Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16 - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

276 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 276
Hads: 561
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 6.8%
Wants: 32
Gots: 89 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Harviestoun Brewery Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bitterbill on 02-15-2008

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 276 | Hads: 561
Photo of akorsak
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle 10,708 from September 2007. In a snifter.

A: Black as night; thick as oil. Another Ola Dubh variant that is devoid of head, although this one can't even muster a band of head. It sits like a black licquer.

S: The richness of the old ale really stands out, chocolate and burnt malts with a graham undertone. The whisky is more of an accompaniment and not the primetime player, adding sea salt and a bit of smoke.

T: More sweetness, the chocolate malts in the old ale driving a significant portion of the flavor. The barrels add wooden firmness, a lick of whisky sweetness but not much in the way of peat. A distinct creaminess pops up midsip, diversionary. Light sea salt and a bit more smoke come through as the ale warms, an interesting counterpoint to the dark body. The finish brings the whisky out - a mild introduction to Scotch.

M: The best mouthfeel of the three, well-balanced with a winning peated salt finish. The bold malts pair nicely with chocolatey richness. (983 characters)

Photo of casualcolors
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An interesting contrast to the typical sweet, sticky, booziness of common barrel aged beers. This one, albeit black as night, sits pretty easy on the palate, and isn't particularly cloying at all. This is definitely not a beer for the faint hearted, as it drinks more like a big ol smokey scotch than your typical barrel aged fare. That in mind, it certainly drinks well, and demands that you respect it and sip slowly. Great smoky flavor offset by a faint backbone of dark roastiness. (485 characters)

Photo of ludachris
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a deep cola brown but by the time it fills the glass, it turns jet black and emits almost no light through. A quickly dissipating whispy light tan head forms after a quick pour. Legs of lace drape the sides of the glass.

Oh wow, this smells like a treat. A rounded and delicate salty meatiness is the rich center which notes of dark chocolate, vanilla, warm raisins and mulled figs bounce off of. This is very well rounded. The marriage of the saliva-inducing salty and meaty peat from the Highland Park casks and the sticky richness coming from the Old Engine Oil is seemingly perfect.

Just as soft and well rounded in the taste. Dark chocolate, almost cake-like, with a pleasant bitterness and raisins stripped of their stickiness come in quick waves before bowing down to the pleasant meaty peatiness with salted edges that makes this so enjoyable. A dark, and again well rounded, roastiness peaks through near the finish and compliments its peaty core.

The first sip was like silk and unfortunately that feeling fades as the palate becomes accustomed to it. What it doesn't lose is its creaminess, its smoothness, and its ability to be so well rounded.

I've recently developed a liking to Scotch whisky, both single malts and blended, and because of that, I appreciated this that much more. This is by far one of the most well rounded beers I've had in a long time. The peatiness is present but far from over-powering or off-putting. It serves to compliment the chocolatey, rich, roastiness of the beer placed in the casks, and that it does so very well. I can't wait to try the 18, 30, and 40 sitting in my cellar. (1,633 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 06196 from July 2011

A: Pours opaque extremely dark brown to black in color with slight brown highlights in the light and with a half finger tall tan head. The head reduces to a thin layer covering the entire surface of the beer with thicker patches and ring at the edges of the glass. There is some light visible carbonation visible at the edges of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: There are aromas of some sweetness - caramel, molasses, and dark fruits - along with the very obvious presence of the whiskey (from the barrels). There is some light smokiness from the whiskey presence but it does not dominate.

T: The flavor follows the smell, it starts with the sweetness - caramel, molasses, and dark fruit (more raisins and plum). That is followed by some hints of chocolate and the whiskey barrel flavors including the oak and some light smokiness. Finally there is a very light lingering bitterness.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with light amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: This beer is definitely a sipper but one that I could enjoy sipping on all day long. There is a nice complexity and balance to both the taste and the smell. I definitely want to try this one again along with it's sibling versions that are aged in different barrels. Very enjoyable and very smooth. (1,313 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.84/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. Bottle #11,126 from Sept. 2007. $8.50 for the bottle.

3.5 A: Dark brown, almost black color. Just half a finger of creamy light brown head. Retention isn't too great and no lacing left. I'll cut it some slack though for being well aged.

4.5 S: Massive nose on this. Whiskey is still quite potent. Smoke and roastiness compete for center stage, but ultimately the smoke wins out and adds a pleasant porcine component. Caramel, molasses, and notes of chocolate and toffee. Plum, raisin, and red apple fruitiness. Light peat.

4.0 T: Taste is like the nose. Big bacon smokiness. Roastiness to follow. Light peat. Caramel, molasses, and stronger-than-in-the-nose chocolate. Less whiskey than I was expecting, but still enough to complement. Plum and raisin fruitiness. The only thing I'm not a fan of is the lack of sweetness. This has a lighter body and not a lot of malt to back up the other good flavors.

2.5 M: Between a light and medium body. Carbonation is low, but it's fine for how old the bottle is. Not a lot of creaminess, which is mainly due to the light body. Give me some more body and this turns into a hell of a beer.

3.5 D: Very tasty with only the body causing complaints. (1,213 characters)

Photo of OSUBeerStudent
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle date July 2011, into a snifter.

A - pretty similar to the 12 year old version. Opaque brown/black with a nice ring of mocha head that sticks around.

S - molasses/dark fruit. The whisky is definitely present, although the smoke is lower in the mix than the 12. More dark fruit than molasses for sure. Whisky smells a little more integrated than the 12.

T - low molasses mixed with dark fruit/currants and some caramel, a little chocolate. Whisky is definitely pulled off better here than the 12 - it blends the beer together more without as much overt peat. Compared to the 12 this is more subtle in flavors, especially the whisky barrel. Very tasty as well - I'd give this a 4.75 on taste, but not a 5.

M - again very good. Carbonated fine but on the thin and drinkable side, without any syrupy feel at all. Still a sipper but.

Quality beer overall. Glad I tried this pretty shortly after the 12 year version. The beers are definitely very similar. The biggest differences are that the whisky is a little more subtle in flavor on this one and there is definitely less peat sticking out. There is definitely some noticeable scotch flavor here without any booziness, and the fairly thin mouth makes it easier to drink. Still pretty expensive (about $9 here for an 11.2 oz bottle) but a good occasional sipping old ale. Another good beer in this line - will review the 40 year version at some point before too long to see how it compares. (1,447 characters)

Photo of dgilks
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pitch black colour with a smooth, creamy tan head. Poor head retention.

Sweet malt with plenty of caramel. Some earthy, sharp roast. Nice toffee and lightly ashy whisky. Light oak. Coconut and fruit. Nicely balanced.

Silky sweet malts with an earthy black malt character. Nice fruit and coconut and caramel oak. Some light ashiness.

Medium body with moderately-low carbonation. Good.

A very nice beer with plenty of balance and lots of flavour. Really well crafted. (469 characters)

Photo of NightINgale
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle... 2010 release

A - Dark brown body, with a rich mocha head, reminiscent of an Imperial Stout or a Baltic Porter.

S - Malty, smokey, with a good chocolate and/or coffee backbone, some caramel and a bit of dark fruits.

T - Woody, smoky flavours dominate the palate. Lots of sweet chocolate, toffee and a certain peatiness. The taste becomes more and more complex as the beer warms up. Smoky, roasty malt notes, with hints of dark and milk chocolate, prunes, dates, oaky vanilla, even tobacco. Balanced sweetness. Big flavours all in all!

M - Medium body, although the intensity of flavours make the beer seem thicker than it actually is. Quite creamy, smooth. At first there is no hint of alcohol; with time, it becomes a little more pronounced and goes hand in hand with a warming sensation.

O - Wow, this is an excellent sipper beer. Rich, complex, satisfying and quite a bit whisky-like. Perfect for whisky lovers who want to find something similar in the world of craft beer. Much better than the Old Engine oil! (1,033 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is essentially jet black in color and poured with a quarter-finger high tan head that quickly died down leaving a thin film of bubbles covering the surface and a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. Eventually the film of bubbles faded into wispy lacing covering the surface.
S: The smell has aromas of oak, roasted malts and smoke along with hints of chocolate, becoming stronger as the beer warms up.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of peat and smoke; these particularly linger through the finish and aftertaste. There are also notes of oak and hints of whiskey.
M: It feels on the low end of medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation and a very dry finish.
O: If you can handle all of the smoky flavors, this beer goes down quite easily because the alcohol is well masked from the taste. (856 characters)

Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Argonaut Liquors in Denver, CO for around $12 if I remember correctly. Into an old school NB Globe.

A: Pours a deep brown, almost black with almost no head, just a few tan bubbles around the edge of glass. A few red highlights when held to the light. Nice looking beer.

S: Really interesting aroma of sweet chocolate, whiskey, vanilla, and oak. Smells really malty. Notes of toffee and raisins mix nicely with the vanilla and whiskey notes in here. Smells tasty.

T: A lot like it smells, really malty with some notes of scotch, vanilla, oak, and chocolate. Lots of interesting malty flavors across the board, everything from toffee and caramel to a touch of roast. A slight amount of bitterness on the finish, with a bit of an earthy hop character. Nice lingering oak flavor in the finish.

M: Medium body, would've liked a little more body, with nice carbonation. Finish is surprisingly dry, not incredibly dry, but definitely drier than I had expected.

O: A really flavorful barrel aged beer. I don't know if old ale is really the right style, but I really enjoyed it. I will definitely have to get some of the other versions. (1,155 characters)

Photo of seedsofchaos
3.03/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On a recent trip to our local bottle shop, a buddy and I thought we should get a few "special brews" for a NYE toast at midnight. Among three bottles, we were recommended Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16. At $17 a bottle we figured that an Old Ale aged in 16 year scotch barrels would be pretty phenomenal. At $17 a bottle, we expected much more.

Pours much darker than an Old Ale. Think more Imperial Stout. Black with little carbonation. With this type of color I really expected more viscosity. Relatively thin in body...

Not much of a bouquet to speak of... There's a little oak, some bourbon and roasted malt. Not much else. The aroma is dominated by more of a fresh (green) wood smell if you can even use the word "dominated" with such a weak smelling beer.

Ola Dubh under-impresses on the tongue as well. Thin. Fresh oak. Alcohol is hidden fairly well but there is a hint. A bit of smoke and a bit of salt.

Eventually, I'm glad we had some BCBS for a midnight toasting as well because Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16 was more of a ticker beer than a memorable toast to a new year. (1,083 characters)

Photo of wineman77
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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. (423 characters)

Photo of Spadoof
4.68/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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! (1,224 characters)

Photo of Converge
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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... (1,392 characters)

Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.85/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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. (1,476 characters)

Photo of Mar02x
4.04/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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. (509 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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. (908 characters)

Photo of JAXSON
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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. (417 characters)

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.15/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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. (942 characters)

Photo of eric5bellies
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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. (427 characters)

Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle 8,0% Abv.
Served lightly chilled in a tulip wine glass.
Bottle date: Sept 2009
Bottle Number: 04461

Appearance: Ola Dubh (Black oil) lives up to its name - the beer looks pitch black in the glass, a strong backlight reveals the faintest hint of red on the edges. A rough pour yields a good sized creamy, tan coloured head that fades slowly and leaves a thin cap that lasts the whole way down.

Smell: Stunning nose - perfect combination of porter and smokey whiskey barrel. Dark chocolate, roasted malt, tons of earthy peat, campfire smoke, vanilla, burned raisins, licorice, oak and a touch of sea spray are all noted.

Taste: As with the nose, absolutely stunning. Initially sweet chocolate followed by earthy peat, oak, smoke and sea spray. The flavour is rounded out by a lovely bitter roasted finish. So complex and yet balanced and pretty easy drinking.

Mouthfeel: Just fuller than a medium body with a perfect level of ultra smooth carbonation. What a pleasure this beer was to drink!

Overall: Stunning beer! I will most certainly be having this one again. (1,086 characters)

Photo of yemenmocha
3.94/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There actually is a resemblance of Highland Park in here, and I was very skeptical. I get it on the nose, along with some roasty notes & cocoa. Appearance was lacking, with virtually no head at all. On the palate a smooth beer comes across nicely with flavors of roasted malts, peat smoke, and some boozy qualities resembling the aforementioned whisky. Finishes roasty and hot. A slow sipper. (392 characters)

Photo of rapidsequence
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle. $9.99 from Beer Run. Bottled July 2009.

Appearance: Pretty much black. Some light brown head with short lived retention. Just a few spots of lacing in the snifter.

Smell: Bittersweet chocolate and roast. Smoky, peaty. Lots of scotch with phenol-like characteristics.

Taste: Big time scotch flavor. Very smoky and peaty, but not hot with alcohol taste. Some chocolate and roasted malt in the middle, and more roast and bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with a slight stickiness. Carbonation is just right. Roast, alcohol, and oak tannins on the finish make it slightly dry.

Overall: This is a really tasty beer, but the scotch overtakes the beer a little too much. I do like the scotch flavor a lot, but it outcompetes the underlying beer, which is a shame. (789 characters)

Photo of danieelol
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Duvel tulip/Victory glass. Pour is black with good head/lacing.

Initially there is little sign of the barrel in the nose. It's the Belgian malt of Old Engine Oil. Then it comes in waves. Apple, pear. Then banana. Lots of banana. Tiny bit of alcohol. Some caramel.

Taste is slightly sweeter than Old Engine Oil. Definitely get the banana roast and caramel. Taste is nice. Roasty and bitter.

Mouthfeel is a little thin and alcoholic with low carbonation.

Overall this beer has a nice balance of flavours but I feel the barrel presence is a little bit too subtle and the mouthfeel a bit too thin to prevent a higher score. Nice nose though, works well. (653 characters)

Photo of MrKennedy
4.01/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle purchased from Slowbeer and poured into a Murrays tulip style glass.

Jet black appearance, with a tan head of foam that started at two fingers and reduced to just above film. Nice streaky lacing all round the glass. Thicker pour than i recall from the Ola Dubh 30.

Smell is predominantly the whisky barrel, get a bit of wood, but mostly the whisky itself. Get some roasted malt as well.

With the taste there is more balance between the base beer and the whisky ageing. Some nice roasted malt flavour, working in well with the whisky and some chocolate late.

Mouthfeel is very creamy, big body, befitting the style and what was attempted here. Nice and full, decent balance on the finish between fullness and a bit of whisky bite. Can't think of a way that they could improve this aspect.

Overall, shame there wasn't more on the nose of this. It is otherwise a very nice whisky aged beer using one of my favourite readily available single malts. (962 characters)

Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 276 ratings.