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: 844   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.”


thebhoy's rating

4.4
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
thebhoy (61) - Ontario, - FEB 24, 2013
What a great beer to have on my birthday! Really, really enjoyed this one, and kind of wished (though it was probably for the best) that I sprung the 20 bucks for the 40 year old that was still at the LCBO. What I love about this is how well mixed and balanced the scotch tastes are with the old ale tastes. You still get the malt, mixed with some spices and fruits floating just beneath the surface, but the peat smoke and the scotch flavours come in to make this beer something special. Pours blacker than black, probably the darkest beer I have had (take that Russian Imperial Stouts!) but tastes so smooth. The palate is a bit thin, I agree, but overall its a minor quibble for a beer that is easily in my top 10 if not top 5 beers.


4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
riktw (22) - NETHERLANDS - FEB 28, 2015
Chocolate, coffee, wood, smoke, dark forest fruits, bit of vanilla. Finish is long, again chocolate and coffee but with more smoke and peatyness. Oily mouthfeel. Very nice beer! Bottle no: 25770

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
MayumiH (248) - Greater London, ENGLAND - FEB 24, 2015
Bottle at home. Smokey bacon aroma. Rich, some dark dried fruit sweetness with a touch of soy sauce. Complex and warming. Splendid :p

4.8
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
MrBlueSky93 (259) - Sutton Coldfield, Staffordshire, ENGLAND - FEB 17, 2015
Bottle from Cellar Door, Four Oaks. Pours Black/Dark Brown with single finger tan head. Aroma of woodiness, barrels, smokey, peaty goodness, dark fruits and some added abv. Initial taste of the wonderful smokiness, peat smoke I would say, peat smoke and the barrels really giving a wonderful taste to it, some woodiness to it too, then more peat in the flavour, dark fruits, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, caramel, toffee. What a wonderful beer!

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
vjohans (128) - SWEDEN - FEB 16, 2015
coffee, toast, roasty, leather, smoke, vanilla, woody, alcohol, black, minimal head, hazy, medium sweetness, lightly bitter, full body, oily feel, flat, long finish,

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
BrewGoblin (518) - Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, CANADA - FEB 8, 2015
From the oily depths of a blackened soul, this slick brew comes a-bubblin. A brazen punch from greasy fingers; burnt toffee, raisins, leather, oak, smoke, whiskey, plum pudding, red wine, coffee and chocolate emanate forth. One slippery sip yields a bbq’d version of all of the smells, complex and famously blended. A mild peat burn lingers from this tasty number. A fantastic sipper of remarkable character.

3.1
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
King_Alex_II (255) - SWITZERLAND - FEB 4, 2015
Very black color which is short on foam. The smell is caramel like with sugary notes. The taste is oily and insanely sugary and caramelly. The whisky part comes a bit short. The barrel can be recognized but even with the highland park whisky for comparison I cannot differentiate it from other barrels. Very sweet, not very special.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
SinH4 (497) - SWITZERLAND - FEB 4, 2015
Black color with nearly no beige head. Woody, roasted malts, vanilla, caramel. Rich taste, not intense on the caramel and vanilla, but quite complex mixture between the malts and the whisky. Smooth carbonation and mouthfeel. Nice, but not overwhelming.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
liinis (1612) - Helsinki, FINLAND - FEB 4, 2015
Very thick mouthfeel which is very pleasant. Quite high alcohol which is not noticeable at all. Very rich and enjoyable. Whisky cask brings great flavour

4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Cimbasso (320) - - FEB 1, 2015
Sampled in a 33cl bottle purchased in Edinburgh - thanks Rachel and Rory! Pours a viscous black/very dark brown with a tan head. Roasted aromas. The taste is initially of roasted malts, with coffee and smokey flavours there as well. As the warmth of the alcohol spreads through the mouth a glow of whisky emerges, just as if there had been a good shot of Highland Park slipped into the beer. It does not have the strong vanilla flavours of the American Bourbon barrel-aged beers, but it does possess a really complex mix of beer and whisky flavours, with a pleasing bitterness at the end to match the initial caramel (mildly vanilla) sweetness. This is a really special beer and is highly drinkable.

4.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 19/20
PapaSkeetSkeet (960) - Providence, Rhode Island, USA - JAN 28, 2015
Black with thin, fine, medium-light brown head that fades to an oily slick at a moderate rate. Attractive swirls on a pitch surface framed in a 5mm-wide froth ring. Aroma is dark wood (hickory) slightly smoked, bark, some fir, touch of fungus and moss. light toffee. Chewy. Body is medium-medium-heavy, oily, slightly syrupy, medium-light, medium-fine carbonation with touch of burn. Slightly soapy texture. Flavor is huge dark woods: hickory/oak, leather, hints of brine, licorice and touch of smoked bark, forest in snow. Overall- delicious. The scotch-barrel aging blends in such that one isn’t always aware of it (as in heavy bourbon-barrel aging.) Dark earthy forest wood notes are the highlight. Very complex and a tad bit deceiving. Exceeding expectations, although at a first sip, I was not yet impressed.


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