A taste of… O’Hara’s Irish Stout

Carlow Brewing Company Muine Bheag Business Park County Carlow Ireland phone: +353(0)59-972050

Preface: This wee bottle has been residing in the back of my refrigerator since St. Patrick’s Day. A few days before that it was delivered by parcel post along with the cheese you see in the picture. What appears to be a date notation on the bottle neck is “FEB 11”. Label claims that this beer was brewed by Carlow Brewing Company, Station Rd., Carlow Ireland. (Imported by Distinguished Brands International, Littleton, CO.)

I can assure you that any promotional material that came with this product has long since been disposed of so will not influence these tasting notes.

The following are my tasting notes:

Appearance: This is a very deep red garnet colored brew that is almost opaque. A fairly active carbonation bills a not too dense head of medium to small sized bubbles that form a light brown Sandy colored head.

Aroma: The first impression aromatic take, is that of prunes. The second sensation enforces the first impression but smooths out a bit. The third nosedive detects a slight hint of phenol.

Mouth feel: This is a surprisingly light bodied beer for the aroma and color.

Flavor: After the first refreshing sensation the initial impression echoes the program aroma with just a touch of highly roasted malt. In the second sip the aromatics of flavor blends together. The third swig reveals no new nuances but simply enforces the first impressions. There are no surprises here.

However, it is a surprisingly light bodied beer.

Finish: The finish is without the traditional rasp of patent malt that usually leaves a dusty dryness to the last impression. This beer is not his intense as one would expect from the aroma or the color.

Comments: The folks that sent me this beer included, as you can see from the picture, an attractively wrapped chunk of Blue Cheese labeled as Cashel blue – Irish farmhouse cheese – made by the Grubb family at Beechmont, Fethard, County Tipperary.

I feel it would be remiss of me if I did not sample the cheese with the Stout.

On first impression it is a most creamy variety of blue cheese. It has a sharp tang to it that is pleasant rather than distracting. Second taste includes the impression that there is also little crumble to this cheese the blue accents are very attractive as is the aroma and almost Stilton like flavor. With the third nibble the Stout joined in and the combination of flavors introduced the malt accents that had been missing when sipping the beer before tasting the cheese. Impression of both together will certainly complementary.

The Brewery: Carlow Brewing Company

What others say: BeerAdvocate | RateBeer