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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 711   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.”

Jimthechap's rating

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Jimthechap (2064) - Christchurch, - MAY 11, 2013
You look at this beer and try to discern a colour... the best you can get is that it is as black as sin and maybe shows some mahogany around the dimple and the rim of the glass. The head upped and went after a very short time leaving a herbal-greenish tinge on a latte skim of bubble. The nose is just molasses all over. I’m surprised this s connected with whisky and not dark rum. Black strap molasses, pumpernickel, rye, dark chocolate, treacle, plums and thick plastic dominate the aromas. While it is obviously enormous, it is a treat for the nose. Thick and oily in the mouth, those aroma signatures abound in the mouth with plentiful molasses. There is a nod toward bitterness but the start is its thick, oily texture. It is chewy and reminds me of an acquaintance who having been to Ireland (and was not known as a Guinness drinker) said you could stand a spoon up in the pints. This is probably as close as that gets. A bit of bonfire smoke starts to come out in the flavour, which is gratifying and resonates with the house character of Highland Park whisky - also a favourite. This is love: beer and whisky in poetic harmony. Sweet toward the finish without being sickly and cloying. Plenty of lingering warmth in the top of the chest and a platoon of Orcadian distillery workers and Caledonian brewers to thank. The warmth in my chest is probably made up just as much of love.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
gopherfan99 (1047) - CROATIA - NOV 25, 2015
Bottle; pours black with a thin tan head; aroma of malt, wood, scotch, and hints of chocolate and dark fruits; taste is malty with chocolate and dark fruits plus hints of wood; finish is light bitter with hints of chocolate and wood; good beer

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
AndresTM (394) - Texas, USA - NOV 21, 2015
Chocolate, smoke, toasted biscuits, peat, soy sauce, some roasted notes, and a bit of raisins in the nose, as well as the ever-growing presence of alcohol. It is more restrained and less messy than I was hoping for. The mouthfeel is medium, a bit sticky but not very viscous, with prickly carbonation. The taste is chocolatey bitter, slight molasses sweet, and a woody/boozy tanginess toward the end, for a dry, cerealy finish. Very palatable, if a little too safe.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Douberd (3710) - Arnhem, NETHERLANDS - NOV 12, 2015
(Harviestoun Ola Dubh (16 Year Old)) Bottle 330 ml at home, served into a snifter. ABV 8% Pitch black colour on the body, small bubbles and a bit of foam around the glass. Strong whiskey notes on the aroma, chocolate, prunes. Taste of roasted malts, iodium, strong whiskey notes, light chocolate, coal, mildly sweet. Medium body, soft carbonation. Very good, much more whiskey than the 12 years edition.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
SlovakSniper (4135) - Candiac, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 9, 2015
Bottle No & Date: 13683, MAY 2014. Arômes et saveurs de cuir, de tabac, de whiskey, de délicate fumée, de fruits, de charbon de bois, de vanille, de malts doux. Corps moyen et texture soyeuse. Finale sèche par la fumée et le bois calciné. Complexe. Complètement délicieuse.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
ippopotamo36 (993) - Rome, ITALY - NOV 3, 2015
At the Belgrade-Serbia tasting on 31/10/2015. Many thanks markoijelena for sharing this bottle. Pours black with a minimal ivory foam lowering super fast. Nose: a bit anonymous but still quite nice. Whiskey far away, a bit of vanilla but not a blast. Mouth: too much alcohol, not rich, more cola. Nice but not stunning.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
kaser (4573) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 2, 2015
Bottle pour at Pai Men in Portland Maine. Thin ring of white head. Boozy scotch and cocoa aroma. Scotch, sweet, molasses , vanilla and chocolate taste. Big and rich.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
ruigo (1800) - PORTUGAL - NOV 2, 2015
33cl bottle. Opaque black colour with a small tan head. Wood, vanilla, licorice, light roasted and smoke in the aroma. Soft carbonation and medium body. Taste is balanced with some wood notes. Overall, a good beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
SinH4 (1395) - Garching, GERMANY - OCT 23, 2015
Black color with nice tan head. Slightly peaty aroma, wood, some prunes. Taste is malty, dark fruits, slightly peaty, low but present carbonation. Superbly balanced, so good. Way better than the 12yo.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Abijen (2191) - ’s-Hertogenbosch, NETHERLANDS - OCT 9, 2015
Donker rood bruin bier met een goede beige schuim kraag. Ruikt zoet, alcohol, geroosterd, spek, siroop. Smaakt wat zoeter dan de 12, siroop, vanille, dunnig.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Bosbouw (2221) - Gemonde, NETHERLANDS - OCT 9, 2015
Mooie zwarte kleur met een kleine kraag. Ruikt zoetig, vanille, crèmebrulee. Smaakt zoetig, vanille, beetje koffie. Beetje dun. Minder dan de 12.

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