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 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
VertBaconStrips (2151) - 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 (2534) - 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 (7326) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Scopey (8470) - Croydon, Greater London, ENGLAND - MAR 20, 2011
Bottle at the Rake. It pours pitch black with a thin tan head. The nose is liquorice, charcoal, caramel, cherry, fig and date. It tastes of caramel, rich-roast coffee, toffee, Scottish tablet, wood, liquorice root, vanilla, cola and brown sugar. The alcohol is very well hidden and the body is lighter than expected. It is pretty dangerous stuff as it’s so easy to drink.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
michael-pollack (4960) - King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 20, 2011
330ml Bottle (Bottle #: 0577. Bottled: 2/2009.): Complex aroma of malt, peat, wood, slight chocolate, slight whiskey, slight roasting, slight tar, almonds, and a hint of soy sauce. Poured pitch black in color with a small, creamy, dense, tan head that greatly diminished but lasted throughout, especially around the edges. Opaque. Lightly sparkling. Flavor is medium sweet and slightly bitter. Tastes of malt, light roasting, light tar, peat, light wood, slight whiskey, slight vanilla, and a hint of smoke. Medium to full body. Dry texture. Soft to average carbonation. Malt, light roast, slight smoke, light wood, slight tar finish is dry. 8%ABV is completely hidden throughout.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Keil (171) - Denver, Colorado, USA - MAR 18, 2011
Aroma is toffee, caramel, vanilla, cream, slight smoke/peat, alcohol. Upfront roasted flavor, finishes with a scotch-like dryness. Very pleasant flavors of toffee, caramel, peat, smoke. Creamy mouthfeel. Flavors keep on going in this once. Scotch flavors really shine in the finish. Very thought-provoking beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
AshtonMcCobb (3656) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - MAR 14, 2011
Looks better than the 12 year - slightly better head retention. Also, more elegant on the nose and palate. Treacle and chocolate aromas. Then chocolate, cream and the whisky flavours. The palate shows a big structure, a very creamy texture and a more elegant finish, though with some whisky alcohol burn.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Blairgus (3033) - California, USA - MAR 12, 2011
UPDATED: MAR 15, 2011 black, thin dark tan head. doesn’t look as syrupy as the 12 yo. choc oakiness has picked up a fruit aroma thin/med body and slightly fizzy. not as syrupy as the 12yo less wood means you get more beer. choc stout tastes are showing above the oak. dark w/ a thin head smells outstanding! rich and oaky not as thick as the 16yo but more so than the 12yo tastes just like the 16yo they’re both great beers but i think the 16yo is a bit thicker

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
ContemplateBeer (1677) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - FEB 23, 2011
On tap at Sergio’s. Really sweet aroma of toffee, nougat, sweet chocolate and butterscotch. Appearance was black with light tan head. Flavor emphasized the sweet aromas, but with some slight whiskey sourness on the backside of all that sweetness. Palate was bubbly and terminated creamy. Certainly good, just a little overkill on the sweetness for me. If you love sweet beers, this may be up your alley.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
jesperhammer (3368) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - FEB 16, 2011
11-FEB-2011, bottle @home, with Ulkløbben, from "Fish & Beer". Served blind with Old Engine Oil and Ola Dubh 40. Whiskey is really present on this one. But it’s like barrel aging a beer that is a littel too simple does not make it a better beer. Still a little thin and not really complex enough. Would gladly drink it again, but I will not go out seeking the others in the series.

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