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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 694   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.86   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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
merlin48 (656) - Jenkins, Kentucky, USA - APR 25, 2008
11.2 oz bottle, #04722. Pours dark and viscous, opaque in the snifter. Small sheets of khaki lacing for decoration. Bold aroma of oak wood, Scotch whisky, vanilla, chocolate, and some nuttiness. Full bodied with low carbonation. Taste opens with dark roasty chocolate, joined by vanilla, earthy oak, charcoal, and whisky. A really nice sipper, worthy of some additional aging.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Bockyhorsey (2610) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - APR 22, 2008
Bottled Sept. 2007 # 03738. Aroma was sweeter than the 12 with more of a malted caramel and the wood. Black body with normal head to this one campared to 12. Flavor was just average sweet caramel with some medium licorice molasas flavor. This one didn’t have the creamy texture the 12 had but a decent brew overall.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
BBB63 (6449) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - APR 21, 2008
Bottle # 02672 and served in my NB worthy glass (vertical of 12/18/30): Nearly opaque with a fading but lasting head and some lace and some oily legs upon the glassware. Better head retention than the 12 y.o. or the 30 y.o.

The aroma has many of the same notes of the 12 but seem more concentrated, big charred wood and Black Patent malt, star anise, prune and dried raisin, liquid vanilla extract, massive alcohol vapours, and some lovely smoked peat bog.

The taste while similar to the 12 y.o., it is far more refined and smoother. Expressive dark fruits and charred malt with a kick in the face of wood and whisky. I get more than my fair share of iodine and peat bog towards the finish but it is more for rounded palate than a distraction. The mouth feel is smooth and oily with just the right amount of aggressive alcohol bite and woody dryness. What a work of art, right among the very best BA beer I have ever had. The best thing is that I believe these bottles will aged gracefully for years, so get ya some!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
BOLTZ7555 (2969) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - APR 20, 2008
Without a doubt, the favorite of the three. Thanks Jonpol for allowing a sample!!! This beer seems to have absorbed the barrel better than its counterparts. Wish I knew why!!! Rich, smoky, cola-colored brew that exhibits quite a bit of complexity. I actually enjoyed this one. Chocolate & coffee still play a major role here...not overpowered.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
AgentSteve (1647) - SF Bay Area, California, USA - APR 18, 2008
Dark cola brown with a creamy off white head. Flavor and nose are both smokey and soy, with a more earthy flavor in addition the influences inthe nose. I typically don’t like soy influence, but the subtlety work in this one. Quite smooth and creamy in the mouthfeel also.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 20/20
GreatLibations (1854) - Last Supper, Arizona, USA - APR 17, 2008
16 pours blackish with a modest head that slowly recedes leaving behind some fancy lacework. The head is not as spattered as the 12. The aroma has changed drastically here from the 12 giving off a more metallic peat smell w/ some sautéed mushrooms. Medium nectar weight with the same creamy soft effers. Moderate smoke and iodine flavors weave through a bittersweet palate. The worschester sauce is gone on this 16 and so is my family marinade recipe. Roasted coffee bean and a stronger chocolate factor annie up here more so than the 12. Some dry whiskey is featured more here than the 12. The finish is roasted and bittered to balance the sweet chocolate tobacco leaf.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
chronictonic (473) - Oreland, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 17, 2008
tried the 12,16 and 30 side by side (thanks Tim & Suzanne!)

I think this was my least favorite of the 12, 16 and 30. Aroma was smoky and more alcohol infused than the 12. Carbonation bubbles were large and lively - looked very much like a coke poured in a glass. The mouthfeel also suffered because of this carbonation. This one may have been a bit under attenuated and would have benefited from some more aging. Mouthfeel was also dry. Flavor was less sweet than the 12, the smokiness was a bit more reserved, but it still retained some of the woody char flavors. Whiskey notes were more pronounced.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
Palidor19 (3075) - Brandon, Florida, USA - APR 16, 2008
its a little less harsh than the 12 year version but overall its the same type of beer. still very drinkable but with its flaws.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
nick76 (4314) - Tampa, Florida, USA - APR 16, 2008
The aroma is like the 12 but slightly sweeter and less smoky. The appearance is almost black with a thin bubble head. The flavor is like the 12 also with wood and a little sweet. The palate is more carbonated than the 12. overall it’s about the same.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
ironchefscott (357) - portland, Oregon, USA - APR 15, 2008
This one compared to the 30 is a bit more brash.....it seems more balanced and less washed out flavored....and also the whisky flavor is more prevalent

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