RateBeer
overall
99
98
style
Brewed by Harviestoun
Style: Old Ale
Alva, Central, Scotland

bottled
common

on tap
common

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 857   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.85   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.”


3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
VTHopHead (1511) - Barre, Vermont, USA - FEB 8, 2009
Bottle #02299 9/2007 - Poured a very dark black-brown in color with only the thinest of a tan head that faded very quickly. Low carbonation. Aroma is of darkly roasted malts, oak, chocolate and vanilla. Flavor is smoky with the heaviness of very dark malt (black patent), woodiness and bitter chocolate. Lingering bitterness and woody flavors. Warming alcohol at the end. Decent...

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
GAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - FEB 5, 2009
Cask at the Brick Store. Pours almost completely black with a large bubbly mocha head that recedes quickly to nothing and leaves no lacing. The aroma has lots of dark roasted malts with a well balanced bourbon and chocolate on top. The oak and vanilla finish things off in the aroma. The taste is am amped-up version of the aroma with a huge bourbon kick up front which gives way to the backbone or dark roasted malts. More chocolate sweetness than in the aroma along with vanilla before the bourbon and oak come back with a slightly dry finish. The mouthfeel is velvety smooth with low carbonation and goes down easy. This is a great beer that gets even better on cask. Super smooth, well balanced and very tasty.

3.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
JB175 (1665) - Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 5, 2009
Darker brown color with almost no head. Aroma is big and roasty with some heavy wood and dark chocolate influence. Flavor has a heavy woody-roasty-charred barrel flavor that is good but simple. Robust at the start, but it can’t really hold it together. Not bad.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
TBone (13508) - Pori, FINLAND - FEB 4, 2009
Bottled #5426 Nov 2008. Dark brown color, steady espresso head. Strong smokey whisky aroma with hints of tar. Strong carbonation in the front. Medium-bodied. Highland Park -whisky flavor, roasted malts and licorice, in the finish hints of wood. Aftertaste is quite alcoholic. As austone said, Old Engine Oil is a bit too thin for barreling, Brewdog’s impy is a bit better for it.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
mjg74 (2670) - Salem, Oregon, USA - FEB 2, 2009
Bottle from Windmill Farms. THick opaque coloring with a hint of ruby. Strong, creamy whiskey barrel aroma. Sweet nose with a little dark fruit. A hint of alcohol. Very thick mouthfeel. Woody and roasty. Roasted malts and some bitterness. Pretty solid.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
McGarnigle (573) - Rochester, New York, USA - JAN 31, 2009
Bottled Sept 07. Pours inky black into a goblet, maybe some purple around the edges, with limited head. Smells stout-ish. Very low carbonation, medium-heavy body, not quite a barleywine-like sipper. Taste is roasty, chocolaty, slightly smoky. Some raisiny notes, plus some whisky in the ribs afterwards. The mouthfeel slows you down more than any bitterness or booze does. Quite good.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
austone (1062) - Turku; Pori, FINLAND - JAN 31, 2009
Bottled. Black, thin and fading tanned head. Clear oak nose, some whiskey and burned maltiness. Flavor is rye pudding, dark chocolate and mild barrel. Dry burned finish with black espresso later on. Whiskey isn’t as apparent here as in the aroma. Medium bodied, strong and a bit harsh carbonation for the style. Old engine oil is perhaps a bit too thin for the barrel, and this result sure ain’t the most complex one. A pleasant sipper anyway.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
puzzl (3254) - New York, New York, USA - JAN 28, 2009
Cask at Rattle’n’Hum. Muggy, whisky and oxidized malt aroma, plenty of prune, vanilla. Good body, lightish briney whiskey, corn meal. Nice and thick, but pretty much just a typical whiskey overload. Works fairly well though.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
PorterPounder (5946) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - JAN 23, 2009
Tallahassee, Fl. - Liquor Loft - 12 oz bottle - bottle #20892/Sept 2007. Viscous, black as tar pour with a thin khaki colored head that rings the glass. In the front end, warming flavor, with some hints of licorice, pipe tobacco, and some smoky notes. As it settles, some sherry notes wander in, with hints of raisins and just a hint of chocolate. Finishes with just a hint of Scotch - reminding you of where this had been aged. Mouthfeel is warm and thickish. Excellent winter warmer.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Sigmund (5554) - Tau, NORWAY - JAN 22, 2009
330 ml bottle, courtesy of Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. Bottle No. 04062. ABV is 8.0%. Pitch black colour, big to moderate and creamy tan head. The whisky oak cask with peaty smoke and notes of vanilla and sherry comes through immediately in the aroma, followed by notes of roastiness (roast malts, coffee) and chocolate. The flavour has loads of rich malty sweetness, immediately followed by distinct notes of peaty smoke - it is quite amazing what impact the whisky cask has. Dark chocolate in the middle. The finish has a firm bitterness from the hops and burnt malts, while the peaty smoke lasts through the long aftertaste. A truly impressive beer, but if you don’t like scotch whisky at all, this might not be the beer for you. Not easy drinking, but a great sipping beer, and a real treat for any lover of peatiness.


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