O'Hara's Irish Stout | Carlow Brewing Company

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476 Reviews
O'Hara's Irish StoutO'Hara's Irish Stout

Brewed by:
Carlow Brewing Company
Ireland | website

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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Reviews: 476 | Ratings: 905
Photo of findlayfan
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light colored, modest head.

No real distictive smell.

Dark mahagony body with no bubbles.

Fairly dry--and thin--with a touch of bitterness in the aftertaste.

Overall, a reasonably drinkable stout - nothing special, but O.K. (and at my neighborhood outlet, a good value amongst Irish stouts).

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Photo of Naerhu
2.99/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ingredients: Hops, malt and starch. (why starch?)
Appearance: Small tan head resting on a jet black body.
Aroma: Smells lightly of roasted malt.
Taste: Exceedingly dry with a forward yet light hop bitterness, minimal dried fruit.
Drinkability: A decent beer but nothing I would get excited about, as a matter of fact I had difficultly describing it due to this beer's reserved manner.

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Photo of mrpivo
4.55/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've been noticing this brewers products for some time now. I'm impressed by the simple elegance of their labels. At times less is more impressive. The label in no way reflected the wonderful beer inside the bottle.

The appearance was typical of other stouts. Extremely black with a rich tan colored dense head. Some of the head lingered through the entire glass, creating a delicate lace as it was drank.

The aroma and taste was that of roasted coffee and chocolate which I found very enjoyable. Not overly bitter. Quite tasty. The body was also typical of other bottled Irish stouts. I'd have to call it medium. Alcohol was normal (4.5%), allowing me to enjoy more than one. Carbonation was slightly higher than say Guinness, but not completely out of style. It actually added to the overall impression of the beer.

I would definitely recommend this stout. and I plan on purchasing more n the future.

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Photo of flaminghomer
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

i picked this beer up at kroger last night. i am drinking it six months past the "best before end" date.

the look of this beer is very exciting. it's black with a very thick tan head.

first taste is very, very, roasty. with an aftertaste to match. to much roasted malt taste. surprise, surprise! by the third or forth drink things tend to mellow out and it is a very smooth mild stout. hmmm... some sort of magic trick.

this is a very good stout. just don't spend too much on it. there's nothing too exciting in it.

notes: did a trained monkey put on the labels?

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Photo of rastaman
3.3/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A pretty decent stout, dry and bitter, roasty and burnt, tastes very Irish. I fact, it tastes similar to the mainstream Irish Stouts, but with a touch more body, and less of that crappy creamyness, decent. A better alternative to Guinness, and it doesn't have the crappy nitro creamyness of Guinness.

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Photo of byrd
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice fluffy head that dissipates to a light tan rocky top that’s sticky and creates webs down the sides of the glass. The aroma is malty with slight roasty nature and a little hops. Color is black. Only a slight reddish hue could be seen through this brew even when help up to a bright light. Medium body with a nice smooth mouthfeel. Not an overly complex brew with a fairly roasted malt character and some chocolate and coffee notes. Very little hops here. Finishes dry and roasty with a few more hints of chocolate towards the end. Roasted flavor was again apparent in the aftertaste.

I saw that O’hara’s got good reviews in All About Beer Magazine, so when I saw this one in the store, I thought I’d give it a shot. Although this is certainly a good brew that is quite drinkable, it didn’t quite make me jump out of my seat with a smile. I won’t avoid this one in the future, but I’m not running to stock the fridge with it either.

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Photo of SeanChouffe
3.57/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured an opaque black with a hint of red, a nice tan head and a decent clingy lace. The head subdued quite quickly, but maintained a fine layer. The aroma was roasted, malty, and of caramel with a background a presence of fruit. The Flavor starts slightly sweet and roasted, but finishes dry and with a lasting bite. The mouth feel is smooth and effervescent, but a little thin, and dry. Admittedly, I am not a huge fan of this style, but I prefer a more dynamic brew that possesses a little more texture and body.

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Photo of dmarch
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A damn good stout, but not as good as I remember it. Black as night with a long lasting head. Aroma is chocolately with some coffee notes. Taste is sweet and chocolately with a dry coffee finish. The finish seems a bit thin. It's still a good find for stout fans though.

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Photo of maxpower
2.68/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Jet black in color, small creamy light tan head, aroma of dark roasted coffee and malts. Medium body, thin and watery mouthfeel. Cofffee and chocolate flavors, with a decent burnt bitterness in the finish, some what watery, not all that great, I don't want another one.

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Photo of hotstuff
3.89/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled. This stout poured a medium tan head that quickly dissipated and it had small-medium bubbles. The lacing was sparse on the sides of my glass. The aroma was that of coffee and it had a good and smooth coffee taste that I enjoyed. There was an aftertaste to this particular stout that lingered.

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Photo of TheDM
3.08/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a medium head of fine creamy light brown bubbles that leaves a fair lacing and a dark opaque black brown body. It has a very mild malt aroma. Its flavor contains notes of coffee, mild chocolate and some roast. It has s lightly smooth start with a lingering mild bitter coffee aftertaste. A nice example of a stout without being overly impressive with the coffee flavors.

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

This is a most impressive beer... black, with a persistent light tan head that leaves behind patches of lace. Aroma is a mixture of malt, chocolate, and some light notes of coffee, with a touch of a metallic influence. Flavor is very balanced, with a light sweetness that becomes slightly bitter as it finishes... notes of coffee, chocolate, and some light earthy hops complement each other, and at the same time, compete for your attention. The beer is very smooth, and full bodied, with moderate carbonation. Highly recommended!

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Opaque black in the glass. Pours dark brown. Brown head.
Aroma of heavily roasted malts, hops, and chocolate notes.

Taste follows suit with heavily roasted malt flavors dominating. Dry and slightly bitter. Hops to balance. Coffee and bitter chocolate notes.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin.
Good drinkability.

Overall, a good stout, but nothing overly exciting or bold. I'd like to try this one on tap. Session beer material.

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Photo of budgood1
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

this beauty pours out a pitch coloured deep and dark ruby. tan head which sticks leaving lots of lace. very pleasant roasted barley aromas augmented by subtle chocolate and nut hints. lots of roasted notes come through in the flavour profile...bits of burnt coffee and astringent bitterness. leaves the tongue longing for more body, though...as the mouthfeel comes across weak and even a bit watery. i like the taste and character nonetheless, and i'm thinking this would be a good one to have on tap. a mighty fine breakfast stout i'm thinking....lots to excite the senses without being heavy or even filling. easy drinkability with full roasted stout flavour. a winner, and nice changeup among the irish stout examples.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A truly lovely stout that is impressive in its even-ness. The pour showed a very, very dark mahogany tending toward black opacity. The head was somewhat disappointingly small, but did give a small, compact and creamy crown of beige. The nose was robust and mostly of malted, roasted chocolate. The taste was likewise mostly of roasted chocolate with hints of cofee and some light smokiness. The head moved to a lovely tan as it quickly diminished and left light deposits of lace. Eminently drinkable and ejoyable, it is creamy, but a tad light in feel.

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Photo of MJR
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours dark brown that appears black with dark brown edges. Typical opaque stout body. What begins as a foamy, creamy thick head shrinks down to a small tan cap.

Smell: Has a pretty standard dry stout aroma of bitter, roasted grains. A hint of hops.

Taste: Suprisingly one-dimensional... There's the roasted grains, along with a nice firm bitterness, but not much else. A bit of toasted grains, and a hint of burnt chocolate. A bit disappointing...

Mouthfeel: A bit thin for style. On the thinner side of medium, with a dry, sharp mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Fairly average. This is a decent dry stout, but nothing special.

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Photo of far333
4.24/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow-what a great beer. This reminds me of what Guinness tastes like in Ireland. The thick, foamy, beige head stays with the pour (I think I can float a quarter on it), and there is nice lacing down the glass as you drink. The beer is dark brown, nearly black. Taste is weak on the front of the tongue, but rolls across the middle and down the sides toward the back with a smooth mouthfeel and a smokey, highly roasted malt flavor, with hints of bitter chocolate and coffee. I could drink this all night. Really nice Irish stout.

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

Appearance: Inky black on the pour with a very nice bed of creamy lace that rings nicely.

Smell: Roasted coffee, malts, chocolate. Nothing too overbearing.

Taste: Like the smell, there is noticeable roasting of the flavors involved: chocolate, coffee, and a toasted malt sweetness. Behind all of this, though, is a fairly strong bittering effect and this really shows up at the end.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. Not as thick and syrupy coating of the mouth as I expected, but very smooth.

Drinkability: Above average. Just a slight bit of toasty bitterness on aftertaste, though I felt as though this beer is a little on the thin side.

Notes: I think this would be a good introduction for someone wanting to try a stout and isn't ready to dance with an Imperial stout.

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Photo of Sixpack595
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a truley black with a fair amount of tan head. The aroma was faint, but suggested roasted malt. Taste was a crisp, dry bitterness. Roasted malt and expresso dominate with a hint of chocolate. The mouthfeel was a bit on the thin side of medium. Not bad at all. A bit of a change from Guiness, but not something I'll be drinking regularly.

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Photo of Winter
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served near black in appearance with a thick airy, yet creamy light tan head. Aroma consisted of roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. Smooth full-bodied mouthfeel. Rich burnt malt flavor accompanied with roasted coffee tones. Hop bitterness is very apparent in this stout's finish. Signature hop bitterness might be what makes O'hara's stand out from the other big three (Guinness, Murphy's and Beamish). A very good stout and a nice change of pace from the others.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Like most stouts, this beer is jet black with a nice foamy tan head that leaves traces of lace on the glass. The aroma is mild with coffee and chocolate odors and earthy overtones. Each sip is thin to medium bodied with a nice roasted malt flavor and bitter finish. Very well balanced. It seems dry and leaves a mild bitter coffee aftertaste.

I guess I'm used to hearty full bodied stouts, but the thinness of this beer makes it easy to drink. Overall, the flavor is good and does not overwhelm you. This may be a good starter stout for the less adventurous.

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

While not a flavor powerhouse, this stout is highly drinkable. Pours out to the usual darkness that is associated with this style with a generous light brown head. Nice roasted malt presence. A tad thin but evens out with a slight sweetness that mixes in with the roasted malt in the end. You could drink these all night.

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Photo of OatmattStout
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This stout when held to a light had a cherry and copper color that penetrated through the darkness. The head was nice out of the bottle and would love to see this one in a nitreo can. Very nice roassted nose and and semisweet chocolate. The taste followed with nice deep roasted and espresso flavors and a nice drying hop preasance that compliments the mild sweetness of this stout. There is a certain twang in the hops and finish that is unique but good. Also I did get the very small metalic taste as noted by another reviewer but it did not detract at all from the beer.

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

Deep ruby body with a soft, rocky head that sticks and sticks and sticks.

Smells wonderful, with roasted coffee notes backed up with the slightest hint of hops. Slight metallic twang, but not distracting.

Taste profile follows the nose. Quite carbonated, smoky, and dry. More hops in the finish than the smell let on about. Incredibly easy to drink, although the mouthfeel was a bit thin for my taste.

Highly recommended, and it was a great bargain at under $6 for a sixer (on sale from $8 - on St. Patty's Day - at Crazy Bruce's in New Britain).

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Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a jet black color with huge pillowey head took a while for it to come down.Smell was of bitter chocolate and pretty sweet.I thought the taste was real smokey and burnt and somewhat dry and oily.Like the firm body of this not thin and watery by any stretch.Good to find another fine example of a dry Irish stout.

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O'Hara's Irish Stout from Carlow Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 476 ratings.
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