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


on tap

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RATINGS: 773   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.86/5   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 Harviestouns 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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   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
andersand (529) - Malm, SWEDEN - APR 27, 2009
UPDATED: APR 28, 2009 Blackish with a big tight beige head. Very laid back aroma with plenty of vanilla, caramell and fudge and some roasted notes in the background. Flavour is similar with smooth whiskey notes. Body is slick, a bit too slick and kind overall not really filling the mouth enough here. Nice fairly long, sweet aftertaste.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
gnoff (10049) - Mlndal, SWEDEN - APR 25, 2009
33 cl bottle at Haket, Gteborg. Shared with a friend on April 24, 2009
Bottle no 04254 - Bottled Jan 2009 - BB Jan 2012
Black color, brown head. sweet, smoke, licorice scent. Salty, sweet, malty, licorice, whisky, dry wood taste. Medium to smooth mouthfeel. Oak and whisky aftertaste, also alcohol. Warming alcohol feeling. Medium bitterness.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
JB175 (1665) - Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 22, 2009
blackish pour with a medium tan head. Aroma is minimal - a bit of roasty wood and thats about it. Flavor is roasty, woody, a tad bitter, and very one-dimensional. Not much here at all, very boring.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
TBone (17060) - Pori, FINLAND - APR 17, 2009
Bottled #60162 Jan 2009. Pitch black color, nice small espresso head. Strong whisky aroma, smokey malts, alcohol oak and licorice. Medium-bodied. Quite crisp carbonation. Dry mouthfeel. Whisky, roasted malts, oak, smoke and a bit of salted licorice. Whisky is more dominant than in 12 yo.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
HogTownHarry (6563) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - APR 16, 2009
Bottle (330ml). Shared by jerc and mabel with me and garthicus. Oily black pour with an average creamy frothy dark tan head. Rich, dry iodine/peat aroma with light toffee roast maltiness. The taste is quite similar to the 12 year-old - iodine/peat balanced against sweet malt, but in this 16 the scotch is more intense and acidic; detracts a little bit from the enjoyment. Slick, slightly light body, acidic with a bitter/boozy linger - very nice, just a little less balanced than the 12-year-old.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Hophead22 (2879) - Redlands, by way of Wisconsin,, California, USA - APR 4, 2009
Bottle. Pitch black darkness. Slight alcohol and dark fruits reign supreme in the aroma Slightly smokey and just a little bit of roastiness, very smooth and very good.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
jercraigs (10258) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - APR 4, 2009
2009-04-02. Pitch black body with a pleasant smooth creamy brown head that fades (3+). Aroma is mild in the same way as the 12 year version, but seems "smoother" somehow, even though the whisky touches that are interwoven seem slightly stronger, modest roast malt. Flavour has more prominent whisky than the 12, touch dry overall with a sweet malty core. Light bitterness throughout lingers into the aftertaste, spurred on by the alcohol. (7+) Smooth medium bodied palate is a bit under carbonated but it mostly works for the beer. Not bad by any means but the increase whisky and alcohol representation made it less drinkable for me than the 12. I might not have noticed as much if I had not had them back to back. Bottle from Village Beer Merchant, Buffalo

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Lalli (243) - Helsinki, FINLAND - APR 2, 2009
Nice deep black color with small head. Nose is filled with roasted malts, smoke, and liquorice, as wel as more gentle nuances such as vanilla. Flavor is equally roasted, with hints of smoky whisky. A big and round mouthfeel makes the beer work on many levels. Very nice.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
kkearn (1165) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 31, 2009
11.2oz bottle, # 06409 bottled Sept 2007. Sampled side-by-side with the 12 and 30. Pours very deep brown, nearly opaque, with a very thin tan head. Aroma of chocolate malt, vanilla, and peat. Flavor is a nice mixture between peat and vanilla. I thought this was a bit better than the 16.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Sigmund (7230) - Tau, NORWAY - MAR 31, 2009
330 ml bottle, courtesy of Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. Bottle No. 61520. ABV is 8.0%. Pitch black colour, big to moderate and creamy tan head. The whisky oak cask with peaty smoke and notes of tar comes through in the aroma, followed by notes of roastiness (roast malts, coffee) and chocolate. The aroma is more mellow and subdued than the 12 y.o., but still nice. The flavour has also here loads of rich malty sweetness, immediately followed by distinct notes of peaty smoke - it is again quite amazing what impact the whisky cask has. Dark chocolate in the middle. The finish has a firm bitterness from the hops and burnt malts, while the peaty smoke lasts through the long aftertaste. A truly impressive beer, but if you dont like scotch whisky at all, this might not be the beer for you. Not easy drinking (somewhat smoother than the 12 y.o., though), but a great sipping beer, and a real treat for any lover of peatiness.

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