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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 721   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.86/5   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 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
BillWyce (916) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 6, 2008
Room temp. bottle (#13441, 9/07 bottling) pured into English pint. Pours oily black with a deep tan 3-finger head. Aroma of malt with a light smoky undertone. Slightly oily palate. Malyy flavor with a noticible smokiness and a not of chocolate. SLightly astringent on the tongue at first, but that goes away over time. Excellent.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Jayb0 (1122) - Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA - SEP 6, 2008
Starting with the solid old engine oil as a base the wood of the 16yo HP works very well, just adding complexity with smoke, vanilla and light heather. Different but no better than the 12.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
eaglefan538 (2982) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - SEP 5, 2008
Bottle from State Line. The pour was dark brown to black, thin off-colored head, that really didn’t lace much. The aroma was definite whiskey, peaty smoked notes, chocolate, some faint dark fruits. The flavor was cocoa, but only after firm whiskey notes, seemingly more prominent than the 12 version, the same holds for the peaty elements, very prominent, which I don’t remember from the 12. Mouthfeel was fairly moderate and drinkable, stopping short of sticky, just a bit too whiskey-ish. I actually like the 12 better, go figure.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
timsilvia32 (449) - from Michigan now in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - SEP 2, 2008
Black/brown pour with no head to speak of. Smells malty, charcoal, earthy, more alcohol than the 12. Tastes malty, little roast, maple, raisin some dark red fuits. Middle to finish is dominated by the oaky charcoal, which makes this version too smokey to me compared to the 12, which I liked better. Still not bad, but definetely not worth the price tag. After having the 12 I was worried about there being too much barrel prescence in the older ones and I feel I was correct. Other than to say you’ve tried it, save a few bucks and get the 12.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
nearbeer (4475) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - AUG 28, 2008
33 cl, number 10053, bottled Sept 07. Small head that lasts leaving a soapy film of frosting on the glass. Aroma is hickory wood, oak, whiskey, caramel, chocolate, soy sauce, coffee, raisin, peat, vanilla, beef jerky. Flavors are similar, and then some. More mint and smoke on the finish. Medium-heavy body is dry and smooth with light carbonation. Although this one is fantastic, I like the others in the series better; they seemed to be a little sweeter.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
dchmela (2925) - Orlando, Florida, USA - AUG 27, 2008
Bottle cracks open with just a hint of carbonation and out pours some very thick and oily beer with just a hint a a dark tan head. Peat, fresh wood, and whiskey dominate the aroma. Taste is smooth and malty, but overly thick and cloying. Has a dry edge to it, some chocolate also. Finishes a little thick, but overall a very nice sipping drink and a unique beverage.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
desdemoor (14) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - AUG 25, 2008
Review bottle from brewery, number 01146, 33cl. Black, thick fine deep fawn head, dark malt, wood and black cherry fruit aroma with an obvious but light whisky note, not as pronounced as 12-year-old expression. Smooth viscous chocolate and wood palate with obvious whisky cask cut through by lightly vinous and sharpish notes, tangy slightly minty finsh with some alcoholic warmth, sherry, chocolate and raisin notes, late charred tones and a touch of hops in a very long finish, excellently balanced between malt and a fruity tang. Overall my favourite of the three 2007 Ola Dubh releases.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
coldbrewky (1568) - Hippetown East, New York, USA - AUG 18, 2008
Bottle# 10884 (2007) Courtesy of the sloth. Pours black and gloopy. Nose is pungent and remeniscent of a wet cellar in some old mansion: Caramel malts, wet wood and a touch of whiskey spilled on the floor...and some blackberries? Body is rich, smooth and surprisingly only Medium +. Mouthfeel is on the short side. Head is revived easily by the cat merely headbutting the small table for attention. Lingering whiskey bite at finish where the normal hop finish is expected. Some droopy lacing. Wonder how this will taste with a few years of dust on the bottle.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
nbutler11 (1267) - Rota, SPAIN - AUG 10, 2008
What a difference 4 years makes. Poured like motor oil from the bottle with a faint head of tan foam. Similar aroma to the 12 year, but significantly more smooth and flavorful than it’s predecessor. Not a very ambitious brew by any means, but certainly something to appreciate.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
SilkTork (5467) - Southampton, United Kingdom, Hampshire, ENGLAND - AUG 10, 2008
Chris_o’s GBBF Shindig 08. Rich & heady. Very smooth and malty with a nip of bitterness. Tastes like Old Engine Oil. Aroma has some awareness of whiskey, but essentially this reminds me of Old Engine Oil.

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