Brewed by Carlow
Style: Irish Ale
Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow, Ireland
Serve in English pint


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 868   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.06/5   EST. CALORIES: 129   ABV: 4.3%
A traditional light hop flavour balances the sweet malty caramel taste. The addition of a pinch of roast barley during the brewing process lends a distinctive roast bite which is balanced by a crisp dry medium bitterness.

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   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
TheBeerLover (1026) - DC Metro Area, USA - FEB 2, 2006
Well done example of Irish Red Ale from an Irish brewery. This beer pours to a beautiful, bright, deep ruby color, with a creamy white head, and a moderate amount of carbonation. The nose on this beer is very inviting ,with some good sweet malty aroma paired with some estery fruit aromas. The palate on this beer is firm, with notes of sweet and caramel malts, paired with light touches of butter, and juicy fruit. It finishes with more malt and fruit character up front, then ends slightly cloying. Hops are present in this beer, but just to balance. A very well done, malt accented and fruity brew, a great beer to match with red meats such as beef or lamb.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
pigiax (5) - ITALY - JUL 1, 2012 does not count
Birra rossa molto luppolata. Resta molto a lungo il sapore sul palato. Ottima con carni rosse

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Grzesiek79 (4135) - Radom, POLAND - NOV 15, 2012
Dobre i gożkie piwo i o mocnym goryczkowym akcencie na finiszu. Piana spora i twoży na szklanicy ślady. Głęboko ciemnoczerwony kolor tego celtyckiego piwa tylko zachęca do skosztowania

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Carlowxxx (134) - Carlow, IRELAND - JUN 13, 2015
UPDATED: OCT 25, 2015 This was an exceptional well-balanced reddish Irish ale. It had reddish overtone. The flavor was abundant and well pronounced. It had slight hints of caramel, mint, and irish hops... and good palate. Very balanced. Finally someone produced a good red. I love this beer, it’s so much better than the norm. i give it top marks

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Embrouille (2843) - SWITZERLAND - JUL 6, 2008
UPDATED: NOV 20, 2008 Bottled 33cl. It pours a beautiful deep amber beer with a creamy, nicely lasting lightly tanned head. Wheaty smoky nose. Sweet smoky taste. Wheat, licorice, nutmeg, mince pies, berries, incense, banana, cloves and ginger showing up. Nicely balanced. Decent bitterness. Extremely pleasant mouthfeel. Beautiful lacing. Strong sweet smoky finish. Draught 50cl in Penny Farthing in Aarau, Switzerland. Wonderfully balanced. Hints of mince pies, candy, pear and hops. Decent bitterness. Smooth. Inferior to the bottled version. 7/3/7/4/13 3.4

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
darioklc (729) - Karlovac, CROATIA - MAY 9, 2012
Poured into original O’Hara’s 0.5l glass which I’ve bought together with beer. The color is reddish with a lot of bubbles. There isn’t a lot of foam and it gradually disappears. It has a pretty intense malt aroma with a slight sensation of alcohol This is the first red beer that I tried and maybe because of that it seems to me that this is one of the best beers I have tried. It has a rich caramel flavor, neither sweet nor bitter, just as it should be. As I said before this was really big surprise for me in a good way. Surely beer that you must try!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
PsychoGunnar (200) - Bergen, NORWAY - JAN 10, 2013
First it seduces you with a fruity attack of strawberries, dates, rock candy and a bit of black pudding; before a smoked out whisky and black pudding-aftertaste kicks in. Eventful journey through the palate. Looks a bit uninspiring, though; bad foam and unexciting colour. A pint is a bit too much.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
hoptimusPrimed (155) - SPAIN - JUN 27, 2014
One of my favourite reds, a gorgeous colour when poured and a good level of hoppyness.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Tezminator (106) - AUSTRALIA - NOV 18, 2016
Aroma of caramel and roasted malt. The same applies to taste, added with certain sweetness. Some floral and herbal notes with moderate bitterness. What a beautiful balanced beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ChadPolenz (1749) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - FEB 27, 2010
I’ve never been a big fan of Irish Reds because they’re inherently bland, mild beers. I didn’t think it was even possible to make a beer in this style that was genuinely flavorful until I tried O’Hara’s Irish Red.


The beer pours a little rough, which is fine because it produces a large layer of beige, foamy head which lasts throughout the drink and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. The body has a beautiful, crystal-clear, shade of perfect red. The aroma is sweet with indication of malts and hops.


Whenever a beer of an otherwise mild style is bustling with taste it’s very impressive to me. That’s how I felt as soon as I took my first sip of O’Hara’s Irish Red. A distinct sweet flavor of caramel is noticeable. Additionally, a hop bitterness makes itself known giving the beer a quality similar to a pale ale (but then again an Irish Red is just a form of that style anyway).

Overall, the taste is exactly as the label describes: “A full bodied Irish red with a traditional hop flavor to balance a sweet malt finish.” If only all beers were marketed so honestly.


Although this beer has a bit more discernable carbonation to its composition, it is not difficult to drink. With a sweet taste that isn’t too strong and a body that’s more tepid than most, O’Hara’s is a fairly smooth brew.


Beers brewed in the “Irish Red” style are usually intended to be session brews, there’s nothing “imperial” about beers of this type. O’Hara’s definitely would make a case for that as it’s only 4.3% ABV and less filling than most beers of the style.


I was very discouraged by Smithwick’s, but I’m glad I tried O’Hara’s Irish Red because it made me a believer in the style.

NOTE: Watch the video version of this review here:


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