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

bottled
common

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 952   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.86/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%
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.”


3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
vtafro (6679) - Wayne, New Jersey, USA - JUN 9, 2009
Bottle. This beer was interesting to say the least, wasn’t sure what to expect while opening it, but my curiosity payed off delicious flavors but aroma is ok, alcohol content barely shows through.

3.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
jonno (2489) - JAPAN - JUN 8, 2009
UPDATED: JUN 10, 2009 Unfortunately a bit thin on the palate. Probably not a robust enough beer for this type of aging. Smokey, malty nose, but not more than I was expecting. Whiskey and chocolate body with a medium bitter finish. Flattered to deceive.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
MAP (1133) - Lakewood, Ohio, USA - JUN 3, 2009
Bottle purchased at Buckeye Beer Engine. I have been sitting on the 30 and 12 versions for quite a while now, so I decided to go out and get a 12 to try and see if I want to hold off on the other 2, or dive right in. The aroma of this right off the bat was something else. It reminded me of some good cured olives. The pour is a deep dark black which required a rough pour to give it a wonderful thick cream head on top. The aroma, once my nose got right up next to the beer is very smokey, lots of character is given off from the barrels, so much so that there robust smokey malt flavors from the Highland Scotch actually come through here. Jesus, it has been years since I have had Scotch, but this brings me back. The rest of this beer is just a huge malt profile that has been put to bed. It is so smooth that it just goes down so smooth. The alcohol is hidden completely, and the chocolaty malt flavors just get to come in like none other. This has adopted the barrel conditioning better, and more drastically, than any other beer I can think of.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Gypsy19 (726) - California, USA - JUN 2, 2009
September 2007 bottle. Pours an inky dark brown with just a fine lacing. Aroma is of ripe dark fruit, molasses, just a hint of scotch. Flavor is initially leathery, somewhat salty, followed by a definite whiskey presence. Smoky finish. Each sip gets a little better. Pleasant flavor, ultimately. Palate is oily, on par with other old ales I’ve had, nothing extraordinary in the mouthfeel. Could’ve been a tad sweeter; That would’ve made this very memorable for me. Still nice though. I’d have again if it weren’t so overpriced. Overall, very good minus.

4.1
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
mabel (8640) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JUN 1, 2009
[2061-20090402] 11.2floz bottle. Pizza crust rich figgy roasted malt aroma. Black body with a quick bubbly dark tan head. Rich malty roast aroma has rich whiskey throughout and oak and something like "seaweed." Full body. Very tasty, rich with whiskey cream.
(12 Reserve from Village Beer Merchant, Buffalo; w/ garthicus, HogTownHarry, jerc)

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
brewski519 (644) - Morrisville, North Carolina, USA - MAY 29, 2009
Bottle # 6938, Sept 2007. Pitch black pour and a nice chocolate head. Aroma of whiskey (subtle - unlike others I have tried that end up overwhelming), smoke, dark fruit and chocolate. Serious taste on this one - again the whisky is very present but subtle at the same time.. perfect blend. Also behind the whiskey was the taste of a chocolate bar and some fruitiness. Like the Old Engine Oil, this is one thick beer. This one is a winner.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Butters (4045) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - MAY 27, 2009
Sampled at the Alexi TN distributor’s tasting; thanks Jim Bird! Tasted alongside the 16 and 30 year. All poured a very dark brown with a very small dark tan head. Roasty, hammy and creamy smooth. Pretty tasty stuff, just too expensive.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Ughsmash (7508) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 20, 2009
Bottle #5784, Sept. 2007. Poured rich, deep coffee brown with a swirly dusting of beige head. The aroma picked up sweeter, roasted chocolate and coffee notes laced with earthy and peaty whiskey.. the maltage here really came across as candy-like. The flavor had more of a blackstrap molasses and toasted black patent malt character with the smoky peat presence remaining the same.. mild oaky and whiskey sourness around the edges and through the finish, leaving a long-lasting impression. Sweeter than expected on the palate, which made it very dessert-y.. the whiskey presence cut through it nicely.. this was tasty, but certainly not great.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Jonte (1413) - Gothenburg, SWEDEN - MAY 20, 2009
Bottle. Haket. Gothenburg. Dark brown/black colour with a beige head. Aroma: a bit salty, roasted, smoky, dark fruit. Taste: Very smooth and creamy, dark fruit, sweetness, saltiness, oak, light smoke and peat. Rosted dry finish.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
DialSquare (4293) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - MAY 16, 2009
bottle No. 26829/Sept 2007. jet black pour wih a thin beige head. aroma is burnt heavy malts, smoke, whiskey. tastes of light smoke, vanilla, dark chocolate and dark fruits. slick medium to light texture. subtle bitter finish. Good Stuff.


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