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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.

476 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 476
Reviews: 266
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.44%
Wants: 27
Gots: 64 | FT: 2
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: 476 | Reviews: 266 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wineman77


4.15/5  rDev +0.7%

Poured from bottle into Affligem goblet.

Deep brown/black with a coffee w/ cream colored head about a cm high. Dissipates fairly quickly. A bit of lacing.

Nose of roasted coffee, mocha, notes of sweet red berries. As it opened up, caramel

Flavors of bitter chocolate and smoke. Hint of vanilla. Got more of the scotch character on the palate than the nose. Get a nice bit of peat in the mid palate. Medium to full body.

12-28-2011 06:22:04 | More by wineman77
Photo of Spadoof


4.68/5  rDev +13.6%

Name: Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16
Brewery: Harviestoun
Bottled on: July, 2009
Purchasing Date: July 2011
Purchased From: Williams IGA (Vienna, Ohio) [$8.49 per bottle]

Origin: 12 oz bottle
Serving Glass: 22oz sniffter
Serving Temp: 60F

*Tasted before the Ola Dubh Special Reserve 40.

Appearance: Pours a viscous, jet-black body with a 1/4" mocha cap. Completely opaque, except around the very edges where wisps of dark brown can be seen amoungst the black abyss.

Smell: A beautiful scotch whiskey scent permeates out of the snifter as soon a pour. Upon further examination, a robust mixture of vanilla, oak, lush milk chocolate, roasted malt and slightly fruity alcohol esters meld together in one incredible nose. Wonderful!

Taste: Deep smoke, mellow and smooth scotch whisky, vanilla and oak. Finishes with an awesome whiskey/alcohol flavor that scrubs the residual malt notes of the palate leaving a pleasantly smoky finish.

Mouthfeel: Spot on! Low carbonation, allowing the lush and viscous body to shine. Thick and delicious.

Overall: Well done! I could drink this all day, everyday! Well crafted would be an understatement. Would be great as an after dinner, nightcap or cigar beer. Glad I came across this one!

12-24-2011 18:10:42 | More by Spadoof
Photo of FeliciousDoyle


4/5  rDev -2.9%

12-24-2011 06:36:34 | More by FeliciousDoyle
Photo of jophish17


3.5/5  rDev -15%

12-23-2011 23:48:10 | More by jophish17
Photo of JRod1969

New York

4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

12-21-2011 03:01:39 | More by JRod1969
Photo of Converge

Alberta (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +6.3%

330ml bottle poured into a 16pz tulip. Bottle number 17733, bottled on August 2010.

A - Small dark mocha head, about one finger. The head quickly settles to a thin film atop a black-as-night beer below. Spots of lacing come and go throughout the drink.

S - Not getting nearly the peaty/smokey character experienced with the Reserve 12 or Reserve 30. To me, this smells more like a dubbel than anything. A lot of dark fruit presence, figs, plums, and a bit of roasted malt and charred oak.

T - There's the smoke! The first sip yields a generous helping of smokey peat presence. A peculiar skunkiness seems to permeate the flavor profile however. Bits of dark chocolate here and there, coffee beans, burnt malt, and a dash of hop bite in the finish. The alcohol content is disguised beautifully under the thick and roasty flavors here. A bit of licorice and dark fruit sweetness, but a not a whole lot. This one, like the others, is dominated by the delicious peat character brought on from the Highland Park casks.

M - Very low carbonation allows the viscous body of this ale to go to work. Unbelievably smooth, with a thick, full-feeling body.

D - Better than the Reserve 12, but not quite as good as the Reserve 30. I can't get enough of the big, earthy flavors these Ola Dubh ales have to offer; well worth the premium price. Now all I need to do is get my hands on a Reserve 40...

12-20-2011 02:20:23 | More by Converge
Photo of CaptDavyJones

New York

4.88/5  rDev +18.4%

Poured a clear dark brown color from an 11.2 oz bottle (Aug 2010, bottle # 9989). Once in the glass it was absolutely pitch black with no light penetrating whatsoever. Lives up to the name 'ola dubh'.
One finger mocha colored head that dissipated very slowly.
Aroma is just fantastic. There is so much going on in the nose, upfront you get the scotch notes. Lots of peat, smoke, char with vanilla (and some wood phenolic components) and hints of alcohol sweetness, caramel malt notes intertwined with dark fruit, some chocolate and licorice notes. The aroma is strong, complex and at the same time it isn't overwhelming.
Taste compliments the aroma almost to a tee. The peat and smoky character is evident up front. Wowzers !!!
Coats the palate completely; rich and silky mouthfeel. This is just fantastic on the palate. The balance is almost close to perfection. The Old Engine Oil by itself is a fantastic beer, aging it in barrels used to age Highland Park scotch for 16 years just elevates it to a completely different level.
There was almost no alcohol burn considering there were hints of it in the nose; the alcohol is very well masked.
I don't think there are enough words to describe how good this beer is, suffice to say that I will not be forgetting this beer for a long, long time. Definitely worth a try, and is highly recommended. Slightly expensive, but it is worth every penny.
It's a complete package; attractive packaging that holds a stellar product.

12-17-2011 04:55:34 | More by CaptDavyJones
Photo of tbeq00


5/5  rDev +21.4%

12-12-2011 22:17:05 | More by tbeq00
Photo of sugit


4/5  rDev -2.9%

12-11-2011 05:34:19 | More by sugit
Photo of djrn2

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -2.9%

12-10-2011 22:05:38 | More by djrn2
Photo of Mar02x


4.03/5  rDev -2.2%

We blind tasted this beer in the Mug ( a pub in Middelburg, The Netherlands).

A - A deep red beer with almost no head, only a thin beige foam.

S - A good oak smell mixed with chocolate, vanilla, caramel, malts, a little coffee and some raisins.

T - A nice mixture of toffee & caramel with some oak & malts.

M - A light bitterness in the end when it goes down with a moderate carbonation.

O - Would buy it again if there is nothing else, LOL! A good beer, a slightly thicker body would have helped though.

12-08-2011 19:54:09 | More by Mar02x
Photo of benbou17

Alberta (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

12-05-2011 03:47:13 | More by benbou17
Photo of TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev -14.3%

Bottle #19800. Date of Aug 2010. Best before Aug 2013. Poured in to CBS Snifter.

Have previously tried the 12, 18 and 30. Looking forward to this one.

A - Poured dark brown and settled black with half a finger of bubbly espresso coloured head that quickly receded to a few bubbles around the edges of the glass.

S - Whisky, oak, smoke and a touch of vanilla are the dominant aromas. Some sweet molasses is evident as well but the barrle aging qualities definitely dominate the nose.

T - A big smoky flavour up front with some peat flavours coming through. Oak, whisky and burnt malts round out the palate. There is a fairly big overall sweetness from the malt bill and a mild bitterness and slightly noticeable ABV that somewhat cut through the sweetness.

M -Medium body with moderate carbonation.

O - My least favourite of the 4 I have tried. Seemed to lack some complexity and a touch too sweet.

12-04-2011 18:11:56 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of tbizzle0


4/5  rDev -2.9%

12-03-2011 04:18:39 | More by tbizzle0
Photo of Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

5/5  rDev +21.4%

12-01-2011 00:52:34 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of JAXSON


3.53/5  rDev -14.3%

From a bottle, pours black with a pretty large cappuccino head. Nose is a soft montage of smoke, tobacco, peat, leather, whiskey,dark fruits. Soft and gentle. Flavors are dark fruits and leather up front, light and non-assertive, and really focus on that tobacco leaf through the finish. Leafy, dry, lightly bitter, earthy. Feel is surprisingly light. One of the more tobacco-heavy old ales / stouts I've had. Decent.

11-27-2011 23:44:55 | More by JAXSON
Photo of mdillon86


4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

11-26-2011 14:11:32 | More by mdillon86
Photo of Rempo


4/5  rDev -2.9%

11-20-2011 17:25:26 | More by Rempo
Photo of JAHMUR


4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

11-20-2011 04:58:34 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of goalie33

New York

4/5  rDev -2.9%

11-17-2011 21:02:25 | More by goalie33
Photo of coreyfmcdonald


3.1/5  rDev -24.8%

12oz bottle poured into a goblet. I'm not entirely sure how to judge this beer since it is classified as an old ale but I believe the base beer is an English Porter. July 2009 bottling

A: Pours very dark brown with just a hint of light going through the edges of the beer. About a half a finger of very large bubble light brown foam appears above the beer. It recedes rather quickly. Looks nice.

S: Licorice, milk chocolate, and peaty scotch.

T: Fortunately, the scotch and milk chocolate take over (I don't like licorice). It's almost like I poured a shot of scotch in a glass of chocolate milk. I get some oxidation flavors, which fortunately mix fairly well with the milk chocolate I taste.

M: This is quite thin to a point of being distracting. I think a thicker body would complement the flavors much more.

O: If this was a bit thicker I think it would be much more enjoyable. It could also use more depth, especially as an old ale.

11-17-2011 01:34:57 | More by coreyfmcdonald
Photo of bpfrush


4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

11-16-2011 02:38:47 | More by bpfrush
Photo of KaiserTrey


4/5  rDev -2.9%

11-15-2011 21:12:14 | More by KaiserTrey
Photo of sbricker


4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

11-14-2011 19:10:01 | More by sbricker
Photo of eric5bellies


4.18/5  rDev +1.5%

Drank from my Duvel Tulip

A - Pours dead Black colour with a tanned two fingered head that diminishes quite quickly to a thin film.

S - A little smoke and sweetness

T - Up front some nice malt flavours. The Vanilla in this is very impressive.The finish is very creamy and smooth. I love this beer.

M - Full body and creamy feel, low carbonation.

O - I really like this brew the vanilla flavours are fantastic. Recommended.

11-11-2011 15:57:20 | More by eric5bellies
Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 476 ratings.