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


on tap

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RATINGS: 791   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 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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Jimthechap's rating

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Jimthechap (2064) - Christchurch, - MAY 11, 2013
You look at this beer and try to discern a colour... the best you can get is that it is as black as sin and maybe shows some mahogany around the dimple and the rim of the glass. The head upped and went after a very short time leaving a herbal-greenish tinge on a latte skim of bubble. The nose is just molasses all over. I’m surprised this s connected with whisky and not dark rum. Black strap molasses, pumpernickel, rye, dark chocolate, treacle, plums and thick plastic dominate the aromas. While it is obviously enormous, it is a treat for the nose. Thick and oily in the mouth, those aroma signatures abound in the mouth with plentiful molasses. There is a nod toward bitterness but the start is its thick, oily texture. It is chewy and reminds me of an acquaintance who having been to Ireland (and was not known as a Guinness drinker) said you could stand a spoon up in the pints. This is probably as close as that gets. A bit of bonfire smoke starts to come out in the flavour, which is gratifying and resonates with the house character of Highland Park whisky - also a favourite. This is love: beer and whisky in poetic harmony. Sweet toward the finish without being sickly and cloying. Plenty of lingering warmth in the top of the chest and a platoon of Orcadian distillery workers and Caledonian brewers to thank. The warmth in my chest is probably made up just as much of love.

tommann (3948) - Dudley, West Midlands, ENGLAND - NOV 10, 2017
330ml bottle. Pours very dark brown with a medium head. Aroma is treacle, smoky tar and chocolate. Taste has tar and liquorice. Smoky treacle finish.

Bill Becker (1808) - Casper, Wyoming, USA - NOV 8, 2017
From Mar 2008 I bought this from South Bay D&L. Thanks Joey! I really liked the SR 12 so here goes: With a very vigorous pour at close to room temp, there's a 1 finger of tan foam with some nice lacing. It's close to pitch black but I see some redish highlights at the bottom of my glass. Hehe...looks like some good head retention. The smell has notes of caramel, dark fruit, some smoke(more than in the 12), and just a touch of whisky. The taste is pretty smokey on first sip with some notes of caramel, a pretty big coffee flavour, some hot cocoa bitterness, and just a touch of the whiskey. Nice. It has a full silky mouthfeel at first but that fades to more of a medium mouthfeel mid palate with very light carbonation, and the alcohol is well hidden. This one's a pretty smooth sipper despite the larger smoke profile but it, imho, isn't as complex as the 12 and I'm definitely leaning towards the 12 when it comes to how much it satisfies my palate. Still good stuff and I'm glad I got to try it. Appearance wise, this definitely was more appealing.

tom10101 (6265) - Quebec, CANADA - NOV 6, 2017
A seven years old bottle that held up more than well with an incredibly cohesive flavor profile (whiskey, chocolate, vanilla, peat, red fruits, caramel/tofee, tobacco) that results in a elegant, refined and highly enjoyable Old Ale.

Bouteille (330 ml) à la maison. Embouteillée en août 2010, donc cette bouteille a déjà plus de 7 ans au compteur. Apparence légèrement voilée, couleur presque noir avec un petit col beige qui laisse quelques bulles en place pendant un moment. Au nez, c'est un doux mélange de notes de whisky, chocolat, vanille, tourbe, caramel, fruits rouges et tabac qui forme un tout étonnamment bien intégré. Au goût, c'est délicat avec un profil de saveur similaire à ce qui se retrouve au nez, l'alcool est loin en arrière-plan alors les sucres ne sont pas à l'avant-plan, mais servent de coussins amortisseurs aux différentes saveurs. Corps moyen à léger. Carbonatation modérée. Texture légèrement huileuse. Finale tourbée qui laisse entrevoir des notes de whiskey sans toutefois qu'on retrouve la chaleur associée. Pour une bouteille de 7 ans d'âge, ça tient la route de façon magistrale. Je ne sais pas si la cohésion était aussi grande au début, mais à ce moment-ci c'est une bière raffinée, élégante et très facile à apprécier.

Iznogud (4359) - CROATIA - OCT 29, 2017
Bottle, 330 ml from Pivoljub. Shared with JFK10000 and Max. Pours dark brown, medium beige head. Caramel, smoke, some chocolate, whisky, peat, dried fruit notes, sweetish, medium bodied. More whisky and body than 12.

melush (4737) - SPAIN - SEP 18, 2017
33cl Bottle @ LaBIRRAtorium, Madrid, Spain Black colour with a thin tan head. Aroma is roasted malt, dark chocolate, licorice, oak, whiskey,. Taste is roasted malt, dark chocolate, caramel, raisins, licorice, oak, whiskey. Full body, soft carbonation.

Adamsville (391) - Quebec, CANADA - SEP 3, 2017
Apparence : Pas tout à fait noire, légers reflets rouge et orange, sans col ni carbonatation apparente.
Nez : Chocolat, fumée, malt grillé.
Goût : Malt grillé, léger chocolat, aspect fumé, pas tellement sucrée, amertume torréfiée en finale avec du pain grillé. Tabac? Peut-être. 3,25+/4 Sensation : Corps moyen, effervescence faible, finale assez longue sur l’amertume, le malt grillé et la chaleur.
Bref : Le fut de 16 ans semble conférer moins de notes caramélisées et davantage d’arômes fumés que celui de 12 ans, laissant peut-être plus la torréfaction du Porter en évidence et permettant une ‘’complexité’’ supplémentaire. Plus de corps lui aurait par contre fait du grand bien à mon avis.

SimonBlok (766) - GRONINGEN, NETHERLANDS - AUG 30, 2017
33cl bottle split with my housemate. Appearance: deep mahogany with off-white head. Aroma: dark malts, whiskey, vanilla, wood, molasses, fudge. Taste: high sweetness and medium bitterness. Notes of roasted malts, nuts and almond, whisky, coffee. Palate: medium to full bodied, oily texture and soft carbonation.

kaserov (991) - Oviedo, SPAIN - AUG 9, 2017
Color negro con capa de espuma marrón de tres dedos de grosor (no mucha retención, aunque siempre queda un velo de espuma por encima de la negrura). Carbonatación suave aunque algo presente en boca. Textura oleosa. Complejo aroma a chocolate, malta ahumada, vainilla, pasas. Nada de alcohol en aroma, tan sutil como la Ola Dubh 12. En boca es una delicia. Perfecta mezcla de chocolate, pasas, vainilla y whisky. Notas de malta ahumada que recuerdan mucho a whiskies de Islay. Mucha turba, madera presente. Nada de alcohol, realmente. Postgusto ahumado. Me parece una cerveza tan sutil dentro de su complejidad y bestialidad que no puedo hacer más que aplaudir.

kerenmk (5169) - Tel Aviv, ISRAEL - JUL 26, 2017
Bottle shared at a tasting at zvsn’s place. Bought in Westy’s(?), PA, May 2016. Black with a quickly dissolving tan head. Slightly alcoholic aroma with some vanilla, wood, slightly floral and some notes of iodine and seaweed. Tastes of iodine and sea, slightly salty and woodsy. Full body, slightly fizzy, long, deep woodsy aftertaste with some raisins.

loscovar (723) - Trieste, ITALY, Villeneuvette, FRANCE - JUL 19, 2017
Bottle from Saveur Bière.com. Really nice beer, perfect after dinner in your couch, instead of wiskey

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