O'Hara's Irish Stout | Carlow Brewing Company

very good
482 Reviews
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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Reviews: 482 | Ratings: 923
Photo of Shiloh
3.06/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I find this Irish stout very thin.
On arrival the colour was almost coal black with a nice tan crown of about 1 finger. There is a little glass cling over time with a full island lace.
The aroma is a little disturbing in a worty like fashion.
Taste starts to a light coffee sensation accompanied by mild nuttiness as well, then progresses to a dark chocolate to end.
The body at best is a medium/light and the carbonation is average.
I expected more...

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Photo of Sammy
3.74/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beatiful dark brown pour. Easy light drink, bit much on water, particularly with lower alcohol. A bit of bite -molasses and hoppy. Liked: Only mildly roasty, only bit of the coffee, and hint of chocolates and nutty. Clear freshness dating. Very good stout.

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Photo of murphyl
3.03/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured dark brown, with a decent volume of khaki-colored head. No lace on the glass to speak of, though my bottle seemed a little on the flat side - the head lasted for all of fifteen seconds, and there were very few bubbles when I swirled the glass for smell (see below). Oddly, all the back labels on the bottles were on upside down. (Apparently this isn't the only problem with Carlow's bottling process.)

Lots of roasted aroma, but not much beyond that. The nose seemed rather one-dimensional - not even any alcohol smell to balance out the roasted malt. I felt like I'd stuck my nose in a roasting kiln.

Flavor? What flavor? Again with the roasted notes, and a touch of coffee. Mouthfeel was creamy at first, but this beer has no finish to speak of - once you got past the first two swallows, the beer seemed quite thin, and even the ubiquitous roasted flavor dissipated within ten seconds. The beer I sampled also had a noticeably metallic overtone - I don't know if this was due to the bottle or some other problem with the brewing.

Overall, a mediocre stout - given the choice between this and "that other Irish stout," I'd take the stuff from St. James' Gate.

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Photo of TerryW
2.62/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark walnut coloured beer with a great looking tan coloured head that stayed and stayed and stayed. Great lacing. A very handsome beer.

Lots of things happening in the nose of this beer. Roasted and wet (?) smoke smell. Must be some manner of roasted malt. I'm afraid I didn't find the smell entirely enjoyable. The smokiness or burnt smell is unusual and a bit off-putting somehow.

Coffee and roasted malt flavours, but really a bit thin and watery on the palate. Lingering dry bitterness. Hops become more distinct as the beer warms.

Looks great, but after that really didn't work for me.

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Photo of IrishRedRock
4.11/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my last bottle of beer that I brought home from Ireland. It's been in the fridge since October and it's high time I drank it. Pours a beautiful deep brown, nearly black, with a nice light tan head that retains perfectly all the way towards the bottom. No Guinness cascading effect here, but just as pretty a picture.

Very burnt aroma with a heaping of dark dark chocolate and milder coffee. Flavor is not as complex as I had hoped, but still has some more things going on than that more popular (though still good) global Irish stout. Flavor is rather nutty, with a nice toasted grain flavor coming through to balance the strong chocolate overtones. Has a slightly sweet finish. Mouthfeel is exceptionally smooth, though a bit on the thin side. Could use a bit more body. Nonetheless, a great Irish stout, one that I wish I could have found on draught whilst I was in Ireland.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black hue, with a thin, off-white head that diminishes as the beer settles in. One word sums up the aroma - roast. Roasted malts, dark roasted coffee, a pleasant nose. Up front, a dark coffee bean flavoring, roasted malts, and borderline medium in the body. Some nutty flavoring and a decent amount of carbonation. Not as dry as expected, and in no way complex in the flavoring department; however, a pretty decent stout.

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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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O'Hara's Irish Stout from Carlow Brewing Company
3.88 out of 5 based on 923 ratings.
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