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: 773   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.84   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.”


3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
kmweaver (3206) - Petaluma, California, USA - APR 4, 2008
330mL bottle, courtesy of wickedpete. Thanks, Pete! Pours a very dark, murky chocolate color; light brown head with fine-bubbled lacing. Reasonable amounts of peat, moss, and soft oaky scotch notes; the chocolate and nougat character of the original is relaxed here; a touch of milk and bitter chocolate coming through. Medium-to-full mouthfeel: light carbonation; lots of nougat and baker’s chocolate, with a soft amount of scotch and oak and warming alcohol coming; the scotch is well-integrated, but doesn’t add a lot to the base beer; just a touch of scotch. Medium finish, showing bitter chocolate and warming alcohol and nougat.

3.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
ryan (3186) - Beltsville, Maryland, USA - APR 4, 2008
Courtesy of wickedpete. Dark brown with a small light tan head. The nose is dark fruit, some toffee, vanilla, light smoke and molasses. The flavor is moderately sweet, lightly bitter with milk chocolate, light molasses, vanilla and toffee. Medium body is a bit thin with light carbonation.

3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
3fourths (7859) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - APR 4, 2008
Bottle shared by wickedpete. Oily, resinous dark brown body. Smells like peppery olive and fish, some nail polish, and some oily smoke. Flavor is more calamata olives - dry but smooth and oily, the resnious olive note, though, is a bit tough to deal with. Still has some whiskey character, which is nice. I’m not sure what to think of it.

3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
michael-pollack (4960) - King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 4, 2008
330ml Bottle (#3053/Sept. 2007): Aroma of dark malts, peat, roasting, raisins, and caramel. Poured dark black in color with a tiny, light brown head that diminishes immediately. Opaque. Tastes of smoke, dark malts, peat, and a hint of chocolate. Medium body. Thin texture. Soft carbonation. Smokey finish.

4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
dchmela (2600) - Orlando, Florida, USA - APR 4, 2008
Bottle @ redlight. Pours black and thick into a snifter with no head. Aroma is peat, liquor burn, sweet malt, vanilla. Very much like having a glass of scotch. Taste is thick and malty with hints of the whiskey and roasted grain. Spicy aftertaste. Very nice.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
scraff (2121) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - APR 3, 2008
Black, light tan creamy head. Oaked sweet vanilla whiskey aromas with undercurrent of smoked bacon. Maple and vanilla wood notes balance on soft peat smoked coffee and chocolate molasses-like tones. Medium bodied, soft carbonation, dry, lightly bittersweet finish. Thanks to Rick at IM Wine for providing the samples…

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
zathrus13 (1703) - Mount Laurel, New Jersey, USA - APR 1, 2008
Rating # 992. Pours black with a small, brown head. Aroma is smoke, roasted malt, molasses, and peat. Flavor is smoke, roasted malt, chocolate, dark fruit, and peat. The 30 year is easily the best of the three.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
daknole (8856) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - APR 1, 2008
Bottle, thanks to Beachbum25. Tried the 12, 16 and 30. The 12 poured a tiny head that was gone quickly. Color is almost jet black. Aromas are coffee, chocolate and toasted malt. Flavores are of whisky(bourbon and scotch), chocolate, coffee, toast. Carbonation is low and hops are barely noticeable except on back thirs of tongue. This one is better than the 16, but not as good as the 30.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Jmichael (640) - Asheville, North Carolina, USA - MAR 31, 2008
side by side with 12, 16, and 30.  12 poured a black with mild flat head, mild strong scotch aroma, full flat smooth palate with scotch mocha finish, sticky aftertaste. 16 had a longer head, milder aroma, smoother balanced and whiskier milkier palate. 30 had same head as 16, smooth scotch aroma, lot smoother palate and more vanilla leading in to a well balanced mild finish, the best was 30,.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - MAR 31, 2008
Courtesy TheCheeseMan. Pours dark chocolate brown, showing quite translucent on the edges. Very little head or lacing. The aroma is very smoky, with a hefty dose of charred oak and peat showing over chocolate malts. Molasses adds sweetness to the nose, working well with the peat. The flavor is again dominated by burnt woody notes, more so than the signature sweet-smoke that peat imparts. Scotch flavors are sharp, biting into the tongue and slicing right through the chocolate malt. The slick mouthfeel is soft, and not as full as expected. Nice enough brew, but I wasn’t blown away. I don’t think the Scotch application translates as well to an Old Ale as it does to a stout. I much prefer the whiskey barrel version, and the base beer might be slightly better as well.


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