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: 795   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.”


3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
argo0 (11533) - Washington DC, USA - MAY 15, 2008
(33cl bottle, #19546, Sept07, vertical with the 16 & 30) Black body with small, quickly dissipating tan head. Aroma is medium sweet, caramel, vanilla, plum/raisin, some smoke, molasses. Taste is moderately sweet, caramel, smoke/roast, light lactic sourness, plum. Light alcohol burn. Medium-full body, some stickiness. Scotch is complementary rather than overpowering.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Walt (2449) - Austin, Texas, USA - MAY 15, 2008
Drank as a vertical of 12, 16, and 30: Pour is opaque black with a thin skin of a tan head...roasty molasses and chocolate nose...some alcohol too...taste is roasty and sweet with smoke and wood and some peaty flavors too...tasty...

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
RagallachMC (631) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - MAY 14, 2008
11.2 oz bottle. Bottle #01532. Aroma: Roasted malt, caramel, light peaty smoke, chocolate, wood, and some light fruit. Appearance: Black in color with no highlights. Medium tan head was medium sized and frothy with good retention. Fair lacing. Flavor: Roasty malt with a lot of wood, peat smoke, and caramel. Alcohol, coffee, and a touch of vanilla. Finishes with a fair amount of roasted malt bitterness and wood. Palate: Medium-light bodied. Moderate carbonation. Overall: Nice barrel flavors, a decent underlying beer, but the mouthfeel seems to buckle under all the flavors. Need to find the 16 and 30.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
aracauna (3084) - Georgia, USA - MAY 11, 2008
I wish I’d known that there was a 30 year when I found the 12 and 16 year. Oh, well. It’ll have to be tasted another time, if at all. This is a pretty well-done whisky-barrel-aged beer. The beer itself is fairly light in body (for its size) and lacking the aggressive flavor of it’s American counterparts, it could have easily been overwhelmed by the whisky. As it is, there’s a definite, but reserve note of alcohol, a bit of char and vanilla. A little cocoa underneath that.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
thornecb (4398) - Marblehead, Massachusetts, USA - MAY 9, 2008
Pours deep black into a snifter. Offwhite head recedes to hug rim leaving no lacing. Sweet smoke and dark caramel aromas. Slick engine oil upfront with a lasting peaty espresso finish.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Gusgus (232) - Mölndal, SWEDEN - MAY 8, 2008
Bottle @ Vinordic 080426. Pours jet black and oily. In your face smokiness from the whisky and a lingering burnt licorice malt background. You can definately recognize the Highland Park on the heathery, salt smokiness. Some dried friuts and bitter orange marmalade is there. Thick mouthfeel, quite like it’s name - old engine oil. Not quite homogenous mix of stout and whisky, the beer comes through a bit too burnt and viscuous. Interesting though.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Boutip (4726) - 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.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
bb (6858) - 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.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
DYCSoccer17 (3320) - 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.

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
marcus (6497) - 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.


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