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


on tap

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Ola Dubh (or "Black Oil") is so named because it is gloopy and viscous. This limited release has been matured in casks from Orkney’s award-winning Highland Park distillery to add complimentary whisky notes to what is already an amazing brew. It is chocolatey with a roasty, bittersweet aftertaste. Special Reserve 18, whisky notes: Highland Park 18 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky was named Best Spirit in the World by F. Paul Pacult; it offers toffee sweetness, almond nuttiness and a prolonged, smoky aftertaste.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
cyrenaica (1095) - Milton, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 20, 2011
330ml bottle
8.0% ABV
Best Before: January 2012
I tried this beer on March 8, 2011 after purchasing from the Queen’s Quay LCBO outlet in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The beer poured a solid black with a short-lived tan coloured head. The aroma is roasted malt, nuts, and coffee...very very similar to the 16 Year Old version. Mouthfeel is full-bodied, creamy, with medium carbonation. The flavour is smoke, roasted malt, nuts, coffee, and again finished with the taste of whiskey. I really can’t tell a difference between the 16 and the 18 (aside from the $1.00 in price)....both are very good beers.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Fred82 (2118) - Québec City, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 18, 2011
UPDATED: NOV 3, 2011 Quick re-rate. Bottled September 2009. Thanks to savvy1982. Awesome ashes in the aroma, with nice peat and chocolate, Taste is pretty much the same but less harsh than what I had last time. Same quality as most of the others of the series which I love. Great taste amazing finish. Packed with flavor but still rather drinkable, no alcohol. Great complex and lengthy finish. Awesome beer. I’m definitely a big fan of this.

330ml bottle from I don’t remember who. Bottled Jan 2009.
Appearance : Pitch black with a medium foamy and creamy head. Light lacing.
Aroma : Great chocolate with ashes and peaty smoke. Light hops. Great nose.
Taste : Smoke and ashed with wood. Light chocolate. Big ashes on finish, a bit harsh. Nice peaty smoke with light hops and some alcohol.
Overall : Great nose, nice smoke and chocolate. A bit too much ash though. Taste felt a bit unbalanced. Too much ashes and alcohol. Gets a bit better after an hour in the glass. Feels a bit young bit it’s already 2 years old so I’m wondering if it’ll ever get smoother. I’m usually a fan of their old ales but this one is a bit disappointing... 8,3,7,3,15; 3.6 May 2011

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
KyotoLefty (7883) - Kyoto, JAPAN - MAY 9, 2011
Bottle at Wachi. Nice whiskey, malt, caramel aroma, with dried fruits—raisins. Smoky, malty flavor with rich chocolate, slight sweetned coffee. Smooth and rich.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
DSG (8627) - Tel Aviv, - MAY 5, 2011
Bottle sample at a tasting. Thanks Ariel. Dark brown with a beige head. Aroma of roasted malt, some chocolate, molasses, dark fruits, whisky and wood notes. Sweetish roasty flavor with some chocolate, nuts, some smoke, wood and fruity notes. Medium-bodied.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
wilderthanyou (758) - Guelph, CANADA - MAY 4, 2011
In my fridge for at least 5 months. Like all the dubh’s it pours a dark mahogany brown with a short lived beige head. And just like the all the other dubh’s, the place this stuff really shines is in the aroma. This one is heavy on the anise and licorice, love it, then there’s the smoke and peat which always baffles me because I rarely find highlands smokey or peaty. . . but i like it, beef jerky, chocolate, malt, awesome. The flavour is really good, probably not worth what I payed for, but a unique and delicious experience non the less. Heavy on the beef jerky flavours, smoke and peat all the way through, light notes of chocolate and anise, finish’s with more smoke. Awesome stuff!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Beershine (5218) - The Sunshine State, Florida, USA - APR 28, 2011
Bottle 31586 July 2009. Opened April 29, 2011. Pours black, small head, not so thick looking. Gorgeous sexy aroma of charcoal, iodine, a cannabis roach, the resin from a pipe, tobacco, and Scottish peat. I’m tempted to say the aroma is like bong water, but that would sound bad and it’s a great aroma, it just reminds me of really really good bong water. Deep roast and long lingering iodine. The tobacco and cannabis resins are lovely on the tongue, and there is a lot of nice dryness in the finish, and aftertaste like i just smoked a joint and the lingering smoke is permeating. Then there is prune in the background. I love Ola Dubhs.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Spab (2847) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - APR 22, 2011
330 ml bottle from LCBO (side-by-side with 16 and 30). Pours a very dark, opaque brown with modest-sized tan head. Aroma is chocolate, brown sugar, light roast and fruit, and some whiskey/oak. Flavour starts with cocoa, light brown sugar and mild fruit; whiskey/oak from the cask comes through towards the end. Thinner than I might have anticipated, but decent body all the same. Didn’t find huge differences between the three - this one had a little fruitiness I didn’t pick up in the other two. Nice.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
VertBaconStrips (2200) - Asshat, Alberta, CANADA - APR 3, 2011
Oily black substance slid into my glass. The small yet thick and velvety soft brown crown stayed compact and leaves and constantly replenishes the amount of ropy lacing. WOW! Man, I love this! Silky smooth chocolate aroma, sensual toffee, subdued scotch, shit loads of nuts, light smoke - I’m drooling constantly! This is one of the best smelling beers I have ever encountered. Tons of nuts, almonds - awesome. The taste is not a letdown after the amazing aroma that felt me up. Creamy, smooth, very nutty, almonds, light zippy spice? shat is it? nice mild scotch, vanilla. Damn! The last 1/4 glass is VERY soothing now... lovely. Warm apple without any spice. Smooth light zippy bite of bitterness, Drying, light roasted malts. A truly heavenly experience.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Jow (2788) - New York, USA - APR 2, 2011
As a big time whiskey fella when I saw this bottle at whole foods figured I had to grab. Nose is chocolate and toffee with some peat. The pour is jet black with small beige head. Taste amazingly of whiskey and peat smoke, dark chocolate, vanilla, caramel. Mouthfeel is great I don’t find it too thick at all. Great first beer from Scotland for me

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Ughsmash (7387) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 29, 2011
Bottled. Poured clear, deep brown with garnet highlights and an easily-resuscitated tan head. The aroma was almost all whiskey.. with peaty and nutty notes leading.. warm feel, with miscellaneous roasted black malts beneath.. I dug the whiskey, but it very much masked the underlying brew. The flavor found sweeter whiskey sugars, aged oak, and vanilla throughout.. black patent, nutty, and lesser chocolate malts on the light-moderately roasted core.. tangy whiskey and oak plus some residual black sugars on the long, whiskey-y finish.. tasty, but again there was too much barrel influence. Medium-bodied at most on the palate.. fairly slick, with low carbonation (I don’t know where "gloopy and viscous" comes from).. decent feel and flow.. overall this was a solid drinker, but it was far from exceptional.

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