Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12 - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

Not Rated.
Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12

Educational use only; do not reuse.

751 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 751
Reviews: 358
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 11.68%
Wants: 38
Gots: 122 | FT: 7
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 02-17-2008

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 751 | Reviews: 358
Reviews by thehyperduck:
Photo of thehyperduck
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

330 mL bottle from the LCBO; packaged in Feb. 2012 and best before Oct. 2015. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours an opaque blackish-brown hue, with an aggressive pour generating about one finger of dense, creamy, beige-coloured head. It recedes over the next few minutes, leaving behind a loose, sea-foamy cap and collar; not much lacing. The aroma is quite sweet and enticing, with hints of molasses, oak and vanilla, as well as some figgy dark fruit notes. Slightly smoky/peaty, with a whiff of alcohol.

This is almost sinfully tasty. Molasses and toffee sweetness start us off, leading into some dark chocolate and vanilla. Light fig and raisin notes then blend alongside an oaky, peaty flavour. Smoky finish, with a touch of whisky followed by some lingering wood smoke astringency. This brew has a nice warming quality - actually a little more than I'd expect for an 8% brew, but everything comes together nicely. On the heftier side of medium-bodied, with rather weak carbonation that produces a smooth, slick coating on the palate. Great stuff.

Final Grade: 4.38, an impressive A. My only regret concerning Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12 is that I neglected to pick up a second bottle of the stuff. This is a delicious ale that I would recommend highly to all BAs looking for a proper oak aged beer, and may also have some appeal to Scotch whisky fans as well. It's not cheap, but I don't mind paying for quality - and with that in mind, I'll have to keep an eye out for the other beers in the Ola Dubh series.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Rijtjeshuis
4.55/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of StoutHearted
4.52/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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?

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

Photo of 1Adam12
2.25/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

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.

Photo of magictrokini
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 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.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.83/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of BGDrock
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of dwren89
4.48/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a deep opaque charcoal tinted dried blood burgundy with a large mocha tan head sticking around a good bit after a sturdy upright pour, left behind is fine even lacing all around my chalice with each sip. Aromatics contain deep barrel aged notes with hints of ripened fruit, leather, oak, subtle anise, and mild medicinal layers. Another aspect brings mild chocolate and some burn marshmallow edges. Flavors are brash with oak aging however if you like this than that's a plus, big malty layers full of plum and vinous dried fruit notes. Mint edged chocolate with oak chips soaked in brandy really sum up the aspect that stands out here. Soothing alcohol soaked in fruit notes impresses me as well. Mouthfeel overall is viscous with complexity and a slightly hot alcohol finish carbonation overall is incredibly smooth and silky. Drinkability a complex beginning and really enjoyable UK experiment I hope to see more of this type of brew being bottled and shared around the world this is fantastic and I'm sure the 16 and 30 just get better and better time to go invest in those two this Friday.

Photo of chinchill
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a bottle in Edinburgh.

Body is a bit too thin and I wish the flavor were closer to the aroma in terms of richness and strength. Other than these two mild complaints, this is a great beer. Prudent use of barrel aging adds some nice complexity, including hints of whisky (of course), wood and vanilla. Very smooth with the alcohol partly hidden (but high ABV is obvious).

Photo of jeonseh
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From bottle 12625 and poured into a snifter glass. I was lucky to get a bottle from the local beer guy who likes me and let me have one of the bottle of the one case they got.

A - Pours out rather thick and actually kinda reminded me of a black syrup. Had a chocolate creme colored head that faded away and then just faded away to the sides. Dark, black, ominous and reflective as no light gets through it. Have to say I was surprised by the thick glug glug of it.

S - Big whiff of chocolate sweetness that mixes in with a hint of peatiness and smokiness. Has a hint of meat like smokiness as well, would even possibly say bacon. Hints and odor of oak comes up as well which is what we would expect given the aging. In the sweetness, also pick up a hint of vanilla as well.

T - Has a sweet taste of chocolate malt that comes up first. After that, there is a hint of caramel before comes in a hint of peat. There was a of roasted smokiness that comes through as well with a hint of pepper. I was really surprised by the sweetness that came on so strong and really makes itself more known than the peatiness. All the flavors are rather subdued and blend together well. Nothing pops out really but all blends well. The aftertaste is more towards a peat smokiness and also get that peppery roasted flavor.

MF - Hardly any carbonation at all as the beer just kinda rolls out and coats the tongue. Has a slight astringent feeling as well in the mouth. A rather thin though given the look of the beer. I expected it to be a bit thicker than it actually was since it looked so syrupy.

D - Actually, a lot easier to drink than I expected. I was thinking this would be a definite sipper but on the whole it was easy to drink. I think part of this has to do with the lighter mouthfeel. It was a tasty brew and would definitely enjoy another if I have the chance to buy one.

Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on cask at the Brick Store.

Pours almost black, instead it's very, very dark brown. Head is a thin layer of large brown bubbles that disappear quickly, leaving a thin ring around the glass and no lacing.

Smells of whiskey, with roasted malt aromas. Sweetened chocolate and vanilla aromas cycle in and out.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Big whiskey flavors hit first with roasted malt flavors that gain steam after mid-sip. Hints of vanilla stick around for the aftertaste. The alcohol is noticeable, but with the whiskey flavors I don't think it's out of place.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a good thickness, and the softened carbonation make this go down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. The beer disappeared quickly from my glass.

Overall this is a fine-tasting beverage. I tried the 30 year a while back, and while this is lighter it's no less of a beer. Definitely worth a shot.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer has a jet black body with a deep tan cocoa head with some fairy tiny bubbles stuck to the glass. The head last for a few sips before it is only seen sticking to the sides of the glass.

S- This beer has a smoky almost musty whiskey note with nice peat moss, cream and maple notes giving way to a smoky finish. There are smooth dark black roasted malt aromas that come through when it warms a bit.

T- The black malt flavors have a hint of dark dried fruit and black roasted chicory. There are some smoky hints and a more full whiskey note finished by a soft green wet wood note. As the beer warms the smoky notes increased but they were never over the top.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a silky texture and a soft alcohol note that is just a tad fusel.

D- This beer has nice dark malt notes with a balance of smoky and whiskey notes that stay in their supporting roles. The flavor is not over the top and there are some nice depth to it.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black like 'ola dubh'...very small tan head that turns to a spotty sticky lace and tan ring.

Aroma is woody and reminds me a lot of the smell of my backyard appletree when I'm cutting branches and the earth underneigth it. Wood, with apple and moist, rich earth tones.

Taste is woody with apple and tobacco and a bit of sweet malt and yes, there is scotch in there.
It's a pity this is so expensive. I love the flavors.

Mouthfeel is crisp for a beer of this style and maybe a little thin but not objectionable at all. More like a crisp apple dryness after you swallow.

Photo of biboergosum
4.06/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml black foil capped bottle. We bring the Bard of Ayrshire's birthday celebration to a close with the youngest 'old' ale, in terms of whisky cask finishing expression. Ach.

This beer pours a fairly solid black, with very slight basal cherry cola edges, and two fat fingers of foamy and creamy beige head, which renders a practically unblemished paint job of lace around the glass as it slowly fades away. Aye, but she's seeexxxxy!

It smells of strongly toasted caramel malt, mild smoked peat, molasses, sweet alcohol-soaked oak, muddled dark fleshy fruit, and subtle leafy, earthy hops. The taste is big caramel/toffee malt, musty black fruit, treacle, ethereal bittersweet chocolate, and a soft, agreeable case of island barrel-itis - iodine, brine, and seaweed, with a nicely even peaty smokiness.

The carbonation is quite tame, barely a flutter to be noticed, the body a sturdy medium-full weight, smooth and surprisingly clean. It finishes on a relatively strong drying note, equally musty, woody, hoppy and boozy.

A tasty, and balanced, Scotch barrel-influenced strong old Scottish ale (whew!). Malt, hops, wood, and alcohol, all in a symbiotic orgy of restrained fury, the kind that might engender a bursting forth of some sort. What am I talking about? I dunno, this is the fourth bottle of the evening of this stuff and its kin, so I'm done writin', and ready for something else, no offense, bard-dear.

Photo of mintjellie
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque, inky black. It looks tarry and ominous, like some prehistoric creature resting at the bottom of the glass could rise from it's suffocating grave to take you in it's zombie dinosaur jaws. A fingers worth of fine mocha head quickly retreats, leaving a thin cap of bubbles and very little lacing behind.

Aged in oak barrels that previously contained Highland Park 12 Year Old Single Malt, the predominantly bittersweet chocolate nose also leaves whisky-like impressions of vanilla, peat, and wood. Roasted and bittersweet, flavours of blackstrap molasses, semisweet chocolate, sweet brown sugar, dried fruit, and burnt toast lead to a mild whisky finish. Whisky is most noticeable in the lingering aftertaste, seemlessly blended with a soft roasted malt bitterness.

The flavour and aroma both took a bit of time to open up after pouring it a little too cold; this beer puts it best foot forward while almost room-temperature cool. The cask aging still shows itself more in the scent than in the taste. It's medium-full body and almost non-existent carbonation feels luxuriously smooth and creamy in your mouth. This is an easy drinking beer of great depth and complexity. Part of the LCBOs winter beer release, pick it up and love it while you can.

Photo of joeseppy
3.61/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with half inch head.

Initial aromas are distinct licorice and dark chocolate. As it warms, aroma is muted with undertones of peat and oak.

Cooler temperature taste is bitter dark cocoa with a charred back and lingering black coffee. As this warms up, more scotch quality underlined with peat emerges.

On the lighter side with ample carbonation. Dry cocoa powder finish at cooler temp.. Warmer temp. smooths out and becomes a fine sipper.

You gotta like scotch to appreciate this. Not very complex and lacks body. Reading all the reviews, I was expecting more.

Photo of zplug123
3.86/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle

A: Oily black, cask carbonation with small ring of head. No light shines though

S: I'm confused at the aroma of either roasted malt/caramel...or something akin to soy sauce. Either way sweetness at the end is also evident

T: Mellow smoky taste, definitely has the notes of good scotch whiskey. Coffee, dark chocolate come to mind through the sweet malt finish

M: Sticks to the tongue, heavy bodied with almost no carbonation. Very creamy as well

D: A dark and complex beer, definitely one to enjoy in sips and appreciate

Photo of asabreed
4.72/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass. My snifter has somehow disappeared, which doesn't make me happy.

Appearance: Opaque with a mocha colored head, though there's not as much lacing or head retention as I'd like. I imagine the tulip may not have been the best glass for this, but I'm now sure how that would've changed things otherwise.

Smell: A heady meld of bourbon, cream, chocolate, coffee, mild mocha, woodiness, mild dark berries, vanilla, and booze.

Taste: Beautiful blackened malt flavors come through in a way I'm not sure I've experienced before. There's a fine line here between a creaminess and a blackened flavor, letting the other flavors creep in gradually: mocha, mild coffee, honey, chocolate, welcomed coffee with a bit of sourness and acridness that I think oddly meld with some other flavors quite nicely, vanilla, woodiness, earthiness, and the finishing touch of a good whiskey, lingering amidst all the flavors on the tongue. Even in this not-even-a-year-old state, with it being bottled in September 2007, I wish I could try a sample in the years to come, as I imagine it can only get better. But yes, this is pretty amazing stuff. Nuanced, balanced, heady, and delicious, especially if you're a fan of whiskey. I'll be seeking out the 16 and 30 when I can.

Mouthfeel: Full, though it's a bit odd because the lack of carbonation actually makes the flavors come out a bit more I think. There's a burst near the end, but it's mild, and still, I think they meant it like this, to get the full sense of the whiskey rather than having it be bogged down with carbonation, and yet it still remains fairly smooth.

Drinkability: Highly highly drinkable, and if we're taking the high price tag away I give it a perfect rating. A 6-pack of this, however, would cost you... a lot. But it's quality stuff, as they say it is, and as it should be.

Photo of cokes
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle # 12529/Sept 2007
It pours to a virtually headless ebony, as small clusters of beige bubbles grip the edges of the glass.
Scented of fudge, espresso, anise, and peat, but lacks a true and real statement from the whisky on the nose.
Tastewise, it begins with more fudgey fullness and spent coffee acridness. Notes of stewed dark fruits dot the middle. Smoke and peat are bit players, but emerge in the later portion, as the barrel aging begins to materialize, also bringing wispy dried heather, and a more definite sherried, oaken dryness. Hops are subdued, but impart a backing notion of black tea. It concludes with an ashy sour twinge that's hard to place.
Medium bodied, seeming fatter at first but thinning over the sip with a rasping dryness. It's every bit a sipper, but one that's consumed quickly as the 8% is barely recognized.

End of review, and on to my digression-filled editorial:
At the end of the day, this is generally a winner, but I must say that I'm a hair disappointed. As a big fan of Highland Park 12yo with it's balance of caramel, honey, sherry, heather, maritime elements, medicine, and smoke. As such, It's a bottle I always have on hand, especially because I find it on the very high end of the quality/price ratio in the Scotch world and easily found.
I dropped $8 on this bottle of beer (in perspective, that's 1/4 the price of the whisky...and I also bought the 16 and the 30 Special Reserves, so that's 3 bottles of beer for right about the same price as a bottle of HP12, which would last me months) and solely because of the barrels it was aged in. To be honest, the scotch whisky aged notions are pushed to fringes, and I couldn't link this taste-wise in any way to HP, even sipping on it along side the beer (though they are quite agreeable, harmonious, and tasty partners, and I recommend having a dram along with it). I just would have liked to see more direct quotations from the spirit itself in this beer. I hoping for more of this in the 16 and the 30, though I'm worried, as I tend to enjoy moderately younger Scotches more than their older brether regardless of price. As decent as it is, I won't be seaching out more of the 12.

Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First of the series, retrieved at State Line Liquor, and most promising. Aroma is of an imperial stout with some whiskey. Black body. Creamy mouthfeel with whiskey,chocolate, ah a drinkable pleasure rather than bourbon. A bit woody. Most satisfying, and a bit malty sweet at the end.

Photo of zaphodchak
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Completely opaque tar-brown body, tan head of large bubbles and some gorgeous fine lacing.

Nose is knockout malt and Scotch, some oak and maybe small game meat? Some faint date undertones, along with a bit of booze.

Smoky, Scotchy body with some bitter oak and peat. Remarkably subtle. Some toffee, but not sweet at all. The peat lingers, in a good way.

Mouthfeel is smooth, with a fine texture. Pleasant, but not extraordinary.

Drinkability is not too high on this one, but of course this is by design. I couldn't see drinking more than one of these in an evening, despite being quite enjoyable.

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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 751 ratings.