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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.

709 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 709
Reviews: 348
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 11.68%
Wants: 37
Gots: 106 | 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:
Beer added by: Bitterbill on 02-17-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 709 | Reviews: 348 | Display Reviews Only:
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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!

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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)

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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 709 ratings.