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


on tap

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RATINGS: 302   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.98   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 first with genuine provenance. This version is aged in Highland Park 40 Year whisky casks.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Rasmus40 (10842) - Beder, Aarhus, DENMARK - DEC 20, 2011
Clear dark brown with an beige head. Aroma is sweet, malty, caramel, dried fruit, a little vanilla, wood and moderate whisky. Flavor is quite sweet and moderate bitter. Dry and moderate bitter finish with a little alcohol. Full bodied. This was tasted head to head with the 30 year old. Surprisingly the 30 year old was a little better. It was smoother and softer. Still a great beer though. 191211

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
saxo (13851) - Højbjerg, Aarhus, DENMARK - DEC 19, 2011
Bottle. Medium head with medium duration. Color is black. Aroma and taste are roast malt, wood, chocolate, caramel and notes of licorice.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
shorlin (639) - St. John’s, Newfoundland, CANADA - DEC 16, 2011
Had this one in-cellar since the summer, trying it as a Happy Birthday to me treat on a cold December night. Pours a solid black, almost Coke-like colour. Head is dark, minimal. Aroma is hardwood smoke, chocolate, almost coffee. Palate is not too thick, initially flavourful with some tingle on the tongue, finished with a rewardingly long aftertaste. Closed my eyes and could sense the whisky working its way through. Taste is the perfect blend of bitter, propelling the roast and toast of the malt to the fore. Overall, a superior beer. Thanks to my wife for the present, well worth the wait till my birthday!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Muggus69 (1166) - Yarram, Vic, AUSTRALIA - DEC 4, 2011
330mL bottle #05142 AUG2010 Beautiful looking dark beer; solid burnt tan head stands firm atop a opaque mahogany body. Complex aroma of bitter chocolate, whisky, pear, raisin, tar, prune, coffee and spice. Carbonation quite low, thick oily texture with a drying astringent woody character cutting through. Flavour is just so immensely complex - burnt nuts, cocoa, cola, prune, raisin, vanilla, clove, pear, bitter orange marmalade, coffee bean. Booze is totally undetected, finishes with a slight oaky astrigency and high hop bitterness, cutting through the richness. Just the complexity of this beer just makes me wanna try the Scotch from which it was borne, but they made not be feasible. Fantastic really, certainly a treat that I didn’t think i’d ever have, and will definately work my way backwards through the range.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
VertBaconStrips (2069) - Assat, Alberta, CANADA - NOV 28, 2011
Is the 30 or the 40yr better? The only way to answer that is to open both and go head to head. Black pour, not oily. The light brown head in this glass mystified me until I realized that the Corsendonk glass I’m using is etched on the bottom. The hint was the little fizzing black hole in the center of the surface. Nose: the difference? +1 to the 30 - the more nutty, creamy, chocolate goodness in the 30 vs. the dirtier slightly smoky whisky notes of the 40. More 30 aroma: amazing aroma, very tantalizing indeed - chocolate, deep non-sweet roast, biscuit, softer whisky notes that do include some of that Highland smoke, almonds and a bouquet of flowers with notable chrysanthemums - no crazy depth but just soothing. More 40 aroma: cherry medicinal thing, dirty oaky ashy earthy yy, apple bread, spices, I mainly find the cherry thing after letting the glass sit as once that great cloud of smells gets busted up it goes into hiding. Apricot, fresh tobacco. What tastes better? The 40 with ease - not to say anything bad about the 30 - both are excellent but the 40 is meaner and has depth. 40 flavours: Ashes, sweet plum, dirt, very dark melted chocolate, very very light alcohol goodness gives a kick, oak, rough vanilla, tobacco, light mineral flavour, something else. Ok, Vertical Limit is on. I LOVE this movie! As a climber I respect this movie. Ok, I surrendered part of my soul for that comment but it’s so fucking awful that I always have to watch. Lots of whisky in that 40... 30 flavours: ohoh! something is wrong with the chopper!!!!! How are they possibly going to get out of this alive? Smooth roasted malts with a short lived sweetness, chocolate, nuts, vanilla, light peppery spice of scotch, candy, dry dirt, toffee, goodness. Easy drinking. Both are a bit oily and fully bodied, etc etc. I have to give the nod to the 40 even though usually the aroma wins out for me. Excellent beers. Thx to a forgotten soul out east for the 40.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Matts_Property (831) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - NOV 16, 2011
Bottle split with mcberko. Pours solid black with a small white head. Aroma of wood, sherry, roasted coffee, burnt wood and vanilla. Flavour of roasted coffee, some chocolate, toasted nuts, smoked wood, vanilla and lightly sweetened. Medium-bodied, not as rich as the aroma denotes, lightly carbonated. Pleasant.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
BeerChaser0078 (909) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - NOV 9, 2011
Bottle. Very dark pour, almost completely black, with red highlights and a foamy tan head that quickly fades to surface cover. Aroma shows a lot of influence from the whisky barrels but this is integrated very well and doesn’t overpower the other elements; tar, smoke, seaweed, whisky and vanilla mix beautifully with notes of dark chocolate, liquorice and dark fruit. Flavour has many of the same characteristics as the aroma but is woodier, less smokey, roastier, sweeter and less salty. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy with soft carbonation and a long roasty finish. This is another excellent example of the magic these guys can make with a great dark ale and some top whisky casks. On a par with the 30 year old version and one of the best whisky aged brews I have tried.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
RuneStumo (2173) - FØRRESFJORDEN, NORWAY - NOV 6, 2011
15.10.2011. 0,33l Bottle. Dark brown colour with tan head. Very rich beer. Aromas of dark malts. Notes of smoke and roasted malts. Very nice tones of Whisky, tar and oak.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Beersiveknown (2850) - NORTHERN IRELAND - NOV 5, 2011
bottle 10968 (03/09) at home 5/11/11. Alcoholic whisky and nutmeg on the nose, with plenty of booze in the body and chocolate covered sultanas. Subtle carbonation and long whisky finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
armando629 (2406) - Budapest, HUNGARY - NOV 1, 2011
0,33 l bottle, Biererei, Vienna.
Poured black, with a beige head that melts down to a small lacing one with reddish edges. Nice aroma of chocolate, brandy and rum, caramel, molasses. Medium bodied one, surprisingly easy with a sweet taste, fairly low carbonation. Nice, long lasting aroma of whiskey in the aftertaste. Pleasant.

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