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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 30 - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

Ola Dubh Special Reserve 30Ola Dubh Special Reserve 30

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

334 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 334
Reviews: 219
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 10.54%


Brewed by:
Harviestoun Brewery Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Every bottle of this extremely limited Ola Dubh 30th Anniversary Ale has been individually numbered. Our ale has been aged for up to six months in first fill sherry butts, formerly used to mature Highland Park's award-winning 30 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky. These hand selected butts add subtle whisky notes to what is already a complex ale with its chocolatey mouthfeel and distinctive bittersweet finish. The high ABV has been deliberately created to stand up to, and blend with, the intensity of flavor created by the infused wood.

(Beer added by: rallison on 02-23-2008)
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Ratings: 334 | Reviews: 219 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mhaugo
mhaugo

California

2.99/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle decanted into a snifter. 8.0% ABV. Served at 55F and allowed to elevate to room temperature.

Appearance: The color of a deep porter. No head, virtually no carbonation. Visually, it lives up to the name “Black Oil” (3.75/5).

Aroma: Sweet whisky, oak, and damp mustiness. Molasses and licorice. Very rich and interesting (4/5).

Taste: Very dry and oaky. Nicely attenuated. Smoky and charred. But fairly one dimensional. It’s like drinking a nice whisky, but after the tumbler has been sitting out for a while and all the ice has melted. Where’s the beer flavor in this beer?
(2.5/5).

Mouthfeel: Thinner than expected. Flat and heavy on the tongue. A lingering astringency from the wood (2.75/5).

Overall: Well… this was kind of a letdown. For almost $20, I would have expected something that tasted more like beer and less like diluted whisky. Too thin, too woody, too little like beer (3/5).

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2014 04:42:05 | More by mhaugo
Photo of Jonada
Jonada

New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

11.2 oz Bottle #4456. Bottled June 2013. Served in a Tired Hands Teku glass

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, nearly black, with little to no head, save for a very thin light tan collar. Body is opaque.

Smell: Caramel, rich chocolate, oak, peat, slight meaty smoke. Nice but not very intense.

Taste: Scotch, dark chocolate, peat, caramel like sweetness. Whiskey cask aging really makes itself known in the flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, somewhat thin mouthfeel. Carbonation is low.

Overall: A good beer, but a little disappointing. I had high expectations for this, and while there's nothing wrong with it, there seems to be something missing that I can't quite put my finger on. Glad I got to try it, but at ~$15 per 11.2 oz bottle, I won't be getting it again.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2014 01:32:41 | More by Jonada
Photo of jrenihan
jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

BB July 2016/bottled June 2013

The beer is very dark brown in colour - close to black but with some reddish hues. Almost no head.

Nose contains peat, smoke, toffee, whisky, chocolate and some fruit notes. Very complex and quite nice.

Taste is very strong, containing peat, smoke, a leather-like flavour, wood, whisky, and a touch of dark fruit. A bit astringent. Somewhat bitter. A lot happening, but not super enjoyable.

Full bodied, low to moderate carbonation. Despite the full body, still feels a bit thin somehow.

Overall, disappointing. The nose is really good but the rest doesn't live up. I liked the younger variants more.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2014 00:04:39 | More by jrenihan
Photo of AussieAbroad
AussieAbroad

Ontario (Canada)

4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Old Dubh 30th Anniversary

330 ml bottle purchased for $11.95 from LCBO

Bottled June 2013. Bottle #8124. Best before Jul. 2016

Aggressively poured into a snifter

A - Pitch, viscous black with no head and a small ring of lacing. Minimal carbonation is visible.

S - Rich, earthy, some spice, muted peat and smokiness, roasted malts and dark fruits. Notes of coffee and semi sweet chocolate.

T - Vanilla. chocolate and coffee notes. Complex and balanced. Barrel aging has smoothed this out. Sweet lingering finish.

M - Smooth and thin/medium bodied. No carbonation. Almost decadent richness to it. Slightly warming but no pronounced notes of 8% ABV.

O - Outstanding. Who needs Innis& Gunn! This is something special I’ll be seeking out again.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2014 02:04:31 | More by AussieAbroad
Photo of BradC
BradC

Pennsylvania

4.44/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured jet black from Bottle #1930 bottle June 2013. Little to no head or lacing.

Smells of peat, tobacco, alcohol

Tastes of peat, dark chocolate, scotch, a little bit of alcohol and then a touch of hop bitterness that lingers on the tongue

Silky smooth mouthfeel, with little to no carbonation.

Overall a complex tasting beer, was a gift from the wife and I'm glad I got it. It's been ahile since I've had regular Ola Dubh but I'll search some out now.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2014 02:41:06 | More by BradC
Photo of rjp217
rjp217

Massachusetts

4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle date of January 2009 poured into a snifter.

A - Flat black, thin head that dissipates quickly, tiny blotches of lace

S - Smokey, peat, chocolate, spice, wood, roasted nuts, smoke-cured meat, ash

T - Scotch! Chocolate scotch. There's a thick smokiness mid palate that quickly smoothens.

M - Smooth feel, almost thin. A drying and smoke feel.

O - Unlike anything I have every tasted! Complexity as its finest. A smooth feel with a smokey body littered with scotch and chocolate. I received this as part of a wedding gift and so glad I did. A true hidden gem.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2014 00:20:44 | More by rjp217
Photo of beergoot
beergoot

Colorado

4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Coal-black body with a thin, light tan head. Soft roasted grain aroma infused with a slight wine or whiskey scent; good chocolate and toffee character. Deep, rich chocolate malt and cocoa flavors; slight vanilla edge; hint of alcohol warmth. Thick, creamy, velvety mouthfeel.

The first sip produced an eye-rolling, palate pleasing ecstasy. Talk about depth and complexity, you've got it here. The appearance and aroma are pretty good, but the taste and feel will leave you with a goofy-ass smile of pleasure as your taste buds bathe in a dark malt wonderland. Further sips expand on the initial impressions with the revelation of slightly smokey and peaty malt flavors as well.

I bought this beer on a whim with no knowledge of what I might expect. This experience revealed a new a very delightful beer and brewery to me. Well worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2014 22:31:43 | More by beergoot
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a short light tan head that quickly died down, leaving a collar consisting of large bubbles around the edge and some delicate lacing on the surface. The entire head eventually completely faded away.
S: Moderate aromas of smoked peat are present in the nose along with hints of dark chocolate. The smell becomes stronger as the beer warms up.
T: Much like the smell, the taste has lots of flavors of peat that linger through the finish. Slight hints of bitter chocolate and toffee peek through in the middle of the taste.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a low to moderate amount of carbonation. The beer really coats your mouth very well. Hints of warming from the whiskey are noticeable.
O: This beer is a lot smokier compared to the Reserve 18 and has an exceptional mouthfeel that has some smoothness and coats your entire mouth.

Note: Bottle No. 00430, June 2013

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2014 04:06:07 | More by metter98
Photo of thebigredone
thebigredone

Wisconsin

3.6/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Well, I'll dumb my review down on this as I'm not sure this bottle was in prime shape.

My major problem with this was the cherry/red fruit flavor that while not prominent, completely distracted my palate. I'm not sure if this was beginning to show signs of infection or what, but there was definitely an off flavor.

Without the off infected/cherry flavor, I think this would have been an excellent beer. The oak/chocolate/peat flavors seemed to play well together. Body is a bit thin, but not too shabby.

Would gladly try this again to see if I had some better luck.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2013 16:13:56 | More by thebigredone
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass.

Coming out of the bottle dark mahogany brown, settles in looks even black off the pour, but with closer inspection it has a dark walnut brown opaque body, and some nice red edges. Not much of a head, faint tan in color, but also quite bubbly and no retention and leaves a very large bubbled collar. Some minor legs, but also looks like it has dirty lacing around the edges.

Bouquet is quite fascinating, different, and unexpected. Mellow fruit, with a warmth of cherries and currants. Some dry roast character and soft bodied. Lots of oak and splintery salty sensations, not unlike soy sauce. Some black pepper but quite subdued. Oak really opens up on this as it warms.

Real interesting palate. Very light bodied, but a good silky quality. However, with time it becomes just a bit too thin but becomes easier to drink. Mellow light licorice and finishes with some dark bitter chocolate. With warmth the chocolate angle gets much more milky. Large oaky quality and full mouthfeel, particularly in the aftertaste. Salty character hinted on the nose doesn't come out on the palate which is probably a good thing. Fruity cherry and currants seem to be toned down than from what was hinted on the nose. Mild hints of piping store bought drip coffee. Chocolate angle seems to weaken over time.

Overall, quite fascinating, complicated, but also not one that really grabs my attention strangely enough. Even more so I get no sense that this comes from a Scotch barrel at all.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2013 00:24:34 | More by smakawhat
Photo of Odysseyalien
Odysseyalien

New Jersey

4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

OMFG, I didn't expect much from this but now I'm sorry I didn't buy another bottle. I've tried this whole line of old ales and this one, albeit pricey, I think is my favorite.

It pours pitch black. Think moonless night in Maine, minus the stars. Hardly any head when poured and what head there was vanished within a couple of minutes. Very thin strips of lacing. More like the stars retreating from the moonless night adorning the sides of my snifter. The smell is sweet, with subtle alcohol.

The taste -- man this thing has a very subtle sweetness surrounded by oak and alcohol. I'm going to say prayers tonight that one of my favorite bars in New York gets this on tap sometime soon. I'm adding to my bucket list - visit Scotland, tour Harviestoun Brewery, and sip this stuff from the tap or cask till I can't walk. Seriously, this stuff is delicious. I've enjoyed the whole line of the Ola Dubh's but this one takes the cake, at least for me.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2013 21:45:02 | More by Odysseyalien
Photo of Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

4.04/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle 07038. March 2009.

A: Very dark brown pour, not quite a real black but close. Good sized and frothy light brown head. Head fades out at a moderate pace. Good retention and nice thick walls of lacing.

S: Loads of peat. Much stronger than the younger versions of this. Mild smoke but it's pretty much the peat show here.

T: Peaty up front for sure but not overpowering. Still pretty bold though. Lots of bittersweet chocolate mingles with it initially. A little chunk of smoke and char towards the finish. Lingering bitter cocoa and hints of peat in the finish and aftertaste.

M: Viscous and medium bodied. Smooth.

O: A LOT peatier than the younger versions as I mentioned. The 12 had barely any but the 18 was nice. This is heavy on the peat. Having said that, it's still quite good. I don't even like scotch! If you are a scotch lover you will love this beer I think. Barrel character is substantial but not overpowering. Nice chocolate malt really tries hard to balance out the peat. Pretty mellow drinking overall. Enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2013 03:20:26 | More by Dope
Photo of Resuin
Resuin

Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 fl oz bottle into a teku glass. This was bottled in September 2007 and is bottle number 16,903.

Appearance: Pours a deep, deep brown/black and leaves just a very thin layer of dark brown on top of the beer, which fades to just a tan rim around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Dark chocolate, whiskey, roasted malts, plums, figs. Pretty sweet aroma - a plethora of great, dark flavors.

Taste: Scotch comes out first with a good bit of smokiness to it. This is followed by fudge, peat, light coffee, dark fruits, and roasted malts. The alcohol is all but entirely masked.

Mouth-feel: Very light carbonation, a tad flat, but not entirely. A pretty light body for the style, but a really smooth finish.

Overall: The flavors are great in this stout - there is no doubt about it. Terrific aroma as well. The body is a bit light though and it could use a bit more carbonation. The time in the scotch barrels really helped this one out though.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2013 00:29:48 | More by Resuin
Photo of cindyjeffsmith
cindyjeffsmith

Georgia

4.48/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bday gift from my generous best bud. You're the best dude.
appearance: Very dark with crimson highlights.
smell: Decadent, rich....vanilla, caramel, oak. A hint, reminiscent of cherries in the taste, not in the nose.
taste: More of the same. Not quite the depth of the nose but fantastic nonetheless.
overall: Outstanding. Didn't think I'd get my hands on one of these and here it is. Generosity of others is such a humbling and wonderful thing.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2013 22:17:59 | More by cindyjeffsmith
Photo of mick303
mick303

Ontario (Canada)

4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Vertical tasting of the range, from notes.
A - pitch black with no head at all. 4
S - VANILLA! maple syrup, waffles, sweet creaminess, so amazing and complex, intoxicating. 4.75
T - chocolate, slight alcohol heat, just amazing, rich whisky notes, dry caramel, leafy, cherries but not sweet, restrained lactose, black pepper just so complex and nuanced. 4.5
M - smooth, no carbonation, just sticks on the palate and so rich. 4.5
O - dances on the palate, just awesome, this was a really mind-blowing whisky-aged beer. 5

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2013 17:52:54 | More by mick303
Photo of SLeffler27
SLeffler27

New York

4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A fine, thin blanket of chestnut mousse leaves a delicate veil of lace while a viscous, black (SRM 40) liquor coats the Glencairn snifter. The short-lived head becomes a thin ring after a few minutes.

Rich chocolate malt and whiskey is omnipresent, but beneficent. A syrupy and roasted character develops with warmth as smoky peat and molasses loiter in the background.

Rich flavors closely follow the aromas of dark fruit such as fig and prune, while molasses is exposed by warmth. All mix well with earthy peat flavors as it teeters from sweet to bitter. Molasses and brown sugar are evident in the ever-so-subtle, but lingering, finish.

This variant of Ola Dubh is extremely smooth, with a full, almost dense, body. The alcohol is lightly warming and much higher than anticipated, especially given 5.5 years in the bottle. Carbonation is like fine pin pricks amidst a velvety texture.

This is a prime example of what a contemplative beer can be. It would easily stand up to cigars or brownie bottom sundaes. It brings to mind memories of long conversations with my grandfather in leather chairs surrounded by old books in a cigar-smoke filled room.

Bottle number 6001, dated September 2007. This could also fit a rich porter style.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2013 21:18:23 | More by SLeffler27
Photo of laituegonflable
laituegonflable

Australia

3.38/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, mostly black. Head is a nice beige, just bubbles around the surface - at its most dense have a nice crema look to it. Lace is decent at first but doesn't stick around. Not bad at all.

Smells pretty boozey. Dark, yeasty, almost vegemitey aroma with a touch of peppery spice, dark chocolate and burnt toast. But yeah, very yeast-extract kind of organic aroma all over the roasty grain. Not that impressed, to be honest.

Taste is not as boozey as I expected at all; in fact it's quite uneventful. Quite dry, with light notes of caramel, some bisscuity flavour, just grainy and slight vanilla notes. It's really quite drinkable, but primarily because there's not a whole lot going on there. Decent, though, just not very exciting. Largely sweet, but enough to balance.

Very thin and empty on the feel. Definitely lets it down here, because some more presence on the tongue would make up for some of the palate's shortcomings. Amazingly not hot for 8%, but there's just nothing really to it.

Drinkable, fairly unexciting beer. Sessionable as hell for a dark 8% beer though.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2013 11:53:47 | More by laituegonflable
Photo of techdiver
techdiver

Pennsylvania

4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Sept 2007, number 07659. Black with clarity visible at edges. Not much carbonation, perhaps due in large part to the age of the bottle. Great malt profile in aroma and taste, there's an invigorating rush as it hits the back of the mouth and slides down your throat. Of the other Special Reserves I've had, the 12 and the 16, this is the most memorable.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2012 01:13:31 | More by techdiver
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle poured into a CBS snifter. Bottled January 2009.

Appearance - Black, but opaque at the edges. Frothy khaki collar. This glass may provide a bit too much surface for the beer to retain a real head, but it still looks nice.

Smell - Scotch. Peaty and smokey scotch aroma. A little vanilla. Some spicy chocolate back there too. This is the beer's best attribute.

Taste - Immediate scotch barrel presence, but a bitter chocolate cuts it. Peaty flavor comes back after the chocolate fades into a bitter and, again, spicy, finish. No sweetness or caramel to this. Very much focused on bitter and smokey flavors.

Mouthfeel - It's still a weak base beer, so it feels very thin and gets a bit overpowered by the barrel. Too much barrel for this beer isn't really a bad thing, though.

Overall - The best I've had of this series. This is also probably the only one I'd buy again, but the cost is prohibitive. I would like to know if this ages longer than the others, as its barrel character is more distinct.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2012 02:22:14 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of DavoleBomb
DavoleBomb

Ohio

3.55/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. Bottle #10696, bottled Sept. 2007. I looked up how much the 30 year costs and the cheapest was just north of $300. And to think I thought this bottle of beer was expensive at $14.99.

3.5 A: Black color. Just over a finger of frothy light brown head. Retention was mediocre and no lacing was left. I gave this an extra half point since it's getting rather old.

4.0 S: The base beer delivers roastiness and a hint of chocolate. Nothing too crazy. The whiskey, however, is enchanting. So well integrated that it smells silky. Coffee, creme, caramel, oak, vanilla - creme brulee basically. Light well tanned leather. Almost flowery with melon, peach, and apple fruits.

3.5 T: Taste is much like the nose. The base beer is just there to facilitate the barrel aging. Roastiness is the main contributor. The reason that this doesn't score as well as the nose is because the whiskey is less intense in the taste. Still, there's some vanilla, oak, and leather, but much less of everything else.

3.0 M: Wimpy light to lighter medium body. Carbonation is good for how old it is. Reasonably creamy for how light it is.

3.5 D: This suffers from the same problem that 50/50 does. The base beer is weak and the barrel aging is forced to carry the product. However, in this case, the bourbon seems to have faded a lot from the taste. Oh well. I'd love to try this fresh.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2012 02:28:03 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of slyke
slyke

Minnesota

4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ola Dubh bottle 15183, dated September 2007

This pours black as coal with just a hint of a chestnut colored head.

The smell has notes of oak, scotch, and dark fruit.

The taste is a mix of those same flavors with the dark fruit being more prominent in the taste.

Mouthfeel is a touch on the oily side with some weight on the tongue and it coats the mouth with a lasting aftertaste.

Overall, this is a heck of a good sipping beer. Give it a try.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2012 23:48:22 | More by slyke
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased from Plonk in Canberra.

Pours a murky black-brown, with surprisingly light highlights of chocolate brown at the edges. Head is formed of tiny, creamy chocolate coloured bubbles, and it forms patchy, but streaking lace. Overall, it's a really seductive looking brew.

Nose is wonderfully dense and dark, leavened with strong, slightly peaty whisky overtones. But there's a sweetness and a solidity to the base beer, giving chocolate, dense bread and grain gravity to the brew. The whisky is exceptionally noticeable, however, giving a really lovely accent to the nose overall. Lovely drop.

Taste is actually much less brusque and much less confronting than I expected. Here, the caressing chocolate flavours come forward more, leaving the smoky whiskey spinning languidly in the background, providing a seductive glimpse at something deeper and more complex. It's sweet, it's supple, but it's exciting and mysterious too.

This is an absolutely cracking beer, obviously crafted with care and love. The beer itself is grand, but the whisky barrel ages makes it magical.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2012 09:09:29 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of Rickythejeweler
Rickythejeweler

Maryland

4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown, half finger khaki head, nice little lacing, a few carbonation bubbles on bottom of the snifter.

S - Beautiful scotch, wood, cocoa, light peat/smoke, faint hops, maple syrup.

T - Oak, vanilla, scotch, light chocolate, plums, brown malts, faint smoke.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation, at times it was creamy, then others it felt watery.

O - Aside from the relatively light body, this was a stellar brew!

Bottle: March 2009, #05207, $18.99 at Honeygo Wine & Spirits in Perry Hall, MD

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2012 18:55:22 | More by Rickythejeweler
Photo of drtth
drtth

Pennsylvania

4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically. Bottled in February of 2009.

Appearance: As poured the beer is a dark almost black color that does indeed look like old engine oil. The 1/4” light tan head recedes fairly soon to a small ring of foam around the glass with an irregular patch of foam. Sipping leaves a a modest amount of foam that soon becomes scattered speckles of lacing, some of which slide back down to the liquid and some of which remain clinging to the side of the glass.

Smell: The aroma is detectable as soon as the bottle is opened and before the pour. As with the 12, 16 and the 18, what shows first is the scotch. After the pour, however, the components of the beer mingle in and some chocolate, with hints of molasses and toffee in the background.

Taste: As with the other versions of this beer the flavors are quite complex. The dark chocolate also seems to have light coffee notes to it along very faint hints of dark roast. There is neither heat nor burn from the alcohol and the integration of the contribution of the whisky barrel with the flavors of the beer is close to perfection. As with the 18, this is not a beer with whisky in it. The beer and whisky have become are one.

Mouthfeel: As with other versions I’ve sampled (the 12, the 16, and the 18) the mouth feel is smooth as silk, on the light side of medium bodied and has only light, gentle carbonation. As with the others, the finish is long and starts in sweetness. It then tapers off into a nice earthy dryness and faint bitterness.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: This is a great beer for sipping and I’ll be looking to have this again. My overall impression is that this whole series are a great set of beers. One day I hope to sample this series of beers side by side so as to be able to really have a shot at finding how the age of the whisky that was in the barrel affects the base beer. Certainly with this one the whisky notes are smoother and hard to separate out as a different component and there is a definite “smoothness” to the flavors I don’t remember from the 12 and 16.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2012 18:38:39 | More by drtth
Photo of ptykozoon
ptykozoon

California

2.88/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Lacing, no head. A very dark brown borderline black.

Cocoa, caramel, faint bourbon, oak, molasses, burnt offerings and just an overall sweetness.

Much more subdued than the scents. Bitter chocolate, coffee beans; all sort of watered down and not terrifyingly complex.

Decent mid-range mouthfeel density.

Nothing to write home about. Clearly not worth the price in my book.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2012 01:42:54 | More by ptykozoon
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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 30 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
95 out of 100 based on 334 ratings.