Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12 - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
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Ratings: 638 | Reviews: 338 | Display Reviews Only:
4.1/5 rDev -0.2%
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.
06-02-2014 00:56:55 | More by superspak
4.33/5 rDev +5.4%
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
05-14-2014 23:06:21 | More by kevinlater
4.4/5 rDev +7.1%
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: 4.4, 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.
04-10-2014 17:58:34 | More by thehyperduck
4.23/5 rDev +2.9%
From a 330 ml bottle to a snifter.
Bottled in Feb 2012, enjoyed in March 2014.
A: Black, no light makes it way through this beer. There is almost no head to speak of, but instead when the beer is poured there is a feign of a head, a wisp of foam that disappears as quickly as you look at it. The result is a full glass of black liquid with a very tiny ring of brown bubbly foam on the outside.
S: malts, peat, leather, smoke, oak all working together to give a nice rich smell.
T: smoke, oak, malts, roasts/coffee and a slight vanilla sweetness on the finish.
M: fine carbonation and a fullish body but lighter than expected. Given the heavy nose and taste I would have expected a heavier beer, but did not get one.
O: I decided to let this bottle go after finding myself with a couple of the Ola Dubh Special Reserve 30s. I have to say, this is a damn fine beer, and my only regret is that I didn't wait longer to open it, as I feel it would have only gotten better. There is so much flavor and character in this beer that I wish it was a 750 ml instead of a 330 ml so that I could enjoy it longer. Now...if I can get the one away from my buddy that I know he has...
03-23-2014 18:53:07 | More by polloenfuego
Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 638 ratings.