O’Shea’s Traditional Irish Stout
Brewed by Carlow Brewing Company
Style: Irish Stout
Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow, Ireland
Located in Bagenalstown, County Carlow, in the south-east of Ireland, the Carlow Brewing Company, founded by the O’Hara family in 1996, is one of the largest and most successful craft breweries in Ireland. It is more popularly known as O’Hara’s Brewing Company after the family name that still runs the business today.
After seeing the wide success of the craft beer revolution in the United States and Continental Europe, Seamus O’Hara, along with his brother Eamon, decided to produce Irish craft beers, at first to export, and later, to Ireland after it took the natives to come round to the idea of anything but macro beers.
They produce a wide variety of exciting and adventurous beers. From the regular Red Ales, IPA’s, Stouts, to beers that perhaps are a bit of a rarity to Irish drinkers……Smoked Ales, Golden Ales, and Celtic versions of Wheat Beers!!
I have tasted O’Hara’s well known Irish Red Traditional Ale, a beer that many reviewers rant and rave about, but alas I thought was very disappointing and slightly overrated.
Review: 50cl brown bottle of O’Shea’s Irish Stout: 4.5% vol.
Incase you are confused, the O’Shea brand is made by the Carlow Brewing company for the Aldi cheap discount store, think of it as the ugly sister to the O’Hara’s beers!
Coming in a nice big brown bottle with an interesting logo of a swan, pretty lettering of “O’Shea’s” which looks nice. “Craft brewed In Ireland”
On pour I get the, as expected, stout look of a pitch black appearance, creamy with a tannish frothy head. It is not a Guinness head but not bad all the same.
Some good lacing. Overall a good looking stout.
The aroma is quite light, getting the coffee and roasted malts notes with hints of toffee, but overall it is all disappointedly light on the nose.
On the taste, found it quite strong in the hops, a very bitter unpleasant taste for me.
In addition, I got a very strong taste of coffee and dark chocolate. too strong, also a bit too creamy. It has all the characteristics you need for a good stout, but its seems they overdid it a little with them.
Initial mouthfuls were a turnoff, not nice at all, more a bad IPA than a stout. Very hard to stomach really, disgusting even.
Taste got slightly better in the second bottle, with less lingering bitterness, but less taste too!
It can be manageable to sip slowly, but it’s a bit bland with no exciting flavours and those hops are a killer on the taste buds. Overall it never felt like a stout.
Also found it to be quite strong in the alcohol, a bit boozey, gave me a slight head the next day, even if it was just 4.5% vol…….