RateBeer
overall
98
96
style
Brewed by Harviestoun
Style: Old Ale
Alva, Central, Scotland

bottled
common

on tap
common

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1472   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.


3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
badgerben (4385) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - JUN 23, 2004
"Blackest hell, yes!" Very nice pour with a bit of head. Aroma is very malty and has some chocolate tint. Semi-sweet flavor with more chocolate and coffee. Tasted a bit more like a strong porter than an imperial stout... Scottish Ale?! Oh, well that makes a wee bit more sense then, donít it laddie?!

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
robertsreality (2460) - Minnesota, USA - JUN 23, 2004
Black Coloring. White Head. Roasted Malt. Chocolate. Very Good Flavor to it. Special Reserve easily tops this one.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
wilkie (1208) - Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - JUN 21, 2004
Bottle. Very dark, with ruby tinge when held up to the light. Tannish medium head. Aroma is roasted malts and chocolate. Very Flavorful. Roasty and Malty right up front with a bit of bitterness in the middle. Good sweet flavor, but not very heavy. Very good.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
DocLock (7682) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 15, 2004
Pours black with a nice white head and good lacing. Aroma of chocolate, malt, some hops, cognac, and slight smoky roastiness. Tastes roasty, malty, with some fruit, cabernet, florals, hops, and chocolate at the finish. Very complex, with brown ale and porter qualities. Engine oil is somewhat of an embellishment for this one, as it is not super thick on the palate, but you will enjoy it. Thicker is not necessarily better.....at least thatís what my wife says.

3
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
arjoseph (639) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUN 15, 2004
From a bottle into an ale glass. Eh. Not that impressed. Since I like dark beers with similar styles, I canít rate this one too poorly, because I did enjoy it. However, it left a bunch to be desired. The smell was not great, smelled a bit green. Nothing wrong with the way it looked, what youíd expect: like oil, only with a bit of off-white head to begin with. The taste was nicely sweet and bitter (not too much of either), the finish was about the same and long. Medium to full bodied, oily and yet creamy with some soft carbonation. You can feel/taste/smell a bit of the alcohol. In the end, it was nice like a sweet stout, but seemed to lack flavor. I didnít think it was enough.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
MMM...Beer (385) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - JUN 13, 2004
Great beer! Nice and heavy on the palate with a great balance between sweet milk chocolate and bitter hops. Deep brown to black in color. Definitely a must try.

4.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
humulus (339) - Salem, Missouri, USA - JUN 12, 2004
Remember the Mike Myers "welcome to all things scottish, if its not scottish... its ccrrraaapp!" skits on SNL. That was good stuff. Anyway, here is a heavy hitter with quality written all over it. The head is tawny brown with a hint of red like the shock of hair on groundskeeper Willieís head. The color is brackish black with a deep dark reddish presence. The aroma is smoky dark and reminds me of the charcoal factory back home. There is also hints of walnut and seasoned leather and maybe a twig or berry or two. The flavor is rich and leathery and coats your mouth in layers of flavor starting with a smoky tartness that yields to sweet then finished a bit bitter. In between is a steady presence of peat smoke and a spruce quality. The head lasts the whole way down the glass, but the beverage is only marginally carbonated. I envision this beer tasting its best back in Scotland in a small stone cottage where winter is just settling in. As though the first winter snows are due this night and the livestock are restless and the fire especially toasty. The pocketbook lacks the quantity to last the winter and you have just sat to ponder the winter ahead and re-live the joys and hardships of the previous year. An american standard just wouldnít do.

4.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
sethdude (694) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - JUN 10, 2004
Pours a deep, rich black color with a red halo when held to light. Thick, tan head rests on top for a long period of time and offers fantastic lacing down the glass. Aroma is of very sweet chocolate malts, with just a hint of hop spice. Flavor is a moment of hops, then a long, chocolate flavor, very smooth, and a grassy finish. Very nice!

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
PorterPounder (5339) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - MAY 29, 2004
UPDATED: SEP 25, 2007 Rerate Just not as thick and rich this time around - still a quality brew though. Original 4.1 Pours like a quart of motor oil and has a thick,mocha colored head with sticky lacing. Aroma has hints of licorice, raisins, and molasses, very earthy. Flavor has the same qualities with a little bit of chocolate in the back end. Has some smoked, roasty notes in there as well. An Excellent Scottish Ale may be the best Iíve had of this style.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
cb (810) - Roeland Park, Kansas, USA - MAY 21, 2004
Initial aroma very woody and rich, not malt-dominated as much as roasted chocolate (if such a thing could exist)...what I mean is, there wasnít a lot of breadiness/toastiness. Lovely chocolate malt flavor and semisweet, toeing the line between sticky and dry finish. One of the more assertive Scottish ales Iíve ever had...robust and not afraid to give a nod to porteresque qualities.


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