O'Hara's Irish Red
Carlow Brewing Company

O'Hara's Irish RedO'Hara's Irish Red
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Irish Red Ale
Ranked #168
Ranked #43,886
3.56 | pDev: 13.48%
Carlow Brewing Company
O'Hara's Irish RedO'Hara's Irish Red
View: Beers
Reviews: 221 | Ratings: 500 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Thisdrinkinglife
1.48/5  rDev -58.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Review: 50cl bottle of O’Hara’s Irish Red Traditional Ale: 4.3% vol.

Nice swanky logo with Irish symbols and squiggles in a lovely styled bottle, looks the part on the shelf.

Aroma was very light, a bit malty, got some apples and other subtle fruity aromas, an ok smell overall, but very light on the nose.

Colour is a beer with a dark ruby red appearance and a smallish white head, not a bad look, albeit the head isn’t great, a bit flat.

Dark and deep reddish colour, white head that dissipates fast.

Wasn’t impressed with the taste at all, felt a bit like washing up liquid, but with hops!

Roasted barley and malts and hints of caramel, but struggling under the intensity of the hops that linger.

Very, very hoppy, and far too strong to enjoy. The aftertaste is killing this beer.

Bit flat in the overall taste too.

Not really enjoyable at all, not smooth and far too bitter. All hoppy but with little else. Disappointing considering all the rage about this brewery. And definitely not like a traditional red ale, they can fuck off with that, lol!!!

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Photo of Amendm
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A strong pour from a 11.2-oz. bottle=a finger of creamy and rocky beige head with long retention and spots of lace. Translucent deep reddish copper with amber highlights.

The smell features caramel malt up front with roasted malt, baked apples and toffee as does the taste.

The taste begins semi-sweet and mildly bitter from hops, the middle is rich and malty with some bitterness coming from roasted malt. The finish is almost sweet, quick and clean as a mild hop bitterness lingers.

Medium body, above average carbonation. Malty smooth even profile.

BB 28 MAR 2019. A happy revisit, true to style. An enjoyable easy drinker.

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Photo of jlindros
3.89/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed as part of BJCP training, 15A. Irish red ale. Best before March 2019

Average fizzy slight tan head with decent retention, little lacing, dark but clear mahogany ruby cranberry color

Nose fair toasty reddish malt, toasty and a little caramel, little toffee and hint buttery, biscuity, faint herbal tea hop

Taste toasty but dry malts, toasted reddish, mild caramel and toffee, little biscuity, mild herbal tea hops, little earthy floral, mild to medium hop bitterness, finish dries quite a bit and bitterness increases due to darker reddish malts

Mouth is med to a little lighter bod, nice medium carb, smooth

Overall not bad, will within style but maybe a bit too hot

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Photo of VoxRationis
3.71/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap in a 16 oz (473 ml) nonic pint glass at Beer Authority in New York, NY.
A: Pours a clear, deep red, almost brown color in the light. Ruby highlights around the glass edge. Two finger, foamy, light tan head with relatively low retention and modest lacing.
S: Aromas lean to grassy and grainy. Not much different from a very aromatic Pilsener.
T: Semisweet. Flavor included more caramelized malt in the picture. Light bitterness creates a nice, balanced, and refreshing picture.
M: Light bodied with moderate carbonation. Crisp finish and refreshing.
O: Very drinkable and fairly enjoyable. I would have this again, although I not sure in what context.

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Photo of RichardLeahy
3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L. From a 330 ml bottle into a tall glass. Darker than I expected, but a red tinge. Modest white head which fades to slight lacing. A touch disappointing. S. Better, sweet malt and grain. T. Follows the aroma, a touch of caramel as well. F. Smooth, not much carbonation, which is appropriate. Slight sweetness on the back end. O. I'm a sucker for any Irish beer and red ales aren't all that easy to come by in Australia (other than Kilkenny, which I like a lot), so I rate this one. But a little disappointing.

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Photo of Nephilium
3.59/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Earthy aroma, with a touch of roasted malt. Pours a clear reddish-amber with a full off-white head. Flavor is toffee, caramel, and a touch of earthy hops. Light bodied, easy drinking. A very good Irish Red.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.79/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Dogfish Head pint glass. Pours a medium to dark cranberry red with a half finger off-white head with great retention and lacing; looks nice. Aroma of biscuit malt, mild red berries, a hint of charred malt, smells good too.Flavor follows aroma, with deep biscuit lightly toasted malt, mild suggestions of raspberries and brown bread. Finishes lightly hoppy and malty. Medium bodied with light creaminess and pleasant mouth feel. I liked this quite a bit. This is a style that I don't see very often and glad to try a genuine Irish one. I like malt flavors and this ale deliver very solid malt along with the light berry fruit I expect from the style. The toastiness of the malt was a benefit to my taste. This covers all the bases that I expect from an Irish red and the flavor depth is excellent for the ABV. I'm really glad I picked this up and will return to it in the future. I'm not sure why this scores so low here, it is well made and authentic.

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Photo of Mindcrime1000
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a single-serve into a pub glass.

Pours clear and a deeper red than anticipated. A furious and ample initial head quickly settles into modest lacing. Solid but not spectacular look.

The aromas are toasted malts mixed with recognizable but muted hops. Again, solid but not "write home" material.

The flavor has a bit more character than the nose, with toasted malts, roasted grain, and a nice mixture of malty sweetness and drying hops.

The mouthfeel is the best--it finishes crisp and light.

Overall, a solid beer, but probably not an "again and again" selection.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. Bottle
BB: 28.FEB.2019

Poured into a DFH glass a nice dark brown/reddish color, nice carbonation, with a nice thick/creamy small light tan head, which leaves some sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, slight hop, kinda roasty. The taste is malty, slightly hoppy, kindaroasty. Medium body, ABV is hidden pretty nicely. Overall, surprised me, tasty.

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Photo of Sable
3.71/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours nicely, but the head drops fast, so fast it was gone before I carried it out to the living room. But that's not really a problem. The flavor is very deep and rich, dark caramel flavor, with a very roasted taste and very little sweetness. The color looks very dark, but when you hold it up to light it is a strong red. This goes onto the buy again list!

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Photo of janubio
2.27/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Amber colour,, small head witih medium retention and minimum lace.
Aroma of caramel and red fruits, bust mostly lime and sulphur.
Medium body, with thick textures and averages carbonation. Astringent finish.
Taste is somewhat medicinal, with red fruits and caramel. Sulphur.
Sorry, but I can't nothing exceptional in this one to make me repit it.

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Photo of MoohMooh
4.1/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Looks deep brown/red (strawberry red and very clear when held up to light), with a huge head when poured; it recedes to a substantial foam and leaves sparse lacing.

Smells sweet (apple, caramel), herbal and flowery hops. Cocoa. Kinda earthy too.

Taste is bread, hops, chocolate/coffee. It's very "warm", for lack of a better word. A milky/creamy taste as well, surprising, but very pleasant. Slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel is wonderfully smooth, medium light; carbonation is medium.

Didn't look at reviews, so I didn't expect anything special, but this is a very nice surprise.

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Photo of Trailboss76
4.29/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

**Dark tea-like, cola-like color. Not much head. Mild, malty aroma. The label says "a full-bodied Irish Red with a traditional hop flavour to balance a sweet malt finish". I get more of a malty taste throughout with some subtle hop reminders. Smooth drinker but lets you know it's got something goin' on!! Little fizzy on the finish.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle, it pours a reddish brown with a modest head, soon reducing to a robust ring with islands.. Some toasted malts in the nose. Bread and some roasted malt in the mouth. Enjoyable, but not memorable.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.11/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

On tap:
Looks a little more like a maroon-tinged brown ale. Very light slightly off-white head, but resilient thin rim. Swirl brings a fleeting froth.

Nose has a toasty note to the malty red ale overall nose. Little sweet tea and a very light fall or winter spice note to the malts.

Taste is a little sweeter than expected from the nose, but still has a roasted malt component. There's more bitterness in the back than I'd expect or had before in other Irish reds. Does have a resemblance to the bitterness of some brown ales, but not specific to them. The feel is also thin and carbonated.

Lighter but not necessarily easier drinking than other Irish reds, and one that seems to have a brown ale side to it.

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Photo of Savan
4.22/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours in to a pint glass with thick almond head of about two fingers; a beautiful light burgundy :)
....Never did like the smell of a irish red, that said this smells as all of them do a little musky basement and a lil old grain smell about them/this one. I felt it still deserved a 3.... it does smell like it "should" after all.
The taste is a lil sweet and a lil bit of a bitter on the finish. This beer has a very good refreshing finish and I would love to try again and .... no doubt will being I can find it.

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Photo of dar482
3.39/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

The beer comes in a deep amber copper color.

The flavor toasty sweet malt, with a bit of roasted malt dryness and cocoa flavor, medium earthy hop bitterness along with that roasted malt, a bit of buttered browned toast. The bitterness and papery flavors might be from being right past Best By bottle, and probably changes on the finish and hop balance when fresh.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.77/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle - part of the 3-form mix-packs of Carlow brews available right now in Alberta - not so dearly priced, either, I have to say.

This beer pours a clear, dark bronzed amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, rocky, and somewhat creamy tan head, which leaves some decent layered TV station fuzz pattern lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of biscuity and grainy pale malt, some lesser sweet caramel essences, a wisp of salty sea-side smokiness, muddled dark Assam tea notes, and some weak leafy, earthy, and citrusy noble hop bitters. The taste is bready and crackery pale malt, further muddled black tea essences, some subtle pome fruitiness, more untethered watery ashiness, and further leafy, weedy, and floral old-school hoppiness.

The carbonation is fairly average in its pandering frothiness, the body a so-so medium weight, and mostly smooth, with a wee airy creaminess trying to get off of the ground since first break. It finishes off-dry, the biscuity essence doing well to moderate the lingering malt sweetness.

Overall, this is a generally enjoyable version of this oft-maligned old-school style, with a nice malt character that is reminiscent of yer more aptly rendered ESBs of the greater diaspora. Easy to drink, complex, and worthy of sessioning if you ever find this on tap in Eire, or more rarely so (I would imagine) on this side of the pond.

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Photo of KLHBB
3.59/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

There's a coffee-porterish slant to this beer -- it's very good, but muddier than I look for in an Irish Red. Darkest garnett, a strong smell of earth, medium carbonation, I'd drink this again.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.74/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the 330 ml. bottle. Sampled on July 2, 2016.

The pour is an attractive looking amber with plenty of red hues under an off-white, lingering head.

Roasted barley is the main thing I get on the nose with some caramel or toffee. Very sweet all around. Low hops.

Medium body,.

The taste has all the roasted caramel malts that I can expect from the style as well as a decent sweetness. It finishes clean and mildly bitter. Well worth trying at least once.

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Photo of InfernoOrangeSS
4.71/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is a really good Irish Red Ale. I am a particular fan of Irish Reds and this is a great representation of them. The color is a deep dark, and the aroma is very much a maltiness heaven. If you're a FB of Irish Reds, then I highly encourage you to seek this great brew out. I really like it and it goes down smooth.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.81/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Comes in red, but doesn't have enough retention to form a head. Aroma was meh red malt peatness. That earthen grassy, mossy malt.

Taste is a little bit of that, toffee malt stuff too. No hops really evident. Carbonation too low. Bitterness from something, doesn't seem hop derived. Real boring session stuff here. Burton-esque at times.

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Photo of josanguapo
1.32/5  rDev -62.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

From XXXII. In Teku glass. Watching True Detective 2x07. Very dry, roasted and with a sourness that makes me think it wasnt in good state as it has no trace of the caramel other people find. Much worse than a Murphy's

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Photo of Angerhaus
2.64/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Had on nitro for St. Paddy's day. Maybe it was the nitro tap, maybe I just wasn't in the mode for reds that night, but, regardless, it was awful. Flat, dull, and almost sour. I hope that the rest of you have a better experience.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.56/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Draft sample. Fest pour. Poured a dark red hue. A pretty decent Irish red from aroma to flavor. Pretty much exactly what I was expecting but the flavors were more vibrant than anticipated. Caramel malt, amber malt, some fruitiness. Finishes surprisingly dry. Light bodied. A good beer.

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O'Hara's Irish Red from Carlow Brewing Company
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 500 ratings