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


on tap

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RATINGS: 516   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.89   EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%
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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 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
BillZav (22) - Sarasota, Florida, USA - JAN 24, 2011
Harviestoun Ola Dubh Special Reserve 18 is a robust old ale age in 18 year old whiskey casks. It pours a deep black color, and the Scotch whiskey aroma jumps right out at you in the nose. The Scotch whiskey is also very prevalent in the taste, and is complimented by dark chocolate, sweet malt, and a vanilla oakiness at the finish. I have friends, who’re fans of bourbon and whisky aged stouts, that would love this ale. I’d even bet that Scotch whiskey drinkers would appreciate it as well.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
robinvboyer (3361) - Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 24, 2011
Like the other dubhs, there is a big aroma of oak, and vanilla, but there is a big dufference in the intensity of these flavors compared to the 30 and 40. The roastiness seems more upfront, more like a robust porter. A thick soy aftertaste, and lots of bitter coffee.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
manuchampions (1238) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JAN 23, 2011
330ml bottle from LCBO. Pours a solid black with thin ring of cream head. Aroma is barrel, vanilla, woody and sweet, some light notes of fruit. Flavour is extreme peat smoke, sweet malt. Some barrel notes and vanilla. Scarily drinkable, really fantastic stuff.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
glendelberg (12) - Cambridgeshire, ENGLAND - JAN 18, 2011
Bottle. Whisky and wooden aroma. Very dark appearance even when looking though the very bottom of a trappist glass (black oil indeed) Less syrupy than expected but leaves a nice whisky aftertaste.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
swoopjones (6558) - Buffalo, New York, USA - JAN 16, 2011
draft at Blue Monk, Buffalo. Beautiful looking dark black pour, khaki head. Chocolate & roasted malts, Scotch. Taste was the above but with an off acidic tartness. Sharpe off bite amonst all the other intended flavor, too bad. Will rerate with a bottle.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
neuromatt (1225) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 14, 2011
Bottle #16096, brewed January 2009. 33 cL from the LCBO courtesy of Rob and Pat, served in a snifter. Pours black with a small light brown head. The head fades slowly to a bare cover but leaves a small amount of fine lace. On the nose, there are aromas of molasses, whisky, and chocolate with hints of espresso, herbs and cask wood. The flavour is moderately sweet with complex notes of whisky, roasted malts, molasses, and espresso. The flavour is balanced with a good dose of herbal hops. The finish is long, lingering whisky with just a touch of hops. On the palate, it is full in body with a milky texture and soft carbonation. Overall, this is a very nice roasty ale with a strong whisky accent in the latter half. The whisky is more prominent than in the 12 or 18 year old. Another very well made beer with a beautiful smooth and elegant body, ample roasted malts and nicely complementary whisky notes. 2011-01-14

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
probstblueribbon (3179) - Nepean, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 13, 2011
330 ml bottle from LCBO, served at cellar temperature in a tulip glass. SEP 2012.

App.: Deep brown black with a small light mocha head. Aroma: Tons of deep, rich, fruity molasses, definitely some peat smoke, but in an either tired or integrated way, iodine, brothy, thick, savoury, green notes, really thick and inky and sweet and dark. Palate: Medium+ body, restrained, velvety effervescence, slightly syrupy and also a touch chalky. Flav.: More smoke than the nose, but still feels...muted or warn-out somehow, plenty of thick, inky, fruity molasses, still plenty of iodine and savoury/meaty/mashy/brothy notes, some dark chocolate peeks through, an interesting blend of dark malts and Scotch smoke, pretty good; sweet with almost enough bitterness (not cloying, but a touch flaccid), sweet chocolate some molasses and a bit of peat smoke.

I could probably make a joke or two about 18 year olds, but I think I’ll just shut up and drink my beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Sammy (9193) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 23, 2010
Middle of the pack enjoyment of the series. Must do a vertical one night. Pours black, wiskey smoke aromas. Milk chocolate taste, a little more bitter at the end of the bottle. Bit more than medium mouthfeel. Whiskey is right there.Good drinkability.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
JohnRMurdoch (3557) - Glasgow, SCOTLAND - DEC 21, 2010
Bottle from The Cave. Strong aroma of sweet malts & alcohol. Very dark brown colour like oily cola. Flavor very complex - sweet & spicy roasted malts & treacle toffee with pleasant ligering aftertaste and very smooth. A very different beer which is really good.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Tim Webb (257) - Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, ENGLAND - DEC 20, 2010
33cl bottle. Well what do you expect when you add a slug of 18 yo Highland Park single malt into a sizeable old ale? Something delectable provided the beer that is added to the cask is good enough, and this is. Not so much whisky notes as chords. Rich dark textures come from the ale side.

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