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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.

333 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 333
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: 333 | Reviews: 219 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Odysseyalien:
Photo of 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
More User Reviews:
Photo of mhaugo


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?

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 kmoen


4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

04-17-2014 03:23:30 | More by kmoen
Photo of BAsbill


4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

04-15-2014 07:20:13 | More by BAsbill
Photo of 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 WillCarrera


4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

04-05-2014 05:57:46 | More by WillCarrera
Photo of MarkyMOD


4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

04-04-2014 01:59:10 | More by MarkyMOD
Photo of Thanx4AllDaFish


4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

03-28-2014 18:26:01 | More by Thanx4AllDaFish
Photo of SurpriseTruck

Ontario (Canada)

4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

03-23-2014 02:22:45 | More by SurpriseTruck
Photo of Chingringo


4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

03-17-2014 10:48:06 | More by Chingringo
Photo of 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 JGlitz87


4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

03-13-2014 03:54:04 | More by JGlitz87
Photo of JamLand


3.5/5  rDev -18%

03-12-2014 01:53:18 | More by JamLand
Photo of aasher


4/5  rDev -6.3%

03-08-2014 02:26:07 | More by aasher
Photo of RedAleMan

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

03-03-2014 04:30:55 | More by RedAleMan
Photo of yancot

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev -6.3%

03-03-2014 01:48:01 | More by yancot
Photo of 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 irishkyle21

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

02-26-2014 22:18:00 | More by irishkyle21
Photo of Troublebar


5/5  rDev +17.1%

02-25-2014 10:15:49 | More by Troublebar
Photo of chikunwing


4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

02-24-2014 16:33:05 | More by chikunwing
Photo of threedaggers


4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

02-21-2014 01:33:38 | More by threedaggers
Photo of nick_asian


4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

02-19-2014 11:42:27 | More by nick_asian
Photo of jroberts8811


4/5  rDev -6.3%

02-18-2014 14:51:34 | More by jroberts8811
Photo of BradC


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 kjkinsey


4/5  rDev -6.3%

02-04-2014 21:55:59 | More by kjkinsey
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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 30 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
95 out of 100 based on 333 ratings.