Brewed by Harviestoun
Style: Old Ale
Alva, Central, Scotland


on tap

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RATINGS: 534   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.92   EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%
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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.”

BeerBunker's rating

   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 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
weark (279) - SWITZERLAND - JUN 23, 2014
Bottle from Erzbierschof - Black color with a small and fast disappearing tan head - Aroma is chocolate, whisky, vanilla, roasted malt and coffee, very pleasant aroma - Flavor is whisky, vanilla, plum, chocolate - Medium body, light carbonation, sweet, a little bit watery, sweet vanilla whisky finish - I love this beer, so good

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jksipa (279) - Newmarket, Ontario, CANADA - JUN 10, 2014
Bottle from the LCBO. Pours a thick pitch black with no head whatsoever. Nose is dominated by dark fruits, with chocolate, vanilla, wood, light smoke and definite whiskey notes. Lightly sweet fruity start with caramel and chocolate with a light balanced bitterness. Smoke comes out as it warms as does a light sour note to add to the complexity. Medium full oily mouth with very soft carbonation and a lingering finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
superspak (2417) - Michigan, USA - JUN 6, 2014
330 ml bottle into snifter; bottle #03946, bottled in 6/2013. Pours fairly pitch black color with a small fairly dense khaki head with decent retention, that reduces to a thin spotty cap of lace that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, vanilla, toast, toffee, oak, raisin, fig, dark bread, light peat smoke, light leather, and roast/oak earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and oak cask notes; with good strength. Taste of chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, vanilla, toast, toffee, dark bread, oak, raisin, fig, peat smoke, leather, and roast/oak earthiness. Slight roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, roast, vanilla, toast, toffee, dark bread, raisin, fig, oak, peat smoke, light leather, and roasted/oak earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and robustness of dark/roasted malt and oak cask flavors; with a great oak/malt flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, fairly creamy, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent old ale style. All around great complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt and oak cask flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
bastarda (39) - Freiburg, GERMANY - JUN 4, 2014
shared with Bierle: nose: dark chocolate, a hint of figs, dark cake with kirschwasser, almost like a blackforest cake, molasses, very subtle carbonation, just enough to enhance and transport the very complex flavours of coffee, dark fruits, bitter chocolate a long-lasting quite strong bitterness, reminiscent more of very dark chocolate and licorice than of hops. Most wonderfully balanced sweet- and bitterness.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Bierle (11) - Baden-Württemberg, GERMANY - JUN 4, 2014
Sehr feine dunkle Früchte, Pflaumen, Schokoaromen. Sehr voll, süffig, Harmonie von Frucht und Bittere. Sehr wenig Kohlensäure. So lecker,dass man es kaum schlucken mag. Sehr langer, bitterer, whiskfassholziger Abgang.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
fitwitchik (242) - USA - MAY 26, 2014
Poured from a June 2013 bottle into a snifter a thick black with no head. Aroma is rich prunes raisins some booziness. Flavor is incredibly smooth dark fruit brown sugar roasted wood some alcohol here but not overpowering. Gathered some slight smokiness as well. Quite impressive. Balanced in all formats my only compliant is a bit thin.Always a beautiful brew.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
cernjoh (98) - Ohio, USA - MAY 26, 2014
Wow third time drinking this and it doesn’t disappoint. Aroma is of dark fruits and some booze. Appearance is like old engine oil with absolutely no head other than a small amount of tan bubbles around the perimeter of the glass. Taste is dark fruits and some smoke. Palate is a tad thin from what I remember from previous bottles but the carbonation is good. Overall a great beer. If you never had this I recommend you give this one a try.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
cattaneopapa (145) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 18, 2014
330ml bottle. 8% alc./vol. Pours a black colour with no head. Aroma is coffee. Taste is boozy and has some notes of coffee with a hoppy finish. Oily body with low carbonation.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
crazy_cat_lady (108) - - MAY 18, 2014
May 11, 2014. 330mL bottle from LCBO. Very dark brown. Sweet malt with hints of oak in aroma. Toffee and raisins in flavour. Like a barely wine, but weaker. Quite nice.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
zacgillbanks (2099) - Tyne & Wear, ENGLAND - APR 16, 2014
This is an inky black beer that pours without any sort of head. It has sweet red fruit, whisky, vanilla, currant, chocolate and leather flavours with a creamy sarsaparilla and warming earthy finish.

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