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


on tap

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RATINGS: 952   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.86/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%
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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
McGarnigle (619) - Rochester, New York, USA - JAN 31, 2009
Bottled Sept 07. Pours inky black into a goblet, maybe some purple around the edges, with limited head. Smells stout-ish. Very low carbonation, medium-heavy body, not quite a barleywine-like sipper. Taste is roasty, chocolaty, slightly smoky. Some raisiny notes, plus some whisky in the ribs afterwards. The mouthfeel slows you down more than any bitterness or booze does. Quite good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
austone (1062) - Turku; Pori, FINLAND - JAN 31, 2009
Bottled. Black, thin and fading tanned head. Clear oak nose, some whiskey and burned maltiness. Flavor is rye pudding, dark chocolate and mild barrel. Dry burned finish with black espresso later on. Whiskey isn’t as apparent here as in the aroma. Medium bodied, strong and a bit harsh carbonation for the style. Old engine oil is perhaps a bit too thin for the barrel, and this result sure ain’t the most complex one. A pleasant sipper anyway.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
puzzl (3259) - New York, New York, USA - JAN 28, 2009
Cask at Rattle’n’Hum. Muggy, whisky and oxidized malt aroma, plenty of prune, vanilla. Good body, lightish briney whiskey, corn meal. Nice and thick, but pretty much just a typical whiskey overload. Works fairly well though.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
PorterPounder (7335) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - JAN 23, 2009
Tallahassee, Fl. - Liquor Loft - 12 oz bottle - bottle #20892/Sept 2007. Viscous, black as tar pour with a thin khaki colored head that rings the glass. In the front end, warming flavor, with some hints of licorice, pipe tobacco, and some smoky notes. As it settles, some sherry notes wander in, with hints of raisins and just a hint of chocolate. Finishes with just a hint of Scotch - reminding you of where this had been aged. Mouthfeel is warm and thickish. Excellent winter warmer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Sigmund (6719) - Tau, NORWAY - JAN 22, 2009
330 ml bottle, courtesy of Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. Bottle No. 04062. ABV is 8.0%. Pitch black colour, big to moderate and creamy tan head. The whisky oak cask with peaty smoke and notes of vanilla and sherry comes through immediately in the aroma, followed by notes of roastiness (roast malts, coffee) and chocolate. The flavour has loads of rich malty sweetness, immediately followed by distinct notes of peaty smoke - it is quite amazing what impact the whisky cask has. Dark chocolate in the middle. The finish has a firm bitterness from the hops and burnt malts, while the peaty smoke lasts through the long aftertaste. A truly impressive beer, but if you don’t like scotch whisky at all, this might not be the beer for you. Not easy drinking, but a great sipping beer, and a real treat for any lover of peatiness.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
notalush (5728) - Denver, Colorado, USA - JAN 16, 2009
Pours looking like an imperial stout, thick black, with a soapy head, but very low carbonation - initially, the nose has the dry, earthy, peaty character of the whiskey, but deeper whiffs reveal chocolate, smoke, roasted malts, oak - the peaty notes of the scotch remain the dominant aroma, though, and it is wonderful - very low carbonation, slick mouthfeel - the whiskey is less apparent in the flavor at first - chocolate and roasted malts manifest first - however, that lovely, peaty, earthy, dry scotch flavor eventually comes through, especially in the finish - some warming alcohol on the tail end enhances the whiskey flavors - if you are a fan of scotch, you have to try this - now I just might shell out the coin for the 30 year.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
maniac (3800) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - JAN 16, 2009
Bottle #06444 from September 2007. Sampled on 09/20/2008. Dark black body with a small frothy light brown head. Smokey malty caramel aroam with some molassas and faint scotch. Sweet caramel and scotch flavor, some peat, smoke and a bit of chocolate. Medium full body with low carbonation.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
DKTN (110) - Mc Donald, Tennessee, USA - JAN 11, 2009
Pours solid black with a very small tan head. Whisky alcohol aroma. Thick mouthfeel with whisky flavor dominant. Malt heavy. Dry finish that leaves a distinct burning alcohol sensation in your mouth. I look forward to comparing this to 30 year version.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
IMtheOptimator (1164) - Bethel, Connecticut, USA - JAN 9, 2009
Bottle 3313, Sept 2007. Poured a thick black with a creamy light brown head. Light aroma of caramel, toffee, coffee, some faint tobaccoish whiskey notes. Flavor is soft but complex with notes of oak, scotch, roasted chocolate, and tobacco, leading to a bitter finish. Alcohol well hidden. Started out full and complex but got more watery through the glass... not completely sure why.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
RichJ7 (1175) - Cullman, Alabama, USA - JAN 8, 2009
Shiny black pour with a tiny off-white head, almost non-existent. Malty aroma, slight touch of whiskey. Flavor is rich, dark malt with a touch of the whiskey cask in there. Subtle, though. Smooth, silky mouthfeel. Nice.

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