O’Hara’s Celebration StoutJuly 1, 2008 Carlow, Ireland
Carlow Brewing Co.
Imported by: Distinguished Brands Intn’l
The O’Hara family established a brewery in County Carlow in south-east Ireland in 1996 and produced their Irish stout in 1998. This special stout commemorates the brewery’s 10th anniversary.
Color: 160 EBC
Original gravity: 1060
Black as night. Molasses, cocoa powder, burnt raison, unsweetened black licorice stick, dark chocolate, espresso and hints of charcoal. Bone dry on the finish. Perhaps the most distinctive and complex Irish stout I have ever tasted. But, this isn’t a “session” beer. This is one for sipping and contemplation.
- John Hansell
This stopper-topped bottle opens with a mighty crack, and the beer pours with considerable foam, all of which makes me guess there might be some bottle conditioning at play here. In the glass, it’s pitch black with a bold espresso and dark chocolate accented aroma, and an assertive flavor that starts with creamy chocolate notes before a full, roasty, mouth-coating body carrying notes of strong coffee, black malt, licorice root, a bit of wood smoke and, yes, a hint of yeastiness. A tremendous, forceful stout that’s far too big and bold to be a session beer, but would be well at home beside a groaning plate of barbecue beef ribs.
- Stephen Beaumont
John Hansell is an equal-opportunity drinker. He writes about beer, wine and spirits. He is the creator, publisher & editor of Malt Advocate, a magazine for the whisky enthusiast.
Stephen Beaumont boarded his first plane at the age of 15 and hasn’t looked back since, obsessing about travel to the point that he gets nervous if he doesn’t have a ticket or two stacked on the corner of his desk. When he’s not running around in search of new taste experiences, he makes his home in Toronto, where a new cultural experience is only as far away as the next neighborhood.
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