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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12 - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

652 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 652
Reviews: 340
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 11.92%
Wants: 32
Gots: 82 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Harviestoun Brewery Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Bitterbill on 02-17-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 652 | Reviews: 340 | Display Reviews Only:
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Photo of JamesS
4.97/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a great pitch black in color with a great tan (if bit small) head, and just a little bit of lacing. It has a wonderful scent, part coffee, part whiskey, part malt, part hop, a near perfectly balanced scent that ends with a sweet note. Wonderful taste, the whiskey flavor is there, but not overly dominant like so many other such beers; it has a great slight coffee start with a wonderful dark, malty, old ale flavor, a nice sweet finish with a bit of hoppiness to tone it down. It goes down wonderfully smooth for such a bold beer. Absolutely freaking fantastic.

JamesS, Aug 27, 2008
Photo of mithrascruor
4.97/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into a snifter at O'Brien's, San Diego.

An absolutely lovely beer that is (sadly) both pricey and hard-to-find! Pours an almost inky black color with minimal head and carbonation... just a handful of dark tan bubbles sitting at the edge of the glass. Lovely malt flavor with elements of dark wood, chocolate, coffee, and vanilla. Taste is similar... quite complex and full of subtle surprises. The fermentation in whisky barrels really contributes something to the flavor and experience here that I haven't found in similarly brewed beers. Incredibly smooth. This is a beer to be enjoyed very slowly! A new beer amongst my favorites...

mithrascruor, Apr 29, 2008
Photo of RedSpecial1
4.97/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a thick, dark black out of the bottle with only a little tan head.

S: Malty sweetness backed by Scotch smokiness. A hint of yeast almost seems to be present as well.

T: Immediate sweet and smokey flavors followed by a long, pleasant smokiness that lingers all the way in the back of your throat.

M: The mouthfeel is surprisingly light and thin for all the flavor packed into this beer. This definitely is a plus since it makes the beer much easier to drink, and enjoy.

O: This is an excellent, and complex ale. Its smokey character is reminiscent of a rauchbier, but this is balanced against the sweet maltiness characteristic of scotch ales.

RedSpecial1, Jun 24, 2011
Photo of drperm
4.9/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My election night special! This was a grand brew for a grand occasion.

330 mL bottle, #10372, bottled September '07. Poured into a Caracole globe.

Appearance: Black is the color of my true love's....beer. Very thin tan head around the edge of the glass.

Aroma: Tar, tobacco, peat, smoke, hops, strong malt, and molasses.

Taste: Malt, peaty smoke, mild hops, dark chocolate, treacle (but not TOO sweet). The taste truly does flow seamlessly from the nose to the tongue. Liqueur-like, with wonderful classy-smooth whisky notes throughout.

Palate: Mellow, smooth, a slight alcohol tinge, thick and viscous to be sure.

Overall: Fantastic! This is a great Old Ale -- a terrific sipping beer, absolutely wonderful with a Cigar (Carolina Cigar Company Red Reserve Churchill). A bit steep at $8.50 for 330 mL, but it IS a 1-time batch with each bottle numbered, after all.

I got two bottles -- I plan to age the other one for a future Burns Night celebration.

25 January '10: Review of a 15-month-cellared bottle.

A: 5/5. Even thinner head than when it was fresher...but an Old Ale should properly be mild in the carbonation department. Still as dark (with a hint of motor-oil brown to disrupt the black) and viscous as I remember.

S: 5/5 Tons of sorghum up front. Smokiness/peat is also prevalent, whilst the hops and malt have mellowed. There's also a nice spice note that I don't recall from before: coriander, chicory, maybe even mild clove or nutmeg.

T: 5/5 Sublime. It has only gotten smoother and more complex. The liqueur quality is there in terms of depth, but there is absolutely NO alcohol burn whatsoever: it could be 6% ABV just as easily as 8. There is a huge dark chocolate-roasted oat presence that I find highly enjoyable. Again, the hops have faded but what is left is anything but 1-dimensional malt.

M: 5/5 Like butter, with a smart snap (a 'Scots Snap'?) to remind me that it's not actually butter.

D: 5/5 After cellaring for 15 months, I have *zero* regret for spending $8.50 on this treasure. It is a Perfect Old Ale. My only regret is not having any more of the 12 on hand to cellar for longer. It bears a 30-month sojourn, methinks.


drperm, Jan 26, 2010
Photo of PorterLambic
4.9/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours deep dark and evil looking. Big dark tan head that drops slowly to a film.
Smell is amazing. Malty, rich and full of dark fruits.
OMG this is good. Rich, malty, dark fruits, hints of wood.
Full-bodied, rich. Low effervescence and decadent. An absolutely wonderful brew. Can I have another please?

PorterLambic, May 19, 2011
Photo of erosier
4.83/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

L: Pours a thick deep black color with a short and thick tan colored head that laces the glass a tiny bit on the way down.
S: Smells of scotch, a fine scotch, dark roasty malts, hints of chocolate, caramel, peat, and some alcohol.
T: Tastes of scotch, roasty malts, some chocolate, caramel, but mainly oak, peat, and scotch.
M: Rich, Thick, Heavy feeling, perfect amount of carbonation, warming.
D: Overall it's a sipping beer and it is a damned good sipping beer, definitely worth a try.

erosier, Aug 07, 2011
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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 652 ratings.