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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: 503   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.93   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%

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 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
rajendra82 (986) - Alpharetta, Georgia, USA - MAR 15, 2008
The individually boxed package with a clinky neck ornament exuded pure class. The beer was poured into a humble mug, and it graced it with a pitch black appearance and a two finger thick beige head. The smell was more typical of a Dry Stout than an Old Ale. It smelled pretty roasty, with a lot of coffee and chocolate. The taste was along the same vein, but the whisky barrel aging was more apparent here. The roasty flavors were mellower than the smell suggested, and there were overtones of vanilla and prunes. The body was soft and oily (which was quite appropriate I suppose). Quite good, but not a whole lot different than the time I sample my stouts with some dark chocolate.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
hopdog (10105) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 14, 2008
Bottle shared courtesy of Axilla. Tasted side by side iwth the 16 & 30 year versions. Poured a deep brown color with an averaged sized tan head. Aromas of wood, bourbon, whiskey, smoke, vanilla, earthy, and wood. Tastes of whiskey, smoke, vanilla, wood, and chocolate. Out of the 3, whiskey was the most prominent characteristic (and I do like whiskey).

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
axilla (962) - New Providence, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 14, 2008
Poured a deep brown body with a small tan head lace. The aroma was a bit harsher than the other 2 with a lot othe the same, choclate, vanilla, smokey, notes found in the others. The flavor started of on the bitey side with sweet smoke, dry oak, stronger scotch characteristics, choc, and very mild vanilla.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
egajdzis (5653) - Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 14, 2008
Poured a dark mahogany color with a small, light tan head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of strong, peaty smoke, light roast, chocolate, wood, and faint vanilla. Taste of more peat smoke, roasted malts, chocolate, faint vanilla, and wood, with a bit of alcohol. Acidic mouthfeel.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Jvittorio4187 (255) - Boardman, Ohio, USA - MAR 13, 2008
Bottle shared with Adam: Pours black with a thin white head. Aroma is sweet, with peat, smoke, whisky, and charred barrel. Flavo is massive. Compared to the nose this is total oppisite. Taste is light peatness with heavy char barrel. Whiskey is an under tone. Finish is dryt with barrel note and slight chocolate. Amazing beer. Thanks Adam!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
TomDecapolis (4618) - Milton, Delaware, USA - MAR 13, 2008
Pours a deep brown with touches of amber notes and a medium creamy tan head that left some lacing. Aroma of vanilla, milk chocolate, nuts, light whiskey notes, and some caramel. Flavor of vanilla, caramel, cardboard, light roast, some milk chocolate, earthy and woody.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
AllAboutStout (605) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - MAR 11, 2008
Pours a murky, dark brown in color. The really nice attribute with this beer is the smell. There is a nice robust, dark, peat and vanilla taste. The smell is very nice, exactly what I’m looking for in a beer. Creamy, full textured and plenty going on in the taste. The taste is nice, but not worth the price(IMO).

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
UselessGdTaste (365) - Long Beach, California, USA - MAR 8, 2008
Loving Scotch and Loving Beer...there is nothing better than this. High price, fine. It is worth it. Perfectly balanced barrel flavour with a delicious dark beer. Not as sweet as those beers aged in former bourbon casks. I’ll pop a number on this one with no problem.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Tmoney99 (12230) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - MAR 8, 2008
Bottle from Dilly Deli. Poured black color with full brown creamy head that mostly lasted with Excellent lacing. Heavy aroma of caramel, woody and toasted malt. Medium to full body with smooth texture. Same as the other two, medium to heavy dark woody bittersweet flavor with a medium to heavy bittersweet whiskey finish of moderate duration. My expectations were met with a complex smooth brew.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Dickinsonbeer (5075) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - MAR 6, 2008
Big thanks to Hophead75 for sharing this. Pours a nice rich syrupy ruby amber - brown with a nice velvety creamy head. Aroma is very rich and intense, but nothing is too overpowering or sharp- good subdued whiskey, light oakiness and vanilla, some hints of tar and leather with nice fruity esters and smooth sweet malts. Flavor is also lightly fruity with hintsof tar, tobacco, and nice single malt whiskey with an earthy cigar character but itwas smooth and refined. This was really good.

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