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


on tap

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RATINGS: 315   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.99/5   EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%
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 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
fiulijn (19387) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JAN 19, 2010
Bottle from New Beer Distributors, New York; bottled Jan 2009, 1 year old
parallel tasting with Ola Dubh 30 years old

Black color; beige creamy head. In this version the whisky aroma is more prominent, followed by roasted malt, cream and alcohol; good but less interesting than in the other version.
It has a lean body, not as structured as I would expect; good chocolate flavor, with late caramel and low but present sugars; less liquorice than the other version, cleaner whisky touch.
The final is balanced, roasted malt and chocolate, a bit drier and more alcoholic than the 30 years old. After some time in the glass, it still keeps sharp and it slowly becomes more interesting than the 30 years.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Leighton (18745) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - MAY 5, 2010
UPDATED: NOV 9, 2012 Bottle. Pours deep black with a sturdy beige head. Plenty of alcohol in the aroma, some whiskey, some roasted malts. Big flavor, some chocolate, peat, vanilla, smoke. Medium bodied with modest carbonation, a bit oily. Lingering smokiness. A rather complex brew that will certainly appeal to those who like the flavor of whiskey.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Rasmus40 (17834) - 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 (17004) - 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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
yngwie (16535) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - MAR 29, 2010
Bottle, at Cardinal. It’s a very dark brwon beer, a small tan head sits of top. Whisky, peat and alcohol on the nose, something metallic too. Unusual to find that in the aroma. Peaty, whisky-like flavor with a good dash of alcohol warmth. Full-bodied, and peaty, burnt finsh. Some whisky too of course. Expected more from this, but it’s a fine beer indeed. Nothing extraordinary though. 091106

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
TBone (16197) - Pori, FINLAND - JUN 28, 2009
Bottled, Beer Hunters (#41366, Jan 2009). Opaque black/brown color, small brown head. Very similar aroma than in Ola Dubh 30: licorice, oak and vanilla - slightly more vanilla than in Ola Dubh 30. Medium to full bodied - more robust than Dubh 30. Soft palate, whicky, licorice, oak-wood, sweetish vanilla. Balanced and highly drinkable barrel aged beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Oakes (15806) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - NOV 17, 2010
Very dark brown. No head. This looks oily and maybe flat. Big aroma - the peat-tinged saltiness of Highland Park shows through along with rich dark fruits (plum, pear, grape), burnt treacle and other such sugary nuances. Sweet, soft fruity character with hints of slightly peaty whisky towards the middle. The finish continues with sweetness. There is a certain whiskeyish vibrancy to the body - it crosses the palate something like a dram as it does an oily ale.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Dedollewaitor (15590) - Odense, DENMARK - APR 12, 2010
Bottle @ Odense Tasting, April 2010. Pours pitch black with a small white head and lacings. Nose is peat, roast, caramel. Smooth and roasted flavor with hints of oak, coffee and liquorice. Niceness

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
chrisv10 (15528) - DENMARK - MAR 31, 2011
Bottle. Black with small beige head. Flavour is roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, sweet, little peat and bitter.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
MiP (15305) - Sønderborg, DENMARK - JUL 19, 2011
Bottle, 8.0%. Distinct roasted aroma, old smoke and vanilla. Black colour. Big unstable brown head. The flavour is equally distinct, powerful roasted note, some smoke, hint of vanilla. There is some alcohol in the finish, rather rough, a little burning, but also warming.

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