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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 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Skyview (5208) - Papoose Jct, Minnesota, USA - MAR 6, 2008
Purchased a 11.2 oz bottle at Heritage Liquors in Maplewood, Minnesota. Pour an opaque dark brown, nearly black brew with a thin tan head that quickly dissipates clean with a thin film ring. Aroma of oak barrel, whiskey, a touch of vanilla, chocolate and a sweet/salty peat. Taste is a little smoother than the 16-year with a sweet whiskey and vanilla flavor that hides some of the dark malt and flowery hop flavors. Finish has a slight smokey peat aftertaste that even brings out some chocolate, whiskey and vanilla flavors. Not as whiskey strong flavored as the 16-year version but still a nice experience to try.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
MuertosPorter (24) - California, USA - MAR 5, 2008
UPDATED: MAR 6, 2008 Almost a stout like appearance in the pour. A very beautiful short lasting quarter inch of off white head. An incredible lacing quality. Just a touch of a very smooth whisky aroma. Soft carbonation on the palate. Luxurious well pronounced notes of woodiness, burnt bread and vanilla. Warming from the alcohol. Very Nice!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
BrockLanders (772) - Panama City, Florida, USA - MAR 2, 2008
Looks almost identical to the 12 and 16 yr varieties. Aroma follows suite as does the flavor and palate. While that’s not bad, I’d hoped for a little something more...especially in light of the elevated price. While there’s no doubt this spent time in a quality cask, I’m not inclined to believe it’s that much better than it’s 12 and 16 yr siblings. Good stuff...just not worth the price of admission.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
hophead75 (2008) - Largo, Florida, USA - MAR 2, 2008
12 oz bottle split two ways. Very dark brown almost black with a tan head. Aroma has alot of oak, vanilla, chocolate, peat, whiskey and light roast. Taste is chocolate, light roast, oak and vanilla, peat, and whiskey. Medium bodied, all malts integrate seemlessly and balance each other very well. Very nice.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
DonMagi (5596) - bantervile, Bedfordshire, ENGLAND - MAR 2, 2008
Bottle thanks to cgarvieuk. Aroma is whisky and roasty malts. Taste is similar, raw grain is not good, but ah well.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
cgarvieuk (14279) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - MAR 2, 2008
UPDATED: FEB 4, 2010 Bottle at home with Tom and Royce deep black no head ... Woody light smokey ... smooth gentle roats malts ... some iodine ... little coffee ... definitly whiskey tone... Blind with the other 2.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
RoyceH (1196) - Hesperange, LUXEMBOURG - MAR 2, 2008
Bottle at cgarvieuk’s sunday sojourn blind tasting. Quite strong seaweedy peaty nose, some alcohol evident. Mouth is much better, very fruity, seaweedy, some cherryness, brilliant mouth compared to the rest. Most beerish of them all and my favourite. Excellent.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Vac (2445) - San Diego, California, USA - MAR 1, 2008
Gift from Blair at Hamilton’s...Thanks man! As with the 12 and 16 years...it pours with a dark brown to black body topped by a medium thick, light brown head with a good amount of lacing left behind. It’s much less sweet than the other two and the smokiness is a little less, but still a dominant flavor. The chocolate and vanilla notes are much more in the forfront of the flavor. Full bodied and smooth with a touch of dryness.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Hairofthedog (419) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 29, 2008
The aroma was rich and balanced with wood, roast, chocolate, whiskey, dark fruit, and smoke tones. The beer poured an opaque color with thin head and no lace. The flavor was rich and full with hints of smoke, roast, chocolate, dark fruit, and wood. The mouthfeel was full bodied and creamy.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Eyedrinkale (3213) - Astoria, New York, USA - FEB 26, 2008
Bottle. Comparing it to the 12, this stuff is really smooth. The flavors are so bold but also subtle. How is this an Old Ale? The stout flavors come through and meld beautifully with the mellow barrel flavors. Pricey but worth a go.

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