RateBeer
overall
97
95
style
Brewed by Harviestoun
Style: Old Ale
Alva, Central, Scotland

bottled
common

on tap
common

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1609   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.


3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
FrankJohansen (3608) - Sabro, DENMARK - JAN 21, 2006
Black colour with a medium mostly diminishing head. Aroma fo coffee and roasted malt. Taste is well balanced

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
imzugzug (103) - Bechtelsville, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 20, 2006
By the name of this one, I expected the fullest of ale bodies. Mildly disappointed. Nice and black in the glass with a quickly disappearing head. Nose is of malted chocolate and roasted coffee. More like a light porter really with a slightly oily mouthfeel. I would have prefered a bigger body but the lightness adds to the drinkability. Smooth and only slightly bitter, and a little on the dry side.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
OldMrCrow (2145) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JAN 15, 2006
UPDATED: NOV 9, 2013 Fresh. From the bottle, for my 150th rating.

The beer pours dark black with red highlights and a very small, short-lived tan head.

The aroma is a great big chocolate, as is the chocolate of a fresh loaf of great pumpernickel bread, not as is in the chocolate of artificial flavoring. <P> The flavor is a delight, again a rich stout with chocolate/pumpernickel, a bit of brown-sugar toffee, a hint of cherry, and lovely bitter hop finish that comes on late but robustly. Mouthfeel is rich, oily but not overwhelmingly so in any way, with the initial soft roundness of a good stout and with fully adequate but largely understated carbonization.

I’m very impressed with this beer. It has a great big flavor and aroma and a satisfying mouthfeel, without the intensity of really big imperial stout or the likes. It’s well worth a revisit, despite the rather high price.

Two year old bottle 6/2009. I tried aging one of these as an experiment. At two years of age, it was shot. Watery soy sauce with a bit of smoke. Undrinkable.

Five year old bottle 3/2011. Enormous amount of lighter-colored floaty material. Basically exactly what you’d expect -- heavy aging on a beer that isn’t really cut out for such, but still the hints of what used to be a very good beer underneath it all.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
ClarkVV (4164) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 15, 2006
Draught pint at Redbones on 1/8/2006. Clear burnished copper tints throughout a very deep maroon-mahogany brown, Head is large, foamy, beige and mostly diminishing to a ring, with little to no lacing. Aroma showcases a smooth, rich dark chocolate, with light hints of burnt coffee. Almond and vanilla notes add a further drying presence as the chocolate slowly takes over. It has a sticky, thick aroma to it. The flavor is quite bitter up front, bitter cacao that is, with coffee and cream, an oat-like smoothness and some long, drawn out dry toffee. Lingering bitterness from the barley and definitely some type of lactic-like dryness. Watery texture detracts and seems at odds with the powerful, rich flavors. Carbonation is rather prickly as well. Definitely not the right medium in which to serve this beer, draught English (Scottish) beer just dosent seem right, to me anyways.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
rsmeds (228) - Turku, FINLAND - JAN 14, 2006
Bottle. Virtually opaque black, with a nice, big, long lived beige head. Aroma of burnt malts, dark chocolate, caramel, and a hint of hops and smoke. Delicious, slightly smokey flavor of burnt malts and dark chocolate. Hop bitter and alcohol appear in aftertaste, together with a nice, lingering taste of dark chocolate. Would’ve thought this to be a porter actually. Lovely medium-full body, light carbonation. Very enjoyable indeed.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
whaleman (2178) - North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 12, 2006
Deep burgundy body with moderate carbonation and a smooth, cream-colored head. Aroma of silky, rich chocolate, warm dark fruit, and molasses. Flavor includes some peat smoke and distinct earthy hops. Bittersweet and pleasant. Provides a really nice aftertaste if you can wait long enough between sips. I dig it.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
hobgoblin (163) - St-Épiphane, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 11, 2006
UPDATED: MAY 14, 2006 Bottle. Black color with red reflection with tan head. Malt, alcohol and caramel aroma. Taste of coffee, malt and nuts with nice bitterness. Medium to full bodied but a little watery. Bière de couleur noire avec des reflets rouge et un collet beige. Odeur de malt, alcool et caramel. Au goût, c’est le café, le malt et les noix avec une bonne amertume mais, elle est un peu mince (acqueuse). Bonne bière

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
ABUSEDGOAT (2416) - California, USA - JAN 8, 2006
"Light black" body with a moderate head. Aroma is malt dominated with chocolate, coffee and mainly licorice. Hint of dark fruits in there as well. Flavor is the same, but nothing here is making me want to come back. I thought this was a Porter but whatever.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
JK (4920) - St. Louis Park, Minnesota, USA - JAN 7, 2006
Think of a more full bodied Newcastle and you come close to this beer; and that doesn’t sound so bad. The aroma is of light malt. A dark brown beer with low carbonation. Light malt and hops, and a touch of coffee. I didn’t pick up any chocolate, but the beer is thick. Not bad.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
hammenlind (737) - Sundbyberg, SWEDEN - JAN 3, 2006
Black colour, thin tan head. Aroma from chocolate, coffee & liquorice. Somewhat watery mouthfeel with some notes of wheat, tar and cocoa powder. Long, acidic aftertaste.


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