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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.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

627 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 627
Reviews: 337
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 11.92%
Wants: 29
Gots: 79 | 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: 627 | Reviews: 337 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lifebeer
lifebeer

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a. pours a burnt chocolate brown, sits black in the glass, 1/2 milk chocolate-colored head that dissipates quickly

s. roasted malts, smoked peat, wood and chocolate..a bitter-smelling something makes this wholly unique, but i can't quite place

t. woody chocolate with a finish of charred beef and earth

m. a medium thickness that becomes creamier with increasing temperature

d. enjoyed as a sipper

nice and complex, stands out from other scotch ales, better for colder temperatures, would definitely drink again, highly recommended

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2008 01:02:27 | More by lifebeer
Photo of jeonseh
jeonseh

Indiana

4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From bottle 12625 and poured into a snifter glass. I was lucky to get a bottle from the local beer guy who likes me and let me have one of the bottle of the one case they got.

A - Pours out rather thick and actually kinda reminded me of a black syrup. Had a chocolate creme colored head that faded away and then just faded away to the sides. Dark, black, ominous and reflective as no light gets through it. Have to say I was surprised by the thick glug glug of it.

S - Big whiff of chocolate sweetness that mixes in with a hint of peatiness and smokiness. Has a hint of meat like smokiness as well, would even possibly say bacon. Hints and odor of oak comes up as well which is what we would expect given the aging. In the sweetness, also pick up a hint of vanilla as well.

T - Has a sweet taste of chocolate malt that comes up first. After that, there is a hint of caramel before comes in a hint of peat. There was a of roasted smokiness that comes through as well with a hint of pepper. I was really surprised by the sweetness that came on so strong and really makes itself more known than the peatiness. All the flavors are rather subdued and blend together well. Nothing pops out really but all blends well. The aftertaste is more towards a peat smokiness and also get that peppery roasted flavor.

MF - Hardly any carbonation at all as the beer just kinda rolls out and coats the tongue. Has a slight astringent feeling as well in the mouth. A rather thin though given the look of the beer. I expected it to be a bit thicker than it actually was since it looked so syrupy.

D - Actually, a lot easier to drink than I expected. I was thinking this would be a definite sipper but on the whole it was easy to drink. I think part of this has to do with the lighter mouthfeel. It was a tasty brew and would definitely enjoy another if I have the chance to buy one.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2008 02:40:34 | More by jeonseh
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.7/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle 04111, September 2007 Date; sampled April 2008
A vigorous pour produces a two-finger thick, frothy, fairly large bubbled, creamed cocoa-brown colored head. The beer is almost indistinguishable from black, but does show a touch of deep, dark, burnt-amber color if held up directly to the light. Wow, this smells like a rich, savory candy that is a mix of teriyaki, sesame, and concentrated toffee. Underneath this are substantial aromatic notes of prunes and dried figs that are joined by softer, but quite distinct notes of salty, smoky peat reek. Molasses aromatics play a huge role, just a confluence of the sweet, concentrated malt and the savor malt and peat character. This beer is dripping with umami aromatics; rich, savory, hearty & a concentrated, aged malt character that is just oozing drops of intense malt character.

Thick, but quite a bit lighter than might be suggested by the aroma; in fact it has a thinness that I was expecting before I cracked this beer and smelled the concentrate aroma. Flavors of lightly sweet, yet rich, molasses, Hoisin sauce, concentrated graham crackers, buttery toffee and burnt salt-water taffy; really this beer is not all that sweet, but just enough to keep the richness in check. The finish is dried out quite a bit by a lingering, slightly astringent, light bitter, burnt malt character that adds flavors of cold-pressed black coffee, . The whisky notes are fairly soft here, I think it is mostly a salty, smoky peat-derived character that shows up; it most definitely adds to the richness of this brew.

The flavor of this beer is quite a bit better and richer if you take a few minutes rest between sips, without doing this the beer somehow comes off as being a bit thin. The molasses like character of this brew is perhaps as big as I have ever tasted in a beer and this mixes quite well with a solid smokiness that is quite pleasing to my palate. An interesting beer; I definitely like the balance and character that the barrel aging has brought as it is not too overwhelming here.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2008 04:48:27 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of cannabanaceae
cannabanaceae

Washington

4.72/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this bottle labeled sept. 07 11.2oz for $8.99. Poured thick black with a small brown dissipating head into a snifter. Smelled of wood , vanilla, candi sugar I picked up some smoky flavors that reminded me of a Islay scotch. The taste on this one was my favorite part With a smooth chocolaty burnt wood taste, kind of oily on the mouthful little carbonation head totally gone now. The finish was very smooth with a little hop bitterness detected and very little alcohol for this great 8% old ale. Even with the hefty price tag I would try to find this rare one again.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2008 16:20:45 | More by cannabanaceae
Photo of klewis
klewis

Ohio

4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle #1597 - Sept 2007

A: Pours completely black with a modest bubbly head. Light lacing and a small frothy halo adorn the glass.

S: Aromas of molasses and caramel with a strong, earthy scotch smell.

T: A complex taste that is malty up front followed by a crisp bitterness. Roasted taste with smooth vanilla flavor and a finish of smoky scotch. Lots going on here.

M: Medium-bodied with light carbonation. Silky smooth texture with some alcoholic heat. The fullness of its flavor makes the mouthfeel seem heavier than it really is.

D: The flavor of this one is so intense, it makes drinking it a bit tiresome, but it's pretty damn good anyway. Worth the price tag.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2008 22:40:08 | More by klewis
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a deep opaque charcoal tinted dried blood burgundy with a large mocha tan head sticking around a good bit after a sturdy upright pour, left behind is fine even lacing all around my chalice with each sip. Aromatics contain deep barrel aged notes with hints of ripened fruit, leather, oak, subtle anise, and mild medicinal layers. Another aspect brings mild chocolate and some burn marshmallow edges. Flavors are brash with oak aging however if you like this than that's a plus, big malty layers full of plum and vinous dried fruit notes. Mint edged chocolate with oak chips soaked in brandy really sum up the aspect that stands out here. Soothing alcohol soaked in fruit notes impresses me as well. Mouthfeel overall is viscous with complexity and a slightly hot alcohol finish carbonation overall is incredibly smooth and silky. Drinkability a complex beginning and really enjoyable UK experiment I hope to see more of this type of brew being bottled and shared around the world this is fantastic and I'm sure the 16 and 30 just get better and better time to go invest in those two this Friday.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2008 05:31:46 | More by WVbeergeek
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ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.45/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a plain black body with a frothed, though quickly diminishing, off-white head.

Smell: Respectably old, aged malts with a vein of dark fruitiness and a faroff hint of whiskey.

Taste: Dark malts deliver flavors of dark caramel, chocolate, and a even a little coffee. Solid sweetness. A firm pinch of pipe tobacco. Very light earthy bitterness. Mild whiskey character lends a warming finish. There's a creaky woodiness that begins to creep into the aftertaste and flavor with each sip, so drink fast!

Mouthfeel: Just barely medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's okay. In all honesty, it started losing me as time went on. Now to get my greedy hands on that 16 year old (the beer) to continue the Ola Dubh line.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2008 04:06:55 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.55/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ok, so I had to go out and grab all three of these releases, cause, well the idea has really intrigued me. I had originally planned on sampling all three in one night, but decided against it as I figured I would get burned out. I went with the bottom up and took down the 12 year first. The pour was as I expected, pitch black as night with no foam, no head, no lace, no nothing. Just a dead in the water black oil looking liquid, much as the original was, no surprise here and rather uninspiring.

The aroma was different, and nowhere near as strong as I thought it would be. Hints of whisky were very light here and the only thing really coming through was the deep roasted malt aroma. There was almost a smoky quality to it as well, though very light with perhaps a touch of earthiness way in the back. The taste came off somewhat flat to me, but maybe it is just me. There is no carbonation in this one at all, which we knew going in, however it just felt a touch thin to me to be honest, the flavors were very nice, but again kinda weak as far as the profile. Lots of smoky notes were riddled throughout this one, really dominating everything overall. There was the slightest bit of a whiskey taste, but I really thought it would have been stronger. A touch of alcohol in the beginning, but as it mellowed this really went away. The finish was a bit dry and had a nice wood like barrel taste at the end. This was an easy sipper, if not a gulper as everything was quite mellow and nothing was really standing out to me and making me think.

Overall, I am not going to lie, I am disappointed in this. I would have thought the flavors would have been much more pronounced and the aging taken a nice effect on it, but it just seemed too subdued for me, really never achieving any great height or depth. I am hoping the 16-year and especially the 30-year come off much better, we shall see. I will pop one this weekend and find out.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2008 21:13:40 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of YonderWanderer
YonderWanderer

Colorado

4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a jet black with a hint of brownish-red on the edge when held up to the light. A dark tan head forms, but leaves fairly quickly.

S: Scotch hits you up-front, followed by some hints of chocolate, maybe a bit of coffee, and some dark fruit. Complex, and likely with other hints that I'm not identifying well.

T: Fantastic. Scotch dominates, but not in an unpleasant way. Chocolate, coffee, a hint of vanilla, some roasted malt, all join together in a delicious blend of flavor. Alcohol warms a little bit, but otherwise is not present. This is a damn tasty brew.

M: Silky smooth, a bit thinner than I would have expected, but still damn good. Light carbonation which fits perfectly.

D: This drinks easy. Scary easy honestly. At 8%, it's balanced and incredibly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2008 14:39:03 | More by YonderWanderer
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GbVDave

Illinois

4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a St. Feuillian chalice.

Bottle # & date: 08787/Sept. 2007

A: Pours a lovely obsidian color with hints of brown at the edges. A vigorous pour yields a fleeting and bubbly, med. dark khaki colored head. In under a minute I was left with a thick and bubbly ring and whispy skim.

S: Interesting and complex aromas of scotch (obviously!), rich milk chocolate, and dark fruit. Also present were dark roasted malt, brown sugar, smoky peat, toasted vanilla bean, and real charcoal.

T: Right off the bat, I'm greeted with a blast of scotch, over-ripe plums, chocolate, and cherry. Accompanying this is some kick-ass smoky char, espresso, burnt malt, freshly cracked black pepper, peat, brown sugar/molassas, and hops.

M: Slightly thin but good. What a mixture of sweet, smoky, peppery, dry and bitter. Initially sweet, but quickly turns spicy, bitter, and dry during the middle and finish.

D: I thought the thinness of this actually helped the drinkability score. Very easy to drink and quite rewarding. I can't wait to try the next two vintages. Seek this out at all costs!

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2008 00:43:16 | More by GbVDave
Photo of Lupe
Lupe

New York

4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle No. 05284 - Sept 2007

Color is almost completely black, with just a bit of brown at the top when held to the light. Brown head starts small and tight before quickly dissipating. Pretty much no lace to speak of.

Dark malt aroma with a healthy dose of Scotch and wood. The Scotch is very much present, but does not dominate or take away from other aromas. Hints of dark chocolate, vanilla, and some spice - cinnamon.

Flavor is similar to the aroma, but with less of the Scotch coming through. Dark roast malt with chocolate, vanilla, and light coffee. Hints of smooth Scotch and faint woodiness. Has a nice balancing hop flavor and bitterness that doesn't get in the way, but keeps things in check. Finishes with caramel and a touch of char. Incredibly balanced and a amazing melding of the flavors.

Surprisingly light in body. Looks thick, smells and tastes rich, but much thinner than expected. Smooth nonetheless with very little carbonation. Between the light body and barely noticeable alcohol, this is one easy drinking beer.

I love the Scotch character. Not overwhelming like some barrel-aged beers can be. Smooth and mellow. Very good - can't wait to try the others.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2008 14:14:44 | More by Lupe
Photo of illidurit
illidurit

California

3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Bottle #2749 poured into a snifter. Almost completely black, the only exception being a slight ring of brown when held up to strong light. Creamy tan head of about a finger, not much lacing.

Aroma is earthy dark malt and subtle whiskey. I like that the scotch hasn't completely overridden this brew but rather serves as a nice complement. Cinnamon makes an appearance too.

Flavor is great but just a bit too faint. The oak really stands out, melding well with the chocolate and roasted flavors. I don't detect any fruitiness, which is odd for an old ale.

The glaring thing about this beer's mouthfeel is the thinness of body. It may look really viscous but it's quite light. It makes the drinkability insanely high, but it doesn't lend a lot of support for a tasty blend of flavors. Maybe the other reserves will be thicker.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2008 08:55:30 | More by illidurit
Photo of rajendra82
rajendra82

Georgia

3.63/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The same appearance as the Special 16 and 30 editions, i.e., solid black with a typical Porter-ish beige head. The smell, this time around, was more carob beans, chicory, and chocolate. The taste was easy drinking with a lot of wood tannins and roast grains. The body was kind of thin and underwhelming, but the finish was sprinkled with some spicy hops. I guess I just prefer the obvious Whisky notes of 30 than the astringency of the 16 or the woodiness of the 1. All of them are subtly different from each other, yet they ll succeed in their own way.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2008 05:18:41 | More by rajendra82
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jwc215

Wisconsin

3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with no head - just a few bubbles along the edge. A slight bit of dark film sticks to the glass.

The smell is powerful - woody (oak)- cinnamony - with molasses, scotch and dark fruits.

The taste is oaky/woody with cinnamon spiciness. Chocolate/molasses and dark fruitiness mix with some peat. Roastiness comes through in a dry finish.

It has understated carbonation. Alcohol adds some heft to an otherwise thinnish medium body.

It's not quite as rich and robust in flavor or, esp. body, but I'm far from complaining. The whisky barrel sure comes through in a nice way.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2008 01:18:42 | More by jwc215
Photo of Traquairlover
Traquairlover

Virginia

4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A = Dark brown like thick dirty engine oil, throws off a small tan/light brown head that quickly dissipates without lacing on glass but with nice coating on surface.

S = Wow, Scotch! I knew it was aged in Scotch barrels but I really wasn't quite prepared for the strong smell of scotch. Awesome. Once you get past that there are also scents of walnuts, bitter cocoa powder, dark wheat bread dough. Very complex smells.

T = Wow, again. Definite taste of the Scotch, but with a nice matly bitter-sweet backbone. There are a lot of other flavors in here, but the Scotch is so pervasive it's hard to distinguish them, I get a bitter-sweet chocolate, treacle, rye-sourdough mix bread dough. The oak and alcohol of the Scotch are maybe slightly too pervasive, but this is a superior beer. I think this is one that will improve with age to let some of these flavors settle out in the beer.

M = Heavy bodied, great mouthcoating, perfect level of carbonation when swishing.

D = This is a great beer. My only problem is that it is a little too much Scotch forward at the moment which masks some of the underlying beautiful beer characteristics I know are there. One to age.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2008 22:27:29 | More by Traquairlover
Photo of goochpunch
goochpunch

Texas

4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle# 18766; bottled in Sept. 2007.

Pours out an oily, inky black with thin ring of frothy bubbles around the glass. Not much of a head presence. Smell is smokey, meaty, peaty, and phenolic from the whisky. I pick up a touch of booze. Underneath all this is some chocolate and dark fruit. Flavors between the base beer and the barrel-aging don't stand out apart from each other as much in the flavor and everything is blended nicely. It's a great mix of dried fruit, chocolate, light roast coffee, fruity esters, moss, tobacco, smoke, peat, wood, and vanilla. Delicious. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, but it could use a little more weight. Has a bit of oiliness. Very drinkable. The only thing holding me back from rating the drinkability higher is the sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2008 06:35:22 | More by goochpunch
Photo of nickfl
nickfl

Florida

4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Emerges from the bottle with a half finger of dark brown foam and an impenetrably opaque black body. The head dissipates quickly, leaving just a hint of lace on the glass.

S - Dark grain, chocolate mostly along with raisins and figs. Slight spicy character with notes of vanilla, cinnamon and some alcohol.

T - Dark roast malt and raisins up front with a moderate amount of balancing hop flavor and bitterness. Lots of vanilla and chocolate in the middle. Roast character reemerges in the finish with lots of dark, earthy notes; burnt caramel, leather, and tobacco.

M - Surprisingly moderate to thin body, with low carbonation and a a slight sweetness lingering in the finish. Noticeable alcohol warmth.

D - Easily drinkable, much more drinkable than I would have expected, in fact, probably due to its surprisingly light body. It has a wonderful Scotch whiskey character and despite a remarkable complexity, none of the flavors linger too long or become cloying.

This beer begs for a cigar. It seems like a natural match; with its dark flavor profile and relatively low sweetness it should match a good cigar nicely without becoming syrupy sweet the way some other big beers do when paired with cigars.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2008 04:33:20 | More by nickfl
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ATLbeerDog

Georgia

4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sept 2007 Bottle Number 10761

Poured dark black with almost no head from an 11.2 oz. bottled. Surprisingly light in lacing. Smells of deep malts, toffee, chocolate.

It is crisp and complex. The malts hits you first then the whiskey comes out to say, "Hello." Bitter, dry, and heavy.

The only fault for me is the under carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2008 23:10:15 | More by ATLbeerDog
Photo of geexploitation
geexploitation

Indiana

4.65/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very thick and dark, a la its namesake, with extremely low carbonation and virtually no head. Wonderfully rich nose that combines dark English beer, wood, and some winey notes. There are some bitter chocolate malt aromas, a bit of tobacco, vanilla, a slight winey sour note, and more. I could keep going and going, the aroma is so complex -- as the beer warms, espresso and faint berry fruits come through. Still, everything stays rich, with the only balancing note being the lighter, acidic winey element.

On the palate, a bright, acidic, winey wood note comes through first, along with a bit of oxidation evidence. Smooth vanilla and wood tannins, then light hop acidity and a surprisingly sharp burst of carbonation. Then things turn quite sweet before a flash of fruitiness and then a long, long, sweet and chocolaty finish. Mouthfeel is very thick. Carbonation is mostly tame, but there are times when the carbonation and acidity come to the fore. Even the mouthfeel has complexity. Everything plays well together; there are no off notes here.

Overall, this is an incredible beer that represents the potential for barrel aging to add flavor, balance flavor, and still leave behind a multidimensional, complex and drinkable beverage. I really can't say enough about this beer. It's simply great stuff.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2008 04:25:10 | More by geexploitation
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aforbes10

Iowa

4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Completely black. Pours like oil, but with a short bubbly top that changes to just a film quite quickly. Nice long lacing. Looks decadent. Smells mildly sweet, boozy and malty, with chocolate and a bourbon/whisky backbone. Very inviting. ethanol odor maybe a little strong. Whoo! strong coffee, bitter grounds. Tempered smoked whisky flavor on smooth thick stout/old ale hybrid body. Some fruitiness. huge and delicious and about everything i could want in a super-special release like this. Alcohol warming and lingering. Full bodied without being syrupy or cloying. Great , as a sipper. A memorable treat.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2008 16:48:26 | More by aforbes10
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Bitterbill

Wyoming

4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought this from South Bay Drugs & Liquors. Thanks Joey!

It pours from 11.2 oz foil wrapped bottle a near pitch black(brown hues) and a 2 finger head of tannish foam. Good sticky lacing here and the head retention is pretty good.

The smell is of caramel and roasted malt, dark fruit, and maybe some chocolate.

The taste is sweetish but defintely not too sweet. Caramael malt is lighter in the taste than the nose but the roasted/burnt malt really shines along with some dark fruit like fig and dark cherries, chocolate, vanilla, and just a wee bit of Scotch and smoke. Very complex flavours and quite delcious. The mouthfeel fooled me because I thought it would be thicker than it was but no real complaint there. The alcohol is there and it gives me some warming, the carbonation is light, and it finishes with a nce burnt malt bitterness. Good stuff!

Bottom line: Tis a fine Old Ale and I'm glad I got to try it but I think it'll be just a one of because it's quite the expensive brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2008 01:00:11 | More by Bitterbill
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mcallister

Ohio

4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark nearly black shade of brown:) A bubbly tan head fades quickly into large bubbles doggy paddling on top of the beer.

Nice nose of roasted barley, vanilla oak notes, burnt caramel and toffee, black cherry, black fig, raising and plum notes as well.

Damn fine beer. Rich and rustic with a big burnt roasted barley and malt character. Nicely balanced oak which really just gives you a hint of scotch with a burst of vanilla from the oak. Light residual sugar notes on the moderate finish which could be longer. Mid palate is somewhat hard to find but far back is dominated with tannin fromt the wood. Black currant, prune, black cherry, and raising dominate the fruit varieties. Some dark chocolate and hints of stale coffee.

Quite the specimen here. Can't wait to try the others as I've heard they are better. We shall see.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2008 22:21:04 | More by mcallister
Photo of blakesell
blakesell

Ohio

4.58/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Vertical tasting starting with 12 and going up to 30 year. All beers were tasted at 64 degrees in tasting glasses.

Appearance- Beer pours with a fingernail thin head, head is tan/brown with a swirly milky way type pattern across the top when it dies down. Beer itself is a near obsidian with hints of red around the edges.

Smell- Similar to a barleywine with an imperial stout backbone on first sniff. Alcoholic with plums, raisins, figs, and black cherries. No real oakiness on the nose.

Taste- Thick malts with very little hop. Some sweetness and balanced. Noble hopping and smooth. A bit thin on the finish for 8% ABV. Brown malts, hints of cherry and merlot grapes. Oak is hardly detectable.

Mouthfeel- Tongue coating, full-bodied, lightly carbonated and creamy. Not too astringent, warming but not overly so.

Drinkability- Very nice for drinkability but there is no way I could go drinking this for days on end. Both the high gravity and the price are big detractors there.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2008 16:37:46 | More by blakesell
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First off, what's the matter with the pissed off mouse on the label and the cap? Angry for having to wait for the beer to age before being able to taste it? Or perhaps someone stole his/her cheese? I believe an investigation is warranted.

We'll start things off with the 12 and work our way up of course.

Pours pitch black with a thin tan head that only appears after a rigorous pour to conjour it up. Nose is not very prevalent. I get some tar and molasses and a bit of roasted smoke. After time as I sip I swear I get peat tones gently coming at me. But all of these come in small quantities. Flavor is a bit of a young wood thing. Interesting tang going on there. Smoked and roasted qualities are indeed there, but as minor influences. Tobacco makes its presence known and you definitely get some scotch character here as well. Feel is decent. For some reason, I just want to say that the liquid is a bit thin. The carbonation is full enough, but seems just slightly in the wrong direction as well. Overall this is a nice beer. I was expecting to be a bit more impressed in all honesty. Perhaps the 16 and the 30 will deliver a bit more bang for the buck.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2008 20:59:06 | More by RblWthACoz
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IntriqKen

California

4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black like 'ola dubh'...very small tan head that turns to a spotty sticky lace and tan ring.

Aroma is woody and reminds me a lot of the smell of my backyard appletree when I'm cutting branches and the earth underneigth it. Wood, with apple and moist, rich earth tones.

Taste is woody with apple and tobacco and a bit of sweet malt and yes, there is scotch in there.
It's a pity this is so expensive. I love the flavors.

Mouthfeel is crisp for a beer of this style and maybe a little thin but not objectionable at all. More like a crisp apple dryness after you swallow.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2008 03:33:05 | More by IntriqKen
Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 627 ratings.