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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.
BA SCORE
81
good

193 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 193
Hads: 386
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 12.64%
Wants: 16
Gots: 42 | 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:
Beer added by: merlin48 on 02-22-2005

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 193 | Hads: 386
Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.94/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have seen this beer around lately, so I finally decided to give it a shot.

Appearance: Pours a very clear deep red color with a pretty creamy looking 1/2" of tannish bubbles that has plenty of staying power and looked pretty much the same a minute after the pour. Most of the way through the beer, there is still over 1/4" of head on the beer and lace smeared all the way down. I seriously don't know how they could possibly improve on this for the style. Kudos!

Aroma: The aroma gives plenty of earthy notes that remind me a lot of Samuel Smith. The malt is toasty and full of character. I am also getting a pretty healthy dose of hops for this style and they are giving a mild grassy and slightly floral. Definitely British style hops.

Taste: The flavor is sweeter than anything I though from the aroma. The malt is in charge, and the hops only contribute to the initial parts of the flavor. There are lots of toasty notes in this beer, and though the beer is rather light bodied and somewhat dry, it still comes across the palate rather substantial. The carbonation being high actually makes you slow down as you drink it, so this may be a good thing since it is such a light beer so that it doesn't hit your palate too watery. There is a very slight acidity that hits the back of the throat a bit more as the beer warms.

Opinion: Overall this is a pretty good beer for what it is. It is the best Irish Red that I have tried to date, but that isn't that many. The first beer I ever brewed was an Irish Red, so you would think that I would have more commercial experience. Either way, this is a good beer with a lot of character for such a light one...so you should take your time with this one. (1,703 characters)

Photo of PorterLambic
3.71/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy reddish-brown. A medium tan head, 1" thick and fairly creamy, sits atop. Nice lace is left behind.
Smell is malt, wood and a sense of dryness. Weak but a nice balance.
Taste is malt, wood, grape and apples, with a slight smokiness. Balanced well.
Medium effervescence and body. Relatively smooth with a dry finish. A slight warming in the throat. A solid brew. Wonder what else they have? (402 characters)

Photo of ZenAgnostic
3.4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance - Two finger cream colored head with decent retention and good lacing. Dark red body.

Smell - Coffee and with the sweetness of dates.

Taste - Malty. Much like a lightly sweetened and creamed iced coffee.

Mouthfeel - A little too watery. Froth adds some body while it lasts.

Overall - Enjoyable beer. I won't be day dreaming about it though. (356 characters)

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

Bottle BB Aug/2011 poured into a Stella chalice.

A: Reddish brown clear beer with small head that descends quickly and leaves little lacing.
S: Sweet caramel notes with earthy malt and hop undertones.
T: Sweet body, though leaning almost too much to the cloying without enough bitterness to balance. Earthy undertone with fruity apple notes at times. Nice though nothing great.
M: Thick and viscous, lingers longly. Well carbonated.
O: I enjoyed it while it was there. Would I purposefully buy it again? No. (508 characters)

Photo of phishgator
3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Deep amber/red hue, extremely dark in color with a pinkish head. The carbonation is mild. It comes across very dry with some caramel sweetness. The body is filling for such a low abv beer. A nice example of the style and one I will have again. (269 characters)

Photo of thecarster1
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- bottle poured into a pint, one fingers worth of creamy white head that fades leaving an uneven layering of lace, walnut coloring with amber highlights.

s- sweet toasted malts, dominate, maybe a touch buttery, nutty.

t- nice sweetness here, not cloying but enjoyable, subtle hop presence that is slightly bitter, nutty, earthy, a touch of butter, and yes it is almost tea-like.

m- medium, creamy.

d- nice, wasn't expecting too much here but this is a solid irish red. i would drink this again, not sure i'd buy much because it's a bit pricey. (548 characters)

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.3/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice red/brown color, nice smokey almost tobacco-like aroma. nice tan head with a good amount of lacing. Pours a nice red/brown color, smell is of tobacco, dark roated malt, some toffee notes. A little disappointed in the flavor and palate feel, from the look and smell I figured that it would be smooth and flavorful like Smithwicks, but it is not. lackluster flavor, and a bit harsh on the palate. (399 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby brown color forming a large creamed coffee like hue, fine speckled lacing forms evenly on the sides of my chalice. Aroma has some mild fruit notes, hints of grape and cherry with earthy rounded notes with a nice malt presence. Much more palatable than the last Irish Red I tried at double the price. Hints of peated malt, fruitiness lingers on throughout the maltiness, this beer could become one dimensional unless you really really like it. Underlying fruit blends nicely together, minimal hops. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with even flowing carbonation going on. No harsness on the palate really smoth and expressive. This was a solid authentic offering of the style from across the pond. (708 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Large, hefty head leaving lots of chunky lace. Light brown color and reasonably clear.

Dark caramel aroma with a touch of coffee. Quite sweet, like toffee, but with a strong toastiness.

Not as sweet as the aroma would suggest. Still, I wouldn't describe this as dry. There isn't much hop to this brew. Comes closest to a scotch ale. The body is full with a low carbonation. (375 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
3.79/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a 33cL stange glass in a Dublin gastropub.

A: Beautiful deep red with a finger of head. Dark but clear, allowing a gorgeous ruby coruscancy in the light. I'm impressed.

S: Oddly neutral (perhaps because it's on draught?) with some buttery tones and firm malts deep underneath.

T: Roasted malts, chock full of meatiness, rocket into the front. This red ale taste much more like a light stout. Hops, however, are not absent and pack a punch of their own, especially later on in the taste. Tasty, biscuity hops linger in the aftertaste with an almost coffee bitterness.

M: Good, interesting, and well-balanced.

D: A good beer, but a strange red (again, stout-er than I expected). It pairs excellently with slow-roasted pork belly. (742 characters)

Photo of obywan59
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a mixed 6-pack I received for Christmas. This one was a gusher, but just barely. Pours a deep amber into my pint glass, with a 3 finger tannish head that recedes quickly leaving a bit of thick lacing. Held to a bright shows a brilliant ruby shining through the glass.

Some sweet malt, perhaps a little dark fruit, and a whiff of vanilla.

At first more sweet than bitter, barely a hint of hops, The sweetness diminished rather abruptly leaving more of a light bitter taste. A bit tart, like grapefruit, or even grapefruit rind. Rather dry in the end.

Medium thin bodied with a light prickle of carbonation.

Not a lot going on here, but would probably make for a pleasant enough session. Definitely a better choice than a macro. (735 characters)

Photo of marty21
3.86/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark clear ruby red almost brown. Has a creamy two finger off white head. Settles to a thin cap. Leaves thick dense creamy lacing. Left a complete wall of lace at the top of my glass.

S: Very sweet malt. With hints of caramel and I get a bit of dark fruit.

T: Sweet caramel malts with a bit of hops. Finishes sweet but with some roastiness.

M: Light carbonation with a medium body. Very clean and crisp.

D: I was impressed with this one. It had a great appearance and the taste was really good. This could be a great session beer especially with the low Abv. One of the best red ale's I've had. (616 characters)

Photo of Nerudamann
3.52/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle and into a pint glass.

Look - brownish/dark red in color, fairly clear, and with about 2 fingers worth of a soft beige colored foam that dissipates slowly. Good carbonation.

Smell - very malty smell, also a little musky. Fairly rich smelling texture.

Taste and mouthfeel - somewhat acidic and pungeant taste, fairly bitter in the middle and end..can't place the hops. Texture is somewhat creamier.

Drinkability - aftertaste is a little too bitter for me to enjoy often. (495 characters)

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brown 500ml bottle, best before 28 Aug 2011, drank in my hotel lounge after a night out in Cork, Ireland.

Poured into a small, quarter pint tumbler it looked a lovely redwood tree bark colour, bright and clear. A lot better than the two Irish Reds I'd had on tap at one of the bars I'd been in earlier. Creamy head, both in colour and texture, produced some good lacing and stayed on each pour until the end.

Sweet malty molasses, toffee apple treacle without the sickly feel, those are the smells I got from the beer.

Semi-sweet taste, those molasses and treacle type aromas already mentioned were evident in the flavours also. A bit too sweet for my normal liking, but still enjoyed the beer.

Well carbonated and full of life, but somewhat lacking in depth or inner strenght, an OK beer but not an outstanding one in my eyes. (831 characters)

Photo of silver0rlead
3.67/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber with a thin tan head that doesn't retain particularly well. The aroma is very British in style, with notes of caramel and toffee, dark fruits, burtonized water, fruity esters, and some slight floral hops. The flavor is similar with soft caramel and treacle notes upfront, along with some apple and cherry, earthy hops, vanilla and a hint of oak, sharp carbonation and a kiss of alcohol. The mouthfeel is soft and smooth and drinkability is very good. A very understated Irish Red Ale, probably more representative of the style than the hopped up American versions. (583 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.93/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Pours red, a little darker than average, no head.
Aroma was kind of flat beer.

Taste, some slight tang to the ale, but really not much going on. The bitterness prolly isn't desireable in this style of beer. Tastes as if it is a half red, half brown ale blend with the slight nuttiness and subtlety (read: boring) that fans of session beers like. Lacking depth, substance, ingredients it seems. (394 characters)

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Dark red, almost to the point of being brown. Big foamy tan head. Great retention and sticky lacing.

S: Big malty smells. Rich caramel, some toffee, and lots of coffee. Grassy and slightly citric hop smells.

T: Huge tastes of roasted coffee give way briefly to some sweeter caramel flavors. Citric hops add a quick bite before being overwhelmed again by the malt. Coffee flavors re-emerge and are accompanied by toffee and even some chocolatey roasted malt tastes. Long, slightly dry finish showcases coffee and roasted malt flavors.

M: Thick for the style, but smooth. Plenty of carbonation.

D: Good. Goes down easily despite the thickness.

Notes: This is not your average Irish red. A bit of a malt bomb, but I like what they've done with it. There are almost some stout-like qualities. Flavor and body are more robust than most examples of the style, but it still retains its sessionability. A nice change of pace from all the watery, bland reds that saturate the market. (1,034 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
3.33/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500mL bottle poured into pint glass

Pours a deep mahogany brown with burnt orange hues. A thinner head fades to a nicely retained off-white film, leaving plenty of lacy rings.

Toasted grain, biscuit, a touch of caramel, and some grassy hops in the nose.

Fairly standard red ale with some mild roasted malts in the beginning, giving way to some breadyness. A light hoppiness springs up, along with some sweet character from the darker malt. Finishes quick and clean with some slightly citrus hops and little lingering flavor.

Medium body, chewy, lower carbonation. Smooth, quick drinking, although the flavor profile isn't exactly anything spectacular. Still alright for the style though. (694 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, copper/red color with a small, white head of foam. Not much in the way of lacing.

S - It smelled malty and sweet with some mild grassy notes.

T - Nice bready malt flavor with a good caramel taste. Mild grassy bitterness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light bodied beer with a dry finish.

D - This is an okay red ale. Not fabulous but tasty and drinkable. (390 characters)

Photo of MBPChead
3.46/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Trying this one for the first time, a good friend gave a bottle so here goes.

Look: Deep ruby in color with amber hues with a thick creamy colored and textured head. Exquisite

Smell: Scents of caramel, lite cheddar cheese, rice cakes, cherries, and honey. Very pleasant as well as interesting.

Taste: Mild hop flavor as well as pines, lime and cherries, and cheddar upfront, followed by a toasted malt charachter with toasted wheat and buttered popcorn on the backend. Quite peculiar but at the same time nothing to special.

Feel: Smooth and easily goes down pretty well, medium thickness and a bit prickly on the tongue. Good feel overall

Drinkability: Not bad overall, taste and body are a tad offputting. But, its not hard to swallow.

All in all not a bad beer, but its not not my particular taste, and I can honestly say I don't think I'm going to be buying this one. (879 characters)

Photo of confer
3.57/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown with a tan head that fades to a rim of foam. I though it was an Irish Red?
S- Sweet and sugary with a small roasted malt smell.
T- Taste gets better as it warms. Sweet and malty. Watery finish.
MD- Light and dry feel. This is a beer that goes down real easy. It is pretty pricey for just an okay beer. (315 characters)

Photo of froghop
3.1/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours a semi-hazy brick red with a medium size light beige head, and good lacing.

smell of spice, a little sour malt, and brown sugar.

taste is a little watery, spice, malt, and caramel, ends a little bitter.

overall a below average red ale, bit on the watery side, but nice flavor. (285 characters)

Photo of dolzan
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The appearance is indeed red as it should be in an Irish Red Ale.

The taste is slightly burnt and smoky (caramel?), but in a good way, the overall feel is very balanced, and it is one of the best Irish Ales I had the pleasure to drink. Very little bitter taste can be felt, which is true to the style. However, maybe there is a slight lack of complexity in the taste for this to be a world class brew. (402 characters)

Photo of stcules
3.35/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Red color, with a light beige foam, not too compact.
In the smell a strong maltiness, biscuit, and caramel, and after a while, also some hop.
Well balanced in the mouth, with malt and caramel, but also some hop.
Maybe some dusty note. Anyway, pleasant, with a good hop, easily drinkable.
Interesting. (300 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.28/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Sn 30th Anniversary tulip.

a - Pours a dark brown with one finger of off white head and moderate carbonation.

s - Smells of roasted and toasted malts, caramel malts, and chocolate.

t - Tastes of bitter chocolate, hops, nuts, and roasted malts.

m - Light to medium body and high carbonation.

d - Ok but not that great of a beer. Wouldn't seek out again,. (373 characters)

O'Hara's Irish Red from Carlow Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 193 ratings.