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


on tap

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RATINGS: 995   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.86/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 40   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 rest with genuine provenance. Ola Dubh will initially be available in three different expressions; the initial release will be of small batches aged in casks formerly used to mature Highland Park 12 Year Old, Highland Park 16 Year Old and Highland Park 30 Year Old. Further variants are planned for the future. Ola Dubh is, in the words of beer afficionado Owen D.L. Barstow: “The most interesting new British beer I have tried in years.”

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borisz's rating

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
borisz (418) - - NOV 18, 2012
Pours a solid black with a tan foamy head and lacing. It has of toasted malt and some caramel, with a bit of the scotch in the background. The flavor has the same description, with the malt flavors up front, followed by a great smoke and peat aftertaste and a syrupy, sticky texture.

BrewWhatIWant (294) - Ontario, CANADA - NOV 17, 2017
Pours near black with a short lived pinkish brown head. Aroma is coffee and a touch of whiskey. Taste is a little sweet, a little bitter and a little sour with a little alcohol in the finish. It’s medium bodied with low carbonation and a rather oily mouthfeel. There are notes of chocolate, coffee, burnt wood, whiskey and mushrooms. It’s a great blend of flavours, that’s complex with being complicated.

Tranquillity (2508) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - NOV 17, 2017
Bottled. Black body, thick brown head. The aroma has damp wood, smoke. The taste is thick with smoke, dried fruit, some sourness. Pure pleasure. Very pleasant on the palate.

Bill Becker (1775) - Casper, Wyoming, USA - NOV 6, 2017
From Mar 2008 I bought this from South Bay Drugs & Liquors. Thanks Joey! It pours from 11.2 oz foil wrapped bottle a near pitch black(brown hues) and a 2 finger head of tannish foam. Good sticky lacing here and the head retention is pretty good. The smell is of caramel and roasted malt, dark fruit, and maybe some chocolate. The taste is sweetish but defintely not too sweet. Caramael malt is lighter in the taste than the nose but the roasted/burnt malt really shines along with some dark fruit like fig and dark cherries, chocolate, vanilla, and just a wee bit of Scotch and smoke. Very complex flavours and quite delcious. The mouthfeel fooled me because I thought it would be thicker than it was but no real complaint there. The alcohol is there and it gives me some warming, the carbonation is light, and it finishes with a nce burnt malt bitterness. Good stuff! Bottom line: Tis a fine Old Ale and I'm glad I got to try it but I think it'll be just a one of because it's quite the expensive brew.

CanCrusher (1118) - Ilirska Bistrica, SLOVENIA - OCT 29, 2017
Bottle 0,33L. Black color with small, frothy, light brown head. Aroma of chocolate, cacao, whiskey and wood. It smells wonderful, but it gets lost a little, when it comes to taste. The richness of aroma makes me expect to continue in rich taste, but it fall down for a step or two. Don't get me wrong, beer is still good, but I expected more after so good aroma I miss a fuller, richer body and taste.

Iznogud (4347) - CROATIA - OCT 29, 2017
Bottle, 330 ml from Pivoljub. Shared with Max and JFK10000. Pours dark brown, beige head. Caramel, dried fruit, some chocolate, some scotch in aroma and very light in flavor, easy drinkable. Medium bodied.

jmm635 (1017) - Havertown, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 26, 2017
Poured near black with no head to speak of, pretty flat. Aroma of peat, bitter chocolate, licorice, whiskey notes. Medium sweet and complex. Really enjoyed this one!

Erzengel (9490) - Wuppertal, GERMANY - OCT 10, 2017
Fantastic dark beginning. Easy to drink with a nice woody whisky in the back. The beer itself is not too deep and quite thin from what I've expected. Hints of grain, hints of malt. It could be much more concentrated to be deeper and richer. Quite sessionable for the 8%, the whisky is in the back. Round and refreshing with a lack of density.

TEJA (3257) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - OCT 2, 2017
Small brown head. Chocolate and caramell aroma. Dark chocolate taste with a rather small bitterness. A small but balanced sweetness and a medium body.

Schnabelhund (108) - TAIWAN - SEP 29, 2017
Ola Dubh pours a black body with a red hue that barely shines through. The cream-coffee colored head begins to dissipate fast, but stays after the initial decay. The earthy nose includes notes of blackcurrant, prunes, tobacco, rye, and woody mushroom. This brew is savory from attack to finish, suggests Worcester sauce, and is very roasty with notes of dried porcino, dark chocolate, and definitely a caramellic-creamy note with a faint hint of vanilla. The medium-bitter finish declines slowly but steadily and is not as brash as expected. The body is almost as full as it gets. The medium carbonation doesn’t stand in the flavors’ way and pleases the palate as an equal alongside the flavors. A highly complex beer, not recommended for casual consumption.

ozzatoadisback (208) - ITALY - SEP 22, 2017
Pours almost black with reddish hints if seen through light. Scarce mocha head still leaves a bit of lacing. Complex and quite intense aroma shows some general caramel-ish sweetness, chocolate, a hint of roasted malts, notes of coffee and liquorice, light oak. Taste is pretty sweet with only a slight hint of bitterness in a balanced enough finish. Caramel (or maybe burnt caramel), chocolate, slight coffee, some peatiness and a warming alcohol note. Medium to dense bodied with low carbonation resulting in a nice soft feel. Overall this is a nicely complex and quite intense beer that feels warming and 'comfortable'. Very nice.

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