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


on tap

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RATINGS: 799   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.85   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 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
tronraner (2459) - Walland, Tennessee, USA - AUG 30, 2008
12 oz bottle. Pours amber black with small tan head. The aroma is peat smoke, bitter chocolate, dark fruit, wood, ash. The flavor is sweetish at first, dominated by chocolate and whisky. It then dries out as some drier wood, ash, and smoke tones come to the fore. A fine blackberry fruitiness stays in the background for balance. The finish has a slight alcohol burn to it, as well as a deep ashiness, leaving an aftertaste much like having had a sip of whisky. This is some pretty good stuff.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
doubleipa (224) - Georgia, USA - AUG 29, 2008
Appearaance: on einch, frothy, light brown head. Black. Aroma: burnt, peat, charcoal, licorice, cola, and cask wood. Heavy bitter finish and very dry finish. Nothing like I’ve ever had before. Can really taste the charcoal from the cask. Couldn’t drink more than one of these. Would go great with a Maduro wrapped cigar.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Maverick34 (2308) - New York, USA - AUG 28, 2008
Poured dark w/ moderate light tannish head. Aroma is smoky peaty scotch type w/chocolate and malts. Taste is got a bit too much whiskey hangover but some nice choc and a nice tangy note too.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
desdemoor (14) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - AUG 25, 2008
Review bottle from brewery, 33cl, bottle 01317, botteld September 2007. Black, creamy brown head, woody whisky cask aroma with hint of olive and dark malt notes, thick chocolate malt palate, soft and luscious with woody background and lightly vinous notes, toffee and woody dryness, whiskyish swallow, warming finish with more chocolate, chewy malt, hops, tangy notes and a final charred wood flourish. Excellent.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
timsilvia32 (449) - from Michigan now in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - AUG 24, 2008
UPDATED: SEP 7, 2008 Black/ruby pour with nearly no head arising, just the faint circulating of some miniscule bubbles throughout. Solid malt aroma, molasses. Nice suble hints of the whisky barrels blend really well with the big maltiness. Some raisin, vanilla, maple syrup likeness also. Very smooth and drinkable. I worry that the brews with the higher aged barrels will take on too much character from the barrel, I guess I’ll have to see. This one, is excellent however. If it was cheaper I’d invest in a case of it.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Beerman6686 (4404) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 20, 2008
Pours a very dark brown color with a small off white head. Aroma is of sweet malts, and bourbon. Flavor is much the same, really sweet, covers up the alcohol very well but the whiskey is still there but blends in well.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Dogbrick (8237) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - AUG 18, 2008
UPDATED: AUG 29, 2008 Bottle #25197 from The Anderson’s. The beer pours nearly black with a medium thin and foamy beige head that recedes slowly. Rings of lacing on the glass. Aroma of sweet malt and molasses, plus a bit of espresso. Medium-bodied with a nice roasty character. Flavors of burnt malt, coffee and oak. Whisky notes are very subtle. The finish is roasty and sweet with a lingering malty aftertaste. Very good overall, but it better be considering the price tag. I will definitely look for the 16 and the 30 after trying this.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Immy (1955) - Virginia Beach, USA - AUG 14, 2008
11.2 oz bottle, #06629/Sept 2007. Black with a small brown head. Rich, sweet nose, molasses, caramel and vanilla, thick malt. Smooth medium body, silky. Somewhat sweet flavors of smoky molasses and roasty malt, whiskey is apparent but works well with the other flavors, adds a touch of booziness. A nice sipper - complex, tasty, not overbearing and rather drinkable.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
2L2L2Q (3) - decatur, Georgia, USA - AUG 12, 2008 does not count
bottle 11290, Sept 07. Smelled strongly of molasses and poured a very smooth dark color. Tasted like a combination of molasses and coffee. I expected a stronger whiskey taste and smell which I didn’t get but it did leave a nice warm feeling in my belly. Really enjoyed it but at the price, not a beer i would drink all the time.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
nbutler11 (1267) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - AUG 10, 2008
Poured like espresso from the bottle with a tirm head of tan foam that quickly dissapates. Brimming with the flavors of smoke and pete. Syruppy body with plenty of heat on the finish.

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