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: 832   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.”


4.6
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 20/20
GreatLibations (1854) - Last Supper, Arizona, USA - APR 17, 2008
Here we go folks. This one pour blackish with a modest spattered head that reduces slowly leaving behind textbook lacework. The aroma is delicious to say the least with an aroma I remember from childhood. It was a smoky marinade recipe for pork chops that my grandfather held close to his vest. It was an aroma that made my mouth water. Smoky Worcestershire, leather, iodine, grilled steak, and dough. Medium nectar and low carbonation with soft and creamy effers. Mildly sweet and smoky with a moderate roast. A defined and penetrating bittering component adds to this complex brew a worthy drinkability. Flavors of smoky sweet malts, roasted peat and coffee bean, leather, iodine, Worcestershire sauce, cocoa, aspirin. The finish is bittered well and a smoky lingering like a fire put out stains my palate. Overall: this is a rather exotic brew with defined barrel influence although mild. It’s refined rather than over the top and very delicious indeed.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
chronictonic (473) - Oreland, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 17, 2008
tried the 12,16 and 30 side by side (thanks Tim & Suzanne!)

Aroma is smoky and peat like, with some woodiness, char and malt sweetness. Flavor is very similar to a mildly smoked porter with a hint of whiskey. Not so much vanilla / oak whiskey like some other barrel fermented beers, this is more like real whiskey. Much better than most whiskey barrel beers imho. The whiskey notes in the 12 were more prevalent than in the 16 or 30.

2.7
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
Palidor19 (3006) - Brandon, Florida, USA - APR 16, 2008
overall its a good beer, but their some serious flaws. first its too thin, and their seems to be too much wood flavor that has been absorb. otherwise its a very strong beer to enjoy.

2.2
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 9/20
nick76 (4278) - Tampa, Florida, USA - APR 16, 2008
The aroma is very wooden and a little smoky with hints of malt and whiskey. The appearance almost black with virtually no head, just some bubbles. The flavor is like the aroma. The palate is thin. This is a disappointment.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
JPDIPSO (4956) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - APR 15, 2008
Near black with a hint of brown on the edges. Smallish, thick head of small tan bubbles. Glass coating vail of lace. Dark roasted malts with a background of whisky oak, iodine and smokey peat. I’m struggling with the aroma, in that I am enjoying it more as a whisky scent than a brew scent. Dark chocolate flavors in the front with a touch of pale malt sweetness. A little light fruit and vanilla. Mild whisky, I’m reminded of a single malt that has has a bit too much water added to cut it. FInish has some more dark chocolate and and some roasted malt. Dry linger that makes me search for something more. A very nice brew, but not as complex and earthshaking as the price may indicate.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
ross (2104) - weddington, North Carolina, USA - APR 15, 2008
Bottle from Brandon. Thanks. I have seen this in the stores, but never bought any- now that I know it is aged in a Scotch barrel, I will probably seek out the rest. Very dark color, black almost, with a little bit of a tan head on it. Smell is smoky peat, fruity, chocolate, some alcohol, but mostly dominated by peat. Taste is smooth and very much like drinking a scotch. The Highland Park really shows in this beer, and since I drink nothing but scotch, it is a very good thing to see a beer aged in a Scotch cask. More brewers need to catch on and do this. I could only imagine how much better this would be if it was actually aged in a good Scotch cask. Very good stuff, a no brainer for me. Thanks Brandon.

3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
ironchefscott (357) - portland, Oregon, USA - APR 15, 2008
The most whisky flavored of them all....but less balanced then them as well....a bit harsh flavored.....but still I would not turn it down....what can I say I love the flavor of scotch

3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Dough77 (821) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - APR 11, 2008
No Paradox thats for sure. Whisky nose and even more on the flavor. I like it but it just misses the mark on what I’’ve come to expect and like out of this new breed of ba brews from across the way. Slightly watered down in appearence and on the palate.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
bhensonb (11656) - Woodland, California, USA - APR 9, 2008
333 ml bottle (08467/Sept 2007) from Monument in Concord, CA. Interesting aroma of lightly smoky malt. Dark brown/black color with transient tan head. Full bodied with mild carbonation. It has smoke, wood, toasted malt, and I believe some hop. It’s consistent from start to finish. So it’s not totally dry, but neither is it sweet. It is woody and astringent in the end. Mouthsmacking. Exceptional change of pace. It gets more emphatic with each sip.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
nparikh (20) - New York, New York, USA - APR 9, 2008
12oz bottle. Pours black, as in the name. In some ways this is like other whiskey-barrel aged beers (Goose Island Bourbon Stout, etc), but the use of Scotch -- Highland Park especially -- adds more depth, I think. Instead of being entirely about sweet wood, the beer, though fairly sweet, stays a little bit drier and has some smoke and peat to it. Other than that, notes of caramel, coffee, vanilla, nuts, toast. I’ve only had this one, though it would be interesting to see how much the beer changes with the use of different Highland Park barrels.


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