Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12 - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 627 | Reviews: 337 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Agent1:
British Columbia (Canada)
4.08/5 rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Appearance - Pitch black. Even when held up to the light, this beer hardly allows any sources through. Very little head retention. Any head visible is an oily brown and quickly dissipates. A deep, shadowy black/ brown rings the edges of the glass.
Smell - Rich molasses. A light amount of peatiness on the nose. Smells of dark sugars, fruits and wood. Very light pepper accents with subtle spices are present as well.
Taste - Peat moss, traces of wood, salt, brown sugar, dry nuts, smoke (peat again), coffee (specifically, a dark roast), vanilla, roasted malts and dry, subtle hops. The peatiness really brings out a salty element to this beer. Very little alcohol cuts through, making this blackened ale a pleasant surprise to the taste.
Mouthfeel - Leaves the tongue buzzing afterwards. This manages to stimulate all parts of the mouth, but especially the front of the mouth (near the tip of the tongue). Almost buzzes or fizzes after swallowing or when left to sit on the palate for a while (not in a carbonated way).
Overall - This dark, brooding mixture borrows characteristics from a scotch (or scotch whiskey) more than it does a whiskey. I think any scotch connoisseur will tell you this (I used to be quite nerdy about scotch before I discovered beer). This is the peat, first and foremost. This is what blends with the beer to give it that dark woody, smokey flavor. At only 8%, there is not a lot to hide here in terms of alcohol (in comparison to beers like the Abt 12 or the Cuvée van de Keizer Blue). But regardless, this is a reasonably smooth ale. A wonderful change. A wonderful experience. Now I need to run out and try other vintage years!
Serving type: bottle
01-26-2012 06:46:31 | More by Agent1
More User Reviews:
4.1/5 rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
330 ml bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours pitch black color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big caramel, chocolate, toast, brown sugar, roast, raisin, fig, brown bread, molasses, vanilla, oak, tobacco, leather, peat smoke, and roast/oak earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and whisky cask notes; with great strength. Taste of big caramel, chocolate, roasted malt, toast, raisin, fig, dark bread, molasses, vanilla, oak, peat smoke, tobacco, leather, and roast/oak earthiness. Slight roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, chocolate, roast, toast, dark bread, raisin, fig, tobacco, leather, vanilla, oak, peat smoke, and roast/oak earthiness on the finish for a white. Very nice complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt and whisky cask flavors; with a nice balance of the oak character with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a smooth, moderately slick, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent old ale. All around great complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt and whisky cask flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.
Serving type: bottle
06-02-2014 00:56:55 | More by superspak
4.33/5 rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
330mL bottle into snifter
a: pitch black with half a finger of light tan head
s: whisky, vanilla, and smoke are pretty dominant in the nose here, but there are also notes of wood, chocolate, hints of coffee, and maybe even some syrupy sweetness. very nice
t: follows the aroma. up front is the whisky, smoke, vanilla, and wood. after that comes roasted/burnt malts, hints of toffee sweetness, and shy dark chocolate and coffee notes. the sweetness hangs around for quite a bit towards the end, but this beer does finish dry, leaving your mouth with a coffee-like bitterness and lingering smoky whisky flavours. zero alcohol presence. whisky, dark fruits (raisins, cherries), and the chocolate flavours dominate as the beer warms. zero alcohol presence. complex, delicate, and delicious
m: silky smooth medium body, nearly non-existent carbonation
o: fantastic beer. comes with a rather high price-per-volume but don't hesitate to pick this one up, especially if you dig barrel-aged beers
Serving type: bottle
05-14-2014 23:06:21 | More by kevinlater
Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 627 ratings.