Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16 - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
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Ratings: 473 | Reviews: 266 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ThatWineGuy:
4.47/5 rDev +8.5%
July 2009 edition, opaque black with minimal tan head and slippery lace, small bubbles under the ring get quite energetic with a tilt of the glass. Rich vanilla and scotch whiskey nose impresses, hard candy, quite a nice smelling beer. The taste is cocoa chocolate, oatmeal, sweet, oaky and roasted malt. Very smooth and alcohol extremely well handled. The brew has a smooth, rich texture with superb balance, bitterness and sweetness well integrated with a pleasing taste that makes you want more. I was surprized that the substantial body was so light in terms of drinkability, I really enjoyed this beer and rate it more highly than the 12.
11-25-2010 01:32:26 | More by ThatWineGuy
More User Reviews:
4.53/5 rDev +10%
Drank this as a nightcap last night and I really enjoyed it.Poured into a nonic a deep nearly opaque black with tight craterous mocha colored head,a little ruby showed thru when held up to the light.Deep complex aromas, some vanilla from the barrel aging really showed thru as well as some dark fruit and caramel and a touch of smoked peat wich was more pronounced in the flavors.I couldnt find a single flaw flavor wise just awesome and complex to the hilt,starting out sweetish with caramel and vanilla tones melding into a woody-smokey finish that lingered nicely.The only flaw and its not major is the body was not as full as I would have liked but it was by no means thin.A great after dinner brew,one to savor for sure.
07-04-2008 11:40:26 | More by oberon
4.53/5 rDev +10%
Appearance – This is almost as dark as their Engine Oil with a tan but slightly less lively head.
Smell – There’s some dark roasted malts to this nose and little sugar even after an hour opened up. The aroma though is exceptional and now I’m also getting a hint of espresso.
Taste – The espresso comes out a little more at the taste and the sugars, closer to raw then anything else, are much stronger on the tongue. The roastiness is passionate but quiet.
Mouthfeel – This Old Ale is close to full-bodied and incredibly smooth in the mouth, probably one of the smoothest OAs that I’ve ever had.
Drinkability – It’s efforts like this that make me fall in love all over again with this uncommon style here in the US. I would love to throw 10 of these in a cellar and open one a year for the next ten years.
05-15-2011 01:42:49 | More by RoyalT
4.24/5 rDev +2.9%
Bottle No. 69110
& date: July 2011
A: The beer is inky black, not letting any light. The head is a persistent thin cap of medium tan creamy bubbles.
S: The aroma is dominated by a moderately-strong aroma of scotch whiskey and moderate oak that is somewhat cinnamon and vanilla. The scotch bring peat and some alcohol characters. There is light aroma of the complex malt you find in an old ale but it's in the background to the scotch and oak.
T: A medium sweetness with a great scotch whiskey flavor. There is a good complexity to the malt with moderately-light chocolate and and dry roast aftertaste. The hops bitterness is moderately-light with no hops flavor. The balance is somewhat sweet which helps to balance out the whisky. The finish is towards the sweet and the aftertaste is of scotch peatiness and a roasted grain dryness.
M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Moderate creamy and a light alcohol warmth.
O: The beer serves as a nice palate to carry the scotch flavors. The underling beer is a bit had to see under that but with the chocolate and the roast I'm apt to call it a stout and not an old ale. An enjoyable sipping beer.
01-24-2013 01:50:47 | More by MadScientist
4.83/5 rDev +17.2%
Finally, the proper use of scoth in beer. This interpretation is neither like sucking on a tree nor sipping a glass of single malt. The scoth wonderfully compliments the dark ale. The pour is a nice deep black with moderate single fingered white head. The body is smooth and in fine balance with a wonderful nose and lack of pungent aftertaste so typical of scotch barrel aged brews i have had in the past. Koudos to Harviestoun for doing this right, I only wish that I cold afford to drink more of these.
10-20-2009 01:59:56 | More by ArrogantDeadGuy
4.08/5 rDev -1%
Pours into my glass a deep black with dark brown accents and a small dark tan head that quickly fades. Not as viscous as I was expecting. Aromas start out with dark roasted malt mixing with some licorice, bitter chocolate and coffee. Dark fruits move in and meet up with a smokey peat aroma. Hints of wood, tobacco and molasses on the back end. Maybe even leather? Quite deep and complex overall.
First sip brings roasted malt quickly moving into chocolate and dark fruit flavors. Licorice, raisin and molasses roll across. The peaty scotch smokiness comes through rather strong with a slightly salty accent. It flows down with notes of wood and tobacco. Not as smoky as the 12 was, quite complex and a good sipper overall.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly more viscous than the pour lead onto. Still, this is not overly heavy and about on par for the viscosity of your standard stout. Well placed, fine carbonation, this one goes down rather easily. Makes a good after dinner treat. Overall, I've enjoyed this one and I'm glad I made the purchase.
10-21-2008 02:17:39 | More by orbitalr0x
3.93/5 rDev -4.6%
Bottled July 2009
In a pint glass the beer was a viscous black with a tiny tan head.
It had a raisin bread aroma, as well as some whiskey.
Tasted like raisin bread soaked in whiskey. A little peaty.
I thought the alcohol was a little on the intrusive side, but still enjoyed this.
08-07-2010 01:23:05 | More by lordofthewiens
4.43/5 rDev +7.5%
11.2 oz bottle, #04722, bottled Sept 2007. Pours into a snifter deep dark brown and viscous. Small khaki head leaves some nice sheets of lace.
Complex aroma has charred oak wood, vanilla, dark chocolate, some almond nuttiness, and prominent notes of Scotch whisky. Nice!
Mouthfeel is thick and full bodied. Some whisky essence with the low carbonation.
Taste opens with dark roasty chocolate maltiness, quickly joined by the nuttiness from the aroma. Vanilla, charcoal, and oak tones add depth. The Scotch whisky character is prominent.
Really well done. A wonderful sipper. I'm going to get a few of these to put away for some aging.
04-25-2008 12:40:12 | More by merlin48
3.8/5 rDev -7.8%
A- pitch black with thin beige head.
S- scotch, with some vineous overtones.
t- Big malt, peat, honey, chocolate, roasted coffee. Nice smokeyness but not too blatant. Slightly fruity.
M- thick and sticky. Lasting peat smoke.
D- I liked it a lot, but don't see myself buying it again anytime soom.
04-29-2009 13:24:24 | More by goatxpower
3.9/5 rDev -5.3%
Shockingly, under the "is some is good, more is better" theory, not as good as its younger cousin, the 12 year old version. Same black pour with a ring of tan bubbles. Harsher aroma with more peat and alcohol. Taste was similar, with a good blend of malt, chocolate, and oak. There was more whiskey taste which gave it a salty bite. I enjoyed the scotch flavors with this beer, but liked it more in the subtle 12 year old version. An excellent beer, nontheless
12-09-2008 22:26:37 | More by magictrokini
4.93/5 rDev +19.7%
Ola Dubh 16 lets the imbiber know from the first whiff that something extraordinary is about to happen. There are, of course, several beers that boast having been aged in used whiskey/wine/scotch/rum/etc. casks, but few of those beers smell so intensely of the cask's former contents. Old Dubh's nose is a mixture of near-black ale, with dark caramel sugars, chocolate malt, peat, coffee, and tobacco aromas, mixed with the scent of aged whiskey and charcoal.
On the tongue, the ale is so immediately dark and foreboding that it's hard to imagine this was made out of grains, and not crafted directly from ash. Huge tobacco and coffee flavors dominate the taste, as well as peat and black malt, and a continuation of the whiskey charcoal from the nose. A good sampling of heavy sugars, port wine, and dark fruit esters (banana, fig, raisin) complement the bitter malts, barely balancing the brew. The aftertaste is a joy of tobacco and coffee, and lingers much like good whiskey. Mouthfeel is medium to medium-heavy, and carbonation is light.
Overall, while I can't say this beer is going to appeal to everyone--in fact, I doubt few will be able to enjoy its extraordinarily intense flavors--it is an amazing accomplishment. I doubt it's possible to cram more flavor into a bottle.
08-06-2011 18:28:44 | More by jondeelee
Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 473 ratings.