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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.

625 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 625
Reviews: 337
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 11.92%
Wants: 29
Gots: 78 | FT: 2
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)
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Ratings: 625 | Reviews: 337 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drumenigma


4/5  rDev -2.7%

02-01-2014 16:24:48 | More by drumenigma
Photo of utfiero


4.51/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color- black oil. Medium head tinted deep mocha.

Aroma- roasty, chocolate, coffee, hint of vanilla, and mild esters.

Taste- A rich, mellow brew! Starts with a subtle date sweetness immediately moving into a rich, roasty body dominated by roasted notes, coffee, and hints of chocolate finishing with a long roasty yet hoppy finish. This gives Traquair House Ale (the best Scotch Ale I've found to date) a run for its money! The bottle notes the following: "Aged in selected oak casks, formerly used to mature Highland Park beautifully balanced 12 year old single malt Scotch whisky." Bottle No. 01207 dated July 2011. Purchased locally at Spec's.

Poured from 330 ml bottle into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass). Tasted on 1/31/14.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2014 00:33:35 | More by utfiero
Photo of BourbonJersey

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

01-31-2014 00:28:01 | More by BourbonJersey
Photo of CraftFan5

New York

2.5/5  rDev -39.2%

01-30-2014 20:37:08 | More by CraftFan5
Photo of SavageHopHead


4/5  rDev -2.7%

01-24-2014 20:39:59 | More by SavageHopHead
Photo of mlm5641


4/5  rDev -2.7%

01-24-2014 00:58:21 | More by mlm5641
Photo of brother_kenneth


3.5/5  rDev -14.8%

01-19-2014 05:53:45 | More by brother_kenneth
Photo of ygtbsm94


3.25/5  rDev -20.9%

01-19-2014 04:11:14 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of Beer-A-Lot


4/5  rDev -2.7%

01-17-2014 17:09:29 | More by Beer-A-Lot
Photo of ViragS


4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

01-16-2014 06:01:38 | More by ViragS
Photo of yancot

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

01-16-2014 05:07:43 | More by yancot
Photo of Eindacor_DS


5/5  rDev +21.7%

01-15-2014 15:07:07 | More by Eindacor_DS
Photo of DenisKolkin

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ahh... Been looking forward to trying this one for some time. 330 ml bottle purchased from LCBO superstore at Summerhill for $6.15 CDN while in Toronto for exam preparation last August. Served chilled.

Appearance - Very dark brown, almost a charcoal color blended in as well. About 1 finger of off-white head that was very frothy looking. Little bit of soapy lacing left around the glass. This stuff really does look like old engine oil.

Smell - Wow. Slightly chocolaty, with a large, but not overdone smoke presence. I detected some dark fruit name figs and an hint of an unusual tropical element too. Some leather tobacco blend too. A lot going on here, which came together very nice for my flaring nostrils.

Taste - Smoke, earthy characteristics and a coffee flavor completely dominate this for me, as I'm not able to discern as many flavors as I was able to on the nose. Quite tasty but I found the taste lacked a bit of the well-rounded feature that was in the nose. Still pretty tasty but because of the intense flavors, a sipper.

Mouthfeel - Thinner than expected, but rather smooth and lowish carbonation. While still retaining a decent body, I still feel this was much thinner than expected especially given the flavor and aroma profiles.

Overall - A very good, yet rather different old ale, that really emphasizes smoke, probably one of the two or three smokiest beers I've had that isn't Rauchbier. And while the price is rather steep, this is one beer I'm glad I could say I tried, since it was a unique experience to me.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2014 05:05:54 | More by DenisKolkin
Photo of SoupKitchenBeerSnob


2.45/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Was curious about this one, but I thought the $8.75 price for a single was a bit high. Furthermore, the bottling date on the label was from July 2011 (this review takes place in January of 2014), but was totally assured by the salesperson that this beer was fine with a little aging (of course). Red flags aside, I bought it anyway. Eh...

I poured it in to a Chimay chalice and saw that this stuff looks like old motor oil. No problem though, I'm cool with that. Unfortunately that was last thing I was cool with concerning this beer. There was only a mild aroma and the beer tasted even less dramatic with very little carbonation. All in all this was a very bland, unremarkable beer that definitely wasn't worth the price. Cannot recommend.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2014 01:36:11 | More by SoupKitchenBeerSnob
Photo of michaelpauling


4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

12-31-2013 20:46:44 | More by michaelpauling
Photo of Dolfan907


3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

12-27-2013 18:35:36 | More by Dolfan907
Photo of chicagoish


4/5  rDev -2.7%

12-25-2013 20:21:06 | More by chicagoish
Photo of jakea


4/5  rDev -2.7%

12-25-2013 03:07:19 | More by jakea
Photo of brureview


4.41/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep dark opaque black- brown with 1/2 F head in a Stone Old Guardian glass- a barley wine style glass which works well for Old Ales.

Smoke-plum from the bottle.

Immediate array of aromas from the glass: leather, smoke, plum, and tobacco- quite a mix.

The mouth feel is very carbonated-not too much- which enhances the style.

Taste: magnificent. Leather, smoke plum, tobacco, fig melded into a complex ale. It's only 8% ABV and tastes like 13% ABV beer.

As the beer warms, there is more smoke in the taste. The plum mellows. The tobacco and leather dissipate.

Even though it's 8%, it's a sipper. One has to take time to appreciate this beer.

Serve warm- 50-55F.

Next step- if I can find a bottle-Harvistoun Engine Oil.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2013 02:08:16 | More by brureview
Photo of Axnjxn

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

dark brown, slight head. smell is of bourbon/scotch and is very big. taste is hot..whiskey flavor with a tad of dark fruits. big beer that tastes like more than 8% ABV, full bodied for sure with a bit of carbonation...the right amount.

overall impressive for only 8%. recommended.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2013 22:17:47 | More by Axnjxn
Photo of giacomorizzo


4/5  rDev -2.7%

12-22-2013 11:05:32 | More by giacomorizzo
Photo of StonedTrippin


4.29/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

in some ways I like 12 better than 16 or 18, the reason being, that it still tastes like beer. although some may say this is still more whiskey than beer, to me its the perfect balance. dark brown in color, rich for an old ale, same looks as the others with perhaps a little better head, but its been awhile and this one is on tap. the nose is great, woody and earthy and rich in malt profile, well roasted and toasted, not burnt but real dark. the whiskey isn't sharp, but mellow and clean, strong too, smells like more than 8% abv, that's for sure. the taste is great. tons of roast and body without any bitterness. the whiskey treatment is very effective, the beer has some charcoal to it, as well as vanilla and oak, but not in a sweet way, its more refined, more old school in some sense, more precise, more groovy, hard to describe. its all balanced up well, like the whiskey characteristics could be controlled independently of one another, you know, less vanilla here, more oak there, even though that's not possible, it seems that well dialed in. I prefer this to the 16 and 18 honestly, although I would still love to try the older ones, this is a genuinely great beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2013 18:50:49 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of Yeti1979


4/5  rDev -2.7%

12-19-2013 03:33:49 | More by Yeti1979
Photo of zonker17


4/5  rDev -2.7%

12-17-2013 14:01:22 | More by zonker17
Photo of thierrynantes


4.16/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (33 cl.) purchased from Le comptoir Irlandais, and tasted in 2013.

Appearance : dark brown color with a tan foamed head.
Smell : roasted and chocolate malty aromas.
Taste & mouthfeel : sweet and roasted malt flavors with notes of whiskey.
Drinkability : a nice beer in the English style Old Ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2013 18:24:31 | More by thierrynantes
Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 625 ratings.