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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16 - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

Not Rated.
Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

502 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 502
Reviews: 271
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 10.41%
Wants: 29
Gots: 68 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Harviestoun Brewery Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Bitterbill on 02-15-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 502 | Reviews: 271 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MadScientist
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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.

MadScientist, Jan 24, 2013
Photo of jondeelee
4.93/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

jondeelee, Aug 06, 2011
Photo of RoyalT
4.53/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

RoyalT, May 15, 2011
Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
4.83/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

ArrogantDeadGuy, Oct 20, 2009
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

orbitalr0x, Oct 21, 2008
Photo of merlin48
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

merlin48, Apr 25, 2008
Photo of epyon396
4/5  rDev -3.1%

epyon396, Sunday at 12:53 AM
Photo of EEscobar
3.91/5  rDev -5.3%

EEscobar, Saturday at 01:46 AM
Photo of hmvalp
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

hmvalp, Oct 15, 2014
Photo of Gakusei
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Gakusei, Oct 13, 2014
Photo of jkhobbs99
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

jkhobbs99, Oct 12, 2014
Photo of TastyIsBeer
4.75/5  rDev +15%

TastyIsBeer, Oct 12, 2014
Photo of KForlino
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%

KForlino, Oct 09, 2014
Photo of factoide
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

factoide, Oct 07, 2014
Photo of animal69
4.06/5  rDev -1.7%

animal69, Oct 07, 2014
Photo of matt_duthie
4.59/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Been wanting to try this for a long time, of any vintage barrel, decided on the 16-year at the same price as younger barrels...

A: Poured nearly opaque with the edges a dark translucent brown, but only barely. Two finger dark khaki head, very nice looking beer.

S: Exactly what I'd expect Old Engine Oil that's been sitting in a single-malt barrel to smell like: roasty, big whiff of scotch whiskey, hops come through a little bit, but a solid barreled porter. Excited to taste it.

T: Oh so good. The whiskey is subdued, but certainly there. Char/peat, coffee, chocolate, some indiscript dark fruit in there somewhere, slight bitterness without any distinctive hop flavor, but a balanced sweetness about the whole thing. 11.2 oz. may not be enough.

M: Full but not overly thick. Low-medium carbonation, begs to sit in your mouth a bit before swallowing. Wonderful.

O: Can't wait to try other iterations on this excellent base beer, aged in seemingly perfect barrels for it to take on additional flavor and complexity. Can't believe it's taken so long to suck it up and pay the premium for what is clearly a beer worth its price.

matt_duthie, Oct 06, 2014
Photo of KJ2013
4.75/5  rDev +15%

KJ2013, Oct 06, 2014
Photo of brureview
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Poured in a Stone Guardian glass which is used for barley wines. It works well for the beer, and
brings out the oak better than a snifter.

The color was opaque: coffee brown-black- no head.

Aroma: very strong oak, and some smoke.

Mouth feel : medium carbonation.

Taste: this is aged in Highland Park 16 single malt barrels. The 12 has more tobacco, smoke and plum.
However this beer is very smooth compared to the 12. The barrels must affect the taste- an aged whiskey is smoother.

The finish is also much different than the 12. Much more whiskey, and a pronounced alcoholic taste.
A great beer: looking forward to the 18, if I can find it.

brureview, Oct 06, 2014
Photo of jdmitch
4.04/5  rDev -2.2%

jdmitch, Sep 28, 2014
Photo of brywhite
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

brywhite, Sep 25, 2014
Photo of Chefmemo72
4.72/5  rDev +14.3%

Chefmemo72, Sep 23, 2014
Photo of Thenaghen
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Thenaghen, Sep 22, 2014
Photo of NeoClassicist
4.75/5  rDev +15%

NeoClassicist, Sep 18, 2014
Photo of EdwardK77
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

EdwardK77, Sep 15, 2014
Photo of Adammleonard
3.32/5  rDev -19.6%

Adammleonard, Sep 14, 2014
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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 502 ratings.