Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16 - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
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Ratings: 479 | Reviews: 268 | Display Reviews Only:
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
4.93/5 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
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
4.83/5 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
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
4.25/5 rDev +3.2%
Pours dark and beautiful with a creamy head of mocha colored foam. Nose is malty, chocolate. Creaminess, roast. Hint of vanilla, some earthy peat and a bit of scotch whiskey. Taste is lovely. Broad and bitter raost. Dry bittersweet chocolate. Suppl;ea earth and peat a smooth hint of vanilla. The malt is smooth and supple. Smooth coffee. Viscuous soft body. A mouthfeel like heaven on this beer. Woody, cherry sweet black earth. Velvety. A light boozy warmth. Mild scotch whiskey flavor. Crisp dry finish.
09-01-2014 14:53:30 | More by utopiajane
4.15/5 rDev +0.7%
Let me describe this brew for you. It first looks very ominous. Very dark brown body almost on the verge of being black, yet it possesses an eerie glow around the body. Very interesting. The aroma speaks to me saying, roasted malts that bring forth warming caramel. Also some cocoa nibs with a touch of molasses sweetness. There is also a wood aspect very earthy and calming. Very nice on the nose. Now for the taste. Semi sweet malts that help to showcase the whiskey part of the brew. Molasses and roasted malts that are trying to compete with the whiskey. Very balanced. In the aftertaste is of toasted marshmallows and a nice pipe tobacco flavor that is dissolving into a faint vanilla. The finish is dry slightly bitter very elegant. The feel is Medium-light with soft carbonation.
Overall: Hands down this beer is delicious! Everything seems to meld together in a sophisticated manner. This beer is very light for being an 8% brew. Drinkable beyond belief and very balanced. This brew is recommended.
09-01-2014 11:56:03 | More by Shroud0fdoom
4.3/5 rDev +4.4%
11.2oz bottle that was bottled in July, 2009, according to the label, and aged in oak barrels that previously contained Highland Park scotch for 16 years. I bought this at Enoteca in Post Falls, Idaho, several years ago.
Poured into an Iron Goat sinfter, this was an impenetrable dark color, with about a finger’s worth of mocha-colored, bubbly foam that subsided somewhat quickly, though it left a foam ring that hung around for a while. It looked quite a bit better than I expected when I popped the cap and was greeted with the most anemic “phht” I’ve heard from a beer for a long time.
Big woodsy and “whiskey-ey” nose to this. I also get some dark fruit, but the booziness stands out.
A smooth booze-beer flavor to this. I was afraid that this would be all boozy heat, but I’m happy to report that it’s better balanced than that. The boozy, oaky flavor is what hits first, but it’s restrained enough to blend with figgy and brown sugary notes. There’s also some tobacco-like flavors in the background, leading me to wonder if this might stand up well to a good stogie (for me, cigar smoking is definitely a spring and summer sport, and after about a six month layoff, I’m feelin’ the need to get me a quality smoke)
Thick, velvety mouthfeel. A little low on carbonation, as I expected when I opened it and heard… well, almost nothing, but it actually works well here.
I didn’t know what to expect from this, and my heart sank with the thought of an expensive drainpour when I popped it’s top, but I’m rather pleased with this. My only wish is that I had saved it to be a dessert following a rich meal
06-15-2014 21:54:26 | More by woemad
Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 479 ratings.