RateBeer
overall
99
99
style
Brewed by Harviestoun
Style: Old Ale
Alva, Central, Scotland

bottled
common

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 526   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.92   EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.”


3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
wickedpete (634) - Lexington Park, Maryland, USA - APR 5, 2008
UPDATED: SEP 24, 2010 Black body. Aroma of banana, chocolate, and bourbon. Flavor is bourbon, chocolate, and some lactic sourness.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
wetherel (1836) - Encinitas, California, USA - APR 5, 2008
Excellent marketing on this one. High price of $15 for 12oz bottle. I remember when it was released it gained a little fame, creeping it’s way to top 50 stardom. But like Macaulay Culkin, this beer’s fame has dropped a little. Sean at the PP bottle was very generous in purchasing and opening this bottle. Huge thanks! Very thick pour. No head. Some smoke and peat in the aroma, albeit mild. Dryish, but not roasty or sour. Dark brown red color. Malty. Some carbonation. I wish it had more sweetness.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
kmweaver (3206) - Petaluma, California, USA - APR 4, 2008
330cL bottle, courtesy of wickedpete. Thanks, Pete! Pours a murky, dark oily color; thin, light-brown head with patchy, fine-bubbled lacing. A clearer expression of olives and single malt and chocolate in the aroma than the younger vintages; still, not overly exceptional or complimentary. Medium-to-full mouthfeel: light carbonation; soft scotch presence, still retaining the dark chocolate and nougat notes of the original; again, scotch doesn’t do a whole lot here; not a huge difference between the three casks, and certainly not enough to justify the varying prices. Lengthy finish, showing dark chocolate and cocoa and ash; some residual peat and moss.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
ryan (3187) - Beltsville, Maryland, USA - APR 4, 2008
Courtesy of wickedpete. Dark brown body with a small light tan head. The nose is chocolate, molasses, dark fruit, toffee, some smoke and light vanilla. The flavor is moderately sweet, lightly bitter with raisins, milk chocolate, toffee, vanilla and light smoke. Medium body is a bit thin with moderate carbonation.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
3fourths (7799) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - APR 4, 2008
Bottle shared by wickedpete. Dark brown body with a tan head. More oily liquid smoke nose, a bit more of the wood/oil/smoke and less of the olive note, but still pretty similar. Resinous, oily texture, a bit more coarse and sharp, maybe some more whiskey character, maybe more roast. Probably the best of the three, and the one with the most distinct flavor.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
scraff (2121) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - APR 3, 2008
Black, light tan creamy head. Intense whiskey and oak aromas warm to notes of smoked coconut and hints of mild coffee. Powerful oaked whiskey and dark chocolate ashy flavors expand to further notes of peat smoke and vanilla coconut. Medium bodied with soft carbonation. Great brew without a doubt, but just a touch over the top in my opinion. Still should be one to seek out if possible. Thanks to Rick once again at IM Wine for providing the samples…

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
daknole (8540) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - APR 1, 2008
Bottle, thanks Beachbum25!!!!! Thrilling tasting of all three Ola Dubs. This is the best. Rich and thick on the palate, fairly small light brown head. Flavors are scotch, wood, charcoal, coffee and chocolate. Nice brew for sure. Thanks again to Beachbum25 for a kick ass trade!!

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
sliffy (2040) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - MAR 31, 2008
Bottle shared by puddintane: Pours black with a tan head. Aroma, oak, coffee, and roasted notes. Flavor, roasted notes, slight smoke, coffee, some oaky notes, bittersweet chocolate towards the finish.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Jmichael (640) - Asheville, North Carolina, USA - MAR 31, 2008
side by side with 12, 16, and 30.  12 poured a black with mild flat head, mild strong scotch aroma, full flat smooth palate with scotch mocha finish, sticky aftertaste. 16 had a longer head, milder aroma, smoother balanced and whiskier milkier palate. 30 had same head as 16, smooth scotch aroma, lot smoother palate and more vanilla leading in to a well balanced mild finish, the best was 30,.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Magjayran (1379) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - MAR 30, 2008
Looks exactly like the 12 year. Mostly black with light shining through at the bottom. No head really, just a bit of white film. Nice chocolatey aroma with some coffee notes and a substantial amount of smoky scotch. The scotch is more prominent in this one than in the 12 year version and I must say, this seems like some good scotch. It blends almost perfectly with the chocolate and coffee notes. This one definitely seems to be a bit smoky and is definitely lacking cola flavors. The mouthfeel is slick and smooth with minimal carbonation. Old Engine Oil by itself is rather unique and the combination of quality scotch only helps things in this case.


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