Name: O’Hara’s Irish Stout
Brewery: Carlow Brewing Company
Country of Origin: Ireland
City & State: County Carlow, Ireland
Style: Irish Dry Stout
Alcohol Content (ABV): 4.3%
First Brewed: 1998
A brief chocolate overture on the nose is followed swiftly by a stunningly dry, almost sulfurous flavor. After a second, the bitter, roasted coffee notes rise to take the edge off, and then the chocolate makes a reappearance for a smooth, sweet finish.
Man, today has been a long day. Actually, I have had a REALLY long week. Anyway, since Sheryl started her new job we haven’t reviewed a beer. Hopefully we can review two tonight. I suggested we do an “off the wall” review where we review a beer that isn’t on the list, but gets equal attention for the blog. I hope to do more of those, as I have started posting more content about the other beers I am drinking on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Anyway, we decided to review a beer that I had already prepared. I am not typically a fan of Irish stouts, but I am excited to try this one. It’s been a while since we reviewed a beer, so regardless what it tastes like, it should be fun!
Oh, and I am not 100% positive, but I feel like the bottle changed. This bottle is only 11.2 ounces, and for some reason I thought they were bigger a few months ago. Can anyone shed some light on that for us?
In the Glass: This is pitch black in the glass with a nice two finger tan head. The lace is also nice, which isn’t typical for this style. When I think of Irish stouts, beers like Guinness, Murphy’s, and George Killian’s come to mind. I tend to only drink this style around St. Patrick’s Day. The lace is drawing the glass to my nose. Let’s see what she smells like.
Nose: The aroma is pretty boring. It takes a deep whiff to get some nice subtle dark burnt chocolate aromas. I want to say there are some subtle coffee notes peaking through there, too. I bet a beer like this infused with coffee would be amazing. Yeah, not impressed with the nose. I hope this bottle delivers on the flavor.
Flavor: I will say this is much better than Guinness. I mean, another level better. However, I don’t like Guinness. Not saying I hate this beer, but it’s just not my “thing”. The flavor does change as it slides across your palate. I am getting, at first, some nice burnt chocolate flavors, then I am hit with a metallic flavor as I swallow. I dislike my beers tasting like I just licked a coin. The finish is quick, leaving nothing really to desire. It’s too cold, but I am not sure this will be much better unless it is in a warm glass AT room temperature.
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is nice. It has a nice fluffy experience going on. On my third drink, I did swish it around in my mouth a little. It didn’t really do much for the flavor, but did open the beer up a little. If I was in a bar in Ireland, I might order an Irish stout. Just because I was there. But I wouldn’t order two.
Aftertaste: It starts with those same metallic notes that I was getting, but quickly fades away leaving me bored. I HAVE to take another drink just to get some more flavor in my mouth. The finish is drying, which I like. But not drying enough to require another drink.
There are a few more of these on the list… but I doubt I like any/many of them. Oh well, maybe the next beer will leave me sockless. Get it?
O’Hara’s Irish Stout – The bottle says: “NA”
Well, the first thing I have to say about tonight’s beer is that it’s got a LOT of head. Ricky poured it into a glass a while ago, and mine has been sitting on the counter while I finished watching a TV show. I came to get it, and it still has foam on top. Hmm. That’s a little crazy. In the glass, it’s very dark, pretty much black. It looks like a porter or a stout. If I remember correctly, it’s an Irish stout, actually. And it looks it with it’s thick black appearance. It also smells like an Irish stout. For those of you that don’t know what that means, I’m not entirely sure how to describe it. It smells wet and vaguely of coffee. There’s another smell to it that’s familiar, but I can’t really think how to describe it.
First sip… it does taste slightly like Guinness, which is what most people think of when they think Irish stout, I’m sure. It kind of reminds me of motor oil a little bit. I mean, it certainly has the look and feel of it. The taste… well, it’s pretty much a basic Irish stout taste. It’s distinctive, and if you haven’t tried one before, you should give it a shot once. It’s definitely not a taste for everyone, and not really one I prefer, as much as I like most porters and stouts. It’s just a flavor I don’t like that much.
I wish I could describe this beer better, but it’s really just a typical Irish stout. It’s kind of dry and flavorless… definitely not like other stouts. If you like Guinness, you might like this. If you’re not a fan of Irish stouts, you probably won’t like it. It’s just not that much to write home about, in my opinion.