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


on tap

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RATINGS: 665   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.86   EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%
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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 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
theisti (3297) - Leawood, Kansas, USA - MAR 24, 2008
330 ml bottle, pulled from the cooled by hogfodder on 3/20/08. Special 16, bottled September 2007. Pour is deep brown and amber. Tight off white head. Aroma of musty caramel and some fruitiness (apple). Taste of wood and caramel a bit of a dry cardboard finish. There is some interesting sea water saltiness in the finish as well. Nice one, thanks Rick. We drank this next to the Orkney Dark Island, so may have suffered a bit by comparison.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
rajendra82 (960) - Alpharetta, Georgia, USA - MAR 23, 2008
Dark black body and a foamy head formed after a cascade of bubbles made for a very Porter like appearance. A shade more brown than the 30 year cask version. The smell was mild at first but started to grow on me with the mix of roasted grains, black coffee, and tobacco. The taste was little more roasty and tannin laced than the older casked beer, and there wasn’t as much of a vanilla bean character. Alcohol was warming and and soothing. Mouthfeel was quite astringent. Very well crafter beer, but the special 30 is better.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Cobra (1100) - - MAR 23, 2008
UPDATED: MAY 16, 2008 11.2 oz. brown, longneck bottle. Numbered 04135 / Sept. 2007 on front label. Poured out extremely dark brown, with copper highlights around the edges. Aromas are whiskey, oak barrels, burnt sugars, toffee, caramel. Flavors are whiskey, caramel, toffee, roasted malts, some espresso & vinous notes. Thick mouthfeel, rich and chewy. Finished slightly dry & chalky.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
zathrus13 (1724) - Mount Laurel, New Jersey, USA - MAR 22, 2008
Black, with a light brown head. Aroma is smoke, fruit, roasted malt, and peat. Flavor is smoke, coffee, peat, licorice, and wood. A bit too much smoke for me, but not bad overall.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
after4ever (6265) - Brier, Washington, USA - MAR 21, 2008
330. Thanks, HogFodder! Black. Dense, shallow, creamy tan head. Big fruity, slightly sour nose. Coffee, port, salty, too. Oily medium body. Coffee, raisins, wood on the mid-palate. Long woody finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
michael-pollack (4960) - King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 21, 2008
330ml Bottle (#6517): aroma of dark malts, chocolate, coffee, licorice, peat, and smoke. Poured black in color with a small brown head that diminished slowly. Opaque. Taste is medium sweet. Tastes of smoke, wood, peat, and malts. Medium to full body. Oily texture. Soft carbonation. Smokey finish. Way too much smoke that I was not expecting. Ugh.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
hopscotch (9559) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - MAR 21, 2008
Bottle... This beer rocks!... A hard pour reveals a pitch-black ale with a small, creamy, khaki head. Good retention. The aroma is a whirlpool of chocolate, leather, French oak, tobacco and subtle peat smoke. Full-bodied and silky with lively carbonation. Smoky, mocha flavor derived from charcoal and espresso malts. Gentle notes of Scotch whiskey and mild, earthy hops along with some alcohol bitterness. Booze is in the background and not the least bit overbearing. Smooth creamy finish leaves a nice, silky coating on the palate. World class stuff!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Numenor (871) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - MAR 21, 2008
My least favorite of the three (12, 16, 30 year). Aroma is quite nice, but in the end the smokey peatness of the beer really detracts from what it could have been. Some light fruits in the taste, but again they are overpowered by the smoke accents. Less sweet than the 12 year version.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
DocLock (8054) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 18, 2008
Pours onxy with small off-tan head. Nose is complex; a mix of dark malt, prunes, merlot, blackberry, anise, chocolate, earthy peaty notes, and subdued oaky spirits. Tastes dark malty up front, with mid-palate pruney fruit, blackberry merlot notes, and oaky spirits emerging more as it warms. Complex in nose and taste, this one was very good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
CaptainCougar (7132) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - MAR 17, 2008
Pours an oily opaque with a thinly-lacing dark tan head. Aroma of lightly sweet dark caramel malt and some earthy smoky peat. Body starts with a mild sweetness and some light fruity esters with a decent balance of woody scotch before a drier, slightly oxidized and warming finish. Not quite as peaty as the 12 year old version, but still pretty good.

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