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: 615   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.85   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.”


4.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Oakes (11770) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAY 9, 2008
Very dark brown and oily-looking. Gentle whiskeyish nose with lovely chocolate character. Big whiskey taste, some peat and iodine. Rich deep chocolate malts with accents of nuts, wood and alcohol. Sublime balance. Gorgeous stuff.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - MAY 7, 2008
Pours a thick looking, inky chocolate brown to virtually black color. A frothy, cream colored head settles to a thin film with a prominent, bubbly edge. Random patches and splatterings of lace mark the glass. The nose shows dark chocolate, caramel, sweet peaty smoke, dry whiskey, and some earthy hop character. At this point, I can’t believe how much better this smells than the 12 year. The first sip is nearly mind blowing, as the balance is damn near perfect, a stark contrast to the 12 year version, which was far more harsh. Sweet and bitter dark chocolates lay the base, while soft peat and smooth whiskey add perfectly subtle compliments. There’s a lactic creaminess that goes incredibly well with the dry smokiness. The body is medium-full and silky smooth, finishing slightly dry and chalky, with lingering peat on the tongue. This is a flat-out awesome brew. I can’t believe how much better this is than the 12. A chocolate and scotch lover’s dream.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
bb (6691) - Alamo, California, USA - MAY 5, 2008
Bottle (number 08427). Black beer with ruby highlights. Slight brown head. Light peat, vanilla, oak, caramel aroma. Peat, caramel, light oak flavor. Medium body. Lingering peat, caramel, light roast, vanilla. Lighhter barrel components and more drinkable than the 12. Nice balance.

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Drake (7925) - Free Union, Virginia, USA - MAY 5, 2008
Bottle 09265, 9/07 from Wine Warehouse Charlottesville. Pours a very, very, very dark brown with a small head. Little lacing or head retention. Notesof wood, vanilla and tobacco in the aroma. Taste is very strong wood, tobacco and smoke with a tinge of coffee and chocolate. Nice and complex.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
RomanW70 (297) - Providence, Rhode Island, USA - MAY 4, 2008
Pours almost black with a medium tan head. Looks like an Imperial Stout. Aroma of molasses, toffee, and smoke. Taste is full of sweet malts, smoke, and wood with a clean whiskey finish. The finish has some bitterness as well. The whiskey is well integrated throughout. Very nice beer.

3.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Burrobuns (83) - Columbia, Missouri, USA - MAY 4, 2008
Dark brown color - looks a bit like coffee. No head. Nice, strong aroma. Flavor is very disappointing given the smell. I love scotch and beer, but this combo doesnt do it for me. Very little flavor except some malt and scotch notes.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
DYCSoccer17 (3226) - Woodland, California, USA - MAY 3, 2008
12 ounce bottle (02179 09/07) purchased from the Davis Food Co-Op. Single blind tasting side by side with the Ola Dubh 12 year. Musty, smokey, tobacco, leather aroma with some ethanol presence retronasally. Some scotch like aromas are also present. Pretty aromatic. Moderately transparent mahogany color with a medium tan head and nice legging. Not a ton of lacing. This head is longer lasting than the 12 year version. Very woody, dry, oaky flavor with lots of peat and smoked notes. Has a cameo of sweetness in the middle. Finishes dry with some anise, light bitterness, and light astringency. Some boozy scotch-like notes are present late. Not as good as the 12 year.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
lb4lb (2201) - Austin, Texas, USA - MAY 3, 2008
Pours a black color almost, with light shades of dark brown. Rich, dark malty, caramel and light peaty smokiness. Taste is dry almost roasty, peaty, a touch tart, and chalky. Medium to thin bodied. Perhaps not worth the price, but certainly not a bad beer by any means. Just not my style.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
bhensonb (10340) - Woodland, California, USA - APR 28, 2008
Bottle 08411/Sept. 2007. Aromas of dark fruit and smokey wood. Opaque brown/black color with no head. Medium body with very mild carbonation. Flavor is sweet burnt malt with dark fruit and wood; a bit phenolic. Not to mention smoke. Agree that Lapsang Souchong is similar. Finishes dark, malty and smoky. Mouthsmacking.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
jake65 (2532) - Williston, North Dakota, USA - APR 27, 2008
Dark brown with a smallish tan head. Aroma is deeper in sweetness and fruity notes than that of the 12yo. Still plenty of bourbon barrel. Flavor retains a nice smokey to sweet balance with more raison and toffee. Nice malt balance.


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