O'Hara's Irish Red | Carlow Brewing Company

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O'Hara's Irish RedO'Hara's Irish Red

Brewed by:
Carlow Brewing Company

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by merlin48 on 02-22-2005

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Reviews: 209 | Ratings: 448
Photo of josanguapo
1.32/5  rDev -62.8%
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 TexIndy
2.21/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a pint glass. No dating info. It was dark brownish red color with some carb streams but no lacing. It had an average sized beige head that very quickly dissipated into a collar with a touch of film.

The aroma was caramel malt, grainy and sweet. Not much there. The taste was bland as well. Starts out weak but OK and then finishes with a unpleasant grainy aftertaste. Bad.

Overall, a bland not much there beer. Honestly not much better than a BMC. Avoid. One and done.


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Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.25/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

A - A clear crimson brew with extremely intense carbonation visibly bubbling. The head is large and long lasting. Hardly any lacing,

S - Smells like Guinness. It has that typical bland dark maltiness with a faint hint of elderberries. A bit of burnt wood too.

T - A bit of a faint burnt malt flavor in the foretaste with a touch of parafin and caramel malts, but there really isn't much to it at all. The aftertaste is a dry faint charcoal like bitterness with a touch of a sour bite.

M - The overzealous carbonation makes it extremely harsh to the point of numbing my tongue. Otherwise it is thin with a slightly waxy / pectin-like texture. It is also drying. Pretty awful.

D - Not that bad, it isn't a good beer, but it is low abv and suitably mild for prolonged drinking. However, it isn't particularly cheap, so I see no reason why I ever would do that. I will pass in the future.

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Photo of cvaypai
2.38/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle marked 12/04/07.

Poured from bottle to tumbler.

Gift from neighbor because he knew i was into beer.

Appearance - Brown like dirtwater, hint of amber, transparent. 1 finger creamy head. Alright retention.

Smell - Figs, dark fruits, dark malt, caramel?. There is a really weird smell at the end. Almost like vomit.

Taste - Surprisingly watery, sweet with hints of metal. This is not very good. Nutty and coffee come through strong and has your average irish taste.

Mouthfeel - Feels like water in the mouth, its very thin and low alcohol.

Drinkability - There is none, this was enough for me. I could not see myself drinking this beer.

I think this might have been because of the age but this beer was pretty bad.

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Photo of Minkybut
2.44/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured this beer from bottle to tumble at 45 degrees. beer was a nice brown color with a rather nice head with fluffy lumpy foam. beer had great lacing. Slighly bready smell. Slight sour note and beer was flat tasting for some reason. Bitter caramel taste with a little hop hit.Tasty down right skunky I thought. I will not buy again.

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Photo of mactrail
2.48/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Tastes like the old sod tossed a couple of clods into the brew tub. Reddish cast is undeniable, so we can agree on that. Watery and might possibly be refreshing if you were thirsty enough. Earthy, to put is politely. Less offensive after a few sips when the tongue is numbed a little. Touch of roasted flavor, but it washes very thin. Sharpish with club-soda carbonation.

On tap at the Linkery in San Diego. Overall, it's cheap-tasting swill even for this benighted style. Easy to see why the Irish drink stout on their home turf.

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Photo of bark
2.55/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

The colour is dark brown-red (60 EBC), the liquid is clear. The two finger head is beige and compact, it sinks slowly leaving some lacing.

The smell is malty and a bit dry with notes of caramel, milk chocolate and dried red berries. Floral bitterness. Hints of vanilla and boiled vegetables.

The taste is dry with malty notes of caramel, rye bread and dried fruits. Light floral hops and low bitterness. Medium body. The aftertaste got some boiled vegetables/cabbage, brown bread and brown sugar. The finish is smooth with some milk sweetness and chalk.

The carbonation is medium strong, the mid-size bubbles are short-lived. The liquid is semi-smooth.

Shame about the vegetables...

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Photo of FireEmt37
2.58/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- nice dark red color, nice head, loses head quickly

S- nothing special here, smells malty without anything else really coming through

T- once again, nothing really stands out, malty taste

M- crisp, little coarse maybe due to over carbonation

D- Falls short of other Irish red ales, dont think I would purchase this beer again

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.6/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Tapped at Maduro.

A: Deep mahogany, almost purple/red brown. Thick off white head. Quick dissipation. Minimal retention or lacing.

AR: Smokey caramel, roasted malts, red bean ice cream, grilled meat.

T: Burnt skirt steak fresh off the grill covered in caramel sauce.

MF: roasted, toasted, and smoky with mild bitterness. Meaty, yet light.

D: very low. This beer bothered me immensely.

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Photo of Angerhaus
2.64/5  rDev -25.6%
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 pmcadamis
2.66/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - A big creamy tan head floats like a fluffy cloud above a deep amber brew that is very much the same tone as the label on the bottle. The head shows really excellent retention, and deposits tons of crusty lace on the glass. The head forms mashed-potato lumps in the middle as it SLOWLY drops to a whipped cream two fingers and stays there. A damn fine looking brew!

S - Caramel and toffee with a hint of sweet orange candy (orange gummy bears). Brown sugar drizzled with maple syrup. If this were only a bit more assertive, it would be outstanding but it seems a bit subdued.

T - Stale fruit cake, brown sugar, and mushy brown bananas. This is well hopped for a red ale, and the dry hay-like herbal hops keep the brown sugar and caramel in check. There are some sour notes that I really don't like, and this is really not doing it for me.

M - Taught, firm, and extremely dry on the hoppy finish. This is light bodied and moderately carbonated with a really tight feel overall.

D - Not terrible, but not very good either. I really can't find any faults other than a vague sour flavor, but I really just don't like this beer all that much.

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Photo of rickyleepotts
2.76/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.25

I see this beer all the time at Total Wine & More, but I never buy it. I am not a huge fan of this style, but from what I have been reading, this is one of the best red ales available. It has to be good… it's an Irish red ale from Ireland. If it's not good, then I will have to order a Guinness when I visit.

We were going to review an IPA today, but since St. Patrick's day is this weekend, I wanted to make sure we had time to review this bottle. Oh, and we got another trade in the mail today. I actually got one yesterday AND today. Yesterday included Mad Elf, a beer on the list, and several beers from the east I had never heard of. Today we got two bottles of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, which is also on the list. I asked for two bottles because I love the beer, and want to toss one in the cellar for a few years.

The beer trading stuff is an addiction… we are new to it, but I can see why people enjoy it. I love it when the UPS man knocks on the door! Anyway, let's get to the O'Hara's. That is a really low ABV, and while that scares me, I have faith in the flavor. Speaking of a low ABV, I heard William, beer manager at Total Wine in Scottsdale, talking about low ABV beers being a new trend in craft beer. I haven't seen much of that, but I hope he's wrong. I like stronger beers… the higher the ABV the better!

In the Glass: This looks like a traditional red ale. It had a nice thick white head to start, but that quickly became a thin layer of foam on top of the beer. I wonder how big of a difference the temperature makes on this beer. With such a low ABV, I wouldn't think it would get better as it heats up. Maybe. I will let it warm up a bit before I finish it. The beer doesn't have much lace to speak of. This makes me think of George Killian's Irish Red. I hope it's better than that!

Nose: I will warn you, my nose has been stopped up for the last few days. I thought I was getting sick, but I think I am just suffering from allergies. I never had allergies until I moved to Arizona, where I was told allergies didn't exist. Oh well, I can still smell and taste, and that is all that matters. This smells like an Irish red. I haven't had a Killian's in a while, but I remember that smelling better than this. Surely not… let's see what the O'Hara's tastes like.

Flavor: There is a lot more flavor here than in a bottle of Killian's, but the flavor is consistent with the red ale style. Like I said, we are drinking this ice cold… so I am going to let it sit before I take a second or third drink, but I am not impressed with the initial flavor profile here. I AM impressed with the finish and the aftertaste. But we will get to that in a moment.

Mouthfeel: There are a lot of bubbles up front, and as you swallow, the beer really mellows out. It has a nice smooth finish, and leaves a lingering sugary sweet aftertaste. It almost tastes like burnt sugars with a hint of caramel. In regards to the mouthfeel, this is boring and way too carbonated for my liking.

Aftertaste: This is my favorite part of the beer. As soon as you swallow, the aftertaste becomes somewhat drying with a nice sugary sweet finish. Not barleywine sweet, but a nice dark caramel flavor. It lingers, but dries out as you continue to swallow. I would never expect a beer that has such a low ABV to have such a powerful finish.

I am glad that we could drink an Irish beer this week, but I wouldn't order this one again. If this was on draft and I was sitting in a pub in Ireland… maybe. But only because it is a true Irish beer and I would be drinking this IN Ireland. Jeremy and Petulia were recently in Ireland. I wonder if they had any of this while they were there.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.81/5  rDev -20.8%
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 BeerFMAndy
2.91/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Small, sudsy head. Dark ruby/amber color.

S - Crisp smell. Either I was totally plugged up or this beer didn't have a whole lot of any smell. I couldn't get much out of the sent area.

T - Slight bitter action which surrounded a hoppy, malty robust flavor.

M - Dry feel to the finish - tingle of a pretty high amount of carbonation.

D - Good, solid fuller bodied beer that has a good drinkability to it. Not something I'd choose to put back all night though.

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Photo of stumac
2.91/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

this brew pours up a beautiful crimson color with a decent white head. decent lacing. the nose is sweet malts, some sort of raw malt aroma, grains I suppose. it has a distinct Scottish/Irish aroma to it. the taste is watered down, bitter malts, very subtle hops, a crisp brew. dry finish. similar mouthfeel to Guinness in the finish. that rhymes. Guinness in the finish, Guinness in the finish, oh ya ya ya...

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.93/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Pours red, a little darker than average, no head.
Aroma was kind of flat beer.

Taste, some slight tang to the ale, but really not much going on. The bitterness prolly isn't desireable in this style of beer. Tastes as if it is a half red, half brown ale blend with the slight nuttiness and subtlety (read: boring) that fans of session beers like. Lacking depth, substance, ingredients it seems.

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Photo of combatbootz
2.94/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Unimpressed, looked good, smelled good......then huge disappointment. Lack the real Irish amber flavor. Better than a bud, but rather have a Killians.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a clear burgundy color ale with a big foamy head with average retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of medium sweet malt is somewhat bland. Taste is a mix between some medium sweet malt with some notes of caramel and mild fruity yeast. Body is about average with some average carbonation.

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Photo of MTNboy
3/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- Super dark red with sort of a purplish/brown hue. The was only a little haed and it was of white with some lacing.

Smell- It has a real faint smell. Mainly of plain malt.

Taste- I found this to be a very bland ale the taste is average a little bitter and a little sweet.

Mouthfeel - Light and thin with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability- It is alright I would not go out of my way to get it again.

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Photo of seedyone
3/5  rDev -15.5%

03/19/13 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Good brew. Malt & toastiness make up the flavor set here. Would have a few if not faced w/39 other choices. Sorry, O'Hara, it's not you...it's me. I'm fickle & playing the field.

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Photo of Traquairlover
3.01/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Clear amber, with small one finger off white head consisting of a mix of foam and medium to large bubble, medium lacing left on glass.

S = Light toasted grains, white pepper, fresh flowers.

T = Unbuttered toast is the first thing at the front of the tongue, mid palate there is some bitterness from the hops, very light citrus flavors appear in the back of the mouth and there is a medium bitter finish.

M = Light to medium-light body, carbonation stings a bit too much, mouthcoating only fair.

D = Nothing affirmatively wrong with this beer, but it is not particularly special in opinion. Low enough ABV to session with I suppose but just not enough of interest in the taste.

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Photo of ccs
3.04/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer is a beautiful garnet color with an off-white thin head. Little lacing left in the glass until the beer warmed a little.

Smell is pleasant but unspectacular. It has a woody tone to it.

The beer is quite bitter but has almost no hop flavor to it. But then, it's an Irish beer--I didn't expect any.

Mouthfeel...well, it's sparkly. There's a tingling to the carbonation that slows you down but isn't unpleasant.

I'd drink this one, but it's not a style I want to get too often.

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Photo of Brent
3.06/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer wasn't bad, but didn't do anything to particularly distinguish itself, either. Muted malt aroma. Reserved caramel and a touch of toffee in the malt, but a bit one-dimensional without much of interest in the flavor. Finished clean with a hint of apple. Much better than KIllian's, for whatever that may be worth.

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Photo of plaid75
3.06/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a deep amber/brownish hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a mildly sweet grain with a light flowery hop.

The taste was sweet and buttery with a good bittering hop. Grainy finish.

The mouthfeel was a bit thin with a dry finish.

Overall a drinkable red. Good and sessionable.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.06/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A new find in my local beer store. Poured out to a dark redish color, no suprise there. Medium head that held up well. Odors of cooked caramel and malt were detected, along with a slight touch of herbs and earthiness. An unexpected change from other red ale, this brew has far more depth and complexity. Flavors of malt, oats, tea and sweetness were detected, with a slightly dry finish. This is a different kind of red ale, i'm sure it's not for everyone or good as an everyday brew, but for what it is, it's good. Worth a try, but have an open mind and no preconceptions as to what to expect.

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O'Hara's Irish Red from Carlow Brewing Company
3.55 out of 5 based on 448 ratings.
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