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Harviestoun Ola Dubh (30 Year Old)

Formerly brewed at Harviestoun
Style: Old Ale
Alva, Central, Scotland


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 493   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.92   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%
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NB if your bottle is marked 30th anniversary edition (bottled June 2013) Your rating should go here:

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.”

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Dogbrick (8113) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - JUL 22, 2012
Sample at the Pints For Pelotonia charity tasting on 07/21/12: Murky brown-black color with a medium khaki head that recedes slowly. Partial rings of lacing on the glass. Aroma of burnt malt, fruit and oak. Medium body with flavors of peaty malt, charcoal, fruit and wood. The finish is smoked malt and charred wood. A little too far on the campfire side for my tastes, but a decent beer nonetheless.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
GRM (2984) - Aylmer, Quebec, CANADA - JUN 27, 2012
Brown bottle, 330 ml, bottle 28363, bottled in Jan 2009, best before April 2013, purchased at the LCBO, savoured on June 27 2012; eye: black, opaque, tiny ring of beige head, no lacing; nose: molasses, roasted barley, anise, light alcohol, light candied fruits, slight whisky, slight woody, slight smoked salmon; mouth: molasses, roasted barley, anise, light alcohol, light candied fruits, finale in molasses with presence of anise, medium-full body, not much carbonation, mildly sweet, slightly bitter, a bit thin; overall: fine FRANÇAIS Bouteille brune, 330 ml, bouteille 28363, embouteillée en Jan 2009, meilleure avant avril 2013, achetée à la LCBO, savourée le 27 juin 2012; œil : noire, opaque, minuscule anneau de mousse beige, pas de dentelle; nez : mélasse, orge torréfiée, anis, léger alcool, léger fruits confits, très léger whisky, très léger boisé, très léger saumon fumé; bouche : mélasse, orge torréfiée, anis, léger alcool, léger fruits confits, finale en mélasse avec présence d’anis, corps moyen-corsé, peu carbonatée, moyennement sucrée, très légèrement amère, un peu mince; en résumé : bien

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Beerhammaren (1064) - FINLAND - JUN 2, 2012
UPDATED: APR 11, 2014 .33l bottle @ Vihreä Haltiatar re-rate. Color is black with low brown head. Aroma and flavor are rich. Alcohol, whiskey, smoke, roasted malts, burned sugar, tobacco, coffee...

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
DavoleBomb (1467) - Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 26, 2012
Poured into a snifter. Bottle #10696, bottled Sept. 2007. I looked up how much the 30 year costs and the cheapest was just north of $300. And to think I thought this bottle of beer was expensive at $14.99. 3.5 A: Black color. Just over a finger of frothy light brown head. Retention was mediocre and no lacing was left. I gave this an extra half point since it’s getting rather old. 4.0 S: The base beer delivers roastiness and a hint of chocolate. Nothing too crazy. The whiskey, however, is enchanting. So well integrated that it smells silky. Coffee, creme, caramel, oak, vanilla - creme brulee basically. Light well tanned leather. Almost flowery with melon, peach, and apple fruits. 3.5 T: Taste is much like the nose. The base beer is just there to facilitate the barrel aging. Roastiness is the main contributor. The reason that this doesn’t score as well as the nose is because the whiskey is less intense in the taste. Still, there’s some vanilla, oak, and leather, but much less of everything else. 3.0 M: Wimpy light to lighter medium body. Carbonation is good for how old it is. Reasonably creamy for how light it is. 3.5 D: This suffers from the same problem that 50/50 does. The base beer is weak and the barrel aging is forced to carry the product. However, in this case, the bourbon seems to have faded a lot from the taste. Oh well. I’d love to try this fresh. Serving type: bottle Reviewed on: 05-04-2012 02:28:03

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
olio (6166) - Tampere, FINLAND - MAY 17, 2012
33 cl bottle. Bottle no. 04063. Bottled on 03/2009. BBE 24.06.2011.
Rated on 20110624.
Pours pitch black color with a large, lasting head. Aroma of slight ashy chocolate, some distant oak, peat and mild liquorice. Surprisingly simple aroma, at least when cool. Flavor of liquorice, peat, chocolate and vanilla. Silky smooth palate from start to finish. Very short aftertaste. Extremely well balanced even though the high complexity. Clearly the best of the reserve bunch.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
gunnfryd (10540) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - MAY 13, 2012
Bottle. Black colour with a tan head. Aroma is oak, vanilla, coffee, roasted malt. Flavour is oak, vanilla, coffee, roasted malt, chocolat. Full body. Very nice beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
BeerBunker (709) - Burbank, Illinois, USA - MAY 10, 2012
Pours dark brown with a tan head. Aroma is of malt, chocolate, and wood. Taste is of malt, sweet chocolate, wood, and dark fruit. Lingering woody malt taste. There are some small hints of whiskey, but not as much as I had expected. Mouthfeel is medium and sticky. Definitely easy to drink. Perhaps a little too sweet, but still not bad.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
madmitch76 (15068) - , Essex, ENGLAND - MAY 6, 2012
9th September 2009
Opaque black brown beer. Soft creamy palate. Light chocolate nose. Dark malt. Wood and minerals. A little unsweet chocolate. The whisky is smooth and almost subtle and lends a little sourness. Smooth easy drinking!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
kbutler1 (1351) - Minnesota, USA - APR 22, 2012
Bottle. Now wow, this is proper presentation, a nifty box, foil wrapped cap, and a fancy little "necklace" around the bottle neck. Pours a dar brown color with some slight red highlights. Very little head but what head there is collars around the glass a light tan. Molasses and dark fruit notes in the nose along with dark chocolate. Medium mouthfeel. Chocolate, leather, tobacco, and roast coffee in the flavors at different times. The barrel aging to me is subtle and sleeps in the background on this one. Much easier drinking than expected. Tasty.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
reebtogi (4180) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - APR 12, 2012
330ml bottle pours jet black in color with a small off-white head with virtually no lacing on the glass. Aromas of chocolate and coffee with some smokey wood and whiskey notes. Taste is chocolate malty sweetness with some roasted barley and coffee bitterness mingled with a whiskey and smokey wood finish. Heavy body and mild carbonation. An interesting and tasty brew best enjoyed as a slow sipper.

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