Harviestoun Ola Dubh (30 Year Old)

Formerly brewed at Harviestoun
Style: Old Ale
Alva, Central, Scotland


on tap


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RATINGS: 508   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.92/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%

NB if your bottle is marked 30th anniversary edition (bottled June 2013) Your rating should go here:

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 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
jfb (5994) - Freising, GERMANY - MAR 13, 2013
(bottle) pours a darkest ruby-black in colour with a frothy beige head. aroma of caramel, herbal hops, milk chocolate and fudge, slightly oxidized, with notes of honey, cherry schnaps, toasted rye bread, walnuts and lots of tobacco. flavour is mostly dominated by smoked ham and ash, with a light hint of caramel and herbal hops in the finish. medium to heavy-bodied with soft carbonation.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
IlBevitorediLA (452) - ITALY - MAR 3, 2013
Incredibile. Ebano quasi nera nel bicchiere. Un bel cappellino di schiuma. Aroma complesso: whisky, malti affumicati, torbati, pappa reale, frutta secca e qualcosa di balsamico. Ingresso in bocca vellutato, per niente acido, nonostante linvecchiamento. Ottima alchimia tra gli elementi alcolici e maltati del whisky e le note del cioccolato e del caff della birra che emergono di pi verso la fine. Tra le tante note: frutta secca, cafflatte, menta, sentori affumicati. Anche al palato ho riscontrato qualcosa di balsamico che non sono riuscito a decifrare. Una birra di incredibile equilibrio. Stupenda. Alto livello.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
SilentGlory (8) - - FEB 25, 2013 does not count
Super dark and heavy. I would recommend this to anyone at least once. Excellent brew! ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
lopisar (249) - Gteborg, SWEDEN - FEB 2, 2013
Strong dark portery smell. Very mild in taste with vanilla and salmiak notes.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
umich03jm (3513) - Flat Rock, Michigan, USA - JAN 31, 2013
Bottle 05688, March 2009. Pours dark black in color with almost no head. Nice lacing on the glass. Amazing complex aroma. Chocolate fudge, tobacco, prunes, toffee, light whiskey, light smoke, licorice, marshmellows, and caramel. Taste is almost as good as the aroma. The fudge, tobacco, and whiskey stand out but can taste all other aromas too. Peaty smoke comes through much stronger in the finish. Light boozy feel at the end too. I wish this beer had a bit more body to it but other than that I love it. A top notch old ale, great sipper.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Shaney (2423) - Kln / Cologne, GERMANY - JAN 20, 2013
Fast schwarz, wenig Schaum. Holzige Noten im rstmalzigem Duft, auch leicht nach Heidekraut und Torffeuer. Halbtrockener Antrunk, erstaunlich leicht im Krper. Startet wrzmalzig, wird dann schokoladiger, viele Kakaonoten, etwas Kaffee und wrmender Alkohol. Klingt zartbitter, rstig aus. Am besten mit einer Partagas oder Montecristo begleitet.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Scopey (13596) - Croydon, Greater London, ENGLAND - JAN 2, 2013
Jan 2009 bottle at home (#34421). It pours near black with small light tan head. The nose is whisky, roasted malt, treacle, toffee, fudge, medicinal notes, chocolate covered marshmallow, Christmas pudding, nut, date and prune. The taste is roasted malt, treacle, whisky, fudge, oak, earth, salted caramel, nut, light bitterness, liquorice and warming alcohol with a bitter-sweet finish. Medium-full body, fine carbonation and sticky mouth-feel. Wow! The balance is spot-on. Great depth of flavour, yet ultra smooth and massively drinkable.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
FatPhil (15150) - Tallinn, ESTONIA - DEC 31, 2012
330ml bottle (Alko Arkadia, Helsinki) BB201201, drunk 201212
Pours seemingly black, though its actually a clear but very dark red, with a tight tan head that settles to a ring. Beautiful whisky vapours on the pour. On the glass that doesnt fade, but is accompanied by a beautiful perfuminess which was extremely surprising. That, and come dark chocolatey roastiness, and just a touch of salty butter that sometimes accompanies whisky. Soft and smooth in the palate, with just a gentle carbonation to crispen it up and stop it from being sticky or heavy. Roast dominate in the taste, its dark Belgian chocolate, a little praline nuttiness. Whisky comes and goes in the retronasals, but never really impacts on the main taste. Not really saying 8% to me. There is a fullness, but the only heady vapours are more ephemeral than tangible or fungible. Finish takes the dark chocolate, and adds a lovely dry bitter bite that keeps the palate clean. No "i need a drink now" sugariness, for a start, unlike the last 8% beer I had. The BB date was irrelevant - this was great a year late. An absolutely lovely beer. Hard to fault in any way. Now Ive done all 5, I think Id like to do all 5 side by side so that I can get them ordered correctly. Im not surprised this jumped in in 2nd place, it was gorgeous.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
boFNjackson (4200) - Portland, Oregon, USA - DEC 26, 2012
Bottle @ our annual Christmas night bottle share... Pours jet black with a thick, bubbly, light tan head. Similar nose to the 12 and 16 variants. Lots of peat and scotch like whisky initially on the palate. Warming alcohol with charred grains, dark fruits and malt sweetness. Probably the most intense of the three that I had. But right on with enjoyability.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Huhzubendah (3654) - Washington DC, USA - NOV 21, 2012
The beer appears an impenetrable brown shade, with a half inch of beige head that leaves a considerable amount of lacing on the tulip. The aroma offers whiskey, smoke, peat, campfire. It smells like a bonfire by the ocean at twilight. Oh my... The scotch character from the Highland Park barrels takes center stage. Wow. Peat and smoke. Ultra smooth and easy to drink. A sipper, though you could upend the snifter in one gluttonous impulse. Alcohol? Where? A non factor. Light to medium in body, with relatively low carbonation. My first experience with this series of beers, I will be conducting a vertical tasting of the Ola Dubh Highland Park series as soon as I can!

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