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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.

661 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 661
Reviews: 341
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 11.65%
Wants: 34
Gots: 88 | 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: 661 | Reviews: 341 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jeffo
4.65/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one quite a few years ago. I can’t remember who was responsible for getting this beer into my hands, but whoever it was, thanks very much for the brew!

From a 250ml bottle into a snifter
Bottled February 2010
Bottle 13,948
Best Before January 2013
Aged in oak casks that held Highland Park’s 12 yr. single malt scotch whisky
Name translates to Black Oil

APPEARANCE: This is indeed black oil. Pours out black and yields a two finger, medium looking, creamy, light tan head with great retention. Pitch black body with no visible carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a creamy cap and sticks to the sides of the glass. A splotchy wisp remains and leaves some decent lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Very nice. Roasted malts, chocolate, whisky, light oak and vanilla on the nose. Touches of dark fruits and notes of leather as well. Wonderfully layered. Lovely.

TASTE: Lovely again. Very flavorful with roasted malts, some sweet dark fruits, whisky and lightly peated smoky notes up front. More oak, lightly peated whisky and roasted flavors into the swallow, yielding a bold and lingering finish of more wood and peat, whisky, vanilla, some roasted coffee and bitter dark chocolate as well. Some sweet fruits show up again and add another layer of complexity. This is outstanding. Wonderfully flavorful and plenty complex.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth with a slightly sticky finish on the palate. A bit of heat lingers.

OVERALL: Excellent. This is a flavorful, well balanced and complex brew with just the right amount of peat as well. Though I’ve never had it fresh, I can imagine letting it sit until after the best by date did no bit of harm. Perhaps a touch more weight and a slightly darker colored head would make this the perfect scotch barreled stout. If you’re a monster peat fan, this won’t quite satisfy your craving. However, if you enjoy layered flavors and can appreciate balance and subtlety, this will be right up your alley. Loved this. Cheers to whoever helped out with this.

Jeffo, Saturday at 10:20 AM
Photo of Gakusei
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Gakusei, Oct 12, 2014
Photo of craftbeersweden
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

craftbeersweden, Oct 11, 2014
Photo of Antiantianti
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Antiantianti, Oct 10, 2014
Photo of pisano
4/5  rDev -2.9%

pisano, Oct 09, 2014
Photo of Hellpop65
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Hellpop65, Oct 04, 2014
Photo of Synapstic
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Synapstic, Sep 27, 2014
Photo of bcm75
3.75/5  rDev -9%

bcm75, Sep 25, 2014
Photo of Chefmemo72
4.76/5  rDev +15.5%

Chefmemo72, Sep 23, 2014
Photo of ChristianT
4/5  rDev -2.9%

ChristianT, Sep 23, 2014
Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.04/5  rDev -1.9%

11.2 oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a borderline pitch black color. The head isn't very impressive, at all. Less than a finger high (off-white in shade), and featuring lousy retention. Only a thin collar is left behind, without any lacing remaining stuck to the glass. (2.75)

Smell: Oh yeah. Nothing about this aroma is punching me in the face - but that's actually good. It's wonderfully subtle yet deep. Peat-laden smoke could charitably be considered the dominant note, yet not once does it overpower the senses. It melds beautifully with notes of dark chocolate and oak. Touches of darker fruit (i.e. raisins) and caramel also appear. Going by only the aroma, it seems incredibly delicate - and delicacy beats bigness any day of the week, my friends. (4.5)

Taste: Doesn't quite impress me as much as the nose did. It starts off much like Old Engine Oil does, with notes of dark chocolate and green-tasting hops. But that finish...pure peat. In the best way. The slightest hint of oak barrel ties everything together, becoming more amplified further down the glass. Make no mistake, it does a great job of tasting like a good scotch whiskey without burning like one. (4)

Mouthfeel: A bit thin - since it's an 8% barrel-aged beer, it's forgivable. The back end is quite smooth, and semi-dry (especially considering the carbonation is quite low). Not even a hint of alcohol can be found. While it's easy to drink, the structure of the flavor profile makes it more of a sipper. (4)

Overall: At $10, it's somewhat expensive for such a tiny bottle...but considering the way they blend together porter-y notes with the barrel, it somehow becomes worth it. No, it's not spectacularly deep, but it's balanced almost perfectly. I'll have to try the other (more expensive) variants to form a proper opinion on the series - right now, though, I'm enjoying the hell out of this. (4)

4.04/5: Very solid marriage of an English-style porter and scotch, and that's just the 12-year barrels!

ThisWangsChung, Sep 16, 2014
Photo of stumac
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%

stumac, Sep 15, 2014
Photo of Adammleonard
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%

Adammleonard, Sep 14, 2014
Photo of atrocity
4/5  rDev -2.9%

atrocity, Sep 12, 2014
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4.15/5  rDev +0.7%

jaymo18, Sep 12, 2014
Photo of aasher
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

aasher, Sep 11, 2014
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4/5  rDev -2.9%

zestar, Sep 09, 2014
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4/5  rDev -2.9%

bostonryan, Sep 07, 2014
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4.2/5  rDev +1.9%

WTKeene, Sep 05, 2014
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4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

dryndantheman, Sep 03, 2014
Photo of Pens1967
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Pens1967, Aug 31, 2014
Photo of carlos_fleico
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%

330ml bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a very dark opaque black color. Doesn't form a lot of head - about an inch of a firm tan head that dissipates relatively quickly, leaving behind some lacing. Very viscous.(4.25)

S: Dominant smoke aroma, roasted malts. Whisky woodiness, leather, hints of dark chocolate and coffee grains, brown sugar and some syrupy sweetness. Light booze, very rich aroma. (4.25)

T: Syrup-like sweetness upfront, strong roasted malts taste is dominant afterwards. Oak, whisky. Smoky taste, similar to whisky/bourbon malts. Chocolate and some bitterness in the end, boozy. (4.25)

M: Full-bodied, very rich. Decent carbonation, smoky aftertaste, heavy sensation in the mouth afterwards. (4)

O: Another great brew from Harviestoun. Old Engine Oil is still my favorite, but this one has a lot of the oak/whisky flavors to it. A very rich and interesting beer - would pair well with a steak with a strong sauce, or also a nice beer to have after lunch as a desert. (4.25)

carlos_fleico, Aug 31, 2014
Photo of skaboom420
3.7/5  rDev -10.2%

skaboom420, Aug 31, 2014
Photo of Corson
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Corson, Aug 25, 2014
Photo of Danny1217
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Danny1217, Aug 25, 2014
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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 661 ratings.