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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.

329 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 329
Reviews: 186
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 13.24%
Wants: 14
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: 329 | Reviews: 186 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

plaid75, Nov 14, 2006
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.

psinderson, Sep 25, 2006
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.

BuckeyeNation, Aug 30, 2006
Photo of cameraman
3.48/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

cameraman, Aug 24, 2006
Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.58/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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.

DaPeculierDane, Aug 17, 2006
Photo of Freshie
3.95/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Freshie, Aug 02, 2006
Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

RoyalT, Jul 01, 2006
Photo of ccs
3.05/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

ccs, Mar 05, 2006
Photo of claytri
3.4/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

claytri, Mar 04, 2006
Photo of Phatz
3.95/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Phatz, Jan 14, 2006
Photo of WesWes
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

WesWes, Jan 09, 2006
Photo of granger10
4.58/5  rDev +29%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

granger10, Jan 07, 2006
Photo of mmmbeer
3.8/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

mmmbeer, Oct 26, 2005
Photo of far333
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ruddy copper with strawberry hues and a quickly rising and then quickly departing foamy head that leaves a fine cap and long tendrils rising up the side of the glass like vines. Aroma is bright, almost moist, sweet malt with some pungent hop and cinnamon. Thin mouthfeel leads to an odd malt base, almost smokey, with some fruit and spice and a slightly tannic finish that imparts an iced tea flavor. Sort of metallic flavor lingers. Small bits of hop poking through, but could easily be missed.

far333, Oct 05, 2005
Photo of tgbljb
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured a deep reddish-brown color with slightly off-white monstrous head, that proved to last throughout the glass. Aroma is a nice mixture of toasted malt combined with nuts and caramel. Taste was thoroughly enjoyable with caramel, malt, and a molasses-like sweetness coming through. Finishes also on a malty note with some hoppy dryness also coming through. A nice drinking beer that is nothinh spectactular but is still pleasnt on the taste buds. Would gladly try again.

tgbljb, Sep 29, 2005
Photo of ppoitras
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle purchased as a single at Julio's, Westboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" light tan head over the clear dark copper brew. Head lasts well, and exhibits nice lacing. Aroma is lightly of grains. Taste is sweet maltiness upfront, quickly giving way to a moderate bitterness, and closes a bit on the dry side. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both good. Seems like this would have some reasonable sessionability.

ppoitras, Jun 21, 2005
Photo of BeerFink
3.38/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep amber, mostly clear. Frothy off-white head. Lots of malt in the nose giving off some caramel and toasted biscuit notes. Nutty caramel flavor with maybe a bit of toffee. Hints of chocolate are there as well - nice touch. Little herbal grassiness from the hops, but hop presence is minimal. Mouthfeel is kinda thin, but still creamy. Decent red ale.

BeerFink, Jun 12, 2005
Photo of Brent
3.05/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer wasn't bad, but didn't do anything to particularly distinguish itself, either. Muted malt aroma. Reserved caramel and a touch of toffee in the malt, but a bit one-dimensional without much of interest in the flavor. Finished clean with a hint of apple. Much better than KIllian's, for whatever that may be worth.

Brent, May 26, 2005
Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a solid dark brown color with some reddish hues sneaking out from the middle of the glass. There is a nice creamy tan colored head, much darker than I expected. It is strong in the nose, I smell a lot of hops and maybe a touch of sweet maltiness underneath. The carmel malts seem to be battling the hops for your taste buds. Nice finish. The mouthfeel seems to be maybe just shy of medium-bodied. Very drinkable beer here, I could definitly put away a few of these. A nice beer. I'd try it again, but wont go out of my way for it.

jasonpeckins32, May 19, 2005
Photo of walleye
3.15/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

from the bottle. poured a reddish brown with off white head, with some lacing. aroma a nice malty sweetness hints of caramel. flavor malts, hops and caramel. this is one of those beers that you can throw down a few with your friends that have a hard time trying good beers

walleye, May 19, 2005
Photo of oberon
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice clear amber with a one finger head that is gone pretty quickly,heavy caramel malt aroma along with some brown sugar and highly toasted grain makes it pretty aromatic.Pretty sharp mouthfeel though pretty darn prickly on the tongu the only drawback to this brew in my opinion.Big and toasty flavors some almost butterscotch flavors come thru no hop bitterness really but that tru to the Irish red style.Pretty flavorful but the mouthfeel brings down the scores a little on this one.

After drinking a few of these beers the mouthfeel was alot smoother and rounder,maybe just one bad bottle in the bunch the better mouthfeel made this brew alot better.

oberon, Apr 28, 2005
Photo of clvand0
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at a local pub. Pours a brown/red color with a small head that falls fast and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma was weak, but there were notes of nuttiness and caramel. The flavor had a definate caramel sweetness and a slightly bitter finish. Pretty typical Irish Red. Nothing wonderful, but nothing bad either. Not really my favorite style.

clvand0, Apr 04, 2005
Photo of StevenZubler
3.23/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

"A full bodied Irish red with a traditional hop flavour to balance a sweet malt finish."

This is my first review. The flavor was bland but the body was good. I can taste the hop flavor, but not the sweet malt flavor. “George Killian’s” is better. I don’t recommend this brew.

StevenZubler, Apr 02, 2005
Photo of crookedhalo
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

33 cl bottle dated best before 31 Jan 06. Pours a deep copper color with a fluffy, pillowy beige head. Toasted vienna malt aroma with a little huskiness coming through. Faintly hopped. Mild biscuitiness, but mustly malty sweet and some counterbalancing astringency in the finish, but not much. Lightly metallic, but not terribly off. Mouthfeel is pretty much spot-on for the style. I can't say I'm a real big fan of the Irish red, but this is pretty good.

crookedhalo, Apr 01, 2005
Photo of karst
4.1/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle from Corral liquor in Granite City, Il. purchased along with an awesome Irish stout from the same brewery. Copper Red (strong brewed tea) about the same color of my Killians Klone Killer 2-3 finger light tan head stands proud and long. Lace persists first half of pint and morphs to a ring fed by strong beading. Strong C02 level enhances mouthfeel. Very tasty giving me flashbacks of the 1/2 gal. growler of Blue Eyed Moose IPA in its outstanding herbal floral hop and and sweet inviting caramel malt with a faint biscuit yeast aroma. The drinkability is supurb especially its crisp finish and the "don't stop drinking me" hop aftertaste calling you back again and again.

karst, Mar 29, 2005
O'Hara's Irish Red from Carlow Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 329 ratings.