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O'Hara's Celebration Stout | Carlow Brewing Company

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52 Reviews
O'Hara's Celebration StoutO'Hara's Celebration Stout

Brewed by:
Carlow Brewing Company

Style: Irish Dry Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Brad007 on 02-20-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 52 | Ratings: 58
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #26:

Brewed to celebrate 10 years of brewing--1998-2008.
Pitch black with a big, creamy, dark tan head. Mocha nose with brown bread, raisiny edge and a hint of metallic. Super creamy on the palate with some tight carbonation. As the beer warms, the flavors begin to peel back and expose layers of complexities. Charcoal right up front, with notes of wood. Acrid roastiness, but not too sharp. Bone dry throughout. Minimal sweetness. More brown bread. Residual molasses. Burnt toffee. Some minerality, and a steely twang in the back. Ashy, smoky, char-like and earthy in the finish, with some raw leafiness. Palate is left parched and craving more.

This is an awesome beer. Dry, robust, roasty, complex and interesting. Though it's not something you could drink all day long, we thoroughly enjoyed sipping it and letting our minds wander off to Ireland.

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Photo of brentk56
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a mysterious midnight brown color with a massive head of creamy beige; sheets of lace curtain down the side of the pint glass

Smell: Dark fruit (prune, primarily), coffee and baker's chocolate with hints of charcoal

Taste: The brown bread and prune fruit flavors hit the tastebuds first but by mid-palate, the flavor profile adds a very dry, roasty, charcoal-influenced chocolate and coffee element; after the swallow, the chocolate and coffee continue to dominate but the finish is woody and as dry as the Sahara Desert

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body and creamy, with moderate carbonation; just a touch thin on the finish

Drinkability: So here we are, well over a year past the "best by" date and we have the finest example of this style that I have encountered; just extraordinary and should be an example to American craft brewers that you don't have to go crazy with the hops to create an extraordinary brew

Thanks, Bitterbill, for the opportunity - I thought I would not have a chance to try this one

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Photo of donniecuffs
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Into a Stone tulip, poured black with two fingers of beige head and excellent lacing. Smelled of dark bittersweet chocolate, espresso, and molasses. Tasted like ice coffee initially, dissolving to a dark chocolate capuccino, and then finishing on a very thin and very dry coffee note, which lasted well afterwards. More thin and carbonated than expected; very interesting given the flavor profile. Overall, very ice coffee'ish, and the mouthfeel makes it more suitable for sessioning than sipping.

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Photo of corby112
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750m bottle

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with only the slight hint of dark mahogany edges when held to a light source and a massive three finger frothy tan/coffee colored head. Excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap. Sporadic splotches of lacing left behind.

Depp, rich roasted malty aroma with hints of chocolate, coffee bean, toffee, oatmeal, hazelnut, caramel and subtle hops.

Slightly viscous medium body with a lot of roasted malt up front followed by a smooth, creamy lactic presence along with some sweet milk chocolate notes. Hints of roasted coffee bean, toffee, oatmeal, hazelnut, caramel and subtle earthy hops. Sweet with a very dry hoppy finish. Extremely quaffable.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.86/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this 750ml swing-top at Discount Liquor a while ago. Best before May 28th, 2009(?). I think I bought it before that day, so it can't be a bottled on date.

A - Grommet comes out with a big pop. Pours with a big two-plus fingers of ecru foam. Head settles to a thin cap and leaves fingers of lacing. Near-black body that reveals some lighter browns and transparency at the fringes.

S - It has an aged quality to it, but it's quite pleasant. Light caramel, dry roast coffee, a touch of cocoa powder, and some earthiness.

T - Taste has a lot of bitter dry roast, which is style-appropriate. Some light cocoa and char in there as well. Finishes quite bitter, with some earthy flavors as well.

M - Light-medium body, tingly carbonation, dry finish with light residual stickiness. Style-appropriate and quite satisfying.

D - My wife and I killed the 750ml pretty quick. No hint of the 6% ABV, and minimal carbonation bloat either. The bitter aftertaste dissipates relatively quickly too. Would be a good session option if it were on-tap somewhere, but since this is a 10th Anniversary beer I'm guessing it will never be made again.

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Photo of SykDoc
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. It pours a fairly black color with an auburn color at the edges. A tan 1 inch head forms and quickly reduces, leaving a nice swirly lacing.

The aroma is a great blend of roasted malts including some coffee and dark chocolate. There is a cream component as well.

The taste is again a roasted malt blend of semi-sweet chocolate and coffee. A mild tartness comes through towards the end.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a somewhat unusual level of carbonation that starts out fizzy and quickly disappears. A dryness comes through at the end.

Every component of this beer was solid and none stands are in particular but this also allows for it to be easily drinkable without overwhelming any single sense. Very good.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.96/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 750ml swingtop bottle, courtesy of BA travlnlt. Poured to a pint glass. The 10th Anniversary 'Celebration' brew from O'Hara's - hope it's stilll good as the best before date is 28 05 09.

A: Charcoal darkness, a thin showing of auburn at the edges. A fine, thick dollop of 2-finger-high mocha head atop. Long-lived for about 5 minutes, dwindling to a thicker cream, leaving tightly-knit cobwebs in sheets.

S: Smells of mild coffee and powdery chocolate malt (Ovaltine?). Sweet but with a tickling mineral dryness. Had to sneeze.

T: Acridness of coffee beans, sweetness of semi-dark chocolate, roastedness of pecan shells. Nice char and a harsher mineral/chalk finish with a liberal touch of tartness. Tannic grape skins, earthy berries, ever so slightly woody. Nice profile overall.

M: Plenty of lively carbonation, a fine roil of fizziness which mellows to a pleasing creaminess. Medium body, nothing out of line with a good Dry Irish, ending spicy and exceedingly dry.

D: Plenty of flavor and extremely easy to drink. At 6%, it's on the higher end, style-wise, but still has so much allure that it's a version I'd be drawn back to. As a limited 'anniversary' brew (one several months past its recommended drinking date), it's doubtful I'll get another try. Too bad; it's a very good one.

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Photo of tpd975
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to SeaBass for this one.

A: Pours a nice deep black hue. Nice creamy head with okay retention. Nice spotty lace.

S: Loads of roasted malt, coffee, light cream.

T: Malty goodness, very roasty, Yum. Strong coffee notes, with some bakers chocolate, and a tinge of dark fruit.

M: Smooth, excellent carbonation, nice dry finish.

D: Very good. One of the better Irish Stouts to make its way into the states.

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Photo of stoutfiend27
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

swingtop sent as extra by nittanybeerfan thanks dan

a-black...fluffy two finger head...nice lacing

s-roasted malt and coffee

t-coffee and roasty...little chocolate and molasses..finishes dry and roasty

m-medium bodied but good...nice level of carbonation...fizziness on par...

d-the 750 will be no prob to put down...

overall a great beer..not a big fan of irish stouts but this is a nice surprise glad i got to try it..

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Photo of eyeamthewind
4.32/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a great beer! Really nice dry stout, quite perfect. I drank this all last april. My local store had a sale on cases of these 750 ml bottles. Six 750 ml swing top bottles for 14 dollars!! I bought two of these cases and drank a bottle almost every night unless I craved hops. I brewed some beer and bottled it in the same bottles and they really hold in the flavor and age well.

I'm a little hazy on the details of this beers taste but I know it had some rich head but not super lacy. it was a good dark stout with some serious mouthfeel. It was just so damn balanced and a little dry and so drinkable.

Please drink this!!

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Photo of biggred1
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark coffee brown with a big fluffy head of nougat like foam that leaves tons of spiderweb lacing on the glass as it slowly settles. The nose is a nice mix of semi-sweet chocolate and fresh roasted coffee. This is one Irish stout that delivers the big flavors and decent carbonation that are sorely lacking in most. Charred dark malts,chicory and a tea-like bitterness with a slight metallic edge in the finish. Medium light bodied and well carbonated. A nice IDS.

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Photo of Wegbier
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally had my 750 today of the 10th anniversary stout. the sign at the store outright says this is what an irish stout used to be.

great appearance of deep black beer with a mocha head that spider laces, the head is fluffy and thick and stubborn

smells of adventurous deep happy places; pillows of molasses or honey sweet malts and some hops with a little coffee.

taste follows suit with smell with a lot of toast and roasted coffee medium bitter chocolate and a lighter chocolate cream

the mouthfeel is ideal medium carbonation playing on the tongue with a medium body, between grainy and smooth

it lets you know what a stout demands to be, this is "what a real irish stout was before cheap mass marketing, and it fills you up and gives you your nutrition. I have not yet smelled a stout of only 6abv that had all these qualities that reminded me of RIS. Good work! When taste rather than price and marketing to the masses decides, this is one example

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Photo of SuperSpy
3.71/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a 250ml glass at The Bull & Castle in Dublin.

A - Deep ruby hues at the edge of the glass, very dark brown in the center, with a thick two-finger head that is the color of cocoa. As the head dies there is lots of lace. A very beautiful stout.

S - The aroma is sweet and roasty. There is coffee, a little smoke, and an aroma that makes me expect something big and chewy when I finally take a sip. Overall the aroma very nice but just above average.

T/M - Not as heavy as I expected. The body is on par for the style. A fairly medium body and a decent amount of carbonation. The flavor is dark chocolate, roasted malt and even a hint of espresso. A faint smokiness is evident too, but is very well hidden behind the other flavors.

D - This is a very nice stout, but I was hoping for something more for a 10 year anniversary stout from Ireland. I would definitely drink this again but I don't think it's that much better than O'Hara's regular stout.

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Photo of MillRat
4.63/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml from the Bull & Castle in Dublin. (Thanks, Dec!) Pours a deep brown with garnet highlights under a cocoa-colored head that leaves plenty of lace on the glass. Solid sweet malt aroma balanced by a coffee-heavy roast nose. Flavor starts out quite bitter roasted chocolate that is quickly balanced as it warms a bit an the malt comes through. Not a hint of the thin, watery impression left by a better-advertised Irish stout. Perfect balance of bitter roast and malt sweetness in the finish, flavor intensity and balance of an impy stout without the palate-wearying high ABV and residual sugars.

While this is a limited release, it does come closer to the draught O'Hara's Celtic Stout I had at the B&C in Dublin than the Celtic Stout in bottles.

This is archetypal irish dry stout, showing what can be achieved without the stratospheric grain bills of impys or accountants formulating the recipes. This, or their Celtic Stout, deserves to be listed first in the BJCP style description.

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Photo of froghop
3.83/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours black with a large khaki head, above average carbonation, and a nice bubbly lacing.

smell of cocoa, grape, nuts, some vanilla, and a touch of coffee.

taste is tart and tangy, carbonation, almost a red wine like fruit, cocoa, coffee, roasted nuts in the back, and sour malt.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle of dark black stout. Smells decent, roasty, standard. The flavor wasn't very robust at first and then it kind of wraps around your tongue. This was a nice stout and would be good in sixers. I'll have to take a look at some other O'hara beers soon.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.53/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours an ultra-dark cola color with a sandy cm of dirty, pale tan head that left some messy stripes of lace behind.

Smells of soft, toasty chocolate and chocolate milk which is backed by a green grape-skin tartness. There's also a touch or strawberry and melon to round out some sweetness.

The flavor starts with a creamy coffee, celery and apple but quickly fades to an old coffee that turns to smoke as it lingers.

Feels soft and fine with a gentle wisp of carbonation.

Not too bad for sippin', but I've had better takes on the style.

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Photo of tim9887
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Swing top 750ml bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Deep black with solid, fluffy two-finger tan-colored foam head.

Aroma: Roasty, dark chocolatey bitter aroma.

Taste: Definitely one of the more flavorful Irish Dry Stouts out there. Lots of roasted barley flavor w/ slight undertones of coffee and chocolate. Dry, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: More carbonation than most Irish Dry Stouts but it gives this beer a nice refreshing quality.

All around, this beer is a superior interpretation of the Irish Dry Stout style. Not as watery as others and it has a much fuller, richer body and a higher ABV to boot. Great stuff, I'll definitely be getting more. Slainte!

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Photo of bum732
4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a solid jet black, beautiful pillowy tan head, great sporadic lacing. Smells of roasty malt, a little smokiness, some chocolate sweetness as well. Tastes very similar, big bold roastiness with a nice subtle smokiness in the background. Some caramel, chocolate and coffee sweetness present that matches the roastiness very nicely. Finishes very dry with a pleasant roasty characteristic on the palate, a little metallic. Great mouthfeel, not thin at all for the style (unlike Guiness).

A fantastic beer, the best irish stout i've ever had. So much flavor and great mouthfeel. Many irish stouts are thin and watery, not here. Highly recommend.

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Photo of markaberrant
3.45/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - opaque black, big creamy tan head, leaves a thick coat of lace behind

S - lots of decadent roasty chocolate, an undercurrent of caramel sweetness, creamy hazelnut adds complexity, smells like a really good oatmeal stout

T - slightly acidic, burnt roasted malts hit the tongue first, more sweetness comes out as it warms in the glass, finish is quite bitter and dry

M - smooth bodied, but very dry, sometimes rough, sometimes watery

D - an interesting, beefed-up dry stout

The roasted malt is quite harsh. At first, the aftertaste is not pleasing at all, tastes like ashtray. But if you let it warm up (a lot), more sweetness comes through and balances things out, but the roasted flavour still isn't that great. This is by far the most agressive dry stout I've ever tasted, to the point of being overdone I'm afraid.

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Photo of jwc215
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, best by 28.05.09:

Pours opaque black with a rich, thick brown head. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of chocolate, roasted coffee, bitter earthy notes. Robust.

The taste is of chocolate, roasted coffee with bitter/dry earthy tones. Finishes very dry. Not overly complex, but delicious and very well-balanced, with sweetness, bitterness and roastiness.

The feel is creamy and just about as full-bodied as the style gets (or has in my experience). Full, but not thick. Maybe a touch of water, but still keeps a smooth, creamy body.

A "big" Irish dry - alcohol is very well-hidden. This doesn't skimp on the malt, roastiness or hops. Probably the best I've had. Very easy drinking, but enough to appreciate if drank more slowly. Very nice, indeed, and a great example of the style! I was pretty impressed with this brewery's other stout - this is even better!

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Photo of montageman
4.92/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into an imperial pint glass.

Deep, dark, but thin pour makes way for a nice tan head. Smell is heavy on coffee and a bit of chocolate. Taste is great - chocolate, coffee, caramel - bitter, sweet, and creamy. Mouthfeel is moderately rich with a nice creaminess with a slight carbonation. I could drink this stuff all of the time - a really solid stout. Highly recommended.

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Photo of nrunge
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

More carbinated than any other Stout than I have ever had. Which was great! I have always loved the aftertaste of a Stout. I even really like the smoothness but unfortunately that always seems to come with the "chalky" mouthfeel. This is the first Stout that I can attribute the word "crisp" to. It even manages to finish like a Stout. In my world this is the bar that future Stout's will be measured against.

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Photo of Beerzebub
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml flip-top, BB 28.05.09, poured in a big wine glass at 55F/13C.

Black, dark coffee brown at edges. Huge, dense, sticky, tan head with good persistence. Finely textured, thick, wavy rings of lace. Beautiful.

Aroma of charcoal, straight sweet malt (like Grape Nuts, but better), dark chocolate, some fruit along the lines of grapes and plums, and some mild floral hops. Elegant and attractive.

Tastes burnt and sooty, without any harshness at all, along with smooth coffee, dark chocolate, brown bread, and a bit of fruit. Gentle bitterness and acidity are well integrated with the burnt roastiness, and very well balanced with the malt. Almost completely dry. Cohesive, with everything in a tight orbit around the smooth charcoal. Lingering charcoal and dark chocolate. Very very tasty.

Smooth silky texture, with the right amount of superfine carbonation. Quite drinkable.

This beer has real finesse. Great stuff.

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Photo of atis
4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with large brown head that dissipates soon to a thin off-white layer, very small downsliding lacing. Aroma is very strong roasted/burned barley, maybe some hints of rye bread. Taste is similar, slightly sharp roasted grainy, some dark fruits, chocolate with dry finish and bittery aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is rather light, it feels a bit too carbonated as well. Overall, it is not a bad stout, but I have seen better ones.

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O'Hara's Celebration Stout from Carlow Brewing Company
4.17 out of 5 based on 58 ratings.
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