RateBeer
overall
99
98
style
Brewed by Harviestoun
Style: Old Ale
Alva, Central, Scotland

bottled
common

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 875   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.85   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%
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.”


henrikb's rating

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
henrikb (1260) - Aarhus, - JUN 25, 2009
Black body with a fluffy light brown head; Excellent aroma, the whisky is very well integrated as a full sharp background, in front of it there are layers of fruit, oak, caramel and chocolate malt notes, very good; Very pleasant body, very full velvet soft textured, very well balanced, slightly thin but it fit perfectly with the velvet softness, that could easily have become to much if the beer had been to chocolate full and sweet; It dies a little to fast in the finish, there are lots and long whiskey aromas but the fell of the beers disappears a little to fast. Very pleasant and I think the most drinkable of the 3 I have had.


4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
JefVerstraete (2091) - Ghent, BELGIUM - JUL 27, 2015
Bottle from Deconinck, Vichte. Dark brown beer, beige foam. Medium carbonation. Dark fruit, whisky. Sweet vanilla notes, light bitter finish. Very well balanced. Wonderfull beer.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
PartyFowle (632) - - JUL 16, 2015
An old ale aged in whiskey casks, you say? Color me intrigued. And color the beer itself a nearly impenetrably black, though a lift up to the lights does reveal the faintest streaks of brilliant crimson. A pretty aggressive pour begets a one-finger head with a nice, cocoa powder colored head. Sadly, however, the crown is quickly gone, leaving just a ring in its wake. Ah, scotch. Scotchy scotch scotch. The aroma is a celebration of the spirit, balanced with notes of dark chocolate as well as some sweeter fruity esters: currants, plums. A slight alcohol burn is also there, but it’s muted and blended nicely. I’d say the scotch is even more subdued in the flavor than in the nose, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, in interacts very well with the a heavy dark fruit sweetness. Amazing coffee notes from the malt hit at the finish and linger in the back of the throat for a while after the swallow. The mouthfeel seems to be the only downside to this beer. You would expect a brew whose name translates to "black oil" to be a little more viscous. The liquid feels creamy, sure, but a little more body would be appreciated. However, I could (and intend to) sip this for the next hour.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Travlr (15912) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - JUL 15, 2015
Bottle. Black hole black. Aroma has burnt licorice, leather, burnt espresso, overripe plums. Taste is rich, dark fruit, roasty, oily mouthfeel. Booze. Incredibly complex sipper.

4.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Taradil (35) - - JUL 10, 2015
Bottle Color: pitch black. Head: very light almost non-existent, beige. Aroma: stars with very nice barrel aroma and whisky, bread, roasted malts, hints of caramel, chocolate dark fruits, very complex. Taste: roasted malts, whisky, bread, caramel, dark fruits, coffee and toasty finish. Amazing beer with very complex palate.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Zupastan (94) - Kortrijk, BELGIUM - JUL 9, 2015
33 cl bottle @ home. Dark brown to black beer with a small head, little adhesive. Smell is caramel, figs, whisky. Taste is quite peated, iodine, smoke, roasted, chocolat, thin body. Aftertaste is roasted, peated, mocha. A thicker body would be beneficial.

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Panzerfaust (613) - Hanga Roa, Easter Island, CHILE - JUL 6, 2015
Pours a viscous black liquid with a small gray-ish brown head that leaves a small lacing. It looks like serious stuff. Surely the aroma is up to par with an intense roasty and malty character. Burnt sugars, licorice, prunes, soy sauce, toasted rye bread and wood notes in a clear succesion of layers. Complex and outstanding stuff, I haven’t tried something like this in a while. Taste is overwhelming too with sweet and roasty dimensions switching back and forth. Each sip shows some molasses, licorice, roasted caramel, brown sugar and prunes. Fantastic stuff. Chewy texture, viscous and velvety. Not as boozy as expected, the 8% ABV seems quite ideal for this brew. Low carbonation as it is unnecessary to carbonate such a complex brew more than this. A marvel and the best Old Ale I’ve tried so far.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
sudomorph (910) - Barrie, Ontario, CANADA - JUN 20, 2015
Feb 2012 330ml bottle 20242. Pours a dark caramel and looks nearly black in the glass. Half finger, khaki head fades to a ring. Aroma has sweeter notes of caramel, bread, wood, dark fruits, raisins, toffee, a hint of roast and dark chocolate, and a touch of spirit. As it warms up the barrel notes really come out. Taste is balanced.After warming up there is a lot of dark chocolate and coffee to start, then into dark fruits, caramel, and toffee in the middle, then back to some roasted malts, wood barrel notes, a touch of spirit, and a whiff of campfire smoke at the end. Really nice. Medium-full body with a low carbonation. Very slightly syrupy in the mouth with a dry finish. Overall a really nice beer. Dark caramel, toffee, and dark fruits with a touch of roast and woody barrel notes. Not sure if ageing it helped but I wish I had more.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
McNeillR (1758) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - JUN 18, 2015
Bright burnt amber. Soft ringed head and weak lacing. Nutty, soft berry and squeaks of damp wood. Lean nutty, toothpicky and tea like soft bitterness. Bit thinner than I imagined, mouthfeel is sleek but resonating barely caramel sweet linger.

Bottle, Sir Tadalot Top 50 Scottish Tasting

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
GlasgowTAD (590) - Glasgow/Aberdeen, SCOTLAND - JUN 18, 2015
Pours a deep brown with a slight brown head. Aroma is figs, raisins, slight vanilla. Taste is vanilla, raisins, figs and sweet malts.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
VictorStr (1740) - Helsingborg, SWEDEN - JUN 7, 2015
[Ölprovning hos Fredrik i Ängelholm 7 Maj 2015] Bacon? Lite platt? Mindre bra


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