O'Hara's Celebration Stout | Carlow Brewing Company

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O'Hara's Celebration StoutO'Hara's Celebration Stout
59 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 59 |  Reviews: 52
Reviews by bonbini26:
Photo of bonbini26
5/5  rDev +20.5%

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev -3.6%
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 Billolick
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice larger bottle, swing top a nice touch, dates on the front label but what so they mean? who knows, not me. Pours inky black, dark tan fluffy head, better then moderate retention, nice detailed lacing. Burnt grain/espresso nose. Dark dark malts, cocoa, dark coffee, dry, smoky, plenty of drying hops at the heart of this one. Sophisticated and flavorful, nice creation, recommended highly for stout lovers especially. Worthy of O'Hara's celebration. Well done

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Photo of Kraken
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up on the advice of my beer guy Brian at the Wine Source.

Poured from a 1pint 9.4oz bottle into a 20oz pint glass. Gentle pour yields a massive latte colored head with fantastic staying pour and fantastic lace. Beer pours a jet black with red hues at the edges.

Smell- Peat, smokiness, an earthy vibe, toasted caramel. Smells wonderful

Taste- Roasted peat, toasted caramel, light smokiness. Slightly warming. Very Tasty, dry finish. Wonderful carbonation.

Mouthfeel- Very smooth and creamy. Dry finish.

Drinkability- Very drinkable, sessionable, however price is prohibitive.

Great beer. Very worthy of a 10th anniversary celebration.

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Photo of TheycallmeTim
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a swingtop 750 ml bottle with best before 28-05-09 printed on the front label.

A--Pours a deeply opaque midnight in the middle of a field in east nowhere. Most impressive part of the pour for me was the collar on this priest: thick, creamy three fingers of the inside of a Snickers bar. Wonderful lacing all the way down.

S--Not much here--kind of rusty, coppery malts is all I could get.

T--Up front mostly bittersweet chocolate chips with some coffee and astringency, followed by a mild hop pull at the end on the sides of the tongue. Roasty malt backbone throughout rounds it out. The taste after you swallow was like inhaling a paper bag after a pumpernickel loaf had been sitting in it all day. Yum!

M--Medium to full. Just right for the style, I think.

D--Great. I drank it at United Kingdom weather temp.--about 65 degrees F.--and it didn't disappoint.

Really pleased with this brew, makes my second review easy and my Irish heritage beam with ruddy cheeks.

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Photo of cokes
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ink black with an ashy brown dome of outstanding length and stickiness. It looks exactly like it should.
The nose it full of that roasted barley, bitter coffee bean and charcoal essence of many a Irish Dry Stout. But here, it is lightly sweetened with milk chocolate, marshmallows, tobacco, and cream.
The roast and charcoal thunder across the tongue from the word go. It's smoldering dark and full of spent, bitter coffee grounds. And it never lets one forget that "dry" part of its appellation. It's like smoking joints rolled of barley. What sets this apart is the subtle sweeter inflections of cream, pipe tobacco, and milk chocolate. Many Irish Stout come across as acrid monoliths of roast, this has a rounded, fleshed-out, richer malt persona. The the hopping returns this to a style apropos dessication of bitter crushed pills and dead leaves.
This doesn't need nitro-gimmicks to boost the feel. It's medium, tops, but given structure and depth by both the malt and hop attributes, and the steady, moderate CO2. It's fleece-like in its sense of diffuse weight.
Like most of its style, this is a quaffer, through and through. Its additional bigness makes no difference.

Simply put, this is probably the most complete Irish Stout I've ever had.
I hope this isn't a one-time-only thing.

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Photo of bum732
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
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 beerthulhu
3.76/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark cola-coffee color with plum highlights around the edges. A huge 3 finger foamy dark mocha head tops of the beer and simply did not give up an inch without a fight lasting throughout the whole drink. A spectacular clumpy lacing was left behind.

S: Surprisingly the nose was very light with hardly a trace of the dark roasted coffee malts that the flavor bestowed.

T: The flavor was dark roasted coffee with a bitter astringency. The dark rich roasted malt grows bigger as the drink progresses to the point of leaving a wet coffee grind coating on the tongue. Dry, charred woodiness and a lingering bitterness are also found on the finish. Truly a big bitter, coffee laced stout that is worthy of celebrating.

M: full, viscose and oily, leaving a bitter coffee and charred roasted malt lacing behind on the tongue.

D: Drank big, with a dark roasted nature that is sure not to disappoint.

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Photo of VictoriaTyagunova
3.74/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Body settles into the glass an oiley blackness that is absent of light. Head starts at three full fingers and quickly turns to a rocky khaki brown leaving scattered lace as it fades. Nose is full and malty with some creamy spicey feel that is mineral based and a bit smokey. Enters the mouth very dry with lots of dark burnt malts and a full backbone of mineral based dryness. This is really a nice Irish dry stout as it turns a bit creamy as it warms and you continue to drink. Bitter feel is consistant but smooth on the mouthfeel. This is very nicely drinkable and spot on for the style.

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Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of blackie
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a little worried after losing a few ounces from the swingtop in transit, but it opens with a promising hiss, dated 28 05 09

a: the pour produces an ample head the color of light chocolate milk, the beer itself is practically black in color, very good retention with excellent lacing

s: roasted barley notes accompany bittersweet chocolate and a papery hop aroma, creamy and a little reminiscent of a glass of 1% chocolate milk spiked with coffee, perfect balance, not off the charts complex, but that's not the style

m: carbonation and on the high side of medium and smooth, with a medium body

t: dry roast is by far the dominant flavor, backed by a light dark chocolate sweetness and moderate earthy hop flavor, the finish dries quickly and leaves lingering notes of medium roast barley with a perfect level of bitterness

d: easily consumed the 750, by far the best Irish Dry I've had

part of cache v1.0 by wickedpete, picked up in Fredericksburg on my apartment-searching trip to the VA 'burbs

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Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep black hue with a three finger chunky tan head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light burnt grain, some coffee and a touch of caramel.

The taste was a bit fuller than the typical Irish Dry Stout. There were elements of coffee, burnt grain and a touch of smoke.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style.

Overall a tasty stout.

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Photo of biggred1
4/5  rDev -3.6%
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 DarkerTheBetter
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
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 Wegbier
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
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 MillRat
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
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 jwc215
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
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 hopdog
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml flip top bottle stamped 28.05.09 [BB date].

Another one of those 'Limited Edition' labeled beers (of how many?!?!?).

Poured a dark and deep brown color with a huge sized tan head. Aromas of roast, chocolate, and lighter coffee. Tastes of roast, lighter chocolate, coffee, and toasty. All around roasty.

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Photo of tim9887
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
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 phantomwyse
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Obsidian dark body with garnet highlights along the edges. Intense foamy 3 finger head of khaki color. Textbook lacing.

S: Dark chocolate, espresso, buttery vanilla, molasses.

T: Starts off with dark roasted coffee and unsweetened coffee and then moves slightly sweeter with the taste of shoe-fly pie. Slightly medicinal flavor perks up towards the end with a bit of a bite coming at the very end.

M: Well textured and smooth with a slight prickle.

D: I'm not much of a stout drinker, but this beer had alot more to offer than the typical. Being as it's a limited timer, I may pick up some more to have and share.

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Photo of donniecuffs
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
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 Biscuit033
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml Flip-top

A: Black with a large caramel head and foam that clung to the glass all the way down.

S: Roasted malts, espresso, and cream.

T: Dark bitter chocolate, espresso, bitter malts and very dry. This is as much flavor as I have had in a Irish Dry Stout.

M: Slightly creamy with a bone dry burnt tinge finish.

D: This is a much slower drinker than any other IDS that I have had but that is okay because there is so much more flavor here.

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Photo of Hellpop65
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of froghop
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
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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O'Hara's Celebration Stout from Carlow Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 59 ratings