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O'Hara's Irish Pale Ale | Carlow Brewing Company

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O'Hara's Irish Pale AleO'Hara's Irish Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Carlow Brewing Company

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A Contemporary style IPA with an Irish twist. Combining the balance of European IPAs with the generous dry hopping of American pale ales (APAs), this beer is everything an IPA should be and more.

Zesty and refreshingly bitter, the finish is long. With a copper tone body topped with a lightly carbonated head, the dry hopping brings an intense aroma and lasting array of fruit and floral notes.

Added by StJamesGate on 03-21-2010

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Reviews: 30 | Ratings: 161
Photo of metter98
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is somewhat hazy pale light yellow in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of tea are present in the nose along with notes of pale malts and hints of citrusy and herbal hops.
T: The taste follows the smell, with prominent flavors of tea along with notes of herbal hops and muted citrus (grapefruit) hops. Only faint amounts of bitterness are perceptible.
M: It feels just about medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a slight amount of chewiness.
O: This beer is somewhat like a cross between an Irish Red Ale and an English Pale Ale. The tea-like aromas and flavors definitely make it seem like an Irish Ale.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of kojevergas
3.28/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on draught at the Bull & Castle, Dublin, where they also have it available in the bottle.

A: Two finger head of poor cream but decent thickness. Clear blonde colour.

Sm: Smells like a pale ale. Wheat barley, bittering hops. The usual.

T: Clean barley taste with a bit of cream on the open and a clean bittered finish. Avoids being overbittered. Built very simply, but balanced well.

Mf: As coarse as the style can be without taking a turn for the worse. Very carefully constructed. Buttery, actually.

Dr: I'd have another. It's quite nice off draught, but might not work out of the bottle.

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Photo of oberon
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a standard pint glass a dull light golden color with sticky 1/2 finger bone white head that took quite awhile to settle.Aromas are lightly floral with a smattering of citric hops,the lightly toasted grainy element is bigger though.Light and faintly citric on the palate,again the toasted cereal grains seem to be the biggest flavor note.It's not bad but it's a very light tasting lighter hopped pale ale,would be good for outdoor grilling wich Iam anxiously awaiting.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clear golden color with white head. Aroma is citrusy with some hints of elderflower. Taste is fruity and balanced at first and gets quite bitter at the end. Very nice, easy drinking pale ale.

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Photo of tempest
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Hops are mellow by American IPA standards, but this makes a decent pale ale. There's a big toasty biscuit malt flavor upfront, then standard citrus rind and spice hops rolling through after. It's drinkable and balanced, but it'd be more impressive as a session beer with the ABV knocked down a point or so.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light copper color with a chill haze. Huge pillowy foam sits royally on top of the ale. In the aroma, resinous hops full of pine and grass. Bread and light honey as well. The brew itself tastes quite strongly of hops. A well pronounced, noble hop character is in place, tasting of herbs, pine, wood, and tea. Malt flavor ranges from caramel, buttery toffee, Orange blossom honey and marmalade. All the agreeably sweet malt notes are kept in check by a pinch of bitterness. Light bodied, well carbonated, small hop bite. Overall, I dig this beer. Quite noble indeed.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On cask at the Bull & Castle.

Pours strawberry blonder with a frothy pure white head that leaves trailers. Huge sticky flowers and sap hop nose. Papaya and honey malts, followed by a stinging hop bitterness, then a burst of citrus and cedar chips. Long aspirin linger. Medium, chewy and oily.

Cask lets all the dry hopping come out, and suddenly this beer is Californian. Bitterness is a bit hard to take, which is funny to say about an American-inspired Irish beer. Cloys over time, but still the best serving type for flavor.

Third review for the sweep! Unless Carlow start canning or the B&C does growlers, my last review of this beer; promise...

(3.5; 3.50 3.50 3.50 3.50 3.50)
Now added to the O'Hara's bottle range.
Pours pale amber with a puffy pure white head that doesn't hang around. Nose is pale malt, a bit of caramel and faint orange hops. Toast and autumn leaves up front with tea leaves and earthy spice hops. Metallic finish. Light to medium, fizzy, no cling.
Not a patch on the draught version. I don't know where the American hopping went. Suddenly a very average pint of bitter.
EDIT: There seem to have been some questionable early batches. Floral hops coming out much more now, so +.5 to taste.

(3.9; 4.00 3.50 4.00 4.00 4.00)
On tap at Bull & Castle, Dublin.

Pours pale red-gold with a cratered dense white head that rings. Fresh flowers and a hint of sour grain on the nose. Nutty, toasted bread malts with hops that show branch, hints of mint and orange rind, backed by a pure chalky bitterness. Nettle linger, tight finish, medium bodied and fizzy.

Not Goods Store, but a new ""IPA"" from Carlow. Compares favorably with Galway Hooker, which I suspect is the whole idea."

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500 mL bottle brought back from Ireland, thanks Alex! Pours a clear, light gold color with a fluffy white head. Lots of lace. Nice looking brew.

Nose is pretty bright and hoppy. Toasted bread maltiness, maybe even a little biscuity. Floral for sure and some light toffee as it warms.

Taste is a not-so-good combo of chalk, resin, light fruit and toasted malt. I can see some others liking this, but I dont really like the English Ale profile with a hoppy tilt. Not bad by any means, just not really my style.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Served in a pint glass at the Union Brewhouse in Weymouth.

Appearance: A one finger head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pale yellow orange color with good clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass. Frothy lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Fruity, herbal, honey, tea, biscuity, toasted, and pale malts.

Taste: Very balanced between above aromas. Some chewy notes and light bitterness too.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, light to medium bodied, crisp, refreshing, a little chewy, and balanced.

Overall: More of a English style IPA than an American.

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Photo of flyingpig
4.06/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pint on-tap at La Bon Crubeen, Dublin, Ireland (€5.70):
Clear, light amber colour with a creamy white head that is about 2cm & holds great with almost no initial movement & some nice bits of lacing left on the sides of the glass.

Sweet with some good earthy notes & a freshness from the background fruits with some malts & further sweetness. Not overly strong but manages to strike the right balance with a nice, slightly bitter finish & a few extra fruits thrown in too.

Very hoppy tasting, more so than I expected with the dry hopping paying off. There was a solid bitterness with some citrus & pine coming through alongside some of the earthy malts that featured on the nose. There was also a sweetness throughout & plenty of background fruits with some caramel too.

Smooth on the palate with a bitter and quite hoppy feel thanks to the dry hopping. The beer was dry with medium carbonation but held a good balance from the start.

A very nice tasting American pale ale and one that surprised me in just how good it was, I wasn't expecting anything like this. It is a beer I hope to pick up again at some point and I undoubtedly will if I can manage to find it in Scotland.

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Photo of rarbring
3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A clear amber brew with a white high head, very good lacing and good curtains.

A fruity smell, lemon and pears.

Tasting of brown bread, oranges, red apples, and bitter orange peel.

Medium carbonation, a refreshing texture with a light dry finish.

A nice straight aromatic pale ale.

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Photo of thierrynantes
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Beer bottle (33 cl.) purchased from Le comptoir Irlandais and tasted in 2014.

Appearance : clear amber color, with white foamy head.
Smell : hoppy and fruity aromas.
Taste & mouthfeel : caramel malty flavours,with a dry and bitter finish.
Overall : an average beer in the style Irish Pale Ale.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.57/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a globe. Best before date of July 2015.

A: Hazy golden orange with very fine particles in suspension. Fine-bubbled white head retains at a solid half inch. Thick rings of foamy lacing stick to the glass.

S: Heady hop aroma. Grapefruit, dank bud, lemony, somewhat vegetal and catty. Caramel, toast, and biscuit malt backing.

T: burst of citrusy hops on the attack. Grapefruit, lemon, hints of blood orange. Dank, vegetal, and a little catty as things progress. Bitterness is firm and even throughout. Hefty malt base of caramel and toasted grain. A touch brothy and buttery too. Finishes with sweet-ish bud-like hop flavors.

M: Stodgy medium body. Creamy texture. Fine carbonation scrubs with some aggression. Hop astringencies grip the tooth enamel.

O: You can basically think of it as an English IPA hopped with American strains. I think a few adjustments could help, as the hop profile comes off a bit disjointed and doesn't really meld well.

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Photo of Dentist666
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into english pint.
Clear golden/amber beer with 1,5 finger off-white head, good retention.
Nice aroma of piny, citrusy hops, owing to dry hopping. Taste is similar, floral and medicinal hops. Medium body, pleasant APA.

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Photo of delta490
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear medium deep gold. It has a nice thick white head that settles into a thin disc leaving sticky lacing. The aroma is more malt forward, with light caramel notes and a nice citrus hint. The taste is similar, with a more malt-forward base and hints of citrus balancing it out. The body is a little lighter and more carbonated then I'd prefer.

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Photo of Barleycorn
3.49/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A friend brought me a bottle direct from Ireland.

Pours a hazy golden to copper color. A creamy generous frothy head. The aroma is excellent – sweet flowery hops. Creamy, not watery. The taste however does not hold up to the aroma or the body hoppy but somewhat bitter. Good but could be great, taste disappoints.

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Photo of illpass78
3.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pint on draft in a nonic at the Druid in Cambridge, Mass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy yellow/gold with a big white head that recedes to a few millimeters of lacing and stays that way. Sheets of white lacing.

Aroma: Grapefruit, lemon, a little herbal tea.

Taste: Follows nose. Kind of a hybrid English IPA and American pale ale. Not super bitter, but does have slight lemony punch along with a dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Sessionable and easy.

Overall: A fine beer and a challenging one to categorize. Would drink again.

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Photo of Martine
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Recieved in a beer52 order. This will be my first experience of the O'Hara's brewery.

Pours clear dark amber-copper into a tulip glass from a 330ml bottle. The white head originally 2 fingers high dissapates quickly into thin white froth. This beer has noticeable carbonation, and leaves no lacing.

The nose is a bit strange to me at first. I get strong notes of bitter grapefruit, sweet caramel, and peaty earth. There is a pithyness to the aroma, a quality like unripened fruit, and definate honey now that I think about it. It is isn't a strong nose.

For the flavour, one gets sweet honeyed citrus, especially mango, orange, and grapefuit on the forefront which leads the way into resiny pine, sap, and ending on bitter hops. There is a malty character on the undertone which subtly holds up the other flavours, and lingers with bitterness into the aftertaste. The honey really comes through in an instant after the swallow, very noticeable but also fleeting when it leads directly into biscuit hops, and mellow caramel.

In the mouth it feels light-medium bodied and slightly oily. There is light-moderate carbonation which gives a crisp snap on the tongue, adding to the citrusy feel.

For me this beer comes across a bit too hop forward, and a bit too bitter. I feel like if the ABV was toned down a bit, and the bitterness lessened I would enjoy it more. I could return to this ale, but it isn't by any means the best out there.

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Photo of BigDaddyWarbuxx
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Surprisingly mild hop aroma. The flavor has an uncharacteristically decent amount of malt and sweetness to it. It's a pretty good beer, but it's not what I expected.

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Photo of JohnfromDublin
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tasted this bottle in August 2010. I have had this before (as a taster at a small beer festival), and was not all that impressed with it. With this bottle however, I am converted. To me, this is the best bottled beer I have tasted from the Carlow Brewing Company.

I poured the 500ml bottle into a Korenwolf pint glass. Nice clear amber body with a white head that thinned, but easily returned with a swirl of the glass. Smelled floral with a touch of citrus (?). The taste was really satisfying; well hopped (dry hopped says the label) with an unusual blend of bitterness and yet sweetness in the finish. Overall a very solid brew; I will definitely make this one a regular for my fridge.

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Photo of MarkoNm
2.46/5  rDev -33%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

O'Hara's generally makes decent beer, but this one is definitely not amongst my favourites.
It pours with a light ruby color and a very generous creamy head.
The aroma is very nice - sweet and fruity, citrusy hops. I like it.
The creamy body taste extra bitter and extremelly hopped which is not really what I like.
I'll keep away from this one.

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Photo of Everydayoff
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle poured into a mug by freshness date.

Hazy body from the use of wheat, dark coppery in color with an amber hue, thick white creamy head forms up with good retention. It slowly recedes and leaves exceptional amount of sticky lacing patches and spots all over before falling to everlasting foamy layer cover on top.

Floral and citrus hop predominate in nose along with bitter hop, hint of honey and biscuity malt.

Delicate and persistent bitterness is derived from good hop quality. Malt is in the back line to support the bitterness portion. Hop tries to balance the bitterness itself by a zesty citrus that explores the way to sense a floral and spicy note same time in the bitter end.

The body is medium, rather smooth mouthfeel with right amount of carbonation to carry its body and taste. Overall, quite hoppy ale, it’s good to cut with the sweet one in your drink session.

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Photo of Kremlock
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: White creamy head about 1". Lasting head with low lacing. Colour is a nice copper

S: Zesty, citrus notes

T: Medium butter taste, soft pine and floral bitterness with citrus after taste.

M: Carb is great, very clean. Finish is long and dry

O: This is a great beer that is well balanced. The critus notes cut in very well but does not overshadow the malt. This is a great go to beer.

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Photo of khmel
3.81/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Hazy light copper. Thick foamy, off-white head with long retention, fast carbonation trails

S: Really nice pine and citrus hops, light floral smell.

T: Mild, pine hops in front, citrus-y towards the finish. Lingering and well rounded.

M: Fairly smooth and creamy for an IPA. Medium body.

O: This one is quite nice, refreshing. It's a regular go to.

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Photo of Sinfull
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

Golden color with average white head. Beautiful aroma of hop , herbs and citrus . Taste is bitter and floral. Pleasant hops bitterness in aftertaste. Very good beer.

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O'Hara's Irish Pale Ale from Carlow Brewing Company
3.67 out of 5 based on 161 ratings.
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