RateBeer
overall
97
96
style
Brewed by Harviestoun
Style: Old Ale
Alva, Central, Scotland

bottled
common

on tap
common

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1588   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.7   EST. CALORIES: 180   ABV: 6%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Bottle: Filtered.
Ingredients: Pale malt; Roasted barley; Oats; Washington Galena, Worcester Fuggles and Kent Goldings hops.
A superb, rich, full-bodied beer derived from a 1970s homebrewing recipe. Wickedly smooth chocolate dominates the flavour, which is nicely balanced by the bitterness of the hops.


4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
alobar (2999) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 30, 2006
Hops and chocolate dominate the aroma. Pours with no head. Deep, dark black color-like "old engine oil." Taste of chocolate with bitterness of hops, some espresso and coffee. This is a great beer!

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
pnista (1007) - Bloomington, Indiana, USA - APR 25, 2006
Pours like a red black like a strong porter or a standard stout, though with not much of a head. Rich and sweet in aroma, with definite stone fruit, molasses, and a hint of chocolate covered cherries. Although I was slightly let down by the palate, this is probably because I associate this depth of color and aroma with imperial stouts, though this is smooth and creamy, though not over the top. The flavor is definitely more sour than I had anticipated. This reminds me slightly of Terrible, though this is both sweeter and less sour. The prime flavor here is chocolate covered cherries and secondarily amaretto. I think this beer is one of the few cases where a little more alcohol would do this wonders. While the slightly sour fruity cherry aftertaste is nice, it would be even nicer with some alcohol burn. I guess this might not be so easy to drink then though. Overall, an interesting offering.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
tcruicks (282) - Bloomington, Indiana, USA - APR 25, 2006
This does sort of look like engine oil- just very dark, small tan head. Smells like malty chocolate, sweet fruits, and caramel. The flavour is very fruity-cherries, but also roasty and some chocolate. Its tangy and sweet but still has that dark roastyness and a bit of bitterness, and its creamy and smooth.

4.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
burpfrank (299) - carpinteria, California, USA - APR 24, 2006
had a small head.Looked like engine oil.dark.Can’t see thru it.aroma was good,but not too strong.Chocolate,oranges.smooth.Easy to drink.Wish I had another one.I bought the very last bottle at the store.Very good!!

4.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
SSSteve (3905) - - APR 22, 2006
same syrupy pour and black color as the special reserve but with a small creamy brown head. bitter chocolate, roasted malt and some estery malts in aroma. more hoppy than the s.r. dry and chocolatey. a mildly sweet fruity hop finish. very smooth. low carbonation. not as smokey as the s.r.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Miksu (5027) - Jyväskylä, FINLAND - APR 16, 2006
UPDATED: FEB 2, 2008 0.33 l bottle. Black color with creamy head. Soft roasted aroma with notes of caramel, hay, salty licorice and green apple. Sweetish soflty roasty flavor with salty licorice, some tart fruitiness, caramel, chocolate and grass. Thick viscous palate. Very tasty!

3.2
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
NewCastle1 (59) - Indiana, USA - APR 15, 2006
UPDATED: APR 28, 2006 Bottle. Pours a nice, deep brown. Might as well be black. Thin off white head. Aroma is of malts, bourbon, and chocolate. Taste is somewhat odd. Tast cholcolate, roasted coffee and some bitter hops in the end. Finishes pretty good. No real aftertaste. maybe some coffe? Not to bad.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
atpayne (615) - Zionsville, Indiana, USA - APR 11, 2006
Pours darker brown and settles a royal black with little reds around the edges. Small creamy putty brown head. The aroma is plesant. Strong roasted malt, dark fruits and a wiskey character. Great malt aroma with a tiny bit of european hop. Flavor is definately smooth and creamy. Round wince fruit character followed by a roasted coffed malt and then a mellow smooth blanket of roasted malt sitting on the tongue. It has a fairly thin feel and finish, but that doesn’t detract because it is a smooth mellow beer.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ElPresidente1984 (173) - Maine, USA - APR 10, 2006
black, medium head. great aroma, spicy, yeasty, smooth chocolate malts. flavor is similar, nicely balanced with hints of bitterness, yet sweet and creamy. some hints of mocha. leaves a nice rich milk chocolate taste on the palate. very good.

2.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
SoLan (1550) - Florida, USA - APR 8, 2006
Black. Large, dense, cramy, tan head. Nose is toasty, bready malt and chocolate. Just like it says, bitter hops and chocolate, not much else. Body is balanced but thin, medium is a generous description. The special reserve is a great brew, this is drinkable.


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