Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12 - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
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Ratings: 627 | Reviews: 337 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by erz316:
4.53/5 rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
bottle #03556 from sept 2007 poured into my old speckled hen pint glass.
A - wow. looks like some kind of less viscous tar. there is some reminiscence of a head, but not in reality. though the bubbles on the top are retaining very very well, I still hesitate to call it a 'head'. it is more like 'bubble from me pouring from so high up, because I saw how damn thick it was'. any ways thats enough for the appearance.
S - there is a scent of grand roasted malts, and the nose is warmed by whiskey scents; along with some of the spice that the whiskey brings in, there is a tad of raw alcohol. the base notes of the scent are of some fruits, dark ones like fig and raisin; the scent of the alcohol is blended in at this level as well.
T - tastes musty and woody at first, not that i have every taken a big bite out of a piece of oak. raisin alcohol hits the palate next quite strongly; but as I hold it in my mouth the alcohol subsides and a sweeter fruitiness comes out. moments after the swallow the alcohol makes an attempt to burn like a cask strength whiskey but loose the battle to a light chocolate coffee taste, whose departure is as capricious as its arrival. the aftertaste is like that of a good whiskey, lingering spice and alcohol mixed with some of the malty sweetness ad a bit of bitter coffee/chocolate (?). I have truly tasted no old ale like this. the only reason it does not get a 5 is because I have not had the 16 and 30 years yet, and do not know if they mad it better.
MF&D - i can find no problems whatsoever with either of these categories. it is just the right amount of thickness for the presence of alcohol in the beer, and the lack of carbonation complements this very well.
Serving type: bottle
01-23-2009 18:57:23 | More by erz316
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.