04-21-2007 03:30:17 | More by Redwood21
Photo of stereosforgeeks


3.6/5  rDev +1.4%

Appearance: Dark Red. Two finger tan head. Ample lacing.

Smell: Toasted malt, caramel, biscuits, and hops.

Taste: Nice hops with malt and grain taste. Some pepper at the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Smooth. Carbonation is plentiful.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink.

03-28-2007 00:19:34 | More by stereosforgeeks
Photo of weasbri


3.85/5  rDev +8.5%

Another timely review, just after St Patty's Day.
Nice red-orange color with a decent head on it. Aroma was mostly malty with a slight hint of skunkiness. That didn't show through in the taste though. This was a straightforward Irish Red. Again a mostly malty flavor with just a bit of light hop bitterness to dry out the finish. It's not going to knock your socks off, but it's better than drinking green beer. For that matter, it's definitely worthy of a second glass. It paired fairly well with both corned beef with colcannon and steak with sweet potatoes.

03-20-2007 22:21:58 | More by weasbri
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.43/5  rDev -3.4%

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber color with a robust head that nicely laces the pint glass

Smell: Caramel malt with a hint of grain

Taste: Caramel up front that is quickly matched by a grainy, sharp hop taste; the two flavors continue through the finish with a sweet toffee note at the tip of the tongue by journey's end; grainy bitterness lingers into the aftermath, however

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I'm just not crazy about the grainy bitterness on this beer and that limits my desire to have another

03-17-2007 18:37:37 | More by brentk56
Photo of skizziks


3.63/5  rDev +2.3%

12oz. bottle into a nonic. Pour raises a huge head. Have to be careful to keep it in the imperial pint glass. Head is solid beige, frothy and slowly collapses to form a rocky pile of varied bubbles. Intense thick lacing, excellent retention. The beer is a clear deep copper.

Aroma is nutty, bready, graham cracker. Fruity with orange tea. Great stuff but needs to be turned up.

Flavor is biscuit and honey with coffee underneath. Roast grows as it hangs in the mouth. A touch of sweet malt near the end with a bitter and carbonated close.

Mouthfeel is somewhat slick and medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Carbonation is enough to keep it fresh but not too much to get in the way of drinkability. A nice easy drinking beer that won't knock you over the head, but still provides plenty of interest if you feel like paying attention.

03-16-2007 02:28:08 | More by skizziks
Photo of Minkybut


2.4/5  rDev -32.4%

Poured this beer from bottle to tumble at 45 degrees. beer was a nice brown color with a rather nice head with fluffy lumpy foam. beer had great lacing. Slighly bready smell. Slight sour note and beer was flat tasting for some reason. Bitter caramel taste with a little hop hit.Tasty down right skunky I thought. I will not buy again.

02-19-2007 22:17:21 | More by Minkybut
Photo of mrasskicktastic

New Jersey

2.23/5  rDev -37.2%

A - A clear crimson brew with extremely intense carbonation visibly bubbling. The head is large and long lasting. Hardly any lacing,

S - Smells like Guinness. It has that typical bland dark maltiness with a faint hint of elderberries. A bit of burnt wood too.

T - A bit of a faint burnt malt flavor in the foretaste with a touch of parafin and caramel malts, but there really isn't much to it at all. The aftertaste is a dry faint charcoal like bitterness with a touch of a sour bite.

M - The overzealous carbonation makes it extremely harsh to the point of numbing my tongue. Otherwise it is thin with a slightly waxy / pectin-like texture. It is also drying. Pretty awful.

D - Not that bad, it isn't a good beer, but it is low abv and suitably mild for prolonged drinking. However, it isn't particularly cheap, so I see no reason why I ever would do that. I will pass in the future.

02-15-2007 01:04:40 | More by mrasskicktastic
Photo of Abita45


3.58/5  rDev +0.8%

Pretty decent beer, that poured from a bottle had a nice head, good lacing, ruby color, and a malty aroma with just a bit of hops to it. Similarly, it has a pleasant roasted malt flavor and just enough hops to make you notice. A crisp mouthfeel is brought about due to the mild carbonation. All in all, a pretty solid beer, but relatively unremarkable. It really didn't grab me one way or the other. A good beer, but not a memorable one.

01-04-2007 03:09:46 | More by Abita45
Photo of GregBrewski


3.48/5  rDev -2%

Pours a dark red / amber color, with a little head that left some lacing on my glass. Smells like sweet malts, caramal and some earthy tones. Has a smooth, full bodied, roasted and sweet taste, that finishes dry. Not bad at all. Low in carbonation, which fits this beer well.

12-08-2006 04:26:03 | More by GregBrewski
Photo of adammills


3.2/5  rDev -9.9%

Pours a nice dark red almost brownish with a slight tannish head, maybe a little yellow. Smell was maybe a bit weak, malty, hint of hop, slight citrus. Sam in taste, but not weak. Not a bad beer, nothing that really jumps out. The carbonation lends a nice smooth feel to the beer and it finishes dry, real easy drinking. A better lawnmower beer than Killians Irish Red.

12-07-2006 01:10:49 | More by adammills
Photo of gmfessen


3.65/5  rDev +2.8%

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is more like brown with a slight amber hue, nice creamy two-finger head with bits of lacing on the glass. Smell is of toasted malt, amber and caramel, slightly sweet. Taste is similar to the nose; a little sweeter than it smells with a nice hop balance, leaves a slightly bitter mouth and dry finish. The mouthfeel is rather light for a beer that says "full bodied" right on the label, with adequate carbonation. Overall I would have to say this is a pretty drinkable beer, slightly better than your average amber.

12-05-2006 03:11:02 | More by gmfessen
Photo of plaid75

New York

3.05/5  rDev -14.1%

Poured a deep amber/brownish hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a mildly sweet grain with a light flowery hop.

The taste was sweet and buttery with a good bittering hop. Grainy finish.

The mouthfeel was a bit thin with a dry finish.

Overall a drinkable red. Good and sessionable.

11-14-2006 02:27:56 | More by plaid75
Photo of psinderson


3.63/5  rDev +2.3%

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Dark, ruby red. Thin white head.

Smell: Mostly citrus with a hint of roasted malts in the background.

Taste: Strong citrus, almost sour. Very clean finish.

Mouthfeel: Mostly thin but feels good.

Drinkability: Goes down well. A good, clean finish.

09-25-2006 01:44:45 | More by psinderson
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.53/5  rDev -0.6%

Beautifully bronzed orange-red with brassy orange edges; the perfect hue for an Irish Red. The pale caramel nougat cap looks good as well. Its surface is packed with sticky bubbles that spatter the glass with an attractive display of lace when they pop. I don't know about the rest of the beer, but the look is right on the money.

The nose is weakly toasted malty and weakly fruity. Too bad that it isn't stronger because I get the sense that there's something to like in there. More of an English hop presence would be nice.

Irish Red is okay beer even if it doesn't impress me as much as I thought it might, being brewed in Ireland and being touted as a 'tradional' version and all. As in the nose, there's a fair amount of toasted bread malt with a hoppiness that delivers more bitterness than it does flavor. I can still easily appreciate that pleasant tea leafiness that many British ales have.

No surprises where body and mouthfeel are concerned. More malt would help matters, but then I suppose that Carlow was going after a light, drinkable beer, not an especially malty one. A few more bubbles would improve things considerably as well. It'll do for the style.

O'hara's Irish Red is traditional in the sense that it's fairly mildly flavored, it's scrupulously balanced and it's sessionable thanks to the sub-5% ABV. That doesn't make it tremendous beer though. I think I'll stick with the Americanized versions by Three Floyds (Brian Boru) and Great Lakes (Conway's Irish). Sometimes we Yanks just brew better beer.

08-30-2006 13:21:20 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of cameraman


3.48/5  rDev -2%

A reddish amber color, with a beige colored head about a half inch thick that quickly disappates. A malty aroma starts off the scent, followed by a hint of spiciness. That malt is the dominating flavor, if there is any other flavors it is overshadowed by the malt. In the mouth it feels medium bodied, it does not lose any of its consistancy. It is fairly drinkable, the mild flavor helps in the drinkability area.

08-24-2006 01:33:14 | More by cameraman
Photo of DaPeculierDane


2.58/5  rDev -27.3%

Tapped at Maduro.

A: Deep mahogany, almost purple/red brown. Thick off white head. Quick dissipation. Minimal retention or lacing.

AR: Smokey caramel, roasted malts, red bean ice cream, grilled meat.

T: Burnt skirt steak fresh off the grill covered in caramel sauce.

MF: roasted, toasted, and smoky with mild bitterness. Meaty, yet light.

D: very low. This beer bothered me immensely.

08-17-2006 21:59:53 | More by DaPeculierDane
Photo of Freshie


3.95/5  rDev +11.3%

Very awesome appearance. Nice cherry red color, with decent creamy head. Very impressed.

Smells of malt. Biscuity with a little sweetness. Some fruity dry esters.

Tastes tanic, with sweet malt flavour. Finishes very dry and is crisp in the mouth.

Probably the most authentic Irish Red I have had to date.

08-02-2006 14:48:52 | More by Freshie
Photo of RoyalT


4/5  rDev +12.7%

Appearance – This one poured a deep reddish brown with a good, solid off-white head that showed some tenacious retention. So far so good.

Smell – The malts here are big at the nose and full of unsweetened molasses. It’s almost reminiscent of a bock in that regard. There’s little else to the bouquet that I can pick out.

Taste – The malt flavors are very intense. The raw molasses from the nose steps back a bit but the gooey liquid malt flavor is sharp. It’s almost yeasty in a way with lots of butter on the sides of the tongue.

Mouthfeel – This is medium-bodied with an English-type of bitterness from the malts and some light carbonation. It feels very concentrated in between the cheeks.

Drinkability – This is a lot bigger than it looks. It’s a big beer for sure and I seem to have enjoyed it more than the few others who have posted reviews.

07-01-2006 01:17:22 | More by RoyalT
Photo of ccs

New Hampshire

3.05/5  rDev -14.1%

This beer is a beautiful garnet color with an off-white thin head. Little lacing left in the glass until the beer warmed a little.

Smell is pleasant but unspectacular. It has a woody tone to it.

The beer is quite bitter but has almost no hop flavor to it. But then, it's an Irish beer--I didn't expect any.

Mouthfeel...well, it's sparkly. There's a tingling to the carbonation that slows you down but isn't unpleasant.

I'd drink this one, but it's not a style I want to get too often.

03-05-2006 21:10:52 | More by ccs
Photo of claytri


3.4/5  rDev -4.2%

The beer pours a dark ruby amber with an off white head. The aroma is very malty with a bit of tart fruit in the background. The taste winds up to be a bit malty, but with a fairly bitter finish that hits quickly. The feel is medium and dry. I was a little disappointed with this one. At the pour seeing all that nice dark beer, and then getting the malt and fruit smell I was expecting a sweet malty beer, It is still a decent beer to sip on just not one that I see as a regular.

03-04-2006 08:44:06 | More by claytri
Photo of Phatz


3.95/5  rDev +11.3%

Pours a dark translucent amber/brown with a 2 finger off white head. It stayed nice and frothy throughout the entire duration of the beer. Fantastic lacing.

Smell: It has the classic Red Ale element, what ever it is that makes that attribute so recognizable. It has an aroma of sweet roasted malts and a speckling of dryness. The hops are present but very hidden.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Very sweet and malty! There is not a lot of depth, or complexity to the taste, but it is pleasant and easy to drink. There are hints of that classic 'red,' that may be birch or cream soda. This is a very straightforward, inoffensive and balanced beer. The taste experience moves right into to mouthfeel, largely because the predominate characteristic is the creaminess. This beer is extremely smooth and creamy with a full body and lightweight. It has a nice dry finish. Very easy on the palate!

Drinkability: This is not the most interesting beer but it is extremely easy to drink. It sits light in the stomach and begs for more. Definitely a sessionable beer for me. I wish I had gotten a case. If you like the style (this may not be the best in it but) you will probably enjoy this beer.

Hope this is helpful.

01-14-2006 06:55:14 | More by Phatz
Photo of WesWes

New York

3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

The beer pours a dark red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, malty scent that boasts of crystal and roasted malts. The taste is decent. It has a very dry and metallic flavor that goes down easy and finishes malty and smooth. It is semi sweet with crystal malts with some toasted flavor in the finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is a pretty good brew. It has good aroma and decent taste. I'm not sure if this is something I would ever drink again, but it goes down with ease.

01-09-2006 02:02:56 | More by WesWes
Photo of granger10


4.58/5  rDev +29%

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.

01-07-2006 20:00:45 | More by granger10
Photo of mmmbeer


3.8/5  rDev +7%

12 oz., best before 1/31/06. Pours a deep reddish brown that is ruby/garnet when held to the light and it has 1 finger of khaki head that leaves some decent lacing. Smells of dark fruits, chocolate, sweetness, toasted malts, floral hops, and it's a bit winey. The flavor consists of toasted/earthy/nutty malts, green/floral hops that leave a medium bitterness, and maybe a bit of caramel. It has a medium body that is pretty smooth. Overall it's good, but the hops are a bit sharp/raw - I don't feel like they're not as balanced as they could be. I like where they're going, but they're not quite there.

10-26-2005 17:44:22 | More by mmmbeer
O'Hara's Irish Red from Carlow Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 316 ratings.