Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12 - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
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Ratings: 641 | Reviews: 339 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Thur123:
4.53/5 rDev +10.2%
Bottled on Sept 2. 2007. This means the scotch has been aged 15 years right?
This brew pours a nearly opaque black color with minimal caramel colored lacing. Looks thick pouring out of the bottle. The smell is deep and mellow fruity smell, like black and blue berries and plum. Whiskey comes through subtly and under the other flavors as a smoky balanced spice that rides under the dark fruits.
Glug glug glug, or sip rather
The flavor is smoooth and really complex. Plum and a strong presence of berries are there and the smokiness of the scotch really comes through at the end of the flavor profile. Caramel, molasses and berry syrup are present as well. Raisins and dates too. The body on this is much thinner than expected but still manages to retain a lot of mellow flavors. The oak and smoke from the barrel begin to emerge as I continue drinking. Overall a great very drinkable beer with tons of complexity and subtly without any challenging or difficult aspects.
09-16-2010 00:06:01 | More by Thur123
More User Reviews:
4.53/5 rDev +10.2%
Served in a snifter.
LOOK: (5.0 / 5) Pours a very, very deep mahogany brown. Because of the dark color and its opaquity, it looks jet-black unless held to the light on a shallow angle. A dark-tan, rocky head rises to about about two or three fingers; it falls slowly, leaving great lacing and eventually reduces to whisps of foam. The head is extra-impressive given the higher alcohol content and the aging.
SMELL: (5.0 / 5) A rich and complex malt character dominates. Among the many specific notes present, among the most dominant are: caramel, black-strap molasses, coffee, chocolate melanoidins, some roasted barley, smoke/oak, and very light vanilla. The nose is reminiscent Baltic Porter, but much gentler and better blended. Yeast and hops are not on the scene.
FLAVOUR: (4.5 / 5) the flavor is much more dominated by the dark malts (coffee, chocolate, roasted barley, etc) and the smoke/oak, though the other notes are still there as well but fall more into the background. This dominance makes the flavor a little less complex than the nose. Smoother, rounder, and much more complex than your average Baltic Porter or Imperial Stout.
FEEL: (4.5/5) For a beer with such a bold and smooth flavor, the body is a little lighter than I would have expected. That being said, it was still medium-full on body. Some alcoholic warmth, but it was not particularly hot. Lighter carbonation gives a somethat velvety feel very much like a cask ale - this all acts to very nicely work with the smooth and rich flavor.
DRINK: (4.0 / 5) Obviously - being a beer with a rich and strong flavour and a full body - drinkability is low in terms of sessioning. However, it was a great sipping beer. Something to really enjoy slowly.
I'd probably pair this with some super dark-chocolate desserts. Maybe some dark chocolate with ancho chilli or other spices would be good... but to be honest, it really deserves to be enjoyed on its own.
07-15-2011 15:31:25 | More by Rijtjeshuis
4.6/5 rDev +11.9%
Incredible flavor! I was a little disappointed in a lackluster aroma, but wow - the taste pops. Smoky chocolate dominates, with a hint of spiciness, like a pepper. Full mouthfeel with a silkiness that eases down the throat. I imagine this going dynamite with a plate of ribs.
Other stats: Color, an inky black; Aroma, meh - as I earlier said. Nothing jumped out. How does this brew hide its flavor?
01-14-2009 00:48:03 | More by StoutHearted
4.28/5 rDev +4.1%
Bottle 07805. Pours into my glass a dark black hue with some brown edges and a half inch of tan head that falls to bubbles atop the brew. Aromas start out with roasted, slightly burnt dark malts and a nice sturdy chocolate aroma. Interwoven there are wood, smoke, peat and whiskey notes that flow in and out. A very unique and enjoyable aroma.
First sip brings a roasted, smokey dark malt upfront that leads way to chocolate and coffee accents. A salty twang moves in as wood and earthy peat intermingle across the palate. The smokey single malt hits fairly strong on the finish along with a sort of oily mouthfeel. Nice bitterness and a touch of vinous fruit in the aftertaste. Complex, tasty brew.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a subtle creaminess and mellow carbonation. I thought this would be heavier, but I am happily surprised as the body makes it more drinkable. Overall, this is the first of the three I have tried, still having to sample the 16 and 30, however so far I am glad I purchased this one. The single malt really adds a new element to this enjoyable, sipping brew. Worth seeking out in my opinion.
09-26-2008 01:22:26 | More by orbitalr0x
4.25/5 rDev +3.4%
In a pint glass this beer was jet black in color with virtually no head. A smoky, roasted malt aroma, with whiskey, and a faint sweet aroma. Complex taste. Dark fruit, coffee, whiskey, and a little bit of hops late. Vary tasty. This was a smooth, balanced beer, which I will have again.
03-03-2010 15:33:55 | More by lordofthewiens
2.23/5 rDev -45.7%
Pours a blackish brown. No head, no lacing. Smells of malt, soysauce, whiskey, and thats about it. Taste really is not that great. Soy sauce, whiskey, none of the old ale flavors that I'm used to. Mouthfeel is very thin. Overall, man, this was a major let down. I had high expectations for this, and now I wish I could get my money back. Very underwhelming, and just not very good flavors. Too much soy sauce, and little of anything else good. Once was one to many.
09-01-2012 17:49:20 | More by 1Adam12
4.33/5 rDev +5.4%
Bottle from the Pizza Port Bottle Shop. Pours black with a ring of tan bubbles. Peaty, roasty aroma with oak, chocolate, and smoke. Exceptionally smooth taste. Nice roasted malt and baker's chocolate flavors. The peat and smoke compliment the beer nicely without overrunning the taste. Hints of oak, vanilla, and caramel come out as it warms. Worth every penny.
12-09-2008 22:24:44 | More by magictrokini
3.83/5 rDev -6.8%
11.2oz bottle poured into a weiß glass. Bottled in 2007.
Pours oily black with a very small dark brown head. Nose is whisky and booze it's rich and sweet and malty.
taste is really sweet, smokey and very rich. It's got a lot of whisky flavor to it which is nice. It's really creamy and drinkable.
10-09-2010 00:51:36 | More by kingcrowing
United Kingdom (England)
3.98/5 rDev -3.2%
A 330ml bottle with a BB of Feb 2014. Bottled in Feb 2010; bottle no. 00494. Picked up ages ago from Booths and stashed away in my garage to mature. Ale aged in casks that previously contained Highland Park 12-year old whisky, resulting in Harviestoun's famous 'Black Oil'.
Poured into a Duvel tulip. A very dark reddish-brown hue that appears black as tar in the glass. Yields a decent head of creamy light-brown foam that lasts for a few minutes before reducing to a patchy surface layer. Aroma of rich, fruity malt with notes of roasted grain, prunes, dried fruit, molasses/caramel, brown sugar, a hint of whisky, mild vanilla and faint smokiness. Nicely balanced, with a touch of warming booze in the background.
Tastes of dark, fruity malt with a sweet character and a lingering finish. Notes of roasted grain, dried fruit, molasses, caramel, faint chocolate, brown sugar, mild smoke, subtle whisky, a twinge of vanilla and a hint of wood. A whisper of alcohol in the background but well hidden. Somewhat sweet, with a restrained, malty bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with very light carbonation and good body. A shade more effervescence wouldn't hurt. Mildly astringent, followed by an aftertaste of roasted malt, fruitiness and a hint of whisky.
Top-notch. As barrel-aged stouts go this is quite subtle, but the character is wonderfully integrated. Looks the part, with an aroma and flavour of rich roasted malt, dried fruit and subtle whisky highlights. The body is satisfyingly unctuous, though a little more carbonation would be nice. Delicious - a touchstone in UK barrel-aged brews. This should go on your must-try list.
02-03-2014 01:49:06 | More by jazzyjeff13
4.2/5 rDev +2.2%
Cellared about 1 1/2 yrs
Appearance: very dark brown, almost pitch; nice mocha head dies to a film disappointingly fast
Aroma: medicinal peat, roasted malt, caramel, anise, raisin, dates; lot;s of rich fruit sweetness with a hint of acid bitterness
Taste & Mouthfeel: texture of hot chocolate - thick and creamy with a bit of chalkiness - and some of the flavour of it too, but add some anise and espresso; these flavours combine with sweet toffee at the start, but then turn to a pronounced bitterness that is not only due to the roasted malt, but also grassy hops; some of the peat character is also sneaking around towards the end, rising in the back of the throat; a port comes to mind - rich dark fruitiness, cherries
Overall: some really great character to this beer, definitely at least partially imparted by the scotch barrels; always like a brew that takes you on a ride of experiences from first sniff to finish, and this is one of them
12-07-2012 02:52:12 | More by BGDrock
4.51/5 rDev +9.7%
Appearance: Pitch black, tan head, but disintegrated quickly from the high ABV
Aroma: definite strong alcoholic aroma, slight burn in the nostril, very roasty, slightly smoky, slight peaty scotch, a lot of residual sweetness coming through the nose
Taste: Very roasty but not like a stout-roastiness. Has balanced peat and smoke flavors, slight fruitiness on the finish likely from the scotch. Fruitiness is dark fruits and a very small hint of banana. There are dark chocolate flavors as well as a significant amounto of sweetness from residual sugars. Balanced finish however between roasty and sweet. Hops not detectable
Mouthfeel: silky and thick, very little carbonation, smooth on the swallow with a long, long finish.
Overall Impression: I was very impressed by this ale. It obviously takes in a fair amount of scotch character from the barrel to balance roasted malts with peaty/smoky flavor. Dark Chocolate and sugar sweetness are prevalent in the middle of the drink, but subside slightly as the roastiness comes back in the finish. I think this is a stellar ale, with the only draw back being the slightly too alcoholic nose. I am attributing this nose to the fact that the ale was aged in 12-year whiskey barrels rather than older whiskey, so the alcoholic notes in the barrel will be less mellowed and more pervasive, thus more pervasive in the ale. Fantastic beer overall though.
07-04-2013 18:39:44 | More by dwren89
Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 641 ratings.