O'Hara's Irish Stout | Carlow Brewing Company

BA SCORE
87
very good
487 Reviews
O'Hara's Irish StoutO'Hara's Irish Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Carlow Brewing Company
Ireland
carlowbrewing.com

Style: Irish Dry Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
The flagship of the O’Hara’s brand, this uniquely Irish stout brings one back to how Irish stouts used to taste. First brewed in 1999, it has since been awarded prestigious honours for its quality and authenticity.

O’Hara’s Irish Stout has a robust roast flavour complemented by a full-bodied and smooth mouth feel. The generous addition of Fuggle hops lends a tart bitterness to the dry espresso-like finish. This sessionable stout beer is filled with rich complex coffee aroma mingled with light liquorice notes. The combination of traditional stout hops with an extra pinch of roast barley allows us to stay true to Irish tradition, recreating a taste so often yearned for by stout drinkers.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-27-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
487
Ratings:
938
Avg:
3.88
pDev:
11.86%
 
 
Wants:
73
Gots:
102
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 487 | Ratings: 938
Photo of Bucciamarcia
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The beer is pitch black with hardly any dark red reflex in the glass, thich dark resistent foam. Strong smell of toasted malts and cocoa. The taste is surprisingly strong, mainly of cocoa while alcohol is not very present. It's a light, well balanced stout. It feels dense, I believe due to wheat. Low carbonation and easy to drink, an interesting variation to good old Guinness.

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Photo of khmel
3.46/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

.33 L bottle poured into a mug.

A: Dark black not quite opaque. Ruby colored translucence around edges. Pours a thick, creamy tan head at 3 fingers with some great retention

S: Mild aroma of burnt malt, licorice.

T: Some hop bitterness up front, smokey, burnt malt, ashy, slightly hoppy aftertaste.

M: Light to moderate body, fairly creamy, not overly carbonated.

O: A decent stout. Still more interesting than Guiness. I'd say the flavor is slightly less complex and more a straightforward dry stout than another dry stout offered by this brewery (Leann Follain), which has more depth to it and I have to say is a little better. But this is enjoyable.

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Photo of rickyleepotts
2.78/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Man, today has been a long day. Actually, I have had a REALLY long week. Anyway, since Sheryl started her new job we haven't reviewed a beer. Hopefully we can review two tonight. I suggested we do an "off the wall" review where we review a beer that isn't on the list, but gets equal attention for the blog. I hope to do more of those, as I have started posting more content about the other beers I am drinking on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Anyway, we decided to review a beer that I had already prepared. I am not typically a dan of Irish stouts, but I am excited to try this one. It's been a while since we reviewed a beer, so regardless what it tastes like, it should be fun!

Oh, and I am not 100% positive, but I feel like the bottle changed. This bottle is only 11.2 ounces, and for some reason I thought they were bigger a few months ago. Can anyone shed some light on that for us?

In the Glass: This is pitch black in the glass with a nice two finger tan head. The lace is also nice, which isn't typical for this style. When I think of Irish stouts, beers like Guinness, Murphy's, and George Killian's come to mind. I tend to only drink this style around St. Patrick's day. The lace is drawing the glass to my nose. Let's see what she smells like.

Nose: The aroma is pretty boring. It takes a deep whiff to get some nice subtle dark burnt chocolate aromas. I want to say there are some subtle coffee notes peaking through there, too. I bet a beer like this infused with coffee would be amazing. Yeah, not impressed with the nose. I hope this bottle delivers on the flavor.

Flavor: I will say this is much better than Guinness. I mean, another level better. However, I don't like Guinness. Not saying I hate this beer, but it's just my "thing". The flavor does change as it slides across your palate. I am getting, at first, some nice burnt chocolate flavors, then I am hit with a metallic flavor as I swallow. I dislike my beers tasting like I just licked a coin. The finish is quick, leaving nothing really to desire. It's too cold, but I am not sure this will be much better unless it is in a warm glass AT room temperature.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is nice. It has a nice fluffy experience going on. On my third drink, I did swish it around in my mouth a little. It didn't really do much for the flavor, but did open the beer up a little. If I was in a bar in Ireland, I might order an Irish stout. Just because I was there. But I wouldn't order two.

Aftertaste: It starts with those same metallic notes that I was getting, but quickly fades away leaving me bored. I HAVE to take another drink just to get some more flavor in my mouth. The finish is drying, which I like. But not drying enough to require another drink.

There are a few more of these on the list… but I doubt I like any/many of them. Oh well, maybe the next beer will leave me sockless. Get it?

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Photo of shand
3.84/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

O'Hara's Irish Stout has a honestly amazing pour. It pours black, which is plenty impressive for a 4.5% brew, but the mocha head is huge and retains for an eternity. One of the best looking pours I've seen in a long time. The aroma is a roast and caramel thing, with just a touch of leafy hops. The taste offers a nice roast flavor, with some hints of chocolate, caramel, and the leafy hops from the nose. A pretty decent tasting dry stout. The mouthfeel is on the light side and well carbonated, and the drinkability is good. Overall, O'Hara's is a good Irish Dry Stout that I'd take over Guinness any day.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours an opaque black in color with some dark amber highlights and a light amount of gentle visible carbonation. The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy dark tan head that slowly reduces to thick layer covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of roasted malts with some light hints of peat and coffee.

T: Moderate flavors of roasted malts with some lighter notes of bittersweet chocolate and coffee. There is a light to moderate amount of bitterness but it does not linger for long.

M: Light to medium bodied with slightly more than moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly on the thin side with some light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Between the lighter mouthfeel, low ABV, and good flavors this beer is quite easy to drink and very sessionable. I would have no problem knocking back a handful of these in an afternoon/evening.

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Photo of BWED
3.81/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled poured into tumbler

A- Black with a dark amber/burgundy highlight. Thick, foamy tan head that retains rather well. Small amount of lacing.

S- Dark coffee, dry roastiness, with a slight woody/campfire hint.

T- Roasted coffee mainly, nothing sticks out as magnificent, but a good solid dry stout.

M- full-bodied and smooth. Light carb and low ABV make it sessionable.

O- This is a good Irish dry stout. If it were more available, I'd take it over Guinness for taste.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.51/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On nitro tap at Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks, CA.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a thin cap on top of the beer. A foamy curtain of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt and cocoa aromas. Taste is much the same with a slight coffee flavor on the finish. There is a medium amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is drinkable but the nitro presentation isn't doing much to help it.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on nitro-tap and served in a mug, the beer is a brown to black coloring, opaque, with a creamy, foamy, dense, off-white head that clings to everything. The nose is roasted coffee and bitter, blended well, with some chocolate highlights. Flavors of mild cream, roasted coffee, and a dash of cocoa. Smooth, creamy, and light bodied. Mocha aftertaste, with a smooth, slightly roasted lingering finish. Tasty, easy drinking dry stout.

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Photo of TWorley
4.41/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Have had this wonderful brew in Bottles in California AND on draft in Dublin and other towns in Ireland.
Rich but not thick with a medium brown head and soft coffee and earth notes. As much as I have enjoyed the best known Irish stout all of my young life, it is easy to see why O'Hara's is quickly becoming an award winning beer.

Cheers!

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Photo of Groenebeor
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from the bottle.

Small tan head with minimal lacing. Pours a thick, dark brown. Almost mollasses black.

Smells of roasted barley, coffee, caramel, fuggle hops.

Taste follows the nose. Nothing amazing, would be better on nitro tap.

Mouthfeel is meh. Irish stouts need to be on nitro.

Overall though, far better than guinness when not on nitro.

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle served in a pint.

A: Pours a deep brown almost black color forming a big thin beige head. Very good retention and many lacings left

S: Very grainy. Roasted malts mainly, with notes of coffee and dark chocolate. A bit lactic

T: Follows the nose, roasted malts, coffee and dark chocolate. Upfront is slightly sweet and the end is made of a nice soft roasted bitterness. Great balanced

M: Medium but very smooth body. Medium to low carbonation. Roasted malts and mild bitter aftertaste

O: Excellent drinkability. An authentic Irish Stout. Perfect session Ale

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Photo of MsNitch
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: cold coffee with a thick tan head filled with large bubbles. A chestnut and soot swirl when held to the light

S: coffee, toasted malts

T: All coffee and straight malt. A bitter sweet chocolate taste, like baking chocolate and a a great spiced/earthy hop kick when finishing

M: very dry

O: Not very creamy, but not needed as the soft head cushions the sipping. At 4.5% there is no stopping the classic representation of an Irish Stout with a dryness and a smooth drinkability intended to keep you up all night singing.

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Photo of Fatehunter
4.48/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap with a perfect pour. Solid tan finger of head with a black body.
Smell of toasted and roasted malt. Amazing.
Taste of dry burnt malt with mild bitterness. Great balance.
Soft and crisp texture. Low carbonation.
On-tap can't go wrong with this one.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.43/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Best by Mar 31, 2013.

A black pour with a 2 finger head of foam, it leaves nice lacing behind.

Big roasty notes in the smell with some sweet notes and a light bitterness.

Lovely roasted malt in the taste with a light milk chocolate like sweetness and a light bit of bitterness that's just perfect for an Irish Dry. And such an easy drinker, the 4.3%abv helps, but I think it's more because of the creamy texture or at the very least, a combination of both.

This is a very impressive brew to my palate and I'm happy I finally got the chance to try it. I had its big brother, Celebration, a while back and that also ruled my taste buds. Drink up!

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Photo of DavidST
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a pint glass, there's a date of April 11 on it, but the rest is rubbed out. This pours a pitch black color with a decent head which has good retention. The smells are of roasted malts, a little light. The feel is medium to a little light. The taste is good enough, better than the burnt Guinness taste, you get some mild roasted malts, not bad.

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Photo of Pegasus
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Obsidian black,, impenetrable to light, with a small tan head, which soon collapses, ultra-fine beaded lace, a slight dusting of foam.

Aroma: Dark fruit, coffee, cocoa, and a little burnt barley.

Taste: Opens with coffee, and roasted barley, the latter dominates the taste throughout, a bit of sourness later in the taste. There is a lingering, very mild bitterness at the close.

Mouth feel: Smooth and soft, pleasant, with a dry finish.

Drinkability/notes: A very pleasant, drinkable example.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve-ounce brown glass Euro-style longneck bottle with a pry-off brown, served in a Chimay chalice.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a Libby porter glass. Best before 25.01.13.

Appearance: Black on the table with a 1/4" dense tan head upon pouring. After a few minutes this dies back to a persistent 1/16" tan head across the top with some nice strands of lacing noted. When held up to the light some cola brown color comes through at the edges.

Smell: Burnt sugar, coffee, a bit of sweetness on the swirl with a tiny bit of chocolate coming out.

Taste: Roasted malts up front, a bit of sweetness in the middle with chocolate notes, and the finish is black coffee, more roasted malt and bittering hops. There are some occasional char and tobacco notes in here as well at the end as a bit of an aftertaste. Let this one warm up a bit to let all the flavors come out.

Mouthfeel: Spicy carbonation on the tongue, almost approaching fizzy. Thicker than water under the carbonation, but not highly so.

Overall / Drinkability: I remember the first time I had this many years ago and I was amazed at how much more flavor there was in it compared to Guinness. Now having it again many years later I'm still impressed but I think I've gotten spoiled by those nitro-taps. That being said, I think this beer is a bit over-carbonated. A little less carbonation and it would have worked better. Still, a very good stout and very drinkable. I had it by itself but I think I would be very interested in having it again with a meal.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Garnet-tinged chocolate black with pitted leather brown head that lasts and rims. Dark nose of treacle, prune and tar, more like an RIS, with flint and ash underneath.
Raisin and espresso bean with roasty bite and earthy and tea leaf hops to end. Milk chocolate notes as it warms.
Tea brack and hard caramel finish and bitter woody linger with some chalk. Medium leaning towards light, fizzy, some cling, dry.

With all the heavy notes, it's the body that keeps this on style. This is a couple of months past it's expiry, but I don't think it could have deepened this much - it's almost like a PH Wrassler Jr. It could stand to be lighter, even with the roast lifting everything, but still a solid drinker.

A retro interpretation of a dry Irish.

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Photo of andrenaline
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours pitch black with a ruby hue on the edge, finger of head with solid retention and sporadic lacing.

S - Roasted coffee and cocoa, hints of burnt wood and peat.

T - Nice cocoa flavor with the espresso coming through alongside a touch of wooden oak. The finish leaves dark cocoa on the palette.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and a touch of dry.

O - A tasty stout that delivers some solid flavors, is easily drinkable and certainly worth a try. Glad had the opportunity to take this for a spin.

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Photo of horshack7
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark as dark could be with a light beige head two fingers in height.

Aroma: Espresso, dark chocolate with some semi sweet mixed in. Dark roasted coffee, bits of burnt hop a little bit mossy with a touch of oak.

Taste: Quite the crisp mouthfeel to start. Lots of espresso and dark roasted coffee. Chocolate malts and very dark roasted hops show themselves front and center. Slight bit of oak in the tail end with a subtle dry finish.

Notes: Dam tasty beer all the way through a good one to pick up. Cheers.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.66/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: single finger thick head with excellent retention on a near jet black dark brown body.

S: light on the nose with some roasted malts, a touch of vanilla and chocolate.

T: semisweet chocolate, some earthy hops on a nice mildly bitter roasted malt backbone.

M: very smooth, semi thick body and nice degree of carbonation.

Overall: full flavored Irish stout. Has the body an mouthfeel you expect. Very drinkable.

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Photo of Pencible
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a nearly opaque black cherry with moderate tan head.
S: It smelled like dry roasted coffee and dark chocolate powder, with some cream and brown sugar.
T: It tasted like light roasted coffee and some dry dark chocolate, with a bit of cream. It had a clean but faint bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was watery with moderate carbonation. Fairly thin body.
D: This had a nice scent, ok taste, and weak body. It was easy to drink, but not anything special (aside from being Irish on St Patrick's Day).

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Photo of duracell
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500mL bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours a pitch black color with a light brown, creamy head which leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

S - Aroma is a nice blend of roasted malt (mostly caramel) and some herbal hop.

T/M - Roasted malt dominates. I pick out chocolate, coffee, a hint of caramel. Bitterness is spot on, featuring nice resiny and herbal notes going with typical dry finish. Carbonation is excellent.

O - An excellent exemple of Irish Dry Stout, quite complex, well balanced and with a good drinkability.

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Photo of Jadjunk
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Summit's Snellville. Reviewed from Notes.

(Appearance) Very dark brown almost black appearance. Light smooth tan ring and surface cover. No head but a solid unbroken surface cover makes for a Solid appearance. 4

(Smell) Dry roasted Irish malt, bitter chocolate and earthy hop tones. A tad bit sweeter and fuller than the aromas of Guinness. The aroma is well balanced with lots of flavor. Potency is a medium. It's good. 4.5

(Taste) A dry creamy beginning complete with bitter hops and black malt with a roasted bitter chocolate finish. Overall the flavor is mild save for the bitter aspects that hit full-on. Overall much more flavorful than the comparing irish stouts and more enjoyable as thus. 4

(Mouthfeel) Smooth and thick texture. Carbonation Is mild. Body is a medium and alcohol is well concealed. Good pairing. 4

(Overall) One of the better Irish Stouts that I have had. If its available, I'd choose it over Guinness or Murphy's any day. Worth a drink especially with some good St. Patrick's food! 4

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Photo of Durge
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found at My Place in Newtown, CT this stout shows a pretty much opaque black color with a crew cut firm tan head full of soap suds sized bubbles and healthy, caked on lacing. The aroma offers classic charcoal malt, rlatively mild and unspectacular. The flavor comes on with smooth charcoal and mild vanilla malt with a touch of tropical fruit. Very nice and such an unusually creamy feel in a medium-plus bodied brew. There is a mild milk chocolate idea here, highly drinkable stuff. The most notable aspect is the slightly aqueous, creamy texture but plenty tasty as Irish stouts go. An easy choice though nothing too out of the ballpark.

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O'Hara's Irish Stout from Carlow Brewing Company
3.88 out of 5 based on 938 ratings.
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