Brewed by Harviestoun
Style: Old Ale
Alva, Central, Scotland


on tap

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RATINGS: 749   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.84   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%
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Ola Dubh (or ‘Black Oil’) is a collaboration between Harviestoun Brewery and Highland Park, Distiller of the Year*. It is based on Harviestoun’s award-winning Old Engine Oil. With more than a stylistic nod to the classic Imperial Porters (and Stouts) of the nineteenth century, this deliciously rich, dark, 8% a.b.v. beer is the first ale to be aged in malt whisky casks from a named distillery and, with traceable casks and numbered bottles, the rest with genuine provenance. Ola Dubh will initially be available in three different expressions; the initial release will be of small batches aged in casks formerly used to mature Highland Park 12 Year Old, Highland Park 16 Year Old and Highland Park 30 Year Old. Further variants are planned for the future. Ola Dubh is, in the words of beer afficionado Owen D.L. Barstow: “The most interesting new British beer I have tried in years.”

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Boutip (4494) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 6, 2008
Bottle courtesy of goryshkewych: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a medium foamy brown head with good retention retention. Aroma of chocolate with roasted malt is easily identifiable. The roasted malt with some medium notes of chocolate and coffee also dominates taste. Nice creamy body with some good carbonation and no alcohol was discernable. I can’t say that I distinguished a lot of differences form the regular version and likely would stick to that one considering the difference in prices.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
bb (6697) - Alamo, California, USA - MAY 5, 2008
Bottle (number 08531). Ruby-black beer with a slight brown head. Big peat, light roast, and oak aroma.Rich caramel, peat, and light roast flavor. Medium bodied. Nice complexity. Barrel aging not too strong. Very drinkable. Stronger, slightly more harsh peat/roast components than the 16.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
DYCSoccer17 (3226) - Woodland, California, USA - MAY 3, 2008
12 ounce bottle (06358 09/07) purchased from the Davis Food Co-Op. Single blind tasting side by side with the Ola Dubh 16 year. Sweeter, smoother, with more caramel notes present in the aroma than the 16 year. Still has some leathery, tobacco notes and less booziness than the 16 year. More quaffable. Moderately transparent mahogany body with a light tan head that disspates quicker than the 16 year. Nice legs and slightly more transparent than the 16. Tastes rather similar to the 16, but this has more caramel sweetness in the middle. Not as dry in the finish as the 16 is, which is a good thing. Still has some peatiness and malty flavors accentuated by the oak flavors. Finishes with lots of cigar smokiness. More drinkable, and not as boozy as the 16.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
marcus (6015) - Sacramento, California, USA - MAY 1, 2008
This black ale poured with a thin beige head. There is a nice malt flavor with a lot of coffee and chocolate and distinct whiskey undertones. Very pleasant.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
jake65 (2532) - Williston, North Dakota, USA - APR 27, 2008
Dark brown with a smaller beige head. Aroma is woody and sweet. Plenty of bourbon notes with a little bit of earthiness. The smoke flavor seems to blend well with the sweetness of the bourbon and maltiness. Nice creamy texture.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
darkguardian (724) - Florida, USA - APR 27, 2008
12oz bottle from Knightly Spirits. Pours a deep chunky black with a small milk chocolate colored head into my beer stein. Aroma of milk chocolate, caramel, mollasses, vanilla, cinammon and dark fruits and of course single malt scotch. Roasty coffee flavors up front with a strong smokey scotch middle and a caramel/dark chocolate finish with a little bitterness. Reminscent of a smoked porter. Very very good but a sipper to be sure. ABV is well hidden. Low carbonation and a huge thick palate. This is more robust I suspect the 30 and 16 would be more mellow and smooth.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
BückDich (5464) - McCall, Idaho, USA - APR 27, 2008
Bottle: Pours a dark black color with light tan hints of light. The nose is lightly spicy with some peat and roast; subtle coffee and a wooden smoked honey hint. A decent amount of whiskey smells. The flavor is balanced with a nice citrusy whiskey note and a chewy malty body. Fresh and springy compared to the other 2, but still reminds me of a velvet chair by a fireplace with a snifter.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Headbanger (3001) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - APR 24, 2008
12oz bottle (Thanks to Hopscotch)-Pours a pitch black with a small tan ring for a head. Aroma of whisky, coffee, and roasted malt. Taste begins with nothing then builds into the whisky and alcohol. Very well balanced and subtle with its flavors.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Cornfield (5362) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - APR 24, 2008
Bottle 06256, September 2007 - Pours out a thick dark brown fluid that turns black in the glass with some mahogany at the edges. Instead of a head it has a slender pale tan ring. Multi-faceted aroma - charred wood, molasses, dark chewy malt, aniseed, bittersweet chocolate, alcohol. Thick and creamy mouthfeel albeit alcohol heated on the tongue. The flavors has the addition of some roastiness and the alcohol is more evident. A tasty brew even for an avowed hophead.

<font size=-4><a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Places/ShowPlace.asp? Lakeview Liquors, Chicago, IL<font size=-1>

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Rusty (1533) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - APR 24, 2008
Pours a deep and evil viscous motor oil black with small brown head. Aroma of whisky, malt, roasted barley and fruits. Flavor of barley, molasses, whiskey meld with a fruity flavor and all combine into this well put together brew. Now if it wasn’t so damn expensive I’d do it again.

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