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


on tap

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RATINGS: 1704   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.71/5   EST. CALORIES: 180   ABV: 6%
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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
tiggmtl (4544) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JAN 31, 2006
Plums, dates, raisins and figs are outspoken in the doughy and nutty aroma along with plenty of powdered chocolate. Darkest brown coloured body with very dark ruby highlights is topped by a generous, if large bubbled, brown head that lasts throughout and leaves some lacing. Fruity and doughy flavours are joined by a musty, damp character and a pleasantly chalky roasted malt character that cuts through the sweetness and leaves some lingering bitterness on the tongue along with a curiously refreshing note of mint. Medium body with pretty lively carbonation - not quite strong but very apparent. Half pint glass. Cellar temperature. Bottle (Main Street Party Store, Ann Arbor, MI, Jul-05).

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
TURDFERGUSON (4043) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - JAN 29, 2006
Bottle from the Spirit Haus. smokey, roasted coffee and cocoa maltiness dominate this one in aroma and flavor. very nicely balanced with a littl hop presence on the palate. very nice and one my favorite beers to come out of Scotland.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
bb (8448) - Alamo, California, USA - JAN 29, 2006
Bottle. Dark brown beer with a nice cocoa colored head. Rich malt aroma with a hint of chocolate. Sweet toffee malt flavor with slight hop presence. Medium bodied with a nice balance.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
TheBeerLover (1026) - DC Metro Area, USA - JAN 25, 2006
Old Engine Oil pours to a jet black color with a thick tan head and a soft carbonation. The nose on this beer is rich and complex with a multitude of aromas. Big aromas of chocolate malt, coffee, caramel, and nuts marry with hints of roast. The palate is creamy and silky on the tongue with lots of big malty flavors. Flavors of dark chocolate, sweet malt, coffee, toffee, and roasty flavor fill the mouth. Old Engine Oil finishes with more big, complex malty and roasty flavors, and just slight hop bite. Wow. This is one impressive selection and one complex, delicious, satisfying beer. The malt character of this beer is wonderful, and the silky smooth and creamy body comes from the additions of oats. Stylistically this beer almost pushes into the porter/stout category, but it really is a dark and roasty old ale, coming in at 6% abv. When poured into the glass it is jet black, but when held to the light, you see this beer is really a beautiful, bright, deep tawny brown color. I was very impressed with this one.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
AdamSkillin (376) - High Bridge, New Jersey, USA - JAN 25, 2006
Had this at Ship Inn, Milford NJ, itís a big thick dark kind of beer with a tan head that has a balanced hop profile and roasty malt flavor. Smells, looks, and tastes like old engine oil, so I gave it a few extra points for the clever name.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
FrankJohansen (3616) - Sabro, DENMARK - JAN 21, 2006
Black colour with a medium mostly diminishing head. Aroma fo coffee and roasted malt. Taste is well balanced

   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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
OldMrCrow (2376) - 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.

Iím 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. Itís 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 youíd expect -- heavy aging on a beer that isnít really cut out for such, but still the hints of what used to be a very good beer underneath it all.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
ClarkVV (5657) - 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.

   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. Wouldíve thought this to be a porter actually. Lovely medium-full body, light carbonation. Very enjoyable indeed.

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