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 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 (3584) - 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 (3001) - 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 (1661) - 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 (3325) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
BeerandBlues2 (10541) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 31, 2011
Bottle at The Nook. Pours opaque with an average, fizzy beige head, medium retention with good lacing. Aroma is heavy malt (cookie, caramel, chocolate, roasted), light hops (herbal), and average esters (fruity) with notes of smoke, wood, alcohol, and vanilla. Flavor is heavy malt (cookie, chocolate, coffee, roasted), light hops (earthy), and average esters (fruity) with notes of smoke, wood, alcohol, and vanilla. Full body, medium warmth and carbonation, low creaminess with a dry finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
nandoo (11) - wezembeek oppem, BELGIUM - JAN 25, 2011
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 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 (3390) - 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 (1241) - 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.

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