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: 728   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.86/5   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.”


Odysseyalien's rating

4.5
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Odysseyalien (71) - New Jersey, USA - DEC 16, 2012
The difference between old ales and English barleywines often get blurred. This one is no exception. Has a mouthfeel not unlike a porter but with a malty sweetness, albeit soft and subtle, like a barleywine. My first couple of sniffs exclaimed "licorice, anise...". Not a fan of licorice but it works with this brew. Thin mouthfeel and pours black as the darkest midnight. I’m apparently a sucker for pricey beer. I’ll have to add this one to the rotation...and age a few as well.


3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ej (1108) - Hauglandshella, NORWAY - APR 16, 2016
Bottle from June 2014. Pours a dark brown with a medium tan head. Roasted malts on the nose along with chocolate, vanilla, cocoa and molasses. Taste is light sweet with a moderate frutyness. Some bready maltyness, a bit of whiskey and a long sweet finish.

4.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
peponi (1228) - Mainz, GERMANY - APR 16, 2016
Aroma: roasted dark malts, bitter chocolate, peated. Appearance: black color and beige head. Taste: low herbal bitterness, bitter chocolate, peated, bonfire, smoked notes, burnt malt, quite dry. Palate: medium body and medium carbonation, peated finish. Overall: It is a really good stuff, amazing peated notes, smooth and complex.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
rouhlas (2115) - GREECE - APR 11, 2016
330 ml bottle. Black color with small brown head. Malty aroma, roasted, dark dried fruits, chocolate, milk chocolate, cocoa, vanilla, licorice, smoked notes, wood. Sweet and light bitter taste like aroma, chocolate, smoked notes, fruits and vanilla. Medium oily body with soft carbonation.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Fullpintofbeer (67) - Bristol, Gloucestershire, ENGLAND - APR 2, 2016
Bottle from Brew Bristol. Appearance: black colour, small dark head which dissapers slowly, fair lacing. Aroma: malts - vanila, dark chocolate, coffee, caramel. A little bit of burnt tyre after a while. Taste: very nicely sweet, long duration. Palate: full bodied, thick, oily, flat, perfectly balanced. Very drinkable beer, as for 8% very light, superb balance.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
eduardovl (1278) - SWITZERLAND - MAR 27, 2016
330ml bottle served in snifter glass. Purchased at Drinks of the World - Geveva.
A: Pours a oil black color forming a medium dark beige head with medium to low retention and only few spotty lacings left in the glass.
S: Great nose. Sweet caramel, roasted malts, whisky and wood. Vanilla and licorice. Light notes of leather and earth.
T: Sweet upfront taste. Strong notes of roasted malts, whisky and oak. Notes of vanilla and licorice. In overall, the taste is sweet and slightly bitter. Light notes of grassy hops.
M: Heavy body. Medium to low carbonation. Sweet caramel, whisky and oak in the aftertaste.
O: Excellent drinkability. Classic British Old Ale.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
UXO (1253) - CANADA - FEB 23, 2016
Appearance: nearly solid black with only the merest hint of brown around the margins, short beige head, poor retention and no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: whiskey, baker’s chocolate, liquorice, vanilla, oak. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, light alcohol. (7/10) Palate: full slightly oily body, moderate-low carbonation, off-dry lightly boozy finish. (4/5) Somewhat to my surprise, I half think this really did have a best before - because this is so mild that the only conclusion I can draw is that it’s faded in the bottle. On the up side, it’s extremely mild and easy drinking, with a very mild whiskey character. (14/20)

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Mortlach (1775) - Rome, ITALY - FEB 20, 2016
Bottle @Bir&Fud Bottega (Rome). Pours oily black with a minimal head. Aroma of roasted malts, coffee, licorice, smoked notes. Flavour is medium sweet with a good bitter end and a smoked note. High body, medium to light carbonation. It didn’t age well...

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
luttonm (3968) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JAN 28, 2016
Bottle with the Belgrade Boys at Halloween tasting. Same dark pour as the other OEOs. Richer, more complex barrel. Body of the beer is less developed, more cola. Whiskey-barrel note is better but beer itself has suffered. A little residual sweetness.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
wombat23 (329) - Texas, USA - JAN 23, 2016
Shared 11.2 oz. bottle. Pours dark brown with a dark beige head that quickly subsides. Nose is malt, whisky, oak, and dark fruit sweetness. Taste follows; with a roasted malt component and bitter chocolate notes. Medium body. Pretty good.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
darbeer75 (261) - Round Rock, Texas, USA - JAN 23, 2016
Aroma: rich and complex; whiskey faint but not overwhelming like many other barrel aged beers. Appearance: pitch black with off white head that dissipates quickly; little lacing; Taste: malty with more pronounced whiskey flavors (still not overwhelming); complex; excellent; Palate: heavy body with shorter finish than expected; Overall: delicious. Would definitely buy again.


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