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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.
BA SCORE
81
good

351 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 351
Reviews: 192
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 13.24%
Wants: 13
Gots: 16 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Carlow Brewing Company visit their website
Ireland

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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 351 | Reviews: 192 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mualphapiper
4.85/5  rDev +36.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my favorites at The Fiddler's Hearth pub in South Bend, IN. Comes draft in full British pint glasses.

Appearance: A typical red ale color, but I'd say deeper and richer than most. The head is light, but persistent, clinging to the edges of the surface all the way to the end. Nice to look at.

Smell: Thick and earthy, but not overpowering, and appropriate for a red ale. I immediately noticed a distinct aroma of canned mandarin oranges. Also, various nice malts, with en emphasis on roasted walnuts, burnt toast (in a good way), and caramel. Also, I'd say a nice deep smell of freshly turned dirt, I get the impression that this is a very earthy, real, natural ale. Not too much hops on the nose.

Taste: The oranges continue along with more of the toast and roasted nuts. The caramel is less noticeable, but still there. More hops, reminiscent of herbs and spices, cloves in particular. Still very earthy on the finish. Nice combo with a beef/potatoes meal. Long finish! You'll taste this for several minutes after you take a swallow.

Mouth feel: Very nice, I'd put this in the thicker range of red ales. Very genuine. It coats the mouth very thoroughly, contributing to the long finish.

Drinkability: I'll have several pints of O'Hara's Irish red over an evening at the pub. It never gets old, every sip has something new.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a clear burgundy color ale with a big foamy head with average retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of medium sweet malt is somewhat bland. Taste is a mix between some medium sweet malt with some notes of caramel and mild fruity yeast. Body is about average with some average carbonation.

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

I had a bottle at Market Cross Pub and Brewery in Carlisle, PA. Served cold in a 12oz brown bottle, poured into a half pint.
A - A deep garnet w/ caramel highlights and a full inch of tan head.

S - Caramel malt aromas w/ a slightly fruity yeast and bready aroma.

M - Med full, creamy and malty textures w/ a generally dry finish. An herbal hop bitterness trails faintly behind.

T - The smooth taste of pale and crystal malt w/ a lite yeastiness and cream w/ a faint taste of pine flavored herbal hops. Gentle almond and grainy flavors finish out the taste.

D - A fine red, nice sweetness, smooth taste -easily drinkable.

Photo of JayQue
3.95/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Surprisingly good!! Nice appearance...dark red / amber that lets some light through. Good size slightly off white head that fades to a covering. Fairly good amount of lacing. Smell is surprising...expected a weak malty aroma. Got a strong one with some mild hint of dark fruits. First taste was not impressive, malty and earth like taste. As the beer warmed in my hand and coated the tongue, the dark fruit from the smell showed up in the taste. Wound up tasting pretty good, crisp with a bit of complexity!!!! Mouthfeel is a hair thin but crisp and with flavors that stand up. Drinkability is fine. Low alcohol and pretty big taste. This is a well done beer.

Photo of BeerLover48Fan
4.88/5  rDev +37.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally reviewing an old favourite that I haven't been able to find in a year or so.

Poured from a 12oz a very, very dark reddish-brown. Crystal clear and without much excitement in the carbonation department.

Smell is caramel malt all the way - nutty and bready, and quite frankly like the "malt" you remember from being a kid. Some good overripened fruit esthers - banana and mango, not floral. Just a little bit of cola edges in at the end to suggest spice.

Taste is more of the same - cloying caramel malts. Finish is dryish, though, and aided away by the carbonation opening up. Very meaty and much more yeast than in the scent. Caraway and fine white pepper, but only in great moderation.

Body is fairly balanced with zealous carbonation. It's hard sometimes to tell that the cloying feel is the taste and not the beer itself. Drinkable if you're into the very up-front personality!

I cant find this beer in my area but I wish I could because I would drink it often

Photo of livingregret
3.95/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving Type: 12 Oz Bottle

Appearance: A lovely dark red w/ some brown hues. A lovely white head that just lingers on and on...plenty of lacing leaves this drink looking great

Smell: Wonderfully sweet. Caramel and dark fruit. I get the impression of a lovely dark tea.

Taste: A nice taste of caramel spread throughout and a dry like finish...not unlike that of a nice cup of tea. The aftertaste is slighty sweet and very refreshing

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, light carbonation and goes down easy

Drinkability: Very easily a session beer. Goes down easy and has a pleasant taste.

Photo of ojiikun
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally reviewing an old favourite that I haven't been able to find in 2 years or so.

Poured from a 12oz a very, very dark reddish-brown. Crystal clear and without much excitement in the carbonation department.

Smell is caramel malt all the way - nutty and bready, and quite frankly like the "malt" you remember from being a kid. Some good overripened fruit esthers - banana and mango, not floral. Just a little bit of cola edges in at the end to suggest spice.

Taste is more of the same - cloying caramel malts. Finish is dryish, though, and aided away by the carbonation opening up. Very meaty and much more yeast than in the scent. Caraway and fine white pepper, but only in great moderation.

Body is fairly balanced with zealous carbonation. It's hard sometimes to tell that the cloying feel is the taste and not the beer itself. Drinkable if you're into the very up-front personality!

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.1/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright reddish brown color with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin but dense lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is malty, nutty and spicy with tea, caramel and a little bit of hops.

T: The taste starts out with flavors of caramel, tea and bready malts with a touch of smokiness. There is a decent hops presence that comes in and provides a good balance. The after-taste is bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, nice representation of style, light kick makes the beer a good one drink when you want something flavorful that is not going to destroy you. It is well-worth drinking over the course of an evening.

Photo of BrewSomerville
3.18/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma was really muted. Some malty-sweet, caramel smell. Some roasty-toasty aromas. Not much in the way of hops.

It's red in colour...they don't mislead you there. Average sized off-white head, with average retention. Good lacing.

Tasted malty-sweet, but not too sweet. It is well balanced. Nutty, bready. Hop bittering is evident, but not much hop flavouring. However, the little hop flavouring that I do taste could be described as floral.

Mouthfeel is good. Moderate carbonation, which is nice. Medium-full bodied.

Overall, I think it's a good, subtle, well-balanced session Beer. I still prefer the O'hara's Stout though.

Photo of scarletfire79
4.15/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

pours an orange hued red. looks nice in the glass. small head that leaves quickly. definitly smell some caramel notes in the nose, hints of other sweetness as well. very well balanced. the taste backs up what the smell previewed. very well balanced. nice flavor profile, sweet, malty, bitter, the whole nine. really nice. not my favorite irish red, but a decent stab.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.15/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Redwood21
3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.6/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

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

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.

Photo of brentk56
3.43/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

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

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.

Photo of Minkybut
2.4/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.23/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of Abita45
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of GregBrewski
3.48/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of adammills
3.2/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

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

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.

Photo of plaid75
3.05/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

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

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.

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

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.

O'Hara's Irish Red from Carlow Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 351 ratings.