O'Hara's Irish Stout | Carlow Brewing Company

O'Hara's Irish StoutO'Hara's Irish Stout
Liked This Beer
3.87 w/ 953 ratings
O'Hara's Irish StoutO'Hara's Irish Stout

Brewed by:
Carlow Brewing Company

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

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Ratings: 953 |  Reviews: 493
Photo of smbarz
3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a very dark brown, almost black with dark brown/copper light peering through the sides of the glass. The off-white head is a thick and creamy crown that remains and leaves dense lacing down the glass.
The bouquet gives anise, very dark chocolate, roasted grain, and slight dark cherry aromas.
The flavor brings out more of the dark chocolate and light anise.
The mouthfeel is velvety and roles across the tongue with ease, finishing clean. The carbonation is low. This is a very easy drinking stout that would be great by a fire or with roasted duck or oysters.

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Photo of anakar
3.16/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Disappointing. I've had Guinness and I've had Murphy's, and this one is supposed to outdo them both but it just won't. It's not as bitter as Murphy's, not as smooth as Guinness ans it's pretty weak. Looks - Good, but again, not quite as good as the (cheaper) competition.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.36/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a Guinness imperial pint. 4.3% ABV, Neck date is smudged off.

A - Totally clear on the pour, this dark beer has amber highlights in the glass and is topped by a three-finger grey-ish tan head. Fantastic retention and thick, patchy lace is left over.

S - Roasted chocolate malts certainly do have a 'discernible bite', as the label describes, with a nice coffee aroma but even still a grainy smell comes through. Cocoa, toast, and hints of oak give it some depth. Slight tobacco on the finish.

T - Very dry roasted malt doesn't offer much beyond a chocolate and coffee flavored piece of dry toast. Somewhat grainy to the finish.

M - Smooth and soft medium body in this is very nice with a well-carbonated but non-intrusive finish. Drier than the desert with a mild acrid bitterness.

D - This is one roasted dry Irish stout. It's good but not the most drinkable. Enjoyable to say the least, it's a nice beer to have on hand during St. Patty's.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a Guinness pint glass.

A: Black with some ruby colors around the edges of the glass. A tan one inch head had modest retention, but swirling the glass will kick it back up and keep it there. Good lacing too.

S: Molasses, dark chocolate, coffee, light smells of darkfruit, some burnt malts, roasted malts, and light citric hops. A bit earthy and woody. Very good nose.

T: Sweet molasses, toffee, and roasted malts up front. Burnt malt taste rides alongside these flavors, and comes to the forefront only briefly. Nutty throughout. Grassy and citric hops take over the palate for an instant, then fade as the beer finishes. The finish is dry with dark chocolate, molasses, and some woody/smokey flavors.

M: Moderately thick, smooth, and a bit creamy. Plenty of crisp carbonation.

D: Very high.

Notes: Yes! Exactly what I'm looking for. A Dry Stout that is complex and highly drinkable. Maybe one of the best Dry Stouts I've ever had, but certainly the best I've had to date coming out of Ireland. Tasty and well balanced, and highly sessionable to boot. Textbook. Can't praise this beer enough.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle.

A: Almost pitch black in color, with a cream colored head that settles quickly to a thin froth on the surface. Lacing is decent, and sticks to the glass walls.

S: quite sweet on the nose. Hints of caramel, chocolate, and vanilla all blend together, like a sundae. Hops are almost non-present.

T: Hints of burnt bread and coffee, along with chocolate and some dark fruit characters dominate. Hops are a bit weak, but still lend a slightly dry finish.

Notes: This is a medium bodied brew, and has an incredibly creamy mouthfeel. With it's low ABV, it is one of the more sessionable stouts I have tried in some time. Drinkability is good. Overall, while it does lack in some aspects, it's a solid example of the style.

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Photo of u2carew
4.26/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Rebate in Dumbo.
A) Opaque. Finger thick thick, tan and thick.
S) Bready. Nothing robust.
T) Smoky notes. Roasted grain. In the finish a Bacon like smokiness. Clean finish overall.
M) full body yet not too heavy. Creamy.
D) A delicious stout. I would definitely drink another.

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Photo of acurtis
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a four pack of O'Hara's Celtic Stout. This is a bottle conditioned irish stout. It pours a very dark, almost black color with nice aroma of coffee and chocolate. Taste is coffee with a bit of carmel and some roasted malt. Nice stout with smooth, almost thin mouthfeel. Drinkable but only an alternative, not a replacement to its big brother.

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Photo of megahurts4
3.67/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

O'hara's Irish Stout

Appearance: Dark brown with a tiny bit of lacing.

Smell: Coffee, roasted malts, and toasted marshmallow.

Taste: Coffee, roasted malts, honey, caramel, toasted marshmallow, and subtle hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium and smooth.

It is much more bold than a Guinness, yet similar. The flavors are good and not overbearing. It is a good stout that isn't the least bit watery or overly bitter.

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Photo of jsh420
2.44/5  rDev -37%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

pours dark brown almost black with a 1_ finger fizzy head that left spotted lacing

smells more like a pils - very little roast

taste is a little better but not by much - light roasted malts but i get more cereal grains and medicinal grassy hops

mouthfeel - way over carbonated gives it a very sharp bite that i do not want in a irish dry

drinkability is not good - the only good thing was this beer was sold in four packs

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4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle into imperial pint glass: from notes
A: With much ease this stout pours a two in. head and settles to an uneven layer. The body is a stark black, but in the light there is a hint of red. Lace

S: On the front of the aroma, it smells like freshly crusted malts before they enter the brewing process. A bit of a maple note deep within.

There is a nice sweetness on the front of candy. The mouthfeel is on the medium to light side of things, with a glossy after tone, it holds nicely and releases a nice lingering finish of hoppy dryness. The body of is beer is rich malted character  with a medium intensity taste.

D: This is an overall great brew for a dark beer, that is on the lighter side of the ABV scale and still hold rich character of a stronger stout.         

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Photo of kneeland
3.51/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nothing in particular stood out to me. It's pretty stout, you can taste a creamy malt, I could tell it was supposed to be an Irish beer.

It had the type of head I like, about half an inch, it stuck around. The color was a nice amber gold. I'd drink it again, but it seems like it's a rarity to find again.

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Photo of bmwats
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 33 cl bottle into a standard pint.

A: Black. Medium carbonation. Pours about a half finger, foamy, brown-white head. Settles quite slowly leaving a slight blanket of foam on the surface and a little beer ring residue. Sticky beer ring lacing as you drink it down.

S: Dark roasted malt and bittersweet chocolate with just a hint of caramel (or something close to it).

T: Roasted malt. Nice and bitter with just a bit of a pine note.

M: Full, robust, and dry. Clean and refreshing.

D: Sip and savor.

Atmosphere is very nice. Tall dark appearance, and a nice full head. No complexity to the nose or palette, but true to the style.... a great example. Robust, bitter, and dry. Overall, this a good quaff.

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Photo of Fnord
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pitch black with a two-finger, uneven tan head.

Smell - French-roasted coffee and chocolate malt. Not a lot there, but what's there is good.

Taste - Dry roast barley dominates. There's some malt bitterness in the finish, including a not unpleasant slight lingering bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and creamy, but not as thick as I expected. Medium carbonation.

Notes - I like the flavor, since I'm a sucker for dry malts. I just wish it was a touch thicker. Still, good dry stouts are hard to find, so I may have it again given the chance. It's also worth noting that it's better than Guinness and Murphy's. And unlike the others it's independent and Irish-owned, so it gets brownie points for that, too.

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Photo of froghop
3.51/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours night black with a two finger foamy khaki head that stays around quite awhile, very nice lacing.

smell is faint, very little cocoa and coffee, little bit of roasted nuts.

taste is of dark chocolate, nice dryness, some espresso, touch of roasted flavors.

overall a nice stout, could be a bit stronger, but a very nice brew.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown color. Poured a 3 finger creamy chocolate head with excellent retention. Lots of sticky lacing in wide sheets.

S: Faint toasted grains and earthy heath.

T: Toasted malts much more pronounced that aroma; chocolate, lightly burnt toffee and bitter coffee. Smooth and creamy up to a dry finish.

M: Medium body. Low to moderate carbonation. Smooth, rich and creamy.

D: Very easy to drink. Not too heavy, yet flavorful. Disappointed in the nose, but a good stout past that.

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Photo of faubs
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pour is clean with no appearance of troub. A thin brown head was prominant througout the session. Smeel is choclatey with hints of caromel. Taste is close to that of coffee with a crisp bite at the end (not too much). I would like to have experianced a bit thicker mouth feel. But other than that a crisp stout.

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Photo of dolzan
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown, almost black, with a pretty substantial head.

The smell is a typical stout, the hint of dryness can be already felt.

The taste reminds one of coffee and chocolate, and the finish is quite smoky, almost reminiscent of tobacco, and very, very dry.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.34/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Oh no! The CANQuest (TM) seems to have momentarily derailed as I CANnot readily find anything new to review. Please stand by while techniCAN difficulties are worked out.

For the first time in three (?) tries, I have created a head that a) looks like something and b) is going to hang in despite the evening's humidity. I got two finger's worth of a thick, mocha-colored head that looked like the top of a root beer float. Nice. Color was a deep, dark, impenetrable brown. I could tell only at the edges of the beer, otherwise I would have said inky black. Nose was much sweeter than other beers of the style that I have reviewed today. Almost candy-like in terms of its sweetness. Warming, it had a light smokiness, but it still came off as sweet. Mouthfeel was full, almost creamy, with a pronounced smoky/charcoal bitterness accompanied by a caramel sweetness in the mouth. Very different from the rest of my day's stouts. Finish was dry, as advertised, with a sort of lingering tobacco taste. Not bad, but of the style, not the best, either.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
2.86/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Received a jet-black pint with a nice 1-finger creamy tan head. This was poured right.

Back to the Guinness copycat element, although this one might just have a bit more charred smoky character. Nothing sour here, but nothing exceptional. Barely a 3.0

Guinness rip-off with all of the bad elements gone. Flavors are cleaner, no sour aftertaste or boiled grain bullshit. BUT -- flavor is mild and muted. A safe beer. Light charred flavors, with some dry and lightly sweet hints, with some cream and maybe vanilla, finishing with cereal grain. It is what it is.

Lighter bodied, but not over-carbonated. They got this right.

Overall, it goes down ok, if you are willing to accept less. Not a great stout, but kinda passable. If you like Guinness, you'll like this. If you want more flavor and character, you'll be disappointed.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500 ML bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a dark brown with 2 inches of tan head and light carbonation evident.

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

t - Tastes of chocolate, vanilla, and roasted malts. A bit bitter.

m - Medium body and high carbonation.

d - A decent stout. I enjoyed the vanilla which really came out in the smell. Would give another shot.

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Photo of hoplover82
3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with notes of ruby when held to the light. The head stays very well and leaves pretty nice rocky lacing.

The aroma is haint of anything to say the least. All I smell is very faint chocolate and pale malts. Very unimpressive indeed.

The flavor is a little more interesting with bitter chocolate and pale malts and a long semmi sweet roasty caramel finish.

The mouthfeel is clean and a dry finish. Full carbonation which seems right for the style.

Very drinkable and sessionable indeed. A little more interesting and I'd be impressed with this beer.

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Photo of LacquerHead
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this out of a pint glass.

A: Dark like a stout should be. When held up to the light there was very little translucence. Micro bubbles formed as I poured it and the result was a good foamy head that held on all the way to the end.

S: The aroma was not very strong.

T: My first impression was, coffee mixed with toffee. I thought it tasted kind of mild for a stout. As the beer neared the end of the glass the initial flavors seemed to meld into one another.

D: Good drinkability; compared to other heavier stouts I've tried, this beer seemed to go down fast.

Overall I would recommend this as a milder alternative to the more heavier stouts. To me it was not outstanding but it had a good drinkability. I would probably buy this again in a bottle or try it on tap as an alternative to Guinness

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Photo of drabmuh
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer is black (Jan 2010) and forms a thin brown head of tiny bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Looks OK.

Kind of a coffee aroma to this beer. Level is appropriate, smells good.

Beer is thin and has some roast in the back. Minimal sweetness. The mouthfeel is OK to good. I'm giving this beer the benefit of the doubt due to the low alcohol content. I'm not sure I would get it again but its a pretty good beer overall.

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

(Served in a dimple mug) Best before date see bottle/cap?
A- This beer has a crystal clear but opaque black body with a lumpy oatmeal tan head and big bubbles stuck to the base of the glass.
S- The fruity blueberry quality to the roasted black malt has a slight musty/smoky hint in the finish. There is a peaberry coffee note in the finish.
T- The roasted chocolate malt has a slight smokey tart quality to it with a berry flavor that leans toward blueberry. The finish is pretty dry, with a very brief char hint lingering.
M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a slight slippery texture, and no alcohol heat.
D- This beer has a nice start with some nice depth and is impressive for a 4.3%ABV. This is a very sessionable beer but the beery qualities grows a bit to much as it warms.

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

Sight - Very dark, ivory head

Smell - roasted grains, touch of dark chocolate

Taste - light chocolate and coffee, not overly in your face

Sweet - 2/5
Bitter - 2/5

O'Hara's is a stout that I have enjoyed many times, both on draft and from the bottle, and it never fails to hit the mark. Going out on a limb, this is probably the best Irish stout from Ireland I have ever had.

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O'Hara's Irish Stout from Carlow Brewing Company
Beer rating: 71.7% out of 100 with 953 ratings
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